Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thoughts on the Leaked Guard Sheet

So, took a look at the leaked Imperial Guard sheet.
A few things that stand out...
The "Chemical Cannon"
Str:1 AP:3 Template Poison(2+)
So, a flamer that wounds on a 2+ at AP3...wouch. Let us see what kind of tank it is mounted on first...
So, Stormtroopers get a S:3 AP:3 18" Rapid Fire Hellgun, that's cute. (Kiss your sisters/Scorpions/Warp Spiders/Incubi goodbye)
To be honest, I hate stormtroopers, they are a waste of space. I will be selling mine. AP:3? who needs it, not me.

Executioner Plasma Cannon S:7 AP:2 Heavy 3, Blast <-- Fuck me! Still wont kill Storm Shield Termies though...

I will admit that I am shocked to see so much anti-power armor wargear in codices as of late. The AP:3 flamers and boltguns for marines, AP:3 boltgun on ksons, AP:3 Doombolt, etc...

I think GW may be trying to push players off of playing Space Marines. (as they are incredibly prevalent in most gaming environments) I am strangely for this, I like versatility in my opponents. I can't count how many 3 round tournaments I have been to where I have played against 3 Space Marine opponents. *grumble* It is not like I hate playing against marines (I play BA myself) but I hate playing against only space marines. I would feel the same way if I only played against tyranids, for example.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

The return of the Iyanden.

This past weekend, I broke the Iyanden out of their semi-primed/semi-painted status for 3 games.

This is how I rolled.

Prince Yriel, Autarch of Iyanden (Slayer of Marneus Calgar, and Kayvaan Shrike)
Farseer, Runes of Warding, Fortune

10 Wraithguard w/Spiritseer w/Enhance
10 Dire Avengers w/Exarch w/Power Weapon, Shimmershield, Defend
Wave Serpent w/Twin Shuriken Cannons
10 Dire Avengers w/Exarch w/Power Weapon, Shimmershield, Defend
Wave Serpent w/Twin Shuriken Cannons

8 Fire Dragons w/Exarch w/Dragons Breath Flamer
Wave Serpent w/Twin Shuriken Cannons
5 Wraithguard w/Warlock w/Enhance
Wave Serpent w/Twin Shuriken Cannons

Wraithlord w/Scatter Laser, Missile Launcher
Wraithlord w/Scatter Laser, Missile Launcher

2000 on the nose.

So I played 3 games (All against Space Marines)

First player had Shrike and some marines and a lot of allied inquisitorial Stormtroopers
He also had a very large Inquisitorial Retinue with his Inquisitor Lord (3 plasma guns, 3 plasma pistols)
I chose to not deploy anything.
Basically, I was able to outshoot him when necessary (blowing up a Chimera wiped out the Inquisitorial retinue, yeah, the entire thing) The inquisitor lord was then assaulted by Yriel and Perished. Yriel also killed Shrike (who infiltrated 8 inches away from my board edge).
My Dire Avengers never left their rides...

Second was Space Wolves! 2 Rhinos and a land Raider full of Dudes. Some terminators, some Long Fangs and the uber-outflanking scouts.

Unfortunately for my opponent, teh squads that first assaulted did not have powerfists, so they were not able to kill Wraithguard effectively, Despite this, he managed to kill ALL 15 Wraithguard. Nice work. Unfortunately, it was too little too late. I had destroyed most everything else with minimal Casualties (aside from the Wraithguard, which I lamented in song)

Third game was from a lad with no idea how many points he had (he estimated 1300, but had well over 2000) So we made a list.
3 tacticals, Marneus Calgar, a Chaplain, a 10 man assault squad, a 10 man scout squad, a 5 man terminator squad, 2 dreadnoughts, and 2 5-man devastators. His deployment was pretty awful (spread out along his entire edge) he basically ran every unit forward (literally) I was able to envelop him and pick apart units piecemeal. P.S. After Calgar beat down 10 Wraithguard and Yriel Beat down 10 Space marines, they met in combat... Yriel tooled his ass. ("God of War" my wraithbone toilet...)

3-0 so far...

So, I am going to try to get those kids painted over the next couple of weeks


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentines Day Massacre

On Saturday, February 14th, I played in my gaming clubs Valentines Day Massacre (a three round tournament)
I, of course, took my sisters. I tweaked my list a bit from the one I posted here originally. I removed one of the Rhino squads and some Seraphim in favor of adding 2 10-strong, 3 storm bolter, walking sisters squads. This bumped my faith points to 11.

The first round was a take and hold kind of mission with exactly 4 objectives. You received 5 points per objective captured. I played one of my friends' "Space Angels" (Dark Angels using the new Space Marine codex.) fire power army. Lots of plasma cannons (like 6).
We did not cause all that many casualties to each other, the game ended in a draw because of one of his lone troops being a millimeter away from my, we each got 5 points for the first game.

The second game was a straight victory point game, right out of 4th edition. My opponent brought 120 orks in 4 mobs and a trukk carrying Ghazghkull and 10 unique nobs. He went first and got the trukk within 5 inches of my lines. The rest of the mobs moved and ran forward.
During my turn I decided that I needed to kill the trukk, I move 3 squads to within 1 inch of the trukk, I then destroy it during shooting. Despite my proximity to the trukk, not one ork was killed when the trukk exploded, because my opponent can place models where the truk used to be. The game ended there (basically) as I was unable to kill any nobs until the squad takes 10 or so unsaved wounds. I would lose around 2 squads a turn because of the inability of sisters to even come close to hurting Ghazghkull.
I lost, but only by about 300 VP's, so I got 6 Battle points while my opponent got 14.

Third game was against an all drop podding Space Wolves army, my opponents list was thankfully not as bad as I imagined. I chose not to deploy anything on the board, depriving him (and me) of any first turn fire. He dropped his units kind of close to my side as the objective was to control a marker in the center of the table. With my mobility, I was able to come in and FLAME the crap out of his units, sometimes killing entire squads with my firepower. In the end, he had one model in the center and I had 2 scoring units, so I happened to win 15 battle Points. I also got an extra 5 for killing his main HQ, a wolf lord.

In all I came in third, but I also received "best army" based on my painting, conversion work, and forgeworld doors. It was a great time and a great day.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dark Eldar Mechanized Tactica

*I wrote this for a new player per his request. Take a look at it.

A few caveats. The original Dark Eldar codex was written in 1998, it has changed very little since then. The army of that time was written for, and geared towards, a system that is over a decade old (3rd edition 40k, we are now on 5th) Because of this discrepancy, Dark Eldar are a very tough army to play and win with.

General Dark Eldar thoughts
Dark Eldar are extremely fragile. They are only T3 and have joke armor(5+).
Your transports have the lowest possible armor value. Your "heavy" vehicle has front armor 11. Your vehicles are open-topped.
Anything that is able to shoot you will likely succeed in killing you.
Because of all of the above, when you make a mistake in playing, you will lose units.

A brief overview of Mechanized Dark Eldar.
The key elements of this type of list are fast, mounted units that are devastating in either shooting or assault. Within the bounds of the "Mech DE" (Mechanized Dark Eldar) there exist 2 factions. You have regular Mech DE and then you have Wych Cult Mech DE. The former relies more on firepower and pinning via Dark Eldar Raider squads the latter relies on Close Combat oriented Wych units to win the day.

Every time I have played Mech DE, I went with Warrior squads. I will list what units I take, which units I do not take and why. (We can discuss Wych Cult and other builds later)

Starting with the HQ.
Archon - Extremely great, close combat killing machine.
Wych Archite - We cannot take this because of the list changes it entails (again, we can discuss wych cult later) But she also kicks ass.

Dracon - a solid choice, but the wych drachite is just better.
Wych Drachite - just like the Dracon, but with higher initiative and a better save in close combat.

Haemonculus - not applicable for our purposes, but a good choice for other kinds of DE builds.

Warrior Squads - Nice for a gunline DE army, but without a transport option, useless to us.
Raider Squads - The bread and butter of our force. When done right, can own the board in firepower and can be equipped for a variety of roles.

Grotesques - actually not as awful as you think. Remember any unit which loses a close combat involving them AUTO FALLS BACK. Awesome.
Mandrakes - in 4th edition I used these to great effect when outnumbering mattered. In 5th, I cannot condone their use.
Warp Beasts - a 5-model unit with T3 and a 6+ save. No thanks.
Wyches - A core close combat unit to Mech DE, they have surprising survivability and can actually dish out surprising damage.

Hellions - Hellions suck. Period. In every case. In every situation.
Jetbikes - Underestimated. Jetbikes are a solid Fast attack choice.

Talos - Good for webway portal lists, but too slow for a Mech DE list.
Scourges - Jump packs with a move of fire weapon? awesome! Just kidding. 20 point Splinter Cannons! awesome. Just kidding.
Ravager - 9 str 4 AP 3 shots? Sign me up! Front Armor 11? ...crap.

What are the objectives of Mech DE?
The objective of Mech DE is not mass genocide of your opponent, the objective is control and neutralization.
The objective is to destroy/neutralize anything that threatens you and once the threats are gone, mass-genocide.
This list works by utilizing a few key items of wargear, which I will now outline.

Terrorfex - This is the main weapon of Mech DE. With it you will frustrate opponents to no end. This weapon has no strength and no AP. It causes a pinning test on a successful hit. A penalty of -1 applies if the unit is below half strength, a penalty of -1 also applies to each model hit by the template, but only if more than one model is hit. You will use this to pin non-fearless units. Range 12, Assault 1, Blast. Truly a terror-inspiring weapon. Obviously, you will want to maximize the number of models under the template so that the enemy takes the leadership test with the lowest modifier possible. For the record, here is a table of Leadership tests and what the percentage is to fail each one.
Ld 10 - 9.52%
Ld 9 - 19.05%
Ld 8 - 28.57%
Ld 7 - 42.86%
Ld 6 - 52.38%
Ld 5 - 71.43%
Ld 4 - 80.95%
Ld 3 - 90.48%
Ld 2 and lower - 95.24%

So, if you want to pin space marines (Ld 9), you want to hit 3-4 of them to have a good chance of pinning them.

Night Shield - In a list chock full of paper-airplane-like vehicles, the Night Shield offers a semblance of protection. It has the effect of adding 6" to any shots coming to the vehicle, if this puts the vehicle "out of range" the shot automatically misses, this is also used when calculating whether or not a model is within "rapid fire" range. It is a bit costly at 15 points, but the RangeHammer it allows is astounding.

Dark Lance - a 36 inch, Str:8 AP:2, Lance weapon. Great for opening up non-necron vehicles.

Combat Drugs - This is where the party starts! Combat Drugs allow for the CC dominance of Dark Eldar.
Basically, at the start of the assault phase, you can pick one or more options to apply to the user of the combat drugs.
  • 12 Inch Assault
  • +1 WS
  • +1 S
  • Always Strike First
  • Re-roll misses
  • +1 Attack
You roll a dice for each option you pick. On doubles, you take a wound, on a triple, you die. They are strong, but use them wisely.

How are my objectives accomplished?

You will begin your assault one of three ways and then execute it one of two ways.

Before we move onto the plan, we must address the board and the set-up. For ANY of your units to survive to make it within 12", you need to keep your transports and your bikes alive. If you are not going first, you want to minimize the number of shots coming at your raiders. Now I will present a few axioms of Dark Eldar Deployment. This is how you will begin your assault.
  • Only deploy as many Raiders as you can safely obscure from enemy shooting. If you cannot safely deploy any Raiders, leave them all in reserve.
  • If your opponent does not deploy on the board, you shouldn't either. Nothing can ruin your slave raid like 1500 points of outflanking or Drop Podding Space Marines.
  • When your units arrive in reserve, they should be moving their max speed so that you get the 4+ cover save and you can get where you need to go.

You will execute your assault depending on what kind of enemy you face. It is impossible to provide advice for every tactical situation, so I will offer some general points.
  • Try to assault a flank or an isolated section of the enemy
  • At the beginning of the turn, decide which units you are going to assault. Pin the other units, assault your primary objectives.
  • If the enemy is in transports, spend a turn opening them up. If the enemy is fearless, hang back and remove threats as best you can.

Great units for a Mech DE assault
Here is what I have used in the past that has proven effective.

Raider Squad (10 members)
w/Blaster, Splinter Cannon, Sybarite, Terrorfex
Raider w/Night Shield.

This is one of your key units, take more than a few of these. Highly mobile, able to pop tanks (thanks to the Blaster) and not shabby at taking out hordes (thanks to the Splinter Cannon). They also make use of the fearsome Terrorfex. Keep in mind, these SUCK in close combat.

Archon w/Shadow Field, Combat Drugs, Punisher, Tormentor Helm, and Animus Vitae (optional)
7-9 Grotesques
Raider w/Night Shield.

This is one of your pinnacle Close Combat Units. The Archon is an absolute beast in close combat.
He begins with 3 base attacks, the combination of the Tormentor Helm and Punisher ups it to 4, charging is 5 and Combat drugs can make it 6.
In an optimal load, your Archon will roll in with a 2+ invulnerable, and 6 WS 6 Str 5 power weapon Attacks, re-rolling misses, at I7.

Wych Drachite:
There are 2 different loadouts for the Drachite.
1)Punisher, Combat Drugs, Tormentor Helm
2)Agoniser, Splinter Pistol, Combat Drugs

Depending on what armies you are likely to face, choose which build is right for you.
1) Great for dealing with Non-MC infantry
2) Great for dealing with Monstrous Creatures.

Either way, the Drachite rolls with...
9 Wyches w/2 Blasters, Wych Weapons, Sybarite with Agoniser
Raider w/Night Shield

4 Reaver Jetbikes
w/2 Blasters (optional: Sybarite w/Agoniser)
These units are fast, and able to easily destroy non-necron vehicles. If given agonisers, they can support other units in close combat.

w/3 Disintegrators
This is a very light vehicle (AV 11/11/10 open topped) but rocks 3 disintegrators. (a versatile plasma weapon)
The disintegrator can either be fired as a plasma cannon (when on high power) or as a 24" S:4 AP:3 Heavy 3 weapon
Absolutely great for taking out power armor. They suffer from the same weaknesses as raiders though

Building a List
When building a list, start with 2 Raider Squads as Troops, then include the Archon with Groteques,
Fill out the rest of your points with whatever you see fit. Try to have at least 4 troops at points above 1500.
If you see a lot of power armor, take 3 Ravagers.

What to watch out for

Fearless Space Marine Armies: Against fearless MEQ's, your terrorfexes are useless. This is a tough match up for you, but not unwinnable, use your ravagers to take out Plague Marines/Berzerkers/Noise Marines/Thousand Sons. Since these units cost a lot, it is unlikely that your opponent will have 60+ of them.

Tyranids: One of the banes of Mech DE. Not only is the infantry fearless until all the synapse is taken care of, but the slew of Str 6+ firepower will demolish your transports. Try to outrange the big, shooty things, when those are gone, pin the little critters. Do not be afraid to charge the Hive tyrant or Carnifex with your Wyches/Wych Drachite or your Archon+Grotesques, they will go on a colossal ass-kicking spree.

Witch Hunters: The bane of your existence as a Mech DE player. Against an opponent of equal skill, you will probably get destroyed. Witch Hunters are as good as fearless when it comes to your pinning weapons (they have a 5 point piece of wargear that removes modifiers to their leadership.) They are also likely to have a lot of Flame weapons and be highly mobile. They can also be RE-GOD-DAMN-DICULOUSLY resilient (they can make their saves invulnerable to counter your Power weapons/Disintegrators) I have had sisters stand up to and beat Terminators in Close Combat.

Watch out for these 3 armies/list builds.

Mech DE is a tough list to play; it can be good and it can be bad. Do not labor under the delusion that you can go out, buy an army, and then run the field with it.
You will probably lose 90% of your games as a new player. As you gain experience from losing, you will get better. Hope you enjoyed the Tactica.