Saturday, April 24, 2010

Carnifexes: Can you make them work?

I admit it, I'm trying to like the Carnifex in the codex. But, the question is, what do I use it for? With the plethora of new critters/options, it's now a good question as to just what you CAN do with the 160-point bugger.
What Does it Have Going For it?
Well, you have good ol' Monstrous Creature durability. T6, four wounds, and a 3+ armor save. And, now, you can take 1-3 per slot (more on that later...). You start with four WS4, S9, I1 attacks (I3 on the charge, and you're the one thing in the fething book that can take frags; go figure). You start with double scything talons, so you can re-roll anything you don't tag, and you'll generally hit on 4's (barring vehicles, crappy troops, or assault troops). Lone carnifexes can also take mycetic spores.

What Can it do?
Now, here comes the real question: just what are you going to DO with the carnifex? Basically, you're going to think about either shooting OR assaulting, since you can't do both at the same time. Furthermore, buying guns loses you one or both sets of scything talons, which seriously impacts your ability to wreck things in melee.

Note also that in a unit, each 'fex must be equipped identically; I guess there's just too much room to abuse three seperate carnifexes for wound allocation. (Then again, they could theoretically soak 10 wounds before losing ANY combat effectiveness, so yeah.)

So, for shooty, the options are:
1) Take a Heavy Venom Cannon.
It's reasonable for suppressing fire, as S9 can usually get hits on vehicles and slow them down. On the negative side, it's still -1 to damage rolls and you're only BS3.

While you're CHEAPER than a Tyrannofex (he's 265 with his rupture cannon, you're pushing 200) he's much better at killing armor with two S10 shots, and landing at least one of them 75% of the time.

2) Take a Stranglethorn Cannon
Mmm, S6 large blast. Ok, doesn't do crap-all against vehicles (well, nothing that a Hive Guard can't do better and cheaper) and it's okay for anti-personnel work, but that's still an 'eh' weapon, all things considered.

3) Devourers
Bright side? You're twin-linked. Down side? You're short ranged (almight 18") and not going to hurt vehicles at all. If you're committed to going shooty, take them to get a little extra oomph (points permitting) and if not, well, honestly, you should have more efficient ways of killing infantry.

When it comes to assault:
1) Crushing Claws
...leave them at home. 25 points for +d3 attacks. You have four with re-rolls, or you can get 5-7 without re-roll. You need dice to go in your favor to get any mileage out of this; with 4+ to hit you need to get 6 attacks to get mileage; with a 3+ you need to get all +3 attacks to make it work for you.

2) Adrenal Glands
Yay, Furious Charge! IF you actually get the charge, you got at I4, S10 (since you get +2I on the charge for being a really big, angry thing). The only time you'll care about being S10 is against Wraithlords and AV14. AV10 rears get auto-penetrated by S9, and you should be able to tag AV14 on average; 2d6 usually gets a 6-7. Leave 'em at home.

3) Frag Spines
...if you have five points, I guess? Mostly, this is for getting to go before stuff like units full power powerfists, since you still don't go before dreads (unless you bought Furious Charge). It's cheap, so it falls into the filler category.

4) Toxin Sacks
You're S9. Unless it's a wraithlord, you wound it on a 2+. This beats a re-rolled 4+. You already nuke multi-wound T4 on a 2+. You don't need these, frankly.

Now, Why Would We Use This?
So, you want to shoot? The Hive Tyrant is comparable in terms of weapons and BS, and brings you better support abilities for the guns you can get. In a pinch, you can ALSO get tyrant guard and get more durability.

If you want to kill heavy armor, the Tyrannofex is more expensive, but has a better gun for killing heavy tanks. It also has nastier point-blank weaponry, a better save, more wounds, and loses one attack and one WS (and is only S6, but BIG DEAL).

If you want to drop-pod it, you're inferior to the trygon. It's faster (thanks to fleet), it's got a gun (for what it matters; BS3 with assault 6, S5, AP5), more attacks (6) and it has more wounds. The spore gets a gun, but gives up a KP (or VP) as well. Frankly, I'd consider going with the Trygon here.

So, then, what would we use the carnifex for? Stuff shoots better and deep-strikes better. Also, Warriors are a source of power weapon attacks (though Warriors are more expensive) and a Tyrant + guard CAN be a nasty counterassault element. S9 insta-kills most multi-wound stuff you'd want to insta-kill. So, it IS a potential substitute for Warriors and nasty counter-assault.

Using Them...
My thought is thus: Keep them on foot, MAYBE take frag spine if you have them. There's no benefit to the assault upgrade, and there are better guns.

Run them at the enemy as a target. Bring along either hormagaunts or termagants as a means of KO'ing infantry, bring some guns to take care of enemy tanks, and go to town. I don't think it's necessarily the best way to go, but I think you might be able to work it.

Possible Example...

I would start with something like this:

6 Hive Guard (for killing light transports; could go up to more) [300]
2 Tyrannofexes (for long range fire) [330]
Unit of 2 Carnifexes (no upgrades) [320ish]

This is about 1,000 points. You've got a good set of four monstrous creature; I'd think about more. You've got the means to dismount the enemy infantry; you just need synapse.

An Alpha hiding in the hive guard is an option. Alternatively, a couple of Tyrants could be nasty mobile synapse; if you're going with hormagaunts you could try to give 'em Preferred Enemy.

Tervigons boost your MC count, at least.

Anyone else got any thoughts on using Carnifexes? This is the best I've got. When I get back to my codex, I'll crank out a list. Again, I'm not sure this is the best way to run bug, but it's what I've got. Throw the Carnies out there to draw fire; if they CAN get into assault they can do some damage.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tyranid Troops Choices

I believe I'd promised the other week that there'd be a breakdown on Tyranid troops. Well, after a nutty week, a crazier weekend (and neither of those in the good way...) and a short nap and bike ride, it's time for that breakdown.

The way I see it, there are three basic focuses on Tyranid troops: Termagants/Tervigons, Hormagaunts, and Warriors. They can mix to an extent, but you should usually pick one and run with it.

Termagants and Tervigons
Also known as: ' do I build this big guy, and how many of these little things do I have to PAINT?!' (the answer: I'll have my conversion of one up soon as I do cleanup on painting, and the latter is about 50-60). This is one of the popular ones on the inter-tubes so far as I can tell; everyone is enamored with the ability to spawn endless hordes of them.

This generally takes the form of two units of ten Termagants (50 points each) and two Tervigons taken as troops choices with adrenal glands, toxin sacks, cluster spines, and either Catalyst or Onslaught (195 each). Grand total? About 500 points.

T&T Pros
1) Quantity Problems are Usually Solved.
You can crank out 3d6 termagants per tervigon per turn. Averages suggest that you'll get two turns of production before you see doubles, and you'll produce 10-11 termagants each go. That means you can guess on a couple of units of ~10 termagants. This means in an objective game, you can casually crap out something to sit at home, then advance.

2) Termagants Get Nasty with Poison, Furious Charge, and Counterattack
Individually, a Termagant is crap. It's basically a guardsman with a BS3 bolt pistol and a 6+ save that 'benefits' from fearless. You generally hit on 4's, wound on 4-5's, and die in combat to fearless wounds.

Now, give yourself poison (always wound on that 4+) and furious charge (re-roll that 4+ against T4 on the charge, and against T3 all the time). That's kinda nasty. If you get charged, you get a Ld10 roll to get Counterattack. All this for the low, low price of staying within 6" of the Tervigon (read: making sure ONE GUY is within that crucial six inches).

3) Charge Range
A freshly-minted unit of Termagants can reach out to 18". You spawn within 6" of the Tervigon, you get your 6" move, and your 6" assault. It's worth considering, since a unit of 10 of these with Furious Charge can put some solid hurt on stuff.

4) Psychic Support
Do you like handing out Feel No Pain? Yeah, the Tervi can do that. The big draws of FNP are making units like Warriors and monstrous creatures much more durable, or helping your little guys take small-arms fire or Fearless wounds.

5) Anti-tank
In a pinch, your Tervigon ought to be charging with four S6 monstrous creature CC attacks. Don't underestimate the graphic damage that S6 poison can do to another monstrous creature. I lucked out against a buddy's bugs (really, really lucked out) and a Tervigon ate HALF of a Trygon in one assault phase. (His other Trygon promptly prioritized the Tervigon it was facing, and put four wounds on it...)

T&T Cons
1) Kill Points
Termagants aren't THAT hard to kill, and against something like Land Raiders or faster assault armies, you're going to use the first rank to absorb the hit as best you can. In KP games, don't spawn unless necessary.

2) Traffic Jams
It's a lotta guys, and the biggest problem? If you really want to get the benefit of the poison/furious charge, you need a guy within 6" of the Tervigon. It's very easy to let a moment of inattention cost you.

3) Shoot the Big One!
Note that losing a Tervigon inflicts 3d6 S3 hits on all Termagant units within 6". KO'ing the Tervigon thins the horde, and renders Termagants merely an annoyance instead of nasty.

A final note...
While Termagants are pretty much crap without a Tervigon to buff them, a minimal unit or two of ten make cheap objective-holders even if you're focusing on Warriors or hormies. You don't REALLY want to sit hormies back at home; they can actually kill things in assault without a mommy bug nearby shouting encouragement like an annoying soccer mom.

I covered Hormies a bit here, but the short version: buy adrenal glands and toxin sacks. It's worth dropping 10 points a Hormagaunt for something that charges at I6, and throws out a metric crap-ton of poison attacks that wound 75% of the time against basic troopers (excluding Plague Marines, that is...). Consider 40-50ish or so in a 2,000 point list, ideally in 3 or so units. You want to balance KP, the ability to get there in sufficient strength, and the ability to engage enough of the enemy.

Hormie Pros
They're quick, lethal, and...well, that honestly sums it up. They're capable of dragging down monstrous creatures and just about any infantry in sufficient numbers. In a pinch, you can S4 charge a vehicle and glance the crap out of it.

Hormie Cons
Downsides? While you CAN tag vehicles, you really need support to kill them for you so you can get to the nougat center. Dreadnoughts MUST be a priority, since a dreadnought can tie you up indefinitely, and pile-in moves might make it difficult to actually get something into assault to deal with said Dreadnought.

Past that, folks DO know they're dangerous, and WILL prioritize them. You, in turn, must bring a means of dealing with things like Hellhounds and heavy flamer landspeeders. I suggest Hive Guard, and possibly Tyrannofexes, depending on the build.

Also, if you're used to playing Tervis/Termies, you might think 'Oh, I can get more!' ...well, you CAN'T. Sorry.

Warriors are the 'elite' choice. They're a nasty melee unit with some token shooty, but MAN is that melee nasty. The average warrior unit should carry lash whips and bone swords along with Toxin Sacks. Adrenal glands are optional, as Warriors are 50 points with the whip/sword and poison. Going up to S5 on the assault isn't that huge; the best it'll do for you that re-roll against T5 targets, which is a short list: marine bikes, plague marines, warbosses, and ork bikers.

Note also that you CAN kit warriors out for shooty rolls. Deathspitters are 5 points and instead of the Devourer's S4 AP-, you get S5 AP5 for your three assault shots instead.

Warriors are ADEQUATE at anti-infantry fire. Don't tell me an S6 venom cannon is a viable source of anti-tank; it's for the wound allocation and the occasional shot that softens something up. S5 is simply not going to damage vehicles (...ok, I'm sure someone will say 'but what about open-topped AV10? Good job, it can do that. Big deal. Ask the Rhino and Chimera what they think about S5 gunfire. Go on, ask.)

You CAN pay 35pts per warrior to get someone with three S4 WS5 attacks that re-roll ones, and they have three S5 AP5 BS3 attacks at range. It IS extra synapse, and honestly it IS a possible camping unit.

However, if you want a camper you can spend 50 points on ten Termagants that just sit back and go to ground. In theory, the enemy should have to go through your army ANYWAY to pick off your objectives, so deal with it. I'd rather put 50pts to camp than 105 minimum for shooty warriors.

And, if it's anti-infantry you're after, you get it in much better quality going into assault. Sure, it's 50 points for whip/sword/poison, but it's the ONLY place you can get a unit full of power weapons that's NOT a monstrous creature.

While you CAN make warriors shooty anti-infantry, I just can't recommend it. They don't shoot that well, and they're a nasty second-hit assault unit capable of doing tremendous damage.

Warrior Pros
Warriors are ludicriously dangerous with whips and swords. Got an enemy MC in your lines? Charge them with a handful of warriors. You're going to go first, or simultaneously at the worst (you strike at I1 going into cover; anyone in base with you goes at I1 thanks to the whip). Take scything talons for the re-roll, and assuming you hit on 4+, you're going to crank 4 attacks/warrior on the charge, and then that's 20 attacks, 10 hits, one or two re-rolls generating another hit or two, and then an average of 5-6 wounds. If you hit on 3's, it gets worse, and pretty much guarantees nuclear death to any MC you can touch.

Great, ain't it? You might drop 15 points on a Venom Cannon just to get an S6 blast in there, or to use for wound allocation purposes. It's an optional thing.

I suppose you could go double swords, but you lose your ability to go into cover effectively, or horrifically subdue targets. You do get better at the insta-kill, but that's a very situational thing, given the prevalence of Eternal Warrior. (the list would be: nobs, warriors, some monstrous creatures, and some ICs).

Warrior Cons
You can't engage vehicles effectively. At best, you can drop another 20-30 points for furious charge to get S5 hits into the rear, but frankly, you should be using hive guard and monstrous creature assault to kill vehicles. It's what you have.

You are also a magnet for S8+ fire. If you are going to run a lone unit of warriors as melee support (which is perfectly viable) then you need other high-toughness targets to force the enemy to prioritize.

If you are going warrior-heavy (which is very possible) you'll be on the lower end of the model count, but you'll also have a crap-ton of T4 4+ wounds to force him to wade through.

You're not fleet and don't have Move Through Cover. 'Sad Face' is all I can say about that.

Final Note On Warriors
If you need a little extra assaulty punch, and you can spare 250-300 points, you can get 5-6 warriors to bolster the lines and get a little extra synapse. It's mostly for the extra CC power, but it's a support option to consider. (Well, them or Shrikes...which are just a huge bullet magnet because you only have to watch them rampage through your troops once...).

But Wait, What About the Rippers?
Well, they don't score. You can't really build an army around them, so they're firmly in the 'support/filler' bin. For hilarity, you can buy them the ability to deep strike. Past that, if you have the spare points, consider poison. If you have enough points to get more than 4-5 bases, consider a better investment.

They're not bad as a tarpit, but you need to be in Synapse, because if the Hive Mind isn't reminding them to breathe, then they kind of die when they flub that ld6-ish Instinctive Behavior check. Then they Rage at something. I had them rage at an immobilized Land Raider after a bad deep strike, which was good for the laughs.

...and the Genestealers?
But Raptor, you forgot the genestealers!

Indeed, I did. However, let's do some thinking. A 'stealer is 14 points base; 17 after you grab poison. You're already S4; Furious Charge doesn't do much on top of Rending.

So, let's compare a poison stealer (since S4 gives us a lovely chance to re-roll wounds against most anything we'll attack) to the 10-point hormagaunt.

Speed? The Hormie is faster.

Number of wounds? You get almost two hormies for one 'stealer.

Durability? I'd rather have more wounds, given that there's effectively nil save attached to this thing. A 5+ is NOT much better than a 6+; you still get pasted by small-arms fire and flamers, and the T4 isn't a major help, honestly, when you have the choice between more wounds. You should be in cover anyway.

So, let's do some quick math. Let's go with 170 points; that's 10 lethal 'stealers and 17 pumped-up Hormies.

Charge: 51 attacks from the Hormies > 25.5 hits + re-roll 1/3 of your misses = 29-30 hits. Vs troops, that translates to 15 wounds, and re-rolls bring you up to 20-21 wounds. Oouch.

30 Stealer attacks; you'll get 20 hits. You'll get ten wounds (and about a rend) off the bat, then re-rolls should grant you another 5 wounds and MAYBE another rend, so you get ~15 wounds and 2 rends.

So, let's drop the poison and get more stealers! We can get ~13 stealers; that translates to 39 attacks, 26 hits, 13 wounds with ~2 rends.

What did we learn? Unless you're trying to rend down vehicles (and maybe you're noticing a theme: KILL VEHICLES WITH STUFF IN OTHER SLOTS! INCLUDING DREADNOUGHTS!) the hormies are nastier.

The only major perk genestealers have (past their ability to infiltrate, and I'm sure someone will try to outflank them for the lolz and questionable disruptive value) is that they don't need Synapse and have Ld10, so they're fine to operate solo.

Mine are getting converted into other things, if that tells you anything. If you want heavier melee punch added to your force, get WARRIORS; sure they cost 50 points to equip for assault but a warrior is so much nastier than a genestealer it's not particularly funny.
Troops Roundup
I have to reiterate that it's best to pick a focus on your troops and roll with it.

Tervigons + Termagants provide a tide of bodies that are great for taking objectives and deceptively nasty in melee (until someone caps the Tervigon in the midst of its horde...). Tervis can even provide a little S5 large blast fire support. You get a troop package that can handle troops and MCs alike (depending on who hits what), and you are committing to at least a couple more monstrous creatures.

A unit of Warriors can provide melee support, points permitting.

Hormagaunts are a scuttling wave of 'I touched in in assault, buried it, ate it, and went looking for its family.' They'll take losses, but are deadly en masse. It's crucial you bring enough, and you bring anti-tank. It's not a bad idea to consider 50-100 points of Termagants to sit in the back and cheer (when they're not going to ground) on an objective.

Warrior-heavy does cut down on your model count, but Warriors are also just plain nasty to anything they can touch in CC; while they have fewer attacks than Hormagaunts they can get POWER WEAPONS that can KILL YOU INSTANTLY and whips that MAKE THEM GO BEFORE YOU HIT. Read the caps and you kind of get a neat summary. You're also allergic to S8.

When you get down to it, all the troops choices are geared towards tearing up anything that has a toughness value. Bring anti-tank or you will suffer.


Coming Soon:
-Pictures of Raptor's Tervigon conversion(s)
-Thoughts on Making Carnifexes Work

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pondering Tyranids: Using Hormagaunts

This one's prompted by King Elessar. Personally, I have like 40-50 of the bloody things myself, and I'd like to figure out a good way to use them. Here's my first draft and the logic that goes with them.

The Hormagaunt
Now, the big pro of the Hormagaunt is that it's cheap and potentially nasty, as well as being swift. It has Move Through Cover and drops 3d6 and takes the highest for the run, and then it has Fleet so it tries to get into your face.

Now, the cons? It's WS3 and S3, and also has the average 'nid T3 and 6+ save. Basically, it's a horde choice. You'll need a lot. That's not so bad. Plus, when upgraded, Furious Charge (at I6 if you're not going into cover...) and Poison can really, really pile on the wounds.

However, when you add the glands, you go from a 6pt unit to a 10pt unit. Why double the price? Honestly, I'm a fan of the glands. Why?

1) Poison: Ability to Wound Stuff
Ok, sure, you have a lot of attacks (2 attacks per, 3 on the charge) and you get to re-roll the 1's on your attacks for your Scything Talons. Downside, you're only S3. So, you wound wimpy T3 infantry (that, honestly, you'll be maiming up anyway with volume of attacks) on a 4+, and then you need a 5+ to tag the average T4 melee fellows you'll see. Poison lets you tag ANYTHING on a 4+ (like, oh, those nasty T4 infantry) and it lets you mob the ever-lovin' crap out of monstrous creatures, which would normally get surrounded and just much on your target.

2) Furious Charge: Versatility
So, you're S3. Now, if you have poison, you start wounding T3 targets on a 4+ with a re-roll; so you'll wound targets 75% of the time. Furious Charge lets you do the same to the T4 infantry, which is nice against a heap of the T4 targets.

Second point? S3 can't tag vehicles. S4 can. It's a minor bit of versatility, but you can at least torrent vehicles. I think if I was going to leave a gland out, it would be the Furious Charge.

Numbers on Hormies
So, let's take 60 points. You get 10 regular hormagaunts, or 6 upgraded hormies. Numbers look like so, assuming a charge and no cover:

T3 Targets
Normal: 30 attacks > 17.5 hits > 8.75 wounds
Upgraded: 18 attacks > 10.5 hits > 7.87 wounds
Conclusion: Ok, the cheaper ones win out here due to volume of attacks, but the re-rolls to wound help out.

T4 Targets
Normal: 30 attacks > 17.5 hits > 5.8 wounds
Upgraded: 18 attacks > 10.5 hits > 7.87 wounds
Conclusion: Upgraded is starting to show...

T5+ Targets
Normal: 30 attacks > 17.5 hits > 3.5 wounds
Upgraded: 18 attacks > 10.5 hits > 5.25 wounds
Conclusion: Upgraded wins, hands-down.

VS AV10-rear vehicles
Upgraded: 3 glances against an immobile vehicle, 1.5 against combat speed, precious little against flat out.

Again, bear in mind that this is just 60 points of Hormagaunts; I picked 60 because it's easy enough to work with. Realistically, you WILL be taking larger units ( that some of them get through.)

So, Why Updgrade?
Poison is going to do good things for your ability to harm things. You can tag monstrous creatures, and you can seriously threaten anything else. You trade off some numbers, but your lethality goes through the roof. Honestly, Furious Charge is a big buff since it gives you the re-roll on T4 as well, and frankly T4 is worth tagging hard.

The Army List
Tyranid Prime w/ Whip, Sword [95]
Tyranid Prime w/ Whip, Sword [95]
3 Hive Guard [150]
3 Hive Guard [150]
3 Hive Guard [150]
14 Hormagaunts, Toxin Sacks/Adrenal Glands [140]
14 Hormagaunts, Toxin Sacks/Adrenal Glands [140]
14 Hormagaunts, Toxin Sacks/Adrenal Glands [140]
10 Termagants [50]
10 Termagants [50]
Fast Attack
19 Gargoyles, Toxin Sacks/Adrenal Glands [152]
19 Gargoyles, Toxin Sacks/Adrenal Glands [152]
Heavy Support
Tyrannofex; Rupture Cannon, Cluster Spines, & Desiccator Larvae [265]
Tyrannofex; Rupture Cannon, Cluster Spines, & Desiccator Larvae [265]

Total: 1994/2000

The Logic
Simple: throw a HORDE of nasty troops at the enemy. Gargoyles give you an element of speed and additional targets, though admittedly I'm somewhat worried about their ability to outstrip Synapse range. Mostly, I chucked them in there because I like the models and have 40 of them. They could probably go.

The Hormagaunts are there because we're trying to build with them. Glands give them lethality, and we take multiple units to bring multiple threats.

It DOES look a little light on synapse, doesn't it? Well, here's the logic. I'm a little light on monstrous creatures. The cost of monstrous creatures is pretty hefty any way you cut it; if I wanted a tyrant I'd be dropping both of my primes AND a good chunk of gribblies to fit him in, and then he'd be the prime target. As it stands, there are more than enough units to hide a Prime in.

I feel like I can get away with just a couple of Tyrannofexes, largely because of thee 2+ save. You've got a LOT of army to go through to assault them or melta them, and unless you have a crap-ton of lascannons you're probably just NOT going to engage the things. They provide long-range heavy anti-tank work.

The Hive Guard are there to crack any and all light armor they can draw LOS on. Accurate S8 gunfire is just nasty, and can also reliably wound anything you shoot it at AND insta-gibs all those annoying T4 multi-wound models.

The Termagants are objective-sitters.

Thoughts on the List; Possible Changes
Well, I'd hate to see Land Raiders, since all I've got are the Tyrannofexes for killing them. With the pure horde setup, I'm not really willing to go with Zoanthropes, since that means looking into hive tyrants, and that's a pretty sweeping change.

If I WERE going to get a third Tyrannofex, I'd probably drop a Hive Guard from each unit (150 free), contemplate dropping a Termagant unit (200) and then go looking for more points from somewhere, trimming gargoyles.

Your other priority target is any Walker; you CANNOT kill Dreadnoughts in melee (but should be able to shoot them to death reasonably well) but you should be able to take them out with shooting. Should be.

Thoughts, feedback, comments, etc? It's a rough draft hatched at 1AM, so take that into consideration.

Coming soon: thoughts on running Carnifexes.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

How to Strip Paint from Plastic Models

What? A product review on Raptor's blog? What's going on? Is he bribed, brainwashed, or did he just not open the door in the workshop? None of the above. I actually found an amazing product for removing paint from plastic minis, and I felt the need to share.

It's called 'Krud Kutter Graffiti Remover.' If you're like me, you might be a bit...frugal. (Or just a cheap bum. Also good, right? I like honesty sometimes.) Now, metal models are a pain in the butt in terms of customization (and often pinning, for that matter) but it is very easy to remove the paint from them. It involves a glass you'll never drink out of again, and some acetone.

In fairness, if you're willing to take time and be both patient and quick, you can dunk plastic models in acetone and scrub them real quick, but this is sometimes known as Asking For Trouble, for if you're too long the plastic gets infirm.

Now, the the directions say to spray the surface and let it sit, but I found it more useful to simply pour some of the Krud Kutter out (, I feel like an ork when I type it out...) and cut it with a little water to make it go further. It's safe to soak plastic stuff in overnight, though it probably works faster. Afterwards, attack it with the good ol' toothbrush. You might need to soak it twice, but no more, and it works a WHOLE LOT FASTER than the standby of Simple Green.

The only downside? It is a little more expensive than Simple Green, but I believe you can get more actual WORK out of the Krud Kutter (WAARGH!) per unit volume (since the paint softens up, but doesn't necessarily flake off and darken/pollute the solution like I've had with Simple Green).

Anyways, that's your quarterly painting advice from the Raptor. Enjoy.

Also, it doesn't have NEARLY the distinct smell that Simple Green does.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Breath of Fresh Air

In other news, I finally had a go at something NOT in power armor, fatigues, or chitin. I also tested a new Trygon list, and have some thoughts on that.

Thoughts on Triple-Battlewagon Loota Orks
I got a game in with one of the nastier locals, who was fielding a triple-loota list in battlewagons with Ghazgull, 3 Meganobs, and a couple of Trukk Shoota Boy Mobs. Add in the fourth battlewagon as the Meganobs' designated transport, and Deffrollas all around, and it's a reasonably intimidating list. I think it's pretty nasty, as far as orks go.

Deffrollas are a pain against monstrous creatures (and likely vehicles/dreads), so that's an element of counterassault. They're not as bad as you think they are, but they're still potentially nasty. Death or Glory earns you on average seven S10 hits, so think about that carefully first...

Lootas...are random. Big surprise, I know. S7 hurts, though I had the absurd ability to make 3+ MC saves like I was a marine player. Between Feel No Pain and hiding a Tervigon, the Lootas managed to account for a Tervigon, chunks of Trygons, and a Tyrant Guard throughout the game.

Triple-Loota Pros
-Withering Firepower in the form of the Lootas; killing AV14 with a 14+ at range is annoying. But, you can always flank them, I suppose...
-Deff Rollas ARE reasonably nasty; I'm not sure I'd want to get a Land Raider near them since good rolls CAN pile up, and they don't much care about how fast you went.

Triple-Loota Cons
-Moving the Battlewagons IS an issue; if you move them (or they get shaken) you don't get to shoot the lootas
-Without Battlewagons, you're relying on Trukks to advance up the field. Let me know how that works out, especially when they advance out of the KFF. (My Hive Guard loved it, though...)
-Ultimately, you're going to have problems claiming objectives. The end result was a draw.

The Triple-Trygon Build
Mine went a little something like this...

Hive Tyrant
-Heavy Venom Cannon
-Paroxysm & Leech Essence
-Hive Commander
Tyrant Guard w/ Lash Whip

Hive Tyrant
-Heavy Venom Cannon
-Paroxysm & Leech Essence
-Hive Commander
Tyrant Guard w/ Lash Whip

2 Hive Guard

2 Hive Guard

2 Hive Guard

10 Termagants

10 Termagants

-Adrenal & Toxin

-Adrenal & toxin

4 Ripper Swarms

Heavy Support

Thoughts on the List
First off, it's got decent range; the Venom Cannons give it some suppressive punch and there's the almost-default wall of hive guard backed up by the core of Objective-holding Tervis and the 'Launch ze Fighters!' of the wall of Termagants.

Rippers are, admittedly, filler. I didn't feel like dropping a single cluster of spore mines, as if you're GOING to try to screw with deployment you want the full three clusters (and therefore, 90 points into it).

Now, my major concerns with the list:

1) Double Tyrants
In part, this is my counterassault. Lash whips + bone sword = carnage. It also means that I'm probably gonna get all three Trygons on turn two. Heavy Venom Cannons are just nice suppressing fire.

Admittedly, I almost dropped the Rippers for Devourers and boneswords on the Guard, but I'd rather the counter-assault threat.

On the other hand, that tyrant config IS a solid 280ish points or so. I could easily get a pair of Harpies for suppressive fire and a little more mobility.

2) Mobility
My worry (at least, as it turned out in Table Quarters) is that the Trygons pop up on turn 2, and the rest of the army is a little behind. As nasty as they are, most enemies should be able to at LEAST kill one, and since they're the primary threat at the time...

3) Scatter Rolls, there's nothing like getting 11 inches away from the side of the board, and rolling box cars on the scatter...happens to everyone, right?

It's very easy to get screwed by the scatter roll on this. I managed to mishap one (and get it slapped in the far corner). Hopefully, the worst that can happen is you fall back, but there's always the chance you can play creative (since you can't scatter into units on either side, but you CAN fall off the table).

4) Army Composition
Personally, I could probably stand to be more aggressive. That aside, I'm not sure walls of termagants are the way to go. I wonder if it's worth switching around the core, and grabbing a couple of large squads of Hormagaunts and moving out. On the flip side, that would dilute my MC count and make the Tyrants priority targets. I'd also have to consider how to hold objectives in my backfield, which would likely mean a Warrior squad and a couple units of Termagants.

Chances are I'll keep it the same for some testing, and work at being more aggresive.

Thoughts/feedback/commentary/word to your mother?