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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Parallel Processing Part 2

The Ard Boyz preliminary is literally just around the corner now. I'm sure lots of people are busy buying new kits and assembling them. Strangely enough a good number of my friends won't be playing this year due to other prior commitments. At first I also had a commitment but that was cancelled so now I can play... w00t !!

Last year was my second time playing in Ard Boyz and I didn't even manage to make it past the preliminary round... My dice decided to give me the proverbial shaft during the last round... Pitched Battle for deployment, I got to go first and my three landraiders could not pop one rhino over the course of the first two turns. :'((

So this will be my third year to play. I have my army I'm planning to bring fully designed and am assembling the few models I need to complete the list. The year before that I made it all the way to the finals in Chicago and I'm proud to have made it that far... Especially since I was playing Blood Angels using the old PDF codex. In fact I was the only person at the Chicago Battle Bunker with a Blood Angels army. This year I'm going to bring Grey Knights as I feel they scale up quite well at 2500 points plus I have found the new codex to be very competitive.

This is the second article in this series. The first was meant to be more on the humorous side with a few random bits of wisdom sprinkled into the mix. This article takes a turn to the more serious side - I would like to discuss my overall strategies for winning at competitive tournament such as Ard Boyz. Ard Boyz is not one of my favorite tournaments due to high level of douchebaggery I've witnessed over the past two years but still I can't help but want to rise to the challenge.

How Can My Opponent Beat Me?
I ask myself that very question at the beginning of each game while I'm reviewing my opponent's army list. I've found that often when I go into a game feeling it should be an easy win I often manage to end up losing. You need to seriously think about how can your opponent beat you and then figure out how to counter those elements. Lots of playtesting really can help a lot - you should playtest the missions ahead of time versus a wide array of armies... fully mech, hordes, small elite armies, etc. Playtesting provides you with invaluable experience that cannot be gained by simply perusing the internet or showing up unprepared with some killer internet list that is highly touted as unbeatable. Winning is just as much about knowing your opponent's strengths as it is your own. Knowing how to stifle your opponent's army coupled with executing your own game plan spells victory. There is no team in the NFL that ever won a Super Bowl that got there simply by playing it by ear over the course of a season - they practiced the hardest and studied all of their opponents.

I'm very serious at the beginning of a game and spend a lot of time deciding how I should deploy my army. Deployment is one of the most important aspects of winning. If you deploy poorly then versus a good opponent you've just dug yourself a hole and you're going to have to climb back out before you can inflict any major damage while they are pounding you. I want to deploy in such a manner that I have a good shot at hurting my opponent's biggest threats first while also protecting my own... This strategy goes hand in hand with asking yourself how can your opponent beat you - use the deployment of your army to deny your opponent while at the same time putting yourself into a good position to exploit their deployment. It doesn't matter either whether you go first or second if you deploy well.

Often I like to use reserves to both protect my best units and then later bring them in to catch the opponent off guard. For example in a recent game with my dark eldar versus Grey Knights I held my Voidraven in reserve so I could get a clear unobstructed shot at one of my opponent's psyflemen since they are a major bane to mechanized dark eldar. My Voidraven came in on the second turn and I proceeded to destroy a psyfleman just as I had planned. Reserving the Voidraven also protected it from first turn enemy shooting which is always crucial versus any army that can throw multiple high strength shots at paper airplanes.

A lot of players don't like to use reserves or are unfamiliar with it's most basic mechanics. Reserves has entered a higher dimension with the advent of fifth edition and some armies such as Blood Angels Descent of Angels (DoA). I can't count how many times I've read batreps where the BA player deployed their entire army on the table then spent the first two turns moving forward to reach the enemy lines all the while getting strafed... Really it just doesn't make any sense at all. They say that a 5++ cover save (Shield of Sanguinius) will protect them and that deep strking is too much of a risk. The DoA special rule means your jump infantry only scatters 1d6" versus 2d6" and there is +1 for your reserve rolls... Roughly 75 percent of your army should arrive on the second turn. So you can either blast away with all your meltas at basically point blank range or spend a couple of turns getting shot up to pieces. Just look at Vanguard veterans with their Heroic Intervention special rule - obviously this unit was designed specifically to deep strike. There are many other armies as well that have their own special rules to greatly enhance their reserves. Most of the armies I play can take advantage of using reserves. Remember that using reserves allows you to circumvent the normal deployment rules.

I have discussed thinking about how can your opponent beat you and deploying your army - including the use of reserves. The next article in this series will discuss shooting.

Friday, July 29, 2011



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dark eldar combat sequences versus Grey Knights • Introducing Drazhar, Master of Blades

I have made a significant change to my 2000 point list incorporating Drazhar to help fight against Grey Knights. My record versus Grey Knights with my dark eldar has been poor - mostly due to my problems dealing with psyflemen. Grey Knight armies tend to be small in number so I wanted to add a hard edge to my army to help turn the tide. I have always wanted to use Drazhar as I love his rules and background. As you will know if you follow my blog I have been running Vect since day one. That's a lot of points tied up in two models. Is it worth it? To be honest I haven't played enough games yet to say yes or no but I was impressed with his performance this evening. Basically Drazhar gives you a close combat beast with Eternal Warrior... The fallen Phoenix Lord cannot be one shot off the table and can soak a couple of crucial wounds taking a bit of the heat off Vect if you play card your cards right.

I'm going to go through the combat sequences for Vect and Drazhar for my game this evening. I was running the pair with a squad of three Incubi (including a Klaivex with demi klaives riding in a venom (dual mounted splinter cannons).

- 2nd Turn -
Vect and his posse arrive from reserve and pull up beside a Grey Knight Strike squad. They disembark and proceed to wipe out the enemy unit in close combat then consolidate into hard cover.

- 3rd Turn -
Enemy shooting is only able to kill the two grunts and Drazhar suffers a wound. A Librarian and five man squad of Grey Knight terminators then charge the duo successfully casting Quicksilver. The Klaivex is butchered but Drazhar pulled through with one wound left... their high weapon skill is a good defense versus small elite units. Vect is untouched. They finish off the terminators and break the Librarian, catching him. The enemy psyker then suffers a wound due to No Retreat armor saves.

- 4th Turn -
No enemy units are able to reach the protracted combat and the evil duo manage to strip the last wound off the Librarian then consolidate back into cover again.

- 5th Turn -
They both are destroyed by enemy shooting.

I manage to lose the game by one objective during the 7th turn. If it had ended on the 6th turn I would have won by one objective. Lately it seems like all my games have played out the full number of turns, which I'm fine with... I can remember though a long stretch not too long ago when it seemed like all my games always ended on the 5th turn... So the odds have apparently evened out.

Did the squad get their points back? Yes they did. Vect took one wound failing his 2++ save which insta gibbed him... Otherwise he would have probably won the game as he was in an excellent position to kill the Grey Knight Grand Master who was down to his last wound.

Will I field Drazhar again? Definitely! Is Drazhar a good choice for most dark eldar armies? Definitely not. My previous version of my 2k list has a lot of bling which I trimmed off along with a Succubus to fit the Phoenix Lord into my army. Like I said it's too early to say whether or not I'll stick with him... He still has to pass the test of time. I was definitely impressed with what he brought to the table. Obviously the combination of Vect and Drazhar is very strong in melee plus having an Eternal Warrior to soak a couple wounds is a very nice touch. He is definitely a lot of fun to play and that is a big plus for me because that is a big part of why I like to play.

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Necrons pictures exclusive

Sisters of Battle

Sisters of Battle

Army Special Rules
Acts of Faith
At the start of your Movement phases you generate D6 Faith Points. Any Faith Points that are unused at the end of YOUR turn are lost.

- Tests of Faith -
• An Act of Faith can be attempted immediately before a Sisters of Battle unit acts during a phase; e.g. before the unit Moves, Shoots (or runs) or Assaults.
• Each attempt costs 1 Faith Point, if test if failed the point is lost.
•To attempt an Act of Faith, select the unit and reduce your Faith Points by 1, then roll a D6 and add the following:
+1 if the unit is led by a Superior (Sister, Celestian, Dominion or Seraphim) or Mistress of Repentance
+1 if the unit has been joined by a Canoness, Confessor, Saint Celestine, Uriah Jacobus or Arch-Confessor Kyrinov
+1 if the unit has taken at least 1 casualty
All modifiers are cumulative (so with 1 IC in a unit with a Superior that has taken at least 1 casualty only needs a 2+ to be successful)

If the total is equal to or greater than 5 the Act of Faith is successful, the unit immediately gains a bonus and/or special rules until the end of the phase.

- Independent Characters and Acts of Faith -
IC that have the Acts of Faith rule benefit from any bonuses received by the unit they are with when an Act of Faith is used, likewise the unit receives any bonuses from the ICs Acts of Faith when they are successful. Note you still have to perform 2 different Tests of Faith if you want to use both the ICs and the units Act of Faith.

- Shield of Faith -
Models with the Shield of Faith special rule have a 6+ invulnerable save

Special Characters
- Saint Celestine
7/7/3/3/3/7/5/10/2+ 4++

Special Rules: Acts of Faith, IC, Fearless, Shield of Faith

Miraculous Intervention:
When killed remove model and place a token, from then on roll a D6 at the start of your turn. On a 4+ Celestine comes back with D3 wounds and placed within 1” of the token. If she would be within 1” of another model (friend and foe?) move her the minimum distance possible so she is not within 1”. She can act normally in a turn in which she resurrects. She does not award a kill point if she is alive on the battlefield at the end of the game.

Frag, krak, jump pack

Armour of Saint Katherine:
Confers a 2+ armour save and 4++ invulnerable save

The Ardent Blade:
Power weapon that always wounds on 4+ (unless a lower roll is required). Can also be fired like a Heavy Flamer (Template: S5 AP4 Assault1)

- Arch-Confessor Kyrinov
5/5/3/3/3/4/3/10/5+ 4++

Special Rules:
Acts of Faith, Fearless, IC, Righteous Rage, Shield of Faith
Heightened Fervour: Counts as having both a Laud Hailer and Simulacrum Imperialis

Flak armour, bolt pistol, frag, krak and rosarius
Mace of Valaan: Power weapon, any model that suffers an unsaved Wound is reduced to Initiative 1 until the end of the following player turn.

Icon of Chiros:
All friendly units within 6” are Fearless

- Uriah Jacobus, Protector of the Faith
5/5/3/3/3/4/3/10/5+ 4++

Special Rules:
Acts of Faith, Righteous Rage, Stubborn, IC, Shield of Faith
Protector of the Faith: While alive you can re-roll the dice to determine the number of Faith Points you have each turn.

Flak armour, bolt pistol, chainsword, frag, krag, rosarius

The Redeemer:
His personal shotgun (24” S4 Ap4 Assault 2)

The Banner of Sanctity:
Models in Jacobus unit have +1A and Feel no Pain

- Canoness
5/5/3/3/3/4/3/10/3+ 6++

Special Rules: Acts of Faith, IC, Stubborn, Shield of Faith

Act of Faith = The Passion – Assault Phase:
Canoness and her unit receives +1I and Preferred Enemy special rule until the end of the Assault phase

Power armour, boltgun, bolt pistol, frag, krak

- Sororitas Command Squad -
• Celestian
4/4/3/3/1/3/2/9/3+ 6++
• Sister Dialogus
3/4/3/3/1/3/1/9/3+ 6++
• Sister Hospitaller
3/4/3/3/1/3/1/9/3+ 6++

Special Rules:
Acts of Faith, Shield of Faith
Act of Faith = Endless Crusade – Movement Phase:
Unit gains Relentless and Move Through Cover special rules until the end of the turn

Power armour, boltgun (Celestians only), bolt pistol, frag, krak, Chirurgeon’s tools (Sister Hostpitaller only), Laud Hailer (Sister Dialogus only)

- Battle Sisters -
• Battle Sisters
3/4/3/3/1/3/1/8/3+ 6++
• Sister Superior
3/4/3/3/1/3/2/9/3+ 6++

Special Rules:
Acts of Faith, Shield of Faith

Power armour, boltgun, bolt pistol, frag, krak

Act of Faith = Light of the Emperor – Movement Phase:
Unit immediately regroups, despite any normal restrictions (enemy within 6”, less than 50%)

Shooting and Assault Phase:
Unit can re-roll any failed To Hit rolls of a 1 until the end of the phase; this Act of Faith can be used in two or more phases if you choose but each attempt costs 1FP and requires a Test of Faith

- Celestians -
• Celsetian
4/4/3/3/1/3/2/9/3+ 6++
Celestian Superior 4/4/3/3/1/3/2/8/3+ 6++

Special Rules:
Acts of Faith, Shield of Faith

Act of Faith = Hand of the Emperor – Assault Phase:
+1S and Fearless until the end of the phase

Power armour, boltgun, bolt pistol, frag, krak

- Sister Repentia -
•Sister Repentia
4/4/3/3/1/3/2/8/- 6++
•Mistress of Repentance
4/4/3/3/1/3/2/9/3+ 6++

Special Rules: Acts of Faith, Fearless, Feel no Pain, Fleet, Rage, Shield of Faith

Act of Faith = Spirit of the Martyr – Assault Phase:
Models killed may make a single attack once all other attacks have been resolved

A Sister Repentia has an Eviscerator; a Mistress of Penitence has power armour, two neural whips, frag and krak

- Ecclesiarchy -
• Ecclesiarchy Confessor
5/5/3/3/3/4/3/10/5+ 4++
• Ecclesiarchy Preacher
3/3/3/3/1/4/2/7/5+ 4++

Special Rules: Acts of Faith, IC, Shield of Faith

Righteous Rage:
When a model with this rule assaults the unit may re-roll to hit

Flag armour, laspistol, chainsword, frag, krak, rosarius

- Ecclesiarch Battle Conclaves -
• Arco-Flagellants
•Crusader 4/3/3/3/1/3/1/8/5+ 3++
•Death Cult Assassin
5/3/4/3/1/6/2/8/5+ 5++

Special Rules:
Feel no Pain (Arco-flagellants only)

Uncanny Reflexes:
Death Cult Assassins has a 5++ invulnerable save
- A Crusader has flak armour, power weapon and storm shield
- An Arco-Flagellant has arco-flails (close combat weapon)
- A Death Cult Assassin has flak armour and two power weapons

Fast Attack
- Seraphim -
• Seraphim
4/4/3/3/1/3/1/8/3+ 6++
•Seraphim Superior
4/4/3/3/1/3/2/9/3+ 6++

Special Rules:
Acts of Faith, Hit and Run, Shield of Faith

Act of Faith = The Emperor’s Deliverance – Shooting Phase:
Re-roll any failed To Wound rolls until the end of the phase

Seraphim Pistols:
- Any model in a Seraphim squad that is armed with two pistols can fire both in the Shooting Phase. If they do so, they can fire no other weapon that turn
- Angelic Visage: Seraphim re-roll failed Act of Faith rolls and failed Invulnerable saves granted by the Shield of Faith special rule

Power armour, two bolt pistols, frag, krak, jump pack

- Dominions -
• Dominion
3/4/3/3/1/3/1/8/3+ 6++
•Dominion Superior
3/4/3/3/1/3/2/9/3+ 6++

Special Rules: Acts of Faith, Scouts, Shield of Faith
Act of Faith = Holy Fusillade – Shooting Phase:
All weapons in unit becomes twin-linked until the end of the phase

Power armour, boltgun, bolt pistol, frag, krak

Heavy Support
- Retributors -
• Retributor
3/4/3/3/1/3/1/8/3+ 6++
Retributor Superior 3/4/3/3/1/3/2/9/3+ 6++

Special Rules:
Acts of Faith, Shield of Faith

Act of Faith = Divine Guidance – Shooting Phase:
All weapons in unit become Rending until the end of the phase

Power armour, boltgun, bolt pistol, frag, krak

- Exorcist -
BS4 13/11/10

Special Rules: Shield of Faith

Exorcist missile launcher, smoke launchers

- Penitent Engines -
4/2/5(10)/3/D6+1 11/11/10

Unit Type:
Walker, Open-topped

Special Rules:
Rage, Shield of Faith

Unstoppable Rampage:
Penitent Engines ignore any crew shaken and crew stunned results on the Vehicle Damage tables

Battle Frenzy:
Every unsaved wound inflicted in close combat generates an additional attack; These extra attacks do not generate further additional attacks

2 DCCW with built in Heavy Flamers. Note that the bonus for being equipped with 2 DCCWs is already included in the PEs profile.

Dedicated Transports
- Rhino -
BS4 11/11/10

10 models, it cannot transport models in Terminator armor

Fire Points:
2 from top hatch

Access Points:
1 on each side and one at the rear

Special Rules: Shield of Faith

If immobilised for any reason can attempt to repair instead of shooting. On a D6 roll of 6 the vehicle is no longer immobilized

Storm bolter, smoke launchers

- Immolator -
BS 4 11/11/10

Transport: 6 models, it cannot transport models in Terminator armor

Fire Points:

Access Points:
1 on each side and one at the rear

Special Rules:
Shield of Faith

Twin-linked heavy flamer, smoke launchers

Friday, July 22, 2011

Parallel Processing

So what does it take to be a top gamer? Here are the five most important aspects in my opinion. I don't rank them - they are all equally important to me.

Heavy Metål
Throughout my gaming career in 40k and other gaming systems I've noticed that players who prefer to listen to heavy metal music tend to be the best. I know that might sound crazy and there are no statistics to back up this claim - it's just an observation of mine. If you don't like heavy metal that doesn't mean you are handicapped but if I were to bet my money I'd say that a player that likes heavy metal music has an inherent advantage. The music is intense and very focused so I see it as a tool to sharpen your mind. The gaming environment is becoming more scaled towards competitive play with soft scores taking a slow downward spiral. Make of it what you will.

Financial Stability
I have found that over the course of time players that are financially stable tend to do better. Money or the lack of it is one of the number one drivers for divorce in the USA. If you know you can pay all your bills each month and have some money left over to have fun that in itself is one less thing to worry about... Really it's huge. Think about it - if you want to travel long distances and play against other top gamers it takes money to make it happen. On the other hand if you are always scraping to make ends meet that is stress and takes your mind off the game... Loss of focus. Basically you need to understand what you can afford and what you cannot. It's all about discipline at the end of each day. If you want something outside the realm of your practical budget then you need to save. I know how many big events I can afford to attend and I plan accordingly.

A very successful person once said if you want to be successful then surround yourself with other successful people. It's very simple if you can like to be around other people that are just as good as yourself. If you have a King of the Hill complex then you're severely limiting yourself. There are many successful people and some of them tend to be rather cool folks. One of the great things about 40k in general is that people from all walks of life play the game. Never put yourself above anyone else... You can learn from anyone.

Dice Whores
A dice whore is a player that tends to roll phenomenally well when needed. A player that always rolls well probably has loaded dice. The ability to roll well often when needed is very huge. Some people can but it's an anomaly. There are no true Yuri Gellers but there are certainly some charlatans. If you knew you're a lucky bastard then you should take up residence in Las Vegas until you get run out of town... And they will eventually. There is nothing you can do to roll hot dice on a consistent basis other than to just be very lucky or use loaded dice. If you happen to find yourself up against a dice whore then here is my advice how to deny that them that particular aspect of their game - bring along a lucky charm and put it on the table such that it's easily visible. You want to subliminally break their concentration. The dice whore probably doesn't realize what they are doing so keep that in mind. I have a small golden horseshoe with diamond studs - it's sparkly and easily catches the eye. I think of it as as psychic blanking totem and I've seen it quickly stop the crazy rolls of the dice. Maybe I'm just superstitious but it works well for me.

If you really want to be a top player of the game then you need to be a student of the game. The game becomes a big part of your life and you spend lots of time learning how to improve. I know lots of players with great potential but for whatever reason they don't have a 40k focus. If it's really important to you then make the time necessary to improve... And remember wherever you are at the moment you can always raise your game. It takes commitment and the ability to want to continually improve.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

On hte subject of trolles and teh interwebz

This is an off topic article I will categorize as Rantology. Trolles need certain things to be able to exist:

(1) piss poor or no moderation for whatever reason
The staff may believe in the value of free speech or maybe they don't care or have the time.

(2) posters who are ignorant
Ignorance can be eliminated through learning but there's not much you can do about stupid. It is what it is. I do find it funny when someone thinks they have something clever to say and then it backfires.

(3) smart asses
There must at least one smart ass - these are the trolles.

The first two conditions are the fuel and the third is the flame... When they all come together there is an explosion. Sometimes category number 2 falls under category number 3. It can be highly amusing on one hand or on the other it can simply ruin a great thread. Also another factor I did not mention above is a person might be dishonest... I remember a pessimist once telling me that more than half of what people say is untrue - either through ignorance or willfully. I put a lot more stock in what I believe to be an honest discourse. Remember though sometimes people just don't really understand and that can happen to the best of us. Other times the troll might be drunk and have momentarily lost all their inhibitions - this is usually fairly easy to recognize.

What I have learned is you gain much more from being positive than being negative and this often requires a certain degree of both wisdom and maturity. Sometimes though you just want to let it all hang out - so be it. You can try to use some tact or you can simply be blunt... It's your choice. It can come back to haunt you though when you say bad things so keep that it mind. Don't let a troll play with your emotions or pride - it's not worth it.

Wikipedia defines the Internet troll as follows:

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory[citation needed], extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. The noun troll may refer to the provocative message itself, as in: "That was an excellent troll you posted".

Sometimes you see two or more trolls slugging it out on the interwebz... They are trying their best to out troll each other. To me what is the most amusing are trolls that don't realize what they are or what they're doing... They always seem to take the bait and run with it... These are the lower level trolls being manipulated by higher order trolls. All the energy that goes into being negative could have been used to post something positive and have been constructive. Basically what I'm saying is often it's better to just ignore the trolls and rise above... Don't let them pull you down to their level. There are plenty of places to spend your time on the interwebz so be selective when necessary. Smart peops will understand. xD

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dark eldar unit analysis - min|maxed Warriors vs large squads

Let's take a look at the current net list approach to dark eldar Warriors versus a large squad. I'm not going to compare the points for the different options - rather I'll stick to what I perceive as the basic strengths and weaknesses to each approach.

Net List Min|Max
5x Warrior - blaster
Venom - 2x splinter cannon

Large Unit
9x Warrior - splinter cannon & blaster
Syrabite - venom blade & splinter pistol
Raider - flickerfield

The first unit can supress enemy armor if fielded in large numbers (4-5 units) and is excellent versus enemy infantry due to the venom with dual splinter cannons. This approach relies upon fielding a large number of like units to present the opponent with too many units to accurately select their primary targets. One unit as such by itself it very easy to eliminate and does not present much of a threat. The Warriors are only Ld8 and will quickly fold to one squad of tactical Marines rapid firing their bolters... The venom is also very easy to eliminate as well.

The second squad is more expensive points wise so you will have to field a lesser number of scoring units if you opt to go this route. On the flip side this squad can also produce a high number of wounds versus infantry with splinter weapons albeit overall at a shorter range. This unit is better though at holding objectives and better at suppressing enemy armor. This unit is also better in close combat versus enemy units such as guardsmen and gaunts. We all know that according to the interwebs Tyranids are not competitive but I have to say damned if I don't see them a lot at tournaments (large or small).

The first unit is very popular and I recognize that fact but it doesn't necessarily mean it's the more competitive choice. Many times my large units of Warriors have helped me to win games and I think this is due to their greater versatility. The main problem with the first unit is the Warriors are only good versus armor, you're still first relying upon a 3+ to hit with the single blaster and the venom is only effective versus infantry. I think the first unit will struggle more versus mech armies due to the inherent singularities of a small squad of Warriors with an at best Ld8 could with a transport that is only effective versus infantry. The venom is really good for the points and is definitely one of the best units in the codex but I think it can be better utilized than for just transporting small squads of Warriors.

As an aside typically when I lose with dark eldar it is simply due to me underestimating my opponent's army... It happens unfortunately. I think I would have been in a better position to win if I'd have had more respect for these opponents. As is every serious gamer I think it's very important to respect what every enemy army can bring and realize what they can do to hurt you. If you simply rely upon the dice to win you could be in store for some serious pain. Sometimes all those blasters and dark lances will harmlessly bounce off enemy armor and you'll should have a contingency plan in place when that happens.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Draigowing vs. Mech BA (2k points)

I was able to get in a game this past weekend versus a good buddy over in Tampa. He usually kicks my butt so I was looking forward to the game... I wanted a little vengeance! We decided to use the standard mission for BeakyCon:

1st Objective - Seize Ground (3 markers)
2nd Objective - Capture & Control
3rd Objective - Annihilation

Deployment - Dawn of War

Whoever wins the most objectives win the game, so all three are equally weighted. If there is an overall draw on the objectives then the winner is decided by pure victory points. The table was setup with City Fight terrain - lots of LOS blocking. I won the roll to place markers for Seize Ground - my two were placed towards the center of the table with one inside a ruin... My opponent placed his back in a table corner. My opponent then won the roll for deployment and opted to go second. Going second in DoW typically favors a mobile shooty army but is at a disadvantage for taking markers.

Grey Knight Army List
- HQ -
Lord Khaldor Draigo
Librarian - Might of Titans, Quicksilver, Sanctuary, Shrouding & Warp Rift

- Troops -
10x Grey Knight Terminator incl. Justicar Thawn:
8x Halberd, daemonhammer, 2x psycannon & psybolt ammo

10x Paladin:
3x pair of Falchions, 4x daemonhammer, sword, 4x psycannon & psybolt ammo

The Paladins were split as follows into combat squads:

Squad Alpha
4x psycannon, 3x daemonhammer & sword

Squad Bravo (Draigo's bodyguard)
3x pair of falchions & daemonhammer

- Heavy Support -
Landraider Crusader:
psybolt ammo

Blood Angels
- HQ-
Librarian - Blood Lance & Shield of Sanguinius
Librarian - Blood Lance & Shield of Sanguinius

- Elites -
2x meltagun & 2x flamer
Rhino - dozer blades

8x Sternguard:
7x combi-melta & heavy flamer
Rhino - dozer blades

8x Sternguard:
7x combi-melta & heavy flamer
Rhino - dozer blades

- Troops -
5x assault Marine:
Razorback - twin linked plasmagun & lascannon turret; dozer blades

5x assault Marine:
Razorback - twin linked plasmagun & lascannon turret; dozer blades

5x assault Marine:
Razorback - twin linked plasmagun & lascannon turret; dozer blades

5x assault Marine:
Razorback - twin linked plasmagun & lascannon turret; dozer blades

- Fast Attack -
Landspeeder - heavy flamer & multi-melta
Landspeeder - heavy flamer & multi-melta

- Heavy Support -
Rifleman dreadnaught
Rifleman dreadnaught

Grand Strategy
I roll a 4 on 1d3 and granted both squads (Paladins & Grey Knight terminators) with the ability to reroll wounds on the roll of any 1s.

Red Thirst
One squad of assault Marines succumb - that's it.

Pre Game Analysis
I was feeling quite concerned about the two squads of Sternguard toting all those combi-meltas as either unit can wreck any of mine save for Draigo. My plan was as follows:

- Keep a safe distance from the Sternguard accordingly while initially focusing fire on the razorbacks and landspeeders to remove the low AP insta gib shooting (lascannons & multi-meltas)... Plus I didn't want to lose my tank early on from a strafing landspeeder.

- If any worthwhile shooting presented itself for the Sternguard rhinos that would become the first priority.

- Move the Librarian attached to the terminators towards the center of the table and engage as many enemy units as quickly as possible.

- Save Draigo (attached to the choppy Paladin combat squad) to hold objectives late in the game and clear off any enemy unit that made their way over in contesting range of my markers.

Grey Knight Deployment
Dawn of War is a great deployment for my army. As noted above I split the Paladins into combat squads with all four psycannons placed in squad Alpha - squad Bravo would act as a bodyguard for Draigo. The Librarian joined the Grey Knight terminators and I deployed them in the center of the table behind a large piece of LOS blocking terrain. I placed squad Alpha over to my left in another ruin also behind a wall. Draigo and squad Bravo would walk onto the table and jump inside the massive black tank.

Blood Angels Deployment
My opponent opted to move everything onto the table during the first turn.

1st Turn - Grey Knights
The Crusader setup along the center of my table edge partially hidden by a ruin. The Librarian and the GKT moved and ran forward taking a very aggressive position in the middle of the table with plenty of cover. I strung the Librarian back so his Shrouding psychic power aura would encompass both squad Alpha and the Crusader... I kept squad Alpha hidden behind the wall to prevent them from being targeted by any lucky potshots.

Note - Moving the GKT with the Librarian into the center of the table was pivotal and had a huge effect on the game as all enemy shooting was focused on them, taking the heat off the rest of my army through to the mid game.

1st Turn - Blood Angels
The whole army rolls on with one assault squad and a riflemen in each table corner. The landspeeders move up aggressively towards the middle of the table. The two squads of Sternguard (one Librian joined to each unit) come in hanging back behind the razorbacks along with the Honorguard. The other two assault Marine squads moved forward to attempt some shooting. My opponent didn't roll well for Night Fight spotting distances and I took no losses. I was glad to see the Sternguard were not right up in my grill as psychologically I felt like I had a bit more breathing room for my GKT and could continue playing them aggressively.

0 kp GK - 0 kp BA

2nd Turn - Grey Knights
The Crusader holds it's position pivoting a bit to fully target a landspeeder. Squad Alpha slightly moves to draw a bead on the other landspeeder. The Librarian along with the GKT move into the central ruin in position to shoot and multi charge several vehicles. Shooting sees the Crusader immobilize the fast moving landspeeder and is destroyed as a result. Squad Alpha destroys the other landspeeder. The GKT manage to wreck a razorback and due to the positioning of other vehicles the assault Marines have to dismount in such a manner that the GKT will be in range to charge them. The Librarian successfully casts Might of Titans and Thawn successfully casts Hammerhand. They multi charge the assault squad but whiff against the vehicles. The GKT then consolidate back into the ruins for a very important cover save.

2nd Turn - Blood Angels
The remainder of the Blood Angels army moves into place to focus all fire upon the GKT. One squad of Sternguard dismounts as well. Every gun is fired upon them. My Librarian successfully casts the Shrouding and after the smoke clears from all the shooting I only lose a total of five GKT including Justicar Thawn.

4 kp GK - 0 kp BA
2x landspeeder, razorback & assault squad

3rd Turn Grey Knights
First Thawn rises back up from the dead. Squad Alpha maintains their position on point holding one Seize Ground marker while the landraider backs up a bit and sidles over to my C&C marker plus one of the Seize Ground markers as well. The Librarian and remaining GKT move into position to shoot and assault the exposed Sternguard. Shooting sees squad Alpha wreck a razorback while the Crusader whiffs it shooting at another vehicle. The Librarian then successfully casts Hammerhand as does Thawn. They then charge the Sternguard with the attached Librarian. Thawn force weapons the Blood Angels Librarian and the remaining GKT finish off the Sternguard and immobilize the other Sternguard rhino in melee.

3rd Turn - Blood Angels
Again the remainder of the Blood Angels army musters all shooting on my Librarian and the surviving GKT... the GKT are wiped while the Librarian escapes with his last wound. Note that Honorguard had opted to dismount this turn so that every veteran in their squad could shoot.

Seize Ground - 2 GK & 1 BA
Capture & Control - 1 GK & 1 BA
7 kp GK - 1 kp BA
2x landspeeder, 2x razorback, assault squad, Sternguard & Librarian - GKT

Note - At this point in the midgame it was apparent that the Blood Angels could not catch up in kill points as my army only has seven total. My opponent still had a few fast transports so it wasn't over yet by any stretch of the imagination.

4th Turn - Grey Knights
Ending the mid game and moving into the end game... Thawn decides to stay put still stone cold dead laying upon the blood soaked ground. The Librarian moves into position to heavy flamer the Honorguard with Warp Rift while squad Alpha remains still to target another razorback - they are still holding one of the Seize Ground markers as well. The Crusader moves fully into the ruin holding my C&C marker plus one of the Seize Ground markers. Squad Alpha proceeds to pop another razorback while the Librarian kills two of the Honorguard with Warp Rift plus the fiery template wrecks another rhino. The Librarian then finishes the rest of the Honorguard in melee.

4th Turn - Blood Angels
The immobilized rhino ferrying the remaining squad of Sternguard repairs itself. This is bad news for me as now the remaining Sternguard can move into a position to fire their combi-meltas the next turn (plus I made the mistake of not targeting it the next turn). Shooting sees my Librarian finally go down - he was definitely my MVP this game. The Blood Angels are running low on units and will be forced to attempt some late game fast movement shenanigans in order to attempt to contest my markers.

Seize Ground - 2 GK & 1 BA
Capture & Control - 1 GK & 1 BA
10 kp GK - 1 kp BA
2x landspeeder, 3x razorback, rhino, assault squad, Sternguard, Honorguard & Librarian - GKT

Turns 5 through 7 Synopsis
The game went the full distance and each of the three remaining turns passed by quickly as there wasn't much left on the table.

- Draigo first left the Crusader going solo to take out enemy units moving in to contest my objectives.

- Squad Alpha stayed put holding their Seize Ground marker and blasting away with their cannons.

- The remaining BA vehicles used their fast movement to speed their way into positions to contest my markers (as expected). 

- I made the mistake of disembarking squad Bravo - they took out one enemy vehicle then were blazed by the Sternguard - I was able to perform some funky complex wound allocations though since my opponent fortunately for me scored three wounds with the heavy flamer - one Paladin from squad Bravo managed to survive with one wound left then hid behind the Crusader the rest of the game holding one Seize Ground marker plus my C&C marker.

- Draigo nuked the Sternguard in close combat the following turn and I was able to pop the rest of my opponent's contesting vehicles.

My opponent was hoping the game would end on turn six to force a draw on objectives but I think I would have still beat him on victory points. So I ended up with the big win taking two of the objectives and drawing on C&C. To be honest i think that's about as good as my army could perform due to their low mobility. My losses were the Librarian, GKT and Thawn as the old wizened Justicar never got back up again - the lazy bastard. My opponent only had two assault squads and the two riflemen left at the end of the game.

Post Game Analysis
My original game plan was very well executed. My Librarian and GKT performed well keeping my opponent tied up through the first four turns while squad Alpha and the Crusader continued to punish the enemy with heavy shooting... 16 psycannons per turn is just brutal !!! Draigo kept the game locked up in my corner the last three turns taking down at least one vehicle plus a Librarian and the Sternguard. My one mental lapse was disembarking squad Bravo and placing them in harm's way of the Sternguard - if they had been wiped out to the man I would have lost on C&C and probably drawn on Seize Ground. Here is how I allocated the wounds against them:

7x melta wounds (M) & 3x heavy flamer wounds (F)

- Yes all seven combi-meltas hit... It was very ugly and quite painful to say the least...

Paladin #1 (pair of falchions) - M, M
Paladin #2 (pair of falchions) - M, M
Paladin #3 (pair of falchions) - M, M
Paladin #4 (daemonhammer) - M, F
Paladin #5 (sword) - F, F

Very close shave that one indeed... Heh. Note that if wasn't for the three wounds from the heavy flamer I would have probably lost the entire squad... Something to keep in mind when shooting at Paladins.   ; )

Xs & Os Draigowing Tactica - Free Wheeling

Here is the battle schematic I showed before with two slight modifications:

1) Wheeling
The terminator squad can wheel about to extend their firing range and launch assaults. My squad has a large number of halberds so it is almost always advantageous to charge for the +1A bonus. Any enemy units that come into the nexus have little chance of survival - think of free wheeling as a trap.

2) Redirect
Most often I like to keep Draigo and his retinue out of close combat as long as possible. By leaving a gap behind the landraider and the table edge they can safely redirect while still cut off completely from enemy LOS. This is important as you want to keep them safe from any enemy shooting that can insta gib them. If you can keep them outside of the landraider then they can lend the strength of their stormbolters which can be very helpful.

The Roman Legions used very simple tactics to crush their enemies over the course of several centuries. Draigowing is similar in that it is slow, compact and very powerful. There are not many other armies that can shift them.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Xs &Os Draigowing Tactica - Strategic Positioning

Here is a battle schematic I often use for deployment and positioning of my army:

There are only four units -

•Landraider Crusader
•Draigo, Librarian & 5 Paladins
•5 Paladins w. 4x psycannon
•10 GK Terminators w. Thawn: 2x psycannon

The Crusader is placed to cut off enemy LOS to the rest of the army. You can see the critical angle which I have designated as the Greek character Alpha. Strategic deployment versus most armies can use the Crusader to block enemy shooting and|or provide a 3++ cover save for the rest of the army. The Grey Knight terminators are a screening unit. Any enemy units to the left of the center line (dashed) are screened off while any enemy units to the right will bear the full brunt of your shooting. The three squads of infantry are all positioned so as to not provide any intentional cover from each other.

Note that this is an excellent foil versus Grey Knight MSU style armies which will put you in a good position to win mirror matches. My record versus any other Grey Knight army is all wins. So far I am also undefeated versus both Blood Angels and Space Wolves. The only army I have a problem with is mechanized dark eldar due to their high mobility and the ability to spam S8 AP2 shooting - mechanized dark eldar can easily ignore the Crusader.

The army I have shown here can move towards the enemy deployment zone over the course of a game while yielding a withering amount of midranged shooting each turm via psycannons and stormbolters - note that I'm a huge advocate of psybolt ammo. Horde armies are easily dealt with using the combination of shooting and melee.

My recommendations for next year's WarGamesCon 40k GT

Here are my suggestions to improve the event. Last year I asked that killpoints be included and I think that was well received this year. These suggestions are all constructive and geared towards making the event a better measure of competitive play:

1) Keep the army lists at 2000 points. Going lower gives an advantage to MSU style armies. They already have enough in my opinion. I really don't want to play at any less except for local events.

2) There is in general still not enough terrain on the tables. I liked what I saw for the Mirror Match - that is the standard I would try to shoot for next year on the top tables.

3) Add an extra 1/2 hour to each round. I think the TOs have realized this year that not everyone can finish a game in 2 hours.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Xs & Os - Draigowing gun line tactica - introductory article

This article is an overview to a series I'll write about how to play Draigowing as primarily a walking gun line army. Draigowing is very powerful in melee but in my opinion their main strength is derived from heavy saturation in terms of their midranged firepower. My style of play I have developed revolves around shooting in the beginning through mid game then a strong finish with melee during the end game to win.

My style of play and army design has some inherent weaknesses versus highly mobile shooty armies such as mechanized dark eldar. Dark eldar can spam S8 AP2 shooting which is a bane to terminators. I am working on concepts to resolve this dilemma and will delve into this subject in a later article in the series.

Basic Army List
Here is my 2000 point army list:

Lord Khaldor Draigo
Librarian - Nemesis warding stave, Might of Titans, Quicksilver. Sanctuary, The Shrouding & Warp Rift

These two characters form the backbone of the army. They are both essential. Draigo is a beast (T5-4W-3++-Eternal Warrior) and can easily suck up a lot of punishment while the Librarian on the other hand is quite fragile in comparison. Often you will need to maintain a high level of focus throughout some games to keep the Librarian alive - your main psyker should always be well protected. The Librarian enhances your army with the psychic powers Hammerhand, Might of Titan, Sanctuary and the Shrouding. Most often I join the two together as they are quite a formidable duo. I also usually attach them to a squad of five Paladins. The Librarian's Warp Rift and Draigo's S5 psychic template come in handy versus hordes if they manage to close the gap to your battle line.

10x Paladin - psybolt ammo
• 3x Psycannon & Nemesis daemonhammer
• Psycannon & Nemesis force sword
• 3x Pair of Nemesis falchions
• Nemesis warding stave
• Nemesis daemonhammer
• Nemesis force halberd

Here is I typically split them into combat squads:

- Squad I -
• 3x Psycannon & daemonhammer
• Psycannon & Nemesis force sword
• Nemesis force halberd

- Squad II -
• 3x pair of Nemesis falchions
• Nemesis daemonhammer
• Nemesis warding stave

Draigo and the Librarian attach to the second squad and form my most elite melee unit - they primarily act as your HQ bodyguard. The Librarian casts Hammerhand and Might of Titans or Quicksilver if necessary - Quicksilver is utilized versus high initiative enemy assault units such as dark eldar Wyches, Incubi, Tyranid genestealers or any enemy I5+ assault units. Often you'll be on the receiving end of an enemy charge so Quicksilver is not always a given. Remember to cast Quicksilver during your movement phase. You cast the other psychic powers at the beginning of the assault phase. Draigo and the Paladins both can activate their force weapons versus complex multi wound enemy units such a nob bikers or Thunderwolf cavalry. If you're fighting a unit of single wound models there's no need to activate any of the force weapons and remember the two independent characters must activate their force weapons independently from the unit to which they are attached - this is vital to remember. Grey Knights in general are a forgiving army but you don't want to make any needless mistakes with such a small army!

The first squad is primarily a firebase while as already stated the second squad acts as a retinue for your two HQ. I chose falchions because of the modeling opportunities plus it's helpful to have the extra WS5 attacks in melee. You can cast Quicksilver on the second squad with the Librarian if need be so halberds for them is not nearly as essential. The first squad is your most potent firebase with 16 shots from their four psycannons... They are simply devastating in the shooting phase. I chose three daemonhammers for the first squad so they can wreck IG parking lots in assault.

10x Grey Knight Terminator including Justicsr Thawn - psybolt ammo
• 2x Psycannon & Nemesis force halberd
• 6x Nemesis force halberd (incl. Thawn)
• 2x Nemesis daemonhammer

I keep them 10 strong as in a large group they can absorb more damage and dish out more pain in return as well. They are a strong firebase and also can put up a solid fight against just about any enemy unit. The large number of halberds means the bulk of the unit will strike first. Thawn is a level 2 psyker so he can both cast Hammerhand and activate his squad's force weapons. In many ways Justicar Thawn is basically serving as the addition of a third HQ in your army. I see him as a much better choice over the similary costed Apothecary for Paladins.

Heavy Support
Landraider Crusadsr - psybolt ammo

The Crusader is another vital unit and serves as the hub of the army - this ubiquitous tank has an assault ramp so you can move it up to 12" and launch an assault. Its armaments equate to a twin linked psycannon and six to 12 twin linked heavy bolter shots. I use mine to transport Draigo, the Librarian and the second Paladin combat squad. I highly recommend psybolt ammo as an option and it only costs 5 points as compared to 20 for the Paladins and terminators. The landraider Crusader also effectively extends the range of Sanctuary and the Shrouding when the Librarian is embarked inside since you then measure from the hull to determine the overall effective range for these two defensive psychic powers.

The Crusader roughly extends your charge arc by a factor of 1.667 times - I have been able to use the extended distance to reach Blood Angels jump infantry... It's always there for you if you keep the transport protected plus it will catch unwary opponents off guard. The Crusader offers the least amount of shooting when compared with the other units but it can cut off enemy LOS to the rest of your army - it is one of your main defenses. I tend not to move mine a lot so I can shoot more but I will use it aggressively when needed.

Initial Conclusions
I have shown you my most current 2000 point army list and provided some the basic strategies and tactics. The next article will delve heavily into the shooting phase which as I've said in my opinion is the primary strength of Draigowing. Draigowing is the strongest list when compared to the other two terminator-centric armies... That being Deathwing and Loganwing. Neither Deathwing or Loganwing can produce anywhere near the same level heavy volume of midranged firepower. You can have more models in your army with Deathwing but they are not as versatile plus their HQ choices don't stack up. Loganwing is a fun army and has solid choices for HQ with Logan and Arjac but overall I don't think this army can be played to the same level of competition as Draigowing.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Spiky Bitz - BeakyCon's newest sponsor !!

I'm very happy to announce that Spiky Bitz is joining our ranks as a sponsor. Rob Baer is a great friend and I'm very proud to have him onboard. : )

Dark Eldar & Grey Knights as predicted :D

Well my top two picks were Grey Knights and dark eldar to win the top awards at WarGamesCon - dark eldar won both best overall in the GT and the consolation RTT. Grey Knights won the best general award in the consolation RTT and were playing on the top table in the 7th round of the GT so that's something rather significant. Orks did very well - Goatboy commented that part of their success was having lots of scoring units which I think is very true.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

2nd day GT report from Austin

Mechanized dark eldar won best overall and Salamanders won best overall. Orks won second place for best overall. Orks did very well overall. I was told by the TOs that Grey Knights were the most popular army followed by Blood Angels. There was a huge drop off in the number of IG and SW armies this year.

Here are my results to the best of my recollection:

1st round vs. Grey Knights (MSU)
Dawn of War deployment
Draw on Primary - Seize Ground (if Thawn had gotten back up I've have won the primary)
Win on Secondary - Annihilation
Draw on Tertiary - Table Quarters

2nd round vs. Dark Eldar (webway portal spam)
Spearhead deployment
Draw on Primary - Capture & Control
Draw on Secondary - Seize Ground
Draw on Tertiary - Kill opponent's least expensive unit

This game only got through four turns. My opponent was not slow playing though, he had a lot of big units that took a lot of time to move, shoot and assault. I was slaughtering the dark eldar in my shooting phases and melee - highlight of the game was Grey Knight terminators charged by a Talos and large squad of Wyches... Forced weaponed the Talos with a halberd before it could swing and broke the Wyches.

3rd round vs. Orks (mech)
Pitched Battle deployment
Win on Primary - Annilihation
Lose on Secondary - Seize Ground
Lose on Tertiary - Control the most pieces of terrain

4th round vs. Orks (foot slogging)
Dawn of War deployment
Win on Primary - Annilihation
Win on Secondary - Capture & Control
Draw on Tertiary - Kill the most expensive enemy HQ

- end of day 1 -

5th round vs. Dark Eldar (mech)
Spearhead deployment
Lose on Primary - Seize Ground
Lose on Secondary - Capture & Control
Lose on Tertiary - Have the most scoring units in the enemy deployment zone

This game ended after the fifth turn - one more turn and I think I could have drawn on the primary and secondary. Mech dark eldar is by far my worst matchup as I have no shooting over 24"... The paper airplanes flew circles around my army then moved in the fifth turn to take and contest objectives.

6th round versus Blood Angels (hybrid)
Dawn of War deployment
Win on Primary - Annilihation
Draw on Secondary - Capture & Control
Win on Tertiary - Have the highest number of scoring units left at the end of the game

7th Round vs. Tyranids (Swarmlord)
Loss on Primary - Seize Ground
Win on Secondary - Anniliation
Draw on Tertiary - Destroy the enemy most expensive unit

This game also ended after the fifth turn. Had it gone one more turn I think I could have either won or drawn on the primary. The Doom came down on the third turn and did a substantial amount of damage to one of my Paladin combat squads... That hurt a bit but there was not much I could do and rolled high on the leadership tests.

- end of day 2 -

Primary: 3 W - 2 D - 2 L
Secondary: 3 W - 2 D - 2 L
Tertiary: 1 W - 4 D - 2 L

So overall a slightly winning record but only two big wins over the course of both days and no massacres... Not nearly the same level of success as my BA DoA last year but I didn't have nearly as much play testing under my belt with Draigowing going into to the GT this year. I tended to play defensively and looking back now I see that need to play more aggressively like I did versus the second Ork army and the Blood Angels. Playing defensively hurt me in the three games that didn't get past a fourth or fifth turn. Overall I like Draigowing better as it has a counter to most every other army except for mech dark eldar. I see this year at WGC mostly as a learning experience. I will definitely be taking the army to another big event this year - probably Tacticon in September.

Here is my list I ran:

Lord Khaldor Draigos
Librarian - Nemesis warding stave, Might of Titans, Quicksilver, Sanctuary, Shrouding & Warp Time

10x Grey Knight Terminator incl. Justicar Thawn - 2x psycannon, 6x Nemesis force halberd, 2x Nemesis daemonhammer & Nemesis warding stave; psybolt ammo

10x Paladin - 4x psycannon, 4x daemonhammer, 3x Nemesis force flachions & Nemesis warding stave; psybolt ammo

Landraider Crusader - psybolt ammmo

At the end of today Romeo of Battlefoam was kind enough to present me with an award... I think that was very nice of him and it's appreciated.

I'll try to write some batreps this week for the games I enjoyed the most.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

1st day GT report from Austin

My army I believe has taken the primary the majority of the day. Compared to my club mates I am not performing near their level and I think that is important to understand. I am though very excited about my results so far. I played one GK army, two ork armies and dark eldar. Obviously Seize Ground presents challenges for my army - fortunately for me the scoring system is balanced so if you play a good game you'll probably score some points - it's definitely harder at the higher tables though so like I said keep that in mind. All of my opponents were awesome and hate that is one hallmark of this event. I am currently working on my sportsmanship aspect of the game... I think I'm doing better but there is still room for some improvement.

Blood Angels are kicking ass big time and there are quite a few of the Sons on the top tables - so far I have to say they proved me wrong in my predictions. There doesn't seem to be that many Grey Knight armies but dark eldar is definitely powerful and doing very well...

They will have to lose a game not to take best general in my opinion. Many things can happen over the course of three games. Go BA !!!

Team tourney results from WarGamesCon

Here is my list:

Brother Captain - psycannon, Nemesis force sword, master crafted OSR, rad grenades & psykotroke grenades

Librarian - Nemesis warding stave, Might of Titans, Quick Silver, Sanctuary & Shrouding

5x GKT - daemonhammer, psycannon, 4x halberd, psybolt ammo
5x GKT - daemonhammer, psycannon, 4x halberd, psybolt ammo

My partner (Brent from Strictly Average) was running SW:

Rune Priest
Rune Priest
Grey Hunters - rhino (meltagun & Wolf Standard)
Grey Hunters - rhino (meltagun & Wolf Standard)
Lone Wolf w. 2x wolf (terminator armor, chainfist & stormshield)
Lone Wolf w. 2x wolf (terminator armor, chainfist & stormshield)

Yesterday's results from WarGamesCon team tourney:

Grey Knights & Space Wolves

1st round vs. IG & SW - Win

2nd round vs. Dark Eldar & Eldar - Loss

3rd round vs. DW & Tau - Draw

The final round was Capture & Control for the primary win condition - I used the GS and rolled a 6... So I chose outflank picking two squads of GKT with the Libby attached to one unit. Both squads manage to come in on the wrong side! All they had guarding their objective was a squad of Kroot... Pretty funny. I kept dropping the orbital strike on the Kroot but only managed to kill one over the course of the game. Oh well.

Oh and I forgot to use my psykotroke and rad grenades in the second game... Would have helped a lot versus the Wraithlord and Talos. :(

It was a great day for sure as all our opponents were awesome plus I got to meet the amazing Duke ! :D


Thursday, July 07, 2011

WarGamesCon Thursday evening

I'm here in Austin at the Doubletree. Very glad to be here. Some guys are rolling dice. The tables are looking really good... Some of the best I've ever seen.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Some pictures of my Paladins (moar pix added 7/6/11)

This Thursday I'll be headed over to Austin, Texas for WarGamesCon. I'll be playing in both the 40k team tournament and the GT. I built my army and it's heavily converted to count as the first company of the Knights of Blood renegade chapter. The army was painted on commission by my good friend Kenny Boucher from Next Level Painting. I used bits from the new plastic Grey Knight terminators, Imperial terminators, chest plates from the new plastic Death Company and some heads from the new Space Wolves Grey Hunters.

Here are a some close up shots of the Paladins for your viewing pleasure. Draigo is at the bottom.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Grey Knight teleportation shenanigans

I was looking over my army list for WarGamesCon and flipping through the codex for last minute super tweaks... You know how it is - often you discover some of the best combos right before a big tournament.

I've always liked the psychic power The Summoning but felt it was much too risky... Basically the Librarian can pull back a squad or vehicle (if the vehicle is equipped with Warp Stablization Field - WSF) from anywhere on the table... The chosen unit then must be placed within 6" of the Librarian and counts as deep striking. This is very risky though due to the 2d6" scatter and I've been spoiled by only rolling 1d6" for my Blood Angels jump infantry squads. I took a closer look at the entry for the Librarian this afternoon and finally noticed he has the option for a teleport homer ! So for the cost of psybolt ammo on one squad of Paladins I can equip my Librarian with the Summoning psychic power and a teleport homer - to me that's an awesome combination and will open up the door to some new tactics for my Draigowing army.

Say for example you are playing a multi objective mission - Annilihation plus Capture and Control... Your Librarian is an anchor unit guarding the C&C objective while you send out the rest of your army to wreck havoc raking in the killpoints then towards the endgame you suck back a scoring unit or two to secure your C&C objective for the win. Of course you'd want a squad of Paladins or Grey Knight terminators to babysit the Librarian and that's where combat squads come into play with this tactic.

I've always been a big fan of using deep strike to avoid deployment restrictions and this helps small elite armies in my opinion - even more so for the case of an entire army relegated to foot slogging across the table. This tactic I feel is an ability that will catch many opponents off guard as people get so engrossed in the game that they'll never expect it. So yes it's kind of sneaky but it's legal so that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned. xD

Saturday, July 02, 2011

My predictions for WarGamesCon 40k GT

Here are my predictions for the WGC 40k GT final results (Best General award). I think Grey Knights will take the award if there are some solid players there bringing this army. The MSU style of list is simple to play and has done quite well elsewhere at other events leading up to next week in Austin... very solid long range firebase with psyflemen and withering midrange firebase with psycannons. I don't know though who will bring this style of army though so I'll hedge my bet and take Dark Eldar as my second pick. I do know there will definitely be some very serious dark eldar players in Austin so you'd best watch out for them. The MSU style GK army has some effective counters to dark eldar (i.e., psyflemen & halberds) and that's why I put Grey Knights at the top. I know there might be some Grey Knight melee armies that are built around the Stormraven using the Shrouding to get in close but over the course of seven games I don't see this type of army going the distance and I also have some doubts if the people who play this type of list will have enough confidence to bring it with them to Austin. Dark eldar have some decent counters versus GK and the piece of wargear that forces psykers within 3d6" to take a leadership test is not one of them... It's very situational at best and could do no damage whatsoever so big fail there.

Top Two Picks
As stated above Grey Knights and dark eldar are my top two picks - these armies also just happen to have the two latest released codices as well and I just happen to currently play both. Grey Knights are the new kids on the block - they are a top tier army in my opinion and I don't think most players have a lot of experience fighting them. I also think dark eldar are top tier and hopefully some of these players will prove me right. Dark eldar have also done quite well in big tournaments leading up to next week in Austin as well. Dark eldar is the fastest army, has tons of deadly shooting and can also excel in melee if properly built. To me dark eldar have the best shooting overall when you combine this with their blazing speed - poisoned weapons to wreck high toughness multi wound units and standard infantry as well plus lots of dark light weapons to stun and wreck any armor. Dark eldar players will have to play perfect games by the time they reach the fourth round of the GT - any mistake at that level of play could knock you out of the running real quick! As I said above the Grey Knight MSU style army is easy to play and much more forgiving than dark eldar when you make a mistake so it will be an easier road to the top for them.

Here is what you should expect to see versus dark eldar. It has also been net listed into MSU style play:

2-3x Haemonculi
4-5x 5 Warriors (blaster ea.), venom w. dual splinter cannons
Wyches (haywire grenades), raider w. flickerfield
2-3x Trueborn (4x blasters), venom w. dual splinter cannons
3x Ravager (3x dark lance), flickerfield

Older Top Tiered Armies
I'm sure there will be lots of Blood Angels, Imperial Guard and Space Wolves at Austin - much more so than Grey Knights and dark eldar. I have noticed a big decline in the number of Imperial Guard armies I see at local tourneys as well as when reading batreps from large events... IG seems to have lost some of it's popular appeal but is still a strong contender... However they are just aren't faring as well anymore for whatever reason(s). I pick Space Wolves as my top choice from this group for all the obvious reasons. The problem I think SW players will face is beating Grey Knights and dark eldar in the later rounds as both the newest armies have plenty of solid counters to defeat them... For example, dark eldar poisoned weapons make minced meat out of Thunder Wolves and they have no real chance in melee versus Nemesis Force weapons coupled with the right grenades (i.e., rad and psychotropic). Both Grey Knights and dark eldar have all the right tools to stomp on razorspam lists as well in my opinion. Hey I could be wrong, any of these three armies could win it all but I call it like I see it.

Blood Angels... We've got their brand of fast razorspam and Descent of Angels (DoA). I brought a DoA list last year to Austin and did well with a relatively short period of time to prepare for the GT. I am always a Son of Sanguinius first and foremost but I have to place them at the bottom of the top three older codices. They can consistently beat IG and SW but they are going to have some tough battles ahead versus Grey Knights and dark eldar.

Other Armies
So what are the other armies that stand a reasonable chance of winning it all? My top two picks for the dark horse are Chaos Space Marines (i.e., lash spam) and Orks. I have observed Lash Spam doing quite well throughout 2011 despite the age of the codex and it's inherent weaknesses... So I wouldn't be that surprised if lash spam could pull off the big win but of course I'm not betting on it as they have some serious matchup issues with other top armies - especially Grey Knights. Lash spam can be very effective versus dark eldar though so be careful if you are a bringing a Kabal and don't make the mistake of underestimating them.

In my opinion the Orks codex has been completely played out. Everyone knows what to expect - they have no real surprises left to spring on the table. I think Orks will have the toughest time in the final rounds of the GT... There are just too many solid counters coming from newer codices. Probably Battlewagon Orks will fare the best for this xenos race.

Finally I'll mention Deathwing as well. This is an EZ button army much like nob bikers used to be a couple of years ago. Six full fearless scoring units with the 2+/3++ plus a cadre of cyclone missile launch and some points left over for a couple other units such as Ravenwing bikers. I can easily see this army marching through the first four rounds undefeated then it will have some problems in the last three rounds... for example, versus lash spam or Grey Knights. A good player with a solid list can beat them - it all comes down to properly executing your tactics well.

I've put my money where my mouth is. Here is my ranking from top to bottom for the top eight armies and how they will finish overall at WGC:

1) Grey Knights (MSU style)
2) Dark Eldar
3) Space Wolves
4) Imperial Guard
5) Blood Angels
6) Chaos Space Marines (Lash Spam)
7) Orks (Battlewagon variant)
8) Dark Angels (Deathwing)