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Posts Tagged ‘40K’

Ahhh, there’s nothing quite like the first time you play with a new army. I think I’m right in saying that I remember my debut outing with nearly all the dozen or so forces I’ve put together over the last 12 years. Some of them were happier than others; today I will recall with particular fondness, mainly because I didn’t really expect to play.

 

 

It’s been a quiet week so I was hoping to blitz my way through painting a respectably-sized Blood Angels strike force. Had I just stuck to a few characters and some basic marines (everything red but the helmets – and even most of those are red) I think I could easily have managed it. However I decided to break things up by having a go at the Sanguinary Guard (models I was really looking forward to painting) and they turned out to be ridiculously detailed and demanding. I arrived at the store expecting only to do a little twiddly painting and talk about how I shaded the angel wings.

However, a little mental arithmetic told me that if I included my unfinished Tactical Marines in my force, the grand total came very close to 1000 points. (Pen-and-paper arithmetic’s just told me that a) the army came to 945 points and b) was technically illegal: one infernus pistol too many, given the squad size. Oops.) With this in mind I arranged a quick game against some passing Space Wolves.

We ended up playing a Capture and Control mission with the two objectives in opposite table corners. I set up first and combat squadded my Tactical Marines: one element sat on my objective, the other deployed in cover opposite the Wolves’ one. The Death Company deployed very aggressively with a view to assaulting the enemy objective. My commander, his Assault Squad, and the Sanguinary Guard (yes, in a 1000 point game. Sorry) stayed in reserve. The Space Wolves popped one Grey Hunters pack down on their objective, another on a building opposite mine (looking back this was a fairly symmetrical battleline, mostly), and infiltrated some Wolf Scouts deep in my own territory threatening the objective from the start. A big Blood Claws squad went into reserve.

I kept the initiative and just moved the Death Company forward, not quite managing to run them into assault range this turn. My shooting should have been desultory but the Space Wolves only passed one armour save in the first two turns and the squad on the building suffered from the two TC squads’ bolter fire (the plasma guns were just out of range all game and the missile launcher missed every shot it took). The Space Wolves shot at the Death Company with everything in range and – ho ho – only managed to kill two. The Scouts forgot to do anything, which was agreeable.

On turn two the Sanguinary Guard dropped in to support the Death Company and the Commander and his squad did the same to challenge the Scouts. In retrospect this was a silly mistake as I think I could’ve moved them on normally and then got to assault as well as shoot with them. Anyway the three-strong Death Company assaulted the six or seven Wolves guarding their objective and caused slightly ridiculous amounts of damage, the combat concluding with a lone Death Company trooper grappling with a Space Wolf with a power fist.

The Space Wolf reserves outflanked and came on close to the objective in my own corner, while the unit on the building started redeploying (it was clear we were both slightly out of range of each other’s tactical units and my opponent cracked first). The ongoing combat saw both warriors magnificently cock up their attacks and it ground on. The Wolf Scouts assaulted the Commander and his Assault Squad, killed a couple, lost the combat anyway and fled off the table.

Back on my turn, one of my own Tactical squads started heading for the enemy objective. I commented at this point that we seemed to be heading for a draw… The Commander and Squad assaulted the Blood Claws and got horribly mauled with only the Commander left standing. On the other hand the Death Company trooper finally managed to off his partner and consolidated towards the Wolves who’d just climbed down off the building, Sanguinary Guard close behind.

The Blood Claws dragged down the Commander and headed for the objective, though they needed to kill the Tactical Squad guarding it to hold it. The surviving Grey Hunters gunned down a Sanguinary Guard before being slaughtered by the raving vampiric lunatic who continued to show just why the Death Company are so called, who took down three – four elite Sanguinary Guards just managed to kill the remaining two between them. Hmm.

I ran my tactical squad up to the enemy objective while everything else headed back towards my own corner. The Blood Claws assaulted the Tactical Squad on guard and wiped them out on the charge, and the dice came up for the end of the game. I held the Space Wolf objective… but while the Space Wolf youngbloods were sitting on the Blood Angel objective, the Sanguinary Guard were (by half an inch) close enough to contest it. V for victory (and a number of other words best not said around Blood Angels…)!

Hmm, well, a fun and close game, and the obvious modifications the list is crying out for are more heavy weapons and rhinos. Luckily both are on the way. To make room for these I think we will not be seeing the Sanguinary Guard again at this game size; gorgeous though the models are they simply didn’t pay for themselves on this occasion. I would also very much like to stick a few more Death Company in the list – their spectacular performance this game may have been a fluke, but I’m by no means convinced of this.

First priority, though, is to stick backpacks and guns on all the Tactical Marines. Killing Space Wolves with long-range shots from guys who were visibly totally unarmed was slightly embarrassing, but I think I’ll get over it.

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Well, what a tremendous game we enjoyed this week, even if it was the type after which one requires a degree of therapy. Let me achieve some kind of catharsis by sharing it with you… Points value was 1500 again, my opponent was playing Tau in the conventional modern style (minimum Fire Warriors, multiple Battlesuit units) and the mission that came up was Mobile Defence.
 

 

 

I gambled on getting the first turn (something which would shape the entire battle) and set up aggressively near the centre right with Guardians, Wraithlord, Farseer and Banshees. Closer to my own edge some Scorpions and Dark Reapers occupied a ruined building overlooking an objective. Waaay off to the left Pathfinders deployed in some rocks close to another objective, War Walkers not far off. The entire Tau firebase deployed opposite the bulk of my own army. The first shooting phase would prove key.

And the Tau got the first chance to shoot. This seemed devastating at the time as the Guardians were wiped out entirely, and the Wraithlord and Farseer were both reduced to a single wound. For a while all I did was firefight, throwing the Banshees into the Kroot skirmish line the Tau were hiding behind and pulling the Scorpions deeper into cover. The Kroot were slaughtered but this left the Banshees totally exposed to the Tau plasma rifles and missile pods the next turn.

The Tau killed the Banshees and Wraithlord and then concentrated on trying to mop up the Scorpions and Reapers, diverting a few units off to the left to deal with the War Walkers and Pathfinders. The War Walkers did particularly well in devastating a Stealthsuit unit, but once out in the open could not hope to withstand the Tau railgun fire. (The surviving Stealthsuit mowed down the Farseer – whose singing spear bounced off this unusually resilient individual – before jetting off towards the Pathfinders.)

My keenly tuned tactical brain (yes, I know, this is intended ironically) had recovered from seeing my entire front line massacred and I realised this game was a lot closer than it looked: I almost certainly couldn’t win, but a draw looked very achievable. The Pathfinders holding the objective on the left had a 2+ cover save and the Tau would really struggle to kill them. The Tau had only a single scoring unit left as well, so they would have to deny the Pathfinders control of the objective to get a 1-0 win on objectives.

Bearing this in mind, rather than ramming the Wave Serpent full of Wraithguard into the heart of the Tau army when it arrived, I brought it on in cover behind the Pathfinders. A Tau Devilfish was already contesting their objective with Battlesuits moving up behind it.

For the next few turns the game was poised on a knife-edge – would I be able to keep the Tau away from the Pathfinders’ objective? Despite the brightlances and shuriken cannon on the vehicle, and the Wraithcannon of the constructs, it proved infuriatingly difficult to destroy, and I couldn’t eliminate it until turn six – the dice had already gone my way by extending the game once. Long-range railgun fire had already knocked both weapons off the Serpent and when the Wraithcannon eventually blew the Devilfish to pieces I was very relieved – the only downside was that the explosion cut down the Warlock overseeing the Wraithguard unit.

We entered the final turn with only the Tau Commander and his bodyguard capable of contesting the objective and winning the Tau the game. Their plasma rifles and missile pods battered at the Pathfinders but their camo protected them again. They were just out of assault range. We were left with only my turn to go in what had to be the final turn of the game.

Whether I drew or lost the game now depended on whether I could kill or otherwise roust away from the objective the enemy Commander and his bodyguard. I had the Pathfinders, four Wraithguard and the weaponless Serpent to do it with. I started by tank shocking with the Wave Serpent: the bodyguard, somewhat surprisingly, attempted a death-or-glory attack but was crushed by the tank’s leading edge, and the Commander fell back a little, now alone and exposed to the Wraithguard and their cannon. I made to roll for their advance towards him when my opponent looked at the unit and said:

‘Wraithsight…?’

With the Warlock dead the constructs were now subject to this rule. Briskly I nodded and rolled the dice, and it was with what seemed at the time like genuine physical pain that I saw it land with the 1 uppermost. The Wraithguard froze into immobility leaving me with no realistic chance of shifting the Tau Commander. Possibly I should have gone for broke and assaulted him with the Pathfinders, but I was so stunned at the Wraithguard locking up on me that I wasn’t thinking straight. He rode out their volley of longrifle fire and the game ended in a win to the Tau, but of the closest possible kind.

Well, given I was expecting to be tabled after the absolute hammering I took on turn one, hanging in there for such a close result is something, I suppose. I’m pleased with my ability to focus on mission objectives rather than simply generating slaughter, which was the key to how this game turned out (one I suspect I’ll remember for a long time).

My low opinion of Eldar Guardians has not changed, though this is possibly unfair given that literally all they did in this game was deploy. Certainly Pathfinders seem like a unit with much more going for them, even though they’re three times as expensive – in decent cover they’re normally almost impossible to shift except in an assault. Then again they’re not very mobile and almost useless against even lightly armoured vehicles. Luckily I have plenty lurking in the bottom of my case waiting to be painted.

The other thing that would really have helped this game (other than better dice) would have been an increased ability to take the fight to the Tau at close quarters. Need to get those Harlequins and the Falcon finished. That said, the Tau Battlesuits were spectacular and I had nothing to counter them, either – so there I basically, long-range anti-tank firepower. (Even decent long-range anti-infantry weapons to deal with his Fire Warriors and Pathfinders). I suspect I’m thinking about a Night Spinner, as there’s nothing in the Eldar list that can outrange a Hammerhead or Broadside, and at least the Spinner could shoot without being a target.

Anyway, a great game that I can’t feel too raw about, given how close it went and the great spirit in which it was played. Plenty of ideas of what the army needs doing to it, as well. In many ways I think I’d rather scrape through a close game like this than effortlessly overpower someone… some of the time, anyway.

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Hum, well, I did get a game of 40K in this week, but as usual the table-shortage at GW Oxford meant that rather than getting a table for a ‘proper’ game we ended playing a doubles game. In hindsight this was possibly a good thing as the guy I’d agreed to play turned out to be rabidly competitive (too competitive for my tastes, to be perfectly honest; rather than playing a game it felt like we were actually having a fight). An odd combination of forces and scenario meant that a mission called Strategic Withdrawal resulted in the ‘withdrawers’ (Tau with Ork allies) actually mounting a highly aggressive and not especially strategic assault on the two Space Marine armies and virtually booting us off the table. The high point for me came before the game proper even started when my Space Wolf ally and I decided to refight the traditional ritual duel which occurs between these two forces whenever they fight together. The Grand Master, against my hopes and the dice, managed to hack the head off Canis Wolfborn and his doggy chum. Alas this was pretty much the last time anything went my way for the rest of the evening. I was tabled by the end of turn three and departed while the last Space Wolves were going down fighting. ‘Where the hell are you going?!?’ shouted my ally. ‘Hold the fort till I get back,’ I riposted wittily and left for Burger King.

 

 

So I’m not going to bother with a batrep on the whole sorry proceeding. (I’m half-inclined to volunteer to help set up a proper local games club for central Oxford, just to guarantee being able to get a decent game every week.) In its place I will share the thoughts that are slowly accumulating in my head on the subject of playing with a Deathwing army.

A few weeks ago I wrote on the topics of winning ugly and losing pretty. An all-terminator army, on paper, looks like a winner in terms of both theme and gameplay, especially given the Deathwing’s first-turn teleportation special rule – the uber-elite of the Imperium materialising on the battlefield en masse, gunning down the opposition in droves with storm bolters and assault cannons before smashing them in an assault with power fists, power swords, thunder hammers and lightning claws.

Well, ha, is all I can say to that. Let us look at this ideal again bit by bit:

Materialising on the battlefield:

As I believe I’ve said before, you really don’t want to be teleporting your entire army onto the table, or even a sizable chunk of it. The moment you start putting stuff into reserve you’re at the mercy of the dice, which needless to say can be cruel masters.

Teleporting in on top of the enemy mob-handed sounds brilliant, but you’ll never be guaranteed to get more than half your army doing that on the same turn. What’s more likely to happen is that you’ll end up getting one squad a turn. If you deep strike in close to the enemy you’ll kill a few, but then the inevitable massed counterfire and assault will devastate or destroy the unit. And if you just deep strike into your own deployment zone, you may as well just have deployed there normally.

This is before we even get to the issue of deep strike mishaps. Needless to say you can’t afford these in an army this points-intensive. Which leads us on to:

En Masse:

Throughout this I’m talking in terms of a pure Deathwing army, where all the models are attached to either the Deathwing or the First Company of an Unforgiven Chapter. Basically, this means characters in terminator armour, Deathwing squads, venerable dreadnoughts and Land Raiders, none of which are especially cheap. With the Deathwing, et al., we are in the realms of the super-elite army.

Standard game size these days seems to be about 1750 points, which means that once you’ve taken the Grand Master you’re left with 1620 points. Just taking bare Deathwing terminators you’re only going to get 36 models, with about 100 points left over.

But you’re not going to take bare Deathwing squads. Once you’ve sprinkled a few assault cannon, missile launchers and chainfists across them, you’re looking at only six squads (with enough points left over for a regular dreadnought or some scouts – you’re basically obliged to go non-purist if you want to spend them all).

I am usually outnumbered at least two-to-one. On one occasion, against a Tyranid horde army, I was outnumbered five-to-one (the game didn’t go that badly, by the way). Provided the save dice stay friendly this isn’t necessarily a problem as the army can soak up vast amounts of ‘regular’ firepower (plasma guns, lascannon, railguns, and the like are a different kettle of dead terminators, of course). The problem comes when it’s time to shoot back.

Gunning Down The Opposition in Droves:

The humble storm bolter is an above-average weapon compared to the regular bolter, lasgun, pulse rifle, etc. You’re never going to get more than eight shots from a squad, though, because you’re going to give one guy a heavy weapon. Which one should this be?

Well, heavy flamers are all very well but you’re unlikely to get more than one shot off before you’re in combat. The assault cannon is an excellent gun even in its current powered-down form, but it isn’t a reliable anti-tank gun and has a rather short range. My own army was built in 2007 when assault cannons ruled the world and I don’t have any cyclones in the force. I am aware this may be a major flaw in my force as the cyclone missile launcher is the only long-range anti-tank weapon available to Deathwing squads.

Anti-tank duty in my army usually falls to a 3rd company Dreadnought on attachment to the 1st Company, packing a lascannon. Recently in 1750-point games I’ve been using a Land Raider Crusader, which can be effective at short ranges. In really small games Scouts with a missile launcher (try to) do the job. None of these are especially effective, as they automatically become prime enemy targets. Armies with more than two or three heavy vehicles in it usually give me serious problems (even more than other armies do).

And so the question must be: how do you deal with enemy tanks with a ‘pure’ Deathwing army? The obvious candidate is a regular Land Raider, carrying two twin-linked lascannons. This is another high-value model, but the fact it can sit back and shoot at long range makes it a little more survivable than a Crusader, although railguns and lascannons remain a bit of an issue. The fact remains that one big tank costs the same as a full Deathwing squad so even taking only two (perhaps a regular LR and a Crusader) in a 1750-point army effectively limits you to fielding only 20 infantry models. I’m not sure this is enough to be viable.

The safest way to avoid getting shot at by enemy tanks is, of course, to get into combat before they can do so. This, inevitably, is not without its own problems.

Smashing Them In An Assault:

First of all, how do you get into assault? It seems to me you have three options – teleporting in, footslogging up to them, or being delivered by a Land Raider. Well, guess what: I’m going to say ‘hmmm’.

Okay, teleporting in: we’ve talked about this. You teleport in on the first turn with half your Deathwing, and as a result are tremendously outnumbered. In a regular game you can’t assault on that same turn, so you have to weather a turn of enemy fire and possibly receive an assault yourself – it makes sense for him to do this as it will rob you of your charge bonus. Even if your opponent doesn’t fancy that, he can use this turn to attempt to redeploy away from at least some of your army and avoid your own assault. Unless you risk teleporting in extremely close to him (I can’t believe you would, but it is possible), this may not be particularly difficult. Teleporting in piecemeal in subsequent turns is an even worse idea.

Footslogging across the table to your opponent isn’t much better, inasmuch as you’ll be getting shot at all the way. The only upside is that you can do this with your entire army rather than just half of it. Your opponent will probably have transports and fast assault troops and so combat will happen on his terms, when he chooses it.

Armoured assault out of a Land Raider Crusader seems like the best bet, giving the Deathwing some much needed mobility, but you need to get there fast as everything capable of cracking it open will be shooting at it. Two Land Raiders, each loaded with a squad, supported by two other squads on foot, sounds like the basis of a viable army-build, though it’s not one I’ve ever attempted to use.

(There is of course a fourth option, which is to wait for your opponent to assault you. He almost certainly will – most armies contain something capable of dealing with terminators in close combat.)

Once you’re in combat, it all boils down to what you’ve tooled your terminators up with. Basic choices are powerfists, chainfists, thunder hammers and lightning claws (sergeants may retain their power sword). Before talking about these, some general thoughts on the Deathwing in combat:

They need to get there, really, as soon as they can – it fits the background, for one thing, and gets you out of the gunsights of railgun operators and the like, for another. Even given the presence of the occasional power sword and power fist, the majority of close-combat opponents the Deathwing face will be wounding them on a 4+ at best and not negating their 2+ save. However, you need to be sure of delivering some damage in return…

I’ve been playing against Orks a lot recently and possibly have a bit of a neurosis about seeing my troops get worn down by bucketloads of attacks before they can swing their remarkably cumbersome powerfists in response.

Powerfists are effectively overkill against regular infantry opposition, chainfists even more so (they’re effectively the same, chainfists are just slightly more expensive), but they have the advantage of letting the Deathwing keep their storm bolters. Thunder hammers are once again the same, but storm shields do make the Deathwing much more resilient against lascannons and the like. Against characters and vehicles they get a few extra whistles and bells, but set against this they lose the storm bolters.

Lightning claws break the mould, somewhat, in that they allow the Deathwing to strike at their full Initiative of 4, with 3 basic attacks (4 on the charge), re-rolling wounds and thus potentially generating a lot of wounds. Once again you lose your storm bolter, of course. You get to keep it with a power sword, of course, but you lose the reroll and the extra attack.

So which should I take? I’m starting to think lightning claws are the way to go. The storm bolters don’t quite pay the rent, and, as I say, combat is where the Deathwing want to be. A chainfist is still probably mandatory as dreadnought insurance, on the heavy weapons trooper. Second choice would be a thunder hammer just to get the 3+ invulnerable save.

And so to conclude:

It seems to me that the Deathwing is an utterly terrifying, completely merciless and unforgiving thing to contend with. It may even be capable of giving your opponent a few scares in the right circumstances, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. You need to know what everything’s there to do and tool it up accordingly.

Given all the preceding ramble, here’s the 1750 point list that springs to mind:

HQ:

Grand Master (130 points)

Interrogator-Chaplain in terminator armour with combi-flamer (150)

Troops:

Deathwing Squad – 4 x lightning claws, 1x heavy flamer & chainfist, Deathwing company banner (255)

Deathwing Squad – 4 x lightning claws, 1 x heavy flamer & chainfist (225)

Deathwing Squad – 4 x thunder hammers and storm shields, 1 x thunder hammer, storm shield and cyclone missile launcher (235)

Deathwing Squad – 4 x thunder hammers and storm shields, 1 x thunder hammer, storm shield and cyclone missile launcher (235)

Heavy Support:

Land Raider Crusader (250)

Land Raider Crusader (250)

Total: 1730.

The thinking here is that the lightning claw squads are in the Crusaders, barrel forward into the opposition (smoke popping on the way) and jump out. Megadeath overkill assault duty goes to the squad with the Deathwing banner, which is accompanied by the two characters. On the charge this squad generates 10 I5 S4 attacks, 20 I4 S4 attacks rerolling wounds, and 4 I1 S8 attacks, all of them ignoring armour saves and rerolling to hit. I hope that will put a dent in anything that’s not a vehicle or T8+.

The other lightning claw squad goes in the other Crusader and is obviously rather less hitty but still quite dangerous. The two thunder hammer and cyclone squads footslog forward in support trying to take out things like dreadnoughts and super-tough monstrous creatures and draw fire away from the Crusaders (the storm shields should make them even harder to thin down).

(Alternatively the Interrogator-Chaplain could be swapped out for a Venerable Dreadnought with lascannon, combat weapon and heavy flamer, which would give me another anti-tank shot and another model to draw fire away from the Crusaders. The squad with the Grand Master and the standard-bearer probably doesn’t need the re-rolls to hit, unless they’re ploughing into a full-size Ork mob or the like…)

The Real Trouble with the Deathwing is

…this isn’t the army I own. To be able to field this force I’d have to buy the Chaplain and a second Crusader (no big deal), two new Terminator boxes for the cyclones and heavy flamers, and three new Assault Terminator boxes to get all the hammers and lightning claws. That’d effectively mean buying the army all over again, and not using the majority of the models I currently own.

I’m a little reluctant to do this. (Especially as I suspect even this list is a one-trick pony with minimal tactical flexibility, and not very easy to use effectively.)

All things considered I think I’d rather battle on with the guys I currently have and, in terms of an army which is both thematically and tactically pretty, either try to rehabilitate my Eldar or look somewhere else entirely. Hey ho. At least this was fun as a thought experiment.

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The Fine Art of Winning Pretty

 

I was walking down the street today when I happened to pass a guy who I don’t know that well, but who once gave me a fairly spectacular drubbing at a game called 40K (the kind of game where you want to apologise to your opponent afterwards for wasting their time). It occurred to me, as it often does, that for someone who’s been playing these games on-and-off since the late 1980s my win-loss record is not that great. And as usual I consoled myself with the thought that my armies, while far from all-conquering, are aesthetically pleasing selections of miniatures.

I don’t mean that I’m the world’s greatest painter when it comes to individual figures, but I’m fairly confident in my ability to paint what looks like a good army when they’re gathered en masse. And beyond this, I’m also happy that they are thematically coherent: I used to get a bit peeved when confronted with Space Marine armies led by Captains with jump packs and Chaplains on bikes, who would operate unsupported and terrorise my own force. I could never bring myself to take that kind of terror unit, simply because I couldn’t imagine it happening in the fictional universe of the game.

There you go, I referred to it as a game: an exercise frequently concluding with a winner and a loser. Given that it is a game, surely I should just abandon my ridiculous scruples about staying in-character for my army, and making aesthetic choices of units, and just go all-out for the win? Well, maybe, but I just can’t bring myself to do that. It would be winning ugly. Losing a lot is one of the consequences when you write your lists for beauty rather than victory.

Musing on all this I was reminded of some of the comments my writing tutor has made about the problems often experienced by people when knocking out their first couple of novel-length stories: rather than writing a story about the problems and motivations of actual characters, they try to write about grand themes or ideas with the result that the whole thing falls a bit flat. To be even remotely successful as a writer of this kind of story, you have to get that base – a strong, involving story – covered. And people are, just on that basis: look at Jeffrey Archer and Freddie Forsyth. Not great prose stylists, no deep themes or insights, just rather basic craft. They’re winning ugly, but at least they’re winning.

You can win pretty as a writer, of course – it’s entirely possible to incorporate big themes and subtleties and startling ideas into a novel, but only as supplements to the basic story. Which leads me to wonder whether it’s also possible to win pretty when writing an army list for a wargame.

I would like to think you can. I am somewhat encouraged by the fact that my most successful tournament list was what I’d call a fairly pretty one. At the time the fashion amongst competitive players of WFB (the game in question) was for armies composed entirely of heavy cavalry, fast cavalry and skirmishers. You only saw infantry blocks in certain specialised army lists. I always felt slightly uncomfortable leaving all my footsloggers at home, but happened upon the old Beastman list. From this I was able to contrive an army containing large numbers of skirmishers, attack dogs, centaur cavalry and fast monsters, which ended up competitive while remaining characterful. All right, I still stuck a block of heavy infantry in there, but I already had the models at home.

The result got me my only ever placing in the top half of a UK results table, and I was paid the ultimate compliment of having my army design ripped off by one of my regular opponents (although he chickened out of painting the army shocking pink and metallic turquoise, as I had). I think the lesson here is that writing an army list is not that dissimilar to writing a novel – you can be as high-minded or thematically-focussed as you like, but you won’t meet with any success deserving of the name. Get the basics down – landing the reader, winning the game – and then start worrying about the additional whistles and bells.

I have recently come to the conclusion I need to completely rethink my approach to writing long-form fiction. I now have to accept that my approach to writing army lists is similarly in need of root-and-branch reappraisal. All I can say, having come to this conclusion, is one thing: buggeration, more work?!?

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