Friday, August 31, 2012

DW Fleet Analysis

Play this game!

This post will highlight and analyze the pros and cons of each faction of Dystopian Wars.  There's currently 7 core nations to the game so I'll go over them first.  Each faction has their own unique thing going for them, so I'll try to touch upon their aesthetics as well as their playstyle in this review.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

BR: 1000pts EotBS vs. RoF

Om nom nom..

I'm not really sure how to do DW battle reports just yet, but I figure I'll do it in my classic bullet point format.  However, I'm changing one little thing.  Since I want to add my fleet/ship analysis to the game as well, I'm going to use my navy list and comment on the particular ships and how they contributed to the battle.  Alright, let's go!

My list:
Hachiman DN
Kiyohime BCV
3x Tanuki CA
2x 4x Uwatsu FF
2x Ika Squidies
2x 5x Torpedoes

His list:
Magenta MKII BB
2x Magenta Prototype BB
Couronne BCV
3x Marseille CA
2x 4x Chevalier DD
2x 5x Torpedoes

I'll start by going over my units:
  • The Hachiman is an interesting ship.  It wants to stay far away and shoot with its boss 9 rockets at RB4, but at the same time it wants to get close because the guns on it is pitiful from far away.  I used it in a manner which was most aggressive; shooting out rockets from RB4 all the way to RB2 where I could use my guns.  He drew an asston of fire from the opposing fleet, and eventually limped around with 6 damage on it and having its primary/secondary weapons rolling half dice from a crit (I failed to repair twice).  His main contribution to the battle was launching a few dudes over after the Ikas ate all the marines on his Magenta MKII BB.
  • The Kiyohime BCV was not very impressive.  I kept him moving fast in hopes of bringing some powerful weapons into the fray, but I couldn't damage anything with this ship.  His stats are overall pretty low, with the main saving grace being his main turret and his P/S guns.  Unfortunately, he took a lot of damage over the course of the game, with him limping towards the front lines with 6/7 points worth of damage.  His main contribution was sending over his marines and capturing the Couronne BCV after bloody melee.  My Kiyohime made it out of the game though, just barely limping forward with its guns neutered and hull teared to shreds.
  • My Tanuki Gunships were amazing in this game.  They poured out constant and immediate damage with their rockets, hitting all targets at RB4 on all sides with their 6 rockets a piece.  Over the course of the game, they downed several enemy destroyers, damaged several enemy BBs, put damage on his Cruisers, as well as prizing 2/3 Marseille CAs.  I believe I used this unit the best, as I kept them limping towards the enemy fleet in RB2 so I can get their Main Turrets, Fore Torpedoes and Rocket Batteries (shooting at RB3/4 targets) in constant action.  When the fight called for it, I was able to Sharp Turn towards promising targets and apply Secondary Main Turrets in RB1 while simultaneously launching 6 AP each for boarding actions.  The 4/8 statline with 6 HP also helped the ships far longer than they should.
  • I was relatively impressed with my Uwatsu FFs even though they took a severe beating from the enemy fleet.  Most the Chevaliers were tasked to destroying my Frigates, and once the CAs and BBs joined in, all my ships were either broken limping forward towards the enemy at half strength.  My opponent suggested that the damage (or dice rather) he was putting out from his dual flying Magentas were poor, but I looked at the damage inflicted on my FFs from everything else and I consider it a fair trade!  A single Uwatsu in close proximity to an enemy ship can pour out 7 dice linking fire with himself.  If I had more of these suckers in combat, I would be rolling a ton more dice.  Unfortunately, it seems like the Uwatsus are the Chevalier's favorite snack.
  • Last, I'll talk about my Ika Squids.  I think it goes without saying that EotBS players everywhere recommend taking 2x of these even more so than the DN.  Despite my rather shoddy deployment with these guys (deployed a bit too far), they were able to reach combat by Turn 4 and just take things over.  Two of them were able to derelict his slightly damaged Magneta MKII with losing only one tentacle, one of them single-handily stripped his Magenta Prototype, and both were able to sustain an enormous amount of firepower with their 5/10 Rugged Construction and 6 HP each.  I think from now on, I'm just going to put these guys in the middle and make a B-line for the closest fatty ship.  They're also horrifying to face once they emerge from the water because everything from his fleet went into them.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Why you should play Dystopian Wars

Is that a Giant Squid or are you happy to see me?

A quick blurp about why Dystopian Wars is awesome and why you should play it.

Movement is King

Dystopian Wars, in a nutshell, is a naval steampunk version of Chess.  Movement is absoutely crucial in this game and correct usage of your fleet's movement, postioning and deployment will win you the game.  At first, you might think that this is a game that will force you to roll up to your opponent and roll dice.  God knows the combat system is really smiple and the opportunity to roll huge amounts of dice (which can explode into more dice) is always the way to do it.  While for many people this seems to be the case, this is not.

Movement is different for almost every single ship in the game.  Their sizes dictate how much they can turn, they might have a special rule (MAR) that allows them to turn on the dime, or they might have greater movement values in general.  Knowing how each of your ships move around the seascape is what really matters.  The reason for this is because collision, ramming, blocked LoS, and blocking enemy LoS all matters in this game.  If you fail in how you deploy, your movement will not be fluid and thus, your combat potential and strategy will not be fluid.  If you get too itchy and make shoddy maneuvers with your fleet in hopes of bringing all your guns to bear, you might block the firing lanes for your other ships.  The list goes on and on, and it's one of the most realistic and unforgiving elements that makes this naval wargame great.

Activation is Important

Once you determine who is going first every round, the order at which you activate will be most important.  If you have more units than your opponent, you will have the opportunity to move the "less important" units first.  This can be used so you can move your "more crucial" pieces after all his activations are over.  You can also assume that some of these activations are bluffs, and clever admirals will not take the bait in moving the pieces you want him to.  Some players might move units just so your opponents will see a juicy target.  If he takes the bait, it can potentially set off a chain of events that'll lead to the destruction of his entire fleet.  In a system where it's you-go-I-go, the damage that can be inflicted either works like a ramp or a downward spiral.  This is why tempo and momentum is very important in any given battle.

The order of activations will determine how damage is being dealt most of the time.  If you wish to get the jump on his ships in terms of damage, you will probably activate your bigger ships first.  However, in doing so, might leave you exposed to counter-attacks from smaller ships who can close the distance quickly.  With this in mind, it becomes clear that all activations are equally important in the long run.  Your bigger pieces are capable of doing more damage from different directions, while the medium and smaller elements of your fleet can act more like a scalpel compared to your hammers.

Firing Arcs and Directional Combat

Last, but certainly not least, I'll cover firing arcs and directional combat briefly.  Here is where the game really gets interesting.  Once you factor in movement with the order of activations, the game gets pretty exciting.  Throw in different firing arcs, sweet spots and damage mitigation, and the game becomes excellent.  Just like movement, different ships have different weapons.  Some might have fixed arcs, some have turrets and others have broadsides.  To make things even more interesting, some ships have all three.  In order to maximize the amount of damage you can inflict on your opponent's ships, players must utilize every weapon in their disposal.  They do this by activating them in the correct order, moving them into the exact location where they'll do the most damage, and bring all their weapons to bear to inflict maximum damage.  This in turn, can mean their ships can be exposed to flanking manuevers, boarding, and most famous of all, getting their T-crossed by the enemy's heavy hitters.

Firing arcs is important also because of Line of Sight.  Firing lanes have to be opened to generate the most effecient attack and your opponent who's trying to reverse the momentum of the game knows this.  You can move your ships in front of other ships to block the amount of damage coming in, or to act as shields for enemy torpedos, or to deter enemies from boarding you.  Add in the fact that your Large and Massive ships can shoot over your smaller ships and all kinds of defensive damage scenarios can arise.  Ultimately, its up to the admiral in charge of his fleet to deal the maximum amount of damage, and maneuver in a way that he'll receive little to no damage in return.

Shallow yet Deep

If you look at the individual systems themselves, Dystopian Wars is a very easy to learn system.  You roll up,  you aim your guns, you roll dice, and hopefully something bad happens to the enemy ships.  However, once you combine the elements of movement, activation order, and firing arcs, the game gets incredibly complex.  Don't panic when I say complex, I mean it in the best of ways.  I really enjoy games that are easy to learn, but hard to master.  I've only played a few games of Dystopian Wars so far, and every single time I can look back in confidence knowing I could of played better.  The best thing about DW is that all of the above game mechanics are entwined.  Smart activation gives you more opportunities to maneuver, and this in turn leads to better damage from clear firing arcs.  It's been a long time since I've played a naval game this deep.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

DW: Empire of the Blazing Sun

The Empire's fate depends on the result of this battle,
let every man do his utmost duty.
-Admiral Tōgō

This might look like a random post for a lot of people, but believe it or not, I'm a big fan of Dystopian Wars. At first, the whole steampunk element of the game didn't call to me, but it's not the genre of the game that matters, it's how the game plays.  I had the same problem with Warmachine, but I didn't care because the gameplay was solid and the rules were great.

Dystopian Wars is the best naval warfare game that I've ever played, yes, even more so than Uncharted Seas, Firestorm Armada or even the vaulted Battle Fleet Gothic.  A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I owned a Corsair Eldar fleet and played BFG.  Then I stumbled along Firestorm Armada few years ago and played that.  I found the game to be a little shallow compared to what I had played in BFG, so I wondered into Uncharted Seas.  Uncharted Seas was great, but the lack of players in my area really turned me off.  DW takes what was good in the first two games (Uncharted and Firestorm) and mixes it into one.  In some ways, it feels like it's an upgunned version of Uncharted Seas.

Here's what I like most about Dystopian Wars:
  • Maneuvering matters a lot; just like how real naval warfare should be.  Getting into good positions for your firing arcs while denying the enemy is king.
  • Line of Sight matters:  Having your units screen for other units, or activating your units in a way that your enemies return fire is weakened by intervening units is awesome.
  • Collision and spacial awareness matters:  Being able to maneuver well on the battlefield and planning several moves in advance is what's going to be the driving factors in winning later engagements.
The faction that I chose to play is the Empire of the Blazing Sun.

From what I hear on the forums, the faction has a pretty steep learning curve, is considered a little on the weak side, and some units are questionably bad.  You know what?  I heard the same thing about Dark Eldar when I first started and I'm not one to back down from a challenge.

Besides, they're Japanese and I always wanted to play the Japanese in some kind of wargame.

With that said, I wanted to show off my 1K point navy for the EotBS.  I already have most of these pieces and my reinforcements should be in by Friday.

1x Hachiman DN = 235
1x Kiyohime BCV (Torps) = 130
2x Ika Squids = 200
3x Tanuki CL = 225
4x Uwatsu FF = 100
4x Uwatsu FF = 100
2x 5x Torpedo Bombers = Free!

Let's just say that the first things to stand out is the choice of the Dreadnought and the Kiyohime Assault Carrier over the Tenkei Sky Fortress.  As crazy as it sounds, I don't like the look of the Tenkei Sky Fortress model.  Not only do people think I'm crazy for that, but they also think I'm crazy for not taking a model that's incredibly good for its cost.  I think the biggest factor that draws me into the Kiyohime is the fact that it's well-armed, can be screened by my Gunships, and has Sharp Turn.  After playing a game last night of the newest version of Dystopian Wars (played as the British vs. my friend's French), I forgot how incredibly awesome having Sharp Turn is on all your ships.

The Hachiman DN is in there for also aesthetic purposes.  I really like the look of the ship, even though I acknowledge that it's nowhere as good as the other Dreadnoughts.  However, one cannot simply look at the ship in a vacuum.  I acknowledge the fact that the Hachiman will probably lose in a DN vs. DN duel, but I can't look past the fact that it's basically an upgunned BB with better stats in almost every way.  The rockets from the ship also tears people a new one, shooting with 9 dice from RB4 and packs a ton of damage from 3x AD13 turrets at RB1.  Not just that, it comes in at 235 and comes stock with either a Shield or Disruption Generator.  For the price, I think the DN is decently-costed (it's the other ships I find outrageous for their price).  The only downside is that I think the designers over at SG missed the chance to make the ship truly unique:  The ship doesn't have the +1 CR racial that EotBS has on all its other ships, and the MN rating of 5 on the back of the ship draws one giant WTF.  I'll probably mess around with 14 CR and/or higher MN variants of the ship via opponent's permission to judge its potential.

The rest of the list is pretty self-explanatory.  You have your anti-BB/DN squids who goes Submerged, 2x 4x Uwatsu FFs to link 16 AD at RB1, 3x Tanuki Gunships because they're almost mandatory in terms of price/effectiveness (and look awesome), and as many Torpedo Bombers as possible because that's what Empire excels at.  Faster Torpedos forcing your opponents to re-roll all successful CC saves from 20" threat is no joke.

I'll have the entire fleet assembled and on the table for next Tuesday.  Stay tuned for the BR!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Leaked Dark Vengeance pics!

Check it out yo.
From the 6th Ed. 40K starter set called Dark Vengeance.
For more:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

More CSM rumors from BoK!

From Blood of Kittens!

Rumor Has It: CSM Codex Rumor Drop Part 2

Rumor Has It: CSM Codex Rumor Drop Part 2
Thanks for waiting everyone.
If you missed my first drop here is a link to take you back a few weeks.
First off, I want to say that it just doesn’t make any sense for GW to release the new Starter Set with models that doesn’t have a codex, so we have to assume that CSM codex will be out before the starter set. The only way they don’t  (would be a big slap in the face) would be they add a mini update like Daemons and still put off the CSM codex release.
Anyway on to more rumors/leaks.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Some thoughts on 6th Ed. gameplay

Takin' some slaves.

After a month or so of gaming with 12 or so games under my belt, I think I'm feeling 1500-1750 being the most optimal level of balance.  I built a few MEQ lists at 1500, but I found that they suffer a little bit in terms of choices, allies and overall list construction.  At 1750, I think MEQ can step up to the plate and feel pretty comfortable.  I always feel comfortable with my DE at 1500, and I feel no different when I step up to the plate at 1750.  In fact, I feel that 1750 allows me to make some serious list alterations for the better.  Options open up and I'm able to expand and max out all my squads if I want to.

I've also noticed that some armies tend to scale near infinitely.  I played a funny game the other day with a list my friend made (the list was pretty bad).  The guy I played against had a pretty good idea how to build a IG list with GK allies, and I found myself wondering what the hell I was up against.

Here's what I had:
10x ASM w/ JP Priest
5x Sanguinary Guard w/ JP Chaplain
Stormraven w/ 10x ASM on foot w/ some Lamenters FW dude (not my list)
and a Baal Pred w/ TLAC and HB sponsons in reserve

I tried to play well, I really did.. but the list was so disgracefully bad I don't think I had a chance.  I asked him if he was deliberately trying to fuck me and he said no.  After I got tabled by turn 4 by..

CSS squad manning ADL Quad-Gun
Platoon squad
2x Heavy teams w/ ACs
2x Leman Russ
2x 10x GKSS Rhinos w/ Psybolts and 2x Psycannons
and a Vendetta

I asked him why the list is so bad.  His reply is:  I just took random ass shit.  Gee man, thanks.  Last time you build my list.  In fact, the only reason why I didn't take something I made was because I wanted to try something different.  Never again.

Anyways, I looked across the table and wondered: How the fucking shit does he have all that while I barely have anything on the field.  Yes, it could be that my friend likes really overpriced options, believes that variety is the spice of life (or death to marines), and that nipple armor is cool.  It could also be that IG is just really competitively costed and GKs make up for every weakness they ever had.  Since everyone HAS to deploy 50% of your army now, DoA is completely dead and BA armies will have to deploy almost everything or fail utterly.  I seriously see no other alternative:  You must saturate the field with targets minus your flyer, or else you're just not threatening vs. an army that puts down everything on the table.

I went back to my desk the next day and wrote up a BA list.  Here's what I came up with:

Librarian JP
2x 10x ASM jumpers w/ PF/Infernus, 2x Meltas
2x 5x ASM in TLLC Razorbacks
1x JP Priest
2x AC/LC Predators
1x Stormraven w/ EA, TLMM, TLLC

Alright, the list is definitely much better and fits under the criteria that I have with all my MEQ armies:  No less than 30 scoring marine boots on the table.  There's a good amount of Lascannons in there, on Fast-moving hulls, but definitely a lot less than I wanted at 1500 points.  Since the SR has to go in reserve, my presence on the field is 4 vehicles as cover, Libby w/ jump ASM unit and the Priest w/ the other ASM unit.  Ideally, I probably want the RBs to sit back and hold scoring troops while my AC/LC plays the strafing Lascannon game.  The JP Libby, Priest and 2x 10x ASM squads will had to go in reserve, and hopefully everything comes on on Turn 2 for mass pressure on my opponents side of the board (while at the same time, relieving pressure from my tanks).

I know I went off on a tangent a little, but here are some things you can take from what I've said so far:
  • Marines feel pretty limited at 1500.  They feel much better at higher point games.
  • Dark Eldar feels really good at 1500, I think that's their strongest point range.  At 1750, they're still good, but other armies can put out a lot more fire.  On the plus side, DE also gets more options at this level.
  • All reserve armies are dead - you must saturate the field with targets or else you're bound to fail.  I think the magic number is at least a 70-30 points spent showing on the field vs. what's in reserve (including fliers).  Anything smaller and it'll work against you vs. an army that deploys in full.  Of course, this depends on what you field and what the match-up is, but this is a good starting number I think.
  • Unless you have IG allies, I'm not convinced that 1500 is a good place for taking allied troops.  I tried mixing a few lists together, but I always feel like I'm choked on points for bodies, or I just don't cover enough bases.  I see myself focusing a lot on singular armies at 1500 and only look towards allied options at 1750+.
  • I feel IG plays very well at all levels, but get even stronger as the points go on due to Squadrons and competitive options in every FOC slot (basically the same as 5th).  This also applies to them being Allies options (this is new to 6th), and GK helping out their main weakness makes them even stronger than before.
  • Lastly, something needs to be done with the Warlord traits.  There's times your opponent rolls something that's awesome: Stealth/MTC Ruins and I roll Outflank when I have no units to Outflank.  Or, he rolls +1 to reserve rolls when he has nothing to reserve, and I roll Night Fighting vs. his shooty army.  Although Warlord traits are kinda fun and add a nice random element to the game (yes, I said nice random), it's a pretty big game-changer.  Maybe we can do what NOVA Open plans to do and that's:  Roll 1 dice on 2 different trait charts, pick 1 trait from the 2.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

40K: The latest info on Starter Sets!

Words can hurt.

Here's the latest on Starter Set info from Beasts of War!

So the word has been out for some time that the new Warhammer 40K starter box, replacing Assault on Black Reach, will (or is that should) contain Dark Angels and Chaos Marines… but is that really true… and if it is, what will you get?
Well, you might feel better to know there are still some insiders in the Stalinist like regime that is GW who want the fans to be excited and those plucky rebels have braved the wrath of the mighty Empire to bring you some solid information on the contents of the new box… information that bodes very well for those interested, not only in starting 40K, but those with existing collections too!
So here we go… and remember… many Bothan spies lost their lives bringing you this information!
Chaos Cultists are in!
That’s right all you Chaos players… I refused point blank to believe that GW would ever release Chaos Cultist, but they have. The Dark Vengeance boxed set (did I not mention the name previously?) will have 2 units of 10 Chaos Cultist models, one armed with auto-guns (with a shotgun & CC weapon for the leader and a Heavy Stubber support trooper) and one with auto-pistol & CC weapon (with 2 CC weapons for the leader and a Flamer support model).
The Chaos Cultist look like everything you’ve ever wanted for Chaos. They’re bound in rags, with metal half-masks and weapons that suit the cobbled-together, improvised look that you expect from the dregs of Chaos.
But that’s not all for those naughty Chaos worshippers; they’re getting a unit of 6 Chosen…elite Chaos Space Marines, armed with a variety of Power Weapons (a Maul on the Sergeant, a Power Fist, a Chain Axe and a set of Lightning Claws by the look of things). The remaining Chosen are armed with Boltguns, but this bodes well for the potential that these exemplars of Chaos might get some more customisable options in the upcoming new Chaos Marines codex.
To lead your forces, you have the obligatory Chaos Lord, armed with a Power Sword & Plasma Pistol. His pose is a bit static, but that is only in comparison to the much more animated Chosen.
Lastly… what would Chaos be without something big and menacing to bring to the table? Well… how about a brand new model… the Hellbrute!
The massive Hellbrute model comes equipped with a Multi-Melta & Power Fist. Suggesting that this isn’t a Dreadnought replacement, but is in fact a huge suit of specialist armour crewed by a Chaos Marine (or more likely a Champion). Actually, the model resembles a huge suit of Terminator Armour with lots of cool Chaos gribbly bits… I’m hoping for a Monstrous Creature that acts like the Dreadknight… what about all you Chaos fans? What would you like it to be?
But what about the Dark Angels?
They haven’t been left wanting and with a new codex (no doubt in their future) there is quite a bit to have a look at.
Firstly, they wouldn’t be Space Marines without the obligatory 10 man Tactical Squad. However, the Dark Angel Tactical-Squad has a twist… it’s got Plasma!
The ordinary Space Marine grunts come sporting a Boltgun, but the squad also has a Plasma Gunner and a Heavy Plasma Cannon model giving support… and just to round out the theme… a Plasma Pistol/Chainsword Sergeant.
Looks like that squad will be getting hot!
The Tactical Squad also has a mixture of poses, this time around. Some of the Bolter-totting Marines are holding their ubiquitous weapon at jaunty angles to make the squad look a bit more animated… and it works too… good job GW!
The Marine side wouldn’t be Space Marines without a smattering of Terminators… so you get a squad of 5 of them. It’s a pretty standard squad, with Stormbolter/Power Fist, with a Power Sword Sergeant. However, you do get an Assault Cannon and Chainfist option… and true to previous form… the models now come in a variety of more dynamic poses with the squad sergeant even sporting Wings but thankfully no nipple armour!
The last squad in the box is a unit of 3 Space Marine (or Ravenwing) Bikers, with Sergeant and one Biker sporting Bolt Pistol/Chainsword and the third Biker packing a Plasma Gun. The models look similar to previous Ravenwing Bikers (with that big wing banner on the back) and are probably the least inspiring out of the box.
But let’s not end on a low… let’s talk about the Dark Angel Triple Whammy… 3 Heroes!
The box will contain a Dark Angels Company Master (Balthasar)… resplendent with his erect Power Sword!
A Dark Angels Librarian… with a slightly less impressive looking Force Sword… and a limited edition Interrogator Chaplain, who’s Power Armour (including smoking exhaust details) and embellished robe might be the most ostentatious model in the box!
That’s all the models in the box… but what about the Rulebook?
I know many of you have been planning to buy the box (price TBC) in order to get your hands on the smaller rulebook. So rest easy… there will be one in the box.
There will also be templates and a new How to Play Dark Vengeance booklet, that allows you to jump right into the action.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Which Forgeworld models are OP?

Forgeworld: Yay or Nay?

I'm not a huge Forge World fan as most of you know already, but all this talk about FW becoming official has got me thinking.  By official, I mean that the stuff FW puts out will be allowed in tournaments and can be taken whenever just like a normal codex option.  Also, the lack of anti-air has a lot of people looking towards FW as possible options.

Before we continue down this path, I want to touch upon my biggest fear about FW models.  I'm all for player options, but I'm not for adding more imbalanced units.  From what I can see, FW does put out a lot of stuff that's fair, but they also put out stuff that's really powerful.  Even more questionable, the units available for the Imperial armies far outweigh the Xenos armies in both power and availability.

With that said, which FW units are considered overpowered?
Should there be a ban list?
If so, who gets to make these decisions, and when does it stop?
Should we start banning Codex units too?
Looks like we're back to permission only again.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Battle Brothers onto death!

Let's stare at the Allies Matrix.


OK, now that we're done staring, let's think about all the crazy combinations.  Keep in mind that Battle Brothers come with the best benefits because all allied units are treated as "friendly units."  This means ICs can join them and confer their special rules and psychic blessings and what not can be shared.  Allies of Convenience cannot be joined by other ICs and you can't cast psychic powers are them.  I'm not too fond of this type of alliance because you can't really do any cool combos, but at least they won't just stand there like idiots on a roll of a 1.  That's what Desperate Allies has to offer.

I'll start by listing what I think to be the strongest elements from each codex.  You know what?  I'll do it in groups.  But before I do, I want you guys to see the Allied FOC chart:

1x HQ (Mandatory)
1-2x Troops (Mandatory)
1x Fast Attack (Optional)
1x Elite (Optional)
1x Heavy (Optional)

Get ready to do some reading.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Build-A-Hero Part I

Sup bro, wanna go?

Here's a little game that's both fluffy and fun.

I had a talk with one of my friends on who I would be from any codex in the 40K universe.  The only rules are that you must be able to build him from a 40K codex.  I think our next step is to physically build the model and paint them for use in our games.  That way, you can actually be on the battlefield!

Here's me..

Wolf Lord, Runic Armor, Belt of Russ, Frostblade, Wolf Tooth Talisman, Wolf Tail Talisman, Meltabombs, Saga of the Warrior Born

For now, don't write the points out on your dude.
Why?  Because there's a Part II coming to this exercise that you guys will love.

Hi, I'm a Wolf Lord from the Space Wolves Chapter.
Who are you?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Unholy Union

Team Jacward.

Alright guys, I think I got something going here with 2 of my marine armies.  So as you guys know, I have Space Wolves and Blood Angels.  I took a look at the Allies chart today and noticed both to be Blood Brothers.  Why?  I have no fucking clue.  I guess the whole thing about Werewolves and Vampires hating on eachother isn't true in the 40K universe.  They are, after all, Battle Brothers until death!

Anyways, here's the list I'm thinking about trying for 1750:

14 VP

Rune Priest (RA, WTT) = 125
Librarian* (JP) = 125

9x Grey Hunters (Rhino, WG/PF/CbM, Plasma Gun, MotW, WS) = 243
9x Grey Hunters (Rhino, WG/PF/CbM, Plasma Gun, MotW, WS) = 243
8x Grey Hunters (Rhino, WG/PF/CbM, Plasma Gun, MotW, WS) = 228
10x ASM* (PF/Infernus, 2x Meltaguns) = 250

Wolf Guard
Sanguinary Priest* (JP, MB) = 80

Vindicator (DB) = 120
Vindicator (DB) = 120
Stormraven* (EA, TLLC, TLMM) = 215

The idea behind this list is pretty simple.  You take your generic 3x Grey Hunter squads and you put them in the list along side your Rune Priest who always takes Divination.  The great thing about the Rune Priest is that his Runic Weapon remains unchanged in the new edition.  If a psychic power succeeds anywhere within 24" of you, you have the ability to nullify it on a 4+.  This gives you an insane amount of psychic protection in an addition where everyone and their mother loves psychic abilities.  On top of this, I'm giving my Rune Priest Runic Armor now every chance I get.  The 2+ armor save and the innate psychic defenses that it sports is just too good not to take for the points.

Let's go over some psychic powers really quick.  Divination, is in my opinion, the best psychic lore in 40K.  If you have armies that can take this lore, you pretty much want to take this lore.  The free spell that they have, Prescience, is basically a pumped-up version of Guide that extends out to 12", and lasts until your next phase.  I don't know what to say except for that's amazing.  Next, you have Misfortune and Forewarning, both extremely strong spells that can be used against the enemy.  Ideally, if you have two psykers who have Divination (which SW and BA can), you can cast Prescience on your unit and Misfortune on the target unit and basically ram it into the ground.  Re-rolling ALL saves is no joke, it's basically a better version of Doom due to the number of raw causalities you can inflict on the enemy.  The best part about this is that it lasts until your next turn as well, so stacking these two abilities is batshit crazy.

This brings up something really clever:  Since BA and SW can both take Divination, why not take both right?  While powerful, we shouldn't discount some of the other psychic powers that the two armies can mix up.  BA have access to Telepathy, something that SW does not.. so with that, you gain Psychic Shriek, Puppet Master, Invisibility and Hallulncination.  The unfortunate thing about Telepathy is that its most powerful powers require you to be a ML2 Psyker.  That's 50 extra points for Epistolary that I simply do not have.  That means you have to look at the cheaper lores; Divination already being a fantastic buy, Biomancy for the chance to get Enfeeble, but most importantly, the BA book lore.  The main things that stand out here is Unleash Rage for the squad the Libby is in, Sanguine Sword to make you S10, Blood Lance so you can throw it at fliers (yes, it auto-hits), and Shield of Sanguinius that gives your Libby and "any unit" within 6" a 5+ cover save.  With a good amount of vehicles in my list, and a Flyer, I can cast Shield to give the Sons of Russ and the Stormraven a happy go lucky 5+ cover.

Now let's think about something really quick.  We all know Divination is good, but I think a mix between Divination and Blood (just calling it this from now on) is the sweet spot.  I can only take 2 skills though, so I think for my first trial, it'll be Sanguine Sword and Blood Lance.  Unleash Rage is not needed with the Rune Priest to cast Prescience, but the S10 and auto-hitting S8 AP1 Lance is always good.  Shield of Sanguinius is incredibly strong if you're running your dudes behind or near the Grey Hunter wall, but I think I'll be placing my Libby, SP and 10x ASM squad in reserve along side the Stormraven.  I want my forces to hit the enemy lines around the same time and with the fury of an angry god.  This first list you see here, will be all about offense (the way I like to play).

Well, I don't think I have anything else here to cover.  The Vindicators are there because I like them, the Grey Hunters are the staple, and the Libby + ASM provides a nice little wild card.  The inclusion of the Stormraven gives me a solid AA platform, and if worst comes to worst, I can throw a Blood Lance at enemy fliers and skewer them out of the sky.