Gaming @ Da Club

The march forward with my Necrons continue! That said I just can’t seem to stay away from C’Tan shards- my old codex habits still die hard. I have to say that from a pure competitive standpoint the C’Tan shards just don’t work. I’ve already got two pricey HQ choices, which I will debate are not a waste of points and make my list work, but points are points. Dropping another 200+ on a C’Tan stretches the rest very thin. As much as I try and tweak to “fit” the C’Tan it is just bringing my list down in this current build- scarab farm.

Even with that worldscape continues to be very interesting! Dangerous terrain tests are suddenly around everywhere- especially with MSU spam. A razorback blows and marines like to get in cover from my destroyer group- terrain test! Objectives in cover- terrain test. You get the idea.

Brother Captain James has now completed the update to his Tyranid army with the new models, fully making the transition to a Swarmlord star list with nine hive guard- just in time for some more doubles tournaments we have planned. I’ll be swapping out my Necrons for Grey Knights since now our roles will be reversed and I need the hard hitting first turn strike via Mordrak. We’ll see how that works out…

Back to Necrons for one more second…


Yes they are cheap for the points, but they just feel kind of limiting when I face all immortal build Necron lists. My warriors get hammered! I’ve also made up my mind on tesla- yes, hidden gem of the codex.


GW needs a model ASAP so I can get a proper wraith wing on the table! Finding enough old models just isn’t going to happen, and the more I face and play wraiths myself the more I see so many possibilities- especially with stormlord on the table!

Xbox Space Marine: Melta Gun Tactics

Brother initiates honor the chapter!

In this post we are going to cover the basics of being a melta gun tactical marine in the chapter and what will be expected of you as an chapter member. It is not enough to just win the game and rack up kills, but rather win the game by not only a landslide, but also making sure each member earns 10+ kills a game. Only total victory and absolute judgment delivered to our opponent’s is acceptable!

Your role as a tactical marine is to follow up behind the assault marine leading the way. The assault marines will move to fist capture the control points, sweep aside any token resistance, and then you as a tactical marine will hold it at close range supported by the devastators at far range.

As a melta gunner you need to get in close to blast your opponent thus making you very vulnerable to medium and long range fire. You don’t want to get caught out in the open and as you move to objective points you want to hug the walls so it is hard to spot you. Be ready to blast with your melta at a moment’s notice since opposing marines will also be moving around. Run, gun, and roll, and other basic melta tactics need not be covered here since you will learn them real fast if you want to be proficient with a melta gun.

That said, when you do arrive at a capture and control point you want to support the other tactical marines and assault marines by helping to take it. Sometimes you will be the only one taking the point or holding the point.

At this point you don’t want to stand on the objective and wait to defend it- you will get shot up at range. Rather, move just away to a hiding point, around the corner and wait…

Let the opposing team move onto the point, and bunch up. Then throw a master crafted greneade, roll, and come up blasting with the melta gun- allowing them to gather first increases your chance of a multi-kill.

Hiding around capture and control points and waiting for the opposing side to take them, and then reveling yourself will be your primary function in support of the chapter…

Xbox Space Marine: Plasma Cannon Tactics

Brother initiates honor the chapter!

If you are reading this you have either been directed here by one of the 1st company members or have stumbled upon it through an internet search. Either way heed my advice well, and look to the Emperor!

In this post we are going to look at the plasma cannon in detail and how to use it tactically to support the chapter- know your role, stick to it, and we will prevail as a group! Tactically the plasma cannon is a long range support weapon, almost artillery like in use, and used in this manner you can easily rack up 10+ kills a game.

The strength of the plasma cannon is that it can kill a traitor marine in two regular shots and in one shot if charged to capacity. The full charge also has significant splash damage potential allowing for multi-kills if placed correctly.

While you can run and gun with the plasma cannon this is often ineffective since you can be damaged by your own backwash at close range, and close in tactical marines and raptor marines will cut you down with ease. Your job is in the back supporting from afar- but fear not there will be plenty of glory to be earned along with much nerd rage from the opposing team- be prepared for the backlash!

The primary goal of the plasma cannon is to take up a long range hidden position overlooking capture and control objective points and map choke points and wait…

…wait for a group of traitor marines and then launch a charged shot across the map right into the center of them wiping out multiple marines in a single shot. When done correctly they will never see it coming as you watch your streaming plasma ball arc through the air and then impact obliterating everything.

In addition to patience and setup, you will have to practice the correct angle of elevation to make that charged shot land- while you can just go at it with some pick up matches the quickest way is to start a multiplayer game with only yourself and practice from the points- saving one last charge to kill yourself before you run out of ammo.

Let’s walk through the basics map by map…

First up is the manufactorm from your first spawn point at the start of the match. Head out to the first capture and control point with your fellow battle brothers and cap it. While it is capping train your cannon on the corridor above just in case a marine from the other side tries to make a suicide run with some master crafted grenades or an raptor marine.

Once the point is capped your other battle brothers will break off in their assigned roles and it is time for you to get into position! Move up and around to the position overlooking capture and control point B and then pull back behind the wall and wait.

Your job is to not only blast anybody coming to take point C, but to then lob charged plasma blasts down on point B as the enemy gathers. Wait for the point to blink on the lower left, charge, and then move around from the corner and hit the group with a blast. Don’t do this as soon as the point starts blinking- wait ten seconds or so- give some time for more chaos marines to gather and them BAM!

As a Devastator your job is to support the advance of the tactical marines and if you keep dying that is less time to lob plasma. If the opposing team is raptor heavy, fast moving, and aggressive you will need to shift your tactics- so if you keep getting killed by raptor marines then you pull back and camp near our spawn point overlooking the center B capture and control point.

From here it is the same thing- hide behind the crates, wait for the group to gather and then launch a charged plasma shot and catch as many as you can in the backwash.


Next is the waste treatment board…

Start of the game, you spawn, and just like before you move with the chapter to the first control point to cap it as you cover the corridor to blast any chaos marines who try to lob grenades or assault. Once the point is captured you are then going to move up and around to the point overlooking the center B objective. Just as before you will charge and lob plasma as needed…

Keep in mind that due to the layout of this board you are very vulnerable to opponents coming around from behind or shooting you from across the board. Be ready to run and backtrack as needed, and again, if you find yourself dying again and again then you move to the secondary support position.

From the spawn point run up the ram to the catwalks that overlook both the center objective and the closest objective- from here you can lob charged plasma shots on both the side and center objective or blast marines running down the corridor with sustained fire.

Before we move onto the next board let’s take a moment to look at perks and how you deal with assault and tactical marines that have closed the distance.

With the plasma cannon you want to work your way up to unlock the improved cool down time and extra ammo reserves since this will give you more charged shots and decrease the time in-between each shot. Forget the fast stomp and reactive armor, etc. since a good raptor or tactical will kill you if they close.

So there you are supporting with your charged plasma shots, killing guys that don’t even see it coming, earning the hate- eventually somebody will be hunting you down for payback. When a raptor sneaks up on you of course you try and blast them if there is some range, but if they land point blank you then throw your one grenade on the ground right in front- which when combined with one plasma shot will kill both you and the raptor or tactical- you are dead anyway so trade your life for theirs- take them out also and honor the chapter!

Onto the basilica map…

Spawn with your battle brothers and move to the first point with the chapter to capture it. From here you will have a perfect vantage point to lob a charged plasma shot across the board to point A where the opposing team is capturing it. At the start of the game this is your change for an easy multi-kill, but you only have one chance to do it!

Watch the capture markers on the lower left and wait a few second as the opposing team captures theirs, let them gather and bunch up, and then let a charged shot fly!

Once the point is captured and your other battle brothers break off move to the supporting point overlooking the center of the map. This board is very restrictive for indirect plasma cannon fire so primarily you will be blasting anybody that walks past and comes into your sight. That said, keep in mind that the capture and control point to your right/left can be targeted for indirect charged fire so you should be watching out for opportunities as they present themselves.

Next and almost last there is the ruined bridge board which is the ultimate in plasma cannon support- your chance to really shine and rack up 15+ kills. As usual move out and capture the first point with the chapter and then move to the elevation to the right/left overlooking point B.

This vantage point will allow you to lob plasma at anybody coming under the bridge- remember to call out to your fellow battle brothers to let them know what you see, and more importantly to lob plasma shots over to point B which is always hotly contested. In the picture I’m showing myself visible to point B so you can see the position, but in actuality you want to be just a bit down the ramp and completely out of sight.

The first is of course to watch your point markers on the lower left- when it flashes for a bit, release a charged shot, but also listen for the call of your fellow assault marine battle brothers- they will let you know when they are being overwhelmed at point B and call in that supporting charged shot. Done correctly the opposing team should not see where you are releasing it from, only that it is flying through the air, landing, and killing multiple marines.

Hab center is the last board we need to cover for your basic training as a Devastator. At the start move with the chapter to cap the first point and lob some plasma into the opposing spawn point picking up a few kills while they are bunched up capping their point. From here you then move up to the top level overlooking point A.

When the opposing team starts to cap point A, you are going to lob a charged plasma shot in-between the windowed columns catching the point dead center with the charged shot. This is one of the harder shots to make in the game since you need both correct elevation and placement- practice it well and you will nail those multi-kills no problem…

SO in closing your role as a plasma cannon Devastator will be to support the chapter with indirect long range fire centering on capture and control points that have a number of opponents bunched up through them- either in trying to take/hold the point, or lured there by one of your fellow assault marines. Be patient, wait for the shot, and practice your angles!

New York Bitz Swap Event April 2nd

It’s that time of the year again- the Battle for Salvation club in White Plains New York is holding its annual bitz swap event on Monday April 2nd and YOU are invited…

Bring your models, sprues, terrain, armies- anything Warhammer 40,000 or Warhammer Fantasy and swap/trade it for some other stuff that somebody else has, or work out a fair price and buy it- essentially a 40K swap meet. Admission is “free”, but you do have to bring something to eat or share for the pot luck dinner also at the event.

Location is the West Harrison Recreation Center at 251 Underhill Ave, West Harrison, NY 10604, from 6:00 to 10:00 PM.

Personally I’m bringing some Chaos Space Marine and Grey Knight stuff and am really looking for some Skaven models to kick off my Mordheim Skaven Warband- some IOB Skaven and the rat ogre would be perfect!

Hope to see some of you guys there!

Gaming @ Da Club: Necrons, Tyranids, Grey Knights, AND Chaos!

Lots of guys at the club this week, good to see some new blood also. Casual games, tournament practice, and some upcoming possible list revisions for both myself and Brother Captain James…

Let’s start it off with Tyranids, since BC James now commands the entire brood of models, both of us merging our collections into one massive hive fleet-other than my oop Tyranids from 3rd edition, we can call on anything and everything in the codex in multiples.

We have the bigzilla list (5 tervigons + 3 trygons), Null Deployment lists, warrior shooty lists (for fun, since the big weakness is warriors can be instant killed, and vs. GK psy spam they die in droves), and both our new favorite- Swarmlord star. I haven’t seen James this excited in a long time, and based on what I’ve been testing out here, things are getting really interesting…

You start with Swarmlord + lash guard and then add a prime with lash whips and regeneration as a base. Behind them is a tervigon throwing FNP on the unit and spawning gaunts as a screen and to give cover to the Swarmlord group.

You start by taking wounds on the prime and chance the 1 in 6 regen, and when wounds do make it around to Swarmlord he leaches essence to get them back.

This blob can take a lot of firepower- assuming that if your opponent IS blasting into it, think about how the rest of your army is surviving, and it hits really hard.

The perfect answer to Paladin-star blob armies, and other Grey Knight spam out there. You get into the assault (more on that in a few) and bring down those Grey Knights to I 1 or I3 if they have halberds- you still strike first, with rending, bone sword, and Swarmlords bone sabers forcing re-roll invul saves and causing instant death on what it hits- POOF paladins.

Only drawback?

You are on foot.

So tactically you can either move out towards the opponent putting on pressure as in Null Deployment, of use the Swarmlord star as more of a board control/area denial unit.

James has been a little more aggressive in his use, while I’m a bit more conservative.

You build the rest of your army around how you intend to use Swarmlord and his gang.

In my 2K list I’ve got y-stealers, podding carnifexes, and other podding bugs who land in my opponent’s zone and just expend themselves- they are complete fodder. Swarmlord and group hangs out mid table as a threat and interception unit, while 20 X 3 super h-gaunts are my scoring troops around Swarmy. Poisoned h-gaunts with furious charge and preferred enemy are really nasty in their own right.

If I can take a break from Necrons for a bit, there is an upcoming tournament in a few weeks where both James and I are considering running Swarmlord star lists as a test to see how they place and fare against six different armies.

On the Fritz Necron front I’m pleased with how things are coming along, and the more games I play with my own tomb forces and watch other play with their understanding and vision of Necrons I have to say that the book really isn’t that over powered at all- Grey Knights still hold that title.

Zandrek has really been shining, furious charge scarabs and counter attack scarabs being really sweet. A The group of heavy destroyers accompanying the main swarm has been a real sleeper unit, working with the scarabs and giving the destroyers acute senses has been boss when combined with the hiding power of Stormlords night fight.

Speaking of Storm lord, it is still very much needed- his night fight to cut down on the hundreds of shots coming across the table, but even with the chrono re-roll I’ll roll a “2” on the second turn of the game, and then roll another “2”.


Back to the scarabs for a moment- I beef up the lead unit accompanied by destroyers at a rate of three a turn with the spyders backing them, and after a turn of movement I can tell if they are going to wreck or not based on what my opponent does.

Let’s talk about dealing with scarabs based on what I have learned.

I’m trying to make it as hard as possible for my opponent to shoot them- using stormy’s night fight and boosting the farm with spyders. What this means is close firepower to beat the night fight, and assault to take out the scarabs. In facing the you HAVE to wipe out the scarab squad in a turn so there is nothing to farm- if you fail that then I just keep spawning and either kill you or tie you up…

I rush both squads forward backed by destroyers and if my opponent sends out a unit or two to speed bump of try and deal with the scarabs then I smile- I’m going to eat them up! BUT if they move their army as a block to engage all of the scarabs at once, with interlocking units supporting, then I have a problem, and I’m not a happy guy!

Bottom line is that you have to be decisive with overwhelming force when facing scarabs…

Gloom prisms have been another real sleeper upgrade- almost like Tyranid venomthropes- Keep the group of three spyders center mass and even with only the 3” a lot can be covered. GP’s really mess up certain army builds, and it’s only going to get better.

Played a great game vs. Will’s Chaos Space Marine army, which at this point is 100% converted for every model. He is running the two princes + summoned greater daemon + oblits, and plague marines. At the club, Will is the best Chaos player we have, and he has been doing really well at recent tournaments taking third place vs. many of the newest and best WAAC armies. Will be interesting to see what he can convert up when the new legions book arrives.

So what’s the next step with my Necrons other then working on the paint job from tabletop to something better?

Scaling the army.

I REALLY wish there was a standard point format for tournaments- like the days of old where 1750 was the “standard”. I’ve got my 1750 list down solid, but how does it scale to 1850? 2000? 2500? These higher points really change things both in what the army synergy does and what I’d face on the table- and these days tournament points are all over the place, more so then every.

More work and reporting back to follow…

Best Space Marine Dreadnought?

I’m going to make a bold statement that I still believe that the best space marine dreadnought out there is a black templar dreadnought.

How and why?

Well, as a starting point we can’t just look at it from a pure point cost ratio and what those points buy you. It’s not fair to just look at points since not all dreads are equal- black templar dreads are from a different time in game design where GW wasn’t pushing as many models (pre-apoc days), vs generic cost of space marine dreads, vs the greatly reduced cost of grey knight dreads to re-launch and sell that army and model line.

Put points aside.

Venerable is the starting point as it allows a destroyed dread a new chance at life. Over the years I’ve found that running a venerable dread is the only way to go in 1500 point to 2000 point games. The re-roll always makes the difference in a game.

All codexes can buy a venerable dread so they are all equal here.

Next is shooting and while generic marines and grey knights can take the abused rifleman pattern, and ‘knights can stack on psybolt ammo, the black templar dread is still in the running, in the bottom, since it can take tankhunters giving it the equivalent of psybolt ammo vs. vehicles.

Now grey knights can essentially just shrug off all shaken and stunned results and nothing can compete with this across the game, true it is just that good and broken/frustrating to play against.

Black templars can’t touch this.

But what they do have is the binding of the Emperor’s vow of preferred enemy- a preferred enemy dread in combat, on the charge, is just brutal. Grey knight dreads on the assault are just laughable since they are all just shooty in the current game terms, and even a shooty/fist dread still doesn’t get the re-roll.

Note: I’m leaving out ironcalds and furioso dread, since just like Bjorn they fall in their own categories- kind of like a chaos dread vs. defiler- we are looking at generic dreads here.

THAT is why my vote goes to the BT dread since hands down it has something to offer for each role it plays- above average in all categories.

Which is why either with the assault cannon version or las-cannon version I always run a fist on it.

Venerable through cover help keep it alive as it moves and advances shooting, and then when in range, it assaults to add some extra punch to the sword brethren pouring out of the land raider and razorbacks…

Best generic dread in the game?

Blood Angels Death List

I may not officially play Space Wolves or Blood Angels but there are a few army builds out that that have my name all over it- a play style that fits right into what I like, and if I was going to build a wolf or blood army I’d probably be running it. So while I can’t take “credit” for inventing the following, it certainly seems fun to play having both seen it and faced it a few times on the table…

So if I actually completed all my “to-do” projects and got my Lords of the Rings stuff painted up, what kind of army would I move on next?

A heavy armor Blood Angels list.

Something with a low model count so it is relaxing to play, but packs a big punch if I can make it work…

AND, just personally speaking if I am playing Space Marines it has to include my favorite models- land raiders, termiantors, vindicators, dreadnoughts, and assault marines.

So we start with three land raiders with a minimum of three five marine BA squads inside. Basically MSU spam only in land raiders- the five dudes in each are to make them scoring only. Godhammer pattern so they sit back and shoot- and done correctly are quite resilient as I’ve both seen and experienced with my own land raider spam Grey Knight list.

Six twin linked las cannons, three heavy bolters, and if we have the points three multi-melta shots, all on AV 14.

This is the defensive part of the list, hang back in support shooting and take mission objectives.

On the offensive side we have a storm raven with a death company dread in tow, a unit of power sword death company, a chaplain. This entire part of the army is disposable- the raven cover saves turn one as you hold your breath.

Las cannons shoot to open up vehicles and then turn two your insane blood talon dread is assaulting along with the death company.

The plan?

By the time they all die, and they will, they have taken out your opponent’s toys 2 to1 in theory.

Yes you are putting all your eggs in one basked- expensive at that with the death company and dread ,but if it makes it in…

Depending on the points you also then add in Mepheston as an auto-include in every BA army now and depending on who you face and the mission you either run him next to the storm raven, or hold him back hiding behind a land raider to intercept anything incoming or act as a screen of one of the land raiders has to move out.

Relatively cheap army to build also if you find the land raider second hand.

Aggressiveness Can Cost You The Game

40K team battle games are among the most fun to play IMHO- multiple armies on the table all interacting and doing their own wacky thing…

For this team battle at the club I brought my OOP Tyranids for some fun, Will his Chaos Legions, Joey his Orks, and Andrew his Imperial Fists.

We all rolled for table quarters and deployed, and then for a twist of fun, randomly rolled who would be playing on what team- with Tyranids and Orks vs. Chaos and Loyalists for the sides, kill points for the mission…

At 1000 points I brought a tyrant, some warriors, and gaunts, and then DOM and a ‘fex in pods, along with a group of stealers outflanking- basically my 1000 point Null Deployment list.

We took first turn and the Orks surged forward to the center of the table…

Across from my side I was facing a land raider with Lysander and termies, a rhino with tactical, and scouts in some ruins. Being kill points I was a bit worried about moving out with the tyrant, warriors, and gaunts and putting them into assault range with the land raider, so I basically hung back with them.


The lack of aggressiveness cost us the game, even being a friendly game, right there on turn one…

It just took five turns to play out…

Essentially half my army doing nothing, and being on foot meant it couldn’t get over to support the Orks- either physically, or at least siphoning off some of our opponent’s units.

This allowed both the Chaos and Marine forces to gang up on the Orks and eventually wipe them out- despite my support by the ‘fex and DOM in a pod- and DOM was a broken beast, quickly going up to ten wounds sucking on both terminator and berserker souls- wiping out two squads and even drawing a bit of Lysanders soul…before exploding from the land raider las cannon.

What I should have done was move and run the foot potion of my list right down the center to force the Imperial Fists- move with the land raider and assault with the termies and at worst I’m giving up three kill points- allowing the Orks and my reserve units to wipe out the Chaos side- which the Orks could have done, and then turned on the ‘fists.

OR, by forcing my units, if the ‘fists ignored them, at least they would then be there in support with the Orks making the fight a bit more fair.

By not being aggressive I basically took half of my army out of the game.

I didn’t follow my own advice of forcing your opponent to react to your moves, as opposed to you reacting- active vs. passive players.

In the end, DOM made it a fun game for me on principal alone, and it was a wonderful reminder on what NOT to do, which if it was in a tournament would have knocked me out of the rankings right there with such a crushing loss.

Tyrainds Sleeper Unit: Venomthrope Tactics

With all the focus on trying to be “competitive” with Tyranids it’s easy to understand why the venomthrope is so easily overlooked for spammed hive guard. Tyranids need to pop vehicles and hive guard do that very well- the best in the book. So why then have I never seen anybody else play venomthropes in a face to face game? Not that there are many Tyranid players on the ground at the club and local tournaments.

But you should still have a unit of venoms ready to go…

If you are running a big bug list, which is the opposite of a Null Deployment list, then venoms are the real sleeper unit- they don’t seem to do much, many players will just ignore them out of misunderstanding, and having to focus on the bigger bugs, but over the course of the game they really make a difference.

So you have to run across the table eating 15+ krak missiles turn?

Can’t really count on terrain saving you given the depth and numbers of the big bugs…

But if we go for a layered defense suddenly the numbers look much better. Three tervigons run behind three trygons and cast up feel no pain on them…

First those missiles have to hit- which they probably will.

Then they have to wound- which they will, but one or two “1’s” always come up.

Then you get the venomptrope 5+ save which is a 33% chance to shrug it off- good odds vs. 15 right there.

Finally you have the 4+ FNP roll negating 50% of the wounds.

Makes a big diffence…

Cue Deathwing missile spam vs. Tyranids…

That is the obvious use of the venoms, but the real fun comes from their stink cloud- putting them in key places, which is easy since they advance with the core, so when your other bugs get assaulted it is dangerous terrain tests all around- a 1 in 6 chance to lose models is good odds. I’ve had special characters take wounds on the way in, wolf banners fall, and hidden power fists go down even before the fight.

Against horde armies assaulting your big bugs trying to drag them down, this is like a mini-Grey Knight cleansing flame.

Finally I use them to tag team an assault, usually with the trygons who have to kill a pesky IC, or deathstar squad- get the venoms in base to base so the lash whips tie them up, thus making sure the trygon swings first- which again is good odds with dual scything talons and S6/7.

Tactically in a 2000 point army I run 2 X 2 hive guard and 1 X 3 venoms…

So here is the challenge for the remaining Tyranid players out there in real space- try out a unit of venoms in at least two of your next games. Proxy the models with some warriors or something, whatever you have and try them out as I’ve outlined…

Notes On A Necron Scarab Farm Army Build

Fritz here- for a while there things were getting out of control with my Tyranids and all the gaunt spawning- running five tervigons will do that for you, sometimes spawning over a hundred gaunts a game, so naturally when I saw Necrons could scarab farm it was a natural conclusion…

Last week we talked about Spyders and their relation to scarabs, so this week let’s take a look at running such a build.

Being the second xeno army to spawn units the first question to ask is if your scarab units are going to be the main thrust of your army or merely a small component of it. If you want to farm, then it is going to be a primary focus so we are going to need both critical mass and hitting power.

Critical mass means you have enough scarabs to get your opponent’s attention, along with enough so that when they hit your opponent’s lines there are enough models to some damage.

Looking to build that mass we of course go with redundancy- one is none, two is one, three is some, so three units of ten scarabs was the starting point for me, and not really an expensive investment in points based on the model count.

The next step was to add some spyders and this is where the points start to add up…

Initial trial and error of one spyder per unit didn’t really spawn enough mass for when the scarabs hit, and each spyder gave up a kill point which felt like I was back playing Tyranids in a kill point mission.

Another issue that I was finding was that against certain non-vehicle units like assault terminators and large Grey Knight squads the scarabs were taking a beat down and vanishing in a turn or two of assault.

Time to rethink and experiment some more, which brought me to two units of scarabs and a single unit of three spyders. Tactically the three units act as one, moving forward in an “L” shape on the table.

One scarab group goes in front and gets pumped up by the three spyders while the second scarab unit goes on the right or left, also in range of the spyders. When the first group hits if they need to continue being pumped to offset losses then it happens, if they are bogged down and going to be lost then the spyders start pumping the group off to the wing.

Wargear options for the spyder are just a single gloom prism to the scarabs have a layer of psychic defense vs. Grey Knights, Space Wolves, etc. As much as I would like to abuse the wound allocation the points just aren’t there as I have some supporting characters to think about and the rest of my army to outfit so I can accomplish the mission goals.

Feeling good about having enough mass of scarabs I then needed to refine the hitting power of them, again through trial and error, taking some real beating on the table to find that balance.

Things are about to get even more pricy, but the difference on the table is too great to pass up…

HQ # 1: Imotekh

Imotekh is the first piece of the puzzle for hitting power. Now that the FAQ allows the chronometron re-roll I can usually get three turns of night fight out of the guy, which is key for the scarab farm. Being aggressive with the scarabs means they are going to be in my opponent’s face, can’t be ignored, and will be shot at on the way in. Spawning scarabs deals with taking a volley of shots at point blank range, and night fight gives me that cover to get in.

As for the lightning attacks in a scarab farm army, they are just kind of a bonus. Game wise it has been real hit or miss for me, which is expected for a random power- sometimes I blow up two or three razorbacks or dread spam on turn one, and other times I can’t hit a single thing for the entire game. Although it does help and feel good when a MSU razorback goes boom and the five marines inside spill out, now vulnerable to my swarm to gobble up…

Imotekh’s ability to seize on a 4+ is also handy for the farm- I find that I want to take first turn to try and get off a pseudo-alpha strike with the lightning attack, farm some scarabs with the spyders, and get the jump on advancing them- quite a personal game shift from the guy who likes to go second, reserve, and contest objectives turn five.

So now I’ve got the mass (spyders) and delivery system (night fight) so everything should be good right?


More game testing found I needed one more tweak, something to take the scarabs to the next level from annoying or a problem, to deadly.

HQ #2: Zahndrekh

Two expensive HQ choices in a 1750+ list- yes I know, but let me share the results for your consideration.

The Z man’s adaptive tactics were the hidden gem when combined with scarabs- the ability to zap the lead unit with furious charge or tank hunters makes a HUGE difference. S3 scarabs vs. marines are so-so, but suddenly S4 and wounding on a 4+ with fifty plus attacks...

Doing the same to tanks combined with entropic strike means what I hit is dead, period, and now I can multi-assault a parking lot of tanks if the opportunity is there- unlike before where I didn’t have enough punch to split up the swarm.

If I have to take the charge due to tactical reasons or for just plain messing up giving the scarabs counter attack is another big boost. If I want to gamble on freeing them up ,then I go for hit and run.

Zahndrekh’s reactive tactics are another layer- denying furious charge on the scarabs which every marine unit seems to have these days, along with denying Space Wolves their counter attack, etc. Players really don’t like it when you take away their USRs.

So that kind of wraps things up for the scarab farm right?


With the mass, delivery system, and boost for Z there were still a few situations that needed a little more help…for example boosted terminator squads.

Deathwing has become very popular where I game, and I regularly face my buddy Matt’s Deathwing army with a Belial command squad and apothecary. Of course the 2+ save is beast, and normally I can break though that on sheer weight of dice with a bid spawned scarab unit and boosted Z powers, but when you throw in feel no pain and the power fist attacks back it becomes a bit of a chore.

I can drag down the Deathwing but it may take two or three turns, and this is two or three turns of my scarabs being bogged down- every turn they need to be killing something, forcing a reaction by my opponent, so the rest of my army (immortals and deathmarks) can do that mission stuff.

What I needed was a tag-along unit to assist the scarabs, and after some more experimentation a group of destroyers fit in perfectly…

Destroyers, I know, the new carnifex of the codex, but in this unique situation they had the perfect slot to fill. Three heavy destroyers and two regular destroyers cruse along on the opposite wing of the group blasting targets to soften them up before the scarabs charge.

Now vs. those same terminators I first pop off three heavy shots and two regular before Z buffs and the charge. AND this will only get better in a few months when preferred enemy is extended to shooting attacks.

So there you go, my journey in the adventures of scarab farming, from just taking the on paper looks good 3 X 10 + spyders to refining it, adapting, and really giving that half of the army some real bite.

Those of you running other scarab farms out there, what is the magic combo that you found works?