Tuesday, 8 July 2014

We Interrupt Your Scheduled Browsing - The Wolves are coming back !!



Hi,

The last time my wolves went to a tournament it was a 1250 point tournament in Janruary.

Here they are before a pre tournament test game:


To say the Wolves did poorly is an understatement.  The plan was that the Wolf Guard with combi weapons would alpha strike a key enemy unit turn one (arriving by drop pod).  The wolves and thunderwolves would rush towards combat, and by the time the enemy was free of those there would be 30 grey hunters all over the mid field with a small long fangs squad to take pot shots at units of opportunity.  So what went wrong...

Rather than the army working together perfectly they seemed to work in bits, not quite supporting each other.  The wolf guard would likely get killed or ignored after their turn one alpha strike, and with no other drop pods were forced to come in turn one, when key targets were in their transports.

The Thunderwolves and Wolves did ok most games, well the Wolves were always good for their points (albeit with low leadership) while the Thunderwolves seems a bit unreliable with their medicore WS4 and relying on rending.  Also in their rush to get into combat they rushed away from the Grey Hunters and the Grey Hunters were unable to give them much support.

This gave me lots of ideas on what to do as a moved the Wolves up to 1500 and 1750 pts to become a 3rd fully sized army I could use (along side my Dark Eldar & Tau.

I'd decided to add in Canis, and give the Rune Priest a bike (or more likely replace him wuth a cheap Battle Leader on a Thunderwolf now that the Rune Priest has been reduced in effectiveness).  Next I would put two of the Grey Hunters squads in Drop Pods.  I was just repairing and about to start the repainting of a Drop Pod I got from ebay when my surfing uncovered:



Now there was still the uncertainty that the Wolves and Orcs boxset was the new Planetstrike boxset, however more rumours came in to say that this is the new Starter boxset, with the contents of the Starter boxset being given here on Bols.

[Update: It now appears that this is a Veteran/Campaign Boxset, with sprues of existng kits (rather than snap fit models that are normally in starter sets), along with 2 new characters a mini 7th edition rulebook & a campaign book  For further pics of White Dwarf follow the link here]


Other more unsettling rumours (again from Bols linky here):

"The next set of Space Wolves murmurs and rumors are flying... and various sources are saying one Space Wolf isn't coming back...

This set is fresh off the rumor wires coming to us from a set of both known and unknown sources.

- Space Wolves move into the "modern age" with access many of the new Astartes kits and toys:
- The Hunter / Stalker is in
- The Stormraven is in
- The Stormtalon is out...
- Canis goes the way of the Dodo...

Rumor Reliability: Medium-Low"


Now I just wanted to comment on these new rumours:

[Will he be just a generic Thunderwolf Leader/Lord by the time he gets on the battlefield ?]
Canis:  I'll know I'll be in the minority here, but I liked Canis and his rules, however in his absence I'd just use a Wolf Guard Battle Leader with Saga to give Fenrusian Wolves I5 & Ld7.  I'd be really surprised if this rumour is true as normally whether a special character goes or not is based on whether there is a model for the character.  Even Aun'shi who disappeared from the previous Tau codex came back in the one that was recently released.

[Now coming to Space Wolves ?]
Stormraven:  It'll be nice to have the flying brick as an option, and the assault ramp, improved jink and better vehicle damage table in 7th edition could make the stormraven a good assault unit delivery option, however whether it'll be better than a landraider crusader is debatable.  It's main benefit is being a flyer to help with anti-air, however that role is normally better done by ...



Stormtalon:  Not being in the new codex would be a right pain (if true, because it'll just limit sales for GW).  Wolves big weakness at the moment is anti-air, and if I was to pick the top three things I would take from the Space Marine codex to ally with my Space Wolves, a Storm Talon would be up in the top 3 (along with a Stalker & Thunderfire Cannon, with competition from Imperial Fist Devastators with Lascannons).  However again it seems an odd choice for Games Workshop given it would reduce sales (maybe they think we'll just spend our money on other kits, particularly the Stormraven)..


Overall I think some of these rumours are likely to be wrong, and after all the codex is still rumoured to not be with us still Late September.  Well have to wait and see.

For me I will continue to build up my Space Wolves list, including the Drop Pods and Canis.  Luckily I had already decided to magnetise the arms, so I already have a powerfist arm on the painting table along with lightning claws :)

What do you think of the impending Space Wolves & Orks boxset ?  As I have a lot of Wolves on sprues I'll be more interested in the Character and the mini rulebook (although not so essential as last edition as the new 7th edition rulebook is smaller and fits in my army case).  Mainly I think if you are interested in the models this boxset will be great value (whether you're selling off the models you don't want or can split the boxset with a mate who is doing the other army).

In between my last Tau bits (just a Tetra and a couple of weapons, and some Grotesques for my Dark Eldar I'll be slowly increasing my painted Wolves in anticipation of the new codex.  I can't wait for September to get here :)

Rathstar


PS. The current Wolves list I was building towards (comments appreciated) is:

Wolf Guard Battle Leader - 170
  on Thunderwolf, armed with Powerfist & Wolf Claw
  and having the Saga of the Beastslayer

Canis Wolfborn - 205
  on Thunderwolf, armed with twin Wolf Claws
  accompanied by 2 Fenrusian Wolves

[The two characters will go with the thunderwolves and the fenrusian wolves]

6 Wolf Guard - 178
  5 in Power Armour each with a Combi-Plasmagun & Bolt-pistol
  1 in Terminator Armour with a Cyclone Missile Launcher, Power Axe & Stormbolter
Drop Pod - 35

10 Grey Hunters with 2 Plasmaguns - 160
Drop Pod - 35

10 Grey Hunters with 2 Meltaguns - 155
Drop Pod - 35

10 Grey Hunters with 2 Plasmaguns - 160

5 Thunderwolf Cavalry, one with a Powerfist - 275

14 Fenrusian Wolves - 112

5 Long Fangs with 4 Missile Launchers - 115

5 Long Fangs with 4 Missile Launchers - 115

Total: 1750 Points (72 models)


A quick update:

As it's possible that Canis might not be in the next codex and the fact that I do not have a second thunderwolf character model, rather than buy another thunderwolf lord  or Canis model that I may not use after the new codex, I'll just going to reduce the army to 1500 points, and play with that until the new codex is out.

To reduce the points I lost the Wolf Guard Battle Leader on a thunderwolf and the wolf guard terminator.  The last few points were found by swapping Canis' 2 wolves for one normal wolf and switching plasmaguns for meltaguns on the first grey hunter unit.  This makes the list I'll be building towards:


Canis Wolfborn - 185
  on Thunderwolf, armed with twin Wolf Claws
[Canis will go with the Fenrusian wolves]

5 Wolf Guard - 115
  All in Power Armour each with a Combi-Plasmagun & Bolt-pistol
Drop Pod - 35

10 Grey Hunters with 2 Meltaguns - 155
Drop Pod - 35

10 Grey Hunters with 2 Meltaguns - 155
Drop Pod - 35

10 Grey Hunters with 2 Plasmaguns - 160

5 Thunderwolf Cavalry, one with a Powerfist - 275

15 Fenrusian Wolves - 120

5 Long Fangs with 4 Missile Launchers - 115

5 Long Fangs with 4 Missile Launchers - 115

Total: 1500 Points (69 models)

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

10 Games in 10 Weeks - Part 2 (ASMOH Tournament Games 1 & 2)


Hi,

So I'm a third of my way through the 10 weeks with one tournament and 4 games under my belt.  As well as getting the 4 tournament games in I'm managed to get in 2 games at my local GW and another 2 against my mates tournament winning Eldar army (also my 1st 2 games of 7th edition).

Last post I left off with the final basing needing to be done on the new models in my army and the models I painted up for the last tournament I went to could do with the basing being improved.  Well I added the flock to the necessary models, however I didn't have time to paint the edge of the bases dark brown, so they were left black:

[All Flocked & Ready To Go]

The 1250 point army list I could be using in the first two games was:
Ethereal with 2 Marker Drones
Crisis Team
  Shas'vre that made everyone twin-linked, the drones BS3 and the unit either Tank Hunters of Monster Hunters
  2 Shas'ui with 8 Str 7 Ap4 shots between then
  6 Marker Drones (with the buffs to get as many makerlight hits as 9 pathfinders)
Fire Warriors
3 units of Kroot (no Sniper rounds)
Firebase Support Cadre consisting off
Riptide with Ion Accelerator & twin Fusion Blaster
2 units of broadsides consisting of 3 broadsides (all the missiles) and 6 missile drones each


A very quick summary of my games were:


Game 1 (1250 pts):

I faced a generic marine army with a bit of everything; devs (strangely with heavy bolters), couple of tac squads in rhinos, 2 land speeders (multi-melta & cyclone), libby (iirc).  With the rules of the tournament meaning that the 1250 list couldn't be changed when it increased to 1750 and the fact that the models I wanted to use from the Tau dataslate were over 500 pts meant that I had to squeese them in my 1250 list, however facing marines (the dataslate gets preferred enemy marines) and facing a few light vehicles (the dataslate also gives tank hunters to it's members) it was an immediate uphill struggle for the marines.

I deployed centrally with the landspeeders hiding, the devs were central in ruins and the rhinos tried to pull a refused flank where they could approach behind some ruins.  However the ruins did not completely block line of sight and a crisis unit wreaked one rhino, and the other was wreaked turn 2.  After the landspeeder and devs took the riptide down to 1 wound it shot and charged them to wreak the landspeeders and then did shot of the match with a long shot into some disembarked marines to kill 8 of them with an overcharged ion accelerator blast.


Game 2 (1250 pts):

For game 2 the Tau dataslate would do nothing for my army as I wasn't facing marines or any vehicles, as I was against Daemons.

My opponent had (very roughly as the tournament was a while ago):
Belakor
Fateweaver
Tzeentch Daemon Prince with the Grimore (and appeared built for combat)
2 Units of Cultists (Belakor was the HQ of a Choas Space Marine ally detachment)
2 Units of Horrors

I can't remember anything else, however the 3 Flying Monstrous Creatures (FMCs) probably took up around 800 points.

We were playing with the diagonal deployment, and my opponent had first turn.  He deployed aggressively forward (with some ruins and walls in between us) with the 3 FMCs, deployed one unit of cultists while putting the other cultists and both horror units in reserve.

I was considering deploying as far back as possible to create the maximum number of turns before the 3 flying daemons could charge, however from previous experience this has done two things:

  • It left me castled far in my own corner making it impossible for my slow infantry to make it out of the corner to get to objectives, so that even if my shooting stopped the enemy from smashing my castle I still lost on objectives.
  • It didn't really extend the number of turns that flying monstrous creatures could charge me.  I was still looking at a turn 2 charge when you factor in a 36" swoop, and a 12" move plus 2D6 charge (a minimum 50" with an average charge of 55" from where they started on turn 1).

Therefore I decided to be ballsy.  I told me opponent I couldn't deploy out of the range of a turn 2 charge so I was going to deploy to seize.  I deployed the broadsides just within 36", with the crisis suits within 42" (6" move plus 36" range).  My Kroot were positioned in front of the whole army trying to ensure a turn 2 charge would be into them rather than giving the FMCs the space to jump over them and charge something juicy.

What helped my decision on the aggressive deployment was there was little else in the Daemon army on the board apart from the 3 FMCs.  This gave my army loads of space to spread out once the game got going.  With the Riptide on one side and the crisis suits on the other I could move out to make it hard for him get to all of the good bits of my army.  I knew he would be staying partially together to use the Grimore.

After a more gutsy than usual deployment the dice gods looked down on me...



...and I seized.

Now the centre of the board had pretty good terrain in the form of Gale Force Nine's ruins:

Now these are lovely pieces of terrain (which reminds me I must get some for my table) and initially look like they wouldn't block line of sight with all the window slits.  However the window slits are quite narrow and yet thick, so even though it looked like they wouldn't block line of sight, because the window slits were at a diagonal to my models they couldn't actually see through the ruins to the FMCs.

Tip:  When deploying make sure you go down to your models eye view to check line of sight.  It may be shockingly different to what it looks like 3 feet higher up.

This limited my turn 1 firepower, but Fateweaver was clearly visable to a broadside unit and the crisis suit unit so he easily died.  However I couldn't see the Grimore Tzeentch Daemon Prince, but I did take a wound off Belakor.

On the daemon 1st turn the two remaining FMCs flew 36" towards me.  The Grimore was cast on Belakor giving him a 2+ inv save (not rerollable), and Belakor returned the favour by casting Shrouded (& Stealth I think) on the Tzeentch daemon prince.  Belakor then decided to momentarily take over my Riptide and he overcharged the ion cannon and placed a str8 ap2 large blast over three broadsides.  The broadsides were closest to the Riptide and luckily my opponent rolled a 1 on one of the 3 to-wound rolls so only 2 broadsides were instant killed.

The next turn effectively killed the game.  I used the kroot units to rapid fire at Belakor until he failed a gounding test (won't be able to do that in 7th edition) then the untouched broadside unit gave him so many saves to make that he died.

The rest of the army poured their firepower into the Tzeentch Daemon prince.  The twin-linked markerlights allowed another unit to ignore cover, but the good armour save saves most wounds leaving the Tzeentch daemon prince alive.  However because he was so close I was able to move the kroot that was that side to ensure that he couldn't fly over them to charge something else leaving him choice of charging them or swooping over them to charge turn 3.

Tau Tip:  If you don't have skyfire you had better have twin-linked markerlights

Meanwhile the fire warrior unit I put in reserve did a one on one fight with 10 cultists, and having the alpha strike in that fight and having higher strength guns they won that fight over a few turns.

Next turn the Tzeentch daemon prince charged the kroot, and killed most of the unit, and the kroot dutifully broke and were run down.  A unit of horrors deepstriked onto an objective, but not much else happened.

Next turn the daemon prince died and my army started to rush out of my deployment zone to help clean up the horrors (apart from the last broadside that had seen his 2 colleagues die to the Tau's Riptide who stayed to claim an objective (as it was Big Guns Never Tire).


So two bigs wins shot me up to table 1.  On table 1 a lovely Tau army had just won.  The army had a stunning white paint scheme, as was painted by a Jason:

Although Jason's army was all infantry like mine, there were obviously big differences, obviously having 3 Riptides stood out, as did the broadside armament.  Using pathfinders (that I find static and fragile) was also different (although we both used markerlights).

However we never got to face each other as a both myself and a Marine player had leapfrogged Jason onto Table 1.  The last two games would also be played at 1750 points.



This tournament report will be concluded in the next few days, as this post is now quite long.  Look forward to a perfect blend of Wolves, Fists, Inquisition & Forgeworld, followed by more Daemons.  I was now with the Big Boys - could I hold my own ?

Until then i leave you with the screen capture of my commander from when I played Dawn of War - I miss that game, from the Broadsides firepower, the Steaths suits utility, to the forever satisfying enjoyment of unloading a full skyray squadron and watching a whole section of the screen glow bright white from the multiple missile impacts :)




Tuesday, 27 May 2014

7th Edition - Where has Games Workshop Dropped the Ball (Top 3)


Hi,

First I'd like to say that I really like 7th edition.  The quality of the rulebook, and the fact that they split the rulebook from the fluff and hobby sections so you don't have to carry them to games is great.

I particularly like the increased clarity they have added to the rules, with better attention to specifying the order in which things in each of the turn phases are done.

However with such a huge ruleset there are bound to be areas where GW has dropped the ball, and not thought through the implications or playtested them enough (do they have any playtesters who aren't GW Fanboy Fluff Bunnies?).  An alternative thought is that rather than dropping ball some changes are concious decisions to allow people to use what ever models they want, mix up the game so people have to buy more models, or another two figures to those of us who want a more balanced game :)

Well here are my top 3 areas in which I think GW has dropped the ball:

Number 3 - Flying Daemon Princes having Jink even when Gliding


Flying Monstrous creatures just have the Jink special rule, not when their Swooping but all the time.  I think the changes to the Jink rules was supposed to make it a cost to benefitting from the Jink cover save.

Most most common units with the Jink rules are Flyers, Vehicles and Bike (including Jetbikes), all of these units have a choice now between benefitting from their improved Jink cover save and reducing their damage output from firing in the following turn.

However Jink's downside is only in shooting, so if you have a unit that does not shoot or that it isn't their main aim then the Jink has now downside.  You could already do this with the aforementioned Bike units if you built them for a combat role, however with all the bike units shooting is significant part of their damage output (excluding characters on bikes).

Daemons can easyily create Flying Daemon Princes where none of the damage output comes from shooting, but from Psychic powers and Combat ability.  Nurgle Daemon Princes with Shrounding could Jink all the time for a 2+ cover save, and Shrounding is not hard for other Daemon Princes.

The reason this is only 3 on the list is because:
1) Tau, Eldar & Guard can remove cover saves easily
2) A 4+ Jink is only one better than the 5+ Invunverable save the Daemons already have

However Daemons have the easiest access to a 2+ rerollable (cover or invulnerable) save, so expect them to continue to be around the top tables of tournaments for some time to come (and that's without looking at the Number 1 of this list)



Number 2 - No Restrictions on Detachments



This is not a new one, as I posted about it before previously, and even before the rulebook was released the Sons of Sanguinius blog had already highlighted it.

Gone is the concept of dual force org at 2000 points in 6th edition.  7th edition allows you to have as many primary detachments as you want once you fill the minimum requirements of 1 HQ, and 2 troops. The  Sons of Sanguinius blog shows how 8 Helldrakes could be fitted in a 1850 point army, along with 60 troops and 3 sorcerors that can summon more daemon models (if they want to take the risk of using daemonology).

Allowing as many detachments as a player wants can lead to ridiculously spamy, boring to play with and against, but very effective and powerful lists.  Also such lists lead to an increase in the Rock, Paper, Scissors element of pick-up and tournament games (as opposed to player skill).


So what do I think is even worse than multiple primary detachments....


Daemonology Conjuring Powers

[you again ?]
Although I think it's a nice characterful addition to the game, and for most armies it will be fine, it's when you build a Daemon army around summoning it gets ridiculous very fast.  Warp Charge dice of 30+ is easily attained, and with 4 of the 7 spells in Daemonology being Conjuring powers it's easy to generate another army that the enemy is practucally impossible to stop (as they don't target the opponent Deny the Witch is only on a 6+).  Here's a starter as an example:

4 Lvl 3 Tzeentch Heralds 95pts each = 380 pts [12 Warp Charge Tokens]
6 Units of 16 Horrors = 144 pts each = 864 pts [18 Warp Charge Tokens]

So 1244 points so far with 30 Warp Charge Tokens, the rest can be usual units for a more rounded list, or you can carry on with Fateweaver or more heralds as the 2nd HQ.  Are Tzeentch Daemon Princes heavy support ?

With so many Warp Charges a normal army with 3-8 warp charges wouldn't have a chance of getting many spells off (if any), plus they run the chance of perils, while the daemon army suffers nothing for throwing 12+ dice at a Deny the Witch test.

Now the downside is that all the Daemon troops aren't doing much but generating warp charges, as you need the warp charges from 2 units to have slightly better than a 50:50 chance of casting one of the Conjuring powers, however by conjurering further psykers (eg, 10 horrors or lvl 2 tzeentch heralds) by turn 2 you could generate a massive army to supplement you.

After discussing this with my mates on Sunday, that evening I saw that Frontline Gaming had a battle report trying out a similar list (premise was the same but they used units of 11 horrors, giving 2 warp charges each).

Here's a link to their battle report.  A comment in the report that another 2k army was generated by the end of turn 2 is scary.  Also the daemon player said it would have been over very quickly if it wasn't for the Imperial Knight, as it held up loads of daemonettes, when he should have generated plague bearers to go against it, as they have a Rust ability that means they Glance vehicles on a 6 and 2 units of plague bearers should have seriously hurt it (if not killed it).



Balance


I normally go to a few of the tournaments each year that use mild comp (eg. no triples of a unit outside Troops, a limit on Fliers/FMC, a limit of 3 Henchmen units if you have Corteaz etc).  , so what would I do if I were them.

Basically I would limit detachments to one primary and one other.  I was going to say only one primary detachment, but I wanted to give Tyranids some love (GW doesn't :) )

I would limit the total number of Warp Charge counters allowed, say something like 18 a turn, however I appreciate playtesting would be needed to see if this was a fair limit.

On the 2+ rerollable saves and FMC Jinking I thinking changing that would go too far in actually rewriting the rules, as opposed to mild limiting in some areas.  I also think the FMC Jinking while gliding, although probably not intended is nowhere near as game breaking as the other 2.

What would you do if you ran a tournament ?  What type of tournaments would attend or not attend, ie. only comped ones or any (because this is all being blown a bit out of proportion) ?  I'd loved to see you opinions, so let me know in the comments section.

Overall though I think GW have done a good job with 7th, and I think playing any army that used 3 or less detachments and didn't go overboard on loads of psykers (and I mean more than 5 or 6 cheap characters/units) would be a fun interesting game.  What more can you ask for ?

Rathstar


Until next time, Happy 7th :)



Sunday, 25 May 2014

Tau & Dark Eldar in 7th Edition - Small Rule Changes to be aware of (Updated 30 May)

Hi,

I've only had the new 7th edition rulebook for just over 24 hours now, and I'm now getting to the stage where I'm coming accross very small rule changes that can easy go under the radar compared to the more dramatic changes from 6th edition.

Now most of the big changes were all over the web weeks before the book was released, eg. the psychic phase, changes the flying monstrous creatures, charging through difficult terrain, however below are my top 3 small changes that affect the two main armies I pay with:


Smash


Exchanging your attacks to hit at double strength is more costly as it has changed from losing half your attacks (rounding up) before the charge bonus to only being able to make a single double strength attack.

This has huge implications for my Tau.  Many occasions a tough vehicle would be giving me problems until a helpful Riptide would smash it with 3 Str10 smash attacks on the charge (ie. only sacrificing 1 attack to double it's strength).  Now it will only have 1 attack, which combined with the fact that an AP2 attack will require a 6 rather than a 5 to now explode a vehicle, means I may have to reconsider putting more fusion in the army.

With smash reduced in effectiveness and vehicles being harder to destroy, has the age of the melta (or fusion for Tau) returned ?


Sniper



Snipers have lost true rending to be replaced by the same getto rending  that Eldar shuriken weapons get, ie. 6's to wound at AP2, but no benefit against vehicles.

To offset this they now are classed as str4 rather than str3 against vehicles.  What this means is that if a 6 is rolled for armour penetration my total is 10, where as in 6th edition it was an equal chance of a score betwee 10, 11 or 12.

No longer can my Sniper Drone team threaten av11 at all.  Not a big change but a shame never the less.

[Update:  Marjamhew has pointed out (in the comments section) that the Sniper USR has also lost Pinning.  This affects both the Long Shot Pusle Rifle and the generic Sniper Rifle from the Imperium.]


Poison


Poison now only gives rerolls to wound if the strength is greater (rather than equal to or greater) than the targets toughness.  My Dark Eldar wracks accompanied by my Haemonculus now do a 1/3rd less damage against marines on the charge.  In 6th (as together they had 2 pain tokens for Furious Charge) they would wound marines on 4+ with a reroll, now it's no reroll because Furious Charge will only make them the same str (4) as the marines toughness.  It's a harsh drop in effectiveness moving from going against toughness 3 (wounds 89% of the time) to wounding 50% of the time against toughness 4 (a very common toughness value they will be facing on the battlefield.

Again not a huge hit, and one I can live with for all the benefits that 7th edition beings to my two main armies.


It's still extremely early in 7th edition, and although 7th edition is more a tweak to 6th edition I'm sure there are other small changes that are being missed, so please leave a comment to let me and the community know of any small rule changes you think are still below the radar.

Rathstar

Update 30/05/14:

A few couple of extra rule changes that particularly affect my Tau & Dark Eldar armies


Haywire

Although it seems like a bit of a nerf I think Wyches will love the changes to Haywire.  Haywire itself hasn't changed, however because it does not have an AP value it means that Haywire can never explode a vehicle, only wreak them by stripping hull points.

Now Wyches in combat with a vehicle do not want the vehicle to explode for 3 reasons:

  • The Wyches will take damage (which is now str4 in 7th edition) from the explosion
  • An exploded vehicle is removed from the table and replaced with (if the opponent has one, which most people don't) a crater.  This would leave the Wyches high and dry in the open ready to be shot at.  A wreak leaves the vehicle in place to give at worse a cover save and possibly Line of Sight blocking terrain.
  • If the vehicle is surrounded and it is wreaked all the occupants automatically die, however if it explodes all survivors are able to be placed within the area that the vehicle occupied, leaving them free to shoot and charge the Wyches that just exploded their vehicle.

No more will I roll on the damage table, praying I don't roll a 6 :)


Jink

Jink has now changed to being declared before To Hit rolls are made, however you don't have to have moved to be able to get Jink saves (so they can be used first turn even if your opponent goes first), plus it has increased to a 4+ cover save.

To offset this, if a unit Jink's it can only Snap Fire on the following turn.

This change is excellent for Raiders transporting combat troops (such as Incubi, Wyches or Wracks) because the Snap Firing penalty is not too much of a disadvantage.  Like wise the Tau Skyray waiting for flyers to arrive on turn 2 has the option to Jink to better survive so it's missiles are available when flyers arrive, plus once it's missiles are expended (I prefer a turn 1 or 2 alpha strike into a key target) it can sit on an objective or provide mobile cover for other units while Jinking for better survivability.

Reaver jetbikes also benefit, because they get to Jink before they start moving, and in most cases do a lot of their damage from bladevaning, however if they want to shoot without Snap Firing they will have to risk not Jinking.




Saturday, 24 May 2014

Troops in 7th Edition incl. Maelstrom Missions - Spare a thought for the little guy


[Disclaimer:  I will only be looking from the view point of Battleforged armies, as I believe Unbound is designed (and intended) to be used for fluffy narratives playing between gaming buddies or perspecially organised events, and NOT pick-up games]

Hi,

By the time this is posted 7th edition will be with us, and this will lead to changes in the way troops are valued and are used.

The biggest change is that all units can score.  This used be the domain of infantry based troop units, from the small and cowardly Inquisitoral Acoyltes and Eldar Jetbike units which would stay in reserve and pop out to dash to an objective late game to the in your face Dark Angel and Grey Knight Terminators who would smash through an enemy army to sit on a opponents objective.

So to stop a lot of armies just taking 2 troop units Troops do get the following new rule:


So if an objective is held by say a Space Marine assault squad, if they have left a gap for for a model to get within 3" of the objective a troop unit can swoop in and not just contest but secure the objective.  Eldar Jetbikes with their great speed will be perfect for this.

Close combat troop units are also good at this, because rather than clearing an enemy off an objective you could assault with a troop unit.  Rather than have to wait for the enemy unit to be completely wiped out, you'll probably be able to secure the objective (get within 3" via end of combat phase consolidations) the turn you charge.  You could secure the objective while being safe from shooting reprisals by being locked in combat - Orks, Wyches & Blood Angel Assault Marines rejoice :)

These tactics are particularly useful in Maelstrom missions, where tactical objectives are scored as soon as you complete them. Therefore the quicker you complete the tactical objectives the more tactical objectives (and therefore scoring potential) you get.

Below is an example of 2 Maelstrom missions:

Most of the tactical objectives are around controlling one or more objectives (most are controlling one object for 1 Victory point, while some ask you to hold multiple or more than your opponent to all for various Victory Points ranging from D3 to 3+D3).

Having a cheap troop that can quickly secure an objective and score the Victory points will be very useful

Lastly it appears (I will have to have a full read of the rulebook to be sure there is nothing disallowing it, but the screenshot below from the rulebook says that dedicated transports bought for troop choices count as troop choices in all respect:


This is huge, and increases the usefulness of dedicated transports.  A Wave Serpent (not just the 5 Dire Avengers inside) would now be scoring.  Dark Eldar Venoms & Raiders bought for troop wyches, wracks & wariors are now scoring.  For armies with good efficient transports for their troops slots it now doubles the number of Objective Secured units they can have.


Winners and Losers

So with these changes there will be winners and losers in the troops slot.  So lets look at my 2 main armies and see how their troops get on.

Tau:

[My 1750 Pts Tau Army in action last weekend at ASMOH '14]

Fire Warriors and Kroot are not fast units, and while they have a durable transport, I normally conclude that I'd rather have a 2nd unit of Fire Warriors rather than a single unit in a devilfish.

There are army styles where the majority of the army is fire warriors in devilfish for a mounted mobile cadre, but in most armies Fire Warriors in the main are seen on foot.

Fire Warriors and Kroot are also not that durable.  If they move up to capture an objective when an enemy is next to it they are likely to die the following turn, and they are not so cheap to expendible such as 3 Jetbikes, 3 Wracks, 10 basic guardmen.  Tau had this issue in 6th edition, normally they would have to clear an objective and the area around it before they claimed it.  In 7th edition it might as well be one of the tougher more mobile troops that does the capturing for distant objectives.

Kroot and Fire Warriors will still be good for capturing and defending objectives close to the Tau lines, so you won't suddenly see them disappear, but they will reduce in number I forsee, compared to the more mobile and firepower units (eg. crisis suits).


Dark Eldar



Dark Eldar have reasonably priced dedicated transports, which if bought for troop units can now score.  Wyches can secure an objective while in combat with a non-troop unit on an objective.  Units of 3 wracks can be sacrificed to get an objective, so that the rest of the army can move on to winning the next tactical objective (maybe next turn their transport does the sacrificing).

I'm going to try out my Dark Eldar list unchanged for a while to see how it goes, with no reduction is the number or size of the troop choices.  They are all good on their own merit and add something to the army, so having the Objective Secured ability is icing on the cake.


It's an interesting time for 40k with new tactics required and the composition of armies chaging to adapt to the new rules.  It will be a fun time trying to figure out new army builds that work as well as our existing 6th edition lists.


How will your troop choices change ?  Are they winners or losers ?

Next up I want to talk about objective placement, particularly in Maelstrom of War missions.

Rathstar


Friday, 23 May 2014

Dark Eldar Voidraven - Part Eight - Completed Pic and Musings on it's Use



Hi,

Browsing through my old posts I noticed that I didn't put a final pic of my Voidraven Bomber.  You can see my blog posts going over the conversion in 7 steps here.

The last pic I showed was before my first game at the MAD tournament last year:

However here's a better pic from the A Small Matter of Honour tournament from last year:

Musings on the Voidraven

Since the Voidraven was complete I have never played a Dark Eldar game without it.  Even though that it partially due to the fact that I really like the model, I wouldn't use it in so many games if I didn't think it added to my army.

Why haven't you taken a Ravager ?

When taking Dark Eldar heavy support choices you have to ask yourself the above question.  I would even go as far as to advise most people that they would have to consider a change of army list, or ensure they catered from a weakness in early game long range anti-tank firepower elsewhere in their army list, if they did not include at least 2 Ravagers in any games at 1500 points or more.

So saying this why should you pay 45 points more than a ravager (or 65 points in the configuration I use) to use the Voidraven.

1) The Voidraven is the most resilient vehicle the Dark Eldar have access to - still fragile, but tough by Dark Eldar standards :).  Unlike the Ravager it isn't open topped, and if the opponent does not have access to skyfire, or you kill their skyfire quickly (Quad guns die to splinter cannons as easy as 2 marines) then it is hard to hit (needing snap shots).

2) The Voidraven is fast, with a move of up to 36" it can target far off enemy units which the rest of the army might struggle to get to (particularly if it is later in the game when most of the Dark Eldar transports have been destroyed).  The height of the flying stand also helps to get line of sight against enemy units trying to hide.  An example being a small marine unit huddled behind 1.5" high wall (which blocks line of sight to the rest of your army) praying the game will end asap so they can claim an objective they're sitting near; the Voidraven's increased height will allow it to see the marines and can it let rip with lances and, if purchased, missiles.

3) It can me made dual purpose for a turn or two with the additions of missiles, I prefer using 2 shatterfield missiles, but the basic monoscythe missiles are also good (for the better AP5 to kill light infantry).  Most targets are already wounded on 2+, so the poison missile is pretty meh, and the implosion missile is expensive, situational and only a small blast.

4) The scare factor; mentioning str9 lances on a platform that can move 36" in a turn can make some opponents worry too unnecessarily about the Voidraven, and without skyfire it will take them the same firepower that could kill 3-4 venoms or raiders to kill the Voidraven :)

5) The Void Mine can be a nasty surprise, it may not do much most games, but a str9 ap2 lance small blast has killed vehicles for me.  If you're forced to fly off the board the Void Mine can be useful to do some damage as you fly off.

6) Outside of fortifications and allies the Voidraven is our best anti air unit.  Even having 1 Voidraven can threaten fliers, and distract them for a turn or two while the rest of your army concentrates of wiping out the enemy's ground troops.

7) By combining the fact that the Voidraven comes on from reserves, can move very fast (up to 36"), and by coming on at oblique angles means the Voidraven is very good at getting side armour shots the first time it fires.  A Ravager can struggle to get side armour shots against a good opponent, and Wyches have to survive the enemy firepower and sometimes take up to turn 3 to slap haywire grenades on a tank, so if a Voidraven can get side armour shots with str9 guns it can really help get rid of enemy vehicles early; assuming it doesn't stay in reserve for too long.


Why not take more fliers ?



I have tried this.  I took a Razorwing Jetfighter, Voidraven Bomber and a Quad gun in the same list to a tournament and in a few test games.  It was nice in some games ruling the skies, taking out the enemies anti-air quickly so my fliers were slightly less fragile than usual.

However by it's nature Dark Eldar are an alpha strike and glass cannon type army (particularly the way I play with them).  Although you can mitigate this, my taking more resilient wracks and going MSU (multiple small units) so the enemy has to kill multiple squads before really affecting your firepower, you will rarely win a war of attrition.

This leads to a problem with fliers - they don't start on the board turn 1.  Having both a Razorwing & Voidraven off the board meant that for at least 1 or 2 enemy shooting phases I had over 300 points off the board. This impacted the army too greatly, especially combined with the issue caused by using a Quad Gun.

Quad guns are great, and the Defense line it comes is also great...in some armies.  For the Dark Eldar I found it hampered one of their best advantages, speed and unpredictability.  Putting down a defence line and quad gun meant that before the enemy deployed s/he knew exactly where at least 2 small units of wracks were likely to be, in line of sight (rather than hiding on a hidden objective) that would probably be supported nearby by other units to ensure the guad gun was not overrun (one game I had to kill by own quad gun because it was overrun by traitor guard and choas space marines and was about to be used against my own flyer).

The Quad gun led to a more stand off and shoot attrition game which did not suit my Dark Eldar.  I much prefer the enemy having no idea how my army will deploy, and having the flexibility to completely switch their area of focus turn to turn to keep the enemy guessing.


So why a Voidraven over the Razorwing Jetfiighter

The Razorwing comes with 4 missiles for the same cost as a stock Voidraven before adding any missiles.  Iconically this makes the Razorwing Jetfighter the better Infantry Ground Attack vehicle (particular with the option for swapping the lances for disintegrators and having a nose mounted splinter cannon) while the Voidraven (with it's better lances) is the best best at taking out vehicles.

With anti infantry poison weapons through out the rest of the Dark Eldar army, the Razorwing Jetfighter more of the same of what I already had, while having some of the flier benefits mentioned above.

However having the stronger anti vehicular guns (in most cases 2 Void Lances is comparable to 3 Dark Lances) I didn't feel as bad not taking a Ravager as the 3rd heavy support slot.  Also the Voidraven was clearly the best tool against other flyers which was a concern, particularly if I was not taking allies (to get access to a Crimson Hunter) or a Quad gun.


So in Conclusion



The Voidraven helps with anti air, is very fast allowing it to target distant enemy targets, and it's missiles (for a turn or two) let it turn into a good anti horde unit, and if they pack too close even marines and terminators can find themselves having to make a good number of saves on top of the the two str9 lance shots the Voidraven has as it's main armament. To me it's Ravager+, and well worth the extra 65 points over a 3rd Ravager in my army list.

Mine for one will keep flying :)


What the future holds



Well 7th edition is released in less than 24 hours, and one change that helps the hard Dark Eldar heavy support choice is that all armies can ally with themselves*, so if you aren't using Eldar allies you can take Dark Eldar allies to fit in a 4th heavy support choice.  I'm tempted to have both 3 Ravagers and my Voidraven.


Let me know in the comments below, what your experience has been with the Dark Eldar fliers, and what you think of their anti-air capabilites.

Rathstar


* In 7th edition you can also have as many primary detachments as you want, but I'm sure that this will be restricted in any tournament, as the result can be become pretty ridiculous pretty quick, as the guys at the Sons of Sanguinius blog explain.


Monday, 5 May 2014

10 Games in 10 Weeks & Tau Reinforcements

With those immortals words:

"List is fine.  See you there"

I move into the final preparations for my upcoming tournament in 2 weeks which is the first of 3 over a 10 week period.  Due to a busy work and hectic family life I don't normally get as many 40k games in as I would like so tournaments give me a chance to get in a few games in a short space of time.

These tournaments will be a good for a new heavy support make-up of my Tau army I've been considering and painting towards over the last few months.  Now all the three tournaments I'm attending are comped in simular but different ways, all three have limits on the amount of flyers and flying monstrous creatures (FMCs), which has allowed me to try dropping the Skyray I always put in my force to try out a new unit, which gels well with the Ethereal I use...


Sniper Drone Teams

[My new Sniper Drone Team, with converted Firesight Marksmen]

I think sniper drones are forced out of lists because they compete in the Heavy slot with Broadsides, Skyrays & Hammerheads, however on paper they look quite good.  In my case knowing I couldn't face 4 helldrakes, and in the 1250 games the limit was only 2 flyers or FMCs I thought I could do without the Skyray, with it's skyfiring markerlights and great alpha strike ability with 6 seeker missiles, to have a unit with more consistant firepower over a game (with a nasty, Ethereal boosted, short range punch).

The Sniper drones are T4, 4+ save with BS5 thanks to a Firesight Marksmen.  The Marksmen also carry (BS5) markerlights.  The drones themselves carry 48" range rapid fire sniper rifles.  Being jetpack they can move and fire the Heavy sniper rifles, and get 2 shots at 24" range.  This can be boosted to 3 shots at 24" with the Ethereal's Storm of Fire innvocation as the sniper rifles are Longshot Pulse rifles listed under the Pulse Weapons entry of the wargear.

The Sniper drones form a great protection unit for the Ethereal, being deployed close to the fire warrior infantry but not too close to the front line, plus having Stealth and being troop units which is required to hold objectives helps (previously I used to put the Ethereal with a kroot unit in cover).

On paper the Sniper drones at 24" with the Storm of Fire innvocation should do 4-5 wounds to a Wraithknight, and if you ever wanted a Wraithknight dead in a turn a unit supported by a buff commander with a Puretide Chip to give the unit Monster Hunter would drop a Wraithknight in a turn with ease.


Field Testing


Theory hammer is all well and good, but how have my new Sniper Drones performed for me.  So far I've been able to use them in 3 games.

How I've tried to use the sniper drones is as a safer place for the Ethereal to hide, and as a 3rd layer to my advancing infantry line.  I've finding that if an opponent can take of advantage of my Tau armies, reltively, short range I would use the first two turns moving and running the army to pin the enemy in place.  Markerlights on the crisis suits and use of the Etherreal's Innvocation to run and snap fire allowing a few shots to be ccurate on the advance.

The first layer of the infantry is 2 units of 10 kroot, followed by 2 units of fire warriors.  The ideal goal of the infantry is to advance to rapid fire range, and hopefully get the kroot with 12", the fire warriors within 15" and the sniper drones within 24" while the Ethereal does his Storm of Fire ability to give all the units 2 shots each.  Due to the number of models this has never happened with some models always out of range, but the even with this the firepower can be devastating.

So enough with more theory hammering, what has actually happened in my games:

1st Game (1750 pts) Against Nids: This was the Geekend game.  The Ethereal joined the unit and he was safely tucked in the 2nd floor of a building while the rest of the unit was outside.  A Mawloc popping up killed a few while a biovore scatter also killed some.  However the remaing 6 drones throwing 18 shots into the mawloc scared it, plus the markerlight hits from a remaining marksman and the Ethereal's 2 markerdrones allowed the nearby broadsides to put a few more wounds on the mawloc.  Overwatch fire on the mawloc bought the beast down to 1 wound, so although the mawloc was able to charge and eventually kill the unit the sniper drones showed their potential.

2nd Game (2000 pts) Against Eldar:  With the diagonal deployment, a large LOS blocking terrain piece in the middle of the board, and by reserving some units the Eldar Army.  The first two turns was mainly spent mainly running.  The only initial damage was done by the crisis suit which downed a wave serpent.  Turn 2 a heavy outflanking and reserve force game into play.  They mauled one broadside unt leaving 2 broadsides, and killed a broadside and 4 drones from the other unit.  However the sniper drones (who had been getting poor difficult terrain and run rolls) were left untouched.  The moved 6" to get in half range of a wraithknight that had come in from reserve and tried to one-shot a riptide, and took 4 wounds from it, allowing the riptide with ion accelerator & ripple firing fusion guns to finish it off.  The Ethereal's Storm of Fire also allowed a kroot unit and fire warrior unit to increase their shots against warp spiders and jetbikes killing both units along with the help of another rapid firing kroot unit.  Overall an excellent game for the snipers

3rd Game (1250 pts) Against Dark Eldar:  Another diagonal deployment against a vehiclur heavy army (2 ravagers, 4 venoms in 1250 pts).  A enemy Talos was with 30" of the majority of the sniper drone team on turn 1, so I move 6" forwards, Ethereal popped Strom of Fire and the 9 drones (6 in rapid fire range) got 21 hitting on 2's, wounding on 4's with rending and dropped the Talos in a turn.  Next turn they got lucky and wreaked a venom

So far the Sniper drones have been doing well, and I look forward to seeing how they perform over the 3 upcoming tournaments.

Have you been tempted to try out Sniper drones ?  Have you played with or against them, and what did you think of them ?

Rathstar


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