Saturday, March 31, 2018

DE: Unlocking Kabal of the Black Heart

Tricky indeed!

There was a minor fact about the Kabal of the Black Heart that I might have missed.  I think we all saw the PFP chart being upped by one and dismissed the Kabal at being one of the weakest.. then a Strategem came out that changed the game.

This is a counterspell.

This a Dark Eldar counterspell through and through.  There are a lot of Strategems out there that are just ridiculous.  If you listen to some of the Mon Keigh podcasts out there talk about their random acts of bullshit, you now have the ability to play this card and tell that neckbeard that his deathstar is not going to work.  This is exactly what is needed with Dark Eldar because it will always keep the opponent off-balance.  Of course, you have to manage this well because CPs should be treated like mana in Magic.  If your opponent is smart, he will either force you to be super conservative with CP or make you spend it during times where they might not care as much.  It's up to you to figure out which critical times of the game to shut down.  There might be only one or two of these times, but it will be vitally important to your success in the game.  You can probably tell I'm a blue player in MTG.

Now, let's all take a look at the Black Heart Kabal again.

Looks can be deceiving.

Look at the last sentence:  Units with this obsession that do not have the Power from Pain ability instead gain the Inured to Suffering bonus.  I can't believe I completely overlooked this last sentence when looking over the Kabals!  What does this mean?  Now, if I'm not crazy or anything, this means that if you don't have PFP as an ability like so many other Dark Eldar fleshy units (living and breathing), you now gain that ability.  This means vehicles like Raiders, Ravagers or Razorwings all gain pseudo Spirit Stones.

That's right:  Inured to Suffering is - Roll a D6 each time a model with this ability suffers a wound.  On a 6, it ignores the injury and the wound is not lost.

I think going forward, I'm going to make my Air Wing of Razorwings Kabal of the Black Heart.  Not only does this unlock my counterspell to off-balance my opponents, but it gives them all Spirit Stones.  Huzzah!

Lastly, a quick mention that Kabal of the Black Heart actually has some great stuff:  Labyrinthine Cunning command trait is great and so is the one that allows you to re-roll 1s to wound within 6" on top of the already impressive 1s to Hit.  I actually like Cunning more if I'm to think about it a bit more.  Why?  Because I can still use it while riding safely in a Raider or something else.

DE: A deeper look at Warriors and Trueborn

Who needs Trueborn?

So you're saying there's a chance.. Yes! We might be able to use some of our old Index units such as the Trueborn with new and updated stats.  However, does that mean we should?  Let's take a deeper dive into what we're getting.

First, let's look at the Trueborn unit that we're running here:
5x Trueborn, 4x Blasters = 123
Venom = 65

Next, let's take a look what a typical gunboat Raider looks like when it's jammed packed with Warriors:
10x Warriors, 2x Blaster, Dark Lance = 114
Raider, Splinter Racks, Dark Lance = 95

So for 21 more points, this is what we're getting:
Double the number of wounds and less attrition for Darklight dropping off with casualties.  We have 2x Dark Lances and 2x Blasters in the unit if we're also counting the transport.  Raider is a bit beefier than the Venom with more wounds vs. most weapons.  Sure, if you move with the transport, the dude with the Dark Lance inside the transport will suffer a -1 to hit for shooting a heavy weapon.  However, with all things considered, we're looking at a bigger rock of a unit, more ablative wounds, the same amount of Darklight.

What about when you factor in Splinter fire?  With 7 dudes shooting Splinter Rifles at 24" vs. a Venom that comes with a Splinter Cannon and Twin Splinter Rifle.  That's Rapid Fire 3 from 36" and Rapid Fire 2 from 24".  Let's say that we're engaging with Rapid Fire 5 at 24", I would say immediately that the 7 dudes inside is generating more firepower at Rapid Fire 7 at 24", and 14 shots at 12".  With Flayed Skull, you re-roll 1s and you get Splinter Racks on a gunboat where you won't get one on the Venom.  This gives makes your 6s explode for double Hits and that's just amazing.

Looks like I'm not really missing Trueborn after all with the new book.

As a bonus, here's some quick value shots on 5x Warriors w/ Blaster inside a Venom w/ and w/o extra SC.  Range band analysis for cost:

5x Warriors, Blaster = 47
Venom, 2x SC = 75

36" = 6 shots
24" = 10 shots
18" = 16 shots, 1 Blaster
12" = 20 shots, 1 Blaster

5x Warriors, Blaster = 47
Venom = 65

36" = 3 shots
24" = 9 shots
18" = 12 shots, 1 Blaster
12" = 18 shots, 1 Blaster

Before, without Obsessions and bonuses like re-roll 1s to Hit or Wound, you could have made a case for a single SC Venom.  Now, I think I'm going to think differently.  The question now is which one is better overall for the points?  Gunboat Raiders or double SC Venoms?

DE: Huge leaks, new army list

New book details have been previewed!

Alright boys, we're in business.  Just watch the entire video here.  If you don't want to be bothered watching the vid and point costs being talked about, you can read most of it from The Dark City forums.
Let's just put it this way, I've already formed a bucket with new costs.  Here's what I'm building with:
  • Archon, Venom Blade = 72
  • Succubus, Blast Pistol = 60
  • 9x Wyches, Agonizer/BP/PGL = 89
  • 5x Warriors, Blaster = 47
  • Venom = 65
  • 10x Warriors, 2x Blaster, Dark Lance = 114
  • Raider, Splinter Racks, Dark Lance = 95
  • Razorwing, 2x Dark Lances = 145
  • Voidraven, Missiles = 160
  • Ravager, 3x Dark Lances = 140

As you can see, this is pretty much what I use to build most of my Space Elves armies.  However, for the purposes of this post, we will only focus on Dark Eldar and the improvements that they got instead of posting the rest of my Aledari soup.  You guys can find more Cult and Coven stuff, as well as ALL the Relics, Strategems and other goodies on the forum link that I sent.  Since I'm more of a Kabal player anyway, I just wanted to post this and show off what we can do with the new cost savings.

Here are the big ones that stand out for me:
  • Archons went up in price but their default Huskblade and their ability is better.  They have a 6" bubble of re-roll 1s to Hit.
  • Succubus went down by a lot of points so they're 50 base.
  • Wyches also went down in price but not by a lot.
  • Warriors are now 6 points but Blasters went up to 17 points, still not a big deal considering how they do D6 damage now.
  • Venoms went down in price to a net of 15, Splinter Cannons in general are now 10 points.
  • Warriors can take special weapons per 5 AND a heavy weapon per 10.
  • Raiders went down 30 points so that's absolutely huge.  Splinter Racks makes that price go up by 10 points.
  • Razorwing went down in price as well, 10 solid net savings.
  • Disintegrators are still the awesome S5 AP-3 2D Assault weapons and their cost is now halved at 15!
  • That means a Ravager with Dissies clocks in at 125 whereas the Dark Lance variant sits pretty at 140.
  • Voidraven might be decent now depending on the missiles since they now cost 34 points less, clocking in at 160 for the damn thing.

Next, let's take a look at this list:
1962 - 7 CP

Flayed Skull Battalion - 6 CP

Archon, Venom Blade = 72
Archon, Venom Blade = 72

5x Warriors, Blaster = 47
Venom = 65

5x Warriors, Blaster = 47
Venom = 65

5x Warriors, Blaster = 47
Venom = 65

10x Warriors, 2x Blaster, Dark Lance = 114
Raider, Splinter Racks, Dark Lance = 95

10x Warriors, 2x Blaster, Dark Lance = 114
Raider, Splinter Racks, Dark Lance = 95

10x Warriors, 2x Blaster, Dark Lance = 114
Raider, Splinter Racks, Dark Lance = 95

Ravager, 3x Dark Lances = 140
Ravager, 3x Dark Lances = 140
Ravager, 3x Dark Lances = 140


Flayed Skull Air-Wing - 1 CP

Razorwing, 2x Dark Lances = 145
Razorwing, 2x Dark Lances = 145
Razorwing, 2x Dark Lances = 145

The question now is just how stupid these Archons have to be to be cheerleaders for the rest of the army.  Let's see, I can probably just figure out something to get them a stupid Venom to ride around in.  Let's be real though:  Not having a 6th slot on the Venom absolutely sucks because this means Archons cannot ride around in full man Raiders while simultaneously not being able to ride in a Venom.  They literally have to get out and stand around the units in order for them to get the bubble.  Since don't have bikes or Hellion boards, they're stuck out in the open like a bitch of idiots.

The big question on my mind right now is that now that we've lost Trueborn and Bloodbrides in the book, can we still take them via the Index and just give them the new D6 Blasters?  If so, we can easily add 123 point 5x Trueborn w/ 4x Blasters back into the mix.  Likewise, our Archons lost the ability to take Blasters.. does that mean we can still take them because it existed in the previous Index?  Just seems like there are some weird decisions being made here.

A lot to digest for sure.. but I'm curious on what you guys think so far?  I have mixed feelings.  I'm inclined to like the new changes, but very curious on whether or not this can be a standalone army vs. Aeldari soup.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

DE: My picks for Kabal

Finally.. they are here.

I haven't been this excited about Dark Eldar since their 5th Ed. book came out so many years ago.  Story time:  Weeks before the 5th Ed. book got announced, I had a co-worker at that time that visited some of his old co-workers at GW proper (Nottingham) and I got some very strong hints that Dark Eldar was right around the corner.  I called up my friend (who I lent the old army to) and had him sell absolutely everything that I had that.  Sure enough, a few weeks later, the new revamped DE got announced and I picked everything up from scratch.  I built the entire army with the new aesthetics and absolutely everything is plastic.  That was one of the happiest times I had in the hobby:  Putting together all those brand new plastic kits and playing the army book that Phil Kelly himself wrote.

Years later, here we are.  We're in arguably one of the best editions of 40K and a brand new GW to run it.  I honestly didn't think this day would happen, and it has been happening for a while now that I think about it.  The old leadership of GW took a hike and now we have some competent, modern people who understand the importance of community and social media.  Look at all these previews?  Look at all the forums and facebook pages dedicated to Dark Eldar absolutely bouncing off the wall with excitement?  It's an indescribable thing to see and I couldn't be happier considering how long I've been playing this damn game.  I grew up with it, it's part of my life and it's one of those things I'll enjoy for the foreseeable future.

Alright, enough o the sappy shit, let's talk about what's good in the new Dark Eldar book.  As you guys know, I'm a Kabal player first and foremost and my army is absolutely loaded with lances.  That's how I like to play; through crazy amounts of overwhelming firepower at precise locations on the board.  My army moves fast, shoots a lot, and I only really embrace CQC if I know I can win it.  Let's dive right down into which Kabal I'll be playing and why:

Click here to read more!

Before I go talking about everyone else, I'm going to be focusing on these guys because that's what my Kabal-only army is going to be.  First of all, their bonus gives every single model with the Fly keyword 3" additional movement.  Movement in this game is king:  It dictates your range of engagement, it enlarges your threat, it can threaten scoring objectives, it can get your melee components into battle faster, the list goes on and on.  There are countless applications to this alone, but the ones that should stand out the most of any Kabal player is the threat range increase.

Not just that, there's more:  In addition, enemy units do not receive the benefit of their saving throws for being in cover against models with Fly, or that are embarked upon a transport that can Fly.  This instantly creases the value of all your units when shooting at units in cover.  Cover can be a serious pain in the ass sometimes, turning those 3+ saves into 2+ which can be an absolute killer to remove.  With this, you just flat out ignore this armor bonus which means that the damage you do now has consistent results.

Lastly, you can now re-roll hit rolls of 1s for such models when attacking with Rapid Fire weapons.  This one is big because of the announcement of Splinter Racks returning to the fold, essentially treating all 6s to Hit as 2 hits instead of 1.  When you run through some quick numbers, you'll find that this nets you the same amount of damage as the bonus for the Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue with most weapons as long as they're shooting Rapid Fire.  Sure, -1 to Hit can mess this math up real quick, but the big kicker here is that you're getting movement, ignore cover, and a damage increases all from the same Kabal.  For a DE player that literally has all of their Warriors riding in transports, this is the go-to Kabal to take.

One of the biggest boons that was mentioned is that the Blasters and Blast Pistols have been increased to D6 damage instead of D3.  They will probably still stay at the affordable price of 15 points a pop, but this finally means that you can put consistent heavy damage into something for cheap.  I used Warriors with Blasters before because of their amazing price point, and I can hope that they can only get better from here.

Kabal of the Black Heart just doesn't really do it for me unless you're banking on exposing a lot of your units to Power From Pain.  At this point, I don't even know what the PFP table looks like, or if it has changed at all, but this looks to be the least attractive option.  At least I know that with Poisoned Tongue I'm getting extra damage with Poison weapons and with Kabal of the Obsidian Rose I'm getting superior weapon range, but I'm really disappointed with Black Heart.

I did want to mention that Kabal of the Obsidian Rose really caught my eye:  The 6" increase to range for Rapid Fire, Assault and Heavy Weapons is no joke.  If it wasn't for Flayed Skull, I would be all over this Kabal for sure.  The increase in range automatically increases the threat range of nearly every weapon in a Kabal army.  This also means that you can outrange some of the more stationary 36" heavy weapons with 42" Dark Lances, or engage much more comfortable with 24" range D6 damage Blasters instead of having to commit in your engagements.  This makes it so that you can kite and range-out melee units better, and force much better damage with Rapid Fire weapons because you technically increased the double-tap potential by 3".  Assuming that Warriors with a Blaster in a Venom doesn't change in terms of loadout, you're looking at 24" Blaster Range, 21" Rapid Fire range for your Splinter Cannon, or 15" Rapid Fire for your Warriors inside.  At that point, you have to take a look at what kind of enemies you're engaging, what their melee choices are, and see how to zone them out to make their play experience miserable.  After all, that's what we do.

Alright, it looks like I'm going to have to break apart this up into a multi-part review.  I definitely didn't plan for this to go this long already.  Now that we know Coven and Wych Cults do, I'll make sure to do them tomorrow!

What do you guys think about Kabals and which one is your favorite?

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

I'M BACK - Dark Eldar is coming!

My new favorite meme that I found on the internet.

I'M BACK BOYS, now that the previews are coming in for Dark Eldar, we finally get to see what the new book is offering.

In the next couple of days and weeks, I'll be filling up this blog with my thoughts on the new Dark Eldar and what they bring to the table for 8th.  I'm tired of playing Aeldari and Ynnari soup, and if I can make a pure DE list work (or with minimal CW support), I'll think about bringing them to SoCal Open this year.

Trust me, I'm still under the firm belief that the best kind of lists for the Dark Eldar will not be a pure DE list.  It will actually have a minimal support Farseer Skyrunner and possibly some Hemlocks just so we have the air cover, the Mindshock Pods, and some beautiful Doom shenanigans to up our damage potential.  Remember, while we're the most militant of all Eldar and favor death and destruction above all things, we are still complete shit when it comes to psychic defense and doing consistent damage.

Tomorrow, I'll post a longer article about all the "flavors" of the book that we're seeing already.  Kabals and Coven have already been spoiled, but I'll be writing tomorrow that will cover both of those plus the new Wych Cults.  Hopefully, they will be worth my while because I have 50 of those suckers.

For past and future readers, if you forgot what this blog is about, I'm primarily a Kabal player who believes in overwhelming firepower with a purely mechanized list.  Yes, I'm completely upright right now seeing what the Kabal of the Flayed Skull offers.