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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Friday, November 27, 2009

More Gwarish monkeigh business...

No sooner is Gwar banned then he comes right back and posts as Gwar2, thus violating another forum rule (can't have multiple user accounts) and is banned again. Next he persuades another Dakka member to post for him and some of his cronies post that the Dakka mod team has been unfair to Gwar... Mob rules mentality at it's finest there. I would have to say that if Dakka lifts the ban it would set a bad precedent. Gwar has received special favors often on Dakka such as having his locked threads re-opened on his request. Amazing really.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Some pictures of my daemon army

All models were painted on commission by Brandon Palmer of GMM Studios.



So Gwar! has been banned yet again from the land of Dakka Dakka and vowed he will never return. I hope he keeps his word and it is a really great feeling to know he is not posting there.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

BOLTER BEACH GT • June 2010 • Sarasota, FL

•Flames of War

Myself and my good friend Yuri the Devil will be running a huge GT down here in Florida next summer. Yuri has successfully run both Hurricon and Recon for the past five years now. I have run two successful GTs in North Carolina. We will have Brandon Palmer from GMM Studios as our painting judge. You can expect 50 tables each for both 40k and Fantasy.

The event will be held right across the street from the airport and there are hotels in short walking distance. Sarasota is the home of Stephen King and has some of the world's most beautiful beaches. If you bring your family Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World are all only an hour away.

You can expect a reasonable price for admission too. We will see to it that everyone has a great time too! I am also working with GW to have this added to their circuit for 2010. With both the Necromicon and the Big Waaagh out this will definitely be the BIG event in the southeast for 2010.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Game winning attitude

Okay I've talked a bit about the three phases and deployment. What I think is the most important aspect of the game is going in feeling confident you can win. Someone once told me that over 90 percent of games played are decided in the first five minutes while you and your opponent size each other up. If you are playing in a tournament always ask your opponent to show you their army list. Take a good look at the army list and make sure you understand it. If you have any questions then ask.

The ability to have a game winning attitude is very important. It means you fully understand what your army can and cannot do. It means understanding what your opponent's army can and cannot do. You understand the mission rules and you have a plan how to win. Some people say the best made plans crumble during the first turn... It's not true. You play a lot of games and are a student of the game. There are only so many variables and you can boil them down.

Typically if I lose a game it's because I am not that familiar with what my opponent is playing. That's my fault so I have to chalk up the loss to gaining experience. All armies have specific attributes that are common. Special rules are huge. Each army has a certain amount of special rules... Some are very powerul and some are there for fluff. It's very important to be familiar with the special rules. Look at dark eldar as an example... Same set of rules for well over 10 years now but you rarely ever see this army so if you aren't familiar with them it's a huge advantage for your opponent. You always hear how awesome are dark eldar but I think most of the time when you read about how they tore someone a new arsehole most likely the loser had no idea what they were facing. Dark eldar is the most fragile list in the game and they oy have a few good units to choose from. Once you know how to beat them it's a done deal. Daemon Hunters and Witch Hunters are in the same boat... All three races only have one codex. Sisters of Battle and Necrons evolved from a couple of pages of rules back when GW used to put out Chapter Approved articles. They are a big corporation now so stuff like that doesn't happen anymore. You rarely ever see any of these armies winning a big tournament... There are certain armies that steam roller them.

So it is important to be familiar with everything. Preparation is the key to success.


Anti Deployment

What is anti deployment? Anti deployment is starting with units in reserve. It used to be that each player would take turns deploying one unit at a time. Now one player first deploys their army then the other player deploys theirs. I have noticed a lot of players don't use the ability to hold units in reserve and I think they are missing out on a great tactic. I sometimes like to hold my best assault units in reserve and then bring them in. For the spearhead deployment your reserves can come in across the entire long table edge, not just your table quarter. This prevents the opponent from shooting them. This is a fantastic tactic for orks... Basically you take a strong unit such as Nobz with a warboss and put them in a trukk or battlewagon, don't forget the red paintjob. The turn they come in the transport moves 13" then the squad disembarks another 2". The warboss then calls down the Waaagh for a d6" fleet move and then they can charge up to 6 more inches. 13" + 2" + d6" + 6" = 21" + d6", or all the way up to 27" total. If it were me I'd always run Ghaz for this style army, you can't beat the guaranteed 6" fleet. Suddenly enemy units over halfway across the table are getting pounded by a huge power klaw. I think of this as an advanced anti-deployment tactic since I don't see many ork players using it. If the mission is objective based then place one of your objectives to lure in the opponent.

Using anti deployment has been with us a long time... Wolf Scouts, webway portals, terminators, drop pods and the monolith all come to mind. I personally think that drop pods were played out a long time ago but for some it's a brand new way of playing SM. I even used the old rules for drop podding prior to the release of the 4th edition SM codex... You had to go all drop pod though and there have always been some restrictions on what you can place in a drop pod. It was a great way to quickly close with the old static armies such as Iron Warriors. I have always been a big proponent of anti deployment and it only makes sense that I play daemons now as just like an old drop pod army everything starts in reserve. Deployment is meaningless to a daemon army and this is one of their biggest advantages.


Deployment and anti deployment

The role of deployment has changed quite a bit with the advent of 5th edition. There was a time when you coukd setup a serious gunline and blast away. Back then a game could well be decided by whoever got to go first. To me these were the most boring games and could be tough to win. I rarely ever play gunline but I have, mostly with Dark Angels or vanilla SM prior to the release of their new rules and 5th edition. Now the ability to hold your entire army in reserve really can befuddle any opponent running a gunline army. Cover saves have also hurt gunlines. I am all for the new rules and think the more dynamic 5th edition has been a great change for the game.

Deployment is still very important and I think it's still the most important phase of the game. Look at this way, a bad deployment can kill you before the first dice is rolled. I believe an army should always be deployed such that your units can support each to the hilt. Tyranids have always been about sending in several waves... Tyranid players that can't grasp this important concept rarely if ever win versus a good player that recognizes the Nid army was hastily deployed. Nidz are pretty much designed to be played in waves with synaspe. One big change is how does the Nid player go about using their troops. I see a lot of outflanking genestealers, it sounds like a good idea but it is random in that your bugs might come in on the wrong side or your opponent simply castles in the center position of their DZ

Back to first turn and gunlines before 5th edition. I remember reading a batrep from an old White Dwarf. This was back when the studio produced goof batreps with complete army lists and it wasn't decided prior to the game who would win. The mission was victory points and the two armies were guard and dark eldar... More to come soon!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The movement phase & deployment

Personally I think the movement phase is the most important. All of the best players I have faced excel in this phase of the game. In 4th edition most transports were death traps so armies such as the 13th Company and Necrons had a big advantage since they could move long distances quickly without using transports. Both the Necron Lord with Veil of Darkness and the Rune Priest with Gate could teleport/deep strike anywhere on the table carrying a powerful unit along with them. Blood Angels was another army that could cover a lot of ground quickly due to strong jump infantry units such as Death Company and Honorguard... Death Company at one time could choose to rage as well for an additional d6 movement. I felt that Blood Angels was one of the fastest armies around.

The beauty of mech is twofold now in 5th, transports are resilient providing protection for your infantry plus you can cover up to twice as much ground as a foot slogging unit not accounting for running. Mech has hurt armies like Nidz and Necrons due to the resilience of mech. Landraiders are a true terror again. Everything seems to follow cycles. If these two armies are buffed up when they receive their new codices for 5th edition they could seriously affect the metagame... My prediction is that they will indeed.

It's hard for me to lay down simple tactics for the movement phase. There are a lot of variables. The role of a transport changes quite a bit depending on which army you play... tactical squads typically will sit in their rhinos and pillbox. Wyches in raiders want to move in and assault as soon as possible, same thing with boyz in trukkz and battlewagons. The monolith is probably the strangest transport in the game. I'm not a big fan of drop pods (except for dreadnaughts) and for the most part I think they have been played out plus they don't have an answer to the cheap Inquisitor/Mystics unit. On that note I would love to Inquisitor/Mystics removed as an allied choice for armies such as IG... they are too cheap for what they have to offer and to me that equals broken.

In terms of wargear I do think that dozer blades should be must have for transports... Dozer blades are typically very cheap as compared to extra armor. I only take extra armor for dreadnaughts and landraiders. The chances of immobilizing with dozer blades is 1 in 36 (6*6).

Monday, November 16, 2009

More thoughts on using tactics in 40k

Okay we all know the game is three phases per player turn. Move, shoot and assault. A good friend of mine once said that if you can dominate any two phases you should win. I think this is true. 5th edition has made the game much more dynamic. Sure you can build an IG army full of mech that sits and shoots but the codex gives you some great new rules such as lumbering that makes it easy to move and still shoot a lot. IG is one of those armies that still doesn't have an auto win net list like lash spam, nob bikers and fateweaver crusher spam but we have all seen that IG is winning their share now. The codex is complex and you have a lot of options now. The new orders seem okay but much like doctrines it's not part of the winning core. To me it's funny that GW scaled back CSM but then later came out with the IG codex.

So back on topic this thread is about the phases of the game and how to maximize what they can do for you. I've covered shooting in good detail already and provided some thoughts on assaults. If you read on of my entries on Blood Angels tactics I wrote about linking assaults. Linking your assaults is very powerful for close combat oriented armies and I had a lot of success with this tactic versus horde style armies such as Nidz and Orks. Linking assaults helps small powerful elite armies to beat hordes. If you stop to think about it horde armies typically have the following characteristics:

*Many cheap units (gaunts, slugga boyz etc.)
*A few uber units - Nidz have their monsterous creatures and orks have their warbosses and Nobz
*Ability to make the many cheap units fearless

Those large swarms look intimidating and they make for effective screens to protect the uber units. However with the new assault rules it's easy to make horde armies inherent advantages work against themselves. The trick is to multi charge and link your assaults. Horde armies are not going to sit back, they are going to come right at you. Both orks and Nidz have some problems dealing with mech lists, lootaz being a notable exception to lightly armored transports. Linking assaults means that you will let the hordes approach, charge your mech wall and then you counter assault. You hit them with everything and make sure that all combats are linked together by charging each of your units into multiple enemy units. Stuff like power fists should preferably target the big stuff. You have the upper hand since you charged the horde, you score a lot more wounds then each and every enemy unit must take all those additional armor saves since you won combat. Being fearless coupled with terrible armor saves is not a good thing. The cheap units die in droves and even the uber units get torn up. When it's all over and done with your small but powerful elite army suddenly has numerical superiority. This tactic can work against any foot slogging army if your opponent keeps his units close together. I've used this tactic to table many armies.

So to me that is what close combat is all about. One super turn of assault that cripples the enemy. It can be done and works best versus hordes.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tactical thoughts on 40k

I've seen a lot of people say that you don't see any good tactics posted on the Internet. Supposedly list building trumps tactics and strategy. Well I have always tended to stick to the following tactics:

-Target selection/ If I am up against an army that is better in assault then I will typically target their faster units first in attempt to take them out before they reach my line. Next I will shoot the slower units that can unleash hell once they get stuck... If they are in a transport then you've got to at least take out their ride and make them foot slog. Also I always favor high odds that have the best chance of paying off as opposed to high risks that require a lot of luck.

I believe in the concept of Focused Fire. Once you have selected a target keep shooting it until it's dead. Too many times I've seen people spread their shooting around. This let's remnant units win games. How many times have I seen a couple of genestealers pop five terminators? Believe when I say it happens. Or when a single Marine runs on top of an objective. I remember once watching a gladiator match at Adepticon. My friend was running L&tD... He charged a Blood Angels Sanguinary High Priest joined with a squad of assault Marines. The Blood Angels assault squad was destroyed and the priest broke but did not fall back far enough to be able to regroup. My friend decided the next turn to ignore the priest and assaulted another unit getting stuck in. The Sanguinary High Priest then regrouped and lead three small las/plas squads into a counter charge... Preferred Enemy + furious charge... They destroyed a large block of mutants which won the game for the BA player. Now if my friend had charged the priest again it would have gone the other way for sure. So you have to remained focused at all times, especially when you are winning a close game.

I see shooting as broken up into three phases: long range, mid range and short range. Against assault armies you are waiting for them to move inside your midrange arc... The short ranged units move up and suddenly you can blast them with everything. It's good to have a balance between the three ranges. You don't want too much of any one type.

• Assaults
Assaults win games and this is most especially where you want to focus on high odds. If I have an IC joined to a unit I'll put all of his attacks on the enemy unit and ignore the enemy IC... generally your IC will hit first, hit on 3+, ignore armor and has a lot of attacks. Kill the enemy squad and their IC will break and possibly you can overrun it too. If you focus on the enemy IC it's harder to hit and typically has a better save so you are wasting attacks that could have killed more. You also want to charge multiple units so you can tie them up. Coordinating your charges is very important.

• Mission Objectives
How often do I see people say one army can beat another solely based upon the two lists? It just does not work that way. If you focus on objectives rather than trying to table your opponents you'll be in a much better position to win late in the game. By playing smart you can neutralize your opponent's best units and force them to not use them as best intended. Killpoints are all about tabling but when it comes to controlling objectives that is a completely different ball of wax.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Battle of the Stores • Ard Boyz Florida style with a twist...

Tomorrow the Skul N Bonz club will be hosting a major tournament for central Florida at their same named store in New Port Richey. I only live about 30 minutes by car and qualified but I had already been invited to play in a big team tournament event up in Tennessee. Three champions from each of the stores participating in the event will play three rounds (1850 points). It's all based upon battle points so whichever store racks up the most battle points after three rounds is the winner. I think it's a great idea. I do wish that some of the better players could have made it out though, but still there will be plenty of competition there tomorrow. Here are the eight stores participating:

Anthem Games (Tampa)
Armada Games (Tampa)
Coliseum of Comics (Kissimmee)
Darkside Comics (Sarasota)
Pop's Comics (Sarasota)
Rhurbarb Games (Orlando)
Sci Fi City (Orlando)
Skul N Bonz (Orlando)

Like I said some of the better players from the central Florida area aren't going so from what I have heard there will be some younger players there representing their stores, which I think is kind of cool. I am pulling for Coliseum of Comics as I consider that my home store even though it's a bit off down I-4. I like Clark and Lance of Skul N Bonz so I hope they do well too. Hopefully there won't be any drama. I've always had a good time whenever I at Skul N Bonz.


Monday, November 02, 2009


Here are my guidelines for building an army:

1) THEME!!!
Theme is always most important to me. I want every army I design to reflect the background for that race. I consider myself somewhat of a fluff Nazi; for example, I don't like the new CSM codex because it's very hard if not almost impossible to build a pure cult army. If you like Black Legion then count yourself as one of the lucky ones out there. That's just me though and I don't necessarily begrudge others for building armies that don't reflect their background material well. I know what you are thinking... Dante and Corbulo, everyone who plays BA are running that combination. While that is true I can say that as far as I know I was one of the first BA players to run them together. I'm not patting myself on the back, it wasn't my original idea but it was not commonly seen when I first started to use them together.

2) Effectiveness!
I want an army that is balanced and can win it's share of my games. I always put theme first BUT I always want to build an army that is good. You won't see me running a squad of scouts in my BA army... you won't see me running a pack of Flesh Hounds in my KDA. I want every unit I select to be a good choice period. I believe in synergy and that is where running a combination like Dante and Corbulo comes into my thought process. If a unit is almost too good not to take that in itself is not a good reason in my mind not to take it. I think some people intentionally handicap themselves - they don't want to be seen taking an army that could be perceived as WAAC. If you have a great theme how can anybody say your army is WAAC? I don't like a lot of spam as to me that hurts your theme. Theme and composition are two totally different concepts and some people don't understand the difference. Take my BA as an example. I have had some tell me they love the list as it is no longer frequently seen nor is it considered top tier anymore. I have also had people tell me that running two special characters is totally WAAC.

3) UNIQUE!!!
I always want to play unique armies that are not frequently seen. If the army happens to become popular later that is no fault of my own. I ran a completely unique 13th Company that was also a great army. I had a lot of people tell me to my face it was crap but I proved them wrong. My original BA army was unique - full Honorguard, two dreadnaughts in drop pods, terminators and scouts... Both the 13th Company and original BA armies can no longer be played now under 5th edition and are defunct. The beauty of running a unique army in tournaments is that your opponents will have problems figuring out how to react to it and that's a big advantage. It's great to build an army that no one ever expects to see; I think Marc is the best in this category.

4) Appearance
I want to field beautiful armies period. This includes both painting and more importantly to me unique conversions.

5) The Fun Factor
If an army is not fun for me to play then I have no desire to build it. I can figure out by reading the codex if I would enjoy playing the army. I don't want to play any army unless it makes me feel inspired. I don't want to play a weak list to challenge myself. You are tying one arm behind your back if you take such an army to a competitive event such as Adepticon. I know it's all in the mind, what one person perceives as weak another might see as very strong. Many people have told me I need to stop playing MEQ. To me that statement in and of itself is not a good reason to not play MEQ. Two or three years ago I bought everything I needed to build a Feral Ork army. As soon as I heard rumors the list would be removed from GTs I immediately stopped working on the army and I'm very glad of that decision. I'm playing KDA now but if you stop to think about it the Bloodthirster and Blood Crushers both have 3+ armor saves plus my two Soul Grinders have front and side AV13 so for all practical purposes it has greater armor saves overall inherently built into it's design of mine. Sure the Bloodletters don't have that great a save but often a 5+ invulnerable save is better than a 3+ armor save plus if they go to ground in cover then it's just as good as Marines with the exception of most flamer template weapons. Probably my next army will not be MEQ and that is because I don't like the new SM codex and I finally looking forward to playing something else after all these years. Heh!

So those are my five criteria I use to select an army that I will actually build and play.