Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Favorite Unit

So anyway just saw the message from ron over at from the warp... another great blog... so there is a collaborative post afoot! Anyway, the subject is what is your favorite unit and why.

I would have to say that mine is my farseer.

I have long imagined a list with 2 autarchs or even a phoenix lord and no farseer, and what a bleak list is it! Farseers just add so much spice to an otherwise bland game.

A farseer just instantly adds an extra layer of complexity as with the help of a spell or 2 dire avengers can stand up to terminators in cc (5+ rerollable invul) and howling banshees can kill a squad of marine on the charge (doom!!)

The ability to stand back and manipulate the tide of the battle is just something so appealing to me in an HQ that game wise and fluff wise I cannot picture an eldar army without a farseer.

I'm not dead!!

So school has been crazy and now that everything is all settled (lol by late october im just getting settled....) I will be posting hopefully 3 to 6 per month. So anyway I decided to discuss space marines in general in this post. Fritz over at Way of Saim Hann (one of 2 blogs on my followed list i think....) runs a very informative blog about tactics that is bookmarked and checked at least once every hour by yours truly.... seriously if you are into the tactical side of 40k and dont play a power army.... or even if you do play a power army, read it!

Anyway, enough advertisements. So he posted a small rant about space marines that I read and not to take readers away from his blog or anything, but it basically said that space marines should not be specialized armies as they will lose when they run into something more specialized than they are. (ie a gunline will be beaten by tau gunlines, biker lists will be beaten by saim hann etc)

I could not agree with this more. The new trend at my store is to have these themed armies, so we get alot of people coming in with all drop pod armies, all bike armies etc.... and not to trash these guys or anything as they are great modellers, but this just does not work, at least not for the space marine dex.

Everyone is seeing space marines and saying that you can take bikes as troops or termies for dark angels or space wolves and saying that all termie or all bike or all jump packs (blood angels) is the way to go.... repetition and all that.

Reps are good, as it ensures a goal is completed by having many chances, but a big part of this strategy is to have multiple goals that can be completed by the same unit. For instance, if you are a chaos marine player, try giving your plague marines some plasma guns. Why you ask? Well, what is your opponent most likely to send to kill plague marines? (TERMINATORS....cough) or anything with good cc weaps that ignore armor and fnp. So what is the answer to termies or stuff like that.... generally plasma! So now your opponent has to decide if he wants his termie squad to take 3 plasma guns (1 combi 2 reg) to the face in order to kill a plague marine squad. His other option of course is to send a horde that does not care about plasma, but in cc vs hordes plague marines are second to none. So really this squad is basically gonna put a serious dent if not just kill whatever your opponent sends to kill it.

This is just one option of how to diversify a squad for many roles that I use in my army (I have a pure plague army that uses this tactic) but if you are a meq army, consider this next time you build a list. Ideally, each unit should have an answer to hordes, tanks, meqs, termies. So really, for marines, they can stay pretty well vs meqs, so their answer is a fist in combat. They should have mb's which combined with a fist is the answer for vehicles (either rhinos with the fist or LRs with the mb.) The horde answer is the flamer, and well, vs termies it takes a special kind of unit to survive, and meqs are kinda screwed. So used correctly, this unit should never die from 1 turn of cc or shooting.

But how am I supposed to kill anything if nothing is specialized?

Well thats the point. Marines generally are cheap and have great staying power. So even though you can be mobile, it is easy to get your rhinos chopped up and thus they only usually exist for 1 or 2 turns. So really, as a marine player, your goal should not be to take it to your opponent, but really to get to the objective and then force your opponent to kill you, and use your diverse squads to handle anything your opponent throws at you. With this list style, you may not wipe anyone off the board, but even unsupported units should be able to last against your opponent's hammer units.

This tactic however, does not scale up. In larger games, bigger, badder things are needed to keep the opponent at bay, and thus, this pure army does not work as well. At around 2000 I would say that you should have 2 units that really scare your opponent (termies in a LR and sternguard in a drop pod come to mind) so that your troops can survive, and even then its iffy.

However, the final verdict is that in games 1500 pts and lower, this list building tactic is perfect, but when expanding your army if you start off by building this list, save your special weapons because at higher pts you will need those melta guns.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Space Wolves!!!!

So my local store just got a copy of the space wolf codex in, so I gave it a quick read, and here is my opinion on the new rules...

The HQ's are beastly, independant character or not, however I feel that they are all points costly enough to justify it. It is difficult to make an hq of less than 200 points and feel satisfied with his wargear... They also have the ability to take 4 hq's, which is nice at first glance, but really, the more expensive hq's the better, as that means that there are less points for troops and stuff like that. 

The Elites are where all the cool stuff is. The dreadnoughts, "mandatory" wolf guard elite choice, wolf scouts (which are beasts) and my personal favorite, the lone wolf. He the last remanent of a wolf pack wiped out, and thus counts as a 1 man unit. He can have any wargear, is WS 5 and has 2 wounds. In addition, he does not count as a kp. So basically in kp missions he is a freebee!!! So not only is he strong is fluff, but his rules aint bad either.

Troops are basically the same as last edition, except now greyhunters and bloodclaws are each 15 points. The 1+ rule for greyhunters was also removed (obviously)

HS: Long Fangs are basically as they were with the serg able to distribute fire. The Leman Russ is gone, but they now have the redeemer and crusader to replace it. (They also got the basic chapter upgrade package which includes new beastly 3+ storm shields etc...) 

FA: The "wolfriders" (thunderwolves?) are beastly. For 50 pts u get a 2 wound S 5 T 5 calvary space wolf with 4 attacks and rending. 1 man can have a power fist etc... There are also skyclaws (bloodclaws with jump packs) which are the same as before but cheaper. 

Notable differences: Frost weapons can be taken on anyone. Runepriests are now beastly with force weapons that wound demons on 2+ and nullify enemy psychic powers on a 4+. Sagas are nice, as the oaths that one takes with a saga means nothing except bragging rights once the game is over so there really is no drawback. One in particular (of warrior born) is beastly and the most expensive. It allows you to add the number of wounds inflicted (not casualties caused) by the character that assault phase to his number of attacks the next assault phase. Today I saw a lord with 7 attacks on a wolf inflict 6 casualties on a necron unit, then inflist 10 the next turn, then inflict 18 to wipe out 3 squads of crons over 1.5 turns.... whoa.

Final Verdict: They are on the whole very similar, just cheaper. They got the basic chapter upgrade, and the only notable things are the wolfriders and lone wolves. Basically they are regular marines when you shoot at them, which is all my saim hann really care about. If you play a close combat army be wary though because they will most likely eat you alive. Just watch out for those wolfriders, as their charge range is monstrous and they will catch you from up to 24 inches away with a 6 inch fleet. 

Basically, if you are fast and shooty like me, less enemy models = less crowded table = better, so space wolves should be a pleasure to pick apart, but cc builds and stationary shooting armies will have trouble with this army as it is very elite, has fast elements and will rape most armies in cc. Hope this helped!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Revamped Eldar List

Lol just enabled adsense (why not make a few extra bucks to support the hobby of course....) and they decided my site was mostly related to..... solar power?

I was really bored today and not quite motivated enough to paint, so I decided to revamp my saim hann eldar 2000 point list for the competition in the store, as I have to be at the top for my pride's sake. 

Anyway, my new list is as follows:

HQ: Farseer with Fortune Mind War Spirit Stones and Runes of Warding on an Eldar Jetbike 

(HQ) Warlocks of 8 on Eldar Jetbikes with 6 destructors 1 embolden and 1 enhance

HQ: Farseer with Fortune Guide Spirit Stones on an Eldar Jetbike 165 total

T: 6 Eldar Jetbikes with 2 Shuriken Cannons

T: 6 Eldar Jetbikes with 2 Shuriken Cannons  

T: 6 Eldar Jetbikes with 2 Shuriken Cannons

FA: 4 Shining Spears with Exarch with Withdraw

FA: 3 Vypers with Starcannons 210 total

FA: 3 Vypers with Starcannons 210 total

HS: Fire Prism with Holofields 150 total

This comes out to like 1990 or so, which is fine for me, as I tend to play it in 2500 point games as I feel like it is more fluffy for the eldar and then when I play equal points against some of the power gamer/tourney guys, I can whip them (my terrible luck willing).

But anyway this list works with 1 farseer and the council either playing a distraction role in objective games or they will lure people's uber unit to my board edge, pop its transport and let it assault them or just assault the uber unit, then hold it for the shining spears to come on from reserves and kill it. The shining spears usually either have the 2nd farseer with them just to fortune them or if they are playing the role above the second farseer joins a regular squad and this group shields and guides the vypers. Vypers eliminate things like termies and marines that are caught in the open (mostly as a herding unit to keep things in cover and not moving) and the fire prism is also a fear tactic unit to keep things fearful. 

To be honest, this list rarely kills anything, as I am usually so outnumbered it does not matter how much I kill. I tend to actually kill the most with my standard jetbike squads who pop transports very commonly. Obviously in kp games I kill more with longer range things and conserve my forces but in objective missions, usually I devote my council and spear combo to killing the enemy's uber unit, while everything else herds the enemy units so that I can contest with the prism, jetbikes etc last turn. I mean sure, if termies deepstrike and dont move, I will drop a s 9 ap 2 template on them from the prism but most of the time people shoot all their anti tank at that all game and stun it so usually it doesnt do anything but absorb bullets. Meanwhile my vypers have a 4+ cover save so most people actually tend to ignore them because they think they have a better chance of killing the fire prism I put in the open, and I tend to manipulate the 2 squads of vypers so the fortuned squad is closer to the opponent and thus a much more prominent target.

Anyway just thought I would share my list and how I run it, as always c and c is appreciated and encouraged! Also, if any of you run similar lists differently or different lists similarly or just want to discuss your own list in the comments section feel free to post your own list and I will definitely give you some c and c of your own!

Follow Up: The Optimal Game Size

So I discussed with the guys about getting a 1000 point leader board going, and Ansel (who should be posting at some point....) put forth the idea to make the leader board into a campaign. We decided to use planetary empires as our "bigger picture" map.

The problem we ran into is that we only want to paint 1000 points per person of their respective armies. So how do we play a campaign with only 1000 points of models per person? Is it possible? I don't plan to answer these questions in this post, I am literally asking you 40k players who see this post to help me out and try to help come up with a way of playing an entire campaign with just 1000 points of models. 

We were thinking that a planet strike-esque first battle would be cool, with the objective to be for the attacker to destroy things like AA batteries (represented by the d3 + 2 objectives mission), and it would be a 500 point battle, then to have an even battle at 1000 points each where the attacker needs to try to control the city he is attacking and the defender needs to try to wipe out the attacker's presence on his territory (the bases mission) and then a final kill points mission where the defender has whatever survived the last battle (to a minimum of 500 points) and the attacker has a full 1000 point army, and the attacker needs to take at more than half of the enemy kill points. If the attacker completes these 3 missions (at 1 large game turn per mission mind you) then he has successfully taken a city.

We were thinking that we should say that each city has a full 1000 point garrison at all times (so every city can defend) but your "general" (which is not an hq choice on the board but an imaginary figure who controls EVERYTHING) can only be in 1 city at a time, and only when he is in a city can it attack a neighboring city.

We were also thinking that dawn of war-ish rules like the space station (so that if your general is in a city with a space station you can attack any enemy city) would be cool, to add flavor to the game.

Anyway, this is just a start and much c&c is needed! 

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Opinion: The Optimal 40k Game Size

So recently at my club, a few of the "painter" guys (like the golden demon guys who sit at the table all day and never play) carmelo (
and yuri ( come to mind... Well they have been discussing building and painting 1000 point armies, the reason being that they want low model counts to paint but to be able to play games as well. Now I have always been a fan of the 1500-2000 point range, as it gives both players a chance to take enough units to have a balanced and complete army; however, after playing a few 1000 point games with my eldar, I think I might be in love. The reason I HATED 1000 point games is the lack of balance in armies that it forced, however upon playing a few games myself, I found that the lack of balance actually adds to my experience. I find that in 1000 points the army is really limited to compulsory choices and 1-2 "querky" units to do damage. This means that each army really only will have 1 way to hurt you (long range, short range, close combat etc...) And thus each game is far simpler, faster (less models = less time) and always more decisive, as an army will either kill the enemy's killy unit first, which = game over, they will avoid it, which = game over, or they will kill the enemy troops, which = game over. There is no trading units, decoys etc, so the game really is a very conservationist, tactical game, which fits my style completely. My list has 2 jetbike squads, a farseer and warlock retinue on bikes and a squad of vypers (i think) and this is an incredibly mobile, fun to play and versatile force in 1000 points. I think that playing smaller games will be my ultimate cure for the new codexes (spacemarines....cough) that have tons of expensive tricks begging for you to play 2000+ points to take them all. This points limit allows my wimpy eldar codex to shine with our overprices but awesome jetbikes and toned down but cheap tricks like vypers etc... So in conclusion, I think that from now on, 1000 point games may be the way to go for pickup gaming at least. I can't wait until i can see the shock on my opponent's face when I ask them to narrow their 2000 point marine list to 1000... "So if I drop vulkan, the redeemer, 2 iron clads, their drop pods and the 10 man vanguard squad I am at 1052." (Actual Quote) 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Space Hulk

So anyway... first real post, how bout that....
You will never guess what I got in the mail today....thats right, SPACE HULK!!!!!
Well because this is my blog (or at least 1/2 my blog....where is ansel that lazy bugger) I am going to give you my opinion on it because as someone more clever than I said, "opinions are like buttholes, everyone has one." 

So let me describe to you my butthole.... i mean opinion.

Well, the models are fantastic, and I am not going to waste time on that part of the box, as we all know that they are great. What I will say is that the terminators have more blood angels iconography than is healthy so unless you are willing to go through tons of work or you play bloodangels, these models are not worth buying just for 40k. 

Onto the game...
Maybe my opinions were set a bit high by the older guys that I play with who were ALIVE and playing warhammer when the original space hulk was released, but I did not find it to be the golden ball of solid awesome it was supposed to be. My first (and only) 2 experiences were playing with the genestealers once and the space marines once. I must say that as someone who played a fair amount of kill teams and very much enjoyed being the grunts or the kill team itself, I was disappointed in Space Hulk. I just really found no flair in playing as the genestealers, as they require the tactical know how of an inspired 3 year old to claim victory. "Hide round corner, smash marine on sight!" (apparently genestealers talk like cyborg-cavemen....thats what I just imagined when I typed that....its late) However this problem of under-complexity for the genestealers was reversed for space marines, as in my second game, my space marine kill team was quickly and efficiently overwhelmed by the combination of about 5 to 8 genestealers and some mildly inconvenient door placement. Basically after 2 games I found both sides unable to inspire me to want to continue playing, or paint the models for that matter, and as someone who never played the original game, some might say that I am not getting the full experience of spacehulk's 3rd edition release. In response, I say that I am just not biased and that all of your (assuming you are an upset reader who thoroughly enjoyed space hulk and played the original as a child) opinions are just too forgiving.

I was thinking about why I liked kill teams and yet was not fond of space hulk, and I am still quite surprised, given their incredible similarity. My verdict is that I liked kill teams not just because it was a smooth system (which is was) but more because it was everything space hulk tried to be, but less dumbed down. Space hulk at its core is meant to be a strategic expedition into enemy territory, in other words, stealthy. Kill teams represented this well with random grunt movement etc... Even outside of the system being less complex due to less random movement and such, kill teams and space hulk are both low model count games and as a result instead of an army theme to customize a 40k army, they are meant to give the player a chance to really customize his army, give his men backstories and invent his own characters. Space hulk strikes out here as it gives us awesome models that no one (including me) wants to touch to convert and bestow any extra character or uniqueness on. Then the stories and missions are all preset, unlike that of kill teams. So instead of a system that can be applied to many missions, space hulk is just a board game, like monopoly or chess. Relatively un-customizable, or rather equally customizable as painting your chess pieces red to be different.

I suppose that the reason that I didnt like it is that it strove to make each of its games have meaning by giving us cool models and backstory, but gw failed to realize that in the most basic sense, cool models and backstory don't mean half as much to the average hobbyist (me) as an averagely converted model with our own ridiculously silly backstory. Do ya feel me?

Anyway this all really makes me want to get my modestly converted all wulfen 13th company kill team out...

So I think I mapped out my butthole really well for y'all but if I failed to describe anything well I am sure you will be proactive and tell me about it in a polite comment right?

But anyway, CONGRATULATIONS!! You have made it to the end of one of my famous marathon posts.... WOOOO HOOOO now i can go to sleep.....