Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Rules Breakdown - New Flyers Part 2

Ok, so quickly moving on to the second rules review for the new flyers. Next up, the Dakkajet.

First thing of note with this thing is that it is an armour value 10 model (with an Orky BS). Except it isn't. It comes with a rule called strafing run, which effectively gives it +1 BS against a lot of unit types.

It comes with the Supersonic rule again, increasing its maximum move distance, not bad for objective contesting, and it also comes with a pretty nice special rule called Waaagh! Plane, which makes it even shootier during a Waaagh!. Pretty nice.

Anyway, quickly moving through the upgrades, it can take an additional Twin-Linked Supa Shoota (which you are going to do because it increases the shooting capability of a shooty vehicle by 50% for about 9% extra cost), and it can take a red-paint job, which allows you to move an additional 1 inch without penalties, for 5pts. However, the Dakkajet itself costs just over one-hundred points. Now, if it wasn't for the context of the Ork army I'd probably be having a go at this this thing. But because I would argue that when used properly this thing can be more survivable than a Stormtalon as standard, I quite like it. Here's how I see it used.

You take a Big Mek with a Kustom-Force Field, jam him in a Battlewagon with a Deffrolla on the front and some boyz inside to go with him, taking the mandatory Nob with a Power Klaw, and then move the Dakkajet up next to it each turn, as it can go at cruising speed and fire all of its weapons. I may try this out with 2 Dakkajets actually to see how it works, as they are now both a lot more survivable and churning out a pretty good amount of firepower for what you're paying each turn.

This gives you some decent objective contesting ability, some reliable firepower (as much as I love Lootas they can be a little random), and something that is going to shift attention away from the Battlewagons from things like lascannnons, as there is such a small chance of killing a Battlewagon on the front armour anyway without any Melta or Lances. The points cost isn't too bad either. Lets put it this way. It's cheaper than a Stormtalon...

Sorry this one has been a bit brief, but I don't really have much more to say on this one. Next time, the Burna-Bommer.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Rules Breakdown - New Flyers Part 1

Since we have some new rules for 40k out, and I happen to have the latest issue of White Dwarf, I've decided to go ahead and review the shiny new rules for the shiny new flyers that are now out. Bear in mind that this doesn't include the Night/Doom scythe, as their rules have been out for 7 months now, I'm only going to be going over the newest ones.

So, I'm going to start off with Space Marines, and their Stormtalon. First of all, I'm going to say that I'm not a great fan of the model personally. Maybe it'll grow on me like the Necron second wave did, but at the minute I just think it looks a bit silly, can't really put my finger on a specific reason why though.

But anyway, onto the rules. This thing costs the same as a Valkyrie, and what it is really is a shooty vehicle. But it only comes with a Twin-Linked Assault Cannon and a Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter. It can take other upgrades as well though. The problem with the Stormtalon is that it is an armour 11 vehicle on a flyer base, so it isn't going to be getting a cover save from terrain and its armour isn't great. Granted, it has some protection against Melta, but I'm not going to be firing Melta at it, a Missile Launcher or Autocannon will do just fine. So you're going to shunt it forward at cruising speed (not in the scout phase, if it had scout I'd rate it a bit more) as it can go at cruising speed and still fire, shoot, and then die. It also has a weird little hover rule, gives it improved shooting capabilities but makes it forgoe its movement.

You can get it to live a little bit though. Remembering that it is a skimmer it can move flat out and get a cover save from that, making it mildly durable if you do so, and as your opponent looks at it and thinks, 'it's a Twin-Linked assault cannon with a cover save' they may not even bother shooting at it. The problem is that then you're not shooting with it either, which you may not think is too much of a loss as you didn't have much to shoot in the first place other than the assault cannon. So, what it effectively comes down to is that if you're going to want this thing to live you are going to end up having spent quite a few points on something that is going to spend most of the game not doing anything other than zooming around, otherwise, it's going to fly up, maybe kill something if it gets lucky, and then die. Great use of points.

So lets look at this in context of the current (5th edition) missions. First off, I'm going to finish off the majority of the hate by talking about kill points. This is really just an easy kill point here, unless you spend the entire time whizzing around with it in which case it may not lose a kill point, but its not going to gain any either, and what you're now doing is playing the game with a pretty large deficit because you've sunk those points into a model that is going to do nothing. Yes you can say that you can ram with it with the pretty nice movement that it comes with but there is a pretty good chance that the Stormtalon is going to die in the ram attempt. So, not great as far as kill points is concerned.

Seize ground is probably the mid point in the 3 missions. Yes it can fly out and contest an objective but there is a 67% chance that there are going to be 4+ objectives on the board. Great, I'm contesting one objective, but that still leaves 3 out of 4 objectives still to play for, and when you've sunk that many points into a unit that is redundant other than its ability to contest, your opponent should really be pushing for the win anyway due to the fact that they shouldn't have as much redundancy in their army. Plus, if the game goes on another turn, that Stormtalon is likely going to die anyway.

Finally, capture and control, and this is where I think that this thing works best. You go second if you can, and then spend your time defending your objective as though you're playing for the draw, before flying the Stormtalon straight onto your opponents objective turn 5 (little fact, in 9 years I have never had a game that has gone to turn 7), if the game ends, you win, if not, your opponent will have to kill it turn 6. You will probably have shut down some of their long range shooting over the course of the game and now your opponent will have to try and shift a vehicle with a good cover save which they need to roll well to hit in close combat. If they don't and the game ends at the end of the turn, you win, if the do, draw.

So, pretty good for capture and control and OK for seize ground but all in all I think that this unit is a little mission dependant. In higher points values, I might be able to see the point, but I wouldn't really use them. However, I am by no means an expert on the Marine codex and its units. I rarely see vanilla marines. So, if anyone has any other suggestions or disagrees with a point that I have made. Please feel free to let me know via the comments section at the bottom, or via private messaging on a forum (Dakka is probably the best bet at the minute). Thanks for reading, next up, the Dakkajet.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Avatar Vs Skarbrand: The Arena

I know that I said I'd have a post on Marneus Calgar up on Wednesday, but from now on I'm going to stop foolishly posting when new posts will be up because I'll just keep missing them. But anyway, that's not up yet as I do not currently have access to a Space Marine codex an I want to do this properly. But anyway, just to keep the blog ticking over here is the latest arena.

We've got some Daemon on Daemon action today as the Avatar of Khaine is drawn against Skarbrand. Despite the fact that Skarbrand has a much larger points cost I wouldn't rule the Avatar out. I personally think that the Avatar is a bargain for his points and that the only reason that he is not commonly seen in tournament level is because he does not fit in well with the Mechdar build, although he is a very important component of footdar. So, on with the fight.

The Avatar strikes first due to his superior initiative, rolling 1124 to hit, despite his weapon skill of 10 only hitting once, but he does get to re-roll the fails due to Skarbrand's special rule. He does better here getting 456, hitting 4 times overall. Rolling to wound, he scores 2455, Skarbrand takes his saves but only rolls 126, reducing him to 2 wounds.

Skarbrand's turn now, he rolls 122345 followed by 2356 on the re-roll in scoring 4 hits overall, he then wounds with all of the hits with a score of 3566 and the Avatar only manages to save one with his invulnerable save after a roll of 2334 reducing him to a single wound.

The Avatar strikes back, getting 2445 to hit and then a 3 on the re-roll resulting in 3 hits, he then gets 136 to wound and Skarbrand only saves 1 with a 2 and a 6. Reducing him to 1 wound also.

Skarbrand then closes in for the kill, but only scores 3 hits after 133556 and 122 on the re-roll. He wounds the Avatar thrice after 246, meaning that the Avatar will have to pass 3 4+ saves on the bounce to stay in the Arena. The first save is rolled......1. Oh. Well to finish it off he then proceeded to roll another 1 and a 2 for his remaining saves, meaning that Skarbrand took him down pretty hard in that last round of combat. In short, Skarbrand is through and the Avatar of Khaine is out, and Skarbrand joins the list of beings who have gone out to beat up an Avatar justto prove how hard they are.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Throne of Skulls preparation begins

Drop Pod rage is at an end. I have finally assembled the thing. I then decided to continue assembling stuff after treating myself to a Rhino on Friday and now I have 20 Grey Hunters, a Rhino, a Drop Pod, a Dreadnought and 10 Wolf Scouts assembled. However, 2 Grey Hunters are still missing heads, backpacks and Melta Guns while 2 scouts are still missing heads and Melta Guns. Although one of my mates says he has some Melta Guns and rocket launchers that I can have so I'll let him have a rummage through my bitz box on Monday.

Anyway, I have also managed to play a game with my Space Wolves (about time). I was playing against my usual opponent in ZachArPaladin, and as we are both attending Throne of Skulls we thought it was a good opportunity to get some practice in. ZachArPaladin is attending the Youngbloods event while I attend the standard Throne of Skulls one a week before, but despite his age my opponent plays to the same standard as many seasoned 40k veterans that I know. Never underestimate players just because they look younger. I know that for you tournament players I am probably making too big a deal out of this but this is my first national tournament and I am really looking forward to it, hopefully moving on to other tournaments when I have a bit more experience of competitive play under my belt

Anyway, we were playing 1,500pts. We rolled up for the mission getting Capture and Control, Spearhead. I was bringing:


Rune Priest: Chooser of the Slain, Wolf Tail Talisman, Living Lightning and Murderous Hurricane

Rune Priest: Wolf Tail Talisman, Murderous Hurricane and Jaws of the World Wolf


Dreadnought: Multi-Melta, Wolf Tail Talisman and Drop Pod

5 Wolf Scouts: Melta Bombs and Melta Gun

5 Wolf Scouts: Melta Bombs and Melta Gun


10 Grey Hunters: 2 Melta Guns and Rhino

7 Grey Hunters: Melta Gun and Rhino

7 Grey Hunters: Melta Gun and Rhino

Heavy Support:

5 Long Fangs: 2 Missile Launchers and 2 Lascannons

5 Long Fangs: 2 Missile Launchers and 2 Lascannons

5 Long Fangs: 2 Missile Launchers and 2 Lascannons

And the Tyranids:


The Swarmlord: Tyrant Guard with Lash Whip


3 Hive Guard


3 Zoanthropes


Tervigon: Scything Talons, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs and Catalyst

Tervigon: Scything Talons, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs and Catalyst

30 Termagants

22 Termagants: Devourers

The Tyranids won the roll off and chose to go first, deploying in a corner behind the Sanctum Imperialis, leaving me with a rather bare quarter with some bits of ruin in it, they were sufficient to provide some cover but it was not ideal, also it forced me to split my Rhinos up a bit.

The Tyranids deployed in essentially 2 different teams, an attack team and a defence team. The attackers deployed to go for my objective, this included the 22 Devourer Termagants, the Swarmlord and his Tyrant Guard, a Tervigon, the Zoanthropes, the Hive Guard and the Venomthrope. Staying back was the 30 critter squad of Termagants and a Tervigon.

I deployed everything bar the Scouts and Drop Pod, the Rune Priests went in the smaller Grey Hunter squads. My plan being to hopefully play quite defensively, drawing most of the Tyranid threat towards the bulk of my army while the scouts and Dread would hopefully survive long enough to contest the opposing objective. I neglected to try and seize.

The Tyranid turn started with a huge splat, as I imagine the sound would be like of 24 Termagants disgorging from 2 different Tervigons, unfortunately, no doubles were rolled on either, so they could both keep producing, and suddenly the board was alive with creatures. The attack force stomped forwards, coming quite close to my 2 lead Rhinos, 2 of my Long Fangs squads and a Rune Priest.

Due to the sparce nature of the terrain on my side of the board (preparing for a large Warhammer World event properly) the Hive Guard squad was able to pick out the lead Rhino carrying the Rune Priest and his squad, and exploded it, the explosion and some more resultant fire from the Tyranids was enough to kill the entire squad except for the Melta Gun wielder and the Rune Priest, who was left unscathed. The squad leader and a Lascannon from the furthest up Long Fang pack were also obliterated in a shower of gribblies.

The Space Wolves hit back hard. The Dreadnought landed but unfortunately scattered a little too close to the Tervigon, the plan was to use it to tie up the big squad of gants away from the objective, but this did not discourage him from wounding the beast with his Multi-Melta. The Swarmlord was also felled in a shower of Melta, Missile and Las fire. But perhaps the most spectacular event happened before this. The Rune Priest called upon the Jaws of the World Wolf, laying them down upon the Swarmlord and his Tyrant Guard, 4 Termagants and the attacking Tervigon. Although the Swarmlord passed his Initiative test, all of the other critters fell into the deep chasm that was opened up beneath them.

Both squads of scouts had come on turn 2, and with the majority of the Tyranid attack blunted it was just a case of the Long Fangs and the Rune Priests mopping up the remainder, as the defence force was out of Line of Sight behind the Sanctum Imperialis, while the large squad of Grey Hunters pushed forward, in their Rhino, but only 5 remained when they came close to the enemy lines. What the game came down to, on whether it would be a draw or victory to the Space Wolves, was whether or not my forces near the Tyranid objective could survive until the end of the game. It came right down to the wire, but when the dust settled at the end of turn 5 (a 1 one rolled to end the game) 1 lone Grey Hunter with his Meltagun stood tall, in combat with a Tervigon and 13 Termagants, but alive to contest the objective, resulting in a 1-0 victory to the Space Wolves. The scouts had died at the end of turn 4 so the 5 Grey Hunters had to survive 2 assault phases in order to claim victory but they succeeded, just.

I thoroughly enjoyed playing the Space Wolves and am glad that I have not spent £100+ on an army that I hated playing. I've learnt quite a few things with them regarding what certain units can deal with and I'm just hoping now that I'll be able to get my hands on the 2 Rhinos, 3 Devastator squad boxes and 2 Rune Priests that I need for my army now.

I have my next post already lined up, just need to finish reading up on the subject and then I'll be ready to write the next post, it should be up on Wednesday, and is on the subject of, 'Why Marneus Calgar is dreadful'. See you in a few days.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Drop Pod Rage and the Arena

Well I haven't hit my target but at least I'm back to doing some posting. I'm trying to make a real push now to get my Space Wolves ready for Throne of Skulls. So far I have 2 squads of Grey Hunters (1 half painted 1 half assembled), 2 squads of wolf scouts (1 assembled but for the Melta Gunner and 1 still in the box) and a Dreadnought (half painted) with a Drop Pod (half assembled).

If anyone has ever glued something on to a model wrong you'll know part of the frustration that I'm having with this. The main problem was the section where the marines would be strapped in as they fall to the planet. I feel that the instructions weren't exactly clear on this but common sense should have told me that I'd glued these on the wrong way around, as I discovered when I tried to insert the frames of the pod. What's more, I only discovered this the morning after I had glued them. Therefore, I had to pull them off, and try to swap the cables going into the central panel around. I did this by cutting them off where they met the 'chair', and gluing them onto the other side, using Green Stuff to fill in the gaps due to the cutting technique of my rather crappy hardware store pliers.

I then had to clip off the bottoms of the 'chairs', and glue them down without them, as there was now all sorts of gunk in the slots. I'm now trying to put the framework on and insert the little turnbine / storm bolter thing in the middle. Such a task has thus far brought me very close to chucking the drop pod out of the window.

Anyway, I would love to spend all day talking about myself but unfortunately I've got to get down to doing other things, so here's another Arena for you.

Some of you may be familiar with a piece of background in the Space Wolves Codex which involves the ecclesiarchy going off to inspect the Space Wolves on Fenris, so the Space Wolves shoot their ships out of the sky. Today's arena is a similar encounter, with Uriah Jacobus taking on Ragnar Blackmane. Ragnar costs a lot more points than Uriah for a reason, but hey, at the end of the day anything could happen...

Ragnar rolls to hit Jacobus, scoring a 2, a pair of 4s and a pair of 5s, followed up by rolling 1356 to wound, Jacobus takes 345 for his saves and is reduced to 2 wounds. Jacobus' turn now, rolling 14556 to hit and 1236 to wound, Ragnar rolls a 3 for his save nullifying the hit.

Ragnar's turn again, 13455 to hit, 3356 to wound. Jacobus needs to make 3 saves to stay in the game, but only manages to make 2, with 1, 3, 4 and 5. Meaning that Ragnar is promptly through to the next round.

...or not, so Ragnar is through, leaving the field so far as Ragnar, the Swarmlord and Ghazghkull.

So, who do you predict to win?