Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bols, Assault Stuff cntd, Also comments on eldar rumors

Playing Assault.

 I saw someone on BOLS posted up an article about melee in 6th. Made me wonder if the guy had read my post and decided to do his own take on it. If so, Hi guy! I read your stuff too!

If you didn't read it, let me save you time.

Synopsis: Take units that can get across the board, play to the mission if you are seriously outmatched, and oh hey, look at my Chaos-SM tri-land raider list and how great it is.. at 2250 points... a points level no one really uses for competitive large GT's at the moment. Also its a bad list, at 2250 any semi-decent list designer can bring plenty of tools to blow three land raiders and some marine bodies out of the water...

But the article itself wasn't bad.

I really dislike BOLS, and to be more specific, my dislike is caused primarily by the vast majority of people who comment on their posts. I also feel that often the articles leave something to be desired and lack a real clarity of purpose. Its like a love-hate relationship. I browse their website daily because every so often I see something I really like or is insightful or more rarely, inspiring. I end up reading all their posts to make sure I'm not just maligning the site/posters in my head without giving them a fair chance. I usually leave the site vexed or if I read the comments section - mad.

It's really aggravating how many people there are who bitch about competitive 40k game play, and then if you read their other comments, see how they brag about their "good old days", when their wonder-voodoo army of (fill in the blank) used to rape face but totally wasn't OP. It actually becomes funny when you see them brag about how they beat up on their local group of friends. UGH!

It's one thing to be annoyed at an author of a post because he says something I disagree with, or seems to be very self-promoting or lacking any intellectual output. On some level, I actually appreciate that the person put themselves and their thoughts out there. But man, those commenter's are downright vicious to the point of becoming vile. It really make me what dark hole some of them crawled out of.

Sorry, now I am rambling..

So assault armies.

Anyone who read my previous posts knows I play as my standard fare, Orks, Chaos SM, and Chaos Daemons. I may mix it up other times and play other things, but generally that's about it. Lets touch briefly on the state of their "meta" for Orks. Note, I'm aware eldar are coming out in two days and require their own additions to this. I'll post up something new then.


Orks have some real problems atm with Tau, so much so I'm not playing them currently, in particular with a very specific Tau build, which I'll label "Kroot Horde". (if you go to whiskey and 40k you can go see MVB's version of it which he has a name for / components of the army) Imagine facing an army that has almost as many bodies on the board as you do, and can outshoot you, ignoring your cover and armor, plus have a ton of really nice high S low AP shooting to back them up. You might begin to see the problem.

How can orks mitigate this? Tried and true suggestions I've made previously of Battlewagons, but you'd better be damn good at maneuvering and knowing when the right time to charge is if you want to play them.

If you are not facing kroot horde, then your next worst match up will be Fire Warrior Horde. This actually isn't nearly as bad, as they can't put out as many bodies. But, again, without Battlewagons forget about it, you won't make it across alive.

If you are facing anything else for Tau, and followed my previous posts on ork unit reviews, you'll probably be well equipped to handle them.

What about some of the other current builds?

Necrons - Orks still don't have to much of a problem with necrons. While it can be difficult to sweeping advance them due to comparable initiative, they'll be most likely running away from you after every combat. You can mitigate this with PK's and make sure your squads have nobz in them for the slightly higher initiative for sweeping. Meganobz are fantastic vs. the near-existent AP of necrons. Lootas /dakkajets are good at nailing their fliers. You should be ok here.

Dark Angels - No one really talks about dark angels, it's like the codex that got skipped over / lost in the cracks. Bolter Banner ravenwing is actually a horrifically powerful army, provided they are not playing helldrakes. I imagine they'll emerge from the rocks they've been hiding under as the meta shifts away from helldrake spam (though those of you hoping helldrakes are going to disappear, forget about it). Dark angels require you to be cagey. You really need to be careful setting up charges into 24 + shots twin linked. With the MM attack bikes, they'll probably be blowing up your wagons, so you'll have to target prioritize to remove them first if possible. Keeping in mind they can also scout move is big, take an extra moment think about placement during deployment, you don't want them to scout 12, move 12, and then blow up all your wagons turn 1. Due to the points cost of this army, they'll have about 35 to 45 models. You can just dakka the crap out of them and then assault. It'll work.

If they are using tri-land-raider bolter banner, this is actually better for you. Deffrolla them if possible, if not, surround and assault with PK's. You'll lose a lot but they won't have a lot to begin with.

If its drop pod bolter banner, play cagey, dakka then assault.

If its any other build, don't worry so much!

Chaos SM - Most of the effective builds involve either plague marines, spawn, maulerfiends, some beat-face lords w/ black mace or epic axe, or helldrakes.
These matchups will require a bit of finese. Black Mace Lord and the Axe Lord are going to wreck entire squads of boyz by themselves. They'll also wreck your Nobz in challenges. You need to be  careful how you commit. Meganobz are a good answer to the black mace lord, he's unlikely to wound you, and you'll carve him up super fast. However, meganobz will die a horrific death to the axe lord. Axe lords are best handled with lots of dakka or S10 deffrolla hits. If you don't have the opportunity to do either of those, you need to figure out how to up a situation where a full squad of boyz can cheer lead a mega-armored cybork warboss. The boyz will let you re-roll failed saves on the warboss, he'll need 4's to hit you, and 3's to wound you. So you should live, and if any of your attacks make it through, strength double toughness for the win... Not a good answer,  unfortunately. The only other option is to attempt to swarm the squad with enough boyz to shoot / wipe out the spawn on the charge, accept you'll lose a nobz in a challenge (or if you are careful with positioning as per previous articles, you can keep them out of harms way). Then widdle down the axe lord through volume of attacks. If you go this route, make sure at least one squad is going to be fearless at the end of the round so the whole business doesn't get swept.

Most of the time those lords are running around with spawn packs or similar. So they'll be look out siring, like crazy. Thus just charging in a squad of megaboz to an axe lord and some T5 spawn, will only result in some spawn dying, and all of the meganobz getting squished.

Maulerfiends can be removed by normal PK assaults.

Plague marines are a tough match. Just always over-commit to eliminating a target. Don't send / set up shooting with just one boyz squad, do two, or three! Focus on removing entire squads. Don't try and tie them all up, you'll end up losing. Meganobz again, here, are wonderful at eliminating plague marines.

Helldrakes - Try for rear armor shots, or do your best to ignore them by staying in your battlewagons or locked in CC. Dakkajets and lootas might nock them down, just don't count on it.


So if the rumors/ leaked screenshots are true... Wow that new eldar mega-walker / mini-titan is kind of disappointing. Having a 3+ save and no default invuln save, is kind of utter sadface.

Why is this bad?
 That means missile spam will knock it out as readily as a wraithlord, and with its increased size, the probability of it having at least a cover save is really diminished. *edit* Being in area terrain will provide cover, but given that not everyone plays area terrain, or a lot of it, which means it will be diminished cover probability vs. other smaller MC's.

I'm really sad, I wanted it to be at least as much win as the Riptide / dreadknight.

It does look like some of the upgrades provide a 5+ invuln, so that at least is decent. 

Now I will say that it being a JUMP MC, is good. Very very good. It will be fast as it comes across the board at people. I can see the weapons on it have the potential to be really devastating. It will require people dumping firepower into it because its going to be so damn threatening. So it may be worth it for that alone. If it does actually make it into CC too...

I really expect that guy to be a wrathful god in CC, and if played right be devastating there.

Now I've heard GW is play testing their stuff now for balance, so maybe the thing was too OP with a 2+ and thus it got the 3+ for a reason. We'll see.

 I'll probably still buy one regardless for the cool factor.

I really wanted it to be epic /cry

That disappointment aside, I see lots of other things I like. Shurikean weapons getting mini-rending is great. It fits their fluff and means their basic weaponry has some real teeth. The warlock powers - while now random, are overall fairly good. Default power - Shrouded, is hilarious. I'm predicting right now, lots, lots, lots of jetbike armies running around with 3+ armor, 3+ cover.

While we don't know the exact disbursement / points costs of weapons in the codex, looking down the meele / ranged weapon list, I see LOTS of toys I like. There is so much AP2 AP3 on there, it really makes me wonder if GW is trying to get people to stop playing marine armies.

I am saying now that any armies which depend on fortune (looking at you jet-seer), should probably start thinking about other ways to mitigate damage. Yes with two Psykers, you can probably get it, but it's going to really suck those few games you don't.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Assault Army thoughts and Chaos Daemons


Chaos Daemons: Wonky rules, randomization out the ass, and sometimes the models even look downright silly, and probably the most powerful assault codex in the game ATM.

If you love assault armies, you should be looking real hard at Chaos Daemons.

Gunline players, need to know what's the worst case coming at you for charges? Same thing.

So Chaos Daemons have been out a relatively long time now, why mention them? Tau have come out in the meantime and have clear win capability, why still talk about Daemons?

Well anyone who reads this blog knows I love assault. All my armies are based around assault capabilities. Assault is one of the few areas you can evaporate enemy units without allowing them the dignity of even rolling a saving throw (sweeping advance), they mess up peoples carefully laid plans of (shoot the hell out of someone, cross fingers they fail saves), and generally are just fun!

Some things you do need to factor into your assault army.

First Blood - Lots of people take first blood seriously, its often a mission objective. Where I live, NOVA tends to run king, and its not as important, but its still something to be considered. Think of a way to at least TRY for first blood. This may be a token powerful shooty unit, overly resilient assault units that are unlikely to get blown off the table in a turn, or a way to diminish your opponents first round targets of opportunity.

Staying Power - The army needs a high enough toughness to weather a lot of firepower, or enough bodies to soak up casualties and keep at it. This unfortunately is a bit out of your control because your opponent could fluctuate to double blob guard w/ Space marines of some sort, to triple helldrake, to necron air.

Speed - No assault army wins by being slow. Turn 2 assaults are now the name of the game. If you are not assaulting on turn 2, something is wrong and you are in a good chance of losing. If you have slower assault units, give them a speedy transport or make sure you have fast units to tie down opponents until they can make it.

Reduce ability of your opponent to mitigate damage - Start thinking about ways to expand your units to remove armor saves, cause instant death, or lower leadership of your opponent. All of these things help tremendously. When I played my orks, I can't tell you how aggravating it was to have 20 to 30 boyz charge, and only kill a single marine due to epic 3+ saving. The PK helps mitigate it in that case, but its still an issue. Don't rely on your opponent rolling statistical averages, remove that option for them. Take things that ignore armor or inflict quick demise.

All of that applies to shooty armies too, but assault its more important to not get bogged down in assaults. Clear opponents out, remove their effective counter punch for the following round, and move on.

Chaos Daemons do all of these things very well.

The infamous slaneshy build, lots of seekers, daemonnettes, and heralds of slanesh on steeds, all squads take upgraded sarg's with gifts to get AP2 weapons and banners if you wish. Locus's to control challenges + re-roll hits are a must. You won't get first blood but you'll be fast, mitigate your opponents armor saves, and if you deploy / move properly, you'll probably only get hit hard one turn and then be in assault the rest of your time. This list will evaporate quickly though to heavy anti-infantry fire, more so than most, so be VERY careful about your movement and play.

Mosterous Creature Spam -  The list usually involves the keeper of secrets, lord of change, and various daemon princes equipped for flight and fight!  This army satisfies the ability to mitigate damage, generally provides speed, and actually has a potential for first blood with the shooting output it can do. It's real drawback is that it suffers in durability. If you make a few bad rolls or move to the wrong spot, your guys can fall apart and losing them is quite painful.

Khorne flesh hounds and blood crushers are quite viable with the new change. There are a number of people upset about the changes to blood-crushers, but they are still a 3 wound, Ap3, fast moving and throwing lots of attacks model. Expensive perhaps, but if they do get into combat, quite effective. Flesh hounds seem to be the new go to- cheap and with a solid dedicated herald to make them even scarier. Khorne dogs benefit even more with scout, people always seem to forget that if you are going second, you can still assault even if you scouted. Moving 12 up someones flank where their firepower is minimal, combined with other must shoot-at targets, can be very effective.

Nurgle and to more specific, Plague drones are probably the least well represented from the new chaos book for net-lists. On paper these guys don't seem very effective. Expensive and unable to sweeping advance, the plague drone seems to be a bad choice. However in practice, they are extremely effective at killing any S4 or below infantry, with upgrades on the sarg to grant instant death or an Ap2 weapon, they can chop through squads very effectively. At their heart though, I consider them a jack of all trades unit. With shrouded and defensive grenades, they can soak up firepower. Their 4+ poisoned swords  with touch of rust (all 6's cause glances automatically), they effectively have a chance at killing any other unit in the game. If you equip them with venom stings for instant death attacks, you find a good all-rounder.

So lots and lots directions you can go for assault, those aren't even all of the units/ builds, those are just a few i thought of just off the top of my head.

Skull cannons by the way are win. It's a relatively cheap unit that can give you a potential for that first blood. A BS5, S8 gun that ignores cover is pretty nice. I've yet to regret having one in my games thus far.

I'm still exploring to see if soul grinders are worth it. We'll see....

I've been running lots and lots of games lately with just pure chaos daemons to see if i can find something i like. As with most of the next codex's, I find I always feel like I'm coming up shorts to really "take" what I want. I guess that's balance that people keep refering to.

I have yet to decide if I'm going to run Chaos SM w/ daemons, chaos SM w/ tau, or raw daemons for NOVA....

more thoughts to come.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Great RTT at Huzzah Hobbies on May 19th

Greets all,

So I haven't updated my blog at all since last posting about the RTT / NOVA signups to just leave a continuous message about both. Now that the RTT has past, its time to updata-a-rama! Woooo

I would like to announce that Huzzah Hobbies has very nicely decided to host an 40k RTT every Third SUNDAY of each month. Signups are not necessary, but appreciated. So start showing up 40kers!

Huzzah hobbies is a great store, anyone who has not been there should really check it out. They are also trying to start up 40k on Wednesday nights. So show up peoples!

So moving right along, this month's event was won by Kevin Ferrel, playing TAU. No not that crazy skytide list posted by mvb that's probably nigh-unstoppable. Just a more normal regular list.

Our second place was actually tied, so i flipped a coin to decide who got second and who got third. So.. that was that!

Here are some shiny photos!

And tomorrow! Thoughts on my current games.

Monday, May 6, 2013

1850 40k RTT at Huzzah Hobbies May 19th, NOVA Trios Registration!

Hey all,

There will be an RTT using the NOVA Open format at Huzzah Hobbies on May 19th. It's 1850, no forgeworld. I encourage call ahead ( 703) 466-0460 for registration, but it is not necessary, we will be able to host up to 32 players, so please feel encouraged to come out.

 Do keep in mind that this is a RTT Hosted by Huzzah Hobbies and operated by the NOVA Open staff. There will be NOVA Open staff on hand to judge / run the event and we will be following NOVA FAQ's. It's a good opportunity to meet and greet with NOVA staff as well as raise any important issues you think the NOVA should look at.

15 Dollar registration that will entirely be used on prize support and the provided lunch!

Prize support will be split in a

First, second, third place basis, and an additional prize for combined best painted / sportsmanship.

Registration is at 10, and dice start rolling at 10:30 sharp! If you are trying to make it and running late, call the store or text me and let us know.

NOVA open primer missions available here

As a reminder, NOVA Open registration is ongoing! Please go register!!! There is a really good rate at the convention (the Hyatt Regency) Hotel, a crazy and unheard of (for the D.C. area) 85 bucks a night. Go team up with a buddy and rent out a room!

Also I strongly encourage you sign up for my event, the TRIOS! Grab two partners and get to it! The Trios will be in the evening after all the normal 40k GT events conclude. Primer and rules found here.

The Trios works by pairing your team into two separate matches, one is a full 2k wth double FOC vs. another 2k with double FOC; the other is a two vs two of 1k each, but FOC limited as outlined in the primer.

The Trios is always a lot of fun and is good laid back way to play some games with friends, enjoy a few brews, and have plenty of folks around to socialize with and talk about the days victories or tragic defeats.

Troy and Bill's team have won it two years running, see if you have what it takes to unseat the reigning champions!

As a side note, I'm super duper pissed at myself. I mis-read what category of models Plague Drones are, and have been thinking they were cavalry/jump this entire time. Instead they are cavalry/jetpack . I was browsing BOLS the other day and saw it on a post.... Kuddos to you BOLS, I felt like an idiot. I've been cheating myself the additional 2d6 movement every single game. It easily could have made all the difference in the world to winning my games at Adepticon. To try and remind myself of the rule and to read all future rules carefully, I'm publicly castigating myself.

Shame shame, shame shame shame, on me.

Also plague drones are awesomeeeee

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Adepticon 40k GT 2013


As promised earlier, here is a recap of my 40k GT experience.

First let me say that overall the experience at the GT was positive for me. The only hiccup was the super late start without any "real" updates from the Adepticon staff. I understand the delay was to let people who were delayed by the storm to arrive, but they could have announced this in advance so we could have wandered off or slept longer.

My real negative for the event came from the interaction I had with my paint judge for the GT, it really made me mad.

I like to think I have a good looking army, I spent a lot of time painting, basing and making it look nice. Some may disagree but I tend to think its above average to well above average. That said, everyone has pride in their work and I understand this colors it a bit from my perspective.

 But I really can't stand it when I am out and about getting a coffee, and I come back and find a slip on my board notifying me I had been paint judged, when there is ZERO identification of whose army this is, or its theme. I had to ask a variety of people who were sitting around my display board to identify the paint judge who had come through our section, and after finding him, he told me, "some guy" had told him it was my army. That's a super awful way to do things. Sloppy as hell.

I asked him if he didn't mind coming back to look at my army to make sure he had recorded the correct person/army. He came over, shuffled some papers, told me it was correct and started moving on. I asked him if he had noticed the custom objectives, specifically the nurgling doing a keg-stand. He said no, glanced again at my board, told me I had an "average" army, and walked off.

That really really really made me mad. How could judges not even be bothered to examine the army nor notice details in it,  give scores based on the need to do those things. Part of judging should also include talking to the participant to understand their theme or what they were going for. I understand that there is a need to "rush rush" as it were for a one day GT to judge peoples armies, but wtf? seriously? They were keeping us there until midnight, somehow I think there is enough time to examine everyones army for 3-4 minutes in detail, considering there were multiple paint judges and oh I don't know, the over 14 hour event window.

My Army, in all its blurry / bad granularity glory
My army was

Juggy Lord w/ axe, sigil, meltabomb
Bike Nurgle Lord w/ black mace, aura, blight grenades, meltabomb

3x 10 Cultists

1x5 Spawn
1x5 Nurgle spawn
1x1 flamer-dragon

2x1 maulerfiend

Nurgle Herald w/ palequin, lesser gift, greater gift, FnP
5 Plague drones w/ sarg upgrade w/ lesser gift, venom stings( those instant death weapons)
1x1 skull cannon
1x10 plague bearers

Game 1 vs. Hulksmash of They Shall Know Fear
Hulksmash was playing Dark Angels / IG blob. He had two large blob squads w/ autocannon teams, power axes and the like, two dark angels libbies, a lemon russ with lots of plasma, and a bunch of guys in drop pods w/ melta and/or flamers. Also included were two company command squads w/ flamers in two vendettas.

I had first go in this game I think. Either way, I moved all my stuff forward as illustrated to the left. Shot my cannon and killed a few guardsmen.

Hulksmash used his turn 1 round of fire to kill off a bunch of my spawn, a plague drone or two, and my maulerfiend. Turn 2 I assaulted the plague drones w/ juggy lord into the right squad and the maulerfiend + nurgle spawn w/ nurgle lord into the left blob squad. The maulerfiend absorbed overwatch and ended up getting immobilized on the charge.... so he stood there the rest of the game like a dunce. The picture to the left is turn 2 or 3ish I think. The blob squads are being chewed through at a nice pace, the vendettas came in and whiffed vs. my dragon. The back fielding dark angels units are working towards killing my cultists.


 This is Turn 4 or 5. We ran out of time and were unable to play any further turns. As the game stands at this point, Hulksmash and I have traded sides. I've destroyed all the blobs + dark angels guys on his side of the board, and he has removed the cultists from mine with his platoon command squads w/ flamers to capture my objectives for the win.

Game 2 vs. Dark Eldar
Game - The scouring / Emperors will combo.
 This game was vs. a very 5th edish type of dark eldar list. Venoms, lots of boats with poisoned guns, and ravagers with lances. I opted to go first to reduce the turns of firepower coming at me.


 Basically how this game went is my opponents dice failed him utterly. It was really really bad. Couldnt hit, when he hit, he couldn't wound. I'll just leave it there.

Game 3 vs. Tyler
The Relic
Tyler was/is the good buddy / constant sparing partner of Hulksmash apparently. His list was Space Wolves w/ IG allies. Two blob squads w/ autocannons, two rune priests, 5 drop pods with grey hunters w/ banners, meltaguns. A vendetta with a platoon command squad inside, a chimera, and another platoon command squad in reserves.
 I spent a lot of time on deployment worrying about drop pods coming in and wrecking my maulerfiends / skull cannons turn 1 with meltaguns. Apparently I need not to have been worried as I promptly seized the initiative and ran full speed at Tyler. Pictured to the left is the middle of turn 1. Tyler was deciding where to drop his pods off to best stop me.
 This is actually the end of the game to the left. I forgot to take pictures in between. You can see the drop pods in the middle of the table, Tyler dropped a third off in the middle (which exploded, the other two are wrecks in the picture). So Tyler dropped off 40 of his 50 grey hunters into the board middle to nuke me. I killed them all and then killed his two blob squads. The remaining 10 grey hunters landed on my back objective, and the juggy lord turned around to go deal with them (you can see him with some cultists holding my bottom left objective).
So as far as this game goes, much like my game vs. hulksmash, I essentially cleared almost all of my opponents army off the table in this game. Tyler had left two platoon command squads and a vendetta. Unfortunately for me, as you can note, my plaguebearers were much to slow to get to the relic, so Tyler parked his vendetta on top of it so I could not take it, then on the following turn, switched to hover mode and moved a few inches, dropping his PCS out the back to claim the relic. I didn't even foresee this happening, otherwise I would have moved spawn/juggy lord / nurgle lord on bike onto the relic to prevent the vendetta from landing next to it... Stupid me. We didn't have time to start another round or else the plaguebeares + nurgle biker would have assaulted said squad wiping it out.. shame on me!

 Game 3 vs. Thomas
Objectives / KP

So at this point, I was suitably depressed by my game win/loss arc. So I decided I'd go full into my booze and just try silly fun. I played vs. Thomas who has a really epic/cool display board and army.  I set up directly across from him intending to just rampage forward and see how it went. Its worth noting Thomas is part of the crew that I associate with the 11th company area. (Curtis and several others whose names I forget are also part of it) They were around all weekend and boozing it up quite a bit. I appreciated their company a lot!

Apparently Khorne favored me, because the rampaging was good. I moved forward as illustrated...

 Rampage!! Juggy lord does what he does best. Nurgle lord went into coteaz and company for some win. The Juggy lord had such a good time, he just had to turn into a Daemon prince, then get shot in the face and die. At least he's immortal now or whatever right?
 Some deep striking strike squads needed to be dealt with. Skull cannon + cultists + the dragon were up to the task.
This is Thomas's army and display board.

This army won best painted

Andrew Gonyos Display board / army