Fritz’s Is A Jerk!

So it’s a Monday night at the Battle for Salvation gaming club and I’m setting up to play a game vs. a new guy with my Tyranids. Seize ground with four objectives, I place mine in range of the outflank. I take first turn so I can hit those objectives with the +1 Swarmlord outflank on turn two, as my big bugs run up the center ala null deployment. Everything works perfectly and I table my opponent with only losing a few genestealers on the way. Flawless game? Perhaps, but in this case I was being a total a$$hole and potentially hurt the club that I play at by not understanding my place in the game at that moment. Allow me to explain, and defend my actions.

From both a selfish point of view and a moral point of view it is in my best interest (and my fellow gamers best interest) to keep our gaming club fresh and alive. This means grabbing and keeping new members so we can increase the number of tables/games each month, grow, and raise more $ to host tournaments, apocalypse events, etc. New members also mean the veteran players at the club have some new challenges to play against and throw their own armies up against, as playing the same guys week after week can get a bit stale.

So this new guy shows up looking for a game, and being friendly I agree to play him. In this situation I’m not “Fritz” or the guy that has the blog you read every day, plays Eldar, or anything 40K related. For this game I am the “Battle For Salvation” gaming club and what it represents. After the game, what my new opponent thinks of me, is what they directly think of the club and all the members.

Setting up my opponent is playing a Thousand Sons army with a sorcerer, backed by oblits and a vindicator. Hardly a tournament list, and even if it was such a list, it is the chaos codex- over coasted and unable to throw down the model count compared to the 5th edition codexes. So why was I throwing my tournament list up against him? Yes, I have/had been refining it, preparing it for next month at Brother’s Grim games and for the inevitable when I face Jawaballs at a tourney- JB I’ve been deliberately avoiding your ‘Angels with my Tyranids so you can’t see the can of smak I’m going to unload on you!

Anyway, did I really need to get in another practice game? My own ego, my desire to “win” in some upcoming tournaments clouded the situation for me. In this case I was an ambassador for the club and I screwed up. I could have played the same list and just lined up and ran at my opponent- what I often do in fun games. It’s fun because there are moments of tension where the game could go anyway- can my opponent stop my horde of buggies? Can I make it into assault? Regardless of who actually wins, the game often feels like the other person at least had a chance to win. But no, instead I crushed his 40K dreams and made the club look like bad- Fritz was a jerk!

What I should have done was played a fun game, introduced him to a few of the other chaos players in club, let him game for a few weeks, and THEN throw my tournament list and attitude at him where it would be better received and understood as a competitive game.

Sorry new guy, I won’t be as much of a jerk next time.

FREE Combat Patrol Tactica .PDF

This is the "text" of the .PDF- the download for the .PDF is on the right side of my blog under Fritz .PDF's...


Recently I have been having a ton of fun playing combat patrol at the gaming club, and I’ve had great results in a string of recent Combat Patrol tournaments here in the Northeast US gaming scene. With this .PDF I want to introduce you to the Combat Patrol rule set, if you are not already familiar with it, along with my experience in building your patrol and then applying it to the standard combat patrol mission.

Combat Patrol

So what is combat patrol? CP is a scaled down version of Warhammer 40,000 that was introduced in 4th edition as a way to play some quick games. For the new player to 40K it is a great way to build up a small army and get used to the rules and mechanics of the game. For veteran players it is a nice supplement from “regular” 40K games as one can play three or four in a single evening of gaming. The following rules are used in the Combat Patrol game and are played on a 4’ X 4’ board with 25% scenery.

• Armies are no more than 400 points.
• You must have one Troop choice.
• You may have one HQ choice, but no more than one.
• Armies are not required to take mandatory unit choices. All other unit restrictions (i.e. 0-1) apply.
• You may spend remaining points from anywhere in the Codex.
• No model can have more than 2 Wounds.
• No model can have a 2+ save.
• No Special/Unique/Named Characters are allowed in the Combat Patrol event.
• No vehicles with a total Armor value greater than 33. This is calculated by adding the Front, Side and Rear armor numbers. (Only count the Side once).

From here players roll for sides, deploy 12” in from the table edge, and face off against each other. The games lasts six turns and at the end of the six turn the player with the most victory points wins the patrol. Victory points are calculated in the following way: destroy a unit and you get the full points that your opponent paid for it, take the unit below 50% and you get half the points your opponent paid for it. So, if you explode that Space Marine rhino you get 35 points, kill two Space Marines out of a unit of ten and you get 0 points, etc.

Additional Combat Patrol information and variant fan based missions can be found on the Internet, and on GW’s main website. Now that you have been introduced, or re-introduced to Combat Patrol, let’s dive into building your patrol followed by an example of my 400 point Space Wolf list.

Combat Patrol List Building

The first thing that we are going to tackle with your combat patrol list is fitting both the fun units you want to play along with what is “needed” to win all in 400 points! In many ways Combat Patrol games, and especially tournaments are harder to build lists for since you are limited in both points and units. If you are playing a 1750+ point game getting unit redundancy, movement, shooting, and assault power all into one list is easy since you have so many points to play with- in a CP list it becomes both part science and art. As always, I advocate playing the model YOU want to play since 40K is supposed to be a fun game, but keep the following points in mind when building your list…


Utilizing light transports like Rhinos and Chimeras is the first step in a Combat Patrol list. Unlike “regular” 40K games where transports are about ferrying your models to objectives and across the table, in CP they are about keeping the unit alive and safe from small arms fire until you are ready to strike. Movement is less important on a 4’ X 4’ table where the mission objective is to kill each other, while protecting your models from a hail of rapid fire bolters is more important. For Space Marines armies the rhino is a great buy at 35 points base.

Remember that vehicles are only to protect the unit inside, points spent on upgrades will only yield up more victory points to your opponent when and if the vehicle gets destroyed. For this reason a razorback is not a good choice, or upgrading a chimera with extra weapons, as it will yield more VP’s.

What if you don’t have a viable transport option like Eldar or Tyranids?

Then you have to beef up the size of your units so you can take some losses and not dip below 50% for victory points. Max out those guardian squads, and bulk up those gaunt units.

Finally, keep in mind that the tank/vehicle is also a weapon in the game by utilizing tank shock tactics. Playing on a smaller sized board and with less vehicle killing weapons on the table it is easier to tank shock non fearless units and follow them off the table to pick up victory points.

Shooting Vs. Assault Power

With only 400 points to spend, depending on your army, you are only going to have two or three units and maybe a vehicle or two to work with. For each unit (not counting the vehicles) you need to reach a combination of both shooting and assaulting so that when you commit the unit you can wipe out what you are committed to attacking in one turn. You want each attack to be decisive while being able to take some punishment back without dropping below 50% in strength. Let’s look at Space Marines as an example since you probably either play them yourself, or at least have faced them on the table…

With tactical squads I can take either five or ten as a base number. Remember, this is combat patrol rules and not regular 40K, so smaller squad sizes don’t help! Five marines will get wiped out pretty quick giving up victory points. Also, what are five marines really going to do in terms of shooting and assaulting? You want to take the full ten so you can both give out punishment and take it back.

Now with that ten as a base you need to balance both shooting and assaulting as you want to combine both phases of the game to beat your opponent in. You want to march those marines up (or drive them up!), get out, fire off some bolt pistols and then charge in on the assault an overpower your opponent’s unit. On the way in you want to use your bolters, but once the distance is closed to 6” if there is anything left it is time for the charge. Options like a power sword, and assault special weapons like a melta-gun or flamer will help add to the one two punch on the way in and during the assault. Regardless of the army you are playing you want to have both rapid fire shots for when you are 12”-24” away and then close in shots like bolt pistols, flamers, etc. to pop off right before the charge.

Building on that you will also need a way to take out light armor so weapons with a 24” to 36” range that can hit at strength six to seven is key. Not having to worry about bringing down a land raider means more shots are better than a single powerful shot- a rapid firing plasma gun is better than a single shot las-cannon. A scatter laser platform carried by Eldar guardians is better than a brightlance, etc.

Overlapping the abilities for each unit in your list is also critical since you are so limited in points vs. what your opponent can bring to the table. You want to try and build each unit so it can take out vehicles, and deal with infantry in both the shooting and assault phase. A difficult thing to do regardless of the army you are playing!

HQ Choices

Now the question is to take an HQ choice or to not take an HQ choice. Despite the 1 per army limit, most of the time you don’t want to take a HQ choice in your list. Besides having so many points tied up in a single model taking away from your list, you are also potentially giving your opponent 100+ kill points in a single target. “Killing” HQ choices is a great way to pick up victory points, and we’ll cover that more in the next section of this .PDF when we get into playing the actual Combat Patrol mission.

That said, there are times you want to take an HQ choice if it boosts the overall power and ability of your army that might be lacking in other areas based on your codex. The question is, can it be done without an HQ choice, and some codex’s such as Eldar don’t allow any viable HQ choice based on the Combat Patrol Rules. More on the yes/no of an HQ choice in a bit.


For Combat Patrol, the ability to infiltrate, and by extension outflank is huge since we are a talking about so few models on the table. You want at least one unit in your army to be able to infiltrate/outflank as it will be used to pick up some quick victory points in all your games .

Before moving on to the mission tactics I want to present my own 400 point Space Wolf patrol list based on the outline above. Take a look at my though process and see how you can map your own codex/army to it, and of course if you play Space Wolves feel free to borrow and modify my list.

Rune Priest: W/ Living Lightning, & Jaws Of The World Wolf
9 Blood Claws W/ 1 Power Fist
5 Space Wolf Scouts W/ Plasma Pistol, Melta-Gun, Melta-Bombs
1 Rhino

At the core of my list is the Blood Claws and the Rune Priest who go in the rhino. Working as a single unit the Priest pops the hatch and blasts out living lighting to break open light vehicles or whittle down infantry units.

When it is time to advance the Blood Claws get out with the Priest and fire off their bolt pistols + living lighting for some pre-assault softening up followed by a charge. The ‘Claws get the +2 attacks on the charge, and the Priest has a force weapon to potentially kill other IC’s to pick up kill points. Obviously no living lightning if I plan to use the force weapon. Jaws of the World Wolf is there to snipe other IC’s for the victory points if my opponent has taken them.

The scouts infiltrate or outflank- having the ability to even come in off my opponent’s edge, with plasma and melta fire to take out vehicles, followed by an assault on the infantry inside, or firing and then assaulting any infantry.

In the case of my list I gain more by having the HQ choice then by not having it. While getting punked in the assault is an easy way to lose 100 victory points to my opponent, the ability to blast with the unlimited range of living lighting, snipe with JOTWW, and kill with the force weapon in the assault more than make up for the risk.

Mission Tactics

Now we move into the mission tactics to crush your opponent with. Seeing how the mission is driven by victory points, that is going to be the deciding factor regarding tactics for each turn.

When you deploy your infiltrators are going to go in reserve and the rest of your army is going to try and deploy in the center of the table. Terrain will effect this, as you always want to be in cover as best you can, so if you have to deploy off to one side or the other, that is ok also.

At the start of your turn you are going to see if you can pick up any victory points with your long range shots- as an example in my list- the Rune Priest using living lightning while shooting out of the top of the rhino. Transports, light walkers, skimmers like vypers and land speeders, are all great targets.

If there is nothing but infantry on the table then you want to target the smallest unit to start working on its victory points. Remember you get half for taking it below half, and the full amount if it is destroyed or runs off the table.

While you are doing this you want to start getting your other units into position to pounce on your opponent to wipe out a unit in a combined turn of shooting followed by assaulting. Keep in mind terrain is more important than ever, especially if you are not playing Space Marines or an army with a 3+ save- cover will help to keep you alive.

When your infiltrators arrive via outflank you are going to look at the table and see if there is any point where they can come on the table and hit a single valuable or multiple small units for victory points. Your outflankers are all about picking up the VP’s.

In a recent Combat Patrol game Vs. Imperial Guard my wolf scouts came on the right edge next to a chimera full of guardsman inside and a walker. I’ve moved them as close as I could to the chimera and walker, shot the chimera with my melta gun and plasma pistol blowing it up. I then assaulted the guys inside and the walker with a multi-assault, directing all my attacks at the guardsman killing them, followed by being locked in combat by the walker. Eventually my unit was taken down below 50% earning my opponent 55 or so VP’s but what I picked up for the chimera and guys inside was way more than my scouts gave up. Combat patrol is all about trading victory points…

Another layer on infiltrate depends on the unit you are taking and their options. If you have some sort of ranged shooting with your infiltrators another option is to deploy them on the table via infiltrate, in cover of course to take a shot, usually at a transport or light vehicle to pick up some victory points and then run away- victory point denial.

The final layer of combat patrol tactics is the concept of victory point denial and it is critical to winning combat patrol tournaments. In addition to trying to earn victory points by going for easy to kill and independent character models you are also playing your side of the table in denying your opponent victory points. As a unit approaches half strength you have to ask yourself based on the vale in VP it will give up, can it kill enough to make that back up. Meaning as you get close to the ½ point of losses, it is often better to turn around and start running away with the unit- and if it is below half, giving those points to your opponent it is better to run away and deny the full points over what the already weakened unit might be able to kill.

Imperial Guard Vs. Tyranids Battle Report Warhammer 40,000

Game two from playing at the comic shop had a quick 1000 point battle vs. Imperial Guard with my Tyranids. I don’t have a 1K list so I put together the following on the fly not knowing which mission we would play:

HQ: Hive Tyrant + Two Guard
Troops: 2 X 20 Hormaguants
Troops: 1 X 10 Genestealers
Heavy: Old One Eye

My thought was to try and replicate the synergy and gameplan of my 1750 list, but running a tyrant with guard and OOE in a 1K game is kind of being a jerk and not totally fair, I will be honest and admit that. Guard was running a gunline of platoons with vets and special weapons mixed in lead by a commissar and backed by a hydra tank. Mission was annihilation with a spearhead deployment. I was hoping for objectives, as annihilation meant I was forced to run forward into the IG gunline. I took first turn and deployed as far forward as I could using cover to at least get saves on my tyrant and OOE in case of a seize, and I put the stealers in reserve. If there was terrain to hide them or at least get cover saves and still be at 18” I might have infiltrated them, but since not, they went into reserve for the outflank- a gamble without Swarmlord in the list. Swarmlord at 1K = total jerk.

Guard tries to seize and fails and I start moving and running like a manic right at the gunline. Shooting has the tyrant taking some wounds and one of the gaunt squads getting hammered from frag grenades, autocannons, and a mortar round.

My stealers come in and outflank on the IG side, but fail their run roll with an epic “1” so I can only assault a single unit rather then pull off a multi assault like I had wanted to do- they hit the tank and a unit, killing both and then dying. Eventually I lose a gaunt squad and the second get badly mauled, but OOE and the tyrant make it into the IG line and wipe them out to the last by turn six…

So this battle report is NOT about how awesome I was rolling some dice to get across the table with my bugs, but rather how the IG army lost based on deployment and target priority. As soon as they lined up I knew I had the win. What would I have done differently? What would YOU have done differently?

First I would have deployed in two groups for spearhead- one down near my bottom table, and the other up near my left table edge. On my first turn I would have ran the top left edge group up breaking it off to three groups + the tank- think of having four “bubbles” on the table with overlapping lanes of fire. Now they tyranids have not one single line to crash, but three separate targets. If the Tyranids made it over to my side of the table, and I would have planned for it, but tried my best to stop it, they have to break up and go after the four targets, allowing me an extra turn or two of shooting. Spread out in “bubbles” also meant that when the stealers come in they punk one target and die trading a kill point for a kill point.

Target priority would have been the hive tyrant first to break synapse- everyting shoots to take it down, and then old one eye (I had him in the list for the alpha leader anticipating this, not a guarantee like synapse, but able to take LD 8 as opposed to the LD on the guants as a base), and then go to work on OOE. Taking out synapse means the gaunts revert to instinctive behavior unless the Tyranid player rolls like a champ. I’d then send out the hydra, protecting it from the stealers at all cost, and start tank shocking and having the gaunt chase it around like a pack of dogs since it would then be the closest unit, and on top of that S3 can’t even hurt rear armor. That would have been my plan over spray and pray.

Fritz Poll: 5th Edition Codexes

So the results are in for “most powerful 5th ed. codex” and not surprisingly IG took the top spot as the most broken of the bunch. Surprisingly Tyranids beat out Codex Space Marines, with ‘Wolves, and BA neck in neck.

Why do YOU think ‘guard is so over powered? Damage charts that make vehicles very survivable combined with cheap chimeras? IG “vets” that shoot like space marines for 1/3 the cost? Eldar skimmers repackaged as Guard?

And why are ‘nids in the bottom tier? Everybody keeps saying they area a top tier army? Personally I put them in second tier with Eldar and Chaos, sadly against the other 5th edition codexes AKA marinehammer, Tyranids have a very uphill battle.

Sound off with your thoughts…

Wiebe’s Weekly: Which Space Marine Codex?

Drum roll please…. Fritz here to introduce a new guest writer here on the blog to offer a unique mathhammer perspective on which units to choose, sound off in the comments. Agree? Disagree?

The first question is, when starting a space marine army, “which codex should I use?” First and foremost, figure out what you actually want from your marine army. Do you want a fluff driven army which is already in one of the many Chapter Codex’s? Or do you want to create your own chapter? Being that I was creating a second army (the first being eldar), and that I enjoyed nearly all of the fluff equally, I wanted to create an army that could use any of the Marine Codex’s. I am now in the process of creating an army, based on the Black Templars Codex. No other set of codex’s has so many units with such similar functions and I found myself using my knowledge of math to find out which units are truly better than others. Each week I will compare any two units in any of the marine codex’s. Here’s the best part: You get to choose! Leave a comment about which two units (of similar point values and functions) you’d like to have mathematically analyzed.


Round 1 (against WS 4 T4 opponents)

Unit 1: Blood Angels assault squad


--10 men

-- Sanguinary priest added (price cut in half and combat ability not counted)

--Power fist


--2x melta guns

Point total: 265

Unit 2: Black Templars Initiate (Crusader Squad)


--10 initiates

--(emperor’s champion with AACNMTO price cut down to a 5th. Combat ability not counted)

--power fist

--rhino with smoke

-melta gun

Point Total: 268

Note: The emporer’s champion and sanguinary priests have had their prices divided by the number units they generally effect at the same time.

Unit 1 charging:

25 strength 5 attacks: yields 12.5 hits. 12.5 hits yields 8.325 wounds. This means that just under 3 marines, 6.9 orks, with average rolls, will die from normal hits.

Powerfist: 3, Strength 9, initiative 1 attacks. Yields 1.5 hits. Yields 1.25 marine deaths.

Overall: These numbers mean that about 4 marines will die from this unit, with average rolling.

Unit 2 charging:

26 Strength 4, preferred enemy attacks. Yields 13 hits, rerolls yield 6.5 hits. Total hits: 19.5 hits. 19.5 hits yield 9.75 wounds. This means that just over 3 marines will die from normal hits and 8.125 orks will die from normal hits.

Power fist: 2, strength 8, initiative 1 attacks. 1.5 hits. 1.25 wounds. 1.25 dead marines or orks.

Overall: This brings the likely death toll caused by an Assault squad to just under 5 marines or 9.375 orks.

Round 1 Conclusion: Tie. While the crusader squad is more killy against marines and orks, the blood angels will last longer due to going first, and the added bonus of feel no pain.

Round 2 (against against WS3, T3 opponents)

Unit 1:

25 S5 attacks. Yield 16.5 hits. Yield 13.75 wounds. Yield 9.075 imperial guard deaths.

Powerfist: 3 S9, initiative 1 attacks. Yield 1.98 hits. Yield 1.68 wounds.

Overall: This means that, with average rolls, 10.755 imperial guard will die from a charging assault squad.

Unit 2:

26 S4, preferred enemy attacks. Yield 17.16 hits. Rerolls yield a total of 22.99 hits. Yield 15.176 wounds. Yield 10.016 imperial guard deaths.

Power fist: 2 S8, initiative 1 attacks. Yield 1.5hits. Yield 1.25 imperial guard losses.

Overall: The imperial guard, with average rolls, will suffer 11.3 losses from a charging crusader squad.

Round 2 Conclusion: Tie. Both units are very close to one another.

Overall Conclusion: Both units are very close in terms of assault power. Assault squads are better at taking down T5 units and Crusaders are better at taking down T4 and T3 units. One thing to note is that if there are multiple rounds of combat, the blood angels lose their furious charge bonus and the black templars keep their preferred enemy bonus. Considering that The Blood Angels come with a ton of equipment that makes assaults easier (namely krak and frag grenades), have two melta guns for blowing troops out of transports, and have a fast rhino, I would say that when choosing between the two, the Blood Angels assault squad is the most versatile choice. However, when being used by a savvy commander, who can plan when and where assaults take place, the crusader squads are generally better.

That’s it for this week on…Wiebe’s Weekly….
See you next week!

1750 Competitive Slaanesh List Possible?‏

Hey Fritz,

you might remember me cause I wrote you an equal e-mail (at least my question was the same) several months ago but now that I've made some hardcore proxy testgames I wanted to ask YOU what you think of the following lists.

Chaossorc.:-MoS, Lash of Submission, Wings (145p)
Greater Demon (100p)

10 Choosen:-IoS, 2xMelter & 2x Flamer, Powerfist, Champion (265p)


2x 10 CSM:-IoS, 2xMelter, Champion with Powerfist and Combi-Flamer, Chaos-Rhino (550pp)

6 Noise Marines:- 5xSonic Blaster, Champion with Powerweapon, Melterbombs and Doom Siren, Chaos-Rhino (230p)

12 Lesser Demons (156p)

Heavy Support:
2x Defiler with 2 CCW

So my thoughts about that list are, that I infiltrate the Choosen as far as possible to the enemy lines as long as I'm not fighting no Tyranids or Orks. By doing that I have a unit close (18") to the enemy lines, which can summon the greater Demon and is taking away fire from my Rhinos and stuff so they can advance. Defilers are their for taking fire from my Rhinos and popping maybe some light vehicles onto their way into CC.
When I tested this list (only was able to make 3 games against imperial guardsmen tournament list ...) it doesn't turned out well. Lost both objective missions and only was able to get a tight victory out of kill points.

Chaossorc.:-MoS, Lash of Submission, Wings (145p)
Greater Demon (100p)

9 Choosen:-IoS, 2xMelter & 2x Flamer, Powerfist, Champion (265p)


2x 10 CSM:-IoS, 2xMelter, Champion with Powerfist, Chaos-Rhino (550pp)

6 Noise Marines:- 3x Sonic Blaster, 1x Blastmaster (175p)

9 Raptors:-IoS, 2x Melter, Champion with a Pair of Powerclaws (255p)

Heavy Support:
2x Defiler with 2 CCW

Yeah nearly the same tactic as list 1 just switching some minor points.
Noise Marines stay on a objective for holding it (they aren't that easy to shoot off from an objective due to fearless). The rest stays the same just letting the Raptors and Sorc go behind the Rhinos or marching them over a flank.
Only was able to test the list in one game against 24 Shadowlances, Hagashins and Inccubi list with huge luck on the opponents side and failed dice rolling on my side. Game ended with a 1:0 marker for the Dark Eldar.

So as a both list weren't that effective (ok me too due to being a noob playing WH40k for only ~7months) I tried to fix the stuff that didn't worked quite well coming up with two new, hopefully in your oppion better lists ^^.

Chaossorc.:-MoS, Lash of Submission (125p)

5 Terminators:-IoS, 1 Chainfist, 2 Pairs of Powerclaws, 2 Combi-Melter, 1 Heavy flamer, Landraider with additional armor and bulldozerthing (455p)
Chaos Cybot: CCW and Misslelauncher

2x 2x 10 CSM:-IoS, 2xMelter, Champion with Powerfist and Combi-Flamer, Chaos-Rhino (550pp)

9 Noise Marines:- 4x Sonic Blaster, Champ with Fist and Siren, Chaos-Rhino (300p)

6 Lesser Demons (78p)

Heavy Support:
Defiler with 2x CCW (150p)

Lord:-MoS, Demonweapon, Wingsm Melterbombs (160p)

Chaossorc.:-MoS, Lash of Sumbission (125p)

10 CSM:-IoS, 2xMelter, Champion with Powerfist and Combi-Flamer, Chaos-Rhino (275p)

2x 9 Noise Marines:- 4x Sonic Blaster, Champ with Fist and Siren, Chaos-Rhino (580p)

6 lesser demons (78p)

9 Raptors:-IoS, 2x Melter, Champ with Powerfist (260p)

Heavy Support:
10 Havocs:-IoS, 2x Melter & 2x Flamer, Champ with Powerfist, Chaos Rhino (275p)

So mainly a classical Rhino-Rush with fast troop choice as support. Why taking Havocs? Because they get 2 additonal special Weapons and i already have 4 scoring units. Weakness of this list is the lack of armored vehicles to draw some fire (Defilers are imo best for this job) from my Rhinos and the lack of long ranged anti-tank stuff.

The reason for writing this mail to you is because I'm still a student so I have to think carefully about what I buy next and how to expand my list.
I hope you'll be able to help be ^^


Fritz Reply Out:

Philip, a few ideas on the different version of your list…

Chosen need to be given a rhino and then outflanked to effectively work. Infiltrating them means they tend to get shot up dead, especially if your opponent knows they are there to be a delivery system for a greater daemon or icons. Second, is that even now chaos have the best terminators in the game based on point cost and the ability to take combi weapons. Regardless of your list they should be in there- Emperor’s Children can have them if you are going for a theme.
Heavy support should be defilers based on possession or obliterators, and lesser daemons make great objective holding/contesting troops. I talk about this in my chaos.pdf- shameless plug.

So consider something along the lines of this list- you’ll have to work out the points based on model and what you want to play, 1500-1750 point games.

HQ: Chaos Sorcerer + Lash
HQ: Greater Daemon
Elite: Termintors
Elite: 8 Chosen + Icon + Rhino + Melta/Plasma
Troops: 2 Noise Marine / Chaos Marine + Rhino + Icon
Troops: 1-2 Lesser Daemons
Heavy: 1-2 Defilers
Heavy: 2-3 Oblits

The idea is to set up an icon network with your units and bring down the oblits, and daemons as needed- to both keep them off the board for a turn or two from getting shot up, but also as an in your face surprise.

The rhinos advance and as they push forward they drop off iconed daemons either in support or to just sit on an objective and go to ground. When the greater daemon comes into play you have him bust out off the chosen if they are outflanked or the regular marines. Once/as the chosen outflank their goal is to stay alive as long as possible- go to ground, force your opponent to sink shots into them as they are in their back deployment zone and are a threat- as long as they are a threat that gives the rest of your army a little breathing room. Terminators can also come down on the icons and pop off combi-melta shots and then assault next turn- perhaps with a mark of S for the +1 init.

Warhammer 40,000 Battle Report: Fritz Knights Vs. The Flawless Host

Space Marines Vs. Tyranids Help?

Email In:

Howdy Fritz, (Apologies if you get this twice! Outlook Express bugged out.)

Recently became a fan of your blog and You-Tube voids – think I have seen them all to date and love them all :D

I am emailing you regarding problems I have against the hive as a space-marine player. My tyranid opponent doesn’t usually do anything other than running across the board (save the occasional gene-stealer outflank and occasionally deep striking one of his Trygons) yet I never seem to be able to make much of a dent against his forces. I am not sure if I am bringing the wrong combination of weaponry to the table, the wrong army makeup or just using bad tactics... but he has never failed to wipe me out by turn 4 in 5th ed (And I have never won against Tyranids in my 13 year history of playing WH/40k...)

Part of the problem I think may be a psychological block? But I always seem to do very bad with target priority, and make stupid moves as well as bad deployment... I tend to find my vehicles crawling over each other trying to get a bead on the enemy. I shall try to break down the main points for clarity, and provide a little example battle report for your entertainment. Please let me know what you think 

Target Priority:

As a general rule, I try to ignore the cannon fodder then thrown a unit out to speed bump them. I tend to focus on taking down Zoanthropes when he brings them – and if I’m going to take down a Trygon it's with an alpha strike... so if he deploys them I usually opt to take it out to prevent it regenerating which often leads to my entire first rounds shooting being at the one target – sometimes barely scratching.

Deployment: I tend to keep away from one flank to avoid outflanking stealers... He loves to outflank and get a free kill before I can react. This often leads to me clustering units up and any manoeuvrability I have is for naught as I am then pincered and munched upon by round 3. He has never used spore mines and is finding that since 33% of his outflanks result in wasted units, that running across the board works just fine to get the job done.


I hear Heavy Bolters do a nice job – but I have not yet deployed a HB heavy army, I tend to pack in missile launchers (S8 to instakill warriors/thropes) and MC killing weapons as he usually packs 2 trygons, and a hive tyrant or two, and I like to eliminate these asap. I tend to bring a couple of tactical, a couple of predators and a vindicator (or 3 preds) a speeder, a termi assault with my hq in (they usually take out 1 thing then get swarmed and killed).

An example of our last battle which was the latest in our experimentations shall be added below for you to see how it went and the mistakes I make :p (I hope you find the battle-report interesting and it gives you fuzzy feelings about more smurf space lunchboxes being eaten )

Units I like to take:

I tend to take 2 tactical squads – sometimes 3 giving them flamers fists and missile launchers. If it’s not annihilation I combat squad and use the 5 man cc squad in their vehicle to speed bump.

I don’t have any scouts, but don’t see how they can be very useful beyond forcing him to redirect some units to take care of a minor threat on a flank/behind their lines.

I like taking at least one dreadnought – although I have not settled on a favourite weapon layout. Asscan dread tends to eat a few things then tar pit a unit, double Autocannon dread are fantastic at MC hunting (typically 2-3 wounds a round although cover/armour saves tend to result in a single wound) the problem with these is that they are not very effective in melee. I have not tried an Ironclad – I’m not too sure how effective a pure melee unit would be when he could fairly easily redirect an MC at him and tear him to shreds (S8 2D6 = 5+ on 2D6 to bring the pain with each hit.)

As I said above I typically bring one TH/SS unit of Termies with a couple of LCs in for early wounds if I have equal initiative. I tend to poke my HQ model in here (typically Cassius as he holds out quite well and if singled out has a high T and inv save – the rerolls on hits if I charge are invaluable)

Fast Attack:
I have 5 bikes, 2 speeders and 10 assault troops... I tend to field one or two land speeders. I’m starting to like the abilities of the typhoon – and am starting to field these more. (4s8 hits against those T4 multi wound models is quite yummy.)

Bikes I have tried once, they died as fast as anything else because they were in the middle of the field... but for the points I tend to like to take more boom for my buck.

Assault troops – they tend to single out a unit they can take and charge doing some good damage, but are then swarmed and killed in short order.

Heavy Support:
I love my predators, although I habitually Hunker down to get as many shots off as I can before getting charged... need to learn to accept that I occasionally need to get out the core of my army as the horde storms in...

I have a vindicator (yes, one lonely one) but I find it tends to do poorly... The targets are always spread out and against T6 MCs it’s a waste (one wound – albeit easy to get, aint worth it!) If I can shoot the enemy, they are likely going to be climbing into the cannon in their next round as well.

Against most armies I field a Libby with null zone – but against the Tyranids there are so few invl saves, and I often fail most of the psychic tests that I don’t find them worth the value (I don struggle to take out the zoans walking the board before they do much damage. A few s8+ shots tends to whittle them down and they only have 18” range to burst my vehicles.

As a result, I find that for our typical 1500 point battles Cassius poses the best bang for buck. Hellfire rounds, combi-flamer, T6, and all the chaplain goodness for 125 points. Tried Calgar once and he epically failed (met a swarm lord and had the psychic effects of two brood lords affect him... reduced LD then couldn’t fight back...) = easy kill, and his honour guard were the biggest waste of points I have ever spent. Tigurius, against nids? That’s suicide, he would kill himself before the horde even got close to him with failed psychic tests. (retarded for the points value to not have a single INV save...)

Anyway, I promised a little battle report on our last game, here it is :p

My force (attempting to use an all-comers list.)

T Tactical Squad with flamer, Multimelta and power fist and Rhino.
T Tactical Squad with flamer, Multimelta and power fist and Rhino.
E+HQ Terminator Assault squad (3TH 2LC) + Cassius
E 2 x Rifleman Dreads (2 x TL Autocannons)
HS Combi-Predator (las spons + Autocannon)
HS Combi-Predator (las spons + Autocannon)
HS Vindicator
FA Land speeder Typhoon

His army:

T 15 Gaunts (toxin sacks)
T 5 shooty warriors
T 5 Melee warriors (bone swords + Lash whips) – (one high T model in there to soak insta-kill wounds, can’t remember what it was.)
HS Trygon Prime (Jennifer) – Scything talons and toxin sacks as well (I think)
HS Trygon Prime (Reginald) - Scything talons and toxin sacks as well (I think)
? VenomThrope (Done nothing the entire battle so we will ignore it, it waddled along from rear providing a cover save that was never needed)
? Unit of 3 Hive Guard (Experimental new unit for him.)
? 2 x zoanthropes

The battle: Annihilation! (Oh, poo! He has 10 KP available I have 12...)

I won deployment – surveyed the terrain: Right hand side of board had a lot of card-ruins – would have been a nightmare to draw LOS through. In the centre of the board was a large graveyard blocking
all LOS – on the left of the board was 2 woodland clumps – so I deployed in the left corner/half of the board with my entire force. Rhino on each flank, then Dread by them, and a core of my HS/FA.

He deployed opposite, Reginald in trees opposite my HS core (fire magnet of course, and I knew it.) to the left of him out of LOS due to graveyard was the Zoanthropes, melee warriors and hive-guard. Against his board edge (right to him, left to me) opposite my board-edge rhino: gaunts, shooty warriors, Jennifer (in cover) and venomthrope.

Turn 1 Smurfs go:
After failing to seize initiative, I began.
My left Rhino advanced out of deployment zone a little bit and dumped out my first squad – they were positioned to get a round of rapid fire + MM off as the enemy advanced, or alternatively, re-board Rhino and run to tease. My termis advanced as do my dreads (all units that can take some punishment) advanced, and I moved my rightmost Rhino to the edge of the graveyard to get cover from Hive Guard who were on the other side of it (forgot about smoke launchers...) I then opened fire. Reginald was the only unit the bulk of my force could draw a bead too, so I opted to attempt to execute him at the start. 2 Predators: 2 wounds. 2 Dreadnoughts, 3 wounds.... Argh! Wait – I was going to speeder them zoanthropes... sod it – Zonk: finishes off Reginald. Jennifer sheds a tear and we continue.

Turn 1: Nids go:
The Everything advances. The shooty warriors and Jennifer open up on the tactical squad killing one (yey for armour – some dozen shots hit.) The Hive Guard open up on the Graveyard Rhino – Wrecking it (Now tied on kill points... 1 Trygon = 1 Rhino *fume*. Also one shooter didn’t I didn’t get a cover save from because of angle? I’m so confused by their cover ignoring ability...  ) The Zoanthropes opened up on an advanced Dread but were 2” out of range. (Phew!) His Gaunts charge my leftmost tactical squad (18.5” charge? :s we debated for a bit about whether they were in range before I just gave in and let it happen. Squad was smacked down to 4 marines and I killed a gaunt... I chose to fail test to retreat, but got caught up and lost one from failed resolution armour save.)

Turn 2 (Smurfs):
I moved my troopers from the right rhino to cover my predator behind them (attempting to give it a cover save from Hive Guard...)
My leftmost Rhino slid back behind my lines to avoid being an easy KP once that tac squad bit the dust., and the Vindicator advanced to target Zoanthropes.
My dreads and termis shuffled about to prep for any charges/ outrange them. I open fire – Target options: Shooty warriors (I didn’t deem a threat.) Jennifer (in cover but positioned so my army could open up on her.) – nothing else was visible or were the tied up gaunts. So, Jennifer lost 2 wounds to shooting from the units that couldn’t target the zoanthropes, The vindicator scattered but still caught one Zoanthrope and rolled a 1 to wound... it then wounded on with its storm bolter... My 2 dreadnoughts, a predator and my land speeder opened up on the Zoanthropes, managing to land one single wound... (removing one of them from play.) My tactical squad on the right runs to cover the predator from fire, and the gaunts slay all but the heavy weapon dude in my left tactical squad who manages to punk a gaunt and pass his moral test – keeping the gaunts from tar-pitting a dread/my Termies next round! Woo!)

Turn 2 (Nids):
Zoanthrope, melee warriors and hive guard advance (guard into Graveyard)
Shooting: He opens up on my termis with warriors and Jennifer killing one. The Hive guard pop my rightmost predator with ease (apparently marines aint tall enough to provide cover for a pred from the Hive guard due to its turret ^.^ )
The Zoanthrope opens up on my vindi blowing its tracks off but leaving it with a favourable arc of fire over the graveyard for next round. The gaunts finish off the last tactical marine and consolidate towards my terminators and back towards Jennifer to re-establish synapse. Jennifer regenerates one of those wounds.

Turn 3 (Smurfs):
Tacticals open up on the warriors killing one with the multimelta but failing to hit or wound with any of the other shots (17 bolter shots... *sigh* )
Predator & dreadnought pop the last Zoanthrope and I land a vindicator shell on the advancing warriors, doing one wound that is allocated to the Tough model in the unit who just takes one wound. All other shooting is in vain. I did contemplate using the combi-flamer on the gaunts from Cassius before my termis charged – but he would have removed the models in charge range leaving me sat in front of Jennifer, shooty warriors, and venomthrope and within charge range of them next turn (and I really wanted to get those rerolls to hit!) So... I passed on their shooting and charged the gaunts, wiping all 13 of them out (albeit losing another termi in the process.)

Turn 3 (Nids):
Jennifer and the warriors (Good band name? :p ) advance on the Terminator Assault Squad and open fire killing 1 and then charge wiping them out without any casualties... The warriors on the right flank charge and wipe out the tactical squad there without taking a hit, the hive guard pop my vindicator – I am left with a rhino, a predator, 2 dreadnoughts and my land speeder, everything is within charge range of his forces and only the speeder is fast enough to get out of dodge... I have 3 KP from taking out the Zoanthropes, Reginald and the Gaunts and he currently has 7... I opt to concede as there aint much left for me to do.

This seems to be about a typical battle for me: The exception being nothing came on from the side to eat me. I tend to have fairly poor luck with shooting (Everything except his cannon fodder usually has cover saves... maybe I should try taking them out at the start for once!) which turns my shooting into something about as effective as if I was fighting other marines :/) followed by poor positioning and then get eaten in assault! Even with special assault units...

I made a number of mistakes in this battle (speed bumper failure from both rhinos), clumping up my units so I couldn’t draw a LOS on what proved to be his biggest threat – the warriors and hive guard who advanced out of my line of sight until the last moment – not moving more (it occurs to me advancing the vindi or a predator up the field or along my flank so he had to divide his forces (needing 6s to hit in melee) could have been beneficial. Looking back over the game there were a lot of things I could have done to take out the right targets (dreadnought for each warrior squad, and termis on Jennifer, and speeder to move to where it could shoot hive guards from range and stop their game) would have made a huge difference, but psychological warfare from nids works on me :p I hate them from having never won and always go in with a negative mindset.

Anyway, Hopefully this has not been a boring read – if you have any suggestions on how to combat nids for someone as n00bie as myself, it would be much appreciated  From anything from counter unit makeup to specific unit tactics – it’s all gravy 

If you made it this far – thanks for your patience!
Cheers and keep up the good work! 

Stu – your friendly neighbourhood blue meals on wheels provider.

Email Out:
Stu, thanks for emailing, and sorry for taking a bit to get back to you. From the excellent description that you have me I think your issues are with objective placement, target priority, and your own units. Here are a few things to consider:
Objective placement- you are meched up and have mobility for everything except the terminators and HQ which need to be fixed. Consider possibly dropping the vindie and speeder to find the points for a land raider if you have to model and then put the guys inside it. Nids hate land raiders, even with zopes, and its firepower + assault capability is essential to the plan.

For objective missions with the ones you can place, put them in the center of the table, and if your opponent places objectives on one side, try your best to deploy on the opposite side. Imagine a table with three objectives on one side, and two around the center. If you “win” the first turn roll off then you pick the empty side.
In capture & control you deploy opposite your own objective. The idea here is to influence the game before it even starts- in objective missions you want to use the objectives to split up the nid forces. The two tervigons will have to sit and spawn. If he wants to run across the table at you then that means perhaps giving up objectives or the support of them. If you place objectives in your deployment zone (or what you want to be your deployment zone) then he can both run at you to kill you AND get objectives.

Target priority- forget the stuff running at you- target the MC’s / Tervigons and shoot them dead- two preds, two riflemans, and a potential land raider W/ las cannons will make short work of them even with their insane wounds. Also if you have the models consider getting missile launchers instead of multi-meltas for the range- pop the rhino hatch to shoot them at the tervigons. Once the tervies are out of the game, and not spawning insane amounts of scoring gaunts, you then move on to any other scoring units- wipe them out 100%.

When you deploy your forces, the dreads go in the center with the land raider, the preds on one side, and the rhinos on the other- don’t castle up- again forcing the tyranid player to split up. Once they get close enough start moving with the tanks- move 12” away, get some space, and then start shooting again, or even moving 6” since they will need 4+ or 6’s to hit you in the assault.

The land raider in the center of the table means you can control the radius around it- so as you divide up the tyranids you move the landraider out to the weakest Tyranid unit and assault it wiping it out with the guys inside. Finally, never ever get out of your rhino to rapid fire- unless it is blown up of course! Keep moving and flaming. Use tank shock with one unit to help bunch up the tyranids, and then flame them with the flamer in the rhinos- remember with a tank shock your opponent has to move the shortest distance out of the way- make sure that puts them closest to your rhinos w/ the flamers.


The Spear Council

Email In:

Hello Fritz,.

Regards to your remodeled blog its defiantly a lot more professional. I'm still from the days when u were using Saim Hann more...before Space wolfs and imperium hammer. Back then you abused the ppls common disbelieve that 40k is about killing units like in 4th. So things have changed. PPL play rhino spams all over and never get out till you force them to straightly hiding for objectives. I noticed that my JB-council seldom has something to flame at. They fly around till they flame one thing and then get bound in CC. Furthermore ppl learned that its not too dangerous as long as they keep a unit to block them and bind em forever. What I thought of is use em more aggressively so they draw attention again and hurt actually. Why not get em 6 spears. They never win a combat anyways and if they lose they lose by one or 2 with a reroll able LD of 10. Since they don’t kill anything in cc against marines (and in my place everyone plays SM now this version or the other) they won’t give up any cc potential yes against orks they do but as I said only marines around here or crons...or chaos even nids are seldom around here.

So if I give them 6 spears they get 9 S9 a for 18P attacks against rhinos they throw away at 12 move back 6 and are out of charge range. What you think?

with kind regards


Fritz Reply Out:

I’ve found that more than ever a seer council needs to work alongside some other support units to pull off the destuctor combo. In my warhost that tasks falls to the vypers- use them to bust open rhinos and then hit the passengers with the seer council.

What I have been experiencing using my seer council is that while on the one hand they are supper killy, now vs. the 5th edition codexes they really don’t kill much or even enough. I’m facing three to four times the amount of tanks and rhinos, and even at their “best” the council can only kill one tank a turn. Consider that in my Black Templar list I’m paying 75 points for a razorback and other 5th ed. marines are paying 35 points.

That said, the fear of the seer council still remains. I’m finding a new and improved use for them by just zipping around the table and soaking up shots- with fortune up of course. I’ve talked before about wolf packing your opponent (swingwing) and how the entire warhost should be doing it, but sometimes it is worth it to break off the seer council and send them on the opposite side of the table- faking an attack and then pulling back- gives the rest of the warhost some room to breathe.

Of course ‘councils are still PERFECT for tying up hard to kill units and bogging them down to the point that they are useless.


Army Building: Another Option?

So for this week I want to talk about some army building options that I try to take into consideration when writing up a list. We all have our own process when deciding what units to include in our army, and all of them have merit. Do you pick models based on looks? Selecting models only based on point cost? Redundancy/spam out certain units? Everybody has a “system”…

On top of this, the system you use to write up your list is further tweaked by the guys and gals you play at your gaming club, hobby store, etc. Across the internets star cannons are regarded as a total fail, but all my vypers are armed with them, why? Locally where I roll the dice it is marine heaven, so lots of AP 2 shots makes sense. Adjust as needed…

Another layer that I add over my own system of army building, or perhaps filter is a better term. With each of my 40K armies I try to build them based on both a theme, but also their ability to take advantage of as many of the rules, phases, and special abilities that they can. I can’t be the best at everything, but if I have options I have one more thing that I can throw at an army that might not be able to deal with those options. Check out the chart below (click on it to make it bigger) for two of my armies:

I want to try and fill out as many “X”’s as I can for each category to open up as many options as I can throughout the game. Now some armies just based on their nature and codex age will be better able to do this then others- my Harlequins more so then my Tyranids, but simple changes in your list can open up so much. Say you play Space Marines and have a group of assault terminators- put X’s in the assault ability. However, add a librarian in terminator armor to help boost them even more and you then open up some psyker options. You also want to see if certain unit tweaks or upgrades will unlock universal special rules like hit and run, preferred enemy, and furious charge- all advantages that might be overlooked. It will also help show you where your army is vulnerable and how you might need to shift some units, or at least be aware of it- as seen in my Tyranids which are weak in the shooty area.

Your homework is to now draw up a similar chart and check off as many of the boxes as you can for your own army- you never know when pinning, rending, infiltrating, and all the other rules options which are often overlooked could make a difference, or give you a slight edge in the game.

Send In The Clowns…I Mean Zoats!

I’m on the lookout for some zoats for my ‘zopes! Brother Captain James has been modeling up a cool DOM ‘zope off the old 3rd edition zoranthrope and some bitz, and I thought it would be cool to run some zoats in my army as zorantropes. I’m finding that I need to work in a second ‘zope unit not so much for the AP 1 shooting- I gave up on that, but more for synapse so Swarmlord can run off and do his thing without me having to worry about my gaunts spazzing out.

Battle Report: Tyranids Vs. Emperor’s Children Warhammer 40,000

This week at the club my Tyranids were facing off against an Emperor’s Children CSM army led by Fabius Bile himself, or perhaps one of his many clones if you read the books. Mission was five objectives with a spearhead deployment, and Tyranids were passed first turn. Objectives were set up as above with green being the ones I placed, and pink (of course) being the ones the EC placed.

Swarmlord and his guards went in the lower left, along with two giant 20 buggies gaunt squads to hold the objectives on the left. Two carnifexes, rippers, and a unit of zopes went in the center to push up and contest the center objective, act as a speedbump to anything coming in to what I planned to hold, and my three ‘stealer units went into reserve to make a play for the objectives on the right.

I did expect the EC player to deploy in the upper right corner (his deployment zone) to set up a nice long range firebase with his three groups of noise marines in rhinos, a group of oblits, a defiler, marked raptors, and a predator. Nice juicy targets for my ‘stealers to outflank and tear up, but then he reserved everything and started coming in on the center.

With my outflank plan failed, I want to plan “B”- when the stealers enter on the table they went into terrain near the objectives on the right and collected cover saves and going to ground if needed. My opponent would still need to take the objectives and my ‘stealers would hopefully have to be assaulted to do that. By pulling to the center of the table, and with the terrain setup there was no way I was going to run out and assault him- especially with all the noise marine shots that he had- it was like playing chaos Tau or something.

In the center of the table I started running my carnifexes forward- one assault built, and one shooty with the rippers and zopes behind to put pressure on the center- hopefully drawing some shots away from the genestealers to help keep them up.

On the left I strung out my two twenty long gaunt units so they were each holding two objectives- another key tactic of mine, allowing a single unit to capture/control two objectives as the EC made the push to take the objectives on the right- expending Fabius and his unit, along with the group of raptors. My ‘stealers did take them out but it cost me two units in the process and then the defiler came into play from reserves and assaulted my third genestealer unit- of which I got a lucky rend on the first assault and destroyed it, rolling a six for armor pen, another six for the rend results, and then a final five for the damage result. Insane! I bounced off the massacre and headed for the second EC troop choice. In the center my spearhead of carnifexes, rippers, and ‘zopes took a beating with the rippers, and ‘fexes going down, but they did their job of distracing and expending bodies to accomplish their task- and this is what I have FINALLY learned with Tyranids. Tyranids are not about shooting, or even assaulting- they are about expending bodes to affect your opponent’s movement. Need your opponent’s scoring unit to stay in place so it can’t get to that objective? Other armies might take it out of play by shooting or assaulting- Tyranids do it by throwing masses of stealers or gaunts at it to keep it busy shooting trying to repel the numbers.

Game ended with a scoring unit of EC marines holding the center objective, and my two gaunt squads holding the two left objectives- Tyrandis 2 to EC 1.

Clown Patrol (Harlequin Combat Patrol List)

Hmmm, a request to scale down my harlequin army to a combat patrol level…
Talk about an “elite” force:

6 Pathfinders
9 Harlequins- Deathjester, Shadowseer, 2 Fusion Pistols + Kisses

You need to have the pathfinders in the list over just rangers since they are the only thing that can reliably by shot at- harlies being protected by VOT. This is a victory point denial list- you use the pathfinders and the deathkjester to kill up some points and then start running like crazy. Pathfinders can infiltrate and then scout to get up past the 12” deployment zone if needed to be in range, and then have room to start running away to deny victory points. Clowns do what they do best- dancing just out of VOT range and sniping with the ‘jester, and if needed closing and assaulting. I’ll play this list at the comic shop next time and do a battle report for it to show how the two units bait and switch on the table.

Black Templar Combat Patrol Help

Email In:

Dearest Fritz,

I know you don't usually do this kind of thing like renew specifics but i was wondering it you might humor me a bit an give me a small response on this question i have. My local gaming club and me have currently started playing games of combat patrol. Although I really like the newer games, who doesn't like playing 5 games in one night, but i feel at the disadvantage. You see I play the Black Templars and although they are one hardcore army I cannot seem to get a good synergy with them like you always say. I realize this kind of problem could be attributed to me not playing them exactly like they should be (yes sometimes it is better to shoot) but i feel they are at the disadvantage on combat patrol. The Templars don't get the champion and thus lose their vow. This is very disheartening because it seems to make the Templars in combat patrol equivalent to ultramarines (not that they are that bad) without veteran sergeants or devastator squads.

So that leads to my question- What do i do in combat patrol? Do I leave behind my ideals of getting into hand to hand (we aren't as glorious when we don't have preferred enemy) and try to use guns blazing with the big finish of fighting in hand to hand?

But it just doesn't seem like that is using the Army like they should be. They were made for hand to hand but what can I do to continue that without being shot off the board by every big gun this side of the Imperium (or lightning storm thanks to that pesky rune priest) ?

So here is what i am thinking and maybe this is wrong but I put this list together:
Techmarine w/ Terminator honorous, Bolt Pistol= 81 (and yes he can be in the game because the Templar codex lists him as a 3+ base save)
Crusade Squad- 4 guys with bolt pistols and Chainswords, one w/ missile Launcher and one w/ plasma gun = 96
then either:
Sword Brethren- 4 guys Bolt Pistols and CC weps with frags and one Power Weapon and frags = 115 (infiltrating)
Sword Brethren- 4 guys with Bolt Pistols and CC weps and one w/ meltagun = 110 (also infiltrating)
or :
Crusade Squad B with 4 cc and bp, one with Power Fist and 2 Neophytes= 115
Crusade Squad C with 4 cc and Bp, one with Power Sword and one with plasma gun and 1 Neophyte = 106
I could also make a rhino fit.

What I want to do is use the Techmarine's ability to have potentially 4 or 5 Power weapon hits and one Powerfist as well as use his old fashioned Signum to take one free reroll each turn of shooting. He will be the synergy- cheaper than a marshall and can improve my shooting i feel he is perfect. Then while that squad( crusade squad and techmarine) lays fire either infiltrate my guys to pop tanks or hunt squads bunkered down in the back. Is this the synergy that I should base around, the techmarine has beast potential in Black Templars but i am not sure if i should be shooting? Can you help me out with pointing me in the direction my thoughts should flow for combat patrol with Templars?

Sorry that was so long and i understand if you don't want to or have time to help me out with this question but thanks anyways for listening to my plea. Oh and our whole club follows your blog so thanks for all the good tactical advice already!

Brother-Marshal Zappin

Reply Out:

‘Templars are in a rough place for combat patrol since like you mentioned, not being able to unlock their vows via the EC really kills them. So, they kind of become vanilla marines only for a lot more points, and at 400 points for combat patrol you need to squeeze in all you can.

You are on the right track with the tech-marine to set up a killy focus, and with the sword brethren, but not with them infiltrating- to easy to get wiped out.
That said, I do have a combat patrol list that I have been playing around with for ‘templars with some good success.

The advantages that BT’s still have is in their characters, wargear, and veteran skills, so this is what we want to exploit over other chapters. Consider this list:

Reclusiarch Chaplain + Holy Orb
5 Sword Brethren + Power Weapon + Furious Charge
1 Rhino
7 Initiates + Missile Launcher + Power Fist

This kind of replicates the Templar feel while getting a few bodies on the table. Chaplain goes in the rhino with the sword brethren and they are your killy unit on the charge. They get in the rhino and move out to engage and kill a unit on the charge. Use the initiates to sit in the back in terrain and fire off the missile- either to open up other light vehicles or frag on foot infantry to set up the charge for the brethren. When the brethren charge they are going at I5 with the chaplain and re-rolling failed hits from litanies. Hitting at S5 from furious charge means you are wounding ion 2’s or 3’s depending on the targets toughness of 3 or 4. Holy orb is in there for some fun and as an eye opener surprise before your chappy charges in.

The weakness of this list, and there is no real way around it is the body count in the brethren and initiates. Five brethren can easily be overwhelmed so they need the rhino to stay safe from bolter shots, etc. and you have to get the charge off on them and wipe a unit out- preferably a bigger one in victory points, so softening things up with the ML might be needed.

The initiates need to stay at 7 strong so you can take wounds on the other guys and keep the ML up- they sit in the back shooting each turn. You could save some points by taking neophytes since the group will be in cover, probably a good idea- I’ve just kept them out since I personally don’t like them.

What do you think?


Odd Army Builds?

Much debate on the internets as to what army build is best. Redundancy, mech, min/max, over time the best two or one army build for each codex rises to the top and gets copied everywhere on the tournament and local gaming scene. The formula, while very predictable does work- take the “best” units and spam them out. Best being defined as what works in the codex with the current rule set and mission layout.

For Eldar it is a jet seer council, and then spam the rest with five fire dragons and five dire avengers in wave serpents till you hit your point level. IG is even easier, spam chimeras with vets and valks with vets. Codex marines? Vulkan. Space Wolves? Razorwolf? Tyranids? Tervigons and gaunt farms. These are the units that work best within the current frame of rules known as 5th edition.

Personally I see two problems with this, the first is that it is easier to formulate a plan to counter said lists- everybody is taking them, everybody is talking about them, and chances are you are going to be facing them at the club and tournaments. Just as there is a wealth of information out there about these lists and build there is an equal amount on how to beat them. Where is the surprise? Isn’t “warfare” all about surprise? I know JWolf is the military historian so maybe he can correct my quote, but I read somewhere that eight out of ten battles recorded through history were won by a surprise attack.

So what about taking the opposite approach to building your army, head off the beaten path of the internet and mine your codex for another angle, something overlooked, or not popularly considered?

Consider build an army based on surprised- exploiting or combining units to create something unfamiliar for your opponent to face. Unfamiliarity creates opportunities for mistakes, and mistakes are how you lose 40K. Here is a brief example of my own spin on this concept…

Enter my harlequins who are still pounding the table in 5th edition, hey somebody has to play them, and only in 40K can you play a wargame with clown models who go around killing everybody. In my 1750 list I have Eldrad, two groups of pathfinders, three groups of harlequins, and three wraithlords. The theme of the army is to lure my opponent close enough so the harlequins can kill them in the assault, and the “trick” that accomplishes this, among others is that long to mid range shooting, is a waste of time. Can’t target the clowns out of 24” inches thanks to veil of tears, the pathfinders in cover get a 2+ save, and the wraithlords are hard to kill being T8 and using cover. If you want to kill me you have to get close to bypass VOT or use flamers/rapid fire shots, and getting close is what I want, my opponent does the work for me.

Now of course we can go back and forth arguing how to beat this army, and how I’m going to beat your army, the internet is great at that, but take step back for a moment and imagine yourself facing this army on the table. It doesn’t play like anything you have faced before, or perhaps read about on the forums, etc. I’ve got a plan and experience on how to use it, and once the game starts you don’t have much time to figure it out before I’m bringing that plan into play. This is the element of surprise that I am talking about- how can YOU get a similar feeling in your own list.

Ironically if you take your various net lists and carve out a few hundred points for some sort of “surprise” you may do even better then my harlequin list since everybody knows how netlists play right- until you drop your little surprise. My challenge to you is what is that surprise going to be?

What armies can YOU put together to tread the off beaten path? Chaos Daemons Fatecrusher lists? Blood Angels scouting baals lists? ‘Templar terminator hordes?

Games Day 2010 Army?

Ok guys, time for some feedback and comments…

Games Day 2010 is approaching and Jawaballs and I are furiously at work building tables for the event. One is done and ready, a second is started, and a third in the works. The first table is a chaos theme, the second a Tyranid invasion theme, and the third…and ideas?

These are the tables we are going to use for the open gaming event where you can show up with your army, throw down, and play. But back to the armies…

Of course Jawaballs is bringing his Blood Angels in all their glory, but which army should I bring down this year? Last year was Saim-Hann of course, the same this year or something different? Tyranids? Space Marines? Harlequins? Necrons?

1000 Point Necron List

Email In:

Hey Fritz, it's your loyal fellow C'tan worshiper here with a interesting question regarding a 1000 point Necron list. What exactly would you bring to a 1000 point game using the Crons? I have created one but sadly it doesn't have the Deceiver and I don't know if this is wise or not but I'll leave that up to you. In the meantime let me show you my list

Necron Lord W/ warscythe + Gaze of Flame
10 Warriors
10 Warriors
6 Immortals
3 Destroyers
3 Heavy Destroyers

Pretty simple list really but very powerful I think. The Destroyers will handle hordes, troops, Rhinos and things like that while the Heavy will target walkers, vehicles and any 2+ armor save units. The Immortals will help out the Destroyers keeping their distance and the Lord will go out and attract fire and if he's unfortunate to get assaulted then at least my opponent won't get the bonus charge. And the Warriors are going to hide and take objectives like always. So what do you think? If you have any tips or a list of your own I'd like to hear it, later brother.


Fritz Reply Out:

Sushi, I think the core of your list is heading in the right direction, but maybe consider the following tweaks…

Two groups of warriors is fine- at 1K you need to fit everything in that you can, so fulfilling the two slots as a minimum is the way to go. Next is the Necron lord- he is more than a mandatory choice here- the lord and his wargear is one of the few advantages that ‘crons still have. Your lord is a delivery vehicle for the wargear and right now he isn’t doing that. I assume he is going with the immortals, but without veil of darkness what is the point? Flame is there if he gets charged, but there is no mobility. I’d like to see him with VOD and solar pulse- pulse is mandatory for both a mini-alpha strike in dawn of war, and for burning a turn of your opponent’s shooting. Consider dropping the immortals altogether and getting VOD and pulse.

Next is the destroyers/heavy destroyers mix- right now both are kind of a fail. Three destroyers will get wiped out since they are only three and have no WBB synergy, and the same for three heavy destroyers. Even with the heavy destroyers Necrons can’t play the anti-tank game- better to take all destroyers and boost that threat- and they can deal with AV 11 and just plan to glance and immobilize and then forget it for heavy armor. Consider this 1K list:

Lord W/ VOD + Pulse
2 X 10 Warriors
2 X 4 Destroyers
1 X 5 Scarabs

Not a lot on the table, but hey it is Necrons! Keep both destroyer groups working together for the WBB synergy and on the opposite side of the table then your warrior group. First target is to de-mech your opponent, and then soften up an objective so your lord can later VOD onto it with a group of warriors or just by himself to contest.

Scarabs are there to just turbo boost around and soak up shots- get your opponent to shoot at them as opposed to your other guys.


Harlequins Vs. World Eaters Battle Report

Rolling up an annihilation mission this was going to be two close combat themed armies going head to head. World Eaters were ten strong with skull champs and power fists in rhinos, a winged daemon prince, two groups of obliterators, a defiler, and a group of Thousand Sons in a rhino.

WE’s took first turn to start rolling up and pop smoke. For my deployment the harlequins went out in the center with Maugna-Ra, pathfinders in cover, two wraithlords on the side near the defiler, and the third next to my harlequin groups. With the wraithlords I wanted to pick up a kill point on the defiler and then have the WL’s out of the game since they would go down like nothing against khorne berserkers with hidden power fists. Walking across the table trading shots with the defiler, they picked up that kill point and just hung out.

Now I knew the berserkers were going to have to cross the table to get into the mix and charge me. That is what berserkers do, and the synergy of the army wasn’t that bad. Oblits and the defiler break open transports and the berzerkers carve up what is inside, while the daemon prince and t-sons support- at least that is what I would do since my plan with the harlies was exactly the same.

Mauggy and the ‘jesters + WL pop open the rhinos and the clowns assault while the pathfinders pin units to slow them down enough so the clowns can gang up two to one. Of course with everything being fearless pining was out the window, but shooting at the daemon prince was back in- and he gave up the kill point.

Mauggy and the ‘jesters + WL did pop three rhinos, as they moved to advance up the center of the table in a climactic clash. Just before that clash, I did an about face and started running away back to my deployment zone with the harlies and pathfinders as Mauggy laid down more maugatear fire taking out another rhino. One of the harlie groups engaged a berserker group on the right, winning the combat but not taking them out, followed by a berserker pile on from the other squads and the t-sons wiping out the harlequins. Game ended with me running away with five kill points to one kill point for the World Eaters.

And what about the oblits?

They were in the back totally useless against a non transport army with VOT and a 2+ cover save. Once deployed back there even walking forward wouldn’t have worked. They should have been deepstruck in right next to my pathfinders flaming them to death, or course that is with risk also, and if they were put in reserve I would have had my harlequins closer to the pathfinders so at least we would be trading one kill point for one kill point.

Fritz 40K Forum For Advanced 40K Studies

For a long time I’ve wanted to embed a small forum on the blog to continue talking about many of the points and follow up ideas that you guys generate in the comments- before the post get’s buried in the archive. I finally found something that I think will work (keeps fingers crossed) and have embedded it at the bottom of the blog right after the last blog post. I’ll be adding and responding to posts as we move ahead and feel free to start your own topic/questions as appropriate. Be warned, I’m not going to make you jump through hoops to register and post, but I will be moderating it, ready to smack down any trolls with the banstick as needed….

Art Of The Wraithlord

Fritz here with some ideas on one of my favorite Eldar models, and since foot ‘dar seems to be all the rage I thought I would offer my experience in running wraithlords in an Eldar army- the good, the bad, and the so-so.

The main issue with wraithlords is that they compete for a heavy slot with fire prisms. Fire prisms are cheaper, especially important these days with running units from an overpriced codex, and unlike wraithlords, ‘prisms can zoom in on turn five to contest objectives.

So what are the advantages to running a wraithlord? Survivability. With the increase of cheap long range and high strength shots (think las/assault cannon razorback spam) deploying everywhere on the table, the WL has the advantage of not getting taken out by a single, perhaps luck, shot. Wraithlords also have the advantage of being able to shoot every turn that they are alive, unlike vehicles which can be shaken/stunned or get their weapon destroyed. WL’s are firepower that you can count on.

The first question is how many wraithlords to take? Why three of course! One is an annoyance, three is a threat. WL’s are also slow in the world of mech, so three are needed to throw up a “net” to catch your opponent with, one can just be avoided and laughed at. Keep in mind that if you commit to three wraithlords that means no falcons or fire prisms- be prepared to adjust your list accordingly.

Next the question is how to use that firepower- what kind of weapon load out?

Despite the points the well rounded combination of a missile launcher and brightlance is my first choice, and the scatter laser/ brightlance my second choice.
Although the lance is only one shot, more on that in a bit, and its range is limited to 36” it is both a threat to armor and monstrous creatures- especially Tyranid big bugs and their pathetic lack of an invulnerable save. Unless one is facing Black Templars the lance rule also tends to scare people- reducing AV 14 down to AV 12 is always fun. The missile launcher also gives you the range and flexability to engage both tanks and monstrous creatures, in addition to light infantry and pinning. The scatter laser comes in second, but because of its 36” range the missile launcher has an edge. Sadly my old favorite, the starcannon, has no place on a wraithlord, since WL’s don’t have the mobility like vypers to set up targets to engage them out in the open. As for the wraithsword? Not worth it considering you have to give up a shoulder weapon, maybe if the WL had like 4+ attacks in close combat, and of course wrist flamers over shuriken catapults.

So now it’s time to put those wraithlords down on the table- what is the plan? Tactically WL’s have three uses to them- as a fire platform, as a speedbump unit, and as a counter assault unit. On the table you want to use them as all three throughout the game to get the most out of your points spent.

Since the WL’s are on foot, forget about chasing after your opponent- you are going to have to bring them to you through objective placement and mission setup. As a fire platform place objectives out in the open and in range of where your WL’s are going to be, or even better, behind where your WL’s are going to go down on the table. This is the key to using them- force your opponent to approach them, and then force them to go through them to get to objectives, or weaker units if the mission is kill points.

In the fire platform role you can expect your WL’s to take their share of las cannon and other long range shots so cover is going to be key, and the most difficult thing to get since the WL itself is a monstrous creature. That said, T8 in cover, and perhaps boosted by fortune really keep the WL’s up- they love Eldrad and Eldrad loves them.

Next, as your opponent approaches your ‘lords switch over to being a speed bump unit- once close enough they move out and assault the incoming units to tie them up for a turn or two. Winning combat is not the primary goal, although if it happens great, but rather burning a turn or two for the unit locked in the assault so the game can end, or you can bring up fresh units. Back to why you need three WL’s-so you can throw up a that net that your opponent can’t slip by- modified by the army they play of course.

Facing Chaos Daemon with hordes of plague bearers coming in I’ve set up my WL’s by castling them in the corner- if my opponent wants to get to my squishy T3 units they have to move into the speedbump/counter assault range of my wraithlords. So that’s a quick intro to how I’m using wraithlrods and in the next part we are going to take a look at how WL’s work together with both harlequins, and storm guardians…

Fritz’s BOLSCon Apocalypse Plans

So we are like what, two months out till BOLSCon ’10? I’ve decided that this year it is going to be clowns for the narrative track for something fun and different. With 3000 points and no force org I can play the army how I’ve always dreamed and envisioned it should be.

At the center of my Apocalypse list are three fully tricked out harlequin troupes- kisses, a jester, shadowseer, and troupe master, fusion pistols. Attached to each group is a dedicated farseer with fortune and doom to boost the clowns hitting power and survivability. Then mixed in with each group is Eldrad, Maugna-Ra, and an Autarch to further boost each unit.

Veil of tears will protect me from the nasty stuff as long as it doesn’t scatter from a unit next to me- the bane of clowns and how you get around VOT- target another close by unit and hope it scatters. I can of course avoid this in a regular game, but in an apoc game, no way.

Fortune means the 4+ cover save or 5+ invul makes them a bit more survivable, and the punch from the special characters opens up shots that can ignore cover saves, a chance to effect deployment, and a boost to any reserves.

In addition to these guys I’m running three wraithlords for fire support and three groups of pathfinders- which I so wished I had last year for the fun factor. All of the tables were top notch and many had multiple levels of terrain- the perfect place to infiltrate and stash some snipers for target of opportunity and 2+ cover saves all around.
Here are a few pics from last year...

The Eldar hiding out as usual behind the wall, send out the mon-kei to die in our place!

Is it Autarch or Farseer Fritz looking on the table pre-game figuring out how to deal with all the titans on the Eternity Gate table. A hard lesson learned that won't be repeated this year... If you are going second and the other side has some titans you better be reserving yours agasint the alpha-strike...

The daemons have punched through the gate at Istvaan V, time for the Eldar to jet! What's that, there were no Eldar fighting in the Horus Heresy? How do you know that citizen? Inquisition assassins have been dispatched...

Fritz & Jawaballs fighting side by side against Angron and a tide of daemons. We tried to take him, but he alone wasted our tanks and my vypers. That said, we couldn't pass up the chance for some glory...