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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

First milestone for Terminus Est - 100+ followers

A very big thanks to everyone following the blog. It's very much greatly appreciated. It more than makes up for the little things that get me down from time to time. Thanks again to ya all.


Further reflections upon Grey Knights

I'm three games into this army now. 2 wins and a draw. I had a game versus mech IG with a couple of blobs. Mission was Capture and Control. Went well enough with a win. I'm starting to build up some confidence now. Barring bad dice my units can reliably nuke an enemy unit each turn due to the heavy level of psycannons. I'm finding I prefer to use Draigo and his posse primarily as mobile fire support then engage in close combat as needed. The squad of GKT performed well overall again today. Again the Librarian was the man of the match for my army. I got to play around a bit with the Summoning psychic power towards the end of the game. I mishapped the GKT and lost them but it didn't overall change the course of the game. I'd like to go into this in further detail later this week. Things are shaping up well so far.

Monday, May 30, 2011

2k Grey Knight batrep

You can find my full list in another article below. Here is the abbreviated list:

Lord Kaldor Draigo
Librarian - Warp Rift, Sanctuary, Shrouding, Quicksilver, Might of Titans; Warding Stave

10x Paladin - 2x daemonhammer & 4x psycannon, psybolt ammo
(Note I split them into combat squads - both w. daemonhammer & 2x psycannon)

10x GKT incl. Thawn - 2x psycannon & 4x daemonhammer, psybolt ammo
(Note I had to proxy some of the Paladins using TH/SS terminators, hence the large number of daemonhammers)

Landraider Crusader - psybolt ammo & extra armor

The game was versus Sisters of Battle. Mission was Annihilation (we rolled for it) and deployment was Pitched Battle. Lots of terrain pieces on the table!

The SoB army included the following units:

Inq. Karamazov
Cannonness (Blessed weapon, cloak) with command squad (meltagun, flamer, Imagifer, Book of St. Lucius, eviscerator) in rhino*
3x squad of Battle Sisters in rhino* (meltagun, flamer, Imagifer, eviscerator)

* All rhinos had smoke launchers, extra armor and dozer blades

2x Imperial Storm Troopers (IST) - 2x plasmagun

2x Exorcist - smoke launchers, extra armor and dozer blades

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Best armaments for Grey Knight Paladins and Terminators

To me it's starting to look like this is the best armaments per every five models:

* 5x Paladin -
Psycannon & daemonhammer
Psycannon & halberd
Master crafted halberd
Sword or warding stave

* 5x terminator -
Psycannon and halberd
3x halberd

The halberd is giving you an advantage versus any unit at I4 -I5 while it helps to even out a melee versus any unit at I6. There's not lots of units at I7+ except for wyches with furious charge and charging Banshees plus a hand full of characters.

I think we all know how powerful is the daemonhammer combined with Hammerhand... One per every five models sounds about right to me. I like to have one force sword or a warding stave with the Paladins for a decent invulnerable save when you need it. The stave is expensive but it can make a difference - especially if you can stack a couple of S8+ attacks and curb the instant death on the rest of the squad.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Meat is murder - dark eldar analysis

I'll be playing dark eldar for the first time in an RTT tomorrow. It's 2000 points.

NOTE - Had to work on Saturday so no RTT for me. :'((

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Draigowing Design Theory - 5 Paladins vs. 10 Grey Knight Terminators

This article is intended for building a Draigowing army (all terminators) but it could certainly apply to other builds as well. I have been spending most of my time so far building my own army which has a high degree of customization so I should say up front I have very limited experience at the table - that said I have watched quite a few games and often watching other players (what to do and just as importantly what not to do - heh) is often how I learn the most in regards to how I want to play a particular army. I first saw the new Grey Knights in action in a large team game and the dramatic image of stalwart Grey Knights trodding across the battlefield, guns blazing, is primarily what drew me to the army. I have used Stormravens extensively in some of my Blood Angels armies and wanted to try something completely different for a nice change of pace.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

2000 point Draigowing Grey Knight army list

Here is my list:

Lord Kaldor Draigos (275)
Librarian - Might of Titans, Sanctuary, Shrouding & Warp Rift; Warding Stave (200)

10x Paladin (psybolt ammo):
#01) daemonhammer & psycannon
#02) daemonhammer & psycannon
#03) force sword & psycannon
#04) halberd & psycannon
#05) pair of falchions
#06) pair of falchions
#07) pair of falchions
#08) warding stave
#09) warding stave
#10) halberd

10x Grey Knight Terminator (psybolt ammo)
Justicar Thawn, psycannon & halberd, psycannon & daemonhammer, daemonhammer, 5x halberd, force sword

Heavy Support
Landraider Crusader - psybolt ammo & extra armor

By taking a ten man squad of Paladins instead of two squads of five I've saved myself 20 points (psybolt ammo) and can basically take this option for free with the Grey Knight terminators. Normally I'll split the Paladins into combat squads such that they'll be mostly complex. If I want I can split them so that one squad has four psycannons! I tried to keep each Grey Knight terminator as unique as possible for wound allocation - they still have a good number of halberds for fighting units such as genestealers and wyches. I could have upgraded one Paladin to an apothecary but I feel that these points are better spent on Justicar Thawn since he has some pretty nifty rules such as always being able to return from beyond the grave (I Shall Not Yield).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Might of Titans * 1650 pt GK vs. Nids batrep

Here is my army list:

Librarian - Might of Titans, Sanctuary, Shrouding, Warp Rift, Quicksilver; Warding Stave

5x Paladin (fully complex) - 2x psycannon, 2 pairs of falchions, warding stave, daemonhammer; psybolt ammo
5x Paladin (fully complex) - 2x psycannon, 2 pairs of falchions, 2x halberd, Daemonhammer; psybolt ammo

Vindicare assassin
Landraider Crusader - psybolt ammo; extra armor

Note that I used master crafting to make each squad of Paladins fully complex which is not shown above (don't have my army list with me now).

Here is the Tyranid army list:

Hive Tyrant - wings, scything talons, lash whip & pair of boneswords; paroxysm, hive commander, leech essence

Trygon Prime

DoM - mycetic spore

3x Hive Guard

10x genestealer
10x genestealer
15x termagant - mycetic spore

10x Yrmgyl genestealer

Note that the spores had some upgrades.

Mission Objectives:
Primary - Annilihation
Secondary - Seize Ground (4x objective marker)


The four objective markers were placed around the center of the table all around 12" apart. My opponent won the roll for deployment and let me go first. I placed the assassin on top of a tower deep in my table quarter. Draigos and the Librarian attached to one squad of Paladins and embarked in the Crusader which was placed as close as possible to the center of the table. The other squad of Paladins I deployed in a low lying ruin right beside one objective marker.

My opponent held the DoM and termagants in reserve. Hive Tyrant, Trygon, both Mawlocs and the Hive Guard behind a building. One squad of genestealers were deployed beside the posse of monstrous creatures also behind cover. The other squad of genestealers infiltrated behind a building in the table quarter adjacent to my deployment zone.

Pre Game Analysis
My army is designed around Draigoswing. The assassin was selected so we could play a larger point game. The landraider Crusader is a weapons platform and can transport a large squad moving them into the center of the table to control the area around it. My opponent had deployed in such a manner to deny killpoints and snipe the assassin and open squad of Paladins with genestealers. My strategy was to move the landraider into the center of the table and force the Tyranids hiding behind the building to move towards it.

I used the Grand Strategy to grant both squads of Paladins the ability to reroll wounds that rolled 1s.

1st Turn - Grey Knights
The landraider moved to the center of the table. I had nothing to shoot at this turn.

1st Turn - Tyranids
Everything held still. Hive Guard targeted the landraider but failed to inflict any damage.

Killpoints - 0 GK & 0 Tyranids

2nd Turn - Grey Knights
The landraider moved over 6" so it could snipe the Hive Guard. Shooting from the landraider scored one wound on the Hive Guard.

2nd Turn - Tyranids
The Yrmgyl genestealers and the termagants both arrived from reserve. The Yrmgyl genestealers appeared in the tower where I had deployed the assassin blanketing him. The termagants landed in their spore towards the posse of monstrous creature within synapse range and out in the open using their spore for some cover. Again the Hive Guard targeted the landraider but failed to inflict any damage. The Yrmgyl genestealers then assaulted the assassin - both units scored one wound each for a drawn combat.

Killpoints - 0 GK & 0 Tyranids

3rd Turn - Grey Knights
The landraider sat still and targeted the termagants and scored four wounds. The assassin killed another Yrmgyl genestealer then was taken down. Yrmgyl genestealers then consolidated one level down into the tower.

3rd Turn - Tyranids
The DoM came in from reserve landing beside the Paladins out in the open and hid behind his spore. Genestealers behind the building adjacent to my DZ moved out heading towards the squad of open Paladins. Yrmgyl genestealers moved down to the bottom level of the tower and fleeted outside towards the squad of open Paladins. Termagants advanced just a bit towards the landraider keeping at least 50 percent of the unit behind their Mycetic spore for cover. Mawloc burrowed while the Hive Tyrant and Trygon came out from behind the building moving towards the landraider (bait). The Librarian cast Sanctuary - both the Hive Tyrant and Trygon took a wound from moving through dangerous terrain. The other squad of genestealers flanked around on the other side of the building then later ran towards the landraider (bait). Again the Hive Guard failed to inflict any damage shooting at the landraider. Finally the Tyrant and Trygon assaulted the landraider - the Trygon took another wound from moving through dangerous terrain. The Trygon managed to immobilize the landraider.

Killpoints - 0 GK & 1 Tyranids

4th Turn - Grey Knights
Draigos disembarked out from the front hatch of the landraider to assault the Tyrant while the Librarian and one squad of Paladins disembarked from the side hatch to assault the Trygon. The squad of Paladins in the open backed up away from the approaching genestealers. Shooting saw the landraider kill a few more termagants, Draigos scored no wounds on the Tyrant with his his stormbolter while the Librarian and Paladins scored a wound on the Trygon. In assault the open squad of Paladins destroyed the DoM and his spore, Draigos killed the Tyrant while the Librarian and his Paladins destroyed the Trygon. Draigos consolidated back to far side of the landraider while the Librarian and his Paladins consolidated behind it. The open squad of Paladins consolidated back into the low lying ruin.

4th Turn - Tyranids
The lone Mawloc tried to land on top of the lone squad of Paladins but scattered off the table and was lost to the mishap. Again the one squad of infiltrating genestealers and the Yrmgyl genestealers advanced towards the lone unit of Paladins - both would be outside their charge arc even with fleet. The termagants moved up into range to shoot Draigos while the other squad of genestealers moved up to assault Draigos. The Librarian cast Sanctuary which just covered Draigos. The termagants inflicted one wound on Draigos in the shooting phase... Again the Hive Guard failed to inflict any damage on the landraider. The genestealers assaulted Draigos and lost two models to failed dangerous terrain tests - Draigos then killed 3 genestealers and the genestealers scored one wound on Draigos. The genestealers then passed their break test and piled in around Draigos.

Killpoints - 6 GK & 1 Tyranids

We played a couple more turns - the Grey Knights systematically killed off the rest of the Tyranids with focused shooting - only the Hive Guard and a lone termagant were able to manage to survive so I ended up winning the primary by 8 to 1 killpoints. My only loss was the assassin.

Post Game Analysis
My strategy worked like a charm - the Tyranids took the bait assaulting the landraider with their two heavy hitters which brought them within my kill zone. The primary objective was well in my favor as I only had a total of 6 killpoints in my army while my opponent had around 11 killpoints. So a solid win with an army of 13 models and one tank versus an army of over 50 models! Not bad at all for my first game. I didn't go into a lot of detail regarding my psychic tests - Shadow in the Warp shut them down about 50 percent of the time when a synapse creature was in range... Other than that I never failed any other psychic tests. Over the course of the game I suffered around 3 wounds combined on all my Paladins and Draigos suffered two himself plus the landraider was immobilized.

That's all for now.


A rare midday post.

As some of you might know I have not been a big fan of the INAT FAQ following the council's initial rulings on the 5ed Tyranid codex. For instance DoM could target enemy units embarked inside vehicles... I just couldn't wrap my brain around that one. The reasoning provided for the ruling did not really make anymore sense to me either so I gave up on the document. In retrospect though there was a time when GW gave credit to the INAT council in their own FAQs for previous efforts. One of my biggest problems with the INAT FAQ has always been its voluminous size and the virtual repetition of certain sections over and over again (e.g., various Space Marine codices share many of the same rules). If I am going to use a FAQ then I want to read it from front to back and know it inside out because I am a competitive gamer. So I am wondering if there is any interest in a lite version of the INAT FAQ.

I have the Word document and could parse it down into something I think is reasonable with no changes to the existing rulings. Note that I would delete sections such as Apocalypse and just keep it solely focused on 40k. I do lots of technical writing for my job and have written many papers over the course of my career so I know I could do a good job. If you are interested then go ahead and vote in my poll. If you are not interested then go ahead and vote anyways - all things being equal.  :  )

So if I see a reasonable interest then I will go for it as they say.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Strawman complex

From Wikipedia:

A straw man is a component of an argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

Gaming theorists often like to sprout lots of mathammer - they love to come up with some peculiar situation that distorts in game situations or downplays the strengths of some particular unit. For example I recently saw someone point out that nine naked DC Marines with a Chaplain inflict as much damage as five assault terminators (all armed with lightning claws) with a Chaplain and a Sanguinary Priest versus an enemy unit consisting of ten tactical Marines on the charge (not taking into account damage inflicted by the characters). While it's true for this particular case it is an example given in a vacuum. The person who said this was trying to use his example to claim that the Death Company are just as good, if not better than the assault terminators.

By the way both units on average inflict ten unsaved wounds for this particular case.

The problem with the example is it's extremely peculiar and does not take any other situations into account. For instance it's quite possible that following the initial charge either unit could be targeted by enemy shooting - Death Company are very much a glass hammer now while at least the terminators have a 5++ save. When other examples were pointed out (such as either unit being on the receiving end of a charge from a large squad Incubi with a Klaivex) the theorist then pointed out that he actually equips his Death Company with some power weapons and a power fist - that right there pretty much invalidated his example as it proved he doesn't even play his Death Company as per his own example. I think that in and of itself says a lot.

You see these kinds of arguments on the interwebs every day. Sure they might sound quite impressive. These arguments are typically used to point out that some unit is not as good as most people tend to think. To me the important thing is to take a broader view. You can always come up with some situation that can make any unit look like garbage. In reality it's most often not the case though so keep an open mind.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Grey Knight terminator army composition

So I've had some time to contemplate my army list. I used to play Deathwing so I'm comfortable playing a terminator heavy army. Here is my abbreviated 1500 point list:

Lord Draigos
Librarian - Sanctuary, Shrouding, Might of Titan, Warp Rift, Quicksilver, warding stave

5x Paladin (completely complex) - 2x psycannon, psybolt ammo
5x Paladin (completely complex) - 2x psycannon, psybolt ammo

Landraider Crusader - extra armor, psybolt ammo

I am planning to add a full squad of 10 Grey Knight terminators with psybolt ammo and 2x psycannon - hopefully I can squeeze Justicar Thawn into the list as well to lead the GKT... it's going to be tight. Here is how Goatboy is currently running his GKT (which I plan to emulate):

GKT X 10, Thawn upgrade, Halberds X 6, Daemon Hammer X 2, Bro Banner, Psycannon X 2

You can view his complete list here which he came in 2nd place overall at The Alamo GT in San Antonio this past weekend:

I have been playing very mobile armies in 5th edition so I think this will be an interesting list to play. To me one advantage of playing Draigoswing is every unit (except of course for the HQ and heavy support) is everything is a troop choice so I can use the Grand Strategy for other things beside converting units into troop choices plus outflanking is not really needed since the terminators can deepstrike.

I'm planning to play test the 1500 point core this week so you can expect a battle report.

Spess Muhreenzzz

Spess Muhreenzzz (CLICK HERE !!)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th is a day of dread for some. Friday the 13th occurs when the thirteenth day of a month falls on a Friday, which superstition holds to be a day of bad luck. In the Gregorian calendar, this day occurs at least once, but at most three times a year. Any month's 13th day will fall on a Friday if the month starts on a Sunday. The big crash on Blogger has already been associated with Friday the 13th.

All that said it's interesting to note that the number 13 is directly connected to things of significance - for example Jesus had 12 disciples and King Arthur had 12 knights around his round table. I am building my Grey Knight army around 13 models - Draigos, a Librarian, two squads of five Paladins each and a Techmarine. Doesn't sound like much on paper but based upon my experience I think it can deliver at 2000 points by taking the right choices for heavy support such as a landraider Crusader and a Dreadknight. I have always been a big fan of Deathwing so Paladins are a natural choice for me. I have a play test game scheduled for this weekend and will most likely be posting a batrep here on Sunday evening. I'm really looking forward to seeing them in action.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

The Role of the Stormraven for Grey Knights

I've written quite a few article on using a Stormraven for Blood Angels DoA armies. Today I'll be playing my first game with Grey Knights versus dark eldar (1500 points - sorry no Stormraven) so this is just my observations based on prior experience. Note that this article focuses on the use for pure Grey Knight armies.

The Stormraven plays a valuable role in a Blood Angels DoA army since it provides some long range AT plus it can transport jump infantry and assault dreadnaughts, delivering these units straight into melee. Grey Knights have access to long range AT mainly by way of psyflemen dreadnaughts. I see the Stormraven more useful as a fast transport for Grey Knight assault units than as a gunship. The beauty of the Stormraven as a fast transport for Grey Knight terminators and Paladins is the ability to assault quickly, inserting these units right where you need them. The twin linked multi-melta is a great choice since you can move flat out and fire the melta at an enemy tank using PotMS - this is a big bonus for Grey Knights since they do not have access to melta weapons in their squads. The Stormraven also offers some much needed protection for Paladins. Finally the Stormraven costs less than a landraider, which helps in a pure Grey Knight list as everything is expensive points wise.

Survivability of the Stormraven
The Grey Knight Stormraven has all the same protection as the Blood Angels version - which I covered in detail here:

.-=] Survivability of the Stormraven [=.

There are two additional benefits as well:

*The Librarian can cast the Shrouding which provides a 3+ cover save
*The Stormraven has the psychic power Fortitude which can ignore both shaken and stunned results on the armor penetration table

These two added benefits require passing psychic tests and it's important to keep that in mind. It's not a problem versus some armies but there are a good number of armies that have strong psychic defense. There is also always the chance that you'll fail a psychic test at the worst possible moment. As such I see extra armor as a necessary option.

If you have to go second versus a shooty army it's usually best to hold your Stormraven in reserve unless there is some high cover you can safely hide it behind during your deployment. Unfortunately I don't think Psychic Communion works until the character with this power has been deployed - otherwise it would be nice to field a Grand Master with a Librarian and up to four Paladins embarked in a Stormraven then use Psychic Communion to help bring them in sooner. Having to hold the Stormraven in reserve is something to think about as you'll have a small army and will often need your heavy hitters early in the game. Maybe when GW releases the official FAQ for Grey Knights you'll be able to use Psychic Communion while the character with this power is still held in reserve. We will just have to wait and see.

Mine Strike Missiles
If the small blast marker touches an enemy psyker then they automatically suffer from Perils of the Warp. As such Mine Strike missiles offer an excellent counter to enemy psykers - they are S4 and count as defensive weapons - so you can move up to 12" and fire most if not all of your weapon systems! I see them as being very effective versus CSM daemon princes and certain Tyranid monstrous creatures (e.g., Tyrants and Tervigons).  This ability will force other armies to keep their psykers (such as Librarians) out of harm's way. Mine Strike missiles have 72" range so by proper positioning you can easily outrange your opponent's army.

So there you have it. Players who want to mech up their terminators and Paladins will have to decide whether to bring landraiders or Stormravens for each unit. The landraider probably has better overall protection with AV14 all around but it is slower and costs more points.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The Art of Backgammon and 40k

If you have ever played backgammon then you are probably aware that the game has quite a few common characteristics shared with 40k... Namely both use six sided dice - that is both games are based upon both skill and some degree of luck. Also both are games designed for two players. If you don't like to be adversely affected by luck then checkers or chess might be a better choice... Well maybe. :p

I first started playing backgammon when I was an undergraduate in college. It took me around a week to learn the basic strategies of backgammon. Later that year I came in 3rd place in a large tournament played over the course of several weeks in my dormitory. This was my initial introduction to the fickleness of dice and luck. I was the only player to go undefeated heading into the finals then my dice rolling went a bit cold... Oh well.

A Brief History and Explanation of Backgammon
Backgammon can be a relaxed game played while drinking beer and it's quite popular in pubs over in the United Kingdom. Backgammon is one of the oldest board games for two players. The playing pieces are moved according to the roll of a pair of six sided dice, and players win by being the first to remove all of their pieces from the board. There are many variants of backgammon, most of which share common traits.

Although luck is involved and can heavily factor into the outcome, strategy should play a more important role over the long run. With each roll of the dice players must choose from numerous options for moving their pieces and anticipate possible counter-moves by the opponent. Players may also raise the stakes during the game using a six sided doubling cube. There is an established repertoire of common tactics and occurrences.

Matches versus Single Game Play and the Doubling Cube
Often players will play a series of matches such as the best out of seven or the first player to win a total of five games. A player can win a match more quickly if the doubling cube is used - that is every time the doubling cube is turned over the value of a single game is doubled - for example if the doubling cube was turned once then that game would count as two wins. A player cannot use the doubling cube again until after their opponent has also turned it. I have found that versus a computer simulation (see below) typically the doubling cube is only turned once per game.

The advantage of playing a match versus a single game is that luck tends to even out between the two opponents over the course of several games. Note that a player can resign from a game and not accept a doubling, which is a very important consideration when playing a match.

Computer Simulations
This is where it gets interesting for me - like chess, backgammon has been studied with great interest by computer scientists. Owing to this research, backgammon software has been developed capable of beating world-class human players. Recently I have been playing a lot of backgammon versus a computer simulation known as Backgammon NJ HD. I quickly progressed to the expert level then suffered a rather major setback losing game after game. It was a frustrating experience and it just seemed like the computer simulation always got the exact dice rolls needed to win... That might sound a bit familiar if you ever play online.

Enlightment and 40k
I stuck with it though and finally it dawned upon me how I could consistently beat the computer simulation. When I say consistently I mean winning roughly 50 percent of your games.

There are lots of various strategies that have been developed to win at backgammon but I'm not going to spend a great of time delving into all these tactics. What I will say though is to win a lot at backgammon you need to have a good opening game and moving your pieces in a manner that is both offensive and defensive at the same time are the two main keys to winning on a consistent basis. What you want to do is to reduce the favorable odds for the computer simulation as much as possible - that is to force the computer simulation to play purely defensively. This style of play brings me back to 40k, which is the main intent behind this article. This manner of winning which I have just described reminds me of playing two of my favorite armies in 5th edition - Blood Angels DoA and dark eldar - both armies are highly mobile and are very offensive. You can inherently force your opponent to play defensively if you bring a very strong offense. If you can force your opponent to play defensively then at best they can only play for a draw.

If you are a competitive 40k player then the question I pose to you is as follows:

Is it worth your time to play backgammon so as to improve your play in 40k?

I'll let you answer that yourselves. I play a lot of backgammon anyways so it's a moot question for me. I simply thought I'd share my observations with you.

: )


So Ive Decided to Take Up Fly Fishing...

Monday, May 02, 2011

Dark eldar versus eldar

What an anti climatic game. :'((

It ended on turn 5 right when all the real shit was just ready to start breaking loose. I have pretty much come to the conclusion that games that don't go past a fifth turn don't really mean much. A reserved army might only spend a couple of turns with the majority of their units on the table - yes that is bull shit and hopefully will be addressed in sixth edition. And yes I was kicking some pointy ears' arses up til the roll of a one popped up. It happens.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Black Rose

Silence is strength. Some people will say bad things about you hoping you will retort. There is an old saying about sticks and stones. I've heard it all before many times. It is most important to do what you think is right - if you do then you can always look yourself in the mirror and everything will be alright. I have a tattoo of a black rose that is a symbol of this philosophy for me. I have been here many times before. It always the same. My faith in myself is my armor. No one can change my mind or make me feel bad about these types of decisions. It what it is.