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.