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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pitfalls of Net Lists * Part 2

Okay this is my second article on net lists. I'm going to call out some of the more popular ones and cover their pros and cons individually.

Nob Bikers
You've got two warbosses on bikes each armed with a power klaw and each warboss has a squad of 9 - 10 nob bikers including a painboy. The nobs typically have 3 - 4 power klaws and the painboy has its 'urty syringe. Both squads of nob bikers count as troops. Typically there are 1 - 2 boss poles in each squad. Nob bikers always have a 4++ cover save due to their war bikes, they've got the 3++ cover save whenever they turbo boost plus they've got FNP from the painboy as well. This was one of the first true deathstar units to pop up during the advent of 5th edition - fast, shooty (twin linked dakka gunz) plus they hit like a ton of bricks in close combat. Nob bikers were also one of the first deathstars to feature an entire multi-wound unit with fully complex wound allocations as you can equip each nob with unique options such as kombi guns. Nob bikers were the brainchild of a group of gamers that wanted to design an army so that a noob they played with could finally win some games... Little did they know they had created a virtual monster. The cries of cheesy cheese were rampant around the interwebz when word got out. Nob biker armies were wrecking lots and lots of face. It was hard enough to kill one squad and on top of that you had to kill two of them to win.

The Sudden Demise of Nob Bikers
The new release of Imperial Guard brought the Psyker Battle Squad (PBS) - score enough wounds to force a morale check then hit them with the PBS Weaken Resolve psychic power - those nob bikers are going to run away like little girls and with an army like IG it shouldn't be much of a problem to force that morale test from shooting. Overnight nob bikers went by the wayside just like that... In fact you rarely ever see them any more. By the time Adepticon had rolled around other players had figured out how to affectively counter this army.

Battlewagon Orks
This list features Ghaz in a battlewagon with a squad of nobs, a Big Mekk with KFF, some Boyz in battlewagons, a large squad of burnaz in another battlewagon, plus maybe some Trukkz filled with more Boyz and a couple squads of grots to come in from reserve and take objectives in their deployment zone. The battlewagons ride together side by side for protection from the KFF (4++ cover save). The advent of deffrollaz being able to ram enemy vehicles made this net list an overnight sensation. This army though often relies upon going first to win and has no mechanism to increase those odds which is an inherent weakness when it comes to competitive play. I could be wrong but I don't remember this army winning any major events. This is one of the weaker net lists in my opinion as it has serious problems versus other net lists such as Leafblower and razorspam... So while it had it's hey day it never really peaked like other net lists mentioned here. Orks in general still can place high (2nd or 3rd) but they just don't seem to bringing home the gold anymore. They have slipped towards the top of the 2nd tier in my opinion - players no longer build their lists to counter orks so they still measure some degree of success albeit no longer at the top of the heap.

Fateweaver|Crusher Spam
Here you've got Kairos surrounded by up to three full squads of Blood Crushers. This was the first army to coincide with the advent of 5th edition and feature multi-wound units with complex wound allocations. Kairos would stay close by so that the Blood Crushers could all reroll any failed saves. This army won an Ard Boyz finals a few years ago... Some shenanigans were reported - you can look elsewhere about those details. Again another totally brutal army that brought about many cries of cheesy cheese again.

The Sudden Demise of Fateweaver|Crusher Span
Again the unit of PBS from the IG codex saw an end to the reign of this monster army list... Shoot up Kairos then hit the daemon with Weaken Resolve and the little bitch ran right back to the warp just like that.

Lash Spam
As far as I know this was the first of the more popular net lists in 5th edition. While the new Chaos Space Marine codex was released towards the tail end of 4th edition this army saw a lot of play during the early phase of 5th edition. Basically you've got two winged lash princes, Deathguard in rhinos with dual meltaguns plus three full squads of Oblierators. Some Chaos players use Berzerkers instead of Plague Marines. A very simple army to play plus it's still actually a competitive list (see my comments below)... This army still can destroy opponents with no psyfense or heavy mech.

Lash spam is an interesting net list... As mech became the king of 40k this list waned in the power level as lash is ineffective versus embarked squads. Players also started to add some psyfense which also hurt lash spam... The army quietly disappeared from the competitive scene. So players forgot about this old net list and then I saw it start to re emerge and it's performing quiet well in the right environments.

Here is another net list that won an Ard Boyz final not once but twice. If this army went first you're in for a rough ride. This became a heavily copied net list after the first Ard Boyz win.

Slow Demise of the Leafblower
IG has finally lost access to the Inquisitor|Mystic so they no longer have any psyfense and lost their best counter to deepstriking armies - a Blood Angels DoA army loaded with ample melta weaponry can slag the parking lot. Grey Knights are also well equipped to manhandle this army.

Space Wolf Razorspam
Here you've got lots of five man Grey Hunter squads riding in razorbacks, three squads of Long Fangs with razorbacks plus dreadnaughts. This army can lay down a withering amount of high strength firepower and can be a nightmare for other mechanized armies. This is a textbook MSU army. I won't say this army has fallen from the top yet but I think any mechanized list with lots of AV11 chassis is prone to an enemy alpha strike. I've fought a couple of these lists with my dark eldar and blasted them right off the table.

The release of the revised FAQ that gave Dark Angels access to the 3++ stormshield and two shot cyclone missile launcher saw the overnight birth of the Deathwing net list. The Deathwing net list is fairly new as compared to the others mentioned here. You can easily be looking across the table at 40 or more Deathwing terminators. Each squad is all equipped with thunderhammers and stormshields plus the cyclone missile launcher. It's an entire army with 2+/3++ fearless scoring units. Some players take a couple of Ravenwing biker squads for melta weapons and teleport homers. This is a very tough army to face off against unless you've got all the right tools.

Other Net Lists and Trends
I don't think net lists will go by the wayside any time soon but there has been a recent trend by GW to release balanced codices so maybe they won't be quite as prevalent at tournaments. That said certainly there are others and more will continue to crop up... For example dark eldar lends itself well to spamming MSU with their Warriors and Trueborn riding in venoms with dual mounted splinter cannons. Grey Knights can spam psycannons and psyflemen dreadnaughts. 6th edition should release within the next year and that will throw a monkey wrench into the proverbial machine. I don't fear net lists as I know how to counter them by building my armies accordingly. In fact I usually beat them.

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