I walk again, a god among mere mortals
- Avatar of Khaine

Monday 21 July 2014

The Witchblade is Back!

Hail fellow Autarch's!

Wow the last post was December last year, sorry about that folks. Well it's been a busy last 8 months or so and the hobby really took a back foot in my life but i'm glad to say i'm back into it now. It's been quite a stressful time lately but now I have my new house and can finally sit down and start painting and maybe take a deep breath :)

Firstly, whats the current state of my Saim Hann army? Well I have a long list of models to paint and I got started on this last weekend. I have 35 Guardians on my painting table at the moment which I hope to mostly get done this week or early next week. This will then be followed by 20 Dire Avengers. For the medium term I have retired the Jetbike horde but they will certainly make an appearance in my new list's from time to time but rarely will I field a full Jetbike army.

I have found that foot Eldar armies are just so much fun. They pack such a wallop and with so many bodies on the table it's kind of like playing an Ork army, just with less emphasis on rage and blood-lust and more on shiny spirit gems and razor sharp Molecular flying discs! The thing with my Jetbike army is that it either suffered a heavy loss or on another day it absolutely smashed my opponent but with this foot based army I am playing it lends for much closer games and that's much more fun for me and my opponent.

I have designed my list on a very strong offence with multiple threats backed up by some long ranged heavy weapon defense that can hold back field objectives.

Offensive Wing:
Avatar - Fast Shot & Disarming Strike

10 Dire Avengers - Exarch with Shimmershield and Power Sword
10 Dire Avengers - Exarch with Shimmershield and Power Sword
10 Wraith Blades - Ghost Axes, Shields
Wraith Lord - Ghost Glaive, Twin Heavy Flamers, Bright Lance, Scatter Laser
Wraith Knight - Suncannon, Scatter Laser

Defensive Wing:
10 Guardian Defenders - Bright Lance
10 Guardian Defenders - Bright Lance
War Walker Squadron (3) - Dual Scatter Lasers

I will keep you all up to date on my progress with painting the new army. I have a few pictures from my painting over the weekend which I will stick up after i get some progress done. Once the army is painted I will play a few games and post up some video battle reports along with some tactica. Also I hope you enjoyed some of the pictures of models in this article which of course weren't painted by me but many of the wonderful talented painters we all admire and follow. Particular favourite of mine is the picture just to the right from Thirdeyenuke from the Tale of Painters blog which you can find linked on my site.

Glad to be back!


Tuesday 24 December 2013

Kinstrife - Eldar on Eldar

I have been promising to contribute content here for a while...

Finally !


Apologies in advance for some errors in ordering... hopefully you can make sense of it!

Friday 20 December 2013

A New Eldar Craftworld is Born

Hey guys,

As you know I have collected Saim Hann Eldar for a while now. This was inspired by Fritz from www.fritz40k.com. However after a few years i'm a bit bored of the colour scheme and am thinking of a new Craftworld for my foot Eldar and my Wraith army. I want to do these armies with my air brush and I want to give them a battle hardened look as opposed to the usual bright and vibrant Eldar look. My Saim Hann were painted using Army Painter spray cans as basecoats but I want to master the airbrush and take my level of painting to a whole new level.

Also being into my fluff I need a good background for the Craftworld. Any ideas from your creative minds? If anyone can think of a cool and fluffy name for the Craftworld too I will name my high Farseer after you (with an Eldar twist of course).

Here are some of my models that were used to try out my airbrush. They are my learning curve and I must say I was happy with them.



Wednesday 18 December 2013

The Banshee Not So Scary

Happy Wednesday all!

So I have had a couple of games with my Banshee’s in my new list against Sean’s Tau and then against Erik’s Imperial Fists and here’s my thoughts on them so far.

In both games my Banshee’s lived but were severely depleted which I suspect is to be expected from a very fragile close combat unit that has to run the length of the battle field to reach their target. I fielded an Avatar in all the games and generally ran the Banshee’s quite close to him so they were fearless most of the time. My philosophy of running them in an army list that was full of higher priority dangers actually worked wonders and in the couple of games that I did use them, they weren't fired upon until the 3rd or 4th turns.

The problem was, when they did manage to get across the battlefield their numbers were too sufficiently depleted that their damage output was critically hamstrung. In the games that I played they were down to two or three Banshees’s and at Strength 3 (Strength 4 on charge) and rolling 5’s most of the time to wound you really need to be rolling as many dice as possible. I ran a unit of 6, Exarch with an Executioner but I think you really would need to field them in a unit of 10 to help mitigate the casualties in getting across the battlefield, which then creates its own new problem. 10 Banshee’s are hell of a lot more noticeable than the 6 I was fielding and I am sure they would attract increased fire.

Their kill tally in both games came to one Devil Fish and then two tactical marines so effectively they just mopped up a few of my enemies models near the end of the games. Certainly doesn’t warrant the investment in points into them.

I still love the models and the fluff behind them and I am sure I will get around to painting them at some stage but sadly my little play test has only backed up the general consensus of this unit that exists among Eldar players.

Fast unit with +3” to run and with fleet
Great if charging a unit that isn’t in cover

No Grenades
Damage output too low for Str 3
Needs large unit to be fielded to be worthwhile
No Delivery Mechanism

Recommendation: Do not field this unit

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Can Howling Banshees be Mastered?

Let’s not beat around the bush, the Eldar codex is a strong one. We are very fortunate to have gotten such a decent book especially if you compare it to the treatment of the Chaos Space Marine players with their sub-par book. Few as they may be, the Eldar codex is not without its weaknesses. I must say that nearly all units in the codex got a boost with our new army wide special rules and updated rules to some of our weapons and not to forget the nice boost to our basic infantry, the humble guardian.

Some units were not “fixed” though and the most infamous of these is the Howling Banshees. Probably my favourite infantry model in the codex bar none but just like the Mandrakes of the Dark Eldar, it just doesn’t have rules to match. Admittedly Mandrakes are worse rules wise than Howling Banshees so we are lucky in that respect but is there any way to effectively use the Howling Banshees?

The short answer is no. They have no grenades and Eldar have no assault vehicle, so putting them in a Wave Serpent is not going to make them do their primary job any better. They still have to disembark from the Wave Serpent and stand there for a round of shooting. One way you could “maybe” get this to work is if you turbo boost that Wave Serpent with Holo Fields and targeting Matrix across the board to near a nice bit of terrain and hope it survives a round of shooting. On your next turn disembark the Howling Banshees into the cover and go from there. Not a very effective strategy and not the best use of 250+pts of models in my opinion.

The next way to use them is to field them on foot. It spells a swift and painful death for the Banshees since they are so fragile they will die faster than you can pick them up off the table. However I have been wondering if you provide your opponent with a good amount of high priority dangerous targets will the Howling Banshees get ignored long enough to be able to make it to combat. Of course if that target unit is in cover the Banshees will be striking the same time as them (Banshee Mask) but are likely to suffer a lot of casualties due to their low toughness and armor save.

I am playing Erik’s Imperial Fists this Thursday and I plan to field a squad of Howling Banshees for the first time ever. My plan is to give Erik enough threats to worry about rather than Howling Banshees that hopefully they will manage to get some action and who knows might prove to be very useful. Regarding the Exarch, I will equip her with an Executioner which is a 2 handed power weapon that also gives the Exarch +2 strength. I have also decided to take “Disarming Strike” Exarch power which on the first turn of a challenge has the potential to remove a models melee weapon and makes them strike at just their basic hand to hand weapon. So in other words a power fist is changed to just a fist for that turn. I will take lots of pics and give you guys a battle report on how it goes.

So here is my 2000pts list for Thursday:


Avatar – Fast shot
Farseer – Runes of Warding


10x Dire Avengers – Exarch with Shimmershield and Power Sword
10x Dire Avengers – Exarch with Shimmershield and Power Sword
10 x Guardians – Bright Lance
10 x Guardians – Bright Lance
20 x Guardians


Aegis Defence Line – Quad Gun


6 x Howling Banshees – Exarch with an Executioner & Disarming Strike
5 x Wraith Guard – D-Scythes


Wraith Guard Wave Serpent – Holo Fields, Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon

Heavy Support

Warwalker – Twin Scatter Lasers
Warwalker – Twin Scatter Lasers
Wraith Knight – Heavy Wraith Cannons


Monday 14 October 2013

NWG 2013 - A Brief Report

If you came to this page before today, you know that NWG has come and gone. If not, I'm telling you now. And what an event it was! I had 5 great games as well as a tonne of non-gaming related fun over the three days, and though I have found that I do not have time for a full on 5 post battle report, I have decided to make my opening post for the Witchblade a summary report of my games at the event.

First, my list. I went with a mixed bag for this tournament, trying out some of the various elements that I thought would do well within the Codex. I also added some Forge World units as this was the one tournament per year that actually allowed them. The list revolves around the Seer Council, giving them the Troop support they need, as well as a rake load of S6/7 guns. Dark Eldar allies add some much needed support to the Council (Stealth, Hit and Run, grenades, re-rolls), and mild Land Raider counter measures.

Eldar Jetbike, Singing Spear

Baron Sathonyx [A]

5x Warlocks
5x Eldar Jetbikes, 2x Singing Spears

5x Dire Avengers
In Transport 1

10x Guardians
In Transport 2

10x Guardians
In Transport 3

5x Wyches [A]
Haywire Grenades, in Transport 4

3x Windrider Jetbikes

7x Warp Spiders

2x Hornets
4x Pulse Lasers, Holo-Fields

Transport 1: Wave Serpent with Twin-Linked Scatter Laser and Holo-Fields
Transport 2: Wave Serpent with Twin-Linked Scatter Laser and Holo-Fields
Transport 3: Wave Serpent with Twin-Linked Scatter Laser and Holo-Fields
Transport 4: Venom with Splinter Cannon, Night Shields, and Grisly Trophies [A]

Game 1 - Eoin O'Mahony - Necrons
Seize Ground

4 pieces of terrain nearest the center of each table quarter are our objectives to fight over. Eoin has an interesting list with a 10 man Royal Court sporting no less than 5 sets of Mind Shackle Scarabs. While 3 of the Crypteks join his 2 5 man Immortal squads in their Night Scythes, and his 5 man Warrior squad on the ground, the rest remain together and are joined by Trazyn the Infinite and Orikan the Diviner. They also hi-jack the Warriors' Ghost Ark in turn 1. Last part to the list is a Writhing Landscape C'Tan to play shenanigans with Orikan.

I won the re-roll and chose to keep first for once and deployed a heavy left flank, which Eoin reciprocated for the most part, with the exception of the C'Tan who took the opposite flank by himself. I stayed put for turn 1 so as not to trigger any of those nasty terrain checks on my many skimmers. In his turn 1 Eoin just got in the Ghost Ark and moved toward me, keeping cover. In turn two I managed to pop the Ark and off a Lord while he waited for his reserves. They arrived in his turn and popped two Wave Serpents surprisingly, as well as causing a unit of Guardians to flee the table. His Court also jumped into one of the now emptied Night Scythes, ready to go where they would.

Turn 3 was swift retribution, with all but 3 Immortals being killed and 1 Scythes being destroyed, sending the Court back into reserve. The other was brought down to a single Hull Point by the newly arrived Warp Spiders. In his turn the Court returned and the Immortals fled the battlefield in their flyer. The C'Tan finally made his way across the board but would need to wait another turn before seeing combat. As such, my turn 4 was all about killing that C'Tan, and I just about did it. His Scythe came back in his turn and went for my backfield along with the disembarking Immortals. His Court moved to one of his objectives also.

In turn 5 the heat was on. I managed to off the Immortals and all but one Warrior, leaving him only two scoring models, and after his turn where his Court left Trazyn on the objective and came after mine, the game luckily went on. I managed to kill the lonely Warrior, however his Court got within contesting range of my objective, and that was game.

We were each given secret secondary objectives denoted by a card in each game, and in this game I got attrition, meaning I had to kill more of Eoin's units that he did of mine. I did that, and he failed his, which was Break Through, meaning he had to get a scoring unit off my table edge. I also held 2 objectives while he held 1, so the game ended a 15.5 - 4.5 win to me.

Game 2 - Ugo Greevey - Chaos Space Marines
The Relic

Ugo was sporting a beautiful Death Guard army with lots of Plague Marines, Bikes, Havocs and Oblits led by Typhus, and a Heldrake. We had Vanguard Strike deployment this time so we set up ready to rush for the Relic. Ugo got first turn, and it ended badly for me as a Lascannon managed to snipe the Baron right off the bat. Things went from bad to worse in my first turn, as though I popped both his Rhinos near the Relic, my assault into one of the now disembarked units of Plague Marine fluffed with the Council, and without the Baron I was stuck in there for the long haul. Precognition would keep my Farseer around, but his buddies might not be so lucky.

Once his second Plague Marine unit had charged into the combat, subsequent turns basically consisted of him advancing toward me and me shooting him to bits, while his Heldrake still didn't show up because of my Warlord Trait (-1 to enemy reserves). The combat was mostly handbags but by the end of turn 4, the Council, the Farseer, a full squad of Plague Marines, and the Champion from the second Squad were all gone and that second squad still had the Relic.

I was fortunate in game turns once again, as the game went on long enough for me to get the Relic back from him through shooting and holding him up in combat with my Warp Spiders so he couldn't reclaim it before me, however he stopped me getting maximum points by Pinning my Relic unit on the last turn before they could reach their deployment zone. In the end the only Chaos models to survive were Typhus and a single Oblit.

My secondary this time was Breakthrough, which my Jetbikes got with ease, while Ugo's was the same, but I denied it to him. The game ended a 17-3 win to me.

Game 3 - Ivan Sheehan - Old Space Marine/Wolves
Capture the Flag

While there were no flags, we fought over a single terrain piece in each deployment zone. Ivan rocked a list that looked silly on paper, but could give my list a tough time. Primary was Lysnader, Calgar, 5 Sternguard in a Pod, 5 Tacs in a Pod and 5 Scouts, while allies were Logan, Njal, and 2 Wolf Guard with Arjac in a Pod.

In castled up in a corner to try and make him Deep Strike more difficult, but left two units on the opposite flank to tempt him to split his Troops, something I didn't think would work but would still be worth trying. In turn 1 he dropped the Space Wolves and the Sternguard with Lysander and Calgar, and proceeded to wipe out the Warlocks and a Wave Serpent. My army retaliated by fleeing to the other side of the board beyond his reach, with the exception of the Baron and the Guardians who had lost their Serpent. The Baron charged Calgar's unit to try and hold them up for awhile, while the Guardians put down some serious hurt on the Space Wolves, killing the Wolf Guard, Arjac, and wounding both Njal and Logan. The Baron made his charge and challenged, but Calgar got one wound past his Shadow Field and he died.

The remaining turns were just him trying to stay alive on that objective while trying to do what he could at a distance to my Scoring units, while I tried to take him out. By the end of the game, all of the Space Wolves were gone as well as the Sternguard and Calgar. My secondary was to kill his most expensive IC, which was Logan, and his was to get off my table edge. We both achieved those conditions, however I held an objective and contested his, leaving the game at a 13-7 win to me.

Game 4 - Peter Scott - Chaos Space Marines
Seize Ground

Peter was rocking the walking dead for this game, with Typhus, a big units of 30 Zombies, 30 Cultists, 4 smaller squads of Zombies, 2 of which were Outflanking thanks to Huron Blackheart, 2 Heldrakes, and 2 units of 3 Oblits. The game proved very tough, as not only was it going to be difficult to take out that many Fearless Scoring bodies, but Peter was a very good player being last year's Irish ETC Captain.

I managed a good few first turns, taking out most of the Cultists and a lot of Zombies as well as a few Oblits, but my momentum dropped as the game went on. His Oblits created a lot of havok from afar killing tanks galore. Despite fluffing some of his Heldrake attacks, they made their presence felt when they arrived and so I couldn't focus my full attention on his Zombies. The slowness of his army proved his undoing in the end, as he may have had the game won, however his Zombie couldn't get to contest my objective in time, and though I didn't get to one of the three he was holding, I managed to Hit and Run in the last turn to block the other two. Neither of us got our secondary and go the game ended in a straight 10-10 draw.

Game 5 - Caolan Gibbons - Dark Angels

Annihilation was a bit altered for this tournament, and so whereas Troops and transports were worth the usual 1KP, Elites, Fast and Heavy were all worth 2KPs each, and HQs were worth 3KPs each.

Caolan was rocking his Ravenwing for this tournament, sporting a full army of Bikes. Lead by Sammael and a Libby, there were two Ravenwing Command Squads, two Black Knight squads, and 4 Troop Melta Bike squads, half of which would be Outflanking.He backed me into a corner easily on turn 1 and managed to pop a Wave Serpent early with his Meltas. With Misfortune and Guide my army combined to get the majority of a squad taken down, and two guys from the second squad.

In turn 2 most of his army came on, however most of it came on the far flank, giving me some time to breath. What was already there went after my Hornets mostly. He managed to take down a Hornet and the Venom before I got my retaliation, and basically wiped out every Bike that was on the half of the table we were currently fighting in, including Sammy and the Libby.

It went downhill from there for Caolan as his dice abandoned him completely, and at the end of the game he just had two half Command Squads left while I lost only the Hornets, the Spiders, a Serpent and the Venom. Once again, neither of us managed to achieve our secondary objective, and so with max. points on the primary the game ended in a 16-4 victory to me.


I was very pleased with my list all weekend. Even when I felt they couldn't handle something they reached up, slapped me in the face, and disagreed. The Hornets were easily the best unit and I will certainly be breaking them out whenever a Forge World friendly tournament shows up. They accounted for a Night Scythe and the C'Tan in game 1, two Oblits, a Rhino and the full squad of Nurgle Bikers in game 2, Logan and Calgar in game 3, a few Oblits and a Heldrake in game 4, and a plethora of Bikes in game 5. Easily my best performing unit.

In the end the victories I had obtained were enough to net me second place, with Peter from game 4 coming 3rd, and Paul Quigley with his 4 Riptides coming 1st miles ahead of the rest of the pack. For my troubles I got the amazing trophy you see below.

Thanks to Nigel, Darragh, Ian, and all else involved for making NWG such an amazing event, and I'll be back once again next year to see if I can improve on a successful 2013 bout.