Sunday, 24 July 2016

Everyone Loves DKOK!

Everyone Loves DKOK!

For those of you who are into the classic match ups you just can't go wrong with the imperial Gaurd. All those years playing standard 40k as Gaurd and injustice never felt right, Epic is definitely the perfect scale. If you are looking for a nice balanced Gaurd force with access to heaps of grunts and tank support you just can't go past DKOK. In fact you'll hear me say it a few times but when this list was recently approved I found myself asking, why would anyone bother with Steel Legion... There are heaps of solid builds available for DKOK so let's have a look at some of the options.

Core choices
One of the real strengths of DKOk is that all the core options are great. Whenever I played Steel Legion I always struggled to fit what I wanted because you were forced to take large, expensive and usually sub par core options. No such issues here:

Infantry options - given that no competent general leaves home without a supreme commander you will need to fit at least one block of infantry in. The best news in they are great. Traditional DKOK armies have always been built around fat blocks of infantry using Gorgons to cross the board and engage in FF assaults. The simple tactic being to throw the Gorgons into the front of the assault so they take the first 6 hits in their reinforced armour while your squishy gaurdsmen provide support FF. It's a great tactic and it works well enough. The problem I feel though is that it's horribly predictable and when you run into those armies that do have plenty of TK shooting (e.g Gaurd/ just falls apart completely. Also putting two of these into a 3000pt army is going to limit your activation count significantly. 
Alternatively is the bunker infantry option. Yes you could just plan on using the available terrain and thus save the points but I'm my experience the 75pt investment for the trenches is fantastic. Chuck them down somewhere you want to hold objectives and just see how much trouble the enemy has trying to shift those 20 grunts. Obviously with this option you lack the flexibility of the gorgon unit but you do save the points and gain an amazingly resilient strong point to build your plan around. 

Rough riders - Another amazing unit for DKOK, don't leave home without at least one... Or ideally 2... You have to be very careful with these guys because they can be surprisingly fragile, no real armour, no capacity to use terrain saves and being infantry does lead enemies to aim every available gun in their direction. Use terrain to screen them as best you can, hold them off till the last activations to advance and get into position for a solid BC engage in the next turn. Using the walker rule allows you to have amazing flexibility which the usual rough riders just don't have and the first strike rule can help you crush the opposition before the solid counter hit. Definitely a unit you will need to practise with to keep them in the right place at the right time but absolutely worth it. Also helps a lot with maximising core choices without spending too many points to open slots for those amazing support choices. 

Support choices

Artillery support - never used it, don't imagine I ever will. It's too soft to ever risk as a BTS and presents a huge soft points eating target. 

Deathstrike silo - exactly the opposite - should be an auto include. Deathstrike missiles are pretty awesome in general for their amazing range and the silo is even better because it's harder to break and is just a little tougher. The best bit is that with its speed of 0 you can garrison the silo, that can be an amazing deterrent to those thunderhawk alpha strikes... 

Rough rider scout platoon - I love these guys in many Gaurd armies but I've never felt the need in DKOK. The core riders are so great and I reckon that you can scout screen with 12 core rough riders as well as the scout variant. Certainly not a bad unit but there are so many great options to choose from. 

Engineer platoon - not one that I've ever fielded but I like the idea of the tunnellers. It presents an interesting tactical option for grabbing that blitz potentially and can cause your opponent some headaches. My squats love the tunnelling option use I'll put it in at some point. 

Grenadiers - for Cadians I love the grenadier equivalent and their heavy transports but for DKOK it feels like the core options cover this well enough so I'd keep scrolling. 

Heavy support batteries - The Anti aircraft options are essential, at least 2 units in my mind. Personally I prefer the long range options with the fortifications but plenty of others prefer the hydras and lots of people use the transporters as well. Experiment with the options but AA is absolutely compulsory. The artillery options by contrast I just don't rate. 200pts for a single template if it isn't broken which will happen in a strong wind, for Baran siegemasters by contrast these units are amazing but in DKOK it's just not something I've ever missed. 

Macharius Tanks - definitely on my worth a look list. Great value fire support unit with good FF support potential. That said I've never managed to include them, only played against them. If you can get some of the originals or the proxies from companies like Gregster's Lab give them a try. 

Super heavy tank company - like I mentioned in the Minervan article the only unit I ever run in threes is the Stormswords but they are definitely an excellent unit and well worth including when you can find the points and the models. Again I'd look at what the iconic infantry and Gorgons can do compared to this unit and I'll grab for the stormswords any day. The only downside is that they are a point sink and a BTS you end up building an army around and finding ways to protect from engagements. 

Light support guns - The mortars are rubbish in my mind entirely due to their range but the quad gun option by contrast is very interesting. 8 shots at up to 90cm with AP3 with a sustain is fantastic for the points. Note also they are infantry so if you run the trench option like I do it's entirely plausible to garrison them with you forward infantry unit so you can sit them in the spare trenches (you will have some..) whilst taking the Trojan upgrade essentially giving you the best of both worlds. 

Bombards - *snort*. No. Just no. Considering I don't rate manticores which are better in every important respect for the same points these guys are just way too expensive IMO. But if you can find someone using them well id love to hear about it. 
Super heavy tank platoon - easiest way to slot in the obligatory shadowsword or two. Great options and more compulsory slots. 

Tank platoons - another great thing about DKOK is the ability to drop in these 6 man tank units that I've always felt worked better in terms of flexibility and points than the full 10 man tank units. If you can find the points and love treads go for it. 

Imperial Allies
Just the usual suspects here minus the spaceship option so you end up with the usual choices. 

Titans - A Warhound or 2 is always good to give you some speed and flexible firepower. I'd run 1 at a minimum every game. Reavers and warlords just aren't great in my mind. In marines a reaver can be great for adding some extra firepower but Gaurd just don't lack for that and I feel that dropping extra big Titans in just puts pressure on your activation count. 

Thunderbolts - of course are amazing and an auto include, 1 for some great interception abilities and even an extra if you want to pad the activations. 

Marauder bombers - I've got a pair of them but with so many awesome blast weapons and artillery options available to Gaurd I've never felt the need. I've always wished they had a unique ability like the chaos bombers with their ignore cover etc, those are the bombers that I rate much more highly.

Objectives and general strategic thoughts. 
If you look at the build that I've listed below and check out the bat reps that I've posted with my Gaurd you will see what I mean with some of these. 

Blitz - really easy to hold for Gaurd but tricky to catch due to our lack of fast options. If you are keen on taking the Blitz look at Warhounds and tunnelling engineers. To defend your own Blitz just drop down the silo, maybe some artillery or anything else that isn't planning to move. You might need more if your opponent is heavy assault oriented as in terminators or thundehawks. 

General objectives - bearing in mind that you will generally place after your opponent I tend to place mine near what my opponents have done because my Gaurd doesn't generally want to spread out or run too far. Especially important if you run the trenches. Take and hold is definitely a priority got Gaurd as you can just grind forward and bury those objectives in piles of firepower followed up by the amazing engagement options available to DKOK. 

Hold the line - one thing Gaurd do very well is hold ground. This should be an easy one for you if you group your objectives close together, potentially gaurding them with a bunker line. 

BTS - the enemy BTS can be a challenge for Gaurd to hit because we lack the speed, a typical scenario would have you maul the enemy BTS with big guns only to have them run away faster than you can chase. By the same token the inclusion of fearless commissars can make it very hard for your enemy to finish off your BTS too so it does balance out well. 

They shall not pass - just something to be conscious of. Assuming a nice slow grind up the field and things going to plan being in the enemy half shouldn't be an issue. Gaurd do tend to do really well on the win by points option if it comes to that though so it's a shame when you lose the game because you just forgot to move far enough forward... Believe me, I'm speaking from experience! 

Monday, 18 July 2016

Battle Report - DKOK Imperial Gaurd Vs Emperors Children Chaos Marines

So I managed to get a game in today and I thought it would be a good opportunity to test out the newly approved Emperor's Children and they were going up against my well refined DKOK list. Also a solid opporunity to explore the use of fortifications for the DKOK. 

Here's the lists we used (generated on Armyforge -

The Emperors Impressive Dkok

Death Korps Supreme Commander, 19 Death Korps Infantry

80cm of Trenches, 20cm of Razor Wire, 4 Bunkers

12 Death Korps Rough Riders

12 Death Korps Rough Riders

3 Stormsword



Death Korps Deathstrike Missile Silo

3 Hydra or Heavy Anti-Aircraft Platform

3 Hydra or Heavy Anti-Aircraft Platform

2 Thunderbolts

2 Thunderbolts


The Emperors (least favourite) Children (who also stand in as Black Legion and Red Corsairs if you were wondering about the dark colour scheme....)

6 Chaos Marine units, Stalker, Replace 2 chaos marine units with 2 Noise Marine units, Chaos Warlord (Supreme Commander)

6 Chaos Marine units, Chaos Marine, Daemon Prince

6 Chaos Marine units, 2 Chaos Marine, Sorcerer Lord

6 Chaos Marine units, Sorcerer Lord, 3 Rhino

CHOSEN [145]
4 Chaos Space Marine Chosen, 2 Rhino

CHOSEN [125]
4 Chaos Space Marine Chosen

Chaos Lord, 4 Terminator

Chaos Lord, 4 Terminator





NOTE: Just as I've written this up I've realised the list is slightly illegal being 50pts over in the 'support' section... Ah well needs some tweaks! 

And here's the table with the fruits of my recent terrain making labours

Here's a deployment shot with Gaurd at the top. A little more spread out than I would have liked in hindsight. 

And a more detailed view across the table of the Chaos forces marshalling on the gaurd left and right 


Turn 1  
Chaos pulls of a classic alpha strike teleporting in against the Deathstrike silo and taking it out in a smooth CC, they did get a bit enthusiastic though and critted the silo losing a terminator in the explosion. Termies were then whittled down by starting with a crossfire from the Warhound and finished off with blast markers. 

On my right the fury continued with the thunderhawk strafing 3 rough riders and chaos marines aggressively advancing into the church ruins 
A shadowsword Volcano cannon snipes two shields and a DC off the questor Titan only to watch it Marshall off the damage and walk away.
On the last activation of the turn the remaining thunderbolts are told to intercept the thunderhawk and do so in spectacular fashion bringing it down with a full unit of traitors including a daemon prince inside. Woot! 

In the centre the marines in the centre woods go on overwatch and the rough riders advance to prepare to see them off. The Stormswords failed to activate so just wandered up the middle aimlessly. 
Final chaos activation sees the subjugator run a full triple to get all up on the face of the Stormswords hoping for a chaos win on the strategy roll. 

Turn 2 
Chaos wins the roll off and in comes the subjugator only to whiff completely inflicting a total of one damage... Unsurprisingly he then breaks and runs away from the grinning Stormswords. A retain with the terminators makes up for it bringing down the Warhound for no losses. Sadly for the chaos termies a shadowsword was on hand to return the favour followed up by enough shots to wipe them out with blasties. 

The Gaurd respond in the centre with the rough riders wiping out the unit of marines in the woods though are broken in return and are in turn. The rest is positioning with the subjugator getting ready for a turn 3 charge against the bunkers and the volcano cannons sniping shields where they can 
Rally phase sees roughies in the middle rally whilst the ones on the back edge fail. The broken subjugator stays broken and the rest clears blasties and regains shields. 

Turn 3 
Chaos win strategy and the chosen move up to put a blastie on the bunkers followed by a subjugator who charges in to give free reconstructive surgery. Sadly the gaurdsmen prove too numerous. And the subjugator is destroyed outright for the loss of 3 gaurdsmen. 
On my right the Stormswords and thunderbolts break the chaos marines who were advancing to take the objective whilst the chosen marines engage and break the Shadowsword who thankfully is fearless so no great loss. 

In the centre the remaining chosen are broken by thunderbolts and the questor Titan was sniped again by the shadowsword (neither of them missed a shot this game...) before being broken by the gaurdsmen as they surged forward out of their trenches to cross the half way line. 


Net result a very close 2-0 for the Dkok forces which was helped a heap by some amazing dice. The shadowswords hit 5/6 shots doing 3 damage every time and the thunderbolts blew a full thunderhawk out of the sky without a single crit being taken. My feeling is that the chaos marines had every tool they needed to win but just couldn't overcome some of those key issues. Teleporting was used really well and had that thunderhawk been there for backup it would have been a different sorry. The new Emperors Children is a solid marine list, I'll do a full write up soon. 

Hope you enjoyed the read!

Friday, 15 July 2016

State of the game – Getting ready for Castle Assault 2016

State of the game – getting ready for Castle Assault 2016

Last year’s Castle Assault event saw 22 players using 17 different races so it was a great spread and an awesome weekend (Details can be found here - What was unique about last year’s event was the introduction of a composition system to address concerns about the relative power level of armies. You will no doubt see my thoughts coming through in the articles that I put together but in the simplest sense what we are exploring is the advantages that ‘top tier’ armies like Eldar and Imperial Guard have over some of the weaker armies like Orks. The composition system last year was a simple score /10 allocated by a panel of judges. Interestingly the scores ranged from 5-8 last year with UK style Tyranids getting the lowest result whilst Orks and a few variety of marines gained the highest. A quick look at the results would suggest that composition scoring didn’t make much of a difference last year, the top 3 were Tyranids/Emperors Children and Necrons and without comp scoring still would have been and in the same order.

Fast-forward to Cancon 2016 held in Canberra in January and an even bigger tournament than last year’s Castle Assault. This time is was 28 players using 16 races (full summary here and because no one felt it achieved much no composition system. Traditionally Cancon has been decided purely by generalship, there’s enough games that if one player wins all of them he will essentially knock out his opposition and with a pretty standard win/loss/draw system there’s no real chance for someone to leapfrog due to margin of victory etc. Cancon this year was somewhat controversial with some seriously tough lists turning up to vie for the crown. The full set can be found here ( but the top 3 were Biel-Tan Eldar, Squats, Vraks and the followed by the recently approved Space Wolves. The controversial component came mostly from the Squats who essentially spammed piles of Overlord airships to maximise battle cannons and wipe entire contingents of enemies from the board. This led to much debate about the balance/use of developmental lists in tournaments without a balancing system of any sort. No doubt players skill is still a huge part of the equation with 2nd overall holding the bridesmaid spot 2 years in a row but in the interests of supporting and growing our tournament community the conversation regarding balance has continued.

So now we approach Castle Assault 2016, an absolute highlight on many Epic players tourney calendars and if the pattern continues it should shape up to be one of the biggest Epic events ever seen, not bad for a system that officially died over 15 years ago eh… For those who haven’t been a few key contextual points should be dropped in at this stage. First and most importantly CA is a wet event with an amazing vibe to it, anyone considering staging an event could learn from this idea. The winner each year is awarded a bottomless beer mug for the following year which is just an awesome idea. Secondly the pack is very different to Cancon (Found here in that there is a distinct margin of victory component rather than the win/loss/draw tradition. This means that (although unlikely) it is possible for players to gain a podium spot without actually playing other guys on the podium already, especially with a big win in the last round. Last year I took along my Minervans and though I was really happy with my results overall my fat slow tank formations struggled to get those big VC victories that the winning Tyranids were so adept at. The second big difference is that this year’s Castle Assault is only allowing “Approved” armies (so no Squats…) after lots of discussion post Cancon.

The real question will be what sort of armies will dominate at this year’s event. Certainly the pack suggests that fast/aggressive assault armies who can pressure lots of objectives will be awesome, so Marines, Eldar, Necrons and even Orks could be in high supply. Whilst slower more grindy armies like Baran Siegemasters and AMTL will probably struggle. Given how generally terrible the currently approved NETEA Tau/Tyranid/Stigmatus and Dark Eldar armies are my feeling at this moment is that you would only turn up with them if you’re priority is drinking rather than gaming, you would need much to drown your sorrows. Part of the fun leading up to Australian events is also that lists are published a couple of weeks before the event so expect to see another post with some thoughts and predictions. I’m planning on having massive fun with Orks this year (since my Squats aren’t welcome after Cancon…) so you can also expect to see a full writeup on my journey with those on the weekend… well hopefully! 

Monday, 11 July 2016

So what's on your table this week? I've been working on some new terrain for my forest table. I've got a set of roads and the idea of these tiles will be to have little stations around the map connected by road to a central city complex. All the parts you see here are available from companies listed in the terrain page and there's some great stuff. I've got a few more tiles to go then I'll post up pics of the final table. 

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Epic Storage!

Epic storage options! 

So you've decided to jump into this awesome system and grab yourself a collection of tiny soldiers. You've then worked out that none of the fancy foam storage guys give a hoot about us and frankly with war engines in your list good luck getting a standard box that will fit everything from infantry stands through to warlord Titans... But do not despair, I have a solution for you! 

Enter the toolbox, a cheap and effective storage method for all of your epic needs. Pictured here art he 3 different sizes that I use. The smaller one holds my entire 3000pt tau army with objectives and a little space to spare. The middle one is definitely the better option for a single army because it has a shelf in the top which is deep enough to hold infantry and leman russ sized tanks, probably big enough for a single army with room to grow. 

The large box on the right is the one I use the most of, I can easily fit two armies in one of these (usually one side each) and a warlord Titan or true scale reaver will fit in the bottom shelf with no dramas. In this picture you see my Gaurd box, in this case it holds a Minervan army, a Dkok and steel legion and Baran siegemasters army plus enough Titans to do an AMTL if I wanted too. You're welcome to zoom in and count for yourself if you like but I'm just going to say it stores many. These boxes can be purchased at most hardware chains and where I am they range between $20-30 (Aus) depending on size.
The best part is still to come. Once you have painted you're beautiful 6mm goodies you sure as hell don't want them bumping and scratching. The beauty of this system is the magnets. Every base has a rare earth magnet glued to the bottom (or several for the big things) which holds them tightly in place. The infantry stands just have sheet magnet which come with a sticky backing cut to size and glued down too. I'll give examples of the photos below. The magnets are easily sourced on eBay. I tend to buy 8-10mm round magnets that are 1-2mm thick. They cost about $8 for 100 if you shop around. 

So if you are looking for a reliable and cheap method of storing your minis head to the hardware store! Alternatively if you have an even more awesome idea post it up in the comments below! Share the love people's let's build our hobby! 

Friday, 1 July 2016

Orkeosaurus Spotted!

Orkeosaurus Incoming!

According to Eureka's latest newsltetter this guy is coming real soon, scaled at 10mm he will be a perfect Orkeosaurus to help all those greenskins get their savage mode on. I for one will be keeping a close eye on developments - Check it out here:

If you are in need of other savage orks (boar boys etc) just check out the Microworld Games link in in the sourcing minis page.