Saturday, October 31, 2009

Divisio Mandati - Igneus Angelus and Praedecatio

Army of two:

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Igneus Angelus (Burning Angel)

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Legio Pallidus Mors (Pale Riders)

Reaver class, Goth variant (#396)

Princeps Seniores Virgine D'Orléans commanding
Moderati: Nir Arnoss, Dardon Mattenn

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Princeps Seniores D'Orléans on foot


Personalised leg art


Legio motto "Come and see".


Class identifier and unit number.

Praedecatio (Preacher)

Legio Pallidus Mors (Pale Riders)

Warhound class, Fox variant (#839)

Princeps Shane Clinton commanding
Moderati: Lee Sentenza, Tuco Wallach

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Personalised leg art (Click for larger)


Rank badge, unit number, class badge and Divisio identifier.

Ground Crew

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Crew Chief Sipowicz - team leader and #1 Dad.


Crew 2ic Tatum - power supply specialist


Owens - MIU specialist


Linger - VSE specialist


Torson - cooling systems specialist


von Ostburg - articulator / actuator specialist


Igneaus Angelus honour banner (in progress)



Monday, October 26, 2009

Titan Ground Crew

Not 100% finished yet, still need to do a few minor details on some of them like eyes and finish the skin tones (and basing obviously). The five on the left are by Heresy Miniatures, the one on the far right is by Reaper. I've also got some Reaper Toolbots to paint up to go with them. I'm really liking the Chronoscope line, it's got some very good character models available.

The plan is to get a Trojan from Forge World and attach a gantry to it for a crew lift to the Titans, with a trailer for gear, and a Centaur for these guys to ride around in. The Techpriests and Titan crews will get a Chimera as their ride.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Divisio Investigatus: Corvus Assault Pod

The Corvus Assault Pod (and its wierder Assault Head varient) is originally from Adeptus Titanicus, an expansion part that allowed a Titan to carry boarding troops.

Here I present some ideas for how to represent it in games of Apocalypse. My first though was to give it a transport capacity, and have it loaded with other units. This wasn't a very elegant solution, as it would be rather complicated and not fit with the fact all other Titan weapon systems cost the same number of points.
What I've decided on is a system 'pre loaded' with a special assault unit of Skitarii.

Game Stats

Range: Close assault
Strength: 8
AP: 1
Special: Melta

During a round of close combat a Titan with a CAP can decide to use the embarked troopers to attack in lieu of the Titan's normal attacks. This is resolved as a single attack using the Titan's WS as normal.
If the attack is successful roll a D6 - this is the number of hits the pod makes with the above profile.

The balance of the possibly large number of melta hits is that it first requires the Titan to hit with WS2, and it isn't a primary weapon (to represent the more fragile nature of the guys inside). I have thought of special scenario rules allowing the guys inside to get out into buildings (IG vets w carapace and meltas/hvy flamer) or to flame transports/bunkers (like the siege dreadnought assault drill in IA2).

Modeling Ideas

The current plan is to use a Rhino or two for the main part of the pod, with the Elysian Lascutter guys inside. Nothing too fancy, just have to find time to do it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

How to Kill a Titan, pt 2 - Space Marines

So the self proclaimed Emperor's Finest decided to get stomped on by the Adeptus Titanicus - how do they keep from getting squashed into a fine paste in one turn?

General points

Marine's usual strengths of T4, 3+ save are of little good when trying to take down a Titan. Most of the Titan's shooting attacks are S8 or more, and are all AP3 or lower. In assault it hits at S10, ignoring armour saves on 4+.

Marines can pack a whole lot of melta, but melta needs to get close to do its damage, and being near an exploding Titan is never fun.

Run away!

So what to do? Well lets go through the Codex and look at each unit's viability as a titan-killer.


Commanders/Captains - Not a bad option overall, the Commander can use his orbital bombardment at range, or be equipped with a Thunderhammer and Storm Shield for survivability.
Cons: No big downsides, but no big plusses either. Not an overly cost effective choice.

Chaplains - Useful for buffing friendlies to maximise hits, but weak himself for killing power. Can get a Jump Pack or Terminator Armour to boost those potent units though.

Librarian - Has good potential, though it is highly dependant on power choice.
-Force Dome can be used to increase survivability somewhat (something's better than nothing!)
- Machine Curse can automatically put a glancing hit on a vehicle. While it won't knock off any structure points it has the potential to shut down movement and shooting. And a titan that isn't shooting is as good as dead.
- Might of the Ancients isn't a bad second choice giving the Librarian a pretty good chance with a fair number of attacks.
- Gate of Infinity can be used to rapidly redeploy a dead shooty unit right up close, though is somewhat unpredictable.
- Vortex of Doom should only be used if the Librarian is in Terminator Armour (making him Relentless), but isn't that hot.

Master of the Forge - Three Thunder Hammer + two power fist attacks on the charge (after shooing his combi-melta) makes the MotF a fairly solid contender to mix it up in an assault. Swapping out the harness for a Conversion Beamer isn't so bad - it has good strength at mid range and S10 at full range, something the Marine list lacks.
The 2+ save is good, giving protection from many Titan weapons, but the lack of an invulnerable save leaves him vulnerable to big blasts.


Terminators - One of the better options, but with a few glaring weaknesses. While they are expert at wrecking Titans up close (ten guys with Chainfists) their shooting is ineffectual. If you're counting on Rending from Assault Cannons and glances from Cyclones don't expect to see the big guy falling any time soon. They also suffer from either being slow (no assault after Deep Strike) or sitting in a vulnerable transport and getting stuck on foot.

Assault Terminators - Similar to their shooty brethren, but with improved survivability (TH/SS versions - but LC/LC is pointless against a Titan anyway). They suffer from the same weaknesses, and with the added problem of only being able to deal with infantry roadblocks by assaulting them.

Assualting is still a risky business as a Titan can Stomp. Stomping means the Titan can execute a single attack against any model in base to base contact. These hit on a 4+, ignore armour and are S10. Storm Shields give their handy 3++ save, but they're going to get hurt back pretty badly as everyone's at initiative 1.

However in multiples Terminator squads really shine. By this I mean three or four squads teleport down. There are two 'tactical' squads to gun down enemy defenders and screen for counter assault. Between these squads are TH/SS assault units. They simply run closer to their target and hope the other squads can hold off any nearby enemy infantry from assaulting them and tying them up in a mire of bodies.

Sternguard - Ten guys in a drop pod with combi-meltas and meltaguns. Add Vulkan to really make that Princeps cry. The drop pod's special guidance rules mean you can land in the tiniest gap without fear of mishap. The only thing is to make sure you have enough room to get out, get LoS, and get within 6" for those precious 2D6 pen rolls. Landing perfectly will do no good if you're to close and have to disembark on the far side of the pod so half your guys can't see, and the others are more than 6" away. Also keep in mind that you may potentially need to draw LoS upwards to avoid shooting through screening infantry.

Also bear in mind that the AP1 bonus does not exist on the Superheavy Damage Chart [edit: IT does as of IA:A2]. The only reason to take melta is to easily penetrate the armour. I can't help it if you roll all ones after that.

Don't expect them to live long after they land though, so don't bother with melta bombs or power fists.

Dreadnoughts - Similar to Terminators, but with the ability to take a multi-melta. Drop podding a MM dread can cause some serious havoc to a Titan. It gets the 2D6 penetration from 12" away, which is conveniently within the Titan's void feilds. They're not bad in assault either, hitting pretty hard (and before the Titan, which Terminators do not do).

The Ironclad can get a Chainfist, which is better than the Seismic Hammer (as the Hammer's +1 on damage charts doesn't transfer to the SH damage chart). It also has a meltagun, but is slow and vulnerable, a probelm of all Dreads. They also have the issue of being vulnerable to being tied down by a wave of cheap infantry. Imagine your horde of drop podding assault dreads getting swamped by squads of Penal Legionairres - they're stubbon and can potentially get Rending - those Dreads wouldn't be going anywhere anytime soon.

Dreads do have one very good use - equipping for long range fire and knocking down shields with missile and lascannon fire. Also the Imperial Armour 2 Mortis pattern with autocannons or missile launchers can pretty reliably take down void shields for not many points.

Techmarines - The Master of the Forge lite. A good add in for some face beating power, and pretty cost effective. Not bad, but only a foot option, so slow.


Tactical Squads - "Jack of all trades, master of none - but oft times better than a master of one." This is not one of those times. In shooting they are only going to be hitting with one decent weapon (two close up with a combi weapon), and in assault krak grenades do nothing, and a single melta bomb hitting on a 6 isn't great. The Sergeant can also take a power fist, but the Titan will promptly stomp him back. Not lookig good for the Sergeant.

Scouts - Mounting them in a Storm or on bikes and using them to bring Terminators via teleport homers is probably the most they can contribute to the fight.

Or they can hijack another titan before the battle, and eat the crews brains to learn how to pilot it and ride to victory [/obscure reference].

Fast Attack

Assault Squads - Suffer from the weaknesses of the Tac squad, but do it faster. They are useful as a support unit to remove (or at least tie up) support units to allow heavy hitters like Terminators to move in.

Vanguard - If you feel like living dangerously they have alot of potential: They can assault after deep strike, can all get melta bombs (or Thunder Hammers if you feel like splashing the points around). They can also get storm shields for added survivability. This sort of unit will be around 800pts, but if it works it'd be great. After the initial assault they'll either be shot to pieces or swamped with crappy infantry to stop them having a second go.

Land Speeders - Deep strike - check. Two multi-meltas - check. Pretty cheap - check. Can't be locked in assault - check.
Can be made useless by a single glancing hit shaking, stunning or degunning it - also check.

One of the best units available for rapid Titan killing, the humble Land Speeder can pack a pair of multi meltas for under 100 pts. They can deep strike, which risky, gives them a great approach that is near unstoppable (for one turn at least). Their obvious weakness is AV10 and being crippled by any shaken or stunned results. It's almost preferrable to lose one of the meltas or be immobilised, so at least you can still shoot (the chances of the huge titan getting out of LoS of an immobilised speeder is pretty low.
Even without deep strike speeders will probably register a low threat initially, or at least survive through turbo-boosting. Should the enemy decide they need to be killed, your cheap speeders are taking fire that could well be sent elsewhere.

As it is an Apoc game, the decision is up to you wether to squadron the Speeders. Squadroning means you can ignore Shaken results, good for flying up a flank. However the proliferation of massive blasts could mean you suffer from the 'wound allocation' system more than normal.

Attack Bikes - Small cheap multi-meltas. They are superior to Speeders in that they can hide from the huge amounts of ordinance flying around the board to get to their target. They are slower and in some ways more vulnerable. A fairly good choice, but I wouldn't build a strategy around them.

Heavy Support

Devestators - Though expensive and often put down due to expense, in Apoc they have their uses. With the larger table size their greater range becomes more aparrent, and being infantry (as opposed to a Predator Annihilator for example) they can sit in some secure terrain, immune to stunning, being irritating while the suckers... I mean glorious assault units... in the Land Raiders get blown to bits by StrD barrages.
- Four missile launchers can be used to hammer void sheilds and put holes in infantry screens. Fire enough kraks at the body and you could get some glances.
- Four lascannons can do the above, but also have a slightly better chance of getting hits on an un-shielded Titan.

Thunderfire - A very potent option, though not an obvious one. The key is using a Titan's strengths against itself. The Thunderfire boasts one of the longest ranges in the Marine arsenal, and has a very useful fire mode called Subterrranean. When you hit a Titan (not damage, just hit) if it wants to move it must move as if in difficult terrain (as it is a walker) and take a dangerous terrain test (as it is a vehicle). This can be used to effectively pin a Titan in place so it can't get out of LoS or away from an assault unit.

The Thunderfire can also chew up defending infantry pretty handily and is an easily overlooked piece of hardware.

Land Raiders - The standard Land Raider can do some damage to a Titan. Two lascannons (twin linked), an optional multi melta and filled with Terminators spell trouble no matter who you are. However they make nice juicy targets for any anti-tank gunner.

They are best used in multiples (much like Terminators) with standard models hanging back empty while assault troop laden Crusaders roll forward to disgourge their cargo. The Titan then has to choose to take out the assault troops and get whittled away by the lascannons, or kill teh long range fire but get a face full or chainfist.

And besides, if you're marines why wouldn't you field half a dozen Land Raiders?

Predator - A relatively cheap way to get massed lascannon fire, but a stunned result makes it useless. I'm more a fan of the Destructor for anti-infantry, bit others swear by Annihilators, so your mileage may vary.

Vindicator - While dead shooty it is a victim of short range and crap side armour. They need to get to point blank range to do any damage, and that's a pretty big ask. Better off using them to clear other things out of the way for other units.

Special Characters

Calgar - Expensive, and good at punching things, so a viable choice for your Titan destroying needs.

Sicarius - Nothing to benefit a titan killing mission apart from being able to give Tank Hunters to one unit.

Tigurius - A lack of Eternal Warrior and an invulnerable save (outside of Force Dome) makes him poentially less useful than a regular Librarian for his points.

Cassius - Not worth taking in my opinion.

Pedro - Stubborn isn't bad, but their are better ways to get it like...

Lysander - Eternal Warrior, terminator armour, TH/SS - this guy was made for ruining a Titan's day. The best character if you plan on a titan killing endeavour.

Shrike - Fleet is alright, but not fantastic. Ok, but there are better.

Vulkan - Twin linking all meltas, and making all thunder hammers master crafted. Bye bye titan.

- Heh, Khan...

Legion of the Damned - They have some acurate deep striking, can fire after deep striking and have a good save. Not a bad unit to have in your list as a plan B for taking out a difficult target.

Pwned with a pow!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More de-Blood Angeled Space Hulk Terminators

All the pics can be clicked for larger versions.

First up are Loremaster Valerio "Beast" Thurston and Captain Hillard "Chief" Schliemann.

These guys were pretty easy - chop off the BA symbols and remove the heads with a scriber. Attach spare Terminator head and done. The Librarian's head needed a bit more trimming, taking off his little ear knobs and the forehead lamp to get it to fit in.
Rather annoyingly though, the Captain seemed to be cast poorly, and bits kept shattering off. While trimming off his pimp chalice atop his suit a big chunk of the torso suddenly split away. Also his cape kept snapping, unlike the other minis from the set or any other GW plastics. Very odd.

Next up are Chaplain Ilsa "Sky Pilot" DeSilva and Loremaster Conrad "Doc Morbid" Neemias.

The Chaplain mini came with a mis-cast left shoulder, the Crux almost totally gone. I decided to file it down flat and will paint on a skull icon in its place. The head swap came about as I somewhat dislike the original's positioning - it's looking too far down for my liking. Similarly the belt feed always looked silly to me.
These were fixed by removing the head, attaching a plastic one, and cutting the arch piece from a spare torso (otherwise the head stuck out too far and looked very odd). The ammo clip is from the plastic box, flipped upside down and backwards, as for some reason the out of syncedness of the two clips is reversed on the Chaplains gun!

The Librarian was a matter or patient use of a scrip to remove the head, then a slow process of whittling down the helmet to fit. The helmet sticks out more than a normal marine's, but it has to to be able to look the way he's firing.

Trooper Veteran Vinko "Vulture" Bodan and Trooper Veteran Coeus "Eggs" Hallard.

The Heavy Flamer was pretty basic, the only tricky part was removing and re-fitting the shoulder shield. I also cut the left torso scroll shorter to open up the view of the waist more - I find wihtout it the figure looks 'fat'.

The Assualt Cannon was cut off at the elbow and re-positioned - I never liked the weird "firing across himself" of the original. Now he's doing a dramatic lunge sort of thing.

The two guys from my earlier post (now in colour!), with a C.A.T. I build some time ago. The C.A.T. is made from a 1/300th T-82 hull, the targeting array off of a Hunter Killer Missile, some random 1/35th bits, a strut from a 1/72nd B-52 kit, and some IG binoculars.

Much better than the Gazebo Skull on wheels GW made if I do say so myself.

A clearer picture of Company Sergeant Gunnvarr "Gunner" Yadiz. I have a slight problem that my guys are mostly blue... and Genestealers are mostly blue... hrm... maybe I'll go black carapace with purple squisy bits.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How to Kill a Titan, Pt 1 - The Basics

So your regular Apoc opponent has a Titan (or Stompa, or Heirodule, or other superheavy) and you don't. How do you deal with it and still have enough of your army left to win?

This series will deal with the ways puny tanks and insignificant footsloggers can put a hurting on the greatest warmachines in the galaxy - the Titans of the Adeptus Mechanicus Collegia Titanica.
Later sections will cover army specific tactics and taking down other superheavies (Banablades, Thunderhawks etc).

First step is to know the capabilities of your opponent, and how to use them to your advantage.

Size and Speed

Whaddya mean no cover save?!

Obviously Titans are big. This means it is very easy to get LoS on them. The flip side is that they can see over most terrain to wipe things off of the board at will. Their great size comes at a cost - severe lack of maneuverability.

In the above picture the Reaver, Igneaus Angelus, is in a good firing position: Terrain and a board edge to prevent assaults, friendly forces (the Kroot and Tau) to act as a counter attack force etc. However is she needs to move anywhere there's not a whole lot of room. As a walker a Titan takes difficult terrain tests as normal, but doubles the result (for a 2-12" move).
A Warhound is approximately 9" long and the same wide. A Reaver is 11" long and almost 10" wide. Even moving at top speed they're not evading any enemy fire with ease. Following the example should Igneus Angelus need to get out of her position with any speed - it isn't going to happen. She can tank shock enemy units out of the way, but not friendly ones. And tank shocking won't give enough space with her size to actually get away from enemy forces.

Titans can move, but not fast enough to escape anything.

To use this to your advantage the easiest way is to pincer them. For example a unit of melta gun toting IG Veterans behind, a squad of TH/SS Terminators in front. If the Titan stays put they expose thier rear armour to the meltas, but they can't move away from the meltas without getting closer to the Terminators.

Facing for Titans is interesting: they are Superheavy but follow the Walker rules. The contradictory part is that as a SH the weapons can target different targets, but walkers have to turn to face their target. My interpretation is that the weapons can swivel to target anything they choose without the main body turning (so long as the weapon mount can draw LoS) but the walker may pivot to bring more guns to bear. This does expose a weakness in some Titan layouts that can be exploited: Putting the target for the left arm gun on the Titan's right.
For example if the Titan has a Gatling Blaster (anti infantry) on the right arm and a Lasblaster (anti tank) on the left putting a superheavy target or similarly tough unit (Landraiders, Monoliths etc) out of the anti-tank's arc of fire can force the Titan to turn. It may not expose weaker armour, but it could well block the arc of the right hand gun and prevent it from splattering your infantry.


Imperial Titans are tough. A Reaver (whose stats can be dowloaded from Forgeworld) has armour of 14/14/13, with four Void Shields (essentially AV12 layers) and six structure points. Warhounds are slightly lighter, with weaker armour and less shields and structure points.

When I put a Titan on the table a lot of people baulk at the impossability of killing it. The trick is that one single weapon will do very little, but combined arms action will cripple a Titan when done with commitment.

If you plan on using shooting it could well take a full turn to kill a Reaver. Firing a couple of Lascannons each turn won't do much - but firing a barrage of lighter fire to take down the shields then opening up with missiles and lascannons will be much more effective. As an example, to kill Igneus Angelus a combined Guard/Eldar/Daemon army needed (in the battle pictured above):

- A manticore - three hits, no void fields knocked down.
- Laserburn strategem - no voids knocked down (the giant laser o doom killed a single kroot - that was it!)
- Vulture gunship - six hunter killer missiles inside fields. No glances even.
- Marcharius Vanquisher - a couple of shields
- Baneblade - a shield.
- Two leman russ - nothing.
- Soulgrinder - drive damaged, failed to shake the AML.
- Scorpion superheavy - knocked down a shield and took off a structure point.
- Second Scorpion - shook the lasblaster and blew off the melta cannon.
- Third Scorpion - immobilised her, took off five structure points with an epic chain reaction and blew her (and a whole lot more) to kingdome come!

Praedecatio (the Warhound) took a fair bit of fire, then was killed by combined guard fire and soulgrinder assault. When it exploded it handily killed a whole bunch of Stormtroopers who had just deep struck near the Tau objective.

Now, even excluding the last Scorpion Igneus Angelus was prettymuch out of action - one gun gone and the other not firing the next turn. She had her AML left, but that's not to great when all that stuff above is still on the table.

So when shooting the key thing is that you need to make a commitment to do some damage that turn - attempting a piecemeal attack will waste resources better spent on killing the rest of the enemy army.

Assaulting a Titan is one of its big weaknesses. They have poor WS and cannot be locked. How is that bad? Well it means you get to charge every time you want to fight. It does leave your assault troops vulnerable to counter attack but if they are dead-killy enough they coul deven chew through the counter attack in one round with luck. Attempting to bring a Titan down with Melta-Bombs is a bad idea in my book as you hit on 6s and are against frontal armour due to it being a walker. The best weapons are Chainfists, Thunder Hammers and the like. The low initiative is not a big deal, as attacks will be simultaneous. A squad of Chaos Terminators with combi-meltas, power/chain fists and an Icon of Khorne will ruin a Titan's day up close.

Killing Your Stuff (and how to avoid it)

Titans are very good at killing your stuff. It's what they exist for, and if you're reading this no doubt what you've experienced. I have done a fairly detailed analysis of the Imperial Titan weapon systems that you can find archived here: Titan Archives.

In a game of Apocalypse there are still objectives to be had and this should be always foremost in your mind. A titan can easily change the course of a game by vapourising your troops off of your well defended objective with contempt. StrD weapons ignore saves and cover, so unless you've got your guys totally out of LoS (and immune from barrage weapons in some cases) they are at risk.

To avoid this there are two methods - the first is to split your guys up over multiple levels so that the StrD templates of death won't be able to annihilate you (merely decimate) and keep as many as possible out of sight.

The second is to distract the Titan with nice juicy targets like other Superheavies, special characters, expensive formations etc etc. Most budding Princeps won't pass up a chance to nail a rival Titan or vapourise the Avatar in one shot (no Eternal Warrior eh? Eat strength D!). It may be costly points wise, but if it stops them pummeling your objective claimers it can be seen to be worth it.

"But what if I have no Forgeworld stuff, and just have Codex gear?" I hear you say. Well those formations in the Apoc Book can be pretty nasty (take the Vindicator one that lets you blow up bits of scenery for example). The Titan will probably ignore them for the first couple of turns but after you vapourise a ruin and the squad in it you may well get the big guy's attention. The same goes for things like Ghazgahgul or Eldrad. They seriously buff your army and will be big targets. Put either one in a big, hard to kill unit (Ghaz in a Green Tide formation for example) and they'll throw everyhing at it to kill it.

Now what if your enemy Princeps isn't so easily fooled? Well there's not much to do really, aside from kill it as soon as possible. How to do that exactly? Well stay tuned as that's the next update - starting with the Emperor's finest: Space Marines.