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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Monday, December 28, 2009

SM tactical squad vs IG veteran squad comparison

Okay this is not a whinefest post. It's my breakdown of the two troop choices.

SM tactical squad:
You have to take a full 10 man squad for this unit to work. You get a free missile launcher and flamer plus you can throw in a rhino for 35 points. The flamer is nice but I am not a fan of missile launcher, lascannons are dirt cheap for tactical squads and this is the best place to take them. A lot of players feel that the power fist is not worth the points but I disagree, 10 Marines and a power fist can take down just about anything. Space Marines can split into combat squads and have combat tactics. I am not a fan of splitting into combat squads. Ten Marines are good at holding an objective but five will get swept aside; it's just that simple to me. Combat tactics are situational at best. There is always the chance the squad will not fallback far enough and remain broken because of a nearby enemy unit within 6". Sure voluntarily breaking is better than nothing but I don't see it winning games. Maybe you'll get lucky, fallback from a dreadnought then destroy it with your meltagun. That brings me back to the flamer, it's definitely a good special weapon but with all the mech running around now I'd much rather have the tank busting gun.

So here is my optimal tactical squad:
lascannon, meltagun, power fist - rhino

I'm not a fan of razorbacks. You get a great bargain for a 35 point rhino. It's got firepoints built in and can repair itself. The razorback you are paying more points for a tank that can easily be destroyed or shaken losing the advantage of the gun. Razorbacks lend themselves to splitting up into combat squads which is bad. The build I listed above is the best combination for the points and brings out the versatility of a tactical squad. Remember that the lascannon has twice the range of a multi-melta and can penetrate AV14. The advantage of placing lascannons in your tactical squads is each unit can fire at a separate target so there are no wasted shots.

IG veteran squad:
You get ten veterans that are BS4 plus can take 3 special weapons plus one heavy weapon. I'll start out immediately with my optimal build:

3x meltagun, lascannon, power fist - chimera/multi-laser & hull mounted heavy flamer

Another great build is as follows:
3x flamer, heavy flamer, power fist & demo charge - chimera/as above

If I were to run IG I would run four to five veteran squads. Three to four would be armed as per the first build and the last squad as per the last squad. I would also field Straken to get the most out of the power fists. Two squads of charging veterans with furious charge can generate a lot of attacks. Sure you don't want to play these units as assault squads but it's there for the contigency.

So what is better, the Marines or the guardsmen? In my mind the vets are much better hands down. They are cheaper so you can field more and that helps to make them better at holding objectives. I think vets are much better at taking objectives. They can roll up with the chimeras, hit you with the heavy flamers then blast you with the meltas or more flamers.

I have added the lascannon so you can pillbox. You have decided to castle up and trade shots with the opponents. A BS4 lascannon is great thing and beautiful. If you have four they are going to do some damage. I have added the power fist so the vets have a bit of punch in close combat. If you take Straken as I advice these squads suddenly give you a cheap counter assault element.

Finally let's close with shotguns versus lasguns... I am all for the shotguns. You don't want to disembark your veterans unless you have to. The shotgun allows you to fire twice and then charge. The shotgun is the synergistic choice plus it looks a whole heck of a lot cooler.

So in conclusion I think vets are a much better troop. They've got more better guns plus their transport is a lot better. In many ways vets are the IG equivalent of a tactical squad and this unit is the biggest change to the army. Platoons have always been there as a troop choice. It's obvious that the switch in slots between vets and stormtroopers was a big boon to IG in general. In fact you never see anyone take stormtroopers anymore. Last but not least vets also have a lot of nice options to add more punch and flavor.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

End Game Tactics

This post is about the end game. I consider end game to start on your 4th turn so it could encompass up to four player turns. The game now has variable turn length so you need to plan appropriately. You also need to monitor the speed at which the game is progressing because in a tournament it's quite possible you'll only get four turns. I keep an eye on the clock if my opponent is slow. By slow I mean that my opponent takes a long time to deliberate their turns. I am opposed to rushing your opponent and to be honest I can't think of anytime that I have played anyone that is stalling. I think that some people confuse long turns played by an opponent as slow playing. Let's take Imperial Guard as an example. Typically IG armies will consist of many units and there are lots of vehicles. It takes time for the IG player to decide how they want to move and shoot as that is what they are all about. Movement is much more important in 5th edition and static gunline armies have now gone by the wayside. So IG have a lot of units to move then shoot.

I know that often I am slow when playing the first three turns as these are very important for establishing your end game. If you rush through the first three turns you will probably not create a solid end game. After the third turn I do think that the game should typically move at a faster pace since there will be less units left on the table and by then it should be clear what you need to do to win. While it's possible to win a game in the first three turns this will rarely be the case versus a good player, simply they won't let you do it as they will counter alpha strikes and huge multi charges. There are occassions when I have played opponents that also are setting themselves up to win in the end game and if their army mirrors yours it can be a lot like a chess match. What's unfortunate is when an opponent such as this takes their time and then tries to hurry you up during your turns. To me this immature and you need to brvable to effectively deal with it constructively. If you need time to properly decide how you will move, shoot and assault don't let your opponent rush you along as most likely you will make some mistakes.

So before I go into detail about end game tactics it's important to first discuss how to best setup to create the optimal end game. I have noticed that the best players are extremely adroit when it comes to movement in general. They can make it look so simple that it's easy to overlook what they are doing; the master tacticians will use their movement phases to counter your tactics and deny you the win. To me nothing is more important than your movement phases. I typically play armies that are stronger in close combat than shooting so I need to move my assault units into position to assault as much of the enemy units as possible and also be in position to maximize my assaults. Most armies have some shooting and it's also important to not overlook this aspect. A little bit of shooting can go a long way to acheiving the win. Shooting armies on the other hand are typically very weak in close combat and they will fold if you can assault enough of their army. So you want to put yourself in a position to deny them as much shooting as possible and force them to castle up so you can assault the bulk of their army. If you let your opponent spread out then when you assault and win combats your squads will too far away to quickly reach the rest of their army and they can focus fire on your isolated units; you will lose the war of attrition.

If you are playing an assault army it is possible to win the game by the third turn if you can destroy enough of their key units while keep most of theirs intact. Putting the pressure on early can force your opponent to make mistakes. Sometimes when two equal players face off against each other all it takes is one mistake to win or lose the game, especially when the two armies mirror each other. This happens quite a bit in tournaments with people choosing to play the metagame and field popular lists they see on the Internet (e.g., Lash Spam, Mech Vets, Vulkan Marines, etc.). This is one of the main reasons why I typically frown upon playing popular lists such as these... Good players will quickly learn how to counter them. If you put the time and effort into fielding a unique list one inherent advantage you'll gain is the power of being unsuspected.

So the first stage of the game is about establishing your end game and it mostly hinges on proper movement. Sure you can focus solely upon your shooting but then you are leaving yourself open. If you play a predominantly shooty list of course shooting is very important but you shouldn't focus solely upon that aspect of the game as you will be painting yourself into a corner with no way out other than to continue blasting away.

If you set yourself up for the end game then by turn 4 all the pieces of the puzzle should start falling in place and this is a great allegory for the end game. It should be obvious to you what you need to do to win by the 4th turn. An assault army should have boxed in the opponent and have numerical superiority. Often when you see two good close combat oriented armies trading blows the winner will have setup his units such that they can keep pouring more units into the combats. I have often said whoever disembarks first will probably lose, by that I simply mean that the army which receives the bulk of the assaults is at a major disadvantage as their opponent gets all the bonuses that come with charging, such as furious charge and the +1 attack. There are those armies that can absorb a lot of punishment and still dish it back out so you have to be careful when committing your units to assaults such as these. I think a big part of 5th edition is the ability to field strong and resilient units that can receive the charge from the opponent but minimize losses prior to swinging back. Units such as these are nob bikers, assault terminators and Blood Crushers. Nob bikers are the epitomy of this type unit and are extremely dangerous. You can shoot then charge them and they will still tear your head off. The best way to deal with this units is via your own movement. Try to isolate them and use as much of your army as possible to gut them. These monster units are expensive pointswise so they tend to make their armies smaller; if you can gut them then the rest of the army should crumble. Nob bikers have problems holding multiple objectives and Blood Crushers are relatively slow - again your movement is your greatest ally versus these units.

So to summarize and conclude you should be thinking ahead several turns and know what you want to do with your army. Often people say the best plans immediately fail once you roll the first dice but to be honest I think these players really don't have much of a plan in the first place. A good plan should proceed barring extremely bad luck with the dice or if you simply playing someone who is better at the game. In the latter case take your loss in stride and use it as an opportunity to learn! Don't blame the dice or declare that your opponent is cheesy... You will come away with less than nothing and face another loss the next time you find yourself in the same type of situation. Watch the clock if the game is moving at a slow pace such that it won't go beyond turn 4. There is no excuse for a game that only rescues the 3rd turn but I rarely if ever have this happen to me. If the game is moving slowly then maybe you will have to accelerate your end game, you might not get a massacre but you should still be able to win. If your opponent is slow then most likely you should be able to out-think them as they are probably to focused on simply shooting and can't link their turns together. I see this often when people come to the table with what they call an optimized list... It's only good at one thing and they are focusing on only one aspect of the game, again typically shooting. It's very easy to counter alpha strike tactics such as holding units in strategic reserve. If the mission is objective based then plan on what units of yours you want to take or contest in your opponent's deployment zone. It's very easy to play for a draw if there are only one or two objectives but not so easy to win unless you have a good plan. Playing the same list over and over will help to develop the familiarity you need to win in various sets of circumstances and to me that is a lot more powerul than simply relying upon a popular internet list.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Proper 3rd round batrep from Shennanicon 09

I'd like to present a proper batrep from the team tourney I participated in this weekend. There was around 15-20 teams there so you can just imagine the atmosphere. The tourney was at Coliseum of Comics in Kissimmee, Florida. CoC sure knows how to run a fun event! I was playing with fellow Wrecking Crew club member WhiteDevil and he decided we woll roll with machine gun Bugz, very nasty and quite fitting how this would be our last opportunity to play this list. Each team player could take a 750 point list and combined the two armies had to fill one FOC plus you could only take one HQ. Here is our combined list:

Hive Tyrant/twin-linked devourers, Warp Scream + 3x Tyrant Guard

8x Genestealer/feeder tendrils
8x Genestealer/feeder tendrils
8x Gaunts/Without Number, spinefists
8x Gaunts/Without Number, spinefists

Carnifex/twin-linked devourers
Carnifex/twin-linked devourers
3x Zoanthrope/3x Warp Blast, 3x Warp Scream

-Heavy Support-
Carnifex/Scything Talons, Barbed Strangler, +1T

I don't often play Tyranids so the list above might not be quite right so please forgive me if I made any mistakes. Our opponents were playing a mix of mech IG & SW. I don't have their lists with me so I'll just report what I can remember:

Rune Priest/Chooser of the Slain, Living Lightning

10x IG Veterans/2x meltagun
10x IG Veterans/2x meltagun
10x IG Veterans/2x meltagun
10x Grey Hunters/power fist, Mark of the Wulfen, flamer, meltagun - rhino/Hunter Killer Missile
10x Grey Hunters/power fist, Mark of the Wulfen, flamer, meltagun - rhino/Hunter Killer Missile

-Fast Attack-
Valkyrie/Missile pods

-Heavy Support-
Leman Russ Demolisher/hull mounted HB, HB sponsons

The 3rd mission was really tough. You rolled off to see who would be the attacker and who would be the defender. The defender got to deploy in a circle centered on the middle of the table with a 16" radius and had to go second. The attacker had to start with all units in reserve and deep strike everything. Also an attacking unit that drifted into the defender deployment zone automatically mishapped plus all units always scattered. Of course we lost the roll off and our opponents opted to be the defenders.

Like I said this was a really tough mission for the attacker. Our opponents used their 1st turn to spread out as much as possible covering as much of the table as possible. They decided to disembark their troops so they could run as well to fill up more real estate - that decision turned out to be a big mistake for them... Basically they were too aggressive.

I asked WhiteDevil if I could roll for all of our reserves and also roll for all of our scatters. First I rolled for our reserves and in came everything except the two units of gaunts so we would not get piecemealed to death, heh! Next WhiteDevil would place a unit and I would then roll for the scatters. We were able to keep everything from mishapping and WhiteDevil brought us in on a strong flank, except for one Zoanthrope which he placed close to the Valkyrie. The lone Zoanthrope answered the call destroying the gunship! We then machine gunned the enemy troops and whatever remained broke due to the stacked Warp Scream (i.e., cumulative -1s to their leadership tests). It was nasty and this turn pretty much put us so far ahead on victory points that we were assured of no less than a tie.

There were two means of scoring battle points - first there was battlepoints for the difference in victory points which we fully secured. The other means was to destroy non scoring units which we lost since we focused on dropping the opponents' troops. So we pulled out a draw and that combined with our two massacres from the first two rounds put us well ahead on total battlepoints so we ended up with best overall.

As I said this mission was tough on playing as the attacker but my dice were on fire so it all worked well for the old machine gun Bugz. This was a nice end to the 2009 year and I had a great time teaming up with my old buddy WhiteDevil.


Gouge Away

gouge away
you can gouge away
stay all day
if you want to

missy aggravation
some sacred questions
you stroke my locks
some marijuana
if you got some

gouge away
you can gouge away
stay all day
if you want to

sleeping on your belly
you break my arms
you spoon my eyes
been rubbing a bad charm
with holy fingers

gouge away
you can gouge away
stay all day
if you want to

chained to the pillars
a 3-day party
i break the walls
and kill us all
with holy fingers

gouge away
you can gouge away
stay all day
if you want to

Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Natty Bumpkins & hte truths about aggressive deep strikes


Anyways it us with our machine bugs versus IG & SW. The SW army was beautiful. Mission was attacker vs defender. Defender gets ALL hte love. We roll and my 5 is bested by a 6. We are the attackers... Defenders get to deploy in a 16" circle from table center plus one turn to move coz all our shit Is In reserve and all our shit deep strikes and must ALWAYS SCATTER 2D6. The other army is total mech and spread out With their movement to fill up most of the table. The squads also disembark and run for those extra inches to supersize their big bubble.

I look at WhiteDevil and say let me rol hte dice, he will pick all the entry points. First I roll for all our reserves and in comes everything but a boomfex and a pack of gaunts, we will not get piecemealed. WhiteDevil then places each unit and I roll for hte scatter... It's like a dream. Our machine guns blow them apart and a Zoie takes out the Valk FTW. all I can say is like the prospect of lots and lots of DS Nidz.

I know some peops are dead hard advocates against deep striking but then again their recorded evidence of a 40 year old virgin.


Really awkard gaming moment during competitive tourney playing

So me and WhiteDevil are in the second round of a HUGE team tourney. It's hte 2nd round and we are up against this really rocking Tau team with our machine bugs when suddenly one of the Tau players receives a text message from GF telling him she is dumping him. My jaw hits floor... I am floored. Suddenly teh dynamics of the game shift gears. WhiteDevil is a true champ as I am at a loss of words and think 99% of the female sex are shady as Hell. WhiteDevil talks him through it and hooks him up with a hot date. It was CRAZY CRAZY. one of my Zoies took out a Hammerhead in close combat too and the explosion takes out a squad of Fire Warriors FTW.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More thoughts on hordes

I have been looking over the latest rumors for the new nidz and they can of remind me of how skaven used to play. If they break then they run forward to assault or drop back into cover to shoot. What I am wondering is can you join another stronger nid to the unit. Gaunts are suposedly 3 points each so you can take 60 in three pods for 180+ points. That's kind of crazy.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Running a Herald with Bloodletters

Typically now I run two big units of Bloodletters, Skulltaker on a juggernaught, Herald on a juggernaught and a unit of six Blood Crushers. Usually I run both Heralds with the squad of Crushers for a deathstar but every once in a blue moon I'll detach the Heralds so they can join the Bloodletters. Typically this is done versus an army with huge swarms (20+ models per troop). You might see swarms in ork, Nidz or IG. It turns out the IG horde is the one that should set off red alarms. The IG horde will pack lots of guardsmen with three sergeants equipped with power swords and a commissar equipped with a power sword. The unit is Stubborn and the commissar can execute one of the sergeants if they fail a Ld10 morale check. I have watched these super mobs grind through a lot of nasty assault units. Basically they are the ultimate tarpit and those power weapon attacks really add up quickly. There are two ways to beat this unit:

Shoot the heck out of them, or
Hit them with a whole lot of attacks in close combat.

If you run KDA you have a bonus versus the IG monster mob, all your attacks ignore armor saves. The reason I run the Heralds with my Bloodletters versus these types of units is twofold:

The mounted Herald is T5 so the mob can only wound him if they roll sixes... He is fairly impervious and attacks directed at the Herald draw off from the Bloodletters.
The Herald has more attacks so you can more quickly cut down super mobs.

Versus a super mob it's all about wiping them out as quickly as possible. The longer you remain in close combat the more they are pulling you down while they club you with sticks and stones. Super mobs are cheap pointwise so it's typically a bad tradeoff versus them in close combat and they will take down most elite assault units quickly (including terminators). Most players don't recognize the threat, they charge in with their best assault unit and get taken to the cleaners. The IG super mob is the most dangerous since the unit is Stubborn - if they lose the combat they don't have to take additional armor saves due to No Retreat. Gaunts and Orks are typically fearless so they will have to take the additional armor saves and they end up dying almost twice as fast, plus gaunts do not ignore armor saves and one Nob swinging a power klaw is not nearly as brutal as four power weapons.

You can also charge a Soul Grinder into a super mob but that is basically a stalemate plus you can no longer shoot.

It's important to remember during any game that a Herald can always detach from a unit it's joined with and join another unit or solo assault. I have had plenty of games where I will detach a Herald from the Blood Crushers and join a unit of Bloodletters or launch a solo assault. Typically the more units you can assault the better.

So finally let's quickly do the mathhammer for a squad of 15 Bloodletters with and without a Herald charging a squad of 30 guardsmen with three sergeants (power weapon) and a commissar (power weapon).

15 Bloodletters charging = 45 attacks, 30 hit -> 25 kills

If you add in a Herald that is 5 more attacks for 3 more kills.

It doesn't seem like a big difference but in reality you will rarely ever be able to charge with a full squad since they are going to draw some fire on the way in. So if we were to repeat the same exercise with 8 Bloodletters that is much more realistic:

8 Bloodletters charging = 24 attacks, 16 hit -> 13 kills

If you add in the Herald then again that is 3 more kills for a total of 16 dead. You have roughly cut the mob in half. This is where the Herald can really make the difference. The mob is not going to break and the Herald is fairly safe since the mob needs to roll sixes to wound him. Basically the Herald will account for three kills each round of close combat and it adds up fast. Against orks they will most likely break the next round of close combat, against gaunts they will most likely be dead the next turn or break as well if out of synapse range. Let's do the mathhammer to see what happens with the remainder of the IG unit versus Bloodletters and a Herald (assuming the IG player is smart and stacks all their attacks versus the lesser daemons):

14 guardsmen = 14 attacks, 7 hit and 2 wound -> 1 dead Bloodletter
3 sergeants attack = 9 attacks, 5 hit and 2 wound -> 1 dead Bloodletter
commissar attacks = 3 attacks, 2 hit and 1 wounds -> 1 dead Bloodletter

I have been generous with wounds scored by the IG mob in order to be conservative. So you have 5 Bloodletters left plus the Herald versus 11 guardsmen, 3 sergeants and the commissar.

5 Bloodletters = 10 attacks, 7 hit -> 5 dead guardsmen
Herald = 4 attacks, 3 hit -> 3 more dead guardsmen

3 guardsmen = 3 attacks, 2 hit -> 0 wounds
3 sergeants = 9 attacks, 5 hit -> 2 wound, 1 dead Bloodletter
commissar = 4 attacks, 2 hit -> 1 wound, 1 dead Bloodletter

3 Bloodletters = 6 attacks, 4 hit -> 3 dead guardsmen
Herald = 4 attacks, 3 hit -> 3 dead sergeants

All that is left now is the commissar and he will probably score no wounds so the next round of close combat you'll kill him too and you are left with 3 Bloodletters and the Herald. If you play your cards right it's possible you'll be sitting on an uncontested objective or gained some kill points. In my mind that's a good trade in death. As you can see from the math hammer above the Herald makes the difference; without him the IG mob would probably win and you lost a scoring unit in the process. It all comes down to a mega battle of attrition and the faster you can grind through the uber block of puny guardsmen the better. You will also find that most IG players will concentrate their power weapon attacks on the Herald which he can probably shake off since he has 3 wounds when mounted on a juggernaught.

The IG super mob is no joke. They can take down assault terminators, Wolfguard, genestealers and plenty of other nasty units. You have to respect what they bring to the table. Remember that Soul Grinders are equipped with the equivalent of a S6 flamer so use it against them if the opportunity presents itself. A well placed template can decimate them with one shot as it does not drift and typically IG players running super mobs don't take the time to spread out their models to lessen the potential impact from a flamer. You can also fire the Harvester as well. I will run the walker right up beside a super mob of guardsmen bit typically I won't charge him in unless I want to make sure my opponent can't shot him. I feel the same about the Bloodthirster as well. Charge uber blocks with your Blood Crushers and Bloodletters, the greater daemon and walkers should be used to take out tanks and tough assault units.

That covers it all based upon my experience. Happy Hunting!



New Alice in Chains

They have a new CD out. It's pretty good stuff.


Monday, December 07, 2009


Here we are
In a world of corruption
Human nature is
Of violent Breed
Who cares if there;s no tomorrow
When I die for my future's
Laid out for me
Can't you see?
Rise above the lies
Morals on a backwards globe
A sin to you
For me it's hope.

It's my life and provision
Black or white
Some pay to pray
You question why they
Act this way
It's their fucking decision

No more judgement day
Only tranquility
Peace signs, protest lines
Mean nothing to me

Honesty born in me

I know what's right or wrong
And my belief is stronger
Than your advice
People, they go to war
Because religion gives them
Reason to fight
Sacrifice, die for pride
A group that caters
No one's fees
Or synthetic deities
Is where I belong
My stand is the human race
Without a label or a face
So they can lick my sack

No more judgement day
Only tranquility
Peace signs, protest lines
Mean nothing to me

Honesty born in me

Sunday, December 06, 2009

First battle report from Saturday's tournament

So I played at a local RTT over in Tampa yesterday. It was 1850 points with 10 people playing. There was a good mix of armies and I had the opportunity to play three enjoyable games. I like sometimes to tell my batreps out of sequence. This batrep was actually the second game and I was playing against a veteran IG player. Here is my list:

Bloodthirster/Unholy Might, Blessing of the Blood God, Death Strike (HQ)
Skulltaker/juggernaught (HQ)
Herald/juggernaught, Unholy Might, Fury of Khorne, Blessing of the Blood God (HQ)

6x Blood Crusher/Icon, Instrument, Fury (Elite)

17x Bloodletter/Icon (Troop)
18x Bloodletter (Troop)

Soul Grinder/Phleghm, Tongue (Heavy Support)
Soul Grinder/Phleghm, Tongue (Heavy Support)

The mission had pitched battle for deployment and you placed six numbered objectives on the table. At the start of each even numbered turn you rolled 1d6 and that numbered objective was removed from the table.

I do not remember my opponent's list exactly but here it is to the best of my memory:

Inquisitor/2x Mystic, gun servitors (HQ)
Command squad/4x meltagun, Astropath - chimera/hull mounted heavy flamer (HQ)

Vendetta (Fast Attack)

Marbo (Elite)

Veteran squad/4x meltagun - chimera/hull mounted heavy flamer (Troop)
Veteran squad/4x plasmagun - chimera/hull mounted heavy flamer

Demolisher (Heavy Support)
Manticore (Heavy Support)
Leman Russ/ hull mounted lascannon (Heavy Support)

Platoon/3x heavy weapon teams/autocannons

So that is what I remember. My opponent won the roll for deployment and opted to go first. I placed my three objectives as close together as possible over in the northwest corner of the table. My opponent placed one of his in a building over in the same corner on the third level of a building, another over on the third level of a building in the northeast corner and the third over in my DZ around the middle of the table. He deployed his army spread out:

Three chimeras (2x Vet & CCS) over in the northwest corner,
Platoon in the building in the northwest corner,
Demolisher, Manticore, & Vendettain the middle with Inquisitor behind them,
Heavy Weapons teams off to the east of the middle,
Leman Russ over in the northeast corner.

My waves were as follows:

Preferred - Greater Daemon, Heralds joined with the Blood Crushers, Soul Grinder
Secondary - Lesser daemons with icon, lesser daemons, Soul Grinder

I rolled for my first wave and unfortunately in came the secondary. I knew right away with only two troops it was going to be a big uphill battle that I probably would lose, especially not knowing which objectives would remain in play. I decided to flank hard into the northwest corner and hope the objectives in that area would remain in play. Both of my Bloodletters came in with minimal scatter; I placed the unit with the icon behind the other so that the icon would have some cover. Both squads used their run moves to spread out and lessen the pain that would be coming from multiple templates the next turn. The first Soul Grinder dropped in front of the building in the northwest cover and fired it's railgun into the Manticore generating a penetration but that tank was behind the Demolisher and it passed it's cover save. What a bad way to have to start a game. It would have really helped a lot if I had got my preferred wave but it's just not going to happen everytime. I would like to point out that by coming in deep on the flank the Inquisitor with his Mystics were never able to target any of my units on their drops. I dropped into that flank to saturate the area with the most objectives and also deny the Inquisitor with his Mystics. I have always said the Inquisitor/Mystics unit is not really that great against daemons; on average they roll 14" which is not a great distance when it comes to spotting. In fact my units would have had to scatter a full 12" directly towards them to have come in range.

2nd Turn - IG
This was pretty much smear the daemons and it was very ugly. A chimera toting veterans rolled up to my Grinder and destroyed it with their meltas. Focused fire eliminated one squad of lesser daemons but the squad with the icon did quite well with their saves and I ended up with over half the second unit left. One great thing about daemons in general is their invulnerable save. While 5+ is not great it is a heck of a lot better than just having to pickup the models and remove them. It's very important to keep all your daemons spread out 2" apart to lessen the impact from templates.

2nd Turn - Daemons
First I rolled a d6 to see which objective would be removed. It was the one my opponent had placed on the third level of a building in the northeast corner which was good for me. I had one troop left and they needed to make some miracles happen... At least they some very small chance of grabbing one objective. I then rolled for my reserves and in came the rest of my army! Wow just wow, I really needed them. My icon was left in place and I brought down everything around the building in the northwest corner focusing on the objective in that building. The second Grinder first hosed down the platoon in the building with his flamer and removed five. Next he hit them with phleghm and killed three more. Finally he hit them with his Harverster and finished off the squad. The objective was now open. The greater daemon fired hid Death Strike into the side of a Chimera and destroyed it. Six of the veterans inside died in the ensuing explosion. Quick death to the Imperial lapdogs of the dead god! My Bloodletters then charged the other two chimeras, wrecked one and immobilized the other. It had gone as well as it could that turn.

Turn Three - IG
In comes Marbo from reserve and drops into the building in the northwest corner. Then again it's smear the daemon but the Crushers can take a pounding and the greater daemon was out of LOS to most of his shooting. My opponent focused fired into the Crushers but I only lost two that turn. Unfortunately the Manticore wrecked my second Grinder. He had little left to shoot at my Bloodletters and they held up very well.

Turn Three - Daemons
It's time for some payback close combat style. The Skulltaker detaches from the Crushers to enter the building and go after the last squad from the platoon. The Bloodthirster lands beside a squad of vets that had disembarked from their wrecked chimera. The other Herald detachs to take put the immobilized chimera and the Crushers spread around it to pick off the vets when they bail out. My Bloodletters then move up behind the building and out of LOS from the rest of the IG gunline. There is the roaring sound of wrecked armor and the screaming of dying guardsmen. The battle starts to slowly swing back in favor of the Blood God... But there are going to be at least two other objectives I will have practically no chance of reaching save the Bloodthirster. Maybe I can hold one and contest another at best depending on which objectives are removed. It's a real long shot and to make a long story short the Imperial lapdogs win this battle. I did clear out the one building but it took my entire army to do it.

Sometimes you lose and with my second wave coming in first it was a very bad matchup but I tried to make the best of it and have a fun game, which it was. I thought about it afterwards... Are two big blocks of Bloodletters better than three medium blocks? Two big blocks means you pretty much have to table your opponent to win at multiple objectives. Other than that I came away thinking two big blocks are much better. First of all typically only one mission will have multiple objectives. Two big blocks of Bloodletters is much better than three medium sized ones in my opinions because they are hammers. Basically every unit in my army is a hammer and I have a low number of total killpoints (8). If the game against IG had been killpoints I'm pretty sure I would have won; IG gives up way too many killpoints.

So I said in a comment to my first post about this tourney that I won and it's true. My soft scores were very high and my other two games I got huge massacres. Going into the final round I was in third place and the two fellas in first and second place tied each other knocking themselves out of contention for best overall. That's the way it goes sometimes... My good luck was stronger than my bad luck for sure. This is my first overall with my KDA and it felt like I finally dislodged King Kong off of my back having narrowly lost first place the last two tournies I played. So it was a great day for the daemons.


Soft tactics

Soft tactics are very popular. They do not require deep thought and people who lose a lot can relate to them. I can spew out tons of soft tactics, they will sound fantastic. People will say they endorse them.

Bully on that. Soft tactics stink. No Best Of list has ever won anything. I am an advocate of hard tactics. Hard tactics win games. So I've got my blog. I've got my record. You can call me a cheat because you don't know the rules inside out when your soft tactics run up against hard tactics. That's just the way it is.


Friday, December 04, 2009

Tourney tomorrow

So I will be playing with my KDA tomorrow. If you like the army you can read all of my batreps over on the Dakka Dakka Battle Reports forum, the thread is entitled 3 Kornìsh Batreps (+ a few more from time to time). There will be 12 total playing and it is an opportunity for me to catchup with some old friends of mine. They have an award for painting so I am mostly gunning for that one. As you probably know I didn't paint my army but I built it from the ground up and it is heavily converted. I had a bad experience in my last tourney during the last round so I am hoping tomorrow the event will be better run. A lot of the time I am an outsider to a store because I only play in tournies. I hate to have to say it but it seems like often the locals will help the locals. Fortunately it's not always the case but it does happen. I think a lot of the time the TO doesn't even realize it when they tilt the deck, they just do it without thinking about it.

Anyways I might post some of the batreps here with pictures from my camera if I see some interest (hint, hint). You can learn a lot from reading a good batrep, it's where the rubber meets the road. Tomorrow I'll be running the two large squads of Bloodletters again as they worked out very well in the last tourney two weeks ago. There will be a good mix of armies tomorrow so maybe I'll get to play against something different like IG.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Selling Out

You might not be aware but popular blogs that run ads can generate a lot of $$$. I have heard tell from a cab driver in the windy city that there is a group of bloggites that make so much $$$ from their blog that as a group they can travel around the country to play at major events and cover all their expenses without forking one dime from their own pockets. Must be nice.

I will never run ads on this blog. Never.

When people who play the game as a pastime can make enough $$$ to cover all their expenses is it still a pastime? I seriously have to question anyone who passes themself off as a hobbyist when they are pulling down the $$$ talking about it. I would rather post a few articles that I really care about rather than spew nonsense to keep the $$$ rolling in. Someone once said that we as gamers are purely amateurs but I think that is no longer the case. Oh well.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

40k Archtypes

An archtype is a term invented by the famous Carl Jung who is also well known for other terms such as extraverts and introverts. Basically an archtype is a template for certain types of personalities that are easily recognized. I think we have quite a few when it comes to 40k. Here are some off the top of my head:

Fanboy - This type loves all things GW. They rarely ever have a bad thing to say about GW. It seems like most Space Marine players are lumped into this category. We all know that Space Marines have the most armies/codices, models, everything plastic, most of the Black Library 40k novels are about Space Marines... blah, blah, blah. It's unfair in my opinion but apparently a lot of people that play other armies feel this way. What I find funny is that a lot of the people that don't play Space Marines eschew a prevalent stance that Chaos Space Marines don't fall into this camp. CSM are basically warp enhanced veteran Space Marines. To me this is a contradiction but that is just the way it is.

Always unhappy about something - This is the player on the opposite end of the spectrum from the fan boy and they always have something to complain about that is bothering them. This is a very broad category. It seems like most anything and everything gets under their skin and they always have an axe to grind. It might be the latest price hike, White Dwarf sucks, why oh why were Squats dropped, etc. ad nauseum. This camp is very vocal online and make their position known to everyone. They are not happy so should anybody else be?

I find myself somewhere in the middle. I've been playing MEQ for over 10 years now and finally put together an army that is not another CSM/SM chapter. I'm really excited about playing daemons as you can all probably tell. So while I am sympathetic to all things power armor I am also able to see the other side of the proverbial story. I do get fed up with the nonstop bitchfests and butthurt we all read on the Internet... To me if the game makes you that unhappy then maybe it's time to find something else to play. Certainly there are a lot of alternatives available. I've tried my hand at a few other games and I have found them all to have just as many perceived problems as 40k, if not more. Warmachine plays too much like a card game. I did really like the version of Starship Troopers with the rules written by Andy Chambers... It is pretty darn awesome and circumvented some of the problems with 40k; for example anytime you want you can measure any distance on the table. The human jump infantry play(ed) a lot like the Tau - sort of a cross between Fire Warriors and battlesuits. I played a couple of demo games and even bought some models but at the end of the day whenever it comes to starting up a new gaming system I drop it because I am a hardline advocate of 40k... I just can't bring myself to put time and energy into another system that could be funneled into 40k.

There are other archtypes as well but I think these fall under subsets of the first two I listed. You have people that advocate strong comp rules and then there are those that want no comp at all. I think people go through a phase of calling armies cheesy that they can't beat during their early years as a gamer. Some people seem to get stuck in this mode though unfortunately. To me an army that is hard for mecto beat is a challenge and typically I welcome it. If all our games are nothing more than an exercise in clubbing baby seals then we will never grow as master strategists and veteran gamers. I understand that some people say for them the game is purely a social venue but when you get right down to it I think everyone really enjoys the feeling that comes with winning a game. Personally I feel that people who play purely to socialize should refrain from playing in tournaments as they seem to have a tendency to ruin it for everyone else. It's no fun for either player when one of the two constantly berated the other player's army for whatever reason.

What's really annoying are those people who get stuck in one edition of the game and cannot adapt to the next edition. I remember a forum that was solely dedicated to 2nd edition well into the end of 3rd edition. It was hilarious to read their rants and I'll leave it at that for now.