Thursday, December 18, 2014
So it's looking like the nerf season is coming up soon and it happens from time to time. Messing with core rules can really draw people's ire. We all know what Invisibility does - enemy units can only snap shoot (no blasts or templates) and they only hit on 6s versus the buffed unit in melee. Back in sixth edition I remember watching more than one game where an invisible unit was completely wiped off the table in one turn by things like Thunderfire cannons. I have seen games in seventh edition where an invisible unit was wiped off the table in one turn just by sheer volume of firepower such as Tesla heavy Necron armies or Tau pulse bomb armies.
Deathstars have taken a big hit from the nerf bat in seventh edition - BeaStar and Jetseer Council are both a thing of the past. Is there some Deathstar still present that can take out an entire enemy army when buffed by Invisibility? Sure an invisible unit is tough to handle but so is Admantium Lance and Wave Serpents. If we change a core rule to nerf something we don't like it because we don't like playing against it this has a fundamental impact on the game. It's better to design missions to create balance rather than change rules - this requires much more time and effort but in the end everyone is better for it.
I have noticed a recent trend towards flyer and certain types of FMC heavy armies. They are hard to deal with for many other armies under the current meta since most people are not building lists any more that have a sizable chunk of anti air units. These types of armies have all the same benefits as one invisible unit - your ground units can only snap fire versus them and no placing blasts or templates plus they inherently negate the assault phase... You can't even hit them in mėlee much less hope to roll some sixes. If you're not prepared to face such an army it's not going to be a fun time but then again if you're playing in a competitive tournament that can and does happen for a whole host of reasons - it's just the way it is. Think of it this way... No one can tell their opponent in a pickup game they have to use the sixth edition rules for Invisibility... You just have to deal with it. Eliminating the things you don't like doesn't make you a better player or more tactical - it simply removes the threat of something you'd rather not have to deal with during a game. To say it's not fair is an understatement.
Invisibility is hard to cast since it requires two warp charges so it's unreliable plus you have to roll it. I would never build an army around Invisibility just for those two reasons. Murphy's Law says that when you really need something it won't be there for you - you're setting yourself to lose because you're so dependent on it.
The Real Nerf is to Chaos Players
The real losers are Chaos players banking on Be'lakor to buff their huge pack of Flesh Hounds or Screamers... It's just not going to work anymore - especially versus say a battery of Wyverns so it's back to the drawing board for these players and they have my sympathy. Invisibility was one of the great things for Be'lakor and it just seems like it was intentionally designed to work that way. It's not like the assault phase is all that now nor was it in sixth edition.
CentStar is another unit that can heavily rely upon Invisibility but seeing this particular DeathStar is focused on shooting it's not as big of a loss for them.
As someone who has played with and against Invisibility my strategy is to focus on the rest of the opponent's army until they finally fail to successfully cast it then I hit them with everything including the proverbial kitchen sink - looks like I won't be needing that sink anymore now.
I've always been greatly opposed to any changes to core rules - it doesn't fly right by me. One danger is that one change can give ground to other not well thought changes. I'm sure a lot of people who love to see a core change to the basic principles of the notorious Wave Serpent such as the Serpent Shield - the Wave Serpent can produce a staggering amount of ranged fire power plus it can jink for a 3++ cover save and it's highly mobile to boot. Sure there is a part of me that abhors what the Wave Serpent can do but I'd rather just deal it with rather than nerf the current premier transport but I know that's not the right thing to do... Better to lose rather trying than skew the game by imposing restriction to make things easier for yourself.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Hi everyone. I was up north last week and had the opportunity to play two games with my BikeStar versus the new hotness Flyrant spam. I have made some tweaks to my list to adjust for the current meta. These changes are as follows:
Double Psyker - This is something I've wanted to change for some time now. To me the psychic phase is a bit of a gamble but can pay off with huge dividends. Psychic powers can give your army an edge. Sure there are some armies that can shut you down but in a tournament environment you most likely will only face off against such an army once or twice. Space Marine Psykers have good overall stats all around too especially when you consider what you get for the points and come equipped with force weapons which are the bane of many evil things such as daemon princes and other monstrous creatures.
I now run both a Librarian and Rune Priest. The lore I choose for the Librarian depends upon what I'm up against and my go to choice is Telepathy. You can't count on rolling Insta Gizz (Invisibility) but Shrouding is awesome for the 2+ jink save and the Primaris power Psychic Shriek is really good for sniping tough enemy units such as Wraithknights and Dreadknights. I always choose Divination for the Rune Priest as this is the true go to lore for BikeStar. I gave up the Wolf Lord for the Rune Priest with a good chunk of points left over.
Air to Air
The proverbial Achilles Heel of BikeStar is versus flyer or FMC heavy armies - snap shooting grav guns is better than nothing but I found a way to include both a Stormfang and Stormtalon. The Stormfang is the new hotness for Space Marine flyers... Much stronger than a Stormraven. The Stormtalon is also arguably a better choice than the Stormraven too - especially when we consider the points saved. By including two flyers the BikeStar becomes much more tactical all around and they compliment each other due to the inherent mobility... You have an army that can compete with the likes of eldar and dark eldar.
So like I said I was able to play two games which is a good test. Flyrant spam features five Flyrants and is currently being promoted as one of the new top meta internet lists. My general philosophy in both games was the same - be very aggressive and put the pressure on the Tyranids right at the start.
Batreps to follow soon.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Time for the last game which I'll quickly summarize:
Versus a good Tau player featuring two commanders, crisis suit team with drones, two Tetras, two burstsides, Broadsides in a bunker, two squads of Fire Warriors (one with devilfish) and a Skyray.
The primaries were scoring objectives (EW & Maelström) plus table quarters. Deployment was Dawn of War. I got both shrouding and invisible for psychic powers. Note I only rolled Insta Gizz at most twice out of the six games.
This game I was overconfident which lead to some mistakes. My opponent castled up a lot of his army with the Broadsides on a flank along with one squad of Fire Warriors. I should have gone straight for his castle but instead decided to go after the Broadsides first then sweep into his castle. The BikeStar was indestructible and took out most of his army but he was able to kill the rest of my army easily winning most of the objectives. Lesson learned !
I did manage to claim all of the secondary objectives so it wasn't a complete wash ending up 3W-3L and overall 10th place out of 32 players. I also won the award for best SM player with was nice and highly coveted as there was a good number of SM armies there.
Not my best performance but this was my first GT playing Thunder and Lightning - I considered this event as a test ground since I'll be playing in three GTs this coming Fenruary (LVO, TempleCon and Crucible).
I would like to have at least one dedicated anti air unit so will be swapping out one bike squad for a Stormfang and am considering running a Rune Priest instead of the Wolf Lord for the double Psyker.
SoFlo was a lot of fun and well run - I'll definitely go back again next year. :thumbsup: