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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Your Basic Defense

Tonight I'd like to address what I consider to be one of the most basic tenents to playing competitive 40k... Your basic defense can win you games on a consistent basis. Of course you need to understand what is a defense. Defense is the act of resisting an attack. It's just that simple too.

This is a long article so pull up a chair and sit awhile if you want to absorb it in its entirety.

Pre Amble
So why am I writing this article...

It seems there were many daemon armies at Feast of Blades (FoB) this past weekend in Colorado. It also looks like for the most part the majority came with pretty much the same build spamming lots and lots of flamers and screamers. It is nothing new as far as spam goes - the only difference is now Tzneetch finally got a little loving from GW. This seems to be a regional meta in my opinion which I think is important to note.

Probably these players designed their lists to optimize them for the event's rules interpretations regarding flamers and screamers - they basically got all the good stuff from both sets of rules:

 Chaos Daemon codex -
• Eternal Warrior
• Fearless

WD booklet -
• 5++ invulnerable save

Many have recently stated this is a broken combination. In truth the daemon codex is just plain hard to write. You are going to end up with either some weak sauce or something pretty darn potent simply due to the very background of daemons. Remember all the 40k Internet pundits that claimed daemons are the weak sauce ? You should.

If you look at the results from other major events that have used 6th edition none of them saw daemons so heavily favored and I doubt the next major event will again. If the majority of the competitive players are basically bringing one specific type of build then it's bound to do well. Don't you find it ironic that none of these armies featured any allied detachments?

I have been told that the scoring system at FoB heavily favored the flamer-screamer daemon build as tabling your opponents racked up lots of battle points. I prefer the W/L format over Margin of Victory for just this type of reason since it helps curb the abuse of spam. Basically each event is going to favor certain types of armies over others just due to how the players score points. A well designed balanced list in the hands of a good general should always stand a fair chance to do well regardless of the system.

I find it very interesting that GW just updated the Daemon FAQ immediately following FoB. This is the only change:

Q: Do models chosen from Codex Chaos Daemons and/or the White Dwarf, August 2012, Codex Chaos Daemons official update have the Daemon special rule from the Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook, or do they have the Daemon army special rule from Codex: Chaos Daemons? (see page 27)

A: All models from Codex Chaos Daemons and/or the White Dwarf, August 2012, Codex Daemons official update have the Daemon army special rule listed in Codex Chaos Daemons with the addition of the Fear special rule from the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook and a 5++ invulnerable save.

So lo and behold the FoB judges got it right and I tip my hat to them.

I find it very interesting that GW has released rules updates immediately following both NOVA and FoB. Their stated policy is they no longer care about competitive tournament play nor support it... But Dayum it sure seems like they are suddenly keeping a very close eye on it. I think that's a great thing too - they let us know their position on controversial issues taking the proverbial bull by its horns.

While the Tzneetch daemon build is certainly one tough nut to crack it is by no means an auto win army. We can drink the latent Internet cool aid, roll over and claim we are done OR we can put our mind to work and devise strategies and tactics to defeat these seemingly indefeasible armies. Daemons by their very nature are highly aggressive so developing defensive tactics can help us to overcome them. It is what it is. 

When I was growing up I played a lot of sports and tried my best to learn what tactics and strategies made for the best teams. I primarily studied basketball, football and soccer. There was a high school basketball coach from my home state that prided himself on defense and he won many state championships... What was very interesting to me was the fact this coach was from a relatively small town and consistently beat teams from much bigger cities. His basic tenent for success was as follows - your defense is always there while some times your offense will come and go. He had most of his plays designed around defense (obviously). Let them break apart upon the rocky shoals of our outer boundaries as they pound upon us one wave after another.

In terms of football I have often seen one particular style of play do very well - awesome defense coupled with a solid offensive line and a good ground game for offense (i.e., running game). These types of teams control the possession of the ball (usually 60% versus 40% or better), rarely turn the ball over and have few points scored against them. They can pass the ball well but prefer the run as the latter eats up the clock and plays right into their hands. The San Francisco 49ers currently epitomize this style of football now in my opinion and these types of teams often score directly on turn overs through their stout defense.

In terms of soccer I point directly to the Italian national team. They haven't won a World Cup in quite some time but over the course of the World Cup they certainly have won  more than their fair share of titles - I believe that only Brazil has more. The Italians are well known for their multi layered defensive style... If they score the first goal you can bet there will all eleven players inside their penalty box booting the ball as far down the field as possible time and time again. It's boring but it works... And what is good for the goose is good for the gander if you catch my drift.

Defense as applied to 40k
While you can't win a championshop on defense alone it sure can be quite powerful. In the realm of professional sports typically the teams with the top defenses often tend to do the best and in my mind in terms of 40k it can produce consistent winning results.

Of all the armies I've ever played the most challenging for me was dark eldar... They can hit like a ton of bricks but also quickly wither on the proverbial vine if left out to dry. Dark eldar by their very nature have little in the way of defense and I prefer armies that can absorb a lot more punishment and dish it out in return. I was a huge advocate of Tyranids in 5th edition and one of the main reasons is that that they can handle incoming enemy fire power a lot better in my mind than say the dark eldar. Space Marines in general have their 3+ armor save which is one of their best attributes (and is often overlooked - believe it or not).

If you want to be a competive player then you've got to have a game plan. You shouldn't expect to show up to most any game with a hastily designed army and expect to roll through one opponent after another. A big part of bringing a strong list is to have play tested it extensively - you are intimately familiar with its strengths and weaknesses... So you know how to exploit its strengths while at the same time minimizing it's weaknesses.

Another basic philosophy is a good offense is a good defense and this goes right back to what I said earlier in regards to the 49ers as they do so by controlling the ball more than their opponents. Sure they might seem to struggle when the opposing team goes ahead to grab a significant advantage points wise since by the very nature of their intrinsic game they are not as accustomed to this type of situation. Using your offense to generate your defense is an advanced strategy but I find some players do it without even realizing it for what it is.

As a 40k player I want to grab the objectives prior to my opponent but I have a set of very basic strategies built into my game plan so that I can adapt to most any unfortunate set of circumstances. Running a successful offense can be heavily dependent upon the luck of the dice - for example if you can't roll to hit on a consistent basis in a one off game you can still offset this unforgiving metric simply by bringing a solid well thought out defense to the table (and tends to be much less dependent upon the dice).

Specific Examples for 40k
I've talked at length in general about the strength of your defense, citing some examples from popular sports to build my case. I would like to now provide some simple examples to better illustrate my case. Two strategies that quickly come to mind is the castle deployment and denying the refused flank.

The Castle
This strategy hinges upon deploying all your units close together so they can support each other. This is my tried and true method to defeat dark eldar - it's also known simply as circling your wagons. Dark eldar are highly mobile and are designed to win by dividing and conquering the enemy.

The last thing any dark eldar player wants to see is a castle... It's their worst nightmare come true! Daemons though on the other hand love to see their opponents deploy as such - everything is clustered nicely together... The raw meat goes into one end of the meat grinder and comes right out the other end entirely shredded. The main point here being one type of defense does not equally apply to all armies. You must adapt.

Denying the Refused Flank
The Oblique Order (...or refused flank) is a military tactic whereby an attacking army focuses its forces to attack a single enemy flank. The force commander concentrates the majority of his strength on one flank and uses the remainder to fix the enemy line. This allows a commander with weaker or equal forces to achieve a local superiority in numbers. The commander can then... defeat the enemy in detail... Oblique order required disciplined troops able to execute complex maneuvers in varied circumstances.

Source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oblique_order

If you stop to think about it this is the manner in which Chaos daemons most often attack other armies... The meat grinder starts at one end of the enemy line and works it way through to the other running everything through their big shredder.

How do we deny this type of attack? It's simple - spread out your forces so that you offer no flank to attack. Mobility is a key to this type of defense as you want to be able to quickly redeploy your units so that the daemons are time and time again left standing on their hooves. As a direct result the daemon player will typically over extend their units leaving open to quick counter attacks. Basically you're turning the table on your daemonic foe. Heh  ! If well executed what starts off as a stiff defense evolves into a powerful offense.

I've focused first on why I think daemons overall did so well at FoB. Next I touched on certain types of physical sports that employ defense as a key to victory. I also briefly touched on what makes daemons so darn nasty. I then closed citing two types of simple defensive tactics you can employ to defeat aggressive armies. Remember that defensive armies score by using well timed counter attacks executed when the enemy is the most exposed.

There will always be some over the top offensive minded armies. By denying their attacks we can prevail time and time again. The best armies have defensive mechanisms to call upon while marshaling their forces - this goes hand in hand with designing a balanced army and they are less dependent upon the luck of the dice. Let's face the facts... If you find yourself time and time again relying upon luck to win then most likely you probably don't have much a real game plan.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Coming your way soon - Forgeworld Horus Heresy Book One - Betrayal

Hi everyone. I bought this book when it first came out and was finally able to start reading it just this week. The book features four of the Imperial Legions that turned:

Lunar Wolves/Sons of Horus (Chaos Undivided)
Death Guard (Nurgle)
Emperor's Children (Slaneesh)
World Eaters (Khorne)

The only missing Chaos power is Tzneetch but Forgeworld is following the historical time line so I imagine the Thousand Sons will be featured in a later to be released book.

I can tell you this book really knocked my socks off and I find it highly amusing that it was released just prior to the new Chaos Space Marine codex. While I'm very excited about the new Heresy book from Forgeworld I am nonplussed about the new CSM codex. My current plan is to write a series of articles comparing specific units from the two books. One thing I really like a lot about the new Forgeworld book are some of the veteran units along with many of the special characters.

I think the Forgeworld book was specifically designed to create games pitting the four Legions against each other. While that is exciting I am also very interested to see how these new 30k armies stack up versus existing 40k armies - I will try to focus on that aspect as well.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

BeakyCon2 Interview with Gabe Dobkin - Best Army

This evening I have put together an interview with Gabe Dobkin who won the Player's Choice award this year taking the top spot for Best Army by a land slide. Gabe is no stranger to the podium and has won many awards at various GTs as both a general and painter. Last year Gabe won the award for Best Overall at NOVA with his beautiful and highly converted Cobra themed Imperial Guard army.

This year Gabe went 4W-2L with his beautiful Blood Angels Death Company army which was quite a feat seeing he only had one scoring unit and four out of six missions featured objectives as the primary win condition.

I met Gabe several years ago when I first moved to Florida at the Necronomicon GT in Orlando. He is a great guy and highly respected throughout the state. Gabe has a knack for developing very unique armies that do quite well in play and that is one of his traits I admire most! Gabe has been kind enough to share some pictures of his Death Company army with us... w00t !!

So let's go ahead and get started now that the introduction is over.

Q1. My first question is what drew you to build this particular army and what was your inspiration?

A1. I am traditionally a xenos player and tend to be drawn away from so-called "cookie cutter" MEQ builds. I was a big fan of "Null Deployment" in 5th edition and have always enjoyed coming up with out of the ordinary builds and tactics. When I read the Blood Angels Codex, I was blown away by the variety of available themes within the army and intrigued by the potential of the Descent of Angels USR. It seemed like I could apply xenos tactics to an MEQ army. It felt like Eldar Marines!

As a painter, I loved the Sanguinary Guard models. After NOVA 2011, I set about feverishly assembling and painting a Dante led, "Null Deployment" DoA army of Sanguinary Guard and Assault Marines. When 6th Edition hit, I was nearly finished with the army only to discover it was no longer legal! At that point, NOVA 2012 was only a couple months out. I looked at the units I had painted and really had no idea what to do or which direction to go. I spent a couple weeks unsuccessfully trying to adapt the list and the units I had already painted into something viable for 6th edition. I had completed a Death Company squad with bolters and a Death Company Dreadnought both with Drop Pods as part of my DoA army (the only non DoA units in the list!).

A day or two after giving up on creating a 6th edition list for the Blood Angels, I just had an epiphany of swapping Dante for Astorath and bringing an all Death Company themed list.

I sort of stumbled into the idea as a last resort, but it really took off from there as I gained inspiration and motivation for the project. I also knew the points cost of jump pack equipped DC was so prohibitive that it would allow me to get up to 2k with a limited number of models, which is important as I paint slowly.

Q2. Would you mind sharing your army list with us? Seeing that you have only one scoring unit what tactics and strategies do you employ to win objective based missions?

A2. The list I ran at BeakyCon 2 is listed below. As for tactics, I basically try to kill everything with a particular focus on opposing scoring units. I added the one assault squad, which I attach Astorath and the Sanguinary Priest to, in order to potentially hold one objective. If I can limit my opponent to one objective, I am now playing for KPs. DC Tycho embarked on the Stormraven was supposed to be a late game "ace-in-the-hole" denial unit.

Astorath the Grim
Death Company Tycho
Sanguinary Priest - Jump Pack, Melta Bombs

Assault Squad (10) - 2x Melta Gun, Power Fist, Infernus Pistol
Death Company Squad (9) - Jump Packs, Power Fist, Power Weapon
Chaplain Lemartes
Death Company Squad (10) - Power Fist, Power Weapon, Infernus Pistol
Drop Pod
Death Company Dreadnought- Blood Fists, Magna Grapple
Drop Pod - Searchlight
Death Company Dreadnought - Blood Talons, Searchlight 
Stormraven - Twin-Linked Multi-melta, Hurricane Bolters, Searchlight
Q3. What types of armies had you most worried? Did you face any of them and if so how did you go about fighting them?

A3. I hadn't actually gotten a single practice game in with the army prior to BeakyCon 2, so I think I was pretty worried about all opponents!!

If I had to choose one prior to the tournament, I would have to say Grey Knights are always going to be a threat to Blood Angels as they are basically just better equipped Marines. The biggest problem is any guise of flyer spam. With the exception of the Stormraven, my entire army basically has 12" range and nothing to hit zooming flyers or swooping monstrous creatures.

I did face an Ork/IG list that featured 3 Fighter Ace Waagh DakkaJets along with a pair of Vendettas and 36 Lootas. It was quite the game of cat and mouse as I basically spent the entire game hiding in ruins and trying to keep a few things alive. Amazingly, that worked like a charm and I was able to win objectives at the end! I also fought a Daemon Army with 4 flying monstrous creatures, which I just had no real answer to.

Q4. What changes to your army would you make now after playing at BeakyCon2? Why would you make these changes?

A4. I think DC Tycho was not an optimal use of 175 points. As the Stormraven tends to eventually get shot down, Tycho has a 50/50 shot at being instant-deathed in the crash! Even when he lives, he ends up being well out of position to do anything. The Hurricane Bolters were not particularly useful for 30 points. I definitely think dropping those two things in exchange for a second Stormraven is going to be happening in the immediate future.

Q5. Tell us about your favorite game and why you enjoyed it the most.

A5. I think my favorite game at BeakyCon 2 was against Chris Winans who had the above mentioned Ork/IG list that featured 3 DakkaJets along with a pair of Vendettas, 36 Lootas behind an Aegis Line, 2 mobs of 30 Shoota Boyz led by a BigMek, etc.

I literally looked at his army and thought that there was absolutely no way for me to beat it. I had nothing to deal with 5 flyers and not only did he out number me like 4 or 5 to 1, but he had massive amounts of ranged shooting. The mission was objectives and there were 4 on the table. The table was a city fight board featuring several large LoS blocking buildings.

This was the only game where I combat squaded the Assault Squad. My saving grace was rolling a "1" for the Warlord Trait Conqueror of Cities which gave my entire army stealth and move through cover in the ruins! I gave him first turn and stuck the combat squad of 5 normal assault marines in regular reserve. I spent the entire game literally cowering in ruins and attempting to deny him LoS to my units. I used my Drop Pod Death Company to box in his Shoota Boyz Mobz and keep them entertained. The Stormraven came in and dropped a DC Dread and Tycho in to the same area to keep those two gigantic units occupied and boxed in his deployment zone.

It was a pretty insane game! I didn't reveal my Jump Pack Lemartes-led Death Company unit until the bottom of turn 5. They were able to jump out and charge into his Loota brigades, killing many and contesting the objective in his deployment zone. On the bottom of the 6th turn, Astorath, the Priest, and the Sergeant of the other Assault Combat Squad (which was all that remained) were able to jump out and capture the objective in my deployment zone. The last 2 marines from the other combat squad then jumped out and captured an objective in no man's land. My Death Dread that had been delivered in hiding behind a large ruin in his Drop Pod earlier in the game was able to move out and destroy enough of the IG Vet Squad that was holding the final objective to give me the win 2-0!

It really was a thinking game, quite silly, and a very non-aggressive way to run psychopathic Death Company!


Q6. What is your next 40k project you have planned?

A6. I am going to tweak the Death Company by adding the second Stormraven and maybe one or two other bits. I am also in the process of finishing up the new additions to my existing Necron army as an update of sorts. Both of these projects will be finished here in 2012. Next on the agenda is the giant stack of unopened Dark Eldar I have been hoarding since that codex released! 2013 will be the year of the Dark Eldar!


Q7. How did you like the overall system and rules this year? Do you have any suggestions for improvement?

A7. I really had a great series of games and I enjoyed BeakyCon 2. It was great having a large event here in Florida. My main suggestion for improvement would be posting the scores at the end of each round along with table assignments. It would keep the judges from having to walk around the room shouting them out, which was difficult to hear at times, and would also of course let players know how they are doing in the rankings.


Q8. Feel free now to discuss anything you wish that I haven't covered above.

A8. I would like to drop a shameless plug in here that...

I am entertaining the idea of selling my Cobra-themed Imperial Guard army which has won quite a lot of awards and notoriety. In different iterations it has won Best Painted at the NOVA Open 2011, Coastal Assault 2012, and Best Army at the Necronomicon. These are all very large events.

The army is huge and far larger than the 2k army featured around the internet. This army is truly one of a kind and painted to the highest standard.

I do not want to part with it and will never undertake another project quite like it. Times are hard and if anyone out there may be interested, please contact me at:


I guarantee you will not be able to purchase an army of this quality on eBay. The attention to detail on every model is far superior to pro-painted armies on eBay that have asking prices of $3500 and up. My asking price is $5000 obo.

Thank you Battle Brother Steve!


That's it for now. A big congratulations to Gabe !!

The ever ubiquitous landraider

Hi everyone !!

So BeakyCon2 is finally behind us now and I can take a rest for a few months. I do want to say that next year we are planning to expand the event and we want to fully embrace 6th edition. This means you will see double FOC and approved Forgeworld units. We would like to go to a three day event so you can play more rounds, have more time each round and field bigger armies. This is an ambitious goal and will require a lot more work. We are very excited !!

This evening I'd like to discuss the role the landraider plays in both Space Marine (SM) and Chaos Space Marine (CSM) armies. I remember once a good friend of mine told me back in 5th edition that every Space Marine army can benefit from the inclusion of a landraider. There is a lot of truth to that in my opinion. Like many I have played a lot of SM and CSM armies and I have always been a big fan of landraiders. Probably the major deterrent to fielding one is the cost in points. I had some success in 5th edition with the application of the landraider and I think it's an even better investment now in 6th edition. The landraider is primarily a mobile bunker that allows you to assault your opponent with a hard dedicated melee unit. It is a big investment in points but it can also be a game winner too.

Meta Shift
So far I have seen a shift away from MSU (many small units) to infantry based armies and a landraider can fit well here. It is one of the two primary assault vehicles available to SM and CSM - Rarely do I ever see the Landspeeder Storm. The other primary assault vehicle is the Stormraven which is only available to Blood Angels and Grey Knights. This of course can be circumvented via the use of allies for other primary detachments but so far I have not seen anyone fielding them as such.

I keep seeing more and more power armored lists that feature plasma heavily over melta. At first I thought the lascannon would see a resurgence but it still looks like the missile launcher is the number one heavy weapon of choice followed by the autocannon. I think the autocannon will be very popular for CSM armies as it is very cheap for the points, has a higher rate of fire compared to the missile launcher and can be spammed. Both the missile launcher and autocannon have some serious problems versus a landraider... The autocannon can't even scratch the paint (obviously).

So based upon the above observations versus MEQ the landraider is even more survivable now as compared to the previous edition. There are certain niche xenos armies such as dark eldar and Necrons that have plenty of tools to quickly dispose of a landraider so versus armies such as these the key to success when fielding a landraider is to protect it which can be easily accomplished by screening the tank with other friendly units - that is not hard to do if you put some thought into your initial deployment.

Aegis Defense Line
The Aegis defense line (ADL) is much more popular than the landraider. I have rarely used the ADL. The problem for me in terms of taking an ADL is that I like to field highly mobile armies in general. The ADL is better suited for armies featuring large units of infantry that hug it to soak up incoming enemy fire power. That can be quite powerful but it also tends to lend itself primarily to static armies that stand back and shoot most of the game. I would rather play mobile armies that can quickly grab control of the midfield and attack the enemy flanks... This type of strategy puts the pressure on your opponent early and often you can quickly take control of the majority of the objective markers which is what you want to achieve as soon as possible.

CSM versus SM Options
There will always be those games when your opponent has nothing in their arsenal that can even touch AV14... In these situations the landraider is truly an adamantium clad rolling beast that can have its way with the enemy, rolling right up into the heart of their battle line disgorging a dedicated melee unit that will pummel them into so much dirt. These are the games when the landraider truly shines and of course it's a game winner in these situations.

CSM only have access to the stock landraider and they receive a reduction in points since their version does not come with Power of the Machine Spirit. It's still an awesome tank and has access to dozer blades and daemonic possession if you're willing to pay the additional points. I think that dozer blades is a must have for a landraider... it is definitely a major oversight on the part of Mat Ward that Imperial landraiders don't have this option as well. Dozer blades alone is a huge advantage for CSM as one of the worst scenarios is when a landraider immobilizes itself and suddenly you can charge the opponent with your bad ass dedicated melee unit.

SM have access to the standard Godhammer landraider as well the Crusader and Prometheus. My choice of the three is typically the Crusader as I'm currently playing Grey Knights - psybolt ammo is very cheap and benefits both the assault cannon and Hurricane bolter sponsons. Remember that Power of the Machine Spirit allows you to fire one additional weapon at its normal ballistic skill which is the equivalent of Skyfire - I like to use the S7 assault cannon since it has the highest rate of fire. The Prometheus might make a come back now with the re-emergence of the horde but to be honest this is the one version I don't own nor have ever used.

Protecting your Investments
Versus armies such as dark eldar and Necrons prudence is the better part of valor. Hang back and shoot from a safe distance then engage later in the game after selectively destroying those enemy units first that are a threat. The last thing you want to do is rush right in only to have swarm of Canoptek Scarabs eat your tank for lunch. If your opponent can't reach your landraider without over extending their army it will serve as a deterrent and is something for them to worry about wondering when you will finally make your big move.

So that is it for now. I hope you enjoyed this article. Do you use landraiders and if so what are your tactics?

Monday, October 22, 2012

BeakyCon2 Interview with the Warmaster - Teddy Woody

This evening I have an interview with Teddy Woody who won the highly coveted Warmaster award this year taking the top spot as our Best General. There was a lot of great players this year and I watched as they knocked each other out of contention. The second day was very intense as each of the three final rounds passed by one slowly after another. I had thought Teddy was done on the first day after losing an extremely close match in the second round to another Necron player. As fate would have it Lady Luck decided to smile upon Teddy when the one last undefeated player lost in the last round. Teddy won Best General by the slimmest possible margin of a single bonus point... It was just that close.

I met Teddy several years ago when he came down from Georgia to play in a tournament I helped run in Sarasota, Florida. He is a very easy going guy and seems to get along well with everyone. Maybe one day he will figure out my last name is Turner... heh !!

So let's go ahead and get started now that the introduction is over.

Q1. My first question is what is your intent with the dark eldar army you won? I know some told me they were planning to sell it if they won it. Will you actually play any games with the army?

A1. I’m going to keep the Dark Eldar army, even though many other players would have sold it immediately. It’s a trophy, it not meant to be sold, its meant to be displayed, and played. I did play a game this week with my new Dark Eldar, had fun with it.

Q2. How did you go about developing your winning Necron army list? Did you have time to do a lot of playtesting?

A2. The developing of the army was basically watching and learning from other players’ mistakes. Nova was the best place for me to learn, a lot of Nercon’s players were bringing too many flyers on the board able to control the sky, but no troops on the ground. So, I needed to bring a balanced list, which was able to control the sky and the ground. The MVP of my list was Immotekh. His ability to control the night fight was a key element, and kept my units to survive and deny my opponents from shooting at me. To tell you the truth I didn’t play test this army at all.

Q3. What types of armies besides other Necron lists had you most worried? Did you face any of them and if so how did you go about beating them?

A3. I feared drop pod Sternguards….., but no one was playing them. The other army at the tournament I feared was blob squads of Orks, or even IG. I would have to focus all of my fire power into those units that could have up to 30 men per squad. The odd thing is that I didn’t play against any these type of army….I guess I was lucky.

Q4. I know there was a little bit of discontent from a few that the award did not go to an undefeated player - Other top players eventually knocked each other out of contention over the course of the final two games. How do you feel about winning the Warmaster award with a 5W-1L record and what were your thoughts on day 2 to stay focused on the top prize?

A4. Well, if you did the math at the beginning of tournament there could have been a 5-1 winner, due to the odd number. I believe that happen at Feast of Blades last year. I ask the TO, what was the battle points were going to use for. Got my answer… tie breakers [and Swiss pairings]. Going into the second day with a loss, I knew that I had to be on top of my game. This is year has been great for me as a 40k player. Able to get Best General in WarGamesCon in the RTT and then winning my first GT, that the achievement that every 40k players wants. This win was the icing on the cake.

Q5. Tell us about your second game versus the Necron player. Looking back now is there anything you could have done differently to have won that game?

A5. The player name was Kai and I tip my hat to him, he was the only player that was able to defeat me in the tournament. Would I have things differently? Why yes, I would have played with more reserve, rather than aggressively. Kai played a great game, it came to one objective, shot everything and there were only two troops left. I would have won if was able to wipeout his unit, but I didn’t. So at the end we have to go to third tie breaker, 9-7 close game, Kai wins.

Q6. Who was your favorite opponent? Please tell us why.

A6. My favorite opponent was on the last day, last game Necrons Vs. Necrons, Scott Hutchens. Scott looks at my list and stated “I played this army already.” He did, the other Necron player that placed third had a similar list….and he was only one that defeated him. It was like Scott knew what the outcome was going to be, before the game started. We both had Immotekh and laughed to see how long can we keep the night fight going and who would strike with Immotekh 's Lighting. I also stated that we should hire someone to play with the light switch…. just for the effect of night fight. It was a great game even though it was one sided. Scott - it was a great game, had a really great time.


Q7. How did you like the overall system and rules this year? Do you have any suggestions for improvement?

A7. I like the rule that there was auto turn 6, this was key to my victory. The backup system, if we didn’t have an even number of players to get an undefeated player at the end of the tournament. I hope that next year, we will have a top player’s bracket, for players that do go undefeated in the first day and silver bracket for other players. Each bracket will have a prize, and you will have a true Warmaster at the end of day two.


Q8. Feel free now to discuss anything you wish that I haven't covered above.

A8. Now there has been discussion on Dakka... Hulksmash and BloodofKitten about loaded dices. Look I don’t like drama and I’m too old for that shit. In any GT level tournament, you’re going to have players that are either asshole, rules lawyers, cheats, or just rage quit. I could talk about it, but I won’t. Steve Tuner and Matt ran a great tournament and I will attend BeakyCon3. This was my 4th tournament which Steve Tuner has hosted, never had a single problem from either TOs or from any players. I’m glad to see a GT here in the south. Y’alls did a great job, keep up with the great work and see y’alls next year.

This is BlackSunShine saying “Scouts Out'.

Friday, October 19, 2012

BeakyCon2 Round 4 Batrep - Tyranids vs Grey Knights-Imperial Guard

Here is a battle report from my good friend John who brought his Tyranids to BeakyCon2. I have played John a few times and every game has been quite epic going down to the last turn, some times even the last roll. I consider this one of the top matches, if not the top match, from BeakyCon2 this year. Unfortunately there are no pictures... Sorry !

John's Tyranid Army

Walking Hive Tyrant (#1) - Armored Shell, 2x Devourer, Old Adversary (Warlord)
1x Tyrant Guard
Warlord Trait: useless

Winged Hive Tyrant (#2) - 2x Devourer

3x Hive Guard
3x Hive Guard

2x Zoanthrope

10 x Gant
19x Gant
20x Gant

Tervigon (#1) - Toxin Sacs & Adrenal Glands
Tervigon (#2) - Toxin Sacs & Adrenal Glands
Tervigon (#3) - Toxin Sacs & Adrenal Glands, Crushing Claw

2x Biovore

Tyranid Psychic Powers
Tyrant #1 - Endurance & Enfeeble
Tyrant #2 - Iron Arm & Hemorrhage
Zoanthrope #1 -  Crush & Telekine Dome
Zoanthrope #2-  Telekine Dome & Shockwave
Tervigon #1 -  Endurance, Warp Speed & Enfeeble
Tervigon #2 - Iron Arm, Life Leech & Enfeeble
Tervigon #3 - Iron Arm, Warp Speed & Life Leech

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Updated 10/19 - Discussion on the topic of loaded dice at BeakyCon2

First I want to say that this news has been public since October 7, which was the second day of the Grand Tournament. You can find relevant discussion here...


Some have claimed we tried to sweep this under the proverbial carpet which is not true. In fact I posted a link to article on Tasty Taste's blog over on the Wrecking Crew forums as soon as I saw it.

I want everyone to know that we the TOs of BeakyCon take the subject of cheating very serious. Some have said that simply assigning an automatic loss and disqualifying the player from winning any awards was not strict enough. Maybe that's true but I'd like you to know there will be lasting ramifications set in place next year that we have discussed with the player who was cheated.

In general I'm very strict as a TO - for example this year all army lists had to be submitted ahead of time for review and those that sent theirs late were docked battle points as a penalty - which turned out to be important since the award for best general had to be decided by the margin of victory. Note that we did this mainly since 6th edition is very new and we wanted to make sure we didn't run into any problems with illegal army lists for any reason and this was successful to the best of my knowledge.

As a TO there is a myriad of checks and balances that can be implemented to prevent cheating. Some have suggested that dice should be provided for everyone who attends. While that sounds good in theory and might be practical I can say I have never attended any major event that did so and I have played around the country for well over the past decade. Further on this particular subject I saw this posted online elsewhere by my good friend Thomas Reidy (aka Goatboy):

"I have always thought dice should be provided - but then there are issues with custom tournament dice as well. I think they should buy just a tub of dice - give everyone 20 and just call it a day. Hell I use cheap as hell dice I bought in Vegas. They are easy to read and look decent. 12 for a buck - and they come in all sorts of colors. 
"Either way - it is ass to cheat with dice in any event - especially one your opponent might have shelled out a ton of cash to play in. If I caught it I would be making all sorts of hell because well - it isn't cool to waste people's time and energy for whatever needs you have to win. It is just a game."

I am very interested to see if in the near future and over the next year if other TOs provide players with dice. Note that to prevent someone from tampering with tournament dice it would be necessary to collect them all at the end of the first day then hand them out again at the start of the second day. Remember that all it takes to cheat is one cooked dice so there is more to it than meets the eye at a first glance.

Here is what Nick Rose (aka Darkwynn) had to say in regards to TOs providing dice:

"It's too... expensive to provide dice on a grand scale. People need to get over it and move on. It's better to take the risk and make it too high for a person to cheat. If the risk is too high people will have to reduce amount. No reason for extremes to be put back on the business or the TO. These things are already run on a low bottom line and this breaks the bank."
By the way both Thomas and Nick are TOs for WarGamesCon.

Some have said in the past that I'm too strict and this was the subject of much discussion a couple of years ago. This year if we had elected to eject the player found with the loaded dice in all likelihood his two friends that came with him from Miami would most likely have had to leave as well if he decided to go home the first day and that was a concern for me. I probably should have been more strict.

Here is a sales blurb from an ad on the Internet that sells these loaded dice:

This is a set of three loaded six-sided dice weighted to roll sixes, specifically designed for rolling up 18 stats for your D&D characters. Let's be clear here: when you use these dice to roll a D&D or Pathfinder character, you are cheating. Blatantly and flagrantly. There is no excuse for this, except possibly if your GM is evil and cheats as well, killing off characters unfairly, and using these loaded dice is just the next step in the escalation that will inevitably lead to rage-fueled table flipping, dice throwing, and eventual man-hugging as you become cool with each other again.* 
These are standard-sized black six-sided dice with silver pips for numbering. They are numbered normally, but are weighted so that they're more likely to roll six. They won't always roll six, but are far more likely to. In general the longer they roll, the more likely they are to land on six -- after a short drop they'll land mostly on whatever face is up, but after a nice long roll they'll usually come up all sixes. If you want to be extra sneaky you can mix one or two of these in with some other dice, just to slightly edge things in your favor without being super blatant about it.** 
With a little bit of practice you can pretty frequently get a natural 18 on a roll of the three. The dice will easiy pass casual examination, but anyone who picks them up or rolls them a bunch will pretty quickly realize that they just about always roll sixes.**

They sell these dice clearly to make money and at first they tell you not to cheat but then they say it's okay in certain situations (*)... That's a load of total bull shit. They also provide some tips how not to get caught (**)... LOL that really takes some balls.

Finally some have said the player who had the loaded dice should have his name made known publicly which I have and will refrain from doing. I have seen his name mentioned elsewhere and I imagine it is easy enough to find if you know how to use an Internet search engine. I hope he has learned a lesson - he is banned from play in the future.

Note (as of 10/19) that upon further investigation into this matter I was informed by his first round opponent as follows...

"However one thing made it not fun in my first game, the guy... who was using loaded dice and got caught in game 3. I caught him on it the beginning of turn 2 in Game 1 and he just stopped using it, so I was like, OK I guess.
"He used it for many things in the first couple turns, especially cover saves from my Manticore blasts on his parking lot of Land Raiders and vehicles. 
[So] I was wrong and should have reported him to the judges right away, I apologize to the Game 3 player he got."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

First Chaos Space Marine codex review

I finally had the opportunity to sit down and read the new codex from front to back. I think it's okay and I'm very interested to see what people will take to major events. Some people have posited that the codex will do well using allies and I think that's true after some deliberation. There's definitely some interesting new nits to choose from in the new book that pack a mean punch.

Overall I think that Nurgle made out the best with Typhus, Plague Marines and cultists. While Plague Marines are the most expensive cult unit I think they are still well worth their points... They didn't really lose anything and Feel No Pain (FNP) is better now for them since they can shrug off plasma and meltas plus they finally got back their plague knives! I am wondering what is the optimal build for this unit. Back in 40k5 five Plague Marines with two meltaguns and a power fist riding in a rhino was very hot - you basically had a mobile pillbox that could blast its way through the enemy armored lines and they never really needed to disembark (most of the time). Maybe seven now per squad is the way to go and I think rhinos are still a good option for them.

As strange as it might sound I think that cultists not converted to plague zombies is another great choice. I would run them with autoguns and the MoN... Maybe take a couple of flamers as well for the crowd control. Sure it almost doubles their cost for the points but massed T4 is nothing to take lightly plus having all those S3 rapid fire weapons can definitely do some damage. I like this particular build because it makes the cultist much more versatile. If you stop to think about it cultists are there to hold objectives... The last place you want them to be is stuck in melee if you can prevent those types of situations. T4 is what made mutants so amazing for the old Lost and the Damned.

I agree with what the Goatboy said earlier this week in regards to cultists in his weekly article on Bells of the Lost Souls (BoLS)... If you've got some points left over then take another squad of cultists. I truly believe cultists have the potential to be one of the best new units in the codex. If you choose Imperial Guard as your ally you can build a very similar type of army for the most part (sans daemons of course).

Obliterators with the Mark of Nurgle (MoN) are obviously another very solid choice as well and they fit right into the theme for a Nurgle army.

Stepping away from Nurgle for a moment I was really struck at what a great HQ choice is Kharn. He has the high initiative power axe that's AP2 and quite a healthy number of attacks. He can still carve right through enemy armor (S6 plus Armorbane) and is very well costed for the points. I do wish Gorechild was AP1 and I think all of the special characters with the exception of Huron Blackheart should have Eternal Warrior and Feel No Pain. It's what it is though so not much sense to play the woulda coulda shoulda game... We have to play the hand we are dealt in my opinion.

That's all for now. I will definitely continue this series of new articles.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chaos Space Marines • Where's the Cheese ??

Phil Kelly is the same person that wrote all of the following broken codices:

• Godzilla Tyranids
• Tri-Falcon-EldradAvatar-Harlequin-Death-Star Eldar
• Orks
• Thunder Space Wolves

I have reviewed the new codex for Chaos and must ask a simple question...

Where is the cheese ?

Now that could be a good thing or that could be a bad thing... It just depends upon your own personal point of view. One of the great things in my mind is that it wasn't written by Robin Cruddance - thank the Emperor !!! LOL

I suppose Phil has reached the mature age where upon he has decided he wants to maintain longevity in his career with GW and I can't blame him. A lot of very talented developers have come and gone. Controversial books can make or break you.

I think that one of the best things going for the new codex is the flavor. The last codex was extremely bland and then shortly after its release Gav Thorpe got the proverbial pink slip... It happens to the best of them. Remember if you can that the creative mind of Gav gave staples of the game such as Feel No Pain and Furious Charge (both released in one of the most broken codices ever - 40k3 Blood Angels of all armies). God bless people like Andy Chambers.

I'm not in any way knocking the new codex... Like I said its got a lot of flavor... Not nearly to the same level as the 40k3.5 codex but it's a major improvement over the last codex and to best honest I am so very glad not to see crap like Jaws of the World Wolf and Thunderwolf Calvary !! Seriously seriously serious. I do think some strong builds will eventually emerge but it will require a good amount of serious cogitating which is always a great thing in my mind. Just think if ever codex was written on a similar level... That would be a great thing, right ?

So I tip my hat to Phil - its one less thing to worry about for now. From a 40k6 point of view I find the codex quite interesting. Is this the direction GW is headed ? I will reserve final judgement until the first true 6th edition codex by Mat Ward is released. A lot of people said the new Necrons sucked for a long time but obviously that's not true at all. Cheese has a way of creeping back up in the least likeky of places. Make of that what you will. I can say honestly I'm quite excited about the future of 40k in a big way. :D

Storm Crowes vs Chaos • 1999 point batrep

It's been over one month since I had the opportunity to play a game not including the one last Friday night with dark eldar at BeakyCon2. I was really looking forward to this match.

We were playing 1999 points and used the BeakyCon2 mission with three objective markers. Primary is objective markers - one objective is in the center of the table while the other two are placed 6" by 18" in the far corners of either of the respective long table edges. There was some decent terrain with a nice piece of LOS blocking terrain in the middle of the table. Deployment was the one using short table edges (Hammer and Anvil).

Here is my army list:

Storm Crowes
Primary Detachment
Coteaz (Warlord)
Castellan Crowe

9x Purifier (incl. KotF - Nemesis Warding Stave) - 2x psycannon
5x Purifier (incl. KotF - Nemesis Daemonhammer) - 2x psycannon - rhino
5x Purifier (incl. KotF - Nemesis Daemonhammer) - 2x psycannon - rhino

Landraider Crusader (LRC) - psybolt ammo (Coteaz & 9 man Purifier squad go here)

Stormraven - Hurricane sponsons, twin linked assault cannon, twin linked multi-melta, psybolt ammo (Crowe goes here)

Destroyer Lord (Shiva) - Warscythe, MSS
8x Immortals - Tesla carbines - Nightscythe

So only three flyers which I think is about right for this level of points. This was my first game playing over 1500 points and I like the new build - in particular the LRC was a welcome addition.

I rolled for Coteaz' psychic powers choosing the Divination Lore - I chose the Primaris power plus he got the one that lets you roll three dice instead of just one for reserves... Very nice for my list! The Warlord Trait was worthless.

Here is my opponent's list to the best of my memory:

Forces of Disorder
Primary Detachment
Bloodthirster - BotBG, Might, Deathstrike (Warlord)

Flying Tzneetch Prince - Boon, Bolt, Breath, Might
Flying Tzneetch Prince - Boon, Bolt, Breath, Might

Horrors w. Changeling

Chaos Lord - power axe, bolt pistol

Blob of cultists
10x Chaos Space Marine (CSM) incl. Champion (power fist), plasmagun, Fearless Icon

5x Havoc - 4x Missile Launcher - Flakk

My opponent had a lot of rolls on the Chaos table but the only one notable was a S5 bolt pistol for his Chaos Lord... Heh. His Warlord trait was meh as well.

My opponent won the rolls to choose his deployment zone (DZ) and go first. He also got in his preferred wave consisting of the three flying monstrous creatures (FMC). The Chaos Lord joined the blob and was deployed centrally in his DZ with the CSM close by over on his left flank. The Havocs setup on top of a high ruin back in his left corner.

I deployed my two rhinos over by my objective marker using the big piece of LOS blocking terrain to screen them from the Havocs and also placed the LRC behind it as well.

I tried to seize the initiative but failed even with the reroll (due to Coteaz).

Pre Battle Thoughts
I haven't fought versus the new CSM yet but I do know just how nasty can be Chaos daemon FMCs plus they have a Heldrake which is in many ways similar to an FMC with a decent reduction in points. I don't think one squad of Havocs with flakk are much of a worry even though I only have three flyers... But maybe in combination with the Heldrake and Bolt from the flying Princes they can inflict some serious damage. I chose the LRC simply because it is an ideal transport for a large squad of Purifiers, can lay down a lot of fire power and is incredibly tough to kill unless of course your opponent has the right tools. It will be very interesting to see how the cultists preform with the Chaos Lord attached to make them fearless. My main concern are the Chaos daemon FMCs... They are always quite troublesome. Overall my army is faster and can lay down more fire power plus Purifiers are no slouches when it comes to melee. It should be an interesting game.

First Turn - Chaos
The trio of FMC all land on his side of the table close to the center. Both the blob and CSM advance forward. One of the two Tzneetch Princes wrecks a rhino with Bolt for First Blood and a kill point.

First Turn - Storm Crowes
Intact rhino shuffles back to shield the five man Purifier squad left out in the open. The LRC moves up 6" and dumps out Coteaz and his Purifiers. Shooting from the intact rhino and two squads of five man Purifiers manages to strip one wound from the Bloodthirster. The LRC fires everything into the CSM and kills six of them while my Purifiers and Coteaz fire into the blob... They kill a bunch plus strip a couple of wounds from the Chaos Lord. They then multi assault both the blob and remaining CSM... CSM are butchered to the man... All that's left of the blob are two cultists and the Lord so they stick. I lose a couple of Purifiers in return. Definitely a solid start for the Storm Crowes putting the forces of disorder on a back foot.

Chaos - First Blood, 1 KP
Storm Crowes - Line Breaker, 1 KP (holding one objective)

Second Turn - Chaos
In come the Bloodletters from reserve whom wisely hide under the tall ruin with the Havocs on top close by their objective marker. The Heldrake also comes in as well zooming up his right flank. Horrors fail to show. Bloodthirster vector strikes the LRC and stripes off one hull point. Tzneetch princes fire both Bolt and Breath at the LRC as well stripping off one more hull point. Heldrake strips one hull point off the intact rhino. Melee resumes and the blob is crushed along with the Chaos Lord.

Second Turn - Storm Crowes
Coteaz successfully rolls for his psychic power to boost my reserve rolls and in comes all three flyers. Stormraven lines up to target the Heldrake while both Scythes both line up to target one Prince. Coteaz and his Purifiers move towards the enemy objective. LRC moves back to support my two squads of five man Purifiers. Destroyer Lord disembarks. Stormraven makes short work of the Heldrake. LRC manages to strip another wound off the Bloodthirster (down to just two wounds). Scythes just manage to drop the Prince. Coteaz and his Purifiers pop a few shots at the Havocs and drop one. No melee this turn.

Chaos - First Blood, 2 KP
Storm Crowes - Line Breaker, 4 KP (holding one objective)

Third Turn - Chaos
In comes the Horrors who drop into position to blaze my Destroyer Lord. Remaining Tzneetch Prince drops into glide mode to tackle Coteaz and his Purifiers. Bloodthirster vector strikes the LRC again but inflicts no damage this turn. Havocs strip one hull point from the Doomscythe. Horrors' shooting is smoking hot and they manage to drop my Destroyer Lord who fails to get back up. Prince tries to boon the KotF but he passes his toughness test. They lock in melee, inflicting one wound on the Prince from Overwatch... KotF accepts the challenge and passes all of his 2++ invulnerable saves.

Third Turn - Storm Crowes
Stormraven drops into hover mode moving 6" towards the Horrors... Crowe disembarks so he can assault the daemons. Nightscythe and LRC line up shots on the Bloodthirster while the Doomscythe exits the table. Nightscythe zooms over to target the Havocs. Nightscythe and LRC finish off the Bloodthirster for another kill point and Slay the Warlord. Doomscythe strafed the Havocs bringing the squad down to one last Marine who decides to leg it off the table. Stormraven lights up the Horrors bringing them down to three then Crowe assaults them, no damage inflicted on either side so they stick. KotF is finally gibbed by the remaining Prince and they stick as well.

Chaos - First Blood, 2 KP
Storm Crowes - Slay the Warlord, Line Breaker, 6 KP (holding one objective)

At this point I'm well ahead with several scoring units left while my opponent only has left a wounded Prince, three Horrors and the fully intact squad of Bloodletters. He made a great game out of it with what he has left but over the course of the remaining turns but I still ended up tabling his army. To summarize the last turns the remaining Prince finished off Coteaz and his Purifiers then charged into the melee with Crowe, whom then suicided the last Chaos FMC. My flyers shot down the rest of the daemons to finish them all off for a massacre.

Post Battle Thoughts
It was a big win indeed and the LRC performed very well fulfilling all my expectations. This was my opponent's first game with the new CSM so basically it was a big learning experience for him... I'm sure our next game will be much harder to win. I had lots of units with a wide spread which made it hard for him to maximize his potential damage with his FMCs and Heldrake. His big mistake I think was moving forward the cultists and CSMs early in the game... I know he wanted to jump on the central objective marker but that exposed him to the full brunt of my LRC and large squad of Purifiers - wiping out these units so quickly early in the game made it very hard for him to get back into the fight. The FMCS were definitely his MVPs but this game for once I was finally able to successfully pass all my strength tests from multiple boons. As far as any changes go to my list I want to add a daemonhammer to the large squad of Purifiers - I can then deal with FMCs a lot better in melee... Otherwise versus units like Purifiers they whittle you down and then go off to wreak more havoc elsewhere.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

BeakyCon2 Final Report

Another year has gone by and the results are finally in again...

Warmaster - Teddy Woody, Necrons (Best General)
Emperor's Champion - Alex Simon, Grey Knights w. Imperial Guard allies (2nd Best General)
Honorable Mention - Remy Colins, Necrons (3rd Best General)

Player's Choice - Gabe Dobkins, Blood Angels
Best Army - Scott Hutchens, Necrons w. Chaos Space Marine allies

The Grand Tournament was held again at the Marriott in the Tampa international airport here in sunny Florida. Some flew into the airport and never had to step outside which I think is pretty cool. We had 64 players originally signed up with six rounds over the course of two days (three rounds per day) but had a couple drop right before the weekend. As fate would have it there was one undefeated player going into the final round but he lost his last game so we ended up with six players accumulating 5W-1L records. Bonus points were used to determine the final ranking (total aggregate of kill points, objectives held, First Blood, Slay the Warlord and Line Breaker summed from all six rounds).

Next year we are planning to increase the player base up to 96 with two final brackets to ensure we end up with one undefeated player. It's ironic how it ended as so often there is a lot of heated debate on the Internet regarding whether a pure win-loss system or margin of victory (MoV) is the better system to determine who is actually the best general. We had planned on using total bonus points as a tie breaker to cover the case of such a contingency so in the end everything worked out quite smoothly. The irony is that it turned MoV was used to determine the top player... Advocates of MoV so often claim that this system allows any player to lose one game while still having a shot at grabbing the top spot which turned out to be the case.

It's obvious from the results that Necron flyer spam is one of the top (if not the top) armies in the current meta. Necron flyer based armies are highly mobile and can pour out a lot of high strength (S7+) fire power. They also have excellent dedicated melee units in the form of Canoptek Wraiths and Scarabs coupled with either Overlords or Destroyer Lords sweeping through the field. The two Necron armies that finished in the top three to eventually climb their way back to the top both featured lots of flyers and obviously racked up lots and lots of bonus points. Also note that the top Necron army suffered its one loss to another Necron flyer based army and that game came down to a very close hard fought tie breaker on the tertiary win condition.

There was only one Grey Knight army in the top three (taking second best general) and it was quite an interesting list featuring lots of Grey Knight fire power coupled with Imperial Guard as its ally. Note that this army did not feature any flyers. This player suffered its one loss to one of our youngest players (John Lennon) fielding Tyranids which eventually ended up knocking the Grey Knight player out of contention for the top spot which was also quite ironic in its own way.

There were some other exotic lists such as Marc Parker's ork horde army which did quite well along the way until finally losing to the same Tyranid player mentioned above. Another army I think worth mentioning that did well was Kenny Boucher's (Next Level Painting) daemon army that only had one one flying monstrous creature (Fateweaver of course) and lots of Flamers and Screamers. This army also did quite well until finally losing to the Grey Knight army mentioned above.

Top 2 Army Lists
Here are the top two army lists:

Necrons (1994)
Imotekh the Stormlord
Harbinger of Eternity - Chronometron
7x Warrior - Nightscythe
7x Warrior - Nightscythe
7x Warrior - Nightscythe
6x Warrior - Nightscythe
6x Canoptek Wraith - 3x Whip Coil
6x Canoptek Wraith - 3x Whip Coil
3x Canoptek Scarab
3x Canoptek Spyder - Gloom Prism
3x Canoptek Spyder - Gloom Prism

Note - I played a pick up game during the Friday evening preceding the GT versus this army with the professionally painted dark eldar army (by Next Level Painting) we gave away as the top prize playing an objective based mission and was crushed. It really brought home to me just how powerful are Necron flyer based armies as I could do nothing but play run and hide most of the game while the Stormlord's lighting continued to rock my puny xenos world over the course of the majority of the game. I was playing a fun raider based army with two Voidravens, Reaver jetbikes plus Vect and Drazhar leading a small squad of Incubi mounted in a Venom. Necrons in general are very resilient and their flyers can easily match the speed of dark eldar... It proved to be too tough of a match up for my dark eldar and I don't think I would fared any better in a kill point or table quarters based mission. Drazhar and his Incubi did manage to shred one squad of Canoptek Wraiths (in melee obviously) - that was the one highlight of the game for me. Oh well you can't win 'em all. I'm happy to see the dark eldar go to someone who will enjoy playing the army. I'd be hard pressed to think of any major event that handed out a better prize - this one came with two carrying cases from Sabol along with the codex. : )

Grey Knights Allied Imperial Guard Fusion (1999)
- Primary Detachment -
4x Jokaero - Chimera w/Searchlight
3x Acolyte Henchmen - 2x plasmagun - Chimera w. Searchlight
10x Grey Knight - 2x Psycannons, Daemonhammer - Psyback
Vindicare Assassin
Nemesis Dreadknight - Heavy Incinerator

- Allies -
Company Command Squad - 3x plasmagun, Officer of the Fleet - Chimera
Infantry Platoon:
- Platoon Command
- 2x Infantry Squad (naked)
- 4x Heavy Weapon Squads -3x autocannons each

This was another interesting army as well and generates lots of fire power. I didn't get to watch its demise to the Hive Mind and I'm sure that must have been a very intense game.

So there you have it... Another year has gone by and I'm already looking forward to the next one!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Flakk missiles versus krak and lascannons

So we finally have a new codex that has a dedicated option for anti flyer defense other than another flyer. That's right - I'm talking about the new Chaos Space Marines (CSM) Havocs. Havocs are the equivalent of Space Marine (SM) Devastators and Space Wolf (SW) Long Fangs. Flakk missiles (S7) allow a Havoc armed with a missile launcher to use their normal BS when targeting a zooming enemy flyer or flying monstrous creature (FMC). A good question that has been posed is are they worth their points? Versus say a Necron army with a lot of flyers most likely the Havocs will draw a lot of enemy fire starting the second turn. One suggestion is to arm Havocs with either lascannons and/or autocannons. The first major issue I see with this option is that Havocs armed as such must snap shoot so they are drastically less reliable. I have not had a chance to study the new codex in depth to see if it's possible to reliably boost Havocs such that they can reroll missed hits (for example, the psychic lore Divination) so for now I'll assume it's not the case - feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. If it is possible the cost in points to do so should be carefully weighed.

So let's take a quick look at some comparisons to see statistically which build will produce better results versus enemy flyers. We will look at both versus AV11 and AV12. The first is five Havocs armed with four flakk missile launchers versus four autocannons - both shooting at AV11 (because it is more common).

• Flakk Missile Launcher - 4 shots * 2/3 = 3 hits (rounding up)
To glance - each hit has 50 percent chance, 2 glances (rounding up again)
To penetrate - each hit has 33 percent chance, 1 penetration

• Autocannon - 8 shots * 1/6 = 1 hit

I'll stop right here with the first comparison as it is obvious to me the flakk missile launcher is the better choice due to sky fire. Even if the missed shots can be rerolled the results are not as good so for this particular case quality is better than quantity. If we switch out the autocannons for lascannons the odds to hit go down even more drastically and you've lost the saved points in lieu of autocannons - the only real advantage being is if you do hit then you have a better chance to penetrate.

If you run two five man squads of Havocs armed with flakk missile launchers your odds of dropping one enemy flyer (again AV11) due to glances is as follows:

• 8 shots -> 6 six hits (rounding up) -> 3 glances * 2/3 (assume the flyer evades) = 2 glances

So by the odds it will require two turns to drop one enemy flyer (AV11) not taking into account the effects of any penetrating hits. Is it worth the cost in points? A five man Havoc squad armed as such costs 175 points which comes to a grand total of 350 points for two squads... 360 points total if you should also upgrade them with the option for Veterans of the Long War (that is, Ld10). That seems quite reasonable to me. I want many long ranged high strength (S7+) to shoot enemy flyers.

As I pointed out above it is very important to consider how an opponent will react whose running a flyer heavy army... The basic assumption being that starting on the second turn the Havocs will begin to draw a lot of enemy fire in return. Five man Havoc squads are fairly fragile due to the low model count so they should be deployed in cover with excellent lanes of fire across as much of the board as possible.

I want to design a CSM army with lots of long range firepower to force opponents to have a difficult decision which of my units they should target. This strategy will add some resilience to your Havocs should decide to field them.

Teddy Woody wins BeakyCon2

Here is Teddy receiving the coveted dark eldar army painted by Kenny. Teddy said he looks forward to playing the army.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

First Crack at New Chaos Space Marines

I got my hands on the new codex but haven't had much time to fully digest it yet being very busy this past weekend helping run BeakyCon2.

When I first attempt to design a list for a new codex my basic approach is to pick all the units I want then go back and slowly start to improve it via playtesting. As such my first go is usually over the points I'm shooting to build. I would like to start out around 2000 points.

- HQ -

- Troops -
35x Plague Zombie
35x Plague Zombie

5x Plague Marine incl. Champion (combi-melta & power fist), plasmagun & meltagun - Rhino
5x Plague Marine incl. Champion (combi-melta & power fist), plasmagun & meltagun - Rhino
5x Plague Marine incl. Champion (combi-melta & power fist), plasmagun & meltagun - Rhino

- Heavy Support -
3x Obliterator (Mark of Nurgle)

5x Havoc w. 4x frag, flakk & krak missiles (Mark of Nurgle, Veterans of the Long War)
5x Havoc w. 4x frag, flakk & krak missiles (Mark of Nurgle, Veterans of the Long War)

- Elite -
6x Chaos Terminator incl. Champion (lighting claws) (Mark of Nurgle, Veterans of the Long War), 2x chainfist, 2x combi-plasma, Reaper autocannon

- Fast Attack -
Hell Drake

BeakyCon2 Final Results

Warmaster - Teddy Woody, Necrons (Best General)
Emperor's Champion - Alex Simons, Grey Knights (2nd Best General)
Honorable Mention - Remy Colins, Necrons (3rd Best General)

Player's Choice - Gabe Dobkins, Blood Angels
Best Army - Scott Hutchens, Necrons

Note that we had a few players drop right before the event and ended up with six players who finished with 5-1 records. Bonus points were used to determine the final ranking.

I have some more pictures to post and will write a full tournament report this week. Thanks to everyone who came out and all the fantastic support !!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

BeakyCon2 End of Day 1 Results

In no particular order here are the six undefeated players:

Aggro - Grey Knights
John Lennon - Tyranids
Kenny Boucher - Chaos Daemons
Blake - Imperial Guard
Devin Schafer - Eldar
Bruce Merker - Dark Eldar

BeakyCon2 Round 3 Epic

It is the end of the first day and there is an epic battle taking place between the two horde armies that are still both undefeated... Marc Parker is here with his Orks and John Lennon has his Tyranids. John is an up and coming player while Marc has won many a GT.

Here is some of the action...

BeakyCon - Round 2 Begins

Here is a shot of Aaron Hagney's Nemesis Dreadknight...

And now for some shots of Gabe Dobkin's amazing Death Company army...

BeakyCon2 - Some Shots from 1st Round

Marc Parker sheds a tear after watching his ole Warboss spawned.

Teddy Woody's Necrons on a roll.

Kenny Boucher's beautiful daemon army.