Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pay Your Bills!

It looks like the Millenium Gate has finally succumb to the apathy of those in charge... I recommend www.FrederickAreaGamers.org as an alternate.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Know thy Enemy (Codex: Space Marines)

This will be the second Know they Enemy article.

Ah, Space Marines, if you are one of the 87 people out there who does not play Space Marines, I hope this article proves useful for you. I will break this down into 2 different parts, the first will deal with special units, the second will deal with the multitude of special characters.

Codex Space Marines makes use of a number of new units, all with special rules that make your units look like crap.
Vanguard Veterans, this is a specialized assault squad that has the ability to deep strike and assault on the same turn. Great. Also, they can have Str 6 power weapons. The downsides are that they are expensive and that they die just like normal space marines.
Sternguard Veterans, this unit is an abhorrent shooting monster. Their rules basically mean that they can win a firefight against a multitude of opponents. They can make their boltguns effectively either AP 3, ignore cover, or wound on a 2+. Fantastic. They suffer the same weaknesses as Vanguard Veterans. They are both Elite units.
Now onto the Land Raider Redeemer, so it has Str 6, AP3 Flamers. How cute. Is it the cheapest of all other SM Land Raiders? You bet!
There is a new slew of Scout-esque models, like scout bikers and the Land Speeder Storm. The latter has the ability to disrupt deep strike within 12", other than this, who cares?
Drop Pods have a new model, so, expect to see entire armies of Drop Podding Marines.
There is a unit called the "Thunderfire Cannon". It sucks. Fire some boltguns at it and destroy it.

Now, as a reader, you may have need to hear more obnoxious things! Fear not, I will now deliver. Onto the Special Marine Characters.
Marneus Calgar: He is a bit of a Tank, but not invincible. He grants everyone in the army the ability to choose to pass or fail morale tests. He also has an AP 2 Storm Bolter and can re-roll wounds from Shooting and Close Combat. Other than this, he is just expensive.
Cassius: His claim to fame is T6 and Feel No Pain. (He still gets IK'd by a powerfist, so no one cares about him)
Tigurius: If you love a character that can get killed easily, pick Tigurius. He can use 3 psychic powers a turn, but does not appear to be worth his points.
Sicarius: He gives you the ability to re-roll the "seize the initiative" roll. He also gives one tactical squad in your army a special rule (Tank Hunter, Counter Attack, etc..) He also has a coup de gras attack, where he can make a single Str 6 attack that causes Instant Death.
Telion: Mini-Vindicaire Assassin.
Cronus: makes a vehicle AWESOME. For about the cost of another vehicle.
Darnath Lysander: He has a 2+/3+ invul, a Str 10 Thunderhammer that gives +1 on the vehicle damage table and any squad he is with may re-roll missed bolter shot rolls (like Sternguard) Also Immune to Instant Death, what a beast!
Shrike: Shrike can give an entire army fleet. His Lightning Claws Rend. He gives a unit he joins Infiltrate. Compared to others, he is rather tame.

Here are some that are not tame.
Cantor: Assault 4 AP 4 storm bolter. Makes Sternguard scoring units, gives +1 attack to friends close by. Everyone becomes stubborn. Has an orbital bombardment. (wouch) Most Tame of the Untame characters.

Vulkan: Invulnerable 3+, Master Crafted Relic Blade, ALL Flamers, Heavy Flamers, Meltaguns, Multi-Meltas become Twin-linked. All Thunderhammers become Master Crafted. (Go fuck yourself Vulkan.) This is far worse than it sounds, trust me.

Kor'sarro Khan: I can ride a bike that makes bike squads troops. I cause Instant Death on a 6 in close combat. Everyone outflanks, even dedicated transports! So, in effect, lets have that LRC filled with Termies or Vanguard assault Squad roll in from the board edge with those Rhinos and Bikes! (Khan can Rusty Trombone me.)

Codex: Space Marines actually allows a lot of variety in army types, unfortunately, all you are going to see is drop podding Vulkan/Lysander lists and outflanking Khan lists.

Good luck in your endeavors.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Know thy enemy (Orks)

I meet a lot of players, some good, some bad. I have noticed that the one thing good players have in common is that they know their enemy. On the other hand, if a player does not even have a passing awareness of what your units are capable of, it is unlikely that they will be able to form a rudimentary battle plan, and are thus tend to get crushed by a surprise unit.

In the interest of making my reader a better player, I present the series know thy enemy, an in-depth look at what certain codices can do.

The first thing I noticed is the obnoxiously low cost of the basic ork. It is almost like the designers got together and said "you know what? Lets cut the cost of the slugga boy by 33% and the cost of a shoota boy by 25%." That is like having a land raider drop to 165 points. Obnoxious.

Due to this, an ork player can have a seemingly mathematically impossible amount of basic ork troopers. Expect to be heavily outnumbered by orks if you face them. In some cases, it may seem almost mathematically impossible to defeat the number of orks you could face. The best strategy is to reduce the mob size to 8 or below and hope they fail a break test.

Another fun strategy for the cunning ork player is to make use of a warboss on bike paired with a 10 model strong unit of Nob bikers. This unit is incredibly expensive, yet incredibly effective. Usually this unit is built so that few bikers are armed with the same equipment. What this allows the ork player to do is to allocate wounds to different "groups" of models. In effect, this unit can take about 7 unsaved wounds and not lose a single model. To make matters worse, the Warboss is T5 before the bike upgrade which means against a krak missile, he not only gets his 4+ invulnerable, but he also gets a 4+ Feel No Pain save from the obligatory Painboy in the unit.
Be very wary of this combination.

Now a brief talk about Tankbustas, in short, they suck. I have taken advantage of their special rules every single time I have played against them. Tankbustas MUST fire at a vehicle if they have line of sight to one. With their range of only 24", it is easy to place a vehicle 40 inches or so away and a unit of infantry or bikes 1 inch away and have it be absolutely safe from shooting or assault.

The looted wagon. This can mount a fearsome gun, which is battle-cannon-esque. One thing to remember when facing it is that every turn it must roll a die and on a "1" it cannot fire. Do not let the ork player forget.

Weirdboyz also have no choice but to use their powers, even if they do not want to.

I hope this gives my reader at least a cursory understanding of what the orks do on the battlefield, now go forth noble warrior!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Building a Tournament List (Part 3)

Without further ado...

Canoness w/Blessed Weapon, Jump Pack, Book of St. Lucius
Canoness w/Eviscerator

10 Battle Sisters w/Heavy Flamer, Flamer, Veteran Superior
Rhino w/Extra Armor, Smoke
10 Battle Sisters w/Flamer, Meltagun, Veteran Superior w/Combi-flamer
Rhino w/Extra Armor, Smoke, Hunter-killer missile
10 Battle Sisters w/Heavy Flamer, Meltagun, Veteran Superior w/Brazier of Holy Fire
Rhino w/Extra Armor, Smoke, Hunter-killer missile

9 Seraphim w/2 Twin-hand flamers, Veteran, Powerweapon
9 Seraphim w/2 Twin-hand flamers, Veteran, Powerweapon

Exorcist w/Extra Armor
Exorcist w/Extra Armor
10 Retributors w/4 heavy Bolters, Veteran Superior

1750 Exactly.


Building a Tournament List (Part 2)

Now that we know what we need to accomplish, lets take a look at the Witch Hunters Army List.

The most important aspect is scoring units, lets review the options available for TROOPS.
We have 2 choices Inquisitorial Storm Troopers or Sisters of Battle. Now, the choice for this is painfully obvious, if it is not obvious I will spell it out; Sisters of Battle are leaps and bounds better than Storm Troopers. Feel free to argue that with me, but be warned, my retort will be an open hand slap to your mouth, for preaching such heresy.
Throw the ladies in Rhinos to get mobility (this helps against gunline and Lash lists) plus it gives me free "Wallspace" to block assault routes from Orks/Nids.
I give each squad at least 1 template weapon and I give 2 squads meltaguns to assist in mobile tank hunting (Good against mechanized Lists)

Now lets look at HQ's. We have 3 choices, Canoness and two others, it is clear what I favor. The canoness is pretty cheap at 45 points base and gives me 2 faith points. Take two...every time.
As far as equipment goes, some fun things are Blessed Weapons, Jump Packs, Books of St. Lucius (2nd best 5 point peice of wargear next to the Tau disruption pod), eviscerators, and cloaks of St. Aspira.

Heavy Support:
Tons of choices, the best two are Retributors and Exorcists. The Exorcist is awesome at blowing up vehicles (12 or lower are easiest) and fills the role of smoking nob bikers and other hard-infantry.
Retributors with Heavy Bolters are also an excellent choice. They fulfill the role of infantry control.

Now onto Elites.
We have a slew of options here. Assassins, Celestians, Retributors, Inquisitors, yada yada.
I am not a huge fan of anything other than Celestians, nut right now, there is no role that they fill that can't be filled by one of my scoring or heavy units.

Fast! Seraphim and Dominions are the stand outs here. I went for seraphim because they have been good for me for years. Dominions are neat, but like Celestians, there is no role they fill that something else doesn't alreay do.

Next up, The List!!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Building a Tournament list (Part 1)

I am participating in the "Valentine's Day Massacre" held by my gaming club, the "Frederick Area Gamers". The masses have voted that I play Witch Hunters, with that in mind I want to build my list to be as competitive and as fun as possible.

There are some lists that are quite popular in the tournament scene as well as with my local gaming club. In order to be competitive, my list needs to be able to take on these powerhouse lists. The lists I am talking about are any/all of the following.
  • Dual or single Lash lists. (Chaos Space marines utilizing Lash of Submission)
  • Tyranid Monstrous Creature (TMC) (Tyranids with up to 8 monstrous creatures)
  • Horde Orks (~200+ bodies, making a mathematical victory difficult)
  • Nob Biker Orks (good list building combined with wound allocation ensures orks giving beat-downs)
  • Drop Pod Spam
  • Gunline (Tau, Guard, Marines, Eldar, Chaos can all be gun-line armies)
  • Mech Marines/Eldar/Chaos/Tau
  • Daemon-Bomb (using one of the named Daemons like Skarbrand, Fateweaver, Epidemius, etc...)
Wow, that is a lot to think about in terms of army construction. Lets begin by taking a look at what it takes to counter each of the above.

  • Lash: Some sort of protection from psychic powers.
  • TMC: Plenty of High-Strength low AP weapons or resilient power-weaponed close combat troops.
  • Horde Orks: Str 4 Ap 6 or less wepaons, templates, blast markers, ordnance. Close combat units with a high number of attacks.
  • Nob Biker Orks: High strength (5+) weapons that ignore cover (preferably AP 4 or less)
  • Drop Pod Spam: Drop pods are beaten in the Metagame, not in list building, but it helps if every unit has some way to destroy the pods once they land.
  • Gunline: Survivable way to cross the board to engage it in assault -or- be able to outshoot it.
  • Mech Marines/Tau/Chaos/Eldar: Mobile anti-tank firepower or close combat ability
  • Daemon-Bomb: Like Drop pods, this list is beaten in the meta-game, but it is beaten differently.
Next we will investigate how I intend to counter these in the list I build.



As the astute reader can see from the poll on the left that I will be taking the Witch Hunters to the Valentines Day Massacre. The most surprising thins is that over 20 people actually visit my 40kBlog.

Thank you to all the voters (except Leigh, who voted for Grey Knights to get easy wins)!!

I will throw up a list when I finalize it.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Poll: Valentines Day Massacre

My gaming club is holding a tournament on Valentines day. The tournament is 1750 points and I am having a little bit of trouble deciding on which army I want to bring. I have decided to let my reader help me out a bit. Since I only have about 2 readers, your votes will indeed count.

First, some information about the different armies.

Blood Angles: My first army, my largest army.
Pros: Marines, Fast, Fighty
Cons: Loses to new Space Marines

Dual Lash Chaos:
Pros: 2 lashes, 3 scoring units, good win-ability
Cons: Dual Lash tends to score one low on Sportsmanship. Also, my forgeworld Dreadnoughts may not arrive in time.

Chaos Daemons:
Pros: Don't know, never played them. Theoryhammer seems strong though.
Cons: All unpainted, waiting on a model from the UK, may not get here in time.

Witch Hunters:
Pros: So incredibly fun and powerful.
Cons: I sold all my tanks, would have to rebuild 5 vehicles and do some painting.

Pros: VERY fun to play.
Cons: Eldar Dex is a bit weak in my opinion.

Grey Knights:
Pros: ...
Cons: All unpainted, waiting on forgeworld doors for Land Raiders, rest of Army unpainted.

Pros: Great in Objective games, lots of bodies.
Cons: Just not as good as newer codices.

Rock the vote!


Round 4 Escalation League Goodness!

Now for some more Battle Reports of the Guard in action!!

Game 1: Me versus the squid.

He brings the White Scars terror, we play capture the draw, I give him first turn.

Turn 1: Squid moves his bikes forward and bolters a guard squad to death.
Me: The demolisher shot scatters 11-BS inches. The rest of my army opens up and kills a 5-man bike squad and 2 bikes from an 8 man squad.

Turn 2: All of Squids reserves arrive. The Land Speeders drop in and shred my demolisher. The melta bike squad shoots, assaults, and wipes a squad. The command squad wipes out the mortars and the center squad wipes a 10 man missile squad. I am losing a lot of guard.
Me:My reserves arrive and outflank, I kill 4 out of 5 bikes in one squad and 5 out of 8 in another with sweet las/plas fire. My command squad assaults and loses 2 guys while causing no wounds...

Turn 3: The lone biker (number 1 of 5) happens to have a flamer and roasts a command squad. The other side bike squad kills 3 from an outflank unit.
Me: 25 guard fire, 1 bike dies. 3 Heavy Bolters and 6 Krak missiles manage to kill 1 of 3 speeders... Crap.

Turn 4: The bikes on the flank kill 1,2 and 1 guardsmen from3 separate squads. Command squad bikes kill a mortar squad.
Me: My flanking squads finally finish off the bike squad. In a protracted close combat, my command squad dies.

Turn 5: Korsarro Khan splits from his command squad, they each slaughter a missile launcher squad.
Me: I finally kill the flanking attack bike.

Turn 6: Squid moves his speeders to contest his objective from my flankers.
Me: I attempt to cause a casualty but am unsuccessful.

The game ends in a zero-zero draw.

Game 2: Me versus the PJ Deathwing Circus. The mission is Annihilation...CRAP.
*The pictures for this one are semi-random...sorry.
I go first.

Turn 1: I begin by firing some krak missiles at the predator and remove its twin lascannons.
PJ: his pred kills 1 guy from my infiltrating missile squad. 3 terminator squads(+belial) deepstrike and run to spread out.

Turn 2: None of my reserves arrive. The Demolisher kills one terminator, plasma guns kill 2 and a lasgun claims another. One terminator is down to 1 model, the other 2 are unharmed.
PJ: No reserves His terminators kill 3 from the twin plasma command squad, they break.

Turn 3: My outflanking reserves arrive. The lone plasma gunner kills the lone terminator. The rest of my force combines to destroy an entire other terminator squad and do 2 wounds to belial (the medic was tough to get through)
PJ: His other 2 terminator squads arrive, bu one goes back out due to bad scatter. he one wipes out the lone Missle squad.
Belial charges and kills 3 guard, they stay.

Turn 4: The demolisher scatters 10-BS inches. (I wrote some form of profanity in my notebook) The entire rest of my shooting (6 Frags, 7 mortars, and 3 heavy bolters kills 1 terminator. He must have made 20 saves...
Some of my guys decide to assault Belial...They beat his punk ass down.

Here is another random photo..

PJ (still turn 4) the other termies re-arrive and kill the flamer squad.

Turn 5: The demolisher kills 2 termies from the front of my building. The Lone command squad plasma gunner overheats and kills himself. (This turns out to be a decisive kill point) The rest of my army combines to kill 4 terminators out of the 5 man deep striking squad.

PJ: The terminators to my front advance and kill 2 from a guard squad. The lone terminator charges into close combat. He kills 1 and I stay.

Turn 6: The demolisher kills one and 2 other squads charge into Close combat with the terminator. No wounds from Close Combat (but like 12 saves made)

PJ:Knowing he is in the lead, PJ runs. fearing another turn.

There is no turn 7. But here is a picture of the lone terminator surviving the guard assault.

I want to stress that out of the 26 terminators, PJ had 7. I had 3 kill points. PJ killed 3 units for 4 kill points as my officers count separately. A tough loss for the guard.

Now for the Batrep you have been waiting for. Me versus the MANRIC. We are currently 1-1 all time. He has something like 150 orks.

The mission is loot counters. Dawn of war. Crap!

Turn 1:everything of mine that wasnt on the board walks on. My firepower kills 11 orks.
MANRIC: Everything moves on and/or runs forward.

Turn 2: My reserves arrive and outflank, in my haste I forget to move the rest of my force. My shooting kills the entire right mob except for the nob. My shooting on the left takes the squad to 18 orks.
MANRIC: Blows his Waagh. The left squad easily makes the assault. The nob assaults the stationary demolisher and destroys it with a power claw. The left mob assaults 2 units, I kill 1 ork, but lose 14 models and the assault.

Turn 3: I kill the lone Nob. I kill 14 from the back right mob. I reduce the left mob to 7 orks and they break. Never to return.
Eric: everything living moves forward and runs. The orks on the hill assault my command squad easily killing it.

Turn 4: I do some terrible shooting. I take the right squad down to 10 and the middle right squad down to 17.

MANRIC: (still turn 4) The far right squad chares the flamer unit and kills them, the right squad runs into a unit of 10 orks, killing them as well.

Turn 5: I manage to kill the entire middle right squad and take the far right squad down to 2 models.
MANRIC: the 2 member ork squad gets to the objective. The far left squad assaults a missile launcher squad and a command squad, killing them as well.

Turn 6: I kill the two orks by one of the objectives. I wipe out the big ork unit. Of the 154 orks, only the Nobs unit is left.
MANRIC: Spreads his lone nobs unit over 2 objectives. The game ends in a draw.

A rough 0-1-2 W-L-D weekend for the guard.