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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

40k Rant: The Travesty that is Jervis Johnson

This is about the recent editorial from Jervis Johnson who heads up development for Games Workshop. I took it as an attack on hobbyists that like to play in tournaments. It was disingenuous how he repeatedly said he has nothing against tournament players in general but repeatedly said how they ruin the game.

If you follow the internet you'll know there has been some speculation if 40k will get the Age of Sigmar treatment. At first I was like WHFB was doomed and needed a reboot but after reading this diatribe I'm wondering if maybe it's their new direction. It's been said Games Workshop just wants to focus on making models and go away from rules. How long has it been since an actual FAQ was released? There has been no FAQ for new armies such as Grey Knights and Necrons plus a host of many others. Sure a lot of the questions asked might seem silly but on the other hand the customer deserves some answers now and then.

If this is the new direction I think they will fail. We as hobbyists need a tight set of rules so we can enjoy gaming. Jervis is the mouthpiece for Games Workshop and that is partly why he is where he's at today. I remember when he got sidelined having to manage their specialist games... Everybody hated his rules for Blood Bowl and used the previous edition. He was left out of the loop when the extremely popular 4th edition codex for Chaos Space Marines was developed and responsible for the travesty that was the following fifth edition codex which just happened to look a lot like the one he wrote for third edition.

Jervis can write a good codex - I'm thinking of the third edition Space Wolves codex so he's not totally ignorant. If Games Workshop should decide to distance themselves from writing rules it will have a direct impact on everyone that plays the game. Even if you are a casual player you need good rules... It's just the way it is.

Some have said the rules now are bloated and overly complicated but to me it adds a ton of flavor. Third edition anyone ?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pure Armies

Now that ATC is finally over I want to spend time demonstrating how to competitively play pure armies - for example Ravenwing Strike Force with nothing outside that datasheet. Obviously this means no super friends or Librarius Conclave so it's kind of like a vegan diet which will require a modicum of discipline. Don't get me wrong though - I am all for mixing your army but by playing a straight list you will learn it inside out which is what you really want as a competitive player to hone your skills.

There are lots of very competitive choices for mixing Ravenwing and I've already named a couple. Iron Hands Chapter Master on a bike with Gorgon's Chain is another good one. Like I said above though I want to start off pure so I can learn everything there is to know about the Ravenwing.

When I first started to play White Scars it wax really tough as I didn't really know what I was doing and lost a lot of games to the point where I considered dropping the hobby. I started to learn how to play White Scars by playing in low point tournaments (750 - 1250 points) which gave me the experience I needed to develop a solid core. I have chosen Ravenwing as my next army because my first army was Dark Angels which I played for years and because I like biker armies for the inherent mobility. If you follow this series of articles you will learn through my own experience.

I consider Ravenwing to be an upcoming army based upon what I saw first hand at ATC. It's time put away super friends for now and embrace a new army. I can shore up some points by dropping the Space Wolf component. At this point I can't say if Ravenwing will be as competitive as BikeStar as BikeStar currently has an answer for everything. Ravenwing has no S10 to deal with things like super heavies and gargantuan creatures.

It can be fun to try new things !

Monday, July 27, 2015

ATC 2015 Results

This was my favorite year for ATC and my third time in a row. The past two years out of twelve total games I won twice... It was very depressing for me as a competitive gamer. The first two years I brought my Nurgle army but just couldn't really make it work. I had some bad dice and tough matchups but it was a lot of losses no matter how you spin and I kept my team from placing higher. This year I brought my BikeStar and felt going into it I could do a lot better. My team did not place as high overall (ended up in the middle of the pack) but I was able to go 4-2 which is twice as good as my past two years collective performance so I'm happy.

I've always said the ATC is the most competitive event I have ever attended... It's literally a whose who of many of the greatest gamers across the country. The ATC by its very nature is the ultimate experience when it comes to Rock-Paper-Scissors. You will often end up each round with a great match or a super tough one due to how the individual pairings work.

This year I had four good matchups, one I'd call fairly even and one that was really hard as I had to fight an army that does better than what my BikeStar can do - über wolfstar with a ton of S10 hitting on 3+... I was literally out-starred facing off against a stronger deathstar than my own. I think I played it as well as I could but after Smashfacker fails his last save it all comes down to how good you can roll a 3++. I wasn't tabled - my Grey Hunters watched in horror from afar at the wanton epic destruction. My opponent got exactly what he needed - the fearless warlord trait and the psychic power Endurance for the 4++ feel no pain. Unfortunately for me I didn't get Invisibility when I really needed it the most. It was brutal and I killed almost my opponent's entire army except for a few last Thunderwolves, his Wolf Lord and a couple Iron Priests slinging the S10 instant death. Of course this had to be the kill point mission. My opponent went 6-0 too.

I learned a lot this year about the game what to expect in the coming months in terms where the meta is going. Ravenwing is very strong and unless a new codex for Tau can revamp player interest they will be right at the top. I saw the Wraithknight spam which can be effectively countered by the combination of the Skyhammer formation and Centurion Devastators in drop pods.

The folks who run the ATC did a fantastic job this year - everything ran smoothly and they had plenty of qualified judges to help out. I was very impressed and think this was the best big event I've ever attended. Christian Adorno played on my team this year and won the award for best Blood Angels running a pure army with no gimmicks - very impressive performance and he had his share of tough matches. Jwolf was five points out from taking the award for best Grey Knights and as usual was our heaviest hitter. Marcus Baxley brought his beautiful Green Tide and did well consistently scoring points for the team almost every round and often drew the toughest matchups. Our other team mate we hope will be a rising star... A teenager playing his Tau against grown men.

I posted a lot of pictures over on my Facebook page so check it out if you're interested.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Day 1 results for BikeStar at ATC

Iron Priest Chukk took down two Stompaz today in close combat ! Overall record at end of day one for BikeStar is 2-1... The one loss was versus the top ranked team Chicago Kamikaze - they are tough. We have our work cut out for us tomorrow.

Highlight of the day was the Iron Priest rolling two 6s to pen the second Stompa... Then rolled another two 6s for a total of eight hull points !!! Kuh fucking boom !

Friday, July 24, 2015

ATC 2015 Power Rangers Line Up

BBF: White Scars + Space Wolves
Chris Adorno (aka Blood Angel 13): Blood Angels
Ethan Fork: Tau
Jon Wolf: Imperial Knights + Grey Knights
Marcus Baxley: Orks

There's been several changes to the team over the course of the year leading up to the big event. Awesome One will be missed but I think our team is rock solid.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Black Library and Official Rules

If someone showed you an email from the Black Library regarding the rules would you treat it as official - would you go so far as to try to use it at a tournament if it favored your army or to nerf an opponent's army ?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Greg Swanson's BikeStar Chicago RTT Batreps

Played in approximately twenty person tournament over the weekend run by Alan Bajramovic (otherwise know as Alan Pajama Pants). It was at Everything Games in Buffalo Grove Illinois. Alan had come up with some unique missions where instead of gaining points for everything you do you add negative points to your opponents score and the one with the least negative points wins. Also you are presented with a choice of missions, there are two primary you can choose from and two secondary. Another twist on the missions was that it had first strike whether than first blood, where both opponents can get this if you kill something in the first turn. The full tournament post canbe found at the AWC site. The missions are here:

You could have unlimited sources and anything that was 40K approved from Forge World including titans. (As a matter of fact the last tourney was won by a Chaos Warhound). I took an army composed of a Dark Angel Ravenwing Strike Force, an Iron Hands Librarius Conclave and an Imperial Knight Errant. The list is as follows:

Ravenwing Command Squad 6 Knights, apoth, champ, banner, grenade launcher
6 Black Knights, 1 grenade launcher
4 Ravenwing Bikers 2 Gravguns, 1 Combi Grav
3 One man multimelta attack bike squads
Dark Shroud w/heavy bolter

3 Level 2 Librarians on Bikes all w/auspex & melta bombs, one of each force weapon (1 staff, 1 axe, 1 sword) so I could tell them apart

Knight Errant w/stubber

Game 1
The first game was against Curtis Kaminski an Eldar/Dark Eldar player with two CADS.
Dark Eldar
Succubus w/portal and other stuff
Warriors w/blaster in raider w/dark lance
Warriors w/blaster in venom w/splinter cannons
Razorwing w/2 dark lances and 4 monoscythe missiles
Tanatalus w/bunch of stuff

5 Wraithguard w/cannons
5 Dire avengers in wave serpent w/eml
10 guardians w/eml
Hemlock wraith fighter
Wraith knight w/shield and sword

He had a couple of shrieks and hallucination and some other powers but no fortune
I have Invis, hallucination, shriek on one, perfect timing, forewarning and prescience on another, and the last has dominate mental fortitude and shriek.

The mission is dawn of war deployment. We both choose control objectives, there is one in my deployment zone one in his and one in the center of the board. We both choose hold the center too. He goes first sets up the wraith knight and the guardians in some ruins to my right and the dire avengers in the wave serpent to the left. Everything else is either flying on or deep striking. I set up so I can scout forward and get everything in range of the wraith knight first turn and send the attack bikes and talon to get the wave serpent. His first turn he shuffles around taking some pot shots doing nothing. My first turn I cast invis on the command squad and prescience on the grav squad and go to town. With all the shooting I do 2 wounds to the wraithknight and two hull points to the wave serpent. His turn two everything but the hemlock comes on. I learn a very harsh lesson. The tantalus is so big that it falls with in two facings of the knight thus denying me my shield one wraith guard six later my knight is dead and two of my command squad with it. The wraith knight kills the grav squad but taking two wounds in the process (go go grim resolve). He walks the mono scythe blasts on to my dark shroud who in another lesson learned I had moved to close to an attack bike. In my turn the black knights are able to finish off the wraith knight, the command squad makes short work of the tantalus and the black knights and the command squad would make short work of the farseer and succubus and wraith guard. The attack bikes then rolled through the wave serpent dire avengers and guardians taking a wound each on two and losing one completely. I would wipe everything out but his two fighters and control all the objectives and hold the center. I won -6 to -29.

Game 2
The second game is against Alan himself playing his BAO winning list. He is playing the ringer in the tournament. The mission for him is kill three of my units – the attack bikes. Mine is hold the relic. His list is
D thirster w/gifts he gets (reroll invuls and armor bane/flesh bane + axe of khorne)
2 units of horrors
Prince w/Grimoire

10 cultists

The mission is hammer and anvil. The game was quick and bloody it ended with the command squad dying on the relic to a one wound prince and a few daemonettes with Fateweaver flying around. One of the highlights was the invisible knight stomping the D thirster(who had a 2+ rerollable invulnerable save) out of existence in my turn one. Another was the black knights snap firing the heldrake out of the air. The turn that lost it for me was when I gambled with the attack bikes. I sent three of them to kill the unit of daemonettes that would cost me the game. I moved into cover and shot them with all three not killing a single one with 9 shots. Then I had baited them to charge me knowing I had grim resolve and would go first for being in cover. I killed three and the other seven preceded to rend me out fo existence giving Alan his primary and eventually those daemonettes would help finish off my command squad. A crushing loss -28 to -9.

Game 3
The last game was against Mitch Tucker another of the Chicago Kamikazes. He was playing an Army with an Eldar CAD, Windrider Host and a Revenant. His list was:

Eldar CAD
Autarch on Bike
2 x 3 Windriders w/one scatter laser
Revenant Titan

Windrider Host
Farseer on Bike
Warlock on Bike
3 x 3 Windriders w/three scatter lasers
Vyper w/scatter laser
Wraith Knight w/shield and sword

The mission was hold 4 objectives with a catch. If you controlled one of the other two objectives that did not count for scoring you could casue the other objectives to blow up with a strength 8 ap 2 large blast that ignores cover. The secondary for both of us was modified killed points. The deployment was corners and I went first. He deployed the two lords of war and reserved everything else. I scouted to keep the revenant hemmed in. I was able to take a few hull points off of the revenant and a few wounds on the wraith knight. I was also able to invis the command squad and fortune the black knights. His turn was very poor putting a few wounds on attack bikes and killing a random bike with shooting. He charged the Black Knights with the wraith knight and I was able to put a few more wounds on the wraith knight and survive the stomping. I was able to hit and run and next turn finish off both the wraith knight and the revenant between shooting and combat. The rest of the game was just running down bikes. I was able to table him by turn six. I won -6 to -38.

All in all it was a fun tourney. I learned a few things. The librarius conclave is awesome. It pretty much guaranteed me at least two powers a turn and with six rolls I was able to get at least one invisibility in each game. However I only usually get off two powers a turn because that is all I can cast with the conclave. The iron hands trait is awesome as it allows me to make FNP rolls on a 4+. I finished near the top with a – 40. I didn’t stay around for the results and they haven’t been posted yet but the leader I believe had -31. So over all I think the list performed well.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Hobbytown Team Tourney Wrap Up Report

Yesterday we had a team tournament over in Tampa - eight teams were there with the following armies:

1. Space Marines + Space Wolves & Space Marines & Imperial Knight
2. Dark Angels & Eldar (Wraithknight)
3. Daemons & Daemons + Greater Brass Scorpion
4. Tyranids & Tyranids + Hierodule
5. Space Marines & Astra Militarum + Imperial Knight
6. Space Wolves + Space Marines & Chaos Space Marines
7. Eldar & Eldar (Wraithknight)
8. Orks & Orks + Stompa

So as you can see there were plenty of super heavies and gargantuan creatures.

Here is my White Scars army with Space Wolf allies:

Chapter Master - Bike - Artificer Armor - Power Fist - Shield Eternal - Auspex

Command Squad - Bikes
Chapter Banner - 4x Grav Gun - 4x Stormshield - Thunderhammer - 3x Meltabombs

4x Biker - 2x Grav Gun
Sergeant - Meltabombs
Attack Bike - Multi-Melta

4x Biker - 2x Grav Gun
Sergeant - Meltabombs
Attack Bike - Multi-Melta

Rune Priest - Bike - Runic Armor - Force Axe - Meltabombs - Level 2 Psyker

5x Grey Hunter - 5x Chainsword - Meltagun
Wolf Guard - Frost Axe - Meltabombs

Drop Pod

Here is my team mate's list (White Scars as well) to the best of my memory:

Librarian - Level 2

2x Devastator Centurion - Grav Cannon & Grav Amp - Hurricane Bolters
Sergeant - Grav Cannon & Grav Amp - Hurricane Bolters - Omniscope

4x Tactical Marine - Grav Gun

2x Landspeeder - 2x Heavy Bolter

Landraider - Multi-Melta

Imperial Knight - Battle Cannons - Gatling Gun

I liked all the missions and every game was a great time making some new friends.

The first game was versus the sixth team. The CSM player is fairly new to the game and was matched up with a veteran Marine player. The vet had a really tough wolfstar with Thunderlord and Chapter Master that had me concerned... It was a full squad of Thunderwolves all with stormshields plus some thunderhammers for good times. We were packing a whole lot of Grav so it would come down to those stormshield saves. I had no desire to fight them in assault as the wolfstar has a much higher damage output plus every model in the star is multi wound. The second turn the CSM player's daemon prince periled and rolled a one following by an 11 for its leadership test... Ouch. We played the keep away game pouring as much Grav as possible into the wolfstar slowly whittling it down. Towards the end of the game all that was left of wolfstar was the Wolf Lord (2 wounds), Chapter Master (2 wounds) and one Thunderwolf... They missed a 7" charge and suffered a couple more wounds from my prescienced BikeStar which pretty much ended it there. Next turn the last of the wolfstar was gravved down and the biker squads turbo boosted onto objectives to seal the win. I feel Grav heavy White Scars biker armies have an edge over wolfstars due to the Grav and turbo boosting to keep the wolves at arm's length. It's very important how you deploy so they can't trap you in a corner. I rolled up Master of Ambush for my warlord trait and actually infiltrated on their side of the table to maximize my space. We scored 19 out of a possible 28 this round.

The second game was versus the fourth team - Tyranids with the ranged Hierodule. I was very concerned about the Hierodule with all the 48" ranged S10 AP3 shooting... Luckily prescienced Centurions popping out from the Landraider first turn saw to its early demise - they had Perfect Timing up as well. It kind of went down hill from their for the xenos and we maxed out on our score this round (28).

The final round sees us facing off versus the team I feared the most - daemons with the Greater Brass Scorpion (GBS). They had lots of psychic powers in the beginning to buff it up with things like Grimoire and Cursed Earth. The GBS has a cannon that fires the large blast up to 48" if it doesn't move - S10 AP2 and it ignores cover... Really a bad matchup for my bikes. We decided to ignore it since it's pretty much unkillable with all the buffs. Daemons are the worst army for Centurions too and my Grav... Oh well we do have plenty of bolters so they'd have to go to work ! Our opponents got to go first which turned out to work in our favor - they dropped the portagylph which the Centurions popped our first turn scoring us First Blood plus two maelstrom points. It was a very bloody game starting turn 2 with not much left on either side by the end of the game. Chapter Master got stomped to death by the GBS during the third turn but we were able to finish off the ScreamerStar quickly which was a huge threat to our Knight. The Knight turned out to be the MVP taking out big chunks of the daemon forces every turn plus stomping to death an invisible summoned Keeper of Secrets that had gone Super Saiyan after periling with only one hull point left. WOW !!! That was super critical ! We kept our forces split on either side of the table to deter the direction making decisions for the GBS. The last turn we just managed to take the primary on maelstrom - the GBS was just able to clip a small fin on my Rune Priest's bike and failed his 6+ re rollable invulnerable save... Luckily the last biker from the command squad stuck his 3++ then by the grace of the Emperor and Khan stuck one more critical save. Those two maelstrom points we scored during the first turn paid off in the end. So we ended up winning with a score of 24 out of 28. We focused on the mission objectives and pretty much ignored the GBS - it's really really nasty !

So it's looking like super heavies and gargantuan creatures are here to stay plus they can be a lot of fun... Their inclusion definitely added a lot of excitement to each game.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Project Daemonkin • Khorne Kytan versus Wraithknight

There is finally a super heavy walker that can go toe to toe with the Wraithknight. I see the Kytan as the much needed hammer to the anvil for Daemonkin. The Internet buzz regarding playing an MSU style list has finally dissipated not having produced top results at several big events such as the recent BAO.

While you're paying considerably more points for the Khorne super heavy Walker it has the stats to take down a Wraithknight and literally walk away plus it's very easy to buff with things like the Grimiore of True Names and Cursed Earth. Sure we can make it invisible but so can eldar for the Wraithknight which would come down to who stomps the best and the Kytan has the edge. I predict the Kytan and Chaos Knight will both shift the meta. The Kytan being armor 13 on both front and side armor facings makes scatbikes irrelevant too.

My current project Ravenwing is wrapping up so you can expect to see some Daemonkin batreps coming soon here.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thursday night 40k league game

I had an awesome battle this evening with my BikeStar versus Orks with a Stompa. Turn 1 saw assault with my Thunderlord and the Warboss mutually eliminating each other in a challenge. Two turns later the Stompa exploded lighting up the night sky. Very little was left on either side by the fifth and final turn... Chapter Master managed to survive down to his final wound while the Grey Hunters watched from a relatively safe distance securing victory by holding my objective. Very tight game !

The league has been a lot of fun with four games I wouldn't have gotten in otherwise. Tyranids, Flesh Tearers and the Orks... Good times for sure.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

My take on the current rules debate regarding the Librarius Conclave

My take on the rules debate regarding the Librarius Conclave... First ask yourself why would anyone cast with the other Librarians unless the first one casting on 2+ dies from perils or is out of range for a witchfire ? It can be argued what is the end of the psychic phase but really we all know GW stinks it up when it comes to writing iron clad air tight rules.

To me the end of the psychic phase is the last spell to be cast so after the primary Librarian is done you could cast one more spell with another Librarian from the Conclave... It's certainly not the next phase. I can tell you that three or more Librarians mounted on bikes are not going to have any problems with range.

So sure this formation is extremely powerful but there's no need to incorrectly interpret their rules.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015


Us and Them...

This is a central tenet in the way of life - either you are for or against something. I think it doesn't have to be that way though. Really deep down inside at some point we are all the same. You can find good in something as well as bad. It's a two way street if you stop to think about it for a moment.

So it could be just 'us' if we drop our boundaries and preconceived perceptions. We can all be together and I've seen it happen - it's truly a beautiful thing. Really we all want the same things in the end. To me the Horus Heresy 30k game from Forge World demonstrates this to be true. In a game where all things are Space Marines there is actual balance and every army has lots of awesome things that are very exciting. The most fun I had ever was playing in a 30k campaign and everybody who participated said as much... It was not so much about winning as having a good time and enjoying each other's company. It took me a long time to understand - sure some times I forget in the heat of the moment.

Of course in 40k there are many races and not all are created equal but I do think just about every army had its day in the sun so to speak and it could always happen again.

We choose our armies for various reasons but I think it's safe to say each person chose theirs for something about it that drew them into the game. Some people stick with the same race while others go from one to another trying to find the one that's right for them. The hobby can be many things for many people but we really all want to have fun.

So I talked about how really deep down we are all the same. While that is true we are unique too which means there are differences and these are the things that make us each individual.

Sometimes there are things that we are not used to and how we deal these differences are part of what define us.

We can accept, deny, ignore or try to change these differences more to our own liking. The 'us' versus 'them' type of thinking really comes into its own for these types of situations.

In regards to our hobby my line of thinking is to accept most anything in terms of what people want to play as long as it's battle forged. I don't like Comes the Apocalypse allies especially when I see things that are chosen to simply make an army more winning at the expense of its own theme. I did finally come to realize this is me not accepting something because it's different from what I like so I learned how to accept it.

The more we can accept the better we are for it. It's important to be very honest with yourself when you find something different not to your initial liking. You need to know truly why you don't like it. I remember the parable about one person who drew a circle around their self to isolate then someone else drew a bigger circle with everyone inside of it. To me that's the ideal to which we should aspire.

So in conclusion everyone picks an army to play for their own reasons - it might because they like the background or think it's competitive... A lot of times the reasons are in between these two ends of the spectrum. Everybody enjoys a win now and then and we all want to have a good time. Try to be accepting of other people's armies even if it doesn't appeal to you. We all rub off on each other which can lead to us being more alike.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Chaos Knights & Kytan Daemon Engine • Forge World rules

The Kytan will be a real game changer for Chaos Space Marines - especially with all the special rules, greater number of attacks and higher weapon skill and inititative !

Chaos Knight of Khorne included in a Daemon army (and containing the Daemon special rule) opens up opportunities that normal Knights don't have. First and foremost being the Grimoire leading to 2+ Ion Shields (and 3+ on all other facings, including in combat, and 2+ if a Cursed Earth is nearby) and guaranteed access to Invisibility via Be'lakor.

Optimizing your Warp Charge • Part 2 • Librarius Conclave

The psychic phase is new to 7th edition and is a direct carry over from Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Seeing it is so new and how GW writes their rules the psychic phase can be very powerful - it can literally win games by buffing your army and debuffing your opponent's army. A new formation - Librarius Conclave - from the new Space Marine codex has thrown in a huge monkey wrench providing Space Marines with arguably the best psychic unit in the game. Space Marines also now have access to all the best psychic lores as well now.

Here is a list of what I consider to be the best of the psychic lores in no particular order (other than alphabetical):

Daemonology (Santic) *

* There's a caveat to choosing Daemonology (Santic) since you automatically peril anytime you cast any doubles if the psyker is not a Grey Knight... However the Librarius Conclave can successfully cast on a 2+ if there are three Librarians in the formation all within 12" of each other. So you can cast two dice for a spell requiring one warp charge and three dice for a spell requiring two warp charges thereby greatly mitigating the chance to peril for this lore.

If you read my first article I stated I typically cast six dice for a spell requiring two warp charges so you can see how much this formation helps you to conserve your warp charge so you can cast more psychic powers each turn plus greatly lessen the risk of suffering a peril.

Daemonology (Santic)
I'll delve into Daemonology (Santic) at a latter point in time - for now I'll just say it's very powerful with Hammerhand, Gate of Infinity, Sanctuary and Vortex of Doom. I'm not covering Malefic since I don't currently play any armies that can make use of this particular lore. Personally I'm glad to know eldar and Space Marines no longer have access to it.

The best spells are as follows - Foreboding, Misfortune (2), Perfect Timing, Precognition and Prescience (2).

Foreboding allows the psyker and unit to which he is attached shoot at full ballistic skill on Overwatch plus they gain Counter Attack. This is really good for my White Scars biker command squad since they have four grav guns... Which is a huge deterrent to any enemy unit that wants to assault them. As a side note remember grav guns are Concussive so if you should inflict any wounds those enemy models are dropped to an initiative of 1. Basically it makes the Death Star even more unkillable.

Misfortune requires two warp charges and is a malediction. It's really good for my White Scars as all those twin linked bolters are now rending versus the maledicted enemy unit. This is really good versus enemy fliers and FMC as my White Scars have no anti air. If nothing else it will force them to jink for a turn rendering their shooting next to worthless - which is really good versus Flyrants.

Perfect Timing allows the psyker and unit to which he is attached to ignore cover when shooting. This is another really good one combined with the White Scars command squad's grav guns - it kills thing dead !

Precognition allows the psyker to basically re roll everything and is really good for using him to tank wounds with a 3+ jink save or a 2+ armor save if you kit your Rune Priest with runic armor. Position the psyker such that the Chapter Master can Look Out Sir any wounds that aren't inflicting instant death to the precogged psyker. This is yet another psychic power that makes the Death Stsr even more unkillable.

Everybody knows what Presciencd does - the psyker and unit to which he is attached re roll to hit while both shooting and assaulting.

I'll mention this one now since it seems most players seem to forget about it. You cast Force once then the psyker and unit to which he is attached are all affected - so you don't have to cast it individually for each psyker with a force weapon anymore. This obviously came from the Grey Knights 5th edition codex and is awesome... It works really well with the Librarius Conclave ! My preferred force weapon is the force axe for +1S and AP2. Force inflicts instant death thereby denying Feel No Pain. It's very powerful and only requires one warp charge... Really good versus any multi wound enemy model including monstrous creatures and gargantuan creatures as well - gargantuan creatures d3 wounds instead of instant death which can finish off Wraithknights.

Some people claim Telepathy ruined the game but I see it as a balancing factor versus ranged D weapons. Sure Invisibility is yet another thing that makes the Death Star nigh unkillable and with the Libarius Conclave it's going to be very hard to deny now. We all know just how good it is too. There are some other really good spells here as well such as Dominate, Psychic Shriek and Terrify. Terrify has excellent synergy with both Dominate and Psychic Shriek since all three work on enemy leadership and bypass Fearless. Dominate is great versus armies with low leadership such as Orks and Tyranids... It can literally shut down an enemy unit since if maledicted they must pass separate leadership tests to do anything. A nasty trick versus Tyranids is to dominate a Flyrant for the chance to prevent it from swooping. Psychic Shriek is great for removing a pesky objective secured enemy unit camped on an objective marker... One of the great things about witchfire in general is you can assault a different enemy unit - like I said in the opening the psychic phase is really off the hooks now so take full advantage of it.

The next article in this series will cover how to optimize denying the witch. If you're following along you've probably noticed these articles are geared towards armies I play but the basic strategy and tactical acumen can be applied to most other armies as well.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Optimizing your Warp Charge

Here are some tips to help you when casting your psychic powers. As an example my current list I'm running has two level 2 psykers:

Rune Priest - Divination (psychic hood & ward)
Librarian - Telepathy (psychic hood)

This is a total of four warp charges. Doesn't sound like a lot but even against armies with a lot more such as Daemons, Grey Knights and Tyranids which can all have 10 or more warp charges I can often successfully cast my psychic powers. It's important to note that statistically for a blessing your opponent must roll six dice for each 4+ you roll... So often if you can manage to cast three or more 4+ on a blessing your opponent needs 18 warp charges on average to deny it. Sure sometimes the opponent gets lucky - it happens but it's not commonly occurring. I think of this as optimizing my psychic phase... While I've only got 4 warp charges plus the d6 at the beginning of my psychic phase if I roll well I can succeed.

It's important to rank your psychic powers knowing which are most important to cast. A trick is to cast a malediction requiring one successful warp charge first to draw off some of your opponent's warp pool so they have less to deny with when you attempt to cast a blessing such as the Much hated Invisibility. So for example I attempt to cast Psychic Shriek first which only requires one warp charge then I roll for Invisibility having drawn off some of their warp pool.

I will typically roll 6 dice to cast a level 2 psychic power, again such as Invisibility... It's a game changer and well worth the risk. If you roll 6 times you should on average succeed three times thus requiring your opponent needing 18 dice on average to successfully deny it - most armies won't have 18 dice, especially if you can draw some off on a lesser spell first. Rolling 5 or less dice greatly diminishes the odds in your favor. In my opinion it's better to be bold and risk a perils for the best odds.

Each of my psykers have level 2 mastery plus the Rune Priest has Ward which is equivalent to Admantium Will. My Chapter Master has the Shield Eternal which also confers Admantium Will for backup. My two psykers are both joined to the same unit as the Chapter Master which means I'm denying on a 4+ versus 6+ against any malediction cast against the unit. Most often I'm able to successfully deny these maledictions which can also be quite a game changer versus powerful psychic maledictions such as Paroxsym or Shriek. I also have the psychic hoods so my psykers can deny for other friendly units up to 12" away. I like having two hoods for backup in case I lose of my psykers.

The psychic powers you get are random. That's said you'll want to find combinations for the synergy. By using two spells in tandem the overall affect can be much more powerful. For example during a game versus Salamanders with an Imperial Knight I had Foreboding and Prescience amongst some other psychic powers. I was able to successfully cast both anticipating a charge from the enemy Knight targeting my super friends unit including the two attached psykers. Foreboding lets you fire Overwatch on your full ballistic skill plus counter attack and Prescience lets you re roll missed hits. Turns out I was able to strip two hull points and concuss the enemy Knight. I then destroyed the Knight in one turn of melee.

Prescience and Misfortune are a great combo versus enemy flyers. I play a biker army and had a recent game versus an army with three Stormravens loaded with assault cannons, hurricane bolters, missiles and multi-meltas. Misfortune is a malediction that cause all attacks to be rending. This combined with twin linked bolters is a great way to force flyers to jink and even destroy them.

Terrify combined with Psychic Shriek is another great combination. Look for the synergies.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Blood Angels • Baal Strike Force (1850)

I've been messing around with BattleScribe to learn how to use while waiting for the maintainers to fix the bugs with Dark Angels and Space Marines... Came up with this list:

++ Blood Angels: Codex (2014) (Baal Strike Force) (1846pts) ++

+ HQ (276pts) +

Astorath the Grim

Sanguinary Priest - Blood Chalice - Bolt Pistol -Boltgun - Melta bombs - Narthecium - The Angel's Wing - Valor's Edge

+ Elites (780pts) +

15x Death Company Marine - Jump Pack - 3x Power Fist

Furioso Dreadnought - Extra Armour - Magna-grapple - Power Fists - Heavy flamer

5x Sanguinary Guard Squad - Chapter Banner - Encarmine Axe - 2x Inferno Pistol - Power Fist

+ Troops (110pts) +

4x Scout - 4x Combat Blade
Scout Sergeant - Chainsword

4x Scout - 4x Combat Blade
Scout Sergeant - Chainsword

+ Heavy Support (460pts) +

Stormraven Gunship - Hurricane Bolter Sponsons - Twin Linked Assault Cannon, Twin-linked Multi-Melta

Stormraven Gunship - Hurricane Bolter Sponsons - Twin Linked Assault Cannon, Twin-linked Multi-Melta

+ Lords of War (220pts) +

Commander Dante - Warlord

Sanguinary Guard and Furioso so can ride in Stormravens. Scouts infiltrate and everything else deep strikes with ICs attached to the Death Company.