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Eldar Jetbike Slide


Not as powerful (read: abusive) as in 4th edition when we had different “heights” of terrain, the 6” slide of your Eldar jetbikes can still come in handy when the opportunity presents itself, especially in smaller games with less units and over all army mobility- things Saim-Hann Eldar are always looking to exploit.

Capture and control, my opponent with tactical and assault marines sitting on an objective. My jetbikes sitting clustered on my objective, packed behind a building, vypers work the left flank. I can’t move out with the jetbikes as the assault marines will move up and counter, and before that I will be in plasma cannon range. Likewise the vypers really can’t take a lucky plasma shot even with a cover save. I need to draw the assault marines out or at least pull them back out of range. So it’s the usual Eldar jerk move of moving out the shuriken cannon jetbikes shooting and then sliding back. In 1750+ points games an annoyance, in lower level games two or three casualties a turn adds up- you can’t sit there taking those shots.

Assault marines move out, jump 12”, run D6”, but now they are in star cannon territory- out in the open. Of course star cannons hit on a 4+ also and are only two shots, and I don’t have a farseer to guide, and the marines have a chaplain to make them fearless.

Next turn it is make or break- either the assault marines will be on me, or I will be on them. So the vypers lay down some more shots, and then the jetbikes move out, shoot, and assault. Jetbikes assaulting? Yes! The marines are down enough in numbers, odds are I will win the assault, or at least not break, protecting me from the tactical plasma shots since I’m locked in the assault. Next turn the entire mass of jetbikes and vypers then moves on to the tactical marines.

Better plan for the Space Marines- deepstrike the chaplain and assault marines as a group next to the jetbikes, catching me in between them and the plasma cannon tacticals. Would have been a different game…







Down And Out



So it appears yours truly is down and out with the flu. Sucks big time since I was planning on spending the day at the comic shop with my new Tyranid list trying to crush vets and n00bs alike! Also, if you have emailed me, hang tight and I'll reply back once I'm up and about more, just typing this has me spent...

Mordheim Tactica: Scenario 7: Hidden Treasure


So in this scenario you and your opponent(s) are on a treasure hunt which is influenced by the number of buildings on the table. As in the other missions we are going to be looking at gaining experience from both the primary win of finding and capturing the chest, while earning secondary experience with our heroes and henchmen.

Generally in this mission you are going to need a group of warband members to act as a blocker unit, and a second group to work in recovering the chest. Two models are a minimum for this, three are better so you can siphon off one, and in a pinch a single fast model could do it with some luck.

On the surface this mission seems easy- get into the buildings and hopefully roll a “12”, but the real strategy is making sure you enter the last building and finding the chest there. While there is a 1 in 12 chance of rolling that “12”, with an average number of buildings on the table, waiting and camping for the last building is the best strategy to gain the chest.

What you are looking to do over all is move out your warband to the center, checking a few buildings along the way to the center to maybe get lucky, and then wait…

Let your opponent(s) check the buildings as you leave one building free behind the advance of your warband. When it cycles around to the last building you pop a warband member in and grab the chest.

Now a savvy opponent will be counting the buildings and perhaps doing the same game as you, so then you look to leave two buildings in your zone of the table to take, when they are the only two left pop into one first, then the second, and grab the chest. This two building strategy also has the advantage of you picking which building has the chest- pick the one on the “weaker” side of the table where your opponent has less of a force of his models so you can grab it and run…

Now, more about that blocking unit in the center of the table- you need a show of force there to keep the buildings free and unchecked behind you to make sure you get the last building. Once you grab that last building, of course, your opponent is going to try and intercept your models with the chest- the blocking unit then shifts over to intercept the incoming models if it has to. However, keep in mind and ask yourself if you really have to do this- once you have the chest you don’t want to risk losing any warband members through death or injury. Winning the “game” but blowing all your crowns and upkeep on warband repair will not put you ahead in the campaign.

In regard to bolting with the chest- always have two models minimum as stated. The model(s) that grab that chest will be target priority number one, so you don’t want to be traveling at half speed with only one model, especially if the most direct escape route takes you through ruins that will slow you down. A third model running with them is even better, especially if it is fast moving so it can break off and intercept or even grab the chest on its own and run- its speed making up for the movement penalty.

Now of course we are trying to win the mission to hopefully pull some wyrdstone and crowns from the chest, but while that is going on we also want to set things up to gain some secondary experience by having our own heroes survive and taking out enemy models.

+1 XP for every hero that survives.
+1 XP for every model put out of action by a hero.

The first one is easy to earn- just keep your heroes out of the action and don’t risk them- remember that is what your henchmen/lackeys are for. The second bonus is tempting, but risky for only one XP point. The hero has to make that kill, and this also puts him in danger. However, this changes a bit if your hero has a missile weapon to try and take some shots before pulling back out of danger.

Another way to gain some quick XP is to have your hero enter the final building for the +2 experience for finding the chest. Keep him next to your henchman group, enter the building for the +2 XP bonus, and then pass the chest off to the henchmen and get your hero out of the line of fire from anything incoming to the chest.

Multiple Opponent Tactics:

If you are playing the mission with more than one opponent then you have to ask yourself if it is even worth recovering the chest? Keep in mind that you can still lose the majority of your games and still win the campaign with some pre/post game building. Let your opponents fight over the chest and weaken their warbands, killing off heroes and henchmen alike so that even if they find the chest their gains are eaten up in post game upkeep. Hang back, and let them weaken each other, let one route, and then you route the weakened warband gaining the chest. I should also add this is a secondary tactic to use in a regular 1 vs. 1 mission in some circumstances- forget about even looking for the chest, and just concentrate on routing your opponent, by wolf packing up with your warband on the groups and individual models they are sending out to look for the chest. Sometimes in mission dynamics like this I’ll let both warbands self destruct looking to snipe the bonus experience points…

Eldar & Black Templar Combat Patrol



Yo Fritz, greetings from a fellow New Yorker (Buffalo born and raised baby!)

I've been reading your blog for a few months now and have been watching your YouTube stuff for just as long and I want to thank you for helping me with my gaming.

A little background about my gaming experience: I started playing 40K casually a little over 3 years ago now. I started with Eldar then moved on to Black Templars, as i thought i had seen all the Eldar had to offer, and from there came into possession of a few other armies from friends who were getting out of 40k or didn't want to play the armies any more. A while later i found your blog and have been completely re-thinking how i played my armies since. I don't get to play as much as i would like to. Between my job, friends moving away, and local gaming shops closing down or starting to charge for gaming time i don't play as much as i would like.

I recently read your PDF about combat patrols (Fritz: FREE Download Here) and liked the idea of playing a tone of quick games. I put one together and just wanted your input on what you thought about it:

10x Guardians
Scatter Laser Platform
Warlock with Singing Spear

10x Guardians
Scatter Laser Platform

War Walker with Double Scatter Lasers

War Walker with Double Scatter Lasers

War Walker with Double Scatter Lasers

Guardians deploy in cover and War Walkers (they're 3 units of 1 at the moment but I'm thinking of grouping them together) sit back behind them. Plan is to shoot everything at a transport turn 1, should they have one, then concentrate on individual units till they have nothing left.

Now for the second part of my E-mail, I've been wracking my brain trying to think of a way to crate a foot slogging Templar Horde. The only thing I know for sure is that i want to use a Chaplain with servitors and/or Grimaldus since he has that nice 6" fearless bubble plus what ever unit the chaplain joins can move D6+3" for zeal as long as the servitors are alive. I know i'll need Neophytes to sacrifice to keep my marines alive but other than that i can't get one that i like on paper. I either don't have enough anti-tank and the tanks rip me appart or there aren't enough bodies in the squads and they don't make it across the table. Any thoughts?

Thanks again for any help

Reply Out:

Hey, always good to hear from a fellow New Yorker, even if the distance between Buffalo and White Plains is more than some European Countries…

Your Eldar list is pretty good for combat patrol, a good mix of bodies and shots. Eldar actually have a slight advantage with combat patrol missions since their vypers and war walkers are AV 10 and can squeak by with armor restrictions- which is good, because the shots they can pump our are way more than most armies, other than Imperial Guard which can still do the chimera parking lot in combat patrol missions- and AV 12 is big.

Vypers have mobility, and war walkers can help out in the assault to tie things up. Since you have ground infantry I would also go with the war walkers- just get them in/behind cover to make up for the AV 10. Keep your infantry nearby so if your opponent moves up and you can’t stop them with shooting you can tie them up in the assault.

Warlock powers? I’d go with conceal for the cover save, since you might play some combat patrol variant missions that are objective based, etc. Singing spear is good also to throw on tanks that might be rolling up since it is S9.

Templars….

That is much harder since the best of Templars can’t really be unlocked given the restrictions. Can’t get preferred with the Emperor’s Champion, furious charge costs way too much, even rhinos are over priced.

The best I’ve been able to do with Templars is some stripped down razorbacks- heavy bolters and six marine units inside with a mix of neophytes- bolt pistols and CCW so you at least get three attacks on the charge. What you are looking to leverage is fearless in the assault and zeal. The vehicles will at razorbacks will at least get you up 12”+ inches, and with the OLD smoke rules you don’t have to worry about penetrating shots, and then you get our and assault, might have to work in a melta gun or two. If the vehicles get taken our mid field, then, and maybe then your zeal rolls can carry you forward enough. Zeal from the other side of the table won’t work- not enough bodies. Head right to the center of your opponent with your razorbacks, pop smoke, and pray. If you make it to their lines, crash the center, and get your guys out on one side to assault, using the razorback to block LOS or crate cover for the other side of the table.

‘Templars are kind of like Necrons in combat patrol- you can “play” them, but it is really hard to unlock what you need.

-Fritz

Dark Eldar Combat Drugs Breakdown



Hey there everyone. With the Dark Eldar codex being recently released (and even before), there has been a lot of mathhammer going on. When I took a look through it, I really loved Duke Sliscus of the Serpent and every bonus he gives is amazing. One in particular, though, which could cause some deep thought before the game starts is his ability to roll twice for combat drugs. While it really depends on your army and your opponents, there are some general guidelines on which one to pick if you have the two options. I decided to jump on the bandwagon and try to bring the mace of arithmetic and probability on these options. But first, let’s review each drug option.

1 – Hypex – Roll 3 dice when running and pick the highest
Pretty good all around, but the least appealing in most cases. It doesn’t help you be at all deadlier in close combat, but it does help you get there sooner. Reaver Jetbikes also miss out of the fun here. This would be my last choice and is not very quantifiable, so I won’t include it in my calculations for drugs.

2 – Serpentin – Adds 1 to Weapon Skill.
Not fantastic for everyone, to be honest. Will hopefully get you more hits in, but the to-hit chart is a bit funky. HQs don’t gain too much here, but Succubi do start being hit on 5s in close-combat with WS4 opponents. Also, it doesn’t help you against non-walker vehicles. We’ll be looking at this one a bit more later.

3 – Grave Lotus – Adds 1 to Strength.
This can be very helpful. For one, it means you will probably be wounding that much easier which really makes a difference with an Archon with a Huskblade and almost all of your combat drug squads especially when attacking vehicles. Agonizers, however, don’t benefit from it and Agonizers are staple in most close-combat squads. Definitely good, but is it the best?

4 – Painbringer – Reroll failed to wound attacks.
Again, a great CC help. Allows you to get more wounds in while in close-combat, just like Grave Lotus, but has some drawbacks just like the Agonizer idea. While this does help Agonizers, it falls short when you already have a reroll from poison weapons or Razorflails, but chances are that won’t happen, so not much to worry about. Bigger is the fact that you aren’t any better at killing vehicles. One of the ones we will consider, too.

5 – Adrenalight – Adds 1 to your Attacks.
Obviously another CC boost. This is going to affect every weapon and help against vehicles in close-combat, if you have enough strength to even glance them. Adding one extra attack to each model is huge, but so are the other available options. Another one we will calculate percentages with.

6 – Splintermind – All units start with a Pain Token.
Pain Tokens are amazing. You are now starting with Feel No Pain and are one less squad destroyed away from Furious Charge. The one problem is if you had a lot of Haemonculi already planning to give them Pain Tokens and then leave, you won’t be able to pass both tokens onto your targeted squad. Both the Haemonculi and your other squad will leave with one Pain Token each, and you might not have anything to do with that extra Pain Token. If you have Warriors or Scourges and the such, you are able to pass the token onto them, so don’t worry. Either way, this is another roll you can’t really calculate with, so we won’t look at it but it may be the best one for your army.

So now you have an idea what each combat drug roll does for your squad. But there is no way we can really calculate what is the best option without first considering a control squad (a squad that doesn’t change and is pretty overall basic) and many test squads (such as T3 vs T4). Plus, you must always remember: Mathhammer is not everything. In the case of combat drugs, I wouldn't feel as bad as going out of my way to get the best option given the choice between two options with no point costs attached, but when comparing two units or weapon options I usually shy away a bit from a mathematical stand-point. They are nice to take into account, but aren't the only factor. Anyways, back on track for combat drugs. So, here is our first control squad.
10 Wyches, one of which is a Hekatrix with an Agonizer.

Pretty basic, so now let’s set up a bit of a chart. In this, drugs will be referred to the number rolled for the drug, and we’ll have both T3 and T4 targets. There will also be a Furious Charge column, checking the same results as if you had Furious Charge give you a strength bonus. In order to have a comparing to idea, there will be a “No drugs” row that will be out controls. In parenthesis, there will be the number of wounds from this drug minus the number of wounds from the control drug row. Also, assume you get the charge off getting bonus attacks and so on. Also assume your opponent is WS 4, as that is most common.

Also, keep in mind factoring in saves will change the data a bit. Suddenly, the Agonizer becomes more important than the other attacks. To deal with this, I will do wounds against T4 with a 3+ save with and without Furious Charge and then wounds against T3 with a 4+ save in a similar fashion.






So, what information do we draw from this? Well, in most cases (at least with this squad set-up), rerolls to wounds is the best option. Of course, this is not considering Pain Tokens and is only against these types of infantry squads. Painbringer isn’t the best in all situations, so don’t automatically choose it over any other roll. Once you look at the second best out of our four choices, things change quite a bit. Surprisingly to some, Weapon Skill is usually the next best when you look at the saves. Strength seems to be closer if you aren’t considering any saves at all, but since the Agonizer is that much better when you do look at saves, Weapon Skill and Attack both rise above Strength though they are all really close in the end.

But one of the biggest benefits from Strength isn’t considered when doing this, and that is glancing/penning vehicles. If the extra strength is only a tiny bit worse against the average squad, that extra strength might be much more game changing when going against a vehicle.

If you are picking between Attacks and Weapon Skill bonuses, and while the Weapon Skill is usually higher, again think about attacks against vehicles. Weapon Skill doesn't matter there, but number of attacks do. No matter how unlikely it is to get even a glance, it is possible under the right conditions (such as Hellions with Furious Charge) and those extra attacks might make the difference. Just be sure to take everything into account before picking, and definitely consider Pain Tokens as your option.

I hope you found this chart informative. I'm considering printing it out and putting it on the back of my army list sheets that take the Duke and a lot of combat drug units. If you see any errors, let me know and I'll be sure to get things fixed up.
'Til next time,

Xethik

Dark Eldar HQ?




Greetings Fellow Fritz Fanatics! My name is Rob, and I am one of the new crop of young, impressionable guest writers that our esteemed 40k-master has managed to lure into toiling away in his blog-mines. I'll be focussing more on the hobby side of things, which means you'll be expecting lots of pretty pictures. I hope I don't disappoint too much!

I have trouble making an army without including a unit of super cool face punchers. Your HQ is meant to be your own personal avatar (why are so many of mine ladies or pirates?). And who wouldn't want to ride to battle surrounded by a group of ultimate badasses? Kaptin Dedeye and his freeboota nobz mob, Captain Aronnax and his Sternguard, Farseer Theladey and her banshees.

I have yet to decide on what to bring for my Dark Eldar, but both Incubi and The Court look pretty sweet. I've got some ideas about modelling The Court that I'll get to in the future, but for now let us contemplate the Incubi. They have some nice miniatures, but I wondered if I could create something comparable in plastic. I love plastic, and after one too many awkward pinning jobs and chipped coats of paint, my goal is to have an entirely plastic army. A foolish dream at one time, but not in these exciting modern times we live in! Also I tend to be kind of clumsy, so an army that I can knock on the floor without fear of damage is a big plus (in the time it's taken me to type this paragraph I have managed to knock no fewer than 46 miniatures on the floor)

Let's get right to the prototype.
http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y225/Dayspring83/minis/?action=view¤t=incubiWIP1.jpg

I sat down and had a good stare at the images in the codex. It seems their actual suits of armour don't look too different to those of basic Kabalites (despite having a 3+ save compared to a 5+. Eldar armour save technology doesn't seem to have much relation to bulkiness like other races, which is fortunate), so I think warriors would make a suitable base. I can fancy them up with some greenstuff cloaks, perhaps, to make them seem a bit more imposing.

Helmets were going to be a problem. I obviously wasn't going to be able to replicate them exactly unless I suddenly got really good at sculpting. However I think the smooth faceless helmets will give them a nice elite bad-ass kind of vibe, as well as setting them apart from my basic warriors. I can paint all the faceplates a nice bright contrast colour to make the unit stand out on the battlefield as well.

The back mounted trophy rack comes with both the Warrior and Wych kits. I've just given this guy the one, but if I can scrounge enough bits up I can give them the double rack look the metal guys have.

For weapons I'm going back to the pole-arms they wielded in previous editions. This should be a lot easier to replicate than the big double handed power swords. For this mock up I've used a Dire Avenger power spear, but I think the Hellion helglave with the ends replaced by power swords should work as well. Peering at the sprue images on GW's website it seems the box comes with a few spare, so getting enough for a whole squad shouldn't be too problematic.

So, there we go. What do you guys think?

Asdrubael Vect AKA The Big Cheese


By DeviantApostle

Ouch, where to start. You’ve got two options: Brie or Gouda. Without his Dais, Vect is an engine of destruction that needs to be mixed in with a unit to soak shooting wounds and either a Raider or Venom to deliver him to the right place. Basically, you’re picking up an expensive super-Archon that can spank the Lord of Death with his evil stick before Mephiston can even strike. With Preferred Enemy against everyone he re-rolls to hit with WS8. Bottom line, if you don’t have an invulnerable save or a lot of luck, you’re dead.

In addition, note that he carries a 12” range small blast weapon that can wound most things on 2+ and ignores power armour with his massive BS8! Never worry about missing or killing yourself with it. On top of that, wounds dealt heal Vect… yeah, he’s not going anywhere if he can catch a breather to shoot.

There are a few units that Vect may have a momentary pang of doubt facing. A large Seer Council could give him a run for his money. Warscythe Necron Lords or C’Tan will snap his neck like a puppy if they get to strike. Charging Banshees and the Keeper of Secrets are a danger for the simple fact that they go first, the Keeper more so as it deals instant death. Everyone else needs to swamp him in disposable units or tie him up with walkers, both of which can be somewhat counteracted depending on the bodyguard you choose to run him with.

And let us not forget his seize the initiative bonus that is either the icing on the cake or the tasty fluffy centre depending on your point of view.

With his Dais, Asdrubael Vect is the Dark Eldar deathstar unit. The only downside is that you’re almost doubling his point cost before you buy a compulsory unit of nine members that must be deployed embarked on the Dais with Vect. That makes the cheapest build possible with the codex more than 500pts in a single unit.

What do you get for that expenditure? You get a Raider with the Ravager’s guns and close to a Land Raider’s AV. Oh and since you’re spending so much already, the rules for the Dais say that it’s treated exactly like a Raider in all respects, which suggests that you can throw some upgrades such as Nightfields and Flickerfields on it to make it even more survivable. Also consider the Shock Prow and Torment Grenade Launcher combo for tank shocking goodness, at least until an errata tells us otherwise.

Possible Bodyguard Units:-

- Incubi seem like a good fit here for ultimate power weapon attack spam, yet Vect does not carry a Phantasm Grenade Launcher (PGL), leaving the Incubi without grenades. Unless you take an Archon with a PGL in the unit as well, which skyrockets your unit towards the 1000pt range.

- Warriors or Trueborn can fire out of the Dais or simply give Vect more shooting to supplement his blast template. Trueborn seem to be a good fit, supplying it’s own PGL and possibly an Agonizer not to mention assault weapons that can fire and charge on the move. Throw in 4 Blasters on the Dais and Emperor Titans tread lightly around this unit.

- Wyches or Bloodbrides add more punch in hand to hand and a plethora of 4+ invulnerable saves in an assault. Honourable mention should go to Shardnets and Impailer Wych Weapons if you’re worried about enemy attacks getting to Vect, you can cram three of them into a Bloodbride unit on the Dais. If you can hug cover, you can leap the unit out and murder something important to your opponent since you’re still open-topped.

- The Court of the Archon is possibly the worst fit here. It’s more of an anti-infantry unit yet it’s hard to look past the Trueborn if that’s what you want.

- Always consider dropping one or two members of your Bodyguard unit to throw in some Haemonculi for the pain tokens, depending on how flush you are with points. If you’re at the point where you’re considering Vect in the Dais, let’s face it you might as well cheese all the way. The only downside is losing Fleet, particularly if you’re pairing up with Wyches or Bloodbrides.

- Alternately, Wracks also give out pain tokens. 8 Wracks with a Haemonculus and Vect is probably the best deal you’re going to get points wise out of all of these, even if it doesn’t have the raw power of other builds but it is nasty and scoring. If you really want to be evil, four Grotesques with a Haemonculus gives out two pain tokens and majority T5! Again, however, you’re losing Vect’s Fleet if you do this.
- Mandrakes… if anyone can think of a good reason to do this, please put it in the comments.

- Harlequins actually make some sense here. You wanted a Harlequin transport? Now carry them in style. Does the Veil of Tears work while the Shadowseer is embarked on the Dais? If you have any idea, please comment below.

HQ Combos:-

- Drazhar, Lelith, Decapitator, Archon, Succubus: If you feel you need another beat stick when you have Vect, more power to you. The Succubus is cheap and probably the best combo of the lot if you really are this aggressive, though I’d grab something else if I had a choice.

- Haemonculi: Almost mandatory for competitive Dark Eldar builds, their valuable pain tokens are always welcome additions for cheap.

- Lady Malys: If you’re really worried about psykers killing Vect and you want her deployment shenanigans on top of Vect’s seize the initiative roll, your opponents will weep as the game slips away from them before it even starts. In addition, she can take some wounds for Vect if she’s in the same unit. Expense is the downside here, as well as the loss of Homunculi in the army.

- Urien: Only if you take the Grotesque idea for Vect’s bodyguard to heart. Even then, ex-pen-sive in all caps, particularly for what it does.

- Duke Sliscus: Buff your Wyches, buff a unit of Warriors or Trueborn in addition, unless errata says otherwise the Dais is treated exactly as a Raider, so he gives the Dais Deep Strike for free. He himself is very killy. This would be a highly aggressive build and expensive. If you’re interested in Fritz style null deployment, then Vect’s seize is counterproductive with Deep Strike when you’re trying to come onto the board as late as possible. Again, locks out Haemonculi and is fairly expensive.

- Baron Sathonyx: This guy deserves an honourable mention here at the very least. Do you feel you absolutely, positively, must have first turn? These two at once is your best shot. Vect’s seize and the Baron’s deployment is as close to a dead lock as you’re likely to get until the Emperor’s Tarot gets a re-write. Also, troop Hellions, one of which gets the Baron, who makes it a super-unit. Also, the Baron is cheap, though he doesn’t buff Vect directly and again locks out Haemonculi.

In short we have two extremes. Vect for cheap goes in a Raider with a troop choice to zoom around the table assassinating whatever takes your fancy. If you’re playing Apocalypse or just don’t care about little things like points and game balance, go all out cheese in the Dais with all the bells and whistles and just nuke whole areas of the board at your leisure.

He is the Prime Cheese of the codex, Mephiston’s stats mixed with Marneus Calgar’s fluff and a superheavy Tank’s point cost. If you field him, gird yourself for the inevitable wailing and bemoaning of the fate of the game along with cries of cheese and verbal abuse. Of course, you might even deserve it.

Mordheim: Does Quality over Quantity Exist?


One of the draws to Mordheim for me (besides being a sucker for any game involving miniatures, and collecting them) was the fact that it goes against the current trends of the GW money machine, back to a simpler time when it was about the game…

Cue music…

Rather than having to buy, build, and paint a few hundred models I only have to worry about buying/painting around 8-15. Makes the buy in for the game really easy (around $50) and there is no excuse to field grey or pewter models.


Anyway here is the question, and I’m starting to believe it is probably just the dice. With my Possessed warband I’ve gone with quality over quantity. While the rank and file brethren are outfitted on the cheap- here are your two weapons, next! , my Magister and Possessed enjoy the full patronage of the dark gods- especially Mr. P. I’ve got multiple mutations, jacked up, his cost is well over 100+ points. Kind of like the troll debate in an orc/goblin warband. When he hits, he destroys, butting down henchmen and heroes alike, but every now and then he whiffs, and goes down like a sack of potatoes, and then my warband is pretty much done for the missions. Past couple of games I’ve been getting swamped with zombies and in this case Undead warband players can affort to just zombie gang my Possessed and kill him. So what if they lose a few 15 point zombies, vs. my possessed Schwarzenegger.


What I’m thinking is perhaps both extremes work- a jacked up hero, vs. a swarm of cheap fodder that you can afford to just expend each mission, pretty much to do the same job. Problem is Possessed really doesn’t have this option, while Undead have both the uber heavy hitters (Vampires anybody) AND fodder like zombies.

Hive Commander .PDF Update V 1.0


So changes in the tournament scene (NOVA format) and an adaptation to the new obsession with krak missiles, my Null Deployment Tyranids have made a few tweaks in the list, and as a result there is a seven page update to my Hive Commander .PDF.

Any of the future .PDF’s that I send out will have this update bundled with them, and if you have already picked up the .PDF this update is included in my update for life promise on all the .PDF’s.

I’ll be sending them out tonight to the email addresse you provided with the Google checkout. If you don’t get the update, please check your spam folders since it will be coming as an attachment, and if it is still a no go then please email me so I can get it out to you. Some of you guys and gals used the random email created by Google to get the .PDF and these might no longer be any good, so I might not actually have your email address.

I’m excited by the changes to the list, giving it some new direction while still retaining the core push of the Null Deployment and HyperNids model that I try to clobber my opponent’s with!







Space Marine Gunline Horde?


Back when I was a fledgling Eldar commander the army that I feared the most was Tau. My arrogance didn’t match their firepower and they blasted farther and further then my star cannons and brightlances ever could. So many close battles, including an epic Saim-Hann vs. Tau battle at both past GW GT’s.

What about Tau now, not that this is a Tau article, but why aren’t they the king of the gunline anymore? Has that title passed to SM and IG armies? What about possible revisiting some of those popular gunline armies of 3rd and early 4th edition? I’ve been playing around with some ideas on it, having recently resurrected my Hawk Lords. I’m not going to go in this direction with them, but I’ll throw out the idea if you guys want to throw it around and run with it.
Maximum overkill?

Adapt for CSM, BA, SW, etc.

Three tiers for the army, maximum firepower, supporting shots, and blockers. Three full squads of devastators with las cannons and missile launchers. Pricey, yes, but we aren’t buying any vehicles or land raiders/terminators so it evens out over the army build. These guys go in the back (duh) and start off by breaking open transports with the range of the las and missiles. Las is king for this, but then mid game when all the razor/chimera spam is popped you switch to frag, you are also well armed for monstrous creatures for the few dudes bringing Tyranids, AND soon to be Dark Eldar.

Next up is the scoring tactical squads- three or four groups depending on the points, power fist, plasma gun for the special, and las/plasma cannons for the heavy. They go just head of the devs and start with de-meching also, later switching to anti-infantry with the plasma cannons. Plasma guns are there for the 24” range since melta range will take way to long.

And then finally the blocker units- scouts. Large numbers, camo cloaks, power fists, and more missile launchers. Their job is to act as fodder to slow your opponent and keep them busy while you blast away with the devs and the tactical. Why scouts? Two reasons- infiltrate and Dark Eldar. Infiltrating allows you to bypass deployment and start mid field with them, effectively putting them between your opponent and power armored marines. Sure they can shoot, but their ideal role is to go to ground in cover for the 2+ save and create pockets your opponent has to deal with. They want to be full battle brothers in the chapter- let them earn it! Also regarding Dark Eldar…

You guys have been waiting for my thoughts on Dark Eldar, well Jawaballs and myself are busy at work with some lists and ideas, and he has sworn me to secrecy so we can both throw down our DE armies and wreck face. I will say this, DE done right will walk through both terminators and scouts all just the same. They assault, you die, period. Like my Harlequins only better. When your 1st company terminators die just the same as the newest neophytes it then becomes all about bodies on the table- just how many dudes can you cut down in 5-7 turns? For fun, throw Telion in the mix if you want.

Finally the HQ- force commander for the OB template, adding to the boom boom, and don’t forget you can combat squad down as needed if you want to diversify your shots for bigger armies.

Space Marine Line Breaker List


There is more to Space Marines then just razorbacks and minimal tactical squads right? Here is a list that I have been playing around using a synergy of units working together, fill in the blanks according to your point level.

Side stepping for a moment, I’ve talked about how in 40K you want to be an active player over a reactive player. An active player build their army with a plan in mind, sets it up, and goes about the plan regardless of the mission or the opponent they are playing. The active player knows what they are going to do and forces the reactive player to adapt. Said active player has the advantage in that they are always one step ahead of the reactive player who sets up according to their opponent and maneuvers their army based on what their opponent does. Often in 40K the first person who “blinks” is the one who loses…

So what is my LineBreaker list? It’s a concept that puts pressure on your opponent mid field, breaks them open, and then surges forward in the assault to finish off the opponent. Basically we have four sections in the list: front: heavy tanks, center: tactical squads, rear: assault marines, and finally probing elements of attack bikes and scouts.



At the start of the game I’ll look for a place to set up to take advantage of terrain, hopefully castling up in the right or left, but ready to deploy center if my opponent has a null deployment type list. The three tanks of three vindicators or two vindicators and a predator go up. AV 14 and terrain cover saves are a powerful combination.

The second layer behind them are full strength tactical squads set up with las cannons (or missiles) and plasma guns. Being ten strong means they can take some wounds, and will be firing the 24” plasma gun and 48” las cannon every turn. For now the bolter marines are just wound takers, and if needed the plasma gun and las cannon will go out to the sides, with the marines behind the physical model footprint of the tanks for cover saves.

Behind this second line are groups of assault marines, in cover, natural or created ready to surge, while attack bikes and scouts either prepare to zoom out (bikes) or infiltrate/outflank (scouts).
This is the deployment no matter the mission. It may change a bit depending if I am going first or what my opponent has in terms of how and when it comes un, but much like devastator that is what is forming up.

The tactical always go out, but maybe the assault marines and tanks move on, maybe they get set up and I try to seize the first turn, maybe I take first turn and go for an alpha strike knowing that cover and AV 13 can protect me from my opponent’s first turn if I fail? Knowing the how and when is key, but deployment always comes together like this.

Tanks and tacticals blast away doing the usual de-mech. Multi-melta attack bikes are ready to zoom out to take out that land raider unit wanting to deliver the termie goodness into my ranks. A null zone libby helps to whittle down those invulnerable saves taken from the vindicators. The idea is to grind my opponent down in the center of the table with the tanks and tactical. One that is done, and I’m ready and expect to lose the tanks, bikes, and take tactical casualties, the assault marines then surge out and engage in the assault finishing my opponent off, or at least breaking them to where they can’t win the mission.

Final question is, how do you get your opponent to the center of the table if your army is geared to blast away at mid range? Objective placement and the probing units of bikes and scouts.

Baal Predators and Demeching


By steveNspace


The first thought that comes to mind when fielding a Baal Predator is its awesome infantry killing ability. Lately, I’ve been utilizing it to serve a completely different purpose that catches my opponents off guard and helps drastically change the game in my favor. Before you read any further… I should put in a little disclaimer: using a Baal Predator as an anti-vehicle weapon is pretty much only feasible if you’re sporting the twin-linked assault cannon and heavy bolter sponsons.

Primary targets should be AV10-11. Rhinos, Razorbacks, Trukks, soon-to-be-plentiful Raiders, Land Speeders, you name it. I hate to bring up Math-hammer, but the sheer volume of shots gives the Baal Predator impressive chances vs. these armor values, significantly more effective than firing off a lascannon or two. Not only will the Baal Predators be able to demech the enemy’s light vehicles, but they will lighten the load on dedicated AT units which need to focus on higher priority targets such as Land Raiders.

Make no mistake, the fun does not end at knocking out Rhinos and Landspeeders. Baal Predators have a nice rule called scouts which greatly enhances its AT capability. While the scouts move might not be a big deal to get you into the range of an infantry squad, it’s going to help by providing flanking shots on weaker side armor. Unexpected by even the most savvy 40k players if they’ve got a more “obvious” infantry target nearby. Sometimes this will require a 18” scout move and another 18” flat out+smoke to get into position. The great thing about this tactic is that even if your opponent catches on before you get an opportunity to fire against his vulnerable side, you’ll (hopefully) have powerful units to engage the same vehicle from somewhere in your deployment area or other angle… Thus preventing the enemy vehicle(s) from achieving a front-face to both and allowing exposed shooting from one or possibly both directions. Remember, this tactic is only going to work against weaker side armors. Great things to try this on? Chimeras, Vindicators, Devilfishes or even other Predators to list a few.

That pretty much sums up this article. So go out and give this a try with your Baal Preds if you haven’t already!

Space Marine Vanguard Veterans


These guys really fit the fluff of my Hawk Lords, at least how I envision it in the codex. Apparently the ‘Lords are the master of drop ship/thunder hawk combat. Visually I imagine the thunderhawks swooping in and landing at key points letting off tactical squads and heavy hitting tanks, while other drop ships fly overhead with assault marines jumping out the hatches. At least that is what I see when I play the army…

I’ve also talked before how 40K is not a multi-dimensional army on the table. No longer is there your side and my side to start with in the game. Tyranids were the first to really change this, and my hypernids list reflects this- you can enter the game anywhere with your models, pick that weak point and exploit it. Same with the Hawk Lords, within the limitation of the space marine codex.

Front group moves to meet you head on- vindicators, predator, tactical marines- to get your attention and to react. Reactions means mistakes. Scouts infiltrate/outflanks, and the attack bikes with the libby works the flanks. While that is happening the vets are in their thunder hawk waiting to deep strike in where they can do the most damage before dying…

First things first with the VV’s- you are playing an over costed and way over priced unit. Funny how this works with GW- getting so bent out of shape, depending on current model sales, and who is writing the codex, that something might break the game, so it has to be over priced to in theory balance it out, or they throw all play testing to the wind and under cost units- thunder wolf cavalry anybody? So I’m going to have to go big or go home with the vets, no hiding them or keeping them back afraid of losing my 200+ points. Following that if you take VV for two reasons- to jack out the special weapons to make you feel like you are playing imperial guard, AND to take advantage of heroic intervention. That is where the points are going- not on that extra attack in the stat line. Yes, that means ten more points on just a T4/3+ model, but we are thinking big right.

My plan with the vets is to create pressure pockets in my opponent’s movement to force them to spread out and start opening up vehicles with my vindicators, predator, las/plas, attack bikes, etc. in turn one and two. Then when my vets come in- and the later the better, they drop right in and assault. Yes, they can scatter, and you basically need to place them 5” or so inches away from your target to take into account a minor deviation. A lot of “what if’s” for such an expensive unit- the key is going to be setting up the gamble with your other units so if your deepstrike gamble pays off you can really lay the hurt. Tactically this happens even before the game starts. If you are yelling “HEROIC INTERVENTION” placing your first model, scattering, and then thinking about what those VV’s are going to do, congratulations you have just added to their fail reputation on the internet. Start setting up for that surgical strike heroic intervention as soon as you know the mission and have deployed- 100% of the rest of your army is there to make the VV’s work. Now maybe I’m just ranting?

Next up is load out- tempting to jack them all up with power weapons, but beyond cost, this means that whatever you hit you will probably wipe out. Is that a good thing? Not really since you will be out in the open during your opponent’s shooting phase. What you are aiming to happen is have your vets drop in and assault- causing enough wounds that they “win” but stay locked with your opponent. From here you then finish the assault on your opponent’s turn and then move out, rinse and repeat. This tactic prevents expensive units from being destroyed and shot up.

Finally I’ve got plasma pistols in the group, beyond being a personal plasma freak, it gives them something else to do if there is nothing to heroic intervention on- land and pop off some plasma shots on a tank, target a monstrous creature, etc.

Mordheim: Hired Swords


So far so good with the campaign and your exploits into the city of the damned…

In a long campaign, around twelve or so missions, if everything goes well, about half way through you will be flush with coin while approaching the limits to your warband size. You have been hero farming right? Making sure your heroes are filled out first, and then henchmen so even if you “lose” the game you’ll be going home with something for the night. On a side note, this is what makes Mordheim so much fun, unless your warband gets totally slaughtered, you are always ending the mission with some experience points, AND it’s possible to pull ahead for the next round if your city exploration rolls go well.

I’ve been working on a farming warband who’s only job is to win the campaign by surviving the missions and then optimize and exploit the exploration rolls in-between each game, but we will leave that one for next week…

So you are sitting here with a bag of gold crowns when a hired sword presents themselves. Question is this- is it worth picking up a hired sword or banking the gold as insurance to any losses over the next few games?


Depends really. All the hired swords are cool, but in the printed rulebook the halfling cook, warlock, and ogre are what really stand out in my opinion. The cook for the obvious out of game bonuses, devote more gold to farming, while the warlock works both ways to either boost low magic using warbands, or give spell slinger warbands an even greater advantage. The ogre bodyguard? Better then a Troll, and they are bad a$$, even if they are a money pit. While on paper the ogre looks like a deathstar unit, I’ve found him to be a better blocker or area denial unit. “Hey, want that building for the high point, sure go ahead, but you know my ogre is in there…”.

Regarding Dramatis Personae, I’m really liking Johann the Knife, but need to experiment with him more, my thoughts are as a close in dude to just sit there and throw knives as my henchmen advance- support that can keep my heroes safe…

Space Marine Scouts


The scouts in the list are there to create opportunity and it reflects in their build- camo cloaks, power fist, missile launcher, bolt pistols and CCW. They are not dedicated to any one roll, but use their infiltrate or outflank to add to the roll that presents itself.

I’m taking first turn and my opponent has castled? Scouts infiltrate to the opposite side of the table to get some side missile shots on those vehicles.

Capture and control, maybe I’ll outflank them and take the gamble that they come on over near my opponent’s objective.

Power fist speedbump? Infiltrate.

Small scoring unit to support with some missile shots and then go to ground on an objective for the 2+ cover save like Eldar pathfinders?

Generally just be annoying. “Powerful” enough to be annoying and devote some resources to killing, but not enough that you as an opponent want to focus your army on- you have better and more important things to kill then my scouts, so just ignore them…

Fair Super Heavy Points Cost Multiples

By Duke


Hey people of the internet, Duke here. Lately I have been getting the itch to play an apocalypse game. The problem comes in with the overpowering aweseome-sauce-dominance of super heavies.

My local gaming group is more tournament and competition oriented than theme battle oriented, as such we all have multiple tournament armies but I am the only one with any kind of super heavy beyond a baneblade. Because of this lack of super heavies my titan and scorpion (and every data sheet Eldar can field) dominate apoc games. I know Titans and Super Heavies can be beaten, but I don't think they are priced right. I have been thinking about playing a game where one side is 5000 points of Super Heavies and 10,000 points of non-super heavy armies and seeing how the battle goes. I guess what I am asking is, what do you think is the correct price multiple to put on a Titan? I was almost thinking to cost it at 2x its listed cost when not facing apoc armies without Super Heavies...

I would like to know your thoughts, are Super Heavies priced right? Too Low? Too High?

Space Marine Predator


Ok, next up is the predator- my feelings on them are pick one or the other- infantry slayer of anti-tank, and plan on paying the points for the side weapons AND a storm bolter. Shots are shots, and you want to throw as much as you can down the table. Tactically I want to leverage that front AV 13 in cover, and this model really isn’t a “tank” but more of a bunker that you get to place on the table. Moving means not shooting, and I want to shoot everything each turn if I can.

Secondary to this is mobile terrain- using the footprint of the model to get cover saves for any tactical squads behind it, or end game when you need to advance to take an objective. Tank shocking is in there also, but not as a primary tactic like with my fast moving Saim-Hann, but more of an opportunity that may or may not present itself as my opponent closes.

Tabletop Perspective @ The 40K Club





Space Marine Tactical Squads


The strength of a Space Marine tactical squad comes from the fact that it can actually DO something as troops- fulfilling multiple slots depending on how you outfit them. This is something we want to take full advantage of and the power of tactical squads comes from their survivability in numbers. I’m going to lay down the hurt with that power fist, special weapon, and heavy weapon for a while, pulling losses from the regular bolter marines.

So basically you want to be in one of two places with your tactical- either as a place holder unit to get that razorback onto the table (and make it scoring) of ten strong with all the upgrades. With the Hawk Lords I’ve gone the second way, going the first in my Black Templars, again doing something different from one army to another.

Standard tactical squad for the army is ten strong with a power fist on the sarge, plasma gun, and plasma cannon. I do have to be honest that a las cannon would be a better choice than the plasma cannon, but I personally like plasma cannons despite the 1 in 6 chance of it going boom.

Let’s start with the sarge- 100% power fist over power weapon. Fist may be one less attack for no off hand but it will almost always wound on a 2+, can threaten monstrous creatures, vehicles and the like, and being embedded in the unit, means that you can’t pick him out of the squad. Ten strong in the squad means that fist is going to be swinging for a while.

Next up is the special weapon the plasma gun. Plasma guns have the triple threat of range, and S7 for vehicles and infantry. I can hit you at 24” and double tap at 12”. Melta guns might seem nice, but by the time I’m hitting you at 6” we are really close and I don’t want this- I want to be at range as long as I can. For the special weapon, tactically there are really only two options- las or missile. Plasma is less reliable, and multi-melta’s suffer from range- 12” for the 2d6. In the plasma cannons defense, beyond just fluff, you have to work in the angles and planning to bunch up your opponent so you can cover multiple models with the template. We’ll get into this in the plasma technology article.

Finally to combat squad or not? Depends on the mission- kill points never! 4-5 objectives maybe, 2-3 objectives, no way- no reason to do it, and splitting them down means more wounds taken on the special weapons and power fist, possible losing them, and taking away the entire reason for having a tactical squad.

A New Archon in the Dark City

By Shin


Greetings all, Shin here, deciding to take a jump into the New Dark Eldar after playing Necrons for the first two years of playing, I thought I’d share the first battle report and a few concerns I have playing them. I’d also like to state here I’m far from a “Pro” player just a hobby enthusiast who enjoys the game and likes to share information and ideas on making the game better for all parties involved. Hopefully learning something new along the way, so I hope you enjoy the stroll into Commorragh.

First off, Dark Eldar were my second Army choice when I started playing 40k 2 years back when a friend of mine who plays Dark Angels (I still pray he gets a codex update and not be discontinued) got me interested in the game. Well, think about what the models used to look like…. Yeah pretty ugly there, so the Necrons won that contest. So I patiently sat by playing the Necrons learning the game, strategies etc, knowing full well, one day the Dark Eldar had to be updated and since I started to feel the codex creep on my Necrons, the possibility of shifting over to them was always the plan. What can I say? The things I have to adapt to are insane. It’s not even that the Regular Kabalite Warriors have a save equivalent to my Scarabs of 5+, I think I was more put in shock of OPTIONS. After two years of “What am I going to put on my Lord?” this codex is taking me time to really read though it and understand everything. It feels like I’m learning 40k all over again, I mean I’m still trying to understand using Transports in my game plan, as we all know how many of those the Necrons have…. Oh wait.

But I digress; let us get on with my first game & the first battle report I will be reporting to you all on my path to becoming a great Archon. This was just a quick throw together list to get the feel for the army…. Also the only models I had “built” a lot of empty 25 mill-bases that I’ll have to fix in the future.

1000 points Capture & Control/ Spearhead Vs Imperial Guard

Archon – 120 Points
• Agonizer
• Combat Drugs
• Clone Field
• Blast Pistol
Kabalite Trueborn X 9 – 168 Points
• Splinter Cannon X 2
• Blaster X 2
• Shredder X 2
• Raider w/Night Shields
Succubus – 105 Points
• Blast Pistol
• Agonizer
• Haywire Grenades
Wyches X 9 – 118 Points
• Shardnet/Impaler
• Haywire Grenades
• Raider W/Night Shields
Kabalite Trueborn X 10 – 215 *Heavy Weapon Team*
• Dark Lance X 2
• Blasters X 3
Wyches X 10 – 120 Points
• Haywire Grenades
• Shardnet/Impaler

Okay, so the first thing I didn’t bargain for was playing what I perceive as the Dark Eldar’s biggest threat, IG, right in my first learning game. Luck was on my side that my Opponent at my FLGS didn’t have the models (Tanks, etc.) to clean the board completely on the first turn. I win the option to go first, so rolling for Combat drugs I got an average draw on these. Archon gets the Pain Token Drug, Succubus rolls up the 3 dice for running drug, the Wyches she is attached to get the Pain Token, and the last I get for the other 10 squad Wyches is the Extra attack. First things first, I set up my heavy weapons team in a building to hope to get some kind of cover while testing out the effectiveness of Dark Lances. Raider packed with Succubus and Wyches turbo boosts towards his 2 Sentinels and a squad of Veterans but still behind cover… praying he doesn’t have a flamer unit which could cut into my “Armor”. The Ten Squad Wyches run inside a building to hide for a turn, other Raider with Archon moves 6” into cover so I can take a shot at the Lemon Russ with Pask helming it. Aim, take fire and miss completely.... I have a bad tendency when it comes to high strength single shot weapons on a vehicle to completely miss, or never glance/pen which I was hoping to end when I switched into an army with more volume of those shots.

IG’s first turn, some vehicle shifting, Manticore takes a shot at my raider barely hiding in cover overshoots, Lemon Rush takes a Las-cannon shot which it misses, also misses everything else. But the 2 Sentinels hit the turbo boosted raider and cause it not move not shoot. I got lucky I saved on the Pen hit that’s for sure. Pretty lackluster overall first turn, my Heavy weapons team was just too far out of range, and I was keeping them to guard my objective.

2nd turn, Wyches and Succubus bail out of Raider and move closer to a veteran squad, other Wyches squad gets out and makes a run for cover which they don’t quite make and they are sitting ducks. Whole lot more of missed Dark Lance, Blaster Shots. The Succubus Wych squad hit the IG Veterans and one Sentinel in the charge. Succubus completely misses all her attacks… for Weapon skill 8 rolling that many 1’s and 2’s I should get a trophy. Either way 4 Wyches hits rain true and mow down 4 IG the grenades on the other assault blow off the Las-cannon on the Sentinel. IG break but I’m still locked with the walker so I can’t pursue, they run off the board. About this time my opponent realizes he wasn’t firing his Obliterator Cannon on his Russ and this is when the pain really starts. As a Necron I just keep those things stunned so I always forget about them as well. He kills 2 of my Trueborns that I moved out of the raider to get a better vantage point with his template from the Obliterator; He hits all his Las-cannons on the same squad 4+ cover saves the day there. His Manticore drops another 2 missiles over towards my second Wyches; it scatters and actually hits my 2nd Raider destroying it completely. A Las-cannon shot on the open Wyches he kills one lady. On the assault the Succubus lead Wych squad puts the Walker down with the rest of the grenades. I cannot emphasize how great the Haywire grenades are.

3rd turn, I’m still whiffing with those Dark Lances… I’m starting to hate them, really considering putting the Disintegrator Cannon on my Raiders in the future. Trueborn Squad with Archon isn’t getting any hits off with their Blasters as he’s creeping just out of my range, and I don’t want to run into the open. Either way, the Succubus squad wants blood again, shoots at another Vet squad, kill 4, they flee, and the Wyches catch them wiping them out. Sounds good right? Another pain token can’t all be bad right, Shin? IG Turn, Russ takes out its fury on that squad, good night. There was no way I was getting cover at all. Sanctioned Psycher from my opponents capture point uses a power, to hit my only remaining Raider with like 16 hits, and immobilizes it. Manticore goes nuts kills 7 of my trueborns in the Archons squad leaving him and 2 guys. I’m getting lucky on not fleeing that’s for sure. Master of Ordinance hits 2 of my Heavy weapon squad killing them out right.

So at this point I have 9 Wyches on foot, 1 Archon with 2 Trueborn, and a squad of 8 Trueborn overlooking a Raider stuck in the ground. 4th turn, Archon decides to run back into the immobilized Raider leaving the 2 Trueborn. 9 Wyches multi assault the Russ and Manticore, they completely wreck the Manticore stripping it of its weapons. I finally stun the Russ into not moving or shooting. I’m running out of options I’m right next to his point if the Wyches get killed by anything it is going to be a tie. IG Turn, my opponent tries to tank shock the Wyches with his useless Manticore; I pass and move to the right, putting myself behind cover of his Manticore and Russ saving the Wyches for a turn from the Command Squad. Master of Ordinance kills 4 More Trueborn, this guy has made my list from now on.

5th Turn, Wyches foot it over to the command squad and BARELY make it into assault. I pour something around 40 attacks into the Command squad killing ONLY 2 guys… damn not having power weapons and this squad I’m facing having FNP. Well he killed one Wych and didn’t break. My Dark Lance on my grounded raider finally hits, Penetrates… rolls a bloody 2. IG turn, his Vehicles can’t do anything the assault goes on. The Wyches once again fail miserably, kill only one guy, and of course I fail 2 saves. I roll to break and lucky stay stuck in. On the game roll I needed the game to end because I had other plans I had to take care of and was running late, luckily for my spirit as well, the game ended, my Wyches contested, and I held my point.

So there you have it, my first attempt at being an Archon. I know there’s things I did completely wrong, there’s things I just had bad luck *See Dark Lances never impacting*. It’s a learning Experience, so I’m looking forward to your input.

Space Marine Attack Bikes



So let’s start off with the attack bikes…

For now, and we’ll see if Dark Eldar change the game, and if they do that is still 6-8 months out, my attack bikes are the counter to land raider death star units. I don’t have a DS of my own in the list, so I have to stop or at least nullify my opponent’s. Lots of guys like to play land raider with terminators, and for good reason, beyond being really killy, they are fun!

I don’t have termies of a DS unit here in the Hawk Lords, since if I did, then I might as well be playing my Black Templars that do have them- I’m trying/and try not to repeat the same units when I have multiple armies of the same faction/race.
Tactically the librarian attaches to the attack bikes and waits for that DS unit to step out. The idea is to catch it at that magic moment with the vindicators so the land raider gets popped and hopefully exploded with the +1 so the termies get out. Then they get hit with null zone and the vindicator templates and plasma cannons.
The libby, and we’ll get to him in a bit, is there as backup depending on what other targets are around. Backup means I’ll hit the land raider with vortex of doom, or should I say try if needed, or in the movement phase he will break off so if the attack bikes pop the raider, the libby can also add vortex of doom into the mix on them. Remember bikes = relentless = vortex on the move. Sweet!

If there is no land raider, then the bikes hang back and go to work on incoming transports, etc.

Now why attack bikes and not land speeders for fast attack slot, fast moving, melta shots? Jawaballs and I tested these two out over and over and here is what we discovered.

Number one reason is profile. Attack bikes are easier to hide, and gain cover saves off through terrain vs. land speeders which some dudes will always argue about not getting cover. Attack bikes can be clustered and hit 100% behind terrain or pred/vindi tank walls- JB is the master of this. Sometimes keeping them alive to push out the threat range bubble buys you so much vs. an overly cautions opponent. Second reason is in the assault. Attack bikes are T5 with two wounds and in a pinch can tie thing up in the assault- either to pull off objectives with the pile in move, or act as a speed bump for delaying movement in the end game. Speeders can’t do this. Not to knock them, but we are talking about the how and why they are in this list.

Next Codex Apocalypse Unit?


Among the other trends in 40K 5th edition, and this is actually a good one- something GW got right, is the inclusion of a Apocalypse model in each codex. Super heavies, uber monstrous creatures, and flyers have all made their way into the “official” game.

Starting with the IG codex we got the Valkyrie and variant, Tyranids got the Trygon, Blood Angels the Storm Raven, ‘Wolves got the T-Wolf Cavalry, Eldar had the Nightspinner snuck in (even if it is at 4th edition point costs), and Dark Eldar kind of got the shaft, but in all fairness their codex was done and locked before the trend.

So what can we look forward to in the future? Grey Knights? Well not really Apoc, but assault marines are coming which is cool, maybe a Paladin like Titan? The Storm Raven, also for GK’s is 100% on the way.

Maybe the pylon for Necrons? Tau, more ships with missiles? Exiting times…
Your thoughts?

1750 Shooty Marines: Now With Vanguard Sauce


Last week I posted up a list of armies that I currently own, including my fantasy gobboz which will be hitting the table more now that the ranks of fantasy players have really grown at the club- consider that an invite if you are in the lower NY area and play fantasy, along with a mention of Hawk Lords and why these guys have never made it to the table. They do from time to time- last play was vs. Jawaballs when he was playing with vindicators in his BA list.

What my ‘Lords suffer from the most is that I have way to many armies to play, and when I do play marines it is almost always my Black Templars since I like wrecking face in the assault. That and 95% of the players at the club are either marines or guard so “good” guys vs. “good” guys battles get kind of old after a while. Not that I think the Eldar are bad guys, or Tyranids for that matter, Necrons sure…

The Hawk Lords are kind of like the bionic man, built and rebuilt over time. The bulk started out as a trade, rather than strip them I added some tactical and assault marines, was going to do pre-heresy Emperor’s Children, but didn’t have the bitz. New marine ‘dex, well new at the time, comes out and they get another update to where they are today.

So here is the list at 1750, and over the next few days I’ll get into the how and why of the units in the army. As always, for me, half of the army is playing what I consider “fun” and making it work, while the other half tries to make use of little used units, making them “work” with some tactics and surprise. I also promised a few readers I’d throw down with them at the club over the next few weeks, which I will try to do, along with my Bigzilla list AND Mordheim.

HQ: Librarian + Bike
Troops: 2 X 10 Marines W/ Power Fist, Las Cannon, Plasma Gun
Troops: 5 Scouts W/ Camo, Power Fist, Missile Launcher
Heavy: 2 Vindicators
Heavy: Predator W/ TL Las, HBS, Storm Bolter
Fast: 3 Multimelta Attack Bikes
Fast: 2 x 6 Vangaurd Vets W/ Jump Pack, PF, 3 PP

No that is not a typo, two groups of Vanguard Vets (LOL!) with each group being more expensive then a land raider! When was the last time you saw VV on the table? Ever? I’ve only seen them ONCE, and that was a dude I played in a tourney last year. Have to look beyond the points, and get past that, and then we can start talking…








Priority Scores

Priority Scores
Brother Marshall Zappin'


Vox-cast 4871 *open transmission*

Alright all you commanders out there I thought I would give you a little intro about me as a new guest writer and then get down to business. The name's Brother Marshall Zappin', Sarge Zappin' or just Zappin'. I'm casting to you out of Missouri and right now I'm playing Guard.

Great another guard player...

Stop right there because I know what you are thinking, at least what you most of you are thinking. We don't need another Guard player rolling up in here on a bunch of Russ' and telling us how to play 40k fielding 10 tanks a game.

Well, I acknowledge this complaint full well (though I have no disrespect for those of you who play that way) and thus I decided to go no mech IG. Why cuz if you win then you are a true Fritzian General. But i get off subject- just know that's how I roll

Digress.

Digress.

But anyways, the real reason aside from introductions for my post is to discuss something I recently learned: Unit placement via outflank.

Now we all know that the rules are pretty cut and dry about placement for your units that outflank but I learned the hard way in a recent fight versus blood angels. During the game both me and my opponent outflanked everything (aside from my Iron Hand Straken and a squad of ogryns with him). When my first platoon came on let by Al Rhem (which i have dubbed Big AL). This meant that a squad of 20 gaurdsmen came on led by Big AL and his CS. Beside him I brought in one heavy weapons team squad (2x auto and 1x las) and one special weapons team farther down then them.

Well needless to say in an all foot guard list your heavies are your bread and butter. Nothing cuts through power armor like pissed off space Rambo with a big gun. Unfortunately a squad of deepstriking Vanguard vets landed right next to them in effect shooting one dead and then rushing them in hand to hand to take the wipe out. Nothing you can do about that one.... or is there?

Well i think one big thing that I (and hopefully you since you are reading this) is that placement is even more key when you outflank. Consider this- when you start everything on the table you have some turns to fix bad placement because your opponent needs to take time to traverse the board to get to you. On the other hand outflank most of the time puts you right in the action - or in my case the action comes to you.This is important because you have one chance or units will get rolled and most likely everything in your list is necessary for winning.

So what shall we do you ask? well lets examine...

First what other units are coming in? In my case I had the platoon coming in as well as Harker's gang on the other board edge of mine. Look at where the threats are- 40k is as much a mind game as it is a board game. Know what he wants to target, what does your opponent want to take out first.

Second take into account where the enemy is- for me that is realizing he is deepstriking anywhere on the map being assault marines each with a priest, power weapons and meltas. This means that i need things to not get assaulted and they have maybe a turn safe since he can fall right next to me his turn. Worst of all his Vanguard Vets can assualt the turn they drop so they are coming hot.

Third take into account cover. Most importantly how can you hide and what is going to hinder your opponent from breaking that new set of reserves from the army. If they break your new line and seperate them from your other forces that squad is gone. Gunlines are a line for a reason.

Once we understand our situation then we need to process our units with their priority score. This is something new I have thought up but basically is a ranking system on your guys that allows you to rate their utility. On my blog the newest thing I am doing is looking at each unit I like in the game and trying to discuss their utility. Well this score is a ranking as to when I should look to them in the battle and know they should be protected. The more useful the unit the more i want to protect it however the exception to this is a unit with high survivability which should be considered a lower priority(less need for protection). My units then are priority 3 on the heavies, priority 2 on the blob and priority 1 on the special team. Reason being the heavies kill more the blob can kill alot but has higher survival and lastly the spec team has low survival but is really there just to deliver a demo charge and speed bump.

So being the general i am and not thinking i place the heavies running for cover and the blob squad with Big AL between me and Straken. This was the first mistake. In retrospect the key to my army is the firepower first, man power, then CC so I shouldn't have placed them there. If anything I should have assessed their importance and used the blob squad in its priority order 2. This means that if anything the heavies need to be castled with something that is really killy and survival such as Straken where as the blob squad and the spec team should have been placed in the way of the vanguard and the heavies.

So next time remember Generals, priority matters-its a game changer!

Brother Marshall Zappin' out

Vox-cast 4871 *end transmission*

Dudes That I’d Like Leading My 40K Armies


Hanging out with the guys from the Battle For Salvation club talking about HQ choices and the question drifted over to who would you want to actually lead your models on the table? Do most of us only focus on the WAAC aspects of an HQ choice or does the fluff actually play a part? Do take Mepheston for the emo rage or the fact that he is such an over powered and under cost HQ choice? Since we had been talking about the upcoming 40K movie, and the abomination that was the Inquisitor “movie” naturally who would you want to lead your armies from a movie perspective? Here are my top three…

My first pick for my Chaos Space Marine Combat Patrol army is Dwaine Stevenson from the movie Gabriel. Black leather jacket, heavy metal mullet, sexy voice, wacked out eyes, and the daring to go against G-d.
Anything more to ask?


The story revolves around purgatory and how the forces of good and evil send their own angels to take human form and battle it out for the souls of purgatory. Representing the forces of good, DS gets to purgatory and says “F&CK IT!” and sets thing up for his own.


Second pick has to be a Lord to lead my Necron army. Question is what is a Necron Lord really like? Not a total ‘bot like the warriors, they do have a persoanlity and memory from their former lives, only cursed with immortality.


I think the djinn from Clash of the Titans captures the ethos of a Necron lord perfectly. Cursed by the gods to wander eternity, commanding arcane magic (technology), not speaking, but with a clear sense of personality.

Last pick would be somebody to lead my Inquisitorial forces, maybe a new type of assassin from the upcoming codex? Richard B. Riddick would be my draft pick. Basically he would be my entire army. You’d open your army transport to set up and he’d already be in there killing models and blowing stuff up. Don’t even have to set up, seriously you can’t kill Riddick, so don’t even try.

Your top three picks?

Threat Pockets


Parking lot tactics are what helps make mech spam effective- cheap costs, and a very favorable damage chart are the other two factors that make it work. With a parking lot you set your vehicles up in a block, and move them together as a block, of course leaving enough room for your melta spam guys inside to get out if the vehicle goes boom.

What is this so powerful?

As the block of vehicles moves forward and you move into range to shoot it, you are exposing your shooting unit to multiple points of return fire. A made up example to illustrate? My jetbikes move out and get into range to shoot a lead razorbacks with my shuriken cannons. I shoot, who cares what happens for now, and then the six other razorbacks shoot back with their las/plas and wipe out my jetbike unit. By the very nature of coming into range with my models, I’ve exposed them to all my opponent’s models. Now if I have a “cheap” unit (definitely not jetbikes!), maybe it is worth trading one for one, BUT what is most likely to happen- I’ll shoot, stun/shake the lead vehicle, effectively doing NOTHING, and then get blasted back.

One of the ways to try and counter the parking lot is to create threat pockets with your army and force your opponent to spread out to counter them. Break your army down into smaller groups that both have the ability to take out a transport and then deal with the guys inside in a single blow. EX. Jetbikes and vypers working together. Vypers blow it open, jetbikes close and shoot the guys inside. Even better if they don’t kill everybody that spills out so you can assault and tie things up, protecting yourself from shooting, and hopefully finish them in your opponent’s assault phase.

40K Foundation Tactics


Now that Dark Eldar players have moved to the front of the line and have their much deserved day in the sun (or is it darkness?) with a new codex, what can we players who are still struggling with older (read: Necrons) outdated (read: Daemonhunters), and over costed (read: Eldar) codexes do? How can we continue to hold our own and win other than playing our Chaos Space Marine armies as Chaos Space Wolves?

Well, now more than ever it comes down to tactics. While dice and tactics have always determined the game, never before in the history of the game has GW created such a wide gulf of old vs. new ‘dexes.

Generally, with the 5th edition books you can make a mistake or two and still have enough toys on the table to recover. With the older books, you don’t have that cushion. That said there are a few opening strategies in the game to use to help pull ahead- now almost vital for the old books, but of course equally viable for the newer codexes as well…

Alpha Strike

Hey look, the alpha strike isn’t just for ‘guard anymore. When you are outnumbered two or three to one, a free round of shooting to take out a few units can potentially lead to some big gains. With the older codexes there is a feeling of being more conservative with one’s units, to hold back, wait for the time to strike- all important, but being bold, sometime daringly so is what is called for. If you take first turn two thoughts to consider- set up using terrain to give your units cover saves and protection in case your opponent seizes the objective, OR set up using terrain to gain the advantage of elevation and positioning even if there is the chance of your opponent seizing.

The alpha strike also works if you are going second- happens all the time with my Grey Knights. I look where my opponent has set up, and what units I can reach out and touch with my psy-cannons and las-cannons while still keeping my own units in cover, set up, and try to seize that first turn.

Unlike the Imperial Guard and Space Wolf alpha strike you won’t completely destroy your opponent’s army on one turn, but it does have the potential to thin the numbers a bit, and that is why you shouldn’t dismiss it as an option.

Castling

The idea behind castling up is where you park your army in one of the table edges so your opponent can only attack you from two directions- forward and one of the sides, over deploying in the center of the table where you can be hit from the front and both sides. Taken a step further the thrust of castling up comes from using all of your armies shots against smaller bits and pieces of your opponent’s- again especially hand where you are paying 25+ points for an MEQ infantry model vs. 16 points. The key is getting your opponent to divide up their forces and not move forward as a block into your castled unit.

Often this is done by objective placement and siphoning units. Spread out those objectives to encourage your opponent to spread out. Castle up, and move your army as an entire unit against the smaller sections of their army.

While this is happening have some smaller resilient/expendable units, I like assault marines, terminators, raveners, and inquisitorial assassins to deep strike in to keep your opponent spread out. So as your castle block is moving, and your opponent start pulling in close together, drop those siphoning units off on the other side to pull away a unit or two from your opponent. Winning with my Grey Knights this is one of the key strategies I use with my terminators.

Some armies also have a redeployment option like Eldard- take first turn, set up two section of your army- one on the far right, the other on the far left, and then after your opponent has deployed pull back with the ability to the weaker of their side.

Again, with the older ‘dexes, castle does not equal fire base, it is a starting point to move and advance from, hopefully allowing you to engage with the full power of your army, as your opponent reacts and reforms their units you will slowly be more and more outnumbered.

Reserves

Some say I’ve made my name playing the reserves game. For some armies and builds what was a fun strategy or alternate play style has now become the only way of survival. With a reserve strategy you combine the power of the alpha strike and castling, while protecting yourself from the alpha strike of your opponent.

Mass reserve, roll those reserves on turn two, and based what comes in, see which side is weaker in units that you opponent has, enter and shoot here- you’ll get that first shot off at least. The down side to reserves is that with the numerical superiority and cheaper (points) shots of the 5th dexes you need a good majority of your models coming in to really have any impact. If only one or two wave serpents come in, you might as well pack up or start a new game. Autarchs, hive commanders, etc. are now needed to help make up for “luck”…

Hopefully that gives some food for thought for some of the older armies still playing out there, and some encouragement to really polish your tactics to win games over just throwing down handfuls of dice.