Sunday, 11 October 2015

Beasts & Bodyguards Part Four - What I think of Lhamaeans [Dark Eldar]

Interesting for the fourth part in this series we touch on one of the most used in a lot if competitive lists  out of the model being reviewed.  The reason being that she is the cheapest HQ model available to the Dark Eldar, however I believe she deserves a further look.

So Why Do People Take Her

[a familiar start to competitive Dark Eldar lists]

To put it bluntly none of our character HQs are that great, they are fine for friendly games and semi-competitive tournaments, but if you are trying to squeeze every last drop out of a Dark Eldar list in order to compete with the top lists (eg. Eldar, Necrons & Space Marines) then you'd rather have a 10 points HQ (that also gives access to another Venom) and spend the saved points on other units.

An alternative view I have to point out, is that if you are going for a competitive dark eldar list is to leave out combat entirely (or maybe have one counter assault) to concentrate on shooting is a common held view, and not one that I'm going to argue against too strongly.  However if you like a bit of combat in your list, lets take a look at the Lhamaean.

A Closer Look

A Lhamaean costs the same as a Wych and is basically a Kabalite Warrior with better leadership (ld9) and the splinter rifle exchanged for a sword and a splinter pistol (and this is how I converted mine rather than usual mulitples of the, although excellent, finecast model).  However it's the sword (or Shaimeshi blade) that is the real game changer. The Shaimeshi blade is a Poisoned (2+) weapon that causes Instant Death on a 6 to wound roll.  Although the opponent will still get their armour save the 2+ poison will ensure that a fair number of wounds are caused, and the occasional Instant Death wound that could get through will scare Monstrous Creatures (I've killed both a Wraithlord and a Wraithknight, under the last Eldar codex, with that).

The Lhamaean is obviously very fragile, like most Dark Eldar units, with only T3, a 5+ armour save, and later in the game Feel No Pain from the Power from Pain table, so the damage output has to be good to make up for that, so lets take a look.  Can the Lhamaean take on the giants already reviewed and the go-to assault unit; the Grotesque:

[ON = Outnumbered, +1S = The +1 Str Combat Drug result]
Warp Beast = Krymerae, the old school in me slipped out :)

The above table looks at the damage done on the charge against marines (MEQ) and Imperial Guardsmen (GEQ), and compares the ratio between the points killed and the points cost of the unit doing it.

Now an obvious caveat.  This analysis should not be taken in a vaccum, to decide whether you use a unit you also need to consider:

  • It's speed; both will it strike first in combat and is it fast enough to get to combat
  • How tough the unit is, will it die before it gets to combat, how will it deal with return attacks
  • Is it reliable at charging, does it ignore the cover penalty distance, does it have fleet
  • How brave is it, will it run at the first sign of damage (leadership) and can this be mitigated cheaply
  • Are the numbers reliable, they may be averages but how likely is an average result likely, does it rely on a good number of wounds being caused, does it ignore armour saves (reducing unreliability), does it rely on rolling 6s (eg, rending, which can be very unreliable against opponents with good armour saves - I'm looking at you Necron Wraiths !!)
So now gets back to the numbers.  Right of the bat the Grotesque when it's outnumbered will kill 41% of it's cost on the turn it charges, a very good total, and dwarfing the pitful 23% of a wych if it rolls an inconsequential combat drug result.  However look at the Lhamaean, it kills an impressive 58% of it's points cost in marines on the charge.  It may only kill on average 0.4 marines per Lhamaean but because it only cost 10 points this leads to a very good ratio percentage.

Maybe it's just because the Lhamaean is cheap, but comparing against the Warp beast & Wych with a +1 Str combat drug the Lhamaean still comes up on top.  Looking against GEQ and the Lhamaean and Warp Beast are clear winners.

Can we take this further ?

Although the Lhamaean wins on pure damage dealt it is still very fragile compared to the big hitters of the Grotesque, Sslyth and Clawed Fiend, however lets join two units that cover each other weaknesses.  The Court can be made up of Lhamaeans and Sslyths.  Between them they will have majority toughness 5, the Lhamaeans give the unit good leadership 9 (so they don't require a character to babysit them), and they use up 2 slots in a transport (same as a Grotesque), plus between them they have the same number of wounds as Grotesques and Clawed Fiends.  Overall a nice combined package.  And for those numerically minded, here's there combined stats:

The combined stats are comparable to Grotesques on the charge, has the same majority toughness, most of the wounds start with Feel No Pain, and the rest gain it by mid game.  Advantages compared to Grotesques include better leadership and no need for a babysitter, fleet to make charges more reliable, some shooting to give them some flexibility, and lastly opponents have rarely seen a Court of the Archon with more than a single Lhamaean or a few Medusae, let alone played against one.  Don't underestimate how an opponent's unfamiliarity with a unit can mess with their target priority, force them into making hard decisions and they are more likely to make mistakes.

So for me, we have a...
My top pick for a combat unit is a Court made up of Lhamaeans and Sslyths, however all of the units in the stats table above (apart from Wyches) are good, and all have niches where they are the best unit for the job at hand.  Therefore rather than having multiple Courts I have a unit of each; Grotesques, Krymerae & Clawed Fiends.

Were you expecting this conclusion ?  Have you used Lhamaeans, how did you find them ?  Has this series been useful so far ?


Next up I'll be discussing adding a touch of light.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Supremacy Armour Battlesuit Fusion Eradicator is available [Tau]

Just a quick post to say that the latest Forgeworld newsletter (here) gives the wonderful news that the Fusion Eradicator, the alternative arm weapon for the KX139 Ta’unar Supremacy Armour Battlesuit (reviewed here) is available to buy (link here).

Although it has much shorter range (24") compared to the suits other main weapons, it packs a nasty punch of the equivilant of 5 Multi-melta shots.  Also 24" isn't that short when you consider the suit can move 12" a turn.  Yes killing heavy tanks will force the suit to get very close (12") to get the melta effect on the weapon, however the volume of low ap shots makes it's worth considering putting the Fusion Eradicator on at least one arm of the battlesuit.

The Fusion Eradicator biggest pull is that it helps answer one of the biggest issues for Tau armies, ie. very heavy armour, such as Imperial Knights, and AV14 vehicles.

With the arms costing £30 for those of you with deep wallets you could just order 2 extra arms so you have all the options.  For those of you, like me, who don't I'm not sure whether it would be best to specialise the battlesuit and just have the Fusion Eradicator on both arms, or (owing to GW changing rules over time) to have one of each arms to keep the battlesuit flexible, and limit the amount GW could nerf the battlesuit in any future rule (or meta) changes.  What would you do ?

In the end, for me this gorgeous model, is just the target of window shopping, as with such a high price tag, I can't allow myself to buy it over the other hobby things I could buy and the models I need to paint.

Existng models I'd like to paint up are:
XV84 Command Crisis Suit
some Fusion XV9s
one more Pihranha to join my squadron of 2

and I undoubtedly will be getting in the new release:

Plus I'll probably be having to do weapon swaps; eg. I'm guessing I may have to paint up 6 heavy rail rifles sitting in their original boxes.

So for me getting a KX139 Ta’unar Supremacy is a long way off.


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

XV95 Ghostkeel Battlesuit Rules & First Impressions [Tau]

This is the one I was waiting for !  The rules for the XV95 Ghostkeel Battlesuit has been leaked from pages of next weeks White Dwarf magazine.

The pictures come courtesy of Lady Atia on the War of Sigmar blog.  Here the pages of White Dwarf:

[Click on the pictures and zoom in to read all the detail]

Toughness & Survivability

As rumoured the Ghostkeel is only T5, with 4 wounds with a 3+ armour save, however the Ghostkeel costs barely over a third of the cost of the Stormsurge, and comes complete with 2 Stealth drones, and it's with these drones that the magic starts.  The Ghostkeel comes with Stealth, and if the Ghostkeel is attacked from over 12" away the cover save benefit from Stealth and/or Shrounded is doubled (up to a 2+ cover save).  The drones then give the all models in the unit (including themselves) Stealth, and if a model has Stealth (ie. the Ghostkeel) they instead give the model Shrouded.

However lets look at the exact wording:

"All models ... receive the Stealth special rule.  Any models that already have Stealth receive the Shrouded special rule instead"

now I believe the sentence means that the Ghostkeel receives the Shrouded special rule instead of receiving the Stealth special rule, because the sentence is taking about what rule is being received.  However I can see some people arguing that the sentence means that the Ghostkeel receives the Shrouded special rule and loses the Stealth special rule.

My interpretation means that with the drones the Ghostkeel receives a 2+ cover save in the open (Stealth + Shrouded, both doubled), however let me know your thoughts in the comments.  Even if Stealth is lost the Ghostkeel will have a 3+ cover save in the open, or a 2+ cover save if behind or in any cover or if there are any intervening units.

It's important to note that while the Ghostkeel will have a 2+ cover save in the open (my interpretation) the drones themselves will only have a 6+ cover save, as they only have Stealth, and only the Ghostkeel has the wargear to grant the double cover save bonus.  Therefore careful positioning will be required to ensure the drones are sniped out from an odd angel you weren't expecting.

Update: I obviously forgot that only one model in a unit has to have the Stealth and/or Shrouded rule for the whole unit to benefit, so regardless of the interpretation the whole unit will get Stealth and Shrouded.  It also means that the drones will receive a 4+ cover save in the open, and any type of cover will bump that up to a 2+ cover save, making them much more survivable.

With the cover save bonus the Ghostkeel is quite survivable, once the enemy does not have ignore cover and the Ghostkeel stays more than 12" away from the enemy to get the double cover save bonus.  In that scenario the Ghostkeel is very good for it's 130 points.


The Ghostkeel comes as standard with a Fusion Collider, which is a blast fusion gun.  Nice but short ranged, and the Ghostkeel has to get very close (9") to get the melta effect.  The Fusion Collider can be swapped for a Cyclic Ion Raker which has a slightly longer range of 24" (and gets the full effect at maximum range unlike the Fusion Collider) and fires 6 Str7 AP4 shots, or can be overcharged (which makes it Gets Hot) to have a Str8 AP4 Large Blast.

Nothing spectacular, but I think the Ghostkeel is more of a harassing unit like Stealth suits.

The main gun is complimented by a twin-linked flamer, but personally I would immediately upgrade that to a twin-linked fusion blaster if keeping the Fusion Collider as the main gun, or upgrading to a twin-linked burst cannon if using the Cyclic Ion Raker.

So the firepower is short ranged, but it's nice you can make both the main gun and the secondary gun compliment each other, for a total of 10 anti infantry shots or a twin-linked and blast anti tank (or heavy infantry) shots.

The Last Laugh

The last piece of trickery (Holophoton Countermeasures) is that once a game, after a unit has chosen to target the Ghostkeel or it's unit, the Ghostkeel can choose to make that enemy unit fire only snapshots that turn.  That could be very nasty for Wraithguard with D-Scythes because suddenly they wouldn't be able to fire the D-Scythes, but against normal weapons it will still severely limit the damage the Ghostkeel takes.

Typically with GW it mixes up unit and model in the rules for this ability, so it will have to be seen whether when you have multiple Ghostkeels in a unit you can do this ability once for each Ghostkeel.  However either way this is a very nice ability that will probably allow the Ghostkeel to survive another turn at a critical point in the game.


The points cost is very reasonable (135 for the Cyclic Ion Raker & Burst Cannon variant, 140 for the Fusion Collider with Fusion gun variant).  The harasssment value with the cover saves ability is nice, but the firepower is nothing to write home about, but if it's hard to kill it should be around longer.

It's a stunning model, and while I think the unit isn't outstanding, it definitely isn't bad, it's just not an auto-take, well unless other units get nerfs, eg, Riptides & Crisis Suits, in the new codex.  It's Holophoton Countermeasures make this a good suit to try and get Fusion weaponry in close to the enemy and survive for a second round.  However we'll have to wait for the codex to see if there's longer ranged options to taking out heavy tanks from range.  We already have the Stormsurge, but that is expensive, hopefully Hammerheads or Broadsides will have better tank killing than before.

Interesting at 135 points (for the Fusion variant) the Ghostkeel is the same points as Shadowsun is now, and I think Shadowsun giving a large crisis suit unit with drones Stealth and Shrouded is a valid alternative.  Or maybe as they're both great models, you could use both and have 2-3 Ghostkeels (with accompanying 2 Stealth drones each) as one Stealthed up unit, and Shadowsun with a unit of Crisis suits as another.  You could even round out the elites with a unit of Stealth Suits.

So what's your opinion on the new rules for the Ghostkeel ?  I think the model will sell well, as it's a great model and it's much easier to put 130-140 points into an army without major rewrites.  Will you be buying one ?


PS. Only roughly a week to go before I guess codex page pictures will start leaking, can't wait :)

Friday, 2 October 2015

The Tomb Reawakens [Necron]

Yes it's all happening for my 40k armies at the same time, and my Necrons have resurfaced.

With increasing family requests on my time, and realising that I have way too many 40k armies and mini projects that I am never going to get round to, the Necrons were on the edge between becoming one of my main armies or being destined for ebay.

With their new codex they were undeniably a strong force in 40k now, but to stay as one of my main armies they had to be able to be played in a playstyle that I like.  My favourite is my Dark Eldar, I also like my Wolves who rush accross the board to get in close combat, while even my Tau is based around moving the infantry forwards to get them in range for the Ethereal to do his Storm of Fire ability.  So basically gun lines are not for me, and I like mobile armies.

Looking at the units which are fast in the Necron army, Destroyers stood out as having a pretty good buff; they went from 1 wound models back to 2 wound models, which I think is one of the biggest buffs in the codex, and that's before you put them in the Destroyer Cult to give them (effectively) Monster Hunter and Tank Hunter in the shooting phase.

Luckily my army had quite a few destroyers, a unit of heavy destroyers, and a second unit if heavy destroyers that needed to be repainted to my paint scheme.  So first game repairs:

 Not surprisingly with years in storage, even in good cases, there were a few repairs.  unfortunately the last destroyer (at the front) had lost the arm connecting the torso to the weapon, but luckily this last model wasn't needed for my first provision army list).

So to start the core of my mobile Necron force below is the Destroyer Cult:
[extra flying bases have since been obtained]
After my first couple of games I decided to lose the Heavy Destroyers in the small Destroyer units for normal Destroyers to keep the unit focused on one range, maybe it was just the Tau commander in me wanting standard weapons across the unit.

Early Test Games

I've had a few games down my local GW with my Necron force.  At 1200 points I've just used the Destroyer Cult along with an Canoptek Harvest, which makes a very small 30 model force.  Currently at this points level I am running:

Canoptek Harvest (430 pts)
1 Canoptek Spyder
7 Canoptek Scarabs
6 Canoptek Wraiths

Destroyer Cult (770 pts)
Destroyer Lord (Voidreaper) - Warlord
6 Destroyers
3 Destroyers
3 Destroyers
3 Heavy Destroyers

The list has nice mobility, and against the right targets (in one game I played a Raven Guard assault marine force) it can be devastating to MEQs (once they come out of cover).  However I need to see it against horde and mech forces.

Expanding the force I just add a Combined Arms Detachment, and even without the 4+ reanimation protocol of the Decurion Deatchment it has performed well, and more importantly the speed of the force has been nice to play with.

[GW's Reclaimation Legion Boxset]

A Quick Note on the Decurion

I've been avoiding the Decurian Detachment, as the main elements are slow foot troopers (you need at least 25 infantry models), and I can't have anymore of a model I really like (but more on that later).

The decurian core detachment gives a slow very resilient force, which I'm not sure I would enjoy playing, maybe sometimes, but definitely not all the time.  At 479 pts for a minimum Decurion Core detachment when I only normally 1500 or 1750 points, it's a bit much in models I don't really like (or to form the core of my army).  I don't mind a cheap Lord and 2 Warrior Squads (at the much cheaper 310 points) which allows me to spend more points on the models I like.

So expect a few more posts in the future on how I'm finding the Necrons.  The biggest advantage they have over my other armies is that the full 1750 point army fits easily into one standard KR case because I'm not using any vehicles (so are easier to carry nto work).  My case even contains 20 Immortals & 9 Lychguard I haven't used yet, and 10 Flayed Ones that have only had one game,

So how are you finding the Necrons, and have you seen many non-Decurion armies ?  Have you seen any unusual army builds ?


Monday, 28 September 2015

KV128 Stormsurge - Rules & First Impressions - Updated 29/9 with clearer pics

This is about the time that White Dwarf leaks start appearing and bang on time the rules for the KV128 Stormsurge has been leaked.  Here are links to the original file and Faeit212 where I first saw it reported.

Now to set my bias out first, out of the 2 new Tau suits the Stealth Suit (below) caught my eye more.  So with a tight budget, the Stormsurge is the one that would have to impress me with the rules to get me to part with my money straight on release day.

First off it's a Lord of War Gargantuan creature, so it's doesn't take away any slots for Broadsides, Skyrays, Crisis Suits or Riptides.  It also has the increased mobility of being able to move 12" in the movement phase.  So a very good start.  Coming in at 360 points it's twice the current cost of a riptide, so direct comparisons should be made against Riptide (with an Ion Accelerator, costing 185 pts), and the Wraithknight, which is 65 points cheaper base (however I think a fair cost for the Wraithknight would be about 360-380 points).

Update 29th Sept: New clearer pics of a French version of WD has been found here


Defensively the Stats are similar to a Riptide.  It has the same stats as a Riptide apart from 2 key areas:

  • It's got a 3+ save rather than a 2+ save, which although making it less susceptible to Grav weapons (which will still be very nasty to it) it puts in a place where you could try to torrent the model down.
  • It doesn't have an invulnerable save, although it does have access to Support Systems, so hopefully it will be able to purchase a Shield Generator.  However as it is still slightly tougher in the secondary save arena compared to a Riptide because the Riptide can use it's 5++ invulnerable save instead of it's armour save, while the Stormsurge can use Feel No Pain in addition to it's armour save.
  • The Stormsurge has 8 wounds against the Riptide's 5
I think the 3+ armour save is a big issue, with many weapons being able to get rid it, such as Missile Launchers.  However most weapons that will kill both the Riptide and Stormsurge quickly will be AP2 (eg, Lascannons, Plasma guns, meltaguns, Grav) it may not make much difference in some games, however in others such as against my current Tau list, with MissileSides and Skyrays the lack of a 2+ save will really hurt the Stormsurge.

If, and it's still an if at this moment, the Stormsurge can get a invulnerable save from the Support Systems, then it's survivability goes way up, having effectively 3 saves, and being able to use 2 of them to avoid damage.

Overall the toughness of the Stormsurge goes not warrant it being twice the cost of a Riptide, so lets see if it's offensive output is enough to warrant the price tag.


So how good are these weapons systems, lets leave the main gun to last and look at the other weapons.

As what looks like a defensive option it comes with a twin-linked flamer, however this can be upgraded to a twin-linked Burst Cannon for a few points.  On top the large missile battery there is a twin-linked Smart Missile System. The big disappointment is the large missile racks, which are only 4D6 shots at the strength and ap of a pulse rifle.  Although there is the potential for 24 shots, because you're rolling 4D6, rather than D6x4 for example, you are very unlikely to get anywhere close to 24 shots, and are very likely to roll near the average 14 shots (you should only get 24 shots once every 1296 times it fires, but it that time you are likely to have also rolled 4 shots as well).  Fire Warrior shots are not exceptional, I use Fire Warriors because they are troops and at 15" with the Ethereal's Storm of Fire ability they get 3 shots each.  Probably the nicest secondary weapon is 4 Destroyer missiles which are one shot Str8 AP1 with a nice long range.

So far the firepower is very mediocre.  So lets more on to the main event; the main gun:

The Stormsurge comes as standard with a Pulse Blast Cannon, which is an odd weapon that is growing on me as I write this overview.  It's a short ranged weapon with a maximum range of 30" which is very short by Tau standards, however I've dealt with the 36" range on my broadsides, so we'll see.  This weapon has a different profile depending on the range the target is, going from Str9, AP3, Heavy 2, Large Blast at 20-30" to Str10, AP1, Heavy 2, Blast at 10-20", and within 10" it changes to Str D, AP2, Heavy 2.  These are very short ranges, but with the 12" mobility of the Stormsurge I think this can still work, when you combine it with Ignore Cover from markerlights, and it's Saving Grace (see below) it could be very nasty moving forwards 12" and them dominating the midfield with firepower.

Update 29th Sept: The clearer pics here show that the Pulse Burst Cannon is not as good as I first thought, it's second profile is AP3, and the last profile is only AP5, which is not as destructive as I thought.  The biggest thing is that it only reliable kills marines at the 10-20" range, and then it's only 2 small blasts.  This puts the nail in the coffin for this model for me, unless the Support Systems in the new codex radically changes something

The alternative to the Pulse Blast Cannon (for the extra cost equivalent to a Sniper Drone) is the much more straight forward weapon, with a great 72" range, and packs a nice punch with Str10, Ap2, Large Blast, Ordnance.

The two weapons dictate the two ways to use the Stormsurge effectively.  Either have it sit back and fire round after round of single large blasts, or move forwards and be more aggressive and dominate the mid field with all it's weapons in range of enemies closing in on the centre of the board.

Both weapons are nice, but don't quite do it for me, but don't worry there is...

The Saving Grace

You thought that was just a stabalising point just behind the leg, no that it what will make the Stormsurge worth it's points.

After moving, at the start of the shooting phase the Stormsurge can choose to deploy the stabalising leg, if it does it can not move for any reason and loses it Gargantuan creature Stormps, however from the next shooting phase it can fire Twice a turn.  Obviously easier to use with the long range main gun, but the devastation from 4 shots a turn with the Pulse Blast Cannon, imagine a target thats is just within 18" with part of the unit  over 20" away, that's been targeted by 4 markerlights to get +2 BS and Ignore Cover (if that doesn't change in the new codex).  It will face 4 Large Blasts Str9 AP3, and on average 44 Str5 shots (assuming the flamers have been upgraded to burst cannons)..

Best yet it is very quick to release the stabilising clamps.  It can do it at the start of any movement phase, so there is no disadvantage of always extending the clamps in any shooting phase, because if you need to move next turn you just release them at the start of the movement phase, or if all is well stay still and fire double shots.


My overall assessment is that this is an expensive model, and it is devastating sitting back with the stabilising clamps down.  However I think to really make the best use of all of it's weapons I would use the shorter ranged Pulse Blast Cannon.  You may not have the best targets (sometimes none) for the main gun on turn one, but a 12" move should put you in a good position for turn 2.  This allows you to threaten/capture objectives and also make use of stomps in the right situation.

Three factors stop me from purchasing this model straight away. One is that very expensive, if it can purchase an invulverable save from the Support Systems it's going to be close to 400 points, which is huge for something that could die in a turn to D-Scythes, multiple Grav weapons etc.

My second reason is that it may not be able to get a invunverable save.  We'll have to wait for nearly 3 weeks now for the codex (or probably two and a bit weeks before reliable rumours surface).

Finally my last reason is that it's going to need support from markerlights.  If they change in the new codex this model will suffer, because with that amount of firepower you really want ignore cover and a +1 or +2 BS to make the secondary weapons count.

I'm going to wait before getting this model, but I know it will sell like hotcakes, and I can see that the firepower with the stabilising clamps down can offset it's medicore toughness for it's points cost.  Even with an invulnerable save I think 2 units of MissileSides and a Sniper Drone team boosted with the 3 shot power of the Ethereal (ok it'll be hard getting the Sniper Drones to be within 24", but if they are) should do the following wounds:
Broadside Unit 1 HYMP:  1.3
Broadside Unit 1 SMS:  0.7
Broadside Unit 1 Drones:  0.6
Broadside Unit 2 HYMP:  1.3
Broadside Unit 2 HYMP:  0.7
Broadside Unit 1 Drones:  0.6
Sniper Drones: 2.5 (assuming no rends to make the maths easier, when they should be about 3 rends)
I make that 7.7 wounds, if the Sniper went first and the broadsides used their markerlight hits it would push the wounds past 8 to kill the Stormsurge in a turn.  However that it 708 points firing at one model that's less than 400 points.

Time will tell, but I expect we see lots of Stormsurges on the battlefield.  If you have a big wallet, a decision may be swap a Stormsurge and a Riptide to get the forgeworld KX139 Ta’unar Supremacy Armour (reviewed here)

What's you thoughts on the new model, will you be buying it on release ?  Does it allow Tau to complete with Wraithknights and Decurions ?  Can it survive the usual deathstar killers, Grav and D-weapons ?

As potential opponents of the Stormsurge, how will you plan to take it out ?

Next week I'm sure the rules will be leaked for the XV95 Ghostkeel, and I can't wait to see if it can compare in effectiveness, and personally I think it's a really nice model.  With a much lower points cost it shouldn't require the complete rewriting of an army list like trying to fit the Stormsurge in will.


PS. Now back to converting, below is the first work in progress pic, can you guess what it will be ?  There's a pretty big giveaway :)

Friday, 18 September 2015

TAU KX139 TA'UNAR SUPREMACY ARMOUR - and now we have rules :)

Yes, not only is this gorgeous model, the KX139 Ta’unar Supremacy Armour, now on sale, from the Forgeworld website for £250 (click here if you have a deep wallet), but the same page also has the official rules for download, which don't say they are experimental.  Click here to download them.

Checking in at a hefty 600 points, to me that seems like a reasonable amount for something so tough with so much firepower.  With T9, 2+ Save, Gargantuan Creature Feel No pain, a 5++ Invunverable save (4++ from shooting), and to top it off 10 wounds it is very tough.

When it comes to firepower it again does not disappoint.  The Pulse ordnance multi-driver (the big rail-gun looking weapons on the shoulder) has two firing modes, either a 7" D-weapon blast, or a slightly weaker 3 circle Apocalyptic Barrage that ignores cover that will clear out swaths of anything that's not in 2+ armour.  The triple barreled ion cannons fire the same as an ion cannon but with 6 shots, however instead of a large blast option it can opt to concentrate the beam and fire 3 shots Str9 Ap2 per weapon.  Each Tri-axis Ion Cannon can be switched out for a Fusion Eradicator which fires 5 fusion gun shots with slightly better range than a fusion gun.

And yet that's not all the firepower, there's still the smart missiles and burst cannons which add another 16 str5 shots, and can even be fired in overwatch at BS2.


I think the base loadout with the Tri-axis Ion Cannon is best.  The Fusion eradicator are nice, but getting them within 12" to get the melta effect is much closer than this suit wants to get to other super heavies which will probably have D close combat weapons (or at least just be better in close combat),

This leaves the  KX139 Ta’unar Supremacy Armour surprising not that good at taking out other super heavy walkers given that it only has a single 1 shot D weapon, against everything else it's firepower seems ungodly bringing a nice mix of ap2 and ap3 with the two firing modes of it's 3 main weapons, and even a little extra to help thin out hordes.

Oddly enough I think this suit needs support against other super heavies.  Some Tetras for markerlights and homing beacons followed by deepstriking fusion armed crisis suits should be enough.

Also don't forget that although it only has 2 attacks in close combat it still hits at str9 ap2, and there is always stomps which could do much more damage.

So Would I Buy It

If money was no object I would have already bought the KX139, however like most people I have a lot of commitments that come before models.

With the Tau codex being released next month, I'm already looking at buying the Codex, Tactical Cards, the big Stormsurge big suit and the only midly smaller Ghostkneel Stealth suit, so for the moment I can't afford to, but as soon as I have the new codex suits painted up this is something I'd like to buy.

Would I Use It In Games

I think the suit would be great in big games, say 2500, and although you can use it as low as a 1000 point game I think it would unbalance the game and lead to less fun games.  I know GW are pushing us to use anything we want, but for anything less than a 2000 points game (or a 1750 point game where someone wanted to test their army against an expensive Lord of War) I would leave it out.

The Ta’unar Supremacy Armour is after all the cost of 3 Riptides,which is quite expensive, but to me it's nearly as tough as 3 Riptides and I would say puts out the more firepower than 3 Riptides.  So it's definitely worthwhile using it, but it's not going to make your army an auto win.  If you minimise on other expensive units and build around it to have a decent army it should do well for you.

Obviously I couldn't help pointing out a list using the units I have and here's a 2000 point list I quickly made up:

Ethereal with 2 Marker Drones - 74
10 Fire Warriors - 90
10 Fire Warriors - 90
10 Kroot - 60
10 Kroot - 60
2 Tetras - 70
2 Tetras - 70
Sniper Team (2 Marksmen, 9 Drones) - 161
KX139 Ta’unar Supremacy Armour - 600
Firebase Support Cadre (taken for Tank Hunter)
Riptide with Ion Cannon & Early Warning System - 190
3 Broadsides (Missiles) with 6 Missile Drones - 267
3 Broadsides (Missiles) with 6 Missile Drones - 267

Total: 1999 points

It's still a bit weak against a Knight army (with the 52 infantry models being almost useless against the Knights), and an Imperial Guard mech heavy lists would also cause problems, but the list should do fine against most opponents, and hopefully be fun to play with and against too.

Paying By Installments

Lastly you can buy the KX139 Ta’unar Supremacy Armour is parts, you can get the main body for £130, the top gun (pulse ordnance multi-driver) for £60, and each of the tri-axis ion cannon for £30 each.  Coming to a total of £250 meaning you say nothing if you buy them as a bundle.

I may use this option myself, after buying the GW stuff in Oct, I would buy the body in Nov, and ask for the weapons for xmas pressies.

Closing Thoughts

It's going to be an expensive end to the year

Let me know your thoughts on the Ta’unar Supremacy Armour ?  Worth it's points, do the rules and background fit the Tau fluff ?  Will you be buying one ?


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

[Updated] New Tau Suits (and Fire Warriors), when you have to have biggest gun in the room !

Well I think the picture speaks for itself. Tau will be out very soon.

I only just saw this pic with a note about Fire Warriors being redone. I'm going to dig around for more info, and will update this post when I find out more.

[Update] Well there is more information, the original source of the pics is:

and there are further pics, below are a few showcasing the new Stealth Command Suit (which looks to be between the size of a command suit and a riptide) as well as the new fire warriors.  What looks like new crisis suits can be seen in close up pictures of the Visions front and back cover; they seem very simular but appear to have a seperate groin and torso allowing more dynamic posing.

The fire warriors look simular, basically slightly different helmets and moe poses.  However it's interesting that they all have pulse carbines, could this mean the rules for pulse carbines have improved to make them challenge the mighty pulse rifle.  I bet the pulse carbine armed fire warriors will come with EMP grenades as standard for free (pure conjecture here).  An improvement for pulse carbines could make gundrones and pirahas (which come with 2 free drones) very good, because they offset the pulse carbines lack of range with better mobility.

We only have to wait just over a month to get the codex and see for ourselves :)


Now how do I make room in my already very large and heavy Tau case for two extra suits :)


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