Well, what to say other then the book is in hand and WOW. So where to start with all this? I had to “reboot” the blog when going from 4th to 5th, and now from 5th to 6th as it is a completely different game, and for the better, even if allies makes me cringe with what the WAAC guys are going to do with them...
So what should we start with in 6th edition?
What is going to be the tactical jumping off point?
This past Monday I got a taste of my first Blood Bowl game with Black Matt at the club…
…of course I first have to apologize to my loyal readers for something that is a first for me- playing with unpainted miniatures! They will be ready to take the field in full colors next time as I had to finish up some Necron stuff first.
Gobbos vs. Orcs!
I left the troll at home, took a bomber, chainsaw, and lot’s of expendable goblins- who of course got whacked around the field by the bigger Orcs.
Orcs kicked off first, I picked up the ball and ran, got tackled, went back and forth, and then somehow managed to get the ball again, and then make a run for it. Bomber tossed bombs to little effect, but the chainsaw gobbo was boss! He cut down at least three Orcs by the time Matt realized he had to body check that guy. Bomber then got lucky and exploded one around a cluster of three Orcs…
First touchdown for the goblins as my special weapons dudes got caught by the ref and escorted off the field thanks to some really good rolling by Matt.
Gobbos then kicked off the ball to the Orcs who picked it up and then attempted to make a long pass into my end zone for the score- but Matt rolled a “2” and then a “1” with his re-roll, allowing a lone goblin standing in the middle of nowhere to pick up the ball and run…run…and run for another touchdown!
So my first thoughts of the game?
Really fun, with lots of back and forth action- a nice blend of tactical play and wacky dice rolls which kind of mess things up. My secret weapons were really cool- of course the only reason I’m even playing goblins in the first place! Dodge and stunty made it impossible to be caught when running, but when blocked my dudes went down, with two on the team being killed.
The club is going to be starting a league soon, and I can see having the advantage in the early games, but I wonder how a goblin team will do with so many players getting hurt and taken out in terms of over all skill development? Or do I really care?
I can also see saving my chainsaw dude to take out key or star players later on down the road to really cripple the performance of my opponent's team?
Is it a bit weird that I felt a little nostalgic and perhaps sad this past Sunday at the gaming shop as we said goodbye to 5th edition with a last game send off? And what a send off it was…
Grey Knights vs. Space Wolves, five objectives, kind of the pinnacle of 5th edition and what has come to be expected- not that my list was anything “Grey Knights” you would have seen up to the release of 6th edition.
I’m a total sucker for land raiders, terminators, and dreadnoughts, and if I’m playing Space Marines my list must have these regardless of the cost or optimal build! If I could get three GK land raiders I would, but alas even at 2000 points I can’t have all my toys. Wahhh!
Space Wolves were pretty standard, but not totally over the top- two groups of long fangs, a big group of thunder wolves, some grey hunters in razorbacks, a land raider crusader packed with glory hungry blood claws, and last but not least a suicide squad of melta scouts.
Normally I like to hang back with a firebase of land raiders and dreds and plink away with las cannons and psy cannons, but not with a pack of scouts coming in- which means a push forward right into the center of the objectives and go for the glory.
So what has been one of my favorite things of 5th edition?
I’d have to say land raider inspired charges.
Since we can’t pre-measure the distance, and being able to eyeball distances is (was) a developed skill I can sometimes catch guys with the insane range of the land raider…
Space Wolves take first turn and plink 12 krak missiles into my terminators downing one as las cannon shots ping my land raiders shaking one. Thunder wolves move up and look far away, but they are in the sweet zone.
My land raider on the right moves up 12”, ‘knights get out, shoot, and then charge with halberds and active force weapons…
Even now, having played against Space Wolves again and again I’m amazed at how many attacks they get, two base, offhand, counter attack + lord, etc. Somehow the thunder wolves are throwing up more attacks then I am on the charge? I hit them hard at I6, and only mange to slay the wolf lord and then take a brutal counter attack killing five knights, but I hold. Next turn I take further losses and a lone justicar breaks and runs as the crusader and melta grey hunters and blood claws surround my two raiders, and terminators, opening up at point blank.
What happened next truly showed the heresy of the Space Wolves and the judgment I had been called to pass on them in the name of the Inquisition as the Emperor protected me deflecting melta shots, deflecting penetrating melta shots with the ‘wolves rolling double ones to penetrate, etc. A turn of of the best 5th edtion shooting and I’m still standing.
No way that is going to repeat, so it is an all out assault rather than zooming away and hiding till end game with the land raiders.
My two librarians (preparing for 6th!) break off and join the strike squad that disembarked blasting into the blood claws with warp rift, vortex of doom and stormbolter/psycannon shots killing almost the entire squad before cutting them down in the charge- I even got lucky in penetrating the land raider with the warp rift exploding it!
Standing and firing both land raiders open up with their las cannons and psybolt heavy bolters into the thunder wolves blasting them and putting down the entire unit. Terminator psycannons sing out backed by my dread assault cannon exploding a razorback and killing a few hunters inside, as my assassin comes down and kills a group of long fangs with the neural shredder.
In a single turn of epic god like rolling, the Space Wolves are broken as we both stare at each other in disbelief. Everything I needed to have happen happened, and everything the Space Wolves needed failed. I’ve seen a lot in gaming, but nothing like this…
By the end of the game only the scouts remained and a few grey hunters camping on an objective as the Grey Knights controlled the field by taking three of the five objectives for the win- not a win by my hand, but rather the will of the Emperor!
Does the Emperor’s tarot foretell something in 6th edition for me?
So Jawaballs, myself, and Stout Smurf have been trying to push out more of our live gaming broadcasts and this Saturday June 30th is going to be our first “official” foray into 6th Edition 40K thought our Ustream channel and new website. We’ve got a big day planned starting at 3 PM EST time and running till about 10 PM EST- two or three games of 6th edition, figuring out how to update our armies, maybe a quick painting tutorial by Jawaballs as he free hands some Grey Knight heraldry, and of course lots of feedback and questions from the guys watching. You can find all the information about the stream, our channel, mailing list etc. right here.
6th edition is right around the corner and if you are German, then by all likelihood you already have the leaked PDF…
Two days till the pre-order madness and then the big day after that when we all get our hands on the “official” rules, dispel the rumors and take a big sit-down with our armies.
Where do we go from there?
I’m both psyched and ready to get my Saim-Hann back on the table in full force, brining the star cannon smack down to the mon-kei, but I wonder how the new edition will treat them independent of a new codex, which by all means is probably still two plus years out. I can’t believe we have gone an ENTIRE edition without an update…
Psychic powers AKA devastation have me the most intrigued since I’m a sucker for anything magic in a game- the more alluring the power the more I can’t resist- so when I heard the rumors of course my first thought was on the huge boost Eldar were going to get.
We are the masters of the psyker arts right?
And then we find out they only get access to two lore’s and as usual Space Marines get everything as if there is no power armored conspiracy in play.
This upset me, but at the same time is a good thing for our army.
Marines are going to be spamming the powers left and right. Allies are in, so you can bet if there are some real power exploits lots of guys will bring another libby in tow. IF psychic devastation becomes the new cornerstone of the game, well, not only can Eldar at least participate, but we can assure that our opponent’s won’t have access to their new toys via runes of warding.
I’ve talked about how bringing two farseers is now mandatory in the game for Eldar to even try and compete, could I be more wrong now?
Of course if GW FAQ’s runes since they work so well, well, then that is another issue…
So I might only have access for two types of powers, plus my codex, but at least I can make sure you don’t have usable access and are at the mercy of my own powers.
I expect good times ahead and much Fritz tricknolgy from the psychic powers alone!
But what about the other elements in my list?
Wave serpents, Vypers, and Fire Prisms?
Rumors of a 5+ jink save for fast skimmers also really intrigue me, as does a new lease on holo-fields and perhaps even star engines.
And what if jetbikes then have a special rule also?
All that included as rumors the biggest reset for me in terms of the game is the missions. In 5th my Saim-Hann were all about mobility, and being in the right moment when the game ends. I would routinely lose 90% of my army and yet somehow win the game- only makes sense in 40K.
HOPEFULLY, and I have high hopes for the missions- adding back some tactics other than just castling up with a parking lot of chimera hull and rolling the dice while fancying yourself the second coming of Alexander the Great.
Imagine if TACTICS didn’t involve just removing models?
If 6th can deliver this then suddenly my Saim-Hann with their speed and trickery open up an entire new dimension of play.
Of course if that fails I can always fall back on just playing Grey Knights, and that begs the question- how can they get anything other than super better (is that even a word?) in 6th?
More psychic powers, cheap henchman so you can then pull in that extra allies libby, along with all the latest and greatest in their book already.
And what about the power weapons rumors- are they AP 2 or 3 guys?
Force weapons are rumored to be at AP 2 and guess what- ‘Knight have them like candy, plus the halberds, plus the crazy grenades, plus the best dreads…
I’m not hating on ‘Knights, I was just hoping for a little balance to the book away from the dirty reputation it currently has in 5th.
Maybe the missions will balance it out?
And finally Necrons, my poor Necrons- NO psychic powers, NO psychic defense, What? If the psychic phase is as crazy as rumored why would anybody play a non-psychic army?
How could GW, even in their own crazy logic, make a game introducing a major and dynamic new game phase and completely LEAVE out half of the armies giving them no powers?
Ok, I don’t get the powers, but at least I have a defense for it like runes or warding or a psychic hood right?
It’s fair I’ll have to rely on gloom prisms?
That said, I’m not selling my Necrons yet!
Maybe the magic phase, sorry, psychic devastation phase will be as random as all the other lolz stuff in 6th like terrain, charge distances, etc.
Maybe the rumor of gauss stripping a hull point on a to hit of “6” is true?
Suddenly mass ranks of warriors are really scary, especially if rapid fire gets a boost also. Warriors combined with scarabs will mean the end of any vehicles on the table.
Add in marine killing AP 3 destroyers and maybe Necrons deliver such a kill volley of shots that it isn’t so bad you can’t throw around psyker melta shots or mind tricks?
Change will happen, and as much as I’ll hate some of it, other aspects will be really good for the game, and if anything else IT IS time for a reset of 40K.
Advance the story line, shakeup the WAAC players, and give more random/options out there for us fluff and hobby players.
Who knows, maybe GW is delivering a game that has something that all player aspects of the hobby can enjoy.
Either way it is going to be a busy summer not only re-inventing my armies and how I play them, but also getting back to what keeps me playing the game, rolling those dice, and pushing around my plastic soldiers as I go pew pew- pulling off the last minute win with as much showboating as possible, and making new friends to hang out and roll some dice with in the gaming community.
From time to time I often get asked if I play any other miniature gaming systems outside of Warhammer 40,000 and what place they might have in relation to 40K.
Do I play other games besides 40K?
Yes, and they make my 40K experience better all the time!
I’ve been an avid miniatures gamer since the late 1980’s (showing my age here!) and this kind of flowed out of extension from Dungeons & Dragons and Star Frontiers back when TSR was running the show.
We had a pretty solid gaming group and over time picked up around a dozen or so miniatures to represent out characters in the game, and as you know, once you buy one miniature you can’t stop! Naturally at the gaming store, we started to explore some of the other miniature options and this lead to getting started with Eldar and falling in love with the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
Now, all these years later I still play 40K for two reasons- the gaming community that powers it, and for the love of the fluff and the models. That said there are two other systems that I also really enjoy playing when I can round up some guys when the time warrants and they are Battletech and Ogre- games, in my opinion, on par with Warhammer 40,000 in terms of fluff and miniature enjoyment.
Too much 40K can be a bad thing as it’s easy to approach burnout and stop enjoying the game- and if you are not getting the most out of each game, you are wasting your time- hobby time/free time that can be spent on other things. This is why new editions of the game are so important- to keep it fresh! This is why playing non-competitive units or random units from time to time is important- to keep it fresh! This is why alternative missions to the every usual win or loss only format is important- to keep it fresh…
Games like Space Hulk and Dreadfleet are important, and why I’ll welcome any and all “mystery boxes” since they use similar rules mechanics and fluff, and are thus easy to get 40K or fantasy gamers directly involved and playing over other non GW board games- they can also be an entry point for new players to the hobby as a way to suck them into the fluff and lore of the game.
So how can playing other miniature games make your 40K better?
While it is important to know your system and your chosen army inside and out so you don’t have to think about it, over time this can be a bad thing- it is easy to get locked into a way of thinking- a meta of sorts as to how the game works, what you should be doing, and how to approach the scenario for a game. Familiarity breeds weakness if you play to win.
Playing another system on the side can take you out of that comfort zone/auto-thinking zone as you adapt to new rules, new missions, and a new set of visuals- this takes you out of the box and lets you explore new tactics.
The drawback here is that the gaming system has to be fairly closed if you are going to be using it as a kind of wargames/40K training tool, or a tool to recharge from 40K when you are getting burnt out. This is why I’m not into Warmachines, Infinity, and other mini-games where you buy and expand your army- I blow enough cash and time on 40K.
We need a system that is both tight on the rules, and is close ended. Something I can buy, play, and enjoy (learn from) with minimal investment, say equal to a GW army box or starter set, and then expand on the cheap if I like.
For me, and if I had to throw out a recommendation (and to answer the first question in the first place)I’d go with Battletech since I have been playing it since the start just like 40K (Battletech, Citytech, Aerotech…). It has miniatures that you can paint, giant robots of doom, a rich back story of a galaxy spanning empire at war, and a set of decent and balanced rules. The 25th anniversary box set is still around for $50 or so and has everything you need to play the game without buying any additions.
Besides loving the fluff as much as 40K, it really is a refreshing and tactical break when you start commanding mech’s over space marines and land raiders, and I do have to credit some of my 40K ideas- both the good and the bad from approaching tactics from another system…
A few weeks back I posed up some idea on running 3 C’Tan shards in a list…well just because you can! Following that was some youtube stuff, and a challenge- can YOU run 3 C’Tan and make it “work” on the table? What powers do you take? What supporting units do you integrate? HQ choices? Fellow overlord Nick was the first to take up the challenge over at his blog, and my own battle report is on the way…
I always follow your blog and have been using your necron guides since forever.
I'd like you to take a quick look at this list I built for an upcoming local tournament:
5x Necron Lords
3x Gauntlet of fire
2x Hyperphase Sword
5x Semp. Weave
5x Mindshackle scarabs
Harb. Eternity, Chronometron
10x Immortals (Tesla Carbines)
10x Necron Warriors
Doomsday ark protectors/late objective grabbers
10 Necron Warriors in a Ghost Ark
10 Necron Warriors in a Ghost Ark
2x Doomsday Ark
The whole idea of the army is to offer two major threats for the opponent, the obvious deathstar royal court and the two extremely deadly Doomsday arks. The idea is that the two Ghost Arks with warriors will stay back and cover the doomsday to protect them from deepstrikers/outflankers/fast assaults by simply staying in their way.
The doomsday and ghost arks
I'll usually try to deploy them in the corner of the board so that they have major line of fire and line of sight, preferably atop some hill or other terrain piece.
Of course, "Plans are worthless, but planning is everything". So that might not work sometimes. Still I need to protect those Doomsday from assault because they need to stay still to drop those nice templates. I'm not too scared of shooting due to their quantum shielding. I plan to use them to pop transports and tanks at first, being nice template weapons it is a lot more reliable than railguns or lascannons. Of course they can deal with infantry as well but I have other means of dealing with them.
The nice thing about doomsday and ghost arks is that I can shoot an array of gauss from them, so deepstrikers or outflankers are looking at some serious incoming fire. Any assaulting units that fail to take them down will be shot to pieces on the following round. Dedicated assault troops are likely to wipe out the warriors and stay there to be shot by the combined fire of the remaining ghost ark and the two doomsday arks. Of course that if a threat is simply too much I can just move the Doomsday and shoot with the weaker weapon profile. Another strategy can be to disembark the warriors and then put the ghost ark in the way, thus requiring at least two charges before they reach the most valued Doomsday arks.
The royal court shennannigans
The royal court with this setup is only really weak against massive concentrated shooting. Still with an overall thoughness of 5 and 2+ armor save and 4+ reanimation means that most of the small-arms fire will simply be negated most of the time. As for heavier fire that ignores armor save I'd just assign it to Zadrekh and use his invulnerable save, re-rolling at least once per enemy shooting phase due to the Chronometron.
The Chronometron is a neat piece of wargear and would be used in a different number of ways:
On my moving phase to re-roll difficult terrain tests or deepstrike fails
On my shooting phase to re-roll the Harbringer or Destruction weapon's hits or wound rolls from the staff of light.
On my assault phase to re-roll critical dice like to-wounds against powerfists/claws or save it for my own invulnerable saves.
On the enemy shooting phase to deny low-AP wounds assigning them to Zadrekh and re-rolling his invulnerable saves.
On top of all that I'd move the unit so that each lord with a mindshackle is on base combat with the enemy. Monstrous creatures and lone independant characters are simply negated due to the number of mindshackle scarabs. Against dedicated assault units and horde armies the MSS act just as well, decreasing the enemie's number of potential wounds and always helping a ton with combat resolution.
And then there is Obyron. He's a beast. He's the reason I'm confident running my lords with just hyperphase swords. The Gauntlets of fire help a lot to soften-up targets, especially those that have been freshly popped out of a vehicle from a Doomsday. They also re-roll to wound and to hit on close combat, helping a lot with possible tarpit units by assuring a high number of wounds on top of the MSS.
Also don't forget that Zhandrek will likely be giving these guys either furious charge or counter-attack, as well as taking it away from key enemy units.
And don't forget I can veil out of combat
The rest of the army
The Immortals are there to provide support fire for the Royal court. With 10 tesla carbine shots the chance to score multiple additional hits is not to be ignored. The MSS on the Overlord is present simply to deal with monstrous creatures or to counter-charge in, making sure the overlord is in base-to-base with the enemy power-fist sergeant or similar threat.
The second warrior squad is there to try and hold objectives in the middle of the table. Since they'll likely be supported by the Ghost Arks mid to late game they can just footslog alongside the Immortals, possibly running at the last round if needed to capture an objective.
Killpoints, there are lots of them.
Dawn of war surely slows down the advance, however, if I deploy first I can place the Royal court right in the middle of the board all streched out, denying the opponent a large portion of his deployment zone, and then on my movement phase I simply deepstrike out and get back into position. This can also be done against demons, using the royal court to cordon around my units and then just veiling out whenever it pleases me.
Relying on the 2 shots from Doomsday arks to deal with mech can be a problem. However they have a nice BS of 4, and I have found BS 4 template weapons against tanks to be more reliable than the normal to-hit rolls of lascannons. Sometimes even if you miss the intended target you still hit something. Of course if there is a big parking lot I can simply deattach Obyron from the deathstar unit and give him tank-hunters to attack a high-value vehicle target and assault a different unit with the gimped deathstar, but this is more of a desperation move than a real strategy, but still nice to keep in mind.
So, what are your thoughts on this list? Any obviously bad match-up or flaw that I'm not seeing?
Arthur, thanks for emailing! First up- just the fact that you have a “plan” for your army and what you intend to do is a big advantage. I’m not kidding that many guys don’t even really have this when building an army. The first half is coming up with the plan, and the other half is sticking to it no matter what happens with the dice- no changing plans mid stream.
As for tweaks to the list based on what you would are planning to do I’d find a way to throw in another warscythe in the lord deathstar unit so you have two- don’t want to get tied up by a dreadnought or hight T model, effectively taking your unit out of the game for a few turns.
I’d also say much of your overlord/court tactics should be about drawing the opponent into you- much like with the C’Tan so they can’t avoid the deathstar unit or burn a few turns by having them chase after you- try to stack your objectives as close as possible to what they place- creating a cluster they have to move into to capture and push your overlord + court right into there, with the support of the immortals and arks of course.
Other than that I wish I could say more, but your plan looks pretty solid.
I am a long time reader of your blog and also a long time watcher of your videos. When I heard about your tyranids I took a shine to your Fritzilla army style. I have always liked the idea of running up with lots of monstrous creatures. So I decided to make a similar list but with my twist on it. So I entered a doubles tournement and we decided to go with the Fritzilla theme on it. The list follows....
2 tyrant guard, hive commander, toxic miasma and armoured shell
catalyst and scything talons
Toxin sacs, adrenal glands and catalyst
I would love feedback on the list :)
Issac, a few questions first since there is some overlap in the list. I assume each army works on its own to be fair to everybody else in the tournament- meaning your venomthropes only work on giving your models cover saves, and your partner’s theirs if that makes sense- meaning you can’t drop your venoms to save some points and go off your partners cover saves.
Assuming that I would recommend you consider running a Swarmlord star list for your side of the monstrous creature list since you are almost there with running a hive tyrant + upgrades + guard. I’d drop the trygon to pay for it and then take one or two small groups of genestealers- five models each.
Here is what this buys you…
Set up Swarmlord and the Trygons as far forward as possible, with the tervigons in the back throwing FNP on them and spawning guants- get a gaunt screen out in front to give Swarmlord the cover save and FNP. This is a damned if you do damned if you don’t option- shoot Swarmlord and the Trygons can get though, shoot them and the Swarmlord gets through. Spawn gaunts to tarpit units, and then drop back as needed for objectives.
The ‘stealers are also key to making it work- infiltrating them to key places where they can hide and go to ground for the 3+ save as needed. Maybe even outflank depending on the mission- Swarmlord will let you reroll sides which is sweet- you need a little something to come in on your opponents back sides or appear on their side to keep them busy and force them to waste shots to take the pressure off your incoming big bugs. Work with the models you have if needed- could even be a zope or gaunts in a pod, lictors, etc.
Juan R. also sends in some pics for his Mordrak Ghost Knights army- interesting timing since I have been revisiting the Mordrak bomb as of late with a few adjustments so maybe it's time to open that thread up again- I'm such an easy sucker for first turn deepstriking!
So let’s talk Storm Talon tactics, and what this new model can bring to Space Marine codex- a much needed option to compete against newer codexes or just more eye-candy and fluff for the table?
First thing you notice with the model is that it is really tiny on the table, maybe I’m just used to seeing lots of IG Valks and Storm Ravens to put it in perspective. Looking at the stats side of the model you essentially have a super charged razorback like gunboat.
You have some nice weapon option that can put out some really focused dakka, are very fast moving with some melta protection, but at the price of AV 11. Tactically we are going to have to balance this out on the table, and be a bit conservative in how we employ the Storm Talon. Occupying an often unused fast attack slot is also nice- no competition for tanks or terminators…
Ok, first problem and the biggest problem with the model is the height itself. Moving around shooting means you are going to be shot at, and gaining a cover save through terrain is going to be hard since it’s easy to see the model- its height also opens up multiple lanes of return fire unless you are playing on a bard packed with high terrain. AV 11 doesn’t help, and the model + upgrades are a bit pricey.
Play it as a direct gunboat as I played around with and you will have mixed to disappointing results.
Play it as an escort craft or flank attacking unit and now we are talking.
Start with two or three ‘talons in the center of the table with the rest of your forces and push the attack right down the center with your land raiders and razorbacks/rhinos, while the ‘Talons go supersonic to the opposite side of the table side for a flank attack for starters.
That said, I can see (and will be further trying) this unit in the escort craft role as part of a Space Marine Null Deployment army- something that with Khanh becomes a further possibility now. The key here is that it is tied to the unit entering play- perfect for adding more shots to key units- say like a land raider coming in where you want to move and assault- the storm talon can enter play at the same time and add its firepower to break open what you need and give the termies in the land raider something to assault. Linked to the arriving units, you can assign the extra firepower to units that need it depending on the mission and guarantee that they enter play at the same time- that’s the value in assisting in Null Deployment that attracts me the most to the Storm Talon.
So like many of you out there in 40K land I’m kind of sitting here waiting for 6th to arrive so I can see how my current armies shake up in terms of adjustments, units, and what I may need to buy to update them.
As more and more rumors get confirmed, and as some of us have seen the rules, the first army I’m wondering about is Grey Knights of course since they are arguably currently the best army in the game here at the end of 6th.
It doesn’t take much to play them in the current henchman/chimera/autocannon dread spam build- and I mean no disrespect to your hobby enjoyment if that is the type of army you play…
So why do Grey Knights have the potential to be even more over-the- top then right now?
Could you even imagine such a thing?
That said, I could possibly see the current WAAC GK lists being nullified…
I’m going to go off “rumors” here so feel free to correct me or add your own thoughts:
Cover saves are going down to a 5+ which means if you aren’t wearing power armor or iron underwear you are dead. Xenos get screwed even more and all marines get a huge boost.
Shooting get a boost with some of the special rules and all Grey Knights come with a storm bolter as standard which can be further augmented with psybolts. Tell me another army with a “basic” gun that can outshoot Grey Knights.
AV 14 get a HUGE boost, and Land Raiders are going to be back in full force- who has a better land raider then the Grey Knights? Psybolts, and fortitude are a nasty combo- you can’t kill me and I get to keep shooting every turn.
Psychic powers/devastation is now a major component of the game. Well, GK can take two librarians as an HQ choice and start throwing around the warp magics. Question- are justicars a “psyker” also? GK’s also have hoods to shut down opposing psychic power races- what are non-psykers like Necrons, Tau, and Dark Eldar supposed to do? An entire phase of the game your army can’t participate in?
Close combat is even deadlier- bring on the Grey Knights with their +2 I halberds and force/power weapons. Sure power weapons are AP 3 and termies are immune, but we’ll just deal with termies as we always have as the 40K community goes on an unstoppable love fest with them-hit them with storm bolter spam and watch the “1” roll up. Against anything but termies and the odd 2+ save model everything else just continues to drop.
Throw any rumor you have at the Grey Knights and you tell me how it will hurt them in any way, how any rumor out there can’t enhance the army?
Can you say the same about Necrons who don’t have any psychic powers at all? Sire they have “crypteks” with some cool items which could be their version of “magic” and you won’t be able to dispel it, but marines already kind of have that- it’s called “wargear”.
But all isn’t doom or gloom yet, far from it! This has to be the most excitement in terms of shakeup in my entire time playing the game- which can only be a good thing!
Ok, so here we go…
…the countdown to 6th edition and the much needed shakeup of the 40K community! It’s now confirmed that psychic power will follow a similar disciple to Warhammer Fantasy AKA “Psychic Devastation”
One of the many exciting features of Warhammer 40,000 is Psychic devastation, where Psykers wreak havoc on the battlefield. Psychic Powers is the complete set of Psychic cards, which be used in conjunction with Psychic Disciplines. They make a great accessory to your tabletop games.
This set contains 35 large-format cards and come stored in a plastic fan-opening case, which bears the Aquila. There are 7 cards for each Psychic Discipline, each of which is represented by distinct artwork. There is also an instruction leaflet that classifies which powers can be used by the main Psykers in the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
So what does this really mean for Eldar? On the one hand if we lose fortune, guide, and doom that is going to be a huge game changer in terms of what still keeps the codex going due to the age of it and the neglect of the army by GW. How can we compete with our overpriced units vs. ever cheaper and deadlier Space Marine spam? One of the ways was through guide = increasing our hit rate, doom = our wounds and damage output, and fortune = keeping our every few models alive on the table. In terms of my Harlequins FORTUNE is needed to make the army even work!
If we lose them…
…but what if we gain the ability for psykers to take and select psychic powers?
THAT could be huge!
Two farseers on the table?
What about warlocks- they are psykers?
What about Shadowseers- they are psykers?
The chance to play a magic using space elf army really gets me pumped.
GW isn’t know for game balance, so imagine if the psychic powers are like fantasy- totally out of control and unbalanced, and imagine fielding 2+ psykers?
Add in runes of Warding for some extra fun!
Of course non-psychic armies like Necrons are super sad face…
Now what if Eldar get to KEEP their current psychic powers AND gain even more powers?
I’d be a kid in a candy store!
What makes for a great Warhammer 40,000 Apocalypse game? As both a participant in many large scale games, and as an organizer of such events I’d like to offer some insights into running such a spectacle…
The three most important points in running an Apocalypse sized game is first ensuring that you create as big and grand a spectacle as possible- something to rival even the biggest battle report in White Dwarf, second you have to make sure that each and every player has fun with the event, and finally, you need to make sure the game comes to a completion.
Already a tall order?
It can be done, and you can do it!
Let’s start with creating the biggest and maddest game that we can…
Apocalypse is all about the presentation- creating such an overwhelming battle filled with infantry, tanks, and massive war-machines that the sheer visual aspects of it will stop you right in your tracks. Few of us can do it alone or with a friend or two, so you are going to have to involve some other players. If you are part of a gaming club then organizing such a thing can be done with a week or two of notice, and if you are part of a hobby shop it might take a bit longer.
What we are aiming here for is the suspension of belief that this is a game if you take a step back from the table for a moment- and for that you are going to need to be on top of thing- terrain and the armies playing in the game.
Take a look at the terrain you are going to use for the game- it needs to have both variety and be fully built and painted. You can’t create the ultimate game if your beer can card tube water tower are unpainted, and if your insulation foam rocks are still pink. Work on your terrain and get it up to at least tabletop quality, enlist a few of the guys or gals in the club to help you to get it done.
Next is the armies participating in the game- they need to be painted- period! I’m not trying to sound snobbish here, but nothing will kill the visuals faster if you have awesome terrain, a dozen or so painted armies, and then a sea of plastic and finecast Space Marines missing arms and weapons, or some kind of crappy proxy army. If you are going to send hundreds of Space Marines to their death, at least let them die wearing their chapter colors!
While we don’t want to exclude any players since that goes towards the spirit of the game, we want to encourage them to be included under the rules of the event, and what you or the club is trying to create.
The perfect solution to this is to host a pre-apocalypse paint night or hobby time. Find a Friday or Saturday night before the event where guys can show up and work on brining their army up to at least a three color minimum. If you have some solid hobby painters in the club see if they can volunteer some time to help the other guys paint. If you have enough time, you can also use this hobby night to build and paint terrain.
So that takes care of the first part of the event, ensuring that the stage is set and the visuals look as fantastic as possible, which leads us to the event itself.
Setup is key- you are going to need to arrive early enough to set the main table, terrain, and side tables for the event. In organizing such a large game, you want to make sure that the gaming table is used for just that- gaming. Set up tables behind the main gaming table where the players can set up their armies, place their army lists, dice, templates, and all that.
Get the setup to a point where all the player have to do is walk in, get psyched at seeing the table, and then start unpacking their armies.
Which leads us to the “theme” of the game…
If you have a big enough group you can do a themed battle such as a Tyranid invasion or perhaps something from the Horus Heresy, but more than likely it will be a simple game of Imperium Vs. Xenos. Set the game points for each player ahead of time (usually 1500-1750), and if you have a player or two with both “good” and “bad” armies ask them to bring both so you can balance the sides if needed.
As an organizer in terms of a mission I’ve found that three objectives set across the center of the table at equally spread out segments works best- this forces both sides to meet in the middle of the table leading to some intense rounds of shooting and assaulting, while also opening up space in the back of the table for outflanking or deep striking units- truly using the fully dynamics of the gaming board.
Now for the logistics of the game…
You need to make sure the game concludes, nothing worse than playing in a big game and not finding out if your side won or lost, or what happened in the themed event. How would you feel if the traitor legions were just about to break through the palace of terra, and Horus was going to deliver the killing blow to the Emperor and the story…just…ended.
Set a time limit for each part of the round…
Side A now has twenty minutes to move their models…go…
Side A now has twenty minutes for shooting…go…
Side A now assaults…
If the players know they are on a schedule they will often finish ahead of time, but be firm in calling dice or measuring tape down at the conclusion of each round- you need to be fair!
About half way through the game give a short break- fifteen minutes or so for the players to step away for a moment, recharge and rethink, and then jump back into the game. Usually done around the middle of the game turns you can help build anticipation with this.
Finally, and perhaps the hardest part of the game is making sure that everybody has “fun” and goes home happy from the day. When I run such a hobby event I do three things to ensure this- as the guy running the game be fair and firm in the application of the rules. Don’t let the players decide amongst themselves- you step in and make the call from a fair point of view.
Second, while you can bring any units to an apocalypse battle, perhaps consider limiting the super heavies to an equal number on each side. Nothing ruins the game more when a single player has their entire army wiped out at the start of the game. Sure you are going to take losses, but everybody should have something surviving to the end of the game, even if it is a lone group of terminators.
I also like to give out prizes of participation which players can earn regardless of which side they are on or who wins the game. This adds to the feeling of individual accomplishment, while adding another dimension to the event.
Usually I print up some heavy cardstock certificates stating the event, and the award- if you are so talented or creative they could even be model sized purity seals, tokens, etc. Here are a few of the prizes given out:
Headhunter- the player who kills the most HQ choices.
Starkiller- the player who destroys the most super heavy units.
No Retreat, No Surrender!- the player who has the least number of surviving models at the end of the game.
Held At All Costs- the player who holds the objectives for the longest.
If you can give out a dozen or so certificates for key events and achievements it helps add to the fun of the game, and smoothes over any hard feeling along the way.
So I hope that has given you some solid ideas to start organizing your own apocalypse event or mass scale games, and while issues will come up, just keep the game moving, and with the right amount of pre-planning it is possible for one person to run the event…
Let’s get started with some basic lance tactics for Battletech…
Of course the first question is how do YOU build a lance? In my gaming group, while we have worked out a relative point value for different classes and builds of mechs so both players can have a somewhat even match, the preferred way is to randomly generate mechs for each lance.
Does and can this produce unequal lances? Sure does, but is war fare?
Personally I prefer the random lance generation since it represent your lance going out on patrol and you never know what you are going to be facing- good solid tactics are needed more than every if you are planning to win the day!
So what is the basic lance formula that I like to deploy and use?
I’ll try and fit my mechs into the following roles as best I can if it is a random list, and if I can pick my own mechs all the better.
First in the lance is the light mech which in a head to head battle I’ve found has limited value when a medium mech can cripple it with a lucky shot, and a heavy or assault mech can take it out in one volley. Given the choice, or what fills the role best on available mechs we want something very fast, and armed with at least a PPC or autocannon if given a choice- the Puma is a good example.
Next for a medium mech we want something that can sustain fire for a few turns without over heating- autocannons are preferred or a mix of medium lasers as a choice.
And then finally for the heavy/assault mechs we want long ranged firepower- something that can saturate the target again and again- the Archer being a classic example.
Tactics begin with sending out the light mech (!) where you are always moving as fast as you can each turn trying to stay at medium range for as long as you can. In shooting you aren’t going to be hitting very much due to moving around, so the PPC is key for when you do hit- in terms of causing some damage.
While this is happening, essentially your light mech is bait to be shot at, sucks to be a light mech, your heavy/assault mechs are pounding away with focused LRM missile fire on one of your opponent’s mechs.
Finally the medium mech advances at the same time and shoots the mech that you weakened with the LRM’s- be sure to focus fire on one mech at a time!
Of course what will happen is that eventually your light mech will get tagged, then the medium mech will start taking hits and go down, finally leaving your two heavy mechs which will still be shooting at range- relying on that and the heavy armor to win the day.
A bit simplistic, but think of it as a template to start with and adjust based on the mission and mechs you are playing…
A well played miniature game complete with painted models, well built terrain, and dynamic tactics is both part movie and part epic story- it’s easy to get sucked into the events unfolding on the table as you push your little toy models around and roll dice.
For many of us in the hobby seeing such a grand setup is what immediately got us sucked into the game- with the question being which game system to start playing?
Battle robots, space aliens, Roman legions, dragons, tanks, and wizards- there is a miniature game out there catering to any and all tastes, so naturally the first choice is to pick a game where the background story fits what you like as this is what makes playing a miniature wargame so fun!
The next, and perhaps hardest decision is to decide if you want to play in an open gaming system or a closed gaming system- let’s take a look at both so you know what to look for.
An open gaming system is one where the rules and models change every few years, with a perfect example being Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Fantasy by Games Workshop. In these miniature systems you buy, build, and play an army that you are constantly changing and adding to as Games Workshop comes out with new models, rules, and books. Naturally something like this can potentially be VERY expensive, so naturally the question is this- why would anybody play such a system?
Well, if it is always evolving there is little chance of the gaming system getting stale and you will always have a new selection of units/models to buy, build, add, and collect for your army.
On the opposite side we have a closed gaming system like Battletech- a system where the models and rules are firmly established and after the initial investment in the game you have everything you will ever need to play and keep playing the game. Of course over time new models and rules become available if you want them, but they aren’t needed to play the game.
Most wargamers play both types of systems, as both aspects of the miniature wargaming hobby have their different rewards, but if you are approaching the hobby from a new perspective consider what you may be getting involved with and where your interests are in entering such a hobby.
Be warned- pushing around little plastic soldiers and tanks is addictive!
Had the chance to get in a few games of 40K over the weekend at FTW ranging from just rolling dice and seeing what happens to trying to pull together a plan and make it work. Let’s talk tactics from one of the games with my Necrons vs. Space Wolves…
Mission is annihilation vs a wolf lord on a thunder wolf, some grey hunters in razorbacks, long fangs, and two dreads- one in a pod, and one not in a pod. Wolves deployed first over in the left corner and put the pod in reserve.
In such a kill point mission, what is the plan with horde Necrons? Hit and fade, deploy and melt from the center of the table, grab those kill points, and pray the game ends before the wolves can catch me!
So I deploy all my units in the center and use Stormlord to seize first turn on the 4+ which he does- I need to do this for two reasons- the first is to try and get off some lightning strikes and maybe cripple a vehicle (no such luck in this game on the first turn) and two to get moving to the right where I am going to run and head towards.
Warriors and destroyers move right, deathmarks + Stormlord and scarabs stand their ground in the center as the bait and then move off. Space wolf pod slams down and dread gets out, vapes some warriors, being venerable I can’t stop it from shooting/moving so it shoots and assaults my warriors who hold- I then hit it with my destroyer lord, battle out for two turns and finally kill it and then the pod.
Wolves advance as nightfight keeps down the shooting and as they get to the center my scarabs rush out and kill a rhino- I know I’m trading a kill point for a kill point, but my hope is that the ‘wolf player will stop to deal with the scarabs with the fast moving thunderwolf dude and his rhinos, which he doesn’t and the scarabs die from bolters and an assault, trading one for one.
Lightning gets a bit better taking out two rhinos as my warriors and deathmarks keep running and gunning, and I’m up by two kill points as my destroyer lord and a group of destroyers go down from some shooting.
Bad run rolls cripple my deathmarks as the wolf lord catches up to them and kills them and Stormlord (again!) tying the game as it ends on turn five. My own fault for not being more conservative with the deathmarks and wanting to get a round of shooting in with them over just running each turn, but I can’t really complain.
In a nutshell, that is how I’ve been playing my warrior horde Necrons- start center and then wheel away from the main mass of my opponent- using the destroyers and destroyer lord to engage any units trying to attack from the other side, lightning strikes to cut down on MSU targets, feed the scarabs as bait, and then just as my opponent catches up to me, turn back around and open up with my warriors, deathmarks, and destroyers…
Lots of great armies on the table at FTW Games from this past weekend, and with internet superstar Goatboy in attendance I knew there was going to be some real eye candy on the table- one has to respect the Goat! Goatboy played a fun filled deff-rolla ork list, complete with lots of boyz and lots of custom nobz- man the pics just don’t do this army justice…