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Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The History of Eighth Edition Warhammer 40k

Eighth Edition can be broken down into the following phases:

Pre Imperial Knights Codex

Imperial Knights Codex

Chapter Approved 2019

Prior to the release of the Imperial Knights codex Eighth Edition was in many ways the golden age of Warhammer 40k. Sure we saw some Lords of War such as Daemon Primarchs and Baneblades but they were manageable from across the table.

What set Imperial Knights apart from all other Lords of War is the whole host of over the top relics and stratagems that made them all but unbeatable. Sure some really love their Knights but many don’t and find them to be no fun to play against. There are no bad Households to choose from either.

This all came to a culmination with the Dominatus class Castellan rocking the Iron Bulwark relic for a 3++ invulnerable save via the stratagem Rotate Ion Shields fueled by cheap as chips Astra Militarum Battalion command point farm. The Castellan can easily delete two or more enemy units per turn which had a drastic effect on the meta... many units became basically unplayable due to being too much of a potential liability.

Finally following the big win at the Las Vegas Open earlier this year Games Workshop nerfed the Castellan. Sure Imperial Knights are still very good but not quite as good prior to Chapter Approved 2019.

If we look at what Games Workshop has released to preview the new Apocalypse its apparent that they still want to push over the top Lords of War on the market. To be honest I’m not excited in regards to what I’ve seen so far. For me one of the things I loved about playing an Apocalypse scale game was the stories that unfolded over the course of a game. If only Games Workshop could understand that the majority of hobbyists love the narrative aspect of the game.

So now looking forward we have Chaos Knights coming in the near future. Sure this is nice for Chaos players but I have to wonder how over the top these new Titans will be and how they will impact the meta.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Ultramarines Tactica Part 2

Hi everyone my last article on Ultramarines tactics delved into specifics regarding my go to units and how I play them. I am really enjoying playing a mono faction army. Space Marines in general with the exception of Blood Angels excel at shooting and therein lie their major buffs. A couple of beat stick HQs to guard the gun line is all that is needed for melee. Ultramarines are blessed in many ways this edition such as arguably the best Chapter Tactic and the best suite of special characters to choose from for your army.

One important aspect of fielding a competitive Space Marine army is protecting your HQ and Ultramarines have access to one of the best means means of doing so in Vitrix Guard. Vitrix Guard work much like drones for Tau but are much more resilient and have the ability to completely shut down enemy snipers and foil filthy Genestealer Cult psykers casting the much hated psychic power Mental Onslaught. Crippling these enemy units completely takes them out of the game. Vitrix Guard are also an excellent defense versus other enemy sniping psychic powers such as those cast by Thousand Sons.

Tigirius is hands down one of the best psykers in the game and can reliably cast Null Zone which can be a real game changer. There are two mistakes I often see made when it comes to psykers. First most psykers are quite fragile in melee and can die quickly. Sure Daemon Princes and the Lord of Death are proverbial beat sticks but they are both the exception to the rule. Psychic buffs are clutch and once you lose them they are gone forever. Most psykers should never be in melee. Second don’t get greedy casting psychic powers - one Perils of the Warp can be quite the buzz kill. The three choice psychic powers from the Librarius lore are Might of Heroes, Null Zone and Psychic Scourge.

Now I would like to touch on troop choices. The two go to choices for Space Marines are Intercessors and Infiltrators. I like to always have four troop choices and these are your work horse units plus they can do some serious work. Vigilus grants access to Veteran Intercessors - Ultramarine Veteran Intercessors have leadership 10 and access to a Rapid Fire 2 stratagem - yes they can shred and the Sergeant has four base attacks, as such I always arm mine with a power fist. Most characters have four base attacks... think about it. If you cast Might of Heroes on a Veteran Intercessor Sergeant rocking a power fist he has five attacks at S10 - wind him and watch him go. Ultramarines don’t need a Lone Wolf.

Infiltrators shutdown any enemy units using reinforcements and can infiltrate just like Scouts... they are the new Scouts and totally worth every point they cost. They are great for board control and can act as meat shields to protect your vital characters from being targeted.

Next week I will have some more tactics for you. I hope you enjoy using these.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Ultramarines Tactica

Hi everyone Black Blow Fly here to discuss some list building tips for Ultramarines which I have been playing in-between seasons for the city league where I live. No ITC Missions, just playing Eternal War Missions from Chapter Approved 2018 so far.

Devastator Centurions
My current build is a squad of three Centurion Devastators (DevCents) armed with lascannons and Hurricane Bolters... it’s been great so far supporting them with Calgar and the Phobos Lieutenant for casual games and Guilliman for more competitive games. I also just started fielding a Primaris Ancient with the relic standard... wow they do some work. I’d like to work in an Apothecary but would rather use those points for typically a Vindicare Assassin which synergizes well with Guilliman (i.e. , 12" re-roll 1s to hit buff aura). I also am bringing Tiggy and his Prescience buff really helps to keep the DevCents around for another turn.

I recently saw a battle report using Grav Cannons for the DevCents along with Guilliman versus Necrons - lots and lots of damage inflicted over the course of the game including taking down the Necron heavy construct by turn 2. I know heavy bolters and Hurricane Bolters is a popular configuration now with the new Bolter Discipline rule and for good reason but I prefer the long range anti armor configurations. There is also the option for the Missile Launcher but then the squad becomes a crazy amount of points. I’m not claiming there is one best build for DevCents but this one has been doing some real work for me.

Hellblasters and Inceptors
My other two go to ranged anti armor units are Hellblasters with the standard Exterminators and five plasma Inceptors. Hellblasters are self explanatory and a very popular choice for Space Marine armies. Rarely do you see the assault or heavy versions used for good reason.

I love the plasma variant for Inceptors as each Primaris Marine basically has two short range plasma cannons. They can deep strike which really helps get them into the optimal position for priority target selection and since they have the Infantry keyword they can land pretty much anywhere they want. An excellent stratagem for Inceptors is Scions of Guilliman which lets them reroll 1s to hit and really helps keep them alive longer when they supercharge plus they don’t need a Captain to escort them. You need five to ensure they do some serious damage plus it’s still a fairly small footprint as well. I know lots of players love the assault Bolter variant for Inceptors and they are great versus cheap chaff but plasma is king.

So that’s all for now. If there’s enough interest in the comments I’ll write some more Tactica articles for Ultramarines.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019


Hi everyone Black Blow Fly here to discuss 8th Edition Warhammer 40k (WH40k). I recently wrote another article comparing Age of Sigmar (AoS) to WH40k. One conclusion drawn is that in many ways the rules for AoS are the foundation for 8th Edition WH40k. If you play both games then you’re probably aware that there are many horde armies in AoS such as Flesh Eaters Courts.

Much like in AoS the WH40k horde units tend to benefit from some amazing buffs, such as advancing and still being able to charge (Orks, Genestealers, etc.), however this is typically not the case for elite units in WH40k. In general horde armies are enjoying a golden age in both systems - for example former detriments like morale can be easily circumvented or simply ignored. Elite armies in AoS such as Stormcast Eternals on the other hand can hold their own and are truly strong but typically this is not the case for WH40k armies like Space Marines... for whatever reason GW missed the boat this time around.

The Vigilus campaign was released a few months ago which could have been an excellent opportunity to help address some of these issues but in reality all it did was just hand out moarwin rules for factions that really don’t need any help - for example when was the last time you saw an Ork army that doesn’t feature the super-duper Shock Attack Gun or a Genestealer Cult army that doesn’t include the Anointed Throng? Devotion Til Death is just ridiculous. Space Marines on the other hand have to invest a metric ton of command points for mediocre at best stratagems... if you’re playing competitively it’s just not worth it. So all Vigilus did was just make a lot of the top tier armies even more top tier - thanks for that GW.

Another issue is that tabling an opponent often no longer results in automatic victory which can be quite the crutch for horde armies. They have a large foot print and quickly rack up lots and lots of victory points and objectives the first half of the game gaining a huge lead that can be insurmountable for elite armies.

I don’t have any solutions to offer, this is the responsibility of GW’s development team. Currently it doesn’t seem like they really care and I think this all goes right back to AoS. Ideally there should be at least one developer who is dedicated to the underdogs and has a strong desire to address these issues.