Monday, 27 July 2009

Tournament

Well there haven't been many updates on this of late... I was at work on Mondays so not gaming, and the only painting I was doing was in preparation for the tournament. Given I was planning to surprise a few people with Dark Elves I didn't want to show off my nicely painted Cold One Knights in the weeks approaching the tournament, given several of my potential opponents read this :oP

I managed to paint 15 Cold One Knights (barring the shields, didn't quite get time annoyingly) and 20 spearmen. Still have quite a bit to do, but a lot less than any of my other armies. If I can keep this rhythm up I might be able to paint all my Dark Elf stuff over the next month or so, meaning for the first time in my life I'd have a fully painted army. *revives readers with smelling salts* Some pictures will be posted of the painted models and added to the blog, but right now my phone is playing silly buggers and won't connect to my PC, so I'll have to find the setup CD again - wherever the hell that is...

In the tournament itself I played against Rich first. I'd been thinking of this as my "easy" game, my army is practically designed to beat his. He had a bit of an advantage in that he had the manner he could hide his archers in. I didn't have any missile troops so it wouldn't have done me any good to have his side, but it would have been useful to deny it from him. Rich won this game. Despite taking Teclis down with a flying assassin, and through a miscast and a magic item reducing his other mage to a slolitary spell, I couldn't dominate the magic phase like I expected to (and very convincingly did in every other game.) I just wasn't rolling well enough to get the spells off. My Cold Ones also proved somewhat unreliable. They took 4 wounds from arrows on turn 1. Ok, that'll be 2+ saves then. 2 dead. 3 wounds on turn 2. 2+ saves again. Another 2 dead. Admittedly Richs unpainted Bolt Thrower should have accounted for some but inexplicably failed with every single shot, but that doesn't make you feel much better when they finally get into combat, lose by 1, and fail a break test on Ld9. Sigh. Rich wonthis convincingly.

My next game was against Nige and his assault minded deamons. We both went straight for the throaght, and were in combat on turn 2. In a very bloody battle we pasted the shit out of each other, and it looked like nige may have the upper hand, until my mages started ripping the shit out of his daemonettes. By the end of my turn 5 Nige had 3 flesh hounds locked in combat with my cold ones, and about 5 daemonettes. I stil had some Cold Ones and a unit of corsairs, plus a couple of mages who would have finished off the daemonettes in pretty short order. Nige conceded defeat.

My third game was against Tomb Kings. I made a stonking start against these. By turn 3 I'd killed a unit of skeletons, a bone giant, a unit of skeletal horsemen, a screaming skull catapult, his hierophant (triggering his crumbling tests each turn) and his other liche priest, all for the loss of a single unit of corsairs. By turn 4 the carrion and ushabti and BSB were gone too. But turn 4 is where it all went wrong. His grave guard had a banner that let them reform at the start of every turn. And then charge. His chariots could do something similar. Similar, but not the same. They can't charge. Stu had misread this. When I questioned the ability, he showed me the magic banner and told me it made them just like his chariots, so I took his word for it. Big mistake. Their extra mobility allowed them to rip the heart out of my army. They constantly had the initiative. I know Tomb Kings can be quite quick... they can turn and prepare and then magically charge. But I dominated the magic phase so could prevent such charges. But when he's getting to turn at will, giving his units an effective 360 arc of sight, there was nothing I could do. In two turns he wiped out my three central units, all my mages, and charged down my assassins. With just fleeing Cold Ones left I conceded. It was in discussion after the game with the other players that someone pointed out that this couldn't be done. As it had such a massive game changing effect Dan (as ref) said we should replay the game the following day. Int he end, Stuart couldn't be bothered to (bythe end of the day he was in last place anyway.) and conceded the three points to me.

The first game of day two saw me facing the undead again, this time against Vampire Counts. Cunning use of Shadowblade saw Mannfred cut down in his prime, triggering the crumbling. His blood knights proved massively destructive, seeing off my cold ones. Rich did however fail to follow up, allowing the squad to rally, and turn and see off his skeleton unit. The blood knights did however turn and save his grave guard unit. This unit is legendary for never going down. I got it down to three models. But he bloody well brought it back up to about 10 by the end of the game. Annoying undead - stay bloody down!!! I made a gamble in this game that cost me the chance to take down the grave guard. Each turn my assassin challenged his BSB. The BSB always refused. My assassin would then cut down the front rank of troops, and my spears might throw another wound or two his way. With no reply, I'd win by combat resolution. He'd lose a couple more. Then in his turn he'd usually bring a couple back. Then I gambled. I didn't challenge - instead the assassin did his attacks against the person in base contact - the BSB. Sadly THIS time he didn't get any killing blow (got plenty agains the single wound grave guard mind!) and without those the BSBs strong armour protected him. He got to strike back. My warriors tried as usual, but couldn't wipe the front rank. So they got to fight too. This time the combat resolution was in his favour... and as he outnumbererd me I automatically broke from combat, and was run down. In the end I was in the lead by 422 points... putting me just within the 450 required for a draw. If that gamble had worked... Oh well, these things are not always to be.

My fourth game was against Dan. I got off to a good start killing off his most dangerous combat unit (at least in my opinion, I don't want my feeble elves taking toughness tests with no armour save!) Unfortunately Dan made a slight mistake in his charge repsonse. He only realised this after I'd wiped the unit out. It turned out if he'd responded correctly he'd have had a 50/50 chance of killing my assassin, thus preventing the combat. My opinion was that it's his responsibility to know his own army (something he'd said to Stuart earlier) and we called Rich in as a third party. In the end it was diced off. 4+ he'd get to attack the assassin and potentially replace the unit and mage. less and the combat went ahead as normal. The dice rolled in my favour. This unfortunately set a precedent, with both of us rigourously applying the rules from then on. I'd moved a charging unit but forgotten to roll to rally my other units... "Well if you'd let me have that one..." so they ran for another turn. Annoyingly the following turn one of the units kept running and took my sorceress with it. Likewise when Dan handed the turn over to me without firing his cannon, I confirmed it was definitely my turn then said "So, didn't want to fire that cannon then..." It came to a head with me saying "My sorceress will charge that building... actually scratch that I'll keep her back she can do more damage with spells." To which Dan said "Well you just Declared a charge..." Rich was on my side in this one but we diced it off anyway. This time I lost. The sorceress charged, with her one attack. And ironically won. Chasing the rats out of the building and off the board. It was a very bloody battle. In the end Dan had his annoying cannon left, a ratling gun, a pack of skaven salves and that bloody bell, with about 2 people with it. Dan got the win in the last turn with a well placed cannon shot which killed my general and took my unit of Cold Ones below half strength... well, down to one man really. Damn skaven and their shooting into combat. If it hadn't been for that I'd have been on the losing side of a draw... hell if it hadn't been for that my unit of Cold Ones might have finished off the unit around the bell for some more points. Don't think a win was on the cards though. What killed me in this game was the spell plague. It decmiated my units. Dark Elves are only T3, meaning that spell kills roughly half the unit infected. I do not fair well against Toughness tests (hence the first target of my spells was the unit that makes each model in base contact do a toughness test... I did NOT want to meet them in combat!)

With Rich winning on 15, and Stu last on 0, Rich, Neil, Dan and Me were tied on 7. So it would be 2 more games, with victory points deciding ranking. Neil would play Dan (that'll be Dan getting second place I immediately thought) and me against Rich with his Vampire Counts. This time he did a massive difference. Because you can choose your general at the start of the game, he moved his generalship from Mannfred to the mounted Vampire Lord. I can't hide shadowbalde in cavalry, not tomention that unit being a bloody tough one anyway. So I did the same trick as last time with shadowblade, killing off Manfred (he may not be the general any more but he's still a 475 point hell of a magic user) and this time I supprted it with the flying assassin. This killed off the BSB too. That grave guard unit looked a lot more manageable. The cold ones faced off against the Blood Knights, inviting the charge. He charged. I have always strikes first, so don't really care, though I do lose the str bonus for lances. More importantly, I got his general in range of the ring of hotek. He cast a spell on three dice... 2,3 and 4. Shit. Ok, just fight the combat as normal. The next turn - miscast. Killed 2 of each unit and took a wound off the Vampire Lord. Saw my opening so challenged with my general. Promptly missed with most of my attacks, and he made his ward save against the one that made it. He then sliced my general down (I'd forgotten to unleash his daemon side in my turn, which would have upped him to T5. Which would have meant suffering 2 wounds instead of 4, on 4+ save. Mathhammer says I die. Course, I managed to not make a single save, so even rolling half the dice I'd have lost THAT one...) Then the annoying bit about those blood knights - the blood drinker ability. For every wound the Vampire Lord does, he can put a wound back on himself or his squad. So that healed him and ressed the knights he'd just lost to that miscast. There went my best chance of taking him down. There was a slugfest going on in the centre, which I was ok in as long as I was winning, but sooner or later I'd lose a combat, and then the "auto break from fear causing enemies" kicked in. It also didn't help that one of my Supreme Sorceresses seemed to have a Supreme deathwish this game... she miscast 3 or 4 times I think?!? In the end it was a solid victory for Rich, by a margin of 1300 or so points. Dan won his game, but only by about 1200. Putting Rich in second place.

It was a good fun tournament. I think I'd have done better with my Empire, but I wanted to bring something different to what I normally play. hence why I didn't bother with the dark elves decent shooting aspects, and just went for magic and combat. (And lots of assassins... it was the weekend of long knives at the club...) Yet again though I see my fantasy army do well in the main tournament but then fall apart in a playoff game. Ont he bright side, at least there are no kill points... :oP

Friday, 17 July 2009

More WANTS

Forge World you bastards, you've done it again!

Forge World have yet again come up with a stunning model I want. Happens often enough. I was so tempted to get myself a brass scorpion, but stopped myself. As beautiful as the model was, I'd never use it, it's not my army. Of course, when they bring out beautiful models for an army I collect...

They've just released an Ork Half Track. Now using the fabulous new Truck model and some chimera spares I tried to make one of these myself a little while ago, but the scale was off and the model wouldn't work how I wanted it to. Those two models have now gone to be cannibalised for other projects and terrain. And now Forge World release this. It's just what I was aiming for, nay, better than what I was aiming for. It's beautiful. And for only £30 or so, compared to £18 for the truck (and if you include the cost of the chimera too, it's cheaper than my conversion attempt.)

Sadly I am stuck for money at the moment, as my home life is undergoing a little upheavel. But when I get some cash, Forge World will be recieving an order from me. This just gets added to the 3 vlakyrie conversion kits and 2 punisher cannon armed vultures I already have in mind. With one of these (ok, maybe two) I'll be nearly at the free postage threshold without even asking if anyone else wants anything!

Don't worry, I will ask. But I think it could be a month or two. Bear with me.

Forge World, please STOP doing this to me! Make beautiful chaos models that I can gazeat, appreciate, then move on from. Stop making models I can actually use, my wallet can't cope!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Away Games

So, just popped to Kens in between my second day and first night shift, and we spent the afternoon playing 40k. Guard vs Templars

First game was capture and control. I brought an army with a mechanised infantry platoon, straken, marbo, couple of vanquishers and a hydra, and a few heavy weapon squads, plus a couple of penal legion squads for good measure.

Ken sent lots of troops (and a couple of the ever annoying drop pods) my way and eventually overwhelmed my fortress, slaughtering the heavy weapon teams that had been holding my objective. I meanwhile sent most of my mechanised platoon his way, and took out the squad holding his objective. Ken belatedly realised he didn't have much on his own point so diverted some terminators that way. At the end of turn 5 "my" objective was abandoned at the top of a building surrounded by marines, while I had a squad in a building sat on "Kens" objective. We rolled. There'd be a turn 6. Dang and blast it! Ken had some poor rolling for his difficult terrain, he'd need his run to get to the objective. His terms however moved into a prime assaulting position. His chump then decided that running would be far too indignified an activity for a marine, failing to roll high enough to ascend a level and within range of the objective. His terms went in and slaughtered my holding squad and were stood guarding Kens objective. A squad arrived and went "first rank fire second rank fire" on their arse. Ken got unlucky with his armour saves and I was left holding the objective. We rolled again, knowing another turn would undoubtadly turn this game into a draw. There'd be no turn 7, the guard were victorious!

In this game my vanquishers, over the course of about 5 turns of shooting, managed to do sweet FA. No, tell a lie. They knocked 2 guns off the landraider. Woot. I also noticed Straken, combat monster that he is, was missing far too much. 5 attacks hitting on 3s... oh, that'll be 2 then. :o( This influenced my army shake up for the next game...

With a quick break for a bacon butty and a list re-write, I decided to spice things up a bit and show Ken some new things from the guard codex. And me too! For the first time I used psyker battle squads. I also tried Storm Troopers for the first time. I also threw in a valkyrie, despite power armoured troops not being the ideal opponent. I got Yarrick to join my command squad (giving Straken a reroll, that should make him a bit more effective!!!) and other than that had 3 squads of vets, couple vanquishers again. With 100 points left to go, I was stymied. My first thought was a penal squad, but as the only thing apart from the deep striking storm troopers I didn't rate their survivability. So went for a couple of command squad upgrades, and put Pask in one of the vanquishers.

We rolled mission, and got annihalation. Ken then told me he had 15 kill points available, so I checked my list... wait, that can't be right... I also have 15 kill points? Several checks of both lists later, it was confirmed that for the first time in 5th, I would be playing a "fair" fight using kill points. I never thought the day would come!

My first turn was pretty dire for shooting. I managed to reduce the terms to Ld 2 thanks to my psykers, but then failed to inflict the one casualty required to cause a moral check (gotta love the Black Templars righteous fury rule) This of course put a big fat target on the chimera containing my PBS. Ken advanced with his dreads and Land Raider. My second turn saw my command in valkyrie show up. Marbo also turned up and dropped a demo charge on the Ld3 terms (thank you psykers) They ran, but due to me not checking the fallback corridor when positioning my valkryie, they rallied and brought down the valkyrie with an immobilised result. My command squad made them pay the price for their cheek, and advanced across Kens back line.

The storm troopers made a brave appearance. Deciding to sell their lives dearly they dropped into difficult terrain to get the best firing position on their quarry. They figured a couple might pay the price, but that they would take down their enemy. Ken is evil. He said I'll laugh if you roll 5 1s now." 5 1s later... I tell you if I'd have been using his dice I'd have refused to accept the result and rerolled with my own. The squad still did some damage, but hardly the best test for the poor bastards in my opinion...

The vanquishers (even with Pask) were proving as ineffective as ever. Ken then dropped his troops in among my battle line and started causing merry hell. A dread charged my command squad, and had quite a nasty surprise as Straken punched through his front armour and removed his entrails and showed them to him. Straken and Yarrick advanced on the other dread, but due to a poor assault roll couldn't get him this turn. The other dread then... moved to a better firing position (cough, coward, ahem)

Meanwhile Ken had done quite well ripping apart my vets and taking down my tanks. The vanquishers did eventually kill the Land raider... but two vanquishers shooting cannon and lascannon for 10 turns or so (combined games) one land raider was a pretty piss poor kill tally. Some disciplined fire from his predator and dread killed off my command squad and marbo, and in the end I was left with an immobilised chimera, while ken still had 9 points on the board. One of them was in a single marine who annoyingly refused to die earlier in the game, another was in a somewhat marbo battered predator, but it was a convincing win.

In summary, the valkryie, over the course of two games, has managed to move a total distance of 24" It turns up, gets immobilised, and a bit later the bits are stripped off it and it is eventually destroyed. With hindsight I should have put the storm troopers in it, and moved flat out before deep striking... hell at least then I'd have got to move 24" and got a cover save for once. Straken and Yarrick in the same squad is a bit of a waste. For starters Straken makes his squad fearless anyway, so Yarricks fearless ability is wasted. And sods law now that he can reroll misses he barely missed at all. Figures. Again with hindsight I should have left them out of the valkyrie, and kept them at the back with my troops. Apart from losing the chance for orders, I didn't kill much with them. They slaughtered what they came across but on Kens back line his troops were well scattered. If I'd had them with my stuff, where Kens troops were deliberately converging, I'd have had far more targets for Straken to chew on.

The Psyker battle squad weaken resolve is an interesting power, and against Black Templars is deadly. A single casualty makes them take a morale check. May have to convert some of these in the near future. The storm troopers need a better test than this I fear, but they are an expensive unit. I only tried them as I had what I wanted and was looking deliberately for what else I could chuck into my list for shits and giggles. Thus far I haven't brought them deliberately. Maybe I'll try them again some time, but with Marbo being a neccessity in most of my lists, and the PBS proving interesting... and ogryns being a superb bodyguard for Yarrick... I need more elite slots!!! Hmm, planetstrike... why does it feel inherently wrong for guard to be the attacker in this one?

Saturday, 11 July 2009

READ YOUR CODEX. Then read it again.

Then read it a third time. And don't just skim over the bits you know, re-read them!

I've only had a few games with guard as most of this month I've been focused on fantasy with the upcoming tournament... but last night, for the first time, I noticed the brilliant Colonol Straken (as I've mentioned before, an old favourite of mine. For a guardsman he's a combat monster!) has a 3+ save!!!

This goes along with some arguments we've had recently in fantasy. Now whether MR can be used against AOE spells was a wording thing, so that doesn't count. But the fact that none of us realised you could use MR to help dispell a spell once it was in play... now most times that hasn't come up I guess, cos the first time I thought of it I checked. But from the surprised reactions I got I'm guessing the other guys were playing it wrong.

Another one we noticed recently was that great weapons get to strike first on the turn they charge. I can see more great weapons getting used in future. We also discovered Stubborn troops will break automatically if outnumbered by a fear causing enemy.

With the tournament coming up I plan to spend the next couple weeks reading and re-reading the rule book, and my own army book. I hope my opponents do the same, to help the games go quicker.

Once the tournament is by, I think I'll have to do the same with 40k and my shiny new guard codex, before I try to play them regularly again.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Bring forward those Guns!

So in my final game at club before the tournament I decided to throw everyone completely off whack by going for yet another different army...

I kept with my forward line of heroes. The casket on pegasus hero was dropped, as in about 6 attempts over 2 games I had failed to roll the 4+ required to capture a single spell. I opted for another low level wizard with a scroll, just as a bit of extra magic defence. I stuck with the mob of spearmen and flagellents. To make up my core choices I took a couple of 10 man free company fighter squads. These would act as a screen for the two larger units. Sure, as they weren't a detachment if they broke they'd cause panic checks... but one unit was lead by immune to pschology Karl Franz, and the other was a bunch of raving nutcases who are looking forward to the apocalypse... so no problems there. Where the army really came alive was in the special and rare choices. 3 Great Cannon, 2 Mortar, and a Helblaster in a pear... no wiat, plus another 2 steam tanks. My basic plan was to deploy Karl and spears central, claim a hill with most of the war machines (within Karls leadership range) and put the flagellents and steam tanks on one flank. They would then arc round. If they got charged in the flank none of them would care, and it potentially putting anything advancing on my guns and spears with a rather nasty problem in their own flank.

The game started badly for me. Rich had taken a very mobile army, and in an unheard of move for him, actually came running towards me! Teclis came and did his usual annoying irresistable bullshit, and Rich got incredibly lucky. The spell hit everyone in my unit of 30, needing 4s to wound. He wounded 22. Out of 30!!! So 16 dead spearmen later, my big strong unit looked a lot more managable. He also killed the helblaster crew that were just cranking up their organ for Tyrion, and that left an eagle and a pain in the arse threatening my war machine mound. His bolt thrower also managed to damage one of the steam tanks - nothing too serious but it meant I had to play a little more carefully with it.

My movement involved starting my flank attack with the steam tanks and flagellents. My magic phase started spectacularly badly with a miscast followed by a double one... there goes one of my wizards then. My shooting phase was far better though. My guesses proved to be right where I wanted them, but with that amount of cannons you're gonna get some misfires. The first buried a cannonball at the feet of an eagle, the second messed up the mix and failed to fire at Tyrion. The third did better, as two surprised elves looked at the charming rustic woodshavings on the floor around them and wondered where their bolt thrower just went... The mortars dropped quite well, picking a few spearmen off one unit and halving the other in size.

Rich advanced still further into the valley of death... though a little less deadly a valley with an eagle and Tyrion playing merry hell with my war machine crews. Here is where the problem in my battle plan emerged. My flanking force were nowhere near a position to stall the enemy. I'd never known Rich to advance before, and Elves can be bloody quick when they want to be. He was getting across the table far too quickly for my liking.

My next turn I pressed on with a steam tank towards Richs hill where his archers and bolt thrower sat. The flagellents and other tank continued towards their flank position, even if they were a little late. The mortar did some more sterling work on the spearmen, while the other misfired. The cannon also had a slight problem. They overshot their target of the knights... behind them however some random mage tried to play "catch" much to the amusement of the cannon crew...

Rich finally got his knights to charge. A counter charge from one of the detachments flanked him, while the other detachment was held by the spearmen charging it. They'd been moved forward to make sure the spearmen couldn't flank my spears, so it was worth it. His other spearmen also charged the flaggellents. They soon regretted this decision and fled, eventually being run down by the flagellents in my turn.

The spears held and a long combat began. The knights had an excellent armour save, but apart from a strong charge were not dealing enough damage and were being dragged down bit by bit. Unfrotuantely in the early rounds I won, but he stuck it out. In later rounds he won the fight, and eventually broke the unit when they were piled into by spearmen and Tyrion, and the ongoing challenge with the BSB had rednered most of my units unable to fight. Meanwhile my healthy steam tank battered his archers and ran them off the board, forcing his war machine crew to flee. Some free company fighters then went and dismantled the bolt thrower. The limping steam tank turned back towards it's own lines and fired a shot over the combat at the very extent of it's range. It was a beautiful shot, curling over a unit of spears, landing just to the side of his dragon princes, then bouncing clear through the unit. The unit was wiped out.

As the fight turned against the Emporer in the middle the steam tank tried to return to lend aid. The flagellents also came back towards the centre but it was a manouverability battle they weren't likely to win. The other steam tank meanwhile, having seen off the threat from the Elf hill, trundled across their back lines in pursuit of the other bolt thrower crew. In Richs final turn he overcame the spearmen and ran down a lot of points worth of characters (later VP work figured out that with points destroyed, plus bonuses for killing the general and capturing standards, that victory had won him 1200 points. Out of an eventual total of 2190 or so.) The spearmen pusrued but at great cost... they left themselves open to a charge by the steam tank. It did massive damage, dragging the unit below half strength, but being stubborn they held. the other steam tank forced the war machine crew to flee, effectively counting them as destroyed. The flagellents, with nothing to do, advanced into the area of my right flank.

It was close so we added up points. Rich had done a lot of damage, especially with that late collapse from the spearmen (oh to have started that fight with my full rank bonus... damn Teclis and his irresistable bloody everything!) but I had forseen it being a close finish. Therefore my free company fighters had held their ground on the elf hill. In moving after the fleeing war machine crew, the steam tank had put itself in Richs other starting quarter. The flagellents had one of my quarters, while the final steam tank contested my other quarter. This capturing of table quarters garnered me 300 VPs, for a total of 2200 something apparantly. Which technically puts it as a draw, but Rich said minor victory... it's been so long since we checked VP i can't recall if that was him misreading or whether there's a club house rule to always give a result... it was certainly how the playoff between Wez and me was decided at the last tournament, the game technically being a draw. Either way, from the dreadful start I had and that disasterous late collapse from the spears, it felt good to be on the winning side of a draw, especially given it was by something as simple as manouvering, something that Rich hadn't even realised I was doing. I doubt he'll let that slip by him come the tournament.

Speaking of which, that was my last game at regular club night for a few weeks. With the tournament less than three weeks away, I have to take all I've learned from the last few weeks and plan out an army. I've tried horde. I've tried gunline. I've even tried Cavalry. One thing I've noticed... apart from in the cavalry army, the nobles were the first to run every bloody time!!! So not too impressed by them! Given I had Karl Franz and Kurt Herlborg leading my knights in my cavalry army, if THAT's what it takes to make those ponces stick around... they aren't looking a likely feature of my army. The strength of an Empire army is in the core troops and the detachment system. One on one your troops are pants compared to everybody, but if you can get a flanking countercharge that gives you a 5 point lead for Combat Resolution before a punch has been thrown (3 ranks, 1 flank, 1 outnumbering - presumably) then suddenly they look a lot more impressive. Another good thing is the cannons and mortars, but they definitely require a fine eye for distance. I'd say I've got that eye... the other aspect is hoping you don't misfire. But given the amount of cannons you can pack, you're gonna misfire... you just have to hope not to misfire the crucial one.

Anyway, I have some army planning to do. See you guys at the tournament.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Fallen Angel

Spoiler Alert

Ok, I don't really plan to give too much away, but if you want to approach this book with absolute mystery, don't read this post.

First off, this is not the culmination of the Dark Angels saga. I had thought it would be and had been eagerly anticipating the answers. Those will have to wait for another book I'm afraid.

Yet again they have left doubts about both the Lion and Luther. Right now Luther is looking the more suspicious, but I think that is a ruse to keep the Dark Angel players spirits up. Both are shown to be exemplary heroes, but both also have their dark sides. In particular with The Lion, I think I can see how he could fall - pure ambition. At the end of the book he is being ambitious for the future, restarting the Great Crusade once Horus has been defeated. I wonder if the Istvaan V massacre will perhaps make him think that he is preparing for a future with the wrong side... and might be open to a switch if the offer is right.

Luther also shows a dark side. But it's far more open and obvious... hence why I think it's a ruse. He is also a hero, though a flawed one.

The Watchers in the Dark make another appearance, and reveal some more info. They also imply they may be part of the Cabal mentioned in Legion. Nothing solid... but I suspect they are part of it.

We are also introduced to (I believe) Cypher, as in THE Cypher we all know and love today. He himself is an enigma. He has a shady (though well educated) past. He is knowingly instated to his position of authority by The Lion... seemingly to be loyal to him above all else. Yet he then seems to develop an excellent relationship with Luthor. It's a mystery... I reckon he encountered the watchers early in his life and still acts under the guidance of the Cabal to this day.

I'm disappointed I didn't get the answers I'd been hoping for from this book, but it was a good book. To move the timeline along quicker would have meant less action, and that would have been sorely missed. The answers I did get were clever - teasing you along but not committing either way till they're good and ready. Like most horus heresy novels. So with another Dark Angels one to go, Space Wolves and Thousand Sons, and I think they just HAVE to do Night Lords at some point... that's 4 books before we even reach Terra! And surely sometime they must explain the background of that bloody swine Erebus! Ah the Horus Heresy novels - I want the answers they will provide... but I don't want them to end! Sooner or later that impasse will be resolved. I just wish they'd churn them out a bit quicker - I read both Descent of Angels and Fallen Angel at work the last 2 days. Sadly GW churn them out at a speed more suited to those gits who take months to read a book (if how long mine go on loan for is any indication :oP)

A good book. But WHEN is the next one out! No, not the next Heresy one, I know and am looking forward to that. I want to know when the Dark Angels issue will finally be resolved and I'll finally have proof to wave in Richs face while I laugh at his Italian Primarch!