Relentless Horde Tyranid List (Null Deployment)

More and more Tyranids are actually a really fun army to play, especially with the release of the new Necron Codex.


They are currently the only army which does not have any vehicle options. Sure you can choose to play a foot/infantry based list with other armies, but that is a choice over a necessity.

On the other hand, accepting this with Tyranids can lead to some fun and interesting lists out of the box.

Let’s combine some Null Deployment Tyranids with some horde tactics- actually a list I have been experimenting and having some real fun with.

First things first, horde lists unfortunately rely on two things to work- terrain and a lack of templates in the other persons army. At least where I game this currently isn’t a problem, but could potentially change in a few adapting to the meta.

Template weapons are a big problem, especially if they are mounted on mobile vehicles which can close the distance, control it, and wash you. I don’t see a lot of them at all, actually none, but that could chance with all the Necron scarab spam just around the corner.

Terrain is also huge- you need it, and more than anything this is what will make or break the army. Forget about hiding your models- impossible, terrain is there to grant cover saves on your way in, and then to protect remnant units with cover saves on objectives on the way out since you don’t have any transports.

At the club and tournament scene so far, terrain is plentiful, could be a bit better, but good enough for the task at hand. What are the tables and tournament terrain like in your area? Something you can count on, or a gamble?

Ok, the list…

First option is the HQ choice- a prime or two, or Tyrant with bodyguard. The HQ choice depends on your points available and the type of armies you face or intent to face. The choice only has one goal- to provide a solid unbreakable synapse anchor.

If you are playing at a smaller point level and face maximum firepower you go with a prime or two- since a Tyrant even with guard can be picked out and blown off the table- and will. Larger points and certain armies you go with the Tyrant with a preferred enemy build. That said most of the time I go with the primes.

Next up is the Null Deployment component- three groups of Y-Stealers 8-10 strong. Yes, that is like putting down three land raiders in points…

Ten if I can, if the points are an issue, then eight- three units (max elites) are also key.

And the finally the horde components- H-Gaunts with furious charge and poison in big units of twenty 3-6 strong.

So in an average game this gives me 80-100 stabby gaunts, 30 sneaky stealers, and a prime…an impressive horde even by ork standards!

Deployment is easy, the horde component goes as far forward as they can with the prime. Normally we want to try and hide our approach with terrain, etc. if possible, but in this case for the list to work, we want to set up an approach that encourages our opponent to just sit there and shoot, shoot, and shoot, like most 5th edition lists do now. Do the usual intermix of squads, etc. to get cover for your approach, etc.

Stage two has the y-stealers going dormant in center terrain if possible, or over away a bit from your opponent’s deployment. With three groups of ten each, don’t risk hiding in point blank terrain.

With deployment done, the strategy is easy…

Run the h-gaunts right towards your opponent turn one- they will actually move surprisingly fast since there is no shooting so you move and run, and on a side note the list plays fast for a horde since there is nothing to do in the shooting phase.

On turn 2-3 when your y-stealers arrive, they bust out and move to attack vehicles- using the extra attack to throw out those dice. Their job is to open up vehicles, spill guys on foot. Weird using expensive shock troops to destroy 35 point tanks, but that is their function in the list.

The y-stealers work well in center terrain since the opponent wants to hang back and shoot, and being center terrain they can come in and assault.

Next turn(s) the stabby gaunts continue to advance, and once they arrive start stabbing guys- scything talons (semi-preferred enemy), furious charge and poison really do make quick work of anything that even things of getting out of that plastic box or is on the table. Turn two or three you will be on your opponent depending on deployment.

Of course there are obvious shortcomings in the list, but also many strengths leading to some fun and interesting gameplay. One land raider you just ignore, so what, Blood Angels 5 LR lists and well, you have lost, but nobody plays land raiders anymore right?

With Tyranids, combinations of simple units can lead to an interesting synergy of sorts...

The 40K Points Matrix

Like a resurrected god I sent my C’Tan shard across the table as reality warped around it, casting a gaze of death on all it beheld. Can you imagine or even resist the temptation to be a living god on the table? Laughing I felt like the choice Q gave Riker, and unlike that fool I would have ascended to become one with the Q continuum…

Maybe it was due to pre-beard Riker?

Spying a group of purifiers, the best the Imperium of Man could offer I drifted over ignoring terrain and all the rules of the game..only to eat forty or so psybolt shots, die, and explode in half a turn of shooting.

But I thought I was a living god?

Not at 2K+ points.

Let’s talk about special characters and their place in the game in today’s post- an important point for new players to the game, since it is often the biggest point of disappointment if not properly understood.

In each codex regardless of its awesomeness or nerf-ness there are cool expensive characters that have jaw dropping powers and game breaking rules. C’Tan shards are a good example, Swarmlord is another.

Who wouldn’t want to field a god of war in a table top game?

Understand the relationship of the model and the points being played. With these models you are paying for their over the top powers and game altering abilities- they are no good if you can’t use them- especially if they take up a third or more of your army point resources.

Generally if one is concerned with “winning” in smaller point games you want to take a special character backed by units that will support him/it- Swarmlord buffing toxin sac ‘stealers is one example, and generally said unit/character will rip through anything in the game as your opponent has nothing to really stop it with- unless they bring their own “hero” to the game.

Moving up the point scale, reaching about 1200-1500 points these special characters/units start to fade and become more of a point sink since your opponent has definite units they can draw on to counter it, while still covering the rest of their tactical bases.

Finally ending around 2K+ points where you would never take a special character- the firepower on the table at this point will level it in a single turn, or even more humiliating to its stature, your opponent has so much “stuff” on the table, you just can’t kill enough with the special character/unit to make a difference in the game.

The higher the point level for the game- the cheaper the life of the model- cheap troops, no upgrades, and nothing over 50 points for a base model MAX.


Space Hulk At Da Club!

With lots of Dreadfleet underway it was time for some Space Hulk after regular gaming at the club- one of the nice thing about ‘hulk is how fast it plays- which means you can switch sides and get in a few games.

One of the things to realize up front when playing Space Hulk, almost a disclaimer, is the fact that playing the Blood Angels and actually completing the mission objectives is REALLY hard. Almost frustratingly so, but that is ok, because then you just switch sides, and if you win with the marines you really win.

Mission was the first one- flame the control room. I took control of the ‘stealers, and John took control of the marines. They made it about a third in and got swarmed by stealers and cut down- if only the stealers in 40k were like Space Hulk Tyranids would be competitive…but I digress.

My turn as marines and in fairness I’ve played the mission before- so against logic the heavy flamer goes first, and for turn one and two you move, move, move! Branch off and cover the hallways with storm bolters, and use the captain with his power sword to fend off a sacrificial assault….even with that I only made it to the center of the hulk, just at the bend to the control room.

Final game had John back as the marines, and refining it a bit, he was able to make it to the control room with only the flamer left- all he had to do was open the door and wash it with promethium…but a lone stealer made it to him and attacked…with a crappy attack roll, and then John rolled a one and died! When fun quick paced games like this end on a single dice roll like that all the more memorable for the evening!

Two other quick observations…

What makes Space Hulk, and by extension Dread Fleet FUN to play is that they go quickly and the sting of losing isn’t so much. IF you get upset at losing the game, it is easy to get another game in, often 3-4 per gaming night or afternoon. Plenty of chance for revenge! On the other hand, with 40K, a loss can really feel worse than it is, when you play a game for three to four hours of time invested and then lose.

Second observation- Space Hulk multiplayer?

One of the advantages to the GW mystery box games and specialist games is that because they are GW and 40K players are familiar with some of the concepts, mechanics, and fluff, it is easy to find player- much easier than other board games or miniature systems. I open up Space Hulk, and it is like plastic crack with guys crowding around to play.

Which is kind of bad since it is only two players. I have a personal rule that if somebody wants to play a game with me, we’ll find room at the table- 40K doubles, 40K 2 on 1, kill teams, etc. we’ll do it so nobody is left out.

How to do this with Space Hulk?

Some of the later missions with two squads is easier, but longer in game terms and setup. I guess one could break down a squad and divide the board with genestealers to get for guys in on the game.


Ed’s Ice Grey Knights

Been lots of building at the Battle For Salvation Gaming club- not just with Necrons but with Space Marines also updating their armory and wargear. Fellow battle brother Ed just unleashed his new Grey Knight below and is putting on the final touches before it hits the tournament scene. From what I have seen Ed has been the first to adopt the versatility of the melta/autocannon dread over the usual dual autocannon build. Ed also makes some great conversions and display boards so it will be interesting to see what those will look like when done. Not to piss anybody off but I currently consider him one of the best painters and converters at the club backed by solid play.

One quick question for you guys, more of a curiosity or informal poll- are the new Necrons forcing you to change the models in your army to adapt? What are your plans for dealing with Necrons?

Necron Tactics: Warriors

Of course immortality comes at a price, and all these cool passive powers aren’t cheap- and even better is the fact that we haven’t even LOOKED at crypteks yet.

Internet netlists for ‘crons is all about the Immortals and no where do warriors have any place other then maybe taking one from the old Ork Nob biker list playbook.

Funny how if you have been playing 40K for a while, how much things go in cycles- what is old is new again.

Back in…well I can’t remember- when did the Ork codex come out, nob bikers were exploding on the scene, nobody could stop them for a time given the power level of the codexes out there- Dark Angels and Chaos just go nerfed hard, etc.

Myself, Jawaballs, and Black Matt were at one of GW’s GTs down in Baltimore and nobz were tearing up the scene. The tactic was to blow your entire load on nobz who just went out and killed stuff, while a cheap grechin unit just camped on your objective for the win.

Sure grechins can be killed by anything, but not when your entire army has to stop the nob bikers…

Fast forward to the here and now, at the end of 5th edition- some Necron lists make use of a group of five warriors just to camp on back objectives while the killy wraiths and scarabs go out backed by Immortals.

It works.

At this point in the game critical mass is key- having 6+ troops a game is mandatory, having elites, and HQ choices filled out is mandatory, etc. In building a tricknology list we just don’t have the points for Immortal fodder, and HAVE to go with Warriors.

With Warriors you are taking a hit in the armor save and shooting so you have to make up with that in other parts of your list, keep that in mind.

As for the assault, don’t worry, both immortals and warriors get rolled in the assault so no loss there.

We are building our passive well, but now need to start looking at the active so the list isn't all smoke and mirrors...

Necron Tomb Blades & Spyders

Why is that the more games I get in with Necrons the more I feel like I’m playing Tyranids?

Before we chat about blades and spyders allow me to discuss what I mean by that…

40K really only has two armies- marines and xeno.

Marines have the ability due to their standard stats, base troop choices, and access to really cheap vehicles to fill multiple roles across the game.

On the other hand, xeno codexes have defined roles for each unit.

In a xeno book the idea of a “fast attack” unit and the role it fills is limited to three slots, while marines can fill a “fast” role with tactical and/or fast and/or even change the force org chart as needed.

One of the major problems in the old Necron codex was the crowding of heavy and fast slots- stuff you REALLY need and is REALLY good, but you only have 3 x 3 slots to do it in. At 1500+ games only three slots really hurts- it’s hard to get the job done.

So here we are with the new Necron codex, and one COULD argue that the only heavy choice worth taking is spyders, and we will debate that, but I think we can all agree that sadly monoliths are out- typical GW.

But, arriving at the fast attack slot I’m feeling REALLY limited. Scarabs really are that great, even without spyders, and as a base I want 30 of them- they certainly are cheap enough. This fills out my carpet bomb swarm attack to soften up vehicles and bog down my opponent for a turn or two.

But then I also want a fast moving surgical unit like tomb blades- much needed in higher points games.

Heck, event destroyers which have taken the biggest GW nerf post-carnifex also have a huge use with the right list since everybody plays marines.

But, thanks to the limited choices I can’t get all the fast attack that I need- which leads to compromises in my list.

Any of you guys feeling like this?

Time to talk tomb blades…

Necron raider destroyers make perfect tomb blades till GW makes a model...

First crack of the Necron codex had me going to the destroyer section and my first thoughts were really a huge disappointment due to their nerfness- but then when I read the tomb blades and started playing them I felt much better since essentially ‘blades are now “destroyers”.

If you have lots of destroyers and want to play them, you have to forget that they are “destroyers” and approach them as an entirely new unit in terms of deployment and tactics- kind of hard if you are a long time Necron player. Keep in mind they are also only at half strength so to speak- once 6th rolls around and preferred enemy allows you to re-roll failed shots and wounds destroyers will make up for the nerf.

I'll get to destroyers in a bit for you guys that still have 15+ of them...

On the other hand a full unit of tomb blades with the armor, stealth, and weapon upgrade clock in at the old cost of destroyers- both a bit better and worse.

Being jetbikes the stealth will allow you to boost for a 2+ cover save, and T5 with reanimation boosts their staying power. Guns could be better, but the S6 shot isn’t that bad even if it isn’t gauss.

With a full squad I like to deploy them center and then on turn with night fight- either though pulse or Stormlord depending on the list, boost to the flanks- either as a distraction or to attack pesky long fangs and other heavy weapon teams. I’ve been finding this works really well vs. spammed long fangs since the 2+ cover save eats up missiles and any shots at the blades aren’t going on my advancing scarab spam. Next turn when I unload on the long fangs, perhaps even assaulting since I’ve lost the cover save, I want that 3+ regular armor save.

Once my scarabs hit my opponent, whatever happens to the blades from there is really a bonus.


So what is the deal with spyders?

Ok, I get the whole spam spiders + spam scarabs = spawning, and I’ve been doing that with much success and fun(at least on my part), and then using the spyders as a weak counter attack unit, but I have to be honest, what really has me puzzled is the gun upgrade.

Is it worth it?


50 points for a spyder is ok, 75 points kind of has me wondering about the investment – I can get that or more immortals over the bulk of my list.

Mostly the spyders are running and spawning like mad with the scarabs- hopefully having my opponent shoot them in an attempt to stop the spawns over my scarabs. Hint- deal with the scarabs first- they go down like nothing when handled right- at a faster rate than I can spawn- then deal with the spyders.

So If I’m moving and running that means no shooting- and for the most part this is what I do. Once or twice it would have been nice to have something to get a shot off, but more than likely not. I’m just wondering over the course of X games how used the shots are going to be vs. the points?

Stealing The Tournament Mojo

Lunch breaks at a tournament after the first round of games are really fun times…

The first victory/defeat of the day over a slice of pizza or a sandwich, along with all sorts of crazy tales and “if only” talk. From a recent tournament one of the upcoming young Battle For Salvation guys was talking with Jawaballs and myself over his disbelief at losing to Chaos Space Marines when he was playing an auto-win Space Wolf list. How could this happen in 5th edition?

“What did he have in his list?” I asked.

Nothing crazy for chaos, as if there is anything crazy or OP in the codex, lolz, some generic CSM, a pack of lesser daemons, two princes, and a few rhinos.

How could he lose to such a list with Space Wolf OP?

Jawa asks a few more questions and we finally figure out who he played against and why he lost.

“Dude, you just went up against the BEST CSM player on the east coast.”

First lesson, never laugh at the list, as you never know who is piloting it. But we have talked about that before right? Check out the blog archives…

I’ve watched this player before in an effort to steal his mojo. I can admit that, there are lots of guys better than me in the 40K east coast scene. I have enough pride to admit that, while also noting that a good idea or tactic is worth stealing and making your own. Why would you want to play ten games to figure something out when you can play or watch one and get the same idea? Much the reason for my blog here- I hope that in sharing my experiences you will steal my ideas and make them your own.

Anyway back to this player and the tournament.

When you watch a game you have to read between the lines, as most of us, myself included from time to time, get caught up in the 40K bling and shiny that we miss the guys sneaking in through the back door.

Most “tactics” tend to focus on killing, but being the last man standing is often just as good.

So I’m watching this player from a distance, have been for a few tournaments and here is one of the things he does, and does very well.

Lots of guys play razorbacks, but for chaos there is only a rhino or razor lite if you take a havoc launcher. Lots of guys also take the minimum size of five to get the most crap on the table.

My man takes a ten strong CSM squad and a rhino. This is important.

Most player just keep the guys inside and they get out when the vehicle is blown up. This guy gets his guys out…

Let’s follow this idea on the table.

You drive up your rhino mid field and current 5th edition logic tells you not to get out- vehicles protect the guys inside, plus what do the guys really do? So your guys stay embarked and get out when the vehicle finally goes boom or is destroyed, but you have lost the protection of the vehicle at the start of the game, when what you really need is the protection of it at the end of the game…

Backtrack for a moment, and drive your rhino up mid field, and then get out- string the guys around the vehicle so no from a front angle both vehicle and guys get cover saves.

What are most people going to shoot at now?

The guys since they are out, and easier to kill then a rhino. Well, five would be an easy kill, but ten strong with a 3+ armor save and cover save is a bit harder.

While that is happening your generic lesser deamons, princes, and oblits are taking out vehicles and threats to vehicles…

Eventually you enter the end of the game, and when your CSM 10 strong squad makes it down to 3-4 marines, you hop back in your rhino- which has been ignored for the game, and now there is nothing really to kill said rhino and it is scoring, and the guys are protected now when they need it for objectives.

If you used your princes, LD, and oblits right there is nothing left to counter the rhinos with guys in it, and they just take the objectives…

That is what I saw, and that, for that day, was winning games hands down, as guys just like my up and coming friends couldn’t understand how they were getting crushed by chaos.

Watch, learn, and make it your own…

Just don’t watch and of my games please…

We Can Rebuild Them…

32 games in with the “new” Necrons, against some of the hardest WAAC players at the club, lots of “what if” wargaming, and trolling the internet and I’ve now got my solid Necron tournament list with the results I’m happy with- half a measure of WAAC units, a dash of wacky units, and a helping of crazy ideas- just in time since I need to start gearing up for the Conflict GT

Can you guess what I’m playing?

Of course I have to redo my army, but that is ok, luckily I’ve got a ton of mark I crons around to build it out. Paint is going to be typical 'crons- prime black, drybrush tin bitz, wash of devlan mud, and then highlight fortress grey. As much as I would love to paint bone white undead Necrons, it just isn't going to happen and look anywhere good...

Is Dreadfleet The Solution For 40K?

Just got off the phone with Jawaballs talking about some new vids we want to make and my grand (hopefully) plans for Necrons and we started talking about sportsmanship and its current state in 40K. At a lot of tournaments things seem to be more tense than ever. Actually let me clarify that, at certain very competitive tournaments where a lot of loot and man pride is on the line.

As of late I’ve seen more sportsmanship chipmunking, retribution, and misinterpretation as of late. Why? When your opponent is being a bad sport the first question is to honestly ask why, and try to get a feeling for the reason you are interpreting that. Let’s look at three examples and you tell me if said player is a bad “sport”.

Player 1- A loud guy, screams “For the Emperor!” every time he makes an armor save, runs all around when his dice go bad, and bitches about them.

Player 2- Is making that transition from club player to respected tournament player, plays aggressively with the rules, cover saves, etc. really wants to win to prove to his peers that he is a “competitive” player.

Player 3- Won’t let you do things when you forget them out of sequence or mis-move a model, but fully expects a free pass if they do it- won’t let you get away with breaking any “rules”- their interpretation of it, but expects the exact opposite in their turn.

So who is the bad sport?

You might not have “fun” playing #1 & #2 but they aren’t a bad sport, or doing anything malicious, player #3 is a different story…

What pushes guys like #1 and #2 over the edge into category 3? The current state of the game…

40K right now at this moment, has been broken, analyzed, and refined to death. We all know the formula…redundancy + MSU + vehicle spam = win. Shooting is king, assaults suck, 2000+ points lets you put together a true point and click army without making and hard choices or tactics.

Many games are decided just by who gets to go first- both armies having more than enough firepower to cripple the other side on turn one despite cover saves, terrain, LOS blocking, etc.

This type of game produces bad sports just on the fact that human beings are human beings.

Bad luck, dice, tactics, armies, we all want to know that for the most part we have a CHANCE of winning a game if two players are around equal skill. If I have that chance but still lose that is the game, but to be a punching bag just because of what has turned out to be bad design rules design and what some tournaments have become, well just isn’t fun…

All well built WAAC armies now have the capacity to do enough damage first turn that the receiver dies a slow death on the table to their eventual loss. With enough critical mass dished out turn one, breaking your army either totally or just enough, there is now no CHANCE to come back.

Congratulations, you put your models on the table, not take them off, there is no reason to play the game.

Could you see how this would make a player cranky? Could you understand playing six games like this, and now going into your seventh and the condition of your sportsman attitude?

What is the solution?

I think 40K needs a bit more randomness interjected into it just like Dreadfleet…

Been playing a lot of Dreadfleet recently and while some of the random aspects can be a bit much, it does do its job of equaling out the different ships. The Kraken DOES stand a chance against the Heldenhammer. Sure the Kraken player will have to really by on their game, but doing so, and with a bit of random luck, they can do it!

GW has lots of random units in 40K- Possessed Chaos Marines, Warp Spiders, etc. units that do something random be it powers, range, or movement. Template weapons are also random in nature for the game.

Why don’t you see ANY of these in a WAAC tournament? Better to take units that are redundant and work as intended- three twin linked auto cannon shots are three twin linked auto cannon shots a turn- take six of them and you have a guaranteed shot output. Take a group of Ork Looters and who knows what you get- maybe a lot, maybe a little. From a competitive point it makes sense. Full on random is bad like Chaos Daemons, but a little interjected here and there works winders.

In 4th edition you played to six game rounds, made this predictable like bombing things last turn, random game length changed this- you could still objective bomb, but maybe the game goes on…

40K needs a little Dreadfleet random flavor like fate cards, etc. to equalize out the game breaking up that WAAC game mechanic refinement that 5th has become.

We have all heard rumors about this with stratagem like cards as found in Apocalypse, and different levels of height in the game- ground, mid, and high, allowing battles to take place on all three with jetbikes, jump infantry, regular infantry, and skimmers- think 3D chess.

Do you agree?

If something like this was implemented for 6th, if I’m getting pounded by my opponent, it would be nice that I still stand a chance if I can just regroup, hold out, and wait for that random moment/event to capitalize on and make that push forward…

Necron Tactics: C’Tan Shards

Well it was inevitable right? Masters now turned slaves, and since the C’Tan were an existing model, you just KNEW GW was going to nerf them in abilities- these guys are the new Carnifex of 40K. Check out the stats and powers vs. the points and even a n00b knows not to take them…but they still have a potential spot in our army list if we are building that tricknology route. Plus if you are a mad hated converter you too can command the outsider or void dragon on the table.

Here is a fact about 40K and the sliding scale of models. The more points you play in a game, the more expensive models suck. On the stats alone, imagine a C’Tan Shard in a 500-1000 point game- theyreally will be a beast on the table. On the other hand, as we slide the points down to 2000-2500 points and you are eating hundreds of shots a turn that shard is going to be around for long. Something to consider with how to apply units.

So how is he going to help with that redundant passive layer of tricknology?

Let’s look back in time to a game played long ago, when Necrons sucked so bad…

Here I am at one of the battle for Salvation GT’s on the clubs famous lava table, which has since been retired since it got so much rage…which is understandable in a WAAC tournament and not a fun hobby event. See the lava rivers- they are all dangerous terrain. See me castled up, with the marines coming to get me- dangerous terrain killed more marines then my ‘bots did- maybe a dozen plus.

Remember, any time you roll dice bad things happen and a one in six chance is pretty good or bad odds depending on which side of the table.

Dangerous terrain sucks.

Right now the only other 40K army that has a taste of what is coming is Tyranids and their venomthropes throwing up the dangerous terrain bubbles, and let’s be honest- how often do you see that anyway even when ‘nids make an appearance?

I take a C’Tan Shard with the dangerous terrain and stealth ability and park him/it in a corner with LOS or partial LOS blocking terrain for the 3+ cover save and that is it…

…well in a pinch I can use him for a much needed counter assault unit that doesn’t suck and strike at I 2.

Now everything is dangerous terrain- is that a big deal? Sure is!

Run a little experiment next time you play, keep track at how often you move into, from, or across terrain?

If you are de-meched and now on foot (thanks scarabs!) you have to move into terrain to take that objective, get to where you need to be in the shortest time etc.

But Fritz, I can just ignore terrain and laugh at your over priced shard!

Sure, please do that- from that perspective destroyers are still king, kind of better actually now that they are AP 3 and everybody plays Space Marines.

It’s not just the regular guys that die- it is always the guy with the power fist, special banner, etc. that seems to go down.

With that the C’Tan boost your passive power, and your active power by keeping marines out of cover- perfect pickings for that AP 2/3 shots.

And against armies that need terrain to get any kind of save…

The bodies will add up.

So now I have lightning hitting each unit for a few turns, vehicles I’m taking over, and terrain that is killing you left and right, and I haven’t even rolled any dice yet for shooting, assault, etc.

AND they aren’t psychic powers so your 3+ nullifications, psychic hoods, and all that crap can’t stop me!

Eldar Support Weapons

Been a few emails in recently about Eldar support weapons and if they have any place in the game as of now...

Let’s start with the Eldar codex itself and understanding it’s place and time- 4th edition. 4th edition games were a different beast in terms of tactics and games were played at 1500 points for the most part.

In the current game we have a half a dozen new books where units have gotten both cheaper point wise and even deadlier in effect- on top of games being 2000-2500 points.

A final layer over this is the fact that support weapons cut into the force org chart eliminating other key Eldar units like Fire Prisms and Night Spinners that are needed if you are going to try and compete with an outdated codex.

So for 5th edition tournament play I’m pretty confident to say leave the support weapons at home.

Current tournament play reflects this, be honest, when is the last time you saw support weapons on the table in a major 2K+ tournament?

Keeping that in mind, they do have a place in smaller games where you army can’t control and support every part of the table- I’m thinking at 1000 points or less, these weapon platforms can be quite handy if you get them into the right position.

Use them to protect your flanks/weak side, deny advancing by forcing your opponent to come into their fire lanes, etc.- all in all you are going to want the long range ones, as tempting as the D-Cannon is. At lower point games you also tend to see more bare troops on the table- and being that 4th edition codex, the support weapons are good at killing since mech and tank spam didn’t exist at the time.


Necron Tactics: Anrakyr The Traveler

Next HQ choice we are going to look at is the Traveler…

Him and Stormlord are starting to add up in points, but we need to stay the course building that passive and active in our list…

The main passive power we want to use is his mind in the machine to potentially take control of a vehicle and dakka our opponent with their own dakka. Of course with this, we are going to need a little setup since front line vehicles aren’t always our best choice.

Example- a land raider rumbaling forward to crash my warrior ranks is poor target for MiM. I’d really love to take control of those spammed rifleman dreads in the back unleashing all that twin linked psybolt ammo into the rear armor of razor spam, so Anrakyr needs a way to get there…

I could take a command barge, and I have been experimenting with it, but I’m not entirely sold…

Quantum shielding is all great, but since all 5th edition armies are geared up to kill mech, any mech that appears is dead, especially a valuable unit like Anrakyr. Stormlord’s night fight and solar pulses might help, but I would rather embed him if needed, or make sure his power goes off each and every turn it can.

This is where crypteks comes in, and these guys are going to be the bread and butter of any good Necron list- shame the model looks like it is playing in a heavy metal band- might just recycle my old lords for them. Anyway.

Join him to a veil of darkness squad and port to vehicles on the flanks and blast away. Night fight should protect you from shots from the other side of the table, and any shots you take of course go on the warriors.

Against a fast moving army where you don’t have to veil, stick him with a chronometron cryptek and watch the re-rolls (note: till the GW nerf FAQ) if the power fails on the 3+.

And then finally the tachyon arrow, which is just a one time bonus shot to make your opponent sweat. I’d never personally pay for one, but for “free”, sign me up. Again, use the chrono cryptek as needed- and again tell me why if I hit ,and need to re-roll the pen or damage result why I can’t?

With that Mr. T. gives us another passive layer of tricknology.

Next up- Return of the Star Gods?

Necron Tactics: Imotekh The Stormlord

Rise my undead robots, Fritz commands you to rise...and serve...

So let’s get the ball rolling with THE HQ choice- the Stormlord. I’m willing to bet this guy will be the standard go to HQ choice for all your 500+ plus games. The lightning strikes are obvious, but need to be talked about anyway.

Competitive players talk and know about redundancy- one is none, two is some, three is best, and this is the same with what the Stormlord brings.

With my Necrons I’m looking to approach the table from two perspectives- active and passive.

In terms of active, this is what most of 40K functions off of- shooting, assaults, rolling dice, killing stuff directly with my models. I want lots of active stuff…

..but I also want lots of passive stuff. In game effects and powers that kill stuff, killing stuff without my models actually having to do anything- tricknology and all that.

Back to redundancy, if we want a passive list, it needs layers also, not just one thing (like Stormlord), but five or six, that come together to actively destroy things each and every turn.

Sure all these cool powers are going to get mad expensive, but when your warriors and other tomb servants are dirt cheap it all kind of works out in the end.

First question with the Stormlord is do I attempt to take first turn?

Normally, depending on the mission I don’t like to take first turn, but with him- YES! If I can’t take it, I’ll try and steal it. Think of it as an invisible alpha-strike that your opponent can’t stop with cover and creative model placement (till GW nerf FAQ’s it since it is not a Space Marine power). Imagine the havoc it could create first turn vs certain spam armies like DE razor spam or razor wolves. A 1 in 6 chance to strike at vehicles- when you have 10+ of them on a table PLUS guys.

…and we are going to keep that lightning going each and every turn for as long as we can.

Now, sure that is up to the dice, which starts to work against you around turn three plus, so what are you doing while there is night fight?

Scarabs love night fight, especially since they lost stealth and turbo boost. Use that time to advance your scarab blankets.

Mid range units like immortals and certain cryptek lead units love night fight since they can get to the center of the table with less molestation.

As for his other powers like trying to make flayed ones good, well just ignore that, or maybe write it up as an unknown goodies for 6th edition or something…

Next up is the traveler and why you want him in your army…

Necrons: First Thoughts?

Weekend is over…

Fritz is tired…

A few games in with the new codex, battle reports to follow…

My initial thoughts?

These aren’t your 3rd edition Necrons!

Let’s start with the fluff, which I have to say was really well done. If you have followed any of my Necron stuff out there you know that I am a HUGE fan of the star gods- I love the idea that they are behind the machinations of the Necrons, the ultimate puppet masters, which has now been completely re-written.

Perhaps for the better- essentially replace “star gods” with “overlords” and you have the same thing. Different lords, different tomb worlds, different ideals, same goal- galaxy wide domination and restoration of the Necron dynasty. In my mind Necrons were lawful evil before, and thankfully they still are- it’s fun to play the “good” evil bad guy.

Next up are the new models- all top shelf, and what a great release with the codex- proper vehicles, new units, and more than your fill of HQ choices.

And now the gripes…

Shields up!

First off, we have all heard of the Space Marine conspiracy- that marines sell so GW over powers them to make them easy to play. While Eldar used to be the ultimate skill army, now essentially all the xeno books are that way if you want a challenge. Necrons are going to be hard to play, and sadly only got the ‘Ward’ treatment in name only…

You guys tell me, take a look at warriors, immortals, lords, destroyers, monolith and tell me another codex that had its base stats reduced and neutered from its previous edition. Imagine the outcry if Space Marines suddenly dropped to T3 with a 4+ save! Base stats either stay the same or get inflated as in the case of Grey Knights, WTF with Necrons?

Show me the melta?

Old crons had no way to shoot tanks, new crons have now way to shoot tanks other then gauss, which even in my four game so far with them, is still just as un-fun as before.

Army wide I 2?

Ward said they were an elite shooty army? What codex was he smoking? Shooting is so/so, and now every and all Necrons get rick rolled in the assault even worse than before? Huh? Even my elite “terminator” like units cost more, deliver way less, and get to strike at a whopping I2.

Regeneration protocols just suck, you know what- give me back phase out and let me get a 4+ regen roll and a 3+ save.

And then there is the super nerf of old units- much like Tyranids- all the units in the old codex now suck super monkey balls- you need new toys to play- except wraiths, spyders, and scarabs, which soon to be will be expensive kits, or boxes that you need tons of. This money grubbing ploy really pissed me off, more so then usual, maybe because it is so obvious.

Ok, rants over, that said I am still really really happy for the codex for one reason: tricknology!

This is the first real codex that I could see commanding in real life so to speak using mind games and crazy tactics to win…

Already the internet has spoken and delivered the auto-win Necron list, which shouldn’t be shocking. 5th edition is at the end of its life cycle, we all know what works and what doesn’t, and on the tournament scene there are only thee builds to contend with- guard, wolves, and ‘knights.

I’ve played the new ‘cron tournament list in two test games, and it is terrifyingly scary to mech, but is also terrifyingly boring to play. 2 X 10 scarbs go out and munch backed by 6-9 tomb spyders pumping out more behind. Behind them march ranks of immortals, who by the time they arrive into range are now blasting vehicles apart thanks to the scarabs, while a large wraith group mops thing up and deals with the flanks. Of course this list is a win for GW since you need 40+ scarabs per game, lots of spyders, and immortals.

It will be funny to see how fast this list gets adopted- but please understand in the win or lose environment of a tournament there is nothing wrong with…just the way it is.

But what does the codex offer for gamers beyond just point and click?

Back to tricknology.

Necrons will let you be a mad scientist, masters of space and time…technomancers…

Turning night fight on and off, with lightning strikes.

Making all terrain dangerous.

Teleporting around.

Entropic strikes, tachyon arrows, nightmare shrouds, living gods on the table…

This is where the fun is going to be for me, and where I’m going to take Necrons- leverage attacks that one cannot defend against, the very forces of the universe…


The Traveler.


And even the star gods, now slaves to the former slaves all have a place.

Over the next few weeks this is what I’m going to be looking at, and taking you with me if you are ready?

Are you?

Are Grey Knights The New Deathwing?

Let me check off my top three favorite Space Marine units in the game- Dreadnoughts, Land Raiders, and Terminators, assault marines are the fourth if you were wondering…

All my marine lists always have these guys in abundance which leads to the allure of Deathwing- fielding terminators, land raiders, and dreadnoughts in an actually scoring list!

Deathwing Fetish, meet the Grey Knights…

My original “Deathwing” army was proxied by my Grey Knights since I loved the models but the old codex (Daemonunters) sucked balls, but now with the GK ‘dex I’ve got options for two armies- old school DW or Grey Knights which I will now dub “Knightwing”.

Let’s get the ball rolling with some options and things to test out on the table...
Three land raiders fill my heavy support. Terminators fill my troop spots with halberds and psycannons, and depending on the points I then add some venerable dreadnoughts. HQ is filled out with a librarian and maybe a grand master, although he isn’t needed that much since my termies are scoring.

I’d envision my termies being groups of ten- one with a walking psycannon and the other an incinerator in the land raider.

Initial tactics?

Just from my own Grey Knight experience which has been different then all the lists in my area that use purifier/henchman spam the strength of fortitude on vehicles backed by a librarian is HUGE!

I’ve talked about how AV 14 and venerable is a hard nut to crack when you build a nice fire base.

At range the list would give me eight twin linked las cannons at 48”, psybolt heavy bolters and psycannons at mid range, and then storm bolter/assault at close range.

Those aren’t numbers to laugh at.

So I’d deploy out and castle up just like my regular knights, making sure my librarian is hidden and has the 12” shrouding bubble wrapping my units. At the start of the game my goal is to get my opponent on foot so my land raiders can dominate movement and dictate the assault range for my termies inside.

Shooting from my opponent, done right using terrain or chaining vehicles is going to be a challenge. First they have to hit, then glance/pen, then get past my 2+ or 3+ cover save depending on if I pop smoke, and then make it past venerable status and or fortitude status.

2+ cover saves are really frustrating to play against on AV 14 vehicles with baby deathstars inside.

For my regular 'knight lists this is standard deployment stuff, hide behind shrouding backed cover and plink away...

Mid game I start to advance the raiders forward with the psycannon termies and dreads blasting. When the time is right the land raiders crash the ranks while the termies on foot either act as a second wave to back things up or move off to claim objectives depending on the mission.

Bolted over this are the usual Deathwing tactics tried, true, and applied like dividing the battle field, cutting off fire lanes with the model bulk of the raiders, etc.

Your thoughts?

Time for me to get this out on the table and try it out!

Got My Necrons! (Pics Below)

Necrons arrived this afternoon! Don't know what to do first- devour the codex or start building my Deathmarks? Happy times all around! THANK YOU GW for finally releasing a decent xeno codex and giving us something to play other then different colored Space Marines. While I do have and play marines, my first love and passion has always been Eldar and Necrons- really nice to finally get a 5th edition codex for one of my favorite armies even if we are at the end of days for 5th edition. Enought of that! Pics below, and if you want to sit through it two quick sneak peek videos...