Tuesday, 31 March 2015

GW doesnt care from whom the cash flows, only that it flows (To them).

"See how many times you can say 'and my axe' during your game,
before I punch you in the face."
-Kharn the Betrayer
New Daemon Stuff!
Yeah I know its been a while since I last posted, around 6 months or so, but really there has been little to post about in my world of warhammer. Ive been doing a little painting, so more listing building but Ive only played about 3 games since my last post so I really didnt have much to add. Until today. Sure Im a bit late to the party reviewing a codex thats been out for 3 full days already.but we cant all wait in line at our local GW for the doors to open on release day.

Anyway lets face it, you dont care about me, you just want to hear a review of the latest CSM/Daemons stuff with the odd sarcastic comment attached.

The repack:
Firstly, lets get one thing straight, while this isnt really a new codex, so to speak. Its not a supplement, like the black legion codex. So while most of its units are going to have the same statlines and points costs as their original books, they technically arent the same book. This is significant for looking at allying with CSM and Daemons, as you are a different codex and therefore you dont have to use the combined forces table.
So of course many people have started to complain. Yeah, most of us know how much the CSM and Daemon codecies needed a little work to bring them up to todays power levels, but hey it could be worse, we could be ignored entirely like SoB enthusiasts or retconed to never exist...
Dwarf Lord
"Just give me a bolter and a round base, I'll play your 40k game"

As expected everything has to have the mark of khorne. Most of the units have it pre-built into their cost, which makes them appear more expensive at first glance. Your troops choices, CSM, Berserkers, Bloodletters, cultists also have a minimum squad size of 8. Which is an increase in the MSU size for the marines, but a decrease for the letters and cultists.

The daemons have lost both the warp table and instability. Which is probably the biggest change  this book has to offer. Not only does it mean they dont care if they lose a combat now. But perhaps even more important is that now you can mix and match your squads to have daemon characters in marine squads, and vice versa. meaning you can do cool stuff like this
- Slap a herald on a juggernaut into a squad of spawn.
- Have a Chaos Terminator Lord deepstrike in with, then tank the wounds away from a squad of blood letters.
- Slap Skulltaker in a squad of berserkers and ride a landraider into battle.
-Use a heralds icon and Locus to benefit your marines.

But thats not all. See at least until they smack us down with errata, You can get your Chaos sorcerer from your CSM codex and put him with your Daemons from Daemonkin. So even though Kharn is not in this codex, feel free to ally with CSM and mix and match your squads, even put him in a squad of bloodletters if you wish. This is because, as described before you arent part of the Daemons codex, so being your own codex has its perks.

Your new "faction based rule" generates you a set of tokens everytime a Daemonkin kills a unit or the unit is killed. Just like Epidemius, this sucks at small point games and gets ridiculous at larger point games (like 10,000 point apoc games giving you a free Bloodthirster every turn). This is to compensate for your loss of psychic powers, and considering its free, theres little to no downside.  

Oh and just to have fun, Heldrakes and defiler are now khornate, and benefits from khorne-tastic rules, like the FNP from your Blood Tithe.

So while Close Combat might have been nerfed hard, The Daemonkin might just be able to pull off enough ridiculousness, to give those gun toting, psychic bumbling, non bloodforthebloodgod believers a good run for their money.

Give them a taste of 10 Strength D attacks at WS10.
Army wide FNP every single turn (3 blood points is really achievable, it can be a rhino + the squad + 1 loss on your side) 
A use for those blood crusher models (they make great mounts for Chaos lords)
Armour saved dudes body guarding your daemons
Skulltaker in a tank.
Throwing a cultist squad at their THSS terminators hoping you die.
Throwing rhinos at your opponent so you can gain even more blood points (thats right rhinos count)
Yelling blood for the blood god at the top of your lungs until the guy from the store/your friends/your mother tells you to quiet down some of us have work in the morning.

So over all, very interesting book, will give you some cool interactions and a lot of fun building and playing a sacrificing things to the blood god. However the units remain to their old rules and points costs, so dont expect this to be the next OP must play at every tourny list.

What do you guys think? Are you excited about the mono god book? Are you at least excited by the thought that the future will bring more of the gods as mono-god books?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Assault Vehicle fluff

"Its so fluffy I'm gonna die"
-Roboute Guilliman
Assault Vehicle fluff
So still havent had a game in a while, but did manage to catch up with some of my old warhammer buddies to have some warhammer related chats including whether or not new space wolves are just marines with +1 strength on their power weapons for 5 extra points, and whether or not grey knights moving to a more shootier army is a refreshing change or not. Personally I think heavy 6 bolters with force are amazing, even with AP - due to their ability to just slaughter Greater Daemons (who wont always roll 3+) and Tyrannid monsters after getting only a single wound. Also Heavy flamers which get +1 strength for free is nice.

Anyway another comment that came up was the landraider as the only assault transport for chaos marines. Which is always a favourite amongst heretics, and never gets old by the way, and how terminators can charge from the side doors of a LR yet cultists cant charge from a rhino.

Well we put it down to this, imagine that your rhino is built like your mothers Volkswagen. You squeeze in the backseat and when you reach your destination you all pile out all stiff and unable to do much as you help the middle person out of that dreaded middle seat. The thing is even if you were to ride in a Limo, you are still piling out one at a time, from seated and really its still a pain in the ass. Heck even the bat-mobile woulnt be an assault vehicle according to these rules.

Well I can imagine that a landraider is more like the back of a van, or even a bus, where you are already standing before you disembark. Its easier to charge off a bus that it would be to charge out of a car. Regardless on the number of lascannons on said bus.

Now open topped would be like a convertable. You can just leap out the side, over the boot, across the bonnet if you have to. And although you are sitting while it moves, you are standing before you disembark. Which is why these vehicles allow charging in the same turn as you disembark and a rhino makes you help your buddy out of the middle seatbelt which doesnt unclick unless you jiggle it at the perfect angle.

If you dont believe me, next time you are in the car, try leaping out of it and jumping into the fray. Make sure your friend videos it too, so you can have a nice youtube clip of you either smashing your head on the ceiling of the car, or getting your foot caught in the seat belt and doing an epic faceplant while your sister unbuckles your baby brothers carseat, before you pick up your teeth for that assault phase.

Though it would be nice to have some form of dukes of hazard units who could charge out of non assault transports, maybe if you go to the effort of modeling Kharn the Betrayer into Bo Duke your opponent may be a little more lenient.  

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Trapped in the eye of terror

"And he watching us all through the eye... of terror!"

Trapped in the eye of terror
Just in case you were worried (I dont think you were, you probably didnt even know I was gone) I am not dead, I am just trapped in the eye of terror. Actually, thats not entirely true, what really happened was my play group moved from tuesday nights to saturday nights. Which apparently worked out best for everyone, except me. So I havent had any games of late and thus have not had any new revelations of what to do with chaos in 7th ed. I also wanted to include something about the new space wolves, and how they can upgrade practically any power weapon to +1 Strength for 5 points.

They did lose their stupid psychic defense, only grants Adamantium Will, but do get a dread with a storm shield.
Overall it looks like a decent book, but only time will tell. Personally Im looking forward to the new nurgle stand alone book which has been rumoured.

Until then I have to go before my Boss catched me:!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Giving your opponent turn 1

Heads I win, tails you lose.

Giving your opponent turn 1
Now most of us around here that remember 5th edition remember that turn 1 wasnt necessarily the game changer that most of us have seen since 6th ed. Its not really a rules change, or even a codex change, as much as a change in the meta. See 6th edition and to some extend 7th, the idea was the best defense was a strong offence, and spent the entire game trying to wipe the opponent off the board with glass cannon units rather than tough units that could hold an objective for a few turns. With the new maelstrom mission, tougher units are slowly making a come back. But, if your opponent is trying to destroy you as quickly as possible, why would you give them the first turn?

Well it all depends on army composition. Sometimes its really wise to go second.

I know most of you will scoff, remember that time that the guys Eldar army took 1/2 of yours of the board turn 1, and roll your eyes and say what would he know. But maybe you and your opponents armies were not suited for you to go second. Which also means his army is likely to be equally screwed if you went first.

If your opponent has a really long range army, going first could mean they deploy out of your range, which makes you have to advance, which gives them a free turn of shooting. Giving you 1 less game turn, and they still shoot you first. 

This is common of turtling armies, like a lot of tau builds, where they look for where you deploy and pick the opposite side. If you deploy bottom right, they deploy top left. If you spread your army across your board edge, they pick a corner and have to deal with half your army at a time as the opposite corner units spend their first few turns getting into range.

Alternatively, if you have the long range army, you can let them go first and see how they deploy and counter it. If they spread out (most players do) then just pick the corner which appears the fastest and deploy in front of it. Yes it does mean they close the gap faster, but it means their slow stuff, like their vindicators, spend turns 1-3 getting into range.

Now if you had turn 1, yes you would have an extra turn to shoot them before the vidicator got there, but! For every turn you get, your opponent also gets one. Which means if your opponent wastes their turn 1 advancing the distance you made by deploying second, you just got an extra turn at the end of the game.

I know it seems counter intuitive. But if you assume the game lasts to turn 7. Then deploying first means they shoot you for 7 turns, but you get the alpha strike. If you let them deploy first, and gain a turns worth of movement by deploying right, sure they made that up in turn 1, but now you only weather 6 turns of shooting from them. 

Now this is harder if the enemy is really mobile, in which case this tactic doesnt work as well. Unless your opponent is only semi mobile. If you read some of my previous posts, you'll see that making them split their army up and take you wave by wave makes life a lot easier for you.

If you are the shorter range army, then deploying second also helps. You wait to see how they deploy and take the shortest route. If they take the middle of their edge, follow suit, if they deploy top left corner, take bottom left. If they spread out, find their weakest point and aim for that 

Going second also helps in the mirror match. You put your antitank infront of their tanks, and your antiinfanty infront of their infantry. If they bunch in the center you can deploy in the 2 corners, with the bulk in one corner, and a unit or 2 of long range sniping units in the other. This means if they focus your main army they get shot by snipers who arent worth dedicating a portion of the army to deal with. And those snipers go a whole game without being harassed. If they spread along their edge, then you pick a corner and deploy there aim for the same corner on your opponents board edges (top left if youre bottom left) and then walk right dealing with their army in waves. 

There are plenty of other situations I will get into in the future but for now Im going to play some games!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Redundancy and Overkill II : the revenge

revenge of the sith wallpaper
"So these Jedi, they can see the future, can shoot lighting from their hands, have swords
which can cut through armour. Now where have I heard that before..."
Chief Librarian Leorge Gucas

Redundancy and Overkill II : the revenge
So for those of you who read yesterdays post, you may have seen a few things that may have lead you to rethink your current list building. Some of you would have scoffed and continued to build the same way because its been winning for you. Thats fine, keep doing what you like, I dont write rules for 40k I merely suggest changes.

Now some of you would have seen the latest from BAO tournament, seen the guy who won, and regardless of whether or not you agree to him cheating or not, noticed his bike list kind of goes against what I said in the last post.

For those of you who arent aware, the guy who won, used a white scars biker list. Basically Khan leads the way with a command squad and apothecary while the bike squads (now troops) load out with dual grav guns, dual melta guns, dual plasma guns etc. Notice he doesnt bother with flamers, as the bikes pack enough anti infantry as it is. The issue is that he takes an attack bike, with a multimelta in every squad. This includes the grav-gun and plasma gun squads. Which kind of contradicts what I was saying yesterday. However multimelta, plasma and grav guns all have the same range, so at least he has this going for me, the combination of grav-gun (anti monstrous creatures) with multimeltas (anti-tank) kind of goes against the idea of making your squad do the one thing and do it right. 

Personally I dont know why he used the upgrade option to buy attack bikes rather than just buy a squad of attack bikes, but not having looked into the Space marine codex in too close of a detail, I cant really comment, but the overall reason behind this decision is almost certainly due to with the lists he knew he would be facing. BAO allows for far more super heavies than your standard 40k game, due to the amount of forgeworld "unlocked" and really you need as many multimeltas as you can to take down the potential only titans list.

Thats one of the beauties of this game, is that the current meta can make or break a list that was strong before. D weapons have really hurt those deathstar units relying on rerolling inv saves to stay alive. Super heavy vehicles have also meant that certain star units now struggle to take down a tank that doesnt die to a single antitank gun with a lucky roll.

They do die to a million glancing hits so necrons are back in the game, if not just to keep the titans in their place.

Slipping in a 10 point multimelta into a bike unit is often a good strategy to spend those few extra points to give you an out against tanks. It also works nicely on a stormraven, as your speed negates the difference in range between the lascannon and the MM. And is usable on a Land raider, due to the split fire ability thanks to the machine spirit.

Bikers also have relentless, so if youre moving about to get your other guns in range you dont snap fire the heavy weapon in the same way a lascannon in a squad of tacticals would. So yeah there are some rules and those units and weapons which break them. Does this mean I was wrong, no. Does it mean you should listen to everything you read on the internet, also no. 

My posts on tactics are designed as guides not rules. I think you should make your army with the theme of either combat or shooting, and not a bit of both. Does this mean a half shooty half combat army wont work, no, but in general mixing and matching is hindered by the rules which disallow shooting into combat. Once again certain units, like bikes or oblits, serve as multipurpose and can shoot well and then provide decent close combat back up. Most space marine HQ choices cant shoot well at all and serve purely as close combat. But when you are using one of these units, like a daemon prince, Khan, mephiston, the nightbringer (sorry the generic shard of the nightbringer c'tan or whatever) you need to have the rest of the army support that unit. Usually by pushing up hard and fast with them. And 99% of the time, you must have a unit or 2 able to help it out in close combat.

So yeah, this is not gospel and im sure you will find a list somewhere that contradicts everything I write, but I believe, for the most part at least, that these tactics are fairly sound and apply to most lists, for most games. Deal with it.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Redundancy and overkill

"Only one marine may be equipped with heavy weapons per 10 man squad. But it doesnt say how many he can take"
-Sgt Kronus debating the rules in Roboute Guilliman's codex

Redundancy and Overkill.
It seems obvious to most players out there, or at least it should, but I still see so many people making the same mistake over and over again. Taking a single weapon in a squad which makes the rest of the weapons redundant, useless, or just a waste of points.

Take your standard tactical marine squad. Each man has a boltgun (24" S4 Ap5) which is designed as a medium range anti infantry weapon. Now the guns also get better at 12" so the marines want to be mobile enough to move into the ideal range and spray bullets at some infantry. "This is not new, not some genius unnknown wisdom, its obvious" I hear you shouting down your monitor at me. Well then, if this is so damn obvious, why do you keep taking that lascannon as a heavy weapons choice?

Seriously the amount of lists I see where people will do this, is astounding. If the squad has bolt guns, then the specials/heavies you should take should compliment them in some way. Or at least have some use when being fired at the wrong target.

For example, Plasma guns have the same range, are also rapid fire and are used to beat infantry. Plasma guns works really well in marine squads. As do flamers, as despite their shorter range, they operate on the same principles of get marines up to the enemy and fire while closing the gap. A lascannon on the other hand does not help. It has twice the range of the other guns, so you really want to use this range to its advantage, it its predominately an anti-tank weapon, and is heavy. Meaning to get the bolters in range, you are moving and snap firing the cannon. Now while you may think "But Dan, now this unit can shoot both tanks and infantry" well yes it can, but you are playing for that squad, plus the heavy weapon, and suddenly a triple las-pred is cheaper, gets more shots off, and can even move and shoot fairly well.

Now this doesnt mean you should never take lascannons on marines. Devistators are welcome to take them. Havoks, go nuts! If you are playing templars and your 5 man squad can get both a multimelta, a melta and a combi melta in a 5 man squad, well then you clearly have a short range anti tank unit. If thats the case, you can build them this way. Because your points are devoted to antitank, which is what the squad will do, and the 2 bolter guys are just cannon fodder (or ablative wounds).  

The same problem I have seen with weapon load outs on dreadnoughts. 2x autocannons, great! Auto + Missile, not as good but still gets the job done. Multimelta + Lascannon, no. Lascannon + CCW, yuck. Multimelta + CCW. Better, but still not ideal. You go from being good at shooting OR combat to average at both. Yes tanks will fear you, which is possibly the only thing going for it, but you should really look more into equipping it to cover the weaknesses in your army. Not everything can be the fabled Chaos obliterator, who is good at all ranges and fills any spot in your army. Sorry guys you dont all get one of those units.

If your army is full of power armoured marines, then you dont have to worry about taking anti-light infantry. Your army is full of it already. Take some plasmas in your marine squads. Unless your army is terminator heavy, and the only reason you have any power armour is to fulfill the 2+ troops slot. In which case, consider flamers, because you might need some anti ork boy stuff. If you army is mostly cc, do you think that sniper squad is really that helpful? Sure you can pick off something at range, but all those points could be something else designed to actually achieve victory in your preferred method. If snipers are your only shooting unit, its a lot easy to ignore them and focus your assault marines. If you have more squads of assault marines, who do they focus?

Its easy to make these mistakes, as not only do GW seem to work to make you make these mistakes (by releasing devistator kits with one of each heavy weapon) but also with the mentality behind Marines (both loyal and chaotic) that they are the swiss army knives, able to combat, able to shoot etc. White dwarf battle reports also further this trend of mismatching equipment.

So please stop taking reaper autocannons in 5 man terminator squads. Please dont take lascannons in 10 man tactical squads. That one missile in your boyz squad sounds like fun as it could pop a tank or marine. But firing its loses a turn of running, which means that boys squad is slowed down a turn for a 1/3 chance to hit. On average you slow down 3 boys squads to kill a marine, or 6 squads to pen a rhino. Use those points to buy another few lootas, or tank busters. Thinks designed to kill tanks.

I know this seems counter intuitive and even seems to go against a lot of ideas behind other people on the internet, in their blogs. But this is not saying "dont take a power fist on your Raptor Champion" or "Dont take a 3 man combimelta terminator suicide squad." its saying "dont take a powerfist on your havok squad just in case they get into combat." and "dont take a Devistator squad with 2 lascannons and 2 plasma cannons" as well as "dont take Chosen with 2 flamers, 2 plasmas and a melta." Yes the melta would be nice if you came up against a tank, but it seriously hinders that squads ability to perform at the task you bought it for. Which is pouring out plasma shots. Dont take a reaper on terminators. If youre in range of the enemy with all your guns, the combi plasma would have been better. If youre not, you just spent almost 200 points on a Aegis defense turrret.

As always comments are welcome. In fact encouraged. Maybe you have had success with a single weapon before. I want to hear about it. Maybe you have a tactic you want to share. I want it! Maybe you need a tactic for a situation. I will share it, and write about it next post!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Being good at everything

 - Gun
For that turn your Obliterators are all in reserve, right?
-Chaos lord Gigantius Douchius.

Being good at everything.
Now before you think Im posting about the size of my, ego. Im actually talking about the concept of units which are considered "good at everything" and their effect on the game.

Most people reading this will know Plague Marines are good. If not from experience but from word of mouth or someones online blog. What makes them so good? Well not only are the tougher as nails, but they are able to participate (well) in both the shooting and the combat phase.

Obliterators share this trait too. Notice how both these units are some of the most commonly played units in  CSM armies? Oblits have some great shooting capabilities, can move and fire heavy weapons, and are armed with powerfists, 2 base attacks and defenses which allow them to win combats.

Now granted neither of these units can solo assault a dedicated assault unit. And generally will get shot to pieces by a dedicated shooting army. However the option to swap from a shooting unit, to a counter charge unit is amazing.

Yesterday I played my CSM against an Ork player. We played a weird scenario where our army came down in waves of 300 points. I ended victorious because my models could do what his couldnt. Act in both shooting and assault.

At first it didnt seem that obvious, especially with the lists we saw each other take. However the small amount of points that were on the board at any time really emphasized my point. When his Nobs charged in, my Oblits counter charged. When my chaos lord (on juggernaut) got into to his nobs, his Flash gitz were stuck there completely unable to assist.

This was a huge problem I was having until not too long ago, every time I took autocannon havoks. When the rest of my list was devoted to shooting (noise marines, heldrakes, oblits, etc) they performed really well and their weight of shots ended up being a problem for light vehicles and most infantry. However when I bought a Chaos Biker Lord and some spawn, I often found that I really needed something to back them up in combat. However, Havoks really cant do that.

This seems to be a huge problem for both beginners, and non competitive veterans, and their own lists (not with net lists). They try and get a balance of shooting and assault, and end up being mediocre at both. The games where I swapped those havoks for daemonettes, my army was so much stronger. Is that because daemonettes are better? Not necessarily, its because they fit the army better. If I went back to my noise marine list I think I would find the Havoks much more useful than a squad of squishy glass cannon assault unit.

Troops aside yesterdays game was practically Khorne lord on jugg with spawn and a load of oblits against Nobs on bikes, nobs on foot, flash gits and lootas. Now my opponent played his game quite well, but he couldnt deal with the fact that when he charged my lord, the obliterators counter charged, but the lootas and gitz were stuck shooting cultists and rhinos because the rest was locked in combat.

The other problem he had was such a mix of range he didnt quite know where he wanted me. Lootas want the enemy at 47" inches away. Flash gitz want them much closer, and Nobs even closer again.

For me I could quite happily pick what weapons to use at the range I was at so I had the flexibility to chose what I wanted to do. In this game I wanted to push him hard up against his deployment zone and keep him there.

So after these points we came up with an idea. It actually came from an old Tau vs Guard story, which goes Guards men have 24" range and 5+ armour, so the tau brought 30" guns that wounded on 2+ and ignored their armour. So the Guardsmen brought heavy bolters, which were 36" range, and wounded the Tau on 2+ ignoring their armour. One thing you can take from that, is that the tau could sit at the 31" line and the guard were useless, having to move into the taus range to even have a chance of firing. But with the heavy bolter, the guard put the same pressure on the tau. So basically the idea was, 48" shooting range, with units that can counter charge if they need.

Basically the list involves placing oblits and lootas at 48" away from your opponent, Now I dont know many armies which can deal that much damage at that range, so they have to move forward into salvos of more and more fire. Obliterators get deadlier the closer they get as well which is nice. And at no point do you have a unit locked in combat so far away from the rest of your army that you cant back it up. If your opponent gets off a charge and doesnt kill the unit, feel free to devote oblits to punch em.

Now Im not going to list a perfect list for you guys, im sure you can work one out using the models you have.
But for getting cheap HQ choices, a painboy for orks is fairly cheap and ususally make his points back. Sorcerers are cheap for chaos, providing support spells like invis and shrouding, where a cheap vanilla lord gives a squad fearless for 65 points total.

In conclusion, shooty units which can countercharge are great. especially if you can keep them near by each other. Also remember to keep your ranges (if shooting) or your speed (if in combat) similar so you can keep everything contributing to the battle at all times.