Thursday, May 26, 2011

Some Tyranid tactics

The purpose of this article is to touch upon some of the units that people might not use, but they're actually really good in their own right.  I advise everyone to think outside the box every now and then.

Have any of you guys try the Swarmlord yet?  I have and I think he's amazing.  For 280 points, I think that's perfectly acceptable for a T6 5W 3+ and 4++ in close combat.  When the close combat invul combine with the WS9, the Swarmlord becomes an absolute menace in close combat.  Throw on the fact that he's I6 with 4 Bonesabres that cause Instant Death, I think we got ourselves a real winner.

My favorite thing about the Swarmlord is his 18" synapse and the ability to give a unit Furious Charge or Preferred Enemy.  This happens every turn and there's nothing your opponent can do about it.  Throw in the fact that he can make units WS/BS1 for 1 entire turn with Paroxysm, I see no reason not to take him when the Hive Tyrant I want is about the same amount of points.

If I was to take a Hive Tyrant, he would have..
Hive Tyrant, Stranglethorn Cannon, Hive Commander, Old Adversary = 240

So for 40 points more, I get a 2 psychic powers a turn, WS9, 4++ in CC, awesome special rules and a cooler looking model.  I think there's just no comparison imo.

Let's say I didn't want to take a Hive Tyrant at all, to save points I'd probably just take a Tyranid Prime w/ Toxin Sacs and Lash Whip/Bonesword.  He's 120 points and is perfect for taking Warriors w/ the same load out.  He's perfect for allocating S8 missile shots (especially with cover) and he's just a very solid buffer.  I don't know about you guys, but 5x Warriors with BS/LW makes every assault unit in the game think twice about assaulting your lines.  No one, not even assault-heavy armies wants a piece of WS5/6 Warriors that strike first with power weapons that always wounds on 4s and re-rolls vs. T4 and under.

Next, I want to talk about the Deathleaper.  For 140 points, he's pretty expensive for a simple Lictor model.  The key notes is that he reduces a IC's leadership by D3 at the start of the game.  This is mainly cast on enemy psykers because it makes his spells harder to cast and his hood less effective.  For armies like BA, GK, SM and other armies that rely on psychic hoods to dispel your dreaded Paraoxysm, a nerfed leadership is a huge blow to assault-based armies.

Deathleaper is a very fragile unit, but can reap great rewards when used well.  A 12" bubble of 1d6 less when moving through difficult terrain is extremely frustrating once enemy vehicles have been destroyed.  Just make sure you deploy him out of LoS or far away enough to take advantage of his super Night Fighting rules.  To make matters a little worse for your opponents, he can disappear T4 and re-appear T5 to contest any objective, anywhere.  This can be great for opponents rushing for objectives at the end of the game because their positions are getting overrun by your mans.

Now, I want to talk about Venomthropes.  No other unit frustrates assault-based armies as much as these dudes.  Dangerous Terrain tests + defensive grenades on every unit within 6" of the Venomthrope makes your army unassailable by assault.  It's just SO frustrating running hnto Nids and having the strength of your charge robbed from you.  Take in the fact that 2 Venoms can cover the entirety of most Tyranid armies and still keep their 4+ cover makes them attractive yet frustrating units to shoot at.  Do you want to shoot missiles at these things or do you want to shoot them at the BS/LW Warriors, Carnifexes or Hive Tyrants?  I think that's the key for a successful Tyranid lists:  Load the board with so many dangerous targets that your opponents sweat thinking about what he's shooting at.

Oh yes, the Carnifex.  More so, the Dakkafex.  A lot of you guys have turned your Fexes into Trevigons and I feel your pain.  GW made them almost twice as expensive in an attempt to sell a bigger and more expensive model (the Tyrgon).  Fear not, for I am here to tell you that the Dakkafex is still one of the most dangerous units in the game.  First, they can be covered by 4+ cover from your Warriors of Hive Guard.  Second, 3 Dakkafexes in a unit is 12 T6 3+ wounds with FNP thanks to your Trevigon.  Third, they can shoot 36 Twin-linked BS3 S6 shots at 24" of threat range (6+18").  Forth, you can't get in combat with one without getting in combat with all of them.  Do you like taking 12 S9 attacks?  I don't.  Fifth, they are much dangerous than Trygons because of their range and they're much harder to kill because they can be covered.  Three of these guys in a unit is 570 points, about the same as a unit of whatever in a Land Raider, which is perfectly acceptable.  Pop a Rhino with your Hive Guard and shoot at its contents.  I promise you, full squad or not, those Marines are going to get murdered.

Many of you have seen lists out there with a lot of Genestealers.  I don't know about you guys, Genestealers are really good.  They've always been good, and even without Flesh Hoods, they're still stupid amazing.  WS6 I6, Rending Claws and the ability to take Toxin Sacs makes them extreme killers.  They can also Infiltrate, which means they can Outflank and thus can apply pressure from the very start of the game or later in the game.  With the Swarmlord, I have greater control over where and how I want to apply pressure so GS are always a must for me.  To keep things even more effective, a small unit of GS hanging out by your backlines makes you near invulnerable to assault.  Unless the GS are getting shot to death by Marines coming out of a Drop Pod (and which case you should Outflank them), no one is going to be able to get near you without risking getting fisted by Genes.  Tie units up with your cheap ass Gaunts and then run Genes in to clean house.  My preferred loadout is 20 strong for 280 points in an Infiltrated position.  Move your Trevigon first, get up there and give them FNP for some Move Through Cover, Fleeting, highly resilient shock troops.  Believe me when I tell you:  Anyone who underestimates Genestealers is a noob.  Genes have been ripping Marines a new asshole since as long as I can remember.

That's all I got right now, more to follow later.

When does it become spam?

This happens a lot more in 40K than it does in Fantasy, but when does army composition become spam?  If you have 3 10-man Grey Hunter units in a Rhino, is that considered spam?  What about 3x Baal Preds in your army?  What about taking 3x 10-man units of Assault Space Marines geared out in the same way?

What exactly qualifies as spam?
At what number does it qualify as spammy?
Do they have to be the same loadout?

Is 40K a repetitive game with redundant units?  Without redundancy, it appears that lists are less effective because there's a higher chance they won't impact the game if they're destroyed.  The argument for most people when they ask the old-aged question of:  How many Land Raiders should you take?  Most people reply with 2.  Why 2?  Because if one goes down, you have another.  At the same time, these players are also the same players that bitch about 3-4 Razorbacks with TLLC sitting across the field from them.

Personally, I don't think spam is necessarily a bad thing in a game like 40K.  In fact, I don't think the game is designed to promote different units on the battlefield.  Is this a problem with internal book balance (useless units vs. non), or is this just player mentality?  Something to think about.

Tyranids, the new pro?

The more I look at the Tyranid book, the more I think it's one of the most difficult armies to play.  It's been a long time since Tyranids joined the 5th Edition party and I think it's time to revisit them as an army.  Let's talk about some of the flaws of the Tyranid book really quickly:

  • A lot of stuff doesn't make sense:  Why aren't there frag nade equivs on a lot of the assault units?  Why can't the Carnifex take 2+ armor?  Why the hell is it priced so high?  Why can't Lictors pop out and charge?  There is a LOT of these questions vs. the last army book.
  • The FOC is all messed up:  The elite slot has like 3 pages worth of units.  Really?  All this for 3 unit slots?  Why couldn't some of these been placed in the heavy slot.  In fact, why's there so many units all over the place?
  • Why is everything so expensive?  Compared to the 3rd Ed. army book, almost everything went up in cost.. by a lot.  This leaves lists with very "limited" options for the most part.  I put limited in quotes because what I'm going to say next is going to make you think Trygons over Carnifex isn't as clear cut any more.

Now that that stuff is out of the way (and if you disagree, please let me know), let's talk about the good stuff:

  • Everyone knows that compared to Cruddace's other book, the IG codex, the Tyranids book looks like a rush job, sloppy piece of shit that's horribly imbalanced both internally and externally.  Then we look at how the book plays and it is nothing like last edition.  Then we slam our faces against a wall for over a year, bitch and moan all over whinseer and fakka and then play with every single unit in the book trying to "crack" the winning build.  Just when all hope is lost, I'm here to tell you that Tyranids is actually a "master-class" army.
  • What?!  You can't be serious?!  Well, I kind of am.  I think Tyranids are one of those armies who's synergy and list composition has to be so tight that there's virtually no room for error.  Everything in the army has to make sense and every unit you take has to do its job according to your army's design.
  • But, what do you mean?  I mean the general has to be superb, the list has to be a well-oiled machine and that he must play his heart out against the horrors of the current meta.  Like Dark Eldar, the only other army I would put into the mythical "master-class" category, there needs to be a battleplan in your head before your deployment against every army.  This isn't a I'm-going-to-shoot-this army like Vendetta/Chimeras, Razorspam or Psyfleman where the only true skill of the army lies in target priority, but an army that can be destined to fail from deployment to movement, to shooting to assault.
  • Lastly, I want to say that no matter what, by book flaws alone, that they'll struggle to place at the top tables.  It doesn't help that Venom spam ruins the shit out of the army and that seems like the new WAAC DE thing.

I will elaborate more as the week goes on.  I want to hear what you guys think first.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Space Marine Psykers

This is a follow-up to my Librarians, why not? article.  Each Librarian will list the powers I find most attractive and why.  Most libbies can only choose 2 powers, but the GK one can buy as many as he wants.

Space Marine Librarian
Null Zone, Avenger, Gate of Infinity

My builds:
Libby, TDA w/ SS (Null Zone, Gate of Infinity) leading 5x TH/SS Termies in a LRC
Libby, (Avenger, Gate of Infinity), Drop Pod, 10x Sternguard w/ Combi-weapons

The weakest Librarian out of the bunch, the standard SM Librarian gets access to quite a few unique powers.  Null Zone really screws anything with invul saves; ranging from TH/SS Terminators, Wyches in CC or 2++ Shadow Fields.  Avenger is one of the best templates in the game as S5 AP3 cuts through MEQ like butter.  GoI is a little tricky but can play a big part in your army as you can take your TH/SS Termies from one location to another or carry a large bunch of Sternguard into your enemies' face.

Blood Angels Librarian
Unleash Rage, Sanguine Sword, Shield of Sanguinius, Blood Lance

My builds:
Libby, TDA w/ SS (Unleash Rage, Sanguine Sword) leading 5x Assault Termies in a LRC
Libby, JP (Unleash Rage, Shield of Sanguinius) leading 10x ASM w/ PF, 2x Meltaguns

The Blood Angels Librarian holds many destructive abilities that compliment the offensive nature of the BA army.  Unleash Rage is one of the reasons the Reclusiarch is a subpar choice.  Preferred Enemy for multiple rounds of combat is much stronger than one round of re-roll hits.  Sanguine Sword allows the Librarian to take on anything in the game because S10 can touch anything on 2s while punching through the strongest armor.  Shield allows BA to spam mech like no other while advancing towards the enemy.  Then, there's the Blood Lance.  It's not as strong as JotWW in terms of what it can target, but it can threaten any vehicle with its S8 AP1 Lance.  Versus enemy tank lines, if you can line up a good shot, you might be able to take out quite a few targets per turn.  The best thing about these abilities is that both the offensive assault ones I noted (UR and SS) can be used in either player's turn.  Shield is a defensive ability that fires during your enemy's shooting phase and Blood Lance is in your shooting phase.  This healthy mix of choices allows the BA Librarian to get off psychic powers in either player's turn.

Grey Knights Librarian
Shrouding, Sanctuary, Might of Titans, Warp Rift

My builds:
Libby, (Shrouding, Sanctuary, Might), 3x Servo-skulls, MC Halberd leading..
6x Paladins (Apoth, MC DH, 2x MC Psycannons, BBanner, MC, all Halberds)
10x GKT (MC DH, DH, rest Halberds, 2x Psycannons, BBanner, Psybolts)

Some say the GK Libby isn't needed, but I think he's one of the best buys in the book.  For 150 points, you get a Epistolary that's in Terminator Armor, can have a 4++ in close combat because of his Force Sword, has access to I6 Halberds or MC weapons, and is equipped with Frag and Krak grenades.  On top of this, he has 4 amazing psychic powers that compliments the GK army perfectly.  Shrouding keeps your units safe in cover with a whopping 3++ save, Sanctuary provides assault protection that covers a large area, and Might of Titans allows your units to punch through tanks with +1S and 2d6 armor pen.  This can be used in conjunction with Hammerhand for S6 vs. T4 MEQ or Hive Tyrant strength vs. armor.  Lastly, we have Warp Rift.  I like this ability because it's essentially a template-sized JotWW.  Sure, it doesn't target models, but against slow, expensive units who are bunched up (think Nids and Orks), this ability is invaluable.  Just like the BA Librarian, the GK Libby can get off multiple abilities per turn since Shrouding is cast in the enemies' shooting phase, Sanctuary in his assault, Might in your assault, Hammerhand whenever and Warp in your shooting.  An unupgraded GK Libby can cast 2 abilities per player turn, and up to 4 per game turn.  With Ld.10, he is my go-to guy to get off Hammerhand when my Paladins use their psychic ability to activate their Force Weapons via Brotherhood Banner.  Instant win.  Oh, and he has access to Servo-skulls, which is pretty much a must-have if you intend on taking Deep Strikers.

Space Wolves Rune Priest
Murderous Hurricane, Living Lightning, Jaws of the World Wolf

My builds:
Rune Priest (Chooser, Murderous Hurricane, LL) leading..

8x Grey Hunters w/ WG (Rhino, PF/cbM, Meltagun, WS, MotW)

Last, but certainly not least, is the SW Rune Priest.  The best thing about the Rune Priest is that his runic weapon nullifies enemy psychic abilities on a 4+.  No need to roll off like the other libbies, a 4+ within 24" is all you need to shut down enemy powers.  In addition, he can take quite a few pieces of wargear to make him stand out more so than the other librarians.  First, he can take Wolftooth Necklace that makes him hit anything with a WS at 3+, no matter what.  It doesn't matter if he's fighting a Gaunt or a Bloodthirster, if you roll a 3+, you hit.  See a trend here?  Second, is his ability to take Runic Armor, which is the SM-equiv to Artificer Armor w/ a built-in psychic protection.  Third, is his ability to take Sagas that improves his killing potential ontop of his natural Counter-attack.  He has so many different wargear options that he makes other librarians look broke ass poor, save maybe the GK one.  I guess since the Chooser of the Slain is pretty much an auto-include for me, he should get a mention.  18" perched on top of a high point gives the RP +1BS with Living Lightning and pushes back all infiltrated units.  Viewed as the best HQ choice in the game by many players, I take him in every game with Space Wolves.

As for powers, I find Murderous Hurricane, Living Lightning and Jaws to be the best choices.  Murderous Hurricane allows you to slow down and destroy enemy infantry, Living Lightning allows you to punch through armor from infinite range, and Jaws is just... jaws.  No other psychic ability in the game caused as much ruckus as Jaws did when it first came out and it's still being talked about today.  It has a 24" line that can snipe any model it touches and if they fail a I test, they're removed from play.  Laff.

Bringing back vehicle death

Goatboy recently wrote a article on BoLS that touched upon a very sensitive issue.  By sensitive, I mean mech players are going to cry buckets of tears all over the place.  Seriously though?  I don't give a shit.  I'm sick of seeing Razorspam and Chimerawalls to a point every list on every site looks the same.  Let's be honest, 5th Edition was good, but not nearly good enough.

This is fine if you think about it.  5th Ed. was GW's first attempt at getting True Line of Sight right.  They did good for the most part; it sped up the game and made things visually impressive.  However, they failed on two major accounts:  The general cover system and the Vehicle Damage Chart.  Everything right now, is too forgivable.  A 4+ cover on everything means half of your shots are negated and the glancing modifier means you can never destroy a vehicle with a glance under normal circumstances.  This is ass.

Here is what I want in 6th Ed., more so than any other change GW can think of:
  • Increase vehicle lethality by bringing back ways to kill vehicles with glancing shots.  A simple -1 modifier for glancing instead of -2 will do the trick.  This will result in a lot of vehicle death everywhere once you throw enough heavy weapons into the fray.
  • Decrease the general cover bonus for all units by 1.  This means everything will get 5+ cover for the most part, which is perfectly fine for me.  Skimmers, Jetbikes and anything capable of turbo-boosting should get a 4+ cover at best.

Who is willing to test some of these rules out and see how it will effect the current armies out there?  I have a bunch of 40K armies that would like to experiment.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Librarians, why not?

Librarians are the best HQ choice for Blood Angels, period.  The same could be said about Space Wolves and their Rune Priests and maybe even generic SM.  If I had a choice between the Grand Master and the Librarian, I would take the Librarian as well.  And then, there's Mephiston, the Librarian with the same stats as a Greater Daemon on a infantry-sized base.  One thing's for damn sure: Librarians add so much to their respective armies these days that they're pretty much an auto-include.

Let's see why Librarians are an auto-include:
  • They offer psychic abilities that can greatly enhance your army's potential.  This includes defensive abilities like Shrouding or Shield of Sanguinius or offensive abilities like Murderous Hurricane or Blood Lance.
  • They offer psychic protection.  If the other guy has a psyker and you don't, you're pretty much at the mercy of his psychic onslaught.  There's times where you can't afford to let your opponent Unleash Rage on a unit of LC Terminators.  No matter how you look at it, Librarians are the condoms of the 41st millenium.
  • They come with Force Weapons.  Sure, their combat stats aren't as great as a Captains', but they have the ability to detonate someone's brain and end their lives immediately.  Grey Knights can alter their strength and strike at I6 while Blood Angel Librarians can Unleash Rage and reach S10.
  • They are flexible.  Most can done Terminator Armor and some can be given Storm Shields.  Rune Priests can be given Runic Armor (Artificer) and other nifty upgrades whereas others can take Bikes or Jump Packs.  Librarians can be with any unit in the game and keep pace, and that's very important in an Space Marine army.
  • They are cheap.  Librarians are the most cost effective HQ choices in most books because they offer all the above at 100 or so points.  Rune Priests are considered the best HQ choice in the game and rightfully so.  Just look at what they can do for the amount of points.
Stay tuned for my next article where I talk about specific Librarian powers and configurations for all my different armies.  I'm excited.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Got some polls up!

Hey guys (and girls?),

On the right hand side of the blog, you'll see two polls you guys can vote in.  I have multiple votes toggled so you guys can vote for more than one.  However, for the most accurate results, I ask that you only vote for your top 2.  One of the polls have to deal with site content and the other focuses on the games I'm involved in.  I specifically didn't put what armies you would like to see because I need a general feel of what gaming archetype everyone's into.  Army stuff can come later.  After voting, feel free to post some comments and elaborate on why if you want to.  I take feedback/criticism quite well.

Lastly, I would like to ask my blogmates what you would like to see as future content on this site.  Shoot me some ideas and let's open up a discussion.

Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Price hikes again

GW really wants to kill themselves as a company.  I don't know what the deal is, but 40 bux for a box of 5 power-armored dudes (BA box) just doesn't do it for me.  That, and the near 70 dollar Land raiders.

More info can be found here:

and here:

I was going to start a VC army... but now I'm having second thoughts.

I've been a supporter of GW for 11 years now, ever since I was little but now shit's getting ridiculous.  Let's sum it up.

  • LotR was a huge flop in the dick and it should be dropped completely.  They should reallocate all their resources and focus on WHFB and 40K support; their main cash cows.
  • Another thing that they need to do is do previews for army books and units so players have something to look forward to.  It gives players drive, hope and fuels passion for their hobbies.  Privateer Press knows what's up, Spartan Games knows what's up, and so does Mantic Games.  GW really needs to get up and smell the coffee.
  • Furthermore, GW should release sneak peak of rules and have the community respond to how things will work out.  Test rules, pre-release rules, rules that player can test, give feedback and post their reasoning in a dedicated GW forum.  This in turn, should have the designer themselves, or community managers post and give feedback to the players to show they ACTUALLY GIVE A FUCK.
  • You combine this prehistoric way to do business on top of the fact they just increased prices to ridiculous levels AND restricted retailers to only sell to their region and you have a recipe for disaster.  Mantic, PP and Spartan are probably laughing their ass off right now.

In other words, GET WITH THE TIMES GW.

Monday, May 16, 2011

DEcisions, decisions

First, my army list at 2K.

20 kp

Asdrubael Vect = 240

5x Warriors (Raider NS, Blaster) = 130
5x Warriors (Raider NS, Blaster) = 130
9x Wyches (Raider NS/FF, Hekatrix/Agnoizer/BP) = 215
10x Wyches (Raider NS/AS, Hekatrix/Agnoizer/BP) = 220
10x Wyches (Raider NS/AS, Hekatrix/Agnoizer/BP) = 220

3x Trueborn (Venom NS/SC, 3x Blaster) = 156
3x Trueborn (Venom NS/SC, 3x Blaster) = 156
3x Trueborn (Venom NS/SC, 3x Blaster) = 156

Ravager (NS/FF) = 125
Ravager (NS/FF) = 125
Ravager (NS/FF) = 125

This list is really effective in all-comers list vs. all scenario based missions except for kill points.

However, I want that to change.  Even though the Warrior Raiders put down a lance shot from the back while providing a solid scoring option, I feel like there might be better options.  Here are some of them.

9x Reaver Jetbikes (Champion, 3x Heat Lances) = 244
10x Scourges (Solarite, 4x Splinter Cannons) = 260
2x 5x Warriors (Venom NS/CC, Blaster) = 135x2 = 270

The Reaver Jetbikes offer solid damage vs. any infantry unit they pass over as well as armor-threatening Heat Lances once they get to the back field.  Scourges, as fragile as they are being Jump Infantry who's often times exposed, provide a ridiculous amount of firepower from far away.  At full strength, they can jump 12" and shoot 18" with their Carbines/Splinter Cannons.  This adds up to 30 Splinter shots with a 30" threat on the move.  They can also stay in the back and offer a solid shooting solution with 24 shots from 36".  Next, we have the 2x Warriors in Venoms that sit in the back, score and shoot.  They're relatively safe because of the low profile of the Venom, the Night Shield and Flicker Fields.  The difference between these three units is that one shoots really well, one contests really well and one scores really well.

Which unit do you think fits better in the list?  I'm all ears.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

8 magic items, that's all you get

Looking at the 8th Ed. O&G army book and the new TK book, there's a obvious trend that's going on.  From now on, all the army books in WHFB will have 8 or so unique magic items.  This includes Banners, Enchanted Items, Arcane Items, Weapons and Armor.  This also means that the majority of the items that everyone can take will be from the BRB.  Is this good?  Bad?  If you could only keep 8 magic items in your army book, what would they be?

Just some food for thought.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Get ready for Battle Chronicler

From now on, my Fantasy Battle Reports will be using Battle Chronicler.

It will look something like this once the action starts:

And the Archmage casts blah blah blah..

I am.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A closer look at Tomb Kings

I'll give you guys a long list of things I like about the new Tomb Kings book.
  • I really like Settra in this book.  475 is a small point cost to pay for such a legendary icon of Tomb Kings.  Even though he's not as godly as before, he's still pretty good.  He's got a awesome number of special rules, my favorite being that his My Will Be Done spreads to every unit within 6" of him.  That means everyone within 6" of him will have WS7, which also means normal WS3 troops will be hitting things on 5s.  You add in his 4+/4++ save and his weapon that permanently reduces his target's chance to hit by -1 for the rest of the game and you've got yourself a winner.  I know if I was playing TK, Settra will be at the head of my warhost.  He's awesome, he's iconic, he's fluffy and he's balanced.
  • The Herald Nekaph is also pretty good.  He's 120 points, slightly more expensive than regular fighty heroes but he adds awesome special rules.  The always issue and accept challenges might be a little bad, but his Herald of Despair and Flail of Skulls is pretty awesome.  Enemy units in base contact with him roll an additional dice for fear tests, discarding the lowest.  And Flail, well, is still Flail of Skulls that does 2 wounds on top of him being S6 in the first round of combat.
  • Grand Hierophant Khatep.  For 330 points, you're paying for a Loremaster of the TK lore and a godly magic item.  The Liche Staff allows him to re-roll any casting roll per turn and combined with Loremaster, this puts him at a very comfortable purchase price.  However, I can see that many people will argue that a Lv.4 High Priest costs ~100 less and can take Death or Light depending on what you want.
  • As for normal lords and heroes, these are the ones that caught my eye:  The Tomb King is a good buy because he can spread his WS6 to whatever unit he joins.  Throw him in a big TG unit with FC and you're pretty much good to go.  You can build him killy if you want or just do what I do:  Give him a GW, Glittering Scales (WS6 will hit you on 5s), and Golden Death Mask of Kharnut.  I really think Golden Mask is ridiculously OP vs. some armies.  For 60 points, you cause Terror and enemy units within 6" of you cannot use their general's leadership or their BSB's re-roll.  Let that soak in for a minute.  OK, let's continue.
  • Liche High Priests are pretty cheap Lv.4s and will make you happy for ~200 points, a little more with magic items.  Tomb Princes are cool because for 100 points, you can spread his WS5 to whatever units and can throw down some Great Weapon/Flail action himself.  You can also mount him in a Chariot and buff up the killing potential of your improved Chariots.  I'm not really feeling the Tomb Herald but he is a pretty decent buy because he can take a Halberd and offer up a free wound for your Tomb King.  At 60 points, I don't see why not, especially since you can mount him in a Chariot and throw out some Flail attacks on the charge.  Liche Priests at 70 points is a bargain considering how most lists are going to rock a Lv.4 and a supporting caster.
  • Now, Necrotects are something I want to talk about.  They're dick cheap, 60 points is a bargain for making the unit you're in Hatred.  I just find it ridiculous that they put a Egyptian guy with a Whip in the game lol.  Protected category much?
  • As for the rest of the units the book, I'm fairly pleased.  4 point Skeleton Warriors who can be given Light Armor for 1 point and can hold the line vs. anything while your improved Chariots crash into the enemy is a godsend.  I look at the VC 8pt Skellies and just laugh, considering that your TK/TPs give them a permanent Crown of Command while adding their attacks to the combat res as well.  Archers are good still because they always hit on a 5, Horseman make for good misdirects because of their 8" move and Vanguard, and Skeleton Archers can Scout move with Fast Cav rules.
  • Chariots got improved because they can take a magical banner worth of 25 (old, but still good), their crew have Hand Weapon, Spear and Bows, and they now hit enemies with increased damage and improved ranks.  They can rank up in 3s now and for each additional rank adds +1 strength to their D6 Impact hits.  That's just really solid.
  • Tomb Guard are now down to 11 ppm and that's all you need to know.  With KB, Light Armor/Shield standard, they can be given Halberds but who really cares.  For 11ppm, you can take a huge block of 6x5 with FC for 360 points.  This is rock solid and with the TK's ability to give them 5+ KB or Hatred or WS6/5, these guys are your super stars when it comes to killing heavy infantry.
  • Necropolis Knights are pretty good and Tomb Scorpions are still pretty good for their points.  Where the Necropolis Knights are great flank chargers because of their 7" move and good # of poisoned/KB attacks, the Tomb Scorpions are now more roadblocks more than anything.  They can no longer come out and charge whatever they want, but they can come out and move in front of a vital charge or misdirect accordingly.
  • As for the bigger monsters, like the Warsphinx and the Necrosphinx, I don't really see a everlasting place for these models.  Yes, the Warsphinx rocks infantry regiments in close combat with its uberstomp and the Nerosphinx can chop a Hydra in half, but a cannon or two will still put these down before they can do anything.  Even the Necrosphinx, who can fly, can't really dodge a cannonball because it can't march.  If I was to take one, I would take the Necrosphinx because of its greater threat range and its HKB vs. bigger monsters.  Besides, I think it looks cooler.
  • This leaves us with the Casket of Souls.  This thing needs to be taken in every, single game.  It's a Warmachine with T10 and gives you +d3 PD per turn for dirt cheap.  It practically pays for itself (Bound 5) with its average of 2 dice and gives your magic phase extreme flexibility.  It's really a no-brainer, take it in every list.  If the Light of Death goes off and bounces around expensive models like Chaos Knights, Blood Knights or Dragon Princes, bad things just happen.  Oh, and if you IF, it doesn't matter because it's an innate ability.
  • I guess I should mention that the Screaming Skull Catapult is meh.  It's more expensive and Stone Throwers now allow armor saves.. so yeah.
  • Oh, and the Neferra's Scrolls of Mighty Incantations is overpowered for 50 points.  You throw dice and it adds more dice equal to your casting wizard's level for free and it IFs on any doubles.  Yeah, this is going to get banned soon (just like PS, Teclis and BoH for me).

Dark Eldar 3rd Wave

These are some of the most ridiculously beautiful models I've ever seen.

That's all I have to say..

Wowowow, the Talos is pretty cool, but the Cronos Parasite Engine is just beyond amazing.  Look how ALIEN that thing is..

The Venom is awesome as expected and the Scourges are just beautiful.  The wings are perfect, and I can see perfect conversion opportunities come up them.

Oh, and a sneak peak at the Razorwing:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

BR: 2500pt High Elves vs. Tomb Kings

Had another game of fantasy today vs. my friend Steve's 8th Ed. Tomb Kings.  As most of you know, I'm still pretty damn rusty with 8th since my last game was last year.  Steve's last game of 8th was also last year but since he just got a brand new army book, he wanted to throw them against my High Elves and see how it'll pan out.  It was quite fun, and the new TK book is definitely different than last edition.  That's for certain.

My HE list:
Lv.4 Archmage, Annulian Crystal
Lv.1 Mage, Sigil of Asuryan
BSB, AoC, Guardian Phoenix
30x Spears, War Banner
32x Spears
25x White Lions, Banner of Eternal Flame
25x Phoenix Guard, Banner of Sorcery
2x Lion Chariots
2x Eagles

His list:
Lv.4 Hierophant, 4+ ward
Tomb King, GW, 2+ armor, 5+ ward
Tomb Prince, some heavy armor
2x Lv.1 Wizards
Big unit of 40x Skellies w/ Spears
7x Chariots
20x Archers
20x Tomb Guard w/ Halberds
Tomb Spider
Casket of Souls

The game:
  • We did standard pitch battle and both of my Wizards had Lore of Light.  His Hiero had the TK lore and the 2 Lv.1s had TK and Light.  I will reveal spells as I BR.
  • Deployment saw both Spear units sitting in the middle with my White Lions on my left and Phoenix Guard on the right.  The Lion Chariots were placed on the flanks as well and the two Eagles next to the Chariots.  He won the dice roll to go first since he had less models to put down.
  • As his army moves up the field, he flies his Necrosphinx to my right flank.  The rest of his army slowly moves up and his Lv.4 casts the spell to move again and I let it go.  His army moves up again the same distance.  His Chariots flanked my left by a bunch of trees directly across from my White Lions.  My main focus is drawn on his gigantic Necrosphinx that flies.  Magic phase sees Smiting go off on his Archers and he's able to shoot 30 shots at my Phoenix Guard.  Phew, after 6 wounds I was thinking I'd take more.  The rest of the magic on his turn was dispelled by my Lv.4.  His Chariots also shot at my left Eagle and didn't do anything to it.  The additional move from his Lv.4 also sees one of his Wizards try to move into his unit of Spears but he's just short.
  • On my turn, I move my Eagles to intercept and misdirect his Chariots and his Necrosphnix so they cannot charge my flanks without going in some random direction.  His Necrosphinx was a little out of position for a charge on my PG so the Eagle was the only target.  The rest of my army moves up the board in full force and I move 5" with my Phoenix Guard.  The winds are generous and I'm able to obtain a good amount of PD for my turn.  My Lv.4 starts off with Banishment on his Lv.1 Wizard who's short of the Spears and he lets it through sadly.  He take 3d6 S5 hits because my Lv.1 support was also Light and he goes down in a spectacular display of fire.  I attempt to cast Net of Amyntok on his Tomb Guard but he dispels it with much gusto.  Without any more dice to throw down, Pha's Protection goes down on the Phoenix Guard.  My White Lions move up to intercept his Chariots and my Phoenix Guard face off against his Tomb Guard.  The two Lion Chariots inch closer to him with good pressure (one in range of his Hiero next round).
  • Thanks to the Eagles, the Necrosphinx and Chariots simply reposition themselves so they're closer to my flanks but no charges were declared.  His charge range was just out of comfortable dice range so he reforms his Spears into a 5x8 unit.  The Tomb Scorpion also comes up this turn but it's unable to charge (thank god) and sits closely by my rear lines.  He also moves his Hierophant back now sensing the danger that she's in and then the magic starts.  Winds and rolled and it's a fairly average amount.  I dispel a good amount of the spells coming out but the Casket of Souls fire with IF.  Since it's an innate ability, it goes off without much penalty and my left Chariot takes 2 wounds, it bounces on a 3+ and 2 more Spears die.  It tries to bounce again but he rolls a 2 and it ends.  Shooting from his skeleton archers rolls poorly on the Lion Chariot on the right and his Chariots put a wound on the Eagle on the left.  His army is now in charging range of my army.
  • On this round, my entire army surges forward to intercept the undead army.  My left Eagle charges the Chariots with my White Lions who only needs a 4 to get into combat.  I roll a 2 and a 1.  Awesome.  The right Eagle follows the Necrosphinx and once again, blocks his charge lane to my Phoenix Guard with his base (with the help of a building) and redirects to the middle of nowhere since he can't actually place his model because of the Eagle's base.  My two spear units with my BSB charge the unit of Skeletons w/ Spears and the Lion Chariot charges the flank.  The right Lion Chariot charges his Hierophant but he reveals her 4+ ward save and I only manage to do 1 wound.  He takes none back but he loses combat by 1 and breaks!  King of the jungle my ass.  My Lv.4 leaves his Phoenix Guard to get in the flank area of the Tomb Scorpion (avoiding LoS) while staying close to the center part of my army.  The Phoenix Guard advance as normal.  During the magic phase, I rolled a 7, I channeled for 2 more and I rolled for 3 more with my BoS.  With so many dice to play with, my Lv.4 started throwing out spells with confidence.  I led with Banishment on the Scorpion but it was quickly dispelled.  I followed with a greater cast of Speed of Light and it was scrolled.  I then threw down a handful of dice at Pha's Protection and it goes off.  Now all units within 12" of the Wizard has -1 to hit.
  • Combat on this turn was pretty crazy.  The Eagle on the left charged in, does no damage and dies horribly.  The Spear units in the middle throws out a bunch of attacks and does less damage than I expected, but a good amount of Skeletons still go down.  I found out the unit was WS6 because of the King's My Will Be Done and I was hitting on 4s with re-rolls.  The Lion Chariot also killed a bunch of dudes and my BSB swung at his Tomb King, who took a wound.  His swings back into my unit kills a good amount of spears but I was still able to win combat by 7.  He pulls some dudes on top of the amount I already killed and he has about 25 dudes left after Unstable.  I'm a little saddened by the White Lions who's probably going to get charged next turn, but I'm pretty happy with the combat in the middle.
  • On his turn, he rolls really low for his winds of magic.  I take one of his PD with my Annulian Crystal and I still had a scroll left should things go ill.  He says fuck that Eagle and charges it with his Necrosphinx who attempts to run but rolls like ass.  It's caught, but it's sole purpose in life has been fulfilled and the Necro is out of combat for another turn.  The Tomb Scorpion decides not to charge my White Lions because it'll probably die before it swings so he goes and have a staring contest with my Lv.4.  His Chariots charge through difficult terrain (rolls 7 dangerous and passes them all) and smashes into my White Lions.  10 White Lions go down to the impact hits and I throw back 11 attacks from 2 ranks.  I hit with all and wound with all and god damn, I lol really hard.  His attacks back kills 2 more White Lions after needing 5s to hit because of Pha's and I force him to take a few Unstable wounds.  Steve's Tomb Guard also charges my Phoenix Guard who holds and takes the charge to the face.  Magic sees a pitiful cast of 5+ ward on the TG which was promptly dispelled.  He throws 2 more dice at the Killing Blow spell on his Spears and I needed a average roll on 2 dice to dispel it.  Since I didn't feel like wasting Sigil on that one spell, I throw my dice and I roll just 1 value short.  It goes off and he gets back an entire rank of Skeletons.  Alright, that sucked I thought.
  • Combat on his turn had my Elves swinging first with 4 ranks each.  I issue a challenge with my BSB and his Tomb King accepts.  I epically whiff with my BSB and I take 1 wound.  After dice are thrown from my Spears, a good amount of Skeletons go down.  The Lion Chariot also throws in his attacks but nothing special really happens.  His attacks back at my Spears sees a average number of hits but his attempts to wound were pretty subpar.  No Killing Blows came out and I made some of my 5+s for a decisive Unstable test in the middle.  He is now left with the King and ~13 Skeletons.
  • The Tomb Guard engage my Phoenix Guard on the right and thanks of Pha's Protection and WS5, I nullify the Prince's WS buff on the unit.  He needs 5s to hit with his dudes and only manages to score 6 wounds.  After my 4+ ward saves, I pull 2 Phoenix Guard and combat goes decisively in my direction after I maul a good amount of TG.  We called the game here.

After game thoughts:
  • Since TK's magic system got standardized, I don't think they need to have a bunch of casters anymore.  Steve was definitely overloaded in the caster department and he could of just brought a Lv.4, a Lv.1-2 supporting caster, and maybe 2x Tomb Princes or 1/1 TK/TP.  The casket is definitely a must have though.  It's basically a tough ass warmachine with a 4+ ward, no downsides and it practically pays for itself with ~2 PD per turn.  For it's points, it's practically a no-brainer.
  • Tactically, Steve should of held his Necrosphinx back and used him as a counter-charge unit.  Especially when there's so many infantry units on my side, he really could of used the Sphinx to counter-charge the combat in the middle and sway it in his favor.  That thing would of killed a whole bunch of Elves and would of forced me to swing at it.
  • A correction to the turn that Necrosphinx charged the Eagle:  We found out he could of actually charged my Phoenix Guard by placing the Necrosphinx towards the top right of my block.  A little awkward how the thing could fly through a building, but oh wells.
  • I took my Teclis model instead of my normal Lv.4 model and just played him as a Lv.4.  Yes, I have gamer's superstition, but Teclis has never let me down.
  • I was much more aggressive with my Spears this game and I think that's exactly what I needed.  I had 60+ spears in the center of the table fighting for Ulthuan and they came out victorious over the undead horde.  My BSB was foolish to challenege, but I thought I'd do it for shit and giggles because I was arrogant in centerfield (arrogance? as an elf? no way).
  • Tomb Kings definitely play a lot different than they did last edition.  Their magic is now stoppable and their the dynamics of their army has changed a lot.  The My Will Be Done is fantastic to have because it's basically like a Crown of Command that's constantly in combat.  With 4pt Skeletons and 11pt Tomb Guard, I can see this being spammed out like crazy.  Settra can also apply his ridiculous WS7 to all units within 6", that's pretty godly.  Speaking of which, Chariots hit crazy hard this edition.  Steve didn't even field a lot of Chariots and they did 12 or so S5 hits once they hit my ranks.  Imagine if he had 2 of these units and just used Skeletons to pin down my Spears before he sent them in.
  • I will probably make another post about Tomb Kings in the near future once I get a better look at their army book.  All I can say is that the actual Tomb King core (the troops themselves) got a lot better in terms of cost effectiveness.  While some things got worse:  Ushabti, Tomb Scorpions and Giants, the meat of the army got better:  Cheaper units that are more cost effective.  It's too early to tell yet, but I also think Scorpions should be on the field and used as roadblocks, kinda like Eagles.  The Necrosphinx should definitely play a more backfield role and act as a counter-charge unit, but just like every other MC out there, Cannons will be the death of him.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Another army in the works

Just sketching up army lists and random, competitive thought patterns right now, nothing too serious.  I'll give you a hint though, it has something to do with the picture above.  If you guys guess what army, I'll start blogging about my ideas.  It's gonna be really fun.

Update 2:49pm PST!

Brandon really did hit the nail on the head.  The symbol above is the chevron of Vlad the Impaler, which a lot of people believe started the idea of Vampires in the real world.  It also happens to be the perfect Blood Dragons symbol in Vampire Counts!  My VC army will comprise of a fighty Vampire Lord (because the idea of a big bad ass Vampire sitting in a puny skeleton bunker waving his wand makes me vomit), a big unit if Blood Knights and a unit of Grave Guard.

Check out the army list:


Lv.3 Vampire Lord = 440
Lore of the Vampires
Red Fury, Infinite Hatred, Dreadknight
Blood Drinker, Crown, Dragon Helm

Lv.1 Vampire = 165
Forbidden Lore
Helm of Commandment

Wight King BSB = 225
Drakenhof Banner

35x Skeletons (FC) = 300
40x Ghouls (Ghast) = 328

30x Grave Guard (FC, GW, Banner of Barrows) = 465

9x Blood Knights (Musician, Flag of Blood Keep) = 600

I'm a few points over right now and I'm not entirely sold on what I want in the army.  I pretty much decided to go for close combat and slay face.  The combat lord is in, magic is not all over the place and the bulk of the army is broken up into the left flank, the GG center and the right flank.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

What a new HE book would look like

First, the design vision of what 7th Ed. High Elves are supposed to be:
  • Defense over offense; but quick enough to switch if needed
  • Use of ASF as a damage buffer; kill the enemy before they kill you
  • Strong in magic; both offensive and defensive; in lore and in items

I've been reading some wishlisting stuff from and I've never face-palmed more in my life.  With this in mind, from a game developer's point of view, this is how I think GW will design a new High Elves book for 8th Ed:
  • If ASF is to remain, expect to see very minor price changes. Maybe 1-2 points across the board.
  • If ASF is taken out, expect to see very drastic changes to the design process of the Elves themselves. I highly doubt that price will change too much because unless they change the fluff of the High Elves, they're to remain a small and compact army. With that in mind, expect to see HE striking in I order regardless of what weapon they wield. This is not ASF, but it will remain as Speed of Asuryan.
  • With the current shift of limited magic items, expect to see a good amount of special characters. From a design standpoint, they are the ones that carry the "truly" unique magic items that our race use. For example, Star Lance and Armor of Caledor will disappear and Imrik will be added back to the army book. If you look at the new TK book, you can see Flail of Skulls (removed from the current book) on one of their new Heralds.
  • The aspect of bringing Honors back is very unlikely. If you look at the trend of how GW books develop, they are trying to eliminate any aspect of army design that might be too complicated. This makes the book easier to jump into. Clear examples are the 4th Ed. CSM codex where they removed all the Legion specifics and wargear, the 5th Ed. Tyranid codex where they removed practically all the customization options, the 6th-7th Ed. High Elves book where they dropped our Honors, the 6th-7th VC book where they dropped the Bloodlines, the list goes on and on. Honors will not come back, stop wishing for it.
  • Every unit will have a special rule. If not every unit, then 95% of the units in the book. That's how 8th Ed. O&G did it, that's how TK did it. Expect Shadow Warriors to have strong passive abilities, Ellyrion Reavers to do something special, and Lothren Sea Guard to be the finest Marines in the world, and Sword Masters to do cool things as well. That's just how all the units are designed these days. The really generic boring units that don't add anything special like Archers (at least our archers) won't get anything special except for a points decrease and comes with light armor. Everything else that has a real name in the lore or (and pay attention to this) have COOL and fancy models for, will get all kinds of special rules. This is to promote not only model sales, but encourage players to take a good amount of them. You think its coincidence that TK have the ability to take a Special version of their new T8 monster AND a Rare version? They can field like 8 of those things on the field if they wanted to. That's 400 dollars worth, you think GW's stupid? They are a business, a business that charges 20 dollars for a Zoanthrope.
  • You might see a lot less customization on our lords and heroes, but we'll get a price drop across the board with more effective units. I studied the TK book these last couple of days and that's how the book is made. O&G is the same way. 8th Ed is all about big units, the ability to take a Spearmen Horde or fielding Dragons everywhere (and this will happen). More chaos, more models dead, more models sold.
  • Dragons and Griffons will get a overhaul for the better. There's a reason why there's a 50 dollar model out there that's not really selling because of 8th Ed. TLoS and warmachines. GW might be blind, but they're not stupid. Expect to see much improved Dragons for their costs out there.
  • Also, I want to touch upon the fact that you'll NEVER see a lord that's limited to 3k+ games. A 700 point Teclis? Not in my vocabulary. Settra is 475 with his Chariot, which is playable in a 2k game. GW knows the standard is 2k-2.5k for a normal sized game. 3k is where shit goes all over the place. They designed the rules, they designed the models. In order to sell more models they need to sell it at the level that everyone plays.

Of course, I can be completely wrong and they'll give the book design over to someone like Ward or Cruddace and they'll turn the book inside out.