Sunday, December 16, 2012

Battle for Supremecy 2012

Well....finally got a 6th Edition tourney in - had a great time.

I had planned to team up with the BikeNinja for the tournament - but some things came up in life that left him unable to attend.  Thanks to my Battle Brother Cody for agreeing to team up with me. We pulled together our lists with only a few days notice - decided to team up Wolves with Wolves.

I run Rune Priest, 6 Wolf Guard Termies + 1 PA WG w/ LR Crusader, Grey Hunters, Standard LR.
Cody has a Rune Priest, 4 T-Wolves, 2 GH Squads in RB's, and ML Fangs.

First opponents ran Wolves and Grey Knights. Mission was the bases mission with one side deploying entire army and the other side being completely in reserves. I deploy - Cody Reserves. Game is back an forth - Rune Priest gets fortunate and plants a Dreadknight, Thunderwolf, and Wolf Thunderlord with Jaws. Game is tight - my LR Crusader finally goes down in turn 4 so no chance of contesting their objective. We are in HTH at top of turn 5 with their last strike squad and Inquisitor who is contesting our objective. We take out all but 2 Strikes and Inquisitor in our top of HTH. Their turn - the TO comes by and I ask how much time left and hear 1 minute. Opponent shakes our hand and says good game. Little bit of a bad taste as we would have VERY likely cleared our objective for Draw vs Loss had we finished the turn. We pull 6 points.

Second opponent - Shane and Mel Dicehead Games - running Guard and Orks.  The coolest of the cool Husband and Wife team evah!  Mission was 4 objectives and Big Guns. Just good folks - and always fun to play against. They basically out manuevered us in a great game. We put a hurting on the Orks - but Guard flank and take objective. I manage to immobilize my LR - and leave us to far back to claim one objective and threaten another. My Priest and Termies have epic HTH with Warboss and MegaNobs - with my priest taking down the warboss and then going on to destroy one medusa and immobile the other. Great game with Shane and Mel - we pull 8 points in the loss.

Third game is against Battle Brothers Keith and Patrick who are running Marines. Keith as always has a beautifully painted Army that I think he did in like 2 days. Good game - and unfortunately Keiths dice decided to retire after turn 2. We pull 14 points in win in a fun game. Appreciated the good sports from Keith and Patrick despite having a bad run of luck in the game.

At the end - we pull a respectable 7th place overall.

Great fun, Great Tourney, Great Partner....and especially great to hang with my BNB Battle Brothers once again!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ok, so let’s talk battle report.  Friday I had the good fortune to have Folken over for a battle with his geekymike painted Tau army.  Mike did a great job on these guys.  They look really good on the table.  So I was reluctant to put down a non-painted army against these Tau, but it had been way too long since the Crimson Fist 5th Company hit the table.  Now before the "why in the hell did you even think to build that list" comes up.  You must know that I am a sucker for point sinks.  I love my Deathstars and will play them whenever possible.  Not the most efficient but I play what I like...period.
My List
Korssaro Khan
Command Squad x5 on bikes
Chaplain with Termie Armor
2…..10 man Tact Squads with Las and melta guns
1…..5 man Scout unit
5 TH/SS Terminators
5 Vanguard Vetereans w/ JP’s and stuff
1 Storm Talon with Typhoon and Ass Cannon.

I reserve Khan, Command Squad, Talon, Termies, Chaplain and Vanguard.  In checking the rule book I think I did this wrong.  If I understand it right I think I reserved too much.
Any who…we role and get Purge the Alien with the crazy short board edge deployment.

This was a great game.   I thought Folkens deployment was great.  He set up with his broadsides way in the back making it hard to even think about going after them.  The rest he kept together toward the middle of the board.  This made it hard to isolate a unit and allowed him to concentrate a lot of powerful firepower.  It made taking out the 3 units of crisis suits with an HQ choice a painful proposition.   The center was also supported by 3 squads of fire warriors, 2 of which were in Devilfish.

My plan was deploy the scouts forward and let the Termies drop in front of his middle off of their beacon.  An outflanking Khan and command squad with attached Talon would hit from one side and the Vanguard would drop on the other in a classic pincer.  Luckily this actually worked for the most part.  As the old maxim goes, the best laid plans don’t survive the first shot.  Mine don’t survive the first armor save.  He kills my Termies in one small salvo of shooting.  I roll two 1’s and three 2’s for armor saves.  To make matters worse my cool Vanguard unit dies to man against 7 Grey Hunters.


But he has nothing for Khan.  Khan and the command squad crush the center.  Feel No Pain rules.  His divided shooting allows Khan and the Talon to wreak havoc.  Bikes are crazy good now.  Once the Command Unit starting taking losses I wisely fell back knowing that I was firmly in control of Victory points.  The Talon stayed up to cover the retreat and keep him honest. 

Some thoughts on this game.  I need more practice with fliers so I think I am gonna do some more with this list for awhile.   I may even try to add a second Storm Talon.  An all flier list will hurt so I have go to implement some contingencies.  Outflanking units with this deployment option can be brutal.  I have not read a lot about it at all but it is clear you can get in on someone fast coming in from the long edges.
Units that did me wrong…well we will start with the Vanguard Unit.  This unit exists purely because of the fluff involving my Captain.  They are built using all Vet models and converted extensively in most cases.  They are way expensive and should do considerable damage when in HTH.  Except that never happens.  My dice leave these guys hanging out to dry.  If I can’t hit then I can’t wound, if I can’t wound then I can’t make an invul save.  It is always something.  I usually attach a character (Shrike) to them but then they lose Heroic Intervention which I think is very useful in this edition.  I would hate to lose them because I like them but man are they a failure at this point.  All about the fluff but I hate losing as well.
The Termies died to man from one Crisis Suit unit shooting them to pieces.  Now I know Bryant Dice played a big part of this but come on.  Need to try and increase their numbers so as to increase survivability. 
The Scouts died to poor deployment.  I just did not give them a chance.  Totally my fault.  Just because I can infiltrate does not mean I should.  Poor move on my part.

Other than that this was a great learning game and one to remember.  Plenty of “yes do that again” and “no forget that this ever crossed your mind”. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cover Saves and Armor Facings - How cover works for vehicles in 6th edition

This is a guest article by my friend Dave Boucher who is a fellow 40k Wrecking Crew member.

We have all heard the Internet clamoring that vehicles have been hit by the NERF bat in 40k6. This is both true and false for more reasons than I will describe here.  Today I will describe cover and what it means for vehicles in 40k6 as it has changed in many different ways.

First let's look at the cover rules on pages 74 and 75, most importantly the first bullet:

At least 25 percent of the facing of the vehicle that is being targeted (it's front, side, or rear) needs to be hidden by intervening terrain or models from the point of view of the firer for the vehicle to be in cover.

Let's take a few looks at what constitutes 25 percent being in cover:

We see that the Aegis defense line can easily hide 25 percent of a rhino and it provides a 4+ cover save to boot. So a 50 point investment gets your vehicles good cover.

Now lets look at my favorite part of the text I referenced above - At least 25 percent of the facing of the vehicle that is targeted (its front, side, or rear) needs to be hidden by intervening terrain or models from the point of view of the firer for the vehicle to be in cover.

Let's explore this now...

The Interceptor has a clear view of the side armor in this picture. In 40k5 this would mean that the tank had no cover, however this is 40k6. All we can consider now is the facing being shot.

In this second picture the side armor is is blocked out in blue, giving us a visual aid to show us only the front armor which is clearly 25 percent obscured.

Next we need to take a look at how Armor Facings works in 40k6 compared to 40k5. Let's start with the 40k5 Armor Facing Diagram.
40k5 Vehicle Facing Diagram

In 40k5 we drew lines from one corner to next, or as the INAT ruled, we make a cross at the center and have 90 degree facings from the center point. If you notice parts of the top of the vehicle are included in each facing.
40k6 Vehicle Facing Diagram

Now if we look at the 40k6 diagram we notice one big change other than the fact that it is in color. The lines do not intersect in the middle of the vehicle. Page 73, where the diagram is in the book, does clarify the issue on how to determine which facing it is by drawing the lines through the corners. However in the this diagram the top of the vehicle is not included in any of the facings. The reason for this change I can only guess is to prevent flyers from completely dominating other vehicles.

Let's take a look at fliers shooting at vehicles:

At first glance it would appear that the Aegis defense line is not big enough to give the razorback any cover.

From the view of the Stormraven itself it again looks like no cover is provided, but that is because we still see things from a 40k5 point of view:

When we block the top part of the razorback out, like in the the other picture, we now see that the Aegis defense line does in fact still provide 25 percent cover. So obviously the cover rules have changed. Vehicles now almost always get a cover save. Cover may only be 5+ most of the time, but getting it always gives vehicles back some survivability that was lost from losing 4+ cover and gaining Hull Points.

I hope I enlightened some of you on these rules.

A big thanks to Dave for a great article !!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tyranids for 6th edition

First I would like to list the units I think will be the best choices in 6th edition for the style of competitive play I invision:

— Hive Tyrant
I plan to run a pair. One Tyrant will have wings while the other will have an armored shell (2+ armor save) with a pair of Tyrant Guard. The Flyrant will pick his psychic powers from the Biomancy lore while the walking Tyrant will use Paroxsym, Leech Essence plus Hive Commander and Old Adversary. Both will have twin linked devourers with Brainleech ammo plus bonesword and lash whip (mainly for the free lash whip). The role of the Flyrant is to act as either a vanguard or hunt down enemy fliers. The role of the walking Tyrant is to act as the main synaptic hub for the horde. Hordes are back in as competitive for a host of reasons such as Fearless units no longer suffers from No Retreat armor saves. Of course both Tyrants will have toxin sacs because poison is more powerful now since you roll to wound as normal.

— Yrmgarl Genestealers
Yrmgarl genestealers are one of the few units in 40k that can still assault the turn they arrive from reserve and that's worth taking advantage of in my opinion. You'll need a large brood of eight or more now due to the new Snap Fire rule. Morph up to T5 on the charge to shrug off bolters and lasguns. They can easily destroy vehicles and dreadnaughts on the charge now due to hull points or tie down heavy support in protracted melee such as Long Fangs. Shooting is still the king now so any enemy unit you can prevent from shooting for a turn or more can really help a lot to sway the battle in your favor.

— Hive Guard
Hive Guard have always been quite awesome and even more so now since they ignore the new Night Fight rules. I plan to run two full broods of three each.

— Tervigon
I know if you follow my blog you are aware I've never been a big fan of the Tervigon but because I want to incorporate more of a horde element in my army she is in now. I will probably stick with her normal psychic powers since they are great for hordes. She can outflank due to the walking Tyrant's Hive Commander which is very tactical in the right situations. Basically the Tervigon buffs the army and can poop out more scoring units when necessary. I believe you need at least four scoring units to be competitive.

— Devilgants
Better than ever and I plan to run a big brood with toxin sacs. They will be an excellent anti troop shooting unit gaining Preferred Enemy from the Walking Tyrant and can bring down some enemy units in melee due to poison.

— Genestealers
I am planning to run one brood of ten lead by a Broodlord (Biomancy) and they will also have toxin sacs. They can play a defensive role protecting the hub of your army, or infiltrate/outflank in the right situations. Genestealers are still one of the premiere melee units and the rending will help a lot versus the new 2+ armor save.

Fast Attack
— Shrikes
I plan to run mine with boneswords, lash whips and toxin sacs. I'd like to run a brood of five. This is another premiere melee unit that also ignores the 2+ armor save and is very fast. They can deep strike if necessary and are a big threat. If you want to save a few points then Raveners are a good substitute but will struggle more versus units such as terminators since they can only rend while the Shrikes with boneswords outright ignore armor saves and reroll failed wounds due to poison versus T4 and lower. Raveners can't take any upgrades and really need the Broodlord to buff them.

So there are my top choices. Many are the same as before and there are a few new units. Null deployment is no longer possible with the new rules but on the plus side you're probably not going to see as much mech out there initially except for armies like Necron Nightscythe spam (yuck... the new MSU mech army). A challenge for all Tyranid players is how you will effectively deal with enemy fliers. You'll notice I dropped the Tyrannofex in favor of a Tervigon. I do not think the Tyrannofex is as strong of a choice now and does not greatly benefit from the walking Tyrant's Preferred Enemy versus armor... You're just rerolling 1s to hit with only two shots. Remember that fliers can neither control objectives nor contest them so it will be all about positional play to force them into range of the Hive Guard who'll greatly benefit from the walking Tyrant's Preferred Enemy since they can generate up to six shots per brood.

Here is a sample 2000 point army list:

Hive Tyrant - wings, twin linked devourer w. BL ammo, bonesword & lash whip, toxin sacs, Biomancy

Hive Tyrant - armored shell, twin linked devourer w. BL ammo, bonesword & lash whip, toxin sacs, Hive Commander, Old Adversary
2x Tyrant Guard w. boneswords

3x Hive Guard
3x Hive Guard

8x Yrmgarl genestealer

15x Devilgant w. toxin sacs
Tervigon - toxin sacs, Dominion, Catalyst & Onslaught

9x Genestealer w. toxin sacs
- Broodlord (Biomancy)

5x Shrike - toxin sacs, boneswords & lash whips

I really like this list a lot. Of course I've got a good deal of work ahead to build and paint all the new models. Probably within a month or so I'll be ready to start playing my new brood. w00t !!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

How Look Out Sir! (LoS) Works

The term unsaved wound only comes into play when you have a unit that all models have the same armor save. This is when you can allocate a wound after a failed save.

(Example 1) 10 tactical Marines suffer 10 wounds and they fail 3 armor saves. The sergeant is the 2nd closest model. The closest model dies first then the sergeant can allocate a wound on the roll of 4+ on 1d6. If successful you can transfer the wound to another model.

(Example 2) 5 Thunderwolf Calvary have an attached Wolf Lord who does NOT have runic armor. They suffer 6 wounds and fail 2 armor saves. The Wolf Lord is the closest model and since he has multiple wounds he would suffer the loss of 2 wounds. However you can use Look Out Sir! (each on the roll of 2+ on 1d6) to a Thunderwolf after the failed the saves.

You allocate wounds before saves in a unit that has more than one type of armor save.

(Example 3) 10 BA tactical Marines are attached to a Sanguinary Priest in terminator armor. The Priest is the second closest model. The unit suffers 10 wounds. Closest model is allocated each wound 1 at a time until he makes them all or dies. In this example he saves the first two then fails the third along with FNP. Now the Priest is closest and there are 7 saves left to make. Either he can make them one at a time until he makes them all or dies, or you can use LoS rolls first. In this example we allocate 2 LoS rolls making saves on two Marines at 3+ and then 5 saves on the Priest. If at any point the Priest fails one of the five saves then the remaining wounds will now have to be saved on the next closest model, etc.

Anticipation waiting to really get into 6th

All right I have had the book for almost a week now and have been perusing it.  So far I like some of it and other parts not so much.  I am really looking forward to the new edition as it I think a change was needed just to freshen things up.  I have been trying to avoid jumping to deeply in it due tho the ATC coming up next weekend.  I figure I have enough problems trying to remember one rule sets much less two.  However there are already a few things in it I don't like.  There a re a couple things that already make my Mordrak list unplayable.  The first is having to put half of your units on the table.  My list was based on reserving everything and showing up en masse.  However this is not possible now.  The second is the stupid challenge mechanism.  The only way Mordrak was really useful was he could not be singled out in combat so you could actually use his hammer.  Now he will be challenged all the time and it will be pretty tough to accept because when he dies the ghost knights go away.  I am going to really have to re evaluate the Mordrak concept.  The thing I don't like is it seems like the new edition is pushing GK players more into Draigo and his paladins which I am not a big fan of.  However Draigo is going to be a killing machine in this new edition and will be running rough shod all over people.  You can't challenge him and live and he is going to soak up so many shots for those paladins he is leading.  Oh well looking forward to getting together with the BNB boys for the ATC.  I may just have to change my list to a Mordrak one just to bring him out one more time....

Monday, July 2, 2012

Book Review: Angel of Fire

Angel of Fire
William King

Hello folks, the Bikeninja here with a book review believe it or not.  Been awhile since I have had the time to sit and knock one of these out.  That implies that I have not had the opportunity to read a lot.  That is simply not the case.  I have read quite a bit, it is just this whole typing out a review and posting it along with all the other stuff that has kept me busy.  Angel of Fire is my latest read and a departure from what I usually get into.

The Story
Angel of Fire is the first of three books in Macharian Trilogy.  It is an account of Lord Commander Solar Macharius and his quest to bring a large sector of space back within Imperial rule.  This first book is the siege of a hive city called Irongrad.  The main characters are members of a Baneblade Tank crew. The story revolves around how they interact with the Lord Commander himself and the part they play in the siege and subsequent battles.

The thing I liked most about the story is that it is plausible in that heroic role-playing game style sense.  I guess what I mean is that it reads like a story from a cool role-playing adventure.  Circumstances bring our heroes into a situation that allows them to save Lord Solar Macharius and then accompany him on his quest to take and then retake the hive city and save it from certain doom.  High adventure at its finest.  Now if you do not like this style and Angel of Fire is very cliché with this, then you will probably not like this book.

The Writing
I have been a William King fan since he wrote the first Space Wolves novels back in the day.  His stuff on Ragnar was great but his best work was the Gotrek and Felix novels.  Those are the only fantasy books I have ever read.

King writes this one as a documentary.  It is told by an aging Imperial Guardsmen whose unit is beset by Orks.  He is remembering these events and Angel of Fire is his first encounter with Macharius and sets the stage for the next two books.  I like it.  I like how this was written a lot.  King captures the common soldier well.  And he writes this as a common soldier caught up in events that he would rather not be in.  The sarcasm the soldiers express at times, the closeness of soldiers and friends who are on this path together is portrayed very well.

There is a lot of foreshadowing in this book.  The main character “Lemuel” is Baneblade pilot and is the one telling the story.  There are a lot of instances where he makes comments about his impressions of Macharius and how these would change later or be proven all too accurate.  From his observations you see Macharius in a different light.  This is both good and bad.  Patton was a great General but had his issues.  Macharius is no different and Lemuel is very quick to see this and point it out.  However with Macharius being such an iconic figure in 40k Lore it is disturbing that he is getting broken down by a common soldier.  All great people have their faults you just do not want Macharius to have them.

I am giving this one 4 out of 5.  It is a good book.  I like the style; I like the information and the history.  It’s just not quite a 5 in my opinion.  For all that I like about it, it just does not hit me with the Wow factor that I need for a 5.  Probably because there are no Space Wolves in it.  But that is just me.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Necrons vs Blood Angels - 2k Batrep

I played a game versus Blood Angels today with my Wraithwing.

- HQ -
Destroyer Lord - Sempiternal Weave, Res Orb, Warscythe, Taychon Arrow

Royal Court:

- Troops -
15x Warrior
8x Immortal - Tesla Carbine
8x Immortal - Tesla Carbine

- Fast Attack -
6x Canoptek Wraith - 4x Whip Coil & 2x Particle Caster
6x Canoptek Wraith - 4x Whip Coil & 2x Particle Caster
9x Canoptek Scarab

- Heavy Support -
3x Canoptek Spyder - Gloom Prism
3x Canoptek Spyder - Gloom Prism

Immotekh + Warriors + ChronoTek
Immortals + PulseTek

Blood Angels
- HQ -
Librarian - Shield of Sanguinius & Unleash Rage

- Elites -
8x Assault Terminator - 3x Lightning Claws & 5x Thunderhammer|Stormshield
8x Assault Terminator - 3x Lightning Claws & 5x Thunderhammer|Stormshield
10x Sternguard - Heavy Flamer - Rhino

- Troops -
5x Assault Marine - Flamer - Razorback: Twin Linked Plasmagun & Lascannon
5x Assault Marine - Flamer - Razorback: Twin Linked Plasmagun & Lascannon
10x Tactical Marine - Multi-Melta & Flamer - Rhino

- Heavy Support -
Predator - Autocannon Turret & Lascannon Sponsons
Predator - Autocannon Turret & Lascannon Sponsons

- Fast Attack -
Baal Predator - Twin Linked Assault Cannon Turret & Heavy Bolter Sponsons

Librarian + Terminator Squad

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

In a Holding Pattern Waiting for 6th Edition........

I really feel like my 40K hobbying is in a holding pattern waiting for the next edition.  As we all know by now 6th edition is coming most likely in July.  We all also seem to understand that there will be radical changes to the game.  I just can't get myself excited about starting or finishing any projects until after the next edition.  I really want to play something other than marines.  I sold off my Storm Lord army along with the Deathwing part.  I guess I am just sick of playing 3+ armor guys.  All I have left is my Grey Knights and I know how popular they are right now.  I would really like to start a Necron army but just don't want to invest and time or money till I see how the new rules shake out.  I also admit I am tempted by the idea of a new chaos dex but that is probably a ways out and I would be back to power armor.  I am actually looking forward to the new edition as I feel 40K could use a good shake up.  How will the new edition be we shall see.  I know people are running around screaming but I want to see the whole thing before I pass judgement.  Anyone else having that blah feeling waiting for the lame duck edition to pass?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Aftermath of Adepticon

Wow what a weekend. Adepticon by its very nature cannot disappoint. It is truly more than an event, more than a tournament, even more than an experience…it is a celebration of a hobby that I am not ashamed to say has been a part of my life for the better part of 20 years.

I started 40k in high school. Rogue Trader. I played Marines. They were the Knight of the Rising Storm. My buddies and I would sit up at night on the weekends and talk about the Grand Tournaments and Games Days and how we would love to go to one. We would play at Games Extraordinare and talk to some of the guys who had actually been there. My friend Antony is from England and until Games Workshop opened the store in Nashville he was the only one I knew who had ever been to a Games Workshop store.

Flash forward 20 years. Of all my high school friends I am the only one who still plays. Sure they are all still gamers (role-playing mostly) but none of them play Warhammer 40k. My brother and I are it. Games Days are not what they used to be. Grand Tournaments are gone and from what I have read they were not all they were cracked up to be. So 20 years later and the dream has had time to evolve and change. Adepticon is what that dream has changed into. Going with great friends, eating and drinking, playing a game that has given me more than just wins and losses (we do not even need to look at that ratio).

I have been twice now. I am now at the point in my gaming career that I want to try different events. I could forego Adepticon for another cool the event. The Nova, Wargamescon, the ATC just to name a few. But regardless of which one I try, Adepticon will always be the one that fulfilled the dream. It will always be the one that I will have to go back too and enjoy. Talking to Greg Swanson at the tournament was an eye opening experience. Many people do not know how personally involved the Organizers and Volunteers are in the running of this event. Greg was telling of how for the longest time terrain and supplies were stored at people’s houses and it was just in the past couple of years that the Tournament was able to afford storage for all the stuff. Months before the Tournament they are repairing, building and updating terrain. Just amazing…and all for the love of one great event. I am deeply thankful for all they do.

Now I can get on with the rest of my year. I have a big Apoc game I am running in May. There are some tourneys coming up that I want to hit. And before you know it Supremacy will be right around the corner. We have some campaigns at the Keep planned and who knows what else. None of those are Adepticon though. Maybe we will see it again next year. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Storm Lords (White Scars, Marines etc..) Army for Sale

Unfortunately it has come time to part with my Storm Lords Army.  Right now we are saving up for a down payment for a house and need more money.  I have built this army up over a period of about 4 or 5 years.  It was painted by Drew Olds at Garden Ninja Painting who is a great painter very reliable and reasonable who can match the paint for any other unit you want.  As Al can attest it is painted to a very good standard.  It received 34 out of 37 at Adepticon this year and has always done well at other tournaments.  I also will be listing my Deathwing portion of this army in late July after the ATC.  If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me. Here is the link to the ebay lisitng

Necron Melee

It's funny but after having played Necrons for a few weeks now I find Necrons to be better at melee than shooting. Here are my own personal picks for the top Necron melee units (in no particular order):

— Canoptek ScArabs
— Canoptek Spyders
— Canoptek Wraiths
— Destroyer Lord

You'll note I didn't include Lychguard - sure they can be awesome but on the other hand they are not fearless and can break then are easily swept being only I2 like almost every other unit in the codex. They are really expensive for the points and are slow. I'd like to be able to make them work for my army but I just don't see it happening. I have used Lychguard several times - sometimes they did very well but sometimes they had no real impact at all. To make them mobile you've either got to attach a Veiltek or invest in a Night Scythe... Both will cost you more points. I really don't like the Night Scythe - mostly due to the fact that if it's wrecked or destroyed the embarked unit goes right back into reserve which is the worst thing that could happen to a dedicated melee unit. The Night Scythe is also fragile in my opinion and I don't think we will see a lot of competitive armies using them to ferry Lychguard across the table. I think the Cryptek could be better utilized in the army elsewhere providing Night Fight for a turn or letting you reroll a dice each turn. If they were fearless it would be a totally different story. Oh well it is what it is.

I also did not include the C'tan... Again another awesome unit but again too slow and too easy to target. They are very expensive for the points. I have used one once and the C'tan kicked arse in close combat but it was versus an army with not much long ranged shooting so I could slog it relatively safely across the table. Versus any army with dedicated long range firepower that could be a major problem. A couple turns of Night Fight might help though.

So I'm not necessarily saying Lychguard or C'tan are bad choices but neither works for me the way I want to play my Necrons. If they work well for you then more power to you. Let me know why they work for you.

Three of the units I've listed as good choices above are fast and they are all fearless as well. If you want to play a Necron melee oriented army I believe these are our best choices. ScArabs are great versus ANY armor and can quickly tarpit a lot of enemy units all the while applying the NOM NOM. The trick is quickly building them up to a high number of bases and releasing them at the right moment. Based upon my experience a horde of 24 ScArabs is more than twice as good as 15. I run a unit of 9 bases with two squads of three Canoptek Spyders... Let's do the math as it's quite simple:

Turn 1:   9 + 6 = 15
Turn 2: 15 + 6 = 21
Turn 3: 21 + 6 = 27

Turn 3 is the right moment to send them forward if you can wait that long to let your farm reach critical mass. Remember that you can start moving them forward during the first three turns - simply keep the tail end within the minimum distance from your Spyders so you can keep crapping out more of the little metallic beasts and they are easy to hide for the cover saves.

So far I have found 24 bases to be the right number. If you are investing less points they won't be nearly as effective... There are some armies that really don't have a good answer to ScArabs and I think they will be the demise of Imperial Guard.

Canoptek Spyders are really cheap for the points - only 50 points for a S6 T6 3W monstrous creature with an excellent armor save... It doesn't get any better than that in my opinion. I have found in melee they tend to be more of a tarpit versus tough enemy dedicated melee units such as Thunderwolves or assault terminators. Always remember that their main purpose is to crap out more ScArabs. Versus softer enemy units they will chew their way right through them. Don't forget to run the Spyders so you can extend your line of ScArabs. Spyders can also be used to provide cover to other units.

So now we come to Canoptek Wraiths. As much as I love ScArabs and Spyders this is probably my favorite unit in the new codex. I think they are much more potent now in the new codex. Wraiths have many advantages in melee over other enemy units - it's hard to cover them all so for the time being I'll simply say they are made of pure gold and soon cover them in more depth in a follow up article.

The last Necron melee unit is the Destroyer Lord which I've already covered in another recent article. Sure the Destroyer Lord does not have access to a Royal Court but if you're goal is to design a competitive Necron melee army you can easily get around this particular short coming. I run mine with the weave (2+ armor save), Res Orb, Mind Shackle ScArabs and a Tachyon Arrow. He is expensive but he is also another true beast designed as such.

I have presented the Necron units I think are the best in melee and provided some tips how to best utilize them.

How are these units working for you? Do you think Necrons are better in melee now?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

AWC Invitational Round 3

All right I had made it to the semi finals. I had drawn a tough match up in Jordan Nach. He was playing a leaf blower IG. His guns out ranged me and there were more of them. He was also much more mobile than me. His list from memory was:
Company Command Squad w/Astropath and 4 flamers chimera
Psyker Battle Squad in chimera
Platoon Command Squad w/4 plasma guns chimera
3 x infantry platoon w/melta gun and autocannon chimera
veterans w/plasma
veterans w/melta
storm troopers w/plasma in chimera
storm troopers w/melta in chimera
3 x vendetta w/3 las cannons and neavy bolters

Man what a lot of $%^&@ plasma and melta. Hmm not good. Anyway on to the mission. The set up was to be spearhead. The primary mission was to be to have less of you units in your deployment zone than your opponent. As an add in if you kept an infantry unit next to an immobilized vehicle for one turn you could scuttle your own vehicles. The second was kill you opponents highest point HQ and the third was seize ground with 5 objectives.
Objectives are place pretty much equally around the board. I roll for Grand Strategy and get a 5 making everything scoring. I win the roll and make him go first. He sets up everything in his deployment zone on my far left except for the two stormtrooper units which will outflank. I reserve everything keeping Mordrak and the libby in the raven with the dread. I figure neither of us can stop each other from getting out of our deployment zones. Getting his commander behind all the chimeras will prove difficult. Maybe I can beat him on objectives.
His Turn 1
He scouts forward with vendettas moves everything 12"
My Turn 1
Sound of crickets chirping
His Turn 2
Once again everything moves 12" to get out of his deployment zone. His plasma storm troopers come on the right side. Everything pops smoke. On my left opposite my deployment zone he has a vendetta with plasma vets, the manticore, chimera of troops and a chimera of vets.
My Turn 2
I get everything I think except for terminators. I move on in my left quadrant. I gamble figuring he split his army maybe I can hammer that and then deal with the rest piece meal. I get everyone out and prepare to blast the traitor IG to bits. Funny thing I do not kill anything. The librarian perils his rift. Everyone else either misses or Jordan makes at least ten straight cover saves. The only hit that goes through immobilizes the manticore.
His Turn 3
The retaliation is brutal. There is really no reason to finish this report. In turn three he kills the raven, the dread, the purifiers rhino, some interceptors, some strikes and two ghost knights causing them to run off the board after they had been hit by the stupid psyker battle squad power (through the reinforced aegis no less). The rest of the game consists of me trying to keep my guys alive to take objectives but his vendettas circle me like sharks just out of my reach and chew all my squads down. Oh well sometimes the emperor is busy elsewhere.........

Well on to the consolation game. At least I won't have to play Alan's ork horde, but wait what? He lost I get to play him in the third place game greeeaaaattt

What to take to Adepticon......

All right have had events conspire to deny me the army list I want to take to Adepticon. I wanted to take my Mordrak list with a few changes. However the guy who does my painting Dan at Brush Division mother is sick (he does excellent work by the way if you need something painted) and in the hospital. My children have obviously contracted some sort of plague over the last week. Nothing like trying to put an IV in a 4 year old because she is dehydrated. I am pretty sure I would rather take a marble out of a fishbowl or razor blades than do that again. And to top it all off I have to work the 24 hours before the Championships. Plus everyone and his kid brother will be playing Grey Knights so if I can't be different I am going to be doing something else. So with that in mind I need to turn to an army that I have painted and display based already....
What I have ready now is a huge base of space marines. I can use them as space marines, blood angels, dark angels, biker marines, ravenwing and deathwing. What I am going to go with is Deathwing. I have used Deathwing before and know how they work. Plus I feel they do better at most of the match ups I will see at Adepticon. They hold their own against IG, Wolves and BA. They can do reasonably well against DE and GK. The biggest problem I foresee is horde orks or nids. They just do not have enough volume shooting to be able to handle them. Also I am not a big fan of putting claws on the terminator squads as it decreases their save too much against all the melta and plasma we will see at Adepticon. I would take a crusader but unfortunately my son was playing it and it had an "accident." Anyway with that in mind here is the list I am going with

Belial w/twin lighting claws
Chaplain in terminator armor
Command Squad all w/TH & SS, CML, Apothecary & Banner
3 x Deathwing Squad all w/TH & SS, CML
10 Man Tactical Squad w/Missile Launcher & Flamer
2 x Ravenwing Typhoon w/Multimelta
Land Raider

I gave Belial claws as my one concession to hordes. I figure he and the chaplain (who I am taking just because he has a bad ass model) will have 12 attacks at int 5 rerolling misses with half rerolling wounds. Hopefully that will be enough to whittle down some squads to manageable levels. I figure this has enough shooting to deal with DE skimmers, chimeras/vendettas and rhinos/razorbacks. Plus it is finished and I have the display board and objectives done. Oh well the best laid plans go awry. See you at Adepticon!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Adepticon Predictions • Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Every year it is the same...

The first year I attended Adepticon followed the release of the 4th edition Tyranid codex and there was so so many Big Bug armies there - I'm not lying if I said they accounted for anywhere from 40-60 percent of the total armies. The year following the release of the 5th edition Space Wolf codex saw lots and lots of Space Wolf armies in Chicago - same thing with the 5th edition Imperial Guard codex. TriFalcon-Eldrad-Avatar-Harlequin spam was the big army the last year for 4th edition... They had an invitational tournament that year and I'd say eldar accounted for at least 70 percent of the armies in that event.

It is a constant that whatever is the flavor of the year will be the most popular army. There is something about Grey Knights though that I predict will throw the proverbial monkey wrench into the works... Psykout Grenades - they are the bane of Grey Knights and ironically enough it's kind of fitting in my opinion. When the fourth turn rolls around it's hard to avoid melee any longer as you're usually fighting for objectives... on the other hand SW versus SW is not such a big deal as they all swing at the same initiative for the most part (excluding characters and power fists). This year you have to factor in the psykout grenade and I've seen Strike squads maul Paladins - it can and does happen. Unless you've played lots of matches versus other Grey Knight armies with your own Grey Knight army this little piece of wargear can throw you for a big loop. In my mind most people who'll be bringing Grey Knights won't be properly prepared for the mirror matches - those that are will profit at the tables.

Sure psykotropic and rad grenades are just as deadly if not more so but you can't take them in every squad like the psykout grenade. Smart players will wisely avoid those units like the plague! It is what it is.

It seems like the two big Internet meta lists for Grey Knights are Draigowing and Purifier spam. I give the nod to the former for a better overall performance as little five man squads of Purifiers aren't really all that scary versus other armies that have significant dedicated melee units. If it were me playing my Draigowing versus a Purifier Spam army most likely I'd reserve my psyflemen and bring them in firing at the opponent's psyflemen. You cripple a couple and suddenly the game can swing. Versus a Vindicare assassin it's easy - simply outrange him with your psyflemen and keep popping him until he fails a save... And all it takes is one failed save then you push forward. The Coteaz henchmen list is fairly popular but I can't see those fragile units going toe to toe with Grey Knights. Sure there are the much feared Death Cult assassins and rightly so but a smart player will cripple their transport first and foremost then mow them down with stormbolters. There is also the Mordrak list but it's not as popular as the other three.

So I'm thinking this year probably some people relatively unknown on the Internet will win the big events at Adepticon simply because they are better prepared for the mirror matches and I think it's going to be quite interesting indeed.

Friday, April 13, 2012

AWC Invitational Round 2

All right after the win in the first round it was on to the second round against the 3rd seeded Mitch Tucker. Mitch was last year's invitational champion and a very good player in his own right. Today he was running mech eldar. He had tooled up his list to kill MEQs and had beaten a coteaz henchman list in the previous round. His list was:
Farseer Doom, Fortune, Spirit Stones, Runes of Witnessing
6 Warlocks all with spears 3 w/destructor 2 w/embolden in serpent w/scatter lasers
9 banshees plus exarch w/executioner in serpent w/scatter lasers
2 x 5 fire dragons in wave serpent w/shuriken cannons
2 x 5 dire avengers
2 x falcons one w/eml one w/bright lance.

The mission had three victory conditions. Primary goal was hold the center. The player with the most victory points within 12" of the center wins this condition. The other two victory conditions were control terrain elements and kill points. In terrain elements and objective marker was placed in the middle of each terrain piece and scoring units had to be within 3" of the objective marker to score. The set up was regular pitched battle. As an a special rule any unit with in 12" of the center is considered fearless. The table was pretty much like all the others with a big ruin or los blocking piece of terrain in the middle and smaller ones scattered throughout the table. I rolled a 3 for grand strategy and made the interceptors and dread scoring.
Mitch won the roll to go first and decided that I should go first. I deployed nothing. I bundled Mordrak and the librarian in the raven with the dread on the back. The termies and strikes would deep strike and the interceptors and purifiers would come on normally. Mitch set all his skimmers up in a mirror image across the middle of his deployment zone with the farseer riding with the banshees and Eldrad riding with the warlocks. I didn't bother trying to seize.
I figured Mitch was going to go for the center and try and snipe a few kill points. I figured having at least four scoring units to his two I should be able to take more objectives and hoped I could down enough Eldar skimmers to win kill points.
My Turn 1
I look through the mission packet again
Mitch's Turn 1
Mitch moves all his skimmers flat out and brackets the center terrain. On my left in order is a unit of fire dragons in a serpent, behind them is the banshees in a serpent and finally 5 avengers in a falcon. The other side is the same except with Eldrad and the warlocks in the second serpent. Eldrads fortunes the two serpents on his side, while the farseer fortunes his own serpent.
My Turn 2
I roll for reserves and get the termies, strikes, interceptors and purifiers but not raven or dread. All right I have to decide how I am going to approach this. I feel that Mitch has made a crucial mistake he has split his forces around the center. If I can take out one flank I can cripple his mobility and we will play a shooting game which I think I can win. I decide to pick on the falnk on my left. The termies drop in mid field near the left edge. The strikes drop in the mid point of the left board tile and the interceptors fly on close to them while the purifiers move on 6" in the middle of my left half of the board. I have all the psycannons in range of the two wave serpents. the termies may be in range of the falcon (I will shoot them last in case I kill the two serpents.) More importantly there will be no shooting from the dragons or charging if their wave serpents are destroyed. Plus I am far enough away none of the other stuff from the other side can threaten me without going through the killing field first. The purifiers shoot the dragons serpent first. I get lucky and kill it on the opening salvo. It becomes wrecked and one of the dragons die the rest cowering behind the wreckage. A very nice start. The interceptors fire next whiffing on the fortuned serpent. The the interceptors fire and stun it. Finally the termies are able to get a shot in and it explodes. I kill two banshees but the pass their pinning test. All right a good turn I have limited his mobility and managed to be free of reprisals for the most part.
Mitch Turn 2
All right Mitch has taken a tough blow lets see how he responds. The banshees looking at all the psycannons and stormbolters decide that they would rather go and hide in the ruins in the middle. The farseer casts cover on them and goes and hides with them in the center ruins. they will play no part in the rest of the battle. The fire dragons also do the same and Eldrad fortunes the I think. The falcon goes and joins the other one in the back. The other two serpents come around the center piece and blast away at the purifiers rhino. They manage to stun and shake it. The falcons both fire at the termies and all that is left is the justicar and the psycannon. They pass their leadership test.
My Turn 3
I roll for reserves and still no raven. I am able to shake off the stunned results on the rhino. The termies duck into cover ready to run and hide. The strikes and the interceptors move forward to get shots on the falcons. The purifiers light up Eldrads falcon immobilizing it and stunning it. The interceptors are able to immobilize the falcon while the strikes stun it. Meanwhile the termies hide behind terrain.
Mitch's Turn 3
Mich is rapidly running out of options. He knows if he gets the dragons and warlocks out and tries to cross no man's land they will have to take a round of shooting first. Plus the raven hasn't come in yet and with Mordrak and the dread inside along with the mind strike missiles it could be deadly trying to cross. Mitch opts to stay where he is and try to kill me. The avengers leave the immobilized falcon and start heading for a terrain piece behind it. The mobile falcon moves towards my board edge to try and get line of site on the termies. The mobile serpent shoots at the purifiers rhino doing nothing. The falcon shoots at the interceptors killing two. The dragons on foot and the banshees get deeper into the ruins. The avengers run into cover
My Turn 4
Hey Mordrak finally comes in. The raven flies 24" to the center of the left side of the board. The purifiers move forward to get close to the falcons. The strikes back up towards the purifiers to get the in forest they are next to. The terminators meditate on the glory of the emperor. Purifiers knock down the fire dragon serpent immobilizing it and stunning it. The strikes stun Eldrads serpent. The multimelta on the raven finishes off the immobilized falcon. the dread shoots at the other falcon immobilizing it and taking off a weapon.
Mitch's Turn 4
The other avengers go and and hide in terrain in the corner. (That is what the picture is the corner of the board where those avengers go to die). Mitch has a few shots that miss and we go on to the next turn.
My Turn 5
Mordrak and the Dread assault and kill the other falcon. The purifiers kill Eldrad's serpent. The interceptors shunt and kill the last avengers.
Mitch's Turn 5
Pretty much waiting for the end
My Turn 6
I kill the last serpent move the interceptors on to another objective.
Mitch's Turn 6
Game ends

Mitch holds the center. However I have come up with 7 kill points to his none and have three objectives to his one. Game to me 2 -1. My second turn really hurt Mitch he was never able to recover form it and I was able to shoot his army to pieces over time. All right on to round three. I look and see it is Jordan Nach with his leaf blower list. Not a list I relish facing in the next mission....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

AWC Invitational Round 1

My first round match up was against Brian Carlson. Brian is a great player and an even better painter/builder. Brian used to work for GW before he decided he liked money. Brian is bringing his Dark Eldar to Adepticon. You can look at his army at
Brian's List from memory was:
Haemonculus w/webway portal
2 units of 3 true born in venoms w/2 dark lances.
Unit of 6 wracks
Unit of 10 wyches in raider w/stuff
2 units of warriors in venom w/dark lance and maybe splinter cannon
12 Hellions
3 x Beast Squad w/6 Razorwings
2 x Ravager
I have included a picture of his army and the board from his perspective.
The mission had three victory conditions. Primary was kill points, the other two were objectives in all four quarter in the center of each and destroy the most expensive unit. (His were the Hellions mine was Mordrak and friends.) As a side note in order to decrease ties the primary objective was weighted more. In case of a tie the primary was considered paramount to the other 2. In case of true tie it would go to victory points. Deployment was the old corner style. The table was covered with 25% terrain with a big piece in the center. Brian one roll and decided to go first. He took the corner to my left. I rolled a 5 for grand strategy and everyone became scoring who could. Brian deployed everything but his beasts in the center of his deployment zone. I deploy the purifiers in their rhino to my right behind terrain on top of an objective, everything else will deep strike on but the interceptors. Mordrak, the librarian and the dread will go together in the raven.
Brian's Turn 1
He moves his wyche raider with the haemonculus in it some ludicrous speed to the other side of the line of site blocking terrain everything moves to get a cover save.
One objective each KP 0-0
My Turn 1
I go get a drink.
One objective each KP 0-0
Brian's Turn 2
One of his beast groups comes on. Has to come on from his board edge. The Haemo jumps out and deploys the portal. Everything else jockeys around to get cover once again. His hellions and the baron along with one warrior squad and the wracks camp in the ruins in his deployment zone on top of an objective in the upper left corner to me. The trueborn with dark lances hope in the ruins across form the big terrain piece. Thier venoms head towards the purifiers. The two ravagers hide behind the center terrain. The bomber is in the upper right corner. The warriors in their raider cruise right by the bomber. The wyche raider shoots at the purifier rhino. The other warrior raider also shoots a the rhino but I pass both cover saves.
Objectives DE 2 GK 1 KP DE 0 GK 0
My Turn 2
Only the termies come in the deep strike almost off the board edge. I tried to place them behind the purifiers. This looks bad for them. The shoot a venom and kill it. The purifiers shoot at the wyche raider and do nothing.
Objectives DE 2 GK 1 KP DE 0 GK 1
Brian's Turn 3
The other two beasts come in via the portal. Everything looks at the termies. Terminators die in a hail of dark matter and shurikens. The bomber was especially effective at killing termies with those stupid missiles and no scatter. The Haemo gets back in with the wyches. The raiders shoot at the rhino but miss.
Objectives DE 2 GK 1 KP DE 1 GK 1
My Turn 3
Everything else comes on. The Raven comes on opposite the big piece of terrain next to the wyche ravager. The strikes deep strike in between the raven and the purifiers. The interceptors come in alongside them. Mordrak and the librarian disembark and the dread also hops off. The shooting begins. The purifiers shoot one of the beast squads. The stormraven takes a dark lance off one of the ravagers. The dread lights up another one of the beast squads. Mordrak and the libby down the ravager with the help of warp rift and some incredible stormbolter fire. The strikes stun another ravager while the interceptors are out of range of their target. In assault the dread hammers the beasts while taking no damage, they flee and are destroyed (actually was two bases left but they would be unable to rally). Mordrak and the boys put a hurting on the wyches but stay locked in combat. The purifiers put a whupping on the other beasts and kill a few causing them to break and run away.
Objectives DE 2 GK 0 KP DE 1 GK 3
Brian's Turn 4
Brian's Fire has been a little neutered this round. However his fleeing beast squad rallies and links up with the other beasts. His one far right raider full of boys goes up and heads for the upper right objective. He shoots a few things and moves his ravagers around. He is able to stun my Raven. the beasts get ready to assault the poor strikes. In assault Mordrak and the boys finish off the wyches and haemoculus, the dread finishes the one beast squad, The strikes kill a few more beast master squads and lose a bunch of guys, but hold
Objectives DE 2 GK 1 KP DE 1 GK 6
My Turn 4.
Mordrak and the Knights head towards the big center piece of terrain. The storm raven shakes off the stunning. The dread begins stomping towards the upper right corner objective. The purifiers move to help the beleaguered strikes. The interceptors shuffle towards the middle terrain piece. The interceptors down a ravager. The dread shoots a venom down. The purifiers and strikes finish off the beasts but at a terrible cost. I believe two purifiers and two strikes remain,
Objectives DE 2 GK 0 KP DE 1 GK 10
Brian's Turn 5
Brian knows he has to kill off Mordrak if he wants to win. I am ahead on kill points he will likely take objectives and right now our two biggest units are hiding. He shoots just about everything at the Ghost knights in cover that can see them. He also moves the wrack squad that was skulking in a borrowed raider to the objective in the closest left corner. His shooting sees the raven die, the dread get stunned the purifiers die and the interceptors get mowed down to five.
Objectives DE 3 GK 0 KP DE 3 GK 10
My Turn 5
As an aside I thought I was going to lose as neither Brian or I read the part about the primary objective being paramount. I needed to go for the win. I sent the the interceptors shunting to deal with the wracks. The dread stomped towards the other objective. The remaining strikes cower in the purifiers rhino to claim the objective in my right corner. Mordrak and the boys shuffle around in the terrain. The interceptors kill the borrowed raider, The dread kills the other raider. He needs a 5 or 6 to get through it and assault the warrior squad. He doesn't make it.
Objectives DE 2 GK 1 KP DE 3 GK 12
Brian rolls for random game length and it comes up a two the game ends..
At this point I figure I have lost. I have given up a lot of victory points. After adding it up three times I come out like 23 points ahead. After we turn in our results the TO informs us of the primary mission rule which gives me the solid win. Next up is Mitch Tucker and Eldar Flying Circus.