Friday, December 25, 2009

A change from the norm

So in between school and projects, and with this short break I got to do some painting. As much as I like to play with my Dark Eldar, I just can't get into the models all the time. Some of the kits are really nice, and some of the metal models are great, but sometimes I want to work on something different.

That in mind, combined with the fact that during our small trial run of Planetary Empires I'm churning out some Chaos pleasure and change, I decided to paint up a few of the models that have been sitting on the shelf in various forms of completion. So I finished up a few Thousand Sons, and some sonic toting Noise Marines, Ahriman and Lucius both recieved some paint, except back packs(althought I'm thinking of going back over Lucius a bit).

Most of those were done when the break rolled around. For the break, my goal was to finish up the last of a couple Sons and Noise marines, and then put some paint on my dreadnought that has been based on a shelf basically since the new chaos book was released. He was one of my first conversions, and some of my only luck with green stuff sculpting. So I finished him up and have moved on to a box of Bloodletters that currently act as generic demons, but may hopefully lead to a demonic force later.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tactica Wyches

After the Ravager taking the spot for the FTW collaborative post, I thought I'd re-visit the other unit I was pondering, Wyches. I was hoping to do it sooner, but have been a bit busy lately, but I have a few things to get posted in the next couple weeks.

Really, Wyches are probably the thing I slot into my army right after a Ravager. Although I've toyed with more Koven themed Haemonculus lists, I always find that atleast one squad of wyches gives me a much more competative list.

So lets look at the basic wych to start with

WS: 4 BS:4 S:3 T:3 I:6 W:1 A:1 Ld: 8

They have a fairly decent statline, nothing to shout from the mountaintop about though. The part of the statline that does the most work, is easily the I:6. Not only does this ensure you are likely going first, but it also means most non-fearless units are likley being swept if they fallback from assault. Add to this the 4+ dodge save in close combat, and the combat drugs, and they are a deal at 12 points.

Of course you can upgrade them with wych weapons, plasma grenades, and haywire grenades with a per model cost, and some assault weapons. Also, the Succubus upgrade is almost manditory to let you get an agonizer into the squad. I've yet to hear anyone not take wych weapons, for one point, they are far too useful. Remove opponents abilities for additional close combat weapons, and if the opponents is below strength 6, they half their WS when attacking the wyches. The first part is going to be the most obviously advantagous, but if you manage the +1 WS roll, the second becomes quickly the more potent. Most rank and file squads have WS4 at best, it's rare to come across higher. This means they will count as WS 2 when swinging against your str 5 needing 5's to hit. This is one of those rarities that make the Dark Eldar so potent, when was the last time you remember assaulting a squad that you needed 5's to hit?

Plasma grenades and haywire grenades are generally an as points allow upgrade in my eyes. Plasma grenades are only good if you plan on assaulting into cover against fearless troops. Otherwise, I'm probably going to try and pin the unit with a horrorfex to remove thier cover bonus. Likewise, haywire grenades are great, but with so many dark lances floating around, they really only come into their own against things like monoliths, and Black Templar landraiders with blessed hulls. Besides which, wyches assaulting a vehicle means they're getting shot next turn. As far as the weapon upgrades, like the blaster or shredder, I'm not overly partial of. In my mind wyches are meant to be in assault, and half the time you should be running and using fleet instead of shooting, so really the upgrades aren't that great.

Overall, Wyches are easily in the top 5 for best overall assault troops in the game, and once you factor in points they quickly move into the top 3. In my mind they are always going to be number 1 and they make an already dangerous Dark Eldar army, down right deadly.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Incorporating Expansions into Tournaments

So we've been having an ongoing discussion after a comment at the end our our last club tournament about how to run a Planetstrike themed tournament. This got me to thinking how poorly these wonderfully thought out expansions fit into the tournament scene.

The obvious problems that came to mind when we started thinking of a Planetstrike tournament was the issue with modified force organization. That means that we'd require the players to bring potentially two lists, one for attacking, and one for defending. This might be too much work for some players. Then beyond that was the issue of bastions/objectives. The defender gets to setup and determine terrain/objectives. But what happens when someone tries to place 10 objectives, or 1 very upgraded objective. If we restrict objectives to a set number, then some armies get an unfair advantage. If an Ork horde only has to swarm 3 objectives as the attacker, they are likely going to win. So the best recourse is to allow 2-6 objectives at most, but then generates another issue. Without a set number of objectives, strategems will change each time.

Needless to say, it's something I'm still working on, and have a few months to figure out since I'll run it if there is interest(mostly to remove the unfair 'always attacker' Dark Eldar from the mix). But it got me to thinking on how easy a Cities of Death tournament would be to schedule at some point later, but I started running into the same problems. I've tried to puzzle out most of the Planetstrike stuff myself, but have hit the interwebs to try and find if/how others have done this. So far there's been very little, and most of the ideas I'm having are mirrored in the rules/setup I can find.

My biggest hang up is that when I think about what I'll do for my tournament army, it goes pretty far (even though I've yet to make a good display base), but I'll be the first to admit, I'm not the average gamer. So what is too much to expect from them? Should I expect them to build their own bastions, or at least their own strategems? Where do I draw the line on extra stuff that doesn't directly impact the game? Because we are a smaller playerbase, this is a big question for me when I'm planning anything.

Anyone had any experience with the non-standard tournaments? What have you noticed as a player, and what is too much to expect in your opinion?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Don't Leave home without it.

Ron over at FTW was looking to put together another one of their great collective articles, this time about must have units. The only stipulation being a none compulsory choice.

I set about wanting to make a choice that applied to a Kabal list as much as to a Wych Cult list, that means that warriors and wyches are both out, as well as all the HQ. Which is tough because all those units are great. That left me with one obvious choice, the Ravager.

This is a pure and simple multipurpose gunboat. No matter what the strength of your army, the Ravager can bolster it, or fill the gaps of what you are weak at. The obvious downfall is that it's only AV 11 front and sides, with AV 10 on the rear. As a fast vehicle, it can move up to 6" and fire all it's main weapons or up to 12" and fire one main weapon. That means it can move around your back field and take advantage of it's range while people are more worried about the Raiders that likely moved 24" that turn.

Starting at 105 pts, it comes equipped with 3 Dark Lances. That's a bad day for any enemy armour. Any of those 3 Dark Lances can be upgraded to Disentigrators at 5 points each. The Disentigrator is a great multi-mode anti-infantry weapon. As a single shot it can fire a Str 7 AP 2 blast template per Disentigrator. Or it can fire in a sustained mode, that allows it 3 shots at Str 4 AP 3. That's right, it can count as a defensive weapon.

Generally, focusing on one way or the other works out the best, in a Wych Cult, it can really pack the anti-tank punch at range that you are missing. In a Kabal army, 3 Disentigrators make a mess of any type of infantry pretty quick.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Space Wolf tactics - broken

So, I finally came across mention of a broken Wolf tactic I've been sitting on for a while. I'll admit, I haven't been paying much attention to the Wolves stuff but the tactic had always seemed to slip through notice.

It seems BlackTemplarDC over at the forums figured this little trick out. So like most tricks in the Space Wolves codex, it doesn't come cheap.

My original thought is a little different from his own, so I'll explain it how I planned on using it.

6 Longfang pack 2 multi-melta, 3 missle launchers
Drop Pod
Logan Grimnar
450 points

I went with missle launchers because of the double duty they can pull, str 8 ap3 single shot, or small blast for hordes, the Multi-melta's are the same price, and there for tank duty. If you are using wolfguard, you could attatch a wolfguard in termie armour with a cyclone launcher, but it's not necessary.

So you use the drop pod to drop this surprise, turn one onto the enemies back lines. The Longfangs and Logan come out, with him giving the relentless special rule. You then split the Multi-Melta's at the closest problematic vehicle, with the missle launchers hitting a second problem target, tank, MC, squad, etc. The biggest problem with this is that you need to get support there quickly. When I designed my own list, virtually everything else in the army was cavalry, with one other Drop Pod with Grey Hunters. This makes it a very rapid insertion force, and if I don't think I can back up the Longfangs quick enough, I drop the Grey Hunters first.

Now beyond that first turn, you can have Logan stay with the unit and either use tankhunters, or keep moving with relentless, or move him off to use in assault with other units. I'm of the mind to keep him with the Longfangs, I have a feeling that he'd provide a better return giving them the option to shoot virtually every round. Besides which, the other unique ability can give any friendly model within 18" +1 attack for that player turn, once per game; with everything being quickly into your opponents deployment, that's going to hit the largest majority of my army anyhow, and adding Logan to any assault during that turn will have been a waste.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Kabal of Agony

So I realized, I haven't really touched on what my standard list/tactics are for my Dark Eldar. So I figured I'd remedy that problem.

We usually do 1750 point games, so I'm going to give my 1750 list, and how I use it.

Haemonculus - Jetbike, scissorhands, destructor, shadowfield
Haemonculus - scissorhands, destructor
Haemonculus - scissorhands, destructor
Haemonculus - scissorhands, destructor

5 Grotesques - Raider
8 Wyches - wych weapons, succubus w/agonizer, Raider w/horrorfex
8 Wyches - wych weapons, succubus w/agonizer, Raider w/horrorfex

10 Warriors - 2 Dark Lances
10 Warriors - 2 Dark Lances
9 Warriors - Sybarite w/agonizer, blaster, splinter cannon, Raider w/horrorfex
9 Warriors - Sybarite w/agonizer, blaster, splinter cannon, Raider w/horrorfex

Ravager - 3x Disentigrators
Ravager - 3x Disentigrators

I may play with loadouts and numbers a little, but this is what I like to start with. It's obviously a fairly optimized list, I'm a bit of a min/maxer by nature. But it's easy to define roles for the squads.

The 3 Haemonculi on foot will acompany the Raider squads, and the Grotesque squad. So that leaves the only things not Raider mounted the 2 Warrior squads on foot, the Talos, and the Jetbike mounted Haemonculus. If I'm going second, I'll generally try and hid the Ravagers in the middle of the Raider groups, and stay as far away as I can. If I'm going first, I try and spread out my forces to draw my opponents deployment across a larger area to try and counter me.

From there I choose 2 units I want dead. I generally prioritize long range, or fast moving targets, and troops of those types whenever possible. The Wych squads head for one target each, while the Raider squads split and back up one Wych squad each. The Grotesques will back up which ever group looks like they will have a tougher time. If the enemy looks like they are within 24"(or I rolled a 12" assault), I'll move directly after them with the wyches, hoping to move 12" disembark, fleet and assault turn one. The Raider squads will get ready for a turn 2 strike, moving flat out to get a cover save, but staying more than 12" away.

During this movement, I'm keeping an eye on fire lanes to targets, and moving my Ravagers in such a way to take advantage of cover, not moving more than 6" though. The Talos is used as mobile cover, if my Ravagers look like they are too wide open, I move him just to the edge of a fire lane, then after the Ravager drops it's 3 templates, I'll run it into the firepath to grant a cover save to the Ravager.

The Warriors on foot, generally get deployed on an objective, or as close as they can
get to an objective in cover. The dark lance shots usually head towards whatever vehicle looks like it's in range, hopefully something like a rhino if possible.

Lastly the jetbike mounted Haemonculus heads off to whatever unit is castled in cover, getting ready to harrass next turn. If he doesn't get overlooked, people waste a ton of shots trying to kill him.

What I've generally found from most opponents, is they simply can't ignore the fact that there are 5 Raiders that will be in CC next turn, if not already on turn one; because of this, they forgo shooting at the Ravagers, who will efficiently pick apart units from 36" away, and instead focus on the Raiders. For the same reason, the Jetbike Haemonculus, and Talos get a free ride to the front lines. Focus will always start on the wyches, because that's who I talk up the most. They have invulnerable saves in CC, they reduce your weapons skill, etc. Opponents fear them, and rightly so. I also make a point of sending the two combined wyches against any of the opponents strongest CC squads. With 2 agonizers at I6, I can generally count on winning the combat and making that super unit look a little weaker, and help reinforce the idea that Wyches are what to watch for.

Of course, both squads of wyches are considered completely expendable. I'm counting on my Ravagers, and Raider squads to do all the work. Because the Ravagers are so far away, and so much is a more immediate threat up close, they can fire unaccosted for atleast 2 rounds generally, this lets them quickly make their points back. Then the Raider squads with Haemonculi get to disembark and drop a variable AP flamer template, and a large number of shots to take out squads, with a decent CC ability to finish up.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Planetary Empires

So with winter coming around, and the likelyhood of more time inside and more gaming coming with it, I decided to finally go out and grab some of the expansions I've been eyeing up since they released. I grabbed the Planetstrike book a couple weeks ago, thanks to the efficiency of the new hobby store, and my girlfriend and I placed a small order during's birthday sale, that brought in a few odds and ends for armies, some resin casting materials, and the Planetary Empires expansion.

I have to say, I am absolutely blown away at the simple brilliance of this expansion. I fully expected I was going to have a fair amout of reading on my hands, and lots of explaination to players looking to join, but shockingly not. The actual rules consist of 5 pages, a little over a page of which is a table and a chart. It was all so brilliantly simple that I immediately fell in love with the concept. Basically you have players randomly choose and place map tiles until you get to the size you want, then players choose and place structures until they feel there are enough, after that, each player claims tiles until they are all taken. A very methodical setup, and simple to boot. The most difficult part would be the structures, but there are only 4 types of structures, one of which is defensive, making the tile it is on and those around it more difficult to capture, and then the 3 remaining structures basically work the same. At the beginning of each game, you compare the like structures, the player with the most gets a bonus, if you own double the structures you gain double the bonus, triple the structures triple the bonus. The basic bonuses for the structures, are an additional 50 points for your upcoming battle, +1 for rolls to determine who goes first, and reserve rolles, or a D6 roll which you can add any USR from the main book to one unit in your army if you roll a 4+. From there you basically have the majority of the game, the only other things are that the player with the lower amout of map tiles gains a points bonus to represent the other side having to spread forces. After each game 'turn' anyone who one a battle may choose to attempt to capture a tile from the opponents which is done on a modified 2D6 role, with target numbers dependant on the location of the tile and specifics of the tile and the battle.

So my next task is to get the tiles and buildings primed, painted, and hopefully devise a way that I can keep the map fairly static during transport, but still modular enough that we can disassemble and re-use it in the future. What I'm going to go looking for this week is a magnetic paint, I had seen a video from GD Toronto where one of the clubs used it on a LoTR table to allow the goblins to scale the side of the mountain. I'm hoping I'll be able to use this on the square edge around the tiles and the edges, hopefully allowing the tiles to magnetize together somewhat, and then also be able to magnetize to a large board with either more of the paint, or some of the roll out sheet magnet.

If anyone has any familiarity with the paint, post a comment or drop me an email.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Homemade Battlemats

So everyone has the space or time to build a full out warhammer table, this might be because you are in an appartment, or you only play at school. Regardless, this is a quick video giving a quick explaination of how we go about making our battlemats for the local club. These work great because all you need is two of the folding buffet tables, and you can set up your mat.

In our case, we rent a lunch room at the local College, so we don't have to worry about tables. They have plenty of the 8 x 2.5 foot buffet tables so we push them together and ig gives us an 8 x 5 space. So to get a proper sized battlefield, we build a battlemat and lay it down on the table, it works great.

Take a look at the video, and enjoy.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Unseely Alliance

So I'm getting prepped for the local club tournament Nov. 1st and have been agonizing over the idea of what to use. I've recently been doing alot of work on the Chaos forces we have here at home. It originally started out as an Emperor's Children army of my own that suffered a Humpty Dumpty type mishap in our last move, and a Thousand Sons force that my girlfriend started when she wanted a psyker force before moving to Eldar.

The combined forces of Chaos first came out when the little one was interested in the game. She's into magic, so we started with the Thousand Sons, and it slowly added the Noise Marines for extra fire power and looks. She isn't really into playing right now, mostly because she's not into painting the Chaos Marines despite some success with the list. Slowly the idea won me over was flexible, and unexpected force that could bring alot to bear. The more I thought about it, the more I thought about why that force would be together. One of my favorite things about the old Canadian Hall of Heroes tournament system was you were required to give a writeup for your force.

Anyhow, the Thousand Sons had already started to be painted a slightly different colour, so I decided they wouldn't be "Thousand Sons", they'd be some other force. This of course brings me to Ahriman, since he is the one responsible for the whole Rubric thing. So I thought to myself that the Thousand Sons are powerful and immortal killing machines, and there are going to be others who would want what they have, regardless of the sacrifice, and they would likely worship and follow Ahriman like a god to recieve that gift. So the idea grew that the force would be Ahriman's Guard, they would assist Ahriman in collecting the most powerful of magics in the universe. Of course, sheer strength and resilience would never win out every time, so I thought about how a cunning Ahriman would work around that problem. That's where I added Lucius and his band of Emperors Children. Lucius is one of the few truely immortal beings in the universe, and always looking to prove his prowess in battle. So it wouldn't take much to convice Lucius that Ahriman could pit him against some of the most undefeatable foes in the universe. So the shakey alliance started, Ahriman using Lucius and his unique abilities to defeat the most impregnable fortresses from within when all else failed. Lucius in return grew even more powerful with the absorbtion of these powerful foes, as well as command of a powerful force of his own Warband and Ahriman's Guard.

I really do like the idea, and if I can manage to get the models painted, I'm seriously thinking of fielding 3 mid sized squads of Thousand Sons, 3 squads of noise marines(one in a rhino), a squad of demons, a defiler, Lucius, and a second HQ. Either a Slaanesh Lord on a steed with Blissgiver, or a Tzeentch DP with wings Gift of Chaos and Warptime. No Lash, I really don't like the power and hate playing what's expected, in case you haven't guessed.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Space Wolf battle

So I did pick up the new Wolf codex yesterday, and I took a good look at it. Then as an added bonus, one of the guys at the club today played my Dark Eldar with a wolf army. First, my overall impression of the Space Wolves Codex is that it is a strong list, but all the tricks, and 'I win' rumors and upgrades that have floated around are so ridiculously priced that you are going to have to ask your opponent to play you 2:1 in points to have any hope of winning. That being said, there are some very strong units for a good prices that are going to run rampant in the hands of good players. Oh, and on a personal note, marines on cavalry, yay!

That being said, my opponent fielded a 1750 point list that looked like this(I may forget some specifics):
Logan Grimnar
5 WolfGuard w/ terminator armour(1 cyclone, PF/SBs) in Drop Pod
5 Wolfguard w/ terminator armour(1 assault cannon, 2 wolf claws, 2 TH/SS)
10 Greyhunters in Rhino(Powerfist, meltagun, mark of wulfen)
10 Greyhunters in Rhino(Powerfist, meltagun, mark of wulfen)
LandRaider Crusader (I think this was a transport option for the other Wolfguard squad tho)
5 Longfangs w/4 MissleLaunchers

Not an overly imposing list, I got first turn, and managed to kill all but on Longfang, and roll horrendously against the LandRaider with about 6 Dark Lance shots. Things basically went south from there with the dice. I did make a couple mistakes, like assaulting the terminators with the Talos. I had hoped to thin them a bit, but it didn't quite work out. I think it took about 3 rounds of fire and over 20 lance shots to take out the LandRaider finally. With an equal amount of frustration in trying to crack open the rhinos to assault the occupants. This left alot of my units standing in the open to be cleaned up.

Overall, it was a good game, I ran into some dice trouble, but wasn't overly worried about the list coming at me. Everything was a troop basically, which was effective use of the org chart, but I think he sunk alot of points into upgrading the wolf guard. I think they could be fit into the army in a much cheaper, giving him a much more broad attack base.

Like I said, I have picked up the codex, and do plan on using it in the future, this is mostly because of what I said earlier, marines on Cavalry. The backstory to that being that when I first started 40k, at the time that 3rd edition came out(I had been disuaded from 2nd because of the length of games) I saw the cavalry entry in the main rule book, and all I could think of was how much of a surprise it would be to assault 12". But since I started as marines, that later became black templars, that was out of the question for me. So since I love the Norse mythos used in the book, and the idea of Marine cavalry, I figured my norse marine chapter on the shelf will start seeing use as a Space Wolves army when I have to play them. Now just to convert up some cavalry, I'd really love to use the old Kislev bears instead of wolves, but I'll have to see.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Space Wolves/New codices

So I got a chance to briefly page through the new Wolves codex, and while impressed at some of the items, I wasn't at all worried about it as everyone else is. The whole Jaws of the Winter Wolf thing is cool, but basically a sucky Vibro cannon, and only has a 24" range. My first thought was, 'meh, if I get hit that means I'm in assault range for next turn'. That made me realize, I the mobility and range offered by the open topped skimmers changes the entire conceptualization of enemy threats.

Since my Kabal normally runs 2 Wych squads in Raiders, and a 2+ Raider squads with a Haemonculus each, I look at the table and try and figure out the range I need to be from an enemy to be safe, and still be in striking distance. That means, if it looks like a squad is moving forward, I need to be right around 24-30" with my wyches(depending on the drug roll), and 20-24" with my Raider squads. Now at those types of ranges, most people aren't even thinking short range/rapid fire, let alone getting assaulted, so you can almost count on them moving forward. Of course that possibly means a strike from the enemy at the 24" range, but they should fairly low Strength and few in number, and hopefully we still get our cover save for the Raiders.

I'll post some better opinions on the Wolf codex when I get it, because I've always loved the Norse Mythos, and it will hopefully give me a reason to use my Marines for a reason other than, 'I have to'. But I definitely won't be doing that till after the Nid book hits in January, and the uproar around wolves has cooled off.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dark Eldar vs Eldar Battle Report

So it's been a bit since I posted anything, mostly because of the return to classes being a bit busier than expected. However, I still have time to play some 40K.

This is a battle report between Eldar and my Dark Eldar force that we had at the previous club date.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Preparing for Speed

So after some games with my Marines last club day, I'm getting ready my Dark Eldar for this weekend, and it got me to thinking about our local club.

First over how much it's grown, and how our leader (Kellie from the previous Battle Report) has done a great job at welcoming everyone. Second, I notice we have a few people who are still new, and are still doing the ebb and flow between armies, looking for one they like. But when I think about it, while we do have a few Marine players, we don't seem to have the percentage concentration that you'd expect.

Now some of that is because of the types of armies that are generally played by veteran players. Tyranids, Eldar, Saim-Hann Eldar, and of course one Dark Eldar army. At our last tournament, I think there were actually more Eldar armies than Marines. This strange composition has brought me to an odd thought, the majority of these armies are highly mobile and very deadly witg lots standard issue access to low AP weapons, and power weapons or similar close combat abilities. Most of the listed armies can strike just about anywhere on the table, and can be very difficult to deal with the the standard marine list. With out some specialized counter speed/anti-speed units, the marines just end up being out of position and vulnerable far too often.

So in part, since a number of us successfully play such highly mobile forces, has uniquely shaped our local gaming community. This makes people think outside the box, and try armies in new ways, keeping a fresh gaming environment beyond the codex creeping releases. But I look forward to seeing some Space Wolves, and how they will fair.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Video Battle Report

So we played around with the camera a bit this past weekend, and after a small bit of editting, I threw together this quick video battle report.

The game was Eldar vs. Marines, because my girlfriend was looking to test out her new list(as you'll notice the thousand sons and reaver jetbikes tucked into all her eldar) with some extra Wraithguard and some D-cannons. Since I like to help anyone with the game, especially her, I fielded my marines to give it the best possible test(discounting my horrible rolling).

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Slow couple weeks.

It's been a few weeks since i put anything up. This is mostly because of split attentions. I've been steadily working on terrain the last couple weeks to help re-bolster the club, and more importantly I was putting together some ideas for an Apocalypse game I ran at the last club.

Speaking of Apocalypse, Kris has some more footage of our lopsided 4000 point battle up over at Riders of the Cosmic Serpent, and with a little luck, I may even get some vids up of the appocalypse game I ran at the club. Nothing too spectacular, but the girlfriend took a couple as she was playing having leared her camera could also do video.

So this of course means I can do videos now. Another new idea to play with.

Stay tuned for more, I might try and do a video battle report this coming club day.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Apocalypse Battle

So I played my second game of Apocalupse this past Sunday with Kris from over at Riders of the Cosmic Serpent. He's had his Phatom Titan for about a year now, and I wanted to give him a reason to use it, so we dida 4000 point Apocalypse battle, and had agreed on 2 Strategic Assets each.

Getting ready for the match, I knew he was going to bring the Titan, and likely one, if not both of his Phoenix jets. Beyond that, since he's a long time Saim-Hann player, so I expected a Wind Rider Formation, and possibly some other troops. So going into the game, my thought was to put 3 triple Lance Ravagers in a Titan Hunter formation to help deal with the Titan, and any extra Dark Lances to help the cause as well. I'd try and take out the flyers with my Splinter Raide formation on the turn they came in, since they counted as flyers, and I wouldn't loose the 12" to shoot them. I wanted to try the Karnival of Pain, so I dropped it in and let it eat up it's points as well. After that I went back and filled in points with Lelith and a retinue and 2 squads of wyches, a couple Talos, some Warrior squads on foot with Dark Lances, and Asdrubael Vect.

Now since most of my Raiders were used, I knew a large portion of my army wasn't going to be as mobile as I wanted to be, the first Asset I took was Webway Assault. This let me deep strike 3 webway portals onto the table, and I could move into one and out of another to get a unit wherever they were needed. For my second Asset, I knew my Splinter Raid Force already counted as 12" further away since they'd be flyers the turn they came in, so I decided I'd throw Nightshields on all the Raiders as well, this meant if he was over 18" away, he couldn't shoot me. Generally, that's not that big an advantage in Apocalypse where range starts being measured in feet, so to counteract that I took the Lords of Twilight. This made the turn Night Fight on one of the opponents shooting phase. I figured since most stuff would be 12+ inches away, he'd need to roll atleast a 7 or better on his nightfight roll to be able to see the Splinter Raid.

So Sunday roles around and after our little terrain fiasco, we got down to playing our game. We ended up on a 12 x 5 board, with only 2 larger pieces of terrain. The thought was, it wasn't going to save me much against flyers and titans. So Kris surprised me a bit, by bringing an all vehicle army, not a mech army, all vehicles, not a single infantry model in the list, and no troops. Which meant it was my game to loose. His list consisted of the Phantom and 2 Phoenix jets, his Scorpion super heavy tank, and a Cloudstrike formation of Fire Prisms. I was expecting a good game, and it was. He took the Careful Planning and Flank March assets, and put his whole army in reserve and gave me first turn. This allowed him to bring on up to half his reserves the first turn, and could come on from any table edge. The first turn saw the Titan and the Cloudstrike formation come on opposite corners of the board, the Titan laid loose on some infantry and my Talos, and the Cloudstrike used the focused beam to kill all 3 Ravagers with a D hit. It looked pretty grim at that point, his trick had worked nicely. Luckily, I brought in my Splinter Raid, and focused on the Cloudstrike formation. I managed to kill one Fire Prism and shake another, then on his turn dodged retribution with my Lords of Twighlight asset. It was bloody battle, and in the end his titan ended up with no weapons, thanks in part to warriors with Dark Lances and Lelith in close combat. Kris will be putting up a full video on his site in the coming weeks, so keep and eye on it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Poof Gone!

So a small backstory first. Our local club has struggled to find decent cheap places to play for the last couple years, and the players longer than that since the local store moved to a very small space and basically gave up on GW and stocking 40k/Fantasy with any regularity. That being said, after troubles with a couple other places because of distance and price increases, we had settled in at the local college. We have a great space in their coffee shop, and had a locker rented to help store some of the terrain and battle mats to minimize transport.

Now the astute reader will notice the change in tense half way through that last sentence. Our club was in for a shock when we showed up this past Sunday, our terrain locker was locked, and none of the security guards or janitors there had any idea why. They were great, as they always are with us, and checked their logs to see if they could tell if it had been emptied, but they had nothing showing that. This was twice as puzzling since we had the locker rented until September anyhow.

Monday roles around, and after a visit to the local college, we find out that the locker was emptied, and because whomever emptied it deemed it non-valuable, virtually all of our gaming gear was thrown away; how they didn't atleast see it as diorama work is a mystery since there were similar items in displays just down the hall. Luckily, nobody stored any types of models in there, and most of the stuff was home made terrain donated by various players. Out of everything we had, we got back a box of objective markers(likely because it was in a box and rattled), and 4 of the small plastic ruins from the old 3rd edition box set. Apparently a notice was put up for a week and it was cleaned out after that(we are only there every other week, and only in on weekends), but nobody contacted the leader. Why? Well, it seems the clerical book keeping for lockers is horrendous to begin with, and to make matters worse, when we last renewed our time, they were having computer issues and our contact information wasn't properly entered into the system when it came back up.

So we are out probably $300 worth of materials and such, plus time and labour to make everything. To make it better, we are getting the run around about any kind of compensation from the college, basically because nobody has any authority or takes any pride in their job, you know the type of business. We could chase them down on it, but as I said in the beginning, we've had troubles finding space, and we all really like the space we currently have, and the people we deal with on the weekends are great. So at this point, a few of us are diverting most of our attention to terrain(myself included) and we've learned our lesson, and will be much more thorough in dealing with the book keeping people and will not be retaining a locker again.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Army Builder V3.2 releases

So apparently Lone Wolf Development finally pushed out the V3.2a of Armybuilder. You can visit them and get the new version here.

There are alot of interesting little changes that should be fun to play with. Such as PDF files for army lists, and support for phone displays. The overall new layout is very nice.

I noticed right away that they have a nice new skin selection at the bottom of the game selection panel. My first thought was to make a custom skin for our club. I'll definitely work with that later.

Since I was getting ready for a potential Apocalypse match this weekend, I was looking at the daunting task of figuring out what models I need for my 4000 point "raid" force. Luckily, my newest favorite feature is helping out. That's right, a model list. You can take any file and save a model list for it. This takes all squads of the same type and lumps them together and indicates how many of a model it needs in a breakdown.

For example

20 Warrior Squad
16 Warrior Squad - Splinter Rifle
4 Warrior Squad - Dark Lance

30 Raider Squad
21 Raider Squad - Splinter Rifle; Blaster; Splinter Cannon
6 Raider Squad - Blaster; Splinter Cannon
3 Sybarite - Agoniser; Splinter Pistol; Combat Drug Dispenser

The raider squads are a little odd to read, but I suspect that is more because of the data file than the version. Still, much easier than trying to tally them myself.

Go take a look and feel free to share anything you find that's interesting.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What are Dark Eldar?

So I lurk on a number of different 40k boards with Dark Eldar subforums. I generally try and put in my 2 cents whenever I see someone asking about Dark Eldar. But for as much I play them, I find it's always a difficult to answer when someone asks, "what are Dark Eldar? How do they play?" I find that the first and most obvious answer is speed. They are fast, and use a great deal of movement. But that always seems so inadequate. They are more than that, but it's hard to explain.

So the question came up, and I tried to explain them as best I could for a beginner, but as I was doing it I was struck by a profound though. My Dark Eldar aren't only fast, they are a countering army. When I thought more about how I play my army, and how I build my armylists, I realized I put in certain units to deal with particular units my opponent may bring. Not in the 'I'm fighting Tyranids, load up on flamers' tailoring that you see from things like marines. But more in the contingency type of be prepared planning.

For example, I put in a squad of wyches. My plan for them, send them against the opponents best CC unit, and neutralize them. If I can send in a support unit to finish that combat. Put in some triple dissie Ravagers to take care of large infantry squads. Drop a couple twin Dark Lance warrior squads in to take care of armour. Slot in a Talos to take care of any heavy hitting stuff the Lances can't. Throw in a couple Haemonculus to destructor any castling units, regardless of their armour save. Then make sure there are a couple all purpose Raider squads, possibly to accompany one of those Haemonculus.

No matter what my opponent puts on the table, I expect to have something to counter or neutralize it. I think the only exception to that is psykers. Even that is more because I choose not to use the campy gear like the Crucible of Maledictions. But every army has to have a weakness right? Honestly, how often is an army going to have so many psykers that I'll be in that much trouble right?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sudbury Results

So I had started a quick post Saturday before I left, by my ride showed up before I could finish. So really quickly, this is the list I was using for the 2000 point tournament.

Asdrubael Vect - 277 pts
Urien Rakart - 235 pts
-5 UberGrotesques
-Raider w/ horrorfex

8 Wyches - WychWeapons, PlasmaGrenades, Succubus, Agonizer, Trophy Rack - 205 pts
-Raider w/ horrorfex
8 Wyches - WychWeapons, Succubus, Agonizer, Trophy Rack - 197 pts
-Raider w/ horrorfex

10 Warriors - 2 Dark Lances - 100 pts
10 Warriors - 2 Dark Lances - 100 pts
10 Warriors - Splinter Cannon, Blaster, Sybarite, Agonizer - 181
-Raider w/ horrorfex
10 Warriors - Splinter Cannon, Blaster, Sybarite, Agonizer - 181
-Raider w/ horrorfex
10 Warriors - Splinter Cannon, Blaster, Sybarite, Agonizer - 181
-Raider w/ horrorfex

Heavy Support
Ravager - 3 Disentegrators - 120
Ravager - 3 Disentegrators - 120
Talos - 100

Because of the points value, I had to go with Vect, I have only ever used him one other time. Since he counted as an Archon, I figured Urien was an easy second choice. I didn't expect them both to perform well because they'd tread on one anothers toes, which they did, but they worked very well on dividing attention. This let the core warrior and Raider squads do the majority of the work and claim objectives.

I managed a best overall, with 2 wins and one very close tie. They were great games, the first against a very awesome looking Nurgle Marine army. Then I fought a bit of a power IG list, the only thing it was missing was Creed. He was familiar with the Dark Eldar and knew what to stay away from. Finally I fought a woeful game against a very good Necron player. We both rolled horrendously, if not for one mistake on his part, the game would have been much closer. I think he performed the best of the 3 opponents considering he was very unfamliar with my army.

The friend I went with did good as well, with his last match needing him to get a tie or better to place, he unfortunately ended up loosing having been thrown off by the unfamiliar IG army. He wasn't sure how to handle it and openly admits, he didn't play his game the way his gut said he should.

Overall we had a blast, and hope to return again in the future.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

For Dzero

My first thought with 16 Jetbikes was to make a badass dark Saim Hann list, but then… no “troop” jetbike options, no crazy seer council… so now I am at a loss. I have been leafing through the codex for ideas on a build, but it is not the easiest thing to read. Army Builder shows I can add jetbike transports to most of the HQ choices (Archon, Dracon, Haemonculi, Dracite) but I have no idea if this is an effective idea to pursue.I want to use these because If I had this many regular Eldar Jetbikes they wouldn't just sit on a shelf and collect dust.I think the Asdrubael Vect model/fluff/idea looks cool so I may just build something out of this collection to go with that. Any ideas on a jetbike list or should I just give the idea up altogether? I plan on buying more stuff, maybe beef up the Wyches, add some Incubi, and Scourges, but honestly I have no idea what to do with all of this stuff.1 Dracon1 Haemonculus with Stinger2 syrabites, whip, etc10 Wyches8 grotesques1 Beastmaster and 5 Warp Beast3 Raiders16 Reaver Jetbikes1 Talos120 Warriors with various weapon load outs, dark lances, splinters, etc

Well, the jetbikes aren't going to perform quite as well as Saim Hann. This is mostly due to a 4+ instead of a 3+ save, and a shorter range. I've had the best luck using Reavers as tankhunting units, and assault support. With the amount or bikes you have, you could probably do both.

HQs on bikes are quite great, I personally use a Haemonculus on a jetbike almost all the time, he'd work great in this idea. Stick him in a squad, destructor before assaulting. Archons/Dracons are extra deadly on a jetbike, with the strength bump to 4, the addition of a Punisher and some Combat drugs make them a danger to anything on the field.

So really quickly, this would be a quick, very assault oriented list. I'd normally steer away from this kind of uber-unit thing, but my thought would be to put the jetbike mounted Dracon with the larger unit or jetbikes, since he'll be buried I didn't give him the shadowfield. Once he managed one CC kill though, he'll be str 6, possibly 7 with combat drugs, and Ld 10. The Reaver Succubus will be slicing with S5 as well. This is what I'd start with for 1500 points.

Dracon - Reaver, Combat Drugs, Trophy Racks, Punisher, Animus Vitae - 140
Haemonculus - Reaver, Scissorhands, Destructor, Shadow Field - 105
Haemonculus - Scissorhands, Destructor - 45

Wyches x8 - Succubus, Agonizer, Wych weapons, plasma grenades,
-Raider w/horrorfex - 200
Warpbeast x5 plus Beastmaster - 75

Raidersquad x9 Sybarite, Agonizer, Splinter Cannon Blaster
-Raider w/horrorfex - 173
Raidersquad x9 Sybarite, Agonizer, Splinter Cannon Blaster
-Raider w/horrorfex - 173
Warriors x12 - 2 Dark Lance - 116
Warriors x12 - 2 Dark Lance - 116

Fast Attack
Reavers x4 - 2 Blasters - 120
Reavers x7 - 2 Blasters, Succubus, Punisher, Tormentor Helm - 236

So, stick the Dracon with the large Reaver squad, the other will skulk around the edges trying to get to rears of tanks, and then use the assault move to get away. Haemonculus on foot should join one of the Raider squads, use the other Raider squad to try and support the large Reaver squad. Wyches should be supported by the Warp Beasts if possible. The Haemonculus on the Reaver can fly around and destructor whatever is clumped and/or in cover. A couple good AP rolls and he makes his points back quick. The Raider squad with the Haemonculus are going to be the objective busters. Run them up to an objective, get out and unload everything but your rifles on them. If you think they are going to be a problem and are going to assault, try and horrorfex them from the raider before you shoot, you want maybe 3-5 marines, or 5-10 guardsman types to be left in order to wipe them out, more than that and you may want to get some re-inforcements in. Your two sniper squads with the dark lances should try and sit in cover and hold an objective each if possible.

I know I've said to support each of your big assault units, seems strange, and I'll explain better in a later post, but the short is, you want to try and win that combat, and it's better if your opponent has to split attention between two units. A nice secondary effect, is if you need to, you have a less important unit to screen for you.

After the first game, assess how the big CC units did, wyches and the reaver/dracon combo, adjust them up or down depending on how overly killy they were. Wyches should do fine, 8 seems to be an optimal number, reavers could be tough, might fair better dropping one, or two.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The value of the Raider

So after my post about the quality of the Dark Eldar Warrior, I figured I'd follow it up with a post about the Raider.

Now it's an oft scoffed at vehicle, but I'm not sure why. Yes it's lightly armoured, but it's a fast skimmer, open topped, and mounts a heavy weapon, not just a glorified pistol. All for a mere 55 points. If you were to add that heavy weapon to a squad, it would cost you between 10 and 25 points. So when you look at it as an upgraded weapon for a unit, that reduces the cost to a far more amazing 45 points. Granted, most Dark Eldar players feel it's almost manditory to upgrade the Raider with a Horrorfex for it's ridiculously effective pinning capabilities, so we'll call it 50 points to account for the horrorfex.

Now in most cases, anything inside a Raider is going to be no slouch in close combat, if it's a Wych, a Warrior, or and Incubi, it will see great benefit from the open topped rules for the Raider. This means a turn one or two assault for some squads, or the freedom to disembark, shoot and assault for other units. Think about your standard deployments, two of the 3 deployments see you a minimum of 24" apart, with a fleeting unit coming out of a Raider, they will make close combat with an average fleet roll of 3, that doesn't even take into account the 12" assault from combat drugs.

The recent trend has been for the fast moving last minute grabs, and the Raider is just as good at it as anyone. As a fast skimmer it gets a flat out move of 24" and a 4+ cover save for it's efforts. This means that all the fun tricks you can play with rapid re-deployment work great in these cases. A Raider may be an easy target to some, but that's only if it's still where you set up those weapons that were going to kill it.

Overall, the Raider is a steal at the 60 points I'm paying for it with the horrorfex. If the codex ever gets re-done, it's likely looking at a reduction to the 40-50 point range and will be obscene.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dark Eldar Warrior goodness.

I'm slowly working on touching up some Sybarites and making sure Warriors are done for the upcoming tournament. The thought crossed my mind that I really do have alot of them, and wish I could stuff in more. Currently my 2000 point list has 6 squads of Warriors/Raiders. Point for point, they are one of the best troop choices in the game.

In any army I expect one of two things out of my troops selections. They either need to be flexible and fit in multiple roles, or they need to be cheap enough to allow more specialized units to fill in the gaps. Chaos Cult troops are a great example of the first role. But you do pay for effectiveness. Eldar Guardians are a typical example of the second role. They are fairly cheap, and don't have large squad sizes, and generally have little impact on the game and allow for the fun toys like Seer Councils and Wraithlords

The Dark Eldar Warrior is a steal for 8 points. Add to that some of the most versatile weapon load out options and a transport that is a bargain even though it's considered a flying deathbox. Don't believe me? Let me break it down for you.

We'll start with the basic Warrior squad. Generally you'll see them in a hang back and shoot load out 10+ warriors with 2 dark lances. Unlike other cheap units like Guardians or even the 'shooty' Tau, Dark Eldar Warriors have a BS of 4, which means they hit on a 3+ and with 2 heavy weapons and 2 special weapons they are well equipped for whatever role you need them. Granted the splinter rifle isn't very potent at strength 3, but with the rapid fire rules not allowing for assault afterwards, they are generally a liability to shoot anyhow. If you need the warriors on a long range duty you'll generally skip the special weapons and just load out 2 dark lances, who's effectiveness is hard to argue, especially at only 10 points each. For some strange reason if you do need them in a more close combat situation you don't have to give up your heavy weapons like you might in some armies. Luckily you load up with Splinter Cannons and two Blasters for your short range duty before assault, and you are a walking weapons platform. Now with a WS of 4, you are hitting on 4s and generally aren't giving up lots of easy 3+ hits, but with a toughness 3, you are giving up easy wounds. Luckily though, with your high initiative of 5 you have a chance possibly swarm the enemy in a pre-emptive strike. Granted it's a bit tougher with strength 3, but for 8 points, you can't ask for everything. Throw in a Sybarite with an Agonizer, and your strength 3 means nothing though, and you can take on any foe. It's almost funny when your opponent realizes his Uber Carnifex has to worry about that little warrior squad.

Now the Raider squad is basically the same, except you basically sacrifice 1 special weapon for more mobility. You might be reading the codex and thinking I'm wrong, but I look at it this way. The Raider squad can have 1 special weapon and 1 heavy weapon, but have to take a Raider which houses your second heavy weapon, and with the added bonus of being able to fire independently of the squad. This is as good or better than anything any other army can put together.

How can you go wrong. Dark Eldar Warrior, the perfect mix of flexibility and expendability. They truly are gods from the webway.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


So even though we ended up missing the Ard Boyz due to lack of FLGS commitment, and poor communication from stores we contacted, we have a chance to still play with our big boys list. The Sudbury game store Adventures n Games is having a 2000 point 40k singles tournament in two weeks on the Sunday, and an Apocalypse game on the Saturday.

So the plan is to travel down Saturday, get in on any Apocalypse if we get there soon enough(probably not though), then play the Sunday in the tournament.

Hopefully all works out this time.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ard Boyz Disappointment (early)

So, one of the guys at the local club and I have been trying to track down a store that actually is running the Ard Boyz without crossing too many state lines.

A couple stores that had in the past aren't this year, and the ones we contacted on the GW list indicated they weren't for a number of reasons, the best being that the store was closing July 1st, the most common being they screwed up and scheduled it the same weekend as a Magic pre-release. I had attempted to contact one final store at the beginning of the week, but unfortunately have yet to hear anything back. This was the last hope, unfortunately at this point, less than a week will be too short of notice to make the necessary plans and reservations, so this year is a wash for me.

Our plan is to get in contact with one of the more local stores, and try and talk them into getting on board for next year. It's a tough sell since the stores are making nothing off this. But hopefully, we'll be able to talk him into it since guys from our club will likely turn into some sales regardless.

Friday, June 26, 2009

It's about time

So I finally decided to get off my butt and spend some of my wasted time blogging about the 40K hobby. This was a combination of a couple things, firstly, the need for and extra creative output for Warhammer in general, and secondly, the lack of a good Dark Eldar themed blog that isn't months or years old.

So this is where I introduce myself I guess. I've played 40K since the beginning of 3rd edition, and enjoyed it greatly. I originally started out with Space Marines, and then used them as Black Templar when the first list came out. From there I started towards the under played armies. I moved to Necrons, who were Necron Raiders at the time and only had a Chapter Approved list. Exploding Scarabs were the best. I toyed with some Chaos, mostly leaning towards Slaanesh, and finally decided upon Dark Eldar.

The models and the codex had always interested me, but I was weaker and fell to the sayings that they were the worst army out there, which ended up being a challege as well. So now I've been playing them for a few years, and have quite a fair sized collection(though not all painted quite yet). This will hopefully be a means spark the extra motivation to paint and speak of my experiences and strategies.

While I'll likely speak mostly about Dark Eldar and 40K, and am a collector and all around player and have other armies as well. As well as the armies that my girlfriend plays, and insights I've had working with her. This will likely also extend a little into our venture into fantasy. It's been one of those things that's been on the shelf and waiting to go, but the local scene is small, and interest was previously low.