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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Friday, January 31, 2014

Things to Come

I have several things of interest I plan to post in the following days:

  • Tyranid vs White Scar 2k Batrep (Purge the Alien)
  • Ultimate Drop Pod Army Tactica
  • WIP Pictures

I have been very busy with real life work and completing my drop army. I plan to get back to Tyranids and am going to build some new units. Optimally you should finish what you start before you start something new... That said I had to get back into the Hive Mind way of things with this new codex and I really like it a lot—even the naysayers are finally starting to admit there are some really great things in the codex. Even Tau and Eldar took some time to refine and they are both super EZ win armies with training wheels bolted on the sides. Not everyone wants to break out the cheese—Tyranids will do just fine.

Thought for the Day
Live for the day when people think about what lists can do, rather than what they can't do. Stop judging a codex by how it will go against the most extreme theory-hammer lists rather than the lists most people actually use. The 40k tournament scene is currently dominated by a few specific list archetypes and most of these are leveraging specific units such as Riptides and Wave Serpents.

Friday, January 24, 2014

New Tyranid Vanguard Formation

Manufactorum Genestealers
—The formations allow your genestealers to set up in ruins or unoccupied building within 6" of your enemy, and have hit and run.
—5 Genestealer broods, but may not include additional genestealers.

Lictor Forest Brood
—Lictor Forest brood formation inside forests can infiltrate up to 6" from the enemy, and have the shrouded rule in forest.
—This is 5 broods of a single model.

Deathleaper's Assassin Brood
—The Deathleaper brood makes anyone within 12" of a model from the brood have -1 LD - this could be pretty massive combined with a few other rules (shadows, Its after me, the horror, Psychic Shriek etc.).
—Deathleaper + 5 lictor broods of 1 model.

Broodlord's Hunting Pack
—Another Broodlord hunting pack formation when it comes from reserves can deploy into any unoccupied building. It can also be deployed in any ruin terrain during setup as long as its 6" away from the enemy.
—They also have hunting pack, which when deployed, your formation has preferred enemy against any nominated enemy unit.
—3 Stealer broods and 1 must have a brood lord. only a single broodlord allowed.

Gargoyle Bio-Bombs
—The gargoyle bomb is 3 units of gargoyles and 3 units of spore mines, and allows the spore mines when ever they start a move action (move, run, charge) within 6" of a gargoyle to move at 6", or no longer half the distance when running or charging.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

40k Rules: Firing more than one weapon in an out-of-sequence shooting attack

Overwatch is conducted as a normal shooting phase at BS1.

Interceptor is an out-of-sequence shooting attack conducted at the end of the enemy movement phase versus units that arrive via reserve.

Monstrous creatures and Tau units with multi-tracker can fire one additional weapon during the shooting phase.

Therefore any model with Interceptor can only fire one weapon while intercepting.

Agree or disagree ?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tyranid Adaptive Tactics Part 3. The New and Improved Mawloc

The new rules for Mawlocs has the potential to change the current meta but will require adaptive tactics to give consistent results. The Mawloc has seen a significant point reduction while also having become potentially much more powerful... You can now use it's deep strike attack (every model underneath its base takes a S6 AP2 hit) twice, which is better than twin linked, in one turn plus this now ignores cover. For example you can:

— Snipe an Ethereal tucked away inside a squad of Fire Warriors by careful placement of the large base,
— Nuke a squad of Broadsides, or
— Take out a squad of eldar jetbikes.

If your opponent places their models along their table edge to increase the odds of a mishap occurring then they are that much further away from your army which drastically reduces the effective range of their fire power.

Intercepting Tau units cannot stop the assault attack from occurring either plus Riptides won't be able to drop their pie plates when the Mawloc does not scatter or is minimally placed from its originating spot on the table.

Just the psychological threat of one Mawloc is enough to throw a big monkey wrench into the current meta for both eldar and Tau... That's all you need.

Monday, January 20, 2014

COMPLETED: 40k Batrep: Tyranids vs. Triptide Tau (2000 points • Double FOC)

I had a very exciting game yesterday afternoon fielding my Tyranids versus Tau featuring triple Riptides. The Tau player is a veteran so this was an excellent test match for the new Tyranids.


Hive Tyrant:
Wings, Adrenal Glands, Twin Linked Devourers w. Brainleech Ammo
Hive Commander

Alpha Warrior: /Warlord
Maw Claws, Adrenal Glands, Flesh Hooks, Toxin Sacs


3x Warrior:
Adrenal Glands, Flesh Hooks, Rending Claws
2x Deathspitter, Barbed Strangler

13x Genestealer & Broodlord: (attached to Alpha Warrior)
Toxin Sacs

13x Genestealer & Broodlord:
Toxin Sacs

20x Devilgant

Trygon Prime:
Toxin Sacs

Rupture Cannon

Warlord Trait - Night Vision

Psychic Powers:
Flyrant - Catalyst & Warp Blast
Zoanthrope - Catalyst & Warp Blast

It's After Me! - Deathleaper reduces the Ethereal's leadership to 7.

Tau (To the best of my recollection)
Ethereal /Warlord

Iridium Suit, Multi-Spectrum System, Control Node, Multi-Tracker
Missile Pod, Fusion Gun

8x Marker Drone (attached to Commander)

12x Fire Warrior

12x Fire Warrior

12x Kroot:
Kroot Hound

12x Kroot:
Kroot Hound

Stim Injector, Early Warning Override
Ion Accelerator, Missile Pods

Stim Injector, Early Warning Override
Ion Accelerator, Missile Pods

Stim Injector, Early Warning Override
Ion Accelerator, Missile Pods

3x Broadside:
2x Railgun, High Yield Missiles, Missile Pods, Velocity Trackers

Commander Longstrike
Railgun, Submunition Rounds

Aegis Defense Line:
Quad Gun

Warlord Trait - Night Fight

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tyranid Adaptive Tactics Part 2

I had two games this weekend. The first game was versus a new player with Chaos Space Marines—easy win as expected. The second game was versus a veteran Tau player with triple Riptides... Very exciting game and my tactics were strong—I took a lot of pictures and will post a batrep this week. Here are some thoughts after both games:

Overall Potential Position in the Meta
I think Tyranids are strong and can do well in the current meta versus Chaos daemons, eldar and Tau. I definitely see the right build as having the upper hand versus Tau. Shadows in the Warp is going to hurt both both daemons and eldar. Tyranids are inherently stronger than daemons in close combat.

I gave him a try in the second game versus Tau... He got mulched by their missiles that ignore cover and don't need line of sight. I really wish I had used those points instead for a brood of Hive Guard. He is situational at best and I don't think he will be all that competitive. If he had synapse maybe he would be worth the points.

Trygon Prime
He can be really good and I think the Reaper of Obliterax suits him well—Shred, Instant Death on a roll of 6 to wound plus 3+ to initiative... He will destroy any other monstrous creature. Use him as a backfield unit for synapse rather than risking the deep strike. A lot of points but very bad ass.

I'm sad to say it but I'm going to drop them so I can field more genestealers... You can field a decent size genestealer brood for the cost of three Warriors. They are too many points for what you get in return and still can easily be insta-gibbed. I love them dearly... Oh well.

Alpha Warrior
He is still the man and I intend to run a pair in 2000+ point games. The Tyranid Prime can fleet now with adrenal glands... Attach him to a big brood of genestealers with a Broodlord and they will kill shit dead. Maw claws are a perfect fit.

Heavy Support
This is the new elite choice for Tyranids. Double FOC is their best friend.

The best armies will have a mix of backfield units to control objectives and disruption units. Disruption units infiltrate and outflank—they are your game winners. I'll discuss how to use disruption in the next article.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Tyrranic War Veterans

Tyrannic War Veterans Squad (new unit)
Slightly cheaper (point wise) than Sternguard and only have one type of special ammunition available to them (Hellfire Rounds). They take up an elite slot and start with four veterans... Can add up to six additional veterans to the unit.

Special Rules:
Avenge the Fallen First—The unit has Zealot if the enemy forces has any Tyranids.
Preferred Enemy Tyranids.

Saint Tylus Battle Force (new formation)
This formation that starts off with Chaplain Cassius, 1+ Tyrannic War Veteran Squads, and 0-6 Stormtalon Gunships.

Special Rules:
Aerial Superiority—Stormtalons can infiltrate and don't have to start the game in reserve. They begin the game in hover mode if they start on the board.

Pummeled by Fire—If a Stormtalon from this formation hits an enemy unit in the shooting phase then all shots by Tryannic War Veterans have the ignore cover special rule.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tyranid Adaptive Tactics • The Super Synapse Bubble

Most armies|units in sixth edition have static tactics—they can only do one thing well... A good example of a static tactic is ripple fire for a Tau Riptide and it is not all that reliable. You as the opponent must exploit these inherent weaknesses. The new Tyranid codex was written such that the Hive Mind has a host of adaptive tactics. Adaptive tactics can morph to various battlefield conditions and always excel. I am here to help you learn how to master these new adaptive tactics, which are one of the really good things Tyranids have going for them now. The first example is the Synapse Super Bubble.

Dominion is the primaris power from the Tyranid Psychic Powers of the Hive Mind—+6" to the caster's Synapse, plus it's a blessing. This is in addition to the Warlord trait that increases synapse to 18". The Norn Crown adds another 6" to synapse. Altogether you've got a 30" radius synapse bubble. Deployed correctly your army has synapse in a 60" diameter covering practically the entire table.

As an example of how effective this is you can take your Instinctive Behaviour (IB) test and then use Dominion or movement to pull a brood back into synapse. Any brood that survives will automatically regroup prior to their own movement phase. Broods that Burrow and Hide will automatically recover after going to ground. This is stronger than Imperial Guard orders as you're casting on Ld10. It's very simple and extremely effective.

NEW RULES !!! Rvarna Rev. 2 & Kharybdis Assault Claw

Experimental Rules for Rvarna (version 2)

They are apparently listening this time...

Experimental Rules for Kharybdis Assault Claw

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hive Fleet Gorgon (2000 points)

Hive Tyrant *, **
- Wings
- Adrenal Glands
- Twin Linked Devourer w. Brainleech Ammo
- Bone Sword & Lash Whip
- Hive Commander

Alpha Warrior *, **
- Adrenal Glands
- Flesh Hooks
- Toxin Sacs
- Rending Claws

3x Warrior *, **
- Adrenal Glands
- Flesh Hooks
- Rending Claws
- Toxin Sacs
- 2x Deathspitter
- Barbed Strangler

14x Genestealer
- Toxin Sacs
- Toxin Sacs

15x Genestealer
- Toxin Sacs

20x Termagant

20x Termagant

20x Termagant

Heavy Support
Trygon Prime *
- Toxin Sacs

Trygon Prime *
- Toxin Sacs

- Rupture Cannon

* Synapse
** Shadows in the Warp

Synapse Network
Five units total.

Six broods total... 120 models.

Hive Tactics
1) Alpha Warrior joins either Genestealer brood which infiltrates or outflanks.
2) Other Genestealer brood infiltrates.
3) Warrior brood is rear guard and provides synaspse for other broods that are falling back.
4) One Trygon Prime deep strikes - disruption unit.
5) Second Trygon Prime forms up the vanguard along with the Hive Tyrant.
6) Termagants are for board control and are surrounded by synaptic creatures.
7) Four monstrous creatures.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Double Feature • Cypher & Tyranids

I'm going to discuss Cypher and Tyranids.


I had a game using Cypher yesterday... He is crazy good for Chaos Space Marines (obvious) ! Cypher can boost a squad of Chaos Space Marines to a higher level, which is what you really want. I attached him to a squad of Berserkers in a rhino and outflanked them. This tactic works a lot better with a shootier unit such as Chosen, Havocs or Plague Marines but still it did quite well. If you're willing to pay the points this could work very well with a squad of terminators in a dedicated land raider. I used the unit to distract my opponent and didn't disembark them since it was versus Mechdar. The rhino was in cover and sucked up a lot of shots for a couple turns then I moved and flat out back into my deployment zone to entice the eldar to come closer... Which they did (much to their chagrin, heh). This is basically the same exact tactic for Chosen from the previous codex since they used to have Infiltrate... However Cypher adds some longevity to the attached unit since he is Shrouded and has ATSKNF (And They Shall Know No Fear) and can Hit and Run. This unit can be a real thorn in the side for eldar and Tau. Cypher even managed to strip a hull point from a Wave Serpent the turn his unit arrived... You can't knock a BS10 plasma pistol. I'll definitely be using him so more!


Well the new book is out and they lost most everything that made them competitive in sixth edition... Basically this is a dairy free codex—there is no cheese. So it's time to start trying new things which can be exciting if you're willing to spend the time and take a chance on new things. A lot of people are saying the codex is the worst ever which sounds exactly like when the fifth edition codex was released. The big question is Can we prove the Internet wrong ?

I played Tyranids for over a year towards the end of fifth edition and did okay. While I never won a tournament with them I always placed high and could consistently beat the big three from one edition back—Grey Knights, Imperial Guard and Space Wolves. I finished with a 5-1-1 record at WarGamesCon two years ago and my only loss was to the captain of the American ETC team (footdar). I then shelved the army and started to play Necrons. Therefore I'm in somewhat of a unique position since I did not play Tyranids in sixth edition... I have more of an open mind rather than being frustrated, which is a good thing in my mind. I did win several tournaments with Necrons so I should be very honest... It's going to be a big challenge to design a really competitive Tyranid army. Challenges can be fun though and playing Tyranids in fifth edition made me overall a much better tactical player.

The First Step
Before I attempt to design an army list I think the first step is to develop a strict set of specifications focusing on what you want to accomplish. Tyranids have always been strong in melee and we can still take that for granted.The primary goal is to design a list that can beat the top tier armies:

Chaos Daemons

Chaos Daemons tend to be highly mobile, highly psychic and are strong in melee. Eldar tend to be highly mobile, highly psychic and strong in shooting. Tau tend to have limited mobility and are very strong in shooting. Let's make a list of the common elements we have to counter:


Daemons are the only melee-centric army of the three and this can actually be exploited by Tyranids since the Bugs are also melee-centric... Daemonic Instability is their proverbial Achilles' Heel if you can take advantage.

Shadows in the Warp is still one of the best deterrents to enemy Psykers plus the -d3 is across the board for all leadership tests... That's definitely one of the really good things in the new codex.

Board control is one tactic to limit your opponent's mobility... Which Tyranids can do well since they are by their very definition a horde army. There is a point reduction for gants and I think the best approach is no upgrades for the fodder to take advantage - better to spend the saved points elsewhere.

If you can design a list that consistently beats the top three then it should also be able to handle all the rest.

Looking Back
Interestedly enough I have seen a good number of discussions how to build a competitive Tyranid army—some of the elements from fifth edition Tyranids have cropped up again such as using Venomthropes. While both eldar and Tau can bypass cover saves this is not the case for most armies and eldar are mostly limited to the Serpent Shield. The main point is we can look back one edition to see what might be useful again.

No Gimmicks
I will refrain from using massive fortifications or Lords of War to build my first list. The army must be fundamentally sound at the most basic level and not rely upon gimmicks to win. If you must resort to gimmicks you won't really learn anything truly useful at this point. If (and when) Escalation and Stronghold Assault gain some acceptance at major events then I'll come back and take a closer look at super heavies and fortifications... For now it's just the bare bones codex.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cypher and Tyranids

I had a game today using Cypher and Black Legion, no daemons... A battle report will follow. Cypher is strong in this current meta for Chaos. Cypher can bring a lot to Chaos... I ran him with an outflanking squad of Berserkers of all things in a rhino... They sucked up a lot of punishment versus a mechanized Eldar army with a small Jetseer council.

In regards to Tyranids I am working on a new list... It must be able to consistently beat eldar and Tau. I see a lot of the good things from fifth edition making a come back. All the cheese is gone now.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

An anonymous explanation in regards to the Tyranid codex

"Speaking about the codex today, a few things fall into place. One of the older members of the Stoke branch is regular play tester for the pre release codex's as he has a number of armies they use when the designers want to try out their rules. Well it turns out he basically advised the design team that the NID codex was far too week and he basically walked over their armies, so they kept adding and changing the rules until it became such a mess that they stopped play testing the book. The white dwarf article was done in the released format because it became obvious that things did not work. They even toned down the riptides load out and tailored the report so it looked as if the new NID's could stand up to the best units in the game. it was a lie.

"They basically ran out of time to publish the codex. To make it right, they would likely have to start over again, and the old one was already way behind.

"So somewhere along the line someone high up forced the release, the Models were obviously ready and the penny counters wanted a return, as it costs to sculpt, and they don't want molds sat there for another 6-12 months. The inventory was in supply or on order, so it had to be pushed out.

"Add to this that the reason we don't have the doom or parasite or pod was a hang over of the chapter-house law suit. When that went to court GW decided that they would not be making these models as the cost of the molds and time was too expensive. So the safest way to remove influence from chapter-house, was to make any of the disputed models obsolete. Remove them from the codex.

"We already had the design team at Nottingham give interviews saying they would put right the 5th edition codex, i wonder what they are going to say this time."

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Tyranids, End of a Dynasty

Posted Image

So if you follow the internet there's lot of actual information available from the new codex and it's apparent the current meta army list has been hit hard by the nerf bat. To be honest I am not sad to see it go by the way side. Here is a list of what it lost:

— No more Biomancy monstrous creature spam
— No more fielding three Tervigons as troops for the cost of 30 termagants
— Spawned termagants can no longer assault the turn they are shat out by momma bug
— No more buffs given to nearby gants, inclusive of Leadership, Poison, Furious Charge given by Tervigons
— No more Doom
— No more spores
— No more Yrmgarl genestealers

These are all major nerfs and the proverbial death blow to how gamers competitively played Tyranids... remember GW likes to sell new models... That has always been their policy. I will refrain from making a statement that Tyranids are done. There will probably be at least one decent build but it will be something completely different. So I guess some will just have to wait and see if somebody figures out how to break the new codex. Oh well. I can say without a doubt this was my least liked edition of Tyranids... the meta list was absolutely no fun to play against and it was irritating at times to deal with some of the people who played the army.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Heresy Era World Eaters

These were assembled to look like a picture in the first Horus Heresy campaign book from Forge World... Therefore it's a mix of various pieces from different marks of power armor. Daniel Halverson painted them.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Cypher the Fallen Angel, Part 2

Cypher brings trouble wherever he goes since he perpetually exists on the dividing line between the forces of order and disorder. This is the same reason why natural disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes occur—there is always the greatest friction at the center of the storm. Sometimes destruction must first occur before things can begin anew.

The character Cypher was created by the GW development team based upon the nameless  cowboy portrayed by Clint Eastwood in the famous western movies filmed during the 1970s. Cypher is not a Chaos Space Marine but rather an avatar of redemption in the sense that some of the Fallen were eventually able to recognize their mistakes and learn from it while the loyalist Dark Angels could never see past it and live in a state of constant shame. Cypher is not entirely human due to the rend in reality that shattered Caliban casting the Fallen through time and space. Cypher also has an intense mystical aspect to his character.

Cypher the Fallen Angel

There has been a revived interest in Cypher with the release of the new formation from Games Workshop. Cypher dates back to the Horus Heresy and witnessed the fall of Caliban. There were no Fallen Angels prior to Horus Heresy and the schism occurred at the very end of the civil war when the Dark Angels returned to their home world. The Legion was cut in half with those loyal to their Primarch Lionel Johnson remaining with the Imperium and those loyal to the traitor Luthor turning to the fell powers of Chaos. All existing chapters have some that have fallen including even Blood Angels and Space Wolves. Only the Grey Knights are pure.

The term Cypher was a title of high rank within the Dark Angels' organization, not the name of a specific Space Marine. Cypher witnessed the battle between the two sides and is symbolic of the dividing line between them. Therefore he contains the essence of both sides. The Dark Angels in their current state of paranoia view him as a traitor. It was Cypher who returned their Primarch's Lion Helm to the Chapter. Cypher also sided with Abbadon during the 13th Black Crusade. He is his own man whether by choice or simply for survival. Not all the Dark Angels left behind on their home world Caliban sided with the traitor Luthor but they had no choice in the matter.

Cypher is very powerful and may have reached his heightened state of existence through self realization, opening his mind to a higher level of eclectic knowledge triggered by his experience on Caliban... A state of being unattainable to the average Space Marine. Cypher contains the thoughts, feelings and experiences of both loyalist Dark Angels and the Fallen... As such he is unique and there is no other like him. Cypher is equally at home leading an Imperial force or a Chaos war band and he knows how to play both sides against each other if need be.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Making a Better Mouse Trap

There has been lots of discussion how to design better missions for competitive play. First let's look at the typical objectives we most often see:

Kill Points
Holding Objective Markers
Controlling Table Quarters

First Blood
Slay the Warlord
Line Breaker

It only requires a little imagination and common sense to make these more challenging for the current top tier armies!

So let's talk about the first primary - Kill Points. This one is easy to modify in order to make it more challenging. As an example you could gain 2 kill points for each enemy scoring unit you destroy. This dove tails nicely with the other two primaries since you gain a bonus point each time you eliminate an enemy unit that can hold an objective or control a table quarter. There are many variations possible by assigning bonus points to other selections in the FOC such as elite enemy units or fast attack. You can also make it such that some selections from the FOC don't give up any kill points—Elite units immediately come to mind since you don't see them so often now due to The Scouring and Big Guns Never Tire missions... You immediately give a player a nice perk for encouraging players to make a change to their army list design while simultaneously de-emphasizing other selections.

Now let's look at the next two primaries - Holding Objective Markers and Controlling Table Quarters. I've lumped them together since they are quite similar in concept. We will first start with holding objective markers... Very cut and dry, right? What if the win condition was changed such that a player must hold the objective marker for at least two consecutive turns in order to control it? This would immediately eliminate late grabs by armies such as Necron Scythe spam and JetSeer Council. The same concept could also be applied to table quarters.

Now let's discuss bonus points. A change I've made which is popular in my area is Last Blood... The last player to destroy an enemy unit gains this bonus point. This is a big fundamental change to the current 40k gaming dynamics and can make for a more challenging bonus.

You can change the win condition for Slay the Warlord such that your Warlord must slay the enemy Warlord in order to score this bonus plus add an additional victory point since it's harder to accomplish. This change gives a perk to more melee centric armies - again encouraging players to redesign their army lists. A big change to Line Breaker would be to make it such that only specific selections from the FOC can score this bonus, such as elite units.

These are just ideas... Some have been tested and were well received. Like I said it only takes a little imagination and some common sense. Of course there should always be lots and lots of play testing for the all important tweaks.