Space Marine Dreadwall List


I want to start out by stating that I love your blog. I am a somewhat routine blogger. My blog is called Gone to Ground, found at Right now, I have become enamored with the idea of a 6 dread/Master of the Forge list. Since you are currently throwing down a series on creating themed lists that can be somewhat competitive, I thought I would throw this task your way. The only real requisites for the army are the MotF and 6 dreads. I am currently working through my 4th or 5th rendition of the army. Here is what I have:

MotF-power weapon, bolt pistol, servo harness
Captain-bike, relic blade, storm shield

Rifleman Dread
Rifleman Dread
Rifleman Dread

Tac squad- missile, flamer, sarge with combi-melta, meltabombs, rhino
Tac squad- missile, flamer, sarge with combi-melta, meltabombs, rhino
Bike Squad- 4x bikes (1 bolter, 2 melta, 1 powerfist sarge), multi-melta attack bike

Landspeeder Tornado- multi-melta, flamer
Landspeeder Tornado- multi-melta, flamer

Ironclad Dread- DCCW/flamer, Seismic Hammer/melta, drop pod
Ironclad Dread- DCCW/flamer, Seismic Hammer/melta, drop pod
Ironclad Dread- DCCW/flamer, Seismic Hammer/melta, drop pod

The idea is to drop two dreads on turn one to open up some armor, while the rifleman dreads open up light transports. Everything else is generally reserved (save the bikes in most cases). In consecutive turns as stuff comes on, I attempt to get into position to pop more armor and then tie up squads with the Ironclads while my bikes and rhinos race for objectives.

What do you think? Does it stand a chance of being remotely competitive? I know it won't win tournaments, but it is a fun army to model. I have a Space Pup army to be competitive with. What are your thoughts? Thanks.


Email Out:

Dave, sorry for taking a bit to get back to you- was away for the weekend at a D&D con- how nerdy is that. Jawaballs and myself put together an all dread list a while back, play tested it with good results, just never got around to running it- finishing my Tzeentch Daemons and now Mordheim…

Here is the list if you want to run with it, basically follows a rubric of sorts depending on the points you are playing- 1500-1750-2000-2500. Imagine putting your list across the table from it…

HQ: MOF W/ Conversion Beamer

Elites/Heavy: 6 Ironclade Dread W/ 2 HK Missiles

Fast: 1 LS Squad 3 Strong With Typhoon Missiles

Troops: 4-5 Las/Plas Razorbacks W/ HK Missile. Min Troops Inside, No Upgrades.
I take first turn and deploy as far forward and center, and alpha strike you. You take first turn I set up as far forward and seize first turn and then alpha strike you. You take first turn I use terrain (as applicable) and the strength of AV 13 to chain cover saves, etc. and then I open up.

Potentially first turn I am hitting you with:

23 Krak Missiles
5 Las Shots
1 Beamer

Turn two I move and run the dreads right at you- wall of AV 13 steel..or plastic actually. Razorbacks move and lay down 5 las shots, next turn they lay down 5 las and 5 plas. The nice part about the HK’s are the fact that they are unlimited range.
List does get hurt on night fight, but you just swap that first turn of moving and running for firing, almost better sometimes.

Why do IG chimera spam armies work so well and razorspam marine armies not so well when stacked up against each other? There is a HUGE difference between AV 12 and AV 11. Likewise with a dread wall there is a huge difference between AV 12 and AV 13- that is why there are no regular dreads in the list.

The problem with rifleman dreads in a dread wall list is that they are AV 12, will fire one turn, and then potentially get stunned for the rest of the game- the ironclads will pop their shot, and then run, run, run, to assault. Can’t shoot? Doesn’t matter after the first turn. In kill point missions, your pods and bikes will be targets and a free give away. Better to spend the pod points on razorbacks that can move, shoot, and pop off an HK.


Black Templars Please Read If You Have Time...

I do my best to awnser my emails, from the blog, forum, and youtube, sometimes I catch up, sometimes I fall behind, apologies. A recent email about Black Templars really caught my attention…

Email In:

I watched all your vids about black templar army builds almost a year ago. It made me decide to create a black Templar army.

Now I realize, Black Templars are almost the worst army to field. This is sort of a rant but i tried to keep it short.

All your vids are good by the way, many neat tactics

If you have any ideas about maybe a reason to not trash this whole army and try standard space marines since they can do so much more and better stuff. Or just switch to IG. If you have time can post a vid or something. Any idea if BT will get a new codex soon?

I am going to try the 3 vindicators tactic and a couple land raider crusaders as dedicated transports army build. Still alot of points just to protect troops

Space marines now get land raider crusaders. They also get all the shooty heavy weapons and vehicles, Special characters can give so many bonuses and do so much. Outflank in transports and such. Carry more troops in vehicles now. Most troops can get 2 base attacks carry bolters and pistols. Get free frag and krak grenades. Upgrade to ap 3 bolters with vets

Black templars have nothing unique now Besides emperors champion vow. Special characters do nothing, cant field much for heavys. Suppose to be a close combat army but its almost useless against Imp guard 5 or more large blast templates per turn. Even with cover lose half squads by turn 2. Str 8 pens rhinos, and Crusaders cost so many points.

The only reason B T are suppose to be better is 2 close combat weapons, but now this is a totally useless build.

Against chaos also almost useless to field this army and same with Eldar, all higher weapon skills, initiative, more attacks, and lots more power weapons. Even tau force to make several armor saves per turn causing losses. and the fall back if failed moral after taking 1 casualty sucks.

Thanks for reading.

Reply Out:

Brother Captain James and I were recently talking, looking over his space marine list, as he was noting that there really isn’t a reason to play codex space marines when BA and SW do it better. I’ll debate that for another time, but my comment back to him, is that while I want the Eldar and Necron codex to get some love from GW, I hope they don’t chance the Black Templar codex for some time- there are that many hidden gems in it, and one huge advantage- they are “space marines” but don’t play like them.

Players see you setting up marines and expect you to play BA and SW like since this is the current meta game and frame of reference, and then you hit them with the Templar majik. The key is going to be leveraging the uniqueness of the Templars and not playing them like space marines even though they are space marines. I’ll try to elaborate a bit more on that cryptic sentence…

Templars are now they only army that still draw on universal special rules (USR) army wide. They are a 4th edition army when the rules were different. These USR’s are going to be what gives you the advantage over other armies and that is the starting place. You want stuff with furious charge, preferred enemy, tank hunters, machine spirit, and special close combat weapons. Here is a small example…
Say you want fire support in your list- do you go for a predator tank or a dreadnought? 100% the dread even though it is a bit more expensive, and only AV 12. Why? I can get venerable, tank hunter, and preferred enemy on him, vs. the predator which is more expensive then the generic codex marines, etc.

Unfortunately certain entries in the codex don’t get these things and then you are paying more points vs. other codex chapters for the same wargear/vehicles, etc. With the new ‘dexes GW made things cheaper to make you buy more models.
Let’s look at some of the things you want in your army-

Emperor’s Champion- obviously not a choice, but take the preferred enemy vow and build on it.

Dreadnoughts- tank hunter, close combat arm for preferred enemy, venerable depending on the points.

Terminators- furious charge lightning claws rerolling failed hits and wounds.
Terminators with thunder hammers with preferred enemy.

Command squads with furious charge, preferred enemy and jacked out weapons.
Assault marines with melta bombs lead by a chaplain for re-rolls with litanies.
Machine spirit vindicators/las razorbacks.

These are the gems, the rest is trash.

Now here is the hard part- finding the points for it in sufficient numbers and quality to deliver it to your opponent. Sadly, Templars, like Necrons, take a hit in design philosophy as they are still stuck in 4th edition. In 4th troops sucked so you only took two and spent the rest on cool units. Anything in the game could capture/contest/control which was great. 5th edition changed that by making you buy more troops and spend money since you need them for 2 of the 3 missions. BA, SW, IG, and the other 5th edition ‘dexes give you cool troops with lots of options to do this. No matter how hard you try BT can’t d this. You can’t take six razorbacks with minimum troops AND have points left over for all the other stuff you need to make the ‘dex work. Sadly, like Necrons, this means the minimum on troops- two units strong and ready in rhinos or razorbacks, and the rest spent on actual killy.
In my 1750-2000 point list I’ve got two troops, two terminator groups, a jacked out command squad, dread, land raider, two assault squads with melta bombs, and razorbacks for the troops and command squad. Not much on the table, but it hits hard, and that is the final BT skill needed to master.

Using things like reserves, castling, loading heavy on one side, objective placement, to divide your opponent’s army up on the table while you throw all of yours against his smaller bits. Check out my Grey Knight vids on youtube for some ideas and pointers in the right direction.

I hope that helps a bit, don’t sell the Templars, if anything, proxy them as Space Wolves if you want to play around. As for IG, that is a different beast, and a well build IG army of all chimeras and vets inside will beat the pants off anything else on the table- to many shots, too much AV 12, melta, etc. GW made them over powered to sell, and they have…


More HyperNids

Email In:

Hi Fritz

Not sure if you've checked out my recent Tyranid turn two blog post yet, but I thought you might like to know that once again your Hypernid theme list is just awesome! Here is the BR

Still feels funny ignoring the mission objectives and going the the tabling, but it seems to work!

Fantastic list and fantastic tactics for nids.

Many thanks for sharing your ingenious ideas to the40k community



Reply Out

Nick, I enjoyed reading your battle report, and as you noted objective placement was key in really winning the game. There is also something to be said for going for the tabling over winning the mission. Let’s talk a bit more about that.

As a player you can write a list to win the missions or just take the two min troops and spend the rest on killy to crush your opponent. Some of the older codexes like Necrons, Templars, etc. have to take this approach to remain relevant.

Most opponents and internet commentators will quickly point out how you only have two troops and the list can’t win in 2 out of the 3 standard missions. True, only if you are playing the missions, and not going for the tabling. When I speak of tabling, a define it as either completely wiping your opponent off the table, or breaking them to the point where there is so little left they can’t win any of the mission parameters. Some armies can build a hybrid like list where you have the option of tabling or playing the mission- the key here is deciding at the start of the game what you are going to do and 100% sticking with it.


Mordheim: Let The Scheming Begin!

So the die is cast…

In service of the Dark Gods Magister Fritz is going to lead his Possessed Warband against Jawaballs’ Vampire Counts…I mean Undead Warband.

Invoking the eye of Tzeentch I’ve cast my gaze into the warp and have divined all possibilities, thinking for all possible avenues of tactica, and I’m wondering about a mini-mindwar like ability, especially since we are talking about Jawaballs.

Back in 4th edition Warhammer 40,000 when Eldar mindwar had utility I used to brutalize him with it, and I’d love to do the same with Mordheim if I can…especially with the chaos rituals at my disposal. Concepts are concepts right? The savvy general just has to adapt them.

In 40K my farseer would get into position, usually mid table, and then just wait. Wait for Dante or Mepheston to show themselves and them BAM! Sometimes I had to bait them out with some jetbikes, but more often than not it was only a matter of time. Can I do the same with the Eye of God ritual under the guidance of my Magister?

Basically you nominate a model, friend or foe, and roll a D6, on a 2-6 the model gets buffed up, and if you roll a 1 then the model is taken immediately out of action. Could this be the Mordheim mind war?

A one in six chance to nuke a dude is pretty good odds, especially if they are a heavy hitter like a vampire. One in six…

Range is only 6”, but I can work through that, just make sure my that vampire has to come into range either through wyrdstone placement or by using my possessed. Of course the gods are fickle and it could and probably will buff up the very model I’m trying to take down.

Either way, this is the lens I’m applying to Mordheim- taking the rules and trying to find the possible twists and turns in them- all in good fun of course…

Prepare For Glory: Part I…

So I’ve been working on streamlining the blog, putting up some sort of archive as an introduction for new readers, along with sorting through thousands of pictures taken over the past four years. So many memories..cue nostalgic music…

The creation of Jawaballs…

I met Chris AKA Jawaballs back when I was running a D&D campaign complete with all the miniatures and loads of Dwarven Forge crap, which ironically is seeing new life as Mordheim crap, and when I joined the Battle For Salvation club I knew Jawa had to get involved. Chris was already a great painter, and loved miniatures and if memory serves the conversation went something like this…

Fritz: “Dude, I’m playing this game called Warhammer 40,000 on Monday nights. You play with a bunch of miniatures…”

JB: “Miniatures? I’m in…”

And so the legend of Jawaballs was made, and Brent found a new direction in his life. I’ll let Jawa explain his unique and now 40K household name handle. I was Kenobi to his Anakin, and those first few months I showed him no mercy on the table. Legions of Blood Angels got gunned down to my star cannons, so much so I even fell a bit of remorse to this day….but then he became Vader and the student became the master. In a little over a year’s time JB went from cute seal n00b to vet status player, to where he is today. I don’t think a lot of cats realize just how far JB has come in the four years or so he’s been playing 40K. These days my jetbikes and vypers run from him as I do my best to duck him in tournaments…

Games Workshop Grand Tournament 2007…

The 2007 GT was the creation of Way of Saim-Hann and my ascent to Eldar mastery- how is that for humility. It was a few months out to the GT and Black Matt was rounding up club members to go and drafted me. I had never been to a GW GT, only really playing the local GT and tournament circuit here in New York. I was playing Black Templars at the time with my Red/Fritz Templars but Matt thought my new Eldar army was better painted and paint scores are important- so I was told. I made the decision to run with Saim-Hann and launched a little blog called “Way of Saim-Hann” to post battle reports and tactics to get some much needed feedback before the GT. Originally a way to just quickly improve my game the blog has grown and grown…

In 2007 Games Workshop was pushing Apocalypse with all their might before they figured out over powered codexes and reduced point models sell, and we all took place in the first big Apocalypse battle. Sure we were on sides with objectives, but GW was giving out prizes and loot for individual players so I turned my seer council and star cannons on as many enemy HQ choices as I could winning me the headhunter award and a baneblade kit before they were even released!

The GT itself was a blast, and in my third game I played Dark Eldar for the very first time. He set up, I set up, he want first, and I got assaulted and wasted on turn one. Mass reserve and turn five tactics weren’t even on the radar back then… Back home I was picking up steam and honing my Eldar skillz in as many tournaments as I could, winning crap loads of loot which later became my Death Guard army back when CSM was the fun book. Brother Captain James was the clubs top tier Tyranid player running his stealer shock list, and everybody said nobody could take him down. Fritz had a plan for that…

In the next tourney I planned to face him with a goal of being on table one, rehearsing and practicing my tactics with Jawaballs down to a science. I was locked, loaded, and ready to go. I even got to lay down the hurt on a pre-Danny Internets back then when he was playing Vulkan melta spam Space Marines- remember when that was the WAAC auto-win list? Fun times!

Anyway, final game, table one, Fritz vs. BC James. We set up, I took first turn and was ready to go, just had to roll for orbital bombardment on each unit thanks to an in-house mission rule…

Roll a D6 for each unit and on a “6” said unit gets hit with a vindicator like template. My chance to pre-frag some bugs, kill a few and then James start rolling…

Seer council pre-fortune…..6

Vyper Group 1….6

Vyper Group 2….6

Vyper Group 3….6

I’ve never seen anything like it to this day, James took out half my army even before the game started, of course being AV 10 open topped sucked. I put up a good fight but got no battle points, AND no bonus points, dropping from 1st/2nd place to 13th place!

That’s James up there in the upper left corner- yes he is wearing a kilt. Black Matt can never back down from a dare, so we dared him to find out if James is a true irishman going commando underneath the kilt. I distracted James, Matt lifted the kilt up from behind, and Jawaballs snapped the pic…

Part II & III to follow…

Space Marine Command Squads

So somebody recently emailed me regarding Space Marine command squads asking a few thoughts on them. I had my reply set, but somehow deleted it and the email, so here is a quick summary…

Are command squads worth it? How to play them? What place do they have in the game?
Point for point, command squads are not the best option in your list- if we are looking from a pure min/max perspective. Expensive power weapons and wargear options are all very attractive, but their fatal flaw is that they are bolted onto a 3+ armor save, and not a 3+/3+ like assault terminators have or can get. In many ways assault terminators have just replaced what command squads used to do, but there are exceptions.

So you want to play a command squad, and you have the points having met the other requirements of your list. Tactically they are really a mini-death star unit, and can’t survive on their own without the primary DS unit. Where do I mean by that? In many ways command squads are the ultimate counter attack unit. So you have your usual assault termies in a land raider backed by a priest or whatever goodies are in your codex. You send them out to do the job, kill some things, get bogged down. Once I commit to tar pitting or dealing with your assault terminator death star unit, the coast is clear and I’m going to start sneaking my other unit into your army to take you out. This is where your command squad comes in- a surgical hard hitting unit to take out anything I try and sneak in. On the other side, using a command squad as your death star unit just won’t really work, as mentioned before with the 3+ save in general.

Exceptions. Black Templars of course.

You also take command squads when you still have to pack in the killy to compete, but can’t because of force org limitations.

Templars are the oldest marine ‘dex out there now, and there are reasons to play them as I’ve thrown around before, but they require a huge shift in thinking- they are space marines, but you can’t play them like “space marines”.

Two terminator groups and a ven dread fill out my elites, need more hard hitting, so I sneak in a command squad off the HQ choice- plus the BT command squad also gets me goodies like furious charge and preferred enemy along with all those power weapons, fists, banners, and other fun stuff.

The real challenge is balancing your command squad with your primary death star AND the rest of the elements in your list…

Eldar Assault Units?

Oh, thank you. I've seen quite a few of your videos and must have managed to miss that one. I also wanted to ask you about harlequins if you don't mind. I've attempted to use them a couple times, but I was a little unfamiliar with them at the time. I love painting them and their fluff and have been considering adding them to my army with the points i've trimmed over a few games i've played, but my friend is telling me that striking scorpions or howling banshees would be a much better choice. I understand the roles of both of those units very well, but want to know if there are any good reasons as to why he may be wrong about my harlequins…

On the surface the three units look about the same- they are all close combat oriented, but their delivery systems, or the systems needed are where they are different- and by delivery system I mean the tactics/units needed to get them into an assault.

Banshees need to get the charge off, and need to be supported by a farseer casting doom on the unit they are hitting- let’s say space marines as an example. S3 to T4 you will need “5”’s to wound, “6”’s on bikes, etc. Banshees also need some sort of ride to get them into the battle- a wave serpent ideally or falcon in a pinch and depending on the size. This is an added cost to them- no way can they walk across the table- they will get shot up before they make it half way. In terms of getting the charge off against space marines, with doom from a farseer, they will chew through marines better then scorpions and harlequins.

Scorpions are kind of middle of the road- no mass power weapons but a good amount of attacks and options- you also need a wave serpent/delivery system, or you can outflank them. Infiltrate suffers from the same problem as they will get shot up. The wave serpent/transport issue for these two units really depends on the rest of your army- do you have enough units/threats in your list so your opponent can’t focus on the wave serpents? If not, they will just blast them away and your banshees and scorps will be on foot.

In my Saim-Hann Eldar list I have a group of banshees in a wave serpent with star engines that I use to take out key units like devastators or groups of marines sitting on an objective before my jetbikes move in to claim it, etc. I’ve also got a seer council in the list which I ram down my opponent’s throat so they have to focus on that and not the wave serpent.

Harlequins get my vote as the best stand alone unit, since they can do it all- but you have to take a full troupe of them- much like a rock band you need everybody- singer, drummer, guitar, bass, etc.

Outside of 24” harlequins can’t be targeted/shot thanks to the shadowseer- this means (with the correct tactics) you can walk them across the table- don’t need falcons/wave serpents. They also have some ranged support with the death jester which helps to pop AV 11 razorbacks and rhinos to get the guys inside out so you can assault. Throw in two fusion pistols and you can tackle land raiders and higher AV vehicles, plus throw on a kill or two before you charge on high T or monstrous creatures.

Of course there is a skill to using any Eldar unit, but harlequins are the finesse of the finesse- one mistake and they are done, played correctly and they will chew through three or four times their points before going down. Many players only see the stats/points of them and not what they can do when played correctly…

…which pretty much outlines everything needed to play them as their own army- but which can easily be extracted to use them as supporting units in another warhost.

Hope that helps. Play around with all three, even if you have to proxy models and see what you like.


Mordheim Gobbo Warband

So here is my first gobbo Mordheim warband completed and ready to go..

The two big gobboz and the shaman are actually proxies for orcs since you can’t do a pure gobbo warband. I wanted both squgs and fanatics, but even at the cheap points of the goblins fitting in both left me short on bodies. I’m also not entirely sold on the upkeep of the fanatics between missions- a good chance that they will throttle themselves with the chain during the game and die- that means upkeep on a new gobbo + the mushroom + the ball and chain.

Also in the works is a night goblin band, anlong with a animal circus warband- squigs, a troll, and lots of minderz.

500 Points Imperial Guard

Going to get a few 500 point games in with some of the guys and here is what I’m bringing some of my IG. Two squads with heavy bolters and plasma, a las sentinel, leman russ, and commissar. Am I being a jerk for bringing a russ at 500 points, yes, but we are playing for blood.

Plasma gives me something for MCs and AV 11/12, heavy bolter for three shots, while the sentinel outflanks for side armor, contesting, or tying things up in the assault. Russ is for boom boom, but more importantly to act as mobile terrain.

Battle reports to follow...


So personal experience has shown me that you can’t walk your swarm across the table and expect to have enough of it intact to make contact with your opponent and actually do something. Why is this? How come it worked in 4th edition AKA stealer spam shock and not now? What changed? A rhino is still a rhino right? Kind off…

Using marines as an example- they got cheaper so more bodies and guns on the table, and everything is vehicles now. Your bugz will be needing sixes to hit in the assault since your opponent is going to be moving their vehicles. Against a focused player who starts on one end of the board and works their way down the other killing units it just won’t work. My fist work around for this Tyranids vs. 5th edition armies was the null deployment idea- check back on the archives and youtube for it. Of course the hive mind needs to adapt, and I want to bolt on a second play style for when guys are expecting your null deployment tomfoolery, something that is a total 360 from the null model. I’ve been playing with the idea of bigzilla, and no this isn’t just a rehash of nidzilla for the dudes on the t hive board who are still stuck in 4th edition.

While personally I HATE spammy lists, sometimes you need it to make the “core” work when GW has limited your number of effective builds and delivery models.

The list…

== HQ ==
Hive Tyrant (1) - Scything Talons, Scything Talons, Regeneration, Wings, Paroxysm, Leech Essence = 250 pts.
Hive Tyrant (1) - Scything Talons, Scything Talons, Regeneration, Wings, Paroxysm, Leech Essence = 250 pts.
== Troops ==
Genestealer Brood (10) = 140 pts.
Genestealer Brood (10) = 140 pts.
Genestealer Brood (10) = 140 pts.
== Heavy Support ==
Tyrannofex (1) - Rupture Cannon, Cluster Spines, Thorax Swarm - Desicctor Larvae = 265 pts.
Tyrannofex (1) - Rupture Cannon, Cluster Spines, Thorax Swarm - Desicctor Larvae = 265 pts.
Tyrannofex (1) - Rupture Cannon, Cluster Spines, Thorax Swarm - Desicctor Larvae = 265 pts.
== Total ==
1715 pts.

More to add to take it up to 2K, which sadly is becoming the norm of 40K around here...

How it plays? Starting tactics and idea in a bit, I want to see if any of you guys (and gals) can spot how this list works. It’s important, deception is key so as I’m setting up and my opponent thinks one way, it plays from a completely different angle. Of course I’ll share all my findings in time, and there are still a few more tweaks...
T6 and a 50% chance to negate each and every shot thrown at you. Pretty good odds...

Dark Eldar: Flying In A Cardboard Box

I’ve been silent on Dark Eldar recently…

Rather than post speculation or what might appear to work, I’ve got to get in a dozen or so more games with Jawaballs before I start posting the results for good or bad. Borrowed an old DE army and proxing a few of my Eldar units, it isn’t pretty but for now it is about uncovering the technology.

Lots of cool stuff in the new ‘dex, powers, buffs, but the question is can you pull it off? Are those combos there and in enough force to actually impact the game? Think about chaos daemons and the tally man in a nurgle army. Sounds freaking awesome with the buffs, but remember there are only 5-6 turns in the game.

Looking at an all shooty build, all assault build, and a hybrid build. Some things in common with my Saim-Hann, like paper thin vehicles, only with actual survivable upgrades, and other things radically different like point effective units. One thing is for certain, this isn’t a power armor T4/3+ army and long time or exclusive marine players are going to have to get a servitor memory wipe if they want to play DE, whole new learning curve, but that’s the fun right?

Terrible Tyrannofex

Just an observation on the tyrannofex and something to ask yourself- what is the role of this giant beastie? The rupture cannon is nice, for Tyranids anyway- needing a 4+ to hit sucks, but we can’t get focused just on this. The t-fex is not a Tyranid version of devastators or long fangs. Sure you have insane range on the rupture, and it’s tempting to put him back in cover and just shoot away, but then you are just throwing out 2/3rds of the models potential- bulk, monstrous creature, and 6 wounds. If your t-fex blows up one vehicle all game consider it a victory. What needs to be happening is where you advance the t-fex each turn running right at the opponent- while your smaller buggies are behind doing the cover save thing. Force that t-fex into the assault- remember it can move and shoot. Don’t just scare your opponent with the cannon shots…

Space Marines: First Turn Assault

Brother Captain James here you go brother, you better run it or I will….

You want a first turn assault space marine army? Shrike themed? Infiltrating, fleeting, TH/SS termie spam?

HQ: Shadow Captain Shrike
Elite: 10 Terminators TH/SS
Elite: 5 Terminators TH/SS
Elite: 5 Terminators TH/SS
Troops: 3 X 5 Scouts W/ PF
Troops: 2 X 5 Scouts W/ PF & Camo Cloaks
Fast: Storm W/ Multi-Melta
Fast: Storm W/ Multi-Melta
Fast: Storm W/ Multi-Melta

Your “army” is lased and long fanged up to take out razorspam? Congrats I don’t have any vehicles to take out, yes on the storms, but they are a delivery system so I only need one turn with them. This army is easy to play regardless of the mission, forget the mission and punch your opponent in the face. You take first turn and deploy the speeders as far forward as you can. Your opponent sets up. You infiltrate the ten strong termies with shrike, and the two scout squads. Other two termies go into reserves to deep strike as a second/third wave. Make your scout moves with the speeders. Go first and you move with the speeders, get out and assault- auto hits all around for the scouts with the fists and grenades since your opponent hasn’t moved. Shrike moves in and detaches/assaults. Scouts move, and terminators move and run. Next turn they move, run, fleet, and assault. Second wave termies come in and move, run, fleet, and assault. You don’t take first turn, set up as usual, scout move the speeders forward next to terrain for cover saves, and then seize. If not eat a round of shooting on the termies and then proceed as planned. You go first and get seized, sucks on the speeders as that delivery system goes down, but hey, can’t have everything- this isn’t IG. Remember the speeders can move up, dudes get out, speeders multi-melta vehicle, blow it up, scouts, move, shoot, run, fleet, and assault dudes inside. Remember the Cerberus launchers ive your opponent a -2 to leadership for that turn.

Deathwing Reply

Hello Fritz!

I just bought your Deathwing tactics PDF (by the way both the ideas and the way it was written was very good) and I was wondering about tree thing: First i became a little confused about the notes on dreadnougth. It is not possible to have a dread with one lascannon and one plasma cannon, do you take one dread with las/DCCW and one with plasma/DCCW?

My second question is, why don`t you take venerable on your dread? If you think fluff every dread in a deathwing army should be venerable as they are a part of the deathwing company, but do you think it isn`t worth it or is it some other reason for it?

The last thing is about the list. how would you made at 1500 points? I have made a list with two raiders, two DW terminator squad and two venerable las dread (inspired by your deamonhunters army and your "Brother Aries") but as I bought your PDF I read that I my second try was not that bad but I tought why not ask the master how to make it better.

Last a little tips: In your grey knigths you play two dreadnougths in a video you tried to hide both behind your land raider to get cover saves and stil shot. If that is important to get why not give one of them a MK V Mortis lascannon for the left arm cannon.

sorry for write som much in one mail.


Reply Out:

Arild, thanks for the email and I’m glad the .PDF has helped. Regarding the dreadnoughts, it is my short hand of writing them out that was a bit confusing- one has a plasma cannon, and the second has a las-cannon, both have the close combat arm. This way you have something to shoot, and something to assault with. With so few models on the table, and so many points tied up in land raiders, one really ahs to multi-role each model. Use it to shoot, use it to assault, use it to create terrain and cover saves by blocking models, etc. This even goes so far to thinking ahead to moving your dreads and vehicles into position so that when they do get blown up it will create terrain- either a wreck or crater ahead of the next line of models you are bringing up so they get cover saves, etc.

Venerable is totally fluffy for deathwing, and useful, but I found the points lacking for what else was needed in the list. I say that because one needs certain things to make deathwing work- mainly a land raider for each “troop” unit- forget about deathwing assault. As such I found that points were better spent on things I know work 100% of the time. With the venerable dreadnought you can still roll a 5 or 6 on the damage chart twice- odds may be small, but still possible. I found I’d rather bank the points and get another dreadnought on the table.

Scaling down to 1500 begins by dropping the land raider crusader and one of the troop squads. The crusader goes since you need to have to long range shots of the las cannons, and you still need the two dreads for support. Off hand that takes you down to like 1455 or something so you have a few points to play with for wargear, etc.

You are also spot on with the opposite las cannon arm, I just don’t have one, and I try to write/show things as the models would be out of the box since that is what most guys have.

Hope that helps!


Mordheim Table (Sketch)

So my warbands are well underway…

Gobbos are going to be the first since I can borrow models from my fantasy goblin army, and with some new bitz and rebasing I am set to go. Plus I love squiglies so any time I can play them it is a must regardless of their effectiveness.
My second choice/other warband…

Have to wait and see. As for Jawaballs, I’m sure he will be playing something human and painted red. Tattoo Matt, different then Black Matt will be running possessed, and Black Matt will be playing who knows what. I’m guessing carnival of chaos since he likes nurgle.

But we are going to need a table to play on right? I’m working on that… My first question was to build them in modular sections or as stand alone terrain that could just be put down on a gaming table- much like 40K terrain. This would be the quickest, but not the most visually appealing, and then there is the issue of packing it up after. Easier to store, but taking terrain in and out of a box wears it out over time.

Modular means the terrain is a bit more static and takes up more space, but that also means I can finish in the dead space with rubble and cobble stone effects.
What made up my mind was finding two cork bulletin boards with a wooden border in the trash. A little smaller than 4 X 4 that is recommended, but when put side by side it will work very well. So, while it is bigger to transport, I believe it will hold up much better.

So next is to play around with some building placement so that rotating the two boards will give a little variant to it. I’m also going to build a few stand alone/loose rubble piles to be randomly placed to help change it every time also. Below is my fist sketch, kind of light I know, it didn’t scan very well…

…and the next question being what to make it out of. Any budget that I had for M is going to buy my war bands so I’m leaving myself $20 to build the board- not counting paints, as I’ve got tons of paints from other projects, etc. Building space and size is going to be important. While I would love a super crowded/narrow street board like a true medieval city, I’m not sure how practical that is to play in. The guys playing and myself all have big arms, hands, and fingers so there needs to be room to push models around, plus I would hate to drop a model during play and then have to shake the board over to get him out. I’m also trying to build it with camera angles and placement in mind so we can get good pictures and vid shots during the game for bragging rights.

What I am going to need is white glue, and balsa wood/sticks. I’ll buy the glue and some wood, and liberate the rest as I find it. I’m going to do the buildings out of card board, and cobble stone effects with some business cards that I have left over- possibly a few thousand or so, who knows. From there it is really what else I can find.

Shining Spears Themed List

So here is a request for an Eldar shining spears list following the format of my themed list series- playing the models you want/like, and then building around that core to make your army work. Let’s start crunching some numbers…

3 Shining Spear Units @ 252 W/ Exarch, Shuriken Cannon, Lance, Skilled Rider/Withdraw = 756.

The main problem with spears is that they only come in units of five and they need to close to assault stuff which exposes them to fire- this is what we need to overcome with a delivery system. Skilled rider is on there for terrain tests, withdraw for bouncing around and not getting tarpitted, and the shuriken cannon so you have something to shoot with to help de-mech on the way in.

From here we are going to add two dedicated farseers to help keep two of the units up. Since we have already spent 756 points we are going to have to do them on the cheap. A farseer will attach with the two lead units who will be going in, the third unit will trail behind to get cover.

2 Farseer @ 173 W/ Jetbike, Stones, Fortune, Doom, Runes Wit, Spear = 346
Pretty standard here, fortune the squad to keep them up, doom the unit you are assaulting, and the spear is there to throw, along with the shuriken cannon on the spears to de-mech at the last moment so you can assault the dudes inside.

This leaves us around 650 points to continue building with for troops and supporting units.

Since the spear core is mobile this is going to be a “mech” list- wraithlords, rangers, dudes on foot will get left behind allowing your opponent to gang up and neutralize the spears.

2 “Troops” @ 255 W/ 10 Storm Guardians W/ 2 Fusion Guns, Enhance Warlock, Spear, Wave Serpent W/ Stones, TL-Shuriken Cannon, Shuriken Cannon = 510

Only two troop choices for the list and they have to pull double duty with the spears, possibly helping to assault. Storm guardians at I 5 will help swarm and charge- fusion guns and spear are for a chance to ping armor before the charge. Wave serpents are gun boats, to help de-mech, didn’t take the scatter laser to save points and the fact that the serpents will be operating mid field so they don’t need the over 24” range. Loss of two shots is ok.

The rest of the points are spent on a jetbike unit to basically just reserve, and zip around on the back to get cover saves and hold an objective.

In operation? You need to turn the spears into a mini seer council which means using the wave serpents to give them cover- this with fortune will give them the 3+/4+ re-roll and you can take non instant kill wounds on the seers as needed. Despite being an assault list, you don’t want to charge in. Hang back around terrain shooting to de-mech. Ignore AV 14 will it gets close and then gang it with the singing spears, etc. Positioning your wave serpents, and all you units for that matter to get cover saves is key- it will make your small force last twice as long. The guardians need to stay close to their transports so if they help assault, one they take losses and get down in numbers they can jump back into the serpents to be scoring. It is going to be a fine line between using them and keeping them scoring. At 1500 points just drop the jetbikes….

Necrons: LD Tests, IG, And Pariahs

Hi Fritz,

I recently purchased your PDF hoping to gain some insight into how to best utilize my Necron army. I only recently started playing 40k - took me 8 months just to buildup an army. Of course had I purchased your PDF sooner I would have been ready 4 months ago (I'm heavy 2 monoliths, several heavy destroyers and standard destroyers). Anyway I have some questions I was hoping you could answer based on what I read in your PDF.

What initially drew me to the Necrons was the fear/deception they seemed to have control over. I had no idea how lousy the necron codex was until I was already pot committed. So I stuck with them. Anyway, in your PDF you do a lot of forced moral checks via the Deceiver and Lord w/shroud. At my club I have at least two players who use orks. One mob has something like 20 so they're always fearless. Granted, you wipe out the trucks (and pray there are no grot riggers on board) and they're walking - but still. I was also looking at some other units in the Space Marines (another army I see at my club) and they tend to lean to the fearless side or close to it with 9+ LD. At that point do you just expect it to become a shooty kind of engagement? Do you plant some pariahs in the necron army and force the enemy to a 7 LD as they approach? I didn't see any Pariahs in your lists so I wasn't sure if there was a reason why these are

My other dilemma is the IG. I was looking at some lists on and, boy, can they field a lot of vehicles. One 1750 list I saw had three vendettas, 2 demolishers, 1 manticore and 3 chimeras. How can I best survive that?! Way too many targets for only two units of destroyers and a bunch of scarabs to take on. Or am I looking at it through the eyes of the 4th edition? I realize that the type of game I play plus the type of deployment plays a factor but geezzz....that's a lot of dakka heading my way.


Eric Downey
Reply Out:

Eric, thanks for emailing.

One of the options I’ve built into my army was the use of morale checks, nightmare shround, etc. for the simple reason that when you roll dice in 40K bad things happen- armor saves fail, guys run, etc. It is another layer over the Necron army opening up another option to use with the limitations on the codex. If you are facing a fearless army the question is- can you make them afraid? With orks, can you reduce them down? With Space Marines can you remove what makes them fearless. Something you can, sometimes you can’t. If I can’t- say I’m facing chaos daemons or a fearless chaos space marine army then the role of the lord switches over to zipping around to absorb shots, attacking vehicles, contesting, etc.

As for marine armies, LD 9 still fails the roll enough. The skill you are going to have to develop- through objective placement, your own units, the monolith, etc. is to get multiple units bunched together so that when you pop off the shroud your opponent is making 3-4 LD checks and not just one. An example from a past game I played was an annihilation mission where my Space Marine opponent had a thunderfire cannon, and a few tactical squads with las cannons. When it came time for sides I passed him first turn, knowing he would select the side of the table that had some elevated ruins- tech priest fortifies giving the +1 to cover saves, and its raised walls would give the thunderfire cannon that 3+ cover save, along with having a higher elevation to draw LOS to my guys. All bunched up, perfect target for my nightmare lord. A simple example, but this is the direction you want to head- make 2-3 checks a turn over 4 or 5 game turns and something is going to happen.


Fun in some army lists, but ultimately very expensive, not Necrons so no WBB and you can’t move them fast to get into position by flying like a destroyer lord or monolith teleporting so they are not dynamic enough to use the LD 7 reduction. Not to say it can’t be done- I’ve got a nightmare based list that uses them, but it is a “fun” only list.


IG gives many armies fits, so don’t feel bad- cheap tanks, cheap troops, skimmers, templates, they do is all for ½ the cost. Here are some ideas- identify the tanks that can do the most damage like manticores, ruses, etc. Use your destroyers to stun them at range- preventing them from shooting is just as good as destroying them. Of course this means your destroyers are dedicated to this, so you are going to have to be a bit more aggressive. Deepstrike the monolith into the IG core and use the flux projectors to try and stun. Also, in this case your destroyer lord is more about zipping forward and attacking tanks then shrouding. Start the Deceiver as far forward and move/run him to the tanks. Reserve your warriors to cut down on the turns of shooting they will take. Things to adapt to IG.

Necrons may be a bit harder to play given their codex age when compared to the newer ‘dexes that push more models, but at the same time this is a good place for Necron players in the game overall. As your first army and introduction to 40K you are going to have nothing to rely on but developing good skills and tactics- you’re not playing certain Space Wolves, IG, or BA builds that auto-win for themselves. Those skills you are developing will help you later on down the road as you play other armies.


Magnetic Flying Bases


I noticed that over time, a lot of my Eldar jetbikes and even some of my skimmers have begun to wear a little when it comes to their flying bases, and they can sometimes become wobbly or not sit well in the flying base at all. I also noticed that you had some kind of non-standard flying base for (from what i've seen) your Vypers. What did you do there, and are those magnetized? I've been considering trying to magnetize my jetbikes to bases because it would make them more rigid for movement, and they're light enough to not have much of a problem there, but I thought I would hear what you have to say on the matter.



Reply Out:
I use magnetic bases on my jetbikes, vypers, and wave serpents, and Necron destroyers. They are made out of a toy called “Magz”- a magnetic construction like toy that I got off for around $20- enough of the bitz to do all my Eldar, my Necrons, and a few SM speeders. Here is my youtube vid on what they are and the process. The literally have changed the game in terms of ease in setting up and moving models for my Eldar.


Mordheim: Cult Of The Possessed Tactica

You have tasted the power the master offers? How could any sane man turn away from the glorious light? Those fools of Sigmar know nothing of the truth! Soon our Dark Emperor will arise from the very place where the blessed comet impacted and all will see his glory and speak his name! Those that still have their tongues anyway…

So why play a possessed war band in Mordheim? Interesting back-story? Cool models? Gifts of the Dark Gods? A possessed war band revolves around one or two jacked up models blessed by the Gods, despite a few other cool abilities of your other band members, their job, along with the Magister is to deliver that possessed model right into the heart of your opponent’s war band- and we’ll get to that in a moment. Although it is always cool to play the bad guys a possessed war band offers perhaps the widest range of conversions over a few models. A possessed model could literally be anything! Chaos spawn, a jacked up dude with over sized arms and a little head. So many possibilities.

The first place to start with your war band is working through each model and how they are going to support the overall hitting power of your war band. As mentioned, the underlying strategy of a possessed war band is to deliver your possessed models, keep this in mind as we work through each entry…

At 70 crowns your group of fanatics begins with a Magister who is both a leader and a wizard with an assortment of starting equipment available to him (or her!). As a wizard, and possessed don’t get their own dedicated magic-user like Undead, etc. he is not going to be a front line fighter despite his WS of 4. He is to valuable for this, and we can’t afford to have him out of action. Unlike some of the other war bands you won’t have a ton of heroes to draw on to jack up the gold and experience in a campaign setting- those starting crowns are going to be going into your super monsters and dark souls- which plays back into not being reckless with your Magister- think of him as a preacher leading the brethren into battle- let them die! Use your Magister as support with his magic- either in conjunction with your Possessed or if it can handle it, tagging along with your brethren for some extra support.

Next is the Possessed hero which is the core of your list at 90 crowns plus mutations- and mutations are very important! Good movement, good WS, toughness 4, TWO wounds, I 4, two attacks, and FEAR is a steal at 90 gold. We are going to start off with one, and as soon as possible add another mid campaign.

For the most part your possessed is going to be hitting first and this is what we want to leverage with the mutations…

Daemon Soul: 20 crowns isn’t bad for the 4+ save, but it is hit or miss depending on the war bands you are facing in the campaign and if their magic is going to be geared to taking down big things.

Great Claw: 50 crowns for +1 strength, and the first upgrade we want to take. Wounds most things on a 2+ and allows some hitting power against trolls and rat ogres.
Cloven Hoofs: +1 movement for 40 crowns! Tempting for a 6” range, but ultimately just to expensive.

Tentacle: -1 attack for 35 crowns? Not needed as we will be planning to hit first and fast. Let those fools have their attacks, can’t attack when they are down and dead.

Blackblood: 30 crowns for a strength 3 hit? Maybe, if it didn’t require your monster to take a wound first. This is a mid range mutation, not overly useless, but not guaranteed enough to work every time. It has the potential to save you from going down if you take a wound from a single wound model, and then the blackblood kills them. But you have to wound, and then they get an armor save, and contrary to the popular Mordheim wisdom on the internet some models do actually wear armor!

Spines: Strength 1? 35 crowns? Nuff said.

Scorpion Tail: The poor man’s upgrade of the great claw, I’d like all my attacks to hit at strength five, especially with the extra arm…

Extra Arm: …which leads us to the extra arm at 40 crowns- yes! This brings our possessed up to five attacks hitting at strength five.

Hideous: Fear @ 40 crowns- Mr. P. already has it so no need, but mutants don’t, and we’ll talk a bit about that in a moment.

So at 220 our emissary of the gods is rocking a great claw and an extra arm turning him (it?) into a close combat monster. The goal here is going to be thumping your opponent with it. Don’t use it as a counter model for that troll or vampire. Never try to hit a brick with a brick- use your brick to smash some glass. Use the Possessed to gobble up the weaker models in your opponent’s warband, and ignore or delay their uber models.

Next up are mutants, which are no substitute for Possessed and Dark Souls. 25 crowns base, plus the fear mutation brings them to 65 crowns before gear and other mutations- and even piling those on, trying to turn them into Possessed Jr. won’t work very well since they don’t have the base stat line that the Possessed have. You could take a few as place holders for the campaign experience, but this will hurt the hitting power of your war band in the long run.

Darksouls- at 35 crowns each these models are a steal. Think of them as your ninja’s thanks to the crazed special rule making them fearless and auto-passing any leadership tests. They are great for slipping past those fear bubbles that your opponent might set up with key models to try and deny you parts of the table.

Brethren and Beastmen: Fodder for the Gods. Beastmen have the advantage of an extra wound, so let them lead the charge first and potentially tie things up, followed in by your Brethren. 25 crowns for the B. is a bit much for a ho-hum stat line model so don’t go crazy with the equipment. Two weapons to give the +1 attack and no armor is pretty standard.

So where to start? Magister, one Possessed, 1-2 Dark Souls and some Brethren fodder. Two Darksouls to start allows you to have one get knocked out and still have the ninja effect. Next add some Beastmen, then a second Possessed, and finally more Brethren…

Serve the Dark Emperor well, his time is soon…

40K Chaos Summoner List

Here is another themed army for you guys that has the added bonus of packing a deceptive punch. Before I got started with my Tzeentch Daemon army, this was the next army I was going to build. I’ve got way to many projects to keep it on the back burner so maybe somebody else will take up the mantle? It builds off some of the core concepts I use in my chaos .PDF, and if I’m kicking Black Matts Black Legion a$$ with it, something has to be on track…

So what is the theme here to work with? Remember I went with Tzeentch for my Daemon army so I like magic in my chaos fluff. In my mind a chaos sorcerer builds his cabal and then begins summoning minions, demons, and entities from the warp. If the lackey inquisition can do it with their damonhosts, how much more could a chaos sorcerer do it without morality guiding him? So that is the theme- sorcerer cabal summoning lots of nasty stuff. So many modeling conversions here also, and I’ll throw in what I was planning here also.

The list is made up of two parts- ironically the process for this themed army is reversed. I had to start with the support core and delivery system and then add the demons. I also had the challenge of packing in what I needed to make it work, while keeping costs down. So here we are:

HQ: Chaos Sorcerer W/ Icon, Gift Of Chaos
Elite: 5 Possessed W/ Aspiring Champion
Troops: 2 X 5 Chaos Marines W/ Melta Gun, Champion, Icon, Rhino
Heavy: Land Raider W/ Possession
Heavy: 2 X 1 Defilers

This is the delivery and support core. The sorcerer goes in the land raider with the possessed, the two troops in the rhinos are the delivery system, and the land raider and defilers are support. Icons and expendable champs mean I can throw up a summoning web for the second part of the list:

HQ: 2 x 1 Greater Daemon
Troops : 4 X 8 Lesser Daemons

This is the punch of the army, and you are going to need a crap load of them. That said, there are many possibilities for modeling generic lesser and greater demons. Personally I was going to go with a Tzeentch theme of two TZ greater demons and horrors for the lesser demons, but they are now drafted into my Daemon army.
Here is how it plays.

Land raider and rhinos as far forward as you can ram them in the center of the table. Space them out with terrain to cast an icon net for your daemons to come in off of. Defilers behind them/next to them for support. Regardless of first/second turn you drive up and get into icon range right into the heart of your opponent and then the demons start dropping. Remember that they can assault the turn they enter. Create enough of a web and you can icon drop them into terrain if there is nothing to assault, or drop and then run. Lesser D’s in terrain for the 4+/3+ goto ground save are tough to dislodge and everybody is fearless so you have to kill them to the last. The web of cheap champs means you can bring in the greater demons with choice also. Defilers and land raider work on popping vehicles. When your opponent gets out to rapid fire the demons, then the defilers drop the templates- that is why they are in the list over oblit spam- plus defliers like to assault also, and possession on them is a pain for your opponent. When the time is right, you disembark the sorcerer and his warp chosen to assault, using gifts of chaos either pre-assault, or just at will to zap those pesky over powered characters, sarges, etc. Have the lesser demons dig in on objectives, and use the greater demons and defilers to bounce around.

40K Elf Magic List: Taste My Powah!

So I'm going to follow up with part two of looking at themed lists, the theme this week- space elf magic. Having an idea or model you like, and building around it to put up a fight on the tabletop. Thinking outside the meta-box.

Masters of the psyker arts the goal is to throw down as much magic…excuse me…psyker abilities on the table as possible. So much you’ll swear you are playing fantasy by the end of the game.

1750 Points Elf Magic List

HQ: Eldrad @ 210
10 Warlocks @ 390 8 Destructor/1 Embolden/ 1 Enhance / Spears
HQ: Farseer @ 163 Stones/Rune Wit/ Doom/ Guide/ Mindwar / Spear
10 Warlocks @ 390 8 Destructor/1 Embolden/ 1 Enhance / Spears
Troops: 4 x 6 Rangers @ 114
Heavy: 2 X 3 D-Cannons & 1 X 3 Vibro Cannons @ 270 Points

Since the theme is elf magic I’m taking the best of the farseers and maxing out the warlocks as the base. Lots of points there no doubt, but two very large and solid units that will hold unless you are out in the open eating psy-cannons. Fortune up for the 4+ re-roll, sling guide and doom as needed, and two mind war powers are in the list for kicks. Warlocks have destructor spam, enhance for the charge to strike first, and embolden as insurance for your crappy dice rolls.

So what do we have here? 11 S 9 shots at 16” followed by lots of close range punch with destructor and wichblades that are S9 or wound on a 2+. Monstrous creatures cry in the assault, dreadnoughts turn and run.

Next is the rangers for the troop choices. All Eldar troop choices are now garbage compared to the 5th dexes. Rangers give you the ability for a 3+ save in cover or a 2+ if you go to ground along with some long range shots. I’d like to have pathfinders, but the councils take up so many points that can’t happen. Three groups are for taking objectives- remember to get the 3+/2+ out in the open by jockeying your seer councils if needed, one group if for infiltrating.

Finally (gasp) vibro and d-cannons for support- cheap for the shots, placed in cover or created cover.


Remember this is a themed army- we need to work with the core (the farseers) and that is what we are going to build up around. This is a come and get me army. I set up, and you come and get me. I’ll need to place objectives as needed- mid field so my opponent can’t just camp. Annihilation is easy to win with reserves and target priority, capture and control is going to be a draw, unless you outflank two ranger groups and get very luck.

So I want to castle up in terrain with the seer councils first and forward, rangers next, and cannons last. I want the vibos out right away. Maybe reserve the d-cannons since their range means they won’t be in use till mid game. Fourth ranger group gets infiltrated into terrain to go to ground for the 2+ to pull units off and away from my army, and to also bring units into range of the d-cannons when they come on- those rangers are bait.

Army works as a core taking shots, making an assault push when in range, followed by a push for objectives later in the game.

Mix in knowing when to reserve and when to deploy, how to slide the council(s) back so those incoming vehicles have to stop short, followed by the councils throwing the spears and then assaulting, etc. is also key.
Part III....throw out some themes in the comments and let's see what fun we can come up with...

Building A Themed Army

Fritz here: for me much of the enjoyment of 40K is visual backed by the myth of the gaming universe. If you look at many of my armies- Saim-Hann Eldar, Eldar harlequins, null deployment Tyranids, Necron nightmare list- there is a theme to them, and it is that theme which they are centered around in the creation of an army list. I build the army based on the visuals first, followed by a sit down to look how it is going to work on the table. I know it won’t be a WAAC army, but with the correct tactics I want to at least put up a good fight and win most of my games…

…so for this week’s post we are going to look at building themed army, how to do it in terms of a framework model which you can then apply to your own army. For the example we will be looking at Eldar…

So let’s say I love the models and fluff of swooping hawks. I want to paint and collect a ‘hawk themed army, but I don’t want to lose very game I play. Can such an army be created and work? The internet says “no” so it must be true.

When creating a themed army you want to take the max of that theme which means thirty hawks as a starting point. Think about how rainbowific that will look. From there we need to select units that will both make the ‘hawks work followed by a visual theme to unify the army.

But first the swooping hawks- the key to a themed army is to look at what the units do, this is your core, and you are going to select units that can make this core work. This is the same formula I have applied to my Harlequin army- get as many clowns on the table, look at what makes them tick, and find a way to deliver that right into my opponent.

3 X 10 Swooping Hawks W/ Exarch, Sunrifle, Intercept, Skyleap @ 717 point is the starting point.

Now we have to ask ourselves, what do ‘hawks do besides prancing around with their wings? Well, they appear to be a shooty bunch till we see they are only S3 and not AP 2/3 which means they will shoot at a unit of space marines, kill two, and then die from the return fire of marines since they are only T3 and have a 4+ save. Clearly we don’t want our ‘hawks to shoot like that going toe to toe. We’ll need something else for that later…

What ‘hawks do is drop grenades and bounce around on the table- hit and run style, so that is the skill we want to build the army around. Work with the swooping hawks to appear anywhere as needed, hit, and run the highland way. This is the first unit filter for the army- everything needs to be fast and be able to strike and then fade away. Slow ground units like wraithlords will be left behind, ganged up on, and taken out. Time to work down the force org chart.

HQ: Well if you are playing a ‘hawk themed army you need Baharroth to lead the pack right? Well, he has some abilities that we are going to use, in addition to saving us some points so write him down on your list. Since he gives the exarch powers to a group he joins, we can drop on of the exarchs and powers from the hawk groups and replace him with a normal model. This saves a few points, while changing the battle field role of that single unit. The unit with Baharroth in it is the unit that we are going to deepstrike closest to the enemy- not that I want to get close, but sometimes you have to get close to contest, or even when there is no room on the table. Baharroth is eternal warrior with a 2+ save- take the wounds on him to keep that ‘hawk group up alive a bit longer, and if you get assaulted, you potentially have the hit and run option, which we will also use tactically later. So with those adjustments out list is at 891 points.

Tactically we want to take another HQ unit to support the hawks and the theme of the list, and this is where an autrach fits in @ 110 points.

Autarch W/ Swooping Hawk Wings, Power Weapon, Fusion Gun.

The autarch join a second ‘hawk unit to take wounds, and most importantly add the +1 to the reserves to allow the swooping hawks to pop in and out throughout the game.
Finally we need some troops that are fast moving, resilient, and can support the swooping hawks. Jetbikes fill this perfectly so we are taking three large groups with shuriken cannons. Since this is a theme army, you can paint them like the hawks, or clip the jetbike wings and use ‘hawk wings, or Blood Angels angel wings for the jetbike wings to tie in the theme. A step further, and perhaps more economical would be to use Warhammer fantasy based flyers/cold ones, etc. modeled with Eldar riders since we are going to need thirty of them.

Jetbikes of course: 3 X 10 W/ 3/3/2 Shuriken Cannons @ 740 points.

Notice I didn’t take any vehicles in the list for the 740 points on troops. Why? Can you see why? I’ve got almost 1/3 of the points sunk into the ‘hawks, followed by my HQ units. Since everybody is playing mech, gearing up for mech, and built to deal with mech, if I throw down a wave serpent or two they will just eat all those las cannon shots and go down. I need to either throw down 9+ skimmers or none at all. And I can’t put down the nine with the points…

So, all those las cannons and anti-mech shots will kill a swooping hawk or two, maybe a bike with cover saves, assuming I’m even around to shoot at…
So how are we going to make this army work in the game?

This itself if going to be another part of the process. Coming up with a plan and then refining it over a number of games, adding units, changing units, etc. till we get to the final product. Thanks to the +1 of the autarch, the ability to deepstrike, and the speed of the jetbikes this army can suddenly appear anywhere. Tactically we are going to want to get our opponent to spread out so we can wolf pack up on single units, take said unit out, and then melt away. With multiple objectives we want to spread them out, etc.

Next we want our opponent to go first so they set up. We then reserve everything. If they make us go first then we set up the three ‘hawk units one right, one center, and one left and reserve the jetbikes. Spreading out the hawks will encourage our opponent to spread out to engage them. Then on our first turn we skyleap away, ready to enter reserves on turn two.

When the units arrive you are going to use the jetbikes to come on and shuriken cannon rhinos and razorbacks- using marines as the generic opponent example. The cannon’s jobs is to get masses of troops out for the grenades to fall from the hawks. Keep the hawks on one side and the jetbikes on the other- encourage your opponent to go for the hawks.

As for deathstar units, land raiders, etc, just ignore them, they won’t catch you. The first half of the game is keeping the ‘hawks up, and the second half is about getting them killed. Later in the game my jetbikes are going to want to take objectives- wolf packing them 20+ jetbikes shooting at close range twin-linked pumps out a lot of shots. If I think I may need to shoot and then assault something off an objective then Baharroth and/or the autrach will leave the ‘hawks and join the bikes for some extra punch. Hawk’s en mass can also then work with the jetbikes to get objectives or contest as needed.

Keep in mind that not having 10+ las cannons and 15+ missile launchers like a “standard” marine net list means your army really isn’t going to be killing much at all. That’s not how it will work based on the template of the swooping hawks. You will need to manipulate your opponent’s movement on the table to create opening to kill a few units to slip your jetbikes into positions for objectives, while frustrating the rest of the units with the swooping hawks.

I supposed should finish out with a disclaimer that the idea of a themed army, (and this article) is not to create a WAAC army- by its very nature it can’t be. WAAC has no theme or style, just spam out the best and forget the rest. What I hoped to do was outline the process to building your own themed army that at least has a plan on the table, and how the core units that you select for your theme are what you want to build around since you already have some many of them on the table.

40K Narrative: Necrons

Hi Fritz,

Your response is very timely indeed - the campaign kicks-off tomorrow!

Quick details: 3,000 point roster with just 1 HQ, at least 2 troop choices and then anything else goes. The master game map has approx. 20 hexes, territories are evenly divided between 2 teams (4-6 players per team), each team will place generals on different team-owned territories. If a hex your team controls is attacked and does not have a general on it, you do not get to use your general. If your general is on an adjacent hex, you can bring it in from reserves if desired. 500-1500 points per battle (bonuses based on territory values and walk-in players). Complete rules are in the attached document.

Important note: If a unit is wiped-out in one game they are not availabe the following game. ie. if I lose my Monolith or Tomb Spyder, it will not be available again for 2 weeks.

Standard game will be Anniilate: Pitched Battle, with an Apocolypse finale in 6 weeks.

My opponents are from nearly every codex! The 2 gents with space marines love teleporting Terminators into back lines, or button them up in a land raider and charge them forward. There will be Nids, Dark Eldar, a green tide of Orcs and the IG player has more armor than I've ever seen on one table!

The Necrons I have on hand are:

1 C'tan Nightbringer
1 C'tan Deceiver
2 Destroyer Lords
4 Necron Lords (various builds)
12 Immortals
22 Flayed Ones
10 Pariahs
84 Warriors
15 Destroyers
9 Wraiths
32 Swarms
9 Heavy Destroyers
9 Tomb Spyders
4 Monoliths

90% are painted and ready to go. I can pick up more Immortals, Flayed Ones or Pariahs as needed.
So far my army roster is shaping up to look like:
HQ (either Nightbringer, Deceiver or Destroyer Lord - your *.pdf build)
10 Immortals
5 to 8 Pariahs (to neutralize deepstriking Terminators)
50 Warriors
15 Destoryers
0-8 Swarms (Tar pit or Destroyer Lord escort)
3 Heavy Destroyers
1 Monolith
1 Tomb Spyder
I have all of your *.pdf's concerning Necrons and I've read everything you've put on your site concerning them. I look forward to your HQ and army composition suggestions!

Thanks again for the timely reply!!


Brian B

Reply Out:

Interesting. Well, I see two ways to game this, speaking from my own experience in playing two campaigns with the Battle For Salvation club. You need to dominate both on and off the table with two goals- making sure you have a good amount of points to show up with to the apocalypse game, while shutting down the points of the other players. Let’s talk about that first and then move onto the 500 point Necron list…

Play for each mission should go like this- play to win the mission, but at some point if it becomes clear that you can’t win the mission, then you switch over to keeping your units alive so you have them next week. This is going to be a fine line that you have to be ready for. If you can’t win, not from a defeatist point of view, but from a practical point of view, then start pulling back and running away, keeping stuff alive. Lose the game, but still be up for next week- don’t lose the game and lose your key models for next week.

The second layer is while you are trying to win each mission you are going to be looking to take out key units that your opponent might need for next week’s battle. Look at the map, where they can be next week and who they may face, ask yourself what units they have to make the win for next week, and try to take out those units.

It is not only going to be about winning the day, and 99% of the players will be approaching it from this POV, it is about setting things up for next week, and the week after, so you arrive at that apoc game sitting pretty.

Team up time. Team up as much as you can to attack single territories is also going to be key. You’ll need to game and sell this point of view. Say you and a space marine player are looking at the same territory. Tell them a team up would work flawlessly. Your Necrons which are great at holding objectives thanks to the WBB rolls and long range mass shots of the destroyers are perfect in support of a space marine assault force. Think of how unstoppable it would be- I’ll (Necrons) will hold the objectives and blast away, while you (space marines) clean up in the assault. Sounds like a win/win right? It is for you- win the territory, but let the Space Marine player take the key losses, hurting them for next week. Of course you will have to take some losses for yourself, but game this.

You’ll have to be both a tactician on the table, and a general commanding the campaign. Play it only from the table top POV and you’ll flounder.

Ok, onto the list…

500 point Necrons there is only one build- two warrior groups and a lord. The only choice is the wargear on the lord. I’d go with a destroyer body and a warscythe. 500 points on the spot. At the 500 point level you might be too weak to win that first mission, so then it is about killing key units, and your own surviving.

Generally I would look to play it this way. Once group of warriors on your side of the table, say to hold an objective. The second group just ahead with the lord joined so he can’t be picked out. Second group advances to center to shoot, etc. and then as your opponent react, you pull back to the first group, with the first laying down 24” shots. If needed the lord can then break off to take out smaller units, or turbo boost away to contest an objective later in the game.

As you build out from there I would then start adding destroyers as my next choice- a group of them, and join the lord to them. Keep adding destroyers and a third warrior group, followed by the monolith and finally the C’Tan. I of course am going to recommend the list used in my .PDF as it has the best flexibility vs. the most armies.


Campaign Rules Below:

These are the official rules for the Warhammer 40k campaign, set to kick off on October 6th. PLEASE do not post here unless you are adding the additional rules, or if you have anything else of extreme significance to add.


Players will be broken into two teams and will be competing for control over the region known as Murder Valley. For the first six weeks of the campaign, players will vie for control of a meta map alla Dark Crusade; territories will be attacked and defended and the results of these encounters will be determined by a standard game of Warhammer 40k. To determine the final results of the campaign, players will all participate in a massive Apocalypse battle at the end of the first six weeks. What players can take to the Apocalypse battle and how many and what type of assets they receive will depend on how well they did on the campaign map.

During the course of the campaign, players will be encouraged to submit battle reports and track the successes or losses of their team. At the end of the campaign, all of these reports as well as any other fluff submitted by the players will be compiled into a massive narrative and posted for all players to access. The goal of the campaign is to provide a means of setting up regular games between 40k players, and to produce a fun and original narrative that ties their armies together.

Getting Started

Before the campaign can begin, players will need to produce an Army Roster which they will use throughout the course of the campaign. The army roster must consist of the following;

- One and ONLY one HQ (the player’s General)
- At least TWO Troops choices, to be used in standard games.
- Any other combination of Troops, Elites, Fast Attack or Heavy Support options to a total of 3000 points (including the player’s General).

Note: It is OK to take multiples of a unit in your roster. The roster only represents what you have access to for the duration of the campaign. It will still be necessary to display all of your units on the field at the same time if you wish to take them (this is so players that might not own 3000 points of models can still participate in the campaign).

Once submitted the roster may not be changed throughout the course of the campaign and units must be taken as they appear on their army’s roster. This includes war gear options and unit composition, for both the player’s regular unit choices and his or her General.

The only exception to this will be Dedicated Transports, which players may choose not to bring with a selected unit. Note still however that dedicated transports may never be taken without the unit they were bought with, and they still follow the rules for all the other units on the roster (including the inability to change war gear).

In addition to their army roster, players will also need to provide basic information about their army, such as their General’s name, which company/platoon/cadre he or she commands, and possible explanations for why he or she is fighting for his team. Because players will not necessarily know which teams they’ll be fighting for until the campaign begins, it will be alright to come up with this stuff as it goes on.

On the first day of the campaign, all of the players that are present will be divided into two teams, and each team will be given a handful of starting territories on the campaign map. The two teams will roll off, and the winners will get to decide which team will make its first move. Afterwards, the campaign will carry out as normal until the six weeks are done, as described below.

Playing the Campaign

Each team will be given a handful of starting territories on the game map, and the position of each player will be represented by placing his or her General in one of their team’s territories (the starting position of each General will be determined randomly).

Combat every week will play out similar to a round of combat in Magic the Gathering. The team whose turn it is to attack that week will start by declaring which territories they will attempt to try and control. Players may attempt to attack any territory that is adjacent to a territory that already belongs to their team (including kitty-corner). Multiple players may also choose to attack the same territory, where they will fight as a team to conquer the opposing force.

Once decided, the defending team will have a chance to assign defenders to oppose the attacking team. Defending players may defend any territory that is being attacked by the attacking team, including territories that they do not control. Like the attackers, they may also assign multiple players to defend a single territory. If the defending team fails to assign defenders to a territory that is being attacked, then control of that territory is automatically given over to the attacking team, and any players that were attacking that territory may choose to participate in any other battle of their choosing (the defenders may not react to this). Once all of the attackers and defenders have been assigned, the players will break up and play their round of 40k.

If the attacking player(s) win, control of that territory is given over to their team. If they lose, control of the territory remains unchanged. After all the battles are done, the campaign will end for that night and the results of each battle will be recorded. Next week the teams will trade roles as attackers and defenders, and will alternate attacking and defending until the campaign is done.

Fighting a Battle

Before players can fight a battle, they will first have to determine which units will fight. The rules for picking units for a fight are as follows;

- Players must follow the Force Organization Chart outlined in their codex as normal. The only exception is the inclusion of a player’s General, which will be explained later.
- Players may bring up to the number of points listed on the territory being fought over. If two players are fighting on a team, the points available to them are shared.
- There is a bonus 500 points for each additional player that a team brings to a battle. For example, if two players team up to attack a 1500 point territory, they may take up to 2000 points of units from their roster.

Note: Because players may not change the composition of the units in their roster, it might not always be possible to completely fill all of the points available to them. This may also occur if a player doesn’t have a lot of available units in his roster when he picks his army.

To keep progress simple, players will fight a standard format throughout the campaign. This format will be the Annihilate scenario played using the Pitched deployment format. When the game ends (determined by rolling a die), the team who has scored the highest number of kill points wins. If the game would end in a draw, then the players may extend the game until one side gains a kill point over the other after a full game turn, or until one side concedes the match.

Losing Units

If at any point during the campaign a unit is completely destroyed in battle, that unit becomes unavailable for selection for the next week in the campaign. For instance, if a player pulls a unit of Terminators from his roster and those Terminators are completely destroyed in battle, then he may not take those Terminators again for the next week.

This includes vehicles that were taken as Dedicated Transports, and any units that were taken to serve as a retinue for their army’s General.

The exception to this rule is that a player may always take any units from his rosters that are labeled as a Troops choice, although if their dedicated transport is destroyed then they may not take it for their squad the next week.

The General

The General is a special character whose presence is supposed to have an impact wherever he goes. To magnify this there will be restrictions as to when your General may actually participate in a battle. The rules for fielding your General in battle will be as follows;

- If a player is attacking, he or she may field his General if he is standing in a territory adjacent to the one being attacked on the campaign map.
- If a player is defending, he or she may only field his General if he is standing in the territory being attacked. If a territory is being defended adjacent to the territory the General is standing in, he may be fielded but must enter the battle from reserves.

- A General may never be fielded if he was slain in the week prior (however, this does not change how he moves around on the campaign map).

Players may not voluntarily move their Generals on the campaign map unless their team is currently attacking. If a player declares an attack on a territory and wins his battle, then his General is placed on the territory that he just conquered. If the player loses, then he must place his General in a friendly territory adjacent to the territory he was attempting to attack. If a territory is given to an attacking player by default (for instance if there were no defenders assigned to it), then the player may choose to leave his General in that territory, or may attempt to move his General into a territory being attacked by another member of his team (following the rules as if his General were standing adjacent to the territory being attacked).

Defending players may never move their General Voluntarily, and if their General was standing in a territory that was lost to the other team, the owning player must move the General to a friendly territory adjacent to the one that was lost. If the owning player isn’t present at the time the territory is lost, then his team may place the General for him.

Ending the Campaign

The campaign will last for six weeks, or until each team has had three chances to attack or defend territories. Afterwards, planning will begin for an Apocalypse game available to anyone that’s interested in playing. The most effort will be given into accommodating the schedules of the people who had the most participation during the campaign. However, once the date is set, ANYONE who wishes to participate may do so.

There will be NO awards of any kind handed out at the end of the campaign. The purpose of the whole thing is to have fun and to write up a good narrative (although we could probably hand out comical titles to people who had some rather memorable incidents occur during battles). Players will be encouraged to write up their own version of what happened at the Battle for Murder Valley. Props to including anything fluffy; memo’s, Captain’s logs, personal journals, or anything that helps flesh out the atmosphere of your army.

All of this stuff will be compiled into a general battle report of the entire campaign, with access to each of the individual players’ write ups.