Saturday, April 30, 2011

List Fu: Dante's Blood Angels 1750

A new player posted on our club forums with his Blood Angels list. Here's the advice I gave...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Draigo-Wing Analysis Part 3: Support

We come to the third and final installment of this series. What additional units are we going to take to support our handful of uber-troops? We must ensure that our choices shore up the weaknesses of our existing units, without providing new weaknesses for the enemy to exploit. The biggest weakness is a lack of melta and ranged anti-tank. Close to that is a weakness to Strength 8 and above - especially in large volleys.

Let's start by discounting strike squads, interceptor squads and purgation squads. Firstly because they don't fit the theme as I see it, but mainly because I don't want to add softer targets for enemy anti-infantry weapons. I have held back on skipping Purifiers simply because they are so awesome. Squads of 5 in rhinos with 2 psycannons will make a useful contribution against mech and hordes, and the Rhino chasis provide valuable cover for your Dreadnoughts as they advance. Add halberds to taste.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Coming Up - Codex: Harlequins

See here for my previous post on how I approach fan codices.

I've been sitting on the draft of my Harlequin fan codex for a while. There were a few unique challenges building a 'dex for this army, and I've spent the time I needed to think these things through. This is going to be a draft codex - it has not been playtested and is definitely not intended for competitive gaming at this point. Harlequins are a unique elite army and only experience will tell how balanced it is against the huge variety of forces out there.

The old Harlequins were among the first models I bought when I started playing 40k back in '92. I loved the rich fluff but the paint jobs were too much for my inexperienced fingers :) The fluff of this army is first class and it's a pity that Games Workshop have not continued to support the army since the release of the experimental codex in 3rd edition.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Draigo-Wing Analysis Part 2: Paladins

Running Paladins as troops is the whole point of your Draigo-Wing army, and the only way to justify Draigo's points cost. A Paladin is basically a 2 Wound Terminator that cost an extra 15 points, but gets a few bonuses thrown in. WS 5 is very tasty as they are now hitting most enemies on 3s, and free weapons upgrades mean that you can rock halberds and hammers to your heart's content. Like Purifiers, they can take two special weapons per five models - yay! Finally they can master-craft any weapon for 5 points - worth it for psycannons as you will nearly always miss with one of those four dice, probably not for melee weapons.

So what size squad are you going to take? Well you need psycannons, so 2 5 man squads are a must. Take 2 psycannons, then make sure that you mix and match weapons, so that every model is differently equipped, to get the most out of wound allocation shenanigans. There is one reason why you might want to master-craft a melee weapon - it lets you take 4 halberds. Halberds are awesome (but useless with The Quickening) and that you should always take one hammer in case of Dreadnoughts - don't forget that it is S10 with Hammerhand. It could be worthwhile to master-craft that hammer too if you have the points spare.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Draigo-Wing Analysis Part 1: Characters

Now that I have had a couple of games with Draigo and his Paladin pals I've been thinking quite a bit about the options available within the list.

Let's start by looking at Draigo and what he can bring to the party. He's good in close combat but not exactly the monster his points cost would suggest, with 4 S6 (with Hammerhand) Init 5 attacks. He's a Level 2 Psyker but without the awesome powers of the Librarian, he'll be casting Hammerhand for his squad, letting them activate force weapons or drop a Holocaust before assault. He also has a S5 AP- flamer attack for some horde cleansing. His most useful power is Psychic Communion, letting you add +/-1 to reserve rolls. More on that later...

The most obvious benefit is his defensive capabilities: Toughness 5, 3++, Eternal Warrior and 4 Wounds makes him slightly better than Lysander in this regard. Missiles, lances, lascannons and meltas all get allocated to this guy first, until he reaches 1 Wound of course. Don't forget that with only one Paladin left the unit goes up to Toughness 5. Paladin squads without a wound soak like Draigo are begging to be purged with Strength 8.

Friday, April 15, 2011

If You Can't Beat 'Em... Draigo Wing Battle Report

Well my post/rant last week about the unbalanced aspects of the Grey Knight codex certainly drew a lot of comment. I spent some time this week brushing up on the Space Wolf Codex and came up with 3 lists that I would like to try to power up my poor Crimson Fists; one drop pod heavy, one fully mech and a hybrid list with a single pod. What is absolutely awesome is that I can take a squad of 4 Long Fangs with heavy bolters for 95 points - 55 points less than from the vanilla codex! If you don't know, this is the traditional Devastator loadout for the Crimson Fists, but is only actually a viable option from the Wolves codex *sigh*.

At my local FLGS we are all very easy going when it comes to counts-as and proxying. This is a great way  of making sure that club members get an opportunity to play against all sorts of lists that we might not have the required models for. Anyway by the time I found an opponent and had to pick a list, I had the urge to try my own hand with these acursed Grey Knight. My opponent was up for it so I pulled out 10 Terminators and started proxying :) The Crimson Wolves will have to wait for another day...

You can see the list here. There is something liberating about playing with 4 units and 14 models! The games run so quickly I easily fit two casual games into about 2.5 hours. My opponents for the evening were A) the same guy as last week, playing relatively the same Grey Knights list but with Psyfleman dreads this time; and B) a chaos list with oblits, plague marines, Abaddon, land raider and lash prince.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Grey Knights Killed No-Comp?

Well I played my first game against the new code this week, using my Lysander Drops In list - and all my fears were realised. Because of the unholy power of Interceptor squads with scout, my deployed forces were tabled in ten one before I even got a go! We shook hands and restarted the same game, this time I was forced to put my Devastators in reserve so that they could not be alpha-struck.

Jesus Christ how are you supposed to play with a deep strike army when confronted with Warp Quake? If you have not encountered this perverted rule, it causes all units to mishap if they deep strike within 12" of a Grey Knight Strike or Interceptor squad. I've just spent $100 on drop pods, are they useless in the metagame now? What kind of rules designer creates a rule that completely hoses a common play style that is not even very competitive? Don't they know that Daemons have no option but to deep strike? Does anyone in GW actually care for the quality of this game? It's an obviously crap rule.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Adepticon Results: Space Wolf Victory!

For those of you who are interested, the Adepticon 40k championship was won a few hours ago by a Space Wolf player, against an Imperial Guard opponent. Well done Tony Kopah on what must be a sweet victory after a grueling couple of days with 8 games played. This is actually the same guy who won the NOVA open last year, so obviously extremely talented. Two positions in the American ETC team were up for grabs to the top players of this tournament - I wonder if he'll be joining up?

I actually got up at 3AM (down here in Australia) to watch the games broadcast live! Sat down and did some painting whilst watching and listening to the Independent Characters' ustream broadcast. It was fun to be a part of, but in all honesty it was difficult to follow and thus kind of boring. The overhead view was good but next time include the whole table guys! If they could mike up the players then the whole experience would improve immensely, as we could tell what was going on with every roll. As it was it left a lot to be desired. Mike up the players!

The semi finals were Orks vs Wolves and IG vs Nids. Great to see a variety of Codices in the top four - pity that it lead to such a typical final lineup. It was great to watch the speed of these players, there was a two hour time limit and they were racing through their turns - especially the Ork player! There is no way I could play that fast with any semblance of tactical acumen.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cheap-As Counts-As Paladins

As a self-confessed Terminator lover, I was really itching to build myself a Grey Knight Terminator army ever since the Codex rumours started. When stories of 2 wound Terminator Troops did the rounds my ears perked up, as I realised that an army of these guys could be bought incredibly cheaply. I started to look through my collection to see what I could sell to finance another army.

Today I had the sudden realisation that I basically already have all the models I need. I just need to pick up a new batch of magnets, and a few weapon options I don't already have, and mod my Loyalist Terminators up so that they can fill the role of Grey Knight Paladin on the battlefield.

Why go out and buy a set of models that are virtually identical to the models I already own - including another 2 rifleman dreads? The answer would be for the modeling and painting potential, and to avoid confusion. Well I am happy with my Crimson Fists from an appearance perspective, and am sure I can do the modeling to overcome any confusion in the counts-as department. Besides, the list I am going to build has 14 models so how much confusion could there be?