Saturday, December 31, 2011

Some VC brainstorming

Needless to say, I'm really excited about Vampire Counts in January.  I have boxes and boxes of stuff stored away waiting for this day (Jan 14th).  As if I don't have enough stuff already, the new stuff looks amazing.  I think it's time I start brainstorming on what kind of things I'll be taking in my 8th Ed. Vampires army.

First thing's first:  I will be taking a fighty killy lord over a spellcasting one.  There is nothing more boring than a bunker lord sitting behind his units spamming spells.  I want some 6th Ed. Killing Blow, +1S on the charge killer or some 7th Ed. Infinite Hatred + Red Fury.  From the latest rumor mill, it appears that Vamp Lords will be able to hit WS9 by taking the Dreadknight upgrade.  Since we have no idea what else is available, I'm hoping it'll be similar to what 7th Ed has now.  Sadly, I don't think Bloodlines will be back from what I've read so far.

I have no idea how I'm gonna deliver this bad boy yet, but it's either going to be Zombie Dragon, Blood Knights, Black Knights or Grave Guard.  At this moment, I'm leaning towards the Zombie Dragon and Blood Knights.  From the White Dwarf BR, it appears that Blood Knights went down in points, costing ~250 points for 5 of them with Full Command.  Also confirmed is the Banner of Blood Keep, so that's always a good thing to give your dudes ranged insurance.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Some VC rumors

UPDATED: 1:36pm 12-29-11

Completely true. Local newsagent had the white dwarf, and I've been having a good read. Invocation of Nehek affects all friendly units in its radius of 6"/12"/18", depending on the power level.

The Corpse Cart gives all units within 6" ASF until your next magic phase if it is the target of a Vampire spell - including the AoE of Invocation. This is specifically stated. Imaging say, 3 units of Skeletons or even Grave Guard, with 2 Corpse Carts between them, and a Necromancer or two in there throwing out Invocation every turn. Skeletons/Grave Guard with permanent ASF.

Raise Dead can raise either Zombies or Skeletons.

A few other tidbits.

Necromancers can take an upgrade called Master of the Dead. The only way to add models to a Skeleton unit raised with Raise Dead is with a Necromancer with Master of the Dead.

Ghouls are 10 points. A unit of 40 with a Ghast in one of the sample lists was 410 points.

Banner of the Blood Keep is one of the returning banners, and grants a 4+ ward save to shooting attacks.

There appear to be 3 different vampire types. Vampire lord, Vampire, Strigoi Ghoul King. This is mentioned in the new rules for Vampire Counts pacts for Storm of magic, they specifically name the lord choices you can take, and it is those 3 and Master Necromancer. They don't mention at all what makes a Strigoi Ghoul King different, though it might have something to do with Hatred and Poison, as Phil Kelly pointed out in the GW website Terrorgeist designers notes.

I also may be reading too much into it, but there's some hints towards Ghouls not being able to be reinforced through Invocation of Nehek. Don't quote me on this, it's not outright stated, just whenever they talk about raising models, Ghouls are the only unit not mentioned, as well as in the Lahmian sample list they say 'with 40 models, it ensures there will be enough left when they reach the enemy' or sometihng to that effect.

A Vampire Lord with death knight is WS 9. Looks like Vampire Lords are getting ridiculous stats again.

Master Necromancers can be the general. They specifically state this. It's possible to make an army completely lacking vampires.

They make a subtle mention about 'when the general dies, the army starts to crumble until another powerful character can regain control.' Seems like you can replace the general with a powerful Necromancer or other Vampire caster somehow if the general dies.


Another batch of input... (from reading through the WD at the store today)

Where should we start ?

Lore of the Vampires

Signature Spell is definitely Invocation of Nehek - on the most fundamental level it can restore "D6 + caster's Wizard level" of Wounds to friendly Undead unit within 6". Boosted version has 12" range, as well as 18" ones.

Other spells includes Raise Dead, Vanhel's Danse Macabre, Curse of Years, Gaze of Nagash, and Wind of Death

Lore attribute: When the spell from the Lore of the Vampires is succefully casted, the wizard or any undead models within 12" restores 1 wound.
Rules tidbits:

All Vampire has rule called "Hunger" - You get to roll a D6 when the vampire kills one or more models in combat, on a 6 you recovers one wound. (Vlad with Blood Drinker pass the roll on 4+)

Also Vampire, including vampiric creatures "such as" Varghulf and Vargheist, can march. So Vargheist will be able to move 20" per turn almost all the time. (not sure if Varghulf can also fly)

Vampiric Powers: (not all of them, just those mentioned in WD)
Flying Horror - give the vampire ability to fly (unsure)
Dread Knight - ability to boost WS (don't know how - but a Vampire Llord with Dread Knight has WS of 9)
Quickblood - gains ASF
Master of the Black Arts - get to re-roll one D6 for the Winds of Magic.
Dark Acolyte - add D3 to the total number of models raised by Nehek.
Red Fury - should be about the same. (unsure)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas Vampire Counts!

Got a whole bunch of pics from the latest White Dwarf.

Check out all the Vampire Count goodness!

Merry Christmas everybody :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Research: War of the Ring

I guess this can be inspired because of the new Hobbit trailer, but this is more for personal research.

My friends tell me War of the Ring is herohammer 40K + simplified Warhammer Fantasy.  Since I have no experience with the LotR or WotR, I was wondering if you guys can explain the game to me.  I have the rulebook and I've been reading it over.. but I kinda ran into a problem area.

I've read this maybe 30 times and I'm either tired, illiterate or a mix of both, but I can't make any sense out of this:

Take a look at the To Hit mechanism for shooting in this game.

The example they gave was that a few companies of Galadrim Archers shot at some orcs.  They generated 22 shots.
then they lost me...

So a Galadrim Archer has a Fight value of 5/3+.  The 2nd value represents their skill with a bow.  So using that aiming bonus chart they provided, it means that each company does that number of attacks (8 attacks per company), plus 2 more attacks because it's 5(5 is base number for everything apparently)-3 = +2 bonus die (so 10 total).  So 2 companies of Galadrim Archers with direct LoS generates 20 shots  and if there's 2 more companies behind them, they generate 2 more (1 die for each "supporting" company).  That's 22 dice total.

OK, so looking at the 3+ value of their ranged skill, then looked at their example of "to hit chart", it seems to me they skipped "to hit" all together and just moved onto wounding?  (strength is strength and defense would be toughness).

I'm pretty confused.  I guess hits only add attack dice and you only roll to see if it wounds or not?

Anywho, the rest of the game looks pretty straight forward:
  • 1k battles looks like a 1500 point game from the size of stuff
  • FOC looks really streamlined and easy to figure out with common and rare choices
  • Charges have a smaller degree of random because it's just D6 + 2,4,6,8 depending on what kind of model you are
  • LoS like WHFB but there's less emphasis on pivots and turning (even more so than 8th)
  • Magic is not like 8th ed. WHFB but more like 6-7th ed., which I like, a lot
  • Herohammer elements with epic heroes doing epic and heroic abilities
  • From the looks of it, it looks like this game should be very scenario based or else people are just going to push models forward and crash into things

Did I miss anything?  Now to figure out this combat system...

Monday, December 19, 2011

40K vs. Fantasy by region

I'll lead this off with a link to my favorite site of all, Warseer.  (I'm banned from there btw)

Then I'll post something that loveless said somewhere on the first page:

On the subject of why 40K is played more in the USA than Fantasy.. it's because..

We Americans like our automatic weapons, missiles, and tanks. Fantasy is lacking a bit in that department.

That said, I think the biggest issue with Fantasy around here is still the rank-and-file nature of it.

"I need to buy how many boxes to make one unit?" compared to smaller box counts in 40K and Warmachine. Honestly, I'm not sure why GW packages WHFB the way they do - they throw out 10-man boxes for WHFB when a standard unit size is going to be 20+ in most cases.

40K has its own packaging problems, but they're less apparent, IMO. A 5-man Terminator squad is perfectly usable, even if the max size is 10. The 5-man Troop/Elite boxes are questionable, but are often bulkier than equivalents in WHFB. It's odd to say, but I feel like I'm getting more bang for my buck when I'm working on $60 of 40K vs. $60 of Fantasy (notable exception: plastic Zombie Dragon - worth every penny).

The other thing that springs to mind is the widespread knowledge of the Dawn of War and Space Marine games. GW has struggled to license out a good, positively memorable WHFB-based game. W:AR was (is?) quaint at best and a useless exercise in PvP at worst. The RTS version of Fantasy (Mark of Chaos?) never seemed to catch on.

Personally, I like WHFB (especially 8th), but I have trouble painting (let alone buying) 200+ plastic rats or 100+ plastic undead when a square piece of cardboard does the same thing - 50%+ of those models are just glorified wound counters.

With 40K, if I buy 10 Necron Immortals, all 10 have a definite chance to contribute to my army's rate of fire and damage output. 10 Terminators means 10 bruisers who have a damn good chance of getting stuck into a combat and individually wrecking face.

I think you get more of a personal connection with 40K models - you can really go to town with posing and conversions and single Troop models. Your opponents can learn to fear Brother Nero, the tactical marine firing a bolter in one hand and a bolt pistol in the other because he managed to pick the last wounds off the Ork Warboss after the rest of his squad died. Hell, back at the beginning of 4th, I had one particular Arco-flagellant that had accomplished such ridiculous feats of murder that he quickly became the go-to target for my regular opponents.

With Fantasy, the most "locally renown" models were Lord and Hero choices - the troops and such were just meaningless placeholders while Wizards blew them away and heroes cut through them with the Enchanted Sword of Truthiness. Skeleton #27 isn't very likely to stand out from his fellows, nor is High Elf Spearman Ellisyr or Ork Boy Grum Toothcracka.

Fantasy often feels like you're just moving blocks around while 40K can feel like an interactive war movie (and there are games that do it a lot better than 40K, as well!).

What do you guys think about this?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

1500 points - A different animal

Lately, I've been doing a good amount of 1500 pt games.

For me, this is a complete change to how the game plays at 2K.  Let me riddle you guys something:  Does the number of units you have under your control changes from 1500 to 2K?  Yes, most of the time.  It could be a lot more units in transports, a more aggressive MSU approach, 2 huge squads of something or a boss character.  Does this change how you play the game?  Most definitely.  Your strategy, tactics and game sense will change depending on what you add into your army. This is certain.  What isn't certain for me is your level of generalship and play style.  For me, it's difficult to judge whether or not I play more conservative at lower point levels than I do at higher point levels.  The thought and need of unit preservation stays the same no matter what level I play at.  I always want to get the best bang for my buck.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Designing a new miniatures game!

I've had this on the backburner for the longest time, but I think it's time to start a open blog about it.

I can't share too much info right now, but I want to touch upon two settings I'm interested in hosting the game in.  Which one of these appeals to you more?

Alternative History
It's 1947 and the war is still going
Weapons technology is advancing at a unheard of rate
Japan is still racing through rapid expansion
Germany wins the Battle of Britian and has now established Fortress Europe
America tries to invade Europe via Italy and is pushed back
Fights still rage in the Pacific as Pearl Harbor still happens
Hitler is now just invading Russia since Europe is under his grasp
Russia and China unite to form a superfaction to fight Japan and Germany
Think Wolfenstein, Red Alert and Dust Tactics in terms of sci-fi and paranormal coolness

Near future 2239
China and Russia merge as a superfaction
USA is still the world police, the Peacekeepers
NATO is formed into the European Defense Force
Japan sinks under the water from a natural disaster but is actually building a new Atlantis, with Mecha Gundams
There will be future weapons, mechs and a lot of cool technology and weapons
China and Russia invade Europe for the last remaining resources in the middle-east
Europe has no chance but to unite and form a defense force
America is brought into the fight to restore peace and initiate justice
Japan takes this opportunity to strike back after its humiliating defeat in WWII and all hell breaks loose.
Think a mix between Mech Warrior, Earth 2150 and CNC

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FW models allowed in normal games?

Cock locked and ready to rock.
So I played a friend of mine yesterday and I decisively defeated his Blood Angels with my Dark Eldar at 1500 pts.  He tells me today he's going to take a LR Achilles in our next engagement and I said no way.  I was under the impression that FW models are unofficial and permission only (being mainly used in Apoc games) but he shows me his book and it reads:

This is the opening statement in the new IA books:
This unit is intended to be used in 'standard' games of Warhammer 40,000, within the usual limitations of Codex selection and force organisation charts.As with all our models these should be considered 'official', but owing to the fact they may be unknown to your opponent, it's best to make sure they are happy to play a game using Forge World models before you start. 

So I guess it's official now that you can use FW models in games of 40K?

I personally hate FW models.  Well, not the actual models themselves but the rules that come with them.  If you think GW rules are bad, I think FW rules are just outlandish.  The reason why is because they WANT to put something out that GW does not put out.  D-weapons, great.  Immune to melta/lance, great.  A drop pod that allows a Furioso to charge on the turn it lands, awesome.  In order to sell models that are 3x as expensive, the rules must own as much right.  I mean after all, how much are people willing to pay for proxies of a normal Land Raider?  They want something that can wreak havoc and make that 100 dollars well spent.  Thus, the rules are developed to go with them.

Anyone else feel this way?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Time for some Firestorm

Aquan Prime BB.

I'll be playing Firestorm next week hopefully.  Pretty damn excited.  My fishmans (Aquan Prime) haven't seen the light of day in forever.  Maybe they were hibernating?  Or maybe they're just waiting for SG to get out more ships and MARs!  Did you guys see some of the new Dreadnoughts and Destroyers Spartan put out for Firestorm?  They look quite bad ass.  I'm a huge sucker for space combat and I'm about to indulge myself in some casual, exploding dice fire frenzy.  I'll try my best not to rage quit and throw my models across the table if they blow up.

Here's what I plan on bringing at 1k points:

Poseidon BB (3x AP) = 215
Poseidon BB (3x AP) = 215
Manta BC (9x AP) = 275
4x Storm CL = 240
2x Pirahna FF = 40
+3x Interceptor Wings = 15

Also thinking about possibly dropping the Manta's AP for max Pirahna squads.. but realistically, they're probably just going to have to swim somewhere and hopefully not die.  Might also drop a CL for max FF, what do you guys think?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Your army is overpowered

Got another thread for you guys to look at:

Yes, it's from Warseer, but I've seen stuff like this on a billion other forums:  Dakka, Heresy, B&C, BoLS..etc.  It seems to me that everyone and their dog seems to think Grey Knights are overpowered.  Is this true?  Personally, I do think that aside from the outrageous fluff that the book is a little strong.  I think the book is more Space Marine hunters than Daemonhunters, but hey, to each his own.

Let me sum up this thread for you guys in a nut shell:
  • The OP is a Space Wolf player calling Grey Knights overpowered.
  • Several IG players chime in calling Space Wolves overpowered.
  • Blood Angels are mentioned briefly but dismissed because they are overshadowed by Space Wolves, IG and GK.
  • No GK players come to defend themselves.
Does that mean GK, SW and IG are the only OP armies?  Is that what the internets have decided?  What about you guys and what do you think?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What Tactical Marines ought to be

Saw this thread on Warseer:

Thought it was interesting.  There's a ton of proposals in there, but I have one of my own:
Let Tactical Marines take 2 special weapons, 2 heavy weapons or a combination of both.

That is all, thanks for listening.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

BR: 4K BA vs. Necrons

Pages 1+2 has the game photos.

Haven't played the game yet, but I will be playing it in the next couple of hours.
It will be a 2v2, Blood Angels vs. new Necrons, 2k points each player, so 4k total on each side.

My list looks like the following:
3x 10x ASM w/ PF/Infernus, 2x Meltaguns
2x Priests w/ JP
3x Baals w/ TLAC and HB sponsons
3x Preds w/ AC/LC config

My friend's (Darian) list:
3x 10x ASM with PF/Infernus, 2x Meltaguns
2x Priests w/ JP
Furioso Dreadnought
Contemptor Dreadnought (FW, opponent's permission approved)
2x Stormravens w/ TLLC and TLMM, totting Dreads in the back

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Just a heads up for 40K

I hear Tau and Chaos Legions is next in that order.

I will be doing both:  Tau because it was either them or Grey Knights back in the day, and Chaos Legions because I own 40 Forgeworld Deathguard.

Yep, that is all.

Edit: Oh wait, there's Vampire Counts coming out early next year too.  Yep, doing that too.  Damn.. next year is going to be expensive..

Monday, November 7, 2011

Necons: Thinking outloud

A collection of Necron tips and tricks!

Tip #1 - Lychguard Deathstar
Submitted by HERO

Say you have Nemesor and Obyron.
Nemsor sits on a perch with 20x Warriors and a Cryptek with Tremorstave in cover with good LoS.

A Necron Lord w/ Res Orb, a Cryptek with Gaze, Obyron, 10x Lychguard with Dispersion Shields fly towards the enemy in a Night Scythe going Supersonic 36".  The Night Scythe has 3++ due to turbo and Stealth because Nemesor says he does.

They get out, and start wreaking havoc.  If things go poorly, they just teleport back to Nemesor.

Random thought:  Anyone assaulting that squad will not have Furious Charge, the Necrons themselves will have Counter-Attack and defensive grenades.  It's just all kinds of bad news.

Tip #2 - Destroyer Lord and Wraiths
Submitted by HERO

On the flank, you have a Destroyer Lord with Res Orb.
His bodyguard does not consist of Destroyers, but 6x Wraiths.
3++ bodyguards with 3 S6 Rending attacks each and a 4+ WBB for later.
Not bad for roughly 380 points.

Tip #3 - The World trembles
Submitted by HERO

A good amount of Crypteks with Tremorstave in transports.
36" range blast that on hit, makes the unit suffer Difficult Terrain.
C'tan with Writhing Worldscape on the field somewhere.
When you blast things, they're taking difficult and dangerous every time they move.
Note:  Difficult for vehicles is always considered Dangerous, and they fail on a 1 and 2.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

New Necron Codex Review

Well guys, it's been quite a long time since I posted.  I had a lot of chores with the new house, threw a house-warming party, got a new position at work, worked ridiculous hours at Blizzcon, then got sick after Blizzcon.  In short:  Shit's been really crazy lately and I haven't had time for any minis gaming.  It's alright though, I received the new Necron codex this weekend and this review will hopefully nail all my thoughts on the book.

First, some self-made rankings and numbers:
Overall Power: 7
Internal Balance: 8
External Balance: 7
Creativity: 9
Fluff: 9
The verdict:  A solid 8

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

BR: BA vs. GK, SW vs. BA

Fun times to be had!
Well guys, no pictures, but I do have some hysterical fun times to tell you.  My friend took all the pictures so I'll probably just upload them later.  Don't worry, the BRs I'm going to share to you will be pretty epic.  First thing's first:  We played two games tonight, one with my Blood Angels vs. his Grey Knights, and then another with my Space Wolves vs. his Blood Angels.  Which one is more awesome?  I'll let you folks decide.

My list:
Librarian w/ JP, Sanguine Sword and Unleash Rage
3x 10x ASM w/ Fist/Infernus and 2x Meltaguns
5x Sanguinary Guard w/ CBanner and Fist
Chaplain w/ JP
2x Sanguinary Priests w/ JPs
3x AC/LC Predators

His list:
Librarian w/ MC Halberd, 3x Skulls
Sanctuary, Shrouding, Might and Vortex
10x Paladins, 4x Psycannons, BBanner, the works
5x Paladins, BBanner, 2x Psycannons
2x Rifledreads
Dreadknight w/ Heavy Incinerator, Teleporter

Monday, September 19, 2011

Why does everyone have Grey Knights?

I've been out of it for a couple of months now because of the whole house thing, but I kept up with blog feeds and tournament reports.  As if the metagame wasn't stale already, it seems like everyone and their mother plays with Grey Knights now.  That's all I see on major gaming forums, all I see on major blogs and frankly I'm sick of it.  This is probably the biggest bandwagon in the history of 40K.  I've been playing the game since 3rd and I can't remember when everyone played the same army.

Am I crazy?  But come on..
Cheers to the death of originality and fun.  I'm gonna start posting more fun BA and SW stuff soon.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Playing some Space Marine!

Come at me bro.
Have you guys played it yet?  I'm loving the Multiplayer especially.  I haven't played single-player at all, but I've been hacking away at some faces in MP.  My main class is Assault, but I do like to roll Tacticals every now and then.

Chainsword/Bolt Pistol
Swordsman's Zeal
Air-cooled Thrusters

A lot of people complain that everything's overpowered, but hey you know what?  If everything seems imbalanced, then I'm willing to bet it's balanced.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sample Ogres list

So I've been toying around with the new Ogres army book recently and man do I think Ogres are funny.  Truth be told, I've been looking around for an army that's on the opposite end of my High Elves and I think I might of found the right one.  High Elves are small in stature, elite, loves Dragons and has powerful game-changing magic.  Ogres are big and fat, ugly as sin, has a pretty small army size (I guess they're elite?), and are just overall hysterical because they're physically everything High Elves aren't.

I don't know, what do you guys think?  What would you say are the opposite of High Elves?  I already have a VC army sitting in the closet, but I don't think I'll break them out just yet.  From the looks of things, 8th Ed. is heading in a great direction and all the books I've seen so far are balanced.  For the first time in forever, Games Workshop has been writing balanced books.  I know right?  Crazy..

As for my Ogres list, check this thing out:


Tyrant = 322
Heavy Armor, Great Weapon
Dragonhelm, Giantbreaker, 4+ Ward
Other Tickster's

The Tyrant here is supposed to be me on the battlefield.  A personal avatar if you will.  He's big, powerful, is swinging at S8 (-5 to your armor!) and has a 4+/4++ save.  Not the best save in the world, but with his ability to make other folks re-roll successful ward saves, he's bound to do a lot of damage.  With S8 attacks, anything with a 2+ save gets no armor saves against him.

Lv.4 Slaughtermaster = 285

Maybe I only need a Lv.3 with Ogres, but I decided to spend the extra 35 pts to bump the Slaughtermaster up to a Lv.4.  Time will tell if I need more on him.. but for now he's running naked.

Bruiser = 191
BSB, Great Weapon
2+ save, Dragonfire

Simple Bruiser BSB with a 2+ save and the Ironcurse item to give the unit a 6+ save from Warmachine fire. Better than nothing I suppose.. the other contender is the 2+ ward vs. fire/flaming attacks.

Lv.1 Firebelly = 154
Great Weapon

Just a scroll caddy + S4 breath in close combat.  The Firebelly also allows me to take away those Regen saves so my Tyrant and Bruiser can go to town.

7x Ogres (Ironfists) = 259
Full Command

The Slaughtermaster chills in this unit and just buffs up the rest of the army and provides dispel support.  When needed, they go charging in after the main blocks of units engage.

9x Ironguts = 422
Full Command

The main fighting force of the army right here.  With 9x of these dudes, the Tyrant, BSB and Firebelly, I form a 4x3 unit of face-breaking fun.  One of the strongest units in the entirety of Warhammer, anything that gets caught in its path gets completely trampled into the ground.  Now.. if only I can get into combat without getting molested by Purple Sun or Pit of Shades..

6x Leadbelchers = 258

These guys are at 6x right now but I'm also thinking about dropping them to 4x (in 2x2).  Right now with 6, they're putting out 6d6 BS3 S4 armor piercing shots with no moving to fire penalty at 24".  That's pretty damn impressive.  But with 2x2, they're small and agile enough to shoot down Eagles on my flanks and with the extra points, I can buy Sabretusks to go Warmachine hunting.  I don't know, what do you guys think?

4x Mournfang (Ironfists) = 360
Full Command
Dragonhide Banner

A huge threat to anything that lives and breathes.  On the charge, they put out 4d3 S5 impact hits, 16 WS3 S5 attacks, 13 WS3 S4 attacks, re-rolls all 1s to hit, wound and failed armor saves (Wolf Standard in WHFB wtf!), has a 2+ armor save with parry and is T4 with 3 wounds each.  Talk about the bulkiest heavy cavalry to ever grace the game of Warhammer.  Damn.  If I want the unit I'm holding onto to stay still, I just pop the Dragonhide Banner's S3 breath attack and everyone that gets hit is striking last next turn.  Ridiculous.

Thundertusk = 250

It's a freaking mammoth, why not?  Comes stock with 6" ASL aura to all enemy models effected, built in Stonethrower, Bolt Thrower and random 12" S6 Killing Blow ranged attack.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ogres, Sisters and other news

It's been a long time since I made an update and I apologize for that.

First, I'd like to say that I'm officially an homeowner.  I'm now knee deep in moving so I'll remain elusive until that's all done.  Then there's a few repairs I need to do with the house so who knows when I'll get back to minis.  However, I have been keeping up with my minis news via White Dwarf, updates from every known forum on the internets and from my fellow bloggers.  Thanks everyone!

The second thing I'd like to talk about is the Sisters codex.  I was disappointed when I checked out the first WD where it had the special rules.  I was disappointed again after seeing their point costs in the 2nd WD.  Needless to say, I think they're going to be a middle of the ground army that adheres to fluff and fun more so than competitive play.  They're just not that good, especially now that their Faith points are not guaranteed and the powers themselves are weaker.  Kirby said it pretty well in his review here.  One of my biggest gripes with the codex is how unreliable their FP system is.  Sure, you can stack HQs in the unit to make it more reliable, but putting more RNG in a RNG-based game is not good game design imo.  It simply takes away with what you can do with them in the future.

I guess my only other follow-up for 40K is the Nova open.  It's been a while since I commented on the metagame, and the only thing I have to say about it is that it sucks.  There's just so many MEQ players these days that tournaments don't facinate me anymore.  Grats on the Draigo player taking GK to the final rounds, can't say I saw that coming.  Wonder what his list was.

And lastly, I want to say that I'm very excited to get my Ogre Kingdoms book in the mail.  For the first time in a long time, it appears that GW has finally gotten their shit together in terms of designing books.  If you look at the current trend of 8th Ed. books, all the books are balanced and tame compared to the 7th Ed. atrocities.  I still think the super killy spells is bad news bears in terms of game design, but the balance of 8th Ed. Fantasy is going in a great direction.  This, on top of the ridiculously awesome models they've been putting out is nothing short of awesome.  Let's just hope GW keeps this up.

That's it for now guys.  Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Minor update

You guys are probably wondering where the hell I've been.  Well for one, I'm currently in escrow for a house!  Been really busy house hunting the last month with my wife, and we lucked out on a short sale on a really nice place so we're knee deep in escrow.  We're scheduled to close at the end of the month so I've been swamped in paperwork.

As for minis related stuff, I picked up a Covenant of Antarctica fleet from Spartan Games but have not put anything together.  I have a whole VC army sitting in the corner that I haven't touched, and an ALEPH army that's semi-put together.  Needless to say, I haven't really touched anything super time-consuming for a month.

Really busy guys!  Hoping for a more relaxing September..

Friday, July 29, 2011

My MTG decks

White deck mascot lawl
Since the Magic phase is continuing, here comes a post dedicated to my decks:

Blue Illusions

Main Deck:
23x Island

4x Phantasmal Bear
4x Lord of the Unreal
4x Phantasmal Image
3x Adaptive Automaton
3x Phantasmal Dragon
3x Grand Architect

4x Spell Pierce
4x Vapor Snag
4x Mana Leak
4x Ponder

4x Spreading Seas
4x Mental Misstep
4x Into the Roil
3x Flashfreeze

I like aggro and I like control, so the deck above showcases both of these to its fullest.  Blue is often considered a pretty control-heavy style of play, but I like being able to dictate the ebb and flow of the battle.  In card games, this is known as tempo.  The purpose of this deck is to be able to drop down cheap and effective creatures while providing them with ramping +1/1 buffs and hexproof.  Since the Phantasmal Image can copy the LotU and Adaptive Automaton, I am able to pump out these buffs like crazy.  Phantasmal Dragon is there to punch people in the face with Flying and Grand Architects buff my creatures while putting the Automatons on the board faster.

As for control, I'm running 4/4 Spell Pierce to Mana Leak for counterspells, Ponders for card draw and manipulation and Vapor Snag for creature bounce.  A lot of people don't run Vapor Snag but I think that's a huge mistake.  Blue has problems dealing with bigger creatures or creatures that can block and trade so bouncing them is the best option.  It acts almost like a counterspell for creatures because they can't tap out and play big creatures without getting sent back.

The sideboard here is pretty standard.  Spreading Seas helps takes care of lands that can possibly block your tempo and choke other decks out of mana.  Mental Misstep gives me protection against 1-drop weenies or creature destruction (such as mono-red or white) and Into the Roil gives me additional bounce.  This deck's biggest problem is equipment and creatures so additional resets are always appreciated.  Flashfreeze is there just for Red/Green hate.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A new MTG format?

This is mainly for us casual players at work who want to play with the new stuff.

I was thinking of a new format which consists of the current standard (which is M11, M12, Scars block, Zendikar block) + the future block. The only difference is, once Innistrad rolls around, we won't drop Zendikar and M11.

What do you guys think about this?
What should I call it?
Right now, I'm calling it T2-1, what do you guys think of the name and format?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The worst type of gamer

I picked up 4x JvC Counterspells for no reason!

Random post update!
Yes, I am still doing my MTG stuff, and I probably will until that dies down for a bit.  On the minis side, I did pre-order my Covenant of Antarctica fleet from Spartan Games so I can play that in August.  My ALEPH army is still being worked on whenever I have free time because those models piss me off.  I bought the new ATGM resculpts but I haven't touched them in 2 weeks.

I'll tell you one thing though, I love learning new things.  It might be my obsessive personality coming out, but reading 15 years of competitive MTG articles is invigorating.  There's just so much knowledge in this TCG, it's like reading the entirety of Team Liquid's StarCraft section (or Liquipedia!).  I think the thirst of knowledge is what's driving me deep into Magic right now.

However, there was a topic that was brought up a few days ago.  I'm a pretty diverse gamer:  I've played RTS, FPS, MMORPG, TCGs and TT (Table-top).  Out of all the gaming genres I've ever got myself into, I would say my experiences goes as follows in terms of competitive gaming.

TCG - Worst gamers you'll ever see for the most part.
FPS - A lot of really angry people play this genre.
MMORPG - If anything, a lot of trolls more so than bad sportsmanship.
RTS - I haven't seen as many trolls or bad sportsman, but there is the occasional moron.
TT - Now that I think about it, WAAC TT players are nothing compared to TCG.

What do you guys think?  Sorry for the random burst.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Magic: The Gathering

I've been kinda absent from miniatures gaming lately because I've been doing Magic TCG.  Believe it or not, I have never played Magic.  While other players were playing MTG, I was playing Pokemon, Yugioh and WoW TCG (competitively).  I picked up WoW TCG something like 3 years ago and from what my friends tell me, it's basically the same thing as MTG.  Since I'm pretty new to the Magic scene, I've been doing a lot of research into the current format of cards.. which is Magic 2012, 2011, Zendikar + Mirrodin blocks and Innistrad.

Here are all the research material I've been using lately:

Here are the card databases:

Here's the trial program I use to test decks:

My current deck looks like this:

// Lands
    18 [ZEN] Island (3)
    4 [WWK] Halimar Depths

// Creatures
    4 [M12] Adaptive Automaton
    4 [M12] Phantasmal Bear
    4 [M12] Phantasmal Dragon
    4 [M12] Lord of the Unreal
    4 [M12] Phantasmal Image
    3 [SOM] Grand Architect

// Spells
    4 [M12] Ponder
    4 [NPH] Vapor Snag
    4 [M11] Mana Leak
    3 [ZEN] Spell Pierce

I'm a pretty aggressive TCG player and I'm also a big fan of countering and cancelling my opponent's moves. This is why "Blackice" is one of my favorite WoW TCG decks.  It's a Mage deck and the objective is to lock down your opponents with Water Elemental, stop his creature removal via counters and burn him to death with Myriam Starcaller.  Since I had no idea what "Blue" was in Magic, my friend said the closest thing to what I played back in the days of WoW TCG would be blue.  I went ahead and looked up a bunch of decks played by top players and formulated a deck based on my playstyle.  The only rule I had when building decks was to stay away from Jacemill decks or other top netdecks.  I wanted something a little more unique to my personality and playstyle.  The above is a Blue Aggro deck with a hint of counters.  No Jace or anything crazy, and it comes with a bunch of the new cards from the latest M2012 core set (comes out tomorrow).

The Bears and Dragons aren't really dangerous by themselves, but with the Lord of the Unreal down to protect them, they get buff and become hexproof.  The Adapative Automatons and Grand Architects continue to buff the creatures on the field your counters keep enemy spells or creatures at bay.  I haven't worked on a sidedeck to this yet, but I'm pretty sure it'll have some Frost Breaths, Counters, maybe Sleeps, some Swiftfoot Boots and Mental Missteps.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A look into style and mechanics

Hey guys, sorry about the inactivity lately.  After China, I got sick, then my wife got sick, and then I started playing Axis and Allies for a little bit (RTS, 2004).  That game's very fun, very detailed and has a lot of things I look for in a good RTS game.  Anyways, the point of this post.

One advice that I give to newer players whenever they start an army is to play the army they like the most.  In a game like Warhammer, it's really easy for someone to read the background of an army, like what they see and go with it.  This is not to be confused with playstyle though, keep that in mind.  The background, fluff and aesthetic value of an army is what players should look at before they dive into a game.  If you don't like the very models you plan on building, assembling and taking hours to paint, there's absolutely no point on getting them. There's also that "cool" factor that gets people in a certain army.  The red hot bloodthirst that is the Blood Angels vs. the highly technological railgun tech of the Tau is a good example.  Arcane Tempest Gunmages shooting out sorcery-infused bullets from rune-laced pistols is another.

Playstyle is also very important when choosing an army.  Now that you like what you read about the army, their background fluff and their models, it's time to build the army around your needs.  Playstyle is simply your preference when it comes down to generalship.  Do you want your army to play defensively and shoot?  Or do you like to aggressive and assault?  Or would you say you're a balanced type of guy that looks to shoot a little and assault a little.  In the simplest terms, your playstyle describes yourself as a general for the most part.  If it was me you're describing, my general playstyle is fast and decisive, impatient and violent.

When people ask me what army they should play, I normally tell them the same thing:  Go with whatever army you think is "coolest".  This has to do with the models and the fluff more than the playstyle and I think this is the most important.  However, I've seen players who got into their armies because of the fluff and fail horribly time and time again because it doesn't fit their inner general (and subsequently, their playstyle).  I'm talking about Tau players running upfield into the melee because their personalities are reckless and their playstyles clash with their style preference.  Do you know anyone like that?  Maybe yourselves?  I think this is one of the biggest reasons why people jump armies.

So at the end of the day, I still think it's better to have an miniatures army that fits your style more than your playstyle.  This is mainly because army books are flexible enough (or should be) to satisfy your inner general.  A Tau general that loves the look of Tau but secretly worships Khorne might take more Kroot... or a Blood Angels player can take max Devastators with Razorbacks.  Thoughts?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What is this? 6th Ed. Rumors?

My wife and I at Shaolin Temple.

Hi guys! I'm back from China and boy was it fun.  My wife and I visited my uncles and cousins for the first time since we got married and the itinerary they prepared for us was insane!

We spent 4 days in Beijing and saw the following places:
Summer Palace, Forbidden City, Bei Hai, Hou Hai, Ming Tombs, Great Wall, and other smaller places.

We spent 3 days in Shanghai and 1 day in Zhengzhou to see the Shaolin Temple.. which was amazing!

I came back a little under the weather and to a billion emails.  Thanks for all those who Emailed questions and had the patience to wait for me to answer them.  Anyways, so what the hell is this I hear about 40K 6th Ed. in 2012?  If you guys haven't seen the rumors already, check this stuff out:

Looks like a good amount of changes to the following things:
  • Ballistic skill and hitting different targets moving at different speeds
  • Vehicles are easier to destroy from heavy weapons
  • Cover being a lot less forgiving
  • Independent Characters being a lot better
  • Torrent of fire is back! no more wound allocation

I haven't looked into this as hard as I should since these are just rumors, but I'm curious to think what you fellas think.  From first glance, this looks like that everything I hated about 5th Ed. will be addressed.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

My ALEPH army lists

Let's go over 2 army lists really quick.  One of which is 200pts and the other one is 300pts.  I figured that's what the guys around here is playing since everyone's just starting out.  From looking around the forums, I'm seeing the 300pts is the standard for most lists.  That's cool, I'll probably start at 200pts for my first couple of games.  Hmm.. I wonder if I can take 2 Lieutenants in a single list if I have the option?  I can't seem to find anything in the main rulebook.  Getting pumped for this game.

Here's the short notation of my army lists:

8 orders
3.5 SWC

Asura LT w/ MULTI Rifle
Myrmidon w/ Spitfire
DEVA Hacker w/ Combi Rifle
2x Dakini w/ HMG
3x Netrod

10 orders
5.5 SWC

Achilles LT w/ Spitfire
Asura w/ MULTI Rifle
DEVA Hacker w/ Combi Rifle
2x Myridon w/ Spitfire
Dakini w/ HMG
Dakini w/ Combi Rifle
3x Netrod

Below, you'll see the full notation using the Devil Team army builder.

Have you guys tried this army builder?

It allows you to make lists like this:

Pretty neat.  Oh!  I'm going to China for 8 days.  I'll be reading this awesome version of the rulebook multiple times while on the plane.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

To Infinity and beyond!

I've been doing some serious research into Infinity lately and I have to say that I'm really digging it.  Good thing my brother is in town and he's just as much of a geek as I am. I got really excited to play this game and I went home with a full batch of rules and proxy'd minis.  We had a good night of learning and playing as we watched Dark City and Waking Life. Shit got really really real.

I built a 200pt ALEPH list and a Yu Jing list with as much simplistic stuff as possible and gave the game a run through.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sisters Rumors, part 2

Straight from BoK!

It is that time again, thanks for reading and posting your questions. Let me start by letting everyone know I have no idea (or will never know for sure) about new model releases. I don’t know if the new sisters release will be resin or plastic or the numbers in the boxes, but like I said before my bet is on Finecast re-release. Now with that out-of-the-way on to new rules…

What is not in the Codex


The Units (some more information than others)

Canoness: Here is my special shout out to the Canoness: you are terrible. I mean grossly underpowered. Now this is going to sound like a cop-op, but I am not going into details because my hope is that she will be changed before release. It just sounds and looks like she is an unfinished product. She gets her own retinue that cannot do anything; she starts out cheap, but her upgrades are expensive and lame when you compare to everything else. So here is hoping to GW getting her fixed.

Repentia: Forgot to mention they have fleet

Celastians: Cheaper than a Marine, but not really anything going for them (that I know of)… extra attack. Re-roll hits for act of faith

Sister Battle Squad: Can still get a Heavy Flamer

Shraphim: They are pretty amazing. Cheaper than a Space Marine you get a Jump Packing, Hit and Running, and an act of faith that has them re-rolling wounds. You can also upgrade them to run with double hand flamers and melta pistols. They act both as an extra close combat weapon and become assault 2 instead of being twin-linked. So that means Assault 2 melta weapons.

Dominion Squads: Still get 4 special weapons. Act of Faith twin-linked.

Retributor Squads: Pretty fantastic. CHEAP! Talking under Long Fang cheap to fully kit out. Expect the return of the Heavy Bolter with these. Act of Faith is Rending.

Penitent Engines: Again fantastic. Same statline (Walker). No Scout or Infiltrate. Cheaper and can be a squadron aka 9 Engines. They still get the 1D6 attacks, but any wounds generate additional attacks (don’t know if they work like Blood Talons). 6+ Invul (don’t know if they generate faith)

That is all I got guys, if I get more will let you know. As always you can get a new developments by following Blood of Kittens.

Best way: Register with Blood of Kittens and receive email warnings about impending rumors or news.

Become a Facebook Fan of Blood of Kittens

Or join Blood of Kittens on Twitter

As always for those that don’t want to sign up for anything, don’t worry you will get all the same information as everyone else just no advance warning.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Grey Knights FAQ!

The FAQs:

Here are some things that stuck out:

Q: If a Grand Master gives a unit with personal
teleporters the Scouts special rule, can they use the
shunt move as a part of their Scouts move? (p22)
A: No.

No more first turn charges!

Q: Does a Dreadknight with a Nemesis doomfist strike
at Strength 6 or Strength 10 in close combat? (p34)
A: Strength 6, as it is not a walker.

Awkward wording on the NDF, but I guess that makes sense. Makes the Great Sword something to be desired now over what we thought was S10.

Q: For each Jokaero Weaponsmith in a henchman unit
after the first you add +1 to the Inconceivable
Customisation roll. Does this mean that if you have 6 or
more Jokaero in a unit that they will receive no
bonuses (as you cannot roll less than a 6 and duplicate
rolls are ignored)? (p50)
A: Yes.

So I guess take 5?

Q: Can models in Terminator armour embark onto an
Inquisitorial Chimera? (p51)
A: Yes.

And here's the final word.

Q: If a model with a Nemsesis force halberd has had his
Initiative reduced to a fixed number by an
ability/special rule, do they still get the +2 Initiative
from the Halberd? (p54)
A: No.

Lash Whips rejoice!

Q: How do you work out whether a psyker is affected
by the Psi-shock special rule on a mindstrike missile or
a psyk-out bomb? (57, 58)
A: Any psyker under the template will be effected by

Been playing it like this for a while, but I'm glad they made it clear.

Q: Do you take into account the strength increase from
the psybolt and psyflame ammunition vehicle upgrades
when working out if a weapon is a defensive weapon
or not? If a vehicle has either of these upgrades, must
you use them? (p62)
A: Yes to both questions.

S5 Hurricane Bolters do not count as defensive weapons! I hope everyone's been playing them right.

Q: Would an orbital strike relay targeted within 12" of
one or more servo-skulls have its scatter distance
reduced? (p62)
A: No, it always scatters the full 2D6".

Just icing on the cake.

Q: Are Wounds from Dangerous Terrain tests allocated
in the same way as shooting attacks? (p14)
A: No. Each model moving through dangerous terrain
must take a test. Each model that fails takes a Wound

A lot of people have been playing this as shooting for the purposes of allocation, but I'm glad that it's clear as day that each model has to take DTs.  This increases the chance your IC, Sanguinary Priest or Meltagun dudes fall on their face when jumping.

Q: Do the effects of the same psychic power cast
multiple times on the same unit stack? (p50)
A: Yes, unless specifically stated otherwise.

This is big, because this means that Hammerhand from a Librarian can stack with Hammerhand from a Paladin squad.  If you have a Grand Master in there, you can test for HH 3 times, so on and so forth.  Interesting...

Q: Can a psyker attempt to cast the same psychic
power more than once in a turn? (p50)
A: No, unless the psychic power itself specifically allows

This means that you can't just bring a Libby and have him spam HH to buff your dudes.  In order for you to stack, you must cast from separate sources.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

First batch of SoB rumors from BoK

Click this for SoB confirmation!

Updated: 1:19pm PST, 6-12-11

Thanks BoK for the awesome rumors:

Sorry for the delay real life got in the way for once. Before we get started just want to drop two cents to some comments made in my last post: the only reason I could come off as gloating or soap boxing about rumor vindication is because the instant I post a group of rumors across the Internet on forums elsewhere they are quickly discounted (which is fine), but many times it pretty venomous and my attitude is just a little way of defending myself; by pointing out who was right and who was wrong. So sorry to everyone that just wants rumors and no ego every time I post something, it is only directed at the certain naysayers and shouldn’t be taken as me trying to tell you how awesome I am. I am not always right, but for the most part I am pretty damn close so let us leave it at that.

Ok, with that said let us get on with why you are really here some SoB rumors.

As always let us start with the easy ones that pretty much everyone figured was going to happen.

Allies gone
Inquisition gone
Faith streamlined
USRs updated to 5th
Cheaper Unit costs
Inquisition elements gone

So let start with the big one and perhaps most controversial change to Sisters of Battle: Faith

I am amazed reading around the Net how quite few people had great guesses on how the new faith works. One caveat about the faith rules: I only have most of the story so let us hope someone else can pluck the rest from the aether. The only thing that really stays the same is only faith producing units can use faith. Gone is the over and under rules based on model count and gone is faith powers that everyone can use. It is replaced with every unit has its own unit specific act of faith to call upon.

So for instance Repentia Act of Faith allows them to always land an attack even if they are killed before they can swing. They are little bonuses like re-rolling to wound and hit, no USRs. Now this if fine and dandy if you just pop a faith point and bam! power goes off, but not so fast. Acts of Faith require that you roll 5+ to activate . This makes faith much more unreliable… maybe. In addition every unit that can get faith generates 1d6 faith points per turn. This also means that a new faith pool is generated each turn with no storing of past faith. As well faith can be activated in multiple phases of the game, so for instance you can re-roll to hit in your shooting phase or in your assault phase. What is not clear is a few things. Like how many dice can you throw at a single act of faith? How many times can you attempt to activated a power? If you get an act of faith to go off in one phase does it carry over to the next phase? If you fail an act of faith does that mean you cannot try again in another phase? I don’t have the answers, but what do you think?

Random tidbits

All Faith generating units get +6 invul save
All units that can get transports get Immolators or Rhinos
Assassins gone (Death Cult still in)
Wargear with the same names as GK wargear stay and get changed over. (e.g. Psybolt Ammo)
Karamazov gone
Priests in, pretty much same as before.
No change to the general Bolter, Melta, Flame concept of the Sisters


Sisters have about 5 HQ choices including Special Characters

St. Celestine: Same price as a Grand Master you get 2+/+4 saves, WS/BS 7 Jump Pack, Fleet, Power Weapons always wounds on 4+ Has the power to come back like GK Thawn if killed.

Confessor: Takes the slot of the old Inquisitors. Cheap HQ (Warboss). Can create a henchman band using most of the henchman found in the GK codex. What makes the Confessor extra deadly is the ability for it to re-roll hits and wounds for her and the squad. This is the translation of the rumor matrix. So think for one second about her and the Death Cult together?

Repentia: Cheaper close to SM cost. FNP, Rage, Fearless, 6+ invul, no transports

Battle Sister Squad: Cheaper 10-20 unit size (no combat squads), but has access to Immolators which begs the question… Immolators either get increased transport capacity or Sisters break the rules concerning model count and buying transports. Multiple acts of faith.

Exocists: Pretty much same as before.

This is it for now gents and dames. If you have any questions let me know I can see if can get them answered sometime this week with another post.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Can you build competitive and fluffy?

Before we go too deep into the lines of soul-searching, let's lay down some definitions first.  For me, the word competitive means to play your best.  This means improving on your generalship, optimizing your army list and designing an well-tuned army. I tagged an assload of articles I wrote previously and labeled them as "recommended".  These articles speak of list synergy, threat application and cost effectiveness.  This is the type of knowledge that I apply when playing competitively.

Now what about fluffy?  Or better yet, my definition of fluff:  You build your army how the army was designed to be played.  Space Wolves should be seeking a glorious death in combat and Blood Angels should be charging into the fray.  This is the element of fluff that I'm talking about and this is what I design most of my army lists around.  My recent article on BoLS called "Remembering Who We Are" covers my thoughts on this much more vividly.

As you guys have noticed, my blog's pretty much a competitive blog with a thematic twist.  You'll never see any Razorfang or RB spam lists here; instead you'll see well-tuned army lists trying to make my creations work.  I see army list construction a game in itself, and I take great pride in kicking ass with an army spewed from my own creativity.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My CSM predictions for the next book

I have an entire Forgeworld Death Guard army sitting at home doing nothing this edition.  Part of me wants to go out there and play them and the other part of me actually wants to win a game.  Keep in mind that I'm not saying it's impossible for CSM to win a game, but I don't think they can win in the manner that people want them to.  Why?  Because just like the Tyranid codex in 5th, the CSM codex was the worst codex to be released in 4th.

It's bad in a way that confuses players in terms of unit choices and leaves them with limited no-brainer options.  This severely limits a player's ability to make war with the units that he wants.  It's either because the units pale in comparison to others so much that it's stupid not to take them or they just plain out suck.  To me, there's nothing more frustrating than playing with an army book with a limited unit selection.  I want to be able to take whatever I want and make things work.  Just look at Space Wolves, you can take almost anything in the codex and make it work.  That's what I want for my Chaos Space Marines.

So what am I looking for next edition?
  • Marks over Icons.  You gotta be kidding me with Chaos Icons.  I mean, shit, there's no way in hell that Chaos Marines who share an allegiance with their godly patron suddenly lose their blessing for losing a god damn standard.  Ridiculous.
  • Overall stat boosts across all Chaos HQs.  This means WS7 Chaos Lords with at least 4 attacks.  He may either get some kind of 4++ equiv or be able to take Terminator armor.
  • Chaos Markings will be pretty similar methinks.  This means Khorne gets +1A, Nurgle gets +1T, Tz gets +1 sv. to their Invul and Slaanesh with +1I.  I don't mind this at all, and I think it works quite nice with 40K.  Who knows, if we're lucky, we'll see a lot of minor upgrades unique to the gods in the same manner as the Space Wolf trinkets.
  • Some form of psychic protection, definitely.  I'm confident we'll see the Sorcerer take some kind of protection that'll cause the enemy psyker to take perils.  It's fluffy and it makes sense in that respect.  Chaos needs some kind of psychic protection and it will be offensive in nature.
  • This also means that Chaos Sorcerers will also gain access to a good amount of psychic powers.  SM had an good amount, SW too, BA had even more and GK lol.  I'm expecting to see all kinds of psychic powers in there for Tz, Nurgle and Slaanesh.  Keep in mind that I'm expecting 1 page dedicated to powers from all the gods.  I highly doubt they'll break them up like they did in Fantasy.
  • Chaos Space Marines will probably be the most "cost effective" unit choice in the book.  If I was the next designer, I would bring back Veteran Skills.  Why?  The answer is simple and effective:  Because no one will take CSM over Plague Marines unless they do something unique.  Maybe they won't bring back Veteran Skills, but you bet your ass that the basic CSM trooper will be worth taking in their own rights.  Whether its by price, or the fact they can carry 2 specials or 2 heavies or 1 of each, or something else, they're going to be worth it.
  • You will still be able to take iconic units like Plague Marines, Rubric Marines, Khorne Berserkers and Noise Marines.  Don't worry, I don't think these guys will get moved to elite or anything.  If they do, they'll risk removing a huge chunk of the army and suffer the same catastrophic FOC problem that Tyranids do.
  • By the latest trend in book design, I don't think the next CSM book will see the return of Legions.  I think it will be focused on the four main god-legions:  World Eaters (Khorne), Thousand Sons (Tzeentch), Emperor's Children (Slaanesh) and Death Guard (Nurgle).
  • This also means that Abaddon is going to be a complete beast, Typhus, Kharn and Lucius will be pretty good, and fill in the rest here.  There's always one badass SC in every new codex we see, so I'm definitely betting on Abaddon being that.
  • Overall, I foresee a huge points drop for everything and many things getting boosted.  I can see Obliterators get their stats boosted (T5 maybe? or 3W?), CSM being able to take LRCs and possessed vehicle upgrades as plentiful/cheap as Extra Armor.  Havocs will probably see better days as well.  Depending on what happens to the Chaos Terminators, we might see the return of Chosen Terminators (or Chosen with the option to take TDA like Wolf Guard).
  • Lastly, I predict that the book will be written by Mat Ward.  He seems to have an affinity to all Space Marines.  Him or Phil Kelly, but I think Kelly's doing SoB.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Space Marine Mixed Armor Tactica

This is the long awaited vehicle tactica that deals with different armor groups, notably the AV13 toys that Space Marines have to play with.  One of the biggest follies in the 40K gaming community is that Predators and Vindicators suck because of their static nature and fixed firing ports.  A lot of people see this as a weakness because these two tanks, as dominate as they are in the front arc with their AV13 hulls, have AV11 side armor.  This means that every time they pivot and shoot, they're as durable as Rhino.

That must suck right?  Wrong.  This guide will show you the folly in your ways with some tested battle formations.  I took all these pics using my iPhone since my attempts at MS Paint sucked harder than it should have.  Keep in mind that this tactica is designed for a mechanized army.  Some elements in this guide may or may not work depending on what you field.

Short BR, SW vs. GK

This will be a tactics overview because the game was pretty much a slaughter in my favor.
Mission was Kill Points and deployment was Dawn of War.  Darian got 1 KP from a Rhino at the end of the game to my 8 (leaving on the Dread alive).

The list I ran was the following:

13 kp

Wolf Lord (TH/SS, RA, WTN, WTT, Bear) = 230
Rune Priest (Chooser, WTN) = 120

9x Grey Hunters w/ WG (Rhino, PF/cbM, Meltagun, WS, MotW) = 243
9x Grey Hunters w/ WG (Rhino, PF/cbM, Meltagun, WS, MotW) = 243
8x Grey Hunters w/ WG (Rhino, PF/cbM, Meltagun, WS, MotW) = 228

7x WGT (6x PW/CbP, 1x CF/CbP) = 281
in LRC (EA, MM) = 275

Predator (AC/LC) = 120
Predator (AC/LC) = 120
Predator (AC/LC) = 120


Darian ran..
2x 7x Grey Knight Terminators
2x Stormravens
Psyfleman Dread
10x Purifiers in a Rhino
Dreadknight w/ Heavy Psycannon and Incinerator

I have inserted 3 screenshots to help explain.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Wolf Lords, their word is law

The only time I find myself taking Wolf Lords is in games of 2K points.  At 1750 points, I find that the humble Rune Priest is all I need in the HQ slot.  Sometimes, I even take 2 Rune Priests as their psychic powers and psychic protection is too good to pass up on.  So why Wolf Lords?  Well, for one, I think they're one of the most iconic pieces in an old-school Space Wolf army.  Space Wolves, by design and fluff, are Vikings in Space who rely on honor and courage to carry them through the day.  That's why most of my army lists for Space Wolves have little in terms of campy shooting.

Now that I've thrown down that my Space Wolves enjoys the nitty gritty, let's examine my favorite Wolf Lord builds.  He is my physical manifestation on the battlefield:

Wolf Lord
Runic Armor
Frost Blade (or Thunder Hammer), Storm Shield
Wolf Tooth Necklace
Wolf Tail Talisman
Saga of the Warrior Born (or Saga of the Bear)
225 points (or 230 with Thunder Hammer), Thunderwolf Mount for 45 more.

Let's take a look at this build and examine what I like about it.  He has 4 attacks, has 2+ armor and 3++ invul saves, always hits on 3+ vs. anything with a WS with a S5 power weapon and goes ape shit after killing things in melee.  He averages 2 MEQ kills in the first round of combat and that bumps his attacks up to 6 in the next round of combat since he gets +attacks for each model killed in the previous combat.  The Warrior Born Saga is more for fun really, since it allows him to chew through enemies so you can tally up the totals.  Wolf Tail Talisman is one of those neat little gizmos that lets you take a 5+ save against anything that's targeting you or your squad with a psychic power.  If you roll a 5+, you negate the psychic ability outright.  If I could be anyone in 40K, it would probably be this guy.

Why no Terminator Armor?  Because if you want a Storm Shield, you're going to have to pay 15 points more on top of the 40.  Runic Armor is 20, Storm Shield is 30, so for 5 less points, you have the same 2+/3++, can be put in a Rhino, takes up less room in a LR, has the benefits of Runic Armor (5+ invul vs. all wounds caused by psychic attacks) and you keep your frag and krak grenades.  It's a no brainer at this point.  Saga of the Bear makes your Lord immune to instant death because of Eternal Warrior and the Thunder Hammer allows him to deliver crushing force against anything in the game.

What it really comes down to is whether or not you want to put the Lord on a Thunderwolf mount or not.  Personally, Thunderwolves don't make sense to me because marines are riding them.  It's 40K years into the future and as if things couldn't be more ridiculous, marines are now riding ancient battle beasts.  Aside from how ludicrous this may seem, we can't overlook the benefits of a Lord on the Thunderwolf.  True T5 makes him immune to Fists (although not Force Weapons), the extra attack and strength makes him a beast in combat.  The higher strength makes all the weapon options good to have:  The Wolf Claw is cheap and S5 re-roll hits or wounds is fantastic at killing MEQ, S6 Frost Blades are more dangerous to vehicles and S10 Thunder Hammers just rock anything in the game.  With 6 attacks on the charge, the Lord is absolutely fantastic at putting down anything in combat.

Unless you're taking a Wolf Lord on a Thunderwolf, the WL can be put anywhere you want.  I personally like to put him a LRC with a WGT retinune, but I feel very comfortable putting him in a squad of Grey Hunters.  The great thing about Runic Armor is that it allows the Wolf Lord to travel freely.  If he wants to be in a Rhino, he can, if he doesn't feel like being bogged down by Terminators, he can leave and join something else.  Best of all, the Wolf Lord can run things down once he beats their ass in combat.  For that reason, I like to keep my Wolf Lord as violent as possible.  He is my personal avatar on the field and there's nothing better than seeing him rampage through mutants and aliens in the name of the Allfather.

If you like taking a Wolf Lord too, let me know what config you like traveling with.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How do you fight against I6 Halberds?

Email in: How do you fight against I6 Halberds?

If they're on Purifiers, the answer should be quite simple:  Shoot them to shit.  Forcing enough wounds is enough to kill Purifiers so I suggest focus firing on them as much as possible.  Everything that kills normal marines kills Purifiers just fine.  You do not want to get into combat with these guys with normal marines, no way.  Even BA elites lose when charging into Purifiers with Halberds because everyone's swinging before you and killing marines with each wound.  That's after you take your Cleansing Flame wounds.

So what do I shoot them with?  Marines hate plasma, in every sense of the word.  S7 AP2 wounds and kills every type of marine on 2s and the options to get them can be plentiful.  Walkers can take a Plasma Cannon, Dev Squads or Long Fangs can take Plasma Cannons, Honor Guard can take 4x Plasmsa Guns, Wolf Guard can take combi-plasmas up the ying-yang and Sternguard can take both.

What if he takes Terminators with Halberds?  GKT can have up to 3 attacks each with the BBanner and 2+ armor makes them pretty resilient against wound saturation from normal means.  However, 2+ armor is still prone on getting its ass beat by plasma shots.  Normal shots also work, but you have to shoot the living crap out of them (most likely with your entire army) in order to force enough failed armor saves.

But, but, Paladins don't die from anything!  This is true, to an extent.  If the Paladin squad has as Apothecary, they're not going to take damage from anything save for plasma shots and meltagun shots.  Forcing wounds with S8 can be a lot harder than you think considering the amount of anti-tank firepower coming from a balanced list.  The only way to reliably kill Paladins is by a huge number of meltagun or lascannon shots.  If they're in cover with Shrouding up, good luck with that.  At that point, it's better to take the fight to them in the most extreme of ways, the nitty gritty of close combat.

GK Paladins can be absolutely horrendous to deal with in close combat.  If the squad has a Grand Master, you're going to be in for one hell of a fight.  Rad Grenades makes you T3, Hammerhand makes him S5 and you do the math.  Psychotroke can be hit or miss, but its effects always happen so you know for sure you're in a world of suck.  Blind Grenades also reduce the number of attacks you're going to get so be prepared to suck it up and attack with EVERYTHING you've got.  The best way to deal with Paladins is by massive combined arms.  That means your entire army moves, shoots and assaults the same target (the Paladin unit). If you absolutely have to kill the unit, here's what you do:

Step #1 - Bait them out of cover.  Run away, flee, hide, tank shock, do something that forces them to leave the sanctuary of cover and you will have a better chance at killing him.  The reason for this is that you need to shoot them with as many high-power, low-ap weapons as you can without him taking any cover saves.

Step #2 - You need to shoot him with everything.  Every bit of anti-armor firepower and every bolter should be aimed at the Paladins that are out of cover.

Step #3 - You need to assault him with everything at the same time.  Get as many models into the fight as possible and deliver as many fists as possible.  The more Fists you can deliver into the fight, the higher your chances at winning.  Get as many models in base to base with Paladins as possible so you force him to swing at different squads.  If you throw in one unit at a time, you are simply wasting points as the Paladins will probably slaughter you to the man.

What kind of changes have I made to my lists?  My WGT now take a crap ton of combi-plasmas and I've replced my Long Fangs with AC/LC Predators.  My BA already shoots a crap ton more than my SW, so I've made no changes to my 3/3 Baal-AC/LC Pred config.  With 9 Meltashots and Mephiston, I should be able to tear some shit up without dying too horribly.  And my DE, well, they've always been as good as they're going to get when it comes to destroying smaller elite armies.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Long Fangs vs. Predators

Believe it or not, I play Space Wolves.  They're actually my first Space Marine army after Grey Knights and the first army I blogged about.  I think it's time to pump out a few articles on them this week.  To start things off, let's talk about a rarely discussed topic.

We all know Long Fangs rock and for good reason.  They are cheap, effective and put out diverse and powerful long-range firepower.  As you can see from this article I wrote a while back about Long Fang loadouts, I do like myself some missiles.  However, with the recent shift in the meta, I'm wondering if there are other options out there for Space Wolves.  Let's take a moment and look shall we?

First, let's look at the humble Predator.
Not just any Predator, but the AC/LC Predator that comes in at 120 points.

What's the difference between the Pred and the standard loadout of ML Long Fangs?  Well for one, it's cheaper, by 20 points.  It's AV13 and it's a vehicle and thus is immune to DE Venoms, S6 shots from Mechdar and better protection vs. S8 shots since it needs a 5 to glance.  With 2 BS4 Lascannon shots at S9 and 2 BS4 S7 Autocannon shots, it's an incredible fire platform vs. vehicles and MCs but lacks severely when it comes to hordes.  Just like Long Fangs, once deployed, there's very little opportunity to move these things around unless you want to sac a round of shooting.  The only difference is that if Long Fangs want to move, they'll take a Razorback (more points) whereas the Predator will move 12" and smoke.

Long Fangs can also Split Fire, but most ML loadouts opt to shoot all their missiles at one target to force results.  Flexibility is there, definitely, but for all intensive purposes, the Predator and the Long Fangs share similar target priority vs. vehicles.  The biggest drawback of the Predator is the dreaded VDC.  If you're glanced, you're spending 120 points to sit there for a turn.  If one of your Long Fangs die, you pull the Leader and continue shooting 5 missiles back at your opponent.  Of course, we can also say if the Pred got stunned or shaken, it doesn't lose any damage potential next round whereas you might lose out on missile fire if Long Fangs start dying.  There are pros and cons from both, but for the points mentioned, both are solid choices imo.

I think this is where the metagame comes in.  Looking around my area, I see a shit ton of different Space Marines, BA, SW, Grey Knights, Mech IG, Tyranids and Dark Eldar.  Orks are a rarity but I think I'll mention them anyway so players get a better picture.  I only have one friend who plays Eldar and he's got a good amount of diversity as well.  I think it's safe to say that against mech-focused armies, the AC/LC Predator serves a better role.  Unless, of course, you're siting cross table from Long Fangs who can outspam you in terms of raw shots.  When fighting Grey Knights, AC/LC Preds are better imo.  S9 AP2 gives you a solid answer to Paladins and Terminators and Lascannons are better for punching through Psyfledreads.  Lastly, it goes without saying that Predators are much better vs. Dark Eldar.  You ignore Splinter Cannon fire from his Venoms and destroy vehicles with each breath you take.  Against the likes of Tyranids and Orks however, when the ever-shifting need of anti-horde and anti-crappy armor arises, the Long Fangs are clearly superior.