Tuesday, December 17, 2013

1850 Escalation Chaos Marines List

Love or hate escalation it is now part of the game.  With that in mind I've been looking at my current options to try out the new rule set.  I'm not to keen on ordering a forge world model for my Eldar list mainly due wanting a plastic army.  With the Eldar then I'll likely look to incorporating Void Shield generators moving forward.

However, I would like to try out a super heavy in a regular game of 40k.  Wanting to limit myself to plastic models I really only have the Lord of Skulls as an option.  I have a small chaos marine force that with the inclusion of only one model jumps it up to 1850.  The list is as follows:

Level 3 Sorcerer - plasma pistol, spell familiar, 5++ save

10 Marines in Rhino - 2 plasma guns, dirge caster
9 Marines in Rhino - 1 plasma gun, dirge caster
2 x 10 Cultists - flamer

Heldrake - baleflamer

Mauler Fiend - lasher tendrils

Super Heavy:
Lord of Skulls

Total Points: 1850

So not the most optimal list but another criteria was to keep everything WYSIWYG.  I think this army could be very fun to play.  Looking at the lord of skulls, for 888 points you are not getting something that is overly powerful for the points.  9 hull points on AV 13 can be burned down in a number of different ways.  However, playing this army you get to charge forward recklessly to smash things up.  Very fun I think.  Not quite ready to buy the lord of skulls model yet, but its nice knowing I have the ability to instantly have an 1850 point army with the purchase of one model.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bring on the Nids

Nids could not appear on the scene at a better time as far as I'm concerned.  Going to get some narrative games under my belt.  My Iyanden army is moving forward at a good rate.  Although just a prime on the models, it is one step further to completing the army.  Going to dig deep over the holidays to try and finish up painting the army.  The prospect of playing a Nid vs Iyanden game is a great motivator.

As far as the list is concerned, I'm not going to change it up.  I was going to incorporate the new data slate but I'll wait to see if the rules regarding troop status are cleaned up.  If they do become troops then all I need to do is split the 10 man avenger squad into groups of five to be placed in the wave serpents. Bam!, instant rage and cover saves (though I don't like walking the d-scyth wraithguard).

As far as painting the army goes, next step is to pick up another can of army painter yellow.  Blast the wraith units then finish up the base coat with blues and blacks.  Next step then will be to base all the models.  At that point I will have a three colour min on all models and can return to them individually to provide highlights and shading.

With such a low model count it should not be too hard.  After the 1500 points is done I'm not sure where I'll go from there.  I may park the Eldar and start working on my lizardmen or chaos marines.  Also have the Robotech kickstarter models coming in February to look forward to.  2014 is shaping up to be a fun year for hobby and gaming both.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Brainstorming a Ghost Warrior Detachment List

I'm leaving aside the issue as to whether wraithguard in the ghost warrior detachment can become troops right now.  The point of this post is just to have a little fun respecting the rules that dropped yesterday. So the focus is on the two special rules attached to the formation: wraithwall and rage.

So any friendly model that would gain a cover save (by way of intervening models) from a unit part of the ghost warrior detachment is granted a 4+ save.  This is a very beneficial rule in my opinion.  In essence it gives the Eldar player a mobile ageis defence line that can contest objectives (at minimum) and fire 15 strength ten shots a turn to name a few benefits.  The wraithguard themselves are fairly tall meaning quite a few units from the Eldar dex would benefit from the cover save.  Units like like warp spiders or warwalkers become a lot more durable when they can capitalize on a constant mobile 4+ cover save. Also, the living wraithwall can obtain battle focus when using an Iyanden spirit seer.

Warwalkers in particular seem to work well with the new detachment.  The Eldar player essentially has 3 extra heavy slots to work with.  So now an army can take 3 squads of warwalkers on top of the 2 wraithlords and single wraithknight.  The warwalkers also help shore up a weakness inherent to wraithguard: finding a point efficient way to provide anti-infantry firepower.  Plus in a pinch if the warwalkers get assaulted they benefit from the rage special rule.

Looking at the rage rule, the wraithlords and wraithknight will really shine now.  In the last few games I've played with my Iyanden list the swordlord has been the MVP.  Working in tandem with the wraithknight the swordlord often advances up the field unmolested as my opponents will focus on my wraithknight. Once the wraithlord makes it to the enemy lines it rolls over the opponent.   Wraithlords/knights with rage become very good.  A stock wraithlord for 120 points becomes a beast with rage.  Re-rolling all to hit rolls in the first round of combat greatly improves the standard WS 4 stat they carry.  That means more character challenge hits that are often doubling out an opponent on a roll of 2+.  If the wraithlord becomes a beast with rage, the wraithknight becomes a monster.  Initiative five re-rolling 4 attacks at strength 10 is a big improvement over the stock version of the wraith knight.

So for 480 points the two stock wraithlords and wraithknight provide you with 12 toughness 8 wounds that can be positioned so as to assure any intervening cover save they provide will be a 4+.  You can then layer your army so that the wraithknight can tank wounds and provide a cover save to all models behind it.  Being such a large and fast model you can really take advantage of this rule.  The wraithlords become all the better now that they don't have to dip their toe into cover to get a save.  They are also quicker as one does not have to roll for move through cover and they get an improved cover save to boot.  They can provide a 4+ cover save to the wraithguard behind themselves that in turn provide a 4+ cover save to the warwalkers behind them.

So if I were to brainstorm a list using the new formation it might look something like this (going with the Bay Area Open format as it is the next majour tourney coming up):

Spirit Seer - wraithforge stone, helm of xellethon

5 x 3 jetbikes

3 x 2 warwalkers - scatter lasers

Ghost Warrior Detachment
3 x 5 wraithguard - stock
2 wraithlords - stock
1 wraith knight - stock

Total Points: 1750

Total Troops: 5 (or 8 depending on whether the wraithguard become troops)
Total Strength 10 Shots a Turn: 17 (that can be spirit marked)
Total Strength 6 Shots a Turn: 48
12 toughness 8 wounds that can be healed every turn
3 MC's that will rage through the enemy lines.

While not a standard army and perhaps not the most optimal I think the above list could catch a lot of people off guard.  It is durable and deceptively fast with the jetbikes and battle focus.  Anyway just food for thought.  It may all be moot however if the general consensus is to ban the new data slates.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Why wraithguard in a ghost warrior detachment are troops:

Early morn I picked up the new data slate salivating at the prospect of some free USR's for my wraith army.  Well, I was not blown away, but after some thought the rules have grown on me.  The first thing that struck me was that if I selected the detachment it appeared I would loose three troops choices in the bargain.  Unlike the Marine and Tau data slates, the Eldar one is made up of troops.  It's a big deal to loose them given the high cost you pay to put wraithguard on the table.  Reading the rules more carefully; however, I think if you take a spirit seer in your primary detachment, the wraithguard in the ghost warrior detachment become troops. 

First stage in the analysis is to look at the relevent rules:

Eldar Codex:

-If a wraith seer is selected all wraithguard/blades in the ARMY move from elites to troops.
-All squads, vehicles and characters in the army are placed into a FOC slot depending upon their role on the battlefield.

Eldar Data Slate:

-A formation is a special detachment.
-The army list entries for units part of a detachment can be found in the codex corresponding to the faction the formation belongs to, including battlefield roles.

So at first I thought that because an army includes all detachments the spirit seer rule trumps all and wraithguard must be troops no matter what detachment they come from.  The problem with this proposition is that the spirit seer rule also explicitly states that the wraithguard shift from elites to troops.  The ghost warrior detachment makes no mention of what FOC slot the wraithguard belong to.  The problem that arises is that while the first condition of the spirit seer rule is satisfied (all wraithguard in the army) the second condition of the rule (FOC slots) can not be addressed.  So I thought to myself rules as written, wraithguard in the ghost warrior detachment cannot become troops.

Not satisfied with this answer I dug a bit deeper.  Looking at the data slate rules for these special formations there was a clear link drawn between the data slate and the parent codex.  It is explicitly mentioned that individual rules for the units listed as part of the detachment can be found in the parent codex.  A number of examples are then listed including battlefield roles.  I was not really sure what exactly battlefield roles referred to so I cracked open my Eldar codex to take a look.  Under the 'using the army list' heading the rules state that unit entries are placed into FOC slots based on battlefield roles.  So there appears to be a direct connection between battlefield roles and FOC slots.

If this is the case then the wraithguard in the ghost warrior detachment now has a FOC slot assigned to it.  I believe this proposition is buttressed by the compulsion to look at the parent codex to determine the particular rules of a unit that make up part of the formation.  I suggest this means that the wraithguard selected as part of the special detachment has an FOC slot assigned to them.  This would then mean that the second component to the spirit seer special rule could be applied to these wraithguard.  As the spirit seer rule is army wide and not limited to detachments, the wraithguard from the ghost warrior detachment would move from the elite FOC slot to the Troop FOC slot as soon as a spirit seer was selected from the primary detachment.

I think it is important to note that while the wraithguard in the ghost warrior detachment become troops if a spirit seer is selected in the primary detachment, those same wraithguard do not satisfy the troop requirements of the primary detachment.  So 2-6 troop choices must be selected from the primary detachment.

Putting this all together I think the ghost warrior detachment provides a lot of options then when designing an Eldar list.  Without taking an allied detachment the Eldar player can (when a spirit seer is taken as an HQ) include up to 9 troop choices and 6 heavy slots (3 of which must be 2 wraithlords and a wraithknight).  In essence the Eldar book can now ally with itself to a limited extent without giving up the ability to take a secondary detachment.  I think this makes the ghost warrior detachment a very solid choice when building a list.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

1500 Point Iyanden Army Ready To Test

So I've had the opportunity to get a couple of games under my belt with a few different 1250 Iyanden lists.  Now its time to build up to 1500k.  The above army includes:

Spirit Seer

2 x 5 Wraith Guard
5 Wraith Guard with D-Scythes - Wave Serpent - Shuriken Cannons up and down
10 Avengers - Wave Serpent - Scatter Lasers

Swordlord - flamers
Wraithlord - flamers, 2 starcannons

Total Points: 1500

I've added the avengers to help deal with hordes and to add another quick element to the army.  Loving the swordlord, the wraithlord with 2 starcannons not so much.  Moving up to 1850 I'll reintroduce the 5 wraithblades and flesh out the army with some more pyschic support.  Its become a very fun army to play.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cypher home for the holidays?

Just took a look at the new GW teaser trailer.  I'm going out on a limb but I think the warrior returning from the shadows just might be Cypher...