Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thoughts on Guard

My Mech Eldar V1.2 got a shot at some Guardsmen today. To be honest, this is about the first time I've played Guard.

His list was something like...
HQ Section (Don't really remember the gear; wasn't important)
7-8 Ogyrn on foot
8 Ratling Snipers
Infantry Platoon
-Heavy Weapon Team
-a couple of squads w/ autocannons and/or lascannons
A couple Veteran Teams; 2 with lascannons
1 Veteran Squad in Chimera w/ power weapon, meltaguns
Squad of 3 Scout Sentinels w/ Multilasers, Camo Nets
2 Leman Russes (not as a squad) w/ Camo Nets

Spearhead, Capture & Control.

Well, I went second and set up most everything in cover. It was a hell of a first turn, with one wave Serpent getting immobilized while the other exploded. A Battle Cannon shot scattered on my Seer Council, KO'ing half of them.

Not a hell of a beginning, for me.

He ended up bringing the Chimera of Vets around the corner, along with the Ogryn behind it. I stopped that advance by killing the Ogryn and popping the Chimera, and tying up the Veterans with Fire Dragons, of all things.

He made an attempt on my objective by stalking Sentinels at it, 'til the other Fire Dragons exploded all three in one round of shooting. I had to pull back, as I'd only barely KO'ed those fething snipers, which were taking shots on my objective. I ended up with a Wave Serpent full of Avengers on mine, and his was buried under platoons.

Tactical draw, moral victory to him.

Thoughts on Guard
Ogryn STILL aren't that scary, despite the buff. Three T5 wounds over a 5+ save is nasty, but Doom + 2 Destructors + a Bladestorm = 5-6 dead Ogryn, a failed ld check, and Ogryn running off the table. He DID get them moving with the 'MOVE MOVE MOVE!' order, but part of his assumption (the guy's a vet, but has played...2 games of 5th, now, I think...) was forgetting about the Run rule and that he wasn't going to get to assault the Seer Council with the Ogryn.

Ratlings are annoying as piss, mostly because of power-armor like saves. I may very well include snipers if/when I ever do a Guard Army just so I can draw fire with them. I had to slaughter them because they were going to be taking pot-shots on my objectives.

Sentinels were, for their points, pretty impressive. 35 points isn't a lot, but a squad of 3 at 105 cranks out a good 9 scatter laser shots. I don't think it's a bad little unit, and it definitely makes me want to get them as a 'splurge.' Camo netting would be cool, but there's an easy temptation to make the Sentinels too costly for the AV10 open-topped vehicle they are. At best, autocannons for 5 points; then a squad's 120.

The Russ, similarly, is probably best cheap. 150 base, and a little bit for camo netting. You can cram a LOT of guns onto a russ; there's the turret gun and the hull mount. Sponsons start at 10 for heavy bolters, 20 for multi-meltas, and 40 for plasma cannons. The Russ is pretty much a gun turret.

Since I'd run mechanized, I've already pretty much figured out my basic troop units. For 100 points, I get 10 vets with three BS4 meltaguns. For another 55, I get a Chimera with a turret multi-laser and a hull heavy flamer. That way I've got a troop unit that can handle damn near anything it runs into; a 6" advance and S6 shots, or a 6" advance and burnination. I can fire out of my vehicle with meltaguns, or get out and burn something. For a total of 155, it's not a bad building block. Three of those run me 465, and if I back them up with the Sentinels, I've got an armored advance that's all of 620 points for more. Maybe a couple Hellhound variants...Then the rest on an infantry platoon or two sitting at home and sniping, a command section, and some heavy weapons on tanks.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Codex: Necron Run-down

I'll preface this by saying I tried to play Necrons in 5th briefly, and it didn't work out well. To be honest, they need a revision to hang in 5th, as they cannot effectively destroy vehicles.

That being said, the first thing we have to deal with in the Necron Codex is...

Special Rules
'We'll be back...'
This is kind of the necron flavor-rule. Any time a Necron fails a save, it falls over. At the beginning of the next turn, it stands up on a 4+.

Conditions...first, if the unit died to Instant Death or close combat attacks that ignore armor saves, it is ineligble for WBB. There also has to be a similar unit nearby, IE: Warriors need friendly Warriors to stand back up. This means you want two of any kind of Necron nearby, as, say, if you split off some Destroyers to go nail something they won't be able to get back up if they all get splatted.

Lords are immune to that requirement, though.

Phase Out
If you have 25% or fewer of your starting Necrons are alive after WBB rolls, you lose automatically as the Necrons teleport away to repair.

Notes
Basically, you need to bring buddies, and bring lots of Necron units to keep your phase-out up, since most enemies WILL have an eye towards phasing you out.

HQ
Necron Lord
This is the most customizable guy in the codex. He's so-so at melee with an almighty 3 attacks at WS4, I4. He CAN pick up a weapon that ignores armor and invulnerable saves, though. The real notes you need to take on the lord are on the lord's gear. He is T5 with 3 wounds on a 3+ armor save, and he can buy a 4+ invulnerable. He is, though, limited to 100 points of Wargear, and he's also 100 naked.

Veil of Darkness
One per army. The lord and any units attached my deep-strike anywhere on the board in lieu of a move. Popular with shooty units, like Immortals. It gives the army some of its deceptive mobility. It COULD theoreticalyl save you from losing combats, but it won't.

Resurrection Orb
This is pretty much a staple on the Lord. It means you can ignore the 'instant death' and 'ignore armor save attacks in CC' limits on We'll Be Back. It's a short-range AOE, though, with 6". It does apply to the Lord himself, though.

Phylactery
Neat in that it gives the Lord a chance of standing up with multiple wounds back. Doesn't actually INCREASE the odds of standing back up, though.

Gaze of Flame
Everyone loses the bonus charging attack in melee. The LAST place you want your Necron units is in melee, and this won't really do much for you in the long run. There's a faint chance a non-melee unit will fail to beat and sweep you, which might make it useful there.

Disruption Field
Glance any AV on a 6. Since most vehicles are AV10 rear, this is usually useless. Since the Lord can take a Warscythe which gives him 2d6+strength armor penetration, well, there's no real point to giving the Lord this.

Destroyer Body
Lord moves as a jetbike, and goes to T6 where he can't be insta-killed. This would be cooler if the Lord had other units worth keeping pace wit hhim.

Buildouts
Res Orb is pretty much a staple.
Destroyer Body + Scythe = tank hunter; he goes for rear armor and tries to assault tanks to death.
Orb + Veil of Darkness = 200pt lord that drags a shooty unit around. NASTY, but a pricy bit of the army to lose to Mishaps.
Lord + Orb = 140pts. Basic support lord.

Overall
the Lord is kind of mandatory. Honestly, I'm inclined either towards the Res Orb (and perhaps Warscythe) lord, or the Destroyer Body model. Most of the rest of the upgrades are pricy and don't really generate a ton of return.

Elites
Pariahs
Pros
Ignore all saves in melee. T5, 3+ armor save, pack a gun that cranks out S5 shots out to 24". Any enemy within 12" has Ld7. Psykers should never get close to this thing, because they get hosed.

Cons
1 attack each. Not Necrons, so no WBB. 36 points a head, and not very durable for that.

Overall
They're expensive, and while they LOOK scary in melee, there's no good way to get them there, and they don't get back up. Some folks like to use them as bodyguards for the Lord, but they're just not that effective. You can get the same gun for cheaper on Immortals. Admittedly, there are some tricks you can use with the Soulless special rule involving making people take Ld tests, but it's just not enough to make the unit that cool. Plus, they're stupidly expensive in terms of money.

If you see them, treat them as Immortals save that you'd probably rather shoot them. If they have initiative on you on the charge and you're a small unit, they might actually win; I think a handful of them might actually be able to take Terminators. That doesn't make them good, though.

Immortals
Pros
T5, 3+ armor save. Each carries an S5, AP4 Assault 2 gun that hits out to 24". They are mobile firepower.

Cons
Get used to 'dies in assault' on the cons section. WS4, I2, base 1 attack? It's going to lose in melee. T5 is the one saving grace, but it's no defense against a determined assault because Immortals tend to come in smaller units. (5-10, I'd wager).

Overall
Immortals will peg infantry and even threaten monstrous creatures with lots of shooting. They can't bag armor. They're not bad at 28 a head; they're probably the top Elites choice in the codex. As such, they're a target worth attending to.

Flayed Ones
Pros
Infiltrate, Deep Strike, Move Through Cover. They have a variety of ways to try to get into melee. Terrifying Visage means that on a failed leadership test, the enemy unit only hits the Flayed Ones on a 6.

Cons
...no power weapons. 2 attacks each at I4. When you get down to it, they're essentially assault marines with WBB in lieu of a pistol and jump pack. They can't take out anyone with armor, and they can't take out anyone with T5 or better, and they can't reliably get the charge. Also, S4 on rear armor 10 means they aren't killing vehicles.

Overall
...A bit useless, really. They need some actual killing power in melee, and the only way you could get a power weapon in there is with a Lord, who's good points after bad and removes the unit's special deployment options. Beyond that, they're a footslogging unit that wants to get into hand-to-hand, and that's a big problem.

Troops
Necron Warriors
10-20 in a squad.
To be honest, they're basically I2, Ld10 bolter marines that cost a minimum of 180 points for the minimal 10 guys. You NEED them to get numbers up, but the guys really just aren't that good.

They CAN glance any armor on a six, but glances won't kill anything outside of open-topped vehicles. They are also footslogging, meaning that they're either moving 6" and shooting 12", or standing still and shooting 24" once. They HAVE to sit on your objective, but they also have to get to other objectives.

Better yet? They die in assault. I2, Ld 10, one attack each at WS4, S4. If they get assaulted, they're going to lose, and then they're going to get swept, and that's going to make WBB a bit more difficult.

And better than that? You're taking 20 of them in your army, minimum. To be honest, the troops flavor the army (since you're taking 2-3 of them), and Necrons at this point do not have a lot of options for troops. Warriors just have problems doing much because they are slow, shorter-ranged, and have guns that are basically special glancing bolters.

Fast Attack
Wraiths
Pros
S6, I6, 3 attacks each, 3+/3+ saves. Move like jetbikes, have frag grenades, and move through terrain.

Cons
41 a head, max three in a unit. Plus, each Wraith is $20.

Overall
Wraiths are pretty nasty, BUT they are expensive and come in small units. There's a decent chance that they'll get killed off before they get where they're going. Furthermore, a good set of saving throws totally neglect the few wounds they crank out with only WS4 to go with that. Wraiths also compete with Scarabs and Destroyers for Fast Attack slots.

Destroyers
Without a doubt, they're your best Fast Attack choice.

Pros
BS4, each carries a 3-shot, S6, AP4 gun with a 36" range. Moves like a jetbike; may move and shoot.

Cons
Model is $20 a head, you want 6-10. T5, 3+ save, a single wound. MUST be taken in numbers to survive. Like most Necron units, you want two units of Destroyers near each other so the enemy must level all of them in a turn in order to deprive you of WBB rolls.

Overall
These guys are adept at wounding infantry and lightweight (AV10-11) vehicles. They're mobile guns, and good at it. Using them is a significant investment in points, as the two minimal 3-Destroyer units cost 150 each. I would suggest units of 4-5 just for sake of durability.

Scarab Swarms
These are your distraction units.

Pros
LOTS of wounds. 12pts for a 3-wound base. Fearless. Moves like a jetbike. Gets a 3+ cover save when you turbo-boost them at something. You can buy Disruption Fields so they can try to swarm vehilcles.

Cons
Not really going to kill anything other than Grots, but it can slow down anything that can't insta-gib them. WS2 and S3 means that even with 3 attacks, they're not going to kill much, especially when the unit gets worn down. They are also vulnerable to Instant Death; S6+ hits drop a scarab base outright.

Overall
They're a tarpit; no more and no less. No Retreat! is fairly harsh on them, so don't expect them to actually kill much. Theoretically they could get that 'glance vehicles on 6+' deal in Disruption Fields, but you're better off with more scarab bases, since usually they're best going after units.

Heavy Support
Tomb Spyder
Pros
The biggest thing it does is remove the distance requirement for WBB. They are also S6, T6, Fearless, and can get a gun. Additionally, they can crank out a Scarab Base, and thanks to the rules so long as there's only one scarab base, it's ablative wounds. However, it's also only going to soak a few wounds due to wound allocation.

Cons
WS2 with three S6 attacks in melee. Can't really shoot, either, since it can get a couple anti-infantry shots at BS2. Creating scarabs can sometimes be fatal.

Overall
The utility comes in the whole WBB alteration. One to two is enough for your force, if any.

Heavy Destroyer
Pros: T5, Jetbike, BS4 Lascannon equivalent

Cons: 1-3 per unit.

Overall: It's the ONLY thing in the codex that can effectively deal with AV greater than 11. You can't get a lot, and you might want to consider a Tomb Spyder to keep them coming back. They're almost essential for delaing with the heavy armor, BUT, they have a 36" range and STILL have to pen and roll the damage results you need. At BEST, your army is cranking out 2 hits on 3 targets, which won't kill them all. Still, it's the only real way to get penetrating hits on tanks in your army, and in larger games I'd say you should consider them, or prioritize killing them.

Monolith
Pros
AV14 all around. Nasty shooting; can deep-strike. Ignores melta and extra dice against armor penetration. Ordnance shot. Can teleport troops AND give them a re-roll on WBB. May Deep Strike, and reserve troops through that. Fires d6 shots at EVERYONE within 12".

Cons
235 points of 'I'm not a Necron and I don't count towards phaseout.' While they HAVE an ordnance shot, you can't use it if you're using the 'lith to make your necrons more durable. Deep Striking is risky and denies you use of them for some time. People are used to gunning down AV14, to an extent. Taking multiples eats into your points. Only gets to move 6" a turn.

Additionally, the model is HUGE. You aren't going to hide it.

Overall
The 'lith is hellishly expensive. it CAN make your force more durable and give you options, and it is durable, but in practice it's going to crank out close-range shots IF it gets there, and generally make your guys a little more durable by washing them through the portal each time.

The C'Tan
These are 300 and 360pt characters you can take as HQ units. They are hellishly powerful, BUT have some serious drawbacks.

C'Tan in General
Ignore terrain. Ignore armor saves. Ignores invulnerable saves. Explode when killed. Fearless. 4+ invulnerable save. T8. 5 wounds. Monstrous Creature. In other words, it loves special rules and has a lot of them. I mean, it's a god walking on the battlefield. Oh, and if for some reason a Callidus Assassin tries to shank a C'tan with a C'tan Phase Blade, the C'tan absorbs it (...not that it matters, because the C'tan would promptly snap the Callidus in half).

The Biggest Con
C'tan are TALL. I'm talking like a 4" tall model. It CANNOT really hide. It doesn't really need to worry about getting cover saves with a 4+ invulnerable, but the only thing that can realistically shield it is the Monolith. Cover saves don't matter because they have a 4+ invulnerable anyway.

The Nightbringer
360 points for this guy. S10, 5 melee attacks, WS6, I4, a 24" lascannon shot. His special abilities deal with hordes. 'Gaze of Death' slaps a large blast template over him and everyone under it eats an S4 hit with no armor saves. Etheric Tempest blows back folks with unmodified strength below 4.

The Nightbringer is a wrecking ball, pure and simple.

The Deciever
300 points. Only S9, WS5, but I5 as well. His abilities are more tactical in nature, as opposed to the Nightbringer's "I AM THE GRIM REAPER OF DEATH". Decieve says 'Hey, you, take a pinning or morale check even if you normally auto-pass that.'

Grand Illusion means the Necron Player can roll to re-deploy units at the beginning; on a 4+ the unit they designate gets to redeploy and they get to roll again. The whole ARMY can get redeployed like this.

'Dread' means that a unit takes a leadership test and if it fails they only hit on a '6' in assault. The Deciever cannot actually be in assault when he does this, though.

'Misdirect' means that the Deciever can fall back from an assault at will; the enemy cannot consolidate back into it.

Can you do the C'tan C'tan?
If the enemy can bring a lot of S7+ fire to bear, the C'tan is going to die. You don't want to know what Lootas do to your 300+ point model. A 4+ save is NOT going to keep it from eating wounds, and T8 only protects you against so much. The enemy KNOWS you want to get that thing in melee because they KNOW the C'tan is absolute death in melee against just about anything. The enemy also knows that the C'tan moves 6" a turn, so the C'tan is a bit ponderous.

The Deciever has a lot of neat options, but still, it's slow and not going to get into the assaults it wants to. In general, it's the only real CC threat in the army, and it's expensive. I'm not sold on its effectiveness, because I've taken them a few times and they draw fire and explode violently. There just aren't enough targets that REALLY want your high-strength fire.

Deficiences in the Necron Codex In General
Vs. Vehicles
There are simply no good ways to KO vehicles for the Necrons. Destroyers can do well enough vs. AV10-11, but something like a Dreadnought is a death sentence for anything in the army. The only things that might take out vehicles in melee are Wraiths, Destroyer Lords with Warscythes (for the 2d6+5 AP), and C'tan (S9-10+2d6 = Ow).

Triple Land Raiders is going to make Necrons Cry. Even light mech (lots of rhinos/immolators) is going to give the Necrons trouble.

In Assault
Necrons have no good assault units outside of C'tan. Scarabs can sometimes hold things up, but that's so you step back and shoot the unit. Flayed Ones are a joke, and Wraiths could be lethal if they were cheaper and more numerous. Pariahs WANT to be assaulty, but just can't do enough damage even if they are S5 and ignore all your saves.

Plus, the bulk of the units are I2. They are going to lose, and they MIGHT get away from Orks.

Overall
The Necrons have some good anti-infantry units, but as I've said, they just can't take vehicles out with massed glances. They die in assault, and We'll Be Back is a bit complicated. I like the fluff and all, but the army just can't reliably hang in 5th.

If you're playing Necrons I salute you, as you've an uphill challenge against anyone who brings vehicles.

If you're playing against Necrons, I recommend you blow away anything that's got a Destroyer body, then prioritize anything with the Necron special rule. Do be worried about C'tan and Monoliths if they get close to you, though.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thoughts on Tau

One of the other projects I'm looking at is taking up a Tau army. I'm not sure about whether I'll do this, Chaos, or an AdMech army out of the Guard codex. It depends. So, a look-through at Tau units...

HQ
Crisis Suit Commander
I have to admit, this is probably what I'm going to run with. 50 points base for the Shas'O, or 75 for the Shas'el. Since melee is really not what we're after, the biggest difference is that the Shas'el has an extra wound and an extra BS. Since I can buy +1 BS with wargear, I don't see a reason to drop 75.

A full discussion of Battlesuits will wait for the Elite entry.

Ethereal
50 a head. Benefits include being able to bring a BS4 Fire Warrior squad (but, not your compulsory squad). His unit is Fearless, and anyone with LOS to him can re-roll leadership tests. On death, the army (all Tau units, anyway) eat a morale check and gain Preferred Enemy.

Cons....well, a BS4 Fire Warrior unit isn't really that hot, and while the leadership test thing is nice, most of our lead tests will be from losing melee. Or, perhaps, shooting casualties. Either way, if we're mech-tau, we won't be taking a lot of leadership tests, and we lose some of the benefit of mech if we leave him in the open.

As is, I don't think the Ethereal's abilities are bad, but I'm not seeing a good way to make use of it, and I'm seeing his death as a MAJOR problem, since a failed morale check can mean units breaking off the table.

Elites
XV-8 Crisis Suit
The Crisis Suit is kind of the big thing with Tau. It's a 25pt unit with BS3, and the ability to pick up some neat guns. It can fire two weapons a turn with multi-tracker, which is all of 5 points. Not a bad deal, there. The other innate ability of the Tau suit is the jump-shoot-jump; it has a Tau Jet Pack which gives them a 6" move in the movement phase, and a 6" move in the assault phase.

Deep Strike
XV-8 suits can deep strike. However, I'm not really into this option for a few reasons.
1) Any turn it's not on the board is a turn it's not shooting
2) XV-8's have access to decent range
3) A bad deep-strike can leave them in the open, and then you've lost them
4) the ONLY way a deep-striking unit can get any better accuracy in the Tau army is to be in LOS of a Pathfinder's Devilfish, and in that case, it can only re-roll.

Weapons
Picking up two weapons is really the big pro here. Suits can pick up a pair of the same thing and count them as twin-linked, or two separate ones. In that case, the key is to come up with the most useful set of weapons.

Airbursting Fragmentation Projector-
G18", S4, AP5, no cover saves
Short range, requires upgrades to the commander to get it, one per army. Otherwise this might be neat, but we have other ways of getting around cover saves.

Burst Cannon
18", S5, AP5, Assault 3
Falls somewhat short due to range, but there's a decent volume of shots. It's workable anti-infantry fire.

Cyclic Ion Blaster
18", S3, AP4, Assault 5, Rending (but only on toughness values)
High rate of fire, but low strength, AP not really worth speaking of, and special-issue. Range comparable to Burst Cannons. I fail to be impressed.

Flamer
Template, S4, AP5
It's a flamer. It's hellishly short-ranged, but it's a flamer. It IS cheap, at least.

Fusion Blaster
12", S8, AP1, Melta, Assault 1
It's a meltagun. I've used these before. It's short-ranged, and a Crisis Suit can only pull off one shot with it. It requires one to be VERY close to really get the most out of the gun. Crisis suits don't have the speed to get close, and they don't have the deep-strike accuracy to use it well enough.

Missile Pod
36", S7, AP4, Assault 2
Medium-weight gunfire out to range. This is the best range that a Crisis Suit can get, and it's suitable for engaging anything short of AV14. Honestly, I think it's one of the most useful and versatile choices you can put on a pod.

Plasma Rifle
24", S6, AP2, Rapid-Fire
Low-AP fire. This is the only place in the Tau Army (outside of Broadsides) that you can get plasma rifles. Additionally, XV-8's can crank out rapid-fire shots as though they hadn't moved.

Phew. Quite a section, that.

XV-8 Loadouts
Damn if there's not a lot of ways to kit out a Crisis Suit. What hops out at me:

Plasma Rifle + Missile Pod + Multi-tracker
It brings the low AP shots, and high-strength shots. The weapons mesh well; as the enemy closes in it gets worse. 2 S7 shots out to 36"; two S7 and an S6 at 24", and at 12", two S6 and two S7. It IS on the pricy end, at 62 points.

Twin-linked missile pods, Flamer
Long-range dakka; close-range support. Cheapish at 47 points.

Missile Pods, twin-linked flamer
Cheap at 43 points. Better at the BBQ, but still has issues with actually getting to USE all that close-range firewpoer.

In Summary on the XV-8
The real issue is loading them out involves having an idea of what you want in the army. I do find myself liking the plasma/missile/multi-tracker config since it's good at shooting and brings me the low-AP fire I want/need.

Stealth Team
30 a head. Bs3, units of 3-6. One in three can drop the burst cannon they come with for fusion blasters. They have the jet pack like other Tau Battlesuits.

The biggest pro is that they have a Stealth Field that means you have to roll 2d6x3 to see them. Now, this sounds neat until you realize that the average of 2d6 is ~7, and 7x3 =21, which is close to the max range of the jump-shoot-jump.

Overall, I'm not exactly sold on these guys. They CAN break out a lot of anti-infantry gunfire, especially if one or several folks take gun drones. However, at 6 folks at T3, 3+ saves? I'm not really sold on the things.

Troops
Fire Warriors (1+ choice)
Well, they ARE compulsory in the army. They have NO melee ability, with the almight WS2, S3, I2. BS3 on top of the pulse rifle looks decent; the Pulse rifle is S5, AP5, 30", Rapid Fire. Warriors are 10 a head. While Fire Warriors CAN take defensive and anti-tank grenades, I don't see a real point. Fire Warriors want to shoot things.

At Max Range, a full 12 fire warriors crank out 12 shots, hit with 6, probably wound 4-6 times. With armor saves, or cover, that's a max of 3 dead. In close, just prior to the charge, that might be as many as 8-12 wounds.

What do we take from this? Fire Warriors cannot really shoot well.

The Devilfish
This is what the Fire Warriors get to ride in. It's 12/11/10, BS3. 80 points base. Comes with a Burst Cannon and pair of Gun Drones. For another 20 points, it can take a Smart Missile System in lieu of Gun Drones, which cranks out four S5, AP5 shots to 24", that do not need LOS to the target.

Other upgrades of note include:
-Disruption Pod (5pts)- If fired on from outside of 12", vehicle is obscured and thus gets a 4+ cover save. ...why you wouldn't take this? I don't know.
-Target Lock (5pts)- Each weapon system may target a different enemy unit.
-Multi-Tracker (10pts)- Vehicle may fire as if it were a Fast vehicle.

Right now, an upgraded Devilfish with Smart Missile System, Disruption Pod, Target Lock, and Multi-Tracker runs 120.

Fire Warriors in a Devilfish are a fairly durable scoring unit, and the Devilfish is likely to have a bigger impact than the fire warriors.

This puts a Fire Warrior troop unit at about 180; 120 for the Fish and 60 for the minimal Fire Warrior unit.

Kroot Carnivore Squad
Minimum of 10 Kroot at 7 points each, for 70. Kroot are funky; WS4, BS3, S4, T3, I3, one attack, and no armor save. They're not terribly durable, but pack what's basically a bolter AND two close combat weapons. They have no armor save, but get +1 cover save in forests. Still, in cover, they're reasonably durable.

Kroot Hounds may be taken at 6 points a head; they have I5 and 2 attacks.

The low point of Kroot is that they're Ld 7.

Still, Kroot can probably be used as screening units, and are pretty cheap. 10 Kroot is an amazing 70 points, and since they're not here to actually SHOOT, hounds can get you wounds for cheaper.

Fast Attack
Gun Drone Squad
4-8 drones at 12 points a head. BS2, twin-linked pulse carbines. I don't really see the point to PAYING for one of these, as they are not particularly effective at shooting. It seems more like it's the entry for when your vehicles crap out drones.

Pathfinders
Ah, markerlights. Marer lights are a big thing for Tau; they let you single out a unit and drop a bunch of markers on it. Markerlights can increase ballistic skill, lower cover saves, and lower leadership. In short, Tau units should LIKE them.

Pathfinders are the big source for it. BS3 Markerlights. They ARE , though, going to make you take a Devilfish. Thing is, since you have to take a Fire Warrior unit, you might as well make that their Devilfish. This Devilfish lets any Deep-Striking units re-roll ONLY the scatter dice. In essence, it gives units about a 50% chance of not scattering. This really is useful only for vectoring in meltaguns.

Piranhas
BS3 Fast Skimmers. For 65 points, they can take Fusion Guns, and come with a pair of Gun Drones.

This is about the only way to get fast fusion guns in the Tau army. On the bright side, they have AV11 fronts, which means they can actually stand up to small-arms fire. They ARE, at least, a little more resilient vs. heavier weapons, but not by much.

Vespid Stingwings
Jump infantry. They are FAST, with 12" jump moves and fleet. They may also re-roll failed Dangerous Terrain tests. Really, the one big thing they've got for them in terms of lethality is an S5 AP3 single-shot gun.

They have a 5+ save. They get one shot, then they die.

Not really sold on this; 16 a head and 22 for the leader.

Heavy Support
XV-88 Broadside Battlesuit
70 a head, two wounds, 2+ armor saves. They carry a twin-linked Railgun, and a Smart Missile System. For 10pts, they can get Slow and Purposeful. They can also theoretically get Plasma Rifles.

In short? They're accurate rail guns. They are a bit pricy, but can find cover, and Rail Guns are LOOONG range. with 2+ armor saves, they're also in good shape to take advantage of Shield Drones, which will be 2+/4+.

Sniper Drones
80 poitns for a spotter and 3 sniper drones. Spotter gets a markerlight that the unit can use, but in all it isn't a lot of lethality for the price of a Broadside. May take up to 3 teams per the 0-1 heavy support slot you get.

Hammerhead Gunship
13/12/10, BS4 tank. Really, it means it's already got the +1BS upgrade. Primary weapon is either a ion cannon (a heap of medium-strength, low-AP shots) or a rail gun (72", S10, AP1, or S6, AP4 Large Blast). Secondary weapon is gun drones, pair of burst cannons, or smart missile system.

This is a nasty tank, pure and simple. It can hunt infantry or tanks, but the big perk is the rail gun. It ends up a bit pricy after the decent upgrades and a rail gun (something to the tune of 180ish).

Sky Ray Missile Defense Gunship
125 for 13/12/10 tank.
Basically, it brings a pair of networked markerlights, a backup weapon system, and a heap of Seeker Missiles, which are basically krak missiles.

It IS some durable markerlights, but to really get the most out of it, you want to bring more markerlights.

Hammerhead, so far, is a bit more versatile.

Summary
Lots of shooty. The real question of the Tau codex is balancing the shooty parts with enough speed bumps.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Victory at last!

Finally pulled out a win with the mech-dar, though it was due in part to terrain placement and enemy deployment.

Mech-Dar
Faseer (Bike, Runes of Warding, Doom, Fortune)
6-man Seer Council (4x Destructor, Enhance, Schmuck-lock)
3x 8-man DA squads w/ Bladestorm, twin shuriken catapult
3x Bright Lance/Shuriken Cannon Wave Serpents
2x 5 Fire Dragons
2x Falcons w/ Eldar Missile Launchers
Fire Prism w/ Shuriken Cannon

Mech Orks
Warboss (PK, the usual, and combi-skorcha?)
Big Mek (KFF, Burna)
2x 19-man Slugga Mobs
2x 12 Trukk Slugga Mobs
3x Lootas
2x Battlewagons
19 Grots (Wall of Grots)
30-man Shoota Boy Mob w/ PK Nob, 3x Rokkits
Scenario: Dawn of War
Objective: Annihilation
Final Score: 4-1, Eldar


Turn 1
Largely uneventful. He deploys his Grots centrally; I deploy my Seer Council in central cover. He comes in, and makes his one error: Wagons and Trukks over in the far left corner.
I go second. First thing I do? Flub the Fortune roll for the Seer council. They rabbit into cover, and I grav-tank castle up.

Please forgive the shoddy paint thing; I forgot the camera but want to add visual aids. Note that the big figure-eight blob in the lower right is actually fairly large; it's rocky terrain that is see-through in the middle. The square gubbins are buildings, all with some holes in the front and a second story suitable for sniping.

Legend:
G = Grots
L = Lootas
B = Battle Wagon
SB = Shoota Boyz
W = Wave Serpent
F = Falcon
P = Fire Prism
SC = Seer Council

End of Turn 1:


Ork Turn 2
Trukks advance. Lootas in the middle and far side open up. Trukks and Battlewagon advance.
Damage results: the falcon that covered the Seer council breathes a sigh of relief as Ork shooting is ineffectual. The Seer Council breathes a sigh of relief as the Falcon blocks them, AND doesn't die. He stuns one Wave Serpent.

Eldar Turn 2
Two wave serpents move up and unload Dire Avengers into Bladestorm position. Seer Council passed its fortune test, AND managed to be in range to doom the Shoota Boys. The Shoota Boys die to the Nob, despite the falcons moving up and adding in gunfire. Prism fire claims a single Loota off the far right squad. I have to do some fancy, cramped maneuvering in that little area, but it keeps most of my people safe. I have to kick my Dire Avengers out, then move the Serpents, then move the avengers into position, but it paid off by killing the Mob. Well, it didn't get the Nob; the Nob bosspoled himself to death trying to pass his lead check.

Score: Orks 0, Eldar 1






Ork Turn 3
The far left lootas managed to KO a Wave Serpent. Lootas on far right...blow away all of 3 Dire Avengers in one squad. They pass the resulting morale check. Trukks advance.
Sadly, he pops the wave serpent that still has people in it. Those Avengers fall out and promptly fail their pinning check.
Eldar Turn 3
A Bright Lance splats a trukk, which promptly careens 12 inches back. One squad of avengers reboard. Around turn 4-5, I stun up one Battlewagon and blast the other trukk, and he can never quite get his army to bear.
Game Summary:
From here, you can pretty much see how it goes. He spends the bulk of the rest of the game maneuvering after I crater his Lootas on the right flank. He will get a couple more Loota volleys off before the game ends on turn 5.
Final Score:
Eldar 4 (2 Trukks, Lootas, Shoota Boy mob)
Orks 1 (that wave serpent)
I immobilize one battlewagon, and he manages to knock the Prism Cannon off the Fire Prism.
Overall, it's a bit of me getting the right amount of aggression, his deployment error, and the terrain giving me the ability to deny shots.
There were NO assaults in the game. It lasted all of about 2 hours, including table setup.
As to why the terrain was so wonky? We placed the terrain, then rolled 2d6+scatter to see where it went. It's a refreshing break from the 'dice off, then try to screw each other' approach.
Overall
I feel I'm getting the hang of the army a bit more. I'm still waffling over 8 DA w/ Bladestorm Exarch vs 10 DA, but I think the Autarch is definitely a 'bring only in 2000' guy at this point.
It also hurt my opponent that he deployed the transports last; putting them over in the far left corner meant I more or less ran to the opposite end; if I can avoid his assaults, deny him some shooting and fight him piecemal I win.
I somehow suspect he's going to do his best to make the week after next nasty, since I'm stuck going out of town that Friday for a wedding. Yay. 'nother story, that.
What's Next?
Fighting new Guard this Tuesday.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mech Eldar and Aggression, and also: Seer Council

More games under the belt, and more lessons. One vs. Sisters + Guard, one vs. Foot Chaos. The big lesson from the Sisters/Guard v. me is aggression: when the Fire Dragons are ending up 36+ inches from the enemy because I didn't close with them, I'm doing something wrong.

Aggression
It's something I haven't done as well. I've been caught up in the fact I can move 12" and pop off Bright Lance shots at 36", or a pulse laser/missile launcher rounds at 48". However, doing that and staying at range means I'm also not using the Dire Avengers (18" range) or the Fire Dragons (12" range, ideally 6" against armor).

Today's lesson was in part that 5 Fire Dragons > 2 falcons in terms of killing Oblits. Fire Dragons and a follow-up Bright Lance pasted a unit in a turn, whereas the whole army's long-range shooting isn't always sufficient.

It also helped (I mean, actually helped ) in a sense that my Falcons couldn't hit to save their skins. It means I really SHOULd rely on the meltaguns, and get the real damage in. Of course, that also means signing off on the Fire Dragons, but it DOES mean he has to deal with them: No one, in their right mind, is going to let me get a second drop 'n' melt out of the Dragons.

The same aggression goes for the Dire Avengers. At current, I've got them kitted out to 8 Avengers + Exarch (Bladestorm + Twin Shuriken Catapults). That's 4 BS5 shots and 14 BS4 shots, or 5 BS5 and 21 BS4 shots. Nice firepower, though for the points I could get up to 10 avengers, or 20 shots a turn. No real leadership difference. The only downside is financial, since I'd have to pick up another kit.

The big argument for going to 10 regular Avengers is surviving that second turn. I'm figuring out (with some help) that the proper use is putting 2-3 Avenger units into a unit a turn.

The Alpha Strike
If I can pull it off, and the army's got the speed, I should be able to take out 2-3 units a turn. Seer Council nukes one, the Dire Avengers and/or the Fire Dragons can do the damage. Add in some Doom support, and it should be able to work.

The Seer Council
I've been giving these guys lots of playtime, and lots of thought. I think I'm beginning to understand all too well their limitations, and they're most durable with Fortune and limited fire.

A slight no-brainer, but it goes in with that 'BE AGGRESSIVE' thing.

It also doesn't help when 9 bolt pistol shots result in 3 dead Seers.

Still, with the flamer templates (which I should ALWAYS use, because I can then back up if I break them out of assault range) and Witch Blades and WS5, I should be able to seriously dent a unit even without Doom. With Doom? I should nuke the shit out of them, unless they have power armor.

Still, I am pondering alternate uses for the point. They are about 500 points, including Farseer.

My problem? Melee in mech Eldar.

Anything else is coming in a Wave Serpent. That's 135, and has its issues with unit delivery. It has to get close and not move. Lucikly, the two melee units I'd think of bringing would be Fleet-capable, so they can get 2" + 6" + d6 + 6" assault range, but the measure is decieving because it's coming out of the back of a transport. I'd have to move it out of the way, or something.

So, the three options:

Striking Scorpions
16 a unit
27+ points for Exarch w/ S6 powerfist
Basic unit cranks out 3 WS4, S4 attacks at I5, and can pull off cover assaults with plasma grenades and move through cover (MtC for +5 points). 3+ armor saves.

So, about 200pts for 10 guys with a heap of regular attacks at I5. On the charge, that's 36 regular attacks, and 4 powerfist attacks (at WS5, at least). That means, against the average WS4, T4 melee opponent you're doing 9 wounds that allow armor saves, and gimping 2-3 with the powerfist.

Howling Banshees
16 a unit
+17 points to give leader an S5, two-handed power weapon
Each good for 2 base S3 power weapons. Have Fleet. Have the mask of 'always goes first.'

187 for a 10-woman squad. On the attack, that's 27 WS4, S3 power weapons, and 3 WS5, S5 power weapon attacks. That translates to two S5 hits and 14 S3 hits. That's 1-2 dead from the Executioner, and 4-5 dead from the Banshees.

Obviously, Banshees are good at taking down armor-dependent units. However, they need Doom to be a bit more competitive at nailing larger targets. With Doom, that's 2 dead from the Executioner, and 6-8 dead from the charge.

So, Banshees can nail down a weakened squad.

Harlequins
22 a head with Rending.
WS5, I6 base
Furious charge
3 base attacks (2 + extra CCW)
5+ invulnerable
Ignores cover saves, has plasma grenades.

A squad of ten Harlies is obviously pretty pricy. Cost-wise, we'd go down to 8 to keep it mostly on par with the others. 32 attacks, hit on 3's. 22 hits. Wound on 4+; so that's 7-8 wounds and about 3-4 dead to rending. With the full ten, it's 40 swings > 27 hits > 4.5 rends, 9 wounds

Harlies are the glassiest of all of them. However, they're probably better at KO'ing higher-toughness targets because of massed rendings.

Overall
I'd probably default to Wave Serpent Harlies. I'd then drop a squad of Rangers in lieu of the now-unhorsed Dire Avengers, since I have to give up a Wave Serpent. That frees up about 100ish or so points, all told.

However, none of them compare to the lethality of the 4 heavy flamers, and there's the issue of losing the transport.

Friday, April 17, 2009

On the New Imperial Guard

Naturally, there's a lot of muss 'n' fuss about the new IG codex coming out.

The Tanks
Some of it includes hubbub over the Leman Russ Squadrons. I'm mixed over this. On the one hand, people are all about 'YOU CAN TAKE NINE TANKS!!!11WTFOMGLOLROFLCOPTER!" On the other hand? One Russ is 150, with the main gun and perhaps a hull-mounted gun in the front. Triple Russ is a minimum of 450. Three squads of 450 are 1350, which means you'll see that in 1850-200 only, since you're spending a minimum of ~50 on the HQ, and probably 150 on the troops to get decent minimal units.

I think some of the non-Russ tanks deserve a look. 75 points for the flak tank with a pair of twin-linked autocannons? 225 for three decently-armored tanks with autocannons? Ack-ack, what?

The four-shot artillery piece doesn't impress me, since it gets...four shots. Granted, it's big freakin' templates, but I've seen my Fire Prism scatter off-target enough to know not to rely on that.

Hellhounds, fast? Fire, good? Oh, yes.

Send in the Walkers
What can I say? I'm a fan of Sentinels for the sculpt. 35 for AV10 open-topped, or 45-50 for AV12 front, close-topped, and more armor. The Armored Sentinels also lose Move Through Cover and Scout, but so it goes. They get heavier weapon options, and I think I'd be paying a little over 200 for three guys with AV12 front armor and lascannons.

A note on Vehicle Squadrons
The bright side? You get 3 vehicles per Force Org slot, so you can get 9 of any given tank in the army. Or, you can get a variety of tanks. It looks like a total of 9 Heavy Support, 9 Fast Attack, 6 Troops, 3 Elites, and 2 HQ transports, though 8 of that's Chimera at a minimum.

The cons? 50% chance of getting popped on a penetrating hit; 15% chance of getting popped on a glance. You'll never be totally frozen in place on a given turn, though, since stunned = shaken via vehicle squad rules.

We stop sending bodies in when we stop seeing human bodies flying
Seriously, it's IG. Life is cheap. Lasguns COST, dammit!

The real strength/weakness of the Guard still seems to be in getting lots of heavy weapons in; I think an infantry platoon with an autocannon runs you 60-70 points. You can 'mob up' to get your troop selections into fewer KP, though this does deprive you of speed bumps. I can see folding Platoon Command into an Infantry Platoon. KP got consolidated, though guard will be KP-heavy any way you cut it.

I also don't mind that you can get three Vets with BS4 meltaguns into a Chimera as troops for about 160 points. I'm down with that.

Ride of the Valkyries
Looks damned cool. I wonder if I can make a place for it, though running 6 Grav Tanks is giving me a taste for how long/short AV12 will last...

Overall
I've had a few read-throughs of the Guard Codex. If I DO get around to doing Guard, I'm going to mod the tanks. I just can't get into the Leman Russ body. I want something more like an Abrams, though I might go looking at Helghast tanks if I go that route.

Mental Note

If I ever give into the temptation to do a Guard army, it's going to either be AdMech, or Helghast (from Killzone).

Mental note: High Elf Archers + headswap, =....Helghast?

16 high elve archers ($35) + box of heads from Pig Iron ($5) + 20 Lasgun Arms ($14)

In bits...

4 High Elf Archer Legs ($8) + 4 Torsos ($3) + 10 Lasgun Arms ($7) + 20 heads ($5)...

20 High Elf Archer Legs ($40) + ($15) 20 Torsos + 20 Arms ($14) + 20 heads ($5) = $65 for 20 guardsmen.

2x35 for 32 High Elves, + $21 in arms + $7.50 in heads = $107 for 30 guardsmen.

Ugh. Damn if trench-coat-like guard aren't pricy.

2 boxes of Cadians ($44) + 20 heads ($5) + 20 legs (5x7=35) = $85

Well, the REAL conclusion is that there's no way to build a guard army in a cost-effective manner.

EDIT:
16 High Elf Archers ($35) + 16 loose lasguns (4x2=$8) + 20 heads ($5) = $48.

DING DING DING. WINNER!

...now to see if I really DO want to do a Guard army.

More Mech Eldar Lessons

Today, I experimented. It kind of blew up.

The major lesson of the game was that this is REALLY a finesse army. AV12 skimmers don't stand up to a lot of abuse, as expected. The other issue? Dire Avengers. They're decently shooty for troops, but again they just don't crank out enough damage to be anything other than cleanup crews.

I'm kicking around the Exarch for them. 12 points for the Exarch upgrade, 15 points for BLadestorm, and 5pts extra for Twin Shuriken Catapults. That's a healthy 32 points extra for the guy.

Now, if I dropped the mech autarch, I could probably go to three squads of 7 Avengers w/ Exarchs with twin Shuriken Catapults.

So, each one is good for:
4 shots at BS5
14 shots at BS4.
Or, 12.33 S4 AP5 hits.

Against the average T4 enemy, it's 6.16 wounds, and 2-3 dead after saves on average. With Bladestorm, I go to:
5 shots at BS5
21 shots at BS4
18.1 S4 AP5 hits.
Or, 9.05 wounds. This is 3-5 dead on average, depending on 3+ or 4+ saves. Obviously if I catch someone in the open and deny them saves, I do a little happy dance (which I assure you is quite terrifying).

So, a Bladestorm is a one-turn jump in efficiency that nets me 2-3 more bodies on average. Not bad, but it'll merit some testing.

I'm really not sure how much I'll miss the +1 to reserve rolls, since if I have terrain I should be able to keep my guys safe if I don't get first turn.

The downside? I WILL lose shots on my next turn, though so far I've not really effectively managed to use my Dire Avengers and keep them alive. Slamming 2-3 squads' worth of fire into a single target might help, though they just crumble in assault.

Theoretically I could put Defend on them, but most CC guys have so many attacks already (and I have a puny T3, 4+ statline defensively) that I'm going to lose.

So, for sake of argumentation on the Dire Avengers, let's say I spend some of the points from the Autarch on going up to ten Avengers per squad.

20 shots at BS4
13.2 hits
7.51 wounds
2-3.75 dead guys after saves.

More shots vs. a similarly-costly squad of 8 w/ Exarch, though Bladestorm really nets me another 2 wounds.

131 for 8 Avengers w/ Exarch w/ Twin Cats and Bladestorm, or 120 for 10 Avengers. The comparison favors the 10 Avengers if you get a second turn of shooting, which leads me to think that if I learn to play the army better, I can get more out of my Avengers and not really NEED the Exarch.

Even so, I 'm still going to build some, since I'm going to get another box of Avengers. Got 10 old-school metal ones, got 10 from Xardian (with GS boob-jobs) and 5 from that wave serpent box. So, I can get some options at least...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mech Eldar Bloopers

Pain and suffering ensued today.

The one real result today was 'remember you have a 6" move in the assault phase.' I got greedy, got close, popped off shuriken catapult shots with them in turn one (due to Dawn of War) and then....forgot to back out of the way.

Long story short? Seer Council gets stuck in on turn one, doesn't get away, and ends up getting hit in assault by a Daemon Prince and a second 13-man Khorne Tac.

After that, it was just downhill as I'd gone in to support the Seer Council. Had they not been immobilized early on, I'd've used my mobility advantage (like I OUGHT to). I was successful in neutralizaing Havoc fire for a couple turns, and did manage to KO some of the Oblits. Had the Seer Council lived, I probably could've given a better accounting of myself.

Other highlights include:
-5 Fire Dragons hit/wound the Daemon Prince four times...and he makes three 5+ saves.
-Xardian misses 5 lascannon shots in a single turn
-I throw a Falcon at the sole survivor of the Seer Council's brawl...2 pulse laser shots, a plasma missile, and 2 shuriken catapult shots later? HE SURVIVES. Thus, Xardian's one lascannon marine (who missed 4/5 shots) had company in suck-ville, in his own words.

My dice just seem to have been hellaciously swinging low or high in the last couple nights. It's fairly impressive.

Overall, the lesson:
1) PAY ATTENTION to what your units can do
2) Do NOT get the Seer COuncil stuck in unless it's on MY terms.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dire Avengers w/ Avatar WIP


Here, we've the first complete squad of what will be 2-3 Dire Avenger squads. These are the old-school metal models. The head crest will be a helpful reminder of which transport they're riding, and if you look a couple posts down you'll see their WIP Wave Serpent.
As a 'teaser', here's the modified Avatar I'm working at for the force.

Khorne Loving

Skarbrand of the Forge, from the front.

Skarbrand of the Forge, from the back. The base is a customized Eldar 60mm job with some green stuff. Skar himself is a modified Bel'akor, the Dark Master. I'm pretty satisfied with how he came out.


This is my response to the fact that Bloodcrushers are $25USD a head. I can get Chaos Knights for about $22 for five, and then 60mm bases for cheap as well. So for the price of less than two Bloodcrushers, I can get a squad of seven. The rest of the buddies need a bit of washing and then basing, but you get the general idea.

Wave Serpents WIP


I'm a bit proud of the stippling on this, but here's a shot of the Wave Serpents. And with the proper photoshop masks, you can actually SEE the stuff. They need cockpit class and the guns, and a little highlighting on the intakes, and work on the engines, but THEY ARE CLOSE.
Then 3 Falcons, then wraithlords, and later the Seer Council. Not necessarily in that order.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fateweaver










Behold, the mech-daemons Fateweaver conversion.
Bits used:
Tau Crisis Suit
Warriors of Chaos banner bits
Wings hacked from a little swan toy
Green Stuff
I need to get back on the ball and do a little bit of touchup work here and there, but you get the idea.
The Daemons of Chaos are my little conversion project...I've got more pics to take, and they include...
Soul Grinders
Skarbrand
Daemon Prince
Bloodcrushers (conversion)
Counts-as Plaguebearers
Fiends (that are going to get redone, but still...)
And eventually Horrors

Chaos Meditations, Part 3

At this point we've fast attack and heavy spport left to go over. No need for ado...

Fast Attack
Chaos Bikers
Pros: Speed/mobility comes from being on the bike. They're decent at shooting up infantry with twin-linked bolters, and have the pistol/CCW of normal marines, so they've got a decent number of attacks in assault. Or, they can pick up a powerfist and some meltaguns and go vehicle-hunting.

Cons: Cost is the big kicker here. Bikers are 33 a head; a basic unit of 3 bikers costs you 99. Getting up to a reasonably 6ish bikes with a couple of meltaguns and a powerfist costs you in the neighborhood of 260 points. Icons only add to the expense, and while you might be tempted to go Nurgle Bikers for T6, you're still not uber-tough.

All in all, I want to like bikers, but in the end they're a bit expensive for the versatility. I suppose if you wanted to do a themed Chaos Biker list you could do decently; large squads + fists/meltas + icon of Chaos Glory or Khorne, but you are looking at about 1,000 points for your fast attack there. However, you're still not dedicated CC troops, and nastier choices like Harlequins, Nob Bikers, Termiantors and the like can still roll you.

Chaos Raptors
Pros: Speed, and you get a focused unit. 2 attacks base, and you can pick up flamers or meltaguns, and the champ can access Lightning Claws. This lets you take a focused squad for anti-infantry (2 flamers, lightning claws) or a squad that can hunt bigger game or smaller game (powerfist, 2 meltaguns).

Cons: They're only DECENT in assault; again a hardcore melee unit can roll you. Seer Councils, Harlequins, genestealers, and the like are still BETTER than you. Raptors (especially Khornate ones. Are there any other kinds? No.) can crank out a solid volume of attacks (4 per model w/ Khorne and the charge), and have the speed to get the charge.

Overall? They're not BAD, but still aren't melee specialists. Still, they can roll up decent numbers of infantry if allowed to and are solid delivery systems for the powerfist, lightning claws, flamers and meltaguns.

Chaos Spawn
....laughable. No armor save, slow and purposeful? At least they're beasts, so they CAN kind of truck it. Their movement looks pretty wonky, with a 'best of 2d6' + d6 fleet + 'best of 2d6 *2 charge'. I want to like them for the truly awesome plastic model, but these are really conversion fodder.

On Chaos Fast Attack
At the end of the day, chaos fast attack is really only suited for getting your troops into range a bit faster. Ask yourself if you can't do this with another squad of marines in a Rhino. I mean, 8 Khornate Raptors with a powerfist and meltaguns runs you 250; a ten-man Chaos Marine squad with same upgrades and a Rhino costs you 275. The Rhino requires anti-tank weapons to be dealt with, and can block LOS. Raptors...die to torrents of fire and can't block LOS.

Heavy Support
Havocs
Pros: 4 heavy OR special weapons.

Cons: They're basically Chosen that trade infiltrate and melee options for heavy weapon options.

Overall, they're a very versatile unit. If you're not using them as meltagun delivery systems, then I'm beginning to get a fondness for autocannon/missile launcher mixes as it's a versatile loadout that only wants for effectiveness against AV14.

Obliterators
Pros: If you need it dead, the Oblits probably have the weapon for it. Long-ranged tank busting, long-range anti-infantry, or a variety of twin-linked close-ranged weapons all on one platform. In a pinch, they're essentially terminators in assault. They can also Deep Strike, but you might not be using that option so much. Slow and Purposeful means they can advance and shoot as well.

Cons: Vulnerable to instant death. Honestly, that's about it for cons.

Overall? They really ARE a bit of a no-brainer choice. They're versatile in terms of heavy weapons and they can deep strike. The only thing they really worry about is S8, AP2 weapons, and then you just have to get cover.

Chaos Predator
Pros: They can get a decent amount of anti-infantry dakka for 115pts (autocannon, heavy bolter sponsons, havoc launcher). Alternatively, you can try to turn them into a tank-hunting platform for 130pts (autocannon, lascannon sponsons).

Cons: It's outshown by other heavy support choices because Oblits and Defilers can do more. Still, it's worth a look.

Overall, skip the extra options aside from a Havoc Launcher, and think about it in the dakka-pred configuration. Really, it's best for killing infantry and name me a Chaos unit that can't do that in some form or fashion.

Chaos Vindicator
Pros: BIG FREAKING GUN. If you go with Daemonic Posession, the enemy has to destroy the thing or get a 'weapon destroyed' result to stop you. It MUST be dealt with, and it can handle vehicles pretty well.

Cons: infantry get cover saves. It's such a priority target that you should be glad if it gets 1-2 shots off all game.

Overall? Use a single Vindy to draw fire, or bring three and have some fun. There's no other way to use it.

Defiler
Pros: Versatile. You get a battle cannon, and in a pinch you can fleet and assault. Failing that, you've got a backup heavy flamer and twin-linked autocannon, but you shouldn't need those so much. Additionally, it ignores shaken/stunned results, so the enemy has to either immobilize it or pop the battlecannon off.

Cons: Defilers are too big to ever really get a cover save reliably. AV12 isn't super-sturdy. The kit costs? WS3, I3 won't save you from a monstrous creature beatdown, and even Dreadnoughts give you a run for your money at WS4/I4 in melee.

Overall, Defilers are versatile choices. They're good as-is, or possible with some of the guns traded for extra dreadnought close combat weapons. Expect them to draw lots of fire right from the get-go, though.

Chaos Land Raider
Pros: AV14. Long-ranged anti-tank. Can also transport and fire off assault troops in relative safety.

Cons: The Chaos Land Raider suffers from split personality. It WANTS to sit back and pop lascannon shots off, but it ALSO wants to rush forward at 12" a turn and throw marines into the fray. If you are using it to deliver assault troops, you will feel a faint sense of waste because you just CAN'T get full usage out of the Land Raider every turn.

Overall? I'm not a big fan of the Chaos Land Raider for this waste. It can get you termiantors into assault, but another use might be to take Chaos Terminators, take a Land Raider as a designated heavy support choice, and cram a minimal squad of marines into the Raider and sit it at home.

Chaos Heavy Support as a Whole
Chaos has a pretty tidy little heavy support section. Oblits win on sheer versatility, and for their ability to always have the right weapon at the right time. Havocs can sit back and shoot, or be used to get massed special weapons. The Defiler's another versatile choice. Vindys are fire magnets, Land Raiders are rolling contradictions, and Predators just kind of get outshone everywhere.

Summoned Daemons
Greater Daemon
Pros: For 100 points, that's a pretty nasty statline. If he comes in at the right time, it's straight into assault, and he comes in accurately. WS8, S6, T6, and a 4+ invulnerable are all pretty nasty, especially with 4 attacks base. Four wounds is just icing on the cake.

Cons: You're reliant on reserve rolls to make him come in at the right time. Including one means spending points on several champions without taking melee upgrades. If the enemy has a way to single out and kill champs (IE: Telion, Mind War, etc.) then they can deny you the chance to summon the daemon. If he comes in at the wrong time, he's not particularly resilient to shooting.

Overall: A bit random. He's nasty IF he works right. If not? He kind of gets shot to death, but there's nothing like watching them roar right into assault from the get-go.

Lesser Daemons
Pros: Decent number of attacks. Scoring unit.

Cons: Reliant on reserve rolls to come in and get directly into assault. T4, 5+ save is NOT exactly durable. They're only so-so in melee.

Overall: They can at least score, which is something. They open up tactical options in terms of dropping scoring units in places, BUT you have to have an icon nearby.

Summoned Daemons Overall
Random. Randomness is not the way to win. This isn't to say that Summoned Daemons are without use, but that you can't rely on them to always do what you want them to do. They're not bad, but they're not a top-tier choice. If you take randomness like this, you're saying "Alright, guy across the table...let's see what happens!" and be prepared to either laugh or cry.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Chaos Meditations, Part 2

In which we move along to the elites section.

Possessed
Pros: ...they might get Feel No Pain? They have a 5+ invulnerable for all the good it might do them.

Cons: Khorne Berserkers are cheaper, have a higher WS, Furious Charge, and even pistols.

Overall, they're too random and people do the job better than them.

Chosen
Pros: Options, options, options. One heavy/special choice, and four from melee weapons or special weapons. They also infiltrate.

Cons: Can't score? Infiltration is only of limited use sometimes. Massed melee weapon options require a Land Raider for effective delivery, so it's likely only Sarge will take an upgrade if anyone does.

Overall? I think they've a place sometimes for the sheer number of special weapons they can bring. 4-5 meltagun shots = dead armor, generally speaking. Similarly, 4-5 flamers = dead stuff, and I suppose 4-5 plasma guns would be comical as well.

Chaos Terminators
Pros: Again, lots of options. Durable, and can deep-strike. They are passable at shooting and melee alike; twin-linked bolters + relentless for the guns and a fistful of power weapons for the hand-to-hand.

Cons: delivery system. Bringing these means committing to either personal or Chaos icons in your squads, which does cost points. Additionally, the Land Raider isn't that hot for delivery purposes since it's schizophrenic. Also, they're not fearless and they're 30 a head before options.

Overall? I see them being useful as mobile reserves in smaller, cheaper squads. Right now it's on the drawing board to have 4 guys with a chainfist, heavy flamer, and combi-weapon love with perhaps Lightning Claws in there. You really can't ignore that, and chances are they can do SOMETHING the turn they deep-strike in. They get a nice alpha-strike with the combis, then go menace things that don't have power weapons.

Chaos Dreadnought
Pros: can be nasty in melee, or bring a mobile multi-melta. Walkers that hit at S10 and ignore armor saves are abjectly nasty in melee combat if they can get there.

Cons: Rolls on the 'crazed' table every turn. 1/3 chance of doing something stupid, but there are ways to mitigate that. Basically, you need to put it near something that its weapons won't hurt. IE: bring two close combat arms. Oh, no, you shot a Rhino in the side with small arms. Similarly, a missile launcher with frag shots won't hurt much either. Or, you just deploy the thing where it won't have shots at the other guy.

Overall? I'm not exactly sold on this guy. Crazed is what kills it for me; he costs about the same as a loyalist dreadnought and has a huge drawback, comparatively. (130 for Multi-melta, heavy flamer and extra armor for a loyalist. 120 for the same loadout and 'crazed.')

On Elites as a Whole
I think Chaos has two elites options: Chosen and Terminators. They're both special weapon delivery systems; one functions in a rhino and the other comes in off the deep-strike.

The Troops
To be honest, Chaos made out like bandits in terms of Troops choices with a whopping 5 (six, if you count Summoned Lesser Daemons).

Chaos Space Marines
Pros: Versatile; they can shoot well enough and have 2 attacks each thanks to the pistol/ccw. They've got options in terms of bringing a heavy and special weapon at 10 guys, or 2 specials with ten guys. Also, they can be flavored with the various Marks of Chaos.

Cons: Not fearless. They die to sweeping advances, unlike their Loyalist brethren.

Overall: I think they're best used in 10-man squads in Rhinos with a powerfist and pair of special weapons, with perhaps a mark of Khorne (to win those close combats) or Chaos Glory (to pass those morale checks). Otherwise, use them as objective-sitters since they're at least cheap for it.

Plague Marines
Pros: T5. Feel no Pain. Defensive Grenades. They were virtually MADE to pile out, rapid-fire, and recieve the charge.

Cons: Price, to an extent (23pts a head). They swing at I3, rather than I4. Additionally, they can only take special weapons; no heavy weapons for these guys.

Overall: I like them. There are other places to get heavy weapons in the chaos codex, and to be honest if you're wanting range then you take a smaller squad with plasma guns and no champ to claim objectives. I think they're best used with a powerfist, a couple of special weapons, and perhaps a Rhino.

Noise Marines
Pros: I5. With gun upgrades, they can move and shoot and put out a hearty helping of anti-infantry shooting. Sonic Blasters grant either 2 bolter shots out to 24", or 3 when standing still. Doom Sirens are nasty heavy flamer stand-ins, and the Blastmaster is sick at range.

Cons: One-dimensional. Noise Marines are only suitable for hunting infantry; the Blastmaster can theoretically damage tanks but it's a single S8 shot and comes from a 40pt weapon.

Overall: Noise Marines require melee support; they can't take Dreadnoughts or Monstrous Creatures. What they can do is shoot unmounted infantry, but lots of people are MECHANIZED these days, which means less shooting. I think a smaller squad of 5-6 with Sonic Blasters might make a decent objective-camping unit that can contribute, but I'm a bit 'eh' on these guys.

Khorne Berserkers
Pros: NASTY in close combat; each guy cranks out four WS5, S5, I5 attacks on the charge. In numbers, they will annihilate most enemy infantry.

Cons: Delivering them to melee is the hard part. Land Raiders are not that great for the job, and Rhinos don't give you the charge. Luckily, unlike Orks the Berserkers still can give a good accounting of themselves when recieving the charge unless it's from an uber-hoss melee squad (IE: Nob Bikers, Seer Council, Space Marine Biker Command Squad of Doom).

Overall? I don't think the Chaos codex is set up to really get the most out of Berserkers, since there's not a good way to get them into assault.

Thousand Sons
Pros: AP3 bolters, slow and purposeful, and sarge has a force weapon. 4+ invulnerable save doesn't hurt, either.

Cons: Only good at killing infantry, and aren't even necessarily the greatest at that. The PRICE is another big failing point. 60pts for the Aspiring Sorcerer, plus 10-25 points for his psychic power. 25 gets you anti-tank, but you're basically buying an HQ choice every time you get a squad. 23 a head for the basic guys isn't too cheap, either.

Overall: I really want to like these guys. A 4+ invulnerable is cool, but only makes them adept at slowing down really nasty melee units, or surviving AP3 fire out in the open. The price of the aspiring sorceror really tanks it for me, as a minimal unit of 4 + sorceror runs 162, and that's with Doombolt as your psychic power.

Closing Thoughts on Troops
While they've got choices, some of the choices aren't that great. Khorne Berserkers can't be effectively delivered into melee, and Thousand Sons are just damned pricy for what they're really useful for. Noise Marines aren't bad, but are a bit mono-tasked, but I think you might be able to build around that. Plague Marines are a bit of a no-brainer, and regular marines can be kitted out in a few different ways to make them useful.

However, I do think Chaos can get away with 3-4 solid troop selections in an 1850-2000pt game.

Meditations on Chaos, Part 1

I'm currently looking into a Chaos Space Marine codex army. As such, I'm going to be looking into the units the chaos codex has to offer.

HQ
Chaos Lord
Pros: lots of melee options. Not a BAD melee statline; 3 attacks, options in terms of melee weapons. He can pick up speed, or armor.

Cons: Daemon weapons, while having some cool abilities? Only one's really that useful, and getting the most out of a Nurgle daemon weapon involves going toe-to-toe with stuff that can probably insta-kill you. Slaaneshi daemon weapons would be cooler if everyone wasn't immune to instant death, and Khornate weapons crap out on you 1/3 of the time. (the other 2/3 it's a metric shit-ton of attacks, though....)

Overall? I'm a bit 'eh' on him. The bargain version takes lightning claws and a mark, and it's not bad. It's not necessarily great, either, as all you get from him is a CC unit.

Chaos Sorceror
Pros: Psychic powers. Melee stats close to the Lord's (WS5 vs 6). Enables the almighty Lash of Submission, though with Warptime he's pretty capable in melee vs. troops.

Cons: Not a lot of interesting psychic powers outside of Lash and Warptime. Doombolt? Seriously? Bolt of Change is alright but not a substitute for melta. Gift of Chaos is laughable. Winds of Chaos has potential, but you should be able to get flamers to do it for you.

Overall? Lash or Warptime have my bids so far.

Daemon Prince

Pros: Nasty melee statline. 4 attacks, WS7, S6. 3+/5+, 4 wounds.

Cons: easy to pick out with shooting.

I'm tempted to slap wings and a mark of Nurgle on it for a 150pt guy with 3+/5+, T6, and a jump pack and the ability to fly and smash things. If I got a psychic power, I'd go warptime or Lash..

I have seen him used as a cheapo fire magnet.

I think if I ran 'em, I'd run at least two and bring some defilers for the large-target thing, and run 'em behind Rhinos. That might see them into melee. Additionally, I think that melee support might be useful in a Slaanesh-heavy list.

Kharn the Betrayer
Pros: Abject nastly in melee.

Cons: Occasionally kills your own guys. NOT immune to instant death.

How do you use him? If you want a CC HQ choice, he's pretty cost-effective in terms of lethality. You hide him in a squad, and split him off like a homing missile into a squad that doesn't have a powerfist. As long as you avoid something that can insta-gib him (or that he can kill before it can, like Dreadnoughts with his S6+2d6 on the charge) he's going to bring the pain.

Lucius the Eternal
Pros: He packs a Doom Siren and a neat ability to hit people back who hit him in melee, and knocks an attack off the other guy. I6 doesn't hurt, either.

Cons: Not immune to instant death.

Honestly, I see a chaos lord with a Doom Siren and the whole 'Armor of Shrieking Souls' going for it. Falvorful? Yeah. Doom sirens are nasty, but unless it's themed? Kharn's still more capable, as Kharn cranks out about 6 hits in melee a turn to Lucius'....2-3?

Huron Blackheart
Pros: Nasty weapon selection; powerfist, power weapon, heavy flamer? That's respectable, and warptime on top of that doesn't hurt.

Cons: Not immune to instant death. Fairly pricy at 170.

Overall? He's not BAD, but he doesn't jump out and scream 'take me.'

Typhus, Herald of Nurgle
Pros: Force weapon, daemon weapon, and he's just abjectly destructive up close. He's also absurdly resilient to non-power weapon, non-instant-death stuff between 2+ armor save and Feel No Pain.

Cons: 225pt price tag. There's a lot of other stuff you could get for this, like 3 Obliterators.

Overall? I like the lethality. I don't like the price tag.

Fabius Bile
Pros: Can get your regular marines Fearless and +1S at 3pts a head. He's durable and packing an isntant-death weapon, but still allows armor saves.

Cons: He's not actually that great in melee. He's expensive, and only makes your rank-and-file troops cost more while sometimes killing 'em off. And did I mention, no invulnerable save?

Abbadon the Despoiler
Pros:...what do ~7 S8 power weapon attacks at I6 that re-roll wounds feel like to you in melee?

Cons: PRICE. 275 points for this squad-killing brutality. He falls prey to 5th's rules on assault...Abby goes in, Abby cleans the squad out, Abby consolidates? Abby gets shot to hell and back. Terminator armor only goes fo far.

Additionally, you have to get him to the fight; Deep Strike gives them a turn to nail you and the Land Raider approach...relies on a Land Raider.

Reflections on the HQ choices
Kharn's the nastiest melee solution.

If you want footslogging template death, or just general control, Lash Sorcerors are the most versatile choices.

Daemon Princes are potentially nasty, but I think you have to be very conscious of the build. They're going to be fire magnets, but Chaos-Zilla (2 DP, 3 Dreads, 3 Defilers, some rhino troops) gives you enough targets to pull it off.

The named folks are otherwise damned expensive, but I think they might have their uses.

If it's not Kharn, a sorcerer, or a DP build? I think I'd try to spend the least on one, and I'm looking at a Warptime Sorcerer as about the cheapest it gets.

The Marks of Chaos
I think it's worth mentioning the marks of Chaos early on, as they're available to damn near everyone, and either they're built intothe Cult Troops or you can take 'em on top of the Chaos Space Marine statline.

Mark of Tzeentch
Your guys get a 5+ invulnerable save. To be honest, I think this is about the least useful mark. If you're going to take heavy AP3 gunfire, you should be in cover. People are used to forcing enough 3+ saves to kill you, so to be honest you're probably not going to see a ton of use for it.

On Terminators and ICs, though, it kicks the invlunerable save up to a 4+, which makes them a bit more durable. Still, the mark of pretty pricey.

Mark of Nurgle
Go to T5. unless it's for purposes of Instant Death. This is pretty much the most costly mark you can take. At ~50pts, it ups the basic Chaos Space Marine's cost to 20pts if you take a 10-man squad.

I won't lie and say that T5 makes you more durable. On the other hand, if you take 2-3 squads with the mark of nurgle, you can buy another squad. If you're going to put it on tacticals, you should think about Plague Marines instead.

Plus, if you lose the icon? OW. That's a lot of pain to deal with any way you cut it.

Mark of Slaanesh
Go to I5. I6, if you're an IC. Honestly, this one sees the most play against fistfighting other marines. The average loyalist tactical marine isn't a CC threat. Space Wolves, on the other hand? They'll try to crunch your face in with CC and they CAN DO IT. Helpful against that, but it won't make a lot of difference otherwise.

Mark of Khorne
I think this'll get you the most mileage per cost. The average marine now has 3 CC attacks; base 1 + 1 for MoK +1 for pistol/CCW. You have lots of dice to throw; and you have a decent chance of beating down Ork Boyz.

Downside? Gotta get into assault to use it.

Mark of Chaos Glory
Cheapest icon. Re-roll leadership tests. Good for what it does.

Overall on Icons
Right now, if I take basic chaos marines, it's going to be either sans icon, Chaos Glory, or Khorne. Khorne goes well for the powerfist + 2 special weapons rapid fire and recieve-the-charge strategy. Slaaneshi marks are ok, but of limited use. I4 to I5 just isn't that great. Nurgle and Tzeentch are bloody expensive...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Battle Experiences, Mech Eldar Reflections

I've notched two more games with the mech-tau build.

Honestly, both of them were pretty extreme in their results. This is largely due to the dice.

Thursday was against Xardian's footslogging Chaos.

his foot-chaos is something like...

2 Large Khorne-marked tac squads (PF, 2x melta)
Plague marines on foot
Tactical Squad on foot w/ PF, Lascannon (he'll be modeling one with pom-poms to give you an idea of what that squad's meant to do...)
Daemon Prince (no upgrades)
Summoned Lesser Daemons
2x3 Oblits
8 Havocs (2 missile, 2 autocannon)

Board was mostly open in the middle, with terrain we could shoot through but mostly give each other cover saves. I got turn one in capture the flag.

I crank out ~10-11 instant-death wounds on Oblits, most of them AP2. I kill one Oblit.

Needless to say, I start losing 1-2 tanks a turn, and I think by the end of the game I have maybe one tank.

It turns into me defending my objective, and having one Dire Avenger squad barely on it. Gotta work on NOT clustering up so much when there are heaps of plasma cannons going out there...Then again, I was also very good at failing 3+ saves, so....

All in all, the lesson was that Eldar skimmers have speed as armor. Got to deny them shots; even with a lot of skimmers and the occasional cover save, AV12 is NOT exactly survivable, and the heavy support tanks have it bad against lascannons.

Friday's game got called partway through on account of weather.

Jon's mech-orks. Mech-orks don't do well when you pop both battlewagons and a Trukk on turn one when you go first. Even worse was that one Battlewagon's corpse more or less blocked off one of his loota squads.

Beyond that, I moved back to deny him Loota shots in spearhead/capture the flag, but it was a pretty solid tie. I blew away a lot of stuff, and we dediced it was pretty much over when none of his penetrating hits got better than a '1' on the damage table. Other lowlights included his Warboss w/ Combi-Skorcha lighting up 7 Dire Avengers, needing 2's to kill them, and seeing four 1's.

Between that and the weather (...had some truly nasty hail, and other random crap and winds...) we called it to grab cover early.

Overall lessons learned:
-Speed is armor
-Not being seen is great armor
-exploit the hell out of the 48" range on Falcons and 60" range on Fire Prisms. There's no need to expose them to danger past that.

I suppose the Falcons have just gotten a little bit of love over the Wave Serpent, what with the whole range advantage. Falcons get three S8 shots at 48", or 2 S8 and an S4 blast template. I guess I have to give them props for hammering lighter armor, as Fire Prisms are pretty much dedicated anti-infantry.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wraithguard, Rangers

The Rangers
The Rangers, again.

Wraithguard, from the front.









More pictures to come.

Eldar Painting Progress teaser

Finally, making some noteworthy progress. Pics will follow, I swear.

Eldar models

WIP
Autarch on Foot
0%

Farseer on Foot
70% done; needs arms reattached

Farseer on Bike
60%; bike almost completed, rider converted

Seer Council
60%; bikes almost completed/painted, riders converted

Avatar
40%; primed, head conversion drying. Pondering adding more weapons

Fire Dragons
90%; need minor detailing

Harlequins
0%; pondering what to use for them. Considering Banshees or Incubi

Dire Avengers
Squad 1
90%; 1-2 details and flocking

Squads 2-3
0%; need buying

Wraithguard w/ Warlock
100%!

Rangers
100%, pending approval

3 Wave Serpents
Primed; 2 have base coats
Still pondering scheme

3 Falcon bodies
Primed
Still pondering scheme

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Mechanized Eldar, v1.1

This is one of the revisions I'm contemplating for the mechanized build.

HQ
Farseer
Spirit Stones
Runes of Warding
Doom
Fortune
Jetbike
175

Seer Council
6 Warlocks
4 Destructors
1 Enhance
6 Jetbikes
325

Elites
6 Fire Dragons
96

6 Fire Dragons
96
Wave Serpent
Twin-linked bright lance
Shuriken Cannon
135

Troops
9 Dire Avengers
108
Wave Serpent
Twin-linked bright lance
Shuriken Cannon
135

9 Dire Avengers
108
Wave Serpent
Twin-linked bright lance
Shuriken CAnnon
135

8 Rangers
152

Heavy Support
Falcon
Pulse Laser
Eldar Missile Launcher
135

Fire Prism
Shuriken Cannon
125

Fire Prisom
Shuriken Cannon
125

Total: 1850

Part of the changes are due to the fact that I've got a total of 3 Wave Serpents and 3 Heavy Support tank bodies.

I'm just really noy feeling the love on Falcons so far. Their shooting is 'eh', and as a transport, well, they're inferior to a Wave Serpent. Wave Serpents have a better main gun, more capacity, and the energy field. The only time I see the Falcon do something different is when it moves 6" and cranks out 3 S8 shots at BS3. I'm just not seeing a lot of the point in a Falcon, and a Fire Prism is better at taking out infantry. In a pinch, it can try to pop tanks with it, as well.

Beyond that, changes are twofold: the Autarch is gone, and there are Rangers in lieu of a third squad of Avengers. I'm going to give v1 some more testing, but this is probably the next incarnation of mech eldar.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Chaos Marines potential...

I'm kicking around stripping my loyalist marines, and moving them over to Chaos Marines.

As such, here's a more kick-you-in-the-face-hardcore list. It moves a little something like this...

HQ
Chaos Lord
Mark of Nurgle
Lightning Claws
140

Elites
4 Chaos Terminators
2 Combi-plasma
Chainfist
Lightning Claws
Heavy Flamer
160

Troops
8 Plague Marines
Including Plague Champ w/ Powerfist
2 meltaguns
Personal Icon
249
Rhino w/ Dozer Blade
40

7 Plague Marines
Including Plague Champ w/ Powerfist
2 Meltaguns
Personal Icon
226
Rhino w/ Dozer Blade
40

8 Plague Marines
Including Plague Champ w/ Powerfist
2 meltaguns
Personal Icon
249
Rhino w/ Dozer Blade
40

7 Plague Marines
Including Plague Champs w/ Powerfist
2 Flamers
Personal Icon
216
Rhino w/ Dozer Blade
40

Heavy Support
2 Obliterators
150

2 Obliterators
150

2 Obliterators
150

Total: 1850

I suppose that I could go with a Lash Sorcerer, but that's the more competitive version. The idea's to be flexible and durable. Four rhinos, four squads, meltas, and some flamers to accompany the Chaos Lord with lightning claws.

The Obliterators and Terminators are mobile reserves, which is why everyone's got Personal Icons in the squads. The Terminators are small, cost-effective, yet cannot be reserved. They can crank out the plasma shots, maim armor in close combat, and/or maim up infantry with a heap of power weapon and lightning claw attacks. They're small, but really ought not be ignored.

I suppose the harder-core version would drop the Terminators and Chaos Lord for a pair of 125-point Slaaneshi lash-sorcerors. Dropping the Lord and Terminators frees up 300 points; the two Sorcerors cost 250. The remaining 50 means I can add a couple more Plague Marines, and keep the one flamer squad.

The other potential...Chaos-Zilla. I'm still pointing it out, and I'd like a way to use Abaddon effectively, though I'm pretty sure that's a tall order.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Daemons

For sake of completeness, I'm going to list out the Daemon armies I currently have, and intend to eventually play. To be honest, I feel they're more of fun armies, as the dice are often fickle. And I mean fickle even after deployment, like that one time two Bloodthirsters lost combat to an Ork Mob and took No Retreat! wounds.

Daemonzilla
HQ
Bloodthirster
Unholy Might
Blessing of the Blood God
275

Bloodthirster
Unholy Might
Blessing of the BLood God
275

Elites
2 Bloodcrushers
Instrument
85

2 Bloodcrushers
Instrument

3 Bloodcrushers
Instrument
Fury of Khorne
135

Troops
8 Horrors
Bolt of Tzeentch
146

8 Horrors
Bolt of Tzeentch
146

9 Horrors
Bolt of Tzeentch
The Changeling
168

Heavy Support
Soul Grinder
Phlegm
160

Soul Grinder
Phlegm
160

Daemon Prince of Nurgle
Iron Hide
Mark of Nurgle
Wings
Noxious Touch
Cloud of Flies
215

Total: 1850

Wave 1: Bloodthirsters, Soul Grinders, Daemon Prince
Wave 2: Horrors, Bloodcrushers

Fairly simple. Land, and Go Thataway! Thataway is the direction of the enemy. Go forth and break faces. Keep winged nasties as close together as possible, work together, and systematically break things.

Mech Eldar v1, and PAIN

I got a chance to test out my proposed mechanized Eldar build against Jon's Orks. The list is as follows

HQ
Autarch
Power Weapon
Fusion Gun
90

Farseer
Runes of Warding
Spirit Stones
Doom
Fortune
Jetbike
175

Seer Council
6 Warlocks
Jetbikes
4 Destructor
Enhance
325

Elites
5 Fire Dragons
80

5 Fire Dragons
80

Troops
9 Dire Avengers
108
Wave Serpent
Twin-linked Bright Lance
Shuriken Cannon
135

8 Dire Avengers
96
Wave Serpent
Twin-linked Bright Lance
Shuriken Cannon

135

8 Dire Avengers
96
Wave Serpent
Twin-linked Bright Lance
Shuriken Cannon
135

Heavy Support
Fire Prism
Shuriken Cannon
125

Falcon
Pulse Laser
Eldar Missile Launcher
135

Falcon
Pulse Laser
Eldar Missile Launcher
135

Total: 1850

Generally, the army's meant to move fast. Dire Avengers are decent shooty troops, but important more for scoring. If I can bring 2-3 squads to bear on a target, I should shred it. Given how fragile they are in melee with a single S3 attack and T3, 4+ armor? They don't need to get assaulted. That's what the Seer Council is for.

Anti-armor comes from the Bright Lances and Fire Dragons.

Now, I did get a game in against Jon's Orks. His list was something like...
Warboss
Big Mek w/ Kustom Force Field
2x15 Lootas
Shoota Boy Mob on foot (25-30ish)
2 Trukk Mobs
2 Mobs that fit in Battlewagons
2 Battlewagons
Gretchin for cover saves/objectives.

The overall result was that I got routed something fierce. I bring the Autarch as it's been pointed out to me by some folks (including Stelek) that with +1 to reserves and a good, fast army can get second turn and still get the first shots off.

Well, we rolled Spearhead and I had crap for cover. I get the bright idea to hold everything in reserve, and...

His Orks move up to make it difficult to come in, and then on turn two the Seer Council, a Falcon with the Autarch and Fire Dragons, and a Wave Serpent with Avengers shows up. That leaves two Wave Serpents, a Falcon, and the Fire Prism hanging back.

Looking back, this is pretty much where I lost.

Other highlights included 5 fire dragons firing on a KFF-covered Battlewagon. 4 hits. Four penetrating hits. 2 cover saves. Two 1's on the damage dice.

I managed to KO a mob or two, but had no way to threaten the objectives.

At some point I'll remember to bring my craptastic camera on battles and record things.

At the end of the day, I'm not sure this was the best test of the mechanized list. I do feel a little light on long-range anti-infantry. I'm going to test this list out more, and then ponder a way to trade out a Falcon for a Fire Prism. That leaves me having to figure out how to get the Fire Dragons a ride, as at current I've got 3 Wave Serpents and 3 Falcon/Prism bodies with interchangeable turrets.