Tag Archives: emperor’s children

Slaanesh: Observations from the Weekend

Played at a small tournament – well, ran a small tournament, and played to fill in the odd number spot – with my Slaanesh CSM/Daemons army, and I’m pretty satisfied with the results. I ended up going 2-1, with wins against Khorne CSM and Nurgle CSM, and a loss against my friend (and cohost) Dennis and his Eldar. This is not surprising; he can never beat my Tau with Eldar, and I’ve yet to beat his Eldar with my Chaos armies. After three games with the new force, I feel like I’m in the right direction for the most part. Here’s what I took:

HQ: Chaos Lord w/Mark of Slaanesh, Sigil of Corruption, Power Sword, Chaos Bike, Gift of Mutation, Veterans of the Long War – 155
Troops: 9 Noise Marines w/8 Sonic Blasters, 1 Blastmaster; Noise Champion – 234
Troops: 9 Noise Marines w/8 Sonic Blasters, 1 Blastmaster; Noise Champion – 234
Troops: 19 Cultists w/17 Autoguns, 2 Flamers, Mark of Slaanesh; Cultist Champion – 137
Fast Attack:
 4 Chaos Bikers w/Mark of Slaanesh, Icon of Excess, 2 Meltaguns,Veterans of the Long War; Biker Champion w/Combi-Melta, Meltabombs – 195
Heavy Support: 4 Chaos Havocs w/4 Autocannons, Mark of Slaanesh, Veterans of the Long War; Aspiring Champion – 130
Fortification: Aegis Defense Line w/Quad Gun – 100
HQ: Herald of Slaanesh w/Transfixing Gaze, Soporific Musk, Pavane of Slaanesh – 90
Troops: 16 Daemonettes of Slaanesh – 224

Here are my take-aways from the weekend.

  • Bikes work as a Lord delivery system, but… Being on a bike ensures that the Lord will get somewhere quickly, and it keeps him alive due to the increased toughness. The rest of the bikes provide melta for cracking open vehicles and act as ablative wounds. They don’t bring a whole lot else, though, besides someone carrying an Icon of Excess. They just don’t have enough attacks to make a sizable dent in an enemy unit when assaulting. Still, the speed and toughness are really nice. I’m going to keep trying these guys for a bit longer and get used to them before I decide their fate. Putting the Lord on a Steed of Slaanesh is tempting to give the whole unit Outflank, but then I lose the extra toughness.
  • Shooty Noise Marine units are great. Fearless. Power armor. Cranks out tons of shots. Ignore cover. High Initiative if they get assaulted. What’s not to like? Also, the Blastmaster is fantastic now, because of two reasons: ignoring cover and being able to keep it stationary while the rest of the squad moves. It’s totally worth the points now, especially when you consider how easy it is for vehicles to get cover now. If I can see you, I can kill you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Also awesome for killing other power armor units.
  • Shooty Cultists are good. Okay, their guns aren’t great, but with so many shots you can manage a lot of mischief. I actually managed to have them shoot a Bloodthirster to death (results not typical). They’re risky to assault, especially with the flamers, and with the Mark of Slaanesh they’ve got a good chance to attack in kind once you close. In combination with a decent piece of cover, like an Aegis Defense Line, you can keep them nice and safe. Out in the open, though, they’ll take wounds and likely run off the board, so use them wisely if you don’t want to babysit them with a Lord.
  • Havocs are great. Especially with autocannons. A lot of strong shots for a low cost. Sure, they won’t scratch AV14, but that’s what the bikers are for. Setting the champ at the defense line’s Quad Gun almost doubles your firepower and gives you access to a Skyfire Interceptor weapon. I had faith that they would serve me well, and they delivered.
  • Daemonettes worked! The Daemonettes did exactly what I’d chosen them for – a fast assault unit that I could drop into my opponent’s back lines to cause havoc and assault scoring units camping in the rear. They’re fragile, but with the sheer volume of attacks they can put out makes up for their deficiencies. I never did use Hit and Run, so the Herald’s Musk might be on the chopping block, but Gaze and Pavane are staying. The only game where they didn’t directly contribute was against the Eldar (ironic, that), but they still pulled Dennis’s entire army’s attention for that one turn, leaving the rest to act without being bothered for a turn. Even against a tarpit unit like Plague Zombies, they managed to just out-wound their opponents. They don’t stand up to shooting, but I knew they wouldn’t. If nothing else, though, they forced my opponent to make bad decisions: keep pressing forward and ignore the blender I just dropped in your lines, or turn around and deal with it and let me stall out your momentum. I wouldn’t run them much smaller than I have them in this list; they need the bodies to get where you want them.

I will say it’s odd to run an army devoid of vehicles, but at higher point levels (1750-2000), I might figure out a way to pad out that involves metal boxes of one form or another, or maybe pick up a Heldrake and fit it into the list. Also, possibly more Daemons; they’re just fun to play around with.

Bikes and Apostles and Havocs, Oh My!

The bikes I started three weeks ago are finally together; I opted for meltaguns over plasma because I needed some anti-armor punch. Even the bike champ is toting around a combi-melta liberated from my loyalist bits to provide that extra shot when necessary. The lord is front and center, with the spiky head, power sword, and Noise Champion torso. I’m contemplating doing a thin layer of greenstuff on the sword and sculpting in faces like the Chaos Lord in the DV box has, but I doubt my abilities with greenstuff enough that I might just leave it as-is.

Speaking of the DV box, the Chosen with a power maul is getting transformed…

…into a Dark Apostle, with the addition of some spikes from the vehicle sprue. The official model has a spiked halo, so I decided to play on that theme a little bit and do something similar. Here, I’ll have to play with greenstuff to give him the long strips of parchment from his shoulders. I like that even his helm has a skull faced motif, making him thematically similar to a loyalist chaplain.

Meanwhile, I decided to tackle the autocannon Havocs in my new Chaos list without having to buy 4 boxes of Havocs. A number of conversion ideas online basically revolved around taking a heavy bolter and changing the barrel on it. Fortunately, I had plenty of heavy bolter bits that I’d never used, and I was lucky to have two extra twin-linked reaper autocannon bits that I acquired when I first bought my Chaos army, so it was time to do some cutting and combining. Here’s what I ended up with:

Basically, you trim the barrel and the iron sight off of the heavy bolter and file down the front so it’s smooth and even. Then, you take the end of the reaper autocannon, usually to just past the next-to-last vent hole in the barrel, trim that off, and file the ends until they’re smooth. Glue the two together, and you have a serviceable autocannon that, even though it’s built on a heavy bolter casing, won’t be mistaken for a heavy bolter anytime soon. If you’ve ever seen the Chosen artwork from the Black Crusade RPG showing a Chaos Marine toting an autocannon as long as he is tall, this looks very similar (and is just about as long as a Chaos Marine mini is tall, in fact.) All assembled, the Havoc looks like so:

Here he is with two squadmates:

And a fourth just waiting to pull himself together:

All that remains is to build the Havoc champion (assuming I don’t just use a standard bolter-bearing CSM), and then I can move onto my cultists. I’ll actually have enough models to build a unit of 17 autogunners, 2 flamers, and a champ. If I want to expand beyond that, it’ll mean picking up more DV bits; I’m definitely not paying $10 for 5 mixed cultists from GW when I can get Dark Vengeance leftovers at something like 10 (from the squad I need) for $15.

Slaanesh: Building on the Backbone

I think I have the backbone of my revised Slaanesh CSM army figured out. Right now, it’s looking like this:

HQ: Chaos Lord w/Mark of Slaanesh, Aura of Dark Glory, Power Sword, Chaos Bike, Veterans of the Long War – 135
Troops: 9 Noise Marines w/8 Sonic Blasters, 1 Blastmaster; Noise Champion – 234
Troops: 9 Noise Marines w/8 Sonic Blasters, 1 Blastmaster; Noise Champion – 234
Fast Attack: 4 Chaos Bikers w/Mark of Slaanesh, Icon of Excess, 2 Meltaguns,Veterans of the Long War; Biker Champion – 180
Heavy Support: 4 Chaos Havocs w/4 Autocannons, Veterans of the Long War; Aspiring Champion – 120
Fortification: Aegis Defense Line w/Quad Gun – 100

This comes in at just over 1000 points, and gives me some core capabilities:

  • The Lord and Bikers provide a fast, tough assault unit with anti-armor capabilities
  • The troops give me two Fearless units that can put out a deadly barrage of fire that ignores cover
  • The Havocs and ADL provide a steady supply of autocannon fire that can be equally deadly to light vehicles, light infantry, and fliers (and the extra Leadership from Veterans helps keep them from breaking)

The next step is figuring out where to go from here and filling in the next 497 points to get to 1500. Do I expand my assault capabilities? Do I add more troops? More heavy support? It’s not like there’s any lack of options in the Chaos Marine codex, even if I just limit it to vehicles and Slaanesh-marked units (and unaligned ones). I’m playing around with a few ideas that I can possibly mix and match. Some possibilities include:

Troops: 24 Cultists w/2 Flamers, 22 Autoguns, Mark of Slaanesh; Cultist Champion – 167
I’ve tried playing around with Cultists as an aggressive assault unit, and unless they’re in huge numbers and/or have a lot of cover available (which slows them down), they tend to die before they can really contribute. Instead, I’m thinking of using them as a shooting objective-holding unit that’s hard to assault safely. Sitting them on an objective in cover or behind the ADL, I can keep them alive longer, and while they may not be great shots and have weak guns, they put out a massive number of shots. Between the flamers and the rapid-firing guns, assaulting them’s not a safe bet either.

Troops: 9 Noise Marines w/9 Close Combat Weapons, 0 Boltguns, Icon of Exces, Veterans of the Long War; Noise Champion w/Doom Siren, Power Weapon; Rhino w/Dirge Caster – 290
Instead of using them as a shooting unit, this unit tries to use Noise Marines as a dedicated assault unit. High initiative, good armor, and FNP helps to ensure that they get their strikes in, and the champ is no slouch with his MEQ-killing template and power sword. Hopefully, competent placement of the Rhino will keep them safe from overwatch shots as well. A bit pricy, though.

Troops: 9 Chaos Marines w/9 Close Combat Weapons, 0 Boltguns, Mark of Slaanesh, Icon of Excess, Veterans of the Long War; Aspiring Champion w/Power Sword; Rhino w/Dirge Caster – 255
Same idea as the previous unit, and noticeably cheaper, but without the Doom Siren goodness to melt enemy faces. Very similar to the above, but an option if you want to shave off a few points. Also not Fearless, so they could get swept in combat if they break.

Fast Attack: 5 Chaos Spawn w/Mark of Slaanesh – 165
A unit for quickly rushing the enemy and hitting them with (hopefully) a ton of attacks. The Mark makes sure they go simultaneously with most MEQ armies; while they may not survive the fight (although with Toughness 5 and 3 Wounds each, they might), they’re likely to make a big, messy dent.

HQ: Chaos Lord w/Mark of Slaanesh, Aura of Dark Glory, Power Sword, Steed of Slaanesh, Veterans of the Long War – 135
Not a replacement for the Biker Lord, but a companion for the Chaos Spawn if I go in that direction. Together, the unit’s just slightly more expensive than the Noise Marine assault squad.

Heavy Support: 4 Chaos Havocs w/4 Autocannons, Veterans of the Long War; Aspiring Champion – 120
Yes, it’s a repeat, and it’ll double my kit-bashing requirements, but it’s a solid unit; running 2 is not a bad thing.

Fast Attack: 4 Raptors w/Mark of Slaanesh, Icon of Excess, 2xMeltaguns, Veterans of the Long War; 1 Raptor Champion w/2x Lightning Claws – 195
A classic Raptor unit, and one that fulfills much the same role as my Bikers do. Not quite as tough as the bikes, and slightly more expensive, but still nasty.

Heavy Support: Chaos Predator w/Autocannon, Lascannon Sponsons – 115
A reliable little workhorse, although those sponsons are Snapshotting if it moves. Slightly cheaper than Havocs, but more fragile in general and with less firepower.

This just scratches the surface of what choices I have, but these were the ones that seemed most reliable in doing their jobs. Now it’s time for decisions, decisions, decisions.

Expanding My Slaaneshi Marines

With the new Chaos Marine codex changing up point costs and making some units more attractive than before, I figured it was time to re-examine my Slaanesh CSM army and see what I could build out from my collection of abandoned sprues, as well as a few new purchases. First up – I’m adding bikes. Bikes are the new (old) hotness thanks to their massive point reduction and 6th Edition’s bike rules, and I just happen to have 6 bike sprues that I’ve been sitting on for a few years now. That’s just perfect for a Lord on a bike and a 5-man bike squad with the Icon of Excess. T5 I5 Feel No Pain bikes? Yes, please. My only conundrum at this point is whether to give the bikers plasmaguns or meltaguns. Meltaguns make them a threat against more vehicles, but plasma guns get more shots, are equally nasty against 2+ armor, and benefit from the bike’s Relentless rule. I also have spare plasmagun bits, whereas I’d have to order more meltaguns, so there’s definitely incentive to work with what I have.

I’m also thinking of expanding my Noise Marine squads, and that means more sonic weapons. Fortunately, the new Finecast sonic weapon add-on packs are available, and I have to say I’m a fan. I’ve ordered the old metal bits packs before, and the new packs are superior in just about every way. First, it’s not metal. Oh, how I hate putting metal arms on a plastic mini. I’m really looking forward to using Finecast bits instead. Second, I’m impressed with the bits themselves. I really think that GW is shaking out the bugs in the Finecast process, because this set (and the Emperor’s Children set next to it) are absolutely pristine. There’s no miscasts or bubbles in the entire set that I’ve been able to find. Is there flash? Sure, but no where near the flash from the early days of Finecast, and it all cleans up very easily. Third, the price is one of the cases (which are slowly getting more common) where the Finecast switch has actually lead to a price decrease. The old metal bits were $22.50 (I verified from old order receipts); the new Finecast pack is $15. That’s a win as far as I’m concerned.

Next up is Lucius. Now, while I waxed a bit ecstatic about Lucius in my last post, I’ve come around to realizing that he’s not necessarily the bee’s knees compared to a standard Lord – as I said, I’m looking at a Lord on a bike now. I still like him, though, and I promised myself when Finecast was announced that if/when Lucius came out in Finecast, I would buy one. Well, here he is, and once again, he’s just about perfect in Finecast. Sharp detail, fits together like a charm, nice and light and easy to work with – everything I like about the material. I know there are people that hate the material, and GW definitely deserves some drubbing for the poor quality of a lot of the initial releases, but I think that their QA department has been stepping up their game over time. I’m looking forward to getting him painted up and looking appropriately scarred and terrible.

Now, this one has nothing to do with my Slaaneshi CSM, but it’s more about where they play. I don’t have the space for a gaming table in our house, but we do have a round, oblong kitchen table. The rounded edges making playing 40K as-is problematic, but if I had a playing surface to set on it, I’d be good to go.  Somehow, my friendly local game store lucked upon a Realm of Battle board back when they were originally released, and it’s been sitting and gathering dust for years. I managed to score some extra funds, and on Friday I finally made it mine. Getting this painted, flocked, and prepped for use will be a bit of a project, but maybe I can enlist a couple of friends to speed the process up… and then play games on it!

IC Hobby Challenge 2011: It Begins

I’m taking part in the Independent Characters’ 2011 Hobby Progress Challenge. The goal? Build and paint an 1850-point army, along with a 400-point sideboard of minis to swap out/add on, in time for Adepticon 2012. It seems like an imposing task, considering it took me four years to finish my Tau army, but I think I’m up to this one. Since I was already in the middle of building my Chaos Marines and getting them ready for painting, I just made a list and turned that into my project. So, here’s what I’m trying to get done:

HQ: Daemon Prince w/Mark of Slaanesh, Sorcerer, Warptime, Wings (160)
Elites: 5 Terminator Champions w/Lightning Claws, Icon of Slaanesh in a Land Raider (485)
Elites: 6 Chosen w/2 Flamers, 3 Meltaguns, Icon of Slaanesh in a Rhino (203)
Troops: 6 Noise Marines w/Blastmaster, Personal Icon in a Rhino (200)
Troops: 5 Noise Marines w/Sonic Blasters, Noise Champion w/Doom Siren, Power Weapon, Melta Bombs in a Rhino (230)
Troops: 5 Noise Marines w/Sonic Blasters, Noise Champion w/Doom Siren, Power Weapon, Melta Bombs in a Rhino (230)
Heavy Support: Predator w/Autocannon, Lascannon Sponsons (130)
Heavy Support: Predator w/Autocannon, Lascannon Sponsons (130)
Other: 6 Summoned Lesser Daemons (78)

TOTAL: 1846 points

And the sideboard:

HQ: Sorcerer w/Mark of Slaanesh, Lash of Submission, Personal Icon (130)
Heavy Support: Defiler w/Reaper Autocannon, Close Combat Arm (150)
Other: 6 Summoned Lesser Daemons (78)
Other: 3 Havoc Launchers for Rhinos (45)

TOTAL: 403 points.

That’s 2,249 points, all to be done by the end of March 2012. Right now, here’s how my schedule is looking:

  • June: Paint the Blastmaster squad and Rhino, Assemble Terminators
  • July: Paint one Noise Champion squad and Rhino, Assemble both Lesser Daemon Squads
  • August: Paint other Noise Champion squad and Rhino, Assemble Defiler (partially built already, needs arms)
  • September: Paint Daemon Prince
  • October: Paint Chosen squad and Rhino
  • November: Paint Predators
  • December: Holiday break
  • January: Paint Terminators and Land Raider
  • February: Paint Sorcerer and Defiler
  • March: Paint Lesser Daemons

This month sees me getting a late start, as some family business took up about a week, but I’ve started off with the Blastmaster squad pictured above. They’re assembled and primed and ready for painting. The priming job wasn’t the best – high humidity combined with holding the can a bit too far away ended up causing them to get somewhat gritty or fuzzy – but a few minutes with a stiff-bristled toothbrush cleaned them right up. I also have a Rhino just about ready for painting as well; I just need to put Slaanesh icons where the Khorne icons used to be and do a bit of spot-priming. Then it’ll be time to start throwing some pink on these guys and making them obnoxious.