Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rock Paper Scissors

First things first, I grabbed this photo from almightydad.  I wanted to write some thoughts on the new Grey Knights and their effect on the meta game and stumbled across this blog when looking for a suitable picture for my post.  For what its worth, as a father of two very young children, I dig this blog and glad that I found it.

With that aside, as far as I'm concerned Grey Knights are off the table.  I almost let my weakness for new shiny toys overwhelm me and start into another army.  This is not to say I don't like the book (I do).  In fact I really like the book and what it means for current 5th edition meta game.  It is not over powered and you cannot build an all comers list with it.  But it does slide into the meta game with certain strengths and weaknesses that in my opinion creates more diversity for the game of 40K as a whole.

Now I'm not a seasoned vet with scores of tournament victories under my belt but I do love theory hammer and I do follow the major tournament results, various interweb opinions and listen to a plethora of weekly podcasts.  The way I see it the Grey Knights are part of a trend of GW to make sure every list has a counter. For example, the Grey Knights certainly will effect how top tier books will produce their armies from now on. I'm thinking first and foremost about Blood Angels.  Grey Knights will change the way these lists are built from now on.  One just has to look at the Grey Knights abilities to shut down decent of angels, furious charge, feel no pain and mephiston.  Grey Knights are arguable more mobile than Blood Angels with the ability to deep strike their troop choices, more durable storm ravens, give scout status to various troops and teleport units around the field with the librarian.  In hand to hand, the Grey Knights will eat Blood Angels up with initiative 7 power weapon attacks, combined with rad grenades and multiple strength boosts.  Say good by to mephiston spam with the multitudes of force weapons on the table.

But inversely the Grey Knights also have inherent weaknesses as well.  Namely expensive troops that do not get a reliable invul save.  Two armies come to mind that I think will give the Grey Knights considerable trouble.  IG with melta vet spam and Eldar.  IG is a no brainer but Eldar... thats right Eldar.  Eldar have access to the best anti-psychic war gear in the game: runes of warding.  Every time the Grey Knights wish to use a power table wide (and every unit has a psychic power) they have a good chance of taking a wound/glancing hit.  Now the Grey Knights is the elite of elite books and certainly pays a premium to be able to dole out all there psycic powers but the Eldar effectively neuters this strength with a simple and cheep upgrade.  Now the Eldar also have access to cheap melta spam which is the bane of Grey Knights as well in the form of Fire Dragons.  In addition the Grey Knights do not have access to storm shields which also gives Banshees an edge in combat.  The initative bonus of the quickening and nemesis halberds is negated by the banshee strikes first rule.  The lack of reliable storm shield saves also means that when any given Knight is forced to take a perils check they are more likely to take a wound.

I've been looking at my Eldar book again and envision a competitive list including farseers bunkered in DAVU falcons with holo fields, stones, star engines.  Two maxed out squads of Dragons and a maxed out squad of banshees at its core.  Throw in a night spinner to deal with the mobility of the Grey Knights and I think you have an effective counter to their book.  The Eldar will still have trouble with hordes (ie orcs) and massed strength 8 fire power (ie wolves and guard) and feel no pain marines (blood angels) but those armies, in large part are now countered by the Grey Knights (perhaps not so much wolves and IG).

In any event, like I said earlier, I'm not a vet.  But I do believe the meta has shifted and that tournament results in the future will reflect this.  As a parting thought, I think that an element of randomness has been injected into the game that in my opinion was needed.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tentative 1k Grey Knights...

While not much to look at, with a bit of paint stripper I think this original Grey Knight terminator could be done up to represent an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor in terminator armour.  The plan would be to pick up a box of new grey knight terminators and give the above model a new set of arms and shoulder plates and equip it with a doom hammer and storm bolter.  I've taken a look at the sprues and it looks like there are 6 shoulder pads loads of weapons and 7 arms.  It also looks like there is only 5 storm bolters so when putting the five terminators together one model would have to be equipped with the falchions.  The other option would be to equip the above model with the doom hammer and storm bolter as provided in the grey knight power armour box. This might actually work out better as the above model is quit a bit smaller than the new terminator molds.

So what does this all mean?  Well, I have put a 1k list together that might be my next project after my 1k of Tearers is painted up.  It would be as follows:

Librarian - warding staff, the shrouding, quicksilver
Ordo Malleus Inquisitor - terminator armour

5 Grey Knight terminators - brotherhood banner
10 Grey Knight Strike Squad - 2 psycannons, rhino

Land Raider Crusader

Total Points: 1000

As for models, with the above representing the inquisitor, all I would need to pick up would be a box of terminators and marines of the grey knight variety.  I have the land raider, rhino and terminator librarian model as it stands already.    I thought that I might also use the Storm Raven for the grey knights but I still want to paint it up in death company colours and use it for my tearers.  Fluff wise the tearers can make do with rhinos and razorbacks, leaving the land raider available for my potential grey knight army.

The way I envision the above list working is keeping all units tightly together.  I want to overlap the different psycic power bubbles as much as possible.  The basic grey knights will stay in their rhino shooting the psyscannons from the hatch and casting warp quake to keep potential deep striking melta's 12 inches away.  The terminators need to be in assault therefore the landraider is needed to assure they get into assault.  Over all the terminator unit has the following going for it on the charge:

-20 force weapon attacks at initiative 10 strength 5
-5 doom hammer attacks strike last at strength 8
-4 regular attacks at initiative 10 strength 5
-2+ regular saves across the board with a 2++ and 4 4++ invul saves in hand to hand.

Because of the low model count, I think that in order for this list to work the terminators must be multi-assaulting when they disembark from the raider.  To help make sure the rhino and raider survive to get midfield, the shrouding will give the tanks a 3+ cover save first turn when smoke is popped.

Over all I think a fun list.  Ultimately it has the benefit of having few models to paint which is right up my alley.

Tac squad almost done.

Managed to work on painting this weekend.  I have yet to finish the bases, and add some details (eyes and purity seals).  I'm not that happy with the way the sergeants head turned out but when stuck in the squad the imperfections are not readily noticeable.  Once completed the next task is to finish painting my assault squad.  Still waiting on my Forge World order so my tanks continue to sit unprimed.  I want to include Seth in my lower point games so I've come up with the following list.

Honour Squad - power sword, multi-melta, razorback, heavy flamer, chapter banner

10 man assault squad - power fist, 2 melta-guns, rhino
10 man tac squad - power fist, melta-gun, missile launcher, rhino

Fast Attack:
1 Baal Pred - assault cannon

The models are assembled and in que on my painting tray.  As for the land raider and storm raven that I have assembled, I'm thinking of holding off painting these up for the Tearers...  I bought a copy of Grey Knights and might put these models in the back burner to go towards building a small elite force of pure Grey Knights.

I realize that the word on the street is that pure Grey Knights are not competitive (especially Grey Knight Terminators), however I love the new model range.  Just an idea though, I'm not jumping ship again to collect a new army, its just a thought.  Anyway, I've got my teeth sunk in to the Flesh Tearers and will continue to plug away to get a painted army on the table top.

Friday, April 22, 2011

1k Tearers vs Deamons

Got a game in last night.  I brought the following:

Librarian - Fear the Darkness, Shield


Assualt Squad: Power Fist, 2 Melta-Guns, Land Raider, Multi-Melta
Tac Squad: Power Fist, Melta-Gun, Missile Launcher

Predator: Auto-Cannon, Las Cannon sponsons

His army to the best of my knowledge (not sure of the upgrades):

Greater Deamon of Nurgle

7 Plague Bearers
8 Plague Bearers with icon
5 Bloodletters
5 Pink Horrors and the Changeling

Deamon Prince - Wings, Iron hide et al.
Deamon Prince - no Wings Iron hide et al.

I should have grabbed my friends army list so I could provide more details.  Anyway, the first photo shows the layout of the board before the game.  Note that models on the board are not yet put in play.  We played at our local GW store on a standard 4x4 GW table.  It was Anhilination and Spear Head.

The deamons got their prefered wave and deep struck around my tanks.  My target priority was first to take out his deamon princes.  Over all pred and land raider were able to put out enough fire power to take out his first deamon prince. on turn three.  Also, his second wave did not start coming in until the bottom of turn three (bad dice rolls on turn two).  Ultimatly I kept my troops in their transports and played my marines like I would my Eldar.  I just kept shuffling away from him and focused my fire on his deamon princes and greater deamon.

I made a greavious tacticle error at the end of the game though which cost me the win.  The last two photo's show the how his greater deamon ultimatly took out my land raider.  Unfortunatly for me, I could have moved it another 3-4 inches out of his charge range.  If I had done so, his greater deamon would not have been able to assault the raider and I likely would have taken him out in my next turn.  To pour salt in my wounds, after the raider was blown up, and my assault squad in position to grab another kill point the game ended on a roll of 1 on turn 6.

Ah well it was a fun game that ended in a tie.  I took out two of his deamon princes while he chalked up a pred and land raider for kill points.  All in all I should have played smarter but I guess you only learn by making mistakes.  I did like the way the land raider played though.  While very expensive, the 35 point discount helps and it can still dish out a nice bit of fire power.  It was a fun game and it felt good to get my army on the table top.  Next time though I'm bringing Seth.  The following photo's give a shap shot of how the game progressed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thousand Points of Seth III

Well, I've been working on cleaning up my forge world dread and thinking that I want to include Seth in my first 1k Flesh Tearer list.  Ultimately the Seth model drove me into starting this army so I feel like I need to include it in my first 1k list.  The reason I'm consistently focusing on 1k lists is that my local gaming store holds a 40k night once a week where the point limit is 1k every Thursday.  Being married with kids and a demanding career, taking a Thursday night off to get a game in works well with my schedule.  So that being the case I've been thinking about the following list to run at the 1k level.

Honour Guard - Chapter Banner, Power Sword, Melta Gun, Razor Back, Heavy Bolter

2 x 10 Assault Marines - 2 Melta Guns, Power Sword, Rhino

Preadator - Autocannon, 2 Lascannons

Total Points: 1000

I need to assemble another 10 man assault squad before I can field this list.  Over all I cannot think of another list that is more true to the Flesh Tearer fluf and still semi competitive than this.  It has 5 melta-guns spread out in three squads and a las/autocannon pred for anti-transport.  2 solid troop choices that can handle scoring and an anti-infantry role.  Finally it has Seth with his Honour Guard to act as a counter assault unit that will hit hard.  It lacks the psychic hood provided by the librarian but ah well you cannot have it all.

I'm flip-flopping again but at least it is zeroed in between running Seth vs a Librarian as my HQ and not between working on completing my Eldar vs my Flesh Tearers.  I'm really happy with the way the Hounour Guard models turned out so I want to include them in my weekly matches.  As for tomorrow I will take the librarian in the Land Raider simply because I want to see how the Land Raider plays on the table top.  But down the road I definitely will work towards including Seth in my lists at these low level point games.

As an aside, I've actually come to believe that Seth is a competitive choice to take.  While he lacks a power weapon attack, he still strikes at strength 8 at initiative 6 when coupled with the hounor squad.  What Seth allows you to do is team him up with a squad and save points on a power fist.  Even with a basic assault squad, Seth allows you to equip your Sergent with a power sword over a power fist.  The said squad can still deal with armour 13 in assaults with Seth, plus, Seth can deal an automatic hit with his whirlwind attack.  Ten points is a lot when putting a Space Marine list together.  Its not like building an Eldar list where none of the point values are rounded out in 5's or indeed there are many options to take for 5 to 10 points.

The other general complaint that dogs Seth is that he provides no force multiplier to a Flesh Tearer list.  I would suggest that the Blood Angel book does not need another force multiplier as it is loaded to gills with them already.  One can take Seth and still take advantage of fast Rhino's with assault marines as troops.  Take priests for feel no pain bubbles.  Take fast predators allowing them to fire all weapons when moving 6 inches.  What more do you need?  Seth gives you a dependable 4 wound model with a stat-line that is better than a marine captain with an invul save for a reasonable amount of points.  Plus by including him you can shave points when designing a list.

Anyway these are just some ramblings that I thought I would share before I head to bed.

Seth's Honour Squad

While I patiently wait for my etched brass order I've continued to take some baby steps and work on my modeling.  I should be painting but I enjoy putting the models together much better.  Anyway, I had assembled a honour squad for Seth back when I first picked up the Flesh Tearer's last summer.  I had put the stock models from the command squad box together and called it good.  I never liked the way the models looked though, especially when Seth joined the squad.  Everyone was static with feet firmly on the ground while Seth was charging forward.  Now that I've redone the squad (though I still have one last little man to put together but I'm debating on how to kit him out: melta-gun or powersword) I'm glad that I choose to do so.  I think the squad actually looks like a cohesive unit with them all charging forward.

I just kit bashed a Death Company kit making sure I avoided any Blood Angel iconography.  There are a couple of places the Death Company X are located on the models but if painted in the normal flesh coulor scheme I don't think it will detract from the models.  I still plan to play games with my list posted previously.  In fact I'm going to take on a 1000 points of Nids tomorow night.  Hopefully I can get some nice photo's and do up a battle report.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

First 1K of Flesh Tearers assembled.

Now that the Land Raider is assembled, this is my Flesh Tearer list I'll play for awile.

Librarian: shield, unleash rage


10 man Tac Squad with: power sword, missilie launcher, melta-gun, melta-bombs, rhino
10 man Assault Squad with: 2 melta-guns, power-fist, land raider - crusader, multi-melta

Fast Attack:
Baal Pred with: assault cannon, heavy-bolters

Total Points: 1000

Basically a meatball list.  Everything drives forward to a pin point attack.  If the mission is roll dice and tie then the Tac Squad will combat and the missile launcher will camp an objective.  Over all the list is durable (feal no pain and shield bubble from the land raider).  Has good assault abilities (furious charge, feal no pain Assault Squad, preferred enemy).  Anti-infantry with 2 twin linked assault cannons, 2 heavy bolters, 2 hurricane bolters and anti-tank with 3 melta-guns and 1 multi-melta, 1 melta-bomb, 1 missile launcher.


Check this new Wraithseer model out from Forge World.  The experimental rules can be found here.  Its great to see all the love given to the Eldar recently with all the new models.  Although, I worry that all this attention means GW does not plan to focus on the Eldar for some time.  Anyway the new model rocks and has some interesting rules attached to it.  It counts as an HQ but does not fulfill the HQ requirement and it also needs a unit of Wraithguard present before it can be selected.

I think the first question is what HQ will complement the Wraith Seer best.  I think it boils down to a Farseer vs an Avatar.  With the Avatar you get the potential to field 5 Monstrous Critters in a list which would be fun combined with Wraithguard and swarms of Guardians.  I don't believe this would be as effective as a Nid list but fun.  If you take the Farseer/Eldrad, you get another force multiplier in your list with doom/guide/fortune.  Also, the Wraithseer does not appear to come equipped with psychic defenses such as Runes of Warding which I think tips the scales in favour of having a Farseer as a second choice.

Speaking of force multipliers,  the Wraithseer does provide some nice benefits to units of its own kind:

Greater Spirit Seer:  acts as a Spirit Seer with a 12" bubble and reduces targets of wraith units in its bubble cover saves by -1

Enliven: A single Wraithlord or a Wraithguard squad within 12" of the Wraithseer gains the Fleet
special rule for the rest of the turn (unfortunately I do not think this includes the Wraith Seer himself).

Deliverance:  Choose a single Wraithlord or a Wraithguard squad within 6" of the Wraithseer (or the Wraithseer itself). If the model (or models) is killed roll a D6. On a 6 they are not removed from play but remain in place, with a single wound

Combined with Warlock and Farseer force multipliers, I could see troop selections of Wraithguard worth taking.  For example, a squad of ten Wraithguard with conceal and fortune is fairly resilient would also get quite a boost with the Deliverance rule.  While only on a 6 does the model remain in play if killed, it gives the unit of Wraithguard a separate chance to survive outside of the realm of toughness and armor saves.  The unit now has a third layer of protection.  If I had any decent math skills I'm sure that I could sit down crunch numbers and zero in on the effectiveness of adding a third layer of protection but I don't.  So I'm going to go with my gut reaction.

The other notable powers and abilities of the Wraithseer are as follows:

- 3 attacks over the 2 attacks of a Wraithlord.
- 3+/5++ save on toughness 8
- Wraithspear - wounds critters on a 2+, ignore's armour saves, 2D6 armour pen on strength 10, re-roll misses in assaults.
- Foreboding psychic power - A single enemy unit within 18" must take a Morale test at -1 to their Leadership or immediately make a Fallback move (as if they had failed a morale check - after this is done they may act normally).  Fearless units are immune to Foreboding.
-Oh, and can also equip a D-Cannon as well as the normal Wraithlord weapon load outs.

Off the top of my head I think the following 1850 point list would be fun:

Wraithseer - D-Cannon

10 Harlequins with Shadow Seer and kisses

10 Wraighguard - Spirit Seer - conceal
6 - Pathfinders
6 - Pathfinders

3 Wraithlords - ELM's, Bright-lances.

Total points: 1844

The idea is to put the Harlies in the front to provide cover to the Wraithguard.  The Wraithguard then forms the second layer to give cover to the Wraithlords and Wraithseer.  The Pathfinders stick it out in the back holding objectives and provide cover fire.  Nothing too complex, just plop the models on the table and advance.  I think it would be fun at any rate.

Over all, I love all the attention given to the Eldar by Forge World these days and I'm hoping that the ideas provided by them will carry over into the new Eldar dex when ever it comes out.  I especially hope that the new book when ever it comes out will provide as much options and different flavours as the Dark Eldar book.  I think this will be the case if all the new Forge World entries are anything to go by.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

1000 points of Seth part II

I managed to squeeze some time in and work on another model.  My Forge World order has still not arrived yet. With respect to the picture above, the Land Raider is put together.  I selected this photo to highlight the difference between the Storm Raven model and the Land Raider.  Man, the tech at GW must have improved since they casted the above mold.  The Storm raven went together like lego.  I bought the Land Raider full of defects (namely warped plastic).  All the rubber bands are in place to allow the plastic glue time to bond the plastic together.  One thing I learned that is if you give GW plastic glue enough time, it will melt the plastic and form as strong bond.  The elastics were put in place to ensure that the glue had time to set.  Over all (I believe) the Land Raider goes together much better if you spend the time assuring the chassis is built properly.

At any rate, I'm really digging the Land Raider model now that I have it put together.  While the Storm Raven went together in fine form... it still suffers from being too bulky and less believable as a flying assault vehicle.  Keeping in line with the Flesh Tearers list I posted awhile ago, I've come up with my 1K list I plan to play at my local GW gaming store.


10 Assault Marines: - Land Raider Crusader with Multi-Melta
5 Death Company
1 Death Company Dreadnought with Blood Talons.

1 Storm Raven - Multi Melta

I figure if I'm going to learn how the Storm Raven plays I need to make it a BIG target in low point games.  The only way to play outside of the box is to learn to play different armies on various gaming tables.  With only a Land Raider and a Storm Raven at 1K, my flyer will be a big target.  My plan of attack is to start any given game with Seth and his crew in the Land Raider on the table.  I will play defensively establishing a firm control of my objective with the scoring Land Raider.  The Storm Raven will start in reserve, and when it comes on the table, its MO will be to clear the opponents objectives or contest with its payload.

Over all not the most strategic list but a fun one.  I part from the Flesh Teareres fluff by including all the expensive vehicles but I feel that I am true to the flavour of the Flesh Tearers by assuring that on a ground level, the army is made up of assault units.  Plus I've included no frills that are available to the Blood Angels codex such as priests.  Still the Land Raider is picked up at at a 35 point discount and the Death Company simply rocks.  I also figure that I need not include all the fringe benefits of the Blood Angels codex to make a strong army.  Even without the Priests, the Blood Angels book rocks.  For example, a devastator squad with missile launchers is only a 130 points.

I believe that you do not need to invest points in all the bells and whistles of any given codex to build a competitive list.  This years results at ADEPTICON proves this true.  Although my prospective list is no where near a bare bones list, it certainly departs from the cookie cutter Blood Angel lists that are floating around the interwebs.   But again, I'm not too concerned about building a strong tournament army; but rather, putting together a fun modeling project with the fringe benefits of having a set of gaming rules attached.  Anyway, thats all I got to say for now.

Have a good one Interwebs.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Storm Raven

While not much: I'm happy that I've at least got this much of the model together.  I'm still waiting for my forgeworld order so the pressure is low to get my painting done on the Flesh Tearers.  I'm thinking of deviating from the instructions from this point on however.  Odds are strong that I will not add the air intake and servator cab on top of the model.  Bare bones I think the the Storm Raven looks cool but when you add all the clunky bits and bobs it becomes a bit too much.  I will add the front cock pit as provided but want to paint up the pilot in Flesh Tearer colours with a shoulder pad before I put it together.  As far as the extra gun turret goes, the plan is to under-sling it.  I will not be adding the landing gear, so as long as the under-slung assault cannon does not interfere with the assault ramps I think it will look ok.

As a quick aside if any of you looked at this months White Dwarf, take a good look at how they painted the pilot.  Stock red with no Flesh Tearer shoulder pad...  tsk tsk Heavy Metal team...


I'm dying to talk about all the new forgeworld goodness that has come the Eldar way, but I'm going to hold off.  I need to stick to my modeling guns and work on the Tearers.