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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Funt hte Hallen

So now the latest batch of rumors has it that Dark Angels will be the next released codex followed by Chaos Space Marines. If you follow my blog you will probably remember I had a short post last month that mentioned Chaos Space Marines are due soon for a new codex. In a way it kind of makes sense as Dark Angels and Chaos Space Marines were two armies that had their codices released around the same time as fifth edition so it follows the cycle. The rumors have it that the new Dark Angels codex will also include rules so that you can field an army of Fallen Angels. If you're familiar with the Dark Angels' background you know that half the Legion turned to Chaos at the end of the heresy. I think if these rumored releases come true it is pretty cool as Dark Angels and Chaos Space Marines were my first two armies. Hopefully they'll both have good codices as they deserve. Dark Angels have always been the red headed step child of the Adeptus Astartes.

New Forgeworld Space Marine Unit


This limited edition model will be released with the leaked set of sixth edition rules.

Enjoy !!

Monday, January 30, 2012

2k Necron Tremor Quaking List

The list incorporates both Stormlord and Scarab Farming elements. It can really smash hard in melee with lots of heavy hitters. The shooty component is very mobile.

Imotekh the Stormlord (225)
Orikan the Diviner (165)

Royal Court (315)
*Harbinger of Destruction (Solar Pulse)
*Harbinger of Despair (Veil of Darkness)
*Harbinger of Transmogrification (Seismic Crucible)
*Harbinger of Transmogrification (Harp of Dissonance)

C'Tan Shard (260)
-          Writhing Worldscape & Grand Illusion

20x Warriors (260)
10x Immortals (170)
10x Immortals (170)

Fast Attack
6x Canoptek Wraiths (260)
-          2x Particle Caster + 4x Whip Coil

10x Canoptek Scarabs (150)

Heavy Support
3x Canoptek Spyder (150)
Annihilation Barge (90)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Necron Tremor Tactica Part 1

So I've got some free time just before hitting the sack and I decided I'd spend some time writing my first serious tactical article for Necrons. The codex has been out for awhile now and we have all seen the more prevalent lists that are gaining popularity. One of the nice things about using Tremor tactics is it does not eat up lots of points so you can incorporate elements from other popular builds such as Wraithwing and the Scarab Farm. Tremor tactics go hand in hand with Stormlord tactics—by combining the two you are both limiting the distance your opponent can target your squads when shooting as well as slowing their approach... The goal is to create conditions such that the enemy cannot see you nor can the opponent assault you. All the while you are moving your units into position to devastate the enemy.

As a general caveat there are strategies the opponent can make use of to mitigate these effects but generally speaking mechanized armies that heavily rely upon treads will have some real problems getting around your defensive affects. I like to call these tactics Enemy Force Divider (FID). The term force multiplier is common now in fifth edition as there are lots of special characters that boost certain units in their army and unlock special modifications to the existing force organization chart (FOC). So basically you are using defensive powers to neutralize the main strengths of your opponent's army. Reserve armies that deploy via deep strike, infiltration and outflanking (e.g., Blood Angels DoA and Tyranid reserve armies) are less affected by Tremor tactics since they can deliver their units right upon your door step—I'll address how to deal with these types of armies in a later article.

Basic Tremor Tactics
So what are Tremor tactics? These tactics make use of the C'tan Shards and Crypteks fielded as Harbingers of Transmorgrification (HoT). The main manifestation of power to select for the C'tan is Writhing Worldscape—all difficult terrain is treated as also dangerous terrain and dangerous terrain tests are failed on the roll of both a 1 and 2 while the C'tan is on the battlefield. The other manifestitation of power I think is very useful for these tactics is the Grand Illusion that allows you to redeploy up to D3 units after both forces have deployed and all Scout Moves have been made–note that you can place these units back into or out of reserve... Generally you'll want to go first if possible so as to pull off the bait and switch tactic. HoT are armed with the Tremor Stave which cause an enemy unit hit with this weapon to treat terrain as difficult ground during their next movement phase and it has a range of 36". You can also field Orikan the Diviner who causes all terrain to be treated as difficult ground for the enemy during their first turn. I am still up in the air about Orikan though as he is a Cryptek that counts as an HQ-independent character and does not have access to a Royal Court. You'll want to make sure you have enough HoT such that they are effective. HoT also have access to the Seismic Crucible which reduces the charge range of an enemy unit by D3" if they attempt to assault the HoT including any unit he is attached.

So these are the tactics you use to impede the forward progress of the enemy. As I said above these tactics go hand in hand with Stormlord tactics including Harbingers of Destruction armed with the Solar Pulse... Your opponent can't see you and they can't reach out and touch you in melee... All the while you are moving into position to blast them to bloody bits !!

One of the inherent beauties of Tremor tactics is besides the cost of the C'tan the HoT are relatively cheap to field so you have lots of points left over—You can still incorporate Stormlord, Wraithwing and Scarab Farm elements into your army if you wish. Tremor tactics basically are an enhancement that help bolster your defense by buying you more time.

This is the first article that discusses the use of Tremor tactics. My next article on this subject will present a couple of army lists to better illustrate how to effectively incorporate these tactics.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Necron Tremor Spam

Just a brief update on the Necron front-I have been working on the development of a Necron Tremor Spam list to punish the mecha meta. This is top secret for now but next month I will post more details.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My thoughts on the leaked 6th edition

Some of you might remember that GW leaked fifth edition rules prior to their official release—the pdf was well written and in line with what I would expect from GW... No typos, no grammatical errors, etc. On the other hand the 'leaked' sixth edition PDF looks like garbage in comparison... Lots of typos and lots of grammatical errors... It looks like it could have been written by an average teenager to me. The rules are extremely complex and very hard to follow.

What I want for sixth is a very tight set of rules that are well written plus easy to understand and apply. All this blah blah blah about how stale is 5th edition isn't going to change anything. We all know 6th will be released some time this year so don't get yer knickers all knotted. Oh and be very careful what you wish for... More complex invariably means more arguments and more time required to play. Fifth edition is the best yet and it fixed a lot of the problems with fourth edition. Hopefully sixth edition will be even better and address the problems we have found in fifth edition.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Current Thoughts on Tyranid Reserve Army

I had the opportunity to play in a local tournament yesterday and managed to place in the top three so I'm happy with the results. My army did very well versus Space Marines in general. One game all my reserves arrived on the second turn which I think is very hard for any opponent to handle-that game I was able to devastate the opponent mostly with shooting in a single turn and the Yrmgal genestealers were simply amazing combi charging two units and smashing them. I had one tough game that knocked me out of the top spot but still overall I fared well in that game. Based upon these results I am happy and feel that all the hard work involvimg frequent play testing is finally coming to fruitition.

There were was a total of four Tyranid armies there and I placed the highest of them all. There was another Tyranid army there using lots of reserves but it got bashed hard versus a very mobile shooty dark eldar army knocking it out of contention to place. Another Tyranid army using the classic Tervigon approach also was smashed by the same dark eldar army. The tournament was 1850 points so I dropped the Doom of Malan'tai from my list-he was definitely missed and I think he would have fared very well versus any of the Space Marine armies there. Space Wolves took first place and I didn't have the opportunity to fight that army but looking at the list I think I could have given it a good fight as my army is designed to beat Grey Knights and Space Wolves.

I'll be playing in another RTT next weekend and am setting my sights high. I was very happy with the results of how my army performed this weekend and the Tyrant was a welcome addition to my list. That is all for now.

Review of Next Level Painting

I recently had Next Level Painting (NLP) commission my Tyranid army for painting. Here is my review:

* Did the army meet my expectations?

Actually the army exceeded my expectations and I rate the it a five of five. I gave NLP lots of advice how I wanted the army painted and how I wanted it to look. Everything I requested was met to my full expectations plus some.

* How was the army packed?

There were no broken models upon receipt. When you are paying to have an army painted that you built yourself with lots of awesome conversions it says a lot to me when what you receive has no broken models. I have had lots of armies and units painted on commission and typically there is always some damage when you revive them courtesy of the courier. NLP takes the time to properly pack your army when they ship it back to you. I can take the army out of the box and play the next day.

That is all I have to say. There are lots of painting services available now. You want the best your money can buy. NLP is tops in my opinion.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Doom of Malan'tai by Next Level Painting

Hormagaunts by Next Level Painting

Here is a teaser picture of some of my gaunts painted by Kenny Boucher from Next Level Painting...

New Broodlord by Next Level Painting

Here is my Broodlord painted by my good buddy Kenny Boucher. I have dubbed my hive fleet the Colossus. I have also included pictures of the genestealers as well.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Trygon Prime (More pictures !!!)

Here are some pictures of my Trygon Prime painted by Kenny Boucher of Next Level Painting. Enjoy !!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tyranid Reserve List Advice from hyv3mynd

I have been in contact with Aaron from over on the Hyv3mynd Tyranid blog seeking his advice how to better tweak my current army list. Aaron and his wife just had their first child yesterday so a big congratulations to them on the new family member. Aaron was gracious enough to take the time to look at my army and has provided some very thoughtful and much appreciated feedback which I share below. I have been following Aaron's blog since its creation last year - its a great source of knowledge, tactics, batreps and analysis for anyone that plays Tyranids. You can find a link to Aaron's blog over to the left here in my blog roll. Aaron is another serious Tyranid player who thinks the race is competitive and also has lots of tournament experience with his beautiful bugs including participation in last year's American Team Championship (ATC) event.

My Current 2000 point Army List

Hive Tyrant - wings, twin linked devourers w. brainleech ammo, bone sword & lash whip; Hive Commander; Paroxsym & Life Leech
Tyranid Prime - bone sword & lash whip, scything talons, adrenal glands

Doom of Malan'tai - mycetic spore
2x Zoanthrope - mycetic spore
10x Yrmgal genestealer

15x termagant - devourers - mycetic spore
10x Hormagaunt - adrenal glands & toxin sacs
3x Warrior - bone swords & lash whip, 2x deathspitter & barbed strangler, toxin sacs - mycetic spore
15x genestealer incl. Broodlord - scything talons & toxin sacs

Heavy Support
Trygon Prime - adrenal glands

As you'll see below I was very happy that rather than attempt to completely overhaul my list Aaron provided useful suggestions how to tweak what I've got to make it more competitive.

Aaron's Feedback
Here is what the Hyv3mynd had to say. Note that Aaron is aware I intend to take my army to some major national events.

On the Concept of a Fully Reserved Army
I'm liking reserve armies more and more these days. My Dark Eldar army is being built as a reserve/WWP army. My biggest loss at our local GT was against Jon Willingham when he took me by surprise by reserving his whole army. It can be the ultimate tool in controlling the flow and pace of battle. It can also be the most difficult list style to master as smart opponents will be able to dodge most of your tricks. Sacrificing 1-2 turns of shooting and assault can also put you in a tough position to cause enough damage to win a mission. These types of lists can be the most fun to play because every game will be unique depending on which reserves arrive and when. They can also be the most frustrating because there will be times when the dice totally screw you.

That being said, a list like this really needs to be tuned to inflict maximum damage in the reduced turns it will see and complete the mission objectives. There's a few things I would change in the list.  Keep in mind these opinions are based on my personal experience and local meta and they may or may not help in your area or the tournaments you'll be at.

Suggestions for my Current Army
Most of my suggestions are based on increasing damage output and reducing easy KP's, assuming objectives and KP's will be your primary objectives. Here's my version:

- HQ -
Hive Tyrant - wings, devourers, whip+sword; Hive Commander; paroxysm & leech essence (270)

-Elites -
Hive Guard x3  (150)
Zoanthropes x3 - mycetic spore  (220)
Ymgarl Genestealers x7  (161)

- Troops -
Devilgaunts x15 - mycetic spore (190)
Warriors x4 + whip/swords (180)
Genestealers x14 + broodlord/scytals, toxin sacs (286)
Genestealers x14 + broodlord/scytals, toxin sacs (286)

- Heavy Support -
Trygon Prime + adrenal glands  (250)

So I added some redundancy which is important in reserve lists. If genestealers are filling a specific role, two units will give you a better chance to have them when and where you need them.

Your foundation is strong against infantry and weak against MSU mech, so I added a zoan and 3 Hive Guard who will walk on. Janthkin uses hive guard like this in his reserve list and makes them work. Bring them on where they can reach a target or behind BLoS terrain.

I got rid of the DoM because he's too situational and unreliable IMO. If you're up against mech spam, he's useless. If he scatters too far, he's useless.

I also dropped some spores as they... give up easy KP's. The Warriors are on foot now, but you can outflank them with Hive Commander or walk them on the long edge for Capture & Control.

This list also has more scoring bodies, more anti-tank, and harder hitting units IMO.

2-3 hard hitting outflanking units will make your opponent choose between a central deployment or risk getting hit from the side. Use that choice wisely when choosing a place to hide the Ymgarls. They are your best disruption unit as they're the only ones guaranteed an assault the turn they arrive if your opponent avoids the edges.

On Tactics and Strategy
Place objectives as close to the edges as possible so the outflankers will count. Zoans never need cover so you can drop their spore in their wings and use them to provide cover to arriving genestealers or Warriors.

Don't be afraid to deploy the Tyrant, Hive Guard, Trygon, Warriors, and infiltrate the genestealers if you're going first against certain lists. The key to lists like these is to not get trapped in the same mindset going into each game.

So there you have it. I will be testing this list soon and should have some new batreps to share here.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Now that I’ve found you
When my time has gone away
The words I say
This way might help you through
And I feel like it’s gonna rain
To wash this from you

So addicted to the pain
It’s the pain that drove you crazy ...
Your mind is closing in
A fight that you might not win
It’s even making me insane

If you crawl
I’ll follow, I’ll follow !
Don’t walk away
If you fall
I’ll follow, I’ll follow !
Don’t walk away

I think of all things that just got lost
Now that you find me
As if I had just had shuffled off
Now that you find me
When my time had gone away
The actions played
They broke your world in two
And I feel like it’s gonna rain
To wash this from you

What Is and what will never be
It’s the pain that makes you crazy ...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tyranid Reserve Army Layering

The following text diagram serves as a simple illustration to show how I often layer my army.

________________Trygon Prime

______Hive Tyrant




_____________Prime & Hormagaunts

* denotes unit is mounted in mycetic spore
_ denotes unit deep strikes onto table
- denotes unit outflanks

The diagram does not show the Zoanthropes and the Doom of Malantai as their individual placement is typically independent of the other units. The Hive Tyrant can be inserted at any level following the Trygon.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

The Nature of the Beast (Tyranids) • new content added

Let's start off by taking a closer look at how Tyranids in general have performed in fifth edition for competitive play. The new codex ushered in a host of new units such as the Doom of Malan'tai, Trygons, Mawlocs and the Tervigon just to name a few. Long standing units that have taken a traditional role in Tyranid armies such as the Carnifex suddenly took a back seat to these new units. Unfortunately this new era of monstrous creatures and other monsters did not bring about the same level of competitive play that could exceed or even match earlier codices. It is general knowledge that Tyranids are currently considered non competitive for many reasons. No Tyranid army I know of has won a major event since the release of the fifth edition codex.

Hitting your head against a brick wall is an exercise in futility—sure it feels good when you stop but knowing its a brick wall you have to ask yourself why are you repeating something that is known to fail. I am open to constructive advice how to improve my army but I also have no desire to replicate what has already been done when we know it doesn't have what it takes to meet the goals I have set for myself. I have taken up Tyranids as a self challenge to develop a competitive army that can reach the top tables at a major event. I may fail but I will give it my best effort. You don't see a lot of veteran players taking Tyranids to major events and for good reason but I have to just see for myself if I can do better. Even if I should fail I will know that at least I tried.

Typical Army List Builds
Let's take a look at what we have typically seen fielded for Tyranid armies in fifth edition. Here is one such abbreviated list:

Hive Tyrant w. 2-3x Tyrant Guard (HQ)
Tervigon (HQ)
3x 3x Hive Guard (Elite)
2x Termagant broods (Troop)
2x Tervigon (Troop)
2x Tyrannofex (Heavy Support)

The core strengths of this list is good synapse coverage across the board coupled with the ability to pop light armor (Hive Guard) and it has some ranged shooting to deal with heavy armor (Tyrannofex). The army also has or can produce an ample number of scoring units to hold objectives. One obvious weakness of the list is that it gives up lots and lots of easy killpoints. Anther major weakness of such a list is that is does not perform well versus top tier armies such as Imperial Guard, Grey Knights and Space Wolves for obvious reasons. A list such as this one was very popular following the initial release of the new Tyranid codex and was designed to handle the heavily mechanized meta we see so prevalent in fifth edition.

Sure the Tervigon is still very popular and for good reason but it is also vulnerable. It's low initiative is a major problem versus the Space Wolves' psychic power Jaws of the World Wolf as well as other game mechanics that force removal of said unit due to failing an initiative test such as the Grey Knight psychic power Warp Rift. The Tyrannofex is expensive (equivalent to landraider in cost) for what you get - two BS3 S10 shots at long range plus it must bypass the plethora of cover saves abdundant in fifth edition.

I have seen some variations of the list presented above as well as some alternatives. Here is one well proven slightly altered list:

Swarmlord  w. 1x Tyrant Guard (HQ)
3x Hive Guard (Elite)
2x Hive Guard (Elite)
Ymgarl Genestealers (Elite)
Termagants (Troop)
Tervigon (Troop)
15x Genestealers (Troop)
8x Genestealers (Troop)
Gargoyles (Fast Attack)
Tyrannofex (Heavy Support)

There are many similar elements between the two lists—this one though is a hybrid list as the genestealers can outflank and the Yrmgal genestealers start the game dormant on the table. Again there is a Hive Tyrant with Tyrant Guard... the Tyrant Guard is included to provide the ability to provide a cover save for the Swarmlord. The Swarmlord is the best choice for a walking Hive Tyrant—of course you're paying for all the awesome abilities the Swarmlord brings to the army including the ability to outflank one Troop choice (i.e., Tervigon or termagants). There are Hive Guard and one Tyrannofex to handle armor at range. Gargoyles are another popular unit and provide mobile cover to other units. The Tervigon and termagants as noted above provide an ample number of scoring units.

My critics most often point directly to these types of list when offering suggestions how I can improve my own list. At the end of the day though the results are the same—no major wins for Tyranids in fifth edition at any big events and I don't believe that is going to change while fifth edition is still in effect.

An Alternative Approach
If you follow my blog you know that I advocate the use of a fully reserved Tyranid army to address the short comings of typical Tyranid armies such as the two I have listed above. Here is my abbreviated army list for reference:

Hive Tyrant - wings & Hive Commander (HQ)
Tyranid Prime (HQ)
Zoanthropes - mycetic spore (Elite)
Doom of Malan'tai - mycetic spore (Elite)
Yrmgal genestealers (Elite)
Warriors - mycetic spore (Troop)
Hormagaunts (Troop)
Termagants - mycetic spore (Troop)
Genestealers w. Broodlord (Troop)
Trygon Prime (Heavy Support)

I used to run two Trygons and just recently dropped one to include the Tyrant based upon feedback I've received online. The Tyranid Prime is attached to the Hormagaunt brood and together they come in from reserve along my long table edge. This choice invariably always draws major criticism—Tyranid pundits are upset that I give up fleet and bounding leap for the Hormagants since I attach the Alpha Warrior. What they fail to realize is that the Hormagaunts provide a cheap source of ablative wounds for the Prime which allows me to take advantage of fielding an Independent character as an HQ. I always have the option though to detach the Prime from the gaunts once they have arrived from reserve if I were to need the better rate of mobility for the gaunts but to be honest I have never once come upon this situation. My list has lots of major threats that can't be ignored and forces my opponent to react. The Zoanthropes are my ranged answer to the occassional landraider while the termagants are there to deal with heavy weapons teams such as Long Fangs. I readily admit the Zoies have some issues such as getting past an opponent's psychic defense but just their presence alone is often enough. Typically versus a landraider you can neutralize its threat simply by immobilizing it since they are most often transporting a dedicated melee unit such as assault terminators.

Null Zone Deployment
My army works on the strategic principles of Null Zone Deployment (NZD) which I learned from Fritz over on his blog Fritz 40k (refer to the blog list if you're interested). One of the basic principles of NZD is you can place the bulk of your army where you need it the most and avoid deathstar units like Draigo and his Paladins. Fielding a Tyrant with Hive Commander means that the bulk of your army should arrive from reserve during the second turn. You can saturate an area of the table and quickly overpower a portion of your opponent's army focusing on destroying their troops. Note that 75 percent of your army should arrive during the second turn if you field a Tyrant with the Hive Commander option since they come in on a 3+ versus 4+ during your second turn. Many of the units in my army are fast due to fleet so I can quickly redeploy much of my army as the game progresses following the second turn.

A very important aspect of NZD is where you place the objectives... You should place your objectives so that they are spread far apart—small elite armies like Draigowing will then struggle to hold them. Tyranid armies in general tend to have many units (you should have 4-5 troops) so they have an inherent advantage winning objective based missions. This is the same strategy I would use versus Imperial Guard—force them to spread their scoring units so they can't support each other. Imperial Guard armies heavily rely upon their chimeras to protect their scoring units so you want to prioritize targeting their transports... Focus on killing their troops as soon as possible. I like to place one Seize Ground objective marker close to either side of the table so my genestealers can outflank and assault enemy units camped there. You want an objective on each side of the table because there is a one third chance an outflanking unit will arrive on the wrong side—placing an objective marker on both sides means there is no wrong side but it's important to note that typically there is one side you'd prefer for your outflanking unit to arrive (for whatever reason).

An Inherent Disadvantage of the Fully Reserved Tyranid Army
The major weakness of my army list is that the mycetic spores give up very easy kill points—one rocket and a spore is toast. The good news is a lot of tournaments are now using a format that features the three objectives (Seize Ground, Capture & Control and Kill Points) such that they are equally weighted rather than tiered primary, secondary and tertiary (P/S/T) objectives. Whoever takes the most victory conditions wins the game. I've also noticed that kill points are not often chosen as a primary objective at other events such as those that use the P/S/T format. This relatively new type of format allows you to focus on winning by holding the most objective markers and you can effectively ignore kill points. The American Team Championship (ATC) uses this format and it's gaining popularity across the country. There is a large GT in California to be held soon that will also use the W-L format with equally weighted objectives. I used this format at BeakyCon last year and it was well received by everyone who attended.

If on the other hand you know ahead of time that an event you're considering attending will feature two out of five missions with kill points as the primary objective then you could be in store for a long hard weekend—so always keep that in mind! You typically have to place your spores directly in harm's way to get the most out of the units embarked in them. Tyranids are quite capable of killing lots of enemy units but a deficit of 3-4 kill points is very hard to overtake.

Ranking the Fully Reserved Tyranid Army
Would I rank a fully reserved Tyranid army as top tier beside IG, GK and SW? The short answer is no... The long answer takes a bit more time to fully address and I think a better question is can such an army consistently beat the top tier? The long answer is yes but it will require near perfect play and some degree of luck. In regards to luck I think anyone who has won a major event and is honest will tell you that they had their fair share of good luck when they needed it—be it good matchups, missions that suited their armies and plenty of hot dice rolls.

Most often I think it is the general and not the army that wins a major event and the top players eventually learn how to exploit popular Internet meta lists. We can just stick with the top tiered armies or we can challenge ourselves and diversify. I like to build exotic lists that are unique and can exploit the meta. I have done very well in the past with armies such as the 13th Company and Deathwing (prior to the recent inclusion of the 3++ stormshield). For me it's more thrilling to do something new and succeed rather than follow others along the well trodden path... Especially when we know ahead of time that it doesn't work. Maybe I would have done better over the course of the many national events I've attended if I had taken Internet meta lists but that's not what I'm about at the end of the day.

When I first started to discuss Draigowing on the Internet it was generally dismissed as a weak low model count army then suddenly everything changed overnight when Blackmoor took second place at the NOVA last summer. That is just how fickle is the Internet.

A fully reserved Tyranid army built right can indeed exploit the current Internet meta lists. No it's not easy but it can be done. All my comments on my current army are based upon actual games and experience—it's not theory hammer and I'd like to think there are some (maybe only a few) who can appreciate that aspect—these types are my primary target audience.


Saturday, January 07, 2012

2k Batrep - Draigowing vs Imperial Guard

I'm still waiting on my Tyranids to be painted and still working on my Necrons so this weekend
again I decided to break out my Grey Knights for another pickup game. I used the exact same list as last weekend:

Lord Draigo
Librarian - master crafted warding stave, 2x servo skull, Might of Titans, Sanctuary,shrouding, Warp Rift

10x Paladin: fully complex w. 4x psycannon
10x GKT w. 2x psycannon


Sorry I don't have an exact list for the IG army. Off the top of my head it included the following units:

Colonel Straken w. command squad - chimera
Primaris Psyker (attached to melta vets)

10x melta vets - chimera
Platoon blob w. Commissar: 3x lascannon, plasmaguns, sergeants w. power swords
3x autocannon HWS
5x guardsmen w. 3x grenade launcher (ride in Vendetta)



Leman Russ Demolisher squadron (lascannons)

Leman Russ


10x Battle Psyker Squad

The mission was Capture and Control with Dawn of War for deployment. I won the roll and opted to go second. I rolled for the Grand Strategy and made both psyflemen scoring. My opponent deployed his blob on a covered hill sitting on his objective marker. All the rest of his army would come in from reserve on the first turn. I placed my objective marker back in a corner of my deployment zone with some decent cover deploying the Librarian attached to the Paladins off beside my objective in hard cover. Both psyflemen would walk on the first turn with Lord Draigo and the GKT opting to teleport.

Pre Game Analysis
I don't have a good track record versus IG in 5th edition to be honest—luckily the mission is not Seize Ground with five objective markers. I opted for a very simple strategy—Lord Draigo and the GKT will go for my opponent's objective marker while the rest of my army will defend my objective marker. I am counting on Lord Draigo to survive one round of shooting following deep strike then converge on the blob and slowly NOM NOM NOM them to death. Draigo is a beast and can suck up some pain then dish it right back. The rest of my army has solid cover and can shred AV12. The Librarian as usual is key to securing victory and must come through in the clutch casting his psychic powers.

Turn 1 - Imperial Guard
Everything not on the table comes on with a good contingent of the army moving into position to support their blob. Vendetta comes on the far table edge safely tucked away while Straken and his posse roll on in their chimera behind the blob. PSB walks on behind the blob as well. Colossus also comes in on the far side of the table. The Demolisher squadron and Devildog come in along the opposite side of Paladins and will be out of range this turn. Chimera full of melta vets pull up behind the Devildog for some hard cover. IG doesn't spot my Paladins and that's it.

Turn 1 - Draigowing
My psyflemen walk on hiding behind cover. Paladins move up closer to blob (remaining in cover obviously), target the Devildog and whiff.

Turn 2 - Imperial Guard
Demolishers, Devildog and PSB move up in range of my Paladins and cut loose with a deadly salvo. My Librarian botches his psychic test for Shrouding and then the bombs drop. One pie plate hits while the other scatters off. I fail my first four cover saves—SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT. I then lose another Paladin to a stray lascannon and the PSB successfully cast Weaken Resolve beating the reinforced Aegis on a psyfleman. Luckily the small blast from the Devildog scatters wide. I'm thinking this game is probably already over now but decide to stick it out and see how everything plays out. Paladins fail their morale check and fall back missing the board edge by a couple inches... That would have pretty much been the end of the game otherwise.

Turn 2 - Draigowing
Lord Draigo and his GKT teleport onto the battlefield scattering 10" straight towards the blob but don't mishap. Paladins auto rally and move back up into cover with both psyflemen side by side for protection. Lord Draigo and GKT target the blob but only manage to drop six due to some fiery hot cover saves. Paladins target the Devildog and rip off its turret. Psyflemen target a chimera full of melta vets riding in a chimera parked behind the Devildog but only manage to shake it.

Turn 3 - Imperial Guard
As much of the IG army that can target Lord Draigo and his GKT take aim and lay massive waste to the Grey Knights. When all the smoke clears all that is left standing is Draigo and two terminators (made a ridiculous amount of cover saves this turn). The PSB then successfully cast Weaken Resolve targeting Lord Draigo and his remaining terminators—they fall back 6" and there's nothing close by to prevent them from auto rallying the next turn... IG should have parked the Vendetta right beside them. I was actually hoping that all the GKT would die so that Lord Draigo would revert back to being Fearless so it worked out okay this turn after all.

Turn 3 - Draigowing
Lord Draigo auto rallies and moves up in position to finally charge the blob. Paladins and one psyfleman take aim on the Devildog—destroying the last of its weapons and immobilize it. The other psyfleman manages to stun the chimera full of melta vets. Lord Draigo then assaults the blob—NOM NOM NOM... He kills four guardsmen and takes no wounds in return. Blob then pass their morale check and pile in around Draigo.

Turn 4 - Imperial Guard
Straken and his command squad pull up in their chimera beside the battle between Lord Draigo and the blob. Vendetta moves into position to fire upon one of my psyflemen. Demolishers move up to drop more pie plates of death on the Paladins and psyflemen. Vendetta explodes one of the psyflemen but the Paladins and remaining psyfleman stand tall. Lord Draigo continues to NOM NOM NOM the blob and they pass their morale check.

Turn 4 - Draigowing
This will be a critical turn as we are playing random game length. I'm holding my objective marker with the remaining psyfleman and Lord Draigo is contesting the other. I need to stop the melta vets from moving into position to contest my objective and shoot down the Vendetta since its carrying another scoring unit. Lord Draigo is doing just fine and is whittling down the blob slowly but surely.

Librarian successfully casts Warp Rift popping both the Devildog and the chimera full of melta vets. Melta vets pop out the rearside of the burning wreck and pass their leadership tests. Paladins and psyflemen both whiff on the Vendetta. Draigo continues to NOM NOM NOM the blob reducing them to just a handful of guardsmen.

Turn 5 - Imperial Guard
Straken and his command squad decide to remain inside their chimera and play it safe while the Vendetta moves flat out towards my objective but is still well outside of 3" from my objective marker. The wrecks from the Devildog and chimera is shielding the Paladins from the Demolishers and PSB. The meta vets move forward to target the psyfleman but are just outside of half range. Again my Librarian botches his psychic test while attempting to cast the Shrouding and takes a wound from Perils of the Warp... Really bad day at the office for him. Melta vets whiff on the psyflemen then Lord Draigo finishes off the last of the blob and walks onto the enemy objective marker.

Turn 5 - Grey Knights
The Librarian splits off from the Paladins to assault the melta vets. The Paladins target the Vendetta inflicting three penetrating hits but it passes all three cover saves. The psyfleman then shoots down the Vendetta and one guardsman dies in the ensuing explosion. The Librarian then botches his psychic test for Hammerhand and dies from Perils of the Warp failing his first 2++ save... Wow !!

We roll for the sixth turn and up pops a 2... I'm holding my objective counter and contesting the enemy objective marker... So I end up with a close win. Note that the melta vets were less than an inch away from contesting my objective marker. I think that if the Librarian had charged the melta vets and not broke them the pile in move would have moved them inside room to contest... Pretty crazy.

Post Game Analysis
Well it was pretty dumb to have cast Hammerhand for the Librarian even with a 2++ save... Just really wasn't necessary but still worked out for the win. I think my opponent should have been more aggressive with Straken and his Vendetta. Straken ended up not contributing to the battle and might have been able to finish off Draigo in melee. The opening four failed cover saves plus botching Shrouding with my Librarian during the second turn took me right back to the second half of my previous game versus Space Marines last weekend. Luckily fate decided to be kind a bit after the initial run of bad luck and I was able to make a game out of it sticking to the plan. IG does not really have an answer to Lord Draigo in melee and once he got stuck in combat he did what he does best for the rest of the game.

Repost from Bell of Lost Souls - Comic Hilarity

Friday, January 06, 2012

EDITORIAL - Writing Articles for other Blogs

Hi everyone !!

What a week at work. Very busy and not so much time for the Internet. As you're probably aware there is some very interesting aspects to the Internet:

—Everyone has access
—Everyone has an opinion
-Not everyone knows what they are talking about when they post
-Unfortunately some people are intentionally misleading—their sole intent is to create discontent

It is the last category that I have a real problem with as they are dishonest people. They have no shame whatsoever and love nothing more than to pull the wool over the eyes of those foolish enough not to know better. To me they deserve what they get and I love to see people call them on their bullshit.

That is all for now .

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Horde Mentality

Here is my first in a new series of tactical articles that will transcend specific armies. The first article is dedicated to two very specific types of dedicated assault armies - horde versus elite. I'm talking about armies that must win the game in the assault phase. These armies can have a good contingent of shooting but push come to shove must win by out slugging the opponent.

Horde armies such as Orks and Tyranids have mechanisms set in place that make their large blocks of units fearless during the beginning of a game. Orks are fearless if their number of models is greater than 10 while Tyranids use synaspe. A large horde unit such as Ork Boyz or gaunts that are fearless will bleed wounds versus an elite dedicated melee such as Khorne Berzerkers due to the No Retreat rule. This is one of the basic drawbacks to a horde unit. On the other hand if the horde unit was not fearless then there are high odds they would swept after losing a combat to an elite dedicated melee unit. There is a balance in this aspect as the large horde unit is cheap for the points while the elite dedicated melee unit probably will cost more points.

Not being swept means that the horde unit has a chance to lock the elite unit for a turn following the initial charge. If the horde player can then charge the elite unit with another unit they have negated the charge bonuses associated with the elite unit. Take Death Company as a prime example—on the charge they are at least three times as good as receiving a charge. It is what it is.

At one time Tyranids were better than fearless prior to fifth edition. For example in third edition for a mere 10 points a brood of gaunts could upgrade one model to Ld10—this was before fearless was in effect for 40k. To me this was a broken mechanism and has been addressed with the newer ruleset.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Monday, January 02, 2012

Necron FAQ

Well the Necron FAQ should be released soon as the codex has been out for awhile now and people have played lots of games and reported problems with the rules that need to be addressed. I ran a poll here last month asking the question would the Necrons be nerfed by the FAQ—the votes were fairly split so there is a definitely a good number of players who believe the Necrons will make out okay if the results of the poll are any real indication.

Let's take a moment to look at some of the more eminent problems that have surfaced with the new Necron codex:

1) The first and most commonly cited rule is Spyders spawning scarabs. As the rules stand now (RAW) each scarab that is spawned can be placed in a conga line to effectively reach across the table and ensure a first turn charge. I think that the FAQ will simply state that spawned scarabs must be placed within 2" of the unit to which they attach. It's a simple solution and fixes the problem.

2) The second and commonly cited rule is can Spyders spawning scarabs take the unit of scarabs above their full number (10). The rule in question specifically states this can take the scarabs beyond its starting size. I think this is a dumb question as there is nothing to indicate they can't. If this were the case then both Spyders and scarabs would be worthless in my opinion. This one looks to be the sad case of Imperial players trying again to nerf yet another xenos codex like the disaster that happened to Tyranids. I don't think the FAQ will address this as its self explanatory as far as I'm concerned.

3) The third issue is one I've just come across and spotted it in the Official Rules forum over on Bolter and Chainsword. It seems very silly to me and is a good example of how reading one set of particular rules in a vacuum doesn't always lead to sound analysis. Basically their RAW premise is that because of the way the rules for Reanimation Protocols and Everliving are written units with the Everliving rule never get to roll for their Reanimation protocol - NEVER. I'm not going to digress into the nonsense underlying their interpretation - it is just silly at best and what happens when RAW advocates over analyze the rules. As usual they blame GW for poorly writing the rules - this is always the first step taken to exploit the rules. You first have to make a case that the rules are poorly written before you can then exploit them. Honestly can you see GW releasing a FAQ that states units with the Everliving rule never get to roll for Reanimation Protocols ??? Why the heck did GW even bother to put it in the codex ?? I think anybody with a lick of sense understands how the rules work for the Everliving - it doesn't even really need to be touched upon in the FAQ.

Does GW always use RAW to answer questions in their FAQs? No of course not. RAW is important but then again it does not always produce valid results as some people like to go to extremes and over analyze the rules. For example remember when the RAW camp was stating that Nemesis force falchions should grant +2A? How silly was that one?

So we should be seeing the Necron FAQ up quite soon. Should be interesting to say the least.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Two games with Grey Knights this weekend

I've sent off my Tyranid army to be pro painted and have still lots of work left to complete for my new Necron army. I'm enjoying reading Necron batreps on the Internet and think they are a competitive army—Wraithwing it seems is trending up and appears to be a solid counter to both mech and gun line armies. It will be very interesting to see how the new Necrons fare next year in the tournament circuit.

I decided to break out my Draigowing this weekend for a couple of games. Here is my abbreviated 2000 point list (don't have my Army Builder list with me):


Librarian - Master crafted warding stave, Might of Titans, Sanctuary, Shrouding, Warp Rift, 2x servo skull

10x Paladin:
1) Daemonhammer & psycannon
2) Master crafted daemonhammer & psycannon
3) Daemonhammer & master crafted psycannon
4) Sword & psycannon
5) Sword & stormbolter
5) Falchions & stormbolter
6) Master crafted falchions & stormbolter
7) Falchions & master crafted stormbolter
8) Warding stave & stormbolter
9) Apothecary - Halberd & stormbolter
0) Standard Bearer - Brotherhood banner & stormbolter
- Psybolt ammo

10x Grey Knight terminator:
Justicar - Halberd & stormbolter
2x Halberd & psycannon
2x Daemonhammer & stormbolter
5x Halberd & stormbolter
- Psybolt ammo

Dreadnaught - 2x twin linked autocannon, psybolt ammo

Dreadnaught - 2x twin linked autocannon, psybolt ammo

1st Match vs Grey Knights
The first game was a mirror match versus another Grey Knight army:

Grand Master - Master crafted warding stave, incinerator, psykotroke grenades, rad grenades

Librarian - Master crafted warding stave, Might of Titans, Sanctuary, Shrouding, Warp Rift

6x Paladin:
1) Daemonhammer & stormbolter
2) Standard Bearer - Brotherhood Banner & psycannon
3) Apothecary - Halberd
4) Sword & stormbolter
5) Master crafted word & stormbolter
6) Halberd & stormbolter

Landraider Crusader - pintle mounted multi-melta

5x Grey Knight Strike Squad - Psycannon & Razorback w. twin linked lascannon
5x Grey Knight Strike Squad - Psycannon & Razorback w. twin linked lascannon

Vindicare assassin

Dreadnaught - 2x twin linked autocannon, psybolt ammo

Dreadnaught - 2x twin linked autocannon, psybolt ammo

This mission was from BeakyCon - Seize Ground (3 objective markers), Capture & Control, Killpoints - all equally weighted. Whoever holds the most objectives at the end of the game wins. If there is a draw the tie breaker is pure victory points. Game goes six turns then there is a seventh turn on a roll of 4+. Deployment was Dawn of War - I went second opting to hold everything off the table and walk it all on the first turn. Lots of terrain (nice!). Two of the Seize Ground objective markers were in my oponent's deployment zone so I would have to play aggressively. My opponent deployed one Strike squad on the table and would walk on the rest of his army the second turn.

- Pre Game Analysis -
Like I said above I knew I'd have to play aggressively and my goal was to win on Seize Ground and Killpoints. I was worried about the Vindicare as it can pop my dreads, select its targets and negate Draigo's invulnerable saves. I opted to start off by keeping both Draigo and the Librarian outside of range of the Vindicare while focusing fire on the Vindicare with my psyflemen and psycannons. I opted to go for Seize Ground as I had more boots on the ground and felt my Paladins could soak up a lot of damage while dishing out even more in return.

-Game Synopsis -
By the third turn I had killed the Vindicare and could throw everything forward, losing one psyfleman in return. My Paladins made a screen for the GKT (Draigo and the Librarian attached to my GKT). On the fourth turn my opponent engaged my Paladins with his two HQ and Paladins charging them from the LRC. As predicted my Paladins held the line then I counter assaulted with my HQ and the GKT. I was also able to multi assault one of the Strike squads. The Strike squad was mulched and it took a couple of turns to kill off the enemy HQ and his Paladins. Weight of numbers worked well to mitigate the effects of the enemy grenades. After that I destroyed the other Strike squad and the LRC. A big turning point in the game was the second Strike squad failing to reach assault rolling snake eyes for their difficult terrain test... Their psykout grenades would have botched my Paladins. End of game was a draw - I had Killpoints and my opponent had Capture and Control so I won on victory points.

- Post Game Analysis -
My Paladins were MVP destroying everything that came their way plus some. A full unit that is complex can soak a lot of wounds and dish out the pain. They took the charge and setup my GKT for the counter punch which won the game. Lots of intense psychic battles between the two Librarians with their hoods. Once I had destroyed the enemy Librarian my psychic powers were unchallenged and put my army over the top for the win.

2nd Game versus Space Marines
Here was my opponent's army list to the best of my memory:

Librarian - Null Zone & ???

10x tactical Marine - lascannon & plasmagun, power fist - rhino w. extra armor
10x tactical Marine - multi-melta & meltagun, power fist - rhino w. extra armor
10x tactical Marine - missile launcher & meltagun, power fist - rhino w. extra armor
10x tactical Marine - missile launcher & meltagun, power fist - razorback w. twin linked heavy bolter & extra armor

Landspeeder Typhoon w. heavy bolter

Attack bike w. multi-melta
Attack bike w. multi-melta

Vindicator - extra armor
Predator - autocannon turret & heavy bolter sponsons

5x tactical terminator - chainfist & assault cannon
5x tactical terminator - chainfist & assault cannon

The mission was Seize Ground with three objective markers and random game length. Again lots of terrain. Deployment was Dawn of War again and I had to go second again. Two of the objective markers were in my opponent's deployment zone so again I'd have to play aggressively. My opponent deployed one unit of tactical Marines combat squadded with the Librarisn joining the combat squad in the razorback. I opted to start with my entire army in reserve - deep striking both terminator units (HQ attached to Paladins) and walk on both psyflemen the first turn.

- Pre Game Analysis -
Even with two terminator squads the Space Marines were no match versus my army in melee so I really wanted to capitalize on that big strength. The main threat was the Vindicator so that is what both psyflemen would focus fire. I knew the attack bikes would hunt my psyflemen but oh well if I could pick off the Vindicator they would fulfill their role. I wanted to deep strike into a midfield position using terrain to block enemy shooting and move in to capture two objective markers. The third objective marker was far away—I had no way to reach it other than combat squadding my GKT which I didn't want to do. My opponent combat squadded two of his tactical units for six scoring units... He had three times as many scoring units but my terminators can handle tactical Marines very well. I had chosen to use my two servo skulls as bait to try drawing out an enemy unit for an easy kill.

- Game Synopsis -
The first half of the game my dice were on fire and my opponent couldn't get one break with his... His Vindicator had one shot that drifted completely off my GKT then one of my psyflemen popped it win one penetrating hit that snuck past a 3++ cover save. Both of my terminator squads got great deep strikes with excellent midfield position. By turn three my HQ and Paladins had wrecked one enemy flank and were holding one of the objectives plus my Librarian consistently shut down my opponent's Librarian. The second half of the game my dice went ICE COLD for armor saves - fourth turn all my GKT died to bolter fire failing the first four armor saves in a row. The apothecary paid for himself as my Paladins also began to fail one armor save after another - it was amazing how many 1s I rolled! Aaaargh !! Still my Paladins fought it out trying at first to stretch out to hold the first objective and contest another. By the end of the game there was one Space Marine terminator left that held and cost me the game. It was very close and very hard fought—Draigo split off one his lonesome accounting for the Space Marine Librarian, a combat squad, partial kill of another combat squad and an attack bike.

- Post Game Analysis -
As I was packing away my army I realized I had not deployed one of my Paladins (armed with a pair of falchions)... Wow how dumb of me as those four extra attacks each round of melee would have surely killed the lone Space Marine terminator ! We even rolled a few attacks to see how it would have played out if I had fielded all ten Paladins. I also forgot to reroll 1s when wounding for my Paladins as well (Grand Strategy)... For some reason I always seem to forget that one unfortunately. So I should have had a draw but my transfixed mind ended up costing me. That's why we playtest. :D

It was still one heck of a game and I had a great time playing both games. It's nice to have the opportunity to break out my Grey Knights again.