Mysterious Objectives Tactics

What does list building and mysterious objectives have in common? More than you think! When we build our list we want to take into account the dice and how they are going to roll over the course of a game- both the good rolls and the bad rolls.

So you don’t take one las cannon in your army and actually expect to stop that land raider right? You need to take a few so over the course of each turn, a few will miss in shooting, no glance, or pen, and eventually strip off hull points and destroy the land raider. A number of functioning units evens out the dice. We control random this way though our lists, which is important, but why not the other random aspects of the game?

Let’s look at mysterious objectives- are they ground breaking? Is a lucky MO roll going to change the course of the game? Think not, well it defiantly can if you have the right unit on the objective at the right moment. Skyfire, simulated preferred enemy, etc. all can make a huge difference if you account for it and let it go to work over six turns.

I’m now building my Eldar lists to take advantage of mysterious objectives as an actual plan in the army- and why not- there is a 1 in 6 chance of me getting what I want for the unit which is pretty good odds.


There are three zones to deploy objectives- my deployment zone, the middle zone of the table, and my opponent’s deployment zone- so let’s look at placing two objectives in my deployment zone.

One down and then the other- what is next?

Normally I would deploy my scoring units on them, and in the case of my backfield objectives guardians would go on one, and pathfinders on the other. If I do this we then roll for mysterious objectives at the start of the game.

Well what happens if one starts exploding?

What if one is re-roll misses but my pathfinders are on the opposite?

What if my guardians would benefit from it for some reason over the pathfinders?

Now what I do is deploy one objective on the right, one on the left, and my guardians and pathfinders in the center. My wraithlords which work as blocking units go on the objectives to activate them at the start of the turn- and then when I see what they are, then the guardian and pathfinders move out to the ones that would benefit them the most.

Slight issue is that it takes a turn to get into place- a turn I can’t fully use the objective, but not really. With GW’s love affair with night fight now shooting is reduced on turn one, and I can always move and then snap fire if it isn’t a guardian weapon platform so I’m not really burning much of a first turn.

The more little “random” things I stack in my favor, or can semi-control like mysterious objectives, over just landing and finding out what they are by chance the better I can boost my list- and I’ll take whatever boost I can get.

Same things with warlord traits- which can also make or break the game in certain circumstances- and we’ll take a look at that next!

Battle For Salvation Tournament: Which Army To Play?

We are about a week and a half out to the Battle for Salvation GT at the Palisades Mall in NY with a few spots still open- so if you have been thinking about registering now is the time!

Friday night is the 500 point skirmish tournament (see site for more details) which I will be running and then on Saturday and Sunday the main event- and for this I’ve been pulled off administrative duty as a judge and am now playing in the event to cover any last minute cancelations due to an emergency.

So this is your chance to roll some dice with me and test your skillz…

Of course this now means I have to figure out what army to play. First thought is Necrons since they have been updated for 6th but honestly I’m kind of burned out on them right now and I’m sure there will be enough ‘cron representation at the event.

Do I go back to my humble roots and take the field with Eldar? I’ve been doing pretty good with my foot list and if there is any army I can give my opponent a tough game with it is Eldar regardless of the how aged the codex is.

Question is- what units to take? The core of the army is Eldrad, guardians, and pathfinders, but from there I have access to all the aspects except dark reapers, and wraithguard. I can see so many cool combos and ideas…

Tyranids have also been on my mind for the challenge they bring in 6th. Nerfed even more now in 6th (sorry to say that) and I’m sure they will be underrepresented at the event which makes them attractive. Plus it would be a fun game no matter who I faced- space bugs attacking is always cinematic.

Issue here is that Brother Captain James is playing Tyranids also and has already built his list out of the pool of models we have…which means I have to work with the models available which is at least genestealers, and well, this is 6th edition. But I will have Swarmy on my side, which is another plus in the fun category.

So what to do?

I’ll let YOU guys decide for me!

Take a vote on the polls in the upper right, I’m also going to open it up on youtube- do you want me to play Eldar or Tyranids, and if Eldar what units to take?



Dark Heresy: Forgotten Bastard Of 40K?

So what’s the state of Dark Heresy these days? It been a few years since its release? 2008? When it was first released Jawaballs, myself, and Tattoo Matt played it pretty heavily and then it kind of died out...

Recently I’ve been kind of feeling like rolling the D10’s and playing some hardcore ‘Heresy thanks to 6th edition and Dungeons & Dragons- yes the two are oddly linked at this point.

40K 6th has kind of shifted my playing experience and appreciation of 40K, more to the narrative side of the game, and enjoying the hobby from that point of view. Perhaps it is due to the fact that towards the end of 5th competition was all that seemed to matter, and the game really became very one dimensional = IG or GK = win. Period. The aesthetics seemed to get stripped away in favor of WAAC, and every tournament I was playing in was kind of the same thing. Same armies, same players, same missions.

6th has rebooted that, and so far I’m happy to see some of the more narrative and cinematic aspects of the game, which are now part of the game like it or leave it, like allies, and fortifications being allowed in tournaments. I’m still kind of waiting for mysterious objectives and the interactive terrain, but who knows how that will turn out- time consuming and way random for a tournament? Would it make a difference in the outcome of a game? Would you want to be on table # 1 and lose because of random terrain effects? Could you lose because of random terrain effects?

With all the new stuff to explore in 40K AND the new box set I find my imagination wandering and hungry for other aspects of the gaming universe I enjoy...

Dark Heresy is an extension of this...

It is calling…

On the opposite side of that I really enjoy playing D&D and role playing games- that kind of gaming experience is where I started even before 40K, but D&D has been kind of meh as of late. Both sets of guys I play with won’t touch 4.0 (debate for another post) and will only play 3.5. On top of that we play with all the compendiums and supplemental books allowed.

I’m really half and half on this.

From the perspective of a DM I’d want my players to play any race or class they want if they can make it fit in the gaming universe. Why not? It is their time in the game just as much as mine, and if playing some crow-like shape shifting thief fighter monk dragon born fey warrior dude where everything is your favored class is fun for you then go for it.

On the other hand this kind of turns the game into nothing more than mental masturbation since characters are so over powered and broken. You think game balance is a joke with 40K- take a look at ANYTHING outside the three core books for D&D 3.5 or 4.0. Even in 3.5, characters are god like and almost impossible to kill unless you throw encounters at the group that don’t make sense for the adventure. Take it a step further and play with a party of guys that know the system inside and out, and know what rules can be broken and munchkined out. So you go the opposite way and restrict it to the core classes and nobody wants to play.

Right now in D&D from both a player perspective and a character perspective there are ZERO consequences to your actions. Anything and everything can be undone with a simple spell or at WORST the right amount of gold- and this just isn’t with the groups I play in and DM with- I read the stuff that is on Wizards, and it is all the same.

Just as we have an entire generation of 40K players that know nothing else beyond Space Marines since GW has made them so uber, we have an entire generation of D&D 4.0 dudes that have never know permanent death or what it means to do something stupid in the gaming world and pay the price for it.

Even at low level you can reverse bad stuff like con damage, energy drains and the like so why be careful in a dungeon? Maybe its just that Gygax D&D seems a bit more REAL then Hasbro D&D....

And I’m not bitching about D&D even though it sounds like it- I love the game, the fluff, and the mechanics!

But then you take a look at Dark Heresy and you realize how brutal the 40K universe really is, and you ask yourself, as a player, do I dare challenge this universe with nothing more than my wits and SMART role playing skills.

Even really well planned characters die if you take one mis-step and even common weapons and encounters can kill you- no hacking and slashing with swords and magic for rounds and rounds of combat and then you win and heal back up like nothing happened. 

I want the narrative RPG experience and want to be scared and challenged.

If I WIN the adventure I want it to be because of my superior wits and planning, not because the gaming system just won't let me die.
The guys that I play both D&D and 40K with- would they be able to adapt to the brutality of Dark Heresy?

The other think I really like about Dark Heresy and this might have to do more with how I play it from the point of view as a GM is the level of mistrust that they party should have. Sure some mysterious inquisitor has pulled them together, but what do they really know about each other with mutations and psychic powers abound? I also used to play an RPG called Paranoia like a maniac and that mechanic just feels at home with Dark Heresy.

Who can you trust if you can’t even trust yourself?

I also enjoy the temptation of the dark gods as there is always one dude in every gaming group that wants power, wants to be the most-uber character, will do anything to be the "best" in the party and that temptation is easy to offer from the point of the GM...and so much fun.

I’m kind of just ranting away now, but I would like to really tackle Dark Heresy again from both the POV of a player and a GM. Especially with all the new chaos models, cultists, GW terrain, and 40K miniatures that all of us have ready to go.

Just like 6th edition, another way to use the miniatures in our gaming collections…

40K Tournament Tactics: In-between Game Turns

One of the criticisms that I often hear regarding Warhammer 40,000 is the lack of game interaction when it isn’t your turn- the argument is that if a game takes two hours to play, you are only actively involved for half the game, sitting around doing nothing while your opponent moves their models and rolls the dice.

I 100% fully disagree!

What happens on your opponent’s turn is the other half of the game, and can often be just as fun as moving around your own models and going pew pew with the dice!

If I’m playing a casual game which from me is playing a random pickup game with the guys at the club or comic shop I’m not overly concerned with winning or losing, (unless it is against Warmaster Black Matt, of which I am currently undefeated against him, while refusing all challenges of a rematch) in-between turns is a chance to enjoy the scenic aspects of the game.

I like to take a step back and look at the aesthetics that the table and the models create. I imagine what my models might be thinking, and just how much of the battle field they are aware of in contrast to my god-like knowledge from standing over the table. In my mind bullets fly, lasers burn, and war machines explode. It is a chance to enjoy the modeling and hobby aspect for a moment, while I’m not distracted by tactics, rules, or moving my own models around- not that I don’t enjoy the show during my turn, just that it is easier to do in my opponent’s turn.

In a tournament setting what happens in-between turns is a bit different…

During the course of the game you can only control and perhaps influence things when it is your turn. You can determine where your models move, what they shoot at, and then potentially assault regardless of good tactics or not.

In your opponent’s phase you have no control, and rather react to your opponent’s actions regarding rolling armor or cover saves, making leadership tests and resolving assaults.

When it is my opponent’s turn and they are moving their models around and shooting is it productive to plan out my next move?

Perhaps as in chess to think on their turn?

You can, but it is really productive as things are changing and you won’t know what to base your next decisions on until it is your turn again and you can see the “set” positions of the models, what the results of shooting and assaulting were, etc.

When it is my opponent’s turn I like to use that time to study the player I am facing. Where is the focus of their attention? Can I read how they are feeling? Has something I done last turn with my models captured their attention? Did I try to get their attention with a certain move and it didn’t work?

I like to look for these potential cues and then apply them to my next turn when I can now react and assess to the models on the table.

Dreadfleet: Release The Kraken!

Much like mysterious objectives in Warhammer 40,000, the fate cards in Dreadfleet are there to add a little bit of unpredictability to the game. Close the gap between winning and losing, giving you something that can boost your army a bit, or hurt it not too much…

Random game elements and mechanics tend to turn players off since it is something they can’t account for and build into their list. You min/max your list, plan your attack, minimize the impact of dice by brining enough of the same units, and then you lose out on something critical because you got a “1” rather than a “6” in a random effects dice roll?

That seems to be the complaint from 40K players regarding mysterious objectives, even though they aren’t THAT bad, and well cover that in the next 40K focused article I promise, but in Dreadfleet the randomness of fate- that games version on mysterious objectives or haunted woods works out perfectly since Dreadfleet isn’t the “serious” game that 40K is.

So what is Fate?

In the Dreadfleet gaming universe the battle between the Grand Alliance and the Dreadfleet takes place in the maelstrom- a chaos influenced section of the ocean where sea monsters are plentiful and the winds of magic VERY fickle.

Every turn after determining the direction of the wind you draw a fate card and resolve it…

Which brings me to changing the fate mechanics a bit for PvP Dreadfleet games.

Once of the best points of the game is that you can play in groups of 5 players vs. 5 players which is easy to fill given the looks of the game, the easy rules, and just enough depth to make it tactical but not overly tedious.

In a PvP game certain fate cards are better than other in driving the action of the game- forcing the ships to close to point blank broadsides and captain vs. captain duals.

In driving the story the best cards to draw are the various sea monsters that pop up from time to time. When these cards are drawn, a random or specified player places the monster on the board often based on the wind gauge of 1” away from a specified ship and then each turn both sides (Alliance and ‘Fleet) dice off to see who controls the monster for a turn.

This back and forth dynamic is really fun- think of 40K where you are fighting over a quad gun in the center of the table.

So in our PvP games to promote this fun, and make sure it happens I’ve actually built two fate decks- one for campaign play from the missions in the book which uses the entire deck, and one for PvP which has many of the campaign cards taken out like changing the wind or discovering treasure, not that discovering treasure isn’t fun while trying to blow your buddy out of the water.

In building a more dynamic action fate deck the back and forth action of the game improves tremendously without overly favoring one side.

This has gotten me thinking about a similar sea monster card effect in 40K I want to experiment with…

What is that Imperial Guard forge world model that is a small tank packed with explosives? Heck maybe even a grott tank- something small that starts in the center of the board and gets activated every turn through a dice off which that player then controls.

Something FUN and WACKY.


Leaked White Dwarf Chaos Pics WOW!

We all knew it was only a matter of time...

The first real chaos leak with pictures....

Wow, truly chaos has been reborn, truly looks like a new army, a complete reboot and over-haul. Simple amazing!

Eldar Wraithlords in 40K 6th Edition

Locally it seems like the few reaming Tyranid players are abandoning their monstrous creatures in droves in favor of smaller buggies…

…why the sudden loss of prestige for MC’s in the list?

Well the long standard hallmark of MC survivability, the cover save, has been reduced for the most part from a 4+ to a 5+ for starters. Vehicles being taken out by stripping hull points and glancing means plasma has returned, which also bypasses MC’s toughness and armor saves, and then of course there is the ability to grenade them, along with the point cost for them.

I can understand the Tyranid shift, but what about Eldar then- specifically wraithlords since they are such a cool and iconic model.

I’m still running them in all of my foot lists- two or three depending on the list, and the only difference is that their role has changed a bit.

They used to head out with my primary assault units- usually harlequins or banshee assault units as a way to both boost the hitting power of them, but also to threaten armor with their brightlances- as another layer to crack open vehicles so the clowns or girls could assault.

These days this tends to get them kills on turn one or two at the latest like their big bugged cousins…

Previously where they were a spearhead unit and had their impact at the start of the game, now they are a mid game impact unit in the role of support and counter attack.

Weapon loadout they take scatter lasers of course so they can make the most of actually hitting on a 3+, and star cannons to deny marines armor saves, which is more of a personal Fritz preference. Wraithswords are also back due to the shift in dual roles.

So tactically they hang out with my guardian groups that hold my back field mission objectives as a reserve unit. As my spearhead units (seer council, dire avengers, fire dragons) advance the wraithlords along with the guardians give them some weapon support.

Inevitably something of my opponent’s manages to break through and makes a play for the weak guardians and pathfinders in my deployment zone mid game, and this is where the ‘lords activate.

Their guns try to stop and slow things down, but more than likely they move out to intercept combining their moving, shooting, and assaulting roles all into one of possible- this is the only way they are going to come close to earning their points on the table.

Once the ‘lords move out and expose themselves all the weakness that MC’s have can be exploited. We can’t rely on them standing around and shooting for the rest of the game to kill models.

We need to move, shoot and kill a model or two, and then assault- using the sword re-roll and bonus attack on the charge to kill and win the assault. Of course marines won’t break and get cut down, but they will be held in place, keeping the guardians safe, and that is when you send in the banshees to finish off the marines if needed, or perhaps even a mass guardian wave attack- don’t laugh- 30+ guardians and warlocks charging can do some damage against regular marine units...

Space Hulk: Multiplayer Experience?

A while back I posted my thoughts on what made Dreadfleet such a great game from the perspective of playing something else GW related at the gaming club or hobby shop.

Arguably Space Hulk is a better game in terms of mechanics and the 40K atmosphere is much easier to relate against for most of us, so why not ‘Hulk over ‘Fleet?

Multiplayer is what makes the experience in a club environment- the fact that we can get multiple players on each side, each controlling their own ship, vs. the two player limitations of Space Hulk with one dude controlling the terminators and the other guy controlling the Genestealers.

But does Space Hulk have to be like this?

This is something I have been giving some though about recently since I’d love to replicate the mass player feel and fun of Dreadfleet on the Space Hulk level.

Where have I started?

Well, the fact that I don’t have to worry about player balance is a relief. That’s not to say balance and standing a fair chance of winning isn’t important, but rather focusing on the fun of the game and creating a multi-player atmosphere.

It’s not like I have to worry about making the rules and scenarios NOVA like so everybody stands an equal chance of winning despite GW’s wonky rules balances.

I’ve played enough 1 vs. 1 hulk to slowly learn that it takes about five genestealers to kill one terminator in open combat so that is the starting point.

So on the Blood Angels side each player selects their terminator and each Tyranid player gets five ‘stealers to control. All the models act independently of each other, and of course both sides can work together as needed.

For now I’ve been assigning certain ‘stealer poses to each player to keep track, but I’m working on little color markers for the bases so we can see who controls each group of five on the map.

Taking another cue from Dreadfleet I’ve been working on a quick summary card for each model showing how they can move, attack, and what wargear they have, etc. Each player having their own little summary on their side of the table is such a time saver and keeps flipping though the book to see which does what- I know what a thunder hammer does in 40K, but what does it do in ‘Hulk?

Next mechanic to tackle has been the turn mechanics- you go I go works fine for a 1 vs. 1 game, but it falls apart in multi-player ‘Hulk. What has been fun is again borrowing from Dredfleet- everybody rolls a D6 at the start of the turn and we assign turn order based on highest to lowest, with each player putting a turn marker on their model card so we can all remember! In the test games this has lead to some interesting dynamics and some tense moments where both the terminators and genestealers have gambled and put themselves out there open to shooting or assault taking the chance they will go next turn before their closest opponent- creates some real tension during the turn roll off.

Next up is adjusting the sin of damnation itself- how to lay out the tiles. Bigger has been better allowing room for both sides to work as a team or just say the hell with it and go solo. So the game is different every time I’ve been applying a random layout each time- we start with a big tile in the center, and then each player takes turns adding a piece of their choice as the ‘hulk is built out. After that we then take turns adding the doors where we want. Each side is then a deployment zone and players dice off to see where they deploy. Tactically it has been interesting as the Blood Angels players try and build long fire lanes, while the ‘stealer players try to have as many bends and turns as possible.

And then the mission, well being a multi-player game, the mission is simple- Exterminatus.

Last side standing wins.

I’m hoping to get a summary sheet and the mission/stat cards up on the blog if you want to try it out, and of course some youtube vids of the game in progress with my witty observations, heroic exploits, and legendary dice rolling skills…

Building Up Your Gaming Club: Hosting Events

A while ago we took a look at starting your own 40K gaming club to build the hobby and give you and your fellow gamers a weekly place to hang out and play…

…so this week let’s take a look at keeping the club going and the next steps to take...

Once you have a regular pool of members and can meet your monthly expenses (if any) the next step beyond just continuing to grow the club is to both start improving your gaming atmosphere while building up a rainy day fund.

Regardless if you are playing in a store which supplies table and terrain, or your club manages their own, terrain management is a big factor that is often over looked. Say you have ten sets allowing twenty players to game each week, and at each gaming session the terrain gets set up and put away- what condition is it going to be in six months down the road?

What about the pieces that break? What about expanding and offering new terrain sets to play on? Terrain makes or breaks the game visually, and you want your club to deliver the awesome visuals.

Terrain upkeep and expansion requires money, and in the interest of member retention you want to keep your club dues as low as possible, so this is where events and tournaments come into play.

When you have a few members as a base, and you have established your web-presence in the community, and perhaps played in a few tournaments yourself it is time for the club to host their own event.

Don’t be scared by this, you’re not going to go full on NOVA over night…

…start small, so you can be 100% sure of success. Work with the time you have- perhaps a Saturday or late evening where you can run a simple three game tournaments right from the missions in the book. Give away some prizes, store credit, or even some inexpensive trophies- something to acknowledge the winners.

Be upfront in the advertising and organization- charge a modest fee to cover the expenses of running the tournament with any excess money going into the club treasury to buy terrain or save for that rainy day when maybe you need to draw some money to keep the club going if membership drops for a bit, or if the place you are renting from suddenly raises the rates and you need a few weeks to find a new place to game, etc. OR maybe you want to buy a small “club army” of Space Marines that stays at the club that new players can try out and game with while deciding if they want to get into 40K or perhaps try out some new units in their list. Just a little money can go a long way.

In addition to running tournaments another great way to generate some club savings and build membership is to host a bitz swap night. Instead of regular gaming everybody can bring their bitz, 40K stuff, sprues, etc. and trade them with other people. Advertise it to the surrounding gaming community and you will be surprised who shows up. Again, charge a modest $2-$3 bitz support fee for guys attending to build up your clubs savings. You will be surprised at who and what shows up, and what guys can walk away with and be really happy…

…in addition to getting your gaming club out there as a place to hang out and game at.

At the mid membership level when you have 10+ regular games on the roster, hosting events for the 40K community to participate in is that next step.

Battle For Salvation 2012 Grand Tournament: Registration Now Open

Registration for the Battle For Salvation 2012 Grand Tournament is now open! Join us and your fellow 40K hobbyists for a weekend of 40K gaming, fun, and hanging out.

Just like last year we are going to be holding the event at the Palisades Mall in Nyack New York which has been a great venue in terms of parking, room size, and food options.

AND just like last year we have expanded the hobby offerings and added MORE gaming tables. Gaming options for this year include a Friday night skirmish tournament, the GT main event on Saturday and Sunday, along with a Apocalypse hobby event also held on Saturday.

More information and registration options are HERE on the Battle for Salvation site.

Friday Night Skirmish

On Friday night the Battle For Salvation Grand Tournament will be holding a four round skirmish tournament using the “Battleforce Recon” mission in the 40K 6th edition rulebook. Players will have 500 points to build their army following a single force organization chart- all models must be WYSIWYG and painted to a three color minimum. Prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third place.

Saturday & Sunday 40K Grand Tournament

Our Grand Tournament will feature 6 games over 2 days. Players will be sorted into 8-man brackets at the end of Saturday based on performance. Players will then battle for supremacy in their respective brackets on Sunday, with all players guaranteed 3 games (no more single elimination). Prizes will be awarded to the winners of each bracket and the winner of the top bracket will be crowned Tournament Champion

Saturday: The Big Game- Apocalypse!

Participate in the Battle For Salvation Grand Tournament Apocalypse Big Game on Saturday October 6, 2012 at the Palisades Mall. Each player will have 2000 points to build an army using Apocalypse Rules including all Apocalypse formations, super heavies, and Forge World units- this is a chance to play all your models on the table and make things go BOOM! As a hobby event the only “rules” are that all models MUST by WYSIWYG and fully painted to at least a three color minimum. If you are using any formation or Forge World units, please have the datasheets or model stats with you in case of any rules question.

Teams will be decided on the day of the event following “Imperium” vs. “Xeno” as the sides, and if you are playing as part of a gaming group or with some friends and would like to play on the same side or against your friends we’ll make it work.

The Apocalypse mission will be objective based with four set in the center region of the table, and then one in each deployment zone placed by each team. Tactical assets will be selected before the game starts so each side can strategize and compliment their forces.

Prizes will be handed out each turn based on controlling objectives and at the end of the game for achieving certain defined mission achievements.

Dreadfleet Battle Report

Dreadfleet at the comic shop from this past Sunday…

So the ‘fleet get’s unboxed and the curious start lining up. Warmaster Black Matt and I were originally going to just go head to head but the more players the better, and by the time the Grand Alliance set sail for the Maelstrom we had three players on each side.

Normally in a PvP Dreadfleet game we randomly draw ships and leave both flagships out but since we had 3 vs. 3 we decided to pick our own ships. I’ve been playing the Chaos Dwarf Black Kraken a lot recently so it was time to switch it up and play the ‘Curse which has a special attack die allowing it to set other ships ablaze which is useful for piling on the damage cards, or at least forcing burning ships to repair that card first over a hull or crew making it just a little bit easier to sink.

If you are playing a massive PvP Dreadfleet game, the Dreadfleet lives and dies based on how well the Skaven Skabarus undead ship does, especially if the Grand Alliance dwarf ship Grimnir’s Fury is in play- which it was.

Most of the ships in the game have an Imperial Guard, or should I say Eldar armor save- get hit by a broadside or volley of bolts and you have a 5+ save to negate it, or in some cases depending on the ship a 6+. Yikes, this game doesn’t suffer from the Space Marine effect!

The exception to this is the ‘Fury which has both a 3+ save (HUGE) and an augmented repair ability, which makes sense even in GW logic since they are dwarves and like to fix things.

The counter to all this is the Skabarus and the Skaven’s fascination with warstone powered weapons- the Skabarus’ attacks use warp lightning which means none of the ships get an armor save! With some good positioning if the Skaven can get close and perform a rake- shooting down the length of the ship you can sink your opponent in two turns if you are lucky. I would say the Skabarus is perhaps the most powerful ship in the game…

If you are the Grand Alliance using all the ships the plan is to head out as an armada and then break away with the ‘Fury letting the Dreadfleet pound on it trying to stop it while the other ‘Alliance ships fire away.

On the opposite side the Dreadfleet is trying to screen the Skabarus so it can pick out a ship at a time and try and sink it…

…or everybody can just go their own way and blast it out.

So at the start of the game the Skabarus took a pounding and was almost taken out of action but luckily escaped and made some decent repair rolls as the Kraken under the command of Black Matt closed with the swordfish and engaged in a boarding action over a few turns getting his captain AND first mate killed forcing me to stop screening the Skabarus and finish off the Swordfish, navigating through some tough rocks and getting stuck…

…all the while the Skaven and the Dwarf ships navigated trying to get into position for a final devastating broadside, which the Skabarus was able to do, sending the ‘Fury to the Maelstrom's grave…

More Dreadfleet from the club on Monday...

Eldar Seer Council: The Foot Version

For most the “test” of which units to include in an army boils down to a simple equation = the least amount of points spent / by redundancy. For the most part one sees lots of repletion filling out the various slots with the same units, with the exception of Space Marine terminators since they are THAT good and at around 200 point not that expensive when you further consider how good the base tactical marines are and their cost. HQ choices seem to be even more stringent, avoiding named characters since they also tend to be over priced, often taking the cheapest buy in so you can get more redundancy in your list.

From a tactical perspective this makes sense- more point to spread out among your units means less of an impact when the dice go bad and you start failing armor saves, in addition to having more of one unit assigned to a specific role so your opponent just can’t tarpit it or take it out of the game thus leaving a hole in your list that they can exploit.

That said, there are times when the competitive golden rule needs to be over-ridden with the only unit criteria = awesomeness.

Enter the Eldar Seer Council….

I’m a sucker for psychic powers and eldritch wielding space elves, so a seer council is ALWAYS in my Eldar warhost at 1000 points and above. Competitive WAAC feeling aside I just can’t help myself and not play these dudes.

Just like everything else in the Eldar codex we can’t really quibble about the point cost for the various units- everything is out of whack since it is a 40K 40th edition book when the parameters of the game were vastly different. You try to conserve points where you can, but most of the time you just have to bite the bullet and take the point hit to get the unit.

From a competitive perspective a jetbike seer council isn’t that bad and the way to go- you get the 3+/4+ save augmented by fortune and mobility for your psychic powers either base or the devastation cards, but this isn’t an article on a jet-council so we’ll keep it at that for now.

A fully jacked out foot council costs less points so it is easier to get more, but it suffers from a lack of base mobility and you only have a 4+ invul save to augment fortune with meaning it is not as durable as you think even with the fortune re-roll.


So let’s start with the seer to lead this cabal of elf-wizards and for that Eldrad is the man, and why the foot council has a place when you want to maximum magic for the points since Eldrad hasn’t figured out how to ride a jetbike yet.

We’ll talk about keeping or swapping his powers in a moment…

Next is ten warlocks of course, and for this I go with nine destructors and one embolden to make sure the group doesn’t run even with the LD 10. Don’t need the cover save of course, and the boost in the assault isn’t much needed since witchblades and or spears aren’t that good anyway not being power weapons and all. I’ll also take a mix of spears just for a few “shots” as we advance into destructor range.

Finally we need another generic seer round the group out- remember I told you not to count the points!

Now let’s talk powers of course- codex vs. cards.

What is your level of intended fun?

When I’m facing a competitive army build I’ll take the codex power on Eldrad and the card powers on the other seer. The reason for this is that I’m burning a fortune on the seer council and really need the second fortune on the accompanying support group running alongside them which is usually a big group of dire avengers- fortuned dire avengers especially with a shimmer shield are a PITA to kill (well for Eldar) even being T3. This then leaves one power left- usually doom to throw on the dire avengers (bladestorm + doom) or in support of the warlock destructor spam…

…which leaves the second seer for the card powers- and we want the full draw to get puppet master and the like for the maximum LOLZ effect.

If the game is going to be a bit more relaxed, say not at a tournament and more of a pickup or random outing then Eldar takes the card powers for the maximum effect and the generic seer is the fortune bot along with stones, doom, and mindwar.

Interestingly, mindwar is BACK in a big way for earning those slay the warlord bonus points. It still is a gamble, but it’s always fun to zap IC’s and other pesky models.

So what’s the plan on the table?

We may be spending the points on a non competitive units, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to try and push it to the limit and use it tactically over just trying to look good on the tabletop.

Tactically the foot seer council works in the same way as a core wraithgaurd unit- you march forward as a spearhead unit with supporting units trailing behind soaking up the shots and wounds rather than take it on your other units- of course you are only T3 with the 4+ so not as good as wraithguard of course. If you have a similarly “tough” unit in your list like a wraithlord then you want it next to the council to perhaps take some shots instead of the council depending on what your opponent intends to throw at it- and you have the added bonus of not getting nerfed by wraithsight.

Stacking what objectives you can also helps to at least bring opposing units forward first into the psychic card powers range- usually 24” and then in destructor range. Staying in the center of the table is also key- imagine a 24” psychic power bubble that you are pushing out across the board- and 18” with mindwar. You want the maximum coverage and don’t want to get stuck in a corner where the range is gimped.

That said, half the games your foot seer council is going to take a pounding and not reach mid field in full strength, nothing you can do about it so use that to your advantage in terms of positioning and counter attacking with the units your opponent is not shooting at, and the other times it will make it up there giving you the satisfaction of burning stuff out with destructor + the power cards which make it worth the price of admission the first time that marine with the melta gun vapes a nearby dude, or the unit goes bonkers and starts beating on itself.

Sometimes, points and WAAC be damned, a unit demands to be played!