Conflict GT: Reporting In

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Ok, now that the dust has settled and I’ve had some time to sit down and capture my thoughts it’s time to report in on the Conflict GT tournament…

Held at the Palisades Mall in Rockland the Conflict GT is a three day RTT event featuring 40K, Fantasy, and for this year Flames of War, and Warmachines.

Let’s talk about the event itself, then some observations from my games, followed by some pictures and other assorted eye candy- all over the next few days…

First up the logistics of the event.

Space and setup was top notch. Holding the venue in the Palisades Mall was fantastic, and given the location and the size of the room it couldn’t have been cheap. It really goes a long way to keeping the attendees relaxed when you can head down to the food court in-between games to get a snack or grab lunch/dinner and everybody can eat what they want and hang out.

Terrain and tables were decent, space was good in that you didn’t feel that crowded, and the extra tables for bags, display boards, etc. was adequate.

Missions were a mix of the standard 40K missions, some elements from 4th edition (remember the recon mission?) and some homebrew stuff. There were a few random elements like objectives moving each turn, etc. which might piss some people off, but really at this point if you have even a semi-proper 5th edition army, you have enough troops and mobility to take care of it. Personally I thought the missions were well done, and were a welcome relief from the NOVA format. (No hate on that by the way, the more variety the better, and NOVA does favor certain army builds.)

The TO Aaron did a good job at keeping things moving, and while things did slow down a bit here and there, for the most part everything kept on track and moved along. That said, the Conflict GT has grown a lot just in the years I have been attending, from the shop over in Toy Wiz, now to pushing the bounds of the room at the mall. Aaron, I think your success is making this more than a one man show! For next year I think you need a few more underlings and servitors to help out and make it less hectic for you.

Criticisms?

Only one really-
The only issue I could really find with the event was that the doubles games on Friday and Saturday night started way to late- we finished and got out of there by 12:30 AM since it started at 6:30 on Friday. I would have preferred the doubles to be Friday night only, and end maybe around 10:00 or so, so we could go out and hand out with the guys, or get to bed at a decent time for the kickoff on Saturday. I will say that I don’t know if the doubles timing had to do with room availability or if since it was a Friday night allowing players time to get there after leaving work at 5:00. If somebody knows, let me know to set things straight.

Onto the games…

Interesting to say the least, and the battlefield info I took home is going to be invaluable- and shared over the next few posts once we get past the event coverage. I build my Necrons to face Space Marine MSU and 5th edition spam…and wound up facing all xeno armies, some of odd build which really left me deficient with the tools needed- such is the way with matchups. That said, for the one game I faced Space Marines, it was over by turn two- their list broken by my build, with only cleanup left as scarabs flooded the table, and warriors advanced as planned.

My record for the event- a lousy three losses, two draws, and an epic win. Not good.

First game was against Dark Eldar and I did pretty well out of the gate pushing objectives, mid game my opponent really hit my with the guys on the surfboards whose real name I’m now spacing on, and I just couldn’t pin them down due to hit and run. I’d pile on scarabs, and they’d pull out. Getting hit in the assault again and again left my forces to thin, and I couldn’t cover the objectives.

Second game was against Eldar, and my mistake in setting up cost me the game in a draw- was completely my fault since well I’m not sure what I was thinking. Mission was “recon” from 4th edition- get more scoring units into your opponent’s deployment zone then your opponent has in yours. In recon you always want to go second if you don’t have a redeploy so you can place your scoring units opposite your opponents.

I want first, maybe to get in my lightning strike from Imotek which has been the standard for me- hit stuff right out of the gate. I deployed, my opponent matched, and we had to walk head to head right into each other. He had a huge wraithgaurd squad with Eldrad so fortune was up, and combined with T6 I just couldn’t stop. Killed his other scoring units, and I had to veil a squad of warriors to his side to tie it up. My own failing.

Third game was against Tau, with no mid field terrain, none, so I was forced to bunker down, go to ground, and hope my lighting strikes would kill a unit or two for the kill points. I hit two suit units and they ran, but not far enough and regrouped. Immobilized a devilfish, and other then that lost 2-3 kill points thanks to my single tomb spyders. At least it was a quick game.

Fourth game was finally against marines, and my lists did what it was born to do- chew them up. Scarabs swarming land raiders, death company dreads, tactical squads- I set the Blood Angels back a few hundred years with their loss of gene-seed and battle brothers.

Fifth game was vs. Necron wraith wing and it was a close game on objectives- the usual if it ended on turn five I would have had it, but it want to seven and I just didn’t have enough to hold out with the other Necrons taking two objectives.

Final game was vs. Necrons again- three objectives, that just got bogged down with scarabs fighting scarabs for a draw.

So how did the games change my lists? First major tournament with Necrons really gave me a heads up with the evolution of my list for how I want it to play.

Warriors are out and done. Hate to say it, but their small anti-marine list MSU where worthless. Sure they are cheap, but for the points and only a 4+ save just sucks. Compared to my immortals and the 3+ save it was night and day.

There were also some key opportunities where I wish I had some Deathmarks so they are going back in.

C’Tan was both a waste or points, and the big MVP. His worldscape really caught the attention of guys, who then went to great length to kill him- shooting an entire army into him each turn. Of course he died, which would have been ok if I could have capitalized on the opportunity it opened up, but I couldn’t- need to work on that. Guys really seemed worried about the model loss from the terrain.

Scarabs really need furious charge- going to work that into my list.

We’ll talk more soon on this…

Before we get into the other items of the event, two quick questions and your guys opinion of them:

One- Grey Knights charge a group of scouts- can the Grey Knights choose to attack with their storm bolters in the assault phase over their power/force weapons in the assault? The idea is to NOT casue power weapon wounds and try to stay tied up in the assault. I say NO since a storm bolter is not a close combat weapon, and you have to use the close combat weapon you are armed with- EX power weapons. Now if you had two like a power fist and power weapon, or combat knife you could pick.

Two- Librarian force weapon on scarab swarms- three hits, and three wounds- does it kill one base and then deliver two power weapon wounds, or does it auto-kill three bases?

Next Post…

Warhammer Fantasy…

Meet the Orc-astra…

 

Army Transport?

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Hi Fritz,


Long time reader, short time emailer/commenter.

I was wondering, since you have a much larger model collection than I do, what army transportation system you use?

I've looked at BattleFoam, and the GW cases. Anything you use? Recommend? Hate? Love?

I currently run with my Marine army right now, but I also have a Null Deployment Nid army, and possibly building an IG army.

Thanks a bunch!

~Kyle



Kyle, thanks for emailing. I basically have three case systems to transport my army. The first is just a standard GW carry case for my infantry based armies like my Death Guard, Eldar Halrequins, and old Necrons. Everything but dice and tape fits into them and I can take two armies to play with me no problem. I also use the GW hard cases to carry my mixed armies of infantry and a few vehicles like y Hawk Lords- infantry, bikes, and four tanks fit in one case with some foam cutting.

Next is my Saim-Hann which fit in an sabol army transport case due to the large footprint of my vypers, jetbikes, and tanks. A bit big, but it is nice and carries everything in one case- dice, tape, codex, etc. My Black Templars which are razor-spam also fit in an army transport case.



Tyranids are where things get interesting as I have three armies…

The first is a big bug list- the big guys- tervigons, trygons, go in an army transport, and the smaller guys like gaunts, stealers, and hive guard go in a standard GW case.

Second army is my Null Army list and goes in a rather big fishing tackle box I lined with foam- with pull out plastic trays. The big guys and spore pods go in the top, and the small guys go in the bottom trays.

Final Tyranid army is one from early 3rd edition and fits in one standard GW case.

So, what to use?

I’d take a look at two things- where are you playing, and what is the size of your army? If you are playing locally then case size isn’t that important, as opposed to if you are planning to attend tournaments far away that require you to fly and travel. When I attend regional events I’d love to bring my Tyranid army but it won’t fit on a plane and I’m not checking it.

Second question is how much are you planning to expand your army?

Look into a system that always gives you a little more room as you will want to expand and include an extra unit or two in the future.

-Fritz

Guys, what cases/systems are you using to transport your figs to battle?

Necron Tactics: Canoptek Spyders

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Good day to all! Fritz here with an updated analysis of Necron canoptek spyders and how I have been using them on the tabletop.

Are Necrons overpowered? A debate for another time, but it is very hard to argue that scarabs and wraiths are not excellent units. Each codex edition has its auto-include units, and for this incarnation of Necrons these two are it among a few others…crypteks anybody…

So where does that leave the humble and very busy canoptek spyder?

Depends on your list of course.

Scarabs- to be or not to be.

First question is how many scarabs do you have in your list and based on the other units you have what is the focus of them?

Have you taken a single unit as a distraction or are you planning on a swarm?



Certainly if you are planning to go on the offensive with your scarab swarms you want that spyder farm- two or three dedicated spyders per swarm, pumping out 2-3 bases per turn as fast as you can roll those dice. Hopefully you have taken that into consideration and adjusted your list for the use of the heavy support slots taken up by your spyders.

The internet seems to be in love with this right now, but what about a scaled back defensive use for them?

If you are using your scarabs in a more passive manner- to block off sections of table- threat bubbles to direct the movement of your opponent to allow the rest of your army to accomplish the mission goals then do you really need all those spyders?

In cover and with less direct losses one spyder might be all you need and could prevent and interesting choice- on par with results if you had the farm of 6-9 of them.

I promise this isn’t turning into a scarab article, but the two are linked!



Scarabs remind me of harlequins- they do what they do great if you can pull it off, but one mistake and they disappear in a puff of figurative smoke. Spyders are there not so much to grow the swarm, but to keep pace with your losses from mistakes and your opponent’s interaction so you have the amount of scarabs needed to do what they are intended for.

Going out and actively munching on things means you are a bit more exposed- hence the need for more spyders to keep the scarab level up.

A bit more passive and careful means less spyders.

Second tier roles…

Sometimes if you have to many spyders they are a major threat that needs to be eliminated, but could be hard to kill due to expending to many resources in the shooting phase. Don’t waste time shooting nine spyders- just kill all the scarabs and then there is no base pool to spawn. Your opponent might not have any other choice. But, being a bit more passive with one or two, why bother shooting at the scarabs as they won’t be spawning at a critical rate.

When your spyders are alone…

Spyders also have a role as mid field blockers or a speed bump on the way in to your objectives and other units. Not the best in the assault, but hardly the worst vs. non-dedicated assault units, when those scarabs are gone, the spyders get reprogrammed to suicide run into other units, tanks, and anything else they can get their hands on.

Watch your points…

You want to experiment for yourself with shooting spyders- the thinking that more shots are better and they might as well be doing something other than building mechanical bugs. 25 points per spyder is a bit hefty for one shot even if you are running only a few, but when bulking up a farm of them (6-9) the cost is unrealistic.

Anti-psykers…

The final talking point, but highly situation and dependant on the opponents you regularly or plan to face- extremely hit or miss. If all your other buddies play Eldar and Grey Knights then by all means, but a regular diet of Tyranids, rival Necron dynasties and Space Marines will have less utility.

Grey Knight Terminator List Tweaks?

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Hi fritz

I have been toying around with full terminator list at 1750

This is what I have for now


HQ

Grand master 215

3x servo skulls, rad grenades, psybolt and masterwork weapon



Elite

Callidus assassin 145


Troop

10 terminator 470

2x psycannon, psybolts

10 terminator 470

2x psycannon, psybolts


10 terminator 455

2x incinerator, psybolts, brotherhood banner


With grand master ability to give arleast one unite the scout rule and modifying the reserve roll will have out flanking terminators with incinerators and with the help of the servo skulls the 2nd unite will deep strike accurately if anything goes for the skulls that will give my main unite will eat them.

Servo skulls will be placed on the center line one dead center and two each 12 inch from each end of the table

I tried to use madrak but couldn't set him in with his ghost because of the lack psycannons

What do you think?

Thanks,

Fajhan


Reply Out:

Fajhan, I think yours setup is spot on with the two psycannons and ten man terminator squads. Incinerators are a personal preference and I think they give some flexibility to the list even though most will tell you just to stack up on more psycannons.

With your list right now, as it is, I’d consider getting halberds on your terminators (which they might already have and are just not noted) and maybe drop the psybolt ammo. It is nice and adds some extra punch and the chance to stun AV 11 vehicles, but the freed-up points can help in other places.

Interesting that you mention Mordrak- I would consider using him for a few reasons- maybe proxy him in a few games to try this idea out?

I’ve really fallen in love with him as an HQ choice and what he brings to the rest of my army- valuable time for them to accomplish their mission goals.

My setup is Mordrak, a few ghost knights, and a librarian with warp-rift. Mordrak always drops first turn right into the heart of my opponent to lay down the warp-rift template for fun. Sometimes I nail a few things, other times I don’t- but it always gets my opponent’s attention.

The key, is to drop the ghost nights and M in cover and chance that dangerous terrain- you get an invul save and it is worth the risk. This turns the unit into a 2+ armor save and a 3+ cover save- if you go to ground it is a 2+/2+ save which is very hard to dislodge, and for the first wound or so on Mordrak you generate more ghost knights.

Yes it is A LOT of points- but they are Grey Knights, yes? I get this unit stuck in and my opponent has to deal with it for a few turns. If I face a ton of shots then I do go to ground- keep them pouring more shots in, doing everything they can to try and kill it. In a recent game I took an entire 2000 point IG army shooting into it for two and a half turns before they went down- hundreds of shots!

Meanwhile the rest of my army- land raiders, dreads are moving and shooting without any resistance.

In your list you would drop Mordrak first (he is still a Grand Master so you get the other benefits also, etc.) and then bring up your terminators as a second wave- your opponent may want to deal with the termies, but force them to deal with Mordrak through good placement of M. on the table- blocking units with other units, etc.

A further variant of my list which could also work with yours perfectly has my librarian with a teleport homer- Mordrak and the libby drop first, get stuck in, and then I drop a power armored Grey Knight squad with halberds and two incinerators off the homer point blank- you could use a homer to bring in your two incinerator squads for a sure strike.

If you give it a try you will have to play around with the points- losing the assassin (which I think also has value), psybolts, and some extras on the Grand Master- choices but doable if you want to try.


-Fritz

Black Templars in Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition

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Aboard their strike cruiser the xeno purge my Black Templars await, locked away in prayers to the emperor for forgiveness and litanies of hate they are biding their time for a new codex and the renewed crusade that 6th edition is going to bring…

Updates on the leak first, and then a recap of the two BT “rumors” that interest me the most.

Looking through the leak leaves little clue as to what direct codex changes Black Templars will get, but there is one interesting update which has BT written all over them under the weapons/pistol section- Zeal Bolt Pistol, S5, AP 5, Combat 1, Rending.

A S5 Rending Bolt Pistol? Special upgrade, or standard wargear for each initiate? One can only wish, but the wish might be more than a wish since they are space marines…

Rumors.

Rage land raiders- interesting. Land raider gets destroyed, but the holy rage of the machine spirit continues to drive it for another turn. If this works out, and it just might given GW’s marine history, it makes launching land raider assault terminators very viable- one of the finer enjoyments of playing Black Templars.

Assault Rino/Razor- My transport moves up, I get out, and assault from it. No way this can be true, now way we can be going back to the stupidity of a rhino rush. If the BT transports DID have this upgrade, what would their points be if any? Heck BA gets fast for free, so why not BT?

Eldar In Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition

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For the sake of this post forget for a moment if the “leak” is real- let’s assume it is at best, and at worst an early set of working rules which have seen a few more updates and tweaks along the way to the final print soon to be released…

Of course we have all been reading the rules, and perhaps even playing some test games, but what about some of the hard changes and updates to our favorite armies- in this case, for me, Eldar and Black Templars. (Black Templars will get their own post tomorrow since they would never tolerate Eldar xeno filth, and being associated with it.)

I mentioned how I believe some of the general rules will make my Saim-Hann even more annoying to kill, and taken a step further there are some interesting changes to some of the basic wargear listed which gives some insights into the upcoming Eldar codex…

I’m a fan of star cannons and will continue to be in a gaming club full of space marines, but under some of the weapons listed we see that the star cannon takes a +1 bump in strength essentially bringing it in line with the rest of the 40K plasma weapons, which will help against certain MC and higher toughness targets. Still only two shots, alas we are never going back to the good old days when Eldar were on par with marines.

Witchblades are the next interesting little tidbit- they took a big hit down to strength seven, have no AP making smacking vehicles and dreads even harder, BUT they can be charged with the warlocks’ power allowing him an invulnerable save reroll. So, essentially fortune, without needing a farseer. In guardian fodder squads this makes taking a wound on the warlock less of a gamble, and in a seer council that means more powers for the farseer to cast, not burning one on fortune if they also have a witchblade.

Mindwar now has no armor, rigid, or cover saves which again makes it an interesting gamble- the 5th edition update of allowing cover saves off this power essentially killed it- I reach out to crush your mind, but there is a rock in-between us so it fails- stupid! Of course it is still a roll off…

On the harlequin side ranger long rifles wound on a 2+ and veil of tears is still in with the veiled rule level 2. Thanks the Eldar gods, as that is key for how I play them, and I’m more psyched than ever to get the clowns on the table for 6th delivering their happy birthday surprise. Even more interesting is veiled level 3! How can I get THAT? Solitaire?

500 Point Necron Lists

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Long time Necron players will have a good laugh at trying to build a small army list at 500 points “back in the day” when all you could get was a stripped down lord and two squads of warriors @ 500 points. Small tournament events, skirmish games, or an escalation league were unplayable for Necrons…

…but now that has changed. So for the vets out there let’s take a look at what we can do at 500 points, and for new players to the codex and game, let’s ease you into the army with 500 points. Something within reach of everybody.

Let’s start with our HQ choice and work our way through the force org chart…

First up is a generic overlord since the named characters are a bit out of reach in games less than 1000 points. That’s not to say you can’t play them in a 500 point list, but the goal here is to give you a both a balance of a good list along with some toys and things to play with -variety- as you build up your Necron force.

In terms up upgrades we then allow 20 points which means you can experiment with using a labyrinth, mind scarabs, phylactery, etc. for fun and to learn about the different wargear, etc. In terms of a model, you can buy a regular lord/overlord or just go with one of the named characters and proxy them as a generic overlord so when you later expand (if) you can just then us it as-is.

Troops are up next and here we take two groups of five immortals since they really shine in lower point games, and will be the backbone of your force if you later expand. Their reanimation along with a 3+ save and S5 shots really add a nice punch for the size of the unit. With immortals you can also play around with tesla weapons adding another layer of depth to the army.

Final layer is fast attack- 5 scarabs since they are stock in any necron list and are one of the “must have” units in the codex. Since that fills only one slot, we then take two wraiths- one in each slot along with some extra points 15/15 that you can use to play around with upgrades or take some more scarabs.

So what are we looking at here?

A 500 point army with the points built in for you to have some fun playing around with wargear and options. The immortals and overlord as your core, the scarabs as a distraction or unit to push forward, and the two wraiths working as assassination units- a single model is perfect to hide, and their ability to move around really adds to this.

With this list you can get in lots of fun 500 point games, and leave it at that, or as you build up to 1K and beyond, you will be using all of the 500 point units purchased in your army hands down, so no wasted money or models.

Battle Missions Kill Team Analysis: Part II

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Skirmish style 40K can be fun also, a nice break from the larger more time involved game- also a lot less $$$ to start a new army, and you are still playing “40K”. I’d love to see GW take 40K in a smaller skirmish direction with some mission support, but sadly it will probably never happen due to the Mordheim/Necromunda syndrome- there is no money to be made in selling game systems where you only need a dozen or so models vs. the current state of mainstream 40K where you potentially need hundreds to play. Fortunately for us there are many ways to play and enjoy the game.

So I’ve been “Kill Teaming” with all my armies and out of all of them Grey Knights are the most potent due to their superior troop choice- the humble power armored Grey Knights.



Armor saves are important in Kill Team and for the most part if your table has the proper terrain it is easy to get a 4+ cover save. This makes single shot high powered weapons like las cannons not as effective over above average strength multi-shot weapons like heavy bolters and psycannons which really shine. That said, a 3+ armor save is a big deal- more so when every loss counts- ‘Knights have this.

Next up is the storm bolter that they come with stock- two shots 24” range and hitting on a 3+- deadly in the game of shooting which is Kill Team. Finally add a halberd and you are rocking in the assault going first and taking away any armor save.

Not that Grey Knights are an auto-win in Kill Team but you are going to have to really work to beat them.

Vanilla Space Marines are kind if in the middle- they have that 3+ armor save, can get some good bodies down on the table- a full tactical squad on average along with a special and heavy weapon.

So much in Kill Team is building pressure, moving your models up into position for a decisive firefight.

Missions…

After playing a few games where you just kill each other you start to really look for something else and I’ve found a mix of cityfight and 4th edition missions to be fun to play with a few small tweaks- I’ll be posting them soon for you guys to try out.

Which Chapter Are You, and Who Do You Serve?

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Time for the question of the day…

The only thing better than playing 40K games is talking and arguing (in a friendly manner) about them. Who would win, what-if scenarios, and all that is the stuff of great gaming friends.

Let’s have some what-if fun!

If you had to serve a Space Marine Chapter, which one would you be recruited into, and what would be your rank- be honest- and why?

Personally I’d find myself with the Relictors, probably a librarian assuming I could survive the warp trials. Why? I like history and the arcane, would be willing to use anything to get the job done, even if it is chaos weaponry, and I am an obsessive personality.

Second question- a bigger “what-if”…

Would you have followed Horus or stayed loyal to the Emperor?



First reaction is the Emperor of course, but let’s be honest…I’d have to say I would have sided with Horus.

Not out of a desire of power or the lures of chaos, but on loyalty alone. In the cast of the Horus Heresy I’d probably be a tactical marine since librarians were not mainstream yet, World Eaters in my mind for those that know me, and serving and surviving in the great crusade would have left me with one option- continue the mission and service. I can see the point of view how the Emperor “abandoned” the crusade to those who weren’t soldiers or Space Marines, a betrayal of sorts.

Now, as a Space Marine, continuing to uphold my oath to Angron and Horus, what would have happened at some point if I found out the truth of the heresy, that moment when I found out what it really was, and that I was a “traitor”.

At that point things are too late, no chance to repent or turn back, only loyalty till the end- loyalty- the only thing a marine has left. It sure would suck to find that out in the end, but what other options are there?

Ok, your turn…

Null Deployment Tau

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Fritz,

Thanks for making the blogsphere an interesting place! I've been watching your old videos, and have been very interested in your null deployment theories, and the ambush/surprise discussion recently on your blog. I've been playing Tau for the last year-and-a-half (got into the hobby roughly a week before my first Tau purchase, which i spent agonizing between Tau and everything else. Thanks to Dawn of War's 'creative liberties' i went with Tau). I would rate myself as a 'pretty good' tau player. I consistently get rolled by Fatecrusher lists and Nurgle/twin-DPrince armies at 1500 pts, but stand a decent chance against the other codexes. While I do love crisis suits, broadsides and hammerheads, my other favorite units (stealth suits and fire warriors) rarely get any love due to their extreme handicaps. So, on to my question.

With Tau, how would you go about employing null deployment, or would you avoid it as an option due to the lack of reserve modifiers in the codex? Also, have you ever built an army that effectively used multiple squads of fire warriors, or stealth suits instead of crisis spam? Or would you recommend the monobuild, and hope for better with the new 'dex, whenever it drops?

Thanks for the time and brainspace!

Shas'el Mike

shootfirstthenjump.blogspot.com


Mike, first things first- added your blog to my blog roll and hope to send you some traffic as a member of the 40K community.

Now onto Tau and Null Deployment…

Although it has been designed from a Tyranids point of view, I know we can export the idea out to other armies and lists, so let’s give Tau a whirl. Two things that we have to adapt for is the lack of a reserve modifier like Hive Commander, and the lack of “decent” close combat troops like ‘stealers and the like which are the bulk of a ND list.

First is building a nice big fire base in the center to put pressure on the opponent and pin them in place for the side and rear elements of the Null Deployment to come in. Tau can do this very well- better then Tyranids! Fire warriors, sniper teams, hammer head tanks with rail guns, disruption pods for cover saves, and all that. A nice compact core to spit out those long range shots and put center pressure.

In front of them I would add a nice blob of kroot to infiltrate and then get into cover for at least a cover save- maybe even woods if you are lucky. These guys want to march up the center of the board or at least make it look like that to encourage your opponent to sit and shoot. In the Tyranid list this is done with gaunts, which are certainly expandable like kroot, and some would argue just as ineffective.

Now we need the outflanking elements, which we are going to turn to infiltrators a bit since Tau don’t have the +1 modifier. My first choice would be stealth suits since they have the night fight to protect them and pack some mean weapons.

Finally I’d add some outflankers and deep strikers into the mix since you need them, even thought we don’t have the modifier. More kroot and some hounds? Deepstrikers are of course suits, and more suits.

The order for the list and how it moves will be a bit different…

You deploy your shooty core in the center (or as close as it can be)and infiltrate your first kroot blob. Stealth suits get infiltrated to one flank that is weaker- using terrain to hide/get cover saves, etc. Suits deepstrike and drop on the other side, and the outflanking kroot meet in the middle and cause as much commotion as possible.

Keep in mind that any scoring or mission critical elements need to be held in your center core- everything else is expendable and has the job of killing off your opponent’s troops and mission critical resources.

So, Null Deployment for Tau- that is the formula I would start to experiment with!

-Fritz

Space Marine Company Perks?

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Ok, so first and foremost I stole this pic from Brent over at http://strictlyaverage.blogspot.com/  since the pic got me thinking about a new direction for Space Marines as we move into 40K 6th edition. What about the pic? It represents a company organization of Space Marines, you know, 1st being terminators, 10th being scouts/initiates, etc.

Maybe this would be a cool way to go for vanilla space marines, also known as Codex:Ultramarines?

I’m not talking about going back to the misused and abused chapter trait system either…

So, according to the GW rumors they are not going to do another Space Marine updated before Eldar, Chaos, and Tau, and then maybe ‘Templars- which means soon, and with the radical shift 6th is going to bring Space Wolves and Blood Angels might actually be under powered? Accordingly, where does that leave generic space marines, since even at this point they have nothing special that the other books don’t have for better and cheaper- HA! Imagine “marines” suffering from codex creep!

Well, since the other books have all broken from the codex astartes, why not update the codex astartes book/chapters with a company type reward?

Yea, you can take a mixed force drawing from all the units- like a task force as intended, or as a chapter master you can dispatch a company to the battle- drawn only models from the scout company outline and all those models get some cool army wide rules, same with terminators, assault marines, etc. depending on the organization.

Would breathe some much needed soon to be life into the codex.

Thoughts?

Outside of Apocalypse you really can’t field a company in organization.

A New Lord Of The Rings Game?

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First some disclosure- hobbits annoy me. I don’t care about Frodo’s friends, if I was putting together the fellowship of the ring, I’d stuff him in a sack and take me some hard as nails dwarves and some real warriors. Yes, I understand it is about friends starting out on an adventure, ignorant of what it is and how they will all be changed by death and hardship. Still…

So with that, and my favorite hobby of war gaming, I’m looking ahead with a curious eye regarding the new Hobbit movie- There And Back Again. Movie looks really good, what LOTR should have been IMHO, two parts is kind of lame, making us wait, but that is how Hollywood is these days…

Anyway, the question is- what kind of game will GW put out for this, and yes I would buy it.

A few years back, or at least it feels like it Jawaballs and myself flirted with Lords of the Ring as a supplement to 40K. Something different to play, but still GW, smaller model count, and a different system. Problem was that nobody played it anywhere, and there were no tournaments for it anywhere. It dies faster than Mordheim.

A bit after I had a chance to pick up the Mines of Moria box set for a few dollars off, built it, played it, and liked it “as-is” just as it is. A nice little GW fix in a box, playing out the Mines of Moria from start to finish in 40 minutes or so once you get the game down.



As a into wargame and box set it really shines- it isn’t overwhelming to build and paint for the newbie, plays quick and is a diversion for the GW vets, and when you are done you can get back to 40K refreshed.

I hope GW does something like this with The Hobbit- take a cool scene from the movie, and play it out in a box set. Added bonus that the good side will have dwarves and only one annoying hobbit! I could see this as a fun diversion to play from time to time.

Thoughts?

GW needs that cash so something is going to happen…

Eldar In Warhammer 40K 6th Edition

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So what can we expect from Eldar in 6th edition and how can we start adapting our armies right now in preparation for the official release date?

Mixed bag of questions really.

We know we are getting a new codex in 6th- I still maintain that GW will release a marine codex first with the new edition since space marine sell and they need the money grab- that’s OK since I’ve got a few marine armies to play and Eldar got shafted for ALL of 5th edition so what is a little wait longer?

I’m sure we will get some new units, a flyer, and some HQ choices. I don’t really expect the point cost or army abilities to come down in points or not take a slight nerf since with the exception of PK nobody understands Eldar and how they play- Ward writing Eldar? We’ll just get the botch job that was Necrons. Not that I thought Necrons was bad, and I’m getting off topic here, but Necrons were a complete rewrite since Ward didn’t understand what Necrons even are. Need to get back on topic…

You can bet runes of warding will take a huge hit- no way they are going to be the full board without range, impossible. Maybe they will bring back some old favorites like crystal targeting matrix, etc. with a new twist- kind of like all the funky grenades for Grey Knights. I’m hoping holo-fields are still in AS-IS, and not just an ignore shaken/stunned result like Necrons.

Problem right now is that I’m in a wait and see holding pattern with Eldar in terms of unit testing. My Saim-Hann suffer the least since jetbikes are going to remain jetbikes, and skimmers are skimmers, but for my harlequins? Depends on what they, and the army build get in a new codex.

Preparing for 6th with my Saim-Hann.



Learning the rules is key to getting a head start out of the gate. Knowing how they balance, examples being just how hard a unit is to kill, and what you can get away with on the table is the second half. In the playtesting I have done, it kind of works like this- take your entire army and put it down on the table (applies to marines also, and my Grey Knights have been getting the same).

Forget about missions for the moment or even point costs- just move stuff around with your opponent, assault, shoot, etc. See how all your units perform, even the ones you have and don’t play, so you can get a jump on unit assessment and value in 6th.

Experiment and know.

Experiences with Saim-Hann so far?

From a basic perspective that jetbikes and skimmers won’t change in the rules the army is even more insane to kill than ever. Guys that hated that before will kill you on sight now. On the opposite side all that movement and less then optimal shooting/numbers per unit has me killing even less then in 5th edition.

This is a bad thing given codex creep and the lowering of points per unit for Space Marines- now if Eldar also get a tweak in points, then I have to re-examine, but I can’t assume that yet.

I may not be able to contest on turn five any more, but there are some equally annoying things that already seem to be stacking up, and Eldar d-bag trickery is going to be back better than before. As an Eldar fanboy this gets me very excited.

As for the stratagem cards, I’ve been playing with them, but there is no way they are complete or not current edited versions- it’s almost worth just leaving them out for now and waiting to see the real deal.

Out of all my armies I see my Saim-Hann returning to top status in what I play, and surprisingly (or not) Null Deployment Tyranids which get really wacky with some of the stratagems. My oldest army might just get pulled back out of storage...



Exciting times ahead!

So how are you starting to prep your armies for 6th edition?

Assault On Black Reach OR Island Of Blood Review- Which One To Get?

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So you want to get into the Warhammer hobby as a new player, or maybe a returning vet and are kind of 50/50 with both the fantasy and 40K set, so the question is which one to get.

Both give you a lot of models, a getting started book, and a full rulebook for the systems with some dice, measuring sticks, and templates. So far they look the same, but there are a few points to really consider…

First and foremost is the models and the setting of the game- after all this is miniature wargaming. If a fantasy setting stirs your imagination then go for it, if you like grimdark, guns, and walking robot tanks then go for 40K.

No preference either way? Let’s break down the sets.

From the modeling perspective both are fantastic in their sculpts, and the Island of Blood gets you “more” plastic for the price, but Assault on Black Reach is a bit easier to work with for the new player just because the models are fewer to build and paint then the fantasy counterpart. Depending on the age and temperament this could be an issue.

Next let’s look at terrain- an important component of the game. Both boxes don’t come with any, which isn’t a criticism since a big part of the hobby is building your own terrain. Getting started ASAP, the Island of Blood set is a bit easier- some model railroad trees, a foam hill or two, and you are set. Warhammer 40,000 tends to require a bit more terrain then it’s fantasy counterpart, and while you can play with trees, hills, etc. more sci-fi based terrain looks better- ruined buildings, craters, and all that war battle field stuff.

Gameplay is next.

Having experience in both Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Fantasy I can’t say one is harder than the other- although the magic phase in Warhammer Fantasy can be complex at times.

The next question is overall game play and expandability if you never intend to go beyond the box set- which one offers a better value and more complicity- Island of Blood, and here is why.

In the Assault On Black Reach Set you only have both the Orks and Space Marines locked in “as-is”- there is no changing units, equipment, or options. You also only have three missions to play in the book, and the White Dwarf magazine expansion is you can find it. (Note: I’m only looking at “official” extra missions, etc. for this review, and not fan based stuff, which certainly does exist.)

Island of Blood has some additional layers which can really switch up the variety in the game.

The first way to do it is without the Elven and Skaven wizard- leave magic out of the game and just go at it with the armies. When you are ready add in the wizards. Play that a few times and you can then pump up the power level and select different spells from the rulebook for a different feel. Play that a bit and then give them each 100 “points” to buy magic items in the back of the book. With the main heroes do the same- give them some extra points to buy magic items really allowing you to customize your bad guy or good guy. Add to this more missions in the main rulebook, and the three “official” missions on Games Workshop’s website and the IOB box set has a ton more customization out there, and everything being equal I would have to recommend going with that.

Black Templar Missile Spam: Eldar?

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Email In:

Dear Fritz

I realize that you are quite busy going through the new Necron-codex, but write asking you for help anyway.

I have a friend who plays a varity of marine armies; Wolves, black templars, blood angels… normally my Mech-eldar beat them if I focus and don’t make too many mistakes. But just recently he has hit upon a build that I find almost impossible to deal with, not just with my elder, but marine armies, guard and orcs have just been swept off the table by:

Cyclone-missile-launcher-spam

His build looks something like this.

Emperors champion

2x 5 marines

2x 5 terminators with 2 cyclonemissile in each group

2x reclusiac with 3 terminator retinue (1 or 2 more cyclone in each group)

1500 pts

This army pumps something like 16 krak missiles out every turn at a range of 48’

If you try to close with it he simply bolters you and uses his powerfists or the champions preferred enemy to clean up in close combat. So he will just castle up and try to cover two objectives and then try to wipe out his opponent.

Any ideas for how to deal with this?

Bo from Denmark

Reply Out:

Bo, thanks for emailing, one of the hidden secrets of the Black Templar codex is their ability to pump out missile spam like this- let’s throw out some ideas to deal with the list- we are going to use a layered approach, but it is going to be a tough up-hill battle for Eldar due to the age of the codex.

First thing is a switch to as much AP 2 weapons that we can. Normal infantry is dealt with by volume of fire so some 3+ armor save will be failed, but 2+ is hard to crack. I’m assuming the terminators will have cover, so with your AP shots they will be down to a 4+ save- still pretty good, but a 50/50 chance to die.

We are then going to follow up with a suicide wave of say two wave serpents with fire dragons and a far seer like Eldard- expensive in 1500 points but needed. The rest of your forces can be the usual Eldar stuff, etc.

With that many missiles you are forced to go first or reserve your units- hanging out on the table first turn is not good odds. Take first turn if you can and hold your breath that you don’t get seized is the best option.

From here if you go second, put out your suicide units, and reserve the rest, or if really gutsy, put everything out and try to seize.

First turn Eldrad casts fortune on both wave serpents and guide on one of your other back units. The wave serpents move out 24” and then kick in star engines- they will now be in range on turn two to unload on your opponent.

The rest of your army moves up and shoots- starting with the units just behind the first rank of terminators near your wave serpents.

Bottom of turn one you are going to eat a ton of missiles into those wave serpents, but the odds are pretty good of them surviving considering all the firepower coming your way- also firepower not coming at the rest of your army. The Templars have to hit, armor pen, bypass a re-roll able cover save, and then score a crippling hit. On top of that if the wave serpents do go down the guys inside are close enough for next turn. Sure they can get pinned, etc., but it is a gamble.

Next turn your fire dragons get out and start blasting with the melta shots- Eldrad dooms two units and guides another since you need every hit/wound to count. At best this should put down two terminator units.

If the wave serpents are up start tank shocking with them- you can hit a ton of units if your opponent is castled up. Sure he can death or glory, but at this point it really doesn’t matter since they delivered their cargo.

The rest of your army now continues to work on the second rank of guys blasting away, and from there you see what happens.

That is how I would approach dealing with the army- focused fire suicide units levered by psychic powers- which are still good by 40K game standards, and a second wave coming up to join the first.

How I would normally play Eldar- all sneaky, turn five contesting, etc. just doesn’t work against a list like this- one has to be super aggressive with a little luck on their side to win the day. Do the opposite of what I usually say- don’t focus on the mission, focus 100% on killing your opponent, and then worry about the mission.

Hope that helps a bit.



-Fritz

Apocalypse Anonymous

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I’m hoping 6th edition really doesn’t kill Apocalypse, or at least have GW update the book for the game- doubtful of course…

Overall at the club level I’ve played in some pretty big games, including a recreation of the assault on the imperial palace with all the traitor and loyalist legions being represented- yours truly commanding his Death Guard of course, but what about smaller apoc games?

Just as 40K had grown beyond the balance of 1500 points, what if we scaled apoc down to 2000 points?

I can get a super heavy or two in, some infantry models in support, and finish the game in the same or a bit less time than a regular 40K game.

The two battles I’ve had so far have been interesting in balancing out some of the older books like Eldar- with no force org chart and the help of a super heavy one can have a fairly equal army to command.

The stratagem cards are also a nice little surprise, I’d just do them different since a few get old real quick, are better than others, and can be abused like anything else. I’d print them all and we both draw two or three for the game- you make do with what you have, find a way to creatively apply it with what you have.

Or if you prefer less randomness, then draw the stratagems to balance out your army or lack of codex power- something 6th is rumored to do, and I personally believe is so much needed!




Tech Marine Conversion

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The second coming is upon us!!!! He returns with fury and vengeful ambitions in his eyes! For a few short weeks, there will be an age undreamed of! An age where the Darkness brings only short, shallow hobby articles with no tutorials, and updates on armies that will never get finished.

CUE AC/DC’S BACK IN BLACK
 
That's right, lady and gentlemen! Your messiah of the Interwebs, the unknowable, he who should remain unnamed, Jawaball’s bane, your beloved ruler, Brent hater, the merciful one, usurper, the WAACIEST playa out there, all around asshole, and blogger extraordinaire, Black Matt has returned!!!!!!!!! My nickname list goes on and on but at the risk of sounding like Jawaballs, I must stop for humility's sake! Just because I can not go on, doesn't mean that you cannot label me up in the comment section below! Go ahead, I dare you!

I have decided to allow you, my subjects, the opportunity to look upon the greatest models ever modeled since the last time I modeled a model. BEHOLD!!



This is going to be a counts as model for my deathwing army that I have been working on pretty extensively! I have really pushed the counts as idea as you will see in the near future. It will make a lot more sense when I showcase the squad that it goes with. Im only showing this little bit as the effects of my greatness can only be compared to those of the primarchs from the far future. A little at a time and the overwhelming effects should not make you quite so sick to your stomach ;)

Anyway, in all seriousness, my friend Fritz has given me a lot over the years and I wanted to give back a little by showcasing some of my figs on his blog to help get it out of the gutter with some hobby content. LOL J/K again. Over the next few weeks, look for me to be making regular hobby posts about my deathwing army that I have put some quality work into. Its nice, not the best, but it'll do for the girls I go out with!



Warhammer Fantasy Island Of Blood Tactics: Skaven

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Let’s take a look at the game plan for Skaven in the Warhammer Island of Blood box set and my experience in winning and losing with them.

From a starter/new to wargames perspective the Skaven are a tough army to play since they rely on a higher element of randomness to win.

Sure wargames are random in their nature- that provides the fun and tension of the game, allowing those moments of triumph and defeat, and in this both armies have a layer of it in terms of hits, wounds, and potential saves with the dice.

But the Skaven have a second layer in their war machines- which give them the punch to really take on the elves- Skaven need to get in one or two good shots per game and not have a misfire- which can happen most of the time, but of course if the dice screw over your war machines (like in the last game I posted) all you can really do is take ride the game out, and give it another go next time.

Vs. the elves you have to deal with two rock hard units- the great swords and the prince on the griffon. Your rat-ogres look tough, and there is a temptation to let them lose, but the elves have can weaken them with some well placed arrows, not killing them, but weakening them when they assault so their intended hard hitting power is really lessened.

Let’s start with the Skaven mortar and target priority. Forget firing on the griffon for now even if that is the first panic reaction and thing to do. Target #1 is the Elven swordsman- a well placed shot or two can take them out no problem, and that is what needs to happen.

Next war machine- the warpfire thrower is going to go next to your two Skaven clan rat groups and push up the center with the rat-ogres behind. This block is your counter to the griffon who has a huge charge range. You want to push to the center so you can get the charge off on it with both your clan rat group- drowning it in numbers is the only way. Next, you follow up with the rat-ogres if combat doesn’t go well or you need to follow up with more attacks to put it down.

If you can’t get that push to mid field, then bait with the war-fire thrower, although I imagine most opponent’s wouldn’t fall for this, so maybe the rat-ogres instead.

In the usual just line up and battle it out game that is what I’ve been doing and having good success with the Skaven- when my temperamental warmachines co-operate.

Of course special scenarios or themed missions require a different approach…

Long time Skaven players or those with IOB experience what do you say?

Tyranid Ambush Lists?

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A comment on setting up ambushes for Tyranids a few days back that I mean to reply against, got a bit sidetracked, so decided to post it up here so we can talk a bit more about it.

First the link to the old post:


Then the question- what kind of ambushes can Tyranids set up?

Great article Fritz. What are some ambushes you can use for Nidz ?

First thing that comes to mind is a lictor- to use them we need three actually for any hope of effect. Pop in, and since you can place them anywhere on the board, they are great long fang hunters and other infantry back units that might be camping somewhere. Of course you get them in terrain for the cover save, and you could try to fail-glance tanks if desperate, but all this is kind of obvious.

Did I ever mention my thoughts on a genestealer commando unit? I’ve had good results with this concept- which we will then use with an ambush.

Most of the time I run big broods of ‘stealers- covering the table, naked with no upgrades or broodlord. In some of my gaunt spawn lists where I’m not hurting for troops I’ll take a unit of five ‘steales and upgrade one to a broodlord- which I call my commando unit.

These guys are small enough to infiltrate and hide, are a semi-threat due to the broodlord, and since they are not shooting, the move, run, assault gives them a decent threat range. Essentially the regular stealers are wounds for the broodlord, and the mission is to cause as much trouble as I can before they die.

So let’s set up an ambush scenario with these guys…

First in practice, and then in theory for you to try out…

I’ll often run DOM in a pod with a commando ‘stealer group as bait to get guys out of those transports so DOM can fry them- in theory. Infiltrate the commando group in range of your intended target- last one was a rune priest with grey hunters in a razorback that I needed to get out and kill since I can’t have ‘jaws running around on my big bugs.

Move the commando unit up turn one, in terrain, or with cover- encourage the squad to get out and shoot the commando unit- when they do, go to ground if needed to offset wounds, and then when (if) DOM comes in next round he vapes the exposed unit.

Of course this works on a few “what-if” scenarios, and assumes your opponent takes that bait, but if you throw out enough shiny things something will bite. I’ve done this, sometimes it works, others not, and if not, then DOM just goes after the long fang squads sitting in the back.

Theory time? Could do the same thing with biovores in smaller point games. Sucker marines to get out of their transports with the commando unit and then drop spore mines on them.

Not counting outflanking ambushes these are some ideas for Tyranid type ambushes and traps.

Thoughts?

What else can we come up with?

What else is working?

Incoming Tau Rumors

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So today we were treated to a new batch of Tau rumors. The list of updates seem fair, and I’m glad to see Tau get an update now with 6th on the horizon rather than mid 5th where they could potentially be left hanging like Tyranids. I really hope GW hits gold with this codex- it would be great to see Tau restored and reborn to the table- more xenos to break up all the marine vs. marine action at tournaments.

Rumors that interest me personally?

Demiurg are added to the book, functioning "like Dwarves in Fantasy," with ponderous, low-AP guns and strong melee attacks. Hrud are present as well.

Man, the chance to play squats again would really bring me back to my GW roots. Could these guys be a mini-codex like Kroot so to speak- you could play them as their own army be it very limited in scope- maybe a troops choice and a heavy support only? Or with Demiurg just be a heavy support option?

Hrud could be very interesting also either solo or count-as with Tau. Done right the Tau codex could open up so much more then Tau, while bringing lots of players to start a new army. Either way, Tau are long overdue.

That said, the Black Templar in me is becoming very agitated. Tau are filthy xenos, worse for the fact that they consort with mutant-humans, bug-aliens, and shadow creatures. The only thing worse than aliens is aliens hanging out with aliens! If ‘Templars are up soon I might just have to launch a new crusade!

Warhammer 40K 6th Edition Rules

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So 40K 6th edition is right around the corner and the question is this- what is 40K going to look like and will it make you quit the game or reenergize you 40K gameplay? From what I have seen here are some things to consider and possible look forward to seeing in the new rules...

GW sure has some ambitious changes in the works- BIG changes, truly one rulebook that will rule them all so to speak. From what I have seen with my own eyes it is really a different game. For those of you who play and know Dungeons & Dragons I offer this comparison- going from 3.5 D&D to 4.0 D&D.

In some ways 6th edition is 40K in name only…

Models are now going to have an evasion characteristic which dictates how hard it is to “hit” the model- ranging from infantry and tanks.

Rigid saves are now added over armor, cover, and invulnerable saves- but you will still only get to make one save, taking the best.

Certain weapons and profiles now shoot with a “critical hit” which means no rolling to hit- just roll for wounds or armor pen.

Preferred Enemy now means you hit on a 3+ or a 2+ if your shooting normally hits on a 3+- and you can’t use any combat actions to prevent it. (Necron destroyers now make sense! )

Three levels eternal warrior so different psychic force levels can kill different ET values.

New rules for fearless, cold blooded, and three levels of morale failing- shaken, broken, and tactical withdrawn.

Turn phase: Move, Assault, Shoot, Consolidate. Assault armies are kind of back- if you can assault, and then survive a round of shooting, you can then consolidate into another nearby unit.

In the assault units in certain positions can make an “alpha-strike” and attack first at I 10.

Shooting is more complex and more powerful than ever- modifiers are added to your models evasion skill making them harder or easier to hit.

You also determine the type of fire you are using- covering fire, dividing fire, draw back, defensive fire.

Flyers are in, super heavies are in, anti-aircraft are in all for standard 40K games.

Vehicles are not fixed and just as stupid to kill. (FAIL)

Vehicles with AV 14 front are behemoths and can multi-target.

Missions?

Annihilation & Seize Ground are in- objectives and kill points based on point size of the game EX 1000 point = 3 objectives, 3000 points = 7 objectives.

Stratagems are IN- urban warfare, frontal assault, gravity traps, propaganda, night raid, rich supplies, battlefield analysis…

My thoughts?

WOW!

Just what we need to shake up the WAAC players out there, and I can see much in the rules balancing out armies and bringing tactics into the fold over just spamming things out. Games set at different ”official” point levels are also great.

I’m not sure how all this will work on the tournament scene or in really big games- maybe 1K will be the new “tournament” point level. So much you can do, change, and negate with each phase of the game, it might bog down trying to play 2000-2500 points in 2-3 hours.

Who know, we will just have to wait and see what happens when 6th comes out.
 
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