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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Holding objectives • Space Marines & Khornate Daemons

I saw a tactical article on another 40k blog and thought I would post one here. Mine focuses on SM/CSM and Khornate Daemons. I will also discuss how to take objectives from the opponent with these armies.

_Space Marines_
First I'll say that I am not a fan of 5th edition Space Marines. To me they are boring and you tend to see a lot of the same lists... Vulkan Marines seem to be the most prevalent. I don't think that scouts are good at holding objectives. They are roasted by heavy flamers and are vulnerable to assaults. A 2+ cover save doesn't help you in either case. Scouts have their uses though but that is another discussion. To me it's obvious tactical Marines embarked in an obscured rhino is your best bet. Your opponent will first have to wreck/destroy the rhino before they can get at the Marines. Tactical Marines in a rhino can pillbox - that is, remain embarked and fire the heavy weapon from within the safety of their transport. I am not an advocate of combat squads, so no razorbacks. A combat squad dies quickly from small arms fire, ordnance and other shooting... Plus they will fold quickly in an assault. So to me one of the best units for holding an objective is a full squad of tactical Marines inside a rhino. I'll go so far as to say they should be equipped with a lascannon, meltagun and power fist. I'm not a big fan of multi-meltas for tactical squads as they are short range compared to the lascannon. The meltagun is there for duality, the squad can tank hunt if necessary. Finally the power fist is there in case they are assaulted. If you are trying to hold an objective then choosing to break is not a good thing. Sure you might be able to counter charge the next turn but there is also the chance that they won't fallback far enough and will remain broken.

_Chaos Space Marines_
CSM has a lot more choices and I think a good one is a squad of lesser daemons. Sure they are not inside a transport but they are relatively cheap and if they go to ground in cover they have a 3+ cover save and are T4. CSM also have access to their equivalent of the tactical squad but you rarely see them as there are other choices that are stronger all around. Nurgle Marines are probably the best choice and with the ability to take two meltaguns they never need to leave their rhinos. We all know that Nurgle Marines are very popular now. Thousand Sons are not worth their points and Berzerkers were made to take objectives, not hold them.

You only have one choice, Bloodletters. It's not in their calling to hold objectives but that's all you've got. The best thing to do is take large squads so they'll hold up to shooting. They are also T4 just like CSM lesser daemons. No one wants to charge a large squad of Bloodletters sitting in cover... They'll maul you. The flipside is just to land them beside enemy objectives and take theirs, more on that right below.

This is much harder for Space Marines as compared to CSM and KDA. It's not like a squad of tactical Marines are going to roll up in a rhino and blast a squad of Plague Bearers or Nurgle Marines off an objective. So first you have to clear the objective with another unit(s) and then move on your tactical Marines. Units such as Berzerkers, Nurgle Marines and large squads of Bloodletters can do the job by themselves. One of the greatest strengths of any daemon army in general is that your entire army arrives via deep strike and is not affected by deployment. That's extremely powerful if you stop to think about it. People say daemon armies are random due to which wave comes in first and bad scatters. If you know what you are doing it's not bad at all though. What you need are strong units that can endure one round of enemy shooting then it begins to work in your favor. If your secondary wave comes in first then you'll just have to play mote conservatively... It just takes a little longer, that's all.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Troop Choices and Heavy Support for KDA

I've said quite a bit about Grinders versus Daemon Princes in KDA as your staple heavy support. You can find it under the comments posted to the first article. I rephrase here again. KDA has no shooting except if you opt for Grinders. That's just the way it is unless you want to pay 15/20 points to arm a herald (BS3) or the Bloodthirster (BS4) with the equivalent of a plasma pistol that doesn't overheat. I don't think these guys spend much time at the range shooting so to me I'd rather use those points for another Icon.

This army needs some shooting and that's where the Grinder comes in to the equation. I run two both with tongue and phleghm. Tongue is a 24" railgun. Phleghm is the equivalent of a battlecannon but does not count as ordnance so you can fire it and the harvester gun. I run two and stick them both in the same wave. They can protect the Blodletters and keep them out of harm's way. Two pieplates per turn adds up quickly and works wonders versus horde armies such as Tyranids and Orks. They are also able to fleet and are monsters in close combat. Even the relic blade can't pierce their armor and against lower strength MCs they night just get lucky. They hit first against Carnifexes and can beat them down if they can kill them before they swing back. Their only rear weakness is meltas and high strength MCs. You have to screen them if you want to ward off melta shots. Personally I think they are much more effective versus daemon princes and the Khornate daemon prince doesn't have much going for it versus the others which have no real place in a KDA. Tongue is excellent versus rhinos and chimeras... It's very important to crack them open early and exposed their passengers.

Bloodletters are your only real choice. If they go to ground in cover that's a 3+ save... Coupled with T4 they are as hard to eliminate as your Space Marine. You'll need at least 3 big blocks and one unit should have an icon. I've taken out big squads of termies with them on the charge so they are okay in close combat as well.

Flesh Hounds.... A fast attack unit, not worth the points to me at all... I'd much rather have
more Bkoodletters to be honest.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

More on KDA...

Here is my current 1850 point list:

Bloodthirster/Unholy Might, Blessing of the Blood God
_He is the best of the bunch and highly appropriate for KDA. He is very fast, very strong and highly resilient with T6 and WS10. I6 on the charge, he will hit first most of the time. Armor save 3+, invulnerable save 4+ and 4 wounds. Only the Tzneetch greater daemon has a better save (3+ invulnerable) but just can't dish it out in close combat. The thing I'd he is still not my best unit.

_Kind of pricy but so what. This is the guy who inspired me to build the army! He has WS7 so any unit with WS3 is only hitting on a 5+. He rends on 4+ and any unsaved wound is instant death. He is very Killy but he needs some help so I typically run him with another herald...

Herald/Juggernaught, Unholy Might, Fury, Blessing of the Blood God
_This is my ace versus armor. He auto pens walkers when he rends, even when taking the charge. He has taken out landraiders and no one ever saw that coming.

6x Crushers/Instrument, Icon, Fury
_This forms my deathstar along with the two heralds. They can suck up a lot of pain and dish it right back out. I like to deep strike the unit right in front of the enemy line. They shoot the hell out of them then possibly charge them. When all the smoke clears they are still there and ready to go. It's just plain sick as can be.

Next up I'll discuss my troops and heavy support.


Khornate Daemonic Army (KDA)

About six to seven months ago I read a Fantasy novel entitled Blood for the Blood God. The main character was the Skulltaker and he was depicted as a mortal champion of Khorne, heavily enhanced though. The story is a tale of cold blooded revenge and I loved it. In fact I loved the story so much I was infused with the desire to create a pure Khorne daemon army. I am not a big fan of daemon armies thst feature units from the different gods and I also wanted to build an army that would have an excellent theme. The Skulltaker riding a juggernaught is my central character and he leads a large unit of Blood Crushers with another Herald that is his lieutenant. I used the new Fantasy Khorne Lord mounted on a juggernaught to represent the Skulltaker. All of my Crushers and Bloodletters are highly converted... Brandon Palmer from GMM Studios was commissioned to paint the army and he did an amazing job! I will have to say this is by far my favorite army yet.

Funny things on the Internet... You know that whatever you say there will always be at least one person that will want to throw cold water on your heart's desire. Case in point... There is general consenus that daemons are weak versus mech but in reality you can build an army that easily counters mech. I have a Bloodthirster (beautiful model from the nice folks up in Canada from Ultraforge) and two Grinders both with tongue and phleghm to deal with mech. Tongue is basically a 24" railgun and it wrecks rhinos very efficiently. That's why I take two Grinders and typically drop them on the same wave... You start popping those CSM rhinos and your opponent is going to have some problems.

Another Internet myth is that Crushers are screwed when charged by walkers. First no one can say that a walker is guaranteed to charge the Crushers. They move at exactly the same speed! What I have found is that my opponents are afraid of my Thirster and two Grinders... But if they do indeed charge my Crushers I have a Herald with Unholy Might and Fury... He is S7 on the charge and auto pens AV12 whenever he rends irregardless of who charges. I also have a Crusher in the squad with Fury and he pens 67% of the time when he rends if he is charged. Statisically it won't take more than two full turns for my Crushers to pop a walker and it could most certainly happen a whole sooner. My point here is that the Crushers are not my primary threat for walkers BUT they can deal with them AND it's great to see the look on my opponent's face when my Herald destroys their landraider... It does happen too!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Winning with PDF Blood Angels

I was asked to post my thoughts on winning with Blood Angels so I decided to post here so I can share my thoughts with everyone. Typically I am against net lists as I don't think they help anyone to become a better player but... I am putting my Blood Angels aside after playing them for the past few years so I can start playing daemons, and a new codex is not far off so what I say here will only hold true for a few more months.

If you want to play this army competively there is only one template that works -> Dante & Corbulo. Some people simply hate special characters so you'll get dinged on your soft scores from time to time but on the other hand most people are not familar with the new Blood Angels and the general consensus is that Blood Angels are at best a mid tier list. I played one person in the third round of the Ard Boyz semi finals this year who was fielding a dual lash list - he was not familiar with Blood Angels, the game ended in a draw and afterwards he vehemently accused me of serious cheating allegations, most of which were based on his lack of knowledge of the army and it's rules. That is a very extreme case but I thought I should mention it. There are people who think they should be able to roll Blood Angels and when they lose they'll blame it on anything but their lack of effective tactics to counter this army. So just be aware of that.

I think 40k is all about what I call the force bubble theory. Mostly you ate playing to control objectives so if you place them as closely together as possible then force multipliers become much more potent since you will end up playing the game on only a fraction of the tabletop. To me the combination of Dante and Corbulo is currently one of the strongest force multipliers in the game... Dante grants preferred enemy to any friendly BA unit within 12" and also drops enemy units by -1 WS that are within 6". Corbulo grants furious charge to any friendly BA unit within 12" and has a narcethium that allows you to ignore one failed armor save to any friendly BA unit within 6" once per player turn... that might not sound as good as FNP but if you have a strong unit such as a veteran assault squad or assault terminators the ability to ignore two wounds per turn is quite valuable. It can be used on a unit locked in close combat as long as Corbulo is not engaged but it does not work against instant death or attacks that ignore armor saves in close combat. I keep Corbulo in a landraider and he never disembarks unless the tank is destroyed. You can measure from the of the landraider when using his powers which greatly extends the range. This in turn increases the effective zone of your force bubble. What you want to do in objective based games is to get on top of the objectives as quickly as possible, wait for the enemy to approach while you shoot them then counter assault. This simple tactic is tried and true, it's won me many many games! I'll talk about killpoints later.

Here are the units I recommend:
Dante & Corbulo
9x VAS/2x meltagun, 3x power fist
10x tactical Marine/lascannon, meltagun, power fist - rhino
5x terminator/4x pairs of lightning claws, thunder hammer & storm shield
Death Company without jump packs

There are some other good choices such as Baal Predators, our special dreadnaughts and Honorguard but the choices I listed above are all i use. I know a lot of BA players that tout their regular assault squads (count as troop choices) but to be honest they are very expensive and in all actuality they don't do that well in close combat. On the other hand tactical Marines are excellent for holding objectives plus with preferred enemy and furious charge it can be argued that they are better than Khorne Berzerkers.

I highly recommend a heavily mechanized list. You will have to learn about rhino tactics to play this style and it perfectly dovetails with my counter assault tactics. If you are playing against another army that is strong in assault bait the player telling them that your Blood Angels can pound them... Invariably they will move their army straight towards yours and then you can counter assault. It works like a charm. Rhinos are very durable and you can use them to shield your army from enemy shooting. The landraider allows you to assault from a moving transport with those assault terminators... It's amazing to me how often people don't see that coming. I learned that tactic playing Matt back in the 2007 Chicago GT when brought Al's Space Wolves. The landraider also gives you two twin linked lascannons which I believe is the best answer to lightly armored mech lists. The landraider is extremely resilient, great at shooting armor and can deliver a powerful unit into the heart of the battle. Those assault terminators will have furious charge plus can reroll hit and wounds... It's a very powerful unit indeed.

In terms of killpoints I try to minimize the use of units that give up easy killpoints such as the popular MMAB and rhinos. Yes you need the rhinos but don't go overboard. Giving away a lot of easy kill points will lose games.

Here is a sample list I like a lot:

Dante joined to VAS
VAS/ as listed above
Corbulo and 5x DC in a rhino
5x assault terminators in a landraider
2x 10x tactical Marine/ as listed above

This is a small elite army. You only have three rhinos but coupled with the landraider you have a heavy mech list with only three easy killpoints. You have three heavy hitting assault units - VAS, terminators and Death Company. The tactical Marines can assault as well if you find yourself in a pinch.

Here is an advanced tactic I referred to as Linking Assaults:

Linking Assaults

This is what i refer to as an advanced tactic. It works extremely well versus horde armies such as Tyranids and Orks. Form your rhino wall such that the opponent cannot outflank you your wall. They will head straight towards the rhinos and charge them. The rhinos are destroyed and your troops disembark on the side opposite to the attackers. You have held back your landraider and the VAS. Your turn your troops move through the wrecked transports so they can shoot and assault. The VAS flies up into the center to shoot and charge as well. The landraider comes around the side to deliver the terminators. Position your units such that they all charge multiple units and it should form one long chain so you have basically one big combat. Put your power fists on monsterous creatures/warbosses and the rest of your Marines assault the squishy models, such as gaunts, orks and genestealers... Don't be afraid to charge genetstealers in this situation... You can shoot them first to thin down their numbers. Here is the net result - you kill a ton of squishies and put a few wound on the big nasties. The enemy loses the overall combat by 10+ wounds. Tyranids are fearless due to synapse and orks are fearless due to mob size... So each individual enemy unit has to take all those combined armor saves. Gaunts, genestealers and orks die in droves while the big nasties as also fail some saves as well since there are so many to take! The enemy line will crumble in one turn. I also once used this tactic to kill 25 assault terminators in just one round of close combat... It's just simply that good. You can win the game in one turn. It takes some practice to be able to pull this off but you'll figure it out soon enough.

I hope this helps shed some insight into this wonderful PDF army.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

YMDC and further comments regarding accusations of cheating

Well first I would like to say that it looks like Dakka Dakka's YMDC forum is back in good form and has returned to a level of respectibility that I feel comfortable with posting there again. Gwar! Is like a bad case of Herpes and seems to have gone dormant again... Thank Jebus for small miracles and hopefully he has received his last and final warning. The debacle that was his SW FAQ I found to be a complete farce. First I am in no way an advocate of RAW. in fact I will go so far as to say that I believe RAW is ruining the game. Here is a good example... the landraider redeemer comes with hellstorm cannons which are described as flamers but it's name states it's a cannon... Oh boy! So if you field Vulkan supposedly by RAW you cannot twinlink the hellstorm cannon. It is described in it's entry as a flamer and uses the template. It used as exactly the same as a flamer, albeit one Hell of a flamer... BUT and this is a big BUT, because it is named a cannon any RAW advocate will tell you it is indeed a cannon and not a flamer. It's most obviously not a cannon. The word cannon brings to mind a long barreled piece of artillery that lobs shells across the battlefield. Silly really when stop to think about it in my opinion.

Onto the next subject, I have been visiting the blog named Strictly Average on occasion to answer comments concerning two of my games that got a lot of coverage on 40k forums and blogs. I have already addressed my game with Nick Aad in the Ard Boyz semi finals played this past August so for now I'll simply leave it at that. Another game in which my character was called into question was against Adam Trike from Wyoming during a WC tournament held in Colorado Springs this past summer. Adam posted his battle reports from the tourney and went at great length to describe his game against me as simply his worst 40k experience ever. He lost because we played a fifth turn. There was less than ten minutes of regulation time left and he pleaded with the TO to play a fifth turn. He told me he just wanted to move some of his attack bikes and it would not affect the outcome of the game? Why play another turn? The TO said go ahead and play another turn. I killed his attack bikes and was able to take another objective for the win. If we had not played the fifth turn the game would have ended as a draw. During the game Adam used Dante's and Corbulo's powers to boost a unit of allied Grey Knights. This was clearly illegal as these two charcaters can only affect friendly Blood Angel units. Now Adam stated online that I cheated but here he was cheating himself. When questioned on it Adam stated that he was not aware he shouldn't have done that. So my question is how can we trust the statements from s person playing the same army when he himself does not thoroughly know the rules well? I was also told that Adam did not roll for the overcharged engines for his rhinos. This is hearsay but there it is. Adam denied this allegation. I'm not saying he did but it's worth noting. Adam also received the rock bottom worst scores of everyone there at that tournament for sportsmanship. Not good. My first game in that same tournament I spent a lot of time explaining the rules for Chaos daemons to a friend of Adam's that came to play. I could have played for the massacre but instead chose to play for a major victory instead so I could help my opponent learn his rules. Adam's friend described Adam as someone who is extremely competitive and ruins game play irregardless of whatever game it is they are playing. Adam got into a big argument at the end of the game prior to ours and I watched it all okay out. Adam kept arguing until the TO finally decided to roll a d6 to make the decision... He got the call and was able to win. Obviously thst colored my opinion of Adam and the same type of incident occurred during the end of our game but this time I got the call and won as a result. Adam said thst I was lying. I wasn't and I'll just leave it at that for now. I have buried the hatchet with Adam but that said I sure hope I don't ever have to play him again. All the things he said about me clearly applied to him. It's funny to me when a person cannot or will not see that they exhibit the same behaviour they are complaining about.


Saturday, October 03, 2009

How I used to play Deathguard when CSM had a good codex

Chaos Lord/Daemonic Strength, Rune, Manreaper, terminator armor, sorceror w. Gift of Chaos, Nurgle's Rot
Chosen: 13x terminators/sorceror upgrade w. Gift of Chaos, 2x reaper autocannons, 4x power fist

7x Possessed/Mark of Nurgle, power fist

The rest of the army was large squads of Plague Bearers. The Possessed would start on the table alone with everything else in reserve. Only the Lord and Chosen had an icon so the daemons had to wait at least at additional turn until they arrived before they could be summoned. The strengths of the army was all T5 and all 5+ INV save. The Plague Bearers would come in huge hordes and swarm the enemy. I used this list in a cityfight campaign and ended up doing very well. There was a very good Dark Eldar player originally from Georgia and I smoked him when we finally played. The original cityfight had some interesting rules which made their way into 5th edition such as not being able to consolidate into a fresh combat and that really hurt the Dark Eldar. My daemons took down his Talos early on and by the end of the game it was all down to just my Lord and three spawns versus a squad of Warriors duking it out to control the central building. The agonized quickly cut through my spawn but the manreaper was the game winner. I never saw him again after that game.