Improvements in painting and modeling


I spent a good part of the weekend working on a modeling and painting project. There is something theraputic about the quiet me-time that I get when painting a model. I can block out all of the other thoughts in my head and I can ignore the rest of the world for an hour or two.

This weekend was nice because I had the window open and I got to enjoy the sound, smell and micro climate of a thunderstorm. I also worked on perhaps my most ambitous project to date. The model is called Kairos Fateweaver. The two heads symbolize both the present and future. I put him on a chess board style platform to symbolize the strategy of life while the sand all about is meant to show the passing of time. The half model below him is a warrior of a long dead legion who was corrupted by his power and became less than nothing. All in all, I think there is quite a bit to look at and think about in this model.

Above is the current state of the model. While not quite done, it has come along nicely and I am very proud of the results to date.

Continue reading “Improvements in painting and modeling”

Questions about the new codex for a GW FAQ

Dakka is compiling a good thread on all of the questions that are being asked on the interwebs.  Here or some of my favorites.  I also go on record on how I think they should be ruled and how I think GW will rule.

I’ll keep updating this thread for a few days with my thoughts.  As someone reminded me, we should have an FAQ within 9 days.  Everyone knows Tzeentch’s number is best and since Phil and I share the same first initial and last name we must have some connection.  So, on the 9th day (which will be this coming Sunday) give or take a day we’ll have a C:CD FAQ.  Anyone want to wager on the over/under?

So, without further adieu here are some questions and two answers; the right answer/GW’s answer.  In the case where I feel the answer will be different I’ll be happy to eat my hat if GW does the right thing; however, I’m guessing they have an intern answering questions at the direction of the marketing department and/or the senior VP of sales (ala Helldrake farting out its butt).

Army Special Rules

  1. Can Feel No Pain be used against wounds caused by Daemonic Instability? yes/yes
  2. Is a Chaos Space Marine unit with the Daemon special rule and the suitable Mark of one of the 4 gods considered “Daemons of the same alignment” for the purpose of attaching Chaos Daemon Independent Characters? e.g, could a Herald of Slaanesh join a unit of Warp Talons with the Mark of Slaanesh? yes/no
  3. If ‘Punished by the Gods’ manages to kill a character that is riding on a Burning Chariot of Tzeentch or Seeker/Exalted Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh is the Chariot also removed? If not, can another Herald (with the appropriate dedication) now embark onto the rider-less chariot? no and yes/no and yes
  4. Do you decide which type of unit is arriving via ‘Summoned From the Warp’ before or after rolling to see how many models are in the unit? yes/yes
  5. Can any of the Warp Storm results that inflict hits (Rot, Glorious Rot, etc) cause damage to a zooming flyer? no/no because flyers are expensive and GW needs to sell more


  1. If a model that has a Mutating Warpblade kills an enemy Character or Monstrous Creature with a ranged attack, does the ‘Warp Mutation’ rule still apply? Or is it only from combat attacks made using the Warpblade (like the Staff of Change)? only combat/only combat
  2. For weapons that trigger an ability when the bearer kills a specific model (such as a Staff of Change or Mutating Warpblade), how do you determine who actually killed the enemy model if several different models are all striking at the same Initiative step when the enemy model is killed? this is a stupid mechanic of wound pool/roll separate wound pools
  3. If Necron Mindshackle Scarabs force a character a model with a Mutating Warpblade or Staff of Change to kill himself does the Warp Mutation/Warpdoom special rule trigger as normal? yes/yes
  4. If a weapon inflicts Instant Death on a ‘to wound’ roll of 6 (like the Axe of Khorne, for example), does the attacking model still need to have the possibility of wounding the target in order to benefit from this ability? For example, say a S4 model is attacking a T8 opponent, does he still inflict Instant Death on rolls of ‘6’? yes/yes
  5. What happens if the Doomstone lowers St. Celestine’s Ld down to ‘0’? If she resurrects does she immediately die again because she still has a Ld of ‘0’, or does she ignore the effects of the Doomstone when she returns? dead/dead – this will never get FAQ’d
  6. Can an Icon of Chaos be used to reduce (or eliminate) scatter on the same turn the unit arrives from reserve? In other words, if unit A Deep Strikes onto the table and in the same turn unit B Deep Strikes within 6″ of unit A (and meets all the necessary criteria) does unit B benefit from unit A’s Icon to reduce or eliminate their scatter? yes/no I’ll be happy to eat my hat if I’m wrong about GW’s ruling on this one
  7. Do you roll to see if a Portalglyph creates a new unit at the end of the same Movement phase that it is placed? yes/yes More importantly, will GW sell a limited edition portal glyph like the DE webway portal?
  8. Does the Blade of Blood still grant the bearer ‘Rampage’ even if a different weapon is used to attack in that round of combat? no/no

Psychic Powers

  1. Is the Feel No Pain +1 bonus provided by Warpflame cumulative throughout the course of a game? For example, can a unit that starts the game with Feel No Pain (5+) have it improved up to (3+) after passing its Toughness test against Warpflame wounds in two separate shooting phases? If so, can a unit have its Feel No Pain improved to a (1+) and does this mean it automatically passes its Feel No Pain rolls? yes and max FNP 2+/yes and max FNP 2+ however, if this ever happens you need to give back your daemon card and get a new army.
  2. Does the +1 Strength bonus from the Exalted Locus of Conjuration apply to ancillary hits caused by their psychic powers, such as the bonus Soul Blaze hits or hits caused by a vehicle they manage to explode? no, but it does apply to hits from the blasted standard/what I said


  1. Are the Masque and the Blue Scribes really not supposed to be considered Heralds (for the purpose of taking up to 4 Heralds as a single HQ choice)? not Heralds/not Heralds (I had to think about this one because making them Heralds will sell more models, but since the Masque is old and the Blue Scribes already sold a ton, the best answer – from a sales perspective that screws players by forcing you to buy cool new models – not Heralds.
  2. Does Fateweaver’s Staff of Tomorrow allow him to re-roll a D6 that an opponent originally rolled? yes/no Come on, Fateweaver lost his bubble and needs to be the coolest model in the game so of course it should work, but it won’t.
  3. When the Masque performs the Dance of Caging, should you roll a single D3 and apply that to all moves the target unit tries to make, or roll a separate D3 each time the unit tries to move? separate D3 for each phase/separate
  4. Should the Masque’s Dance of Caging movement limitation apply to a Bike/Jetbike unit’s Turbo-boost movement and/or the Thrust Move for a Jet Pak unit? yes/no answering yes would admit that the rule was poorly written; however, they will FAQ in that the Masque (if played with a counts as Herald of Slaanesh model) gets to use an AP3 torrent weapon instead.


  1. Is the -1 Ld penalty for a Fiend’s ‘Disruptive Song’ cumulative? If so, is this calculated per Fiend model or per unit? For example, if a psyker is within 12″ of 4 Fiend models (all part of the same unit) would he have a -4 Ld penalty? Or if the psyker was within 12″ of two Fiend units, would he have a -2 Ld penalty (regardless of how many Fiend models from each unit were within 12″)? yes, cumulative per unit/no only -1 regardless  But seriously, for how expensive a Fiend model is, it should be per model.  Further more, once GW realizes that changing the answer to yes, for each model, will increase sales we will never see plastic Fiends.
Fast Attack
  1. Does a Screamer’s Lamprey Bite replace all bonus attacks the model has as (such as the +1 attack for charging, for example), or just its base attacks? They should get the +1 bonus from charging/GW will say no
  2. Are cover saves allowed from a Screamer’s Slashing Attack and if so, is the determination of whether or not a model is in cover calculated from the final position of the Screamers similar to a shooting attack? no, wasn’t this already covered in the daemon FAQ?/no
Heavy Support
  1. Does the Burning Chariot of Tzeentch really need to remain stationary to fire the Blue or Pink Fire of Tzeentch as non-snap shots (as they are a Heavy weapon and the Exalted Flamer is an embarked Infantry model)? no/no What a bone head maneouver.  Need to sell models, fix quickly.  This will be the answer that gets the FAQ out the door in 9 days.  I’d imagine the answer will be treat as if the weapon is mounted on the vehicle but use the Ex. Flamer’s BS.


  1. (basic rulebook question) What happens in close combat if a model has an Initiative of 0 (as can happen due to a Fiend’s ‘Soporific Musk’, for example)? Do they not make an Initiative Step Pile-in and not attack? They do nothing/your head implodes from the recursive rules conundrum.  Seriously though, who cares, Fiends are so 5th edition  😉

First thoughts with the new Daemons

After spending last week reading both German copies and photos of the real thing, followed by actually getting my iPad copy Friday night and then playing the old codex on Saturday I got to give the codex a whirl today.  First thoughts:

  • Damn, that’s a lot of psykers.  I have to learn a new phase of the game.
  • What, no…  You can’t double me out I have Eternal wa….  Oh, crap, you’re right.
  • Oh yeah, I forgot to roll on the Warp Storm table, hang on a second.
  • I need more and multiple colors of tokens to mark war charges, warp flames and soul blaze.
  • There aren’t enough psychic cards in the deck for me to use that much divination.
  • I need cards for the Daemonic Rewards so that I can put them next to the models.
  • Discs are jet bikes?  Let’s see what I can do with screamers.
  • Wow, 30 minutes of set-up and rolling dice and we’re now just starting the game…
I got to play a 1500 point game against a local Dark Angel player, Hunter.  I’ve never played against him before and we were both doing a little learning.  Here is the list I played; since I had to make it by hand I hope my math held up.

Army List

Tzeentch Herald – ML2, Ex. Locus Conj., Gr. Reward – 110
Tzeentch Herald – ML2, Ex. Locus Conj., Less Reward – 100
Tzeentch Herald on Disc – ML1 – 70
Tzeentch Daemon Prince w/ wings – ML1, Gr. Reward – 250
20 Pink Horrors w/ Blasted Std and Instrument – 210
20 Pink Horrors w/ Blasted Std and Instrument – 210
3 Flamers of Tzeentch + Pyro Caster w/ Gr. Reward – 117
3 Flamers of Tzeentch + Pyro Caster w/ Gr. Reward – 117
3 Flamers of Tzeentch + Pyro Caster w/ Gr. Reward – 117
Fast Attack
9 Screamers – 225
Tzeentch Soul Grinder w/ torrent and plehgm – 190~1500 points

Battle Report

The game went to 6 rounds and was separated by a single VP.  We played Big Guns/Vanguard.  He brought a shooty DA foot list with 2 vindicators, 2 dreadnoughts with missiles and lascannons, a small melt bike squad and a command squad with the banner of devastation.

Objectives – three objectives equally space right down the middle of the no man’s land.  The left objective was adjacent to a Shrine of the Aquila, the center was in the Blasted Landscape (dangerous terrain) and the right was next to a impassable column.  Locations turned out to be key later in the game.

Deployment – he deployed gun line style with his command squad behind LOS blocking terrain, and his librarian joined to a Tac squad manning a quad gun.  Both that squad and another were behind a long wall of Aegis DL.  His dreadnoughts were placed in upper levels of ruins, so they were stationary for the game and the deployed vindicators on each flank.  His third tac squad deployed far left.

I deployed (what the heck is deploying BTW) a horror blob squad center left, daemon price far left (on foot), soul grinder center and screamers far right.  The screamers got a ML Herald in disc and the two foot squads each got ML2 Heralds on foot.

Turn 1
My opponent failed at seizing the initiative.  I walked forward with the blob squad and soul grinder, flew the DP up behind the Shrine of the Aquila and moved the screamer forward; after buffing the DP and the blob squad.  My first warpstorm roll resulted in the Khorne attack which did a little damage to my opponent.  I shot at the squad with the Libby, who denied the witch.  I could see the random daemons going downhill quick.  The screamers slashed at a tac squad taking about half the squad out.  The SG killed a few marines with phlegm.

Then I learned how nasty the banner of devastation was.  Holly crap that was a ton of shots.  My screamer squad was taken down to half strength only do to some lucky rolling.

Turns 2/3
I had a turn of +1 inv followed by a turn of -1 inv saves.  Squads of 4 flamers are still pretty nasty, but will not wipe a tac squad by themselves any longer, but the warpfire will take another 2 models on average one in three times (6+ FNP isn’t too bad, so plan to wipe a squad in 2 turns).  I flamed the DA command squad and killed the banner (and the rest of the squad).   A good turn of Pink Horrors shooting with the blasted standard is devastating to your opponent.

I took some pretty good damage on the Horror squad, down to ML2.  The Soul Grinder didn’t make it past turn 3.  The screamers made an assault and did their job.  I mishapped my other blob squad, which my opponent relegated to the back of my deployment zone.  I got to spend the entire game moving and running to claim an objective.

Turns 4/5
The DP vector struck a vindicator and proceeded to get shot to pieces failing all his saves.  Not worth his points.  But, I cleaned up the rest of his scoring units save one and a vindicator.  The other vindicator tried to claim the far right objective, but I was able to contest with a squad of flamers.  I took mass casualties running through dangerous terrain trying to claim the center objective, but made it.

Turn 6
The game ended on turn 6.  I was able to tie my opponent on objectives and won due to having won first blood.  What a game.  I felt like a newb playing this army.  I’m sure I screwed up plenty of things.

A few mistakes I made:

  • Phlegm is now ordinance, which means if the Soul Grinder fires it all other weapons are fired as snap shots.
  • Remember how many warp charges you have and what you want to do.

Final Game Thoughts

Necrons and Daemons are ever so slightly less cheesy.

Yesterday was the final outing for my old daemons.  I say final because I don’t think I’ll be playing in any tournaments in the next 28 days or so, and I think that the local tournament scene generally has a 30 day window on codex releases.  Anyway, my friend Andy and I teamed up for a local team tournament at Olde World Gaming in Elk Grove, CA.  Andy plays Necrons and Dark Angels, and neither very often.  We went into the day with the thought of finishing in the mid/upper tier but I wasn’t expecting 3 wins.

The first game was against a newer player, and while he put up a good showing it wasn’t really a fair match.  He was the ringer playing a single 2k point list against our Necron/Daemon list.

The second game was against a local favorite and his brother.  It was Space Marine bikes and Tau against us in Vanguard.  This was a much harder fought win, but still a win.  There are games like that one where everything goes my way and I see that my flamers are just awesome.

The last game was a knock down drag out “mirror” match where we fought Necrons and Tyranids.  It was Dawn of War and every turn ebbed and flowed.  At any given point the game could have gone either way.  We ended up pulling out a narrow victory, unlike the first two games.  The win earned me a Burning Chariot model, which presents its own set of issues (embarked passenger firing heavy weaponry, d’oh!).

So, when I look back at my experience this last year with my daemons I see a mixed bag.  I did well with them in 5th edition, but not awesome.  That said, I only started playing 40k again a little over 2 years ago, so I consider myself still learning.  The changes to the flamers and screamers made my army better, no doubt, but did it make me a winner?  I can’t say for sure, but it didn’t hurt my odds.

Changes that would have lessened the sting from the nerf bat

I’m going to focus on Tzeentch and things that would have lessened the sting of the change IMHO.

  • Give all units that start on the board scout.  Seriously, we’re daemons that errupt from the warp.  Placement should be scary for the opponent.  This compromises between normal deployment and complete deepstrike.  Most units would get a 6″ move.
  • Allow Ld tests for pshycic powers to be taken on the modified Ld even if it takes it higher than 10.  Fateweaver is the boss.  He lost his reroll bubble, don’t make him fail psychic tests 3/36 times.  He should auto pass, but still take perils.
  • -1 to opponents DTW.  Seriously, the average marine unit should not get a 1/6 chance to shut down psychic shooting from a daemon (made of the warp).
  • Daemons should be able to manifest witchfire for overwatch.

I can pretty much live with everything else.  Yeah, there is stuff I don’t like, but these few changes would make the stuff that isn’t supposed to be wonky and unreliable a little more paletable.

What do you think?

Pink Horrors Point Efficiency (part 2)

In the early day of 6th edition screamers and flamers were the damage dealers in an all Tzeentch army, but you were forced to take Pink Horrors to round out the army and score objectives.  Most daemon players would take other troops choices, but I remained true to my devotion to the changing tides of the aether.  I liked taking them in squads of 10-20 to keep them alive and deal some damage. I routinely ran a large blob squad of 19 horrors and the Changeling plus a Herald.  This was a mixed bag.

Survivable 4++ save (rerolled near Fateweaver)
Massed fire (60+ shots at 18″)
Great overwatch potential (often poor actual results)

Large deepstrike footprint
360-455 points that can mishap
Low BS shooting

Now that I have a copy of the rulebook I can confirm the rules that have been leaked before.  Namely that they are now 9 points, minimum squads of 10 and gain ward charges as the squad size increases.

One big drawback is the loss of overwatch, but this is countered with the increased 6″ range on the shooting attack.

I’ll compare their efficiency against terminators, marines and guard.  Given that flamers and screamers were majorly hurt by the new codex the horrors will have to stand up to various threats if a Tzeentch mono-build is to remain viable.

Some complained that my comparison before factored in disproportionate squad sizes, and while this was true the point per kill levelled the playing field.  This time I will compare squads of the same point cost to please the nay-sayers.  It just so happens that you can get 17 new horrors for the same cost as 9 old horrors.  Since 9 is the number of Tzeentch there must be something to this…

So, on the numbers, the unit is less efficient than it was before, but arguably has “maybe” some more flexibility depending on which phychic power you roll for.  The problem here is that before you could take a single bolt in a 5 horrors squad and camp an objective and provide some minimal anti-tank/air.  Now you take a large footprint unit that has a single power.
As you’ll see below adding a Herald becomes a must have if you want similar results as before (which wasn’t awesome to begin with).
Now, if you add a Herald into a squad you can slightly outperform the old horrors on MEQ killing, but TEQ and GEQ remain poor by comparison.  The way this comparison works if with the Presence of Conjuration (+1 strength) and using Presience to re-roll your hits.  On avergae you will kill just about 3.5 MEQ in your first turn of shooting.  Then you had better charge your screamers in to finish up the squad, because as soon as 3 of your horrors die your shooting falls of the cliff (- 25% effectiveness).
Now, all of that being said all it takes is a D6 deny the witch to shut you down entirely.
I asked for random, but never in my wildest imagination did I see the much needless random.

Flamers no longer OP

Flamer’s of Tzeentch – painted by me

Late last year I said Flamers were not OP here.  The world, and Phil Kelly disagreed.

Points to consider (revised):
  • I have not yet found a compelling reason to spend waste 5 points on a Pyrocaster upgrade.  While it is unlikely that you get charged, I’ve taken to deepstriking them with a disk of Tzeentch (Blue Scribes or Herald) as I can get a much larger frontage and generally hit a target with 5 -6 templates off the deepstrike this way vs 3-4 in a normal small cluster.  The pyrocaster protects your HQ from instant gib.
  • I won’t go into the warpfire/breath garbage that is now going around to allow you to hit people outside your range. Note: GW please read your FAQs before you post them and stop letting the interns write them.
  • I don’t think they are over powered costed now.

The change:

  • Wounds MEQ 1/3 of their previous (S4 AP4 – wounds on 4, MEQ save on 3+)
  • Invuln save is 8.5% better (re-roll 1s)
  • Loss of Eternal Warrior will cost them dearly

I can only surmise that the WD Codex update was a ploy to sell models (of course it was) but broke an important compact with customers.  You can’t sell a shiney object and then smash it 6 months later.  It’s one thing to nerf a model or two after a 5 year codex cycle and entirely something else when done in 6 months.

Pink Horrors Point Efficiency (part 1)

While screamers and flamers are the damage dealer in an all Tzeentch army, you have to take Pink Horrors to round out the army.  I like taking them in squads of 10-20 to keep them alive and deal some damage.  I routinely run squads of 20 horrors, which is a mixed bag.

Massed fire (60 shots at 18″)

Large deepstrike footprint
360 points that can mishap

The most recent rumors suggest:

Pink Horrors – 9pts each (minimum 10)
ws 3 bs 3 s 3 t 3 w 1 i 3 a 1 ld 7
Psychic tests on a 10
Brootherhood of sorcerers
Blue horrors: if a pink horror is slain place a blue horror marker.. at initiative 1 the blue horror attacks causing the enemy unit to suffer one s2 hit with ap –

horrors can only cast change dicipline, not divination.
horrors get 1 warppoint, 2 at unit strength 11-15 and 3 at 16-20. they generate psychic powers at the start of the game like normal psykers but can only roll on tzeentch lore.

primaris: 24″ s 5 ap 4 assault 2d6, warpflames, soulfire. 1 warpcharge.
for each additional warpcharge you gain a additional d6
So I wanted to see how the “new” units stacks up to the old as an MEQ killer.

Aside from the range difference (now 24″) and the fact that the new horrors will have more random results (pschic test, deny the witch, and random number of shots) what I found is that point for point the new (when taken in a squad of 20) has about a 20% worse first turn killing efficiency vs MEQ than the old Pink Horrors.  This does not factor in taking a Herald with divination.

The unit is almost 40% worse at killing Guard Equivalent in a 5+ cover.


So, on the numbers the unit is cheaper, giving you more flexibility, but not quite as good at these tasks.  You can buff with a Herald if you want (see above right).  As soon as you take a wound you shooting drops of by 75% immediately, rather than in a linear fashion (model by model) but you have access to other powers as well beyond the normal Bolt of Tzeentch and you range is extended by 6″ giving you some more holding power and reducing the risk of deepstrike mishaps.


Warp Storm Table Odds

I figured I’d take a look at the potential for each result on the Warpstorm table to occur.  The percentage chance of a result occuring at least once doesn’t change with more rounds.  I started down that path initially but had to remind myself of come basic college math.  Now, the odds of a result occuring a specific number of times (greater than once) during a game of varying length does change.  I’ll leave that for another day.

2.78% – All units take a Daemonic Instability test
5.56% – One daemon Character tests on Leadership with 3D6 and takes wounds like Daemonic Instability
8.33% – All daemons -1 invulnerable save
11.11% – Roll D6 for all enemies and nurgle units, on a 6 hit by a 5″ template S4, AP5 barrage
13.89% – Roll D6 for all enemies and tzeentch units, on 6 D6 hits with S4 Ap3, poison, ignore cover
16.67% – Nothing
13.89% – Roll d6 for all enemies and khorne units, on 6 D6 hits with S6, Ap-, ignore cover, rending
11.11% – Roll d6 for all enemies and slaanesh units on 6 hit by a 3″ template S8, ap3
8.33% – +1 invulnerable save for daemons
5.56% – one enemy psyker test on Leadership with 3D6, if failed he explodes and you get a new herald in his place (Perils of Warp, we are here!!!)
2.78% – a new troop unit of your choice (bloodletter, plaguebearer, horror, daemonette) is summoned, 2D6+3 models

So in any game, the odds of getting a 2 or 12 at least once is less than 3% each.  While this will happen, it will be rare.

Now, assuming that your enemy has at least 6 units on the board (on average throughout a game – for giggles) you’ll have an 8.33% chance that an enemy unit will take a hit at least once during a game.  Granted it will be a random unit and a random hit type from the 4 types above, but that’s still something.

Final thoughts on the current Chaos Daemons Codex

The tail end of 5th Edition and all of 6th Edition has been good for my Tzeentchy Chaos Daemons.  I’ve enjoyed the book for what it is – not like anything else.  My only real hope for the new book is that it continues to be very different from everything else.  Aside from that I’d love to see some real synergy between Daemons and Chaos Marines.  I’m still bummed that we didn’t get DA Fallen and we don’t currently get Traitor Guard in 6E; hopefully in the next edition of the book in a few years.

In my opinion the upcoming CD codex will be a success if (in no particular order):

  • You can take viable mono-God builds for all 4 Gods and get rewarded for playing a fluffy army.
  • If there is still a major random component to the army, but one that doesn’t auto win or auto-lose.
  • I’d like to see Tzeentch stay super shooty.
  • It would be nice to see Nurgle and Slaanesh get a little shooty in their characters, etc.
  • I’d like to see Khorne shut down psykers.  Something like Eldrad’s powers wouldn’t be OP IMHO or DTW on a 2+ (as an upgrade would be fine).
  • Here’s wishing, but let me mark EVERYTHING in the book that isn’t marked (Soul Grinders, etc.)
  • Daemonic Assault – or something like it that makes me play the game in a totally different way than everyone else.  Come on, we’re fans of Chaos, don’t make us play by the same rules!!!