Necron Wall Tactics

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Here is a pic from the recent Battle For Salvation tourney where I went 3 for 3 with my Necron list showing the idea of wall tactics flawlessly. The idea is to use the monolith as a “capstone” in the center of the table and to then use your opponent’s vehicles or drop pods, in this case pods, to build a wall in front of your Necron core. I’m also using terrain, in the case of the pic the tower to the left, to further extend the wall. By NOT destroying the drop pods my opponent can’t roll vehicles up through them and I’m getting cover saves from his incoming shots. Not having any AP1/2/3 shots of my own I don’t have to worry about cover saves on the marines. It also allows for a nice funnel for my lord and C’Tan to assault. Think hot gates in action, where in the case of this pic forty nine Necrons held off eighty marines- almost a battle company! THAT is the power of the Star Gods!

Battle Report: Prepare For Glory!

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++Vox Transmission++
Referum Restricted: M410078652
From: Legatus Legionis Magnvs –Force Commander Red Templar Space Marines-

To: Battle For Salvation Sector Imperial Command

Sector Command, we have landed with 300 legionaries and taken up position with the Imperial Guard Planetary Defense Force to begin the counter attack to retake the city. Leading the spearhead our legion will push forward with armored support against the traitors. We look to the Emperor.

-L.L.M

Signing off from his Vox report Magnvs swung out from behind his comm-console exiting outside to the assembly area. About a mile south of the city the encampment was busy with Red Templar Thunderhawks disembarking supplies, tanks, and legionaries marines.

Looking to his Praetorian Guard terminators to fall in behind him Magnvs made his way to the Imperial Guard Commander's tent where they were to review the incoming recon reports of the traitors they faced.

"Commander Magnvs…" greeted the Imperial Guard Commander as his staff and a grim faced Commissar saluted to the Emperor. Snapping back a similar salute Magnvs nodded as the senior staff began their presentation.

"In preparing for our counter attack the traitors will be positioning their best armor and troops at these breech points here and here…" Highlighted the staff officer on the vox-screen.

"The main traitor force is made up of heavy armor and Imperial Guard from the 112 company, supported by mutants culled from the chem-pits of the hive city."

"What of Chaos?" asked Magnvs his eyes remaining locked to the vox- screen.

"There have been no direct sighting of Chaos Commander Magnvs but we should be prepared for their presence given the corruption still rampant from the rebellion." Replied the senior staff officer.

"We must smash this rebellion and purge these traitors and their Chaos masters in one swift blow!" Began Magnvs as he finished taking in the information from the vox report.

"I will lead the main assault at first light-we will smash through their armored company! Commander, follow with your storm troopers to secure our flanks and deploy your armor in support. Once we have driven the wedge here we will push forward dividing the city half."

"Agreed." Replied the Guard Commander as Magnvs began to lay out the exact details of the coming assault.

+++

Looking over the assembled legionaries Magnvs called up the force roster for the assault displaying it in his opto-monocular.

Operations M4812 Assault Force

+ (1) Praetorian Guard Terminators (5) With Land Raider Support
+ (1) Praetorian Guard Terminators (5) Teleportation Deployment
+ (2) Legionaries Tactical Squads (6) With Razorback Support
+ (1) Legionaries Assault Squad (10)
+ (1) Dreadnought (1)
+ (1) Command Squad (6) With Razorback Support

Now assembled in front of their tanks the company bearer unfurled the battle worn standard and called out.

"Look the Immortal Emperor this day and honor the Legion!"

"We bring death!" was the reply of the marines in unison as they saluted the banner.

"Commander, we are departing now, begin your bombardment!" voxed Magnvs as he piled into his command Razorback followed by the resonating sound of basilisk fire raining down on the city.

+++

Rolling forward over the last remaining bridge the Red Templar assault force crossed into the outskirts of the city pausing for a moment to take a sensor scan.

"Contact! Armor movement and heavy support platforms!" quickly replied the Centurion next to Magnvs as the data feed updated the vox-panel.

Pouring out of the ruined buildings and make shift trenches traitor guard took up positions assembling las-cannons as a battered and scarred Leman Russ burst out from a hidden position behind some rubble.



Blasting las and plasma fire into the Legion's tanks it was clear that the bombardment to soften them up has not been as effective as planned.

Issuing commands without hesitation Magnvs ordered his armored colum to split up and restrict the traitors heavy weapon's fire.

Rumbling forward the Legion's land raider "Victus" accelerated to its top speed belching out black machine smoke as the Praetorian Guard terminators inside prepared to disembark when the order was given. Watching the internal vox screens inside the tank their enemy quickly came into view.

From the ruins of a block of buildings sprung forth a horde of mutant humans and mutie altered space marines- some still wearing their remains of their armor while others were little more then twisted humanoid abominations.

"We are outnumbered four to one! Prepare to disembark! Prepare for glory!" ordered the terminator Centurion as the squad switched on their lightning claw and storm hammer generators.

Crashing right into the heart of the mutant traitors the land raider ground to a halt as the assault ramp dropped and the terminators inside poured out. Slashing with lighting claws and crushing with thunder hammers the Praetorians downed dozen of the mutant marines as the traitors ranks broke and they began to fall back.

"Where is your commander?" asked the terminator Centurion as a plasma gun wielding mutant marine responded with a gurgled scream. Casting his defiled body down with a stroke of a thunder hammer the mutant marine's body began to enlarge before bursting open in a shower of puss and gore.

Emerging from the warp through the mutant demon vessel a terrifying female like demon with rending claws and slashing tentacles suddenly appeared in the ranks of the Praetorian Guard terminators.

With only a moment to react the terminators braced themselves with their storm shields and closed ranks as the demon charged.


+++

Advancing his Razorbacks forward Magnvs ordered them to lay down suppressive fire with their heavy bolters as they strafed the traitors heavy weapon positions as the dreadnought's assault cannon whirled to life rending apart an advancing hell hound.

"Forward!" commanded the Centurions as they lead their squads from the Razorbacks delivering the traitors with their blot pistols.

"Close ranks!" ordered the Centurion as his squad shouldered their chain swords to the ready and he extended his lightning claws.

"Charge!" he followed as diminishing traitor guard began to turn and run from the advancing marines.


Rounding the bend just in time to meet the advance was a group of chaos abomination spawns who lashed into the squad with their mutations followed by the squad counter assaulting.

+++

"Traitor armor is taking up position…" relayed the Centurion next to Magnvs as the low drone of basilisk ordinance grew louder and louder before impacting directly on top of Magnvs' command razorback.

Exiting from the destroyed vehicle Magnvs rallied his command staff as he transferred the battle feed to his opti-sensor.

Linking to the view of the Praetorian Guard terminators he watched with steel resolve as the terminators grievously wounded the foul demon with their blessed weapons but were in turn killed by the monstrosity.

Shrieking in triumph the demon gated in more warp spawned flamers and daemonetts which then moved on the land raider which held its ground decimating the flamer demons with las-cannon and heavy bolter fire before being destroyed.

Sensing victory backed by packs of demonites and mutant hordes the demon whipped her charges into a blood frenzy as they surged forward towards Magnvs' position.

"Commander Magnvs, we are teleporting now as ordered!" cracked the vox-comm as the remaining Praetorian Guard terminators suddenly materialized on the battlefield behind the demon.

"Assault squad forward, engage the mutants!" replied Magnvs as jump pack marines screeched into the air from behind their hidden positions crashing into the middle of the mutants putting them to the chain sword before sweeping into the daemonetts cutting them down to the last.

+++

Glancing around in sudden fury the demon watched as one of the traitor Leman Russ tanks obliterated a squad of marines with its battle cannon only to be rendered and destroyed by an advancing dreadnought.

Looking to the pack of chaos spawn that was quickly loosing ground to the marines it engaged along with the terminators and assault marines quickly closing in the demon gated back to the warp leaving the weaklings to their fate…

+++

With the initial assault area now secure dozens of loyal Imperial Guard tanks and ranks of troopers poured into the city sweeping aside the traitor and mutant scum that suddenly seemed powerless to resist. With the living source of their demonic power gone they were in complete disarray and were now powerless to resist the might of the Emperor. Such is the fate of fools who place their faith in the dark powers...

Putting the wounded mutant and captured traitor guardsmen to the chain sword Magnvs ordered the company banner to stand high where the Praetorian Guard fell against the demon as the Legion shouted in victory.

"Vicuts Imperialus!"

Best VOD Necron Lord

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For those of you running a VOD lord here are a few ideas to pass along…

Yes, you can and should be using it to contest objectives at the last moment and pull ‘crons out of the assault, but its primary use is to harass and annoy your opponent. Despite the risks and scatter, you should be veiling each turn, popping here and there where your opponent is weakest. You are paying the 60 points- the most expensive piece of wargear so it needs to be used. Here is my “idea” VOD lord

Necron Lord W/ Veil Of Darkness, Solar Pulse, Gaze Of Flame.

Before we get into the wargear and the why, who is the lord taking with him? Immortals of course! Warriors just fail on so many reasons so don’t even try. Deepstriking is bound to scatter and counts as moving, so if you veil with a group of warriors you have to be within 12” or less so you can rapid fire, any slight scatter could get you misshaped or out of range. IF you do mange to land dead on, you are now close enough to be assaulted, and this is bad.

Immortals give you the same number of shots only at a longer range 24” plus they are T5/S5 which means scatter is less an issue, you can land farther way and hit your opponent with shots that are stronger, and you can better handle the return fire next turn being T5 on the immortals.

So, back to the lord…

Solar pulse is there so when you have veil at lest it will be harder for your opponent to hit you next turn with his units half out or more. Denying a round of shooting will go a long way to keeping your numbers up. Don’t hesitate to pulse. Gaze of flame is there incase things go wrong with the DS- and they will at some point, so if you scatter close enough to be assaulted, and are assaulted at least it will cut down on the attacks and give you a free -1 to your opponent’s LD. This combined with T5 means you might last at least a round to then VOD away…

Take The Fritz 40K Poll!

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By order of the immortal god emperor of mankind, Fritz commands you to scroll down to the bottom left of his blog and take the polls to help improve the posts on his blog. I’m trying to get a better idea of what you guys want to see, hear, and read about- how to improve your game so it improves mine.

The Next Evolution Of Blood Angels?

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So I just got off the phone with Jawaballs and we were kicking around some BA stuff for ‘ard boyz and what JB is planning to run and glimpses of his list got me to thinking what is the next step for Blood Angels?

Here is what I mean by that…

The 40K community is still kind of shaking things out with regards to the “top” BA lists and right now it looks to be somewhat similar to Space Wolves lots of hard hitting assault power either delivered by jump packs, land raiders, and/or stormravens. All viable, deadly, and how GW envisioned BA’s to play. Once the community as a whole works out the kinks and spam the netlists, things will kind of settle down with regards to Blood Angels and that is the time to strike!

What if the strength of the Blood Angels has nothing to do with their assault power? Yes they do it wall, but why play an army the way GW intends it to play? I’m always looking for those hidden Easter eggs or whatever the 40K equivalent is called.
Personally I keep on coming back to fast vehicles, almost Saim-Hann like in their mobility, but certainly not as sexy as jetbikes and vypers. All kidding aide, think about a razorback that can move 12” and still fire off the assault cannon. Combine that with terrain, chaining tanks that pop smoke, etc. and you have a vehicle that has as 12” + 24” threat range against infantry, monsterous creatures, and armor, along with possible cover saves, AND needing sixes to hit in the assault. My Tyranids are already getting pissed at that! What if developing a fast moving armored list that borrows the best ideas of mech-Eldar and Ravenwing in play for 1/3rd the points?

When the community opinion dictates how to “play” Blood Angels, that is the time you want to go counter to it. In the old codex it was venerable furioso dreads in pods, just have to find the same archetype in the new codex.

BA players want to show up at the tournaments with everybody expecting the army to play one way, since that is what all the gods on the ‘net say, and then you drop a whole different bomb on them…

Necron Null Deployment Model

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So I’ve been talking about the concept of a Null Deployment model recently- how the newest 5th ed. codexes seem to be heading in this direction if you know where to look and how to taken them- Tyranids and Blood Angels being able to replicate the idea perfectly. But what about older codexes, what about Necrons? Can it be an option for Necrons also? Something to use in addition to traditional lists & deployment models?

Perhaps. Depends. Maybe.

In a nutshell the Null Deployment model has all of your units arriving via outflank and deepstrike to crush face. More than a simple outflank army it also seeks to create pressure in the center of the table so there is nowhere for your opponent to pull back against. The time tested defense against outflanking armies is to castle up and blast away. BUT, when you are getting hit on all sides where are you going to castle up against? The model also has as much as possible 6+ units outflanking so it is like a wave washing over your opponent. What it also has going for it is surprise- your “deployment zone” is all the table edges plus infiltrating and deepstriking. Most 40K players (like 90%) are stuck in the your side/my side model so using the Null Deployment model takes the game to unfamiliar territory for them. Check out my Tyranid blog for more info on the concept and how to adapt it to your army…


So, is this something Necrons can use as another option in the playbook? You can give it a try, and it does have some bite, but is a bit harder to pull off then the new codexes basically because of the point cost of the Necrons themselves- modern codex armies just have so much more so they can flood the table with multiple entry points. Anyway, here is the idea, and I’ve been playtesting it out with mixed results. I won’t say it should replace normal deployment methods (unlike Tyranids & Blood Angels which should always do this every time!), but it does give you another direction to go in as needed, depending on the army you are facing. Vs. something like IG, this is the way to go, lining up will just get you blasted being outnumbered and outgunned.

Fritz’s 1750 Necron Null Deployment Army

Lord W/ warscythe + solar pulse
10 immortals
10 Flayed Ones
10 Flayed Ones
10 Warriors
10 Warriors
Monolith
Monolith
3 Destroyers

You want to take first turn with this army and put your lord and immortals as far forward as you can towards the center of the table. Destroyers hang back as far as they can, while the monoliths deepstrike, flayed ones outflank, and warriors either get reserved to walk in on the table and hide, or have one walk in and one pop out of the monolith depending on the army you are facing.

Turn one immortals advance and you pop off solar pulse to protect them from a round of shooting. Destroyers either target light mech or go to stun heavy template mech so they can’t shoot. Turn two when stuff starts arriving you want to drop your monoliths one on the right and one on the left to cover the entire board with 18” for the teleport. Flayed ones come in off the edges and assault (put objectives within 12”), and basically be ready to use the portals to zip around as needed- even sucking the immortals and lord through. Don’t forget tank shocking with the monoliths!

Based on what Necrons are right now, and what they can do, the only real problem in the list is the three destroyers- four are a minimum and I’d like to get two sets in, but there just isn’t the points to get everything else the lists needs to try and work…

For All My Chaos Peeps Out There…

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…get in the back of the line- I’m still waiting for my Necron codex! Ok, all kidding aside, look at the current state of the Chaos codex and ask yourself- how is your army stacking up against those razorwolf lists and IG chimera spam armies? Not a problem if you are just playing in your mom’s basement, but what if you aspire for Chaos glory on the tournament scene?

Well, first off I feel your pain playing a Death Guard / Nurgle themed army myself. At this point we basically have two options- adapt the current ‘dex or toss it in the trash. Warptimed winged princes are out with nowhere to hid, and even the old lash oblit combo has lost its teeth. Psychic defense is standard, and with so many more units on the table vs. your Chaos warband, who cares if you lash and oblit plasma bomb my squad, I’ve got three times more coming right at you. Lords with daemon weapons are in, and backed by terminators they will wipe out what they hit- Slannesh being the safe mark, Khrone for the daring.

Terminators are still the shining unit in the codex- combi weapons, I5 power weapons, lightning claws all around for bargain basement prices. Wish they were fearless, but that isn’t so much a problem. Heavy support? Vindies with possession look good, but oblits and defilers still are at the top of the list. Defilers also need the las cannon- yes you can’t fire both it and the cannon, but when the cannon gets weapon destroyed you can still pop tanks and hunt MC’s before fleeting and assaulting.

What about just throwing the codex in the trash? Building a chaos army (chaos models) but using the Blood Angels or Space Wolf codex for your points? Why not? It will be years before we get a new Chaos codex. I’m working on some Blood Angels and Space Wolf “chaos lists” and will be posting them up in a bit to give you guys something to think about.

Eldar Codex Review: Dark Reapers

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Dark Reapers suffer the most in the Eldar codex lineup when looking to apply them to a 5th ed. game. They take a heavy slot that is perhaps best used by fire prisms and wraithlords, and the worst of it is that you are limited to five models which means any shots coming at the unit could wipe them out.

So why take Reapers? If you play in a Space Marine heavy environment two squads of them could have a place- two squads because one is an annoyance that can be avoided, and two is at least a threat. Put each squad on opposite sides of the board per deployment so no matter where your opponent approaches you will have range. Next, as your opponent approaches keep a unit that can pump out a lot of shots, like war walkers infront of their incoming units. Pop the rhinos and when your opponent gets out, where are they going to place the marines? Clustered behind the rhino to hide from the shots- perfect for the reapers to now hit with their AP 3 shots. Exarch in a must for crack shot to reroll wounds and ignore cover saves. Clustered up like that the reapers can drop half the squad plus each turn with their fire. Setting up lanes of fire like this is the key to using reapers.

Fritz’s Tyranid Annihilation Thoughts

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Fritz here with a half battle report, half annihilation plan post to give you some ideas of how I’m playing annihilation with my bugs these days…

Annihilation for me is all about siphoning off lone units so my horde of buggies can pounce on them and gobble them up. As always I want to leverage the bulk of my army against half or a quarter of my opponent’s army.

Fritz’s 1750 Tyranid Army
1 Hive Tyrant
1 Deathleaper
3 Zoranthropes
3 X 10 Genestealers
2 X 20 Hormagaunts
9 Rippers
3 Raveners
2 X 3 Spore Mines
1 Old One Eye

My opponent for this game was playing Space Wolves made up of a land raider packed with blood claws, razorbacks with blood claws, lots of bikes, long fangs, wolf psykers, and a giant guy with a power fist and storm shield riding a wolf as tall as my hive tyrant.

Deployment was spearhead which helps me out tremendously and my opponent took first turn to choose the better side of the table. Since I was playing spore mines I got to drop them before the game started, and they go deepstruck a little ahead of my deployment zone to hopefully act a speed bump and suck of a few shots as my brood came in- more on that line of thinking in a bit.

With my deployment my hive tyrant went down on the table all the way back in my deployment zone, and then everything else went into reserve, and outflank with the genestealers.

The tyrant goes out for two reasons- the first is to have synape and old adversary up when my little buggies come in, and the second is to give my opponent a unit to charge ahead and close with. Putting the tyrant out is also bait. He looks all alone and unsupported, but remember I’ve got 70+ bugs potentially coming in next to him over the next few turns so anything that enters that zone is going to be assaulted at full force. That is one of the ways I nullify my opponents shooting so they can’t whittle down my buggies.

First turn has my opponent moving out towards the tyrant as the long fangs sitting on the back are just out of range to krak missile my tyrant to death. My first turn has the spore mines floating around, and on turn two they take a few shots and of course explode. Normally, if the army I was facing wasn’t so fast with the bikes they would be arriving into the spores on turn two/three hopefully as my units are coming in off the edge with reserves. The mines are there to distract and soak up some shots- you would be surprised at how many players just shoot at what is closest to them, and that is what the mines are there to do, and affect deployment in objective missions to help exploit my null deployment model a bit better, but that is a post for another time.

On my turn a spore mines floats into one of the bikes exploding and doing nothing as only deathleaper and the raveners come in. I would have liked to get some stealers shocking, but DL and the R’s will work fine.

So now with the entire wave of my opponent’s mech force coming at me, I need to start siphoning off lone units so when my big wave of bugs hit I can overwhelm. Deathleaper gets dropped into cover all the way in the far left of the table, and the raveners run on from the center, and being beasts they assault the wolf psyker and wolf guard dude. They kill the wolf guard earning a kill point- which is fantastic since I know they are going to die next turn, and at least be a wash in kill points.

Now we are on turn three of the game with my hive tyrant on the far right, DL on the far left, and R’s in the center. Now my opponent has some choices for easy kill points. The bikes, land raider, and a razorback continue on heading towards my hive tyrant, as a razorback of guys gets out to rapid fire and assault the raveners, while the big wolf dude heads off towards deathleaper backed by a razorback. Thankfully DL is protected from the ‘fang missile fire from his night fight, even with the ‘wolves acute senses. I’ve now started to siphon off units with the allure of easy kill points, while my hive tyrant is poised to strike next turn. Of course the raveners go down but then my gaunts and a group of stealers come on. Gaunts run behind the hive tyrant, and the stealers enter on the side next to the long fangs- an easy kill point that I planned to wipe out and then just sit in terrain to siphon off more of my opponent’s units- quick send out some support, there are stealers behind us. Unfortunately, inspired by heroic deeds the fangs beat off my stealers over the next few turns actually killing them! Stealers suck when they don’t rend, and a 5+ save makes me feel like I’m playing harlequins.

Next turn my genestealers finally come on along with the second gaunt unit, zopes, old one eye, and rippers. Deathleaper pops back into reserves just before the wolf lord and razorback can strike, not effectively taking them out of the game. Stealers and guants take out the bikes, zopes pop a razorback. Land raider dives right in and release the blood claws which kill a genestealer unit- I spread my units out just enough so there won’t be a multi-charge. Stealers and gaunts then attack and wipe out the claws as old one eye punches and destroys a land raider, and this effectively ends the game since I’m up in kill points even as we play it out for fun.

With deathleaper and the raveners I siphoned off the wolf lord, and two razorbacks with guys inside- this is what made the difference in the game, if they had stuck together with the main wolf pack and didn’t go after the “easy” kill points then I would have been eaten alive in that final push, especially if the bikes and land raider went in on the first wave, and then the razorbacks moved in as a second wave.

Sound Off! Best Hive Tyrant?

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Fellow readers, sound off on what kind of hive tyrant you are running and what combinations have the best point value for what they buy. I’ve played an equal amount of games with a stripped down tyrant, a mid range tyrant with old adversary/hive commander, shell, wings, etc, and Swarmlord.

Experience seems to show that the only tyrant worth running is Swarmlord, especially if you are running a null deployment army. A stripped down tyrant with no upgrades is little more than a carnifex with synapse, and what is the point of taking him as an HQ without the upgrades- might as well go with an alpha warrior.

Once you start adding on the upgrades on the Tyrant, for any of the decent combos you are already twenty or so points away from just taking Swarmlord, who does everything better- re-roll sides for reserves, all psychic powers, extended synapse, more wounds, better attacks, preferred enemy/furious charge.

I’m not counting hive guard of course since they seem to be mandatory with a Tyrant, maybe not on a stripped down one, but as soon as you start adding the upgrades or Swarmy you want to have something to protect those points.

Am I right or wrong? Your experience?

Fritz The Fantasy N00b!

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Don't worry I'm not giving up my 40K day job any time soon...

Good news, I've now got some giants into my list, bad news, I'm still playing goblins. Magic sucks when your shaman blows his own head and the guys around him panic and run off. Of course I could pull off the gobbo riders from the wolves and run a Ferensian wolf spam army for kicks!

Eldar Codex Review: Dire Avengers

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Dire Avengers have become the de facto mech Eldar troop choice, but with how they are currently being played I feel that that said player lack “vision” of what they could be. Here is what I mean by that- what is the standard DA loadout these days? Five of them stripped down to turn a wave serpent into a scoring tank. The only time you see them actually on the table is when the tank gets destroyed and then they go to ground in the wreckage and pray. Ok…

Turning a vehicle into scoring is nice, especially with mech Eldar being the strongest way to play (notice not the only way to play), and for a troop/unit choice they are fairly cheap in terms of the values set in the Eldar codex, but why not take more and turn them into something nasty that can actually do something. Here is how I roll with them:

Ten strong in a wave serpent, exarch, defend, dire sword, shimmer shield, bladestrom if you have the points, if you need to economize then no ‘storm. Now we are talking. I’ve talked about using Howling Banshees as a bomb to drop on your opponent’s assault units, and how a seer council can be used to throw up against those heavy hitting assault terminators, etc, but what about wiping out lowly troops like tactical marines. You can’t be sending out your pipe hitters to take them out, they have bigger targets, so use the Dire Avengers for that- the DA drive by.
Wave Serpent rolls up using speed and correct pre-game objective placement to isolate a tactical squad (since we are talking about marines here as an example). If needed you de-mech and then next turn the Dire Avengers get out and shoot/bladestorm.

In the assault phase they then charge in? What Fritz? Are you nuts? No! Avengers hit at I5/6 with two attacks plus the dire sword. Yes, you are only S3, wounding on a 5+ but you have the shots first to soften things up (and the wave serpent nearby), followed by going first in the assault with a power weapon. The shimmer shield is there to give you a chance agasint power weapons and fists, and defend cuts down on the attacks, especially hidden power fists that have two attacks being a sarge, terminator honors, etc. The bonus to this is that nobody expect DA’s to assault since everybody knows you only buy five to go in a wave serpent right? Is taking 10 DA’s in your slots worth losing one wave serpent in your list? Of course, depending on what you are facing you may have to soften the unit your attacking/assaulting a bit more with some other units before the DA’s move in.

BUT, here is another hidden gem of the DA’s. Not something to rely upon, but a nice little trick to pull off when least expected, or the opportunity presents itself to gain by taking a gamble. Read the entry on the dire sword- “if any of these tests are failed the victim dies automatically and is removed regardless of remaining wounds.” The dire sword is a way to punk IC’s, and army supporting characters, bypassing eternal warrior and the like. For once GW’s outdated codex helps us in the face of the new 5th ed. ‘dexes. Sure it is a long shot since you are S3, and your opponent needs to take a wound and fail a LD test, but in 40K anytime you roll dice, bad things can happen! And since the exarch is not an IC he his hidden in the squad.

Doom of Malan'Tai FTW?

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Guys, help Fritz out here with DoM? I’ve passed the second run through the Tyranid codex and I’m now looking to tweak my list a bit with some annoying units or hidden gems that I can use to keep my opponent busy while the rest of my brood wrecks face. When I’m starting a new army/developing a list here is the process that I use at 1750 points, but it can really be any point level…

First I take all the units that I want to take, what I like and what I think will work, upgrades included. I allow myself to go to 1850 points and then I sit back and whittle things down taking away the “cool” upgrades that might not be needed, or are better found elsewhere. When I’m down to 1750 points I start getting it on the table. This is the first pass.

The second pass comes after a few dozen games where I refine my list as a whole and figure out how to use it. I keep track of what units get wasted and what units my opponent shoots at, etc. I look at the worst two units in my list and ask myself if I am just not playing them right, or if they are lacking synergy with the rest of my list, etc. They then get dropped or changed, till my list is set.

The third pass though my list is at the point where it is set regardless of what army I’m facing against and I know how to use it with a plan on how to play it. I then want to look and see if I can add in any units to put an interesting twist on it, or to draw my opponent’s attention elsewhere.

I’ve been looking at the Doom of Malan'Tai to maybe fill that role, similar to the art and science of using deathleaper, which on a side not is the MVP in my army along with the raveners. I like the idea of DoM, but what worries me the most is that he is a single unit and one las cannon, krak missile, or melta shot vapes him. How are you guys using him? Ideally I’d like to keep him next to my hive tyrants and gaunt swarms so as they move up to make contact with my opponent DoM can start sucking up wounds, but how would he ever survive first contact? Am I missing something with him, he just seems like an autofail unit?

Eldar Codex Review: The Avatar

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So what place does the Avatar have on the table these days? I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen him make an appearance. Shame as the GW model is quite nice, and the forgeworld one epic. So what is the problem with the Avatar? The Avatar is either hot or cold, and by that I mean, he only works in one type of list- foot Eldar. Put him in your mech list, like my Saim-Hann warhost, and he will quickly get left behind, isolated, and destroyed. He needs to protection of multiple units around him, and his abilities support multiple units.

So what happens when we throw him in a foot ‘dar list? Are you thinking about running one? How to use him in such a list?

Despite his stats on paper, he won’t last long running across the table. With the reduced point costs of the 5th edition codexes there is just going to be too much fire coming down the table at him. Even with the 4+ invul. save it isn’t enough. His inspiring special rule is where it is at.

Eldar are notorious for running like space elf sissies when they lose the assault, but with the avatar around they become gods of war! This is what I would base my foot list around, and the good news is that everybody else has dismissed the Avatar so if he hangs out in the back nobody will be shooting at him anyway.

I would build up a horde/firebase army of storm guardians with enhance warlocks so they are going first for the most part as my first wave, defender guardians as my second wave (hey you we are talking foot Eldar), and then wraithlords and/or reapers (in a marine heavy club) as my third ring.

In objective missions bunch up as many objective as you can, castle up, and fire away de-meching your opponent. When they get close enough your first ring of guardians moves out and the Avatar moves up as needed to inspire. Charge and assault your opponent in a mass and tarpit your opponent with them. I5 storm guardians with three attacks on the charge + two flamers washing things are actually pretty good for non-dedicated assault units. Being fearless they will hold, and then next turn assault with your second ring piling on more bodies- your opponent can’t assault the new ring that turn so it is a ton more of free attacks.

That is how I would start thinking about how to use the Avatar. On a side note, that is why he isn’t in my Harlequin army even though they are a fully foot based Eldar army using much of the same ideas. The Halrequin army is an ‘elite” army with not enough bodies to blob and tarpit like the guardians would be.

Space Wolf Madness!

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Bjorn The Red Hand!

Better late than never right? I just picked up my copy of the Space Wolf codex and after spending a few minutes thumbing through it I see a few things that have me scratching my head at the few Space Wolf players in the club?

Why aren’t you guys playing Bjorn and Lukas the Trickster? I’m almost ready to proxy my Red Templars as Space Wolves just to get these two on the table!

Maybe it is the points that turns players away? Maybe it is the “popular” opinion of the internet that shuts down the consideration, or that fact that many Space Wolf players are still stuck in the old codex way of thinking shunning them and Long Fangs.

Here is what I’m thinking and seeing with the two…

Wolves like to get up close and go to town. While the army can have the full complement of ranged support, the codex encourages in your face play, as it should, for Russ’ sake being Space Wolves and all. However, the meta game of 40K as always conflicts with the fluff in the codexes. Your space barbarian horde is not going to arrive intact on the other side of the table unless you have a way to crack open transports on the way in so your hunters and claws can assault the heck out of them.

Bjorn with a las cannon fits in perfectly- twin linked 2+, AV 13, and a 5+ invul save alone is worth the price of admission. Put him in cover and plink away, and then when your opponent closes counter attack with his dreadnought close combat arm, insane attacks and AV 13/5+ invul save.

Oh, and on top of that uberness you get to re-roll to see who goes first. Now, it is a self serving question, but I fully know why most ‘wolf players (any?) don’t take him. They look at the points and say that he will never make them back before he dies. Guys, stop thinking of 40K as a war game about killing models! Look at what Bjorn can do outside of killy! He can auto-create a freaking objective marker! And in a game where two of the three standard missions, and even at tournaments, that is HUGE. I don’t want to give everything away, but consider this…

Capture and Control mission. Your objective on one side, your opponent’s on the other. Break it down real simple- you are going to send out X units to take/contest your opponent’s and they are going to try and do the same to you. The actual mechanics of how you are going to do this doesn’t matter- skimmers, infiltrators, brick in the face, etc.

Well, what if you just camped everything on your objective- your entire army defending against the percent that your opponent has decided to send out to capture/contest your objective. I personally like those odds! My entire army vs. a smaller portion of my opponent’s. Well, with Bjorn in the mix, and getting him killed by turn four, when he “dies” he becomes an objective. Now I have two on my side, (Bjorn is chilling in my back ranks and plinking away with the las cannon) that I’m camping on- how can you really loose? Seize ground gets even sillier. How are Space Wolf players not abusing this? How has GW not FAQ’ed it?

Lukas the Trickster.

I’m playing this guy just so I can say “You just got punked by the Trickster!” to my gaming friend. With everything else being at a super reduced point cost in the codex- Grey Hunters, Razorbacks, etc. the Trickster upgrade is nothing. Take the Trickster and put him in a small squad of claws and ram him right into your opponent’s uber unit and watch him get killed. Then it is a dice off to make those base to base units go poof. A dice off none the less, but I like those odds, and the fact that an aware opponent caught up in mix/max point values will be running his uber point cost unit away from the Trickster afraid of what could be.

These are just the tip of the iceberg so to speak, more to follow soon on wolf guard and long fang abuses.

Space Wolf players front and center! What are you guys doing, and if you are running the Trickster do share with old Fritz what you have punked so far. Am I crazy for thinking of trying it? Can 'Wolf players get past the razorwolf list, soon to be razorblood lists?

The Blood Angels Ripple Effect?

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Comment In:

Hi Fritz,

Extremely interesting article. I was pondering the exact same thoughts and you thinking the same has left me thrilled and excited.

Please allow me to introduce myself. I go by the name of Zibow and I'm a pretty well known professional online poker player. I own my own poker school website as I love analysing the theories behind games, in my case specially poker, to then teach others. For this reason nearly everything you write absolutely thrills me. You have a gifted mind and you certainly are a reference in 40k strategy.

This is the first time I post on your site but I have been following you for some time. I watched a video in which you and Jawaballs played each other and you both got me interested in 40k. I bought the rules and started studying the game. Analitical as I am, I have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours pondering strategies and working though every possible mathematical aspect I can think about and like you, I was thrilled by the new possibilities the need BA codex offers and the changes it can cause in the metagame. As with other games, such as magic or poker, the real breaking point comes when some pioneers bring in a strategy that beats the specific status quo, though perhaps not much else. Then the metagame shifts to defend against this new strategy, that most likely becomes inviable as it was a specific silver bullet, but then the change in metagame leaves the door open to other strategies that were not an option before the metagame shifted. This often leads to a complete change and in 40k it could mean that the top tier changes forever, at least in part.

The most common examples in poker are with 3bet and 4bet bluffs (this means reraising and rereraising to steal). When people realised that 3bet bluffing was profitable, then other realised that taking it to the next level would also work, as not folding to a 3bet in a environment of fit or fold mean that you were fit and make your oponent fold his 3bet bluff. So the obvious thing was to 4bet bluff when not fit and only to call when fit :).

Sorry for the poker tangent. What I´m trying to say is that if a list shows up that can consistently beat IG, such as multiple librarian blood lance all jump packers list posted some time ago by Stelek, although this list may not fare so well against other armies, it will force IG to adapt, thus making other armies possible that were previously not cause IG destroyed them. And it has a chain effect that opens the whole game up again and makes it interesting.

In any event, I think you are right on target. And I think this codex allows sufficient different options for adequately competitive antimetagame lists to be able to destabilize the stagnant status quo and allow for a greater change.

If I may, I would like to tell the story of the elephant and the cord. The elephant, as a baby, was tied to a post in the circus with a cord. He was still young and that cord was too strong for him to break. He tried and tried but never managed to break loose. So time passed and eventually he gave up. And now he´s a big elephant, that could snap a tree if he wanted, but that little cord still holds him prisoner. Why? Because he gave up trying and he does not know that if he wants he can escape.

I believe people just need to know that this change is possible and all they have to do is keep coming up with ideas until someone breaks the string. It will be broken, we just need people to believe it and I think your post has precisely this goal.

All the best!

Zibow

Comment Out:

Ziblo, thanks for the insightful comment, and you beat me to the punch with the ripple effects that Blood Angels might have on the game- and I am hoping that they do, but we are still a few months out from seeing the real effects since lists are still being experimented with , and the “best of”, “leafblower, “maximum killy”, etc. lists haven’t been fully worked out yet.

As you pointed out, currently some armies struggle with tournament build IG lists, if the IG lists were forced to chance to adapt to Blood Angels, then that would perhaps open the back door for those previously struggling armies to now also stand a chance.

I was hoping Tyranids would shift the game and force the IG tourney lists to change as they have the number of units and close combat ability to chew through guard, but unfortunately that isn’t going to happen. Lack of armor saves all around and craptastic shooting ability does them in. BUT Blood Angels have the triple threat of speed, shooting, and uber close combat attacks to do the job.

-Fritz

PS: Hopefully the vid you saw of Jawaballs and I playing was of me kicking his ass all over the table, and not the video of me playing my Grey Knights against him- what a disaster that turned out to be!

Fellow readers, what do YOU think about this ripple effect idea? Will BA force the IG chimera/tank spam to change, re-opening the doors for other armies to now compete against IG- mainly those 3rd/4th edition ‘dexes that need updating and GW ignores?

Countering Null Deployment

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Email In:
Hey Fritz,

First I'd like to say I'm a big fan of your blog. Although I've never contacted you I've been watching your videos and reading your blog for a long time now. I've been playing 40k since late 2nd early 3rd edition and I have a lot of experience like you. Although I tend to shy away from competitive environments I do have 3 good buddies who have been playing as long as I have and the gaming store I play at give me some stiff competition.

Now about the null deployment, I'd like to say that I have a friend who plays tyranids and has been using this on me for awhile now. As such I have had to develop a few tactics around it myself.

I play vanilla marines and Eldar, for this example I am going to use my marines.

When he plays this list what I will usually do is bunch my entire army up in one big circle, then spread out a squad or two around my entire army with a 2 inch cover to enable myself not to get charged. It works really well actually, and although I don't always win it does hurt his chances a great deal.

As an example I'm going to try and diagram it.





.
. ----- .
. ------- .
. ----- .
.



It usually ends up looking something like that, I just wanted your thoughts on it and to see if you have encountered anything like this. It should also be noted his list(s) are usually different from yours.

Reply Out:

When I started working on the null deployment idea, previously getting blasted off the table again and again as I should have for just charging forward with my Tyranids, this was the first counter that I ran across at the club. Circle things up like a wagon train, hunker down, and then blast me as I come in off the table edges. Put a second ring around or a few speedbump units out front just in case one of my broods makes it though and then all I’m doing again is charging across the table just like before- with the same results.

What I found was that I also needed units that could deep strike in and infiltrate to show up in the center of the wagon train so to speak- which I do with lictors and raveners which are expendable in the list. If there is suitable terrain in the centerish of the table then I’ll infiltrate a group of stealers there and they will just go to ground and hold- pushing a threat bubble out so hopefully my opponent is afraid of being assaulted by them, making it again harder to cluster up in the center. In objective missions with multiple counters I also want to place the objectives that I can on the opposite sides of the board to try and draw my opponent out to “take” them and then I punk my opponent with the stealers and gaunts when they outflank. That is how I’d try, and do try to bust open castling up in the center.

Now, think about this, the null deployment model “works” because it gets you to cluster up somewhere on the board since I’m coming at you from all sides and that seems the safest way to deal with my incoming Tyranids. If I’m applying overwhelming force don’t try to meet it head on. That is like playing the IG game of setting up and letting them blast you off the table- that is what they want and expect so don’t do it, you have to find another way.

Next time you play your Tyranid buddy and he tries the Null Deployment, consider breaking down your army into three of four smaller groups that can work together and scatter to the four corners of the board, split the brood up and leverage the parts of your army against theirs. Of course there is a counter to this, but that is what makes 40K so fun, countering my opponents counter with a counter…

-Fritz

1000 Point Necron FTW List

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Email In:

So I have recently purchased your Necron PDF. and couldn’t be more happy with it. I’ve seen a large increase in the number of games I’ve won with my crons, and more just wins, my losses and draws are still competitive fun matches. And have recommended your blog and PDFs to several friends.

I’ve spent most of my time playing at the 1500 point level making subtle tweaks to your suggested list (mainly going to 3 destroyer squads and dropping down to 20 warriors) and have had a lot of success with this.

I’ve run into a problem though my local gamming environment is shifting to more 1000pt doubles matches and away from the 1500pt and 1750pt level due to a large influx in new players. It reduces the upfront money cost of an army and is easier to learn at the reduced point limit. But it creates a major problem for me, the only Necron player in the area; I’ve yet to find a way to adapt Veil lord and lith C’tan tatics to such a restrictive point total. I’ve play tested several variations using just the monolith or C’tan since I feel both are not an option. I’ve also used a Destroyer heavy build dropping both the C’tan and monolith with limited success.

Just interested if you can shed some light on my problem as to what units get priority when points get cut and any subtle shifts in tactics that would bring

Thanks in advance

Fritz Reply Out:

Alex, thanks for the feedback on the .PDF- I’m glad it has helped you to both win and have fun playing Necrons. Now, about taking things down to 1000 points. The basic tactics still apply in the .PDF, but the army list I present only really works at the 1500-1750 point level. There is just a lot of synergy needed between the units to leverage the best of Necrons while minimizing the worst of them. If I was going to run a 1000 point list this is what I would use, assuming 1 HQ and 2 Troops as normal:

Lord W/ Destroyer Body, Solar Pulse, Phylactery, Nightmare Shroud, Staff Of Light
2 X 10 Warriors
2 X 4 Destroyers
1 X 3 Scarabs

Comes out to just under 1000 points.

Not much on the table even for Necrons, but with this list you are going to have to be really sneaky and use hit and run ideas. Regardless of the mission you reserve both warrior groups since they are the weakest link and you want to delay phase out. Lord, scarabs, and destroyers go in the center of the table. Solar pulse is for both a dawn of war shooting strike with your destroyers- following what is in the .PDF, or the lord attaches to a destroyer group, fires off pulse to protect from a round of shooting.

When it is your turn lord turbo boosts with scarabs to one side of the table, and destroyers move to the other- the weaker side of your opponent’s deployment and model spread and start shooting away. The key is going to be mastering hanging back at 36” to shoot, but not be shot back except by long range stuff like las cannons, of which cover and a WBB roll should keep you up enough. Of course one loss will force a LD check, but you are LD 10, and there is nothing you can do about it. Destroyers start by de-meching, and then go to work on the troops. Lord zips around casting nightmare shroud with the scarabs as bodyguard to soak up wounds. At 1000 points keeping the lord alive is more important than using the shroud each turn- if you are in range to be assaulted then turbo boost away.

When the warriors come on, they go on the table the furthers from your opponent, or to make their way to objectives. Keep one ahead of the other to tactically withdraw as in the .PDF if needed.

So in a nutshell, the lord exists to zip around causing problems and to be as annoying as possible keeping your opponent busy with him shooting, etc. so you destroyers can blast each turn and warriors get into position for mission objectives.

-Fritz

Dark Eldar Harlequin Rumors?

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Many Bothan Spies died to bring you this update…

Last night I got to look over the usual leaked rumor white sheet for Dark Eldar and among the more ourrageous stuff (like scourges actually being useful) was a line mentioning harlequins as an elite choice in the DE army using the existing harlie model range. If true, this would be beyond awesome, not only for Dark Eldar players but also for Eldar harlequin players currently struggling with the old codex. Now I could run my harlies both ways- I could have my darklance cake and eat it also!

Hoping against hope…

Mawloc Deep Strike Tricks?

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Email In:

Hi Fritz,

I wrote a Tyranid tactic on this page recently, regarding Deathleaper with Mawloc one, two punch contest objective.

Thought I would share this miracle story with you guys to excite the Tyranid Hive Mind brethren and to put fears into the hearts of the rest. This is another one of those moment when all the planets have to line up or it won't happen. It doesn't really matter what's in my army list, because I only had 2 models left on the table at the end of the game.

Capture and Control mission. I won the die roll, so I choose to go second (no brainer)

End of Turn 5: Tervigon is holding my objective, throwing gaunts to tarpit assault squad, Deathleaper pop out and contest his objective. The die rolled a "3", game goes on.

End of Turn 6: Tervigon still holding my end, BAM! Mawloc deep strike on his objective, pushed the razorback away and contesting. Game ends.

Can I get some feedback from you on this topic, thoughts, opinions, improvements?

Thank you very much,

-Alex

Fritz Reply Out:

Well, currently this tactic depends on RAW vs. RAI and needs to be FAQ’d by GW- which I wouldn’t hold my breath on anytime soon. Tyranid players will say “yes you can!” opponent’s will say “no way!”. That said, you are defineltly thinking in the right direction. 40K is more then just about killing models, especially when most players on the internet only look at “killy” potential as the basis for their lists. They are just the player who will be hit with stuff like this and never see it coming. Finding ways to use the Tyranid units (or any codex unit) to effect deployment, and mess with objectives is worth the points. That’s why I’m finding deathleaper and spore mines more and more valuable.

Readers, what do you think? Allowable in a game? Banstick?

Saim-Hann Translating To Ravenwing‏

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Email In:

Hi there! I have been an avid reader of your blog, and watcher of your videos. It has always intruiged me how your way of playing the game transcends the editions, coming out as almost pure strategy over lists.

Now, the question, if you can call it that, comes from some comments I have seen you make from some time back and have seen you leave behind: Ravenwing. You have said that you could do better with the Ravenwing, and I see where some of your points might be, but I wondered how your list would translate into Ravenwing. How would you play it, for example, over your jetbikes and skimmers? The mobility (IE: Being able to ignore impassable terrain when it comes to moving around) would be hampered to a slight degree with regular bikes, but the fragile Land Speeders would basically be an upgrade to the vypers, losing Lance to the advantage of Melta.

Any comments you could give, master of Speed, would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely, Cruor - Angels of Redemption.

Reply Out:

Cruor, thanks for emailing. Between jetbike/vyper Eldar and Ravenwing, I think Ravenwing can do it better in terms of holding up in 5th edition- not to say I don’t think Saim-Hann still packs a punch in 5th.

Yes, RW can’t fly over terrain, and the overall range is a bit shorter- the primary punch being delivered by assault cannons and melta guns over scatter lasers and brightlances, BUT RW goes up to T5, has skimmers that are not open topped and the most important thing- a scout move.

I don’t know the exact points but for Ravenwing I would go with the Sammy land speeder since it is AV 14 and can pick up cover saves. I’d then build a bike squad with a chaplain and power fist/melta + apocathary to act as my “seer council”. The rest would be bike squads with melta/power fists and skimmers with assault cannons and multi-meltas.

Tactics are all about hitting your opponent where they are weak and leveraging the T5 + power fist attacks to do the damage, and besides the usual Saim-Hann like tactics, the scout move as mentioned is big.

Let’s break it down with a simple example. I go first and castle up in the center of the board. After my opponent deploys I take my scout move and move all my bikes to the side of the table where my opponent is weaker and has less models- leverage all of my army on a few units. This is how you deal with having less models on the table vs. the newer 5th edition codexes.

Finally I would use Sammy in the speeder to soak up shots and to keep my opponent busy allowing the rest of my army room to maneuver and get into those weak spots. I don’t expect the speeder to do much, but AV 14 with a cover save, and the later on contesting objectives is huge.

What do you think?

-Fritz

Spore Mines: WIP Or FTW?

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I’ve been playing around with working in some spore mines into my Tyranid list with the goal of influencing my opponent’s deployment to better abuse my null deployment model on them. What’s that, you’ve never heard of spore mines? We’ll the good news is at least they don’t give up kill point any more. Seriously, for what they can do at ten points a pop, why don’t you have any in your ‘nid list? In a 1750 point + game you can’t round up 60-100 points? Down side is that they are a FA slot so they are competing with raveners which, along with deathleaper are the real MVP’s of the Tyranid codex.

So what is the idea behind peppering the table with a few spore mines? Well, you get to deploy them via deepstrike after deployment zones have been chosen, but before your opponent deploys. Think about that for a moment. Now, I’m not expecting my spore mines to actually do any killy, since all they are is a frag missile equivalent that can be shot and exploded before it hits something, and even then against MEQ’s what is it going to kill? SM’s are more about forcing your opponent to react to them so the rest of your army has a little more wiggle room.

So If I’m going first then I want to bomb the spores on one of my opponent’s flanks before he deploys, hopefully to push him over to the other side of the table- closer to the edge for my 30 ‘stealers and 20 gaunts to swarm on the board from. Going first also means I’m physically pushing deployment over since my opponent can’t deploy within 1” of the spores and they are going to scatter move on my first turn who knows where. If I’m going second then the spore mines get bombed in the center of the table to put up a wall to hopefully take off some shots aimed at my other units. Once down I want them to scatter all over the place so hopefully my opponent will fire shots killing them rather than my bugs. Seems easy to just ignore them right? And as an opponent, you should, but so far they like to be shot at, and I’ve got the points to spare for a little more fun on the table.

Striking Scorpions As An Anchor Point?

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I’ve recently been playing around with using infiltrating/deepstriking models to create a pocket on the table to help control space for the rest of my units and am curious to see if I can do the same thing with some striking scorpions in my Eldar list.


The idea is to infiltrate/deepstrike a unit towards the center of the table, or at a key control point that I want to influence of bottleneck and get them into cover at that point so my opponent doesn’t want to get close out of fear of being shot at or assaulted. Thunder hammer assault marines are doing the job in my Space Marine list.


I’m going to try out taking a group of scorpions with the exarch and infiltrate them into cover based on where my army is going to be mid to end game. They will infiltrate into cover and just go to ground- their movement and assault range is the threat. If I can get them, depending on the terrain, in a place that blocks LOS completely, even better, although that is doubtful at ten models strong. It’s not about what the scorps can actually do, but what they project with the possibility of what they can do. Plus, any shots going at them are less shots at my jetbikes, vypers, and wave serpents.


More to come, and some more details once I put them through a few games…

Games Day 2010: Fritz & Jawaballs

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So we are locked and loaded for Games Day 2010! Last year we had open gaming where legions of Saim-Hann jetbikes took to the table to crush the upstart Blood Angels, the greater good made a showing with Old Shattered Hand’s Tau, and I got my own Saim-Hann ass kicked by a couple of diehard fans who dared to use my own tactics against me!



This year for 2010 we are doing it even better! We are going to have two custom tables set aside for open gaming and tactics review- a chaos board where the rivers run red with blood, and a Tyranid invasion board, along with a table where you can paint along with Jawaballs.

We are also bringing a truckload of banners for the banner contest and we need some servitors to help carry them in the contest and scream “Jawaballs” when it comes to judging. BUT, the real event is going to be a gladiator style tournament we are going to be running throughout the day. Five hundred points to buy an HQ choice and anything else in your codex in a free for all annihilation mission. Kill points for each HQ you kill and at the end of the day the two players with the most kill points will face off against each other for the final battle. Full prize support for the winner, and goodies for best painted and best converted HQ models of course. More to come as we get closer to the date!


Games Day Club Info

PAINTING & TACTICS
Gladiator Games and Gaming Seminar
Club: Jawaballs and Fritz
Much like last year, we will be bringing our blogs to life as fans get a chance to meet with us and pick our brains on Painting and Tactics. Gamers are encouraged to bring their models for critique and painting tips from JB and army lists and armies for tactical help from Fritz. Also, they will get the chance to challenge JB and F with their friends on our awesome gaming table. Finally, we will be running several round robin Gladiatorial style events where players will get the chance to pit their favorite HQs vs one another in a cool arena style gaming board. Last year gamers lined up for their turn to meet us, and it will only be bigger this year!

Death To Jawaballs & The Goatboy!

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So I’ve signed on with Brent from StrictlyAverage for the BOLSCON 2010 doubles tournament on Friday. We are both running Eldar and are working on the complimenting lists now, so that is a WIP over the next few months or so. While we are going to give it the old space elf try, and aim to place 1st-3rd, the real goal of the day is to smack down Jawaballs and Goatboy who have also teamed up for the event.

Death to the JawaAngels and SpaceGoats! I’ve got the payoff to JWolf ready to send so we get “paired” up in round one…


Now of course for an event like this, I'll will be running Eldar, but what flavor of Eldar do you ask? Saim-Hann jetbike spam? Harlequin clown spam? Iyanden wraithguard/lord spam? (Maybe, if I get my ass in gear and finish the army in time!) Don’t laugh, but I’ve been thinking about seeing if Brent wanted to give running an all foot Eldar list in the tournament a try- which means either clowns or ghosts in my list. Running it to prove a point- can it actually work in a tournament environment? More than that I’m also rethinking the harlequins for two main reasons- 1st. Jawaballs hates facing them, and out of all my armies I think it is the one that frustrates him the most. 2nd. In a tournament where the newer codexes will be able to throw down more models and guns on the table vs. the Eldar codex, tricks, and unfamiliarity will be more of an asset then my grav-tanks and jetbikes. I just don't think I'll be able to throw down enought grav tanks on the table vs. all the Blood Angels and IG stuff that we will face.

What do you guys think? If I win it proves that I'm the Eldar mastah since I dominated with a foot list. If I go down in flames I'll just blame it on a crappy list rather then being a bad general- hey it is a win/win either way!
Elfzilla FTW?

The Rise Of The Blood Angels “Leaf Blower” List?

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So the internets are awash with Blood Angels lists, best of, what works, what won’t. The fun part right now for me, as a non BA player, is watching it unfold and wondering what kind of “list” will come out on top as the tournament list. Kind of like how Vulkan melta spam was the top in tournaments back when codex Space Marines dropped.

What I’m not seeing any mention of, and maybe I’m just not cruising enough Blood Angels blogs is the BA leaf blower list. The change in the force org chart for IG- allowing multiple heavies in one slot, etc. spawned the ability of such lists, and now that BA can do it, why not? Why wouldn’t it work? Sure it would be dull as nails to play agasint, and all the cats winning with it would credit their ‘leet gaming skills for the win rather than game mechanics abuse and a point and click list, but it is legal to play.

Spam out lots of razorbacks with a mix of assault and las cannons, throw in three baal preds, three generic predators, and then sprinkle in hunter killer missiles all around. I don’t have the codex with me at the moment, so I’ll let you guys figure out how many min/maxed units you can fit into 1750-2500 points.

Could BA do the blower list better? The guys inside have the counter assault ability to break open anything coming to stop the tank line. Thoughts?

Tyranids Vs. IG Battle Report

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A dozen or so games in so far with the Fritz ‘nids and this past Monday was my first battle vs. IG. Setting up I felt a lot like everybody’s favorite rebel commander wondering how I was going to repel that kind of firepower?

Mission was capture & control, 1750 points, dawn of war. My opponent took first turn as all IG players are doing these days and placed his objective in the center of his deployment zone out in the open. I placed mine in the lower left, in cover of course. Guard sets up and rolls in on turn one- lots and lots of vet chimeras, hell hounds, and three russes instead of valks. I walk on my gaunt groups, zopes, carnifex, and tyrant on my objective, getting cover, as the raveners and stealers outflank- hybrid null deployment model if that has any meaning for you.

Oh and deathleaper.

This game, more than any of the others I had played so far with my Tyranids was going to be about sticking with the plan. No matter what happened I had to stick with the plan, the plan being to stick to it…

My plan was to use the stealers to outflank into terrain and just go to ground to soak up shots, and spread those guard tanks out. Have them move away from the assault range of the stealers and encourage them to shoot. While that was happening I was going to run the ‘fex and zopes up the center to encourage the IG tanks to sit there and shoot like crazy over moving, so they wouldn’t be at my deployment zone by turn five, while the tyrant acts as a last moment counter attack unit and the gaunts just go to ground for the 3+.

Oh and deathleaper.

First stealer group comes in to the left and runs up clawing a chimera and exploding it along with a few guard dudes inside. I could have gone to ground in the terrain nearby, but I wanted to “remind” the IG player what my bugs could do if they got up close to his precious tanks- and that he better be ready to rock and roll since I’ve got twenty more stealers and ravaging raveners still coming in.

Stealers on the left then die to hellhound flames and chimera spam followed by the zopes soaking up a ton of shots and actually making their invul saves, especially against the battle cannons and russ plasma cannons. Now I know how thunder hammer terminators feel…

Next turn my remaining stealers and raveners come in on the right and run into cover, ready to pounce next turn. I might have been able to make it with the stealers to one of the chimeras but again it is about the plan and pushing back with that threat bubble. I’m a nice guy and remind my opponent that the raveners are beasts.

Now that the pressure is on, I start moving the zopes forward along with the carnifex right up the center. Deathleaper comes on the table and pops in mid center and then runs into cover like I am trying to hide him from LOS.

Guard shooting is awesome on my carnifex popping two wounds, which I fail to regenerate as the first stealer unit on the right vanishes from hell hound and las fire. Remaining stealers and raveners pounce on the hell hound and cimera which haven’t moved and all I do is blow off the flame cannon. I blow everything and I suddenly feel like Poncho from Predator...


Not a thing. No blood, no bodies... We hit nothing!

Zopes then epic epic fail missing their shots and then vanish from return fire as the fex goes down and my remaining stealers and raveners fold from a single turn of shooting. Personally I’m feeling really deflated even though I KNOW Tyranids are all about expending bodies to make your opponent do stuff rather than accomplishing it through shooting or assaulting. The threat of assaults get your opponent to move where you want them to move, and piling on bodies as key locations keeps them in place by forcing them to shoot lots of dakka at those units. This is how Tyranids control the game…still getting your balls kicked in no matter what the plan is still hurts.

Now, moving into turn four IG moves out to my objective, but it is too late, as being Fritz, I’m planning on the game ending on turn five. Brother Captain James from the club once remarked that 90% of my strategy is the game ending on turn five…and he is right!

I bring the hive tyrant up and out to counter assault the incoming contesting chimeras as deathleaper takes his cue and slinks back into reserves making it look like I’m putting him back in so the advancing wall of steel doesn’t flatten him. My tyrant goes down like a chump from IG fire and my first gaunt group eats a battle cannon shot and lots of fire as I go to ground for the 3+ and to bypass rage. Bottom of turn five has my second gaunt group raging forward, but they are still within 3” of my objective- exactly the reason why you want big gaunt groups just in case they rage and not run off the objective. Second gaunt group is at ground so they are fine. IG chimera spam is still about a foot or so away from my objective as deathleaper pops in to contest my opponent’s objective which is open at an odd angle with a chimera and russ sitting on it. DL is 1” away from the tanks and 2”ish from the objective.

Game ends on turn five with a “2” rolled on the D6.

Now for the commentary...

How could I only take out ONE chimera and five guardsman in the explosion while my opponent takes out 30 stealers, 17 gaunts, a carnifex, 3 zopes, tyrant, and three raveners and lose the game? I got tabled and still won? This is what is wrong with 40K right now with the skewed missions vs. table size and 5th edition codex points for models- upcoming post on this topic in a few days. How could an army that has only ONE shooting unit at 18” win against and army that has superior firepower, mobility, and more models on the table? Ego pump, and how great I am aside (sarcasm) I won because I took control of the game right away. I made my opponent react to me which means I was always a turn ahead while he waited to see what I did. In 40K you never want to be a passive/reacting opponent, active always wins- control the flow of the game. Of course it might not have felt like that during the game as I pulled off handfuls of stealers and gaunts each turn, but it was there. I got the jump on the IG player and shifted him into a passive play mode, and it was done from there. THAT is the lesson to learn from this battle report- what you want to do, and what you don’t want your opponent to force you into. Of course I needed the game to end on turn five, and if it went on I was done, but against certain armies this is all you have, and I’m just lucky like that.

Of course next time we play my opponents objectives will be walled off from deathleaper and maybe they won’t take first turn, the DL bomb only works once, but I’ve got a second round of stupid tricks like that ready to go…


Boo!

Death To The Blood Angels!

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So here we are smack in the middle of the Blood Angels release. All across the galaxy the Sons of Sanguinius rejoice in glory as traitors and xeno players cower in fear at the prospect of fast vehicles, librarian dreadnoughts, assault troops that make Khorne Berzerkers look like school children, and IC that wreck everything else in the game.

Fear not! Fritz is here to deliver the goods on how to smack down the Blood Angels with what is currently on the table and with what is to come. Remember, Sanguinius got his A$$ handed to him by Horus without even putting up a fight, so what is there to fear from his lesser minions? These guys screwed up Space Hulk the first time around, and with the new ‘hulk release they are getting a second shot- should have sent in the Dark Angels.

Anyway…

Right now we are in the new release phase of the Blood Angels where guys are still playing their lists with the new toys only under the thought process of the old codex. This is to be expected, just as we saw with Tyranid players, and will naturally evolve out of in a few months.

Expect to see razorback spam lists backed by baal predators or vindicators since they are fast, and you deal with these just like you do any Space Marine spam army- target the easiest to kill tanks first, and work your way down the line. No need to really go into details for dealing with the RZspam list as you can find that in the blog archive and elsewhere on the internets.

Know when it is time to really start worrying?

When those Blood Angels players stop playing their army as if it is an updated .PDF and they realize that it is a NEW codex and that the game has changed. The entire vehicle system of the Blood Angels acts as a delivery system to get the guys into assault. When we start seeing this, then I’ll start to worry, not that Fritz every worries about anything on the table.

I predict, based on my knowledge of watching and playing against some very well known Blood Angels players, and having a hand in developing their tricks, that this delivery system type of list will be the basis of tournament wining lists:
Take an HQ choice like Mephiston and build your army as a delivery system to get him into assault backed by a second wave of hard hitting assault troops. If you don’t stop that one two wave then you are done- the Blood Angels will tear your apart by turn three. Everything else in the list exists for delivering this one little package to open up your army- kind of like detonating a nuclear bomb right in the center of your army.

So what is the plan once you start seeing these kinds of lists popping up? First order of business is to shut down Mephiston’s powers. Eldar runes of Warding, Space Marine Librarian hoods, etc. should be standard wargear by now. Tyranids will try with their shadow in the warp, Necrons and Chaos Space Marines are further screwed. The second order of business, more than ever, is shutting down that mech from a distance so guys are on foot, where they can be blasted and subjected to the rage rule. Old time Chaos Space Marine players will remember their Khorne Berserkers chasing around stupid empty rhinos and the like, Blood Angel players will soon be learning this! Melta is done, since you pop the tank and then get assaulted- you need that long range boom boom to take them out and then whittle them down on foot before using a chase unit. Making vehicles go through terrain trough your own unit placement and objective placement will also be an important layer- forcing dangerous terrain checks to immobilize in that one in six chance.

Shut down the delivery system and you will stand a chance, fight the list like it is just another mech marine list and you are done…

No Seer Council?

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What’s that? I can’t run a seer council in my 1750 list? What would I take in its place? Hmm, how about dinosaurs with lasers? There is no real substitute for a seer council in the current workings of 40K 5th edition. What has surprised me the most is just how well the seer council, even a small one like I run, with the seer + 5 ‘locks hold up time and time again. Given how easy it is to abuse a seer council you can be that when the new Eldar codex drops they will get whacked with the nerf bat like carnifexes did. Such is the way of 40K…

If I couldn’t run a seer council either because I’m worried about silly things like “comp” or I just don’t have the points to run it and the rest of my army- 500-1000 point doubles tournaments being a good example then I run what I like to call a mini-council. It can work in larger point games, but in smaller games it really shines because it replicates some of the abilities without the cost.

Farseer W/ Runes of Warding/Witnessing, Singing Spear, Doom, Fortune.

Jetbike Squad W/ Maxed Shuriken Cannons + Warlock W/ Singing Spear, Destructor.

Farseer joins the jetbike squad and fortunes them up. Use the other models on the table- both yours and your opponents + terrain to get cover saves- this replicates the 3+/4+ of the real seer council. If you can’t get cover take off a regular jetbike, stack a regular wound on the farseer, etc.

Cast doom and get close to your target to wash with the destructor and then hit them with shuriken cannon and catapult fire- shuriken catapults en mass backed by doom actually aren’t that bad. Use mobility and make sure the warlock is up front to cover the most models with your template.

Two singing spears plus the cannons give you some decent anti-tank at medium to close range as needed. Unlike a real council you won’t be assaulting after or want to be assaulted- use the 6” jetbike slide to try and keep your distance. At the end of the game the farseer can always detach away to deny a kill point if things go bad or even contest and objective.

Eldar Banshee Tactica

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I thought I would talk a little bit more about my favorite Eldar aspect unit- Banshee’s and how they make an appearance in my 1750 list from time to time. (Side note, Harlequins would be my first, but they aren’t aspects!)

Much like everything else Eldar, banshees need a wave serpent transport to deliver them to the target. Personally I also throw on star engines and vectored engines by default so I am almost guaranteed to drop that banshee bomb.

Next up is numbers. If I am planning to run them with the support of my farseer then I go with five, no farseer support has the unit coming up to ten. S3 on the attack really needs doom vs. MEQ’s even with power weapons.

Strategically I use the banshees to help with my turn five & contesting stratagies, especially in capture and control missions. Their job is to assault infantry at a point where it will punch a hole in my opponent’s layout of models so I can sneak my vypers in to contest- they aren’t tanks so no tank shock madness for me. In this way it is not only wiping out a unit with the girls, but also drawing out my opponent to move and shoot away from that objective.


In annihilation missions the banshees are used to pick off stray kill points and punish my opponent for making mistakes. I’ll fly out with the wave serpent and kick in star engines to get into position, assault next turn- using the hull of the serpent to shield the banshees from return fire, get the kill point, and then get back inside and zoom away. Banshees especially like infiltrators. Patience is the key.

Finally in repeat games where my opponent, mostly guys at the club, have been punked by them before I’ll use them as a distraction to open up pockets for the rest of my army to move into. Move up, make it look like an assault, and then zip away- often never leaving the wave serpent.

Sadly I never really see anybody else playing this aspect, fire dragons and all being the rage these days…
 
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