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Happiness is success... (Buddha)
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
I like to watch video battle reports (VBR) to learn about armies and as a form of entertainment. Here are my ranking and ratings. Note that I have not included any channels on Twitch as for whatever reason I don’t watch it a lot but there a lot of good ones like Bell of the Lost Souls.
The top channel appears in the first slot and so on. I rate them on the following categories:
Competitive - Knows the rules inside out and run competitive army lists
Entertaining - Really fun to watch and holds your interest throughout the entire episode
Technical - Well filmed, excellent lighting, etc.
Knowing the rules inside out is one of the most important things for me as nothing is worse than watching 80-90% of a VBR then there is a major mistake that ends up throwing the game. In my opinion the best games are error free of any rules mistakes. If there are some serious rules issue during the beginning of the VBR I stop watching it. You owe it to your viewers to get the rules right. Also I don’t like a lot of cursing throughout a report... to me a VBR worth watching should be very professional. Finally the entertainment is also very important - it gets old really fast watching WAAC army lists in action. Competitive does not equal WAAC in my book.
I score each category as follows:
A - top rating
B - mid rating (still good)
C - needs some improvements
Note that I am not here to rag on any of the channels I watch. This article is solely intended to point potential viewers in the right direction.
Horus Heresy (30k)
There is only one channel I watch regularly and it’s the30kchannel. This channel gets a perfect score as they do everything right. Typically there is one episode a month and I watch every one of them.
Eighth Edition 40k
 My top pick is SEO Winters. Winters has the best 40k VBRs in my opinion because the armies are always interesting and the games tend to be very close. Winters is a tactical genius... I really learn a lot from him every episode. He tends to play Imperial armies but recently he has been playing Death Guard a lot. I rate this channel as follows:
Competitive - A+
Entertaining - A+
Technical - A
 My second favorite 40k channel is Grim Resolve. This channel is from Scotland and it’s a hoot to listen to their accents. I rate this channel as follows:
Competitive - B+
Entertaining - A+
Technical - A
Unfortunately they haven’t released anything new in awhile which is a shame. Even though I rated this channel as B+ for competitive that is mainly because they tend to play armies that aren’t as optimized as some of my other favorite channels but still they are very entertaining and offer something different.
 Next up is Tabletop Tactics by the Spyder (Lawrence Baker) and is from England. His VBRs are the most entertaining for me and the Spyder goes to great lengths to put together top notch reports. I rate this channel as follows:
Competitive - A
Entertaining - A+
Technical - A
 In at the fourth slot is the Glacial Geek. Wow Phil Hall has come such a long way very quickly. Phil is first and foremost as fair as they come and he never has anything bad to say. This channel is a one man band and Phil is very dedicated... no wonder his popularity continues to constantly grow. FLG was requested by so many people to feature one of his games at the recent LVO he got to show his stuff the second day even though he was not on a top table. I rate this channel as follows:
Competitive - B
Entertaining - A
Technical - B
This channel is constantly improving each and every episode!
 My choice for the fifth slot is StrikingScorpion82. This channel is also from England as well and this is one of the most professional and also extremely entertaining. This channel features a lot of different armies including a lot of xenos races. I rate this channel as follows:
Competitive - B+
Entertaining - A
Technical - A+
 My final pick for the top six is Guerrilla Miniature Games. This channel is out of Canada and Ashe also does a great job plus occasionally he features some Horus Heresy games as well. I rate this channel as follows:
Competitive - B
Entertaining - A
Technical - A
There are lot of other great channels to watch as well so here are some honorable mentions but in no particular order:
The Long War (US)
Frontline Gaming (US)
Battle Report (US)
So there you have my top ten. You’ve probably seen or heard a lot them if you also like to watch VBRs. Check them out when you have a chance.
Custodes have many amazing strategems - maybe the most best for any current codex. Some of them cost several command points so you should always choose them wisely. Note that these tips assume you want to play Custodes competitively so you’ll want to bring another detachment and it’s a good idea to bring a Warlord with access to a trait or a relic that lets you regain some of your command points. For example I run a battalion of Ultramarines and pick the Warlord Trait that allows you to regain each spent command point on a roll of 5+.
One of the best strategems for Custodes is From Golden Light They Come which for one command point let’s you place one unit of Custodes in deep strike reserve. Note that Allarus Custodians (terminators) and the Shield Captain in Allarus terminator armor both have the ability From Golden Light which allows them to automatically setup in deep strike reserve without having to use any command points. I use this Strategem for my Wardens so I can deploy them in a strategic position such as behind enemy lines if possible or beside a flank to harass the enemy. Wardens have the ability Binding Oaths which helps them to ignore wounds making them more robust so they are well suited for this role.
I’ve found that versus opponents who also have placed several units in deep strike reserve it’s often better to go second so you can better react to their deep striking units (e.g. , Obliterators). This forces your opponent to place these units more cautiously since you can easily retaliate.
Another great strategem is Concussion Grenades which also costs one command point. This strategem allows Allarus Custodians (terminators) or the Shield Captain in Allarus terminator armor to fire their Balitus grenade launchers such that if they hit an enemy unit these units cannot fire overwatch and it reduces their ballistic and weapon skill by -1 for that turn. Due to being able to split fire now in eighth edition a squad of Allarus Custodians can target separate units, up to one for each terminator. I use a Culexus assassin and if you deep strike it in close proximity to the terminators the same turn then enemy units struck by the concussion grenades cannot hit the assassin, shooting or melee. Custodes are BS2 and each grenade launcher generates D3 attacks so you’ll more than likely hit each enemy unit you target. Also note that the grenades have 12" range so your terminators can shoot past the 9" bubble of separation required when deep striking next to enemy units.
The next strategem I want to cover is Vexilla Teleport Homer which allows you to place one unit of Allarus Custodians (terminators) or a Shield Captain in Allarus terminator armor wholly within 6" of a Vexilus Praetor and more than 3" from any enemy unit when deep striking. This strategem costs three commands but it can be a real game winner since it virtually guarantees a charge. Bait the enemy close to your Praetor then spring the trap. If your opponent is aware of this strategem then it makes them all that much more conservative with their movement phases.
Another awesome stratagem for Custodes is Shoulder the Mantle which also only costs one command point! If your Warlord is slain you can pick a Shield Captain to become your new Warlord and he automatically generates a new Warlord Trait (i.e., Superior Creation - 5++ Feel No Pain). This denies your opponent both Slay the Warlord and King Slayer... that’s huge and can also be another potential game winner. I always run two Shield Captains so I could use this strategem twice in one game - so dirty.
Victor of the Blood Games is a stratagem that costs two command points... select a character during deployment and it can re-roll one hit, wound or save each turn. Combining this with a relic for a 3++ invulnerable save and Superior Creation makes your Shield Captain neigh on invincible.
The last strategem I’m going to cover is Tanglefoot Grenades which costs one command point. Choose an enemy unit within 12" of an Adeptus Custodes infantry unit at the beginning of their movement or charge phase and roll a d6 - they must then subtract this value from their move or charge. Note this strategem does not affect enemy units with the keyword Fly. A solid tactic is to place a Custodes infantry unit in a crater or forest which subtracts another 2" from the targeted enemy unit’s charge... potentially reducing their charge by up to 8"... evil!
So there you have it. The strategems I’ve covered above are my go to choices and the majority of these only cost one command point. They can all be game winners too. Again my advice is use them wisely... don’t blow all your command points the first two turns because you’ll need them at key moments later in the game. There are many other rock solid strategems to choose from as well - like I said above and I’ll say it yet again choose them wisely and only when you really need them. Go forth and conquer with this grand arsenal at your disposal.
Sunday, February 25, 2018
I was late to start playing eighth edition with a move across the country last year. I really wanted to play Ultramarines when I saw the new codex. I lost most of the games I played for the first few months. One or even two mistakes are so painful this edition and I made my share of them. I had some good games though and felt like overall I was doing a lot of things right. I think a lot of people think Space Marines are not competitive but I think they are wrong. To me Ultramarines are really good... on top of everything else they have going for them their Chapter tactic basically gives every unit the keyword Fly in that they can fall back and still shoot at -1 BS which is a big deal.
Just after I finally finished building my army it was stolen last December so I had to start over again but it turned out to be a great thing as I was forced to re-analyze my original list and then recently something totally awesome happened - Custodes. Custodes are to the Imperium what Daemons are to Chaos. Bless all the people who supported me when I lost my first army - you kept me in this hobby and you all mean so much to me.
This article is not about Space Marines and Custodes, it is about simple things I’ve learned to prevent making mistakes. Like I said mistakes are a really big deal now... just one mistake can easily cost you a game.
-Don’t Cast Psychic Powers When You Don’t Need To
I had a recent game versus Smash Brothers (Magnus and Mortarion). I successfully rolled for Null Zone and it was not denied. Both daemon Primarchs were really close by losing their invulnerable saves - Plasma to the left - Plasma to the right. I should have stopped casting right then but I decided to go ahead and cast another psychic power then rolled Box Cars. My Librarian had already lost some wounds and died... no more Null Zone. Perils of the Warp is a thing and it can cost you games - don’t get greedy.
-Don’t Charge Everyone into Combat
This is one of the biggest mistakes I see and I’ve fallen into this trap more than once. A classic example is versus daemons... again Null Zone is successfully cast and not denied... daemons lose their invulnerable save. Don’t charge the Librarian into combat. You fight first then your opponent burns two command points to interrupt combat and kills the Librarian shutting down Null Zone. You could have cleaned house but they clean your house because again you got greedy when you didn’t need to... so silly.
I horde my command points like they are solid gold. I’ve seen people burn command points to reroll a bolter hit due to frustration... lol. Ideally you should know all your best strategems inside out. I’d much rather reroll to wound than to hit, the odds are much better you’ll do some serious damage... you could easily reroll a miss into another miss again and not even get the chance to wound. Ideally you should have three to four command points going into the fourth turn. Command points win games and you win games versus competitive gamers during the last couple turns.... that’s when you really need them. If you can design your list to reroll to regain command points do it(i.e. relics or Warlord traits). Like I said - solid gold.
The castle is a big thing and I even see eldar using this tactic (think Dark Reapers). A castle is a piece of terrain granting cover to your infantry. Deploy units with ranged fire power (e.g., Devastators) inside the terrain along with some characters to buff these units (e.g., Captain, Lieutenant, Ancient, Apothecary, etc.). There should be an objective inside the terrain as well so you can score points while shooting out from it.
You should also have some counter assault units deployed in a manner to defend your castle... ideally these units should be held in reserve and be able to deep strike (e.g., terminators). Holding them in reserve keeps them safe until you need them. The more of these units you can hold in reserve the better you’ll be able to react to whatever your opponent does.
Friday, February 23, 2018
Hi everyone - BBF here again to discuss the current meta and solutions to the problems. I will be attending the Broadside Bash (BSB) this April here in beautiful San Diego. Lots and lots of painting every free hour so I can bring a beautiful army. Today I learned that BSB has officially banned Chaos and Imperial Soup... eldar is next and the old nerf bat it hurts if you like your cheese. The ban for Chaos and Imperialis is that you can no longer use Chaos or Imperial as keywords to fill a detachment. Hopefully Ynnari will suffer just as much otherwise we will see many armies replicating the winning list from Las Vegas Open... reaperspam for days.
I never liked the soup lists as the end result are armies that have absolutely no background whatsoever. For example I have seen one army that features units taken from Sisters of Battle (Saint Celestine), Black Templars, Grey Knights, Raven Guard and Imperial Guard. Sorry but that is really messed up. This is truly an unholy smorgasbord and is also a walking atrocity. Soup lists came about during the early phase of eighth Edition when there was only indices but now it needs to be put down and kept down like a rabid dog. This type of ban eliminates assassin spam on top of everything else - it’s a good thing... trust me.
I reckon the only complaints we will hear are from those that like to roll with their soup. Oh well they have to learn how to play just like everyone else and isn’t that a good thing ? The answer is YES it truly is. There is an option though if you don’t like the ban... move along.
As bad as seventh edition was the soup is a direct throwback to what was the ultimate worst for the hobby... gaming the system as much as possible for each and every advantage possible. Every army should adhere to background, it’s not about fielding a totally aggro black red deck. So I fully salute BSB for doing the right thing... hats off to them.
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Note that this article is intended for competitive play and all that entails - the general consensus is that this codex is best used in combination with another to utilize its full potential and mitigate its weaknesses.
I have been playing the new codex since it dropped and it’s amazing. Currently I am running an Ultramarine battalion, auxiliary detachment consisting of a Culexus assassin and a Vanguard detachment for the Custodes. There are other good choices for the combination - Astra Militarum is obvious. I feel that the Culexus is a great choice to combine with Custodes since they do not have as much psychic protection as some other armies. Strategic placement of the assassin can go a long way to helping protect Custodes from Smite and psychic debuffs. I run Tigurius in my Ultramarines detachment who is also very helpful as well. Whatever you choose to combine with your Custodes should also provide some protection as well.
The basic stats for a Custodian are as follows:
Each and every Custodian is the equivalent of an HQ and they have an excellent arsenal to choose from for their weapons.
So now I’ll discuss my current choices for my Vanguard detachment and they are as follows:
Shield Captain in Allarus Terminator Armor
+Castellan Axe - Ballistus Grenade Launcher - Misericordia
This HQ is a true beast in melee swinging at S8 AP2 D3 damage and has seven wounds. He can also teleport allowing you to bring him in where he is most needed. I typically wait until the 2nd or third turn for his drop. He has beaten Celestine in protracted turns of melee and managed to walk away which says something about his survivability. Both he and the Allarus combine well with the Vexillus Praetor using a stratagem to drop one terminator unit within 6" of the Praetor and up to 3" from enemy units at the end of your movement phase. This is a guaranteed charge and either unit will wreck face. Note that Captains have a buff that allows other Custodes units within 6" to re roll hit rolls of 1 so he rarely ever misses.
Shield Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike
+Hurricane Bolter - Auric Aquilius (Relic - 3++ invulnerable save)
This Captain is the speed daemon quickly able to react to whatever the situation at hand requires. He has the same stats as the other Shield Captain except that he’s T6 and wields a lance (S6) in melee. He is the most survivable with the relic for the 3++ invulnerable save and extra point of toughness. As hard as both Shield Captains are neither is immortal either so don’t get overconfident how you use them.
+Guardian Spear - Vexilla Defensor
My Praetor has the Vexilla that grants a 5++ invulnerable save from enemy shooting to all Imperial bike and infantry units wholly within 9". This is excellent for a Space Marine gun line. There is also a stratagem that extends the range of the Vexilla an additional 6" For one turn. He is a character and has five wounds. Keep him safely tucked away so that evil things like daemon princes can’t consolidate into him.
3x Allarus Custodian
+Castellan Axe - Ballistus Grenade Launcher
These are the terminator clad Custodians wielding axes with four attacks and wounds each plus they can teleport. They will quickly make short work of anything in close combat. There’s a stratagem that causes their grenade launchers to lower enemy units’ BS and WS by -1 when hit plus they can’t fire Overwatch that turn. So for each terminator you can prevent one enemy unit from Overwatch. They can also use another stratagem to split up into individual units overwhelming your opponent for a turn. Note that these strategems while very powerful require a considerable number of command points so use them wisely.
+Castellan Axe - Misericordia
Wardens are an elite Guardian with a built-in FNP save and come equipped with Misericordia (one additional S5 AP2 attack in melee). They also have access to the Castellan Axe which in my opinion is overall superior to both the Sentinel Blade, Lance or Guardian Spear. There is a strategem that allows you to deep strike one unit which is what I typically use for my Wardens... the more units you hold in deep strike reserve the better, more so especially for units forced to foot slog.
I am not currently running the Vertus Praetors jetbike squad but you could use an Outrider detachment if you prefer this unit over the elite choices I’ve covered above. Vertus Praetors cost a bit more points but not that much more. Another detachment that is popular now is Supreme Command which lets you field three Shield Captains on dawneagle jetbikes. I prefer weight of numbers though which is part of the reasons for my choice of Custodian units.
One a final note if you should decide to select a Shield Captain as your Warlord there is a trait that gives him FNP and there is yet another excellent strategem that allows him to reroll one hit, wound or save per turn.
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Sunday, February 04, 2018
The Demoness spread her shoulders absorbing the dark tendrils of energy pouring from the warp hole. Her black eyes glowed turning bright crimson as they rolled back into her elongated skull. She ran the tip of her long forked tongue over her pointy filed fangs, her lips parting into an evil grin. The many daemon hands pulled back as she stepped forward, her muscles rippling underneath her taut red skin. Lifting the Hellblade above her head the demoness let out a curdling scream from deep within her gut. It was so shrill broken pieces of rubble vibrated spilling from the broken pillars.
Orpheus rapid fired his bolt pistol until the magazine was spent but the micro rockets bounced harmlessly off ricocheting aside. The Templar holstered the pistol grasping for the bound chainsword. Simultaneously the two combatants assailed each other. Orpheus went on the offensive swinging both weapons with all his might, each strike aimed for the head. Though even stronger now the lack of an arm showed as the demoness struggled to parry the iron hard blows. One well aimed strike snuck through her guard and struck her across the brow severing the tainted skin, pearly white bone shone beneath the rent. The Templar felt his forearms burning in pain again like fire coursing through his veins. Silently whispering a final prayer to the Emperor asking for one last surge of strength he involuntarily smiled as the Templar felt the pain instantly subsiding. Dropping one of his chainswords he caught the demoness by the hip and flipped her over. She screamed again in utter rage as she fell upon her back finally exposed. Double handing one chainsword Orpheus swung down lopping off her head. The fleshy skull rolled upon the ground leaving a trail of boilng blood and came to rest beside the heap of polished skulls piled high around her own shrine. "Suffer not the unclean." said Orpheus as he bent down on one knee to catch his breath.
I had a 2000 point game yesterday versus dark eldar. This was a rematch from the recent FLG league here in San Diego. I lost the original game.
Here’s my new army list featuring Ultramarines(Battlation), Eversor Assassin and Adeptus Custodes (Vanguard) -
++ Battalion Detachment (Imperium - Space Marines) ++
+ Fast Attack [236 pts] +
Inceptor Squad [236 pts]:
+ HQ [330 pts] +
Chief Librarian Tigurius [130 pts]
Null Zone - Might of Heroes - Smite - Veil of Time
Marneus Calgar [200 pts] /Warlord
+ Troops [255 pts] +
Intercessor Squad [95 pts]
-Auxiliary Grenade Launcher - Bolt Rifles
IIntercessor Squad [95 pts]
-Auxiliary Grenade Launcher - Bolt Rifles
Scout Squad [65 pts]
-Bolt pistol - Chainsword
Combat Knifes - Bolt Pistols
+ Heavy Support [198 pts] +
Hellblaster Squad [198 pts]
+ Elites [206 pts] +
Redemptor Dreadnought [206 pts]
-2x Fragstorm Grenade Launchers
-Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon
-Icarus Rocket Pod
-Onslaught Gatling Cannon
++ Auxiliary Support Detachment (Imperium - Officio Assassinorum) ++
+ Elites [70 pts] +
Eversor Assassin [70 pts]
++ Vanguard Detachment (Imperium - Adeptus Custodes) ++
+ HQ [126 pts] +
Shield-Captain [126 pts]
-Eagle's Eye (Relic)
+ Elites [575 pts] +
Allarus Custodians [264 pts]
3x Allarus Custodian
-Ballista Grenade Launcher
Custodian Wardens [195 pts]
Vexillus Praetor [116pts]
-Guardian Spear [12pts]
Death by 1000 Cuts
Unfortunately I don’t have my opponent’s army list so here’s what I remember:
3x 5 man True Born Squads (3 Blasters each)
5 man Scourge Squad (Heat Lances)
20 man Wyche Squad
Several squads of Warriors
Ravager (Dark Lances)
ITC Mission 6 - Precious Cargo
Deployment 1 (Rulebook)
My opponent embarks all of the True Born, Archon and a Warrior squad in the Tantalus. He also place Lelith and the Wyches in the webway (deepstrike reserve).
I place the following units in deepstrike reserve:
I split the rest of my forces to guard the two objectives in my deployment zone:
Tiggy (deployed inside tower)
Praetor (deployed inside tower)
Hellblasters (deployed inside tower)
Redemptor (deployed behind tower)
Scouts make a ballsy move infiltrating into the central building.
My opponent wins the roll to go first (+1) and I fail to seize.
DE 1st Turn:
Archon and Warrior squad disembark into central building around 8” away from scouts. Lelith and the Wyches deep strike 9” from my Group A. I use Auspex scan to shoot the Wyches with an Intercessor squad killing two.
DE shooting strips some wounds from the Redemptor but the 5++ from the Vexilla help keep him at 8 wounds. The Warriors in the building manage to kill one scout.
Both Lelith and the Wyches fail their charge even with one reroll... a couple more Wyches drop to overwatch. The Archon and Warriors both make the charge into the scouts and wipe them out.
Hold 1 Objective (1)
Kill scout squad (1+1) First Strike
Ultramarines 1st Turn:
Wardens and both Intercessor squads move up into rapid fire range of Lelith and the Wyches. Hellblasters move up into rapid fire range of the Tantalus. Redemptor comes around as well to Target Tantalus.
Eversor Assassin and Inceptors both drop by opponent’s primary objective which is guarded by the Scourges and a squad of Warriors. Marneus drops behind the Intercessors while the Shield Captain drops 9” away from Wyches and Lelith.
Tiggy casts MoH on Redemptor then smites Tantalus inflicting 3 mortal wounds.
Combined shooting from both Intercessor squads, Wardens, Calgar and the Shield Captain destroys the Wyches. Inceptors target the Scourges and destroy them. Redemptor and Hellblasters super charging bring the Tantalus down to 6 wounds.
Shield Captain makes the charge into Lelith - they trade some wounds but both stick. Both the Inceptor and Assassin make the charge into the Warriors. Only 3 Warriors survive since Assassin kills enough striking first so the Inceptors are out of range to strike. The Warriors pass their morale check. I am holding my opponent’s primary objective.
Hold 2 Objectives + Primary (3)
Kill 2 units (Wyches & Scourges) (2)
1st Strike (1)
Dark Eldar: 4
The game continued to the third turn then my opponent conceded with only a couple units left (Warrior squad and Venom). My dice were burning hot this game, getting all those first turn charges really put the dark kin on the back foot and they just couldn’t get back into the game.