Sunday, January 30, 2011

Repairing Chaos: 3 of ???




Now that we have troops that actually do something once they get midfield and some elites which add both flavor to the army and some much needed punch, its time to work on the real Achilles heal of Chaos: Fast Attack.

So yeah, our FA suck right now. You get to either have expensive, limited usage bikers, or Raptors who are brimming with mediocrity.

In most other FOCs the FA slot is designed to add suppression fire (Vypers, Destroyers) or rapidly deploying anti-tank (Speeders, Piranhas, melta-bikes, Def kopters, etc.), or punches (raveners and nob bikerz). As it stands, Chaos FA can only do the anti-tank role (melta bikes or raptors). While we need suppression, I don’t think suppression for our FA really suits Chaos. We are supposed to be aggressive after all.

Try this out:

Bikers

Fix: Give them the option to upgrade to “Possessed Bikers” for a modest upcharge. Per last post, this would like confer onto them the ability to rend and scout.

Why: With the ability to either scout and/or rend, these guys suddenly become (an expensive) problem that needs to be dealt with. Much like to MM speeders buzzing into your deployment zone, or some Thunderwolf cavalry, they are going to cause problems. They will be expensive enough where they won’t likely get spammed in smaller games, but you could possibly tack on a Chaos lord with them and you’d have a real nice hammer unit. Plus it gives the Chaos lord something to do other than wonder why the other HQs are so much better than him.

Raptors

Fix: Not much to do here. Perhaps the ability to upgrade them ala the bikers above.

Why: As they are, Raptors are decent suicide melta squad, even if a bit overcosted at 120 per squad. At 20 pts a model, big units of these are not really an option, and icons alone are not going to give them enough punch to warrant the expenditure. Lowering their point cost significantly would just mean most players would be taking 3 MSU units of suicide melta squads. That’s fine, but not a very creative use for them.

Spawn

Fix: Give them a saving throw of 4+ or FNP. Have them occupy an actual FOC slot, and give them access to ‘marks’ which would allow some customization. Get rid of Slow and Purposeful if they are within 6” of an HQ. This would also require a modest points increase.

Why: Spawn could make a nice entourage for an IC mounted on a bike or beast, but they need staying power and reliability. Giving them a save and a mark would make them a bigger threat, and having some extra T5 to screen your sorc or lord with is well worth the FOC slot or two. On their own, they would make a decent “pay attention to me!” squad as they would be in threat range T2, but they would not be good enough on their own to seriously threaten most MEQs.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Sleeping Menace Grows...

Thanks to some very timely tournament winnings, I’ve been able to move Operation Robot-Apocalypse into Phase II and few months ahead of schedule (pronounced with a high-British inflection: Sheesh-yule). I can’t give out any more information than that. Perhaps I’ve said too much already…

Repairing Chaos: 2 of ?




So now that our cult troops actually bring something to the table, we need some robust elites to help fill out our FOC and to take some of the heat off our troops.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

Dreds

Fix: This is a no-brainer. Clarify the fire-frenzy rules. Period. Limiting to the front arc seems reasonable, as this can still be very bad for Chaos. Giving them Daemonic Possession standard and tacking on a few extra points to their cost would be cool too.

Why: Because there is no set ruling on fire-frenzy, Dreds are useless in tourney play. A plastic kit would be nice, but we’re supposed to be talking short term fixes, and a ruling here is what is needed now.

Chosen

Fix: Fearless

Why: Personally I think fearless should be a Chaos wide thing, not just for the Chosen. I’ve heard people advocate that they should be given ATSKNF, but frankly that would make them too much like their imperial counterparts for my taste. Next we’ll be breaking them into combat squads and giving our termies thunder hammers. Fearless is a nice little buff, and stays in the spirit of Chaos.

Terminators

Fix: Fearless.

Why: Again its silly that the crème de la crème of Chaos run like frightened puppies every time they lose assaults or get shot. Well maybe not every time, but the very fact that they do run is – awkward.

But let’s look farther down the road. As termies stand, they are a 105 point suicide gimmick. We can do better. I think terminators should be an upgrade available to ALL the cult troops. For an extra 15, 20… whatever, you get to upgrade a cult troop to terminator status with access to all their usual cult gear and rules plus the termie goodies too. Yes, that would make them an expensive proposition, but it would also make them what they should be: elite troops capable of raising hell. It would also allow for greater “fluffy” yet competitive list building which allows players to pick some themed, hard hitters to back up their cult troops.

Possessed

Fix: Another obvious one. Replace the wacky chart with actual upgrades you can buy (or pick for free). Also, allow them to either infiltrate or scout.

Why: Possessed are supposed to be scary combat troops, but they are currently too random to be effective (and to synergize with existing troops) and too slow to be effective w/o ranged attacks. Being able to icon them in ala lesser daemons might be a good option, or permanent fleet might work as well. Without melta guns or reliable anti-tank they’d still be pretty meh, but it would be a good step in the right direction.

Next up: Fast Attack

Friday, January 28, 2011

Repairing Chaos: 1 of ?




So with the new DA and BT FAQ recently released there has been some chatter about Chaos getting a facelift in the near future. Personally I don’t see it happening, but who knows.

That said, I used my extensive knowledge of the Chaos dex to create a few tweeks to the book which would make it a bit more competitive. And as we all know, GW gets all their ideas by simply trolling random blogs, so it’s a pretty safe bet we’ll be seeing some form of these in the new release, whenever that may be.

Phase One: Cult Troops

Berserkers

Fix: Allow Champ to take combi weapons, squad can take 0-2 combi weapons as well.

Why: Everyone knows these guys have trouble with tanks, the key is how to fix this without making them too good at taking out tanks. Combis give them some anti-tank, but keep it limited (as opposed to access to actual melta/plasmas).

Plague Marines

Fix: Nothing

Why: Plague Marines themselves are not broken, they have a clear role (midfield objectives, tarpits) and perform it well. What they need is adequate support from other elements in the FOC, so that they are not trying to carry the army on their stinky, stinky shoulders.

Noise Marines

Fix: Make sonic blasters S5. Keep points the same.

Why: Now you have a unit that it slightly better at anti-infantry (w/o crossing the AP3 Rubicon) and more worth the 25 points per guy you are throwing down on them. In addition, they can lend some suppression fire on light vehicles, something Chaos desperately needs. They’d still die is droves to dedicated assault squads, which is fine – Noise marines should be the “elves” of the Chaos dex.

1000 Sons

Fix: Not sure what the hell to do with these guys, as its unclear what GW was attempting to do with them. You could increase their save to 3++, but they still won’t really do anything. They’re certainly not assaulty. Giving them access to a heavy weapon or two might work, but doesn’t seem fluffy, or interesting. Some psychic buffs for the unit might work, or simply dropping the points on the god-awful sorc they have to take. Hell, I’m open for suggestions.

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"No necron release?"



Those of you whose obsession with 40k rumors doesn’t quite qualify you for your own TLC show may not have found this tidbit posted up a few days ago. Thought I’d pass it on.

The whole thing is primarily about flyers (meh), but there was one snip-it us Robo-philes zeroed in on:

“No necron release?”

And commence the interwebz a spinning. Yes, stickmonkey has been known to score a few hits when it comes to predicting releases, but let us not forget that predicting GW releases is still about as scientific as sun sign astrology: let’s not hit the panic button jus yet. Hell even his post has a “?”

I’m Ron Burgundy?

I could wax on about all the reasons why Necrons should be next, or counter with other rumors saying the book is definitely due Q2-3, but the fact stands that “ought” and “is” are two different things, and GW has been amazingly good at holding their cards very, very close.

So what are we to do in the meantime? My advice: if you like Necrons, play them and to hell with trying to predict with 100% certitude what is going to happen post Grey Knights. Personally, I’m confining my purchases to existing plastics and an occasional good e-Bay deal; which should be a safe bet no matter what happens.

Only once that “Incoming” email lands than we will know for sure, and then we can start the all important phase two: rampant speculation on the new rules.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

1500 pt. Tourney Win! (and Report)



I’m pleased to say that I have won this weekend’s 1500 pt tourney at my local LGS, Knightfall Games. Of course, this was the one time that I didn’t use my camera to compulsively take pictures throughout the matches, so written run-down of each game will have to do. If your interested, my list can be found here.

Round One: CSM vs Eldar

My opponent was running a mostly mechanized Eldar list with pathfinders for troops and Elrad and an Avatar for HQs. Mission was a variant of Capture and Control where KPs were counted as modifiers. For some reason, my opponent setup with only his Avatar guarding his base and most of his tanks castled in the opposite corner. I placed my base directly opposite his and put a diversionary squad in cover over by his tanks to keep them occupied. The game went well: my DPs had no problem pulling his Avatar out and pummeling him, while my suicide termies caused enough mayhem midgame with his tanks to distract a lot of his attention (that is except for the squad that got sucked into the warp ‘cause I got greedy a struck them near a board edge). In the end, despite me holding one objective and contesting another, the match ended as a ‘draw’ due to him getting more KPs. It pays to read the mission thoroughly before starting I guess…

Round Two: CSM vs Orks

This was the mission everyone called the “Draw Round” as the victory conditions were nigh impossible to achieve without tabling your opponent. Basically, to win you had to keep your opponent out of your deployment zone whilst having troops in theirs. I decided before even setting up to ignore the primary and go for secondary (killing heavy and fast choices) and KPs. He was running masses of boyz shielded by walls of Killa Kans and supported by Lootas. Basically, I just castled on my flank and shot his army piecemeal. In hindsight I should have been more aggressive and pushed my troops into the teeth of his flank; as he was deployed evenly across his zone and would not have been able to react in time. Not surprisingly, the match was a “draw”, but I was able to squeeze out a lot of secondary objectives and KPs as I had hoped.

Round Three: CSM vs IG

This was probably my most nerve-wracking match of the day. My opponent was playing full mech, with 4 chimeras, 2 russes w/ battle cannons, 2 russes with exterminators, and a demolisher. The mission was 5 objectives, and I figured he would sit on his back line and pound me to dust, then rushing forward to take what was leftover. I placed my objectives midfield, and he did the same. Cleverly, he forced me to take first turn. I reserved everything and so did he (also clever). As he planned, my deep strikers showed up when most of his stuff was still off board. By T3, I was certain I was going to get tabled. He got unlucky however, and basically none of his tanks showed until turn 3-4. This allowed me to dig in and hold. By T4, I had all five objectives and had torn up a few of his tanks – but all my oblits were dead, my termies were gone, and my Chosen were getting pounded. T5 saw me up 4-1, and I prayed to the dice gods that the game would end, but we ended up going a full seven rounds. In the end, he won 2-1, but with the secondaries I was able to mitigate this to a “draw.” (As an aside, I think he played a great game, and recovered beautifully from some bad luck – it should have been a win for him.)

Round Four: CSM vs Biker Marines

Last round saw me against a biker list in yet another Capture and Control variant. This time I did it right, and reserved everything. My opponent - who was probably one of the nicer people I’ve played against - fell into the trap. He sent half his bikers and speeders after my objective, kept half on his. I brought everything in on my base ala deep strike and reserve and took out and entire wing of his army in one turn. He tried to counterattack, but more of my reserves rolled in while he was redeploying and took out another ¼ of his force. The game ended before I could speed a rhino over to his base (only 6” away…), but with KPs and secondaries I scored a “Solid Victory”.

Conclusion

In the big picture, some lucky things happened which allowed me to win. Chance allowed me not to play the fully meched (including 5 venoms, and tons of raiders) D.E. army which I was neither studied enough on their rules for, nor suppression fire heavy enough to deal with. Also, I missed being matched up against a spore Tyranid list which I think would have certainly given me trouble. They both ended up fairing well, but still having one big loss each, which allowed me to hold the lead with what amounted to 3 technical draws and a victory.

Even so, I’ll admit I’m pretty stoked about the results: not only was this my first tourney victory, but it was with a non-Nurgle Chaos list. As an added bonus, my opponents were all great sports, and the atmosphere in general was very positive. Plus, with my prize money I was able to get second Necron battlion box a full month ahead of schedule at no cost to me!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to Kill It: CSM vs Trygons




Insulting Description/Nickname: We generally do not taunt Trygons. Plus, it's late and I can’t think of anything funny right now.

Threat To: Bill Paxton. Anything it assaults. Against your average guys these will throw 7 hit on 3+ (with-re-roll), wound 2+, no armor save attacks. When hitting him back you have to beat T6 and 3+ save. And you have to do this six times before it dies. In short, your average MEQ squad will be swallowed whole and half through this thing’s Malpighian tubules before they even realize they are dead.

Shooting It: By far the best way not to become a fecal pellet, is to shoot the Trygon, but it will take some concentration to get it, so make sure this is what you want to kill. Here having a squad of plasma Chosen can really come in handy, as 4 rapid firing plasma guns and a few misc shots should make short work of one. If you have a oblit or two nearby that can lend some TL plasma, so much the better. Whatever you use, you’ll probably want to save your small arms fire for last: it takes about 28 bolter shots to reliably cause one wound on a Trygon, and chances are these rounds will be better spent on the smaller bugs racing towards you.

Assaulting It: The only circumstance in which you should try to assault one of these is when it has one, maybe two wounds left. Even then, keep in mind they have I4 so will be going at before your defilers and dreads (if its packing toxin sacs). Against a basic Trygon, a warp-timed DP will likely put a few wounds on it, just hope it doesn’t get to swing back. A force weapon from you sorc may get a lucky kill on one of these, but that’s a big risk, small chance of success scenario.

Otherwise, if you can’t win against whatever it is fighting, try and at least make it so the Trygon will be out of place or out of cover once its bloody work is done; i.e., move your doomed unit away from the rest of your force.

Tips and Tricks: Keep in mind these things will not be affected by intervening models and impassable terrain when deep striking. Board-edge induced mishaps still apply however, so castling back can work against a Trygon deep strike.

Also, these have fleet, and move through cover. Essentially they have a threat range of about 16” on average, 18” max.

The best way to deal with these is target priority. The Achilles heel of the Tyrgon is that they are expensive (at least 200 points each) and they take a heavy slot. If your opponent is running two, that means a substantial less number of bugs (and less suppression fire) on the board. If they deep strike, take advantage of the turn they are off board to try and neutralize a Tyrant or Tervigon.

If they aren’t primes (who have SitW), then lash is another great option for either pushing them back out of the way for a turn, or for pulling them into no-mans land where they can be bathed in hot plasma. Keep in mind that it’s instinctive behavior is to eat you, so luring it out of synapse isn’t exactly a win.

Finally, consider using a rhino hull to tank shock them. This forces a dubious choice for the Tyranid player. Either they a) accept the shock and get moved out of the way (and hopefully now have a rhino hull between them and you) or they b) go for the death or glory. This last option isn’t as bad for you as it sounds. Remember they only get one attack on a DoG, and it HAS to stop you. With S6, they have a better than 16% chance of dying outright, as they still go splat if they biff their armor pen roll. If you are using a Pred to do this, their chance of death goes up to 41%. That doesn’t sound like great odds for you, but I’d wager it’s a damn sight better than the odds you will get if you let the thing run up and throw 7 attacks at your rear armor next turn…

Monday, January 17, 2011

House of Paincakes Stock Increases by One Professor E.

Careful readers of this blog will notice that I have added a House of Paincakes endorsement to the side of this blog. After dozens of pleading emails from them and a cash offer of approximately $5000.00, I have finally relented and decided to join their rag-tag group of bloggers.*

In any case, if you are not familiar with House of Paincakes, you should acquiant yourselves with them: a particular favorite column of mine is Dethrone’s Friday Night Internet Fight, in which the confused, adolescent carronades of semi-sentient forum goers are held up for all to scorn and add silly comments to. Well worth the read.


*I may have just made that up.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Slaanesh Daemon Prince #2

Maybe not the most original idea for a Slaaneshi daemon prince (the whole tail thing has been done before), but for my purposes he should work just fine. The green stuff work on this was a real pain, and as you can see, I've yet to figure out how to get 'smooth' surfaces or large spaces. Still, he reads well from a distance, even if my 3 year old thinks he is a 'mermaid'.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

How to Kill It: CSM vs Crisis Suits



Insulting Description/Nickname: Robo-Frogs, XV8 Crisis Douche. The tyranny of the right angle made manifest.


Threat To: Threat To: elite infantry, light armor (suppression). Versatile weapons platform which is mobile, able to hide, and able to poop out a lot of shots. Generally loaded out with missile pods/plasma rifles, once you get within 24" of these guys you’re in trouble. Making matters more annoying, they will likely use the jump-shoot-jump rule for jetpacks to snipe your units and then retreat out of LOS.


Shooting It: If a Tau player gives you a clear shot at one of these go for it, chances are they won't. With T4 and 3+ they will basically fall to anything a MEQ will, including massed small arms fire. Note as well that with W2 each, if you can spare a few high AP, S8+ shots you should be able to make short work of them. The best way to hunt these is to flank them with something (i.e., deepstriking termies, chosen, or bikers) or to place units at 90 degree angles to them that way they will always be exposed to the fire of at least one unit.

Assaulting It: Most definitely. Their combat stats suck so if you get within charge range by alls means do. Because their shooting is so good, 99% you are going to be better off trading assault dice with them rather than shooting ones. Also keep in mind that as long as they are fighting they can't shoot. Its getting close that is the tricky part. With the Tau’s plasma rifles, plague marines won’t be able to do their usual ‘walk midfield through a hail of fire shtick’. Rushing a rhino at them is an option, but sending just one is folly: they can easily put out enough fire to stop you outside of 12”, demech you and then plasma you. Best bet is to use anything with a long charge range: bikers and characters with jump-packs or mounted on beasts come immediately to mind.

Tips and Tricks: Generally when shooting things the rule is go at it with everything you got. With these guys, I'd make an exception. A canny Tau player will very rarely leave them in the open, so generally you'll probably only get one or two units to shoot at them. Even so, take it: because XV8's travel in small groups they are very vulnerable to morale tests, even if you only kill one. With Ld8 they have about a 28% chance of running away. As an added bonus, if your opponent decided to skimp on the bonding knife and they are less than 50%, they will jump themselves right off the board. So much the better.

Given the Tau’s piss-poor psy defenses, giving them a lick with the lash is an attractive option, as is bolt of change as it will insta kill them nicely.

1500 Noise Marine Hybrid List



So after a bit of miss-speculation about the tourney coming up next weekend, it’s finally been settled: 4 rounds @1500 points.

As I’ve said previously, I think Chaos works better at these lower levels as it prevents 5th ed. armies from taking advantage of their more robust FOC (fast attack esp.)

Let’s get at it:

1500 Point Tourney List

1 Daemon Prince w/ wings, MoS (135)
1 Daemon Prince w/ wings, MoS, Lash (155)

3 Terminators w/ combi-melta x 2, H flamer (105)
3 Terminators w/ combi-melta x 2, H flamer (105)
5 Chosen w/ meltagun x 2, flamer x 2, IoCG, Rhino (165)

5 Noise Marines w/ sonic x 4, champ w/ doom siren, icon, Rhino (190)
5 Noise Marines w/ sonic x 4, champ w/ doom siren, icon, Rhino (190)
5 Noise Marines w/ sonic x 5, icon, Rhino (165)
5 Daemons (65)

1 Obliterator (75)
1 Obliterator (75)
1 Obliterator (75)

1500


A few differences from the 1000 point version of the list. After some contemplation, I added rhinos for all the NM and the Chosen. The mobility and template protection they offer is just too good, even if with only 4 people will be able to concentrate anti-mech fire on them. The overall plan remains the same: demech with oblits and suicide termies, distract with chosen and DPs, and run midfield and sweep and clear with the Noise Marines. While the NMs are no plague marines when it comes to midfield resilience, they are able to dump out a lot of fire with those sonic blasters, and with the doom sirens, they should sacre anyone running MSU squads from getting too close.

Finally: I probably won’t be doing video battle reps on this tourney. Rumor has it that some competitive players are coming down to join in and I really want to play at 100%. I may still snap a picture or two though.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How to Kill It: CSM vs Thunderwolf Cav.





I starting what I hope will be an ongoing feature for this blog. Let me know what you think…





Insulting Description/Nickname:Several hundred pounds of half-retarded dog meat. Also, a thunderwolf.

Threat To: Anything it can assault. Also a threat to people with a weak willing suspension of disbelief. Because cavalry in the 40th millieum is pushing it, but a dude riding big wolf is a bit silly, even by George Lucas standards.

Shooting It: By far the best way of dealing with these things, as it saves you the trouble of figuring out how to fight it. They come standard with T5, W2 and 3+; which can further be upgraded to 3++. That means there is little we have that can instant kill them outright (Vindicator), and that they are going to take considerable amount of fire to do it. Fortunately, the rest of the space wolf list totally sucks so you can just concentrate your fire on the TWC and ignore, the longfangs, LazPlazRaz™, and their rune priests.

My gut thinking goes one of two ways: If they are just the standard 3+ TWC, it would be worth sicking some heavy stuff on them like your AC/LC preds, or oblits, or havocs. If they have 3++ that means a lot of your high point cost shots are going to get absorbed. That being the case, I’d go with the torrent option – bolters, sonic blasters, or templates that cover more than one.

Assaulting It: Um no. These come with 5 WS4 I4 rending attacks, and you are lucky if they are **only** carrying power swords. You probably won’t have anything that matches that, esp. if they are rolling 3++ style. If they are running 3+, torrent attacks (berserkers), or save negating heavies (dreadnoughts and defilers) are perfect. Otherwise, best bet is to lure them away with throw away units (bring forth the lesser daemons!) or to get them whittled down so far that a lucky attack will fell the last man standing. Tarpitting isn’t an option, as these guys will eat your TP unit way too fast. Speed bumping (cheaper the better) is a better option, as it stops movement and, most likely, will leave the TWC out in the open on your turn.

Tips and Tricks: Movement blocking is key. Use those rhinos to create walls they have to go around. TWC are expensive- esp. the 3++ with hammers build- and they have little shooting. Every turn they are not fighting is wasting your opponent’s resources. Also, keep in mind that these do not have move through cover, so putting a piece of area terrain between you and them is a good option as well.

Barring that, you can buy some bloodletters riding bloodcrushers, declare your list a rogue SW chapter and get some TWC of your own. If you can’t beat them…

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Daemon Prince Finished

Well that took far looker than I expected. Going to have to come up with a conversion for the next one, as there is no way I'm going to spend that much time painting skin and wings again. I'll admit though, I do think it came out okay, and having the kit in all plastic was a HUGE time saver.