A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fun With 2nd ed Warhammer 40K Army Building!

Well, maybe it will be fun.  We might need to find that one out.

  You see whilst defragmenting my hard drive and doing the sorts of hygiene things one does when one gets up I had a small inspiration.

  I have the Dark Vengeance 40K 6th edition box full of dudes for Chaos Space Marines and Dark Angels.  In yesterday's 2nd ed 40K rules reading post I showed my new codex pick up which helpfully enough covers Dark Angels and Blood Angels.  (The latter of which I used the 4-5th BA lists as my COUNTS AS Pre Heresy World Eaters army I made on the cheap.  If the Horus Heresy rumors are true most of these models will soon be replaced by proper miniatures.  No more scavenging modern Marine Army for my Worldies unless I want them to!  MARK 2-5 ARMOR FOR EVERYONE!  YAAAAAY!!!)

  I might be able to build yet another legal and playable army for 2nd ed 40K meaning people could play without having to even build armies as I would be able to pull off in varying sizes and levels of proxy:

Blood Angels
Dark Angels
Chaos Space Marines
Imperial Guard

To be sure for some like Orks and Squats I am still collecting cheaply the minis I need, mostly from our lovely friends at Mantic but the others I can already do wonders with.

  But can it be?  Can the less than 100 USD price I paid for my Dark Vengeance box (mostly in fear of a replacement 7th ed set that didn't have Chaos Marines in it.  I can never have enough CSM!) build me a good solid 1500 point list?

  Let's find out.  Let us go deep.  Reality Balls deep.

(Remember it is only heresy if they touch!)

 You see normally in building a list it is good and handy to take out your models and build the list that way in 40K.  But mine have been on their sprue for over a year or so now.  Or close to it.  Whenever 7th ed popped up.  But for me to spend time cutting out and gluing these guys I want to see what I have and can do with them.

 Thankfully the boxed set had a reference card with all the units in the box and what they are supposed to be equipped with.  This will make it handy.  Doing a rough look over I have around 1200 points before wargear and equipment.

  While I will eventually cover army construction in my project for now we are just gonna wing it through skimming books and memories and maybe I will come back later and laugh at my mistakes or something.

 For a 2nd edition army your points work out as follows:

1: Up to half your points may be chosen from the Characters section.  You are generally required to have some of these guys to lead your Lightning League to victory over the ever changing form of Saw Boss.  (You are humming the song now aren't you?  You know you are.)

So for our purposes I can spend up to 750 points on Characters.  Doing so would make me an ass both in being a cheesebag and because it could make a properly played game a complete failure as my handful of models then die easily.

2:  At least 25% of your points must be spent in the Squads section.  Of course Terminators, Devastators, and Bike Squads are in here so most wankers just took the best units possible.  See the Space Wolf and Chaos codexes for the kind of nonsense people could pull off.  

So I have to drop at least 375 points into this section.  This is easy since I have three squads already and a standard Tactical Squad is 300 points stock.

3:  Up to half my points may be spent on Support which includes tanks and neat things like that plus Allies though Dark Angels won't play with Eldar or Squats like most chapters will.  However I can take other Marines, Imperial Guard, or Imperial Agents from the Black Codex.  With modern 40K releases this means I can have Adeptus Mechanicus guys in my army.  Or Arbites.  

(There is no way this vague wording could create havoc and cheese nope.  Leman Russ Demolishers for EVERYONE!!)

This set doesn't come with any Support class stuff but that's ok.  Worst comes to worst I have enough Arbites to fill the gap with their NOT JUDGE DREDD GUYS NOPE LALALA ways.  And I have an unbuilt 2nd edition Predator tank I could make use of and finally assemble.  But more on that bridge when we come to it.

But before we start picking out stuff Wargear must be mentioned.  While in GW's style it wasn't really properly explained there was a rarity list of your cards:

(No this has nothing to do with the most fashionable of unicorns.  Except for whining.  There will lots of whining.  So.  Much.  Whining.)

  In White Dwarf issue 195 or 196 depending on your location in the world the above list was published.  In the 40K and Dark Millennium boxes they had a number of wargear cards and in general you were intended to be limited by that number.  Of course this never stopped anyone.  Folks either just had multiple write downs, or made copies of them.  So the list above was an attempt at curtailing the madness.  A bad one.  I did a quick check of the rules and outside of Vehicle cards being unlimited on a vehicle but no vehicle having the exact same combination (a terribly worded thing.  Does this mean you could just give three tanks the same 2 cards, then two of our tanks just get another piece different from each other?) little else is listed.  Sadly I don't exactly know what the above rarity even means.

EDIT:  I found it!  It is.. it is dumb:

I think my RARE = 1 PER 1500 BLOCK is better honestly.

  However in the online Battle Bible 1.5.1 they have a more in depth listing of rarity and the requirements:

Uncommon can be taken as much as you want per army.

Rare can be taken up to their rarity number per side.

Unique  are ONE CARD PER GAME.  That means both sides combined can only have one of this card.

So for our friend the VORTEX GRENADE, it is listed as a 2 for rarity meaning you can have two of them.  

  Call this my first house rule: Rare items are ONE PER 1500 POINTS OF AN ARMY and then follow normal rarity rules above.  You can still run around with these things but now they can't be grabbed up like candy the day after Halloween.  So in a 1501-3000 game you can have 2 Vortexes or other Rarity cards of the 2+ variety, and in a 3001+ as many up to the rarity number.

Ok we can now begin to build like Bob!

Since we have to have at least one Character I think the Dark Angels Master is gonna be first and points depending I will come back to the Librarian.

He is 115 points stock but I want to make him as close to his model and the Dark Vengeance loadout as I can.  He can take a Power Sword from the Wargear section of his list for 6 points bringing him to 121.  Plus it gives him a Parry in close combat which is tres useful.  Now his DV entry says he has Krak Grenades so that is another 3 for 124.  He can rock three wargear cards and his DV entry says he has an Iron Halo and a Combi Weapon (Plasma) so let's check out our cards!

The Combi Weapon is 10 points and an Uncommon.  Cool.  134.  There is no Iron Halo listed so I give him a Rarity 3 ( but the house rule just says ONE so I shall deal with it like an adult!) Conversion Field which still gives him a 4+ invulnerable save before normal saves apply.  And it has an annoying blinding effect on models without eye protection. 144 points now.

I will come back to him later if I need to fill points as I can still take one more card and still have other common choices from the army list.  So right now Dark Angels Master Shinji Ikari of the Felcher Company is ready to go.  Dark Angels are as emo as they wanna be!


Now the meat and potatoes (or in my case fake ground beef and macaroni with buffalo spices and velveeta cheese meal) of our little army:  Squads!

I start with the Tactic(lol) Squad!  Squad Smith, commanded by a Character upgrade to the Sergeant into a Veteran for 5 points, allowing him 1 wargear card and to take common list wargear from the Assault section like normal Sargies do.

Since it doesn't say if this counts as Character points I am going to say it DOES because it seems fairer that way.  So Veteran Sergeant Robert Smith gets a Haywire Grenade, which is a 10 point Uncommon card.  And his Plasma Pistol is but a measly 5 extra points.  So 20 points more for Characters bringing my Character points to a current 164.

The normal squad cost is 300 points and they get their Plasma Gun and Heavy Plasma Gun weapons for another 48 points.  I can spend 30 to give the entire squad Krak Grenades like they are supposed to come with but with three Plasma weapons and a Haywire grenade they might not need it and we might not have the points to waste on marginally useful anti tank weapon.

So at the moment I have 348 Squad, 164 Character.  512 total.

We have Terminator models so let us add in a Deathwing Squad.  Squad Sad, commanded by Sergeant Strong Sad, an enigmatic leader to be sure!  Sgt Sad can swap his Power Fist for a Power Sword for free so we do so.  Another one has a Chain Fist for 2 points, and more more carries the Assault Cannon for 41 points bringing this unit to 383 points.

Current points: 731 Squad, 164 Character, 895 total.

Now we have three Ravenwing Bikers for 55 a pop.  So 165 before we give them some toys.  Sergeant Travolta is well known for being the fanatic on the down low but he just gets a Chainsword from the common list for 2 points.  Another biker gets a Plasma Gun for 8, and they all get Krak Grenades for 3 each. 184 for the squad.

Current points: 915 Squad, 164 Character, 1079 total.

Hmm.  I have 421 points to play with still and one model left.  While I COULD jam it all in with expensive wargear as the maximum level Librarian is 210 points and can fit 4!! Wargear cards and I have space for another still on Master Shinji and possibly giving the Tactical Squad Krak Grenades for 30 I am not going to do that outside of seeing how far this one set can go.

Soo.. 210 for the maximum level Librarian.  3 points for Krak Grenades. His Force Sword is a given for 10 more, and 45 points extra hooks him up with a Psychic Hood and Displacer Field for 268 points. (Force Sword is Uncommon, the Hood and Field are both Rare 2s. )

If we stop there I have 153 points left.  If I wanted to be a tool or just load up, Virus and Vortex Grenades are 50 each which could burn a cool hundo, or 25 points for Combat Drugs or Rad Grenades would fill out the list just about.  Figure the Tactical Squad Krak Gs for 30 brings us to 123 left, 100 for a Virus and Vortex, and the remaining 23 points could be reduced to 14 for Blind Grenades for the Ravenwing, and down further to 6 if we turn our Chainsword Sarges into Power Sword.  Then just give Shinji Melta Bombs for 5.  1499 points.

But this would be kind of stupid though it does show you CAN make a full legal 2nd edition army without buying anything else out of the Dark Vengeance box.

However I DO have a 2nd edition metal and plastic Predator just sitting there unbuilt, judging me like Inspecta Deck so what can I do with it?

I got this dirty little minx for free.  Yeah the GOOD STUFF.  Original Rhino sprue with upgrades sprue and metal sponsons and turret.  You know what daddy likes.  Baby wants to purge!

This kit is Autocannon only for the turret, but I have a couple sponson and wargear options.  Core point is 90 with just the Autocannon and no sponson guns.  However I HAVE to spend 33 points on a Techmarine without anything special meaning I have dropped 123 points to have a tank with an Autocannon and can't afford any sponson weapons or many toys for either one.

But, remember how I said 210 is the points for a maximum level Librarian?

Its only 152 points for an Epistolary Librarian which is a Level 3 Psyker and can still fit his 3 wargear cards!  So 210 points as opposed to 268 gives me 58 more points!

So Epistolary Chester Linkin is born! 1289 points spent, 211 left!

Let us leave our Techmarine at his stock 33 until we see what our Predator gets.

90 again, is the stock Predator.  It would cost me 90 points for Lascannon Sponsons which puts me 2 points over and M O O N!  THAT SPELLS UNCOOL!  I could drop Chester to a Level 2 and get a good 70 points back since he only gets 2 cards but no.  However I can take away VSgt Smith's Haywire Grenade and get 10 points back giving me my 180 point Predator and I still have 8 points for some low end Wargear for Smith, our Techmarine, or the tank.

The 8 points would get us merely a 5 point Searchlight for the tank but it is basically going to stay back since I can't manage any armor upgrades to it.  But 5 points will get me a Bionic Eye for Smith which could be handy, and the last 3 can give a Bionic Leg to our Techmarine Droopy.  (I could drop the biker krak grenades but they might need them.)

I mean Bionics can easily hide behind armor or just be touch of paint or putty.

But let's run it all down to make sure my math is correct!


Dark Angels Master Shinji Ikari (115):  Power Sword (6), Krak Grenades (3) Wargear Cards: Conversion Field (10) Combi Weapon Plasma (10)  144 points.

Epistolary Librarian Chester Linkin (152): Krak Grenades (3) Wargear Cards: Force Sword (10), Psychic Hood (25), Displacer Field (20)  210 points.

Techmarine Droopy (33): Wargear Cards: Bionic Leg (3)  36 points.

Veteran Sergeant Robert Smith (+5)  Plasma Pistol (5) Wargear Cards: Bionic Eye (5) 15 points.

Character Points: 405


Tactical Squad Smith:  (300) 1 w/ Plasma Gun (8)  1 w/ Heavy Plasma Gun (40) Veteran Sgt Upgrade (see above) 348 points.

Deathwing Squad Sad:  (340) Sergeant w/Power Sword (free), 1 w/ Chain Fist upgrade (2), 1 w/ Assault Cannon (41) 383 points.

Ravenwing Bike Squad Travolta: (3x55 = 165)  Sgt w/ Chainsword (2), 1 w/ Plasma Gun (8) Krak Grenades (3x3 = 9) 184 points.

Squad Points: 915


Predator Bauhaus: (90) Lascannon Sponsons (45x2 = 90) 180 points.

Support Points: 180

Total Points:  1500

Total Models in army: 22

Total Wargear Cards: 7

And that is it!  In active play I would probably write down all the stats and applicable weapons on a sheet and maybe scan and copy the wargear onto the back of the sheet for quick reference.  It is a reasonable model count and can do a little of everything.  Every model counts and their number are low so strategy and cunning are needed especially if up against a horde army like Orks or Imperial Guard or Tyranids.  These guys wouldn't take forever to paint and assemble.  All I need is just a single Techmarine model off ebay!

  Update:  The madness has BEGUN:

It is me.  I am the April Fool.

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