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.