Fritz 40K Reboot V3

Working on a new posting format for the blog, taking in some suggestions from you guys (yes more Saim-Hann stuff), battle reports, unit reviews etc. Need a few days to get things organzied and ready to go- hang with me!

Killing Grey Knight Paladins DEAD

A couple of emails in recently on how to kill Grey Knight Paladins.

As if regular Grey Knights weren’t enough, apparently these guys are really terrorizing some gaming groups and clubs out there- and I can see how and why since pallies really aren’t like the usual deathstar units out there- definitely something new that GW has been heading towards in terms of direction.

First a recap of what makes them so dangerous…

Built correctly you are facing off against two wounds terminators with FNP, power/force weapons, striking at I5, backed by psychic support. Of course, personally I don’t really bitch and moan about pallies since they cost a mint to field, and this is coming from a guy who routinely plays expensive and over priced units like Swarmlord or Harlequins- now purifiers are a different story, but I’m getting off topic and venturing into Fritz nerd range land.

So there are those pallies across from you and the first question to ask is do you have to fight them or can you just ignore them- remember not everything in 40K needs to be killed. Is your opponent’s army a fluffy fun pally army with a low model count- just focus on those models and run away from the pallies, or have they built their army well with the pallies as spearhead to lead the strike? I’m assuming the second to the point where you will be forced to fight them.

Normally the answer to 40K these days is to shake enough dice at something to kill it, dakka, torrent of fire, mathhammer, call it what you like- eventually your opponent will roll a “1”. Problem here is that by the time your opponent rolls that “1” in enough volume AND fails the FNP saves, AND chews though wound allocation the pallies will have walked through a good chunk of your army.

The first choice is going to be hitting them with las cannon and melta or the equivalent shots- something that bypasses the 2+ save, FNP, and instant kills them. Relying on the terminator invul save won’t protect them for long. Keep in mind with this option you NEED to hit them out of cover- with a 4+ cover save in cover, plus shrouding, plus even going to ground a smart player can get a 2+ cover save potentially negating your shots that turn- or at least a 3+ which is good enough. On a side note you ALWAYS run a librarian with pallies, but actually the truth is you ALWAYS run a libby with Grey Knights period.

Second option is to shoot them with non ID shots that still bypass the armor and FNP saves like plasma and the equivalent.

Next question is how do you get them out of cover? This depends on your opponent and the mission you are playing. If we are talking about objectives, place them so that the palies have to come out or stay out of cover to support the rest of the Grey Knights of spearhead into your ranks. Maybe bait them with a unit? Possibly even tank shock them out of cover. You will have to do what you can depending on the setup.

What about killing them in the assault?

Generic troops like tactical marines or even underpowered “assault” troops like Eldar scorpions will have a really hard time killing them thanks to the power weapons and I5 halberd strikes. While not as insane as furious charge and preferred enemy lightning claw Black Templar terminators, Paladins will hold their own. Hitting them with anything that doesn’t bypass FNP and their 2+ armor save is setting you up for a beating. If you can’t hit them hard and first like with doom supported Harlequins or utterly tarpit them with 30+ fearless gaunts with their own tervigon FNP thrown on them, then you are better off just trying to shoot them.

A final option to keep in mind is the old “bad things happen when you roll dice” in 40K and go for tank shocking them, or causing break tests with wargear like a Necron nightmare shroud- you might get lucky and then keep them running- although the “luck” aspect has to be really stressed.

Above all, don’t get panicked! How do you chop down a forest- one tree at a time! Start working on dismantling them from turn one and keep at it…

Grey Knight Librarian- What?

So here is a quick snapshot of my GK Libby these days- hiding behind one of my land raiders throwing up his psychic defense- shrouding and sanctuary as needed- his role has shifted, but not changed.

For a while I had him in with my terminators throwing up shrouding and sanctuary, but this limited the scope and range of the terminators- they had to hug close to me core of raiders and dreads to keep within the 12”.

Side note in case you missed my last post a bit back…

Two land raider and two venerable castle up and then make the push mid game backed by terminators and the two full knight squads inside. I want to engage at range with six TL las cannons and psybolt heavy bolters but need to be alive and up each turn- low model count = needed survivability. SO, if I can get or create cover and throw up shrouding the opponent first has to hit me, then glance/pen, then beat my 3+ cover save- and AV 14 is the first layer, and venerable dreads the second. Make sense? Back to the libby…

So now, he just hides behind the raider, completely out of LOS doing his thing- and if needed, when the raiders move out, he runs behind or just joins one of the units inside when they come out.

Of course this then changes my terminators and their role. More on that tomorrow…

When To Kill Off The Dread?

What is the “math” on keeping your venerable dreadnought alive? When do take the first result or chance a re-roll- that is the question of the day.

Obviously if you roll a 5 or 6 on the first pass you are going for the re-roll, and on the opposite side rolling a 1 or 2 means you take it with a smile- especially if you are a Grey Knight venerable who can just fortitude it off.

But what about the 3 or 4?

Depends on the weapon load out and the situation.

Popular dread configurations these days first and foremost is the dual autocannon pattern with or without psybolts depending on the codex. As just an excuse to get autocannons on the table and as a gun platform I would take the 3/4 rather than risk the re-roll. Immobilized means nothing, and one less weapon just means I lose the twin linked.

In the standard configuration of assault cannon/las cannon and close combat arm it gets a bit trickier and depends on the phase of the game.

For the most part I will accept a weapon destroyed to keep my mobility. Playing a standard pattern dread means you are using the model at the start of the game to shoot at range and then as your opponent closes to get it into the assault to use the close combat arm, doomfist, talon thingy, or whatever. Shooty is important but so is mobility.

If I’m locked in the assault and it is something I can “kill” over just getting bogged down (say like fighting dozen of gaunts under synapse ) then if I hit a weapon destroyed I’ll take chance the re-roll- losing the weapon destroyed in the assault and having your dread arm taken off means the dread is out of the game and will probably never break the assault.

So what is your thoughts on the re-roll?

When to keep it, and when to tempt fate?

Battle For Salvation Forge World

Imagine a series of tables stretching from one end of the room to the other with legions of chapter serfs, chaos lords, battle captains, and wolf guard busy painting and laboring on their armies and you have a good idea with what has been going on at BFS recently.

NOVA, DA Boyz, Conflict GT, BFS October Tourney, and a host of other small RT events are all on the horizon and the club is busy building, prepping, and getting ready…

UltraBob’s motor pool for his Ultramarine strike force at 2000 points- 3 preds, 3 dreads, 3 las razorbacks, 3 speeders, and a land raider. Termies, tactical, and a librarian…

Lil Will’s custom built Angron Daemon prince leading his World Eaters and the HQ choice from his “Fallen Angels” Chaos Army…

Brother Captain James working on his Land Raider since if one is good, two is better…

Ed’s custom tech priests and Vulkan models- better pics to follow since the crappy lighting in the room does not do these two justice…

Tyranid Tyrannofex Tactica

Warriors down, so time for a few thoughts on the Tyrannofex?

First question is where do we get the model, and the second one question is he worth the points?

The T-fex here was made by Brother Captian James and mounted on a Jawabase for use in a Eldar & Dark Eldar Vs. Tyranids 6000 point game. The base of the kit is of course a Carnifex along with some forgeworld bitz, and a venom cannon coming out of the mouth. “Paint” is the standard ink and wash of sepia and purple with green/red ink and sunburst yellow highlight.

Second question- is the T. worth the points?


We are talking Land Raider points for a unit that can’t move a full 12” and shoot on its own, has ¼ the fire output, and can’t carry any models- although guys can run behind him for cover saves if needed.

On the plus side, no matter how unlikely the odds, he can’t be taken out by a single missile or las shot like a Land Raider can.

That said, and the options needed in the Tyranid codex, my only real complaint on him is that the rupture cannon hits on a 4+. Really GW? You have a big gun, the only big gun of the ‘nid dex, and it hits on a 4+? Heck it isn’t even AP 1 or 2!

Add to this the fact that you can only really afford to take one, two tops, AND then it cuts into Trygons, not that you would have the points for six of these guys or so in a regular game.

Am I totally crapping on Mr. T.? No, I’m just calling it like I see it, but that said I’m seeing more and more of a place for a T-fex thanks to Grey Knights and how they have shifted BA and SW lists.

More than ever Tyranids need two things- actual shooty (they always needed this) AND multi-role units- hence why Warriors are back on the table for me also.

If Land Raiders are back in style for marines I need something similar…

The rupture cannon should also have been standard in the base price, but don’t get me started…

So why do I take him, and how is he being used?

Well I need something from range that can scare a Land Raider, pop incoming Storm Ravens, and on the hit produce the greatest chance of scoring a penetrating hit. See with Grey Knights and their psychic pilot fortitude gizmos a glance is now worthless- you need the destroyed or exploded chance of the pen- shaken and stunned is like it never even hit. Sure I have Hive Guard, but I have to get mid field with them- which GK just LOVE, and there is a difference with S8 and S 10. PLUS the rupture cannon doesn’t have to pass a psychic test before it can shoot.

Tactically he is either a gun beast or a shock beast depending on what my opponent has and the mission.

As a gun beast he sits back on my table edge in cover and spits out shots from the rupture cannon. With the combination of wounds, toughness, and cover, he will be around for a bit. End game he will look to help mop up on my table edge any of my opponent’s units looking to contest or capture objectives on my side- assuming he is still alive.

Tactically this is the worst way to use him as you are missing out on the other half of his points, but against high las cannon or AP 1 or 2 armies this is better than being dead on turn two and flushing all his points down the drain.

Optimally I want to use him as a shock beast- firing the cannon each turn but also advancing across the table using his toughness, wounds, and saves to spearhead my stealer assault- who are clustering behind for cover saves. Throw in some FNP for those pesky shots that get through the armor and you are even better. In this way I’m also looking to leverage his MC status to punch vehicles, dreadnoughts, and the like.

Finally in games where I am not going first and am facing maximum las based firepower- like with a Dark Eldar lance spam list I’ll sometimes just reserve him so he doesn’t die first turn and then can at least lumber on later and get off a few shots before dying.

So to recap…

Worth the points…no.

Paint to model up with no hope for a GW kit ever…yes.

Needed more than ever…perhaps.

Useful in higher point games where your bases are covered…yes.

Tyranid Warrior Tactica

You know, out of all the Tyranid posts and rants up here on the blog, I have yet to cover warriors and the T-fex. Odd right? We’ll let’s start with the Warriors then…

Out of all the critters in the codex Warriors really don’t do anything that good, and oddly that is the source of their strength. While they don’t spit out spiked toothpicks like the Hive Guard, or throw up lots of high I rending attacks like Genestealers, or buff/support your army like Tyrants or Tervigons, they do bring some interesting uses to the table.

Of course the first is as a synapse point, which if taken in a group of 5+ is going to potentially be around for a while, provided you have brought along some other (correct) buggies in the list- more on that in a sec.

So right away they are good at babysitting gaunts and making sure other units like ‘stealers don’t break if you hit a tough unit and don’t make the rending rolls.

Since Warriors do a little bit of everything combined with a multiwound model, they are perfect for attacking non-dedicated units. While they won’t beat a dedicated assault unit like terminators (don’t even try!), they are perfect to leverage against tactical, jump, and support units, combining their ability to shoot, move, and assault into one package= shoot the unit, and then assault the unit.

Deathspitters allow you to potentially glance/shut down non GK vehicles, and the venom cannon gives you a template to throw down table. I personally find a group of five Warriors to be that magic number of point balance and survivability.

Use your warriors to back up other shooty and assault units and you will find they really shine. Working with a group of genestealers they shoot some shots into the enemy before the stealers charge. Working with gaunts they help to shoot, and then assault, etc.

Now where Warriors FAIL is that they can be instant killed like nothing from melta, las, and all the psybolt dread spam out there. Even going to ground for a 3+ in cover, a good round of shooting will chew through these guys like nothing.

SO, if you are taking warriors in your list there needs to be other targets for your opponent to want and shoot those S8/9 shots into- carnifexes, hive guard, tervigons, trygons, etc. Things where you need S8/9 to punch through T6, but won’t be instant killed.

Tactically I use my warriors as a mid field anchor unit- this means that at the start of the game they sit back with Mr. tervigon and babysit the gaunts and my counter charge stealer unit. Mid game when I need to push to center objectives, they move out with the gaunts and stealers offering rock solid synapse and that supporting role.

More Necron Rumors? Thoughts?

So a new batch of Necron rumors have been released and reposted all through the internet…

I’ve heard similar rumors from the same source that leaked the whole 2 wound terminator thing when Grey Knights were hyping, and that did turn out to be true, so for me personally this is the first real set of rumors that I can get behind.

Scarbs. Entropic Strike. Interesting.

At first glance if you are playing or planning to play Necrons you are dancing a little jig, while Space Marine players are already moaning about it. Reducing armor by one point per 4+ hit sure is interesting- on a 4+ hit sounds like it goes of regardless of how the vehicle is moving. WOW, Tyranids sure could have used something like this trying to mass glance fast moving stiff in the assault.

That said what really got my attention is wounds on a 4+ with no armor saves. If true, this is HUGE- ways to mow down medium to small sized model units like purifier spam, min/max marines just to get more razorbacks on the table, etc- and for 15 points a base! Oh, and overpowered characters like Mepheston would just go poof! Keep going.

Where this falls apart is the fact that they are FAST ATTACK choices, and that destroyers will also be FA. So then we are up to the same problems as in the current codex, unless we can take that shiny HQ choice to manipulate the force org chart, but I’m not expecting a total rewrite of the chart- just stuff like maybe some extra elites becoming troops, etc.

So with the rumors all collected and swirled together what am I thinking about at this point in time?

Well, we are going to have two versions of Necrons, two types of armies if you will- 5th edition lists, and 6th edition lists.

Yea I’m looking forward to the big tomb spider dreadnought MC necromancer thingy, but MC don’t work in 5th edition right now, even with a built in cover save device- especially if the model if BIG in size like a trygon. 15+ frag missiles and 9+ las cannons are still bog standard in my neck of the woods and as fast as they down my trygon they will down my necromancer thingamajig. I’m gonna need to be low to the table for those cover saves as needed.

In 6th things might be different. Even with the cover save nerf to 5+ the wargear cards thing might allow other points of entry or protection- still need to wait and see.

We also know that lords and their wargear are going to be mad expensive. Two lords with full complement of wargear is standard in the current codex builds, but that is going to chance. Kind of like Grey Knights- you want to run two super blinged out HQ choices but just really can’t AND get your other toys in. Lords are going to be super focused. Ok, I can adapt to that.

Skimmers, bone transports, and all that…well AV 10 open topped is a joke, ask my vypers, another cool idea on paper, but I’ll be skipping that if it pans out, plus I’m sure there will be no model and I don’t feel like buying and cutting up tomb kind stuff.

So what is a basic army build that I have been playing around with- given the info on warriors, all three classes of destroyers, scarabs, and lords?

This all depends on what SIZE I can take heavy destroyers in- 3 won’t cut it, don’t even try. 5-10 and we are talking, but I expect 5 at max given GW since they would be “heavy”.

A big fat mass of scarabs up front, 30+ if I can take them.

Behind that warriors and immortals and mr. lord.

Behind them lots of heavy destroyers.

Heavy destroyers open vehicles up and dump the guys, warriors and immortals advance with some pew pew fire, and then the carpet of scarabs advance and attack. When they die, whatever is left faces the warrior and immortal horde.

Just an idea off an idea based on rumors, but we Necron players have to start thinking about ideas and the rumors now.

As for the MW fluff rewrite, sigh I do expect it to be an abomination and complete rewrite bastardization, I’ve accepted the C’Tan are going, it’s ok- given they are LIVING GODS, how could they really be represented on the table stat and point wise. Like Angron I’m sure they will get ported over to Apocalypse and we can play them there at least.

Fellow servants of the star gods…the wait is just a bit longer…start preparing…our day of return is coming…

…and it’s been a long time coming, an eternity spanning an eternity, especially how long I have been playing Necrons- here is some pics of my first ‘cron army that I can’t wait to return to the table…


Surgical Eldar Assaults

So a recent email in was asking about the various assault units of the Eldar aspects and how once could use them- mainly in a wave serpent to move out and kill stuff. Well, yes, and no since we are talking about Eldar.

Units first and then the delivery system- both are important since they are not Space Marines in a Land Raider or even a Storm Raven.

So on the assault side we have Harlequins, Scorpions, and Banshees, and for now let’s forget about point cost and look at both units ten strong with the upgrades.

Harlies want to walk across the table to make use of the death jester and shadowseer and perhaps attach an IC like Mauggy to make him invisible to return fire. Your supporting units demech, weaken your opponent, and then in the mid field you pounce with the clowns.

Now you could put them in a Falcon or swap a Wave Serpent. A falcon’s payload is too small for a full compliment and the days of the flying circus are over, while a Wave Serpent means you are possibly buying another unit you don’t want or need to unlock it.

Also if we are talking about delivery into the opponent, you have to think about the next round after you slaughter your target and are now ready to be gunned down by everything else- a 5+ invul isn’t going to cut it assuming you can’t get into cover for the 4+ save.

Scorpions are a bit nicer in that you at least have a nice armor save combined with a decent amount of attacks for Eldar, but if I was going Scorpions I would rather outflank them or perhaps even infiltrate them with Farseer support from my lines- more on that in a sec.

Where the real assault power of the Eldar comes from in terms of Serpent rush is Banshees- ten strong with an Exarch and all the trimmings. Banshee mask makes sure you are going first, and power weapons deny that all mighty 3+ save.

BUT there is more, you are going to need a dedicated Farseer which now moves us into the delivery system- getting there, killing, and surviving.

At the start of the game your banshee bomb serpent is hanging back with the rest of your force and doing its best to blend in and not be a threat. The Farseer inside casts guide and fortune on other units to boost survivability and firepower- and on a side note now in 40K at 1750 points if you are playing general Eldar you NEED to ‘seers in the list. My Saim-Hann have them- one on a bike, and the other in a serpent, my Harlie list is a different animal.

When the time is right the farseer casts fortune on the Serpent and it move all out for the cover save, and then kicks in star engines for the additional boost- star engines, stones, and vectored engines are ALL mandatory- and yes we are just jacking up the cost more and more, but A: they are Eldar, welcome to the old codex, and B: if we are going to do it, we need to do it RIGHT, having your serpent immobilize and stall mid way SUCKS.

This will get you to the target for next turn, which you then cast doom on the target, and fortune on the banshees- they get out and you assault- doom means having to wound marines on a 5+ grants you the re-roll and slaughtering ten is easy. Fortune is there so when you take return fire next turn you stand a chance of surviving to then move on and kill more or get back in your ride and zoom off. Farseer wants a singing spear so she can chuck it at a vehicle, maybe get lucky, and then assault, or if you get countered by a dreadnought you can do something.

The Banshee Bomb in use…

Don’t play them like marines in a Land Raider- with the overall cost of your army, you can’t afford to lose anything, marine players can lose that Land Raider and termies because they have another, lots of scoring troops, etc.

You need to be selective, look for weak units, or the flank, and attack mid or end game.


In my Saim-Hann list I have a variant where I swap the Storm Guardians for Banshees and I wait till end game. Mid game I try to blow up that razorback(s) or vehicles camping on an objective and just leave the troops there- let my opponent have it- there are more important things for me to kill. On turn four the Wave Serpent moves out, and then on 5 the girls disembark and surgically remove the guys off the objective- either to free it up for non scoring for my opponent, or for my jetbikes to move in and take with the 6” assault move.

Think surgically over terminator like brute force and you will be fine.

The Future Of Eldar?

Email In:

Hello Fritz of the Saimhann,

I'm a guardian of the Biel Tan and I likely shouldn't be reaching out to one of another craft world, but I have a few questions about our collective future of the Eldar. One which you may have better far sight than our own farseers.

I am tired of the same old army organization. Either the seer councils tear up the board while I sit in a hot wave serpent all day, or the Saimhann zip around leaving me to walk through the muck, or we are forced to run and hide all battle like racing day with a sprint to the critical objectives at the end. It's really unfair and not very glamorous. I am wondering if you can tell me what you see in the future for us Eldar? So you think we'll be more of the same army compositions, or will the Scorpions and Swooping Hawks get better training or better abilities like the Bloody Angels? If so, I may want to select a more exciting and more glorious path.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

-Unnamed guardian of the Biel Tan


Ok, I have two marine armies, but I've really wanted to play Eldar. I started with marines as a learning army since I was told Eldar are more difficult to play when first starting out. So now, I really would like to start an Eldar army and I am just wondering where you think the Eldar codex will head from past experience. I want to start buying models now to prepare for the new codex and don't know which models will get re-cast and while units will be overhauled (and suck or be awesome). What do you think will be solid for the future? My play style for marines has been Praetors of Orpheus Master of the Forge tank/dread list, and Blood Angels 2x2 Predator shooty list with Sanguinator and Mephiston. I really do like the shoot and scoot of BA but I know Eldar are different and more specialists that must work together. What do you think would be a good way for me to start out?

Thanks in advance,


Reply Out:

Eldar are in an interesting position right now, and I do have to say upfront that I have heard nothing in terms of rumors or a codex release date- I pretty sure they are not even on GW’s radar still milking the Space Marine money long and hard.

That said we do know that 40K 6th edition is a year or so out, then chaos, and then perhaps Eldar- so we are looking at a year and a half to two year time frame.

Personally I’ve been PISSED for a long time waiting for Eldar, but at this point I’m happy to wait and have them on hold, since this is the best for a strong codex. 6th is going to chance the game, reboot it if you will over 5th edition which was just really a tweak of 4th- think of it as 4.5 really. I don’t want Eldar now to come out, and then be all messed up by 6th. Having a 6th edition codex for a 6th edition game is where they need to be and will be.

So if you want to get started with Eldar now and have a minimal transition in the future I think we can keep a few things in mind looking at past armies and the current GW trends.

We can’t say or know which units will suddenly become super bad ass, but what we do know is that all the units will likely get a bit cheaper so whatever your army is now, plan on adding a bit more. We can also assume, since every codex has it, other than the screw up that is Tyranids, has ways to manipulate the force org chart to make other units “scoring”. I fully expect that you will be able to take X farseer or autarch and unlock X unit as troops. Which units, who knows, but most likely the aspect warriors. Now I wouldn’t run out and buy sixty swooping hawks if you like them, but picking up a unit or two to start will put you in a good place. Vehicles are also going to probably get cheaper so an extra wave serpent or fire prism/spinner is also good. Of course we will also get a few new units and models- nothing you can buy now, totally new releases like maybe a wraithlord farseer, new heavy tank, light tank, etc.

With that in mind I’d build an Eldar army for the game now, while picking up units here and there for the future. I’ve got my Saim-Hann and Harlequins, and have been building an Iyanden army forever- which while possible to field in the current game, is very hard to win and play with- I expect things to be different in 6th. Of course with the cost of the models, and the fact that I’m in no rush for that army till a new codex I’ve been lurking on ebay and bartertown, etc. picking up a wraithguard for a few dollars here and there- I suggest the same for you- get your other units this way, slowly over time once you have your core army to play right now.

Hope that help.


NOVA Prep: Deep In The Jawabunker…

List building for NOVA doubles... Been putting our lists for the team tourney through the test, I’m running Grey Knights since Jawaballs refuses to fight alongside any xenos.

1K marines gets you some interesting stuff, 1K BA a little less, 1K Grey Knights has me feeling like I’m playing my Eldar- so little on the table- I thought these guys were auto-win marines?

My list?

Basically my 2K paired down- a land raider, regular knights, a venerable dread, and some terminators. I’m going with my castle doctrine list which looks to build firebases and shrouding enhanced cover saves with AV 14 and venerable re-rolls to make up for the fact of a low model count. Make it as hard as possible in theory to kill a unit so it lasts longer making up for the lack of numbers- of course bad dice rolls on either end will down me quick, but I have faith in the emperor!

Of course I needed another Land Raider stat, and seeing how Jawaballs has like a dozen of them, by order of the immortal god emperor I “borrowed” one on behalf of the inquisition. A quick look over by the tech-priests, and it was off to titan for a repaint and upgrade- I’m a big fan of librarian summoning land raiders…I know what the internet “says” about that, but don’t let the internet ever stop you. Castle doctrine works on that also- summon, pop smoke for the 4+, shrouding for the 3+, and then unleash the cargo next turn. Boom! Hell Yea!

Biovores FTW! What?

As I’ve been recently running with 8 MC’s in my Tyranid list I wanted to swing to the opposite side of the army list and build an all swarm based army. All 1 wound models that will rush forward, sideways, outflank, deepstrike and the like angry bugs. I want to outnumber horde Orks and don’t care if I can’t move my arms by the end of the first day in a tournament!

Looking at the models I have in mass, which at this point is everything except gargoyles I’ve started to build the core around my ‘stealer shock list- 60+ stealers to do the troop killing dirty work while the rest of the swarm concentrates on mission objectives.

Elites and Troops are filled to the max, and for the first time in a long time I’ve got some open spots in the heavy support slot- usually filled by three trygons.

What to take if not the big boys?

I painted up some biovores got in a few games, and more and more I’m seeing these guys as a sleeper unit like venomthropes. Neither good or bad on paper, but interesting from what they bring that effects the flow of the game.

One was useless, a mere annoyance, three was over kill in the sense of points needed to be directed elsewhere. Two was the magic number- each in their own slot so they can target different things. Sure I’m expending an extra kill point but we are talking about Tyranids here right? They bleed kill points like mad so I stopped trying long ago to minimize the kill points as it really hobbles the army.

Essentially the biovore is a large blast frag missile that becomes a spore mine if you miss- which is great because even if you miss there isn’t a turn of wasted shooting. Tactically the value in these guys has been the waiting with when to drop the template.

Realistically what are you going to kill with these guys? Each game I maybe bag three of four marines and maybe a scattered spore mine.

Guys tent to not notice these dudes till they start shooting- much like the venoms get ignored until they charge a unit wrapped by the spore cloud bubble, then it’s all moans and groans of broken and overpowered units.

So the game starts and I wait, biovores just chilling, no need to drop a spore mine on a vehicle to do nothing or hope it scatters. I just wait till we get some marines on the table- either disembarking from a blown vehicle or to rapid fire the swarm of stealers. There all bunched up, the spores start coming down.

Is it just me or do templates seem to annoy players? I know I don’t like them being placed over my models, not really sure why, can you feel what I mean? Flamer templates that ignore armor and cover saves are the worst.

With the bios I have this cheap little model with the range to shoot and hit a cluster of models, when that happens all of a sudden it is a big deal and guys start shooting at the bios- shots that could be going into my tervigons since they have the range and high strength and AP. It’s almost like the bios exist to keep the tervigons up and running longer so they can keep spewing poisoned furious charge gaunts.

I’ve also found them to be annoying for long fangs and just the thing to attract their attention for a moment- usually right away on turn one so the LF’s don’t frag spam my advancing stealers.

In a 1750+ list for under 100 points, what you get to tactically shift the game in your opponent’s head (potentially) has been so worth it.

Now how would we say the same about pyrovores?

Games Day: Wrapping It Up!

Of course the hype for Space Marine was all over, with guys dominating the xbox 360 consoles all day long- I did my best to stay away since I don’t have a 360 and don’t need the temptation to buy one just for Space Marine.

Walking around the stations was a life sized Khorne Berserker which was epic- beating out the life sized ork from last year, but not the hot sister of battle from last year. Of course you could tell the dude inside ( or chick as rumored) had no idea about the 40K universe since more than one 30+ year old man child bowed before the World Eater offering their head to Khorne only to have the cosplay WE shrug his/her shoulders and not accept the offering. I got a few of these on film...and they are better off not seeing the light of day... 

By about 5:00 things were winding down and after rolling some dice in the big tank battle for about half an hour even I had to call it a day…

All in all a great Games Day, and despite my rants and personal pet peeves I’m throwing out a huge thumbs up, and will definitely be attending next year…

5th Edition Stealer Shock List?

Thing have been getting a bit behind for me in email land and some store credit I had from some past tournament winnings was about to expire so what to spend it on? First thought was Necrons of course with their upcoming codex but since we don’t even know what units will be “good” and “bad” that is on hold, not even accounting for any new models released.

So I had just enough to pick up some more warriors and ink/paint to get them into the brood, not that I need any more warriors proper…

I’ve been wanting to do a 5th edition “stealer shock” list for a while, kind of a swarm list since I’ve got the 8 MC list down pat. Sure ‘stealers took a huge nerf bat hit, and much of what is keeping them going on the table is their reputation in players minds from the last codex, but no armor save, and no grenades really makes them NOT worth the points. However, the GOOD thing about Tyranids is that everything is kind of nerfed so matter what you do things will never be 100% optimal or WAAC like BA, SW, & GK’s.

That is a good thing, no really, since you can get WAAC glory out of your mind and sit down and build some fun lists.

So what am I thinking about for a 5th edition stealer shock list and what do warriors have to do with it?

Here is the list in its first incarnation:

HQ: Tervigon, Claws, AG, Toxin, Catalyst

Elite: 3 Hive Guard

Elite: 3 Lictors

Troops: Tervigon, Claws, AG, Toxin, Catalyst

Troops: 3 X 20 Genestealers

Troops: 2 X 25+ Termagants

Heavy 2 X 1 Biovore

Sure I would like all stealers and only stealers on the table, but it won’t work, especially since we don’t have an HQ choice stealer- not that one couldn’t model up a Prime as stealer boss HQ…

We have an offensive and defensive breakout of the list- on the offense is 60 stealers which is a respectable number. They go out and kill stuff, either through infiltrating or outflanking- depends on what is going on and the list. They will die as stealers do to a light breeze, and although they are “scoring”, I don’t expect to have any alive past turn four, and especially end game. They are like that, but it is ok. They are like commando suicide troops whose job is to KILL scoring units.

Defensively we have Tervigons and huge gaunt screens- they will camp on objective on your side and of course continue to spawn, but the two blocks of 25+ gaunts lets you tie up multiple units and screen things, also allowing for your tervies to constipate out on turn one or two. Crushing claws are there so I can pretend to punch land raiders on the charge.

Hive guard camp, resist the temptation to send them out, and break open anything incoming so the gaunts can swarm them. Lictors pop in and get rear armor as a diversion, might need to work in a second group- and that is what the “warriors” are for- buying single lictors is not cost effective- buying a box of “warriors” and converting them to lictors is- especially if you have spare lictor heads.

Biovores are there for fun, and surprisingly these little guys have been both fun and effective, but not in the ways most players measure effective- article upcoming on that, wish I had “discovered” them a few months back.

Games Day: Open Gaming

Seeing how this was my first year at Chicago I don’t know if this is a regular thing, but the open gaming tables were kind of quiet- only a handful of games going on and lots of empty open space. Got in a few quick 500 point games and some three/four way games vs. Necrons, Tyranids, Space Wolves, BA, and IG. For me, this is what Games Day is about- the chance to meet, play, and hang out with the guys and gals that read my blog- a chance to say hi, hear your ideas, and roll some dice...

The games themselves were a blast and as always cool to hang out and make new friends, but the tables really stuck in my mind. Make no mistake they were all painted realm of battle boards, GW terrain , and looked good, but I can and do play on these at the store and local club- where was the GW magic of Baltimore Games Day with the themed tables like the Necron world and the Tau outpost? Cool that you gave us a place to play, but even cooler would have been some themed tables to create some epic battles and memories. Am I just nitpicking?

Another NOVA Nids List?

So I’m still sorting out what army to bring to NOVA, Tyranid army I should say.

For those I have been emailing with and bouncing around NOVA ideas with I’ve been planning to go with my 8 MC and gaunt spam list, which I know is hit or miss, but even knowing this, is that a good idea?

The way my list plays is very critical mass- can I survive long enough with my MC’s to deliver the gaunt payload and swarm my opponent? It’s a numbers game that is somewhat influenced by my gaunt spawning rolls. Case in point from a recent game at the comic shop where I was facing a critical mass Space Marine list- UltraBobs’ list:

3 Rifle Dreads

3 AV/Las Preds

3 X 3 ML speeders

3 Las/Plas Razorbacks

+ML Tactical

The list has enough shots alone to take down my list, and having piss terrain on the table to block LOS let alone cover means even my venoms aren’t going to hack it with the 5+ bubbles. My Spawns on turn one and two were “OK”, nothing great, but by turn three I was blown off the table, and even falling back to defensively hold my objectives, I was done. Mission over, game lost.

Actually a powerful time to reflect back on my list- do I want to, neh, can I AFFORD to gamble like this? That simple fact that against critical mass armies that CAN over power me in shots means there is no way to leverage good tactics- it is all rock vs. paper vs. scissors the moment you are matched up. I’ve talked about the two angles of building a tournament list- all comers say like my Necron or Marine lists, vs. gimmick lists like my Harlequins or MC spam Tyranids.

What ARE the armies I am going to be facing as a whole at NOVA? WAAC spammy lists- the worst of what 40K has become? I expect no less at such a world class tournament, and it SHOULD be this way even I personally wouldn’t play such an army.

So what about building an all comes ‘nids list from the ground up? I had one in development, still time to drag it out, get it painted up, and play tested If I get my ass moving. I’ll share my thought process with you guys…

First thing you have to realize is that one is playing Tyranids- the units aren’t BAD but they aren’t GOOD either – there are no autowin units like purifier spam or inherent wargear and bonus for a ridiculously cheap cost like thunder wolves or grey hunters. Your terrifying space bugs from the cold galactic void are just…average…

What makes up for this is pure numbers- Tyranids need a high number of bugs that they can grind through against all the better armies out there- sad but true- Tyranids will be the new Necrons one the new Necron ‘Dex comes out. Curse you GW for such a rushed and shoddy book! That aside we need numbers.

My tervigon spawning lists get around the numbers issue by spawning them, but in a fixed list where you have only X number of bugs with no way to manufacture more means one has to be extra conservative as when to push or pull back to make sure you have enough of the little critters left to win.

First thing that came to mind when I saw the NOVA format for objective based mission and primary/secondary win’s is that their placement is fixed and PERFECT for a Tyranid Null Deployment model- outflankers will have something to hit on those objectives, and since they are often in terrain thanks to the fixed setup, even if my opponent isn’t on the objective stealers and other Null Deployment elements would love to just go in there and go to ground.

On the other hand the games are at 2K points (!) and vs. Marines and especially Grey Knights Tyranids are way over priced, so I have to expect to be outnumbered in EVERY game, even with a balance of bugs on the table. So if I can’t be everywhere at once, let’s shut down parts of the table so I don’t have to be.

Here is the base deployment of my units illustrated in some MS paint magjik…

One the right and left of my deployment we create some no fly zones with 30 gaunts on one side, and 30 on the other. Both groups have furious charge and poison. Normally I’d get that buff from the tervigons but there are none in this list and the gaunts need to be a threat in numbers to both vehicles and infantry, bikes, MC’s etc. Thirty in each allows me to take losses to mid game, tarpit units, and hurt stuff outright based on sheer numbers alone- certainly not kill things, but throw up a barrier at the least.

In the center are 3 groups of 3 hive guard- thank the gods I bought them in metal pre-fincast price hike. Still a bitch to build, but anyway…

Deployed in the center means these guys can start to push out and threaten the entire table- I’m building a wall to try and keep my opponent on their side of the table.

Behind the wall is a nice big fat group of warriors 6 + a prime as the HQ. They also will want to sit in cover and are both the synapse anchor and the rear scoring unit/trailing unit.

We then have two groups of 20 stealers primed and ready who will either outflank or perhaps infiltrate deploy to a weak flank depending on the scenario, the opponent’s army, and how they deploy. These huge broods have the numbers to take losses and still chew into a few units. I expect them to die, but their job is to deploy and move in front of the “wall” to cause as much mischief as possible- and to specifically TARGET troop choices before they die. Throwing ‘stealers against vehicles is a waste, so the hive guard will want to target said vehicle ASAP so the arriving ‘stealers have something to snack on.

Now reserves are a gamble since they can come in on turn two/three which is OK or turn 4/5 which sucks because then your opponent can blast the rest of the army and then move fid field, camp and shoot said stealers when they arrive. We need a sneaky unit.

Something that isn’t a lot of points, but is still a bit scary, basically a fire magnet. Filling this a commando unit of four stealers and a brood lord. These guys will always infiltrate and being small, terrain dependant might even be able to completely hide out of sight, if not then in terrain and either way they will always go to ground. They are there to encourage shooting for that first turn till the stealers arrive (in theory). If they live beyond that awesome, but highly doubtful.

With the few points left we need to top off the list with something to annoy the opponent and have them also focus fire on…and don’t laugh….biovore’s fill the role perfectly with the slot and the points. Two bio’s- one on each side of the table.

They just lob spores on long fangs, maybe on a speeder, or an de-meched transport. I didn’t take them to kill stuff, Maybe they will kill 2-3 marines a game, but for the points, much like a whirlwind, the smoke they blow is where you earn it back. Nobody likes to have templates placed over their models, and the bio’s have the bonus of generating a spore mine to float around and be annoying with if they miss. So here is what we have at 2K…

== HQ ==

Tyranid Prime (1) - Deathspitter, Lash Whip And Bonesword, Regeneration = 110 pts.

== Elites ==

Hive Guard Brood (3) = 150 pts.

Hive Guard Brood (3) = 150 pts.

Hive Guard Brood (3) = 150 pts.

== Troops ==

Tyranid Warrior Brood (250 pts.)

Tyranid Warrior (5) - Deathspitter, Rending Claws = 200 pts.

Tyranid Warrior (1) - Venom Cannon, Rending Claws = 50 pts.

Termagant Brood (30) - Fleshborer, AG, Toxin Sacs = 210 pts.

Termagant Brood (30) - Fleshborer, AG, Toxin Sacs = 210 pts.

Genestealer Brood (20) = 280 pts.

Genestealer Brood (20) = 280 pts.

Broodlord Brood (116 pts.)

Broodlord (1) = 60 pts.

Genestealer (4) = 56 pts.

== Heavy Support ==

Biovore (1) = 45 pts.

Biovore (1) = 45 pts.

== Total ==

1996 pts.

Not a bad list, but not good. Hardly any uber units like thunder wolves or mepheston who will chew through everything and anything in your list, but like I said, ‘nids are ‘nids man.

So what do we have to look out for?

The huge gaunt groups are very vulnerable to getting tied up by a dread, and stuff like that so targeting them with the hive guard might take priority over other vehicles if needed. IF you can’t stop the dread then shift the gaunts back to an objective so when they are assaulted you are at least camping on it- killing 2-3 a turn plus losing 2-3 more from fearless still won’t break the brood, and hopefully you will be on an objective to claim it.

Warriors are the synapse anchor and back door objective grabbers- they need to stay back in cover shooting the things that break through the gaunt wall and maybe assaulting. They can be cut down by anti-tank fire bypassing their multiple wounds, so I’ll have to be conservative with them since if they fold the entire synapse net folds- may have to break off an attach the prime to one of the gaunt squads to keep and hold them.

Lictors Vs. Hive Guard.

Initially I was looking at nine lictors to pop up in front of the gaunt wall to take pot shots at vehicles backed by the ‘stealers but then I’d have no plug in the center of the wall which are the hive guard, and they hive guard have more shots and a bit more survivability even if they have only the 24” range. Can’t plug the hole with warriors since I need them in the back.

I’ll play around a bit more with the list…

Games Day: Lords Of The Ring

Alongside the Specialist Games was three “Big Game” tables for Lords of the Ring but nobody was playing, heck it wasn’t even staffed! Lots of nerds, neckbeards, and 30+ year old man-children like myself playing in the 40K and Fantasy BIG GAMES (Fantasy seemed to have more players) but nobody at LOTR? Does anybody even play the game? Tables and models were cool of course, well done, but why try to turn the game into fantasy only with middle earth models?

About after this, myself, Jawaballs, Mike Cho, and John Steining sat down and participated in the speed painting contest, which was some LOTR dude with a sword. 45 minutes to paint with the oddest assortment of GW paints and mish mash of brushes yields some interesting results- Mike has a pic of all our models and I’ll get that up in a bit. While the rest of the guys far surpass me in painting skills, I did a valiant job of holding my own till I got to the hair- should have left it black, but when with sunburst yellow and then a wash and well it turned out like crap.