6th Edition Rumors: Competitive And WAAC Players Chill Out!

Boy, am I sure ready for 40K 6th edition!

5th has been a blast, some really good gaming years, but the competitive community has kind of sucked the life out of it at this point, and I’m willing to argue that any change, even the “doom and gloom” randomness of 6th edition will be good for us!

As a game system, nothing has changed, and all GW is going to do is hit the reset button for a few more years.

What do I mean by this?

You guys remember 4th edition and what trends eventually dominated the game? Eldar flying circus, genestealer spam, assault cannon spam…

As a game with a static set of rules, there will always be exploits, and all the competitive players who figured out MSU, X transport spam, henchman/auto-cannon dread spam, will just start over and start unlocking the next set of best units supported by the new ruleset- even if some random is injected.

For a while all of us will be on the same page, trying to figure out what will make a good army in 6th edition be it full mech, hybrid lists, or maybe even full on infantry if the vehicle nerf’s are true. Some things in the new rules will automatically be garbage at first glance, other we will come to terms with.

Think about when 5th edition was released, and guys were still running 4th edition style lists, and how over time a set two or three lists and their concepts have come to dominate the competitive scene up to now where this is all you see at competitive events.

6th will not be the magic bullet to make every kind of army and every kind of build suddenly equal, even if GW wanted to do this. For a few months , perhaps even a year, there will be an “unlocking” period in 6th edition as we all find out way, and then of course I’m sure accelerated by the internet, the build themes for 6th will emerge.

Competitive players seem to be the most upset here with the 6th edition rumors, and I’m really not that sure why?

You will all unlock the magic-sauce build template for 6th and if the book missions are random or suck, events like NOVA will step in and adjust the missions to make them competitive, just as they have done for 5th. Put Stelek and Mike B. on the case and they will work out a fair format for us to enjoy. The integrity and hobby commitment of the competitive community will ensure that 40K continues no matter how bad GW nerfs it. GW will give you guys the ball, and you’ll run with it just as you have done with 5th edition RE tournament play.

As for the fluff, random terrain stuff, and wacky injection of fantasy rules, we can keep that as a Dreadfleet like formula- 40K to play when you need break from competitive play and just want to play the game in a beer and pretzels format.

Seriously, what are we afraid of?

6th edition can’t come soon enough!

Necron 3 C’Tan Shard Army Build: Warhammer 40,000

Since the dawn of time Mankind has accomplished great feats of engineering and heroic daring for no other reason other than “just because” and in keeping with that spirit for this weeks post we are going to take a serious look at building and playing a 3 C’Tan shard army for Warhammer 40,000.

Come on, being a loyal thrall of the star gods, you know there was no way I could resist if GW gave me the option for three C’Tan right? Now, do I even have to throw in the standard disclaimer of “competitive” build vs. fluff build? We’ve got three C’Tan, need I say more!

So this build is going to start as all my fluff/model centric builds go- get the maximum amount of theme models on the table (in this case C’Tan) and from there add units that both compliment them and support the theme of the game. We are doing this at 1750 points as we can’t get in all the toys and bling at lesser point to even try and make it happen, just the way it is.

We can only take each C’Tan power once in the army so that means in taking three, each one is going to have their own role to play- the first has world + dust, the second has time + gaze, and the third has thunder + pyre.

C’Tan are big targets and a 4+ invul save is “ok”, but against a variety of las and missile spam that can bypass their T7 we need something to keep them up and alive from long range shooting so Imotekh is next in the list. I know, I know, can I build a necron list that doesn’t include him? He really is the cornerstone of so many of my builds, and of course we are going to max out the cryptek court, and one of them is going to have a chronometron to allow Stormlord to re-roll the lightning and night fight.

This does two thing- first it protects the C’Tan from long range shooting, and it allows a bit of anti-tank, even if it is random on the table, which I might add, for me anyway always does very well given that guys bring 6+ vehicles, 3+ heavy weapon units (long fangs), etc. Over 4+ turns I’m going to be hitting something!

For the rest of the Cryptek court we go with all tremor staffs to take advantage of the synergy between the worldscape C’Tan as each one attaches to a group of five immortals. And then finally we have two small groups of scarabs in the fast slot…


This army build works to control your deployment side of the table and center field- forget any objectives on your opponent’s deployment side. Hold your deployment side with the immortals, and contest the mid field ones with the C’Tan.

The C’Tan themselves get staggered in their use- the one with dust and worldscape hangs back trying to get the 3+ cover save from terrain if possible and floats around in your deployment zone. We don’t want him (it) to get killed till later in the game since that is the key for the tremorstaff ability. End game we will be using him to assault any opposing units moving to take our own deployment objectives being held by the immortals.

The second C’Tan with Thunder and Pyre runs up mid field and fires away at vehicles to get stuff out on foot with the help of the lightning strikes so the crypteks and immortals can go to work. Being an MC and sometimes you can’t fire on vehicles he has pyre shards, but you could also swap dust on him, and try to get him mid table for the 3+ cover save if terrain is there- and as a las cannon like shot he will be taking your opposing AT shots so the 3+ helps.

And then finally the third assault C’Tan who actually we are not going to assault with. Even remotely dedicated assault units and hidden power fists take down C’Tan so I don’t want to assault unless I either have to (as if a gang of paladins is going to get me) or it is the end of the game and I need to sweep stuff off objectives to contest.

Don’t commit your C’Tan! Be elusive and float around, run away from things, and get your opponent to give chase and shoot- buying time for the immortals and crypteks.

What about the scarabs?

They are there to work with the C’Tan and draw shots. If I’ve got a C’Tan moving into range of my opponent and they are going to be able to potentially bypass nightfight, say because it is mid field, then run the scarabs at the unit is going to shoot and get cover/go to ground for the 2+ save.

That is how I’d run a three C’Tan list, and well, actually how I’ve been running them. I’ve got some battle reports upcoming and we’ll talk more about how to be elusive with the C’Tan and scarabs, but in the mean time are any of my fellow Necron players up for the challenge? I’d love to see you guys build your take on the three C’Tan list and post up a battle report or youtube vid- I’ll put the link here, or respond in my youtube channel.

Picking Your HQ Choice: Warhammer 40,000

So what is your criteria in picking an HQ choice? One way to do it is to simply pick the cheapest HQ choice you can simply to fulfill the force org. chart and then move on to spending your points on troops for mission goals, and elites/fast for killy stuff. There is logic in doing this, especially in smaller point games since HQ choices can be a huge point sink as you add the options, toys, and other bling on them- look at a Space Marine chapter master and then add on a relic blade, plasma pistol, and some of the other wargear options- it is easy to get that single model into a Land Raider point range. How can we be sure an HQ choice both justifies it points and makes them beck on the table?

Games Workshop has kind of made this easy for us as all of their HQ choices fall into two distinct groups (using my own terminology here) of a frontline HQ and a back line HQ. Front line HQ choices are the models with the insane close assault ability such as Mepheston, and Swarmlord- as a single model they can wipe out regular squads in the assault and even give dedicated close combat troops a run for their money. Simple really, they charge from the front, move out, and try to make their points back by killing opposing models and cause as much carnage as possible.

Backline HQ choices have less impressive stats, often only slightly better than the troops they are supposed to be leading, and we don’t want to get them into the assault- where they excel is with special abilities that enhance the overall performance of your army- common examples being Eldrad and his ability to boost with multiple psychic powers, and the ever immortal Stormlord with his night fight and lightning strikes.

So what HQ choices fits your army best? When I build out an army the HQ models is actually the last one that I build. Which HQ type- front or back line will boost and compliment your army is the question to ask. If you are playing a very aggressive and forward moving army either or both in assault or shooting then a front line HQ choice will further boost your army. Send in Mepheston and waves of Blood Angels assault marines in full attack and your opponent has some serious decisions to make! With a front line HQ choice there has to be other elements working with him- elements of your army that your opponent CAN’T ignore, send out your HQ alone, and even with his uber stats he or it will get blasted off the table.

On the other hand, if you have an army based on a strategy other then mass shooting or assault a back line army complimenting HQ choice will work better- back to Stormlord allowing my scarabs to advance and get into position under the cover of night fight, or Eldrad throwing up fortune on my boosting jetbikes for last turn objective contests.

So that’s the formula I use in selecting an HQ choice and it reflects very well in the armies that I run, looking to compliment the theme and strategy I’m trying to employ and use against my opponent on the table…

FTW Games: June 1st: Here We Come!

So Jawaballs and myself are all set to make our way down to visit Rob Baer and his gaming store FTW Games on June 1st to celebrate the stores 2nd birthday! I’ve always been a fan of Rob’s passion for the 40K hobby and his creativity in building and painting fantastic armies over the years so when he extended the invite to Jawa and myself it was an honor to accept…

…but we aren’t going to be the only ones there for the birthday event, which is going to be over the top fun- Goatboy is also going to be there along with top 40K player Paul Murphy, plus open gaming, and a Saturday night 40K tournament! Basically an entire weekend of 40K madness and FTW fun!

I’m hoping you guys in the Virginia area can make it, and of course lots of pictures and videos of the event when Jawa and myself return!

Necron Tachyon Arrow Tactics

Next up on the Necron wargear review list is the Tachyon arrow, an attractive if quirky piece of wargear. S10 AP 1 = sign me up, but wait it is only a single shot, AND it costs 30 points!

There are lots of single use items in the 40K universe and what most of them work (read: effective) is the fact that they cost 5-10 points and you can take multiples of them to make up for the single use.

A perfect example of this is combi-weapons taken on Space Marines or on Chaos Space Marine terminators, rhinos, etc. A bunch of single shot spam makes up for the few misses.

Right away the tachyon arrow falls short here in that you can only get one or two depending on your HQ choice, and they are expensive- say you take two- that is 60 points that can buy an extra spyder, or more scarabs.

But, we can still make it “worth it” buy understanding the Necron synergy between various pieces of wargear.

I’ll share with you guys how I do it…

The tachyon arrow goes on my destroyer lord since my other HQ choice is Stormlord and both of them join my cryptek chronometron unit. Shooting the arrow has to happen on turn two or three since later in the game my destroyer lord is needed elsewhere and has to break away from the cryptek group.

So when I’m planning to fire the arrow I save that chrono roll- it I miss I activate the chronometron. If I hit and fail to armor pen, I activate the chrono- if I get a 1 or 2 on the damage chart…activate the chrono.

Yes I can only activate the chrono once, so as soon as the tachyon arrow fails one of these rolls it get’s activated- still can fail in the later rolls, but it stacks the odds a bit more in my favor .

Next question is targets- which for the most part are high value vehicles- BA storm ravens with talon dreads and death company, land raiders with terminators inside, and the like which would help me out greatly if the units inside where on foot so I can engage them with shots at range and hopefully not get assaulted by the contents. Of course if my opponent is not playing these there will always be an auto-cannon dread or two- is 30 points worth a Grey Knight auto-cannon dreadnought?

Necron Codex Destroyer Lord Tactics

So let’s visit, or should I say revisit the destroyer lord and how I’m using him in my warrior horde based army…

For the most part we can break down the Necron HQ choices based on their active and passive powers- active are things like number of attacks, wargear, and how the model reacts on the table- what is it good at, while passive powers are things that impact your entire Necron army like lightning strikes (Stormlord) or adaptive tactics (Zahndrekh).

For the points destroyer lord is purely an active model, he (it) is his own one robot show and at best directly impacts the unit he joins- we need to keep this in mind as we figure out how to use him on the table.

I find that many Necron players tend to overlook the destroyer lord in favor of a command barge HQ choice or a named HQ choice- the destroyer lord is expensive for the base price, AND we need certain upgrades to make him work. Don’t dismiss him based on the points alone, in my horde build of warriors his points are well spent since I’m “saving” points in taking warriors over immortals and I’m not scarab farming so points aren’t spent on spyders. What I’m trying to say is that when we compare the points of a model or unit to judge if they are “worth” it, it can’t be done alone- it depends on the point level of the game and what else you have in your army.

I start out with a destroyer lord and give him a res-orb, scarabs, and a weave as his wargear upgrades. From here I join him to a group of destroyers (5) and employ him and the group as a hunter-killer type unit.

Their role as a group is to find and isolate small marine units like long fangs or MSU spam hanging around the flanks and kill them. In my neck of the woods this works VERY well since everybody plays space marines, and everybody tends to play small marine units with little upgrades- perfect targets for destroyer groups.

Destroyers shoot the tactical marines, and if anybody survives the volley, the group moves in and assaults- which when going against non dedicated assault units, the destroyer lord easily wins against.

This group is NOT a terminator killer or dedicated assault unit killer- the unit and the lord will get smacked down and your points are flushed down the drain. What the unit is, is an opportunist group, picking off stragglers and forcing your opponent to dedicated disparaging resources to deal with it.

What keeps the lord and the group up and running?

Well the first is the combination of the destroyer lord and Stormlord. Nightfight with a chrono-re-roll, while the destroyer lord is hanging to the flanks cuts down on many of the long range shots that would be coming his way.

Those that make it though then have to bypass the 2+ save from the weave, and then there is the res. Orb for the enhanced protocols on the unit.

The secondary use of the destroyer lord + destroyer group is in support of my warriors as they advance backed by monoliths. While I want the DL + destroyers working the flanks, sometimes I need some additional support for the warriors as they engage groups of marines. In this capacity I gate in the group through a monolith portal to suddenly appear and blast away in support- often quite unexpectedly to my opponent.

Live Gaming Broadcast Today Saturday June 19th!

So I'm heading up to the Jawa-man cave this afternoon to hang out, play some 40K, and maybe even get in some Space Hulk and Dreadfleet. We are also going to be testing out Jawa's new kick ass Blood Angels drop pod assault army for a tournament on Sunday. I'm going to be throwing everything I have at it with my Necrons and maybe even Eldar and we are going to broadcast it live on his youstream channel here...

...starting at 3 PM EST and running probably to 10 PM EST till we can't physically roll anymore dice! Of course along the way you can ask questions, chat, and help metagame the event- hope you guys can drop by for a bit!

Making An All Terminator Army Warhammer 40,000

In the lineup of 40K models and the lore of the fluff-verse is there anything more iconic then a Space Marine terminator?

Heavy weapons, brutal close combat abilities, heavy armor, and the ultimate coolness factor is an easy sell.

So YOU want to make an all terminator army, and are wondering where to start?

Let’s take a look at some of the options to consider and get you started…

The first decision to make is based on if you want to go pure terminators or terminators with some form of troop support.

Some army books like Dark Angels and Grey Knights allow you to field them as troops so you can build a legal game army around nothing but terminator models, while other Space Marine books have them as elites which means you will also need some troop choices to make the army legal to play.

Generally speaking a terminator army is built around terminators as troops- they cost a fair amount of points, especially as you add on wargear and other weapon options so not having to buy extra non-terminator troops really helps.

Right now I’d have to say going with an all Grey Knight terminator army is your strongest option since both regular terminators are troops and Paladins (two wound elite terminators) can be made troops with a special HQ choice to unlock them. Add in a grand master and a librarian in terminator armor and you have lots of weapons options, cool wargear, and psychic powers from which you can build a variety of lists. When you purchase your models, consider magnetizing the weapons options with small rare earth magnets, and you will have a lot of gaming variety for a long time.

The second all terminator army to consider is one built from the Dark Angels codex since they can be taken as troops through a special HQ choice. While the Dark Angels codex is an older book, and has less option then the Grey Knights, the ‘Angels can do a few things the ‘Knights can’t like bring lots of long range cyclone missile launcher support along with a unique teleportation attack at the start of the game. Less options then the Grey Knights, but it might suit your play style better.

Finally there is codex Space Marines, Blood Angles, Space Wolves, and Black Templars who can also field terminators- up to thirty as elite choices, but then as mentioned you will need troops- usually scouts since they cost the least amount, but it is possible to build an army based on tactical marines and terminators. If you don’t mind having a few other models besides terminators these books can give you some options that the Grey Knights and Dark Angels can’t- unique psychic powers, special rules like furious charge, and preferred enemy, etc. that might catch your attention.

One of the good things about building and playing a terminator themed army is that you will have a smaller model count on the table. Less models to physically buy, paint, and build means the army costs less than many similar Warhammer 40,000 armies, and is not as overwhelming to get onto the tabletop as a new player.

Battle For Salvation 2012 Grand Tournament: Pre-Registration Now Open!

Ok guys, pre-registration has now opened for the 2012 Battle For Salvation Grand Tournament at: http://www.battleforsalvation.com .

Why pre-register?

If you know you are planning to attend the event, then pre-registering now not only 100% locks in you spot, but it allows us to direct the registration fees to table design, swag bags, and of course prize support quicker and faster. 100% of the money made from this event gets pumped back into the event and prize support/swag, so the more we can spend up front the better overall for the attendees.

In addition to the main event of course, I’m in charge and am going to be running the Friday night event which is part of the overall tournament package or available separately. For me, the question is for this year what to run as something different and fun from the main event?

Right now I’ve been playtesting two events- a kill team type event and a HQ battle type event, both with mission variants, and primary/secondary goals.

Kill team would essentially allow you to build a 200 point “army” drawing from troops, elites, fast, or heavy where each model acts as their own unit on the table- giving most armies around 10-20 models to command in total. Played on a smaller board with some very densely packed terrain the action is going to be fast and furious.

The second possible event revolved around fielding an HQ choice of 300 points or less, along with some supporting units, probably 700 or so points. The primary goal of the mission is for your HQ to kill the other HQ choice. Of course there are some balance issues here, but I’m working those out on the secondary goals and some HQ specific rules.

Of course either way, my mind isn’t made up, and my goal is of course to run a fast event with a focus on fun, while handing out lots of prizes.

Any suggestions?

I’m open to them, if you are planning to attend the event or not…

6th Edition Psychic Power Rumors + Eldar = Win?

I’m trying my best to stay away from all the rumor filler posts regarding 6th edition…

…but I just can’t help myself!

So what’s the deal with this psychic power rumor going around? WFB like psychic powers coming to 40K? Is this a good thing? Hell yes! From my Eldar perspective of course…

Psychic powers have always been at the core of using Eldar- power augment the units, and more or less allow you to deal with facing superior numbers and units that are better than your own for half the cost. Doom, guide, and fortune, are the staples of any list. A single farseer is mandatory, and I’d even wager that two should be standard despite my love of the phoenix lords.

Taking that, what if we then had access to another line of non-codex powers to abuse? What if those powers could make up for some of the short fallings in the Eldar codex, or with particular builds like my Harlequin themed army? What if there was some kind of teleportation thingy? Some sort of shooting attacks that could soften things up before the clowns charge in? Any additional powers could be beneficial in my ongoing war with the mon-kei and WAAC gamers…

But Fritz, what if GW will nullify or rewrite the current Eldar powers- what if we lose doom, guide, or fortune…

Do we really believe GW will reverse engineer the game system to adjust Eldar? How long did it take Mars to ship those new 3+ storm shield to the Black Templars? GW as a game company just doesn’t work this way, they will let it languish. Remember the allies bull $hit with IG?

I believe that army specific powers aren’t going anywhere soon- just look at the 6th edition written Grey Knight codex.

It also depends on what the definition of a psyker is…

Can Eldar see mini-wizards on the table in the likes of warlocks if they count as a psyker? Shadowseers as psykers?

And if the new psychic powers system is that good, runes of warding got that much better. So I’m happy with these rumors, and especially the ones surrounding the “terrain” as they will work perfectly with my harlequins…

Grey Knights: You Can’t Do That Part I- Brotherhood Champion

What is one of the most annoying things in 40K?

Removing models from the table without taking wounds, or any saves, along with bypassing any special rules like reanimation or feel no pain. What’s even better is when you can sneak it in without anybody knowing.

Enter the Brotherhood Champion.

With the popularity of deathstar or uber character units in my local gaming group, and as encountered on the tournament scene from time to time the BC is my reply.

Swarmlord-star running right towards my terminators with BC attached? If I can’t torrent them down, I’ll go for the heroic sacrifice and send in the BC.

Mepheston trying to run among my ranks?

Send in the Brotherhood Champion.

100 points for a suicide model?

Not quite, but in many ways, yes.

He get’s attached to my terminator squad so I can feed any shooting attacks onto the terminators to keep him alive- the major drawback of the model is that he only has one wound- I’d gladly pay 120 or 150 for another wound, and for the 100 points I feel like this is why so many guys don’t play him.

In the assault if needed, he is also there to augment my terminators attacks or If I need to tie a unit up, he will use the blade shield stance.

So is it worth 100 points and a burned HQ slot for a chance to remove a model any bypass all their wounds and funky rules?

With this design build for Grey Knights I’m going to say “YES”.


Grey Knights: Solodins?

I think it was a year or so ago that Jawa, myself, and BC James went up to hobby town in CT. All I remember was BC getting some Arbys along the way, getting lost, and a game I played against a Space Wolf player vs. my Tyranids- this was pre-Grey Knights.

While the ‘wolf player did have the usual long fang spam, I have to give him props for bringing along a fluffy blood claw pack, and some lone wolfs. The lone wolves killed quiet a lot in the assault, but then again even the “assault” units in the Tyranid codex are kind of blah, but what I found interesting was the fact that I had to waste precious hive guard shots on them to put them down. This is and was the only time I have seen some lone wolves in action…

So have I mentioned my new Grey Knight theme/phase I’m going through?

It’s called: “You can’t do that…

…well I’m playing Grey Knights so yes I can!”

My Saim-Hann are to thank for that of course.

We have a entire generation (5th 40K) of players who only know Space Marines and marine vs. marine action. Some wear blue armor and follow a big rulebook, other are space vampires that drink blood, and some carry a dozen or so different grenades that they can use all at once while in terminator armor. All they know is T4 and a 3+ save. A few of these players have been caught off guard by my Saim-Hann with runes of warding, doom/guide, and even a failed mind war attempt- hey, you can’t target an individual model.

Being unfamiliar with something, despite being good players can catch you by surprise, and I have to admit I’m the king of gimmicks- I will pull something bizarre and odd out somewhere.

But back to grey knights, and I’m getting ahead already talking about tomorrows blog post!

So we have this army called “Grey Knights” and most people know what to expect since they are Space Marines. Add a layer over this based on the auto-win lists out there in the tournament scene and when you face off against a grey knight army of psybolt and henchman spam we all know what to expect.

Can we build the army to expect the unexpected?

Randomness will be embraced, fear will be caused! Maybe I’m getting a bit dramatic?

Tomorrow, I promise…

So back to lone wolves- can Grey Knights benefit from these lone warriors?

Can there be some value in running a two or three single paladins? Maybe not now with kill points, but with adjusted cost kill point’s ala 6th edition then what?

Can a lone model impact the outcome of the game?

Assuming you don’t need the elite slots- in my ‘knight list I’ve downgraded the dreadnoughts to heavy versions to free up the slots and find the points, how can we use a solo-din?

Well on paper I don’t feel they will be killing much, not even as a speed bump, but what about as a siphon unit?

2+ armor save, 4+ cover save, two wounds- try to make them as much as a PITA as possible. I’m thinking about using psychic communion to try and delay them as long as possible in reserves to then have them come on the table- deepstrike in, maybe of skulls if they are still up, and then, well, hide.

I think ( three games in with them don’t count as FACT yet) they are going to make great end game assets…

At the end of the game, if it hasn’t been a complete slaughter, both opponents tend to have a handful of units left, moving to claim mission objectives, and that is when the solo-dins move out.

We can use them to contest table quarters.

We can use them to contest objectives.

We can use them to assault weaker or remnant units to tie them up or try and kill them.

End game, suddenly single models have lots of positioning options- and paladins become hard to kill when you melta and AP weapons have already been taken out or blown up.

Fair price for 55 points?

I’d like to hear any thought or feedback from you guys running solo-paladins out there…

Gaming @ Da Club: The Riddle Of Steel & Saim-Hann Grav-Tanks

Lots of city fight this week, Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Necrons, and Eldar…

So here is a riddle for you guys, check out the battle picture below- a massive brutal close assault of Space Wolves and Dark Eldar. Here is the question- It is a 2000 point game and there are six independent characters taking place in the assault- can you name six in the list?

On the far reaches of the club tables the Saim-Hann warhost continues to strike back at the mon-kei in a show of power that Eldar still command respect in a world full of power armor and insane builds…

Grav-tanks have also been more important than ever here at the close of 5th edition. Equipped correctly they can put out a decent amount of shots for Eldar, but this get’s expensive and it can’t compete with even a Grey Knight auto-cannon dread. That’s not to say you don’t want the Eldar gun upgrades- shuriken cannons under slung are a must, and then either missile launchers or scatter lasers.

At the start of the game my grav-tanks stay close to the jetbikes and vypers with two roles in mind. The first is to add a few more shots into the target- since jetbikes and vypers are so fragile, anything that comes into range of the warhost and that is a threat needs to be ten out 100%. Tactical marines land in a drop pod point blank- that tac squad his to go! Jetbikes alone with doom won’t do it, so they need the help of the vypers and grav-tanks for a final push. Up close I can drop two full units a turn with average rolling.

Jetbikes---Vypers---Wave Serpent

Jetbikes---Vypers---Fire Prism

In addition to supporting as a gun boat the grav tanks provide cover saves for my vypers and jetbikes behind them- using the bulk of the model footprint to gain cover. Generally the energy shields and holofields will protect them, along with trying to force your opponent to shoot at more pressing models in your army.

Moving into mid game the role of the grav-tanks change assuming they are still up. Wave serpents have delivered their suicide cargo of banshee’s and fire prisms might have the prism cannon weapon destroyed.

Enough of the enemy has closed that their few shots aren’t going to make much of a difference so it’s time to run and hide- boosting far to the opposite ends of the table, out of harm’s way of everything where they wait.

Many of my opponents have viewed this move as bait, and rightfully ignore them, focusing on pounding my jetbikes and vypers, but they are not bait…

The grav-tanks are then waiting for the end of the game, so they can contest objectives, or block off parts of the table with a skimmer wall to protect my jetbikes depending on the mission. Of course while they are getting ready for this run, my jetbikes and vypers must have demeched my opponent.

Turn five is then tank shock and contest, which I have to say is still uber frustrating for guys to deal with- especially players who have only experienced 5th edition and only play against power armor- taking down AV with a cover save (and maybe fortune) and holo-fields, and vectored engines pretty much requires a lucky shot. Eldar are still unmatched in this arena, and while I won’t say holo-fields are priced fairly in the game, at this point I’m taking them no matter the cost.

Hopefully they stay in the new codex, and hopefully we’ll get our crystal targeting matrix back…

Is Blood Bowl Worth It?

Warhammer is serious business! I often laugh at the power GW has over me as a slavering fanboy, when I’m not playing “GW” on the tabletop with the guys is it “GW” on Xbox till I can get back on the tabletop.

I’ve been sitting on Blood Bowl unopened for a while, I’m not a huge fan of football, but the Warhammer Fantasy spin of the game caught my eye. With a bit more down time as of late, I opened it up and started playing it. Of course the tutorials are a total joke, and just playing some on/off matches has given me an understanding of the game.

And I have to say, and I’m not really sure why, but I kind of really like the game.

It seems to have enough strategy in terms of building a team, etc. along with enough random factors to leverage such as buying fans, etc. – just the kind of stuff I enjoy!

So here is my question for the BB vets out there- is it worth picking up the tabletop versions? I enjoy Space Hulk and Dreadfleet on the side with the guys when we need a break from 40K and maybe BB can be added to that list?

What do you say?

Thoughts On Tonight's Game...

So tonight I have a game scheduled against drop pod Space Wolves…

Lots of Grey Hunters, Rune Priests, and the Logan bomb coming down point blank into my army…

What to do?

Well, I’m planning to bring one of two armies- either my Saim-Hann or my Harlequins. I’ve been back to my Saim-Hann here at the close of 5th edition so I’m happy to enjoy playing them. Harlequins on the other hand are also really fun, and Eldar, and I’m curious to try out some proposed 6th edition adjustments- curse those silly rumors that have me hungering for conformation.

Either way, let’s talk about the plan for both armies at the start of the game…

Saim-Hann can go first or second, but the harlequins need to take first turn.

If my Saim-Hann get to go first they deploy in a large blob, fortune up, and move fast/turbo boost for the cover saves. Which unit gets fortuned depends on what army I’m facing and the mission. In the cast of Space Wolves, I’d fortune both my vyper squads and hide the jetbikes behind them and the other grav tanks so the pods can’t land in range to really shoot and hurt the jebikes. Vs. marines having those starcannons is a must on the vypers- a turn of a guided volley will take out a squad no problem.

What would put the hurt on me is if I get seized on the first turn- which is what the Space Wolves want to do if they go second.

Another option is the usual reserve my units, come on, and then run and gun. While this can work, what I really miss out on is the lack of supporting psychic powers- guide and doom to boost the hitting power of my units since Eldar are always outnumbered 2 or 3 to 1. And of course without any autarch reserve modifiers (I’m running to farseers) I might not get that critical mass in.

If I go second I have to make the call- reserve as above or deploy out and take a round of pods dropping in and shooting, which at this point in the game and vs. Space Wolves I just can’t do that- I’d have to rely on poor rolling on my opponent’s part in shooting to just stay alive.

So we are back to reserve and run and gun…


100% I need to take first turn with these guys, regardless of the mission vs. drop pods. Set up in terrain with my Harlequins as wrap around of my troops and wraithlords, and then Eldrad + generic farseer fortune the three groups for the 4+ cover save re-roll. Take that first turn of shooting, and then doom + assault with the clowns and wraithlords.

If I get seized I’m really in trouble and in a world of hurt…

Reserving is really hit or miss with the Harlequins and depends on the understanding of the game of my opponent…

How much am I willing to gamble?

If I reserve I can walk on 6”, run D6 (let’s average that to 3”) and then assault 6” which gives me a 15” threat range. If my opponent drops the pods center table, then the units inside can bypass my veil of tears when I come on and I don’t have the support of fortune so I’m in trouble. If they deploy closer to my table edge, not aware of the speed of my harlequins I can catch them in the assault when I come in. It has happened more than once, but again, I’m making an assessment of my opponent which is really a gamble…

Saim-Hann gives me better odds vs. SW drop pods…

Xbox Space Marine Heavy Bolter Tactics

Brothers, honor the chapter…

This week we are going to look at using the heavy bolter in Space Marine- the how and where to earn you 15+ kills a game in seize ground. The first step is adapting your play style to the heavy bolter- it is going to take a bit of time if you are coming from playing an assault marine. The heavy bolter is not a weapon you run and gun with- you need to set up your kill zones.

The key to success with the heavy bolter is to set yourself up in a high traffic area where you can see opposing marines and they can’t readily see you. They enter your field of fire at range, and you gun them down…

The hard part of this is getting into this position and set up, while not getting assaulted or melta-gun vaped on the way. Often what this means is that at the start of the match you will be running right to the position and not stopping to cap your home objective for +200 points- but don’t worry you will make up that XP in terms of kills.

So let’s look at two of these vantage points…

The first is on that shattered bridge…

You are up and you run out of the spawn point, past the home objective and over to the side of the bridge up the ram overlooking objective “B” on the lower floor. From here there are ONLY two ways to approach- down the hall or over to your right if you get flanked. When guys run in to capture B you gun them down.

Do this enough, and somebody will respawn and attempt to outflank you, so be ready to check to your right and gun there if needed. Also, ammo will run dry pretty quick so if you don’t have the extra ammo perk plan to run and grab some that is close.

In terms of perks the two you need for this build flavor are the coolant and extra ammo- basically so you can keep shooting long, fast, and hard. Setting up those kill zones means opponents really can’t shoot at you so you don’t need the iron halo, etc.

Second kill zone is on the manfactorun board and on a good run against a fully opposing team you can get 20+ kills easy…

Speed is key in getting set up, so when you spawn, you run out past your home objective- no time to take it, and set up in the corner of the ramp overlooking the center of the map. Anybody that moves into the center, or runs around the corner gets gunned down, and from the elevation you have, they won’t see you until you start shooting.

You are vulnerable to raptors and assault marines here, but when they jump, being in the corner, they can only land in front or to the left of you which makes it a bit easier to drawn on them and gun them down…

Saim-Hann Eldar At The End Of 5th Edition

So here we are at the end of 5th edition and curiously my warhost has made it back to the table in full force, aggressive as ever, dire as ever- what had changed since the start of 5th edition and the fact that some many codexes have gotten proper updates, while Eldar still languish for some reason?

The two biggest changes have been not so much the increased model count on the table- both from GW making marines cheaper in points, and tournaments hosting at the 2000-2500 point level, but rather massively increased shooting in the game, and the rise of five objective based missions (NOVA) as the standard for better or worse.

We also need to examine this based on the fact that I don’t play a “competitive” Eldar list- I use lots of jetbikes, three vyper groups, and fire prisms…

At the start of 5th edition I only needed my jetbikes to act as a scoring unit for the game. Sure they sniped around with the shuriken cannons occasionally blowing up a tank, but basically they were there to move in on turn five. The real model killers were my vypers, seer council, and fire prisms.

With the move to five objectives in each game AND that fact that current codex armies can get 6+ troop units on the table as scoring means that my jetbikes now have to work in a direct attack mode and confront models. Jetbikes really weren’t meant to kill anything, and they certainly weren’t meant to directly oppose Space Marines with their furious charge, wacky grenades, and power weapons all for less than the cost of my jetbikes.

My elites and fast are killing other things, and my limited troops are now forced to confront the excess of troops that my opponent has.

Fire power has also been ramped up- just look at what the Grey Knights and Space Wolves can put out there as an example. On paper I don’t have as many shots, but I make up for that with my speed and the durability of my units when done correctly. I may not have fortitude or venerable for cheap, but I do have holo-fields, cover saves, and fortune.

Guide and fortune are more important than ever! Two farseers on a jetbike handing out the candy at least allows me to hold my own for a while if I can keep the momentum going with my mobility. If you pin me down I’m dead and done.

Runes of warding on both farseers also tend to shut things down so quick, something that Grey Knight players just aren’t ready for or have experienced so far since nobody plays Eldar anymore. Runes tend to balance things out a bit- shutting down fortitude based shooting, and shrouding. Hammer hand and force weapons don’t really matter since I’m dead in the assault anyway.

For now I’ve disbanded my seer council, dispersing the warlocks into the jetbike groups and giving two of the groups farseers to create a mini-council. If I can get fortune off, this gives the jetbikes just what they need in terms of survivability- a 3+ armor save and a 5+ cover save from conceal if I can’t get the direct 4+.

Use the mobility to stay out of rapid fire range if you can so you are only eating one or two long range shots- of which you get the re-roll. When the jetbikes have to close on a unit to kill it, we then have the twin linked on the shuriken catapults for the re-roll and then doom for the re-roll on the wounds.

The farseers also boost my vyper gunboats, which have now dropped their brightlances. Sure they make AV 14 sweat, but nobody brings AV 14 anymore in an age of cheap melta spam and all marines. I pick up scatter lasers, star cannons, and under slung shuriken cannons which all get guided and maybe doomed. I won’t drop the star cannons even if they are way over costed- denying marines a power armor save still has great value for me and a spot in the overall plan.

Finally my guardians- boosting warlocks are now mandatory to boost the guardians based on their role- either defender or storm. Aspect warriors are basically done- compared to the current marine books they just don’t have the super special specialization that they are supposed to have- they die the same as guardians for 2-3X the cost. Sadly this has made me drop my banshees.

So those are the updates to my list in response to such an ultra competitive environment where one is brining a fluff based themed list, and I hope it doesn’t come off as all doom and gloom because it isn’t.

More than every my surprise factor in the list has really been helping me, as long as I can keep the edge of it going with mobility and psychic powers supporting my units- it just isn’t seen in a game of marine vs. marine, and for the guys who have come into the game in the past 2-3 years and that is all they have as a frame of reference, never really playing against xeno armies, etc. it can throw off your game.

And finally, of course, this is yet another holding pattern, not only as we wait for a new Eldar codex, but also as 6th edition drops in a few months or less. It will shake up the game, and there will be new exploits for the warhost, which you can be sure I’ll be leveraging to my fullest advantage…