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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Sunday, August 02, 2015

DraigoStar Reborn • Mini Batrep

I had a game today versus White Scars Demi Company with my new list for DraigoStar (1850 points). As can happen the dice were quite fickle and I had to face a Cullexus assassin in a drop pod... It was the pyschic buffet for that traitorous bitch and she feasted well.

Here is my new list:

Nemesis Strike Force
Lord Khaldor Draigo -- Warlord

Librarian - Level 3 - Stormbolter - Nemesis Daemonhammer - Liber Daemonica

9x Purifier - 2x Psycannon
Keeper of the Flame - Nemesis Daemonhammer

4x Grey Knight - Psycannon

Stormraven - Hurricane Bolters - Twin Linked Multi-Melta - Twin Linked Assault Cannon - Locator Beacon

Ultramarine Allied Detachment
Techmarine - Auspex

4x Scout - Camo Cloaks - Bolt Pistols & Combat Blades
Landspeeder Storm - Heavy Flamer

3x Devastator Centurion - Grav Cannons & Amps - Missile Launchers
Sergeant - Omniscope - Twin Linked Lascannon - Missile Launcher

Librarius Conclave

Librarian - Level 2 - Force Axe

Librarian - Level 2 - Force Axe

Psychic Powers
Grey Knight Librarian (Divination) - Prescience - Misfortune - Precognition - Perfect Timing

Tigerius (Telepathy) - Psychic Shriek - Invisibility - Shrouding - Terrify

Librarian (Telekenesis) - Crush - Maelstrom

Librarian (Biomancy) - Smite - Endurance - Haemorraghe

The mission rules were as follows:

Deployment - Hammer and Anvil

Primary 1 - Purge the Alien

Primary 2 - 5 Objective Markers

Secondary - First Blood - Slay the Warlord - Line Breaker - Last Laugh

I won the roll to pick my deployment zone and took the side with more line of sight blocking terrain. My opponent won the roll to go first so I only deployed DraigoStar, placing them behind a big piece of terrain to prevent the alpha strike.

I don't have my opponent's list but it was a Demi Company with many Razorbacks (heavy bolter turrets), a few drop pods and the Stalker formation plus two squads of Devastators with missiles. He chose White Scars for his Chapter Tactics and took Khan plus a Chaplain for his HQ.

Turn One
Luckily I was able to seize the initiative gating DraigoStar into a ruin back in my opponent's deployment zone... This allowed me to use the psychic phase prior to the arrival of the Cullexus assassin and I managed to destroy one of the Razorbacks and a five man tactical squad for First Blood plus two kill points.

Sure enough the assassin arrived via drop pod close to my Deathstar. I was able to tank most of the wounds by Look Out Sir (-2 due to No Escape) on Draigo and a few via cover saves. It was obviously a lot of shots via the Animus Speculum since it adds shots based on nearby psykers and up to three more warp charge from their own pool. After the rest of his army fired Draigo was down to his last wound and two of my DevCents lost a wound... It could have potentially been much worse.

Turn Two
The next turn was dedicated to killing the Cullexus via shooting and assault... Really needed to get rid of her ! The Scouts arrived via outflank coming in beside my deathstar in their land speeder. The Stormraven also came in and the Purifiers split into combat squads paratrooping out. I had a bit of good luck this turn - the landspeeder flamed her taking one wound then the Cerebus launcher dropped its payload for another wound which blinded the assassin - take that you traitorous c*nt. The deathstar whiffed in the shooting phase so I had to take her down the old fashioned way in melee... Draigo managed to finally club her down and I took no wounds in return. The Purifiers were able to wreck one Razorback via the combination of Cleansing Flame and their psycannons. So two more kill points this turn for Draigo and company.

I lost a Centurion during my opponent's shooting phase and the GK Librarian also lost a wound. One of the Purifier combat squads was shot off the table plus the Landspeeder Storm was wrecked. My opponent also stripped all three hull points from the Stormraven even though it had jinked so he scored his first two kill points (this occurred during my turn when he intercepted with his Stalker formation).

Up to this point I was doing okay and had contained the very real threat from the assassin - really glad to see her bite the dust !

Turn Three
The warp is both fickle and dangerous as you'll see this turn. Draigo successfully gated the deathstar but they scattered 9", mishapping but thankfully went into ongoing reserve. The remaining Purifier squad was in position to multi assault two five man tactical squads then periled while casting Cleansing Flame... Of course I rolled a 1 then failed the leadership test - good bye Purifiers ! My Strike squad came in from reserve as well deep striking behind a large piece of line of sight blocking terrain and I should mention the Techmarine split off from the deathstar to join the scouts for some much needed reinforcement. No kill points scored this turn for me and I've only got three small units left on the table... Due to good positioning though they were all tucked away safely from the bulk of the enemy's guns.

The game ended up going the full seven turns and I was able to claw my way back into the game needing a sixth turn to ahead on kill points. The Techmarine and his Scouts performed admirably holding down their piece of ruin - taking out two command squads and a drop pod. The deathstar played it safe picking off enemy units here and there... By the end of the game I was down to two DevCents, each on their final wound, plus Draigo and the Conclave. I foolishly split off the GK Librarian to join the Strike squad... Eventually they were all gunned down over the remainder of the game.

I won the primary for kill points and my opponent won the primary for holding objective markers. I had First Blood, Line Breaker and Last Laugh while my opponent only scored Line Breaker — so a tight win for the new DraigoStar.

The Cullexus was brutal but I think I properly dealt with her the best I could. Third turn was horrendous and I was seriously thinking it might be game over. Obviously the Cullexus is very bad news versus an infantry psychic laden deathstar like mine but I was able to clip her quickly enough... They are rather fragile with only three wounds and a 4++ save plus the 6++ FNP... I got lucky with the Storm dropping two of her wounds and blinding the bitch. Against an army like eldar jetseer council a shrewd eldar player will simply bubble wrap with scatbikes then turbo boost away the turn after she arrives.

The Conclave takes DraigoStar to the next level... I was successfully casting up to eight psychic powers a turn.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

40k Rant: The Travesty that is Jervis Johnson

This is about the recent editorial from Jervis Johnson who heads up development for Games Workshop. I took it as an attack on hobbyists that like to play in tournaments. It was disingenuous how he repeatedly said he has nothing against tournament players in general but repeatedly said how they ruin the game.

If you follow the internet you'll know there has been some speculation if 40k will get the Age of Sigmar treatment. At first I was like WHFB was doomed and needed a reboot but after reading this diatribe I'm wondering if maybe it's their new direction. It's been said Games Workshop just wants to focus on making models and go away from rules. How long has it been since an actual FAQ was released? There has been no FAQ for new armies such as Grey Knights and Necrons plus a host of many others. Sure a lot of the questions asked might seem silly but on the other hand the customer deserves some answers now and then.

If this is the new direction I think they will fail. We as hobbyists need a tight set of rules so we can enjoy gaming. Jervis is the mouthpiece for Games Workshop and that is partly why he is where he's at today. I remember when he got sidelined having to manage their specialist games... Everybody hated his rules for Blood Bowl and used the previous edition. He was left out of the loop when the extremely popular 4th edition codex for Chaos Space Marines was developed and responsible for the travesty that was the following fifth edition codex which just happened to look a lot like the one he wrote for third edition.

Jervis can write a good codex - I'm thinking of the third edition Space Wolves codex so he's not totally ignorant. If Games Workshop should decide to distance themselves from writing rules it will have a direct impact on everyone that plays the game. Even if you are a casual player you need good rules... It's just the way it is.

Some have said the rules now are bloated and overly complicated but to me it adds a ton of flavor. Third edition anyone ?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pure Armies

Now that ATC is finally over I want to spend time demonstrating how to competitively play pure armies - for example Ravenwing Strike Force with nothing outside that datasheet. Obviously this means no super friends or Librarius Conclave so it's kind of like a vegan diet which will require a modicum of discipline. Don't get me wrong though - I am all for mixing your army but by playing a straight list you will learn it inside out which is what you really want as a competitive player to hone your skills.

There are lots of very competitive choices for mixing Ravenwing and I've already named a couple. Iron Hands Chapter Master on a bike with Gorgon's Chain is another good one. Like I said above though I want to start off pure so I can learn everything there is to know about the Ravenwing.

When I first started to play White Scars it wax really tough as I didn't really know what I was doing and lost a lot of games to the point where I considered dropping the hobby. I started to learn how to play White Scars by playing in low point tournaments (750 - 1250 points) which gave me the experience I needed to develop a solid core. I have chosen Ravenwing as my next army because my first army was Dark Angels which I played for years and because I like biker armies for the inherent mobility. If you follow this series of articles you will learn through my own experience.

I consider Ravenwing to be an upcoming army based upon what I saw first hand at ATC. It's time put away super friends for now and embrace a new army. I can shore up some points by dropping the Space Wolf component. At this point I can't say if Ravenwing will be as competitive as BikeStar as BikeStar currently has an answer for everything. Ravenwing has no S10 to deal with things like super heavies and gargantuan creatures.

It can be fun to try new things !

Monday, July 27, 2015

ATC 2015 Results

This was my favorite year for ATC and my third time in a row. The past two years out of twelve total games I won twice... It was very depressing for me as a competitive gamer. The first two years I brought my Nurgle army but just couldn't really make it work. I had some bad dice and tough matchups but it was a lot of losses no matter how you spin and I kept my team from placing higher. This year I brought my BikeStar and felt going into it I could do a lot better. My team did not place as high overall (ended up in the middle of the pack) but I was able to go 4-2 which is twice as good as my past two years collective performance so I'm happy.

I've always said the ATC is the most competitive event I have ever attended... It's literally a whose who of many of the greatest gamers across the country. The ATC by its very nature is the ultimate experience when it comes to Rock-Paper-Scissors. You will often end up each round with a great match or a super tough one due to how the individual pairings work.

This year I had four good matchups, one I'd call fairly even and one that was really hard as I had to fight an army that does better than what my BikeStar can do - ├╝ber wolfstar with a ton of S10 hitting on 3+... I was literally out-starred facing off against a stronger deathstar than my own. I think I played it as well as I could but after Smashfacker fails his last save it all comes down to how good you can roll a 3++. I wasn't tabled - my Grey Hunters watched in horror from afar at the wanton epic destruction. My opponent got exactly what he needed - the fearless warlord trait and the psychic power Endurance for the 4++ feel no pain. Unfortunately for me I didn't get Invisibility when I really needed it the most. It was brutal and I killed almost my opponent's entire army except for a few last Thunderwolves, his Wolf Lord and a couple Iron Priests slinging the S10 instant death. Of course this had to be the kill point mission. My opponent went 6-0 too.

I learned a lot this year about the game what to expect in the coming months in terms where the meta is going. Ravenwing is very strong and unless a new codex for Tau can revamp player interest they will be right at the top. I saw the Wraithknight spam which can be effectively countered by the combination of the Skyhammer formation and Centurion Devastators in drop pods.

The folks who run the ATC did a fantastic job this year - everything ran smoothly and they had plenty of qualified judges to help out. I was very impressed and think this was the best big event I've ever attended. Christian Adorno played on my team this year and won the award for best Blood Angels running a pure army with no gimmicks - very impressive performance and he had his share of tough matches. Jwolf was five points out from taking the award for best Grey Knights and as usual was our heaviest hitter. Marcus Baxley brought his beautiful Green Tide and did well consistently scoring points for the team almost every round and often drew the toughest matchups. Our other team mate we hope will be a rising star... A teenager playing his Tau against grown men.

I posted a lot of pictures over on my Facebook page so check it out if you're interested.