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!