Friday, January 29, 2010

My Pile of Crap

I've got an updated list of stuff that I have for sale & Trade HERE.

Thanks Guys.

The Harpy - Big and Flying.

The Tyranid Harpy
 The Flying monster of the Tyranid Army. Just how devastating can he be? Well, let’s just say he can be a monster or a liability.
Fast. As Jump Infantry, he can be quite Fast. With an initial Threat range of 18” from the deployment edge, he can reach the enemy on first turn possibly.
Tough: With a T5 most things will need a 5 to wound him.
Twin Linked Guns- With a Ballistic Skill of 3, this makes him essentially a BS of 4.5. Better Than a Space Marine!
Close Combat: While his Weapon skill is only a 3, you do get the opportunity to re-roll any 1’s your roll to hit, It’s not much but it helps. But with only 2 attacks, you’re not best suited for Close Combat.

Having that Twin Linked Heavy Venom cannon is a great option.

The Spore Mine Drop is a potentially amazing weapon, but with only a 12 inch move it can very easily land on the harpy itself. Single Shot in the Movement phase makes it good for using over infantry (orks) and then shooting it's cluster spines and perhaps the barbed strangler into another unit to do a lot of pie-plate damage.
No Model, you have to convert this guy if you want to use him. Your best bet is a Carnifex with a pair of daemon/balrog/dragon wings. Simply don’t give him the “Feet” of the Carnifex and use the back sockets for the Scything Tallons.
Toughness 5 -  Means he’s vulnerable to Instant Death to Vindicators, Railguns, Vortex of Doom, and Force Weapons.
1 Shooting Weapon - So, with a BS 3 (twin linked) you get all of 1 shot. 160-170 Points is a lot for a single shot monster.
CC - With a WS of 3 he is very weak in CC. Though his Str of 5 will let him penetrate up to a 17 AV. so he may be used against vehicles that have..... not moved.

Non-Synapse - This guy can hurt you with his lurking (since he's a monsterous creature) hard to gain cover.

All in all:

I love the concept, and will use him, but GW could have priced him a bit more efficiently.
Like much in this codex....

My Ideal Setup:
Harpy - Twin Linked Heavy Venom Cannon, Regeneration, Cluster Spines - 185 Points

(Photo Used without permission from Bell of Lost Souls)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Parasite of Mortrex & Rippers - Practical?

The Parasite of Mortrex is a fun little bug, one of two independant characters in the entire Tyranid Codex. Basically he is an insurance policy you take out on your opponent. He transforms what he kills into ripper swarms, Makes your opponent think twice about outflanking and provides a large web of synapse for rippers.

Implant attack make's him a MC's and IC's nightmare since his unsaved wounds cause instant death, Rending Claws combined with 4 WS 5 attacks make him a very large threat. Especially at Initiative 6.

Implant Parasite:
Your opponent Must make a toughness test for each casualty removed because of wounds inflicted by the parasite of mortrex. For each test failed, roll a D6. At the end of the assault phase, place a ripper swarm with a number of bases equal to the sum total of all the dice rolled such that all bases are within 6" of the parasite of mortrex. All bases that cannot be placed due to impassable terrain, enemies within 1" or because you have run out of models are lost.

he is the king of Rippers, spawning them like flies. Ruthless and Efficient.

The Sarge is acting Strangely...
Every enemy infantry unit that arrives using the outflank ability may harbor a squad member infested with ripper parasites. At the end of their Movement phase, one model in each of these units (owning player's choice) must take a Toughness Test. If the test is failed, that model is instantly removed as a casualty and the Tyranid player may place a Ripper Swarm unit consisting of D6 bases anywhere within 6" of the Victim. If the victim was inside a transport vehicle, it is assumed that he staggered out before dying. Any bases that cannot be placed due to impassable terrain, within 1" of enemy models or because you ran out of models, are lost.

Like I said, It's an insurance policy. it Likely will not force a Morale check, but in some small cases, it can.
Against a Korsorro Khan Outflank army this ability can be devistating.

So, we have this "Flying Monstrosity" that can join other units, kill fairly easily, and poop out new Ripper Swarms. Also He can keep Rippers in line fairly easily.

So we'll look at the ripper swarm and then go on to tactics that I would use.

Ripper Swarm
Low WS, Low BS, High Attacks, Medium S and T, 3 Wounds and LD 5.
Basically you do not want these guy's out of Synapse Range, EVER.
So, what do we do?
We join the Parasite of Mortrex to their squad. Not so devious, but can keep him alive almost forever.
They come in swarms of 3-9 Bases each with 3 wounds. Take 9 and that squad has 27 Wounds. Great Fun.
Now their options are a bit odd, Guns (Worthless with BS2) Furious Charge (Can Be Fun, but ultimately not worth the points) Tunnel Swarm (Why Bother?) Toxin Sacs (Invaluable for when attached with the parasite)

Toxin Sacs give them poison 4+ (and don't forget the re-roll to wound vs T3 or less) So yes, you can wound monsterous creatures and High T IC's.

So with a 9 Base Squad with Toxin Sacs, you're looking at 117 Points. Not bad at all for a 27 wound swarm that can and will eat just about everything. Sure at T3 they can be instikilled by a lot, but really, that is fine.
Now add in the Parasite of Mortrex and this unit costs us  277 Points (more if you go with flying Rippers)

You've got an amazing HTH unit that gets 45 attacks on the charge (always wounding on 4+) plus 5 WS5 I5 Rending Attacks that can cause instant death. not bad. Now consider that against marines, those first 5 attacks will all but guarantee 2d6 ripper bases that will be able to charge the same unit (if it's not dead) on your next turn.

To play these, have lots of ripper swarms. LOTS OF THEM. In a combo like this you can easily create a LOT of rippers (think 10-20 D6 Rippers) against most armies.

Now, on to the Synergystic Tactics:

Zoanthropes- Bust your opponent out of his transports. with the S10 AP1 Lance shot you can all but guarantee that they will be jumping for cover just in time for the Parasite's Teethy Swarm to arrive and eat them all.

Hive Guard (Same as Above)

this may seem like a waste to some, but imagine this squad with Feel No Pain. yep, that is a 31 wound squad with Feel No Pain. Ouch.

This squad WILL eat Nob Bikers, SM Bike Command Squads. And anything else it can get into hand to hand combat with. Now, Thundershield terminators will cause you problems as each of their power weapon attacks will instantly kill a base. This does not matter. with a squad of 5 - 7 (have you ever seen more?) they are getting (roughly) 15 attacks on the charge, 8 will hit, 6 will wound. remember they are at Initiative 1. you are at a higher initiative. so with your (if the Termies charge) 40 Attacks you should hit with 18 Poisoned attacks, and 3 Implant Attacks, and cause 10.5 wounds causing 2 deaths. so they're down 2 already. they get 12 attacks back, 6 hits and 5 bases die. next turn they get 2 attacks and 1 base dies. then they're gone and you've lost 7 bases. big loss, but not so big when you realize you just killed 200 points of I Kill Everything Terminators.

Go make more swarms and have the Parasite join the bigger swarm. He replenishes his own retinue.

So, go grow the swarm.

Pics courtesy of the alien movie, and GW (used without permission)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tyranofex, Red-Headed Stepchild?

Image from aduro on Dakka Dakka (used without permission)

So while perusing the blogs of FTW, I found this : THIS

And in the midst of my reply, I found that i was getting a bit long winded, so i've decided to make a blog post about the Tyranofex myself.

So, the tyranofex is a Big Bug, and when i say big i mean big. Toughness 6 Wounds 6.

He gets some nice options, but for any of my points, i can see only one loadout for him that would be worthwhile:

Regeneration (I.E. You Can't Kill Me short of a Force Weapon or Special Ability)
Rupture Cannon (48" Range, S10 Assault 2, Ap4, but you'd get a cover save anyway right?)
Cluster Spines (18" Range S5 Large Blast. Hell Yeah)
Dessicator Larve (Template S1, Wounds on a 2+)

Why this configuration?

First, Regeneration makes him all but impossible to kill. Sure, with High Str weapons you're going to wound him, but he's got 6 wounds, and can get them back. Force Weapons and the like will still kill him, but well yeah, if you let a Librarian get into HTH with him, you've screwed up pretty good.

Rupture Cannon is a must, sure you're not going to kill infantry with it, but against armor, you're not going to get a better weapon short of Zoanthropes.

Cluster Spines - I took these simply because with a BS of 3, his other shots will miss more than this will. a large blast that can deviate at most 9" is much better than a stinger salvo.

Dessicator Larve- sorry, against anything close enough, the Dessicator Larve is your best bet. wound on a 2+ is far better than any of the other options.

So, now you've got a MC that is neigh unkillable, who can pop tanks, and if your plan is not going quite well, can decimate infantry. yes, 2 weapons can shoot per turn, so you can launch that large blast, then shoot the dessicator larve and really soften up a unit.

now on to CC. You are a Monsterous Creature so you've got power weapons, and roll an extra D6 vs vehicles. so you CAN penetrate a land raider with your Strength of 6. (6+6+6=18) though on average you're only penetrating 13 (vs average rear armor of 11)

Yes, he is 295 points. is it worth it? Very much so.

ok, vs an Assault Space Marine Squad (That Charged Him), he will take (on average) 20 Hits (Ouch) and from that, take 4 wounds, which he will save 3 (and a third) of. Now let's add in their bolt pistols (10 shots)
6 hit, 1 wounds, he saves it 5/6 times.

so he Takes 1 wound. attacks back and causes 1 wound. yay, now he has the advantage because their odds just go down from there. so he can and will. do a lot of damage.

now let's turn it arround. he shoots his blast template (for ease of reference he'll miss completely.) - 0 hits
fires his Dessicator Larve (little, but we'll say 3 hits) 2 wounds, 1 fails.

same as above, he takes 1 wound. now he causes 2 on the charge. he wins combat. they may or may not get away. now against SM tactical squad he does better.

and against a TH/SS squad he gets romped, but who does not?

He's worth his 300 points every day of the week.

while he may not compare to the fire output of a Leman Russ, well he's infinately more survivable.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rules Interactions: Hive Tyrand & Tyrant Guard


as pointed out by eriochrome, i failed to read the rules again and this does not apply in this edition.

Ok, so there are many questions about the Shieldwall rule.

In it's entirety:

"Shieldwall: The Tyrant Guard are used as living shields whose entire purpose is to protect the Hive Tyrants from harm, heedless of any personal injury.

A single Hive Tyrant (Including the Swarmlord) may join a unit of Tyrant Guard exactly as if it were an independant character. If a Hive Tyrant (or the Swarmlord) has joined a Tyrant Guard unit, the unit can not go to ground, Voluntarily or otherwise."

Wow, Great! just like the last book right? Wrong.

Unfortunately, GW kind of screwed the pooch on this one. Their intention was VERY clear. Make it so you can not pick the Hive Tyrant out during the shooting phase. Unfortunately, their wording sucks and you still can. He joins as if he were an Independant Character, this does not negate his Monsterous Creature status. Expect an FAQ on this horribly written rule. It will likely read:

"Shieldwall: The Tyrant Guard are used as living shields whose entire purpose is to protect the Hive Tyrants from harm, heedless of any personal injury.

A single Hive Tyrant (Including the Swarmlord) may join a unit of Tyrant Guard exactly as if it were an independant character. While a Hive Tyrant is joined to a Tyrant Guard Unit, he may not be singled out during the shooting phase as he normally would be because of his monsterous creature type. If a Hive Tyrant (or the Swarmlord) has joined a Tyrant Guard unit, the unit can not go to ground, Voluntarily or otherwise."

One sentence makes a world of difference.

A whole new look

So when i started this, i used a black layout. And while it served it's purpose, i've always disliked dark backgrounds with white text, so after doing some playing with the Editor, I've got what I believe to be a much better look.

I like it, I hope you do too.

New Nids Rules Interactions: Mawloc

Ok, continuing my mini-series of the new Tyranid Codex's Rules interactions, we're on to the Mawloc.

His main point of contention is his deep striking attack.

So, In it's Entirety:

"Terror From The Deep:

If a Mawloc Deep Strikes onto a point occupied by another model, do not roll on the Deep Strike Mishap Table but instead do the following.

Place the large blast template directly over the spot the Mawloc is emerging from. Every unit under the template suffers a number of Strength 6, AP2 hits equal to the number of models in that unit that are wholly or partially covered by the template. Vehicles are always struck on their rear armor. If any unit has surviving under the template, move those models the minimum distance necessary to clear all models from beneath the template whilst maintaining squad coherency and avoiding impassable terrain. Models that were locked in combat prior to the Mawloc's attack must remain in base contact if possible, but otherwise may not be moved within 1" of an enemy model. Vehicles, including immobile vehicles retain their original facing if they are moved. Any models that can not be moved out of the way are destroyed. after all casualties have been determined, replace the large blast template with the Mawloc."

Ok, that is a lot of rules to say that when the Mawloc deep strikes he does not mishap, but causes a LOT of damage to anything on the board that he hits on his Deep Strike.

Now, the main question that I've been seeing cropping up is: Can the Mawloc deep strike directly into an enemy unit?

Well, let's look at the rules for Deep Striking:

Big Rule Book: Page 95:

"First Place one model from the unit anywhere on the table, in the position you would like the unit to arrive, and roll the scatter dice. if you roll a hit, the model stays where it is, but if an arrow is shown this determines the direction that the model is scattered in. If a scatter occurs, roll 2D6 to see how many inches the model moves away from the intended position."

And goes on to say:"If any models in a Deep Striking Unit cannot be deployed because they scatter off the table, land on top of a friendly unit or impassable terrain, or on or within 1" of an enemy model, something has gone horribly wrong. The controlling player must roll on the Deep Strike Mishap Table and apply the results."

Ok so, now we have all of the rules in one place. and while it may seem complicated I really don't think it is. You may disagree, but here is my reasoning.

1. The initial placement of your model on the board is not "Deployment" so they are not really there. it's just where you want them to be. This is supported by the fact that they are not deployed until after the scattering has happened. per page 95 of the BRB.

2. Since you are not really there you CAN place a Mawloc in the center of a unit and then roll for scatter. (Simply hold the Mawloc over where you want it to be.)

3. Since you don't mishap from enemy models, you simply drop the big template on them, you cause lots of damage if you do not scatter.

That is how I read the rules, If you disagree, you are welcome to explain why. (Please comment away)

Now, the other problem that people are not getting is that you must place the blast template CENTERED on where the Mawloc arrives. Not touching it's base somewhere as this allows you to counter scatter. the rules say Directly Over, and they mean it.

So, there you have it. Next up is the Tyrant and His Guard. (Oh Boy)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Doom of Malan'Tai Rules Interactions

Ok, so there is a LOT of discussion on the web about some of the new rules introduced in the Tyranids Codex. I'm not a Rules Lawyer, but I've done a bit of research, and looked at a lot of the arguements so here are my interpretations:

First up: The Dreaded Doom of Malan'Tai

His major gripe comes from the "Soul Leech" rule so in it's entirety:

Soul Leech: At the beginning of every shooting phase, including the foe's, every non-vehicle unit within 6" of the Doom of Malan'Tai must take a leadership test on 3d6. If the test is failed, the unit suffers a single wound for each point they failed by, with no armor saves allowed.

Ok, now the big points of contention that are cropping up are Cover Saves (Are They Allowed) and units embarked in vehicles (are they affected)

First we'll start with the Embarked units.

Common Arguements against affecting Embarked Units:

- Nothing in the game can affect an embarked unit
- Wrong. Blowing up a transport affects them.
- Necron Pariah (EDITED FROM EARLIER VERSION - Morning Needed Coffee.) Squads Affect Them.
- Parasite of Mortrex Affects them.

- Embarked Units are not on the table and thus can not be affected.

The main reason these arguement does not work is that in the BRB on page 66 2nd Column there is a rule that states: "If ever the players need to measure a range involving the embarked unit (except for shooting), this range is measured to or from the vehicle's hull."

- Psychic Powers Can't affect embarked units, it's in the FAQ
- True, however this is not a psychic power, it's a special rule.

- Shooting Can Not Affect an Embarked Unit
- True, However this is not a shooting attack, it just takes place in the shooting phase.

So, now that we've established that there are things in the game that affect embarked units, and that we can indeed measure to and from the unit, the main arguement against is that GW would not put something out there that can do this.

Why not? Tyranids don't have transports. at all. A mycetic spore can let them deep strike, but from there they are foot sloggers. Why would GW not put something in the codex that can alleviate some of that advantage? The only real answer that I can come up with is that people don't want their mini bunkers to be neigh indestructable.

Ok so if they can and do affect an embarked unit, now we've got another problem. What happens when the unit takes enough casualties to have to make a morale check?

well we've got some rules to cover this too.

Page 44 "A unit losing 25% or more of it's models during a single phase must pass a morale check at the end of that phase, or else it will fall back. Do not count casualties caused by close combat attacks as they are covered later in C) losing an assault"

Ok so say we've got a unit of 5 Sternguard Veterans, in a rhino, that lose 2 members due to Soul Leech, Have they met the 25%, yes. Do they need to check? Yes. Ok, so we test. Say they fail, what happens? well, here is where the rules take hold again.

Emergency Disembarkation rules for this are on page 67 of the BRB. and if they can not do this, they can not disembark which will supercede my further comments about trapped.

Page 45 BRB "Trapped! Sometimes a unit will find it's fall back move blocked by impassable terrain, friendly models or enemy models (remember they have to stay 1" away from enemy models.) The models in the falling back unit may move around these obstructions in such a way as to get back to their table edge by the shortest route, Maintaining coherency. If the unit cannot perform a full fall back move in any direction without doubling back, it is destroyed."

So, since they cannot disembark because it is the shooting phase (not movement) and the vehicle itself is not destroyed (since the rules don't affect vehicle units) if they fail their morale check, they are destroyed.

Wow. The world is ending! not quite. let's look at the "Balancing" factors of the Doom of Malan'tai.

First, he is not an Independant Character so can be picked out to shoot at any time.
Second, he is only Toughness 4. Bolter fire can bring him down.
Yes, he has lots of wounds, but well, any S8 or better or a Force weapon will Instant Death him.

Second. Range. 6". if you're within 6" of this guy with a 5 man squad in a transport, how badly did you plan your game? Really? Yeah.

Third, and this is the kicker (at least to me). Let me get this right, You're just fine with a Wolf Lord that can conceivably get upwards of 30 attacks, or a 100 point model that can conceivably kill any character of mine with no save allowed (or 2 in one shot) but this thing is cheese balled all to crap? Really? sorry. no.

This guy has a lot of death potential, but in the end it is a very situational effectiveness.

Problem 2 with him seems to be the arguement of Cover Saves. Do you get them? well, in the end, the answer is yes. Since the only outlawed save is Armor Saves, Cover saves and Invulnerable saves are allowed.

HOWEVER, since it is not a shooting attack, there are several types of cover saves that will not be allowed to be taken.

- Intervening Models (Applies only to shooting.)

Basically any cover saves that apply only to shooting (as defined by their rules)will not be allowed to be taken. Sorry.

Area Terrain, Smoke Clouds (Ork Bikers), Kustom Force Fields (Ork Big Mek) and the like will be allowed to be taken. Them's the brakes guys, when your army's codex gets updated, expect some goodies as well. You'll get them in time, in the mean time just deal with the new codexes being a bit more powerful and harder to beat.

Now, to be fair, I believe these will be FAQ'd within a month or two, but from a strictly Rules As Written Standpoint, this is how it works to the best of my knowledge. if you've got something to add, by all means please put up a comment.

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Pile of Crap

So yeah, I have a pile of extra crap that i'm looking to get rid of. You can find it here:

Building an Army List: Tournament Style

Ok today's discussion will hopefully be about Building a Tournament Army List.

Remember these lists are usually NOT for a casual pick-up game as they are built for a single purpose. TO WIN. So that being said, Here we go.

Step 1.
Choose your Type of list. Some would say that your first step is to choose the army that you want to play, but I disagree. If you choose the army TYPE that you want to play that will exponentially help your choosing of the ARMY you want to play.

So for the purposes of this article, we'll say we want to play a super shooty army.

Step 2. Choose Your Army.
Since we've chosen to play a shooty army, we have a few options now.
Dark Eldar (though usually classified as a hybrid combat/shooty army)
Space Marines
Imperial Guard

Ok, since we're being horrible, we'll choose Tau.

This is very important. Ok so for the purposes of this article we'll assume we've read the rules and come out with the following information:
- Standard Force Org Chart
- 2,000 Point Limit

Ok now we're starting to get somewhere. we've got a theme, an army and a limit.

Step 4. Choose your "Core"

We've chosen tau, so we know we need 1 Fire Warrior Unit. We will also need a Pathfinder unit so we can remove cover saves, and we need that Commander.

So, since we're going shooty, we give the Commander a Multi-Tracker, a Missile Pod and a Plasma Rifle. on top of that we can increase his efficacy by giving him a targeting array.


Commander 'El - HW Multi-Tracker, Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Targeting Array.
but what about protection? Give him a shield drone (only 1. Seriously)

So he's 112 Points. Should we go with bodyguard? I think not. Since that would be 2 KP for the squad.

We'll Move on to a companion unit.

3 Crisis Suits w/ Multi-Tracker and MP/PR
186 Points

Now we've got a very nice unit that can and will eat all transports and all infantry
(that is 12 shots at 24" and 16 at 12") that can jump back to the safety of behind cover after they shoot. Everything will wound most infantry on 2's and well, kill a lot of stuff.

So, We've got a basis:

Commander - 112
Crisis Suit Team - 186
Fire Warrior Squad x6 - Pulse Rifles - 60
Pathfinder Squad x4 (Devilfish the Fire Warriors will be jumping in has the bare minimum) - 128

Now, we have a total of 1514 points to spend, but we'll need at least 2 more troop units. So let's add in some cheap ones.

2 units of Kroot x10 with 5x Kroot hounds. gives you the counter attack melee you will need, a scoring unit, and 10 rapid fire rifles.

100 Points Each.

Now we need to add our super shoot elements.

So we go to the Heavy supports for tau. we have 1314 Points to spend. Most people's first reaction is to buy Railheads (Hammerhead with Railgun) this is in truth a sub-par choice. Why? because you get 1 shot. That is it. It will become THE fire magnet of your army.

Instead go with ablative wounds.

3 Squads of 3 Broadsides. Ruthless and horrible, but well, TL and you're pumping out 9 Railgun shots per round.

Each squad will be setup like:

Team Leader - 2 Shield Drones, Bonding Knife, Advanced Stabilization System.
2 Broadsides, Advanced Stabilization System. - 275 Points

So, we've got

Commander - (We need to give him a bonding knife) 117
Crisis Suit Squad -186
Fire Warriors - 60
Kroot & Hounds - 100
Kroot & Hounts - 100
Pathfinders - 128
Broadside Team - 275
Broadside Team - 275
Broadside Team - 275
Ok, we're up to 1516 Points

Leaving us 484 Points to spend.

Well, let's give ourselves another firebase

Commander the same and Crisis the same.

303 Down.

181 Left.

Well, now we need what kroot lack. The ability to control where your opponent can go.
how do we do that? With Piranhas.

So we need 2 Squads - Piranha, Fusion Blaster, Targeting Array, Disruption Pods, and a Flechette Discharger. - 85 Points. Two of those costs 170 Points.

We have 11 points left. Where to use them? well, lets put disruption pods on our devilfish, and give both of our BS5 Guys the ability to shoot really well in a night fight situation (Blacksun Filters) Costs us 11 points.

And We're Done.

We come out of this with the following:

2x Commander Shas'El - MP/PR, HW Drone (Shieldx1), Bonding Knife, Targeting Array, Blacksun Filter, Multi-Tracker

2x Crisis Squads - MP/PR/Multi-Tracker

2x Kroot Squad w/ 5 Hounds

Fire Warrior Squad

Pathfinder Squad (used to reduce their cover save)

2x Piranhas - Fusion Blaster, Targeting Array, Flechette Dischargers, Disruption Pods

3x Broadside Squads - 2x Shield Drones, Advanced Stabilization Systems

That is a lot of Shooty, and is very survivable.

This is basically my method of building an army. Thoughts?

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Ok, so having skipped over the Space Wolves codex for personal reasons that everyone should know (I hate space wolves)and the nearing completion of my Salamanders army and mo old and beloved army TYRANIDS new codex release. Well that perfect trifecta has decided for me that the new bugs will be my next project.

Now if you have ever played Tyranids before and have looked through the new codex, you probably did the exact same thing I did, Stare blankly at the pages and try to comprehend what all these new rules meant. Put the book down, got some coffee and tried again.

I'm still not completely up to date, but i've come up with my first "Test List"
for my new army and this will likely be the core of the army i build.

On an aside, i have a strange way that i build my armies, Maybe others share it, but I know that this is how I've been building my army lists for a long time now.

I start with the LOWEST point value that I'll likely be playing an army.

In this case I decided on 1500 Points.

Then I build that value into an actual workable list. When i go up in points values I only add to the army. I may change a squad size or perhaps drop a "Special" unit from time to time, but generally I keep it the same.

So for my "Core List" of 1500 Points I came up with the following:

Tyranid Prime with Bonesword, Lash whip and Devourer - 95 Points

3 Hive Guard - 150 Points

Doom of Malan'Tai (this is one of those "Special Units" referenced above, but I love Him) - 90 Points

Termagaunts x10 - 50 Points

Termagaunts x10 - 50 Points

Tervigon - Catalyst, Cluster Spines - 175 Points

Tervigon - Catalyst, Cluster Spines - 175 Points

Harpy - Regenerate, Twin Linked Heavy Venom Cannon, Cluster Spines - 185 Points

Harpy - Regenerate, Twin Linked Heavy Venom Cannon, Cluster Spines - 185 Points

Tyranofex - Rupture Cannon, Regenerate, Dessicator Larvae - 295 Points

This gives me a 1450 point that I am VERY happy with.

I can add 50 points in the form of more gaunts or I can make 2 units of 2 hive guard. Flexibility and goodness all in one fell swoop.

From that I will add another Tyranofex to get to 1750 points. and some genestealers led by a broodlord to get to 2k.

For 2500 points I will add another Tyranofex and a Trigon Prime and some more Hive Guard or a Death Leaper.

On to the conversions. god I love bugs.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What About Fun?

So with my Ideal of the "Competitive" gaming environment, is there room left for "FUN" games? I say yes. why? Well, while this may be a rant, if you have the patience, please read on...

Fun games, at least to me, are not dependent on the army lists that are taken at all. Fun games, at least to me, are far more dependent on my opponent and my own outlook. If I go into a game with the thought that I am going to win this game, well, let's just say that I usually don't. I get frustrated, distracted, angry, and it gets ugly and not fun for anybody. I figured this out about 10 years ago. Yeah, 10 years ago puts us in 2nd Edition. Since then I've always tried to go into games (weather they be a tournament or just a pick up game) with the attitude of "This is going to be a great game". Are they all? No. Do Occasionally pull "That Guy"? Yes. Am I occasionally "That Guy"? I try not to be. I've been that guy in the past. not fun for either player. Do I have fun? Almost Always.

So, First off we need to have an attitude, as gamers, that we are going to have a fun game.

Next point, on to the "Killer List". Are these fun? Well, it gets a bit murky here as the "Killer List" has many iterations. Some of which are fun to both play and play against, others are more of a laughing stock to both play and play against.

I see lots of "Net Deck" armies around. These are the armies that are put out by Bell of Lost Souls, Yes the Truth Hurts, Librarium Online, etc. They are meant to be the epitome of greatness that nobody can beat. Examples include "The Leafblower", "Nurgle Lash" and the ever feared "Fate Crusher" lists. One thing that they all have in common is weaknesses.

Every Army has weaknesses. no matter what the build is, the only army that I have ever seen with no true "Weakness" are the completely balanced lists. These usually end up being Space Marine lists as they are the easiest to balance. Decent Shooting, Decent Assault, Some Mech (Tanks), some decent heavy support, and some support HQ Units.

An Example:

Space Marine Captain on Bike w/ Power Weapon
Space Marine Librarian

1 Terminator Squad
Land Raider

2 Tactical Squads in Rhinos
2 Biker Squads with an Attack Bike

1 Land Speeder

3 Predators

given this is a quick example, and not detailed as to wargear, but you get the idea.
this army gives you 4 scoring units, a hammer unit (terminators)
decent mech capability
Support in the form of the Librarian
Speed in the form of Bikes and the Land Speeder.

You look at the list and say...... MEH!

I look at the list and say, Who is the General?

The general can make or break this army. The army has all the core needs of a balanced list, but none of the trademarks of the "Killer List"
The question becomes: Can the balanced list kill the uber list?

The simple answer is yes.
The Long answer is yes, by making sure that the general knows how to play his army.

So, when I bring the above army (or an iteration of) I can reliable know that unless i come up against a "Stacked" army, i should reasonably be able to at the very least, pull a draw. Even against that Nob Biker list.

We've gotten a bit far afield, but now back to the original question: What about fun. I guess in the end it is all what you make of the game. Fun can and will happen. You play this game for a reason. It really is not to make money at it. Play the game for what it is, a hobby. If you're there to beat face in and make people cry, join the military. If you want to spend your evening and weekends playing with little plastic figures that you've lovingly painted and converted, and spending time with people like you, well, you've found a home.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Game Con Spokane

This Gaming convention was an amazing experience. 300+ Gamers all in one spot.
Several People that I know from forums were there and it was great to put names with faces.
All around it was a great experience.

Now I know you are all wondering how the salamanders did…. So I’ll tell you.
First some things of note. I had amazingly fun games in every round. No bad sports and according to the “Sportsmanship” results, none of them had bad games with me either.

Now on to the battle reports:

Game 1: Vs MC Heavy Nids.

Scenario: Pitched Battle, Sieze Ground
Special Rule: Blizzard – Night Fighting throughout the game, All infantry MC and walkers act as if moving through difficult terrain. Skimmers, bikes, jetbikes and jump infantry roll a D6 at the beginning of the movement phase on a 1 they move randomly 2d6”.

This game was a bit to my favor and a bit to my disadvantage. I failed to read my opponent’s list to closely and when I wiped out his 32 gaunt squad on turn 1 he brought it back in. Oops. Once I saw that I tied the other up with a Dreadnought for the rest of the game and tried to do the same with the one I had just killed.

Basically it ended up being me contesting everything until a broodlord rended right through my contesting drop pod and said gaunt squad finished off Vulkan and claimed that objective.

Tie on objectives.

Game 2: “The Tainted” VS a Lysander Space Marine Player

“The Tainted” we each picked an elites squad from our opponent’s list. This squad is worth 3 kill points. He had 1 squad of sternguard and I had 2 identical dreads so…. Yeah.

He put a “Circle the wagons” maneuver around 3 vindicators with 5 rhinos. Sternguard dropped in and waited. I dropped right around his wagons and immobilized two, and destroyed-wrecked a rhino and killed off half his sternguard squad and put 2 wounds on Lysander on the first turn.

Turn 2 sees the sternguard squad die as well as the Master of the forge. More of his tanks die.

It went on like that with both of us playing on his side of the table.

It ended up with me having 13 kill points to his 4.
Game 3: Brain Bug
There was a big bug in the center of the table. Kill it and it becomes an objective.

This was where my dice crapped out. After my first tun of rolling all of 2 dice above 3, one of the guys from the con stopped to watch and keep track of my dice rolling. So yeah 72% of my rolls were 1 or 2.
I only rolled 3 6’s in the game. One was on a penetrating hit on a land raider redeemer, 2 were on a Leadership test for vulkans squad after not saving 4 wounds. Out of four taken. Ouch it hurt.

I got massacred and damn near tabled. It was not a good showing, but my opponent made it amazing fun.

All in all it was a great tournament and seeing as I was there to have fun over winning prizes, I would say that this was a success. I asked my last opponent who was in 3rd place after the first 2 games (I was in 4th) what I could have done better. He said that about the only thing I could do better is rolling dice. Had I been able to do that I would have torn his army apart. And I believe him.

It was great fun though.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Big Tournament

Ok so this weekend I am headed over to Spokane Washington for GameCon Spokane

I'm Taking my salamanders for the tournament:

Master of the Forge - Thunder Hammer, Combi-Melta, Digital Weapons

Drop Dread - Pod, MM, HF
Drop Dread - Pod, MM, HF

Tac Squad x10 - Missile, Flamer, Pod - Locator
Tac Squad x10 - Missile, Flamer, Pod - Locator
Tac Squad x10 - Multi-Melta, Power Fist, Flamer, Pod - Locator
Tac Squad x10 - Multi-Melta, Power Fist, Flamer, Pod - Locator

Land Speeder - Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer
Land Speeder - Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer

Drop Dread, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer, Pod
Drop Dread, Twin Linked Heavy Flamer, Heavy Flamer, Pod - Locator

Comes to 2,000 Points.

In all tests it's done extremely well. In fact in it's first playtime ever, i took 3rd in a tourney. It's been modified a bit since then to make up for some deficiencies, but in all it's a great army and great fun to play.

I'll be taking lots of pictures and doing detailed batreps so when i get back expect some goodies.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Adeptus Mechanicus - Space Marines

Ok so a while ago I put up an Ad Mech list about lots of techmarines.

Here is how it would work:

To repeat, the list was:

Master of the Forge - Servo Harness 100
2 Plasma Cannon Servitors - 85

Master of the Forge - Servo Harness 100
2 Plasma Cannon Servitors - 85

Tech Marine - Servo Harness - 85
2 Plasma Cannon Servitors - 85

Tech Marine - Servo Harness - 85
2 Plasma Cannon Servitors - 85

Tech Marine - Servo Harness - 85
2 Plasma Cannon Servitors - 85

Tactical Squad - 185
Plasma Gun - Plasma Cannon

Tactical Squad - 180
Melta Gun - Plasma Cannon

Tactical Squad - 210
Rhino, Melta Gun

Tactical Squad - 210
Rhino, Melta Gun

Tactical Squad - 210
Rhino, Melta Gun

Tactical Squad - 205
Flamer, Drop Pod

Thunderfire Cannon - 100
1 Plasma Cannon Servitors - 40

Thunderfire Cannon - 100
1 Plasma Cannon Servitors - 40

Thunderfire Cannon - 100
1 Plasma Cannon Servitors - 40

2500 Points

With this army built to 2500 points you are simply torrenting of fire the crap out of everything.

The rhinos act as your forward guard, while everything else blows everything up.

You are pumping out (Per Turn mind you)
15 S7 AP2 Blasts,
and 12 Variable Blasts that can do much, (make people barely move, ignore cover or just cause damage.)
Plus you've got 3 vanguard melta guns to sit in their mobile bunkers and pop tanks or whatever else.

It just gets nasty at that point.

You've got enough techmarines to keep all the servitors in line for the entire game and in the end all you really have to worry about is your lack of mobility. though when you consider that all you have to do is shake your opponents vehicles to keep them from shooting for a turn, you have plenty of power to do just that.

Getting into CC should not be a problem since your techmarines just have to survive to their I level and they can kill just about anything, and with 3 squads of marines sitting back they should have no problem doing just that.

Stir, Drink and Enjoy!

Salamanders Drop Pod Army

Ok, well it's still in the works but here are some recent pictures of my progress:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Power Builds, And how to defeat them

Ok, since I am a great Pro-Ponent of Competitive Gaming, I thought I'd post something about the ability to build and how to beat Power Builds. Lets Start with an amazingly tough nut to crack from the Space Marines codex:

(From Yes The Truth Hurts)

Captain on Bike w/Relic Blade

2 2xTL Autocannon Dreads

10 Thunder Shield Terminators (in Combat Squads)

5 Bikers w/2 Meltaguns, Power Sword on Sarge)

3 Bikers w/Attack Bike w/Multimelta (Combat Squad)

4 Bikers w/Attack Bike w/Multimelta

2 HB/AC Predators

2 LRC w/Multimelta and EA

Why is this list a bitch? because of the fact that it makes marines VERY mobile, plus has 2 Land Raider Crusaders full of thundershield terminators there to kick your ass. Very ugly, but very effective.

Now why build like this, 1st it tells your opponent that you've put the research in to know what will work, not what should. 2nd it puts a lot of in your face where it needs to be.

Now how do you crack this nut? well it gets hard at this point because a lot depends on how your opponent deploys, when they deploy as follows:

they are going to be in your face no matter where you go, so to deal with it you have 2 options: Tarpiting (sending in small units to tie up your opponent for a single turn) and torrenting them to death with massed fire, or 2. bombing the crap out of them and running.

I would start with (shocker) the land raiders. those termies are lethal to everything, but if you blow their land raiders (with melta duh) they are stuck foot slogging it for the rest of the game. SM on bikes can be annoying, but once you put down enough fire, they die just like other Space Marines.

The termies are the real threat. knock out the 2 Land Raiders and this army can be cripled because the Bike squads are small. Take out enough in each squad to force the tests that are needed to make them run. One turn of running puts them out of charge range and well, even if they get into combat you're likely to at least put a few more down. Yes they have T5, but still you're likely wounding on 5's and with enough attacks that can equal out to enough failed saves.

He's only got 24 infantry on the board (bikes included) the rest can be dealt with in time.

You're biggest worry though are the Dreads and Preds. That is a lot of autocannon fire that can and will rip you out of your transports. Don't make the mistake of thinking that he can not.

Remember that in a tournament you should ALWAYS revies your opponent's army list closely. form a plan before you start the game and STICK TO IT. know what is the biggest threat to YOUR army and take care of them in order. Shaking a Vehicle is as good as killing it for a turn. once you've made it unable to fire, move on.

Take out the troops in Objective games.

I think the biggest problem people run into is their desire to actually KILL tanks. It's not necessessary. once you shake it you can focus the rest of your fire on other things. if it can not fire, it is neutralized for the next turn. (except Land Raiders and their PotMS)

Think carefully and don't get too caught up in destroying everything.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Synergy: Why it works


–noun, plural -gies.
1. combined action or functioning; synergism.
2. the cooperative action of two or more muscles, nerves, or the like.
3. the cooperative action of two or more stimuli or drugs.

Ok, we'll ignore the 2nd two definitions and focus on the first because that is what we need to focus on for 40k.

Combined action or functioning.

We know that for a unit to fit into an army it must have a function, A thundershield terminator squad is good, but with the synergy of the Land Raider, it becomes brutal. Why? because the Land Raider lets it get to the enemy much faster and more reliably than would otherwise be possible. Sure, they can Deep Strike, but then they sit there and get shot to hell for a full turn by the enemy before they can do anything and with some poor luck you can be left out of assault range. This is where the Synergy of the Land Raider shines.

Put 5 of these guys in a Land Raider and you have the protection of Armor 14 all around, Run the land raider up 12" and pop smoke, next turn run it wherever you want to and drop out the thundershield termies and you should be all but guaranteed that they will be able to assault exactly what you want them to.

There are many examples of this, each Codex has them. look for them, use them and your army should improve it's results.

Some are obvious (Thundershield Termies and Land Raiders) Others are not so obvious, such as Drop Pod Locator Beacons and Land Speeders that Deep Strike. Want to put that multi-melta where you want with no chance of scatter? use the Locator Beacon's power.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Vulkan's Drop Pod Detachment

So in my endeavors to create a brutal yet fun and functional Drop Pod Salamanders Army I've read and Re-Read the codex and tried to glean as much as possible on how to construct this army in a way that is both Fluffy and Tournament Legal AND effective....

The results are the following:


First I wanted Vulkan, not only for his abilities, but to make it a true Salamander's army.

1 Slot Filled.

The Second slot took a while to fill, but in the end I decided on a Master of the Forge. It's very fluffy and for the build that I decided to go with, Extremely Functional. But what to equip him with? My first thought was to give long range support to the army by giving him a conversion beamer, after about 2 days of thinking on this though i decided that it really would not work for 2 reasons. 1 Why buy him if you're just going to sit him on a bike (not fluffy) or put him with a squad on my side of the board (counter-intuitive to the army build) so i scrapped that idea and tried another - Thunder Hammer and Combi-Flamer. I had almost settled into this idea for the purpose of if i put him with a squad i'd be able to drop 3 twin linked flamer templates on a squad before i charged another squad, but then i'd run into the fact that i'd be wasting the point of the flamers with dropping 3 on a single squad at one time. especially if i'm 6 inches away and the flamer template is only 8 inches long. so i'd be spending 10 points to cover 3 models at most with a template that re-rolls wounds. then it hit me, The master of the forge is Ballistic Skill 5. Let's do a Combi-Melta. it's now twin linked because of Vulkan so I'm hitting on a 2+.... With a Re-Roll. now i had something. along with the fact that now he is able to do VERY much and be quite successful at it. So i can drop 2 templates from the squad..... 1 flamer and the MoF's Flamer, and shoot his Twin Linked Plasma Pistol (yay for 1 dead model) into a squad then charge. while in combat he will always strike at Initiative of 1, but with some work this is not a problem as he has a 2+ save and when i charge i can usually avoid that power weapon in the squad. Now I've dropped (hopefully) 2 guys with him before the charge, I'm in combat and I have 4 S8 attacks. 1 master crafted re-roll to hit. WS 4 so I'll be hitting on 4's against everything but an Avatar or Bloodthirster. Awesome. then that last bit of briliance hit me. I'll be hitting roughly 3 of those attacks per turn, and then i'll be wounding on 2's against almost everything. with a power weapon. one last insurance policy...... Digital Weapons. 10 points gives me that last re-Roll to wound that can make or break a unit.

2 Slots filled.

These guys were actually really easy to pick out.
Drop Dreads
I'll take 2. Dreadnought, Multi-Melta, DCCW, Heavy Flamer, Drop Pod (Storm Bolter)

These were not quite as easy as you may think.
I tried 4 tac squads with Flamer/Multi-Melta. It worked, but only until i found the secret of the Drop Pod (See Prior Post) so then it became a useless upgrade to take the multi-Melta (24" range was sub-par for this) so...... The Missile Launcher solved my problem. yeah 48" range really can help you out with a well placed krak missile or two.

So, 2 Tac Squads with Flamer and Multi-Melta and Power Fist
2 Tac Squads with Flamer and Missile Launcher

Fast Attack:
I've read that the Salamanders use Land Speeders Sparingly, and while this is the one option in my army that may seem "Un-Fluffy" nowhere does it state that they DO NOT use them. so i took 2 with a multi-melta and a heavy flamer each, but to stay true to fluff i did not take them in squadrons.

Heavy Support:
Back to the Master of the forge.....
Drop Dreads again, I'll Take 2. 1 the way above, and one that is slightly different.
Twin Linked Heavy Flamer (it's free from the Multi-Melta) and a Heavy Flamer (twin linked by Vulkan) this lets me do exactly what you'd think... Thin Hordes.

Great fun and an Amazingly well performing army for 1850 Points.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tactics: Drop Pod Armies

Afternoon Gents & Ladies.

Today we (I) shall be talking about drop pods. Ah, that wonderous deep striking Space Marine contraption that has been in plastic for a while now, but is sorely in need of a few tweaks to make it sell like GW REALLY want's it to....

So first let's go over how the drop pod works:

Av - 12 All around vehicle (Good) Open Topped (not horrible)Immobile (duh - It's an orbital lander, not an orbital lander-then tank)

It comes stock with a Storm Bolter (24" Range S4 AP5 Assualt 2) Pretty Standard

Inertial Guidance - Yay, i can't hit impassable terrain or enemies. but i can still scatter off the table edge, or land in dificult terrain possibly makeing bad things happen to my storm bolter.

Ok, it's got 2 options -

Deathwind Missile Launcher - (12" Range S6 AP- Large Blast) Really? 20 points? are you shitting me? So i pay 20 points to throw out a large blast at anything that is within range to run away so i can not shoot. That sounds like a good time.... Not.

Locator Beacon - 10 Points - Makes ANYTHING of MINE Deep Striking within 6" of the HULL of the vehicle not scatter. Really? I'll take 4. Why? Termies, Assault Marines, Other Drop Pods (with more beacons) and the most important LAND SPEEDERS can drop and not scatter.

Ok, now the downside:

Drop Pod Assault:
During your first turn you select half of your army's drop pods (rounded up) and deploy them. Yeah. seems kinda cool until you think about it. Yeah, what happens when your opponent puts everything in reserve? Ouch.

So how do you alleviate this?

Well, there are not many options,

Take 1,3 or a lot of Drop pods. Why? 1 lets you drop it 1st turn and not worry about it, 3 lets you drop 2 and keep 1 for later. or you can take lots of drop pods and choose how you deploy.

Say you take 8. this is a full drop pod list and lets you choose your battles.

this lets you drop 4 pods turn 1 and the rest in reserves. Awesome.

Now say your opponent decides that he will be deploying in reserve how do you deploy?
answer, deploy your 4 tac squads on the ground and put their pods where they go.

Now on your 1st turn with your opponent having nothing on the table drop 4 empty pods across 1 half of his deployment edge making him come in on the other side. and have your tac squad ready to drop a salvo of fire into that side.

Now you have done 2 things. your tac squads are not out of place (since you deployed them) and you've cut off part of your opponent's deployment edge (thus forcing him to make decisions) and done yourself a world of good.

Now imagine that 2 of those pods had Locator beacons, in future turns you can drop your other 4 pods near those and not worry about scatter.

Now, How would I fix these problems in rules design?

2 things -

1. Change the wording of Drop Pod Assault to you MAY do this or keep all of your pods in tactical reserve.

2. Make it so that the pod can shoot the turn it drops. maybe then the deathwind missile launcher will be taken.... some time.