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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Saturday, March 31, 2012


W00t !! This month I was able to average one post per day plus one. I've always wanted to be able to reach that goal for some reason.

I had two games today with my Nidz versus my buddy Matt's Space Wolves. I took lots of pictures the first game but my dice were really GAWD awful... Not really worth the effort to write a batrep when the dice take a big crap on you. The second game was versus Mat again - lost that game too but it was really exciting and came right down to the seventh turn... Those are the kind of games I love to play. Of course I didn't take any pictures during the second game. Oh well. We were using the new deployment rules for BeakyCon and there was a lot more movement throughout the two games which I find to be more exciting.

I'm looking forward to more gaming in April. Expect to see more articles on Necrons. I need to play them more.

Devilgants vs. Purifiers

No this is not another batrep... Heh.

Let's take two units from different codices and compare the two. One unit is selected from the Tyranid codex often said to be the worst codex released during fifth edition (there is some contention for Dark Angels though). The other unit is selected from the Grey Knight codex often said to be the most broken over the top codex ever released. How can we compare the two?

The devilgant is a termagant armed with a devourer which basically doubles the cost of the model - why would anyone ever do that? Purifiers have access to all of the best options from their codex for very cheap. Let's also assume for the sake of this discussion that the Grey Knight army has Crowe (which is often the case) so the Purifiers are a scoring unit (i.e., troop) as well.

Here are the configurations:

15x termagant - devourers & mycetic spore

5x Purifier incl. Keeper of the Flame - 2x psycannon, halberd & daemonhammer (KotF) & rhino

Both units cost are in the same neighborhood of points, both are troops and both have a form of transportation. That's about at close as they get for the purpose of comparison without scratching the surface. The Purifiers are both a jack of all trades and also are a master in all ways - they can shoot down anything and excel in melee for a moderate cost. On the other hand the termagants are only good at shooting infantry units. While the mycetic spore lets you place the devilgants where you need them it is also an easy killpoint. The five man squad of Purifiers is the quensential unit from the viewpoint of min maxing for 5th edition. If the two units were to face off versus each other in melee it's clear the Purifiers would quickly come out on top while suffering minimal losses.

If we take a couple of steps back and compare each unit as a part of its army then we can draw more relevant conclusions and to me these are more important when it comes to analyzing competitive play. For instance while Purifiers are inherently fearless the same can be said about the devilgants if they are within range of synaspe. Fifteen fearless devilgants in cover can be hard to shift unless you are willing to engage them in assault then your assault unit might quickly fold versus a counter attacking enemy dedicated melee unit such as genestealers. To engage the devilgants in melee means that you are willing to expose a unit to following counter attacks. Depending upon the circumstances I'd be more than willing to trade a big brood of devilgants to bait an enemy unit... It's just like chess when you sacrifice one piece to gain a strategic advantage.

Another piece of the larger equation which accounts for more variables is how much time and effort does your opponent require to eliminate the brood - the longer it takes the more effort they must expend. Fifteen devilgants in cover that are fearless and have gone to ground can stick around a long time and they can hold an objective all the while. If they are strategically placed on the table you can force your opponent to make tough decisions - the harder the decision the more likely your opponent is to make a mistake. Capitalizing on your opponent's mistakes can lead to victory.

Time is a big factor and more so as the game progresses. The longer your unit can survive equates to more effort on the part of your opponent to eliminate that threat. Every turn the devilgants continue to stick around can be more ticks of the clock in your favor. I've won my share of games because one or two devilgants made it to the end of a game and held an objective.

So devilgants have the ability to perform multiple roles—obviously the same can be said about Purifiers and even more so. Tyranids are meant to be played as a synergistic army—most units rely upon some sort of support from another unit to accomplish any given task. It is this aspect more than anything else that can make Tyranids perform at a competitive level. This is the reason why I feel confident versus Grey Knights, Imperial Guard and Space Wolves... Not because I'm playing someone who doesn't really know what they're doing.

Each squad of Purifiers is an army of one - they don't need the level of support required for a brood of devilgants and from a strategic point of view that is one of the big reasons why they can and do often win games. In my opinion neither is better... One is better than the other in the hands of those that play them correctly depending upon the prevailing circumstances.

Now finally let's revisit the topic of the devilgants versus the Purifiers. Let's assume that the Purifiers have disembarked for whatever reason and for the sake of the discussion lets also assume the Purifiers disembarked for a valid reason (OH GAWD PLZ NOES !!!). If the devilgants arrive the following turn they can land in close enough proximity to the Purifiers and shoot them with their devourers:

45 S4 shots @ BS3: 22 hit & 11 wound:

The five man squad of Purifiers should roughly suffer 4 unsaved wounds and they'll most likely lose one or both psycannons and the Keeper of the Fame. So while the devilgants have not wiped the Purifiers they have rendered them fairly useless and under many situations it wouldn't be all that hard to pick off the lone Purifier now. The trick of course is to create a set of circumstances that lures your opponent into disembarking the small squad of Purifiers—of course you could just use brute force and crack open the rhino via shooting (e.g., Hive Guard).

In conclusion the devilgants are good at picking off small isolated MEQ units. They can be highly survivable as well and hold objectives. On the other hand the Purifiers can be more fragile due to their small size. So while hands down the Purifiers are the overall better unit that doesn't necessarily mean that the devilgants aren't worth their points as well.

Friday, March 30, 2012

New Deployment Rules for BeakyCon 2012

We have decided to introduce new deployment rules this year for both Seize Ground and Capture & Control:

— There are four objective markers for Seize Ground - one is placed in the center of each table quarter, or
— There are three objective markers for Seize Ground - draw a diagonal line from one table corner to the far adjacent table corner - one objective marker is placed at the middle of the table while the other two are equidistant from the center (i.e., 22" on either side of the central marker) - the diagonal line is drawn prior to rolling to choosing deployment zones (determined randomly)
— You can place your Capture and Control objective marker anytime during your initial deployment
— Capture & Control objective markers must be placed at least 9" from the Seize Ground Objective markers and must be placed inside the owning players' deployment zones
— All objective markers must be placed on ground level and count as impassible terrain - if terrain covers the spot where you would place an objective marker then treat it as reaching down to ground level so that bikes and cavlary units can move into position to count as being in base contact

Note that the rules for each mission will state the number of Seize Ground objective markers to use each round.

These new rules have been introduced to keep the missions as competitive as possible and not give one player any advantage over another during deployment... so basically no more bunching up your objective markers.

Remember that the BeakyCon mission features all three objectives from the rulebook - Seize Ground, Capture & Control plus Annihilation. Whoever wins the most objectives wins the game. If there is a draw on objectives then victory points are the tie breaker. This format was invented by my friend Mike Walsh and has been copied by other TOs such as myself (obviously) and the recent Bay Area Open GT held in California.

There are six turns each round with a seventh turn on a roll of 4+ on 1d6.

Registration opens in two weeks ! And remember if you register early you can buy 12 packs of our Beaky dice this year ($20/pack).

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

No more GW Tournament Circuit

I received this email from GW this afternoon:

The North American Games Workshop Business Support team along with our management team has spent an extensive amount of time reviewing the current tournament circuit and the best way to offer support to hobbyists interested in hosting events of their own.

As you are undoubtedly aware, there is a Games Workshop tournament circuit in which tournaments must apply and those chosen are offered support. After serious consideration, we will continue with the current 2012 circuit ending in May 2012 and host the culminating Throne of Skulls tournament this October. Going forward, in order to be more supportive of events of all types, especially those in our retail and trade outlet stores, we will discontinue the GW tournament circuit.

We would like to thank all the organiser's from the 2012 Circuit and we wish everyone the most success with their events in the future.


Desiree Dorsey
Director of Business Support
Games Workshop

Rest assured though that BeakyCon is a go for this year.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Thoughts on Grey Knights and Competitive Play

Most of my friends whom I consider to be good players have moved on from Grey Knights... Any army that is easy to win with can become boring to play repetively over time. I still remember my old World Eaters army that won so many games - it was kind of crazy and eventually it became purely mechanical and was a simple exercise in moving my models and rolling the dice. GK fills a niche for players with less experience that want to be competitive and there's nothing wrong with that in my opinion. Maybe these players can take what they learn in terms of tactics and strategy then eventually apply this to other armies... Most of us eventually move on in time. I rarely ever break out my Draigowing anymore - I know the army and all it's nasty little tricks inside out. For me it's more fun to play an army that is challenging... When I first started playing Tyranids I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder and wanted to prove they can be a competitive army. Slowly my army has evolved over time and I have accepted advice from others for improvement in terms of what I field. It's more fun for me to play now that I feel like I have less to prove. I don't mean to say I have proved Tyranids can be competitive - I mean to simply say they are very enjoyable for me to play and I hope this carries over into sixth edition. I do though want to say I appreciate everyone who has been supportive and wants me to be successful with my Tyranids - that means a lot to me !

On the flip side I have some friends who are good players and have stuck with their Grey Knight armies throughout all the constant intense hate on the Internet. That is cool as well and I plan to take my Grey Knight army to one GT this year. The army I brought to WarGamesCon last year has been refined and I'm pretty sure I can do better which for me is enough of a reason to break them out one more time. I think my Draigowing army has some unique elements and I like that aspect of the army... It's still something a little different from what you typically see and no one else plays it exactly like I do (at least to the best of my limited knowledge).

Eventually Grey Knights will be eclipsed - there will be some other newer codex people come to hate as much or even more so... It's the nature of 40k. I always enjoy playing against Grey Knights as they are always a challenge to beat. Routinely playing against the top tier armies provides you with the opportunity to become a better tactical player and hone your strategies... That can be a good thing.

Grey Knights are a drastically refurbished codex now... Honestly I don't think I can remember any codex that changed as much with the possible two exceptions of Imperial Guard and Chaos Space Marines. Of course CSM went from really good to really bad in my opinion. The original Daemonhunters codex pales in comparison to the new codex when it comes to competive play but in many ways the codex lost a lot of its original character on its way to becoming an over the top broken army. It is what it is as I so often like to say. I used several units from the Daemonhunters codex such as the Grand Master as an ally for some of my Imperial armies so I'm still quite familiar with the old rules... Certainly they weren't as powerful but I think they had a lot more character back then when they largely considered third tier at best.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Tendril Descends - Tyranids vs. Grey Knights (1850)

I played an interesting 1850 point game yesterday. Here are the two abbreviated army lists:

- Tyranids -
Hive Tyrant - wings, twin linked devourer w. brainleech ammo, bone sword + lash whip, Hive Commander; paroxsym & life leech
Alpha Warrior - bone sword + lash whip, scything talons, adrenal glands

3x Zoanthrope - spore
3x Hive Guard
8x Yrmgal genestealer

13x genestealer incl. Broodlord - toxin sacs & scything talons
15x devilgant - spore
3x Warrior - bone swords + lash whips, 2x deathspitter & barbed strangler, toxin sacs

Tyrannofex - rupture cannon

- Grey Knights -
Librarian (attached to GKT)
Inquisitor - grenades (attached to GKT)

10x Strike - psycannon - psybolt ammo - razorback (twin linked heavy bolter turret)
8x GKT - psycannon, halberds & daemonhammer - psybolt ammo

10x Purifier - 2x incinerator, halberds & daemonhammer - psybolt ammo  (embarked in Stormraven)
Techmarine - grenades & stave (attached to Purifiers)

Dreadnaught - heavy flamer & multi-melta (embarked in Stormraven)

Stormraven - extra armor, twin linked lascannon & twin linked multi-melta

Saturday, March 24, 2012


I have this feeling that confuses me at times. When a new codex is released often I like to field new units that have never been released before such as was the case with the Stormraven and is now the case with units such as the Necron Doomscythe. I don't actively support pirating but on the other hand when GW releases a new codex without a full line of models what is the best way to handle such a situation? Can you even imagine a world where everyone actually waited until GW finally released Thunderwolves to field them? They have set themselves up in my opinion. I guess I'm kind of neutral and hoping that GW is headed back to its roots promoting the game more as a hobby again... I can see this happening too with their very recent releases of glues and paints. I'm not going to wait two or more years to field a totally new unit that is not supported by GW - if they have something that can be used to field the unit I'll probably buy that even if that means making an expensive purchase from Forgeworld. I just hope that GW understands the position they put us in for these particular situations and I'm not going to spend an outrageous amount of money to purchase OOP models on eBay such as Canoptek Wraiths and Spyders either. There are holes that need to be filled.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dead and Gone

Memories, my memories
How long can you stay
To haunt my days
She came without a farthing
A babe without a name
So much ado about nothing
Is what she'd try to say
So much ado my lover
So many games we played
Through every fleeted summer
Through every precious day

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Necrons - VeilTek Army List version 1.01 (2k)

As requested by Greg Swanson...

- Overlord #1 (170)
Resurrection Orb + Tachyon Arrow + Phaeron [attach to Warriors]

- Royal Court #1 (150)
Harbinger of Despair - Nightmare Shroud + Veil of Darkness [attach to OL#1 & Warriors]
Lord - Mindshackle Scarabs + Resurrection Orb [attach to Immortals]

- 16x Warriors (208)

- Overlord #2 (235) [attach to Lychguard]
Warscythe + Mindshackle Scarabs + Sempiternal Weave + Resurrection Orb + Phase Shifter

- Royal Court #2 (114)
Harbinger of Despair - Veil of Darkness [attach to OL#2 & Lychguard]
Harbinger of Destruction - Solar Pulse [attach to Immortals]

- 6x Lychguards (270)
Hyperphase Sword & Dispersion Shield

- 8x Immortals (136)

- 6x Canoptek Scarabs (90)
- 3x Canoptek Spyder (165)
Gloom Prism

- 6x Canoptek Scarabs (90)
- 3x Canoptek Spyder (165)
Gloom Prism

- 6x Canoptek Wraiths (260)
Particle Caster x2 + Whip Coil x4

Validation Report:
c-1. File Version: 1.43 For Bug Reports/www.ab40k.org; b-1. Roster Options: Special Characters; a-1. Scenario: Normal Mission
Roster satisfies all enforced validation rules

Composition Report:
HQ: 2 (1 - 2)
Elite: 1 (0 - 3)
Troops: 2 (2 - 6)
Fast: 3 (0 - 3)
Heavy: 2 (0 - 3)

Canoptek Wraiths from puppetswar

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Obey the Propaganda

I was at my local pub this evening and a young gentleman came with his missus... He was wearing a baseball cap that was embroidered with the catch phrase Obey the Propaganda. I thought it is quite relevant as it always been from my point of view.


: )

Necrons - VeilTek Army List (2k)

As requested...

Total Roster Cost: 1978

- Vargard Obyron (160)

- Overlord - Warscythe + Sempiternal Weave + Resurrection Orb + Tachyon Arrow + Phase Shifter (220)

- Royal Court (285)
Harbinger of Despair - Veil of Darkness
Lord - Warscythe + Mindshackle Scarabs + Resurrection Orb + Phase Shifter
Lord - Warscythe + Mindshackle Scarabs + Resurrection Orb

- 14x Warriors (182)
- 8x Immortals (136)

- 5x Lychguards (225)
Hyperphase Sword & Dispersion Shield

Fast Attack
- 6x Canoptek Scarabs (90)
- 6x Canoptek Scarabs (90)

- 6x Canoptek Wraiths (260)
Particle Caster x2 + Whip Coil x4

Heavy Support
- 3x Canoptek Spyder (165)
Gloom Prism

- 3x Canoptek Spyder (165)
Gloom Prism

Validation Report:
c-1. File Version: 1.43 For Bug Reports/www.ab40k.org; b-1. Roster Options: Special Characters; a-1. Scenario: Normal Mission
Roster satisfies all enforced validation rules

Composition Report:
HQ: 2 (1 - 2)
Elite: 1 (0 - 3)
Troops: 2 (2 - 6)
Fast: 3 (0 - 3)
Heavy: 2 (0 - 3)

Necron Insanity—Canoptek Spyders and ScArabs

I had a great game versus Space Wolves this evening with two units that could veil... No Stormlord and no Pulseteks. ScArabs, Spyders and Wraiths seem to be pretty much Must Take units. Following some great advice from Greg Swanson I started with two packs of six ScArabs each and two units of three Spyders each... You generate so many ScArab bases over the course of the game you can end up with an army that is a lot more points than what you started with at the beginning of the game—it's really kind of crazy !! I had one pack of ScArabs that got up to over 15 bases and the other one was really large as well by the end of the game... If you do the math for this game I ended up with approximately 2.5 times as many ScArabs as I started with at the beginning of the game -  thats approximately 360 extra points... Kind of broken... Heh !

Once the SArabs hit enemy armor you'll either finish them off in the same combat or pop them the next turn with your tesla weapons. Scarabs penetrating rhinos on a 2+ in melee !! It's silly. Wraiths can also mow through enemy armor quickly as well.

Monday, March 19, 2012

David versus Goliath

This is not a Biblical tale. This is about why I root for the underdog. Many times the underdog is stronger and better prepared to win the fight. Often the media tells us who is the best but so often they are wrong... And they are so mad when you call them on it. Who would have thought the NY Giants would win the Super Bowl this year? They had the toughest schedule during the regular season and played two teams from the regular season in the playoffs. I knew they could win and so did a lot of fans.

It is very important to keep our minds uncluttered for competitive players. If you must rely upon net lists to consistently win you may have some problems when you come up versus an unconventional army that is well designed. The Internet can only take you so far... The last 20 percent you must do yourself.

So it seems everyone thought Goliath would p0wn David but the exact opposite happened. Of course David must have felt fairly confident going into the battle. It was an upset victory and changed the course of history. David went onto to become a King and lead a nation. Was it fair he used a sling? Rules lawyers have fun with that one. David knew what was needed to win and made it happen. It is just that simple. So the next time you decide to break out that spammed cookie cutter Internet list maybe you can stop and say to yourself "What would David do to win?" In my opinion unconventional thinking is the most powerful as it opens new doors of perception. The same old same old can be such a yawn fest really. There are many factors that influence the outcome of a battle and some things are beyond our control... For example you can't ever beat the dice. Preparation is one thing we can use to be successful and I've heard many coaches tell me that preparation is 90 percent of winning - I think that is very true.

If we simply go by the so called success of others I think we are selling ourselves short. I love to explore new things and test them. Testing and preparation are two things that can go hand in hand. What is unexpected gives us an edge. To be able to take advantage is key if you buy into this type of philosophy. We can only take advantage if we are fully prepared... Like I said these go hand in hand. I could and have provided in depth analysis how certain units perform best but this can only take us so far. I've had people tell me about the 80/20 theorem... They say take care of the first 80 percent and the last 20 percent will take care of itself—I have experienced this type of thinking often leads to epic failure. You must be willing to go all the way to consistently be successful. It is what it is.


BeakyCon 2012 Announcement

Hi all !!

I have decided to wait until the second week of April to open registration to the general public.The reason being I am on travel all of next week and the week after that... I'll be back then for the better part of April and think that this is for the best - less potential for any hassles.

Registration will be the same as last year via PayPal. We will take the first 64 to register. You have to pick an army and stick with that choice this year so give it some serious thought. We will be collecting army lists two months prior to the event this year. Note that there will be some modifications to the existing mission format such as deployment of objective markers.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Necrons • Thoughts on games yesterday

Like I said in my post from yesterday evening I had the opportunity to play my first two games versus Space Wolves (2000 points) and then Grey Knights (3000 points). The second game was versus two players teamed up and as I tend to be a competitive tournament player that game was more of a friendly get together match so I'll focus my thoughts on the first game. This is not a batrep btw - I'm just reflecting on the game.

Here is my current 2000 point army list:

- HQ -
Immotekh the Stormlord

Orikan the Empowered

(both HQ attach to the Warriors)

Royal Court:
— Harbinger of Destruction - Solar Pulse (Immortals)
— Harbinger of Eternity - Chronometer (Warriors)
— Harbinger of Transmogrification - Harp of Dissonance (Immortals)
— Lord - Warscythe, Res Orb, Phase Shifter, Mindshackle Scarabs (Lychguard)

- Elites -
C'Tan Shard - Writhing Worldscape, Transdimensional Thunderbolt

5x Lychguard - Hyperphase Swords & Dispersion Shields

- Troops -
15x Warrior
8x Immortal - tesla carbine
8x Immortal - tesla carbine

- Fast Attack -
10x Canoptek Scarab

- Heavy Support -
3x Canoptek Spyder

Note that I am still working on my Canoptek Wraiths and will use them (one unit of six) when they are built... Not sure yet what they will replace yet.

Here is my opponent's abbreviated Space Wolf list:

- HQ -
Wolf Lord - Thunderwolf mount, thunderhammer, runic armor, wolf tooth necklace, Saga of the Bear

Wolf Lord - Thunderwolf mount, frost blade, runic armor, wolf tooth necklace, Saga of the Warrior Born

Rune Priest - JotWW, Living Lightning (attachs to a Grey Hunter pack)

- Fast Attack -
3x Thunderwolf - 3x stormshield & wolf claw

- Elites -
3x Wolfguard w. power fist & combi-melta (attach to Grey Hunter & Wolf Scout packs)
Wolfguard w. terminator armor, cyclone missile launcher, power fist (attachs to Long Fangs)

6x Scout - meltagun, power sword

- Troops -
8x Grey Hunter - meltagun - rhino
8x Grey Hunter - meltagun - rhino
8x Grey Hunter - meltagun - rhino

(Probably a bit more kit for the Grey Hunters... Not sure what though)

- Heavy Support -
Long Fangs (not sure of the exact build)

We decided to play the new BeakyCon Mission which features four objective markers for Seize Ground (each one placed in the center of a table quarter). Deployment was Spearhead and I got the initiative. I setup in a castle deep in my table quarter and had to wait two turns for my opponent's units to start arriving from reserve. This will be a fairly common tactic versus Tremor Quaking Necrons for mechanized armies as they don't have to worry about the Turn 1 dangerous terrain shennigans. It also can lessen the effect of the Stormlord's Lord of the Storm special rules (Night Fight & Lightning). You'll note that my list has a Harbinger of Eternity so I can reroll for either the Stormlord or Orikan which is very useful and this combination kept the Long Fangs from shooting the entire game (six full turns - no LOS by the 5th turn). I was able to keep Night Fight up for four turns. It's been awhile since I've had to deal with JotWW which only killed two Warriors - it could have been worse so this is definitely something to prepare for in a defensive manner and I'll definitely add a Gloom Prism for my Spyders. The Scarabs popped the rhino with the Rune Priest early in the game which shut down JotWW from that point (4th turn). The Thunderwolf unit arrived during the fourth turn and took out all the Scarabs - I had to send the Scarabs forward as noted to keep the Rune Priest's JotWW psychic power out of potential range.

Now if you think about it for a standard mission I would have contained the Space Wolves and might have won if the game had only gone five turns - the BeakyCon mission features six turns then a possible seventh turn on a roll of 4+. Sure hoping a game only goes five turns is not a good strategy... I'm simply pointing out it could happen (roughly 1/3 of your games for standard missions). By the end of the game I had whittled the Wolfstar down to just the Bear Lord and a squad of Grey Hunters with the Rune Priest charged into assist him. The C'Tan and Orikan (Empowered) were a terror in melee doing lots of damage to the Wolfstar.

I now need to do some serious thinking how I will tweak my list... The main unit I want to tweak is the Royal Court. I need the Harbinger of Eternity to help the Stormlord and Orikan... I'm not sure if the Pulsetek is all that necessary now (forgot to fire his lance yesterday... Oops !!!). I want one Veiltek for a squad of Immortals to grab objectives late in the game. So I'll think about how to optimize the current configuration and report back later.

Two Games with Necrons

I was finally able to break out my Necrons today and played a couple games. First game was 2000 points versus Space Wolves with a Wolfstar, the second game was 3000 points versus Grey Knights (me versus two players). The first game I ran my Tremor Quaking Necron list then the second game I obviously had more points to play with and swapped out Orikan for an Overlord tooled out for melee. I lost both games but I think that's to be expected the first time out versus two of the top armies. I was a bit surprised how well my Necrons fared so in melee versus the Space Wolves... The game ended with my Necron deathstar locked against a Bear Lord and some Grey Hunters. I had a lot of points invested in the Tremor Quaking build for the first game. Also note I wasn't running any Canoptek Wraiths as mine are still under construction so I put the points towards Lychguard which performed amazingly well both games. The second game I cut down a lot of Grey Knights but came up a bit short in the end.

I gained a lot of valuable experience today. Both of my lists featured scarab farms and unfortunately both of the armies I was up against can insta gib lots of bases quickly in melee. I still see Scarabs and Spyders as a fundamental component for Necrons. I was very impressed with the Stormlord and he was the man. The C'tan shard and Orikan were also both quite impressive. To be honest Necrons seem a bit harder to play as compared to my Tyranids and I think a big part of that just comes down to experience. I think it's very important to build a Necron list that can effectively deal with high armor such as landraiders. Like I said melee was never really a problem for me - I just need to work a bit on improving my shooting. You have to invest a lot of points to make Tremor Quaking work and only have access to one Royal Court. I found the Tremorteks to be a bit underpowered and will look into replacing them with other types of Crypteks.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tyranids • Some Thoughts for the Week

I found this highly amusing. I had one of my Tyranid batreps posted on BoLS this past weekend - it was a game versus a good friend who plays Space Wolves. It is an old batrep dating back three months or more and I had a big win that game. Lots of hate on BoLS with many claims I faked the batrep to make my army seem better than it is. There was also lots of comments that my army list sucks and/or that my friend's SW army list sucks. It seems to me that some people have either forgot or don't realize that Tyranids are still one of the top melee armies - in fact I will go so far to say they are better in assault than Space Wolves... At least that has been my experience. A lot (too much really) emphasis has been put on wrecking mechanized armies via shooting - a lot of people believe that shooting is superior to assault in fifth edition and for good reason but I don't think it can be made as a blanket statement.

What I have learned from playing Tyranids is that to be competitive you need a very balanced army with the potential for lots of synergy. I have removed some of my melee units to add some more shooting and so far it's paid off. My army is still quite potent in melee... I like how I was able to make the changes and not go too far in the other direction.

It still seems the general consensus is that a horde list consisting mainly of Tervigons, termagants, Hive Guard and Tyrannofexen is the way to go - but remember that from a competitive point of view this style of play has epically failed, not placing first at any major event... Yet some people still hold onto this way of thinking and proclaim it as superior. A lot of people want to play armies that are simple and do very well competitively such as Grey Knights, Imperial Guard and Space Wolves. That is okay but this approach comes up short for Tyranids which is well proven - you have to be willing to experiment and think outside the proverbial box.

I have started to see some other players around the US having some success with reserved Tyranids... It's not a major trend by any means but maybe the release of the new plastic kits will breathe some more life into this codex. From what I've heard in regards to the coming sixth edition Tyranids will get a good boost and mech will not be quite as good anymore - so some things are definitely going to change by the end of the year.

The cool thing is a follow up article on my latest Tyranid army list was posted later that day and was generally well received.  :  ) I have my host of critics on BoLS that want to shoot me down but there is still some fire under this snowy roof. Heh.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Current State of the Hive Mind - Tyranid Evolution

I've been playing my Tyranid army for over 6 months now and my 2000 point list has slowly evolved with several major modifications. Most of the changes have come about due to lessons learned during playtesting — a few modifications came about through constructive feedback from other avid Tyranid players. I still believe that my brand of Tyranids can beat the top armies - Grey Knights, Imperial Guard and Space Wolves. Grey Knights are still the biggest challenge by far but I still have a solid track record versus the silver Marines — often these games come down to the last turn and are often decided on the roll of one dice. There is a new threat emerging upon the horizon — the Necron menace. I have not played a single game yet versus Necrons but my feeling is that the mobility and superior melee of the Tyranids are both major advantages — enough so that I'm not really worried at this point. Sure that's easy to say without having actually played against them but on the other hand I've read plenty of batreps and I'm aware of what they can do and what are the more prevalent builds... Knowledge is power.

Here is a list of the core units I've stuck with since the very beginning... There have been some slight changes but overall these units haven't changed much at all in terms of how I kit them.

Alpha Warrior:
— Bone Sword + Lash Whip
— Scything Talons
— Adrenal Glands
— Regeneration

The Tyranid Prime is most often my go to HQ and does lots of heavy lifting — providing synapse for my fire base and leading counter assaults versus enemy units that break towards my forward line. Time and time again the Tyranid Prime has finished off tough dedicated enemy melee units with a little support when needed. His independent character status makes him easy to hide in any brood and that keeps him alive for when I need him to wreck havoc. The Alpha Warrior is definitely a super beast !!

Rating: A+

3x Warrior:
— Bone Swords + Lash Whips
— Toxin Sacs
— 2x Deathspitter
— Barbed Strangler

This brood is by far and has always been one of my favorite units. They might not seem like much on paper but boy do they ever pack a wicked punch in melee... In fact I've had several SM players tell me they are just plain evil. They are a fantastic unit for killing just about anything in melee due to the combination of a high weapon skill (WS5), relatively large number of attacks with power weapon equivalents that are poisoned plus they are multi-wound (3 wounds apiece) creatures. Their only major weakness is versus high strength weapons that can insta-gib them. The optimal configuration is to run them with the Alpha Warrior attached so they can benefit from his higher WS and BS. They also provide synapse — you can never have enough synapse as far as I'm concerned and I think other competitive Tyranid players are beginning to realize why this can be so important. Conventional wisdom on the Internet says they are mostly rubbish but often for me they end up doing great things and help me win. They are another keeper for sure. They also provide some anti-infantry firepower and it can help — in particular the barbed strangler has been quite awesome for me.

I'd be inclined to run them as Shrikes but then they would no longer be a scoring unit, slightly higher cost and it would then be pointless to attach the Alpha Warrior. To me the Warrior brood is the semi-equivalent of a tactical terminator (at least how I run mine).

I am currently fielding a Tyrant with Hive Commander so there is also the option to run the Warriors solo and outflank them — it's not something I do often but there are those times when it's useful.

Rating: A-/B+

15x Termagant:
— Devourers
— Mycetic Spore

This is a versatile unit as they drop in and do some serious damage versus enemy units such as Grey Hunters when I can catch them out in the open. They are also quite good when used as a large brood to hold an objective — so they are indeed a multi-purpose brood. Sometimes I'll even throw them into an assault if I need more bodies to quickly finish an emeny unit such as a five man Strike squad.

Rating: B

14x Genestealer incl. Broodlord:
— Scything Talons & Toxin Sacs

8x Genestealer

These are two of my shock troops. Typically they do well and can sometimes last throughout the game to hold an objective. Like I said they are shock troops obviously providing the most benefit in melee. I tended to outflank them a lot throughout the majority of my games with the Tyranids but I've recently started to infiltrate either one or both broods and I've found this can work well if they have other friendly closeby in support. The combination of scytal (scything talons) and poison (toxin sacs) for the big brood plus the Broodlord often puts them over the top in assaults versus enemy dedicated melee units. Recently in a very close game they managed to take down the Khan and a big squad of assault terminators and in another game versus Purifier spam they took down a Nemesis Dread Knight. Scytal plus poison greatly increases the number of rends — I wish I had the points left over to equip the smaller brood as such. Again conventional Internet wisdom tells us to leave the Broodlords back on the Hive Ships but mine has been a real beast - higher weapon skill, higher strength, higher toughness, higher initiative, three wounds and a better armor save tends to often pay off.

Rating: A

8x Yrmgarl Genestealer

Another shock unit par none! I used to run a full brood but have recently cut back as per a suggestion from the Hyv3mynd. Eight is enough to get the job done and saves some points that can go elsewhere. It's very powerful to have a dedicated melee unit that can come in from anywhere - you decide where to secretly deploy them in reserve after your opponent has deployed their army... It's brilliant. Recently I charged a squad of Grey Hunters in a ruin that had been shot up by my termagants, popped the +1T mutatation to increase their survivability then popped +1A the next turn to finish off the Grey Hunters — the next turn they climbed a level up and assaulted a squad of Long Fangs popping +1T again... Rinse and repeat.

Rating: A

3x Zoanthrope
— Mycetic Spore

This brood is my ace versus landraiders and of course they are quite good at popping other vehicles as well. I originally started off with only a pair but have added a third Zoie to increase their odds versus Grey Knights. They most often come in from reserve alone and isolated from the rest of my army but that's the price you must be willing to pay if you really want to target landraiders and other vehicles with high armor facing values. As such they often are destroyed along with their spore but if they can inflict some critical damage it pays off. This brood can also drop the S5 AP3 small blast and as such they are also good at soaking power armor. I could drop them for another Hive Guard brood but like I said I think it's important to have at least one dedicated unit that can fairly reliably pop open landraiders at range.

Rating: B

At first I always ran a pair of Trygon Primes then I dropped one to include another monstrous creature. Just recently I dropped the second one as well to include yet another monstrous creature. Trygons are amazing in melee but I have found I am doing better now overall by fielding other monstrous creatures that provide superior ranged anti tank firepower. I really love my Trygons... Oh well they were fun.

Gone also are the Hormagaunts I used to run as a posse for my Alpha Warrior. They were also a great unit when used in tandem with the Tyranid Prime but these points have allowed me to run a third brood of genestealers (see above) so I still have four scoring units plus now I have the option to attach the Prime with my Warriors which is a better combination.

The two units I've added are a brood of three Hive Guard and one Tyrannofex (rupture cannon, wound on 2+ template and Adrenal Glands). Both these units provide excellent long range anti tank firepower and with the recent change to the Tyranid FAQ the Hive Guard are even better now. I have also added a Hive Tyrant (wings, twin linked devourer with brainleech ammo, bone sword and lash whip, adrenal glands, Hive Commander, paroxsym and Life Leech)... I want to find the points to add Ancient Adversary as well. The Tyrant is a force multiplier for the army — improving my reserves, adding some more ranged firepower plus he is another melee monster. With only four wounds that is a liability but he is still a solid choice. I rate the Tyrant at A+ and the Tyrannofex at B+.

The addition of these new units has greatly changed the dynamics of my army — instead of always fielding a purely reserved army often now I start with several units on the table — especially if there is some LOS blocking terrain to hide them. I'm still protected and it prevents my opponents from spreading out as much plus I still have some units held in reserve such as the termagants and Zoanthropes. I play more defensively now probing the enemy to find a chink in their proverbial armor I can exploit.

My Tyranid army has slowly evolved over the period of six months. I have more ranged anti tank firepower without being detrimental to my melee. I don't really see the army changing much now and look forward to bringing them to some GTs.

Friday, March 09, 2012

150 members !!! w00t !!!

And its payday Friday !!

Thanks to everyone for your support - it is greatly appreciated !!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

BeakyCon 2012 Registration

Registration will open on March 19. We will take the first 64 entries. There are no refunds after the end of July. This year we will have more terrain, new dice and new objective markers. This year we will also allow players to order dice in sets of twelve.

Necron Command Battle Barge by NEXT LEVEL PAINTING

Monday, March 05, 2012

Tremor Quaking Cronz Win Indy GT !!!

Norbu the Destroyer won this weekend with the following list:



2 x tremor crypteks
1 x Chronomotron tek
1 combat lord w/ orb

7 lychguard w/ sheilds
1 Ctan (wrything worldscape, lord of fire)

5 x warriors
5 x warriors
5 x Immortals

5 scarabs
4 scarabs
5 wraiths (coils, pistol)

3 spyders
3 spyders

His opponents were as follows:

Rnd 1  - Mech IG
Rnd 2  - Mech IG
Rnd 3 -  DE venoms, ravagers, large hellion pack, large beast pack
Rnd 4 - Necrons (Lots of AV 13....stalkers, cmd. barges, annhilation barges, 15 wraiths)
Rnd 5 - GK (2 Ravens - assassins, techmarines w. grenades, 4 Auto dreads, 4 razors w. cheap troops)
Rnd 6 - Another Mech IG

Here is an article I wrote not too long about TremorCronz -

TremorCronz Tactical Article

There are lots of similar elements such as the use of Stormlord, Wraiths and a Scarab farm.

The article above was also posted over on BoLS and contained a sample army list as an appendix:

BoLS Tremor Quaking Necron Article

Now if you read the comments in the BoLS article you will see I got heavy flamered by the 3++ crew... they all said the list is garbage. Kind of funny, huh ?

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Playing Tyranids versus Grey Knights

Tyranids and Grey Knights are my two main armies I play now. There are some similarities as both armies have strong melee and fantastic psychic powers. Grey Knights are much easier to play while Tyranids require a lot of thought and creativity to win versus the top tier armies. I enjoy both armies equally but play Tyranids much more often because I feel I need more time to perfect my list and develop the best techniques with them to win on a consistent basis. My Draigowing army is tried and true—I know what I need to do to win with them versus most any army. Any game with my Tyranids versus a good player leaves me feeling spent mentally and physically so I'm wondering how I'll do this year when I take them to a big event. It can be a beeotch being an old man - heh !

With the new release of the plastic Tyrant and Tyrannofex I bought a new T-fex yesterday and plan to test my list with this monster in lieu of the Trygon. It will simply be an experiment to see how the army runs with one long ranged S10 weapon. Versus mech my gut feeling is the T-Fex will be a welcome addition but I do hate to lose the extra synaspse bubble... Both creatures are very expensive for the points so in that regard its an even trade. Definitely the T-Fex is going to bring some much needed pain versus psyflemen and I think that could be huge. Remove the reinforced aegis from the equation and other aspects of my army will multiply.

My Tyranid army has slowly evolved from a purely offensive reserved army into more of a defensive army that holds objectives and has a vanguard element to act as a disruptive shield in the form of the genestealers. This approach adds more stability overall and helps to reduce the stress... So I'm really liking that aspect. I'm not too worried about facing off versus other melee centric armies as I believe Tyranids are still the best in close combat.

That's all for now. Peace out.

Tampa Bay 40k Team Tournament Batreps

Hi all !!

I was over in Tampa yesterday to play in the team tourney - 1500 points per player so 3000 points per team. My partner (John Lennon) and I were planning to run two Tyranid armies but found out upon arrival that teams couldn't use use the same codex... Luckily I had my Grey Knights in the car so I quickly put together a Draigowing army featuring three Venerable psyflemen dreadnaughts. John's army featured a Flyrant with Ancient Adversary, two Tervigons, two full broods of Hive Guard, gargoyles and lots of gaunts. I had planned to run a Tyranid army with three broods of Yrmgarls and large genestealer broods with Broodlords... Oh well it was not to be.

The reason why you couldn't play two armies from the same codex is that at their last team tournament two brothers showed up with Bugz and were fielding the Doom in both lists which turned out to be quite the terror. I also heard that in general people didn't like certain combos teams were using for dual codex armies.

It turned out that the Draigowing-Tyranid alliance was quite powerful though so all was not lost. The three Venerable brother dreadnaughts were a true terror to behold gunning down lots of armor and infantry over the course of the three games.

Tampa Bay Team Tournament Results

What is done cannot be denied.

John Lennon and I came away with first place today. We ran Tyranids (John) and Draigowing (me)... I ran three Venerable psyflemen and they were true beasts. We were planning to run double Tyranids but found out you could not run two armies from the same codex... Luckily I had my Grey Knights in the car as well as my Tyranids. We had two tight games versus Dark Eldar|Blood Angels and Dark Eldar|Tau but managed to win them both. The other game was versus Blood Angels|Space Wolves - we won that as well. My invulnerable saves were on fire when I needed them and John was a great captain for the team. It was a great day.

: )

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Tyranid Team Tourney Report - Game 1

Found out this morning organizer wouldn't allow team mates to run the same codex - kind of lame if you ask me. I decided to run my Draigowing Psyflemen list as a replacement. We won the first round strong versus a DE-BA team. I will report later on the second game.