[40K OSR/Blood Bowl] Army List Follies

I’ve done some silly things this week. I blame mild sleep deprivation – well, not deprivation, more a dysfunction of the sleep pattern which has led to me regularly awakening at three or four a/m and passing out well before eight p/m. This is my natural sleep pattern, and it has a tendency to reassert itself in the bleak midwinter when the nights draw in. I dislike it.

Anyway, between that and a desire to avoid rewriting a white paper about autism, I have decided to indulge the symptoms of autism and experiment with some peculiar army lists for semi-obsolete wargames. In my defence, Blood Bowl’s new tabletop edition has just hit the shops like a twin-tailed comet stuck up the arse of a bat out of hell, and new miniatures for the Thousand Sons – rather tempting miniatures, too – are soon to follow. There’s some stimulus at work here. Of course, being me, I don’t rush out and buy things, oh no: I commit to theory wank instead. Behold.

The XV Legion First XV

First up – a Chaos Space Marines list. For second edition 40K. Obviously. I mean, who plays the current rules when there’s a version with even more cards, tokens, arbitrary silliness and table cruft out there? (Don’t answer that.)

CHARACTERS – 561

AHRIMAN – 346
Disc of Tzeentch

THOUSAND SONS SORCERER – 115
Mark of Tzeentch, Terminator armour with chainaxe and combi-bolter, Psychic Hood

THOUSAND SONS SORCERER – 100
Mark of Tzeentch, hand flamer, krak grenades, plasma grenades, Force Rod

SQUADS – 617

4 THOUSAND SONS TERMINATORS – 294
2 with chainaxe and combi-bolter, 2 with chainaxe and reaper autocannon

5 THOUSAND SONS MARINES – 198
Krak grenades. 2 with boltguns, 3 with flamers

3 THOUSAND SONS MARINES – 125
Krak grenades. 2 with boltguns, 1 with autocannon

VEHICLES – 230

THOUSAND SONS DREADNOUGHT – 230
Power claw, twin linked autocannon, Coruscating Warp Flame

Since it’s second edition, it has a special character. We all used them all the time, don’tcherknow? (I didn’t, actually, but I’m clearly in the minority, and I did own several.) Since it’s Thousand Sons, it has Ahriman, and since it has Ahriman, I’ve doubled down and made him the general, which restricts me to fielding only Thousand Sons Chaos Space Marines or Tzeentch Daemons.

The second edition Codex is relatively clear about designating various things as Thousand Sons. Obviously, there’s an army list entry for Thousand Sons Marines. One can also designate a Sorcerer with the Mark of Tzeentch as a Thousand Sons Sorcerer, which allows him to lead a squad of said Marines as though he were an Aspiring Champion. One can even upgrade Terminators to Thousand Sons Terminators, if one so wishes.

I might be stretching a bit to say that a Terminator-armoured Sorcerer can be attached to a squad of Terminators in the same way, but I think it’s a reasonable extrapolation from the rules.

I might be stretching it a bit further with the Dreadnought, but I wanted a vehicle in there and I did buy it the Tzeentch Vehicle Reward.

1500 points. Fifteen models, plus the Dreadnought. I’ve seen worse in battle reports (that one in the Battles book with Ragnar Blackmane, Njal Stormcaller, Bjorn the Fell-Handed and Eldrad Ulthran all turning up to a podunk Bunker Assault, plus a Land Raider and Imperial Assassin… that springs to mind). Admittedly those didn’t have models which vanished into the aether if Energy Drain was played, but… actually, I have no ‘but’. I just have a cast-iron grip on the Psychic phase, a lot of autocannons, and no interest whatsoever in taking psychology tests (Dreadnought excepted).

The worst part is, I could build this with one blister pack, two boxes and one Forge World kit. (I could use the plastic Helbrute, but why would I use the plastic Helbrute?) I wonder if it’d work under the new rules?

Zombie Nation Army

Necromantic Team

#1 – Zombie
#2 – Zombie
#3 – Zombie
#4 – Zombie
#5 – Zombie
#6 – Zombie
#7 – Zombie
#8 – Zombie
#9 – Zombie
#10 – Zombie
#11 – Zombie
#12 – Zombie
#13 – Zombie
#14 – Zombie
#15 – Zombie
#16 – Zombie

5 Team Re-Rolls

I didn’t come up with this all by myself – Ravenpoe’s team guides over on Reddit gave me the idea.

It was a really good idea.

When you don’t have expensive, skilful, difficult-to-replace players to fret about, you relax. You learn to take that ‘Both Down’ for the sake of causing a turnover; you learn to foul because who cares if one Zombie gets sent off?

When you don’t have flair players or even positionals to pull off risky plays, you play a basic game. Slow. Steady. You screen rather than scrum; you stand back and you let the opponent come to you and cause their own damn turnovers. You have to play properly, but you don’t feel like you’re wasting potential by not using the skills you don’t have.

When you’re that chill, you learn to take risks. Yes, I just said you don’t have the positionals to pull it off. Who cares? You’re running a stupid Zombie team. Go for that slightly dodgy pass. You never know. If you screw it up… so what? You’re not using your Real Team.

So far I’ve fought Skaven and Amazons to a draw. That’s in the first PC game, by the way, when the first teams you face have a 300 TV advantage on you. I spend my inducements on an Igor (just in case someone actually dies), and then either a Wizard (if I have 150K to burn, but not 200) or a couple of Bribes (because why not put the boot in?) I briefly considered hiring Von Drakenberg for my third game (the token Vampire amongst the Zombie swarm) but I think I’ll maintain the purity of the experiment for now. I’ve even gotten two Interceptions, thanks to my tendency to keep the Zombies near enemy players without actually standing next to them and giving away free blocks. One of them even scored a Touchdown.

I did briefly consider using a Khemri team and Skeletons (slightly more movement and Thick Skull to keep them on the field), but Zombies are just so much more… relaxing, and that’s the point of this daft little experiment: it’s the most relaxed I’ve ever felt while playing this stupid game.

By the way…

I’m still making terrible Let’s Play videos. I think the channel will update on Wednesdays and Sundays, until I forget or come down with the Conniptions or have better things to do.

[Blood Bowl] Tactica: Dead And Loving It

"In your head, in your head..."

The two Templehof teams represent half of a bet between two rival Necromancers, Johannes Rosencratz and Emmanuel Guildenstern.  Both swore to provide their vampire sponsor, the elusive Lord Ruthven, with the perfect Blood Bowl team to ensure his dominion over the sporting world continued into eternity.  Their difference of opinion over exactly how this was to be achieved has seen the two become sworn enemies, and each has founded a team in order to demonstrate their approach’s validity.

Rosencratz’s Templehof United have successfully leveraged their purchasing power into the hiring of up (from the grave) and coming (back from the dead) players from all over the world, including two pairs of Ghoul twins from the Plain of Bones, and two ancient Khemrian mummies who lend their millennia of experience to the modern game.  Guildenstern, meanwhile, is a passionate believer in fostering local talent; Templehof City sponsors ambitious necromancers, alchemists and bonepickers in the creation of new players from unfortunate citizens of southern Sylvania, and relies on loose, experimental plays rather than the tried and tested routines.

The two teams have an absolute and impassioned hatred for one another; the typical derby game results in the greatest number of fan casualties in the eastern Empire, and keeps the local grave-diggers, grave-robbers and grave-detectives busy for months to follow.

I have a deep love for undead factions in games, and Blood Bowl has something of an abundance of them.  But which one’s best?  The classic Undead team, with its solid set of starting skills, or the more eccentric capabilities offered by the Necromancer team?  Or is it the Vampires, with access to six superlative statlines and cheap rerolls – or the Khemrians, with… umm… whatever they’ve got?  Okay, so it’s not Khemri.  That said, I’ve played ’em all at some point in the last year and I’m going to bend your ears about my discoveries, discussing the pros, cons and league play viability of the four variants.  Team shots are all via Sons of Twilight.

Continue reading “[Blood Bowl] Tactica: Dead And Loving It”