Thursday, April 11, 2013

Daemons and bullets don't mix

I've played against daemons a few times since they came out. I have to admit I am really impressed with the book. The units all do interesting things, you can field a boat load of models and you can make use of that microsoft exel  course your job made you take!

I think people are still sorting out how to play daemons effectively; but, so far from what I have seen it has been mad rushes straight into the teeth of my guns. I think that people are over estimating how survivable 20 T3 5++ models are.

I've really only seen two list iterations so far. The first is the pink horror list. 2-4 units of 20 horrors with heralds, a few chariots and some counter-assault unit. Pink horrors are a pretty damned good unit. the XD6 (X being what ever number between 2 and 4)  shots really add up. teamed with prescience and the ignores cover rule you really have a wall of bullets. That is until you actually face something really scary. Like a librarian. A single librarian simply close enough to the targeted unit can nullify the power entirely on a 5 up. teamed up with a Codex marine set of power like null zone and gate and you will remove models by the handful! Pink Horrors need supporting units. Something that can add to their fire reliably and diversify their damage out put.

The next list is the Slaanesh Blitz list. This list is a boat load of daemoettes, seekers andKhorne hounds. They fly up the board in a hopes to catch and kill you before you even leave your deployment zone. I've only played this list a couple times but both times I was unimpressed. It could be the fact I am playing power armoured armies; but, whenever i play this list they get to my lines and are driven back with bolter fire.

I think massive numbers is the way for daemons to go, but i think you need to diversify you're lists. Slanneesh daemons with Tzeentch support gives you a lot of flex-ability. High rates of fire and movement. Add in some Chaos marine allies and you have some durable units to throw into the mix.

What do you think?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

rules problems

There is always a lot of debate about rules in Warhammer. Some of it is justified; it's hard to make up a rule system that will work across thousands of gaming tables. The rules governing wargames as opposed to a computer game have to be much more flexible to account for the creativity of players. My friends and I often play custom games of 40k.

But the main rule set is designed to allow players to meet total strangers and have a common understanding of the game. This is where rules problems come into effect; A miss understanding or different interpretation of the rules can not only bog down a game but ruin players fun.

The common way to resolve rules problems is the "Rules as Written" method. RaW seems like it should be the be all and end all of rules settlements but there is a massive problem with it; The players themselves. Being a competitive game players are always looking for advantages. The worst players are the ones who use the rules as a weapon. They often will quote little loop-holes and weird order of operations arguments to explain why you can't or they can do an action. Things like

"We are playing a 750 point game and I brought my Black Templar but I didn't want to use the lame Emperor's Champion model so I only brought 749 points. My codex trumps the rule book and it says ARMY"

Now whats wrong with that argument? The logic is fairly sound.
All Black Templar Armies that are 750 points and higher are armies that must take an Emperors Champion
All black Templar armies that are my army are Not Black templar armies that are 750 points and higher
All armies that are my army are armies that do not need to take the emperors champion

While the logic is sound the wheels fall of this particular argument have nothing to do ether premise or the conclusion. It's the Ethical implications within the argument.  What the argument is really saying is;
 "I want to use an option that is superior to the Emperors Champion; I am going to fudge my numbers so the Emperors Champion isn't required by the rules as is exactly written."

Another why to say this is "I am going to do what I want to win and fuck you."

The simple truth is that Wargames are supposed to challenge players on the table top. Players are supposed outwit each other using the models on the table. You're supposed to take an army and maneuver it to victory above the table play is reprehensible. When players start looking for exploits and work arounds to stack the odds in their favour they are actively ruining the game. If you are playing the game in a way where a lot of people argue with you; chances are what you’re doing is wrong. It may not be wrong by some stretch of logic. But it could me wrong a morale level.

A personnel example I have of this type of behavior is a player trying to keep Abaddon from joining a unit of Plague marines. The argument being that while having the mark of chaos ascendant Abaddon had all the Marks of chaos. But the rules say a model may join a unit with a different mark. There was an argument for both sides (since remedied by way of FAQ) but he wanted to win so he argued until he was blue in the face that Abaddon had to be “on his own”.

Keep the battle on the table. Resist the urge to try and use the rules as the decisive weapon in your list. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Templar and Night lords!

Black Templars were my first 40k army. I loved that they were Marine who just wanted the best things in life. A nice ship to fly around in, awesome bros to pal around, and to crush the enemies of the Emperor and saw off limbs with swords. Right after 5th edition dropped I went to codex Marines. I like to have lots of guns a trait the Black Templars didn't seem to share. But the Templars always were something I wanted to get back to. I think I can make a pretty effective and neat list using them as allies for codex Marines.

Keeping with my current love for Drop-pods I kind of am looking into a list that couples the awesome small arms of the Sternguard and the raw power of the Black Templar Terminator. Templar Terminators can take drop pods, the Current FAQ makes the Templar Drop Pod Assault the Turn 1 deep strike found in newer books. The Terminator/Sternguard attack opens up a lot of interesting options. On turn 1 I have 5 melta shots and 4 tank hunter missiles I can fire into armour or infantry. The missiles give me enough reach to counter fast vehicles.

Further I'm just about set to get in my first real game with my Chaos Marines. My list is going to be pretty simple. A good mix of Armour and dismounted infantry. It'll look something like this:


Level 3 Slaanesh Sorcerer 

10 Noise marines 8 sonic blasters, 1 Blastmaster, doom siren, Power Weapon

10 CSM, CC Weapons, x2 Melta power sword MoS

10 CSM bolters, Auto cannon, plasma gun MoS

20 CCW cultists with 2 flamers

5 Havocs, 4 Auto Cannons

1 Defiler

1 Heldrake

1 Vindicator

1 bastion with quad gun

As a first step I feel pretty confident with this list. Most of the units can fill multiple rolls on the table top. I'm going to try for two games this weekend and will be sure to post up some thoughts on the list next week!

I hope your holidays were fantastic! 

Friday, December 7, 2012


Terrain is a massive factor in any game. I don't think players realize just had much terrain can't screw them over. A lot of people play terrain as simple as they can make it. area terrain everywhere. lets slap a hill in the middle, some buildings in the quarters and maybe a fence or two to break up open areas.  4+ cover saves and 5+ cover saves, difficult terrain. simple right!

Well no. Terrain is good but you need to have lots of it and have different kinds of terrain. Impassible, dangerous and mysterious are all needed to keep the game playing properly. having all these variable terrain types really mess with math hammer players. O you took 120 ork Boyz so you can control the whole board, spread out to deny templates and have lootas in the rear to gun down light armour? that'd be hard to do with a bunch of giant rocks all over the board you can't walk on or see through, bet you wish you had brought stormboyz or kommandos to open up another avenue of attack now!\
Obviously this is an extreme example. 

 The problem of people ignoring terrain is even more evident in fantasy. With no way to block routes of march or to force units to reform massive hordes just walk right into combat. without things to block cannons or slow down unit the game devolves into a scrum in the middle.
Good thing we found this convent wide open field! I thought we might have maneuver or something! 
My point is Table tops should be different every game and should be made so sometimes you are at a disadvantage. counting on being able to shoot every turn, spread out to cover the board or always get a cover save is kind of ridiculous. I know it's a problem for tournaments to get enough terrain. But I really think you need to try. Lots of places put out nice pre-fab pieces and I will pay extra for more terrain.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Drop pod After action report

I've played 10 games with my Drop Pod marines now. I think I have enough experience to objectively look at the army. The army is simple to use. You drop pod as close as possible and kill what ever needs killing. Drop pod lists work a lot better in 6th edition. In 5th people would just Reserve everything and your drop pod assault would be wasted. Not a lot of armies can start entirely in reserve now so there is more than likely going to be a target.

Where I think the problem with Drop pod lists arises is in the survival of the pod after they hit the ground. In most cases you're exposed and are in range of the enemy guns and assault units. In 10 games I never achieved an uncontested drop. I always will take casualties and will always be on the back foot after turn 1. So how do I make my Drop pods more survivable?

I'm going to try to change the list to get more bodies podded in. I think with 5 pods I'd have a lot more punch on the first turn but the points cost is insane! I can't fit in any reliable AA or assault units in at that point at 1500 points. It may be a case that the army is simply to points heavy to run at 1500 points.

I'm going to run a game tomorrow night (hopefully) and see if how well I do with a heavy focus on short range fire fights.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Winter War Round up

Well The Winter War has come and gone and it was a bloody good time! I had three great games with awesome guys.

My list consisted of:


Drop-pod Sternguard with 3 Combi-meltas and a Melta gun- 10 man

Drop-pod Sternguard with 3 Combi-meltas and a Melta gun- 10 man

Drop-pod Dev Squad with 3 meltas and a Missile Launcher

5 man scouts sniper rifles

5 man scout camo cloaks, missile launcher sniper rifles

5 man Thunder-hammer Storm shield Terminators.

Storm Talon with cyclon missile launcher

My first Game was against a Grey Knight Player. 2 purifier squads, a land raider, 2 storm ravens and Crowe. I had first turn and it was brutal. My Sternguard broke open his landraider and killed 16 purifiers. He assualted a combat squad in his turn and killed it, but the 4 purifiers got gunned down. during the top of turn one. His storm ravens came on and tried to salvage the game but at this point I was able to spread out and secure all the objectives. My storm talon shot one Raven down, Crowe was inside and survived the crash only to land right in front of my terminators who laid a smack down on him.
My first game was very successful, but this isn't a mark against my oppenant. His army was simply suseptable to drop pod assaults. Maybe if he had combat squaded and spread out, but it's hard to say. 

My second game brought me up against A Tzeentch Daemon list. I knew this would be a make or break game on turn 1 and fortune was on my side. He didn't get his preferred wave, his mishap'd one squad and I didn't loose a whole unit to flamers, I got good scatters on my pods and was in a position to win the entire game then an there. But my dice went south on me. I had to kill 4 flamers, 10 pink horrors and a Lord of Change. I had over 40 shots to do this with. I know the Math wasn't in my favour and it was a long shot but if a storm bolter brought the lord down to the ground rapid firing hellfire bolters could deal enough damage. 
My dice of course failed me at this point. I did no wounds and my terminators were over watched to death. c'est la vie. The rest of the game really doesn't matter. My opponent played a great game and had a hard as nails list. I maxed his sportsmanship because despite the ass kicking I received it was a fun game. 

My last game was against a Necorn foot list. I planned to deep strike on one flank and roll up his line But i deep struck too close my terminators were to far back to properly support the Sternguard. I was barely able to hold my objective( a morale victory at this point) and killed his warlord in a challenge. In all I ended up 13th overall. Not bad for my first tournament in a long time. 

 I really think Daemons need a fundamental change. A lot of people are talking about how you beat daemons: gems like deploy so they can't flame you, torrent them down and other really "useful' tips. The fact is Flamers and Screamers went from good to insane and it is annoying to play against. Out of all the units that could have been updated why pick two of the already useful ones? When you play against daemons they always have the "initiative" and you're forced to react to them. I know the list isn't unbeatable, but it sure as hell isn't fun to play against. Breathe of Chaos is disproportionately powerful to anything else in the game right now, I mean in the CSM book it's a 2 warp charge power or 50 points for the chance to cast it once. But I had a good tournament and am now thinking about my Nightlords and Out of the Basement in January. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Deathwatch Mission #1

Well my first game of Deathwatch was rather successful. I fumbled the intro but my players got so into the action of second and third act I think they forgot why they were even playing a game!
Kill-team Omega-Maximus-2 (OM2) consisted of 6 marines;
An Imperial Fist Tactical Marine, Raven Guard Assault Marine, Salamander Devastator, Blood Angel Devastator, Iron Hands Tech Marine and an Ultramarine Apothecary,

The Kill-team had a good mix and man was their firepower something to be in awe of!

the Kill-teams mission was simple. Get aboard a rogue trader vessel and look for some illegal weapons. They intercepted the vessel and boarded under the guise of a retiune inspection. The Rogue Trader was pretty surprised when 6 armed space Marines wondered onto his flight deck. He escorted the Kill-team to the cargo hold and dismissed himself and left an aid to assist with the inspection.

As the aid stepped forward he ate a mouthful of fist as the Raven guard punched him out. This is when things got dicey. The Ambush that had be set for the Space Marines tipped off but before they could get their las-cannon into position! The Imperial Fist formed organised a Bolter Assault and kill team opened up! Crew serfs were cut down in droves. The kill team rolled up almost 9 head shots in a row! Noticing the las-cannon being dragged into the position the kill team targeted crew and weapon. The Raven Guard launched himself with his jump pack but fell painfully short of getting onto the gantry the heavy weapon was on. He fell 20 meters but managed to parkour his way to a safe landing. The Salamander and Blood Angel both turned their heavy bolters on the Las-cannon after it barely missed the Imperial Fist.

The ambush was broken and the serfs fled. The Iron Hand took this opportunity to find out what the hell was going on. He hacked into the ships logs and found no data on the cargo, despite the hundreds of containers in front of him. All he knew was there was a timer counting down with only a few hours to go! Deciding being that the smartest thing to do was to look in the container the kill team opened the closest to have a peek at the content; when they found 30+ armed Kroot awakening from Temperale retardation the team calmly closed the door with a couple primed grenades tossed in.
The Kill-team then came to its first party argument. The Imperial Fist wanted to storm the bridge, the RavenG wanted to take the shuttle back to their frigate and blast it. Most of the Kill-team wanted the Rouge Trader for questioning. So they came up with the plan to secure the bridge AND the Shuttle. Once the bridge was secure they would Ram the shuttle into the bridge deck and fly away. Ballsy as all hell; but, the Emperor likes Ballsy! 

The Imperial Fist, Iron Hand and Blood Angel went to attack the bridge, Hopping on an mini-tram for crew movement  they took off down the 4km long ship towards the bridge tower. The Rushing arms-men must have been drunk because No-one saw the Space Marines until the tram was just about at the bridge tower. This squad that did spot the kill team got showered with bolter fire for their trouble!
Meanwhile Raven Guard, Ultramarine and Salamander attacked the Shuttle bay. leading with grenades they scattered the guards. When Ka'dar stepped out to fire his heavy bolter he was rewarded with a jam! Ultramarine and Raven Guard charged in with swords and cut down the guards, Ka'dar followed with his bolt pistol and Combat blade! the shuttle bay was theirs in seconds. 

The Imperial Fist found his squad facing an elevator. Deciding they were clearly walking into a trap, the squad got on top of the elevator for the ride to the bridge deck. When the door opened they tossed grenades into the waiting guards, on grenade bounced harmlessly away, but Iron Hands scored a hit and killed most of the would-be-ambushers. Combat blades and bolters finished them off. The Armoured bridge door loomed. Unable to hack their way in, Iron Hands Grabbed the door with his servo harness and pulled! he managed to eek out enough of a hand hold for Imperial Fist to help pull the door open. When the door was wide enough for them to enter a las-bolt stuck the Imperial fist square in the head. His armour easily reflected the damage and now really pissed Imperial Fist Charged in with combat blade and started to slaughter the bridge crew. Blood Angel and Iron followed. Blood angel wrestled the Rogue Trader to the ground. The bridge crew fled. Looking around they found a void suit for the Trader. Iron Hands then shut down life support. Charges were placed on the Armour glass and with a thunderous explosion, thousands of cracks formed. Outside in the void las-fire and defence turrets could be seen firing.
Raven Guard piloted the Aqueilla  Lander through the defensive fire. a las cannon beam punched through the hull and voided the atmosphere but the Marines power armour made this nothing more than a minor annoyance. Gunning the engines the Lander slammed into the armour glass and rammed in the back of the bridge. Bodies were sucked out into the void Imperial Fists squad boarded the Lander and were barely able to get enough thrust to get out of the ship! The Lander took more damage as it limped out of the fire zone and safety from the dyeing ship!

The mission was based on Gav Thorpes “Mission: Purge.”  I made some changes to make it a single mission in a larger campaign. Thorpe really did a good job writing a story that would start off a Campaign. So now the Kill-team, fresh from an overwhelming successful mission has questions to ask. Why would a rogue trader transport Kroot? What was his destination? Maybe in the next session some of these questions will be answered.