Guildford Games Club

Mondays 19:30-23:00 at The Park Barn Centre in Guildford, Surrey, UK

2018 Guildford Games Club Painting Challenge: July!

Some good progress from the club this month. Paul has some historical elephants pulling double duty as monstrous beasties…griffons are historical right? They’re in the tapestries and murals so they must be!

I continued working on my Stormcast

The Pledges

Name Pledge Progress Comments
David Last Completely paint and base 200 models by Dec 31st 2018, learn how to paint glowing energy ‘power sword’ effects 12 Stormcast completed 230/200 I will count 28-32mm figures as one model, 5x6mm figures as one model, larger monstrous/warmachine/etc. figures may count as more than one model
Tim Smith craft a 6×4 tables worth of terrain; summer grassland and rocky outcrops. Also want to fully paint a small Eldar/Ynnari army, magnetising the larger models and/or customising the army in some way
Paul Townsend complete one element (troop, character, warmachine or monster) for kings of war _or_ three bases of 6mm napoleonics each month to a gaming standardI pledge to update http://Hobbybrush.com at least once a month, to encourage my own hobby and further promote that of the club General on winged beast (a Dacian on a griffon…) for my KoW / Roman forces, and two additional Numidian War Elephants aka beasts of war within the same force.

Three big guys this month.

Alex Foyster -Pick up a brush and paint once per week.-Finish one ‘thing’ per month
Ash March complete 100 miniatures by the end of the year ???/100 Calvary count as 2 each, big stuff 5. Will start to keep track from next month
Biel Tan Paint 1 full squad of minis per month from my currently owned backlog for the rest of the year. ???/6 months

Happy painting!

2018 Guildford Games Club Painting Challenge: June!

Half way through the year and there’s some development’s afoot!

As ever the mutable way of the world do not leave our pledges untouched. Ash March has crafted anew his pledge for the year and a new challenger approaches! A being known only as Biel Tan has a pledge all their own.

For this month Tim Smith has completed one portion of his pledge with some fantastic looking scenery

Paul’s Romans Auxilia grow faster than the empire itself and the forces of Napoleon lurk ominously in the background

I managed to get forces for two games completed – 6mm Israelis for Fate of a Nation and 28mm British Indians for Chain of Command. As well as finalising my colour scheme for a new Stormcast army for Age of Sigmar.

The Pledges

Name Pledge Progress Comments
David Last Completely paint and base 200 models by Dec 31st 2018, learn how to paint glowing energy ‘power sword’ effects The 6mm Israelis count for 15 models, 5 stormcast and 47 28mm soldiers for a solid 67 models this month 218/200 I will count 28-32mm figures as one model, 5x6mm figures as one model, larger monstrous/warmachine/etc. figures may count as more than one model
Tim Smith craft a 6×4 tables worth of terrain; summer grassland and rocky outcrops. Also want to fully paint a small Eldar/Ynnari army, magnetising the larger models and/or customising the army in some way Tables worth of terrain completed! Hurray!
Paul Townsend complete one element (troop, character, warmachine or monster) for kings of war _or_ three bases of 6mm napoleonics each month to a gaming standard

I pledge to update http://Hobbybrush.com at least once a month, to encourage my own hobby and further promote that of the club

Thanks to a couple of unexpected days off work, the Romans saw more additions in the form of another regiment and two further troops of Auxillaries, completing that area of the force.
Alex Foyster -Pick up a brush and paint once per week.

-Finish one ‘thing’ per month

Ash March complete 100 miniatures by the end of the year ???/100 Calvary count as 2 each, big stuff 5. Will start to keep track from next month
Biel Tan Paint 1 full squad of minis per month from my currently owned backlog for the rest of the year. ???/6 months

Happy painting!

2018 Guildford Games Club Painting Challenge: May!

The month comes to a close and there are some updates!

Paul has completed his gorgeous French infantry

I have a variety of bits and pieces. Morathi, two supervillains and some itty bitty Israeli armour.

The Pledges

Name Pledge Progress Comments
David Last Completely paint and base 200 models by Dec 31st 2018, learn how to paint glowing energy ‘power sword’ effects 10 ‘models’ completed this month. 151/200 I will count 28-32mm figures as one model, 5x6mm figures as one model, larger monstrous/warmachine/etc. figures may count as more than one model
Tim Smith craft a 6×4 tables worth of terrain; summer grassland and rocky outcrops. Also want to fully paint a small Eldar/Ynnari army, magnetising the larger models and/or customising the army in some way
Paul Townsend complete one element (troop, character, warmachine or monster) for kings of war _or_ three bases of 6mm napoleonics each month to a gaming standard

I pledge to update http://Hobbybrush.com at least once a month, to encourage my own hobby and further promote that of the club

6mm French Napoleonic infantry completed
Alex Foyster -Pick up a brush and paint once per week.

-Finish one ‘thing’ per month

Ash March I’ll pledge to have this orc mega force finished along with a necromunda gang and my bushido minis all by my birthday at the end of may (!) by the end of the year I’ll have my epic armies all painted and my 6mm napoleonics along with the high elves..

Happy painting!

2018 Guildford Games Club Painting Challenge: April!

Updates for April!

It’s been a quiet month but even then the industrious Guildford Club has painted its way through some stuff!

Paul has contonued his epic journey as though he were Hannibal astride his Giant mount through Rome to add some Auxilia

I painted some 6mm Israelis for the Arab-Israeli conflict and some more Witch Elves and Morathi for Age of Sigmar.

The Pledges

Name Pledge Progress Comments
David Last Completely paint and base 200 models by Dec 31st 2018, learn how to paint glowing energy ‘power sword’ effects 21 models completed this month. 141/200

5 witch elves, a host of 6mm Israelis and Morathi

I will count 28-32mm figures as one model, 5x6mm figures as one model, larger monstrous/warmachine/etc. figures may count as more than one model
Tim Smith craft a 6×4 tables worth of terrain; summer grassland and rocky outcrops. Also want to fully paint a small Eldar/Ynnari army, magnetising the larger models and/or customising the army in some way
Paul Townsend complete one element (troop, character, warmachine or monster) for kings of war _or_ three bases of 6mm napoleonics each month to a gaming standard

I pledge to update http://Hobbybrush.com at least once a month, to encourage my own hobby and further promote that of the club

Both regiments of Auxillaries and the giant are finished
Alex Foyster -Pick up a brush and paint once per week.

-Finish one ‘thing’ per month

Ash March I’ll pledge to have this orc mega force finished along with a necromunda gang and my bushido minis all by my birthday at the end of may (!) by the end of the year I’ll have my epic armies all painted and my 6mm napoleonics along with the high elves..

Happy painting!

2018 Guildford Games Club Painting Challenge: March!

Updates for March!

Paul has continued with one of his objectives and updated Hobby Brush, his website, with his excellent Pike and Shotte era models. Go and check it out here!

http://hobbybrush.com/historical/pikeandshotte/

He also progressed his 6mm Napoleonic French and a giant for Kings of War

Tim Smith has been busy with terrain and a an Eldar Super Heavy that is shaping up to be a gorgeous piece

Ash March has also been very busy painting Orcs and Bretonnians.

I speed painted some space ships for Dropfleet Commander and painted a few models for AoS

The Pledges

Name Pledge Progress Comments
David Last Completely paint and base 200 models by Dec 31st 2018, learn how to paint glowing energy ‘power sword’ effects 26 models completed this month, 120/200 for the year

4 Orc Brutes, 5 Witch Elves and 17 Scourge ships

I will count 28-32mm figures as one model, 5x6mm figures as one model, larger monstrous/warmachine/etc. figures may count as more than one model
Tim Smith craft a 6×4 tables worth of terrain; summer grassland and rocky outcrops. Also want to fully paint a small Eldar/Ynnari army, magnetising the larger models and/or customising the army in some way Painting gems is a slow process! But I’ve made a bit of headway with the terrain pieces and got them out for a game
Paul Townsend complete one element (troop, character, warmachine or monster) for kings of war _or_ three bases of 6mm napoleonics each month to a gaming standard

I pledge to update http://Hobbybrush.com at least once a month, to encourage my own hobby and further promote that of the club

Hobby butterfly struck early this month, followed by simply no painting for the latter part.
I haven’t based those Romans yet, but I’m 60% through 3 more infantry regiments of 6mm napoleonics and about the same through a(nother) giant for kow. Next month finishing stuff!And an update to Hobby Brush to add the Pike and Shotte section, check it out here:http://hobbybrush.com/historical/pikeandshotte/
Alex Foyster -Pick up a brush and paint once per week.

-Finish one ‘thing’ per month

Ash March I’ll pledge to have this orc mega force finished along with a necromunda gang and my bushido minis all by my birthday at the end of may (!) by the end of the year I’ll have my epic armies all painted and my 6mm napoleonics along with the high elves.. Over the past two months I’ve completed: 10 orc boarboys, 12 bretonian knights, 10 bretonnian archers.. not that many I’m afraid and none towards the target.. think I picked too specific a target

Happy painting!

2018 Guildford Games Club Painting Challenge: February!

Another month, another chunk of progress!

Let’s see what people have gotten up to…

Paul has achieved one of his objectives and updated Hobby Brush, his website, with new Anyaral: World of Twilight models! Go and check it out here!

http://hobbybrush.com

He also got himself a whole load of Romans for various uses completed

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I was fairly eclectic this month, doing scenery, 3mm sci fi, Superheroes and AoS Orcs

The Pledges

Name Pledge Progress Comments
David Last Completely paint and base 200 models by Dec 31st 2018, learn how to paint glowing energy ‘power sword’ effects 27 models completed this month, 94/200 for the year

The 3mm count for 11 equivalents, Supergirl and the Flash for two more, 5 Orc ‘Ardboyz, a Warchanter, a Wierdboy, four Icons/objective markers for Bushido and three pieces of terrain for Bushido

I will count 28-32mm figures as one model, 5x6mm figures as one model, larger monstrous/warmachine/etc. figures may count as more than one model
Tim Smith craft a 6×4 tables worth of terrain; summer grassland and rocky outcrops. Also want to fully paint a small Eldar/Ynnari army, magnetising the larger models and/or customising the army in some way 0 completed
Paul Townsend complete one element (troop, character, warmachine or monster) for kings of war _or_ three bases of 6mm napoleonics each month to a gaming standard

I pledge to update http://Hobbybrush.com at least once a month, to encourage my own hobby and further promote that of the club

These guys still need basing and some work done on their shields, but as troops they will represent four elements for kings of war & I’m quite happily on target if I get them finished off next month.

Todays updates come in the form of housekeeping in my favoured Anyaral: World of Twilight section.

Two new sections:
Casanii:
http://hobbybrush.com/fantasy/twighlight/casanii/

Empire Nobles:
http://hobbybrush.com/fantasy/twighlight/nobles/

also added a lot of pictures to other galleries in the Twilight Section, so if you like such things, look around!

Alex Foyster -Pick up a brush and paint once per week.

-Finish one ‘thing’ per month

I have managed to assemble and base my Delaques. The only paint invloved was some liquid greenstuff on the heavy but still…
Ash March I’ll pledge to have this orc mega force finished along with a necromunda gang and my bushido minis all by my birthday at the end of may (!) by the end of the year I’ll have my epic armies all painted and my 6mm napoleonics along with the high elves.. No update

Happy painting!

2018 Guildford Games Club Painting Challenge: January!

With January coming to a close we have some industrious club members turning out some fantastic work and working on their pledges

Tim shows off his conversion skills and ability to speed paint like a boss with an Ynnari Eldar army coming on strong

Alex worked on cleaning and prepping his Delaque gang, ready for painting

All the while Paul finishes all manner of bits and pieces to keep himself occupied for the month

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Finally some industrious small scale action getting almost 400 6mm napolenics finished, followed by some 3mm stuff to experiment with

The Pledges

Name Pledge Progress Comments
David Last Completely paint and base 200 models by Dec 31st 2018, learn how to paint glowing energy ‘power sword’ effects 77 models completed!

The 6mm equivalents account for 73 models, 3 AoS Orcs and the Green Lantern

I will count 28-32mm figures as one model, 5x6mm figures as one model, larger monstrous/warmachine/etc. figures may count as more than one model
Tim Smith craft a 6×4 tables worth of terrain; summer grassland and rocky outcrops. Also want to fully paint a small Eldar/Ynnari army, magnetising the larger models and/or customising the army in some way 0 completed but many progressed to almost completion
Paul Townsend complete one element (troop, character, warmachine or monster) for kings of war _or_ three bases of 6mm napoleonics each month to a gaming standard

I pledge to update http://Hobbybrush.com at least once a month, to encourage my own hobby and further promote that of the club

shields have finally been finished and they’re based at last – so progress on models which have been on the go since last April!!

Update to the Hobbybrush is in the works but I broke it rather than updating it when trying to change the gallery format….. but I found time to try – that counts, right?

Alex Foyster -Pick up a brush and paint once per week.

-Finish one ‘thing’ per month

I have managed to assemble and base my Delaques. The only paint invloved was some liquid greenstuff on the heavy but still…
Ash March I’ll pledge to have this orc mega force finished along with a necromunda gang and my bushido minis all by my birthday at the end of may (!) by the end of the year I’ll have my epic armies all painted and my 6mm napoleonics along with the high elves.. No update

Happy painting!

2018 Guildford Games Club Painting Challenge: The Pledges!

For 2018 the members of the Guildford Games Club will be setting themselves miniature painting challenges and throughout the year we will be tracking that progress, posting up images of work people are proud of and generally celebrating the painting and modelling side of the hobby.

The rules are very loose, people can set themselves whatever painting challenges they want – be they miniatures, terrain, conversions, new painting techniques, etc. – and they can decide when they have achieved them or whatever milestones they want to set.

Furthermore it’s not a competition, not to find who can paint the most or paint the best or convert the fanciest. The aim is to encourage people to paint more and to celebrate the painting that they do!

The Pledges

Name Pledge Progress Comments
David Last Completely paint and base 200 models by Dec 31st 2018, learn how to paint glowing energy ‘power sword’ effects 0 models completed I will count 28-32mm figures as one model, 5x6mm figures as one model, larger monstrous/warmachine/etc. figures may count as more than one model
Tim Smith craft a 6×4 tables worth of terrain; summer grassland and rocky outcrops. Also want to fully paint a small Eldar/Ynnari army, magnetising the larger models and/or customising the army in some way 0 completed
Paul Townsend complete one element (troop, character, warmachine or monster) for kings of war _or_ three bases of 6mm napoleonics each month to a gaming standard

I pledge to update http://Hobbybrush.com at least once a month, to encourage my own hobby and further promote that of the club

0 Completed
Alex Foyster -Pick up a brush and paint once per week.

-Finish one ‘thing’ per month

0 Completed
Ash March I’ll pledge to have this orc mega force finished along with a necromunda gang and my bushido minis all by my birthday at the end of may (!) by the end of the year I’ll have my epic armies all painted and my 6mm napoleonics along with the high elves.. 0 Completed

An Alternative Epic Team Event?

In September 2018 I am running a custom team event for the game Epic: Armageddon, the structure, custom rules and other ramblings are below.

Overview
A full day of gaming, 3 rounds where players are in one of two teams and face off against the opposing team. Between each game round there is a planning phase where new lists can be drawn up, matchups planned and various ‘special cards’ can be played to grant the playing team an advantage. These special cards provide the ability to manipulate the match ups for the next round with the intention of adding some ability to prevent bad pairings for your team or force advantageous matches for your team. Some tables will also have non-standard terrain setup to make choice of table to play over another factor to consider.

Aims
– To be a different feel to a normal tournament where working with your teammates is more important than performance in a single game/individual
– To be willing to play fast and loose with balance to encourage a laid back atmosphere and more experimentation
– To shake up the meta lists by providing a different environment for them to play in and different pressures in list design
– To really play up the team aspect and encourage thinking on the more team vs team level with matchups, planning, counterpicks and so on
– Be something different and fun on the EpicUK calendar!

Needs
– Players bring ~3k points of their chosen faction (they can bring fewer or more of course!), they do not need an army list prewritten and they can (and probably MUST) change what they take to the table each round. What they take to the table on any given round must be legal though, so if they have minimums those must be taken, titans 3rds must be adhered to for the points total they bring to each game, etc.

– Enough terrain for the tables

– Over half of the tables setup with non-standard terrain to make the choice of table being played over an important factor to consider

Organisation

  • Overall a total of [team size] tables are laid out.
  • Overall for each round a total of [(team size+1)*2000]pts is available to each team
  • Each player scores tournament points for their game in the normal way based on the difference in score at the end of their games, the tournament points are then added to their teams total tournament points
  • The team with the greatest amount of tournament points at the end of round 3 is the winner
  • There will be prize support for
    • MVP Team 1 (as secretly voted for by all players)
    • MVP Team 2 (as secretly voted for by all players)
    • Best Painted (as secretly voted for by all players)
    • Best Conversions/Theme (as secretly voted for by all players)

E.g.: 7 players on a team means 7 tables and each team gets (7+1 = 8) * 2000pts = 16000pts to spread out onto those 7 tables. Yes this means that there is no easy ‘oh just stick 2000pts on each table’ option, some tables will have greater or fewer points and they may end up against larger or smaller forces. This is as intended.

Day Structure

Follows normal tournament scheduling
Registration 0900 ends 0930
Round 1 team planning 0930 ends 0945
Round 1 0945 ends 1200
Lunch 1200 ends 1300
Round 2 team planning 1300 ends 1315
Round 2 1315 ends 1530
Round 3 team planning 1530 ends 1545
Round 3 1545 ends 1800

Plus inevitable delays between.

Due to the team planning phases expect things to take longer, draws to be a bit more common, etc., they will eat into the ‘faffing around’ time.

Round Structure

  • Each team nominates a team leader who is the player that will tell the tournament organiser any decisions that their team has made (mostly to try and stop a half dozen people trying to tell the TO the same thing, please rely on your team leader!)
  • Before round 1 both team leaders roll 1d6, rerolling ties until there is a winner, whichever team rolls higher gets to choose if they want to pick ‘pick tables’ or ‘counterpick’ for round 1
    • For round 2 these roles are reversed with the team that ‘picked tables’ instead ‘counterpicking’
    • For round 3 the team with the fewest tournament points gets to decide if it want to ‘pick tables’ or ‘counterpick’ for round 3
  • Before each game round there is a 15 minute planing stage which follows the sequence detailed below
    1. The teams get to play any special cards they have remaining, resolving their effects immediately
    2. After both teams have passed on the chance to play any more cards the team that is ‘picking tables’ now picks one of their players (that has not already been assigned somewhere by the special cards) and one of the tables (that does not already have one of their players assigned to it by the special cards), that player will now play on that table for the next round.
    3. After each time the team that is ‘picking tables’ has assigned a player to a table the team that is ‘counterpicking’ selects one of their players and assigns them to the same table that the team ‘picking tables’ selected
    4. Repeat this process until all players are assigned to the tables
    5. After assigning players to the tables the teams convene again and assign each of their players some portion of the points available to their team (bearing in mind any points that have already been allocated by the special cards!)
    6. Now each player knows their table, their opponent and their points allocated, they write a list for the game ahead, tailoring it for their match up as best they can

Notes

– During the first round of the tournament each team is allocated [number of tables] special cards to use for the entire tournament, see the list below for details.
– Teams should write down which player has how many points for each round and hand those to the TO before the start of the next round. (No sneaky last minute switcheroos!)
– When chosing where to deploy your forces each round bear in mind the following rules:

  • No table may have fewer than 1000pts PER TEAM on it (i.e.: there must be a game played on each table, even if it’s not very big)
  • If both players have ~1500pts or fewer they can both agree to use the minigeddon rules variant for their table, both players must agree but it is recommended
  • No table may have more than 3000pts PER TEAM on it (i.e.: you can have bigger games, but not so big they can’t fit into the time limit)
  • Points allocated don’t have to be even between players on the same team, do not have to match the points given to their opponent and do not have to be nice round numbers either – if you want to assign someone 1995pts that’s completely fine, even if they end up facing someone who brought 1001pts.
  • Only one player per team is assigned to each table
  • The tables are laid out with terrain by the TO at the start of the event and are not changed
  • Players cannot change which faction they are playing between rounds, e.g.: if you chose to bring Steel Legion you’re playing Steel Legion for all three games, your army list however can vary wildly between games
  • Note that ‘playing to draw’ or ‘playing to defend points’ is perfectly legitimate and part of the overall team strategy for the event.
  • Playing slowly to run out the clock is unsportsmanly behaviour, do try to play at a reasonable speed
  • With the 15 minute planning window mistakes in army lists can be made and I ask that all participants are understanding of this. If, however, the mistakes are especially large (which is left vague at this time) then penalties such as being limited to at best a draw or tournament point deductions can be applied. Hopefully this will never come up!
  • Scoring will follow the standard EpicUK tournament points scoring

Link to EpicUK scoring

Special Cards
– Each card will tell you when you can play it and what it does. See the end section to see the cards.
– Any number of cards may be played during the Team Planning Stage so long as the timing conditions for the card are met

  • Each team will get 4 cards to use for the whole event, they cannot get more
  • Once a card is used hand it to the TO, you cannot use it again
  • Each team will get the same 4 cards

– 1x Advanced Warning
— Play during the team planning stage before teams start the pick/counterpick phase
— Your team must loudly and clearly pick one of the opposing teams players and one of the tables, that player must be assigned to the chosen table
— If the team has not yet decided any of those details then they have 30 seconds to decide (with team captain the deciding vote)
— If they fail to declare these details within 30 seconds then the team playing this card gets 30 seconds to make that decision for them!

– 1x Logistics Constrained
— Play during the team planning stage before teams start the pick/counterpick phase
— Your team must loudly and clearly pick a table, and then the number of points that MUST be allocated to that table by either side (bear in mind the min 1k max 3k rule still applies)

— When allocating points to players the player going to the table targeted by this cards must be given that many points to use, no more, no less.
— If, through some means, a table has already had a certain points total already applied to it then this card overrides that points total with the new total

– 1x Tip Off
— Play during the team planning stage before teams start the pick/counterpick phase
— Your team must loudly and clearly pick one of the opposing teams players and how many points they will be allocated for the next round

— When allocating points in the next phase this player must be assigned that many points
— If the team has not yet decided any of those details then they have 30 seconds to decide (with team captain the deciding vote)
— If they fail to declare these details within 30 seconds then the team playing this card gets 30 seconds to make that decision for them!

– 1x It’s a Trap!
— Play during the team planning stage after teams complete the pick/counterpick phase
— Your team picks either two of your own player OR two of the opposing team’s players, they switch tables (but keep the points they have been allocated, if any)
— Both players switch tables and play on the newly selected ones against their new opponents
— They may both select their own point totals as normal (if they have not been allocated any) and do not have to tell the other team how many they are bringing

Epic: Armageddon Factions 101 – Part 8 Xenos

Many thanks for the contributions of StevekCole, RichardL, Paul Townsend (link to Hobby Brush Blog), Joel Mart (link to their blog), Shawn Gleason and Philip Hertel (link to their Flickr)!

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This time we’re having a look through the remaining forces of the Xenos! Little coordinated theme between them so not a lot of shared characteristics to comment upon before we dive in.

Of note is that I do not personally own nor play any of these armies and have only experienced playing against them. So, I have sought out great (hive?) minds to guide me.

Link to Squat Codex
Link to Tyrannid Codex

Link to Tau Codex

Link to Necron Codex

Squats

This section has been provided by returning grand conqueror StevekCole! All shall kneel before him.

squat1

Back from the maw of the great devourer Squats are one of the newest lists and oldest epic armies dating back to the second incarnation of Space Marine. While they never quite worked as a 40k army even Jervis Johnson (who ultimately set the tyranids on them) was a fan of them at epic scale

On a basic level they play somewhere between Steel Legion and Ghaz Orks. As such they’re a lot of fun.

They have a broad selection of units and troop types which allows for a wide range of list types. You can go for a fast moving biker and infantry army, a gunline, a wall of war engines or something more balanced. Lacking any serious special rules (except tunnelers) they’re a straightforward army to learn to play with and against.

On a basic level, squats are bullies, they use their excellent shooting to either reduce the opponent’s activation count or soften up tough units before assaulting the shattered remains. It’s typical to find a squat army sitting about 1/3 of the way up the board with its infantry in cover and its war engines trying to dominate good movement corridors and sight lines. One of the key decisions, and this is primarily playstyle is whether you go for a smaller (eg 10) number of very solid activations, or a higher number (12-13) of less powerful units. Unlike with armies such as Biel Tann or space marines, both approaches are equally viable and more a matter of personal taste than necessity.

So what about the individual elements of the army

Core:

Any epic army is only as good as its core units and squats have a pretty solid core comprising of berzerkers and infantry. Both units give you decent infantry units, in reasonable numbers in rhinos with the bonus of inspiring and leader from the hearthguard. Personally, at a base formation level bezerkers win out over infantry due to their lower cost. However, I’m a big fan of beefing up infantry formations into 21 model (14 infantry, 7 rhinos) versions. Both units also have the option of taking warlords who are fantastic units, making the unit more durable, with double leader and commander. It’s usual to see 3-5 units of infantry/bezerkers at 3k. Get them forward, into cover, near objectives in mutually supporting positions. Don’t expect even a beefed up infantry co to stomp on elite assault troops. Instead they can be very effective either sitting defensively, using clipping assaults on blast markered targets, or just beating up on smaller weaker formations (I told you, squats are angry little bullies). You can deploy via tunnelers rather than rhinos. Doing this will occasionally come up trumps but more often than not you’ll be down an activation for 3 turns and then your troops will be standing there with their beards in their hands as you lose the turn 3 strategy rating.

squat2

Support:
Possibly the most contentious part of the squat army. Also, for me, the most misunderstood. Personally, there are two must have units here. Thunderfires are possibly the best AA unit in the game with 6 armoured vehicles (if you take the no brainer addition of rhinos), 60cm range and good mobility. Get them in or behind cover and keep your forces safe from fighters and get the all-important blast markers onto air assaulting units. One tip is to keep units within 30cm of each other meaning most fighters trying to ground attack them will be taking up to 6 shots when they come in. The other must have are gyrocopters. They’re the only squat unit with scout (so give you the all-important ability to screen your units), are fast, well armoured AVs with skimmer and battlecannons – what’s not to love? They can pump out a fearsome amount of shooting and their speed means they’re great at setting up crossfires. However, their key role is grabbing objectives on turn 3. As tempting as it is to commit them, almost the best plan is to stay deep and safe on your own side of the board plinking things with battlecannons before rushing out on turn 3 to seize objectives.

In the middle camp of units are bikes, overlords, and light artillery (traditionally known as thudd guns). Bikes are a decent fast moving assault unit with a smattering of MW attacks, however as LVs they’re fragile and basically compete for slots with berzerkers. They can be very helpful clearing out units who get behind your lines. Likewise, overlords (who some players are convinced are brilliant) are perfectly solid units who can do a great defensive job on overwatch against races like eldar and tau, provide a very handy extra AA shot at 45cm but lack fearless so die almost instantly in assaults and as support craft are giant floating bullseyes for shadowswords. They also compete against gyros for slots. They’re best kept pretty deep with infantry support and used to bully (surprise) smaller more fragile units or pick off transports. Lastly, thudd guns; garrison them off your blitz so that you can fire into your opponent’s deployment zone or use them to deal with scout screens (which squats struggle with) are a very solid choice.

The weaker end of the spectrum are; thunderers an iconic unit who struggle in comparison to core infantry and don’t provide the shooting of gyros or overlords. Robots are ok, and mole mortars look great (6bp with disrupt) but with a max range of 60cm your opponent can easily neutralise them through decent objective placement or early doors fighter/air assaults.

War Engines:

As Jervis helpfully points out the iconic Squat units are the war engines (Land Train, Colossus, Cyclops, Leviathan). All of these are excellent units bringing a minimum 4dc with reinforced armour, a bucketload of void shields and serious shooting (with 3bp 90cm macroweapon as a minimum load out). Each fulfils a slightly different role. The colossus is an ideal ranged support unit with access to one shot indirect fire barrage and a bank of battlecannons, the land train is the only customisable war engine and can be built into a ranged barrage machine or an assault unit, the leviathan is cheaper and has troop transport capacity, while the cyclops is the most powerful single war engine killing unit in the game. Typical strategies with these units are to run two war engines each about 45-60 cm from the left and right board edges and basically try to pincer anything coming into the middle of the board, or as with a gargant/warlord place your take and hold objectives within 30cm of each other and one of your opponent’s T&H objectives, sit a war engine in there (on your opponent’s board side) and watch your opponent struggle to shift it. The cyclops is slightly different as basically you want to chase down war engines or AVs (6 2+ 90cm rockets will make short work of the latter), you’re more likely to get pulled around trying to find decent fire lines so make sure that you always have an objective in mind for this to sit on. Alternatively, sit the thing in the middle of the board and create a 180cm no-go zone for enemy war engines. Oh, there’s also goliath mega cannons – when they’re good they’re very, very good, but when they’re bad they’re rotten.

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Strengths:
So, those are the units but what are the bearded shorties strengths I hear you cry? Well, some are obvious, and some are surprising!

War Engines: War engines are great. Great shooting, solid in assaults, very durable reasonably costed. You’ll rarely leave home without one or two.

AA: Your ground flak is fab, make sure you position it to create the maximum safety bubble for your troops.

Shooting
Squats have some of the best ranged fire in the game. Use it to soften up your opponents before they get close.

Speed:
Yes, speed. With the majority of their units in rhinos plus gyros and bikes squats are actually pretty nippy. Don’t be afraid to rhino rush enemy units or objectives later in turns. Do be careful to shield your rhinos from enemy fire early on as you don’t want to be demeched.

Infantry in terrain:
Like orks, guard, and tyranids squats can put decent sized blobs on infantry in cover and make them a pain to shift. Do so.

Weaknesses:

Aircraft:
So, while squats have great flak, they need it because they have no fighters, no bombers, and no air assaults. This means that if you step out of, or lose your flak bubble you’re in big trouble as there’s no back up CAP to save your units. Also, you lack t-bolts type units to finish off broken enemy units cowering behind cover.

Scout:
No cheap disposable scouts for squats. 250 point gyros or nothing. So you really struggle to speed bump your enemy, or screen out early terminator or air assaults. Gyros can do this, but you need them for many other things so it’s a really difficult call for a squat general. In addition, with the exception of thudd guns, you lack really good options for digging out well positioned enemy scout screens.

Assault units:
Squats are good in assaults but not great, and assaults are what wins games of epic. You certainly don’t have the equivalent hitting power of aspects, terminators, chaos marines with daemons or guard in gorgons, indeed you don’t even have the punch of ork boyz in landas. Also, you have very few ways of getting macro-weapon into your assaults. As such you need to be very careful about who you assault and when. Also, you will often bounce when you expect to win. That’s life for the squats.

Summary:
Squats are one of the most iconic epic races and one of the most fun to play. Easy to learn but difficult to master they can suit a number of potential playstyles and provide a number of really fun and funny in game moments for both you and your opponents. What are you waiting for, get painting those beards!

Tau

This section has been provided by the wily and cunning RichardL! Bow before his wisdom!

Tau are pretty much the only faction in the game that specialises in the ranged game rather than assault, or a mix of the two. They also tend to specialise within faction, and a unit will normally be strongly optimised for either anti-infantry or anti-tank operations.

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Their main strengths other than their ranged firepower is there mobility and their plentiful access to both lance and macro shooting, which gives them options for dealing with some of the tougher assault based lists. However, this is offset somewhat by their weaknesses, primarily that of being lackluster in assaults, especially if said assault heavy armies get to them, and being disproportionately affected by suppression compared to other armies who can still be mostly effective going into an assault, while Tau will find their shooting game drop off dramatically from a few casualties.

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This leaves Tau often having the upper hand early on, only to find everything collapsing dramatically on turns 3 and 4 if the enemy can get to grips with them. Generally speaking they are an army that really wants to close the game out by turn 3, as like Eldar they lack the resilience for a protracted engagement. They’re a fun army to play with, and offer some interesting tactical options not readily available to many other factions.

Necrons

This section has been provided by the sinister and arcane RichardL! May we all avoid the might of his armies.

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Necrons are on the other hand almost the polar opposite. The army is pretty much wholly assault orientated, and excels at alpha striking an opponent while minimising the potential for retaliation. The core of the army is built around their phalanx formations combined with portals (such as monoliths), which allow them to deep strike, and then hit and run in and out of portals. They are one of the harder armies to learn to play against, but do have a number of weaknesses – their mobility other than their portals is relatively low, and their inability to march compounds this issue. Generally this means that a sensible opponent either focuses on monoliths and other portals or completely ignores them, as this brings us on to the signature ability of the necrons, that of ‘phasing out’ when broken and then placed back in reserve. This allows vehicles to deep strike back onto the board after rallying, giving huge tactical options in dealing with an opponent’s movement.

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One of the other big advantages is that you can decide when you strike.

Personally I favour overwhelming a flank and attempting to break the back of an opposing army on the first turn of the game if at all possible, however another equally valid option is to give the opponent a free board on turn 1, and see if he breaks up his formations, making sections of the army easier to wholly destroy on later turns, especially if this opens up a vulnerability to take down their BTS. Necrons can be fun to play, although can be a bit ‘one dimensional’ at times given their laser like focus on engagements. They can also be frustrating to play against until you learn techniques to deal with them effectively.

Tyranids

The gribbly monsters from beyond the stars, come to devour us all. What’s not to love?

The Tyranids are an engagement heavy force with some limited firepower and vast swarms with surprising ground speed. They also have some unusual rules interactions due to their Synapse special rule and an abundance of numbers, scouts, infiltrators, teleporters and so on. Learning when and how to utilise these rules in concert with one another is key to your success. Conversely you will find that your shooting is short ranged and fairly lackluster (your only long ranged option is Dactylis firing indirectly out to 90cm, which requires them to remain still and sustain) usually out to 45cm or less. Your army has several units unable to take part in Firefights and even when they can they’re often not particularly good at them. You do however have sheer numbers on your side so despite generally average or poor FF values the sheer weight of dice will add up.

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The Synapse rule is fairly simple – For any formation with at least one synapse model you treat Termagaunts, Hormagaunts and Gargoyles as expendable fodder, their deaths do not cause blast markers, nor do they count as kills in Engagement resolution. Also you must have synapse to capture objectives. So while they may not have the scariest statlines they’re competent enough considering their deaths are meaningless to resolving your victories. This increases the importance of synapse units for your formations so make sure to place them sensibly to protect them.

The expendable nature of some of your troops – especially in the large formations that come with them – changes up how your engagement maths plays out. Because only the non-Termagant/Hormagaunt/Gargoyles count for kills in resolution you can set up engagements where the only reliable way your opponent can score any points for the resolution is through blast markers (oh yeah, it’s tougher for you to accumulate those!), outnumbering (oh yeah, you come in really big formations!) and Inspiring (drat, don’t have any of that yourself…) meaning if you can just throw enough attacks you can win any engagement through kills alone! Remember the maximum (normally) possible for an opponent to score in an Engagement, without kills, is 4 (outnumber more than 2-to-1 for 2 and have no blast markers while you have at least 1 for 2 more) so if you can at least kill 4 enemy you get a draw and a 5th kill gives you a winning edge on the roll off. Putting a single blast marker on the enemy formation strips away one resolution point, having a big formation size prevents the outnumber 2-to-1 for another point shaved off…you can pull off some risky engagements and come out on top if you can commit enough of your disposable bodies to the fight!

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Cover is also your friend. Every one of your units can go through difficult terrain (except things like razorwire) without penalty or risk of being harmed by it (including the armoured vehicles and war engines!) and in many cases this will grant a better save than what you’d normally have as well as the -1 to be hit. Try to dart from cover to cover as you approach.

Having a look at the stand out units. Your army construction requires Core units to unlock the other options and the big one is the Assault Swarm. This epitomizes the tyranid playstyle by having only two units that ‘matter’ and a cloud of disposable troops. The smaller version is cheap and efficient while the larger one is a serious threat requiring a real commitment of resources to deal with on your opponent’s part. It wants to engage, you can add upgrades giving it more combat power or some additional options such as ranged attacks and they are pretty good places to add some shooting attacks. If you do want to add shooting make sure you add more than one model with such an attack though. One blast marker would suppress the single shooter but to suppress the second the opponent would have to either kill one of the synapse creatures (which your model positioning should make very difficult) or they’d have to shoot the formation with a second different one just to place one more. This makes it tough to completely suppress the firepower of the formation and can be exploited to help your engagement maths – placing a single blast marker on the enemy is removing one of their few options to score points in combat resolution!

However there is a risk with adding too many of the the non-Term/Horm/Gargoyles to the formations. namely that Synapse only treats those units as expendable. Having a half dozen exocrines, carnifexes, etc. in there gives the opponent more ways of scoring points and blast markers back. I suggest that if you do decide to add these non-expendables you also consider adding some more of the expendables (or just take the bigger formation) to keep the ratio in your favour as much as possible. Oh. Don’t take Dactylis in these core formations, they’re better elsewhere, because you’ll want to be doubling or engaging with these core formations almost all the time you won’t be able to make much use of the indirect fire option and doubling really badly damages the odds on barrage weapons.

The other core formation is the Brute swarm that, in the basic 4-model version is questionably worth its points. Not slow but not that fast, can have some impressive volume of fire (with Exocrines) but suffering from range and and potential cover and movement penalties making it unreliable. The other two are engagement only troops and they also don’t benefit from the expendable nature of things by default. You need to add some termagaunts to be able to exploit that rule but that starts racking up the cost to get them to a large enough number to be worthwhile whilst also slowing down the formation further. I recommend taking this formation in the double strength size unless you’re just looking to bulk out activations (though…for 25pts more the assault swarm is probably better for that job too as it’s considerably tougher for your opponent to strip it away from you). Taken at double strength and it’s an actual fighting formation that does it’s job without needing more points spent on upgrades. It does have a very flexible set of upgrades available to it though including making a very big, expensive one with a Heirodules and a cloud of termagaunts. No matter what though this formation only has access to the Hive Tyrants as synapse so can have real trouble controlling objectives so it will need other formations to do that work for it.

The rest of the list is split between Rare and Support and these are competitive, giving you options and allowing you to counteract the enemy being able to exploit your limited playstyle provided by the Core formations alone. Stand outs here are the Spore Clusters and Genestealers. Spore Mine clusters are big skimmer scout formations for cheap, deploy forward and also kept back with the rest of your army (i.e.: more than one formation!) and they provide AA force and block enemy movements. Just pay close attention to getting intermingled, you don’t want that. Basically being a scout screen that also screens against enemy aircraft. The Genestealers conversely are there to capture objectives and wipe out the enemy scouts and smaller support formations. 40cm engage range for CC, first strike and multiple good attacks and they will beat most scouts and cheap garrisons removing the enemy units that are likely to try and stop you getting into favourable positions to engage from. They’re also all synapse so can actually control objectives! 6 is cheap for 150pts also helping pad activations while 225pts makes a horrendous engagement attacker, deployed in cover just off an objective as close to the half way point as you can – 18 4+ CC first strike attacks should allow that formation to utterly dominate the middle of the board whilst also being disposable enough to sacrifice to take attention away or delay the enemy.

The other sets of options you want to consider carefully, adding in new different ways to interfere with the enemy plan and their possible counters to you is likely more useful than taking stuff that just improves what you’re already good at. The Harassment Swarm with extra gargoyles is 300pts and should give you a good way to counter enemy flanking forces and prevent the enemy from easily capturing your objectives. Remember Synapse can control but anything can contest an controlling the objectives in your half is only worth it if you control all of them…so usually pretty difficult. The Trygon and Raveners are another new tool in your arsenal, allowing you to attack deep in the enemy half or strike when and where you need to with their Teleport. One Trygon and two raveners (i.e.: not upgraded) is probably enough to take out artillery and other small stuff or at the least put a dent in anything else to render it considerably less combat capable. The smaller size also keeps the points down on something likely to die and reduces the chance of rolling 1s when teleporting in which helps with both activating and not giving the enemy free combat resolution points. Finally is the Nest Swarm, it can’t move but also can’t garrison (because it has to have term/hormagaunts and they are speed 20cm) so is best used as a blitz guard where it’s pretty good at the job. This is also the place to put Dactylis or Biovores if you want them as they will be staying still and able to indirect fire effectively just not quite able to attack the enemy deployment zone from turn 1.

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With the Tyranids I recommend thinking about a more kill and denial focused strategy. Due to the unique way you can engage and still win despite casualties and the difficulty you have actually controlling objectives I suggest gunning for the enemy BTS and Blitz two try and score 2 points, maybe a third if you can get control of one other objective (with genestealers for example!). Trying to stop the enemy getting into your half is not a good idea as it means peeling forces away from your main attack and you have very few formations that are able to contribute by just hanging around nor the sheer mobility of eldar or the like to dash back and clear them away. Your limited ability to control objectives too means that controlling all the objectives in your half (short of some well placed Genestealers strung out with scout) is going to be very challenging and would also require leaving enough forces behind to break any enemy in your half. Instead kill and break the enemy around their blitz and BTS, if you have to sacrifice bodies to achieve this it’s worth it…after all the Hive Fleet will consume their biomatter again anyway…

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Hopefully there’s something helpful to you in here. Thanks again to all of the contributors from the community for their help with this article, I’d never have been able to put it together without you.

Happy gaming!