Eldar Advice?


I have some questions for you. First off i enjoy the battle reports of yours on youtube, gives me something to do while i paint my army. I am in the process of putting together a eldar list. As of now its not the best army but its a work in progress. I have lost every game i have played (only played 4 games im a 40k noob) I know Eldar isnt an easy army to play and it takes alot of strategy and know how and this is the reason i like them. I am running a 6 man seer council but after my first few games its getting hard for me to justify there points cost. What usually happens is the person im playing gets them tied up in cc and they dont die but stay there the entire game, or if i use them in reserve they come in without fortune and get shot down fairly easily. i know the tactics is going to depend on the rest of my list so ill put a quick run down of my list at the bottom. I dont mean to bother you with this but i never get answers on forums as to what im doing wrong, and the people at my local shop are not very helpful and seem to just enjoy beating me instead of showing me what i do wrong. Any advice would be great, and changes to my list.

hq-1 farseer -runes-doom-fortune-jetbike
5 warlocks-5 destructor-1 singing spear-5bikes

troops- 10 da in wave serpent with exarch.
-exarch has dual pistols and bladestorm.wave serpent is TL BL

5 pathfinders- i use them to infiltrate and try to camp objectives

-Elite-10 striking scorpions- i also infiltrate these guys and they work with my pathfinders.

i can either run two fire prisms or two falcons or 1 and 1. if i have a falcon in i use 6 fire dragons inside one, and 6 DA's in the other so it can score.

Thats everything i have, i plan on adding another ws with 10 DA's because i dont have enough troops choice. Besides this i have a harle troupe i take instead of my scorpions sometimes because i like the look.

Any advice would be great and thanks for your time.

Reply Out:

Well, generally Eldar have always been a hard army to play as everything has to work just right together and your army will generally be smaller than others like Space Marines or Imperial Guard. That said, I believe one should play the army they like based on the looks of the models, fluff, painting them, etc. You will be spending a lot of time playing and gaming with them.

So with only 4 games in you are still finding your way, and that is the first place to start. Before you worry about winning or losing allow yourself to just play the first dozen or so games to learn how your army works, tactics, etc. Then allow a few games to see how the other armies in 40K work, at this point I would think it is safe to say one could worry about winning or losing. I’ve been playing 40K for a while and anytime I start a “new” army- recently Tyranids myself, I always allow myself the first dozen or so games as test games.

Now onto Eldar proper…

Seer councils, very expensive, but what isn’t in the Eldar codex, and I would say still very much needed. Start with mastering the seer council and the rest of your army will slowly fall into place.

Here are some ideas:

Getting fortune up every turn is key so get runes of witnessing and while you are at it warding to mess with enemy psykers. You can run embolden on one of the warlocks and skip the runes but then if he dies you are stuck on 2D6 and embolden means one less destructor.

You don’t want to reserve them ever since this means no fortune, better to stick them far in the corner just out of range and/or take first turn if you can. Better to lose a warlock to shooting on turn one and then get fortune up, etc.

The first way to use a seer council (with fortune up ) is to keep your opponent busy shooting at it, which means they are not shooting at the rest of your army, and the rest of your army has some breathing room to move around. Move the council up like you are going to attack, then move it back. Hide it somewhere, then bring it out. Sure you will take losses over time, but those losses buy you time.

The second use is as an attack unit with all the destructors and/or witchblades/spears on vehicles. Mastering distance is the first step. You need to develop the skill, and you will over time, of knowing if your seer council can move up and blast something with destuctor over moving up and getting charged by your opponent. Keep in mind you don’t have to move 12” a turn and you have your 6” jetbike assault move. The next skill after you have determined you are in range is to ask- can you kill the unit you are attacking with destructor? Do you need to throw on doom or soften up the target first with some fire prism or ranger shots first? Example- five marines you can easily blast but ten? Maybe a prism shot first…

Experienced players will try and tar pit a seer council- meaning they know, especially against space marines and the like witchblades don’t do much in the assault so it is easy to tie them up for the game. Use this, layer in some traps.

What if you broke down your scorpions into two groups and put them in the falcons? Now you have some mobile assault units backed by some shooting from the falcons. So you move up with the seer council, putting them in assault range for your opponent to tie up. They go for it, and are tied up also- you then assault then move up with the falcons and assault them with the scorpions.

I’d start with that and experiment with the different units in your army to see what you like to play and what fits your tactical style.

As for the guys in your shop, well, they should be helping you out if you ask and still be trying to beat you. Dudes that just like stomping new players without mentoring them suck for the hobby. And by mentoring I mean pointing out what you did wrong and/or right after the game IF you ask for it. If they won’t help you then you have to ask the questions yourself- see what key units they used and ask yourself how are you going to stop them? Can you stop them? Do you need to stop them, or can you just slow them down or even avoid them.

Hope that helps sending you in the right direction.


40K Tactics: Unit Siphoning

Fritz, here, indulge me for a moment with a simple exercise. Imagine your next 40K game were both you and your opponent set up all you models and just go head to head with each other. Objectives, kill points, etc. don’t matter- just moving, shooting, assaulting, and wiping out your opponent.

Who would win?

With all of your models going up against all of your opponent’s models would it come down to luck? The dice? The game could go either way…

Now imagine a game where your opponent is going to take their entire army and throw it up against yours, only this time you have to remove a few units from your army ahead of time. Who is going to win now? 100% of your opponent’s army vs. 70% or so of yours. Luck might still be important, but the odds are better stacked in your favour.

This type of stacking is one of the many key core tactics in 40K that are applicable to any army, and any mission, and something we want use in every game. One of the ways to do this is by using a siphoning unit to draw away parts of your opponent’s army so the full assault of your own army has less to go up against. So let’s look at what a siphoning unit is…

Just like its name said unit’s only job is to draw away key parts of your opponent’s army for as long as it can. What you need is a unit that can appear out of nowhere, along with the staying power and threat factor to grab and keep your opponent’s attention. Balancing this out is the point cost- it can’t be so expensive that the core of your army suffers since if played correctly your siphoning unit won’t be doing very much for the first few turns other than just sitting there.
Let’s move on to entry options- the best choice is something either fast moving or that has the ability to deepstrike or just “pop” in on the table without scattering. In a pinch outflanking can work, but it has less control and precision with where it can come in off of.

When your siphoning units arrives from reserves you are looking to place it on the table away from the bulk of your army and your opponents army- usually off to the side or behind your opponent in a place where it is close enough to be a threat, but far away enough that something has to break off to kill it. This unit also wants to land in a place where it can hang out, going to ground if needed, anything to survive and remain a threat for as long as it can. Here are a few examples from the 40K armies that I play…

Tyranids: Deathleaper. DL pops in somewhere close and goes for some shots with the flesh hooks if he can. From there it is possible going to ground in terrain vs. S 8+ shots or pulling back out with his ability when somebody gets close.

Daemonhunters: Two siphoning units in my current =I= list- terminators and the Callidus Assassin. Terminators deep strike in and use the range of their psycannons to plink away, staying in cover and going to ground as needed. They are especially hard to dislodge with the 2+ armor save, 5+ invul, 3+ cover, and S6 power weapons + all their shooting and fearless. The Callidus works much like deathleaper only is an easier model to hide- the key thing to remember with her is that (for right now) being such an old codex she really can’t do much despite the NL shredder and C’Tan phase sword. Better for her to come in and maybe hide in LOS blocking terrain to divert units, then to come in, kill a model or two and then die. Think of using her placement as “a word in your ear) only on a larger scale- really going to miss that power in the new GK codex…

Eldar: Star engine wave serpent with fire dragons or the banshee bomb- zipping around on the table getting cover saves, ironically often doing more to create opportunities of movement for the rest of the army with the girls and dragons inside then when they actually get out.

Black Templars: Prepare for glory! Thunder hammer/storm shield terminators deepstriking in and then just running into terrain and holding fast. Not the best siphoning unit, and the weakest of all in my armies since they have no shooting and deepstrike in, but ‘Templars have to work with what they have for now.

So the question now is this- take a look at your own army and what unit(s) can you shift to use as a siphoning unit? What options does your codex have to dedicate a unit or two to this idea? Changes in your own list?

Next week is manipulating range…

Fritz out.

Grey Knights Incoming!

So now I’m into full Grey Knight mode, thinking and anticipating the April codex release. Not that I’ve been hating on the other 40K armies, but so far 5th edition has been a letdown for me since all of the books release so far are armies that I don’t consider my main stay. I want my Eldar, Necrons, Black Templars…and Grey Knights…which soon we will have.

I’ve heard the same rumors you have, seen what I have, and have started to play around with stuff and think about how they will play with the new changes- what we know or can expect.

Where to start?

The first thing is that the GK’s are not a complete overhaul like Dark Eldar or a new 40K army like Chaos Daemons. There is baggage, lots of it with this new book, and at the end of the day vanilla Grek Knights are still going to be ~25 points before tacking on justicars, psy-cannons, incinerators, and psychic powers.

In many ways the core of the Grey Knights is still going to be the same as it is now in the new codex- a small elite army that is still T4 with a 3+ save, so you are going to have to maximize the most out of all three phases- shooting, moving, and assaulting. I’m anticipating a lot of skill, perhaps Eldar levels in playing this army to make it work. With so few models, one mistake, and you are done.

We are supposed to also be getting a few new entries into the codex like Jokero and the like, and while I may not know their stats fully, does it even matter? If a model/unit can’t pull off multiple roles then I don’t care what it does, it won’t be worth the points following an elite army model. This is why Dark Angels with TT/SS and claws fail (despite the new FAQ) over shooty assault cannon/storm bolter/power fist termies. The assautl ones can only assault 1 role = bad for elite army, the shooty ones can do it all- shoot and assault with the power fists.

Other examples?

Right now you take dreads in a GK list for two reasons- one is that you need that anti-tank with the las since melta outside of =I= wargear and storm troopers is non-existent, and your second layer of light anti-tank is the psy-cannon which has limited range on the move. The second reason you take dreads is because they can, and must multi-role. They can shoot, they can assault infantry, MC’s and vehicles, the physical footprint of the model can create cover for units, etc.

Which is why I’m not completely sold on the storm raven for the Grey Knights, mainly based on its physical footprint of flying in the air- like a giant “hit me” sign for all the las and missiles on the table. While it can deliver its cargo, although that isn’t such a big deal with some of the proposed GK powers stealing the good stuff from Necrons like veil of darkness, how is the SR going to multi task? It can’t assault, can’t block LOS even with some creative modeling? Plus with my expensive knights will I even have the points for it?

Assassin will be back, not that they were ever gone. We know the sniper dude is going to get a boost, sad face on the C’Tan phase sword now being a crappy power weapon, is the inquisitor tax still in effect? Still in the same price range are assassins going to be worth it? I’m still saying hell yes! Dudes that pop in like Deathleaper and go boo!, but can actually do something like Marlboro, or a lone wolf will just be too good to pass up.

And what of some of the proposed GK Grandmaster stats and powers almost bordering on Mepheston levels? Depends on the cost, if they are 300 or less, which they will be- they are SPACE MARINES of course- check out Mephestons’ stats/abilities and points vs. Swarmlord’s stats/abilities for this argument. Why would you take this in an elite/expensive army? Easy, will walk through xeno armies like they are nothing and xeons exist so space marines can win games. (sarcasm or truth?)

Case in point? Conflict GT tournament where Brother Captain James’ Tyranid army went up against a BA army with Mephy, who walked through most of his army before finally going down. This made BCJ very unhappy, and I had to hear it for the ride home. I want that in my codex! I want to kick a$$ just because I’m marines!

Which takes me back to 25 point marines before upgrades. How is GW going to make this army with enough staying power to last 5-7 turns? I’ve heard the proposed FNP, but we already have that with plague marines and you don’t see chaos dominating the tables like spam wolves or spam BA? How are the ‘knights going to be able to abuse MSU? These are the things I’m starting to think about…

In other good news the issue of allies will finally be dead and buried. I’m still so sick and tired of IG players taking their allies B.S. on an already over powered and underpriced codex. I know WAAC means WAAC but really guys do we STILL need this? But then there is one particularly nasty rumor that I’ve heard which has given me pause. And this is a total rumor, so I’m just being a gossiper and passing it on, but it has raised my eyebrows with the timing of it. A “friend” mentioned it to me, and then a week later GW released the updated DA and BT FAQ’s?

Think about this…

How long has GW said “screw you” if you played DA/BT and wanted normal smoke launchers and 3+ storm shields. Older equipment my a$$, it was just pure laziness on their part, but now all of a sudden they fix the problem? Really? Could it be that allies are back in the book keeping it a full space marine only book? Could this be a potential way to get around the elite nature of the Grey Knights? Have a core of ‘knights lead by a hero or inquisitor and then inducted space marines like deathwatch, etc. in my list from the other marines ‘dexes? Would be very confusing if I pulled a unit of terminators from Blood Angles with their storm shields and a similar Black Templar one with theirs, ditto for razorbacks with smoke, etc. BUT if all base SM stuff now works the same then no worries. More marines a$$ kicking!

I sure hope this is the purest of rumors and fanboy fantasies, we don’t need the most abusive GK units backed by long fangs, fast razorbacks, and cheap grey hunters...

1500 Pts Of Tournies Eldar FTW!

Hi Fritz,

First of all i have to say, Great Blog! Everyday i wait for the next article to come up so i can read it. I can say I have learned and enjoyed a great deal from your posts.

The thing is, there is small local tournament this weekend and i will be joining it with my Eldar. It is the only 1500 point army i have that is playable. I have a mech eldar list (i will post the details below). Personally i dont think i will see any let alone many "parking lot" lists. My local club here dont seem to care about those. However, I do expect many different armies from, MEQ to orcs to necrons to deamons. Accordingly I have to make my army as flexible as possible. I am against 5 man DA squad lists even though they might be effective. I like to keep my squads especially DA as close to max as possible. And now on to the list:

Farseer x1
Jetbike, Fortune, Doom, Spirit Stones
Warlock x5
Enhance, Embolden, Destructor
Farseer (goes with the DA)
Guide (Doom can be here too, but i seem to miss the rerolls for the falcon)
DA x9 (Goes in the WS)
Exarch, Shimmer, Blade
Waveserpent x1
TL Shuriken cannon, Spirit Stones
Storm Guardians x10 (Goes in WS)
Warlock, Destructor, 2 Flamers
Waveserpent x1
TL Shuriken cannon, Spirit Stones
Howling Banshees x6 (goes in the Falcon)
Exarch, Exeutioner
Falcon x1
Shuriken Cannon, Under. Shuriken Cannon, Holo Fields
Fire Prism x1
Fire Prism x1

This is exactly 1500 points. I have 1-2 more jetbikes, an unassabled DA squad (I probably can not make these ready so i count them out), 2 Vypers (1 half assembled and 1 not assembled but should not be a problem), a Wraithlord, 2 War walkers (1 unassembled), More banshees, Scorpion squad, and an unassembled WS, 5 rangers.

I dont have much experience and I can not really say i have a solution for every situation. The list is mech because I wanted my army fast, thats really it. I will deploy probably second, and keep the council out of LOS if possible for the alpha, If it is dawn of war I will not put anything in the game and let them all come next turn. I am not sure about null deployment as i ted to be pretty unlucky for reserves. I will also keep the falcon and the DA serpent together so that the farseer inside can cast Guide on the falcon as I slowly move.

I used the falcon for 2 reasons, 1 cause its different than a WS and 2 to some more s6 and s8, in order to pop those transports better. Until now it has been pretty effective. From the games I have played at the club, even though not many, I get the impression that they are not used to the general "internet tactics", they were surprised when I flatted out on to their army, to cause some havoc and to get into CC. They thought not firing for 1 turn was a huge deal with my WS. (It was necrons)

This is about it. I apologize for the long email. I hope you can take a look at it, and give me feedback regarding my army composition and tactics?

I will be following your blog.


Reply Out:

Tolga, pretty solid list and very mobile- which is one of the strengths Eldar still have. Only a few minor tweaks in the list from my point of view- can we get runes of warding in on the farseer in the waveserpent? The chance to mess with enemy psykers from anywhere on the table is just too good to have in a tourney where you may face them. I’d give it to the WS one since they will be safer then the seer council. I’d also take a look at your dire avengers- chances are if they get out they will maybe kill some models, and then get hit back and die thanks to being T3 and with a 4+ save. I’d rather see them just hanging out in the transport and with the farseer having fortune in the unit so he/she can fortune the wave serpent so it gets a re-roll on cover saves.

First job is going to be getting your opponent out on foot with the S6 shots and fire prisms/falcon. Once they are on foot, start targeting the troops from range- anything gets close enough to assault, just zip away. If your prisms get the cannon blown off then start tank shocking with them. At the end of the game look to hold you or one objective and contest any that your opponent has- if they have any troops left.

The key to this is going to be keeping your serpents, prisms, and falcon “up” through the game. Cover saves, and fortune help, but nothing helps like not being shot at- consider your seer council.

Seer councils still kill a lot of things, but only one unit at a time at best, and there is more on the table in the 5th ed. books- I’ve found my seer council is better zipping around with fortune up, making a play to make it look like they are threatening units/going to attack so my opponent shoots at them or moves away from my other units which helps keep the skimmers up. 3+/4+ saves go a long way with a fortune re-roll.

Good luck and let me know how the tourney plays out!


Necrons Combat Patrol!

Hey Fritz,

I've been a fervent reader of your Way of Saim Hann/Fritz 40k blog for a while now and a friend of mine has decided to start his own Necrons army. He is a beginner and has never played 40k before. Necrons are probably not the easiest army to start with and we've told him that. However, he's determined to go with Necrons.

Therefore, we are planning a small 500 pts combat patrol campaign soon to get him to know the game and I would really appreciate your insights as a veteran Necron player on his proposed army list:

Army list
As a brand new Warhammer 40k player, it was quite hard for me to make my first army list. I can’t fully grasp the full extend of the game as of now, but this is what I came up with. So here's my first combat patrol army list:
• 14 Necron Warriors(252 pts)
• 3 Scarab swarms with disruption fields(48 pts)
• 3 Scarab swarms with disruption fields(48 pts)
• 3 Destroyers (150 pts)
Total: 498 pts

Battle plan
Although the brawling Orks en the fast Tau need a different approach in some aspects, the main plan is to get the enemy within rapid fire range of my Warriors and strip the meat of the bones! The difference between the two enemies is that I want to keep the Orks AT a nice distance of my Warriors but I need to get the Tau IN a nice distance of the metal heads!

The Destroyers will be used to attack the fast and dangerous units first. Because of their move and shoot rule they should be able to do a lot of damage through the game while staying out of trouble. If danger comes to close to the Warriors, the Destroyers can cripple units before they reach them.
Now for the Scarab swarms, these cute shredders will also play important roles in my army:
• With their disruption fields they can attack vehicles. When they turbo boost their cover save wont be 3+ but 2+, so they will be virtually invulnerable until they attack! This will be their main role against the Tau.
• But they are also useful to lock units into assault. In this role the Ork mobs will meet them so they can gain some time for the Warriors to come into position to greet the Orks with a hail of Gauss fire!

Army list and battle plan will be posted on our A Tale of Three Gamers blog: http://ataleofthreegamers.wordpress.com/ this Tuesday.

Any help would be really appreciated. Thanks!

- Simon

Reply Out:

Well, Necrons are hard to play at any level at this point, but this is still a great time to get started with them since their codex is on the way. What really helps Necrons is the wargear on the lord, but we can’t get that in a combat patrol game…
So the list, warriors, scarabs, and destroyers, all good stuff and a solid base. Deployment is going to be key with the units since they don’t have any mech to move them- and there will be some even in combat patrols with chimeras, rhinos, and truks being so cheap.

Warriors on one side with the scarabs in front so the warriors get cover saves. Destroyers on the other. Normally when you have an elite force you want to castle up, but you want the destroyers on one side so that frees up some pressure on the warriors. If your opponent wants to close with the destroyers he is moving away from the warriors with those units, etc. Destroyers need to stay at the 36” range as much as possible so they can only be hit back with long range stuff, which you then hopefully have a cover save with and then the WBB.

Disruption fields on the scarabs are ok, and what else would you spend the points on, but I wouldn’t want to use them to glance stop vehicles in the assault. You don’t have the volume of attacks to do this, then the guys inside get out, shoot, and assault the scarabs wiping them out and giving away a kill point or victory points depending on what you are playing.

What I would do with them is use them as a distraction for your warriors to get into place- turbo boost the scarabs around to get that 2+ cover save and get your opponent to shoot at them over your warriors- most dudes will shoot the closest unit or units that look like they are in play or threatening. They key here is to place them in range where they can be shot, but not assaulted.

I’ll be following you guys and the battle reports.

Necrons FTW!


40K Rules Questions?

Ok guys, here are some rules questions for you. Despite being a mastah of 40K and a ghost writer for the Eldar codex even I get a bit stumped from time to time- and now that we settled that dreads CAN pop smoke and run here are two more from a recent game(s)…

My harlequins are in the assault with two dreadnoughts and I explode one losing four clowns in the explosion. The second dread strikes back and kills one clown. Who won the assault? Is the assault tied since I lost one clowns and killed one dread OR do the clowns killed in the explosion count towards morale meaning I then lost and have to test at -4?

My seer council runs up barbecuing a group of kroot punks and then assaults them and some suits in a multi-charge. Next to the assault is a devilfish which I lance next turn exploding it 5” out catching my seer council and a number of kroot and suits. I make my fortuned armor saves, my opponent wants to make cover saves on the kroot arguing the blast travels through my seer council to the kroot on the other side. What do you do? I’d say no cover saves since it was not a “shooting” attack hitting them, but then again Tyranid DOM isn’t a shooting attack either and GW says you get cover saves from that...

How would you make the calls?

Making 40K Fun Again?

Not that 40K isn’t fun for me right now, but I have been balancing it between playing lots of Mordheim, of which I have to get more Mordy stuff up here…

Did I ever mention how I got into 40K? A young Fritz of the tender age of 14 with his good friend Naps, playing Dungeons & Dragons all summer long with painted miniatures. We used to go to Dragon's Den to buy minis, always wanting to buy that dragon mini for $30 which was a lot of money for us at the time.

So we are in the ‘Den and Naps calls me over to check out these models- orks with guns. Orks with guns? What kind of wackness is that? Then we found Space Marines, Imperial Army, and a book called Rogue Trader…

Well of course Naps was playing Space Marines, and we drafted our buddy Miguel to play Squats, and I was going either with Orks or Eldar, found it odd that Orks still used guns, so I went with the ‘Dar.

Our first battle board was flock covered ruins and building made out of Star Wars Micro Collection playsets…shudder…if only I kept those in the box and didn’t 40Kize them…

Rules were simple back then, at least how we played- build your army to X points, I think we played around 600 or so, but really can’t remember, set up and then pound each other into the dirt. Game ended when the other player was wiped out, or called a retreat.

Naps then got into Imperial Army units with some robots, remember robots? Probably before the emperor banned AI. I played marines for a bit- White Scars, but then went back to Eldar. The funny thing was that there was no force org chart or unit balance, just throw down your models and duke it out. Small points kept things in check, but then 40K was very squad based back then- just a rhino, and some dreads as the only real GW made vehicles.

So fast forward to today…

WAAC lists, power gamers, codex creep, GW failing to update codexes in a timely manner. No I’m not pinning for the old days, just wondering about getting back to that kind of “fun” in the hobby.

Something not as serious as mech spam and optimized lists, etc.

Maybe apocalypse is the way to play 40K?

GW has made it known that 40K is not a balanced game, just look at the codexes, throw your best Necron list against T-Wolf and long fang spam and see what happens. MAYBE you can win, maybe, but it is an uphill battle and a huge challenge, hardly fun. But what if as a Necron player I could bring anything I wanted to the battle. Scarabs AND Destroyers, Monoliths AND heavy destroyers. Still not balanced, far from it, but much much better. Could also field the army I want to field as I envision it- so could my opponent. Agree on some points, and show up and play. Assets in Apoc also go a long way to disarming potential douchebaggery builds and players. Within the allotted points and army codex, just show up and play. Imagine that?

Which also has me thinking about game boards and how they can change the game, and make all armies a bit more “equal”. Naps and I played on some pretty crazy stuff, he was a good artist, and we both were good modelers building scale models, rockets, and RC cards, I’m currently banned by my wife from getting back in RC cars, but that didn’t stop me from RC helicopters…

Boards that looked more like Necromunda stuff with multiple layers, catwalks, etc. Lots of places to hide, lots of places to have isolated mini battles, fun times. I also think this is why I’ve been enjoying Mordheim so much…

What does the typical terrain of 40K look like these days? A flat board with a few groupings of ruins, some hills? Everything kind of one dimensional. Now I can understand this for club play where you have to pack and unpack it each time you play, and even for “tournaments” where themed boards can affect the outcome, but for “fun” play?

Check out these pictures from Games Day 2010- GW play tables- which I have to say they (GW) did an awesome job with their open gaming tables, so much fun eye candy. Imagine playing on this table? So many places to hide, isolate battles, attack from, the battle is just not 1D, but 3D.

Might even be portable to the club if it was shrunk down to combat patrol size, something I could get in my Pathfinder, and I’d bring it each week. Imagine just throwing down your models and rolling some dice... Could also work for Mordheim...

40K 6th Edition? Really?

So the new Grey Knights are right around the corner and I’m pumped for a new codex. I’m especially interested in the possibility of them getting mini-obliterators, but of course no official model and just what do the jokero actually look like? But this isn’t a post about Grey Knight stuff…

What I do wonder about is 40K 6th edition which is going to be here eventually and what changes will it have to the game overall not just in mission structure, but also rules tweaks that shift the entire focus of the game.

Remember in 4th edition when running terminators in a land raider took balls of steel? Get hit by the right shot and exploded and those guys inside were gone. No armor saves, no invul saves, gone as in removed from the table thanks to the explosion. GW fixed that borrowing the damage chart from Apocalypse making vehicles much more durable. So you saw a shift away from vehicles back to them, and certain armies now hanging out to dry like Necrons and Grey Knights with no real anti-tank options- at least not in any reliable quantity.

Missions changed also, gone were the various alpha/omega/gamma levels and victory points were replaced with a dumb downed kill point system, for better or worse, love it or hate it.

So what do I think will be different in 6th edition whenever it comes? Well, you can be sure about the missions and force org chart changing. Look at the influence Apoc has had on 5th with the change in the vehicle damage chart, and Apoc based units like the Valk now included in standard 40K games. So would it be a stretch to say Planetstrike was a test for 6th?

I’m betting on two force org charts- one for the attacker and one for the defender- more models needed as you now need two versions of your army to play each mission. That would sell more models for sure, especially at 2000 point game levels.
Beyond this, structurally I don’t think much will change thanks to Space Marines. Here is a little unscientific chart for you:

Let’s say at best GW releases 2 40K codexes a year- AT BEST- knowing that at key points it will be one book a year as they also release WHFB and special stuff like Space Hulk, etc. GW is also releasing them at this point more or less based on age so roughly that gives us:

2011- Grey Knights + Necrons
2012- Witch Hunters + Tau
2013 Black Templars + Dark Angels
2014 Orks + Eldar
2015 Chaos Space Marines

So when would we get 40K 6th? 2014-2015? Possibly right in the middle of Orks, Eldar and Chaos? If GW radically changes how the game plays from 5th then these armies will have a nice advantage over almost all the marine, guard, and imperial books, and how do you think that is going to go over considering the flagship army is marines? They could just push back Eldar and Chaos another two years and re-release the current marine books? I suspect mechanics wise the game will stay the same to work with the current structure of 5th edition marine books.
Just some things I’ve been thinking about…

The Maugan-Ra Question?

I know how I personally play it, and one could argue about the “spirit of the game”, but I ask you this question:
Why can’t I use both crack shot and fast shot each turn with Maugan-Ra.
He has the exarch powers but is not an exarch but a phoenix lord. Rules layering? Being a 40K jerk? Tell me why this can’t be done?

Techmarine: Bolster Those Defenses!

So with those of you playing techmarines and the like let’s talk about bolstering defense with a +1 cover save to a ruined terrain piece? Assuming you have a choice of terrain pieces (for the sake of this article) what do you look to fortify?

First choice might be to pick something in the back of your deployment zone to set up as a fire base to support the advance of your army- maybe you put a group of devastators there along with the conversion beamer of thunder fire cannon tech marine. Pretty straight forward and getting that 3+ cover save is nice. But is the best use of the techmarine boost?

Now your gaming environment might be different but where I play it is mostly space marines with their long range shots being mounted on razorbacks and the like. So what is that piece of back terrain really going to get hit with- a few las cannons which have to hit, wound, and then I get my cover save? Would be different if I was regularly facing Tau or IG with lots of big blast ordinance but those armies are rare. My guys in the back can shrug off some single shots, especially where I have other more pressing targets that my opponent needs to be spending those shots on.

So what about being a little more aggressive with the bolstering of defenses?

What if you used the bolstered defenses as a spring board into your opponent’s deployment zone for capture and control and seized ground missions where you have to travel across the board to the opposite side? Don’t bolster where you are going to be at the start of the game, plan on where you are going to be mid game, and set it up there.

Bolster something in the center, move quickly to take it, and then launch into your opponent’s deployment zone. Build a forward reaching fire base/staging area. Of course your opponent can also use the +1 defense if they take control of it, but that can work to your advantage also as an alternate strategy- put the bolstered defense slightly out of the way and let your opponent have it- use it as a way to siphon off units, etc.

Resurrecting Nuadhu Fireheart?

Hey Fritz!

Big fan of your site. Not sure if this is the right way to touch base with you, but I figured I'd try.

My eldar have, until only very recently, been sitting on a shelf since 3rd edition. Playing a Saim Hann host, I always liked the Nuadhu Fireheart special character from the 3rd ed. codex. With that in mind, I'll be salvaging an old vyper and turning it into Nuadhu. I wanted your opinion on playing him, however (this would, of course, only be in a friendly-game context). I could 1) play him as an Autarch to stay within the confines of the current codex, or 2) play him as per his 3rd edition rules.

This is my question. How well, in a friendly context, do you think the Nuadhu character translates to 5th ed. rules? Is he fairly priced? Is his statline fairly even? From what I can see, he seems to translate fairly easily. If that's the case, why drop him in the move to 4th? The Iyanden character, Arienal, I think I can understand, but Nuadhu seems to be something sorely missing in our dex. Not a wrecking ball by any means, but a nice fluffy character for a craftworld desperately needing it since the abandonment of the Craftworld Eldar codex. Marine characters seem to be recycled with every dex, why not Nuadhu?

Thanks for any thoughts you might have, and good luck with the clowns at the GT!

Reply Out:

Matt, thanks for emailing. Craftworld Eldar….

Now there is a name I haven’t heard in years. Back when I could play my Saim-Hann AS Saim-Hann. I used to use Nuadhu once and a while. I guess the question is, overall is he worth playing anymore, and can you play him. Rules perspective he still fits in and there is nothing groundbreaking, but given the lineup of new books would the points be better spent playing him as a proxy farseer or autarch? In a friendly game I personally would let you do it, but he’ll be a no-go for tournaments

Build two lists- one with him “as-is” and one as a count as just in case. I’d look to play him as part of a seer council over an autarch personally even if that isn’t his fluff.

Sadly, I don’t think he’ll be back for the next Eldar codex either- seems GW is going more “generic” these days with the Eldar- of course Space Marines are always a different story with the GW love…


Wraithlord OR Fire Prism?

Hey Fritz, how've you been man? I just have one question and I can't seem to find the answer on any of your blogs so I thought I should just email you. I have a friend who's coming to 40k thanks to a simple question I asked her. She has a 500 point Eldar army and thanks to my holiday gift to her she's now at around 750 with a few Jetbikes and a Farseer.

I was trying to give her some advice and of course I was trying to use your SaimHann tactics on how Eldar should be used. I keep telling her that they are all about speed and in the end it's not always about killing, it's about being at the right place when the game ends. So she really wants a Wraithlord as her next purchase and her friend who plays Space Marines tells her that would be best to close it at 1000. I'm the only one who thinks that a Fire Prism might be a better choice. With Holo Field and spirit Stones, this thing can squeeze a win here and there with proper strategy. However, having said that I do see the WraithLord being a beast with T8 and a Bright Lace, he's just to fricken slow but at 1000 he could have potential.

So what do you think Fritz? Should it be the WraithLord or Fire Prism, I'll let you decide. Later Bro.


Reply Out:

Sushi, doing well in the New Year so far. Working on my Dark Eldar Harlequin army, looking forward to the Grey Knights codex release, and getting in some Mordheim games.

So WL or FP?

It sounds like her army is mostly mech/fast mobility- jetbikes, etc. If that is the case a WL will be hard to maintain and easy to isolate it. You need a psyker to babysit it for wraithsight- with only 5-7 turns in the game, and with less Eldar models on the table compared to other books we can’t afford to gamble with it not being able to do anything for a turn. In many ways it will also get left behind from the rest of the army and will become an easy target despite being T8.

In many ways a prism is better since it can keep up with the rest of the army- help with cover saves for other units if it can’t shoot ala star engines, and work as a tank shocking missile/objective contester mid to end game. At 1K points I’d also really consider a night spinner since a good list builder will have more multi-role troops at that point level- offering some nice targets for the ‘spinner.
Down side to the prism/spinner?

It can be taken out in one shot while a WL can’t, and a single weapon destroyed takes out its shooting threat forcing it to become a tank shocker, etc.
Sounds like I’m leaning towards the FP/Spinner right?

Well if she want to play a WL then go for it and let’s make it work. At 1K points there is less spammy mach to worry about so one can get away with a mix/match Eldar build. If we are spending those points we want the WL to perform multiple roles.

Let’s start with the weapons- if she has enough long range anti-tank in her list then I’d go with a scatter laser over the brightlance. If a lot of guys in your group play land raiders, even at 1K then go for the lance since marine players tend to be scared of it- not sure why- it is only one shot, etc. but that LANCE rule stands out. Other option is either the ML or scatter laser. This, along with two flamers for close up action means you have a nice little T 8 gun platform.

Positional tactics.

Borrowing a page from both my harlequin and Necron plans with the C’Tan.

Forget about trying to run the WL around punching things or taking objectives, etc. It is only one model and is SLOW- it needs to be shooting every turn to make up the points so no running. She will need to place the WL where the opponent is going to go. Simplest example is in capture and control. You know the opponent will make a play to take/contest your objective so you put the WL there right in the patch of their incoming units. Get it in cover, fire away, and then when the close assault with it. Played like this (generally) it will do quite well even as a single model- usually you want three, but no way in 1K points.


Chaos Space Marines Null Deployment?

Hey Fritz!

Enjoy your blog, your quirky tactics and the fact that you make old armies work against new ones. I like your null deployment concept and want to try it with my chaos build. I also like odd units, hence the lord on steed. Obviously this list will have a rough time against many lists but do you think it can work? And do you have any ideas for improving it?

1 lord - steed, MoS, daemonweapon
1 sorc - wind of chaos
1 GD

1 dread - mm
3 termies - 2 combimelta, 1 chainfist, 1 heavy flamer
5 chosen - melta, champ, IoCG

10 csm - 2 melta, IoCG, champ

9 csm - melta, IoCG, champ w/ fist and combimelta

10 csm - 2 flamer, IoCG, champ w/powerweapon and combiflamer

5 lesser daemons
5 lesser daemons

5 havocs - 4 ML, IoCG


So multiple options here. The termies deepstrike together with the daemons and have multiple icons to enter with. I deploy havocs at my home objektive with the options of calling down daemons to score it. I line up three rhinos and the dread to rush the enemy in the middle. The lord starts joined to havocs and later runs forward to maybe join chosen and act as a countercharge unit. Choosen infilitrate to threaten with the possibility of an early GD-rush. They can also infiltrate on a distant objektive and call down daemons to score it. Sorcerer joins the 9 man csm unit and buffs it, tries to force weapon lords and puke on enemy elite troops.

I find the list to be lacking in shooting but could probably be in the enemy's face with all sorts of crazy stuff turn two or three. What are your thought about the list and the blurry tactics I have outlined here?

/Lord Lizard

Reply Out:

Lord, I think you are heading in the right direction and chaos can pull of some interesting null deployment stuff with terminators + lesser deamons coming in off the icons along with chosen outflanking, even if they are a bit pricey.

So let’s fit your army into the three groups- the first group is a bunch of units that will run right at your opponent, regardless of mission. The goal is to get them busy reacting to that, to move out and engage it to give your other units room to come in off of. With the models you have listed the dreadnought, Lord and greater Daemon can do this. The GD will need a delivery system to pop out of depending when it comes in so you will also want to send a unit of your CSM forward just in case that happens on turn two before other units come out- if so then drop the upgrades on the champ since he will die when the daemon spawns. Later those CSM will fall back to join the second group. The second group follows up behind the first to get objective, etc. and to support the first in shooting. Your CSM and rhinos/havoc’s do this.

The third group is the chosen, daemons, and termies who deepstrike in off icons/outflank, etc into the pockets created by your opponent. The first group and third group are totally expendable in terms of the game- as long as they smash open your opponent and keep them busy that it doesn’t matter how much you lose. In my Tyranid null list the carnifexes and genestealers do this role. Your second group in support is what actually wins the games.

My only question aside is tactically what does the sorcerer bring to the table? Might his points be better spent on more chosen or lesser deamons to build up more null deployment options?


Conflict GT Reporting In

So the Conflict GT is over, and I’m here to report on the event, how my harlies fared in the event, and what the future brings…

The Event: Held in the Palisades mall, for the two days, this was a win/win. Lots of room to game, tables to hang out after, all in a private room. Lots of food options for lunch, dinner, and even if you wanted snack or drink in-between games.

Tables were well done for presentation, but terrain was a mixed bag. It seemed, and the tables I played on either had a good amount of terrain or absolutely no terrain at all. For certain armies this could make things very difficulty- my wraithlords had nothing to hid behind/cover saves for any of the games, and certain armies could cripple you on the alpha-strike to the point where there is no reason to go beyond turn two.

Other than that one little thing the event was really great- the most fun I have had in a tournament in a long time. All the guys I played were top class and friendly. Had a chance to meet and talk with a bunch of dudes about the hobby, and everything was well run in terms of starting on time, announcing round times, table matchups, etc. Prize support was insanely huge and all the winners went home with a ton of stuff. One definitely left the event feeling satisfied and pumped for another. Hey, maybe there can be two Conflict GT’s a year? Winter and summer? I’d go and 100% endorse both.

The missions and my clown performance…

The Conflict GT posted the missions before the event so I had an idea of what I was going up against and in the four out of the five that favored troop heavy builds (read proper 5th edition armies) my harlies were going to have a hard time at best with two static pathfinder groups reliant on cover.

First mission was three objectives- one player places one, and the other two based on a roll off and I drew Old Shatter Hands Tau army for round one. Awesome, as I was really looking forward to playing his well done Tau army. I won the roll off to place the objectives after deployment- which was huge, so two go down on my side, and one on OSH side. I castled up and planned to hold my two for the win.

Nowhere to hide the WL’s so they ate rail cannon shots and were gone by turn three or so. Jesters, and pathfinders were pining suits and kroot, basically trying to slow the Tau advance across the board. Piranha’s and devilfish move up to start to be in position to contest. Hey OSH I “invented” that, and I watch your YouTube videos also! LOL! I take out the devilfish and assault the P group, things get really bad when I have to assault drones with my pathfinders who actually win, the only unit they can beat in the assault, and the game ends in a draw with Tau holding one objective, and my Eldar holding one.

Second Mission was the old recon mission from 4th- whoever got the most troop choices into the opposite deployment zone won. For this round I drew ultramarines with four or so troop choices meched up, land raider, bikes, etc.- a well done army for 5th. My plan was to stall with the clowns using the jesters and WL’s to open up the vehicles and then attack them when they went into my deployment zone as a group of clowns guarded my pathfinders up the table. I had thought about just outflanking them, but this would have been to random and when they did come on they would have been unsupported. I’d rather take my chances on moving them up and creating cover saves with the harlies in front- and I did make it up the left side, but then go killed when I crossed into open ground. I stopped one or two of my opponent’s troops, but was just way outnumbered to stop the rest, of which if I can remember three got into my deployment zone. Defeat for the clowns and triumph for the sons of Calgar.

Ok round three, my mission, right from the standard 40K book- annihilation. All the marine armies at the tourney, of which my clowns are tooled to fight, and I face up against a daemon army backed by lots of fiends and Fateweaver. Sad face.

My one shot is to castle up and hit the daemons with everything when they drop, especially if FW is not in the first drop. Crush them with my furious charge and +1 attack on the charge. FW does drop on the first wave, I charge, kill a few fiends and then get crushed in the counter attack. Was like facing two big seer councils with all the re-rolls.

So I ended the first day in utter defeat with two losses and a draw. Somebody asked if I would be coming back tomorrow. What? Of course! Does this even need to be asked? I signed up for five games, win or lose, and I’m not going to ruin somebody else gaming experience because I got my balls kicked in on day one. Fritz never retreats, never surrenders!

So day two I’m refreshed and ready to go...

Mission # 4 was table quarters. My plan was to hold mine, and then on turn five fan out and contest the other three. My opponent was marines again (where were you for game #3?) lots of tactical, some snipers, a chappy + assault marines, dreads, speeders, the whole bag. Hard fought, and I was in a position to take it if the game ended on turn five, but it went on and with so little left of the clowns, plus some cranky WL’s that kept on powering down I had to move in for the draw. Game ended in a tie.

Final game was also against marines with three objectives- one in each opponent’s deployment zone and one that lands in the center on turn three and then scatters each turn. My opponent moved up into the center with his rhinos backed by speeders, MM attack bikes, and poding sternguard with Vulkan. More or less camped in the center waiting for the objective to drop I switched my strategy and just went to wipe him out, throw all the clowns forward with doom, etc. Push the wraithlords forward to both shoot and assault. Game ended with my Eldar holding two objectives, and my opponent one. Maybe I should have played all my games for the kill?
So the day ended with my stellar record of 2 losses, 2 draws and 1 win. Ouch! It happens. Sometimes you pull glory, and other times a crushing loss.

So with the Conflict GT down and a few big tournaments coming up what is next in the works?

I’ll keep the clowns for club play for a while as I have to redeem my honor at such a failing, and I’m going to do something I normally wouldn’t do, something I said I never would do- build and play an army only geared towards "winning", ruthless and efficient- which will be a rewrite/update of my hypernids/null deployment Tyranids.
In the mean time check out the Conflict GT in the next day or so for event pictures, etc…


Jetbikes? You Want JETBIKES And A Vyper Or Two...

Going through some of my old pics and found the folder from Games Day 2009 where JB and I were running a club table. Lots of Eldar players bringing along the jetbikes for fun and games vs. JB and Brother Captain James...

Thunder Wolves Charge!

Hello Mr. Fritz! First off, just want to say that I thoroughly enjoy your videos. I miss the for frequent consistency of them but I still enjoy them never the less. You're tactics videos have certainly been helpful. While all of your tactics may not have been as successful, they overall have made me a better player.

Things bring me to my dilemma. I've been an avid Space Marine fan for sometime now, much to the verbal flak I get from some of my friends. However, I don't care! I love their story, especially the Great Crusade/Horus Heresy era. In fact, every Marine army (Chaos or Loyal) has been one of the original Legions. But a marine army is a marine army is a marine army. Regardless of whether you do the Vulkan He'stann list, the insane new Blood Angels or whatever. They all apply similar, if not practically identical, tactics. I caved into temptation and finally started a marine army that I feel is the most unique marine army out of the bunch, Space Wolves! I mean c'mon? No other marine army can take beasts or cavalry, which is what I want to be the centerpiece to the army; Thunderwolf Cavalry.

I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out the best way to use these guys. I've done a lot of research and read and heard a lot of varying opinions on their best tactics and about them overall. The fact of the matter is they're NOT as heavy hitting a unit as their ferocious reputation might suggest. They just can't go toe-to-toe with the heavier close combat units out there like Meganobz or Thunder Hammer Terminators. Although, isn't a general principle of war that Heavy Cavalry is trumped by Heavy Infantry? So I figured they'd be best off picking on squishier targets, light infantry, and/or troop choices. I'd gladly throw them into a 30 ork mob. The real dilemma is (which I seem to have been dancing around lol) is what to do with them and how to play them? It's easy enough to throw them in cover or hide them behind vehicles. Cover saves or not though, volume of fire and enough high strength weaponry (even ones that DON'T negate my armor) will take them down. What kind of units in the Wolves dex do you think might deter these weapons? I was thinking inexpensive, yet powerful, tanks might do the trick. Vindicators and maybe a Predator?

So to simplify my inquiry... what other units would you take in an army with Thunderwolves, how would you utilize their strengths and do you have any other general Thunderwolf tactica?

Thanks in advance! I hope to hear from you. If you read through my whole rambling you're a real trooper haha. Until then.

Best Regards,
Mikey "Vengeance"

Reply Out:

Mikey, verbal flak for playing marines? I can see that from the POV of being a diehard long time marine player, you get lumped in with all those dirty WAAC players playing the flavor of the month, which right now still seems to be ‘Wolves. Maybe DE will change that soon, if not then perhaps Grey Knights. Would be hilarious if when the new Necron codex drops suddenly everybody is playing undead robots. But I’m getting away from your question.

Personally I think T-Wolves are the number one army right now in 5th and the only reasons more dudes are not playing them is because you can get away with razorback spam and GW doesn’t have a TWolf model released yet. Shudder when they do, if it looks good I might even jump on the bandwagon since I’ve got so much other hobby stuff I need to finish rather than starting to convert TWolves.

Here is what I would start looking at based on having player against TWolves in many tournaments, both thrashing them, and being thrashed by them, and how they would fit into my play style.
The core of the army focuses on the TWolves and how to deliver them right into your opponent. Two big groups of thunder wolves, all with mixed wargear so you can allocate wounds- this is key to making them last a bit longer as they take wounds on the way in.

To make the t-wolves work you are going to need to some krak- lots of it. Three long fang groups, and/or wolf guard sprinkled in with cyclone missile launchers. This is what makes T wolves work- who are you going to shoot at with your army- you need to shoot at both solidly for a turn or two to take them out, and you can’t do both heavy volume of shots on the wolves and fangs.

With the wolves you just ram them right down your opponent, force them to react, target their troops so they can’t win the mission. The wolves will die by late mid game, but when the dust settles there won’t be much left, and then the rest of your army build safely moves in and mops up.

With some IC’s in with the TWolves you will be hitting very hard, but if you are worried about mega nobz and the like hit them up with 15+ krak missiles and then assault.

Final wave of guys? Grey Hunters possible backed by razorbacks for some more shots and protection.

Regarding predator tanks? I’d stay away from them since they can be taken out in a single shot or stopped from shooting- only way to stop the LF’s from shooting is to wipe them out.


Titans Of Chaos Army Build

Power! Prestige! Passion! Where are the dark banners once raised in defiant glory against the false emperor and his cowardly lackeys?

Why have the once proud traitor legions abandoned the ways of the gods and now prance around as chaos space wolves or chaos blood angels?

Such pathetic antics make a mockery of Horus' vision…

So what passes as a standard chaos space marine army these days, a real CSM army from the CSM codex?

Are dudes still playing lash x 2 + oblits x 9?

Noise marine firebases supported by havocs?

Here is a fun list I’ve been toying around with, although I must confess there are a few loyalist proxies in there with my Deathguard.

More of a template that you fill in with the rest of your favorite troop models, be they cult marines, black legion, or corsairs…

Titans Of Chaos Army Build

HQ: Two Princes W/ Wings
HQ: Greater Daemon
Elite: 3 Dreads
Heavy: 3 Defilers

Fill in the rest as needed, although one troop choice will have to start front and center with the princes to unlock the greater demon. Tactics? Kind of like nidzilla or even elfzilla, run your 9 units up and punch your opponent’s army in the face with them. When the dust settles your troops move in and mop up, claim objectives, mission goals, etc.

Hail Horus!

NEW Eldar Aspect Warriors?

So FW has a new line of aspect warriors possibly known as shadow specters rumored to be packing a version of the D-cannon and equipped with some sort of jump packs- think reliable warp spiders. Interesting not because I’d ever play them in the FW incarnation, but it does point to what FW is playing with, and GW tends to notice these things. Hopefully we will get a new aspect in the new codex when the time comes.

The Unwritten Rules Of 40K

Do you guys remember when lash of submission came out for the Chaos Space Marine codex? It’s abuse was so bad and really pissed off so many at the time with cries of broken rules and “cheating”. Funny how lash is now a quaint relic of 4th edition, a total joke…

But why DID lash piss off so many people? I believe because it broke one of the unwritten rules of 40K, without people even knowing it, and there are many of these rules that go on behind the scene.

What rule did it break? Touching other people models. I lash you and have to move your models as I want where I want. That pisses dudes off. Lash also bypassed the core mechanics of the game- taking away the control and performance of your units, at least the ones lashed.

Break the mind and the body follows is a great maxim. Unbalance your opponent and they will make mistakes, mistakes lead to opportunity, you exploit opportunity to win the game. Of course this happens in extremes- certain armies don’t need “mistakes” to win like Space Wolves, and IG, while with other armies like Necrons that is all you have left…

I’m always looking to break those unwritten rules, legally within the rules of course, anytime and anywhere I can.

Another example?

What is the unwritten rules of Space Marines? Something that GW has pounded into the game, and is actually the core pillar of the game- bolters, T4, and a 3+ armor save. Everything else is a sliding scale off of this.

So if I’m playing my harlequins, and this is yet another reason why I play them, I want to take away that unwritten T4/3+ save rule. Harlies on the charge with doom up will wipe out a tactical squad before they can even strike back. Is that “fair”? Wouldn’t that piss you off? Your marines got to do nothing as you watched me roll fistfuls of dice causing 12+ rends and dozens of armor saves. Sucks.

So anytime I’m looking at an army list for myself I’m looking for those models or units that can break the rules by effecting my opponent’s models to the point where they can’t do anything about it. See, even if you fail an armor save, at last you got one, bad rolling right. But don’t get an armor save when you are supposed to?

So what are some of the units that break the rules of the game?

C’Tan phase sword on the =I= assassin…for now…get...it...in...while...you...can...

Necron Lord with nightmare shroud…

C’Tan Deceiver…

Breath of Chaos…

Word in your ear…also for now…sad...face....

Ed's Salamanders

So here is some more eye candy for you guys asking about Ed's Dreadwall Sallie army from the Battle For Salvation Club. This is what he is bringing to the Conflict GT this weekend and boy is that a lot of dreads and tactical marines. His master of the forge with the beamer is also custom done, Ed is a great scratch builder and converter. Click the picture for a bigger size...

Monday Night @ Battle For Salvation....

Monday Night @ Battle For Salvation....

The Terrain Question?

The 40K club that I play at, and you can play at also if you are in the White Plains, NY area, Battle For Salvation used to be known for its themed tournament tables. Showing up to compete you could have found yourself battling out in the sands of Mars next to a Mechanicus station, deep in the trenches and pits of trench warfare, wading through jagged rocks and lava, or even at the scene of the Eternity gate itself.

Personally I loved playing on these types of themed tables with two full painted armies duking it out for the win. Did some wackiness sometime happen, you bet, could you have an all bike Space Marine army and wind up on a table where you can’t effectively turbo boost, possible.

Unfortunately our club has moved away from these types of tables in the tournament scene because a lot of players complained that they weren’t fair to their army. I can see this POV. Plus, if a tourney is supposed to be about the best player winning, then playing on an odd table can really skew the results. Counter argument to that is the fact that the very system of 40K isn’t “fair” say like Mordheim since there is little play testing and codex continuity in terms of a release schedule. As it is set right now Eldar and CSM will still be using a 4th edition codex as we begin to blaze into 40K 6th edition. Think about that for a moment.

Anyway back to terrain. What is the typical 40K board? 25% terrain? Something big in the center, the rest spread out in all corners? Think about how your army, whatever army plays against other armies on this type of table- if you play a gimped 3rd/4th edition army, or one of the 5th edition armies. Here is a "typical" table at the comic shop, fun to play on, pretty standard right?

Now check out these tables which were open for gaming and pick up play at the 2010 Baltimore Games Day...

With multiple dimensions to consider and access points think about how the game would change if you suddenly needed to consider not only moving back and forth, but also up and down.

I think boards like this could really go a long way in balancing out the 3rd/4th books vs. the 5th books. Terrain really does help balance the game.

Of course I realize the monumental task, if not impossibility of storing and transporting these monsters, or even if it is set up in a permanent spot in your local gaming store, the upkeep on them is quite big.

Seriously, if you stepped up to play on those tables how would your game change? Would you play the same list or adapt it?

Fritz’s Take On The Official Grey Knights

So GW has announced that the Grey Knights are next to drop in the lineup of 5th edition codexes. Already legions of twenty something nerds are debating the choice of GW’s language with the inclusion of “sorcery” and the Grey Knights...
Fun times ahead!

All the rumors aside, and I’m not confirming of denying anything I may or may not have, we know this for 100%- Grey Knights will still be an “elite army” and that says a lot when Space Marines are already considered semi- elite- go build horde marines and stack them up against horde orks or ‘nids.

In a world of cheap spammed MSU and “scoring units” everywhere are the ‘knights going to have the staying power to even be around by turn five/six? Sure they can supposedly teleport like Necrons, pop out of the shadows like deathleaper, further brutalize Eldar with even better psychic powers then Space Wolves, but at the end of the day the Emperor’s finest is still T4 and a 3+ save base.

I’m working on my own assumptions and confirmed stuff for the ‘knights and I’m asking myself stuff like- just because I can take a storm raven do I want to take one? Can I afford to spend the points on one, in such an elite army where I need troops and other killy to compete?
This much is certain, GK’s will still have to be masters of the three phases of moving, shooting, and assaulting, doing each one well each turn- it is the only way two to three knight squads backed by some termies and a land raider can overcome the other marine and guard spam on the table, and I’m not really sure at the end of the day they will be able to do it.

I hope the “new” Grey Knights are not like the “old” Grey Knights, cool models, some neat tricks, but weight of numbers and torrent of dice just murders them.

We’ll see in a few weeks, er, I mean months…

Mordheim Warband Review: Dwarf Treasure Hunters

In this warband review we are going to take a look at the fabled Dwarven Treasure Hunters for Mordheim- what sets them apart and how a player can leverage their abilities in both single games and campaign play.

Mordheim is a very visually intensive game, and one of the first things that attracted me to Dwarves is the range of models one can use to fill out your warband. The Treasure Hunter box set is a perfect place to start, along with a fantastic range of single hero models from the Warhammer Fantasy range.

Beyond the coolness of the models one can paint and play the DTH’s have three significant advantages over the other Mordheim warbands- some interesting special rules, early access to black powder technology, and a base toughness of four. Let’s move into the how and why of these advantages:

Special Rules…

Among other things dwarves are hard to kill, meaning they can only be taken out of action on a roll of a “6” as opposed to a “5” or “6” like the other warbands. This tends to keep more dwarves on the table, while taking more time to down an individual dwarf. This means a blocking/controlling group of dwarves can really influence the game- forcing your rivals to commit more models to put said dwarves down. Very useful when you want to tarpit a group so some of your other models can run off in search of wyrdstone or treasure chests.

Dwarfs also ignore the effects of maces and clubs while being able to wear armor without any movement penalties. For the most part maces and clubs aren’t a big deal since most warbands tend to take two handed weapons for the strength bonus or swords for the parry bonus, and the armor bonus depends on your vision of warband development.

Personally I’m a big fan of armor, as much as I can get as soon as I can get it without impacting the warbands long term goals if we are in a campaign. Yes it is expensive, yes a number of weapons can punch right through it, but every now and then you make that save and it can mean the difference between staying and fighting or going down.

Hatred of greenskins and grudges against elves is pretty standard Warhammer lore so no surprises there, but the real hidden gem of the warband special rules is their +1 wyrdstone bonus at the end of certain scenarios. Over the long haul this gives you a nice little cash boost to buy equipment and replace losses along the way. Knowing that you can count on better than average income in most cases means you can spend your money on those expensive toys in the begging of the game and still be ok starting the game without a little cash reserve.

Beyond the special rules we next move to the Dwarven love of black powder- pistols and handguns abound for everybody! Seriously, everybody can load up with one except the slayers who get their own special killy rules. Add an engineer to the group and your range on the guns and crossbows increases by 3”-6”. Now obviously not everybody is going to be packing, but it does allow you to build a solid core of ranged support to protect your advancing HTH warband members.

Finally the real advantage to playing dwarves comes in the unlikely of places- T4 across all the models. See, unlike Warhammer 40,000 where a 3+ save and S4/T4 is the standard, in Mordheim mere mortals with T3 and S3 are stock. With most of the stuff in the game wounding you on a 5+ followed by an armor save and the hard to kill rule suddenly the entire warband is looking a lot bigger than it actually is.

The downside to dwarves? A few, but the main being the overall cost of the individual models at the start of a campaign. There are no cheap 10-15 point henchmen fodder, and even your lowest beardling is going to have some decent equipment that you can’t really afford to lose. This means a very tight and compact warband that you are going to have to keep together and support each other with- more of moving and acting as a “unit” then direct skirmishes across the table.

Harlequins And War Walkers?

Been a lot more harlequin chatter on the blog recently, perhaps due to the interest in Dark Eldar, and one of the questions asked is why I don’t run walkers in my Eldar list over wraithlords. On a side not my Dark Eldar Harlequin themed list is done, play tested, and I’ve bought the models. A bit more play testing and then on to “real” games. Not going to replace my Eldar version, just offer an alternative. I’ll post the first round list in a bit…

…but back to war walkers. Walkers can pump out a lot more shots than the WL’s- more shots to crack open razorbacks for the clowns to assault the dumped marines, but the walkers lack synergy. Right now in my list (Eldrad) version what are your 9+ las cannons and 10+ krak missiles going to shoot at from the other side of the table- 2+ cover save pathfinders? Harlequins that you can’t even target thanks to the shadowseer? T8 wraithlords in cover with fortune up? Everything is as solid as can be. If I had walkers, and I did at one time back when the Eldar version of the list was being worked out, the walkers became the number one targets since that is all that could be killed at range. There was little incentive to get close- and that is one of the secrets, if there is such a thing, in the list- you can’t really get me at range, so you have to come close to engage the harlequins/rapid fire the pathfinders, or as cheeky guys like to point out- “I’ll just flame them” and that is when the clowns pounce. I don’t want to walk across the board to you, I want to sit there lobbing S6/S8 shots from range, forcing you to come close. Even with cover saves and Eldard backing fortune on the unit of walkers they were not as resilient as the WL’s.

I also need each unit to pull down multiple roles, and the WL’s can take out stuff in the assault, while the walkers really can’t and that is another big factor.

So not to say they can’t work, but much like running Maugan-Ra over Eldrad in the list they are not the “optimal” choice for the army, that said I still run Mauggy solo in the list from time to time, I just know it is not the “best”.

Harlequins Vs. Pedro/Khanh Combo

Testing out to see if I can get away with running Maugan-Ra over Eldrad this week at the club and a pickup game vs. Space Marines. In truth I already know the answer, but I just love Mauggy and the havoc he creates by ignoring cover saves- especially handy vs. mech and speeder spam.

My opponent has khanh and a large bike squad, land raider with termie spam, 10 stearnguard in a rhino, tactical on foot with pedro, and another rhino with a full tactical. Actually a lot of marines, something I don’t see much of with only five in each razorback.

Mission is rolled randomly and is kill points, deployment is also random, table quarters. I take first turn, despite liking the last turn in KP missions for a clean up or chance to pull back ahead. My thinking is that you don’t take Khanh and a large bike squad and not outflank- I want to give that target to divide the marine forces- give me a turn or two to focus what is on the table, and hopefully the reserves come in later or bit by bit so I can leverage all my clowns and wraithlords on a small part of his army- especially if I don’t have Eldrad as a force multiplier.

Big LOS blocking terrain- a water works factory is in the center of the table which sucks since it blocks my lanes for fire with the wraithlords and death jesters/Mauggy.

I deploy to the left and bunch up with my pathfinders, clowns, and one wraithlord, two other WL go over to the right of the water works since they can just peer over with their weapons to shoot and get cover saves.

I’m bunching up to give a nice big juicy target(s) for the outflank, which my opponent accepts deploying Pedro, and two tac squads + rhino in his table section as the bikes, Khanh, land raider, and sternguard + rhino go in reserves.
Opponent tries to seize to cut down on the reserve turns but fails.

Clowns go into action…

I immediately start running the clowns and pathfinders out and away to the center of the table. The one wraithlord on that side also moves but doesn’t run so he can act as a speedbump to counter the range of the bikes when they come in.

The two other wraithlords open up on the rhino exploding it for the first kill point.

Marine turn one has the tactical shooting some missiles which the wraithlords eat- S8 vs. T8 is good odds. Not much else, since we are waiting for reserves.

Turn two has me continue to run to center as Mauggy opens up killing a tac or two- rending denying cover sucks. Wraithlords switch to krak and the lance killing some more marines, whittling down that tactical squad.

I’m careful with my WL placement so Pedro doesn’t drop the bombardment catching some clowns in the process- I know it’s coming at some point.

Marine turn two- no reserves come in, perfect for me, eat some more kraks on the wraithlords but fail to wound/make cover saves.

Turn three clowns, still running my pathfinders to the center now in position to get some shots off. Mauggy and the wraithlords + death jester finish off the first tactical squad for another kill point.


Marine turn three, all the reserves come in. Would like to have had them come in bit by bit, but at least if everything is in I can make plans to deal with it as is. Land raider and Khanh come in to the right, sternguard to the left.

Land raider moves up and pops smoke, Khanh + bikes turbo boost. Stearnguard drive up and get out shooting my speedbump wraithlord and he folds like nothing. Sad face.
Turn four has Mauggy and the DJ shooting at Khanh, Mauggy hits with four and then scores three rend! Huzzah! Sad face marines, no cover or armor saves!

My other two WL’s shoot at the smoke land raider while moving back, I know it is a long shot, but the psy out damage if I make it is worth the shot, plus the bikes, the other targets will get their cover saves and can’t be pinned thanks to the TB.
My second harlie group breaks off and assaults the sternguard, and this is where I knew I needed Eldrad’s doom for a boost. Ten harlies on the charge struggled against the ten sternguard. I won the assault and took them down to four marines, but I didn’t wipe them out, and clowns need to wipe things out on the charge because next turn they revert to ho hum S3 with one less attack.

Marine turn four has the land raider moving up again as the termies get out and assault one of my WL’s- I was just in range despite back pedaling! WL kills a termie and takes a wound! Tie combat! Bad rolling on the marine part but still S8 vs. T8.
Khanh and bikers move up and rapid fire into Mauggy’s clown group mowing down five clowns! Harlies hate bikes- they are just that fast and hard to set up with the distance or to stay out of bolter range with their movement. LD test and Mauggy folds and starts running like a punk! I had wanted him to take the charge, tie things up, and then if the harlies on the other side had wiped out the stearns they could counter assault. I need my third clown group which was hanging back to take on the termies. I’m now stretched thin and the pathfinder are starting to get nervous.
Marine assault phase and I take the SG in the assault down to one marine, TT/SS termies kill my WL.

Turn five clowns- the reserve harlie unit moves up to engage the terminators. My final WL moves up to shoot/assault the land raider, pathfinder fire on some bikes hoping to pin them.

Clowns hit the terminators and they go poof with some fantastic rends and lousy marine saves. WL lances the land raider and it explodes- hey that isn’t supposed to happen! Finally kill the final SG guy for another kill point.

Turn five marines has Khanh and his bikes assaulting the clowns and they hold, but just barely with a good LD check.

Turn six has my left clown group and the final WL piling in on the bikes killing them and squishing Khanh with a WL attack.

Game Ends with the harlies pulling ahead in kill points FTW.

After action notes…

Mauggy I love you, but once again the need for Eldrad synergy and the clowns assaulting is key. Guide on the WL’s would have been nice also, but I was rolling very well for the game.

There was a moment there where the game could have shifted and everything folded for me, pulled it off with some good rolling.