Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Crazy Busy Moving!

Wow almost 3 weeks and no post!  I have been crazy busy the last few weeks.  First I spend a week traveling for work.  Then I moved houses which was quite the undertaking.  Then of course there has been non stop unpacking and of course Thanksgiving family fun times.

In all that I did not get much in the way of hobby time or games.  I did make it out to Frontline Gaming for a few games with Frankie.  He wrecked me for three games with his Nurgle CSM.  It isn't that they are super great, but my armies were pretty weak.  It didn't help that he stole the initiative twice!  /shakes hand at sky

The bummer is that there is not going to be a ton of game time on the horizon either.  I've got another week of travel which basically downs two weekends since it is overseas.  Then there are a ton of holiday parties to go to and then Christmas which will mean several days of family visits.

Hopefully I will be able to squeeze in a day or two at the end of the month to just be a vegetable and get some games in as well.  I need to get painting my own Eldar jetbikes and wrapping up the bike army.  As much as I want to finish up the 1ksons they are not going to be my best tournament army, unless I'm going in just for fun and soft scores (which I tend to do too).

Beyond that I totally geeked out over the weekend in my new office space.  At least for now it is mine, some day I will be booted to the garage when the kids get older.  Until then I'm enjoying the space.

Anyway on to the geeking out part, I pulled out all my minis.  Not like 'hey remember this guy' but in 'what is everything I've got.'  I remember seeing this on BOLS years ago and I had always wondered what my collection looks like.

Not the greatest pics from the phone that I trimmed up but here is the 'forces of order' I suppose.

And this is chaos/orks/fantasy/trollboods.

It's a lot of models.  It is way more than I get to use and it kinda makes me want to get more of these guys out for a spin.  Of course when you only get so much time to play you don't always think 'let me take this army that 6th edition broke' out when you can try something that actually has a shot at winning.

I also feel like I need to give Fantasy another try.  As 6th edition has become more like Fantasy 8th edition there might be more to like now.  I'll need to give the rules and FAQs a good looking over. 

But again do I want to struggle with learning new rules with what little time I have or just play 40k?  That was the problem with Warmahordes.  I enjoyed the game, but I could never get enough games in to really learn the other factions.

Either way I wont leave these guys out forever but it does make me want to get painting up again.  Once some of the crazier parts of Dec are done I'll buckle down and get to work.  The blog might be a little light until then!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Games at Frontline, Helldrake Assembled

So Friday night I headed up to Frontline Gaming for some games with Reece and Frankie.  I lost more games than I won but it was still fun to just hang out and get some games.  We laughed a lot and talked a bunch about chaos in general.  I picked up a Helldrake (which I had proxied in a few games) which I assembled over the weekend.

My two games with Reece we did up as Battle Reports.  My games with Frankie we were a bit more lazy, but since I lost those I don't mind so much!



This is a two game report, with Jim (who's necrons was my1 loss at Golden Throne) playing Reece first and then my game.


We switched over to Bugs vs Bikes in this one.  Doom of Mylanta owned my Tournamt bikes list to say the least.

Getting back to Chaos we spent a bunch of time going over units and options.  I think a lot of us are trying to unravel the mystery of how to build an effective chaos army.  The problem is it does not MSU very well, and any kind of Deathstar list suffers from normal Deathstar problems.  It isn't that the book or most of the units are bad... they are just costly and that kinda leads to every list made a bit lacking.

Oddly enough Troops are still a bit of the quandary, which is why I think we'll see more Plague Marine armies as that is at least a cheap resilient troop choice.  I think there are other solutions too, but they all end up not killing very much and/or just costing more while not adding survivability.

Cultists have their place, but they are also pretty much useless.  I've taken 10 guys and I've taken 20 guys and really they are just nothing but objective holders.  I think you either spam 10 man guys or you take a blob if you've got an HQ that can either keep them around after taking losses from shooting or put up a fight in CC.

The aforementioned Helldrake continues to be good.  I think I used it in 3 total games and it never died though I did make a lot of 5++ saves.  On the flip side it's killing power was slightly limited in my games due to the opponents.  But I've seen the havoc in can cause so I think it is definately staying.  I may even need to find room for a second unit.

So this is basically the 1750 list I used Friday.

Sorcerer MoT
Termie Lord, MoT, PF
3 Termies, 3x CombitMelta, PF
5 1ksons, Rhino, Havoc Launcher
5 1ksons, Rhino, Havoc Launcher
5 1ksons, Rhino, Havoc Launcher
10 Cultists, Autoguns
10 Cultists, Autoguns
3x Obliterators, VotLW
Auto/Las Pred
Auto/Las Pred
Aegis w/ Quad Gun

The Sorcereer is near useless.  The terminator Lord also really just didn't add anything to the deepstriking termies.  I think he'd be better served keeping cultists around but even then I'm not so sold.

The termies also did very little.  The games I played had very little mech, so not surprisingly they didn't have great targets to DS against.  This may be a sign of the times.  This unit might need to be dropped, or added to so as have an options to be effective walking around the board.

The small sons squads were hit and miss.  Some games the rhinos got them where they needed to go and 5 guys were plenty.  Other games rhinos died fast the small squads were not enough stick around for long.  So the verdict is still out on that.  The funny thing is the squads configured as such are only about 13 points different from running 2 x 9 squads in the rhinos with the havocs.  The Havoc launchers were fun and added a bit of annoyance but again their effectiveness is still in question.

Cultists I covered.  Near useless but sorta necessary in some fashion.  I've been starting one on the Aegis with an HQ and putting one in reserve.

Helldrake as mentioned has been impressive.

The 3 Oblits are still good, the non fearless does suck.  I also played against the T5 oblits and yes they are certainly the best way to run them hands down.

The predators have still been pretty darn good.  They are cheap and shooty and there seems to be less and less that can deal with AV 13 at range.   I keep thinking about going TriLas but not sure if it is worth it (or if at that point 2 oblits is just better too).

Aegis is obviously necessary.

So I'm back to the HQ quandary once again.  I'm now toying with a super Sorcerer on a bike and see if he can be the one HQ to fill the need for the rubrics, LD support, and a bit of killing power.

I'm not holding much hope out for the latter at this point...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tzzentch HQ Options for 40k

So I've been thinking a lot about HQ options I can use for my Thousand Sons army.  While a good part of my army is painted and I'm reluctant to make drastic changes the HQ slot is really a much different story.  For one I've only ever had the flying DP painted, so I'm going to have to paint at least a new Sorc HQ to unlock the 1ksons as troops.  I'm strongly considering a second HQ also.

So what's a Tzeentch Warlord to do?


Option 1: Ahriman - 230 pts
Level 4 Psy is nice, and 3 witchfire powers is neat if you can get the distance.  Biomancy makes him survivable and a good AP4 killer but don't count on killing much more than that.  The Infiltrating D3 is certainly one of the better Warlord traits for Chaos.  However the biggest reason I'm liking him over the normal sorcerer is Fearless which is really wonderful to stick with cultists, terminators, or obliterators.  All of which he can infiltrate with to create some pain for the other side which is awfully nice.

Option 2:  Terminator Sorc, Lvl 3, Terminator Armor, Spell Familiar, MoT -165 pts
What you gain over Ahriman is a 2+ save and rerolls on Psy Tests, also you could go Force Axe which is certainly a bonus over a stupid staff.
What you lose is 1 Lvl Mastery, Fearless, Only one Witchfire Power per turn, the Auto Infiltrate trait, and slightly worse stats (-1 BS, -1 W, -1 I, -1 A).
Is that worth 65 points is the real question.  It is a pretty tough call.  Rerolling Psy test is really nice, but almost necessary on the 2 W sorc.  Ahriman has that extra wound but it still sucks to roll perils, and as much as he is casting it is going to come up almost every game.  The 2+ is really nice but that can also be offset by a (slightly) better chance at getting Biomancy powers that can really buff you.  For me it really comes down to Fearless (which is great) and Infiltrate, which you can possibly get by rolling, or by taking Huron (see below).

If you want to spend even more points you can give him the Sigil to gain +1 Invul, but that is a lot of points to get that 3++ on a 2 W piece!

Option 3: Sorc, Lvl 1, MoT- 75 pts
So... this fulfills your need to unlock 1ksons.  Beyond that he is pretty much just a challenge away from getting owned by just about anything.  A 3+ 6++ HQ marine with 2 wounds is nothing more than filler, he's barely better than a normal Aspiring Sorcerer!  You could certainly spend some points to beef him up but I'd probably build the rest of the army first and then sparingly add to this guy.

SO you need one of those kind of options to get the 1ksons unlocked.  There are a few other flavors of Sorc you could do, but I think the roles can be better filled by Lords.

Option 4: Terminator Lord, MoT, PF- 130 Points
This guy is pretty cheap and can be plenty effective.  You can stick him right in with Cultists, Termies, or Oblits and he makes them all better!  He's pretty survivable but that area could be better if he could somehow get T5 but alas.  You could put more points again for Sigil but that is a lot of points to just go from 4++ to 3++.

Option 5: Lord, MoT, Sigil, Disk, Murder Sword- 170
So this guy is T5 with 3+/3++ which is pretty dead sexy.  The only drawback is he isn't 2+ which is a shame.  This is probably the only time I would consider adding one of the Chaos Weapons to the Lord, and largely because of the Mobility he has with the jetbike.  He has the easiest time hopping around to find that character that the Murder Sword is all antsy to Murder and that seems pretty cool.  He can also avoid the 2+ save guys that he can't hurt which would be my fear giving the Murder Sword to a non mobile HQ.  He's not TOO expensive but he isn't cheap either.

Option 6: Daemon Prince, Wings, Armor, Tzeentch, Black Mace- 265
So you want to spend a bunch of points on a crazy fast killing machine?  This guy is the answer.  He looks like a ton of fun, but he isn't without risk.  One Str 10 wound or forceweapon and this guy is toast.  Talk about risk!

I see these 6 options and in a large game I can see using 2 guys but the question is how many points do you want to spend on HQs?  Oddly there are some natural parings that come down damn close point wise.
Option 1 & 4 = 360
Option 2 & 5 = 335
Option 3 & 6 = 340

Of course you could go multiple different ways on this, but it is hard to figure out how to build an effective army behind Ahriman and the Daemon prince as that is almost 500 points!

Obviously in smaller games comprimises are going to need to be met, and even 1750-1850 335-360 pts in HQs is no small thing.  So the question of 2 Hqs might be out altogether if we find we can't get enough bodies or guns on the ground!

More games are most defintely needed to see how these options play out with the new book.

Oh and I forgot another possible option is Huron.  For 160 points he's a steal of a Lord with a bit of Psy in there as well.  He'd be easy to make a fluffy Tzeentch Lord stand in I think.  Decent at CC, Infiltrate Trait, Fearless, he has the goods to be nice.  I just don't know if I prefer him over the Termie lord or Disc Lord... 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lots Of Chaos Games, More Observations

So this weekend was the annual bender a couple of my friends have where we drink all weekend and play a bunch of table top games like we were 20 year olds again and not the older husbands and fathers that we are. This weekend I only played Friday night and Saturday but I did get a bunch of games in with my Thousand Sons.

Now to be fair this was many of the guys first couple of 6th editions games. Plus 4 of us were playing chaos out of the 8 40k players so we were all trying that out for basically the first time. Plus did I mention the drinking all weekend? So there is nothing to brag about for winning or losing these games.

It was also 1500 points all weekend, which is not my preferred level. I find 1500 points boring for most armies. For your standard marine army you are spending probably 600-700 pts on your two Tactical squads and an HQ, so nearly 1/2 of your army is predetermined. So I like bigger point level games as I think they add more flavor and variety into the mix, and can help mitigate a single bad turn of events to determine a game.

So here is what I ran, more to see how certain things worked than if I thought it was "best" for the army at 1500 points.

4 Terminators, MoT, 4 Combi Meltas, Power Axes x3, 1 ChainFist, Gift
9 1ksons, Gift, Rhino
9 1ksons, Gift, Rhino
13 Cultists, Autoguns
Auto/Las Predator
Auto/Las Predator
3 MoT Oblits
Aegis + Quad

I wanted to get as much Gift of Mutation in to see if the boon table was worth... well anything! I also went in very unsure of the worth of the rhinos. I wanted to get Ahriman in to see how he was even though he is probably way too expensive for 1500 pt games. The termies and oblits I know I'm using (because I own them and they look nice) but just need to figure out the best practices for them.

Here are my observations on how things went:

The Boon Table- is pretty much neat but seems pointless to 'work' to try to get anything. In addition to the Gifts I bought (30 points) I would also always take the Boon of Mutation spell if rolled. I rolled lots of worthless crap for my Boons. I killed off my own Aspiring Sorcerers twice (once from perils, once from failed armor from the Str 4 hit). In fact the coolest thing to happen was turning my aspiring sorcerer into a spawn who sprung forth from the rhino and charged into a IG squad to win combat there. But overall I am unimpressed. It is neat and chaos-y for if you win a combat, but really it is nothing to count on or 'build' a list to hope to get great upgrades.

Psychic Powers- Aside from the Boon spell I got Doombolt quite a bit and it was useful in several games. Armor is still out there and it was helpful to have that option. I did not really ever take the Primaris power since I was never playing hordes and I just would keep the Doombolt or Boon results (and the Breath of Chaos is warp charge 2 so I can't use it for the Aspiring Sorcerers).

For Ahriman he did get Breath a few times and I did use it once to mess up some Havocs which was neat, but I'd say very situational. I took Biomancy for Ahriman's other 3 spells. Biomancy is nice because it has two great blessings in Iron Arm and Endurance. It also has three witchfire powers so Ahriman can get mutiple shots off if he gets those (and ever ends up in range). Really the only two spells that are not so hot are Enfeeble and Warpspeed, so I would trade those for Smite when I could.

There are a couple of problems with this I found. Iron Arm is great in that it brings up his Str and T and gives him Eternal Warrior. This is lovely, but he ends up not quite being the killing machine like you would with someone like Meph. Even a normal Sorc with a Force Sword or Axe would be great, but with his AP4 staff he was just not killing much. Survivable yes, killy no.

Endurance was certainly always great to have, but Ahriman was almost always with my oblits and termies, both of who are relentless already. Still FNP on those units is a treat.

Smite, Lifeleech, and Hemorragh are all 12" range. So you need to close that distance with Ahriman with these powers. The nice thing is 2 of those spells are AP2, and paired with my termies or the Oblits 2+ save units were their first target priority.

So essentially I found Ahriman working well when I got good spells with a CC capable unit since he is not, and able to give him Infiltrate to take a unit up the field to close in on the enemy. This does risk giving up Warlord of course and it is painful to pull that 230 point model of the table!

Chaos Leadership- But the biggest gain that I think I overlooked that Ahriman gives that a Sorcerer does not is Fearless. I had oblits route in one game turn one and that hurt bad. While cult troops are fearless things like cultists, termies, and oblits are just normal LD and since we don't get ATKNF failing LD is actual detrimental (go figure).

So things like VotLW are looking a bit more appealing for some units, thought it is still not as nice as Fearless.

Cultists- I ran the 13 man squad and in most games it did its job, sat in the backfield, and shot the Quad gun. Only against fast outflankers did they get engaged and obviously wiped out. I'm debating if the unit needs to be bigger of if that is just a point sink.

On the other hand I played against a list with a 30 man blob with a super killy Khrone Jugger Lord. That unit was a pain. The lord keeps them killy enough and fearless so they can advance into objectives and there is some real challenges in removing that unit. I'm not sure I can achieve quite the same killy power as that Khrone build can however.

But when I go back to that unit being wiped out in CC by the fast outflankers and a Terminator Lord could have at least kept that objective contested for a turn or two... so food for thought there.

Termies- They were ok. I usually was infiltrating them with Ahriman and they sucked up shots and moved toward deeper objectives to be a pain for the opponent. I think they died every game eventually but it did take firepower to do it. I deep struck them once to get into two backfield defilers and that worked ok (killed a defiler) then they died to mass oblit shooting. I kept the Combi Meltas I'd used in the last dex rather than swap to Combi Plasma. In probably half the games I was glad to have them, and half the games I wished I had combi Plas, so a bit of a wash there I suppose. I like the unit, but it goes back to that question of do I need more to keep them alive longer, or just go min squad to babysit Ahriman for a bit or keep them cheap and Deepstrike to their doom. The verdict is out still.

Oblits- Minus the one game they routed turn one they are still great and flexible. I had no problem rotating through guns, and the assault cannon is a nice option to have. Certainly the Nurgle mark is better than MoT though MoT is still pretty nice. I ran Ahriman with these guys for one game (when the Termies Deep Struck) and I think that might be worth experimenting some more to see if that combo makes sense.

Predator- these guys were really great most of the weekend. 115 points for the Auto/Las is a steal, and you can put them behind the Aegis for the 4+ save. The only downside is they can't contest which is the one thing that the oblits can boast about still. However I'm strongly considering turning these into TriLas for the extra 25 points, which would make them even a bit of a threat to fliers.

Aegis + Quad- Still great. They kept cultists alive, they downed a Vendetta (in two turns of shooting) but could not down the helldrake before cultists got burned alive. They gave my Preds a great save. It is hard to see a reason to not take one of these in nearly any Chaos list.

Rhinos- I'll mention Rhinos because I took two and every other Chaos army had dropped theirs. The one game I lost was the old Capture and Control basically because I lost first blood due to a rhino popping at the top of 1. On the flip side the only reason I was able to 'tie' on objectives was because the second rhino got across the table to drop off my other squad of 1ksons.

For most chaos armies the rhino is probably not worth it for the reason of first blood in close games, with the 2 objective game being the absolute best example. I think I have played that game a dozen times and nearly everytime it is determined by those bonus VPs, but largely first blood. In other missions it is less of an issue because you are usually dealing with multiple 3 VP objectives. Sometimes it will come up into play in close games, but other times will make no difference at all.

My real problem is if I don't have rhinos the 1ksons are still relatively slow. They can't run which means grabbing objecitves is and issue if I'm out of place mid game. I have also paid a lot for these cult troops I do not want them getting picked off on turn 1 or 2 if I can avoid it. The rhino can extend that shelf life of these guys. 70 points vs 3 1ksons that I could exchange the rhinos to get is probably a fair trade for the risk of first blood and it deciding the game.

So my verdict is rhinos for 1ksons for now, probably not worth it for many other chaos armies.

A few other things from the Chaos armies I played against:

Plague Marines- still great. They can hold objectives and tie up units. Just don't look for super impressive killing power (unless maybe you go the Daemon/Tally route).

Noise Marines- I still think these are great too. A ton of volume of fire and the Blastmaster is a great weapon. Yes they can get expensive and salvo isn't good... but for a sit back and shoot behind an Aegis they are pretty awesome.

Khrone Lord, Daemon Axe, on Jugger- Total. Killing. Machine. I knew he would be, but I'm simply envious of the sheer wrecking power this guy has. If I did Chaos Undivided this guy would be the top of my list.

Daemon Engines- I played against a Forgefiend a few times and a Two Defiler army once. I have been thinking a wall of Chaos AV12 could really be a great army. After all 5++ and it will not die does boost the survivability of these units. However in my games they did die pretty easily, and the firepower while good is expensive. Maybe some of that was luck, or maybe those bonuses are not as helpful as I thought. Maybe on the Helldrake it is better because of how hard they are to hit anyway. Maybe you just need more AV 12 than 1 or 2 to get the most out of those units.

Helldrake- Baleflamer is awesome, and the unit is more survivable than people give it credit for I think. Most armies are going to really benefit from having one these in the list (if not two). I just can't see cutting out units I already own (and are painted) at this time!

So that's what I picked up over all these games. I'll go back to the army list and take a look at what improvements I'd like to make and hopefully never have to use these guys for a 1500 army again!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chaos Lists!

So as I have been thinking about my Thousand Sons lists I also ended up messing around with some other lists just to see what people could put together.

The first thing I thought about when reading this Codex was using all of the new daemon engines to make a super Iron Warriors style army.  Is it any good, who knows!  But it would be neat to use all these new toys.

Lord, MoK, Axe of Blind Fury, Jugger, Sigil, GoM
Warpsmith, Sigil
Hellbrute (MM/Fist)
Hellbrute (MM/Fist)
20 CSM, Plasmax2
10 Cultists
10 Cultists
10 Cultists
Aegis + Quad

That's about 50 points short of 2k, so you could have some options to try out.  This is mostly a stand back and shoot list so you probably want to mix the forgefiends with the different gun configurations.  The Helldrakes just go bale flamer and be aggressive.  Cultists go in reserve and your blob of CSMs take the two IC which will be nasty behind the aegis if anybody can make it over to combat with them.  I left the Hellbrutes cheap just to have some MM in the army but they could go on the flanks or just function as counter assault units.  If they advance they could take heat of the forgefiends at the least.

If I didn't have so many armies already this would be the army I'd want to try.  The nice part is with magnets you could easily change this army into a CC based army and swap into Maulerfiends and Dual CC Hellbrutes and just start running up the field.  Leave the Cultists in the back and have uber blob moving up the field to take a forward objective.

I was also talking to Liam about potential Nurgle themed lists.  These are always popular and I can see something like this being run if people don't just move straight into Daemon allies shenanagins.

Lord, Bike, MoN, Sigil, PW
3 Termies
5 Plague Marines, 2x Plasma, Rhino w/ Havoc
5 Plague Marines, 2x Plasma, Rhino w/ Havoc
5 Plague Marines, 2x Plasma, Rhino w/ Havoc
10 Zombies
10 Zombies
10 Zombies
5 Bikes, MoN, 2x Plasma, Fist, VotLW
2x Oblits MoN
2x Oblits MoN
2x Oblits MoN
Aegis + Quad

2000 points on the nose.

It doesn't look like a lot of scoring but since everything has fearless and FNP it is not easy to dislodge.  Plus you have 6 T6 bikers coming at you which is hard to deal with and 6 oblits shooting from afar.  Typhus and his 3 Termies can deep strike, slog, or just stay back with the zombies to counter assault.  Can zombies man the Quad gun?  They can't take options, but it doesn't say they can't shoot the quad I think.  It lacks melta but certainly you could swap that on the bikes first and foremost since the PM are sitting in the back.  I am not sure havoc launchers are worth it (or even rhinos) so you could certainly swap those out for more PM bodies if you wanted.

How about a super CSM horde list?

Fabius Bile
20 Enhanced CSM, 2x Melta
20 CSM, 2x Melta
20 CSM, 2x Plasma
20 CSM, 2x Plasma
30 Cultists, 3 Flamers
8 Havocs, 5 Autocanons, VotLW
8 Havocs, 5 Autocanons, VotLW
8 Havocs, 5 Autocanons, VotLW

That's about 1982 in points if my math is right so you could play around with some points there for special weapons on the CSMs.  The main point is Fabius can go with the non enhanced Melta unit and two fearless CSM units can be leading the charge across the field.  They then get backed up by another 40 marines behind them.  That is just crazy scary!  30 Cultists just sit on a rear objective hopefully in the best cover you can get, while the havoc give you your only real range support and are about as anti flier as you can get.  The strength of the army is the 80 marines coming across the field at you!

Like I said at the top I'm not sure any of these armies are the most competitive.  However if I take a look at my current 1ksons list and compare them to these I just don't see any way  they can stand up to any of these.

Could my bikes deal with any of these?  The 2x Helldrakes would be painful when looking at the Iron Warriors list.  Maybe the Nurgle list is an even match up for them.  But the 100 marines vs 40 Bikes?  I'm not sure those odds are good for the bikes... but maybe there's a good game there.

How about my Imperial Fists?  Against the Iron Warriors it is not only a great fluff battle of arch nemesis it would probably be a great game decide by who had the first good round of shooting.  The Nurgle and Horde list I'm less sure about... these might be more mission dependent that anything else.

Or course bigger questions might come down to more of the popular builds out there.  Can it deal with a Draigo army?  Can it deal with Necron Airforce?  If any army wants to be able to be an effective tournament build.  This is where I think the first list probably excels (take ectoplasma cannon forgefiends for paladins and helldrakes to can hopefully mangle the necron airforce).

But that's a big investment in models for an unproven army, but it sure would be fun!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

First Chaos Games part 2

As I mentioned in yesterdays post Dave and I got a few games in this last weekend to try out the new Chaos dex for the first time.

For game 2 I busted out my Imperial Fists:

Termie Librarian
10 Th/SS Termies
Rifle Dread
Rifle Dread
10 Marines w/ Las/Plas Razor
10 Marines w/ Las/Plas Razor
Auto/HB Pred
Auto/HB Pred
Aegis w/ Quad

It is light on troops with the 4 combat squads but it has a ton of shots and a nasty death star moving across the table.   This game was big guns never tire and the diagonal deployment.

This game I got to go first and it was a bit brutal the first few turns.  I think I killed two of the walkers on turn one and started picking of noise marines right away.  Dave did not have much in the way of retaliation fire.   His cultists were getting killed by the Whirlwind but he was spaced out enough to not lose enough for LD checks.

By turn 2 his helldrake came in and smoke most of the marines that were maning the quad gun and another squad that was too close by them.  That was certainly foolish of me to do so, I guess I put too much hope in the quad gun intercepting the AV12 flier (I did manage a hull point).  His termies dropped and popped some meltas into the termies and the noise marines were downing one or two also.  His bike outflanked and killed one of my dreads I believe.

From there on it was a slug fest, with termies mulching through most of his troops while his bikes and terminators were working down my back field.  In the end of 7 he had cultists holding on to the back objective (3 vps) and I had no scoring units left.  We both and line breaker (1 vp) and our warlords alive and I had first blood (1 vp).  But Dave had killed all 3 of my heavies (3 vps)  and I had only killed his Forgefiend (1 vp) and not his Havocs or Oblits.  So another good victory for Dave 7-3.

Dave's army has some merrits that work well.  Fist off the Helldrake performed well both games.  I know people are saying AV 12 with one gun is not enough for the 170 pts but on a flier with 5++ and It Will Not Die that is nothing to sneeze at indeed!  Two of these could just wreck my entire bike army.  Hell one may be enough!

The forgefiend is interesting.  8 Str 8 shots at ap4 are pretty nice but he is BS3 and 175 points for a NON flier AV 12 with a 5++ and it will not die.  Maybe the two ectoplasma cannons would work, especially for an army like my 1ksons which generally suffer against 2+ armor.  But are they really any better than an AV 13 predator with BS 4 and lascannoned out for 140 points?  I'm not sure.

Certainly I am liking Dave's ability to take the Lord with the MoS and bikes to outflank.  I have always found that chaos lacks options to get to the backfield easily.  There are no drop pods and deepstriking is always a risk of course.  He is using the termies also which I used to do and may need to look at as well.  Though so long as I keep Ahriman getting Termies or oblits to infiltrate (and NOT outflank) might be ok.

The dreads are certainly improved from last edition and are cheap, but mileage may very.  The reaper + missile combo comes in at 120 points.  A predator with Auto/Las comes in for 5 points left.  That's two rerollable Str 7 and one Str 8 vs 2 Str 7 and 2 Str9.  If we're talking about popping vehicles and survivability from shooting I think I prefer the preds.

Dave's cheap 20 man cultist were far better than my minimally upgraded 10 man squad.  Granted he still spent more points overall on cultists, but I am not sure the 10 guys even in reserves are an option (unless maybe they are Zombies!).

The reaper havocs certainly have merit.  It does seem like the Flakk option is ridiculously over priced for these guys so that extra savings just goes to more str 7 shots.

So there we go on the first thoughts.  I'm not sure what to change on the current 1ksons list aside from maybe combining the cultists to one squad on the next go around.  Also I did not realize that you can only give one weapon upgrade to a Termie, so no Combi + fist type action, so I'll need to make a tweak there.  Gift of Mutation is still waiting for a verdict as well.

As much as I think I'd like to add a helldrake at his point I think I'd like a few games before I make cuts, though certainly the dreadnought and Apostle are looking like the first things to go.

Monday, October 15, 2012

First Chaos Games

So my buddy Dave came over and we squeezed two late night games using the new Chaos dex.  He brought his updated Slaneesh army and I tried my updated 1ksons for one game, then my Imperial Fists army.  I thought the fistss would be a good litmus test to see how Dave's army (and Chaos in general) held up to what I think it is a good baseline army.

First Dave's CSM looked something like this, I'm not going to have all the upgrades but it gives you a basic idea.

Lord with MoS on Steed
2x Hellbrutes with Reapers Autocannons and Missile Launchers
4 CombiMelta Termies
8 Noise Marines
8 Noise Marines
20 Cultists
20 Cultists
5 Bikes with MoS
3 Oblits
5 Havocs w/ Autocannons
Forgefiend with Hades Autocannons
Aegis no gun

So some good things to check out in his list.  For one he's got the Cultist and Cult troops which I am also trying to find that balance.  He's got some new toys in the Forgefiend and the Helldrake to see how they perform.  Also the Hellbrute are cheap AV12 firepower.  I was also interested in the Lord riding with the bikes and how they would do.  I hadn't really looked into the Mounts for the HQs since I'm primarily looking at Ahriman but some of them seem awesome (note not the the Tzeentch one).  Plus obviously I've been playing bikes a lot!

My updated 1ksons at 2k list also not all the updates included:
Apostle with MoT
Hellbrute with 2 Fists
5 MoT Termies, Combi Meltas one CF
9 1ksons with Rhino with Havoc Launcher
9 1ksons with Rhino with Havoc Launcher
10 Cultists
10 Cultists
2x Auto/las predators
3 MoT Oblits
Aegis w Quad gun

So first big question is is Ahriman worth the points.  Run into a farseer and the answer is easily no, but I need at least MoT sorc to unlock the 1ksons but he could be anywhere from 50-100 points cheaper.  I picked up the Apostle and cultists, but the more I think about it the more I think the Apostle is almost better served going with Infiltrating Terminators.  I added some Havocs to the rhinos because I've had problems with horde type things in the past.  Cheap cultist to sit and man the quad gun.  The rest is pretty much the old list with some updates.  I also took the Gift of Mutation on anybody I could.

We played the Scourging with Hammer and Anvil.  I didn't grab pics and I'm not going to turn by turn a battle report since it went sideways fast on me.  We were able to call it on turn 3 as there was no way I was going to turn the game around at that point.  I had plenty of observations for my sons from these 3 turns:

-Never outflank.  It still is horrible unless you have Accute sense, which Dave's lord did and was able to use with a fast unit (bikes) to great effect.  I put Ahriman + Termies + Apostle to outflank instead of infiltrate and they came in the wrong side on turn 3 and they would have been better starting 18" away and taking shots early.  Even with hammer and anvil they were still horribly out of position!

-Infiltrating Oblits is cool.  They shot horribly this game but it is still cool. 

-My 10 cultists just wilted easily.  Of course Dave did deep strike terminators and outflank bikes, so I didn't get to utilize my Aegis for the 2+ go to ground.  Would more have helped?  Eh... debatable.

-The boon thing is neat but not to be counted on for anything super.  My Apostle got nothing, and twice while casting the spell to give boon I rolled the same thing which is a goose egg also.  I had one Asp Sorc die to perils.  However my other one was doing great (+1 T, FNP, Fleshbane) before he died to Dave's Lord whom he had almost killed!  If the damn asp sorc were not Lvl 1 I could have gone for the force weapon but as it is they might never get a chance to use that thing!

So I learned some things and didn't others due to some bad planning on my part.   As for Dave's army it held up really well for the three turns we played.  Certainly with my termie unit on the board I would have done more damage on following turns but there was no way I was going to get enough points due to the way the random point values for the objectives fell.

Tomorrow I'll do up a quick synopsis of our second game and give some more thoughts to what we've seen from Chaos so far!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Brawl in the Fall and First Chaos Thoughts

So this last weekend I took the marine bikes out to this event in Fresno.  I went with couple of guys from the Zero Comp team and had a great time.  The had donuts and free drinks and snacks later in the afternoon.  Everybody walked away with a door prize of 'debatable' value but it was still a nice touch (I got a little resin terrain piece).   A box of dice and some poker chip objective makers and a shirt were nice hand outs at registration as well.

The terrain on all the boards was good, maybe a few didn't have much variety but it was still fine.  The missions were ok.  They basically had the Primary objective was for win/loss/tie, and secondary objectives were only to break up the standings.  I guess it works, but it just seemed like it made the game a little more one dimensional than how most 6th editions games have been trending.  I've been liking the fact that there have been multiple avenues to victory vs 'just do this and that is all that matters.'   But at least there wasn't some horrible mission that was cooked up that made no sense.

The overall tourny ran really smooth and it was a ton of fun.  I had three fun games, and my only disappointment was my round 2 and 3 opponents had nearly identicaly Tzeentch Daemon armies.  Both games were super difficult and I lost one of those and managed to eek a tie in round three.  My game 1 was against a Draigo GK list and bikes are just a horrible match up for them so that was a solid win.   So 1-1-1 and a lot of fun this past weekend.

As for the bikes themselves they did great but the Tzeentch daemons were a bear.  All that two wound and lots of AP3 flamers that are quite fast is hard even for a mobile army like the bikes.  My kingdom for a Nullzone Librarian this weekend.  I've thought about adding one before, but it would mean cutting somewhere.  I still like the Aegis, and I still like the Farseer, so that would mean cutting attack bikes.  I might give that a go for future 1750 but who knows when I'll get back to the bikes again.

Why you ask?

Well the new chaos book is out and of course there is a lot to think about with it.  First off I do like where most of the direction of the book has gone.  It feels like it brought a lot of flavor back to the army.  I think there are several really great builds that you could chose to move in if you are a new chaos general.

However for a lot of guys with the cult troops I think there is largely disappointment.  I think Nurgle may have made out the best in the sense that they are largely unchanged.  I think Noise Marines can work... but do you pull off all your sonic blasters and run them cheap or do you deal with horrible salvo rules.  And Zerkers on paper look like they hit like a ton of bricks I'm just not buying it.  It is the same old 'lots of attacks when you charge, dead every other turn.'

Which leaves the 1ksons, which is of course my army.  The sons are probably just as good as they were last edition, which is to say not very.  The good news is in general the loss of 4+ cover throughout 6th is helpful but there are still plenty of ruins out there.  They can't overwatch due to slow and purposeful but at least they got rid of the silly sorcerer commands rule.  They did keep fearless and gained Vetrans of the Long War.  The Aspiring sorcerers can only be level 1 and seemingly have to take the Tzeentch pychic powers.  While not horrible the primaris power is really only useful against hordes, the flamer goodnes is two warp charges, and the remaining two powers are... well I'm not sure.  Taking str 4 hits to roll on the boon table sounds more entertaining that competitive.  The Str8 Ap1 shot is a beam so that is a little more interesting, until you realize that shooting at a vehicles just wastes all your AP3 fire.  All in all they often will likely just be torrented down as before and are not worth the extra points for what they bring to the table.

Ahriman is also probably not greatly improved.  He is now a tad cheaper and mastery level 4.  This is neat, and he can still fire 3 different witchfire powers a turn.  So much like before that would be great if it was the same which fire power, but it is not often when 3 different witchfire powers are going to be horribly effective against the same unit.  He can't even attempt multiple Boons to try to create some super character.  So I'm not really sure why else to take him other than to be fluffy.  Maybe a few test games will show me the light, but otherwise you can save 100 pts and have a cheap MoT sorcerer to make 1ksons scoring.

So I'm not horribly sure what to do.  I did pick up some cultists and a Dark Apostle to give me another HQ choice and some cheap scoring bodies.   As is usual with a release the challenge is always how much of your old stuff do you want to rotate out for new stuff.  When you only have one or two armies maybe it is easier to just keep adding to your force, but most of my armies are heavy on theme.   So if I'm going to end up tossing most of my non 1ksons out just to try to make 1ksons work, you have to wonder whether it is worth while.  In other words if I'm going to end up taking a bunch of new stuff and have to paint it all up, why bother keeping the 1ksons theme at all?

Iron Warriors or even and Abaddon Black Legion army is looking very nice these days...

I'll try building up a list with what I've got and see about some games in the next two weeks before I get too doom and gloomy over my boys in blue.

I can always get back to finishing the details on my bike army!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Several 40k Games, First thoughts on new Chaos

Sorry for the lack of post the last two weeks.  I was traveling for work last week and my evening have been busy with family stuff every night this week.  So this is the first chance I've had to sit down and right up a blog post.

Over the last two weeks I've had the chance to do a handful of games to try to test out some of the afore mentioned armies that I was looking to tweak into 6th edition.  Here is a quick summary of how things went.

2k Tau vs 2k Bugs-  This game was a killpoint game which really helped me I think.  Basically I just shot little bugs for a few turns and eventually the big bugs made combat and wiped the squad they charged.  Then I just shot the big bugs dead.  Not everything worked the way I hoped but the farseer came up clutch on shutting down iron arm right when I needed him to do so.

2k Tau vs 2k Harliestar- This was a practice for Feast of blades and had essentially 4 objecitves.  I poured a ton of fire into the Harlies that did pretty much nothing, but in return he failed two charges.  Finally I whittled down that unit before they made combat, but could never get rid of them by the end of the game.   A lot of shots might have been better directed to his scoring units.  The Kroot infiltrated on an objective and managed to hold it all game.  Stealth suits also infiltrated but damn fire dragon exarch has krack shot and downed enough for a LD that they failed and never recovered.  In the end the game was a draw.

2k BA vs 2k Harliestar- Another Feast of Blades practice with 6 objectives but you could not take the 'close' ones.   This game looked ugly early but the turned in a big way for me by turn 3 when the harlie/vect unit went down hard.  I had a few 'solo' guys running around holding up his last troop choice and in the end was able to claim two objective while tying up his last troop on another for a win!

2k Orks vs 2k Harliestar- Another Feast of Blades mission that was a fancy kill point game.  My first time out with the Mad Doc and it wasn't as bad as I thought with the 'must charge nearest unit' rule.  Maybe in a objective based game I would have preferred him to sit around.   Essentially that unit just devoured his backfield, and while the harliestar was eating my backfield it was essentially 8 to 3 in my favor when we called it in 5 realizing he would never be able to claim but one or two more units in any remaining turns.

So there you have it.  I'm not sure that is quite enough of a sample to have any giant take away on any of the list but it was fun to get these armies into the rotation and see how they fared.

Beyond that obviously there has been a lot of Chaos stuff popping all over the internet.  A lot of things look really cool if you were just going to start yourself up a new Chaos army.  I think making a Iron Hands army where you flood the field with AV 12 could be really cool!  But in the end I think that horde CSM is going to be a real winner.   A few cutltists blobs backed by advancing CSMs with Havocs with flakk missiles in the back field is going to be deadly!  A Typhus army with lots of cheap FNP/Fearless zombies seems ridiculously hard to shift!

But for a lot of old school CSM owners there is a bit of angst over what to do.  Many of us were mono god oriented and are looking to continue in that theme.  I think the new rules certainly allow for it (just have to take a HQ marked as such for cult units to be scoring) but I still think it might fail to be as competitive as the above mentioned lists.  Zerkers now desperately need the charge.  Noise Marines can ignore cover with the sonic blasters but lose the ability to move and shoot.  Pms seem pretty much untouched, and with the above mentioned Typhus/Zombie horde is probably going to still be the winning 'faction' of Chaos.

Then there is my lovely 1ksons.  On the plus side they seem to be cheaper if we don't have to pay for powers and we also seem to have lost 'the sorcerer commands rule.'   It is looking like you have to buy the Soulblaze upgrade, which if it were free would be neat but I don't know that it is worth the points.  Overall these are all nice perks, and with the overall changes to 6th edition I would say they are better than they were in 5th.  It doesn't seem that we get the relentless rule as rumored with the sorcerer which would have been nice for the sake of overwatch.

What I'm not sure about are these powers.  The primary power is a blast that seems like it might be nice for anti horde which has been something I've struggled with in the past.  The Boon table is neat but I'm not sure I'm willing to try to spam it and pay for the 'start the game' power to try to get a DP (which isn't as great as I would have hoped anyway).  Bolt is nice as always but then the sons aren't shooting at units which they need to be doing.  And the template of death is also nice though might be situational.

So the primary power is likely going to be the default for the aspiring sorcers.

I'm definitely going to give Ahriman a try now.  The Infiltrate warlord power opens up so intersting options with infantry options (1ksons, oblits/maulers, termies).   The three witchfire powers a turn I'm less excited about.  I'm assuming he still can't do three of the same so... you're going to need to do three differnt witchfire powers?  Well that's going to be tricky/situational at best.  Maybe I'm missing something that makes this better than I'm thinking.   Either way while not having Divination blows I'm thinking Biomancy and Ahriman could be pretty crazy.

Beyond that I kinda need to see how the rest of the book shakes out to figure out what to do.  Obviously I'd like to make an army that is competitive but this was always about being my 'pretty army' and I'm not looking to do a lot of dumping of units. 

So right now the lesser daemons and the DP are out, and Ahriman, and Aegis, and cultists are probably all going to be in the new list.  The question is how do those points shake out now?  Do I just drop the old Dread (now Hellbrute)?  The termies look to have a lot of new configs so how does that shake out now?  Do I need rhinos?  Since my 'oblits' are the sorcerer lords do I try those out as Maulers?

Another week and we'll have a pretty good idea of where to start!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Tau Army in 6th Edition

So the next of my armies that needs to be looked at is Tau.  The Tau of languished for most of 5th edition so it would sure be nice to get them back on the table and not be horrible.

The biggest problem Tau had in 5th edition was the troops.  They just are not survivable and you really needed the most from other slots to kill vehicles.

Now there are a lot of changes to 6th editions that affect how good Tau can be.

+ Shooting is generally better (rapid fire at distance, overwatch, random charges).
+ You can regroup a bit easier.  It isn't much, but for Tau that are prone to LD failings it is pretty big.
+ Tau Vehicles can essentially have a 3+ jink save.
+ Stealth suits get shrouding and stealth, meaning in light cover of 5+ they have a 2+ save.
+ Allies can fill gaps.
- Can't score from inside vehicles, nor contest with fast moving Piranha.
- Can't assault out of reserves, which was an option for Kroot (that usually did not go well).
+/- Cover is generally worse.

So it looks like more pros than cons, but there are lots of qualifiers I'm unsure of in there.  For instance it is great that moving Tau vehicles can get 3+ cover saves, but they are arguably expensive for what you get.  Would I rather have a Hammerhead with one rail gun or a Broadside with Shield Drones and save 70ish points?  Sure the hammerhead can drop a big blast... but can't I get anti infantry shooting elsewhere?   Devilfish add nothing but some mobility to troops, but are still 85 pts to not contribute to the firepower so desperately needed.

Pirahna are the one skimmer I'm unsure about keeping or not.  The fast vehicle is great for getting that melta up close quickly, and it is AV 11 with that 3+ save (2+ if you go flat out!).  That is pretty tempting.  At 75 points it is still reasonably priced but you still likely only really get one shot.  You are still AV 11 and open topped with two hull points.  If you aren't going first these are possibly the easiest first blood target in the army.  So for now I'm going to drop them and see if I can manage enough anti tank elsewhere.

So if I'm not going to go with vehicles that leaves me with a Foot Tau army.   That means I'm going to need to load up on troops.  Right now I'm leaning towards units of 8 Firewarriors + Shas'ui w/ Blacksun Filter (BSF ignores nightfight).  So that means killing 3 before a LD 8 test and possibly being able to shoot turn 1 if there is night fight and range.


What about the kroot?  Well I still like them, and they do provide some options, but I think the small 10 man pillbox units of yesteryear are gone.  I think take a big unit of 20 kroot with 12 hounds.   I think you drop them behind the aegis with the HQ and just make people shoot them over and over or have to charge them eventually.  Alternatively they could be used to infiltrate against a deep strike army (Daemons, Drop Pods) or a Necron Airforce type army.

So I've mentioned the preference to Broadsides, and I think going 3 units of 1 is my current plan.  With the key upgrades of two shield drones, Target Array (BS4), and BSF clocks in under 120 pts and lets you pretty much still spread out lanes for long range anti tank shots.  I'd love to add plasma guns, multracker, but that's 20 more points x3 that I'm not sure I'll need.  It's great for killing marines as they close but I think the Broadsides are best focused on the Heavy Armor.  Advanced stabalization would be great too so you could overwatch in that config, but I think the TA for BS 4 is probably still better.  You have to make sure these guys are landing hits!

File:Tau empire.jpg

Which brings us to the suits section.  5th edition was all about Crisis suits, stealth suits just didn't have a place.  I'm not sure if they do now either.   I think you have two options if you are taking stealth suits.
- Take a big squad, infiltrate into cover on a flank and just harrass the hell out of the army.
- Take a min squad with a fusion (melta) and either try the above or Deep strike into cover and get that one melta shot off and then get killed.
I'm going to try out one big squad some more and see how it goes.  The one 6th edition game I played was against a Deathwing list, so I would have rather had the melta, but at least they netted me line breaker.

Which leaves two crisis suit teams.  I usually always went Plasma/Missile as it gave a good option for range and light vehicles.  Twin linked missiles were a good point saver and more accurate but I often found myself wanting plasma.  With fliers out and about the twin linked sounds tempting.  So for now I'm going to try a squad of each.

In the HQ section there is also debate as to what to do.   Previously I would generally never from straying from a cheap Crisis commander.  Clocking in at 100 pts he was basically just a slightly better Crisis suit.

However with Warlord now being a big deal I'm wondering if it is better to look into some of the many flavorfull bits of wargear that we'd currently never look at taking.   You can get FNP, 2+ armor (though now a D6 in the assault instead of 2D6), and a 4+ invulnerable.  Plus shield drones which are great.  The downside is this all adds up to a pricey 200ish point HQ.  Is that better than two cheap HQs, probably not from a killing power stand point.  Still I'm going to try him out and see if all this extra crap actually helps keep this guy alive/suck up wounds for another unit.  I'm even going to try out some of the special weapons (cyclonic blaster and airburst) and see if the blast/rate of fire way is the way to go.

Of course I'm taking an Aegis and quad gun.  Defacto choice for a gun line.

Which leaves the maligned fast attack slot.  I'd love to take pathfinders but I don't want to pay for the Devilfish.  Why that isn't just an option is just beyond words.  I've aleady mentioned the Piranha debate, I'm passing on them for now and hoping my crisis and broadsides can handle the anti tank.  Gun drone squads are still horrible and useless.

Which leaves Vespid.  Vespid are always one of those 'man they are fast and that gun is great' units that sounds tempting, but then you look at the points cost, range of the gun, and their save and it gets bad in a hurry.  The only thing I could think to do is Deepstike a large squad in close to marines and blast them, you reroll any dangerous terrain tests and get that cover save... but you still probably get blasted to death.  I think for the same points spent on that big squad the full stealth team offers more flexibility, range, and survivability.   Assuming the 11 vespid did land close enough to shoot marines in the open they kill 3-4.  The stealth team should kill 3, but get to probably end the turn 20-30" away.  That's a big deal.

The only thing left to talk about is allies.   Tau have some great allies in that battle brothers can be marines and eldar, and have options for everybody else but bugs.   Even just looking at marines and eldar give them some great options.  Marines in particular bring some more durable scoring bodies.   Eldar can bring mobility and fantastic psychic protection.

For me I'm leaning toward Eldar.  I think taking a Marine Captain on a bike and two full squads of troop bikes is a GREAT option.   But at that point, why not just play the bikes which have proven to be a great army already?  So I think the jetseer with the min jetbike squad is what I'll try first.

So what does my new 6th edition army end up shaping up to look like?

HQ: Commander Shas'o + Airbursting Fragmentation Projector 2 + Cyclic Ion Blaster + Hard-wired Multi-tracker + Iridium Armour + Stimulant Injector + Shield Generator + 2 Shield Drones
Elite: Crisis Battlesuit x3;  Missile Pod + Plasma Rifle + Multi-Tracker
Elite: Crisis Battlesuit x3; Twin Linked Missile Pod + Targeting Array
Elite: Stealthsuits x 6
Troops: Fire Warrior x8 + Shas'ui, + Hard-wired Blacksun Filter
Troops: Fire Warrior x8 + Shas'ui, + Hard-wired Blacksun Filter
Troops: Fire Warrior x8 + Shas'ui, + Hard-wired Blacksun Filter
Troops: Fire Warrior x8 + Shas'ui, + Hard-wired Blacksun Filter
Troops: Kroot Carnivore Squad x20, Kroot Hounds x12
Heavy Support: Broadside Battlesuit + Hard-wired Blacksun Filter  + Targeting Array + Team Leader + 2 Shield Drones
Heavy Support: Broadside Battlesuit + Hard-wired Blacksun Filter  + Targeting Array + Team Leader + 2 Shield Drones
Heavy Support: Broadside Battlesuit + Hard-wired Blacksun Filter  + Targeting Array + Team Leader + 2 Shield Drones

HQ: Farseer + Runes of Warding + Runes of Witnessing + Eldar Jetbike +  Doom 
Troops: Guardian Jetbike Squadron x3

Aegis Defence Line + Quad Gun

The Aegis is missing from the picture but I obviously have it.  Not for the first time to I wonder why GW hasn't put out any Xenos fortifications.

There are a few bits I'm missing but one Crisis suit pickup fills that out and means I don't have to use one of my HQs as an elite Crisis.  

The army is mostly painted, though it was my first 'done' army and looks really sad to me now.  I've never liked the kroot paint job and I'm tempted to replace them before starting on the hounds.  But it is hard to see committing time to this army beyond a few tweaks to make it playable. 

But is it any good?  Sure it looks like it has a lot of bodies, but I'm still suffering from lackluster LD so I risk running or being pinned (and can't bring myself to add an ethereal).  It is an awfully static army really, and the jetbikes are the only mobile scoring unit.   The army will crumble once engaged in CC.

Unless the army performs amazingly or the current meta shift dramatically, I think this will be a fun army to bring out once in awhile, but nothing I'd want to take to a tournament.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Ork Army in 6th Edition

Next on my list of 6th edition fixer uppers is my ork army.  My first army has long had a special place and it has served me well over the last edition.   It wasn't necessarily always #1 but I did very well at some events and felt like they were always a great army.  Plus it is nice to have a xenos army to bring out in marine saturated environement!

However I've been struggling with the orks in 6th edition.  Right off the bat here are big changes to orks that affect my old 5th edition tactics
-Pro- Fleet is nice for the waagh with the rerolls on the charge.
-Con- Ghaz is bad now.   First he doesn't give fleet, and instead gives an auto 6" run.  If he gave fleet (which MUST be just bad faq from GW) he might still be worth it, but even still I'd like to see him give an auto 6+D6" charge.
-Pro- no fearless saves in combat for losing.
-Con (Pro?)- overwatch
-Con- combat is generally just not as good as shooting
-Con- Snik is useless
-Con- KFF is not as good.

I'm sure I'm forgetting more things that have been troubling, but let's take a look at what I've play tested last.

HQ: Mega-armoured Warboss + Bosspole + Cybork Body
HQ: Big Mek + Kustom Force Field
Elite: 9 Lootas
Elite: 9 Lootas
Elite: 9 Lootas
Troops: 4 Meganobz+ Shoota/Rokkit Kombi-weapon x1+ Shoota/Skorcha Kombi-weapon x2
      1 Battlewagon + Deff Rolla + Big Shoota x1
Troops: 18 'Ard Boyz, 'Ard Boyz Nob + Bosspole + Power Klaw
Troops: 29 Choppa Boyz, Boyz Nob + Bosspole + Power Klaw
Troops: 29 Shoota Boyz, + Big Shoota x3,  Boyz Nob + Bosspole + Power Klaw
Fast Attack: 1 Warbuggy + TL Rokkit Launcha
Fast Attack: 1 Warbuggy + TL Rokkit Launcha
Heavy Support: 1 Battlewagon + Deff Rolla + Big Shoota x1
Heavy Support: Big Gunz 3 Kannons
Heavy Support: Big Gunz 3 Lobbas
Aegis Defence Lines + Quad-gun

So from 5th edition I've dropped Ghaz for the cheaper warboss, dropped Snik for more lootas, dropped kanz and other upgrades for more shoota boyz and big gunz, and added the much needed Aegis and quad gun.


So how did it work?  Well I played a space wolf drop army and that was pretty tough.  The BWs managed to still survive the drop but large swaths of boys died on the drop.  The Lootas really could only shoot marines and they didn't do so great.  I failed a 4 inch charge.  The meganobz died in a hail of combi plas/melta death.   The rokkit buggies are now basically a 'hey do you want first blood?' unit.  The big gunz didn't do me a lick of good.

Right off the bat lets cut the buggies and the big gunz.  That gives me 205 points.

The real question is what to do with the Mega nobz.  It feel like I did better in 5th with them, but I think that was largely due to Ghaz.  In a similar situation to what happened in 5th I would have called the waagh, ghaz goes 2+ invul, and he would have made most of his saves.   I could add Ghaz back in and just live without fleet, but even then Ghaz has to be IN FRONT which is a lot harder to do against a drop list like I faced.

The quick fix would be drop the KFF mek and and Mad doc.  Mad doc would give the unit FNP and cheap cybork upgrades.  That is a pretty big boost to survability (meltas and fists less so but still helpful).  Sure the Wagons will go down a bit faster, but the big problem is the Mad Doc himself.  He makes your unit HAVE to move and charge the closest unit.  This sounds like it can be disastrous, but I'm tempted to try it out all the same.  -85 for the KFF Mek, +160 for Mad doc, net +15 for cybork armor on mega nobz.

I could add Mad doc to the Ard boyz in the current config also.  So I have a little flexibility in that I could 'spread' survivability across two units and not have one super uncontrollable death star!

But I've got 105 points left for 2k.  I could add a min Gretchin unit just to sit behind the wall and shoot the gun since I've given up on the big gunz.  I could bump them to 19 gretchin to try to give them a little more surviability from shooting at range, and drop in another mega nob.  What's that look like now?

HQ: Mega-armoured Warboss + Bosspole + Cybork Body
HQ: Mad Dok
Elite: 9 Lootas
Elite: 9 Lootas
Elite: 9 Lootas
Troops: 5 Meganobz+ Shoota/Rokkit Kombi-weapon x1+ Shoota/Skorcha Kombi-weapon x2 + Cyborks
      1 Battlewagon + Deff Rolla + Big Shoota x1
Troops: 18 'Ard Boyz, 'Ard Boyz Nob + Bosspole + Power Klaw
Troops: 29 Choppa Boyz, Boyz Nob + Bosspole + Power Klaw
Troops: 29 Shoota Boyz, + Big Shoota x3,  Boyz Nob + Bosspole + Power Klaw
Troops: 19 Gretchin, 1  Runtherd
Heavy Support: 1 Battlewagon + Deff Rolla + Big Shoota x1
Aegis Defence Lines + Quad-gun

So the wagons are more likely to go down and the Death Star is a bigger point sink but more survivable and killy, but I don't get to choose where it goes.

It sounds like fun, but probably will be disastrous.   The upside is I have a Mad doc body (missing arms) and really old gretchin I can use.  So I can try this out and only have to proxy the one Mega nob.

But this just makes me think orks are going to fall into the 'fun but not competitive' category without really starting the army completely anew.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Blood Angel Army in 6th Edition

Thinking or Failing?  Answer: Yes
So I've continued to think about my different armies and how they work in 6th edition.  I think I've played them all at least a few times with the exception of my CSM.   I don't really see the point in investing much play time with them right now as the dex is close enough to just put them on the back burner for now.

I've also played my Imperial Fists and my Bikes a bunch now and both armies I believe are fun and competitive.  I certainly can do some tweaking and have to get more practice with these but I think they are basically my two 'tournament options' at this point.  I'd just need to commit more time to getting their painting up from 'looks good' to 'looks great' which I think I could do if I committed a few weeks to doing so.

However that leaves several other armies collecting dust and I'd sure like to figure out what the best configs I can build for them would be for 6th edition.  I'm always a sucker for new projects and all, but with the above 3 armies probably needing the bulk of the painting time the later part of the year I'd like to keep these other armies to a bit of 'fixing' than complete overhauls.
Despite the fact there may no be fixing this.
So this is the remaining armies we're looking at upgrading to 6th:

Blood Angels
Black Templar

Today I'll tackle my Blood Angels.  The big problem with my BA in particular is that I build a specific Descent of Angels list and that has been blown up with 6th edition.  You can only place half of your army in reserves, so the idea of having an entire force (or most of it) landing on turn 2 on a flank, pin pointing your attack and then weathering return fire is gone.

So option one is just to run the same list as before and decide what 'half' you drop.  So for the sake of argument here is what my 5th edition DoA army looked like.

HQ: Commander Dante
HQ: Librarian in Power Armour + Jump Pack
Elite: 2 Sanguinary Priest in Power Armour+ Jump Pack + Combi-Meltagun
Troops: 5 Sanguinary Guard+ Chapter Banner + Infernus Pistol + Power Fist
Troops: 9 Assault Squad with 2x Meltagun, Sergeant + Infernus Pistol + Power Sword
Troops: 9 Assault Squad with 2x Meltagun, Sergeant + Infernus Pistol + Power Sword
Troops: 9 Assault Squad with 2x Meltagun, Sergeant + Infernus Pistol + Power Sword
Fast Attack: 10 Vanguard Veteran Squad with Jump Packs, 6 SS, 2 TH, 2 PW

It was pretty simple and provided lots of options.  The Vangaurd usually combat squaded and charged the nastiest thing on the table.  The assault squad combated up to melta vehicles.  Then the Dante/Libby/Priest/SangG would drop safely in the middle to provide support.  It worked well... but in 6th edition there are major problems.

So first of all I'd like to still have that 'drop of death' but obviously that is impossible in 6th edition.  That means at best I am going to get a few choice units down on turn 2.  For the sake of trying to keep the core of the army the same let's say it's the Vets and the Sang Gaurd squad.

So in theory that is:
Dante + Libby + Priest + Sang Gaurd
Vang Vets
Vang Vets

That is 6 units I want to put in reserve.  What does that leave me on the table?
Priest plus Assault Squad
Assault Squad
Assault Squad

So 4 units, which of course can easily be made up to 6 by combat squad two units.  But there is now a lot of waste in those assault squads.  For one the sarg load out doesn't seem so effective.  I think you have two options here, tool out the sarg for close combat or run them naked.  Since these guys are going to have to start on the field and try to weather fire and hang around to score I'm going naked with them.  If furious charge still gave the +1 Init, but with that gone and combat being what it is... I don't think that is these guys first choice of 'what to do.'  That's -90 points right there.

The next big problem is anti flier.  Running around with melta guns is not going to cut it in 6th edition.  I've toyed around with adding a Stormraven (or two) but the easiest answer is the Aegis Defence line with the quad gun.  The bonus here is there is now some nice cover for the squads on the table to start behind.  That's +100 pts.

However it seems silly to think the assault squads are going to stand there manning a gun all day.  So it's got me thinking about what to change out.  I could drop a tactial squad back there in lieu of the assault squad, but I think I'd like to look a dev squads.  One squads with 3 missile each is 120 points.   4 would be nice but it isn't like I can shoot at different targets like long fangs (bastards).
Or I could use this configuration... GENIUS!
The other thing I've been feeling like I need is an anti horde unit.  So what I'd like to try out is an honor gaurd squad loaded with flamers.  I can cut one of the solo priests and get that chalice in this squad with 4 flamers for 185 points with jump packs.

A few other tweaks and this is what I've got:

HQ: Commander Dante
HQ: Librarian in Power Armour + Jump Pack
HQ: 5 Honor Gaurds + Jump Packs + 4 Flamers
Elite: 1 Sanguinary Priest in Power Armour+ Jump Pack
Troops: 5 Sanguinary Guard+ Chapter Banner + 2 Infernus Pistol
Troops: 9 Assault Squad with 2x Meltagun, Sergeant
Troops: 9 Assault Squad with 2x Meltagun, Sergeant
Fast Attack: 10 Vanguard Veteran Squad with Jump Packs, 6 SS, 2 PF, 2 PW
Heavy Support: 5 Devastator Squad + Missile Launcher x3
Aegis Defence Lines+ Quad-gun

Starting on the table now:
Priest + Assault Squad
Assault Squad
Dev Squad
Honor Gaurd?

So I still have to split both Assault squads to get my reserve working but it is good to have more targets on the field.  The honor gaurd may start with the guys on the board, or if I really feel the need to land a number of flamers I could drop them with Dante and keep the Sang Gaurd/Priest/Libby on the board.  The army has a reduction in troops by 10 marines, but more importantly it went from 7 possible scoring units to 5.  So I'm not sure how that will work out really.  Maybe in Big Guns and Sourging I'll be helped a bit by the units in the list.

The good news is that I probably have all the bits to make the devs and honor gaurd, so this is not really a costly change.  It has some options to scale downward, probably having to lose half the vang vets to just get down to 1750 and ALL of them to get down to 1500.  Or maybe cut out the dev squads and some other trimmings for 1850, or cut dante and the SG... but there are at least some options.

I think it isn't horrible, but I think it lacks the ability to do the serious alpha damage that it could in 5th.  Plus it can possibly be tabled in turn one for a loss though I'd hope that would be AWFULLY hard to do, and any army that I think could do that I could of course just start on the table as well.

So I'm going to go do some bits rummaging and hopefully add this updated army into the queue for play testing.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Celesticon 40k Reflections

So it was a fun couple of days of 40k this past labor day weekend out at Celesticon.  I played in two events and had fun playing against some tough lists and generals!

I don't feel up to doing battle reports for these games though.  For one I'm exhauseted, two I took very little pictures to help me remember, and three I was drinking during most of the games!

So here is a brief run down of how it went.

The first day was the 2000 point Lazy Boy tournament.  I took my Imperial fists complete with 700 pt deathstar of Lysander/Libby/terminators.

Game 1 was against a local transplant from Sac, Pierce, who brought grey knights with a Bastion.  My biggest concern were outflanking Dreadknights so I castled in one corner and 'Thunderbubbled' around my defences.  One Dreadknight came on the wrong side, and since they can't assault out of reserve the other got mobbed.   My bigger problem was with the Bastion which I really just had no answer for at all.  In the end he had his unit in the Bastion, the Bastion, and his HQ left.  I was in pretty good shape.

Game 2 was against Justin who I've played twice before at different events.  He is a great dude and we laugh a lot (and drink a lot) during our games.  He played DE/Eldar which was largely a big troop blob + venom spam.  This was a really close game but it ended up going one turn too long for me and he snatched the win and the overall victory for the day.

The next day was the 1750 event and I brought marines again but this time the bike variant with the Eldar allies.

Game 1 I played Pierce AGAIN!  This time he had his just gorgeous Daemon army.  I thought for sure he would win best painted.  However a nurgle chaos took that honor, but Pierce would go on to get the best overall award.

This was a fun game but it was also a little weird.  Weird in that for three turns nothing went his way and everything went great for me.  Then, as if somebody had hit a light switch the exact opposite happened.   He had horrible scatters the first three rounds and he spent most of those turns nearly tabled due to my hot dice.  Then his scatters  and flamers went to town, he got two Changelings 'shoot your own guys' LD tests off on me, and I could not roll well to save my life.

In the end I only won due to First Blood.  So a very narrow victory.

Game two was against Alex's bugs.  I played Alex in game 7 a the BaO (he ran marines there) and he is a really nice guy.  He had been up late the night before so was hurting a bit for our game, and I feel bad about our game.  Not necessarily because of what happened on the table, but my attitude was pretty negative the back half of the game.  It is a horrible habit I fall into and I've spoken about it before on the blog.  I was watching things fall apart (again) and Alex was encouraging to play it out until the end.  I even shook his hand after the top of 7 and he still said 'roll these last dice, you can still win this.'  I had totally forgotten that Krak grenades work against Monstorous Creatures.  My lone biker locked in combat with a Tervigon on an objective managed to knock off his last wound and that won me the game.


But now I felt like a complete douche.  I apologized profusely.  I know better and I still have to work on it.  Alex took it all in stride.

My last game was against another Dan with orks!  I was interested in how orks were being run and how they were doing.  He had obviously won two games, and on table one next to us another ork army was playing necrons.  I made sure to not let any negativity enter into this game and we had a lot of fun since we basically knew we were not going to get 'best general' due to victory points.

I had first turn and I shot him up pretty good.  The last few turns I was running out of room though and on turn 5 it was really anybodies game.  I made him make some tough choices, and if one combat had gone better for him he would have won it.  I was pretty sure it would not, and was hoping the game would end.  It did for once!  Had the game gone on it was still anybodies game but essentially line breaker and first blood won me that game.

So how did I do overall?

Essentially three of us went 3-0 but because I just eeked out wins I had low Victory Points which were only used for tie breakers I landed 3rd for Best General.  I got a middle-ish sports score (not horribly surprising) and there was no real paint score, just a favorite army vote basically.

So I can't be too unhappy with my overall gaming this weekend.   I still feel a bit dickish for my poor attitude in the game with Alex but I'm sure we'll play again and I will go the extra mile to make sure I return the positive attitude.

Beyond that the Aegis defence line and quad gun are worth their weight in gold IMHO.  Even though they got over run in several games they downed fliers and put wounds on MCs that reserved which was great.  I'm not sure they are 100% needed in all lists but currently I think I'm putting it in every list I am writing until more anti flier units are available.

I think the biker army is probably my best army in 6th edition.  I think perhaps I need to be more prepared for that 'late game crumble' for this army.  I run out of room to move, units get creamed in combat, and options start getting slim.  Clearly the army can win despite it, but it is shocking to go several turns unscathed, dishing out tons of damage, to just get out right murdered the last few turns.

The Eldar allies were ok.  Doom worked out great, but the overall anti psy protection did not come up very big.  It is useless against Daemons and orks, but can potentially be huge against bugs.  However he only failed one test, and he didn't shy away from trying.  So I'm going to build up my own unit, but I'm considering bouncing it in the 1500 pt list in favor of the aegis and scouts.

The Imperial Fists were a ton of fun.  I just don't know what to trim out lower than 2k points.   Probably the entire deathstar and just rely on lots of hulls.  But it just doesn't feel very... threatening, nor interesting to play really.

So for now I can just muck around with lists for friendly games I'll hopefully be getting in the next few weeks.  There are no tournaments on the short term calendar, so I think painting is going to be a little slack as I wait to see the Chaos dex drop.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More hobby for Celsticon

Just trying to make the final push now!

My terminator arms have still not arrived so it was time to go for plan B.

The arms I ordered actually are not terminator arms, but instead old metal tactical marine armes that have TH/SS.  They are smaller than terminator arms, but on these old oop termies they look fine.

What I do have is an old set of terminator arms that are TH/SS but I don't have the shield.  But I do have a few of the larger sarg shields for the newer termies.  So I decided I will use those on the sarg and popped off his current arms to use on the last terminator.

A quick paint job and these were ready for dipping.   The downside here of course is you can see the arms are noticably bigger and of course they don't have the black trim around the shoulder pads.  It is a little hard to see in the picture, and I'm hoping once he is placed in the quad it will not be as noticable.

So that works for now at least.   It certainly isn't my first choice but oh well.

I also have the termie libby done, he just needs to get dullcoated.  And of course the banner...

I gave the shrine of aquila a matte spray also and that looks good enough as well.

Just a quick shot of the bike army (sans aegis defence line) on the new board.

So not much needed now thankfully, as I only have one more night to finish!