Friday, March 26, 2010

Angels Playtest

So last night I tried to deck it out with Andy's guard and got wiped. Not completely wiped, but pretty substantially I would say in the end. I think I could play it differently, but I think I see a flaw in the list.

The problem I believe is that while I do fairly well against a unit that wishes to close, I have a hard time fighting off a army that can out-shoot me. Andy's army definitely did that. I think if I had that mission to play again, I would play it completely differently. I think I need to make a few tweeks, and reconsider how I fight against that army.

Also, as a side note, due to some economic considerations, I will be moving (back) to Hattiesburg during the next month, and eventually back into the house I own in June. I will still be attending tournaments etc... but I for those of you that live near the Hub city.... Let's Get Ready To Ruuuuumble!!!!

Haha, seriously... I'll be building a table in my home later in the year and hope to get some games in with Don and Russ. Love those guys. (rematch against your damn orks!)

What this does mean is that for the future you probably will not see that many painting pictures, but hopefully a decent number of tactical thoughts.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thoughts on Way of...

Fritz over at Way of Saim Hain had an interesting article today about the nature of the change of the game into 50th edition. Go read it here. I will not regurgitate what he said.

Ok, back now? Good.

I think that what he says has some merit too it, but I think the play style that he is imagening simply isn't ready for 90% of the armies out there at the moment. We may be on the verge of a total battlefield environment, but I think those days are new on the vine.

I honestly hope that martie players don't read it and then go take some terminators (in deepstrike), scouts with a storm (outflank) scouts with sniper rifles (infiltrate) and put everything in reserve, and then can't understand why they got blasted off the table.

I like reserve, I think they are great, when you use your mind. A few of us were talking recently and often I feel that the game has been decided at set up. Think about that, that the game has already been decided after the first dice roll has been rolled, and your army is deployed, or not. Let me list two examples of, one that I heard about, and one I experienced. Let's make fun of myself first, that is always entertaining.

One of the first games that I played while playtesting my marines about six months ago was against Andy's guard list. Now few people have played against his guard concept (although we will be working on it in the next 6 months or so) but it is fairly... brutal (as most Andy lists are).

At any rate it was Sicarious, a drop dread, scouts in a storm, vangaurd with heroic intervention, some preds and tac marines and I think some terminators. I put all that I could in reserves, with the believ that I would rather deploy as close as possible, (as I knew andy would go first). However, when I did come on, it was haphazardly with 1/3 of my stuff because of the Master of the Fleet. 1/3 of my army fighting entrenched guard? Yea, I got tabled (imagine that!).

I watched two other lists try to fight against andy's list doing the same thing, and both times the same result, their army ended up back in thir carrying cases pretty quick.

Now, I played another varient of that some list last month I believe. My list was
a little more tooled but I didn't reserve anything. I knew that if I did, I would against be fighting 100% of his army with 33% of mine, or at best 50%. This time I left the scouts in the storm on the table and assaulted with them, and tore him up in shotting while advanced. Andy ended up conceding the game by round 2.

I think there are times to get tricky, there really are. Other times, you just have to bring the hammer.

Another game that I heard about was when Russ played Ryan Graham at the last tournament. Russ I (believe) went first, and set his storms up, and set up 12 inches in accross his entire board edge. Ryan set up in the corner. This is again another great example of hammering your opponent with 100% of your army, while they fight back with 50% of theirs. Any time you can do this (especially early on) it is devestating. Russ ended up trying to get to Ryan the entire game, while Ryan was just hammering his units with all that Vulcan goodness (tastes like chedder!). The game was over before the first dice were rolled because of deployment.

As a side note, a similar situation happened to be at the last tournament against Don's Orks. Grazgull + 3 battlewagons +60 orks = 27 inch charge of death against Tau. However in that situation Fritz was completely right. Instead of deploying my army and trying to duke it out with him, I would have been better served by Reserving everything, then coming on for side shots on armor 12 to the side and spreading out. Instead I deployed everything and got run off the table in round 3.

I think the multiple envelopement style works, but only against some opponents, some of the time.

There is no silver bullet but your brain.

Angels of Perdition

Ok, so this is the main framework that I am working on my for my 2K list. I will parse it down for tournaments of smaller sizes, but this is it for now. I'll be fielding something close to this at the next tournament we have, so be on the look out. I'll be listening to comments beforehand, but my guess is that about 70% of it is in stone. I like the way it plays, which is all that really matters to me. I am interested in playtesting it, as that is where real strengths and weaknesses come out. I'm cross-posting this to my hobbyblog.

2000 Pts - Space Marines Roster

HQ: Chapter Master Pedro Kantor (1#, 175 pts)
1 Chapter Master Pedro Kantor @ 175 pts (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Iron Halo; Power Armour; Dorn's Arrow; Power Fist)

Elite: Terminator Squad (10#, 465 pts)
9 Terminator Squad @ 465 pts (Power Fist x8; Storm Bolter x9; Chain Fist x1; Cyclone Missile Launcher; Cyclone Missile Launcher)
1 Sergeant (Power Sword; Storm Bolter)

Elite: Sternguard Veteran Squad (6#, 195 pts)
4 Sternguard Veteran Squad @ 195 pts (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Special Issue Ammunition; Bolt Pistol x4; Bolter x2; Lascannon x2; Razorback)
1 Sergeant (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Special Issue Ammunition; Bolt Pistol; Bolter)
1 Razorback (Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Twin Linked Heavy Bolter)

Elite: Sternguard Veteran Squad (6#, 195 pts)
4 Sternguard Veteran Squad @ 195 pts (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Special Issue Ammunition; Bolt Pistol x4; Bolter x2; Lascannon x2; Razorback)
1 Sergeant (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Special Issue Ammunition; Bolt Pistol; Bolter)
1 Razorback (Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Twin Linked Heavy Bolter)

Troops: Tactical Squad (11#, 225 pts)
9 Tactical Squad @ 225 pts (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Bolt Pistol x9; Bolter x7; Meltagun; Missile Launcher; Rhino)
1 Sergeant (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Bolt Pistol; Power Weapon)
1 Rhino (Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Storm Bolter)

Troops: Tactical Squad (11#, 210 pts)
9 Tactical Squad @ 210 pts (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Armour; Bolt Pistol x9; Bolter x7; Meltagun; Missile Launcher; Rhino)
1 Sergeant (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Bolt Pistol; Bolter)
1 Rhino (Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Storm Bolter)

Troops: Scout Squad (5#, 105 pts)
4 Scout Squad @ 105 pts (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Scout Armour; Bolt Pistol x4; Bolter x4)
1 Sergeant (Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Scout Armour; Melta Bombs; Bolter; Power Fist)

Fast Attack: Land Speeder Storm (1#, 60 pts)
1 Land Speeder Storm @ 60 pts (Cerberus Launcher; Jamming Beacon; Heavy Flamer)

Heavy Support: Predator (1#, 120 pts)
1 Predator @ 120 pts (Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Autocannon; Lascannon (each side))

Heavy Support: Predator (1#, 120 pts)
1 Predator @ 120 pts (Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Autocannon; Lascannon (each side))

Heavy Support: Predator (1#, 120 pts)
1 Predator @ 120 pts (Searchlight; Smoke Launchers; Autocannon; Lascannon (each side))

Validation Report:
c-1. File Version: 1.05c For Bug Reports/; b-1. Roster Options: Special Characters; a-1. Scenario: Normal Mission; 1. Chapter: Codex Chapter
Roster satisfies all enforced validation rules

Total Roster Cost: 1990

Created with Army Builder - Try it for free at

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tau - Ending

Well, I just wanted to write some random thoughts about Tau. Some of this is tactics, list building, and hopes for what I think the list needs in the future. Sadly, by the time the codex is re-released I will probably have been out of practice so long, I will barely remember how to run them. On the other hand, each time a codex is re-released, I think you need to re-lean anyway.

At the moment, the largest problems with the Tau seems to stem from a lack of good units, lack of diffuse firepower, and lack of decent scoring units. My intention with these comments is to crease some type of Ubertau list that is all dominating, but to make a book that does what I think the marine list did. i.e. make list building hard. I don't want to open the army, and quickly figure out what are the best options, I want to see a myriad of choices that almost confound me, making a calvalcade of options.

Let's take the Stealth suits vs. Crisis suit at the moment to illustrate the problem.

I like stealth suits, I really do, the problem is not that the stealth suit has bad rules, it does not. The problem isn't even that the crisis suit is too good, it is not. The problem is that you don't have a choice in the codex about taking crisis suits if you want to be competitive. The reason for this is the missile pod. It is the only way in the codex to bring any real amount of mid strength anti-vehicle in the list. The tau have NO strength 9 in the entire codex, and str 8 is limited to Fusion (*cough* melta) guns. So between Strength 10 (which is confined to heavy support options) and Str 7 (which is confined to elite options) you have to maximize those selections with any hope of destroy enough vehicles that are on the table.

Many of the other armies have diffuse firepower. I mean by this that they can take similar guns in a variety of different locations. You want melta in a marine army? Tell me what selection (HQ, FAST, TROOP, ELITE, HEAVY) you can't pick some of this up in. I understand that for many of the olde codexes this is due to their age. However, absent this ability most competitive tau lists end up looking very very similiar. 1xcrisis suit commander, 3x Missle/Plasma, 2xKroot, 1x Firewarrior, 1xpathfinder, Then add broadsides and hammerheads as you feel like it.

In addition, not only is the army fairly limited about it's choices, it's play style is also extremely limited at the moment. The game has gone from as 12 inch deployment on both sides, with limited infiltrate/deepstrike to asymetrical warfare with all armies having some type of fast scout, 1st turn assault, shooting, Behind Enemey Lines, Heroic Intervention etc... so the game has become faster, and different directions of attack have become standard. I love these changes as a 40K player, but as a Tau player it makes me want to wet myself. I feel like Band Geek that was just told that the football players were going to play through my marching segment.

This has forced tau into using kroot as these buffer squads of bubble wrap to enwrap squads and throwing units in front of fast assaulters with purahna's to slow things down. It's effective, that's true. I don't think I've lost a 1500+ game in 5th edition yet. So you end up boxing your tau together, bubblewrapping them in kroot and firing on people. In the old game I could do quite a bit of menuvering, but tau are so poor in hth that that simply is not a viable tactic. Everyone else using more of the table is great, but it has meant less use of it by Tau.

Lastly, their troop selections are not very good for holding objectives. In the old system when any unit could do it, it didn't matter. Tau actually have almost no leadership tricks (ethereals are broken units atm with the way target designation works) means that it is very easy to break firewarriors and kroot off the table.

What I Hope To See In The New Codex:

I believe the Tau Codex is somewhere between 12-24 months away at this point. By that time, Necrons and Dark Eldar should be done, and Tau (along with Black Templars) will be one of the oldest codexes (if not the oldest). Therefore I think we can expect to see them in that time frame. I'm going to guess summer/fall of 2011.

Unit Changes:
Battlesuit Commanders - Drop 1+. Include more special issue weapons that are useful.
- Make the Command and Control Node work for all leadership tests.
Ethereal - Give him a special rule that either makes him almost impossible to target or make it so that if he dies, it may be good for you. Fury, not your units breaking off the table.

Crisis suits - They are fine. A points break would be nice as JSJ got nerfed in the new system. More weapons that we can load on it. Note, not more Hard Points, just more gun options.

Stealth - See Crisis suits. Make a weapon sprue for tau that will have a ton of weapons on it.

Firewarriors - Let them be able to purchase modified shield drones. Gives the unit a 5+ cover save, or +1 if they go to ground.

Kroot - they are fine as they are, but fix Kroot Ox, they have been crap since they were made. Make their gun str 7 assault 2.

Gun Drones - They are fine, but they shouldn't count as kill points on vehicles, nor should they be scoring. In fact, I would be fine if they could not score, nor were they kill points.

Tau Vehicles - Str 5 should be considered defensive weapons for tau. Thus move 12, fire all guns(with multitracker). Vehicle upgrades probably need some rebalancing. Also make it so that the pods on the sides can be upgraded to a myriad of tau weapons, missile pods to plasma rifles, whatever. Give it the razorback treatment.

Vespid - Need a lot of work. They are garbage right now. Give them jet backs, or assault 2 guns, or hit and run... something.

Pirhana - Nice idea, now give it some choices. Give it a tx upgrade like forgeworld. Let us upgrade the drones at the ends to different weapons (plasma/missile/fusion/railrifle). Make it a gunship.

Pathfinders - Solid choice, change if you want, but they work ok now.

Hammerhead - Points break like most vehicles have gotten. More weapon options.
Broadside - Ok, but need more weapons. Ion Cannons mounted on the shoulder. I think tau need more weapon choices between 10 and 7 for long range fire support. How about a str 8 ap 4, heavy 4? Or a tr 9, ap 2 heavy 2. Or a str 6 ap 5, heavy 6.

Stop putting str 5 ap 5 guns in the list, we know that there are burst cannons, no need to choke us with them. There is almost no choice in the entire list that doesn't have the option to take a burst cannon/pulse rifle/pulse carbine... we get it. Invent some new guns.

The rail rifle isn't the answer. Tau need some str 8-9 weapons that have high rate of fire and the ability to put the good guns they do have on choices that aren't broadsides/crisis/hammerhead.

My 2 cents.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Campaign Board

So I finished painting the campaign board last night for the little campaign I am running (start next Monday). Should have 6 players so far, which is great. I put in the water effect and it should be finished drying by the time I get home tonight.

I also started work on my terminators, baseing them black. I am trying a new (or old actually) weathering technique that I did on my tau, but didn't use on my marines. I will apply the latex stuff to the models, then start paiting them later. Sadly this may be the last night I can paint any this week. I do want to finish the exorcists (old army Rogers and I had) and take pictures of them. I'll try to put those up here. I'll be putting the exorcists up for sale next week or so.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Necron Concept I

I'm strongly considering doing Necrons next year when they are re-releaed. I would say I'm 70% leaning that way at the moment. (Then wait for Tau for 2011 some time and do them later in 2011 again).

At any rate, I do NOT want the standard necrons that are dry brushed gun metal. So when I have some time I am going to look around for how I want the models to be modeled and/or painted.

I'm probably going to go with a ceramic look. Something like this.

In addition I noticed that the same fellow recut his necrons to make them more dynamic and walking. I like that a lot.

The only difference is that I would like to do some battle damage, to look like the paint, and layer of white is flecking off.

In addition, I would like to do some necron themed floors, perhaps broken up, and chipped with gravel on it. Like necron pylons as well. Maybe some objectives the same way.

I'm considering white, but definitely something bright. White/bone looks good.

After Action

So I went the the escalation tournament this weekend and got 2nd, losing out to Don and his orks (that ran my ass off the table in round 2, but more of that to follow). It was a good little tournament with an excellent turn out. We filled that little place up, that's for sure. I actually went home a little delerious, and sore as hell. But that happens all the time to me when I play. I need to learn to chug water all day, but I run my mouth too much.

First round I played Chris's wolves in a 500 pt mission. I brought a squad of crisis, a piranha, and a squad in a devilfish. I ended up doing ok, but I couldn't kill his 18 marines on the objective. Very damn difficult to say the least! I ended up getting 12 out of 20 points (and he got 14 out of 20). A loss but a close one.

The next mission I played against Don's Orks, and probably had the most shocking thing done to me in a year or two of playing. He ran 3 battlewagons w/20 orks in each and grazgull(sp?) right at me. I fired away with railguns for the entire length of that time and didn't do anything. At the end of it, after running to the end of the board I lost a good 60% of my army in HTH in one turn. My commander, 2x crisis suits, 1x broadsides. The hammerheadx2, 2x kroot (in outflank) and a squad of firewarriors managed to escape the carnage by simply not being there. It was... brutal. I manged to game the mission and take the objectives, so point wise it was a victory (12 to 6) but I tell you what, it certainly didn't feel that way!

The last game was against tyranids and it was one of those all or nothing games, either I was going to get tabled, or he was. Luckaly for me Tau gunfire at point blank range is pretty deadly, and I manged to pick up a huge amount of stuff, getting max points. However, watching that list made me wonder, would more tyranid warriors in pods be more effective. I don't know about other armies, but tau certainly would have a hard time dealing with 9x warriors at point blank range. We simply do not have enough str 8 to kill that many of them, sadly.

All in all a wonderful tournament, and a lot of fun. And congradulations to my mate Don from Columbia on winning it, the way he ran his orks up my ass, he deserved it. I was glad for the learning lesson not to mess with a 27 inch charge. Rematch! Rematch! ;-)

So I am shelving the Tau until their next codex, when I will dust them off and bring them back. I carefully put them in their cases and the back of the house, and picked up a few more vets and a predator for my continuing marines. I have what is left that needs to get painted by the next tournament as well.

Speaking of which, my wife is in school, so it will probably be may before I am able to attend another anyway. On to continued palytesting of my marine army, lead by Gabriel Martel, Chapter Master of whatever the hell I will name my chapter!