TSHFT Invitational 40k photos (2013)

The Seattle area TSHFT Invitational is the holy grail of medium sized tournaments… it is only open to winners from the TSHFT Warhammer 40,000 tournament circuit , plus staff and special guests. Here’s shots of my games and some random pics from the event.

This event was 1500 pts this year, which made things faster and less stressful in my opinion.

For more info on TSHFT go to www.bloghammer.net or find them on Facebook.

TSHFT Open ramblings and 40k model photos!

Whatup, ya’ll! I had a blast at the first TSHFT Open (although it was not too different from a standard TSHFT, just more players and a different location). The missions were pretty standard and I loved the format, combining battle points with book missions in an elegant way. I know more and more people now that I have been in the Pacific Northwest tourny scene for a few years, so it was fun to see familiar faces and meet new people. I did quite well with my imperial guard and zombie mashup list. If not for a few dumb mistakes on my part in game 5 I would probably have won Best Overall Class B, but hats off to my opponent for eking out the win and not letting me whine my way into overtime. By game 5 as usual I was exhausted and getting loopy, and despite lots of success at killing I ran out of time and wasn’t prepared for game’s end. It takes a lot of time to setup so many models, especially when I did not organize my force into squads between rounds. In the future I will likely bring a more compact list and perhaps a nicer display board with specific sections for each squad so I can have more games finish on time naturally. Also the more familiar with 6th everyone gets, the smoother the experience will be, so I am optimistic.

maulerfiendwent 3 and 2 this time, much better than my last few outings. I have a better feel for 6th now and brought a stronger list, and I was glad my army was prepared for flyers this time around. In a nutshell my list was Typhus, 70 zombies and dragon for allies, 2 vendettas, 2 hydras, 4 griffons, and 2 platoons with mortars led by a Psyker for my main. The Psyker did nothing and Typhus mostly just died, but the rest of the army did well. Three flyers, artillery, and over 100 bodies is tough to handle in 6th.

As time goes on I have started caring more about the Overall title and less about best painted, so this time around I took a list designed to win games rather than using my best models. This involved some last minute work and one of my Vendettas looked rushed, and being such a prominent model it hurt my paint score and votes. I am used to scoring higher but we had a new dedicated paint judge and stricter standards this time around, and since my army was not 100% polished the score was fair, albeit disappointing. The paint judge was Wes from Stiff Neck studios, who does some excellent work as a commission painter and has a good eye for hobby work. I may even sub-contract with him at some point, or do freelance work. I am much more interested in doing characters, monsters, or other single figures as opposed to whole armies, since I still have a lot of my own models to finish.

I may have a writeup at some point with some mini battle reports. As a highlight I was able to beat AbusePuppy in a close fought turn 4 victory, although it was anyone’s game if we went longer.

A few weeks ago I took some model photos with my new camera, posted below. I like it much better than my last camera and my wife’s camera, but still have some ways to go before I have mastered using it. I want to build a dedicated light box or something so I get a consistent background. Now that the photos are coming out better it will encourage me to blog more frequently, my goal is at least one post a month. In the meantime I post on Ordo Fanaticus forums quite frequently, so feel free to PM me or chat on the posts.

Comments are always welcome.

One question, do you guys prefer a gallery format or plain list for model images?

mauler2 Kugath forgefiend dragon grey knights2 dca Mass production

Jungle construction guide

ChaosGerbil’s Wargames Jungle Construction Guide



Start out by cutting out rounded squiggles and ovals from Masonite board. A skill-saw / saber-saw type device is best. Power sand the edges, bevel if you want. If this is too dangerous or inconvenient for you, there are other bases. Pink insulation type stiff foam is $10 for an 8’4 foot sheet. Other alternatives to consider would be old cds, foam-core, and cardboard reinforced by glue. These will not last like Masonite but can sometimes be used for decent results. You will want to reinforce with air dry foam orlots of glue, but pliant bases are more prone to warping.


Get aquarium plants from an online discount pet supply place. Supplement with plants from Michael’s or other plastic flower / plant aisles. Use hot glue to attach a sprig of plant to the edge of the base. Use cups or other props to hold up the foliage while the hot glue dries. When this dries, cover the join with tacky glue and then sand. You can also glue down treated moss to cover the join or add bushes. Dab some tacky glue in the joins of the plants since many of them are segmented. Repeat this step every two or three inches around the edge of the base.


For more of a 40k look, use cut corks and bottle caps for barrels, and some bits form your bits box. Super glue is fine here. A cut up used gift card can be used as scrap metal barricades or flooring. Coffee stirrers or Popsicle sticks are also useful.

Advanced Work:

Model magic air dry foam or the kind for Lakeshore learning center is perfect for adding variations in height, for craters and pools, or smoothing out joins. It is also fantastic for making boulders and mushrooms.It also protects the Masonite from warping from glue in the next step.


Flock by starting with a layer of Elmer’s white glue, not watered down. Use an old large brush or piece of plastic to evenly coat the base. Cover with sand or ballast. If your base material sucks then weigh down the edges and center with full soda cans or other weights.


There is a rust red spray primer from Rustoleum for $4 at the hardware store. You may want to pick up a black and a flat green as well, just make sure you are using flat and not satin or gloss.


Drybrush the ground, flock with foliage mix or static grass in patches. Paint and shade the plants and bits detail as you would a model, taking shortcuts on the big areas.

Further steps:

To follow up, make mobile foliage clusters on 40mm poker chips to fill in the hollow space, add detail as desired. These can double as objectives sometimes.


OFCC musings, TSHFT invitational, and upcoming projects

Hey guys,

I am still lame about photos! While my mini collection is bigger and better than ever, my photo taking progress have stagnated.  I have good news though. I just moved, and I have a lot more space to setup both a plan background lightbox, and roiom for a terrain laden table for more action oriented or army scale pics. I am planning a MASSIVE Chaos family photo set that I will release to celebrate the new 40k Chaos codex when it comes out around August. I will have World Eaters, Word Bearers, mutated and possessed Thousand Sons, Death Guard, Flawless host, Renegade IG, almost every kind of daemon and a swarm of mutants and spawn. I know this post is kind of lame to just be promises but that’s all I have right now. Moving has taken the wind out of my sails. Assuming this goes well I will do a similar mass photo shoot in honor of the next Codex Orks, sometime in the next two years. Waiting in the wings are my Tyranids, Space Wolves, unpainted Grey Knights and 2nd edition Eldar.

The TSHFT invitational was fantastic. Free food and drinks plus most of the best Northwest gamers made for a fantastic event. My “Elect of Magnus” renegade warband of Thousand Sons had a mixed performance. I got a bit frazzled and behind on sleep yet again, and played quite poorly the second day, but overall the event was lots of fun for everybody. I placed somewhat poorly with a 2-3-1 record and inconsistent secondary points, but my opponents were pretty much top notch players so holding my own is still something I can be proud of.

Coming up in August is the OFCC down in Portland. This event is a tournament but unusual and weaker lists are encouraged, although it kind of depends on who you ask to see what is acceptable. I’m going to be taking some oddball and fun units to show off my collection and avoid the glares from the handful of LAAC (lose at all costs) players that might be there.

I am going to be taking a LATD flavored army using the IG codex. The only real marine analogue is Straken but he rules for swarm lists so he’ll probably be in. I’ll take a unit of rough riders and another of ogryns just for fun. I’m going to do a mutant swarm of conscripts, led by a Commie Lord to change auto-fail Ld 5 into auto-win stubborn 10 (with re-roll). I want to work in Al’Rahem and the faux russian “send in the next wave” guy if I can find the points.

For heavy support I need some major templates. The Medusa with BBS is one of the few vehicles that can blow up a land raider from across the board so I want one. I have never tried a collossus but they look great on paper, since I struggle to kill marines in cover with IG. Two Hydras are solid options, but I would have to say goodbye to my 2 leman russes. since I won’t be spamming chimeras this time I might want the AV 14 big ‘uns to be the some of the few vehicles hanging out. If I can make STR 6-8 shooting pointless then I have an advantage, unless my poor overcosted Big Mutants (Ogryns) are targeted. We’ll see.

I have a Vendetta ready to be assembled, they are a bit cheesy but one might be necessary.

Whaveter points left over from all this madness will go into platoons, with commies of course.

I am going to try to scale back from starting new terrain projects in favor of finishing the ones I have. I can paint to a very high standard or smash and grab speed paint, so I want to get the quality more consistent. I got on Zen’s case for not using enough of my jungle terrain at TSHFTs, and he got on my case since I hadn’t really primed and painted the foliage. A fair point… but a lot of work ahead.

Ok enough rambling, I will post my OFCC list and / or pictures within a few weeks so stay tuned.

Winning “Best Appearance” at wargaming events

Best appearance, best painted, and player’s choice awards are highly sought after by many wargamers.  This is not just a painting competition. There are multiple factors that contribute to each victory just like in a game of Warhammer. Sometimes the determinations are made by staff using a checklist, and sometimes votes are collected from the players. This guide is directed towards voting, but much of this will also help you maximize your paint score or succeed in checklist scoring.

My credentials: I have won 40k best appearance type awards at events three times now, and not won many more times. I have been in wargaming for about 19 years. I like to study the results at my local event (TSHFT) and compare that to what I saw of the armies at the event.

Every tournament will have a new mix of players, with different preferences and quirks. Some people will always / never vote for a particular kind of force, or a particular style of painting. That’s okay. The crowd is fickle, but more predictable than you might think. There is plenty that you can do correctly to mitigate people’s biases and the occasional chipmunk.

It is not enough to have a decently painted army and a few outstanding centerpeice models or characters. To win against dozens of other player’s armies you need to stand out in every way. If you want to win, try to excel in each of the following areas. You don’t need to hit every mark, but every mark helps.

Quality of painting

  • Highlights and shading, blended is best
  • Pops of bright color and high contrast attract attention
  • Clean and neat where appropriate, or blacklined
  • Weathering: drybrushing brown or using weathering powder, metal scratches
  • Basing

Quality of modeling

  • Models should be trimmed of flash and cleaned up
  • Models should be assembled in a believable pose, paying attention to weight
  • Conversions: kitbashing, 3rd party bits, sculpting


  • Introducing yourself to new people
  • Socializing, hobnobbing, gladhanding
  • Complimenting others on their work
  • Check the ego at the door

Display board

  • Mandatory for winning
  • Theme and quality both help
  • Portable boards will make your life easier


  • The army will be judged by its poorest model as well as its best
  • No bare metal, plastic, resin, glue, or putty is showing
  • The army should share unifying colors and a limited palette
  • Models should be WYSIWYG, or close enough in the case of conversions
  • Models should be compatible with 40k background or a fully thought out project

Over the top / wow factor

  • Amazing conversions, scratch builds, sculpts, “counts as”, or gimmicks


  • Name prominently displayed
  • Creative or professional looking signs help
  • Army displayed in an accessible, high traffic area


I hope this helps, and as always feedback is welcome.


Codex LATD 5, updated and fixed again : )



Ok thanks everyone for bearing with me.  Here’s the latest version, V5:


“Patch notes” are back!

I am doing generally doing Codex: LATD edits as fast as I can and I haven’t been pausing long enough for proper review. Thank you to the community for helping me get rid of some of the glitches.

I rewrote the allies rules again, these are more well thought out than previous incarnations. They are more lenient, allowing you to take an extra unit per 500 pts. than before. I also added HQs from Codex Daemons and Fabius Bile.

I did not want to give access to Lash of Submission outside of a Apoc type scenario, as it is potentially unbalancing. Likewise many of the HQs from CSM and IG just did not belong, but Greater Daemons and heralds do. Pavane of Slaanesh or whatevere is not nearly as problematic as Lash IMO.

Plague Zombies were too weak, I restored them to T4 and as a present gave them Warp-Spawned. This is a fun little rule shared by Chaos Spawn and a few other units that lets you add one model to the squad for every enemy unit wiped out in melee with a WarpSpawned unit.

Traitors now have Trucks as dedicated transports as they were meant to.

I am also being nice and allowing them an extra bonus:
The Traitors may take a Traitor Truck as a dedicated transport using the entry in the fast attack section. When purchased this way, the Truck will not count against the limit on vehicles imposed by the Scavengers rule.

This should help appease the mech minded masses. Since traitors can upgrade to infiltrate I worry about this being too powerful.


Here’s Abuse Puppy responding and my notes:

[quote=”AbusePuppy”]Daemonic Summoning:
The split between Lesser Daemons and Codex: Daemons stuff seems really weird and awkward. Why include both? I would suggest just giving them the Lesser Daemons from the Daemon book and leave it at that.

[color=#0000FF]If including both will be a problem I’ll ditch the generic daemons instead.[/color]

This seems… needless as well. Just include the obvious units from the parent codex and don’t worry about minor stuff. It’s very simple to paste in a line like “Imperial Guard Psyker Battle Squad: See Codex: IG for cost and details,” and it raises fewer questions.

[color=#0000FF]I did the lists in previous editions, I may go back to it. The alliance wording got cleaned up in the meantime and is posted on my blog.[/color]

Just give them the Daemon rule. You don’t have to attach the same text to it as the Daemon rule in that codex.

[color=#0000FF]Good point, but then I want them to deploy normally and not deep-strike. It’s partly an artifact of the past but I have been moving Daemonkin towards invulnerable saves. I can address this in another part of the rules[/color]

This is sort of an awkward ability. Does it really need to be an army special rule? Eh, I guess it’s fine.

[color=#0000FF]I will look at the wording[/color]

Spawn Movement
So you roll on a chart in order to see how you move randomly. 😐 No. Either have them move 3d6 in the direction of a scatter die (you choose in case of a Hit) or move 2d6 in a direction of your choice. Random movement and mediocre statlines (yes, I know you updated them) are already very punishing.

[color=#0000FF]After much tinkering that seems like a worthwhile solution. I’ll ditch the chart, it is too slow and clunky.[/color]

Why does Curse of the Machine Spirit have a 20″ range? Everything in the game is multiples of 6″ these days.

[color=#0000FF]Idiosyncracy I guess. 24″ it is.[/color]

Prescience… basically just doesn’t work. Don’t make abilities like this.


Psychic powers are never continuous. Abilities that work continuously without need for a psychic test are just abilities, not psychic powers (like the Doom of Malan’tai’s Spirit Leech, etc), even if they are psychic-themed.

Fear is… very oddly worded. Why not just give it two shooting profiles, one that causes Pinning and one that causes a Morale check?


Apsiring Champion
Rending and Poison should probably be the same cost. Rending isn’t actually that scary.

[color=#0000FF]Yeah lately I have been lowering the cost on rending where I see it but I need to do a more thorough points cost standardization at some point.[/color]

Standard Power Fist cost for S4 models is 25pts, not 20pts. Not sure if that was intentional.

Wolf guard pay 20.  The LATD army gets bumps in CC ability to balance for deficiency in other areas.[/color]

Don’t call wings/bikes/steeds Transports. Transport has a meaning within the game.

[color=#0000FF]Good point.
Exalted Champion
Is Powerful Allies intended to make ANY CSM unit you take scoring? Keep in mind that will include tanks, Dreads, dedicated transports, etc.
[color=#0000FF]Already fixed[/color]
You should probably specify where the 5++ save he has comes from.
[color=#0000FF]I will

Why does he have Furious Charge and Relentless?

[color=#0000FF]FC already removed, Relentless was an artifact[/color]

Renegade Psyker
Needs the Psyker rule, as it stands he can’t use his powers. Also needs a Mastry level. Do you mean Psyker Battle Squads in his entry? It’s generally better not to have characters actually change the unit entry of their optional troops.


Big Mutants
You don’t need to list the upgrade character’s gear separately unless it’s different. Should probably say “one SQUAD MEMBER may be upgraded…” rather than “one character.” The Boss has a listing for options, but no options there. As a rule, avoid “up to three members of the squad” listings in favor of “one member per XX in the squad,” as the latter gives an actual reason to take larger squads.


Chaos Spawn
What does the Mindless special rule do? What does Warp-Spawned do?
special rules marked with * are either army wide rules that are at the beginning, I currently do not have a bestiary so they are there. I need to make this more clear somehow.[/color]

Combat Drug Addicts
Not all Fearless units need to be Leadership 10; this is a good situation for where a lower value would make sense. Give them either “pair of close combat weapons” or Pistol+CCW, listing CCW twice looks like a misprint. Again, Rending and Poison should be the same cost. Why do they have grenades? Are a bunch of strung-out addicts really that prepared? A4 for 10pts is a pretty good deal, especially with S4 on the charge; probably not overpowered, but worth considering. 8-24 is a very strange unit size, why not make it something even (5-30, 10-20, etc)?

[color=#0000FF]Updated. As for the unit size, blood for the blood god.[/color]

T4 on a 6pt model is fairly significant, especially with A3; that means a random mutant is as tough as a Space Marine or Ork (both of which are supposed to be far beyond human) and with a fury even beyond that of any but the mightiest of exemplars of men. Again, this is probably not overpowered, it just strikes me as mechanically a bit odd.

[color=#0000FF]Codex Eye of Terror had them at 4 toughness. I figure that if a guardsmen with 2 baseball bats counts as 2 attacks, than adding a tentacle arm or claws should take it to 3. I had a shittier mutant choice called rabble but I [color=#BF0000]EXTERMINATUS[/color] [/color]

Plague Zombies
6pt FNP models are enough of a bargain that the Plaguemaster seems like pretty much an auto-include. Presumably they aren’t scoring without him, I guess due to Mindless?

[color=#0000FF]These were already supposed to be at 7, I am moving them to 8 now that their profile is better than it was with the higher toughness Should I go back to 3 and a lower cost? There should be a horde element to them.[/color]

It seems odd that you can have two guys carrying one Plasma Gun and then one guy carrying another. Also, as before, it’s probably better to have the special weapons be an “one per X guys” option. (The heavy team is fine as a one per squad.)

[color=#0000FF]Cleaned up a little[/color]

Traitor Truck
Kinda a lame name. Commandeered Vehicle? Scavanged Vehicle? I dunno. Again, repeat listing of gear make it look like it might be a misprint; just have it as “two front-mounted heavy stubbers.” Smoke Launchers and Searchlight as standard gear seem odd for what appears to be a shoddy, run-down wannabe tank.

[color=#0000FF]Good points and I like the name. I stripped all wargear options for now except for weapons, I will add something custom later down the road.[/color]

Giant Chaos Spawn
Aspiring Champions seem to be able to join these and other Spawn. Is that intentional? You can probably drop their price a bit, as it stands they’re basically Carnifexes (which are bad.)


Traitor HW Teams
Are Dominators and Weapon Teams the same price? It doesn’t say. If it’s 12pts per weapon team, they are definitely undercosted- remember, an IG HWT is 60pts for three teams and are a perfectly fine deal. Being able to get Stealth/Infiltrate/Tank Hunters (which is the correct USR name, not Tankbusters) adds significantly to their utility and more than makes up for not being scoring.

I can do a more full review and evaluation of the codex another time, perhaps.[/quote]

[color=#0000FF]Cool, thanks.. posting V5 on my blog now, at BOK.[/color]




Here’s a paste of the allies rules, I would like to condense them for elegance at some point but I needed to expand to be comprehensive.


A Lost and The Damned army may select allies from other Codexes.  These will occupy the same force organization chart and have all the same options as the original entry.

You may take a certain number of allies depending on the size of the game:

1,000+ points    1 ally
1,500+ points    2 allies
2,000+ points    3 allies
2,500+ points    4 allies

These may be selected from:

Codex: Imperial  Guard
Codex: Chaos Space Marines
Codex: Daemons

There are a few exceptions:

No HQ choices or Platoons are allowed from Codex: Imperial  Guard
No HQ choices are allowed from Codex: Chaos Space Marines
Vehicle squadrons must be a single vehicle only

Allied units will not count as scoring unless a Codex Lost and the Damned HQ choice specifically says they will.

Dedicated transports costing under 100 points purchased with a unit do not count as an additional ally choice.

Units from Forgeworld books and “homebrew” Codexes may be included only with opponent permission.

Some Lost and the Damned H.Q. Choices will open up additional ally choices, detailed in the character’s army list entries.

For narrative campaigns or special scenarios, feel free to work out with your opponent your own rules for allies.

Codex: Lost and the Damned Fandex v4

Here’s the codex with some intended fixes that got overlooked. Please use this version going forward. I should have taken a closer look before posting the other day.

Codex_Lost_and_The_Damned_ChaosGerbil_v4 (PDF)

I still need to create the photo gallery of both WIP and painted LATD models.

For now here are some older pics:


TSHFT tourney report, and “Counts As” philosophy rant

What follows are battle reports so thrilling, so action-packed, you will be on the edge of your seat. Only one molecule will separate you from your seat!

Later on, the “Counts As” method gets a slightly bitchy and hopefully humorous analysis / defense.

TSHFT is a Warhammer 40k event held several times a year in Seattle. It rewards a combination of competition and hobby quite elegantly. 2000 pts., play to win good times.

Good reasoning prevails! http://bloghammer.net/ is the new official home of TSHFT. The Seattle Heart of Fire Tournament has a real web presence once again. On Zen‘s Bloghammer you can find the final standings and the T.O.’s notes here and here.

Pictures should follow shortly.

Extra official note: The Blood of Kittens version of my blog is the one I will be using from now on. I’m bringing this blog back to life on BOK turf so I can get some comments flowing. I updated the BOK version with my posts from the last year, sorry for the long delay.

Day 1

(Originally Posted on September 3, 2011 by ChaosGerbil)

I’m back from day one of TSHFT. Overall it was a really fun day.  It was great to see so many TSHFT vets and new faces alike. I was fortunate enough to meet Purgatus of internetz fame, who was super nice in person, and brought his kick ass 13th company Space Wolves Loganwing. I gotta say, the models are much more impressive in person. Very spiky and well painted, without being overdone like many other 13th company modeling projects. Purg and I were almost matched up round 2 due to great first round scores, but it was not to be.

My insomnia and sleep schedule damaged my tactical abilities and attention span, but the event was still a blast.


I brought my entire terrain collection, which managed to be TOO MUCH for the entire tournament. Now all I need is a venue and I could host my own event…. We had extra tables and players could choose to use a spare table. It was nice to have so much elbow room since we got the nice looking hanger location this time around.

I tried to talk Zen into reasonable, AbusePuppy approved, balanced terrain, with mixed types on each table and a decent amount of LOS blockers, around 25%-30% of the table. The balanced layout was the case with some tables, but Zen is his own man and master of his own destiny, and some terrain layouts were a bit startling… Very mono in some cases. However, I was proud to see my collection in action once again.

My List:

2000 Pts – The Elect of Tzeentch, Chosen of Magnus “Space Wolves”

This is a counts as army, representing the last Thousand Sons warband unaffected by
the Rubric of Ahriman. Their vessel was in the warp at the time of the ritual and they escaped, only to mutate further. A magical pact with Pink Horrors and Discs of Tzeencth allows their most mutated warriors to be controlled by Daemons and fight on.

1 Rune Priest in Power Armour @ 110 pts (Chooser of the Slain; Jaws of the World Wolf; Murderous Hurricane) I used a pug model for chooser, just like my dog Panda.

1 Rune Priest in Power Armour @ 100 pts (Living Lightning; Murderous Hurricane)

Wolf Guard Pack @ 236 pts

Armour; Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour)
3 Wolf Guard in Power Armour (Combi-Meltagun x1; Power Fist x1) Joins Grey hunters
3 Wolf Guard in Power Armour (Bolt Pistol; Bolter x1) Joins Long Fangs
1 Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour (Combi-Meltagun; Chain Fist) Joins Bloodclaws

15 Blood Claws Pack @ 225 pts (Flamer; Meltagun)

8 Grey Hunters Pack @ 190 pts (Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Power Weapon; Rhino)
1 Rhino (Dozer Blade)

8 Grey Hunters Pack @ 190 pts (Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Power Weapon; Rhino)
1 Rhino (Dozer Blade)

8 Grey Hunters Pack @ 190 pts (Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Power Weapon; Rhino)
1 Rhino (Dozer Blade)

8 Fenrisian Wolf Pack @ 64 pts

1 Land Speeder Squadron @ 70 pts (Multi-melta x1; Heavy Flamer x1)

1 Thunderwolf Cavalry @ 175 pts
1 Thunderwolf Cavalry (Power Fist)
2 regular Thunderwolf Cavalry

5 Long Fangs Pack @ 140 pts (Missile Launcher x5)
1 Squad Leader (Bolt Pistol; Close Combat Weapon)

5 Long Fangs Pack @ 155 pts (Lascannon x1; Missile Launcher x4)
1 Squad Leader (Bolt Pistol; Close Combat Weapon)

5 Long Fangs Pack @ 155 pts (Lascannon x1; Missile Launcher x4)
1 Squad Leader (Bolt Pistol; Close Combat Weapon)


Game One vs. Torg’s Retinue of the Frozen Queen

The mission was to catch 4 objectives in table quarters that scattered D6 each round. A unit could pin itself to stop the objective from jumping. I can see some people hating this mission but I liked it.

Truly a fun game. Torg’s army was mostly wraithguard, wraithlords, and harlequins, led by Eldrad and that big-hair Banshee Queen. Eldrad managed to kill one Runepriest and wound the second thanks to my stubborn casting attempts.  I managed to capture the left side of the board while fighting a losing battle on the right. My Long fangs were the perfect antidote to the T6, 3+ bodies of the expensive Wraithguard. Torg quite skillfully kept them in cover and / or out of LOS, and made liberal use of Eldar witchery to protect them. Those fuckers sent my Havocs (Long fangs) back to the warp with D Cannon mojo.

On the last turn I desperately tank shocked to contest the last objective ju before we ran out of time. The troupe leader’s fusion pistol failed to stop the rhino. Or did it? Once again, to my horror forgotten rules changed the outcome of a game. My opponent was very gracious and generous after the fact and did not wish to change the score, but his characteristic error turned a draw into a loss for him. I feel uncomfortable about it but the show must go on. A mistake last TSHFT also swayed results significantly, I will just have to learn to spot things better. Playing when not sleep deprived would help too. If I would have remembered to roll for my runic weapons’ anti-psychic power during the first three or so turns than that could have swayed the outcome considerably, in my favor. The fuckup did send Torg to face theoretically weaker opponents which was one reason he was chill.

The secondary BPs was to have more fast attack. This was an easy 6 points for me, as I started the game with 3 fast attack choices to Torg’s zero. I stuck them all over in my left to be safe and mop up the incoming war walkers. I have to admit that one contributing reason I have 3 FA choices is just for this particular secondary mission. This is a problem, since vets have an edge on newcomers when they know these kinds of details in advance.  In my opinion the TSHFT scenario system should either be published for all to see and study, or kept so mixed up as to keep everyone guessing.


Game Two vs. Gerry Sunada’s Blood Angels

My 20 points propelled me a little too high… I ended up against the formidable Gerry Sunada, a best general title holder. His list was brutal and efficient, (6 multi-melta bikes for example). His army was professionally painted to a very high standard, and the crisp clean style was an awesome contrast to the chaotic, colorful, and dirty style I used on my Thousand Sons. I see nothing wrong with people using pro painting services, it enhances the experience. Our game was a very tight ship of no rules errors and reasonable cooperation. I was impressed with the smoothness of the game, I could tell I was playing an old pro.

There was a ridiculous amount of terrain on the board, all big TSHFT hills and felt forests.

There were three objectives symmetrically spaced along a 24″ no man’s land, basically my favorite mission. Every turn, one of the  three “spires” would radiate a 12″ no psychic power zone. Ok, this part fucked me over but I had to take it in stride.

Gerry won the roll and graciously let me go first (sarcasm). Zen’s point was made about how effective an all reserve force can be combined with second player privileges.

I deployed my Long Fangs too far apart. This helped me to secure one corner of the board through threat, but ultimately the farthest squad killed nothing. I was too tempted by the double size hill!
I claimed the center and left, and harassed the right flank. Gerry reserved all, but could reroll reserve rolls, so it turned out quite reliable for him. He hung back taking potshots at me with lots of TL Lascannon fire and multimelta / heavy bolter bikes, Which took a toll but left my troops mostly unscathed. His random rolling seemed poor for shooting but deadly for assaults and armor saves, but this was reinforced by the basic nature of the blood angels dex.

I’m not sure what all of Gerry’s plans were but I could tell my army’s claim on territory had him challenged, even temporarily stumped. Flooding the board with efficient MEQs will challenge most lists, they won’t fall over in a stiff breeze like guardsmen or most low model count armies will.

My T-CAV chaos spawn disc riders played cat and mouse with Gerry’s hero led assault marines, as he tried to bait me with a bike unit. The give and take of unit movements and attacks reminded me of a chess match or the baiting and pouncing one sees in a great game of League of Legends.Ultimately I gambled and lost. Once turn 4 crept around I had two objectives with swarms of troops, and by 5 I was contesting a third with an empty rhino and the lurking TCAV spawn. The game was drawing to a close and Gerry could hold back no longer. He advanced his 11 man buffed up jump-pack assault squad (led by Astoroth the Grim) to challenge the center. The bait attack bikes were nearby over clear ground. The spawn surged forward from hiding to charge the very threatening assault squad, but the shortest distance to nearest model was through woods. I rolled snake eyes for move distance. Whee, the 1″ doubled to 2″ through the magic of cavalry, not nearly enough. And, as if in a slapstick film, the no longer stunned vindicator comes around the corner and cleans them out. I should have charged the bikes at that point.

I had underestimated the speed and hitting power of his army. Furious charge was thrown around quite liberally on vampiric marines, to demolish my center grey hunters and sacrificial fenrisian wolves. The melee dragged on and I threw my blood claws into the fray, hoping to outlast Gerry and live to at least contest the center. After the debacle with the TCAV spawn, the rhino was easy prey for the razorback assault squads, although it stood up to a surprising number of shots and punching before exploding. Gerry contested all three objectives at once, claiming the one on my right.

Feel no pain made me feel pain. Furious charge kicked my ass up and down the block. When all was said and done I had one model remaining, my lone terminator (wolf guard) with chainfist. Awesome. The same “wolf guard” killed Astorath single-handedly. He clung to life for Tzeentch, and I got a draw! Saved by that single 2+!  15 blood claws may not be efficient but they are annoying and fun. My possessed models needed a chance to be in some games.


DAY 2 (Sept. 4 2011)

I managed to claim Best Appearance, an award that I have been striving for. I deployed my over-large, heavy-ass display board which helped clinch the win. My other version of Tzeentch “Space Wolves” technically won Best Appearance one year ago, but it wasn’t real. I was actually the runner-up in votes to the excellent CSM Steampunk “counts as” force of a player from Oregon. He also got best overall in class, but the T.O. Zen wisely doesn’t give out more than one prize package to a person. I love that TSHFT rewards hobby and competitive play together, and spreads out the wealth with lots of prize categories.

This time around it was a clean win and I’m happy to finally accomplish my goal. It was a smaller field of competition this time around unfortunately with only 22 dudes. I’ll keep trying to win Best Appearance with as many different armies as I can and see larger turnouts eventually.

I placed 4th, the best I have done in a tournament. My record was 2-1-1.  Considering the mistake in Game 1 and my absence Game 4 this seems a bit high. It’s still great and an improvement over my 7th place finish with Orks last time. To celebrate, I had a few drinks, and painting more of the Changeling model for Tasty Taste.

Purgatus was apparently attacked IRL by Nurgle, but still managed to win 2nd place with his Loganwing. I found a green pen next to his list, abandoned after the event. Perhaps it was left as some sort of offering to ease his cold.

I’m trying to be an idiot savant without the idiot part. Let me know how I’m doing in the comments section. Lol.


Game 3 Versus Chaos Space Marines (Day 1 of TSHFT)

Also on the menu in this section, a (hopefully thoughtful) “Counts As” exploratory rant…

By game 3 I was exhausted and feeling sleep deprived. This game started out fun and jovial, but turned sour. At this point I was befuddled thanks to my sleep deprivation, the rigors of terrain transport, and the mental challenge of the two previous games. I was facing off against a proud wielder of the Chaos Codex.

My opponent took it personally that I had a “counts as” space wolves force that was actually chaos,  and that I strongly disliked the current chaos marine codex. It seems I was mentally labeled as Sir Douchington for my choice of army book, and disrespect to Gav and Alessio’s magnum opus. No offense was intended, really. I happen to like the choices and creativity the Space Wolf book offers, and it works well for my theme and modeling projects. The book has fun units and some room to experiment, with way more viable choices.

Yes, the Space Wolf book is strong. That’s a major reason I brought one of its lists to an event where the idea is to win games. I built my army to place well at TSHFT, which it did. I have played and learned, and come back a better player with a better list. My opponent ended up winning a ton of games, so the concept of taking a strong list should not be unfamiliar. Codex SW is a much more forgiving book than Codex CSM. It doesn’t punish you as harshly for dicking around. You still need redundancy and efficient units as a core, true for any competitive army. I brought a grab-bag Space Wolf list to TSHFT a year ago which seemed solid, but I got my ass kicked. Like everyone that plays 40k I would prefer to win. I spent part of a year making the coolest possessed havocs I could, and used them at a bargain points level As Long Fangs. So sue me. This lets me buy a silly fenrisian wolves that mostly just look cool, and dick around, and still win some games.

I will model what I want, pour my heart and soul into it, but when I put on the ass kicking pants I will try to kick ass.

“Counts as” book swapping is important to the hobby because it expands the horizon for inclusion of concepts and thematic units into the game. Nyhil’s Dark Eldar Skaven is a great example of why “counts as” should be encouraged. Why get on the back of the ambitious hobbyist that lets freedom to choose inspire their projects? If I could I would be taking cultist squads, mutants, daemons, etc.  My true love is the Lost and the Damned army concept, and so  LATD “Grey Knights” are a strong possibility for a future TSHFT. Incidentally I am have been fiddling with the assembly of some Dark Eldar wyches, which could easily be recruited as Death Cult Assassins. This event, I only noticed 2 out of 22 Grey Knight players. Stalwart Steffan the Grey Knight patriot brought his re-blackened o.g. color scheme Ordo Malleus. Tenacious Todd brought a new “counts as” Admech army featuring 3 scratchbuilt Knight titans and tons of cool cybernetic conversions. (Gawd, if only GW would release some plastic cyborg sprues… I know, keep dreaming.)

This raises a curious point. No one found fault with the cool “counts as” Grey Knights Admech army, who are loyalist. In my case I fielded a traitor force of Thousand Sons, using a loyalist book. Apparently this is an outrage to some generals. Do I have to run my army book choice before the inquisition to see if my models are loyal? I just don’t get it. Grey Knights are currently flavor of the month, like every strong new codex has been picked up. The obvious time, money, and skill Todd put into converting and adapting his army shows dedication, not some kind of loathsome WAAC behavior. Our projects are not slapdash proxy experiments that change every two months. Even if they were, innocent models and army lists don’t deserve attack.

Back to the game…

My opponent’s army was designed around the now classic lash of submission / obliterator plasma cannon combo. (3 units of 2 each) This was backed up with 3 man small autocannon combi-melta He also had a warptime Prince. I have used both warptime and lash princes, and I gotta say taking one of each is really smart. They combo well together since the warptime prince can cleanup squad remnants really well.

Objective: Kill points. I’m not a fan of the mission, and also my army’s scoring unit durability means nothing. The mission deployment was short table edges with a 24″ no man’s land, which upset my opponent. I  felt guilty about taking advantage of the mission, and deployed my long fangs in cover away from the board edge, about 8 or 10 inches in. This was a huge mistake. I was already letting emotions dictate my decisions, not a good idea. Also, trying to get cover from 6 plasma cannons is meaningless when faced with a Lash Prince that kites the army consistently striking from 23″ away and in inconvenient LOS spots. Experience using an army trumps inexperience facing that army.

I normally only reserve my FA choices, but for some reason I reserved everything but the Long Fangs. This was really dumb as the poor Havocs had no protection, and the rival chaos marines just stayed away from my reserves long board edge.

My opponent was skilled with his list and capitalized on all of my mistakes. Unchecked from turn 2 onwards his army kills at least one unit a turn, even kitted out 9 or 10 man MEQ squads. I was unprepared for Lash, it is the first time I have ever faced it in a game. I should have known better since I have studied about the lash / plasma combo. I even brought a dual lash list to a 4th edition event long ago. Losing prized units quickly is a harsh but quick teacher. We were neck and neck for most of the game as we raced for KPs and to eliminate big threats.

Eventually we both got crabby and my actual morale was damaged. Basically I failed my IRL leadership check. Combined with my tiredness, this led to me playing poorly and eventually losing. Fatigue equals sloppy judgment. I was forgetting things like which wolf standards and combi-meltas had gone off, which I am sure was annoying. The blood claws sat around uselessly protecting a Sorceror “Rune Priest” that only managed to stun the same rhino three times. I lost the will to play. I don’t think it is appropriate to detail all my frustrations with my opponent so that’s enough. Drama is amusing to watch from afar but quite unpleasant to be involved with. One should watch their tone and practice decency. I don’t always succeed in being a gentleman but I gotta keep trying for it.

Game 4 versus myself

Despite my extreme fatigue, I didn’t sleep properly. My residual nerdrage and a noisy but forbidden slumber party downstairs killed my chances of restful sleep. I slept through my alarm, and Game 4. Fuck. To my surprise, Zen generously gives out 10 points out of 20 for an absentee game, 1 point less than a draw but with no chance of secondary or tertiary points. You also lose out on 2 points from wow factor.  This is more than fair, and it kept me in the standings for best overall. I was expecting 0 points.

I really slept in so that Judge Awesome (otherwise known as Bentley) could sneak in a game as ringer. By the way Bentley, if you can hear this through the inter-tubes, I apologize for wasting your time being corrected twice in a row (or is it three?) on the same multiple assaults question. Keep at it, your rulings are quick, clear, and accurate.

Game 5 versus Dan Root’s Orks

Killpoints, secondary was to get your heavy support into enemy deploym,ent zone (yeah, like that’s going to happen for my mutant “Long Fangs”… oh well.

The terrain was heavy with LOS blocking buildings, but I was able to pick a corner (spearhead setup) for one of my Long Fangs squads to perch in. Combined with two squads on the ground each covering each major approach to my corner, this let me hit where I needed every turn. The rhinos and grey hunters formed a nice screen and deployed to shoot and receive assaults when needed. The rhinos absorbed a fair amount of shots and only lost storm bolters over the course of the game.

Dan had a great list, although I felt it suffered without Loota fire support. Then again, last TSHFT my Lootas ran off the board at ther first sign of trouble more than once.  Dan’s concept was centered around power klaws, fielding 9 killa kans which is a solid choice. He had tons of Meganobz and I was very impressed by his latest plasticard work. Like a dumbass I dropped a tape measure on a Kan, it slid off a box I was lifting. We glued him back together with my Gorilla Glue so he could die like a champ in battle. Sorry again Dan.

There was some great give and take, but ultimately my list and the terrain let me outscore Dan 8 to 6 KP. My shooting was much more effective and my squads can handle certain ork assaults quite well. The Rune Priests performed better than in the rest of my 3 games combined. The Blood Claws proved to be an awesome blocking/tarpit unit especially with the scenario giving them Stubborn. Their charge was lame since only half got into combat, and also I put way too many on a fast moving buggy squad. However, they did their job fighting meganobs and taking out two killa kans, while blocking off a major chokepoint between buildings. They died to a man but their role is to die, something I unfortunately ignored in Game 3. My Long Fangs took advantage and went to work, and the Kans were slowed by their own immobilized->wrecked casualties from the missile fire. I was able to split fire quite often to maximize damage potential. Once the army began to breakup formation from movement and the plentiful obstacles, the main battlewagon / KFF trukk combo protected less units and I hit hard at the fringes.

My giant Tzeentch Screamer “Land Speeder” scared the bejeezus out of Dan’s 3 small grot units, but he had time to disprese their formation. Instead the Screamer killed a trukk turn 4 and then harassed the last surviving Killa Kan. The now armless Kan then tried to kick the Screamer out of the air but fell over in defeat, as turn 5 ended the game. The remaining looming meganobs would never get that charge off. His Warboss had one wound left at end of game, and was locked in combat with some “Grey Hunters,” after the boss executed the living lightning “Rune Priest” and a couple of dudes. Great game, great opponent, and I love Dan’s conversion work.

Possible List fix:

This version isn’t going to look as flashy as the extra gribbly display army I actually brought to TSHFT, but it will probably win more games. It’s very spam, therefore a likely target of hatred and disgust. I would have to make up more “grey hunters” but I have some conversions already started for them involving horrors and possessed bits.

2000 Pts – Space Wolves Roster

1 Rune Priest in Power Armour @ 110 pts (Chooser of the Slain; Living Lightning; Murderous Hurricane)

1 Wolf Guard Pack @ 278 pts (Wolf Guard in Power Armour; Wolf Guard in Power Armour)
5 Wolf Guard in Power Armour (Combi-Meltagun x1; Power Fist x1)
3 Wolf Guard in Power Armour (Bolt Pistol; Storm Bolter x1)

8 Grey Hunters Pack @ 170 pts (Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Rhino)
1 Rhino

8 Grey Hunters Pack @ 170 pts (Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Rhino)
1 Rhino

8 Grey Hunters Pack @ 170 pts (Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Rhino)
1 Rhino

8 Grey Hunters Pack @ 170 pts (Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Rhino)
1 Rhino

8 Grey Hunters Pack @ 170 pts (Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Rhino)
1 Rhino

1 Land Speeder Squadron @ 70 pts (Multi-melta x1; Heavy Flamer x1)

5 Long Fangs Pack @ 150 pts (Missile Launcher x4; Plasma Cannon x1)
1 Squad Leader (Bolt Pistol; Close Combat Weapon)
5 Long Fangs Pack @ 155 pts (Lascannon x1; Missile Launcher x4)
1 Squad Leader (Bolt Pistol; Close Combat Weapon)
5 Long Fangs Pack @ 155 pts (Lascannon x1; Missile Launcher x4)
1 Squad Leader (Bolt Pistol; Close Combat Weapon)

1 Dreadnought @ 105 pts

1 Dreadnought @ 125 pts (Twin-Linked Autocannon; Twin-Linked Autocannon)

Which list do you guys think is better? Any other brainwaves? The comment box wants your mind thoughts!


That about wraps it up! Thanks for reading! In closing, I dare you to run the following “counts as” list using your favorite hero models from your collection. As a warning, you’ll probably lose to a real player, so this idea is just for fun.

2000 Pts – Space Wolves Roster

1 Logan Grimnar, The Great Wolf @ 275 pts

1 Njal Stormcaller, Lord of Tempests @ 270 pts (Runic Terminator Armour)

1 Ulrik the Slayer @ 180 pts

1 Wolf Lord Ragnar Blackmane @ 240 pts

1 Wolf Guard Pack @ 430 pts (Wolf Guard in Power Armour)
10 Wolf Guard in Power Armour (Combi-Meltagun x1; Power Fist x1)

1 Wolf Guard Pack @ 160 pts (Wolf Guard in Power Armour; Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour)
4 Wolf Guard in Power Armour (Bolt Pistol; Close Combat Weapon)
1 Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour (Power Fist; Chain Fist; Cyclone Missile Launcher)

1 Land Raider Crusader @ 275 pts (Extra Armor; Multi-melta)

1 Lone Wolf in Terminator Armour @ 85 pts (Storm Shield; Chain Fist)

1 Lone Wolf in Terminator Armour @ 85 pts (Storm Shield; Chain Fist)

LOL, run everything you can fit in the Land Raider… see if you can make a sillier deathstar unit. In reality, mixing in combi-flamers, power swords, wolf claws, and storm sheilds makes a bunch more sense than pure powerfist shenanigans.

Cheers and GG

– ChaosGerbil