Monday, November 8, 2010

Finally back.

So the bug just hasn't been there for 40K for the last few months. I did a little bit of work on some of my Skaven for fantasy, but couldn't get much into that either. The only Warhammer I've been semi-interested in has been Warhammer Online.

But all of that has changed, from the heart of the Dark City has come a delicious new codex, finally. So that means I have lots of new things to play with, lots of amazing new models to put together and paint. I only got ahold of the codex on Saturday, and the weekend was a busy one, so I didn't have the time to pour through it that I want, but so far I am thoroughly impressed.

First and foremost, I have to comment about the models. I went light, and only picked up 2 raiders, a kabalite warrior squad, a wych squad, Lelith, and a box of Incubi. All of these kits are absolutely stupendous in the amount of detail, and customizablity for the plastic kits. These guys are gorgeous, and even though I had approx 4000 pts from the old book, I'm sure I'm going to get atleast another 2000-3000 of the new models if they keep this quality.

I'm save a full codex review for later this week once I get a better look at it, but I did cobble together a quick list to play with this past weekend. So I'll give the list and my initial impressions.

First of all, the Incubi are awesome. I was always kind of shyed away from them before because they were points prohibitive to me, for no more effectiveness than a good wych squad. But with the "Exarch"-type powers, a small points reduction, they definitely have a good kick. Drazhar is pretty close to what he was before, the Demi-klaives give him some nice boost. I think at one point he was swinging 8 str 4 power weapon, that turned into 12 hits because of Onslaught. The following turn he assaulted a killakan squad and made quick work of it with str 7(thank you pain tokens and furious charge).

Warriors and wyches weren't quite what they were before, they almost fall into the 'just troops' function that many other armies have. But a bit more playing may find me the niche for them.

The Talos and Chronos were terribly looming and caused alot of issues, especially once the Chronos made it close enough to start popping pain tokens off to other squads. In retrospect, the haywire launcher wasn't a good fit for the talos.

All the skimmers were hugely survivable with the flickerfield, I think it's standard gear for anything that can take it. The one thing I did find, was that the flickerfield caused me to play slower, "I'm going to get a 5++ at 12" and can fire" crossed my mind alot, as opposed to the flat out for the 4+ cover.

Beastmasters are never going to get Agonizer upgrades again. It was a mistake, and here is why. The razorwing flocks are quite effective, 5 Wds 5 Rending attacks. These are heavy hitters in close combat, but at T3 they are very prone to InstaDeath. So that's when a handy allocation to the beastmaster is nice, but it's a hard hit when he's 34 points because of the 20 pt Agonizer.

Haemonculus Ancient - Hexrifle, Liquifier, Electrocorrosive whip
Haemonculus - Hexrifle, Liquifier

5 Incubi - Klaivex, Bloodstone, Onslaught
/w Raider - Flickerfield, Chainsnares

10 Warriors - Darklance, Blaster
10 Wyches - Hekatrix, Agonizer
/w Raider - Flickerfield, Chainsnares

Fast Attack
3 Beastmasters 3 agonizers 5 Razorwing flocks

Talos - Chainflail, TL Haywire launcher
Chronos - Spirit Bomb
Ravager - 3 lances, Flickerfield

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ard Boyz plan

So after last years disappointment, combined with the fact that the most likely place to play in Sudbury had closed, I wasn't getting my hopes up about doing Ard Boyz this year. But between myself and one of the guys at the club we did some investigating into places close by that may be running it.

Our first thought was Traverse City because they had indicated they may run it this year, and they were, the problem was they had tables for approx 12 players and 20 people signed up so far. We had also heard of a new location in Sudbury that may be participating, but after a call we found they were newly opened as a secondary revenue stream. They seemed very gun ho and positive about the event which was a huge plus, the person running it was having the event Sunday because he was getting married that weekend.

A few other calls lead to dead ends, but while doing some other travelling JP was in Flint and happened upon Gamers Sanctuary. He was very impressed by the size and setup and they generally sounded like they were experienced in running events. So the plan is to head down Friday and participate in Ard Boyz. Our biggest deciding factor was the size and experience. We don't plan on taking the whole thing, we are going for the experience, so we figured we'd go for the one that will likely give the best experience.

Now the missions are up and they seem pretty straight forward, one objective and two kill point missions. The objective missions is 5 objectives with an odd deployment, the more you hold the better your victory. One of the kill point missions is almost straight from the main rulebook, table quarter deployment, and 1 KP per unit. With that in mind, the last one is right out to lunch. Units are worth 1 KP, except HQs which are 2 KP, and any model that has the potential to move more than 6" in a single phase is worth 3 KP. That basically means all non-walker vehicles are worth 3 KP, as are all jump infantry, bikes, and cavalry.

So my plan before the missions had come out was to play a hybrid webway/Raider rush list. Keep about half my forces in the portals, and then get them forward enough to drop the portals and hopefully rush him the next turn. In the couple test games it worked pretty good and I think I can make it work.

Once the missions came out though, my first thought was to ditch all the Raiders and go slow, but that's not what Dark Eldar do. We move, and move fast. So I pondered over this last mission a bit, and came to the conclusion that I could just play a denial game. Place most fast units in the portal and then never open one up so they never qualify for reserves. Let the foot sloggers and maybe a couple ravagers do the work from range, use the jetbike hamie with a shadow field play a game of hide and seek to prevent a wipe. If the footslogging sniper squads can each take out a vehicle or two that's 6-12+ KP from 2 KP in my list. Hopefully any Ravager can take out it's 3 KP before it dies, then I just run turns out.

It sounds pretty good, but it would be such a dirty move. I'm not sure I'll do it, depends on what I setup across from and how I'm doing. I'll let you know once everything is done.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dark Eldar Rumors - Harlequins

I've been pretty out of touch over the last couple weeks with anything 40k, tied up with exams, and some house renovations. But that's all finishing up so I had a chance to check out some of the normal sites. Low and behold, I find more Dark Eldar rumors on BoLS.

Not alot that I'm overly surprised by, although the melta/lance weapon could be crazy, but I am kind of perturbed by the harlequin stuff. I admit, it's alot of me just being uppity, but it's because it generates concern in my mind.

So first, the acknoledgement. Harlequins have a great theme to them, and lots of people love the idea of death clowns. Are they enough to make an entire armybook out of, probably not, but you could make a PDF style army list out of them. With the current design philosophies, I doubt we'll see a PDF style armylist. So we are more likely going to see them added to an existing armybook. We saw this a little in the Eldar codex, but they almost seemed like an afterthought. They were stuck in as an elite choice in an army that was already chalked full of elites. Honestly in my mind, they fought for the same role as Banshees and Scorpions, who could arguebly do the job as good or better depending on the rest of your army. We saw a few people use them, mostly because they loved the theme, Fritz most noteably, and I can empathize with that as a Dark Eldar player.

So here's where my concern comes up. In the current game, wyches are generally on par or better than harlequins. So if that same harlie unit gets dropped into an elite slot in a new Dark Eldar book, they are immediately competing with wyches to perform the same role. Only wyches are going to be troops and a better overall selection. Harlequins fall into the same problem as the Eldar book. That's not what GW wants to see, harlequins are great models and could generate some great sales. So we'll see one of three things happen in my mind; first, harlequins are changed to be better than the Eldar equivalent, this will just further the codex creep screams and the continued one upmanship of codices; second, wyches will be nerfed to make harlequins better, this will basically turn wyches into either the current version of warriors, or worse eldar guardians; the last option that I see, is incorporate the harlequins as is, and maybe add a few other thematic units and include an HQ that makes them troops.

So the first and second options basically destroy any theme for existing players and their armies. Harlequin players are dangled a piece of hope to be dashed again, or Dark Eldar players are forced to use a very un-thematic unit to fill in the spot of nerfed wyches. The third option is probably the best, but I'm not sure that it will happen. While the Ork, and Marine books made good use of these kind of characters, the last few books have sort of left this by the wayside unfortunately.

Only time will tell at this point. But as much as I want a new codex, I've always been most afraid of them ruining the theme they currently have, even though it is very sparse.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tyranid Battle Report

So I played a quick 1850 game today against the list my girlfriend was thinking of playing at the next tournament. We played a non-standard game out of the Battle missions book. It was actually the Space Marine surprise assault mission, we diced off to see who would act as the marines, and she won that.

So basically she starts with everything off the table, all moving on turn one, and I have to deploy so that none of my units are withing 12" of any table edge, and 6" away from any other unit. Slightly annoying setup to say the least, especially with the huge footprint a Raider provides.

I ran the following:

2 Haemculus(1 on jetbike with shadowfield)
2 squads of 8 wyches w/ succubus and raider
dracon with tormentor helm/punisher
w/ 4 incubi + Drazhar in Raider
5 warpbeasts + beastmaster
2 squads of 10 warriors w/ 2 darklances
2 squads of 8 warriors w/ sybarite, raider, blaster, splinter cannon
5 reavers w/ 2 blasters, succubus w/ punisher
2 Ravagers w/ 3 disentegrators

Her list consisted of:

Swarmlord w/ 2 HiveGuard
Parasite of Mortrex
2 single Zoanthropes
18 termagaunts
1 tervigon
10 genestealers w/ toxin sacs, broodlord
6 warriors w/ deathspitters, venomcannon
3 groups of 4 sporemines
2 broods of 3 biovores

After the spores dropped onto the table, I deployed a mostly vehicle wall towards the outside, with most of my infantry on the far left of the table. She went first, and since I was so spread out it made it tough for her to focus on one area.

She ended up immoblizing the lord's transport with a zoanthrope, she would later wreck it from the assaulting parasite, and wiped out an entire squad of warriors thanks to some lucky hit rolls from her biovores. On the other end of the table she couldn't manage to take out the raider there, so turned most of her attention onto the warpbeasts in cover. All but the beastmaster and a lone warpbeast were killed, then to add insult to injury the swarmlord reduced their WS to 1. The warriors laid down a hail of fire on the haemonculus on the jetbike, and after 5 wound rolls, he failed one shadowfield save. Not as bad as I had expected on my vehicles, but the wholesale annihilation of the warrior squad was worrisome.

My first priority was to take out those biovores. 2 wounds, move and shoot ordanance barrage is a great big pain, especially when it just adds more spores to the table if it misses. One ravager let loose on one brood, scoring 7 wounds, 5 of which were negated by cover saves(so close). The other ravager turned and dealt some wholesale death to the termagaunts, with some support from a raidersquad that popped over a hill only a single termagaunt was left. The other 10 man warrior squad lined up one of the zoanthropes looking for vengence for their fallen allies, 1 hit, 1 wound, 1 failed invulnerable save meant one less zoanthrope. One squad of wyches had rolled always strike first, so they made a line to the Parasite and successfully neutralized it before it could cause more havoc with rippers as well. The other squad of wyches assaulted the warriors who weren't quite softened up by the haemonculus' destructor. This combat ended up bogging down in a tie repeatedly. The Incubi and Drazhar viciously tore through the other brood of biovores, wiping them all out. The poor warpbeast and beastmaster sacrificed themselves to the tervigon taking off two wounds in the process.

The second turn saw the genestealers come in and assault my bikes, after the broodlord caused one bike to sit out of the combat, the quickly dispatch the bikes, with only 2 genestealers falling. The remaining biovores and zoanthrope both gunned for the incubi in the open, but a good scatter from the biovores meant I only lost one to the zoanthrope. I responded by having one ravager gunning down genestealers, and had they not gone to ground and rolled extremely well, they would have been less than half their number. The other ravager managed to down the other Zoanthrope to a wonderful snake-eyes roll. The wyches then moved in to mop up the last biovores.

As we moved into the third turn, the warriors finally finished off the wyches there, and the swarmlord ponderously advanced on a Raider, while the Tervigon swung madly at another removing the darklance and stunning the crew. By the beginning of my turn the kill points were close, but she gave me the game knowing that what she had left was going to be too slow to catch up to the large number of skimmers left on the table.

The game was mostly to test how the new bugs played for her, and as much as she loves the way they look, the concepts, and ideas behind them, her eldar suit her playstyle better. So that's what she'll likely fall back upon, her fire prisms, d-cannons and wraithguard and feast upon the monsterous creatures of any Nid lists that do show up.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Necromunda 40K?

If you haven't already gotten to take a look at the new Battle Missions book, go to your local store and flip right to the back, there you will find the "special missions". Disregard Linebreaker, and quietly laugh as you realize Vect would dominate Clash of Heroes, then when you read Kill Team, marvel in the simplicity and read it again.

The long and short is you have 200 points to build an army list with 0-1 elite, 0-2 troops, 0-1 fast attack. Then you jam a 4x4 table full of terrain and play a game, the catch is each model functions individually, not as a unit. So the heavy weapon guy can stand still and fire while the special weapon guy moves forward. The almost required optional rule allows you to 'upgrade' 3 models to specialists, and each can take one USR from the main book, with the exception that no model may have the same USR, and no model may be upgraded more than once.

I'd say that the Kill Team mission has gotten the most praise from anyone I've shown the book to, and many have come to the same conclusion I have. We could play this like Necromunda!

For those of you unfamiliar with Necromunda, or my favorite GorkaMorka. These games are based upon the Warhammer 40K universe and instead of a whole army, you take control of a gang of models. A gang can normally be between 5-10 models depending on the system. Both have rules for campaigns that allow you to upgrade your gangs and have them grow as you fight battles, it's actually the encouraged way to play.

Both are great systems, but they just don't quite get the following from people that they deserve. I think this stems from two problems. First the rules are based on the old second edition rules, so they are a bit more complex and foreign, in that somehow familiar sort of way. The compounds rules confusion when you switch back and forth between systems. The other reason is that for the most parts, both games happen outside of the normal 40K metagame involving the basic races. So you can't use your masterfully painted Firedragons, or your magnetized Rhino. People don't want to have to buy new models, that are metal, and special order for one little game. Because of this alot of people that are introduced to the game have a hard time commiting to it. I was definitely that way at first, but was slowly won over by GorkaMorka, and then Necromunda somewhat as well.

So that leads us back to the Kill Team rules. They aren't much in terms of objectives or anything, but they definitely give us a way to play games at small squad based levels. So now all we need to do is add a way to track a campaign. I think from an army perspective this will give you a great reason to stop and convert/paint up that rank and file troopers to look like specialists, while having a blast as well.

I haven't gone searching to see if anyone has done it yet, but I suspect there will be many out there in a short amount of time. I plan on adding my own interpretation to that list with some playtesting and tweaking at the local club over the course of the spring and summer. So keep an eye out, I'll post test rules as I finish them.

My first thought is, someone will come out with a Necromunda type ruleset in the next couple months and I can just change it from there. Then I realized, school is almost done, and there isn't much lined up for the summer at the club, so why don't I run some test games with a couple guys at the club and cook up the rules my

Monday, March 22, 2010

Project Log: Silver Tower of Tzeentch

As promised, here are some pictures of my version of the Silver Tower of Tzeentch. It's still in progress, but I'm liking the look so far. The stompa on the left and the Fire Prism on the right give some idea of size. Without any type of base yet, from bottom to top of the crystal is slightly more than 12".

When I scrapped my original idea, I sat down and was talking to my girlfriend about what I wanted to do with it. The comment was made that I'd like to use some sort of twisting tentacles to maybe hold up the center gem. She then had the idea to use masking tape to make twisting tentacles up the sides of the building. This was then incorporated to look like they are thrusting out of the ground.

After a visit to the local game store, I managed a good score with the tyranid bit that is currently holding the crystal, and it got incorporated in. A few left over spikes from some Chaos Terminator Lord kits, and a Possessed kit helped to adorn the top, and some of the many tentacles and spikes left over from the Chaos Spawn kit work around the bottom.

I still want to get some Tzeentch symbols on there, and will likely be doing some more scratch work for those. But for right now it's going to look pretty as is on the shelf until school is done in a month.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

image courtesy of Riders of the Cosmic Serpent

So I'm organizing another Apocalypse battle this Sunday at the local club. Everyone had a blast last time, which was about 8 months ago, we saw lots of formations but we only had a couple big guns. Just one Baneblade and one Phantom Titan, pictured above. The titan ended up deciding the game fairly early by destroying to objective bunkers that had become over run with genestealers with no chance or getting them out.

This time it's been requested that I play as well, so the original plan was to scratch build a Raven and join in . . . that is until a dirty ork mek procured my bits to build her Big Mek Stompa. So I went to my fallback, my Thousand Sons/Emperor's Children chaos marines. I switch my scratch build planning over to two ideas, Silver Tower of Tzeentch, and Slaanesh Subjugator, each of which would be accompanied by the associated Warband formation.

The Subjugator idea kinda fell flat, I just haven't decided how I want it to look, I just haven't been struck with the right inspiration yet. So the Subjugator is out, and will be replaced by a Doomsday Device, mostly because I just love the idea of it.

The Silver Tower was looking equally bad for a while(mostly from intimidation from the pair on Warseer). I finally decided I was going to build a 9 sided mages tower with 3 levels, allowing a parapet that I could put sorcerors on and a large all seeing eye at the top to represent to main weapon. However, once I started cutting foamcore to build the basic structure for the first level it became apparent that I have over calculated my size, it was going to be gigantic and unwieldy. So I tried to salvage it, after shedding a third of the sides, I had it to a decent enough size and slope to make a good tower.

With a little more work it should be playable for tommorow, and I'll finish the project after that. Expect pics after Sunday I'll get the Tower for sure, as well as much other fun stuff as I can.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dark Eldar this year?

So I'm not normally a rumor guy, but this one hits close to home. By way of the Dark Eldar Kabal, via Dice Like Thunder there is a small rumor that has started that Dark Eldar will be the next codex after Blood Angels, with a slated release of October.

Now I haven't listened to the Dice Like Thunder webcast yet, but just off the top, it doesn't sound outrageous to slate in the next 40K release for October. General consensus is that the new Fantasy mainbook should be coming in the summer. If you think about it, a June/July release of the Fantasy book, with a release of one or more Fantasy armybooks (Tomb Kings and Ogres are supposed to be upcoming) means we'll probably see only a minor 40 release in the summer (the already announced WD supplement Spearhead and some tanks kits?) that means that fall will likely be the next codex release.

So an October release sounds about right, but Dark Eldar? really we all know that it's not going to be believed until we see some official pictures from GW. Even then, it's gonna take quite a bit of information from GW other than a short incoming article, we all know the whole 'working on Dark Eldar' podcast incident from a few years ago.

Followup: So I got a chance to listen to the Dice Like Thunder podcast, a good podcast to check out if you haven't. As far as the Dark Eldar rumors go, it's very light, as to be expected, it's very early. A few tidbits sound exciting, but as always assume it's mis-interpretted and the rules aren't as good as they sound, assume the worst case of it.

We will get use of deep strike with modified rules. Reavers will hit and run and cause a wound when disengaging. If a model is removed from the disengage wound, then while moving flat out they can perform a bombing run dropping the removed model anywhere along that 24" line, similar to swooping hawks it sounds but only a small blast. If these get moved to troops somehow, this will make the Saim-Hann lists cry.

There will be an upgrade special character with a Haemonculi retinue, who will enslave models he sweeps in combat. Haemonculi retinues? Are you kidding, I'll be happy with this and this alone especially if they keep the destructors similar to the way they are.

Apparently some units will have the ability to turn kills into USRs, could be very interesting.

Talos will become an actual walker with an AV value, with glances being -3, and pens being -2. Depending on the AV, which would be great as 12, but I'd love to see them be 13. If they get some sort of upgrade to ignore or reduce stuns to shaken, they will be very tough to deal with.

Battle Missions

So I finally got my hands on the battle missions book. Overall I was pleased, the mission setup maps were great. They did a great job of showing the basic setup with a very easy and consistent theme.

The missions were pretty decent, they did a good job at giving some interesting twists to the objectives, nothing terribly groundbreaking, mostly this was accomplished by giving special rules to one army or another. In most cases it the army got Stubborn, or a Without Number in some form or another.

I liked the newly re-invented Slave Raid mission for the Dark Eldar, basically everytime you win an assault, or sweep an enemy you gain one slave. However both players gain this advantage, so it's basically a modified kill point mission. HQs you capture are worth a D6 slave points at the end of the game.

The one Dark Eldar mission I wasn't fond of was the Feigning Retreat. You basically divide the table in three width wise, one section on the short table end is the enemies deployment, then the Dark Eldar gets to setup 2 units in the center section (and yes a transport counts as 1) and the rest of the army deploys in the third section on the opposite short table edge. The idea is that the enemy is going to pursue you into your trap. The reality is they get extra turns to shoot at raiders.

I think my favorite mission was the new combat patrol. I don't see this being used as a normal mission, but I do see it spawning a new type of gaming style. Basically with 200 or 500 points, players can have 0-1 elite, or fast choice, 0-3 troops. From there each model functions independantly. This ingtrigues me quite a bit, it almost reminds me of a starting for a system like Necromunda, or GorkaMorka with your existing 40K armies. I might toy with some further test rules.

Overall, I think the missions will be more for casual play because of the variety of special rules and advantages, but we'll see how it works in a tournament setting. My girlfriend is going to try and run some of the Battle Missions at the club tournament in April.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Discouraged but still playing

Fair warning, this will get fairly rantish.

So I haven't posted for a while, not that I'm the most active poster in the world, but I was trying to make sure I got atleast a post every ten days. The biggest reaston for the lack of updates? Blood Angels

I'm sure everyone has heard all the rumors, and if they are all to be trusted Blood Angels will be gods . . . but we know it's a load and they won't be that bad.

But the one thing that has gotten me quite discouraged is the rumored lander. Forget the dread capacity or the weapon loadout, I'm betting those are misunderstandings or expensive upgrades, the part that bothers me is the fact that this marine chapter will get all the advantages of having a Dark Eldar Raider, without the disadvantage of being open topped, or AV 10.

This one of the things that really get my goat about 40K, GW continually tries to make the marines everything that every other race is, and then people wonder why all the best lists are anti-marine lists. Everything your race can do a marine somewhere can do better. I suppose we should all be used to it by now.

It's left a sour taste in my mouth for my Dark Eldar, and that combined with some repainting means they haven't even been pulled out the last couple weeks. But next week brings the clubs Apocalypse tournament, and I'm thinking that's what I'll bring but my Chaos force has been doing well too.

Gimme some opinions, is it just me as a vet or is the marine thing getting to be too much?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hope and fear of the new codex

I've seen some various rumors in different places about glimpses and peeks of new Dark Eldar models, no pictures yet, but it gives that hope that we are not forgotten.

The fact that we seem to get a full treatment spread in the new battle missions book helps to almost convince me that we may see a codex in the next year. That fact gives me hope and fear both.

Now make no mistake, I like the codex we have currently, and I definitely hope it doesn't get the drastic surgery that the Tyranid book has seen. I worry of course is that all the units that I love to use, like the Haemonculus and Combat Drugs, will be streamlined into boring predictability.

More than anything, I'm afraid that some of the best parts of what little back story we have will be glossed over and given the Highlander 2 treatment(Didn't happen, pretend it never existed). No longer will we be the soul stealing raiders from the web, but perhaps just a 'evil' Eldar with goth sounding aspect warriors, and no psykers. Regardless of how they reflect it in rules, I want to be that soul stealing lord, who want's the victim tortured to just the right level of pain, agony, and frenzy.

Beyond all of those fears though, I have hope. Why? Because some of the plastic kits coming out over the last 8-12 months have been extraordinary.

I've watch my girlfriend put together a number of the amazing Ork plastic kits, most recently her Stompa, and utterly enjoyed putting together the Skaven models that I recieved for Christmas(I've tried to figure out how to include a Doomwheel in my Dark Eldar army because it is such a sharp kit). These kits are so full of detail, and options, that I long for a new warrior box, or plastic wyches. That gives me hope that I'll get my chance to build some awesome kit for the army I want to be playing, not the models I'm assembling for fun. The new Ork dreads/kans look even more amazing, and I may have to get one of those for fun next

So if there are plastic gods, please turn your gaze upon the true kin, let the masses marvel at the malice and ambition that can be sculpted into a piece of plastic.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More Slaves

So I got dragged into another impromptu team game this weekend.

Two 1500 point armies, vs 3 1000 point armies (with about 400 points extra between the 3 of them)

So it ended up being Tau/Dark Eldar vs Space Marines, Chaos Marines, and Chaos daemons, with a Dawn of war setup, and Capture and Control as the objective.

Since there weren't alot of vehicles(one lone dread) on the other side of the table, I dropped a squad of wyches and a squad of warriors to add Drazhar and the incubi to my normal 1500 point list.

We were given first turn, and deployed only a squad of Warriors and a Haemonculus on a jetbike. They countered by setting up alot opposite my warriors who were on our objective. While their objective was alone towards the middle.

The Tau moved to keep the opponents objective clear, while I tried to whittle down the marines opposite me in cover. My Haemonculus was all set for a lovely destructor template the next turn, when he caught a bolt of change in the head. 1 save, 1 fail, 1 dead haemonculus. It happens.

The rest of the game went pretty well. We ended up just being out from a tie, because a Keeper of Secrets and a Summoned Greater Daemon beat my poor warriors off our objective and the game ended before I could move a Raider back there, and the Tau Devilfish was just a bit too far away from the other objective with the handful of bloodletters that survived shooting.

So a loss overall again, but a good day of slaves.

6 Berserkers, 5 Chaos Marines, 4 Bloodletters, 1 Space Marine, and 1 Chaos Sorceror.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Remodelling the Raider

Lots of people talk about how they don't like the Dark Eldar models which is fine, it's all a matter of preference anyhow. I myself like the models for the most part, except for the Raider. Part of this is because of looks, it just doesn't look sleek enough, but the majority is thee awkward bulkiness of the model. The odd size makes them hard to transport, and very prone to damage. As you can see from the picture above and below, I'm having that problem.

When you are transporting between 5 and 9 of these things, space becomes a premium. God forbid if you are trying to use one of the GW cases. In my case, I use a couple large toolboxes. The infantry models are all on egg crate foam on the bottom with the raiders on the top.

My problem comes because of the clam shell type action of the tool boxes. As hard as I try, the raider tails always manage to get caught. If I watch the front they get caught in the back, if I watch the back, they get caught in the front.

The largest majority of my Raiders and Ravagers look like this one, some aren't as bad, some the pieces are just broken and have been re-glued. The worst part is I don't even have them completed (mostly because I'm indecisive about how I want them painted.

So the time has come to change them. I'm thinking I'm going to remove the cross fins, and try and put something else on them. This won't be the first unique Raider in my force, as you can see in the pics above and below I have a Raider that I commonly use for my HQ that was scavenged together from a partial Raider and some leftover parts I got in a trade with a friend. Obviously, I'm not going to cannibalize 3 Raiders for everyone I want to put together, but I do like the look.

I haven't made a final decision as to what I'm going to do exactly and may not for a while. I do know what elements I want to incorporate.

  • First, the driver stays towards the rear, I picture the Raider as moving forward with the bow pointing slightly down, sort of like a helicopter, so that means the driver at the back looks over the pointed hull to target his victims.
  • Second there has to be some sort of horizontal fins to help stabilize and control direction.
  • Third, the horizontal component has to be above or below the plane of the basic fusilage. Even if I end up just using an angled piece, similar in shape to the Reavers, it has to look like it helps stabilize the craft.
  • Last, I have to either finish before March, or start after March. Why? Because I need the Raiders playable for the Apocalypse game the club is having in March. I need as many Dark Lances to dish out my jealous vengeance upon my girlfriends latest WIP, shown below.

Feel free to post links in the comments to any interesting Raider conversions you've seen, I'm always looking for fresh inspiration to borrow.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Webway Portal

So I have to admit, I don't use one of the most powerful pieces of gear in the codex for one reason. Nobody can agree on how it works. It seems GW only ever tells us what we already know, and was hoping when the 5th Edition FAQ came out, that they'd solve this one as well as the Reaver two handed issue.

So here's a quick review of the one line that screws the whole thing up. "It may be activated by the model carrying it in the shooting phase, instead of moving or shooting that turn." Combine the wording with the fact that old fleet of foot indicates that you can move in the shooting phase and it causes confusion.

Since that one sentence uses phase and turn, with phase coming first, you read it as 'in the shooting phase, instead of moving or shooting', it's common for GW to mess up terminoligy like phase and turn, especially in the old books. However, the other way of looking at it is that the comma is seperating the thoughs, so we could re-arrange it as 'Instead of moving or shooting that turn, it may be activated in the shooting phase'.

The conventional wisdom has been, because it says turn, you have to leave your unit standing out in the open. When I read it, I read it as activated in the shooting phase instead of moving or shooting, but I understand the conventional wisdom. But where I get irked is that same logic doesn't apply when those people argue other books. For example the Jaws of the World Wolf, solved now, but when it came out it was called a psychic shooting attack which means it has to have line of sight and can't be fired into assault, but the general opinion was it could shoot anywhere and anything.

If there is anyone out there at GW listening, give us a clarification/rewording on that wargear. In the meantime, I'm going to hit up the adepticon guys to review it and give the wording clarification. As well as deploying it out of a Raider that hasn't moved.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Hit and Run

So, in going over all the Tyranid hoopla, I was struck with an idea. The biggest weakness to alot of the units seem to be Synapse. So I was thinking of using an old Third edition trick in a new way.

In previous editions, the enemy didn't always get a counter movement when you assaulted them. So it was important to choose when and where you assaulted a unit. It's one of those skills that is lots on alot of players who didn't play in previous editions. However, it may again prove useful.

Here's my generalized thought. Using a Hit and Run unit, pick an enemy unit near the edge of synapse range, assault the model farthest out of synapse try and keep as far back as you can, don't assault far into the unit. They will have to counter move towards you.

Once you have them pulled away, if you have gotten them out of Synapse, great, against a feeding unit, hit and run out, and make them move that much further out of synapse.

Otherwise, you wait till the end of the opponents assault phase, and hit them again if they are still in synapse.

Once the unit is out of Synapse range, they should be easier to deal with, you can pin or sweep the unit as you have available. This is also useful to get units away from the buff/debuff units like Tervigons and Hive Tyrants

Of course, that brings us to the biggest problem with the strategy, our only Hit and Run unit are Hellions, and Lords who join them don't gain the ability. So we may be wanting to keep another unit close to help back them up.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Slave Count

Tau Shas'o
Crisis Battlesuit
6 Berserkers
5 Chaos Marines
4 Bloodletters
1 Space Marine
1 Chaos Sorceror
1 Parasite of Mortrex
3 Biovores
2 Warriors
1 Genestealer

First Slaves of the year

So I got thrown into a small 1000 point per side team battle today.

I ended up partnered with a Space Wolves player vs an Ork/Tau team. It was a Spearhead deployment, with the objective being kill points.

Overall, the game went rather poorly, I just couldn't get any dark lances to bring to bear on the Tau tanks, and ended up most of the game rather boxed in. We ended up loosing in the end, but I did manage to capture both the Tau Shas'o and a Crisis Battlesuit.

Monday, January 18, 2010

How to put the RAID in your Raiders

So the new book has hit, and they are full of new creatures, and changes to lots of the old creatures. Regardless of my opinion on the book, the important part is how do I deal with them with my Dark Eldar army.

First, the Dark Eldar rely on movment, and high initiative to win, with a good spread of high strength weapons. So first we need to identify what can threaten those strengths.

Although they've gotten greater access to deep strike, and infiltrate, overall the Nid army isn't much faster than it was before, probably more flyers, but less 12" chargers, so we shouldn't have to worry about movement and speed. If you've already gotten used to the Marine drop pod armies, then the spore pods shouldn't be a big issue, just be sure to hit them with a Dark Lance, they can pack some decent weapons and you don't want that surprise later.

What we do have to worry about is high initiative, virtually all of the Tyranids have access to Adrenal Glands, which grants Furious Charge. Combined with alot of 4 and 5 initiative values means that we have to avoid being charged. To add to the pain, a number of models can gain access to Lash Whips, which can reduce the intiative of all models in base contact to 1. This is going to bring up an argument vs anyone with drugs that 'always go first', I'm of the mind they will cancel each other out.

The drawback the nids really took in the teeth, is most units lost access to grenade type upgrades, and they are succeptible to instant death again. So assaulting into cover they are going last, or at the same time with lash whips, and a well placed Dark Lance shot means a very dead 3 wound warrior.

What does all of this mean for my tactics? Choose your targets when assaulting, use Dark Lances on units with extreme prejudice, and hide in cover and wait for them to come to you.

That being said, there are a few oddities that stand out and need their own priority.

  • First among these is likely the Tervigon, who is a large breeding pit. This guy will likely be surrounded by termagaunts, and spawning more. He gives bonuses to all the termagaunts around him, so trying to assault him will be difficult, your best bet is consider him a vehicle and make him a primary Dark Lance target.
  • Second is the Swarmlord. This is basically a Hive Tyrant(check some of their issues below) with 4 Bonesabres. The problem with him, is his swords inflict instant death and force you to re-roll any successful invulnerable saves, and give him a 4+ invulnerable save. This means he's a big problem for your wyches, wych lords, and shadow fields especially. If he has a couple Tyrant Guard, expect them to be sporting Lash Whips. The good thing is he is slow, so either avoid them, or shoot them.
  • Hive Tyrants are as good as they were before, but aren't quite as bad as the Swarmlord. They do have a few new tricks that can be problematic though. The most annoying being Paroxysm, which is a psychic shooting attack that reduces a units WS or BS to 1. This means he can very effectively neurtralize the Warrior snipers, and make combat much harder for some squads. If you use the goblet of spite regularly, then you won't have much to worry about, otherwise hit him with multiple units and bring him down. Also watch out for Leech Essence, another psychic shooting attack that inflicts a D3 S3 AP2 wounds, that heal the Tyrant. All of that in addition to being able to fire 2 weapons plus a flame weapon from the thorax means may not want to get too close.
  • While it may not seem bad at first, the Parasite of Mortrex can cause some real issues if it manages to hit our low toughness warriors. We can very quickly end up outnumbered by ripper swarms that weren't even on the original list. Again, high initiative, multiple wounds, but only T4, so Dark Lances and Blasters are great.

  • Last bit of hurt I'd like to address is the Broodlord. Sure, he's basically a glorified genestealer seargent now, but it's one of his psychic powers that are hurtful. Hypnotic Gaze. Basically it works similar to the Eldar Mind War, but the brood lord has to select a model in base contact with the Broodlord, and if he rolls higher on the combined D6+Ld, the selected model cannot attack in the following assault phase. That means when you are moving your guys into assault, again, pick where your Sybarites and Succubi are.

Beyond that, it's standard slaving with the rest of the bugs. Shoot the little ones, use Agonizers on the big ones. There are some other threats you can read about elsewhere, like the lance Zoanthropes, but the Str 10 shot was plenty on us before, so it's not as big a deal for us.

Good luck breaking the bugs, the first of my bug slaves are sure to go under a giant magnifying glass in the sun.
Feel free to share any experiences against the new Nid Codex, hopefully I'll have some soon.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Oooh Shiney Trygon, give us money.

So I finally got my hands on the new Tyranid codex (actually pried it from the girlfriend while she slept) I have to say, somehow a couple shiney new monsterous creatures seem to have detracted from the fact that the codex overall seems to be much worse. This seems to be exactly the nightmare I envision with a new Dark Eldar codex.

Comparing the old book to the new really almost becomes comparing apples to oranges with the new book granting special abilities that weren't availble, and the old book granting very customizable broods. The one bonus of the new book, is straight line weapons, no more modifying by creature, so a devourer is now Str 4 Assault 3 across the whole army, great for Gaunts, hose for Tyrants. That may be the intangible that accounts for the gross points increase being forced upon the Nid players.

Here's an example, Tyranid Warriors, now have +1 WS, +1 BS, +1W,+1 attack, +1 save comes standard with a devourer and scything tallons. From the old book, warriors start at 14 points, and with all those same upgrades would cost exactly 30 points. The difference, old warriors have one more shot with a weaker devourer, new warriors re-roll 1's in CC, and a free +1 wound, but no Eternal Warrior. You are paying points up front to optimize for two roles.

The other thing that I find disturbing is alot of units have been gutted or modified to uselessness. Lictors and Hormagaunts are the ones that stand out the most for this. Lictors, while overpriced, were a great support, and harrassment unit. Now lictors are cheaper, and have an additional wound, but they were neutered in the process. No more 5+ cover all the time, only +1 to existing cover save, no feeder tendrils to help other units, and no assaulting after showing up. He's basically a trophy waiting to be collected. Hormagaunts are the same, as beasts they dashed quickly to the enemy line and tied them up until the rest of the swarm arrived. Now while they are a base of I5 and only 6 points, they only assault 6", with a slightly more reliable run. I'd be inclined to just take termagaunts with the 1 point upgrade for Furious Charge instead, they'll likely perform better with the +1 str, and shooting before they charge. This is huge in my mind, the army has no way to occupy opponents until the slow stuff gets close, except for maybe some gargoyles.

Of course, the slow stuff is now all normal sized because the Carnifex is a thing of the past. This is probably the most attrocious thing in the whole codex. You COULD take a brood of 3 Carnifexes. If you want to waste around 550 points. The basic Carnifex has a similar statline as before, +1 WS, -3 Ld, and re-rolls all misses with his twin scything talons. All this for the bargain price 160, a mere 50+ points more than before. Everybuild is hordes of points more expensive, and none come close the Str 10 T 5, 5 Wound beast that you could get for 160 points before. They completely neutered the Carnifex, which is sad because the kit is so beautiful, and I've seen so many great versions of the model. With most Nid players having multiple Carnifexes this should be a huge kick in the teeth, but it seems to have been salved by the nice new Trygon/Mawloc model. I expect alot of shelves to have matching Carnifex bookends.

The new MCs all seem to cost 150+ with the Heavy slots moving closer to the 200-250 range. Add to that the higher base cost of the Tyrant and you'll probably be seeing slightly less bugs on average as opposed to more. As far as better MCs, I'd be more inclinded to say they may not be better, but they are slightly harder to plan for in most cases. Of course if your army carries Agonizers, Dark Lances, and Disentegrators, don't sweat. Atleast until you hear rumors of them 'upgrading' our codex.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Kabal of Agony - 2000 point list

So building the list up to 2000 points I built up again, adding a third Raider squad, and added a Warpbeast squad. The Raider squad is going to be a very shooty squad, unloading and hopefully dropping alot of shots onto squads. I would have went with the Shredder, but couldn't quite fit it into the points limit.

Dracon - Punisher, Tormentor Helm
- 4 Incubi, Drazhar in Raider
Haemonculus - Reaver Jetbike, Destructor, Shadowfield
Haemonculus - Scissorhands, Destructor
Haemonculus - Scissorhands, Destructor

8 Wyches - Wych weapons, Succubus with Agonizer, Raider
8 Wyches - Wych weapons, Succubus with Agonizer, Raider
5 Warpbeasts with Beastmaster

10 Warriors - 2 Dark Lances
10 Warriors - 2 Dark Lances
8 Warriors - Splinter Cannon, Blaster, Sybarite with Agonizer, Raider with Horrorfex
8 Warriors - Splinter Cannon, Blaster, Sybarite with Agonizer, Raider with Horrorfex
10 Warriors - Splinter Cannon, Blaster, Sybarite with Xenospasm, Raider with Disentegrator

Ravager - 3 Disentegrators
Ravager - 3 Disentegrators

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kabal of Agony - 1750 point list

So there isn't a ton of changes over the 1500 point list, primarily the addition of the Incubi/Drazhar and Raider. I did add a Blasters to each of the 10 man Warrior squads, but had to remove scissorhands from the jetbike Haemonculus to keep them similar. Drazhar is going to be there to take the hits for the Dracon against other ICs since the shadowfield is being used elsewhere in the army.

Dracon - Punisher, Tormentor Helm
- 4 Incubi, Drazhar in Raider
Haemonculus - Reaver Jetbike, Destructor, Shadowfield
Haemonculus - Scissorhands, Destructor
Haemonculus - Scissorhands, Destructor

8 Wyches - Wych weapons, Succubus with Agonizer, Raider
8 Wyches - Wych weapons, Succubus with Agonizer, Raider

10 Warriors - 2 Dark Lances, Blaster
10 Warriors - 2 Dark Lances, Blaster
8 Warriors - Splinter Cannon, Blaster, Sybarite with Agonizer, Raider with Horrorfex
8 Warriors - Splinter Cannon, Blaster, Sybarite with Agonizer, Raider with Horrorfex

Ravager - 3 Disentegrators
Ravager - 3 Disentegrators

For the few times that I may have to play 1850, the primary addition will be a 5 strong Warpbeast pack, then give the Dracon a combat drug dispenser.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Kabal of Agony - 1500 point list

So here's what I will be using as my final 1500 point list for the Kabal of Agony experiment in 2010.

As I've noted elsewhere, I was looking for a certain theme as well as competitiveness, so while I normally wouldn't take a Dark Eldar Lord or Incubi, I'm going to try and fit them in.

For this list this only comes through as a Dracon to ride along with a Raider squad. Each Raider squad will also have a Haemonculus join them.

Dracon - Punisher, Tormentor Helm
Haemonculus - Reaver Jetbike, Scissorhands, Destructor, Shadowfield
Haemonculus - Scissorhands, Destructor
Haemonculus - Scissorhands, Destructor

8 Wyches - Wych weapons, Succubus with Agonizer, Raider
8 Wyches - Wych weapons, Succubus with Agonizer, Raider

10 Warriors - 2 Dark Lances
10 Warriors - 2 Dark Lances
8 Warriors - Splinter Cannon, Blaster, Sybarite with Agonizer, Raider with Horrorfex
8 Warriors - Splinter Cannon, Blaster, Sybarite with Agonizer, Raider with Horrorfex

Ravager - 3 Disentegrators
Ravager - 3 Disentegrators

The 1750 list should be up probably tommorow.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dark Eldar Theme

There's not alot of fluff out there for the Dark Eldar, but the few stories in the codex, combined with others like the Torturer's Tale give a definite hint as to what the Dark Eldar are, and why they do what they do.

Especially from the codex fluff, it's pretty apparent that the Dark Eldar are after souls, and that some of those Dark Eldar channel those souls into themselves. So obviously they are quite demonoic or vampiric in nature, which shows through in the cruelty and terror they cause.

There is obvious evidence that they Dark Eldar use the souls of others to sustain themselves, and that by their nature the Dark Eldar souls are brighter in the warp. I've always been of the opinion that in order to get the most out of the souls of other races, they have to be wiped into a state of high emotion to get the very most from those souls. Obviously the two easiest ways are pain and pleasure, of which they are masters of both.

My thoughts on the Dark Eldar court are similar to those of the ancient Mongolian or Chinese empires, where there is one Emperor or Khan and all others serve him because of his strength and cunning, but there is always duplicity. The Haemonculi are like the court sorcerors or advisors, making sure all is as it needs to be in the court, whipping the slaves into a suitable frenzy for the lords. All others are expendible, while valued for their prowess or loyalty to differring extents, they are only there to serve.

Because of this, I've decided when I post my Kabal of Agony lists over the next couple days I'm going to try and maintain a true Dark Eldar theme. By this I mean that contrary to how I'd normally build my list, this time I will be including Dark Eldar Lords, as well as Incubi in higher points lists.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Slave Capture

For the purpose of my Kabal of Agony experiment I've reviewed the slave capture rules, and the various FAQs and will use the following to determine prisoner capture.

If the Dark Eldar win a close combat, and the opponent is forced to fall back, each model killed in that combat is captured on a 4+. If the squad is caught in a sweeping advance, then all models destroyed this way are captured.

In the case where the enemy squad is destroyed at the end of the assault phase, any models killed during the close combat will be captured on a 4+. This will include any loses due to no retreat, or self inflicted wounds such as perils of the warp, bosspoles, etc.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Kabal of Agony - 2010

So in case you haven't heard the lastest rumors, it's being reported that there are new Dark Eldar mini's that may see the light of day this year according to Stickmonkey over at Warseer.

I'm not going to hold my breath, but it did help me come to a decision on what I'm going to do with my army for this year. With the new models, that likely means there is a new codex in the future. I'm not sure if this will be good or bad, but I want to give the current codex one last hurrah as it were.

So over the next couple days I'm going to work up my Kabal of Agony lists, a 1500 point list, a 1750 point list, a 2000 point list, and a 2500 point list. Those should cover any possible game/tournament scenarios possible, ideally each list will be similar to the previous with a few extras. Through the course of 2010 as a whole, or until the new codex comes out, I will attempt to record, or photograph any games played with the Kabal, and will keep a running win/loss/tie record, as well as a slave count.

Should the new codex come out before the end of the year, I will build and test a new Kabal list and keep track of the same stats over the same number of games.