Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Ohhh! Slimey

At last the Nids have got their Tervigon model! While I’m sure GW have missed the boat with many of the tournament players who have long since decided that the Tyranid codex is considerably underpowered when compared to the more recent Dark Eldar and Grey Knights releases, I have no doubt that the attraction of the bugs with your average hobbyist will see these kits selling pretty well. I’m definitely inspired to get on with and complete my Tyranid army now and will be putting my Orks on hold (indefinitely) to get this done.

The rather long wait for this model as given me plenty of time to consider the kind of build I want to pursue and indeed see the ebb and flow of tournament Bug lists. The Genestealer spam list looked like the army of choice for quite a while but having given it serious consideration, I just don’t think it’s me. I would say that it’s a bit too “horde-y” for my liking but given the list I’ve come up with below, that argument just isn’t going to hold up.

Well, what have I come up with then? Well, somewhat typically for me, it’s a bit of a hybrid (in terms of creatures) and it has pretty much no significant shooting what-so-ever.
So here is my 1750pt list for your consideration, comments are welcomed as always:

Tyranid Prime (Lash Whip & Bone Sword, Scything Talons, Regeneration)
Tervigon (Cluster Spines, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs, Catalyst)

Doom of Mal (Spore Pod)
Venomthrope (x1)
Ymgarl Genestealers (x6)

Tervigon (Cluster Spines, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs, Catalyst)
Termagants (x10)

Fast Attack
Gargoyles (x20, Toxin Sacs)

Heavy Support
Carnifex (x2)
Trygon (Adrenal Glands)
Trygon (Adrenal Glands)

“That’s a bit of a ‘pick & mix’”, you may well say. I can’t really argue there, it does look like I’ve rolled dice to select my units in each FOC slot! However there is a method to my madness, the mix of method and madness remains to be determined via play-testing!

The basic idea is that the army operates as a tight unit in a phalanx, the Gargoyles are out front acting as a screen giving cover to everything behind and get across the table quickly to tie something up and to improve their chances of survival! Behind them are the Carnifex unit, joined by the Prime, and one of the Trygons, both of which should have Feel no Pain from te Tervigons who are behind them. The Venomthrope sits behind the Trygon/Carnifex line and in front of the Tervigons, giving them all a 5+ at least.

Outside of the phalanx, the second Trygon is held in reserve to deep-strike, as it’s too much of a target in with phalanx without Feel No Pain. The Ymgarls do their thing and the Doom drops with its Pod and I would expect to hold the ‘gants in reserve to preserve their kill point or to act as a “deck chair”.

All in all, pretty straight forward, but I find that simple works for me.

On the down-side it’s pretty slow but if the Gargoyle screen can survive then they can more than likely multi-charge to hold a couple of things up. If they don’t survive then it seems likely that my Monstrous Creatures will be across the table in good shape to mess things up! Of course it’s not optimal but what Nid build is optimal? I expect it to match up very well against some armies and very badly against others but it’s Bugs and I do love ‘em!

Nom nom nom - Feeding the Hive Mind

Now, that is a tasty Space Wolf
So, I had a game against Graham's null deployment Tyranids last week and let's just say that it didn't end well for the brave boys from Fenris. Now, it would be very easy for me to sit here and moan about bad luck (dear dice gods, the average roll for 3D6 is 10.5) but that would be counter-productive. So, let's see where we went wrong and what we could perhaps have done about it.

Deployment and Early Turns

Now, my deployment was actually quite good. I made sure that I was 18" away from the board edges so that those nasty outflanking Genestealers couldn't get me. I knew that I was going to have two full turns before Graham's army stated coming on and I managed to make sure that all three of my Long Fang packs were in cover. This was essential since these guys were going to be the main target for the Doom of Malan'tai when it arrived. Then I made my first mistake. I put my two Cyclone Missile Launchers in the Drop Pod and landed them near one the Objectives in Graham's deployment zone. My thinking was that they could deal with the Termagants that were in reserve while still being in range to support my deployment zone with their missiles.

Seeing that written down it still looks like quite a good plan. Then my Scouts arrived at the start of my turn 2 and ran so they were near the other Objective in Graham's DZ. Looking good now, one of these units can easily deal with 10 Termagants. And they did. The 'gants charged the Scouts and then got wiped out. Pretty much all of Graham's army turned up on turn 2 and it all turned up on the same flank. One of the units of 'stealers even bunched themselves up nicely by charging my Drop Pod.

It was at this point that I became aware of my second mistake. Having two free turns to move around without much to do had affected my concentration. I'd forgotten those nasty Zoanthropes would be podding down and I should have made sure that I popped smoke on some of my Rhinos.

The Doom also came down and killed 3-4 Long Fangs. Not good. Obviously I didn't help myself by having two Packs in the same bit of cover but I didn't really have much choice due to the lack of cover on the table.

Turn 3 - The Tide Really Turns

Still, at this point, I'm feeling pretty confident. I've got an obscene amount of firepower left. However, this is where the silly mistakes start creeping in. My Lone Wolf continued to run towards Graham's board edge giving the big "come on!" to the Hive Tyrant still in reserve while the Scouts stood around thinking that their job was done. Yes, it would have taken most of the game for them to get back to the sharp end of the battle but they should still have tried.

My other problem was priority. This is where 'nids really excell, they give you lots of targets to shoot and try and make you pick the wrong one(s). I knew that I had to deal with the Doom otherwise it would just float there killing my Long Fangs. However, I also needed to kill the Zoanthropes to save my Rhinos and the Spore Pods so that I could see the Tervigon. And then there were those juicy 'stealers just waiting to be fragged to death.

What I should have done is fire everything at the Doom. I should have moved more Melta units up near it and I should have fired all of my Kraks at it. Instead I did a bit of splitting fire, just assuming that I could easily take care of it. How wrong I was. Then, with my last shooting of the turn, I fired my CMLs at the Genestealers rather than the Doom. I'm not sure that four more Kraks would have made the difference since it looked like it didn't want to die but that's not the point.

And the worst thing? I convinced myself that I was playing the mission because I was shooting at troops! There I was condemning the units that could have won the game (my Long Fangs) to death under the pretence of playing the mission.

Of course to really rub salt into the wound, the remaining 'stealers charged the two Wolf Guard through cover. Wolf Guard struck first but could only kill one. Genestealers killed one in return. Tied combat which saved the xenos from any more shooting.

The Coup De Grace

Things really failed to improve from there. Some really bad leadership rolls for the Long Fangs meant that the Doom saw them off easily. My Grey Hunters managed to fall back in good order and I did kill quite a lot of Genestealers with Murderous Hurricane but it was 2-1 in Graham's favour at the end of turn 4 and I would have required quite a big slice of luck to have claimed a draw from there.


Null deployment 'nids can work really really well. It's a little bit too random for my liking - units can easily turn up late or in the wrong place - but when it works, it works very very well. I made a lot of little mistakes in this game which, on one hand, is encouraging since I didn't make any really big dumb ones. Apart from my CMLs, my deployment was good and I left myself some good fire lanes. Nearly all of my problems stemmed from assuming that x-number of S8 shots would kill the Doom. That cost me the game. I should have lined everything up to kill it. That would have given me at least another turn of shooting from my Long Fang packs until the rest of the 'nids reached them.

I'm playing Andy's Jumping Army of Jumpyness this week. I've already tweaked my list and I'll hopefully have a bit more of an idea about what I'm doing against the boys in Power Armour...

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Tuesday Thoughts

We really finally did it. You maniacs!

God damn you all to hell!
So, GW finally did it. As everyone will have seen by now, they've finally announced the release of the Thunderwolves. I know that some people have been complaining that they don't look that good but personally I really like them and the Fenrisian Wolves models. However, the Cyberwolf looks ridiculous and who is going to pay £15 for a Wolf Standard bearer? I also quite like the Arjac model but again I'm not sure who's going to bother since it's possible to make a really good Arjac using the bits from the Wolf Guard Terminator box.

At the same time, the Tervigon kit is coming out. Again, I think the model looks great (although it's going to be nigh on impossible to get cover for it) but I think this has to go down as one of the worst business decisions ever by GW. Surely this should have come out with the codex. Not only is it a great unit in its own right but everyone who bought one would then have had to buy at least 3-4 boxes of Termagants at the same time. Instead they did the classic nerf the old unit (Carnifex) to sell the new on (Trygon) Not cool GW, not cool.

Space Wolves didn't really need the Thunderwolves when the 'dex came out but 'nid players could have really done with the Tervigon. The problem with releasing the models after so much time is that most people who wanted them have either bought 3rd party models or converted their own.

I'll still be buying a box of Thunderwolves tho. My army could do with a bit of counter-attacking close combat punch and 8 foot tall genetically engineer supermen riding giant wolves are just cool...

Wild Speculation

Buy 6th! Sell 5th!
Wow, there has been some crazy speculation about 6th Edition over the last few months on the old internet including a "leaked" set of rules. Some crazy stuff in there like the old fashioned assault before shooting and stand still and Rapid Fire to full range (ooh, can't we just go the whole hog and brink back 2nd ed? How about a cardboard Dreadnought in the box set?) However, there have been some pretty sensible sounding suggestions such as cover becoming 5+ and vehicle survivability getting a tweak (the irony here is that some vehicles need to be made MORE survivable eg Land Raider) It has been pretty funny watching some people posting "6th ed" lists on-line based on nothing but conjecture. "Vehicles are going to be nerfed! Go fully foot!!" Really? Please can I march my army into enemy fire (including those 24" rapid firing Plasma Guns) with a best a 5+ cover save.

In reality, the only thing we really know is that 6th edition is coming and based on previous cycles of the game it's probably coming sooner rather than later. Will it be better or worse than 5th? Will it be more or less balanced? The truth is we don't know, it will just be different. It's fun to speculate what might be coming rules-wise but there is no point in trying to change armies at this juncture in order to take advantage of rules that may or may not happen. One thing is pretty sure tho, while foot armies may become better, GW aren't going to totally nerf vehicles. Even tho they're not always on the ball business-wise (see above) they realise that if you buy a transport, you have to buy a squad to go in it. They've even gone as far as releasing transport and squad box sets recently so I think that even if mech is no longer King, it will still be in the royal family.

Crying Salt Tiers

You're my thunder now!
I'm going to steal some of Andy's thunder from yesterday now. Are there tiers in the armies at the moment? Of course there are. I want to very quickly look at why and whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. For me there are two central tenants here - age of the codex and ease of use. In general the new books are better than the older ones (sorry 'nids and SoBs, you're the exceptions that prove the rule) They have better internal balance and better balance against each other. This is where ease of use comes in. Dark Eldar are an excellent codex but very unforgiving. Space Marines on the other hand are the perfect beginners army since T4 and a 3+ save makes them very hardy. You can make a couple of mistakes and still manage to perform well.

So, is this a good thing? Well, yes and no. Having armies that are easier or harder to use is a good thing but having armies that are hamstrung by an old codex isn't. For example, look at Eldar. Old codex, overpriced points wise and lacking in options compared to the new books. However, even when they're updated, they'll still be like "doing A-Level maths" (copyright Graham Sanders) because that's the way it will always be with an army of specialists.

I think that good players will find a way to win with any codex. The problem is that certain books don't have such good tools for achieving that victory.

Now, since this is a blog, we should do something a bit contentious and try and put the 16 current armies into some tiers. Completely arbitrarily, let's try 4 tiers..

Tier 1

Space Marines
Space Wolves
Blood Angels
Grey Knights

They're all Marines so they're pretty easy to use and they're all good books. At this point I'd like to reiterate that none of them are "better" than the others, they are all just different.

Tier 2

Imperial Guard
Black Templars
Dark Angels

IG are pretty much point and fire but deployment is key and things like bubblewrapping and maintaining firing lanes is also crucial. The two Marine lists were helped out by their last FAQ but aren't quite up there with the new boys. Necrons are pretty survivable with T4 and AV13 all over the place but can still be susceptible to assault.

Tier 3

Dark Eldar
Chaos Space Marines

DE are quick and shooty but very fragile. Tau are very shooty but suffer from old codex syndrome. Orks are a very capable army in the hands of the right player while CSM suffer from being overpriced compared to their goody two-shoes brethren.

Tier 4

Sister Of Battle
Chaos Daemons

'nids are probably on the 3/4 cusp. Good players can make it work but a very average codex doesn't help. Eldar are overpriced and difficult to use but again can do well with the right general. SoBs were probably better off with their old codex. Daemons have some awesome units but rely very heavily on luck.

Right, I think that's enough Tuesday Thoughts (think of it as Monday Musings +1) for this week. Over to you...

Breaking News: Space Wolves admit to loaning Rebekah Brooks a retired Thunderwolf (Yes, come for the 40K stay for the satire) 

Monday, 27 February 2012

If it looks broke, maybe it 'aint.

There’s a lot of moaning about underpowered codices at the moment and, to be honest, for as long as I can remember there always has been. A couple of blogs have been posting articles recently on fixing certain armies, but I’ve just got to pipe-up and say “Stop it!”.

You’re not a game designer despite what-ever delusions of grandeur you may be under and, even if you decide to post your own “improved codex”, no-one is going to use it. In fact, while giving everyone a level playing field may sound like a good idea, I don’t really think that it is.

I’m going to use my recent experience of Blood Bowl as an example here (and before you all mumble “here he goes again”, bear with me, this is going somewhere). In Blood Bowl there are clearly established tiers of teams; Wood Elves, Norse, Undead and Chaos are among the top tier, meaning that they are easier to play with and have reliable strategies for scoring points and winning games. There is a mid-tier consisting of teams like Khemri and Nurgle, these are teams who have defined strategies for winning but they are difficult to implement and tend to require much more careful play. Then there are the bottom tier teams such as Goblins, Halflings and Ogres who really only have one way to win games and are very difficult to play by all but the most experienced coaches. As this is a dice game, luck is also a factor and the tiers reflect how much the luck of the dice comes into play. With top tier teams being able to cope best with poor dice while the bottom tier teams are very reliant on good dice.

I expect that by now you can see where I’m going with this!

In 40K we seem to have a similar system of tiers in the various armies with Grey Knights, Space Wolves, Dark Eldar and Imperial Guard occupying the top slots and Nids, Vanilla Marines and Sisters pretty well entrenched on the bottom rung. Now I do appreciate the fact that the cost of entry to 40K is significantly steeper than that of Blood Bowl (probably in the region of 10x more). So if you happen to play Nids, for example, and GW updates your codex which drops you down a tier or two it’s not necessarily practical to go out any buy a new army. But this is a commodity hobby, you didn’t need those toys in the first place, suck it up and find a way to enjoy your chosen army. Or, go out and start to collect a new army, you managed to do it once, if you love it enough you’ll do it again!

Rather than railing against this “tier” arrangement why not embrace it? It’s very easy for a top level player to spray some marines grey/blue and go off to a tournament and do very well with them.

Big whoop! Hey! Everyone’s very impressed.

Instead, why not say, “Hey, I’m pretty good at this game, let’s try taking a more challenging army to the next tournament and see how I do!”? Being successful with a lower tier army has got to be more satisfying to the player and will surely garner more kudos from the community, if that’s what matters to you.

Given the level of competitiveness in the tournament scene at the moment I don’t really expect to see many people do this but I do not think that equalising all of the codices is the answer. Surely there are top players out there who want a challenge and I think the game would become rather stagnant and boring if everything became equal.

A couple of cases in point for your consideration, I believe that Nic Nanavati is having some success with Nids in the States and over here Gaz Jones has always been a proponent of Xenos codices which have not fared too well (power level-wise) under 5th edition. Also in the UK, James Ramsey was (when last I heard) defending the honour of the Sisters of Battle.

So, what do you all think? Does the variety in the power level of the codices need fixing or is it there to provide a variety of game-play experience? Or am I just talking bollocks because I’ve been playing too much Blood Bowl? I’ll turn it over to you.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Grand OPEN-ing

I'm not going to talk about that even though I am really excited AND they're released on my birthday :)

Instead, I've got to put together a 1750 point list to use against Graham as he practises for Open War. Now, the missions at Open War are normally a bit ker-azy and I really should read them before I start this. Instead, I'm just going to try and come up with a good 1750 and hope that it performs okay. It's going to be a shooting based list (although it might suddenly get an assaulty element after March 3rd...)

Firstly, the basics of the list:

Rune Priest, Chooser of the Slain, Living Lightning, Murderous Hurricane

5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun,  Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun,  Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun,  Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun,  Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun,  Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun,  Rhino

6 Long Fangs, 5 Rocket Launchers
6 Long Fangs, 5 Rocket Launchers
6 Long Fangs, 5 Rocket Launchers

So, yes, I've finally given in to the dark side (AKA trip Long Fangs) I'm still of a belief that on a properly terrained table there shouldn't be enough good lines of fire for three squads but a) When do we really see tables with enough terrain? b) I think you need the third squad in order to be able to take enough wounds and still put out sufficient return fire. I also notice a lot of people have started to include things like Lascannons to deal with things like Quantum Shielding. AV13 is annoying and ignoring Shaken/Stunned results is even more annoying but for now I'm not going to be making any major changes until we start seeing a lot more Necrons on the table.

I was also tempted to take Jaws of the World Wolf over Murderous Hurricane in order to deal with Graham's 2 Tervigons but list tailoring is cheating kids!

This is where I have a problem. Ideally, I want two Cyclone Missile Launchers and two Rifleman Dreadnoughts. Points-wise it would be pretty tight and it would mean that I'd have a Wolf Guard running around on his own with no squad to join. So, do we cut down the Wolf Guard and take just the one CML or do we add in another unit? Even though they won't be very useful tonight, I'm going to go down the Wolf Scout route. This means the Elite section looks like this:

10 Wolf Guard, 8 Combi-Meltas, Power Fist, 2 Terminator Armour, 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers, Drop Pod
6 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun

So, all of that leaves me with 65 points to play with. 45 points could hypocritically give me a Lascannon in each Long Fang Pack (which would be useful to negate all the Feel No Pain going round tonight) However, if I drop the Power Fist from the Wolf Guard Pack, I then have 85 points which is enough to get a Lone Wolf...

Lone Wolf, Terminator Armour, Storm Shield, Chainfist

It's been a while since I've used one and a second unit of Wolf Scouts would be arguably more useful let's go with this guy and see how we get on.

So the list in full

Rune Priest, Chooser of the Slain, Living Lightning, Murerous Hurricane

10 Wolf Guard, 8 Combi-Meltas, 2 Terminator Armour, 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers
6 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun
Lone Wolf, Terminator Armour, Storm Shield, Chainfist

5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino

Heavy Support
6 Long Fangs, 5 Rocket Launchers 
6 Long Fangs, 5 Rocket Launchers
6 Long Fangs, 5 Rocket Launchers

Very shooty, pretty spammy; should do well.I think there are still a couple of tweaks that could be made to this list to make it truely superb but I think it will provide Graham a good test of his tournament list...

Monday, 20 February 2012

UK GT Horde Blood Angels - Take 2

The deadline for list submission draws closer and I've made a few revisions to my original list (here).

The first list had an unnecessary amount of scoring so I trimmed the Tactical squads down to one as they do not really add anything offensive to the list. I also swapped out their Melta and Power Fist to save points but I also found that they really didn't need it so the double flamer adds a bit of versatility into the list.

The Terminators are good but with no transport they can be easily avoided, I felt I still needed a threatening close combat unit so I've added a unit of Sanguinary Guard. Mobile without the need to invest in a Land Raider.

Lastly Mephiston, he's just too good to leave out really. His effectiveness has been adversely affected by Grey Knights and Dark Eldar but against anyone else he's a total beast and even against GK & DE he can be useful.

Enough pre-amble, here's the list:

Sanguinary Guard (x5, 1x Power Fist, 2x Infernus Pistols, ChBanner)
Sternguard (x5, 2x Lascannon)
Sanguinary Priest (x3, 1x Jump Pack)
Assault Squad (x10, 2x Meltagun, 1x Power Fist)
Assault Squad (x10, 2x Meltagun, 1x Power Fist)
Tactical Squad (x10, 1x Flamer,  1x Missile Launcher, 1x Combi-Flamer)
Devastator Squad (x5, 4x Missile Launcher)
Devastator Squad (x5, 4x Missile Launcher)

54 Models, 11 Kill Points (without Combat Squads).

Two very noticeable things are missing, no ability to tank-shock and no invulnerable saves.

 Without any AV on the board I'll have to be careful about how I defend my objectives, I have enough Melta to make most vehicles think twice before tank shocking but I'll have to be careful with my placement, my mobility should help with this.

I think I can compensate for the lack of invulnerable saves, again, by having the mobility to be able to pick my fights. The Devs, Sternguard and Tac Squad will stay back to provide long range fire while the rest of the army bounces around as required.

The basic game plan is two-fold, firstly there's the durability angle, I have a lot of bodies and the ability to spread Feel No Pain across a fairly wide area. Secondly I'll be going for mid-board control with Meph and the Sanguinary Guard providing the counter assault threat. But given the inherent weaknesses in my list I'll have to be flexible based on the army across the table from me.

Any comments guys?

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Summer Skirmish 2012

Mods vs Rockers -
the ORIGINAL Summer Skirmish!
Tim King of the Scottish ETC team has just announced that the Summer Skirmish is officially back this year, and will be held on the weekend of 28-29 July 2012. As usual, the tournament will be held at the excellent Maelstrom Games venue in Mansfield. Tickets and more info can be found here.

For those not in the know, the Summer Skirmish is a 12 (or 13) game 'fun' tournament held over two days. Each 40-minute game is a slightly modified Combat Patrol featuring 500pt armies, which are selected from the usual codexes but with some restrictions to try and balance things up (though that didn't stop my Nids getting tabled in 8 minutes by the then-brand-new Grey Knights. Ahem). Specifically, the restrictions are:

- Only one Troop choice is compulsory. Troops 2-6 are optional.
- You may have one HQ choice, but no more than one.
- You may select one choice each from Elite, Fast attack and Heavy Support but no more.
- Vehicle Squadrons are permitted this year.
- No unit may exceed 21 models at any point (in selection or during the game (inc. attaching characters)).

- No model can have more than 2 Wounds.
- Tyranids and Necrons may select models with 3 wounds or less.
- No special characters.
- No 2+ saves.
- No vehicles with a total Armour value greater than 34.
The other thing that will make this event special is that this tournament should be played using... fanfare please... Warhammer 40,000 Sixth Edition! Now I can't think of a better way to learn a new ruleset than to play fast 'n' furious games with your mates in a fun-but-competitive environment.

That's it for now, hopefully see you there. Let us know here at Claws & Fists if you're thinking of going, and what lists you might be taking!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Rules - You may fire when ready

You have another target? A military target?

Long Fangs are brilliant. Their ability to fire at multiple targets makes them one of the best Heavy Support choices in the whole game. During a game the other week, Mick declared that two of his Long Fangs were targetting one of my Rhinos while the other two were targetting another squad. I asked him which two because I would get a cover save from two of the rocket toting guys but not from the other two. He said that it didn't matter because a majority of the squad (two Long Fangs & the Pack Leader) had an unobscruted view.

So, the question is this - when splitting fire do you treat the Long Fangs as two separate squads that just happen to be firing simultaneously or one squad firing at two targets?

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Thursday Thoughts

(think of it as a late Monday Musings)


Who ya gonna call?
So, I've not been around for quite a while despite the fact it's my name above the door. Sorry about that. As always, real life has gotten in the way of playing toy soldiers. Unfortunately, I can't see things getting any better in the near future as I'm currently trying to sell my house and I made it my new year's resolution to play more sport and sort out my band's website. That means less time for playing 40K and I find it's the playing that drives blog content.

However, I am going to try and get organised and write a least one post per week. I guess that a lost of this will be more Theoretical rather than Practical (everyone has read Know No Fear by now right?)

Which also bring me on to welcoming Dave to the blog. He's been threatening/promising to join for a while (delete as applicable) so it's great that he's finally on board and we're all looking forward to seeing some of his painting posts over the coming weeks and months.


Dream a little dream of me

Having said that, I did actually manage a game the other week against Mick's Throne of Skulls list and it was possibly the most boring game of 40K ever. Mick suggested playing Pitched Battle/Kill Points and I absent mindedly agreed. So, my three Long Fang packs stood on my board edge, Mick's three Long Fang packs stood on his board edge and we spent 45 minutes shooting each other. I went first, I won. The only unit from either side that even made it into an opponent's table half was one of Mick's Land Speeders that then got shot down for its trouble. At least it's given me a couple of ideas for posts which will pop up over the next couple of days...


Winner, winner, chicken dinner

I've been reading Andy's write-ups of the Throne of Skulls tournament with interest. Congratulations to Andy who managed to understand GW's ker-azy system that meant that the only person who won all five games didn't win the tournament. I've also been speaking to Mick about Caledonian Open from the week before where someone missed out on a top 5 finish due to painting scores.

In my opinion, tournaments should be decided on the tabletop. It's slightly facetious but you don't get extra points in football for having the nicest kit. Don't get me wrong, I think that everyone should have a painted, based, WYSIWYG army and there should be prizes for the best painted/converted etc. However, this should have no bearing over who wins overall.

There also need to be a way to differentiate between scale of victory. At ToS, a win was a win. So you could end up with 5 big wins having played against 4 guys who only narrowly won their games. I think that either secondary objectives (as in Nova) or VP adjustment (as used at Caledonian) are probably the best ways to sort this out.

What's the most boring game that you've ever had? How do you think tournaments should be scored? Generalship? Soft scores? A mix of the two?

Friday, 3 February 2012

UK GT List take 1 - Horde Blood Angels

With a little over 3 weeks to go before list submission deadline, I thought I'd spit-ball some lists to see what people think, any feedback is always appreciated! First of all here's a list inspired by some musings on the 11th Company Podcast which struck a particular chord with me given my recent experiences with my Orks. I'd only need to paint about 5 models to complete this and I think it could be successful against a fair number of lists that may be popular at the GT:

Codex Blood Angels - 1750

Librarian (Jump Pack; Unleash Rage, Fear of the Darkness)
Sternguard (x5, 2x Lascannons)
Sanguinary Priests (x3, 1x Jump Pack)
Assault Terminators (x5, 3x LC, 2x THSS)
Assault Marines (x10, 2x Meltaguns, Power Fist, Jump Packs)
Assault Marines (x10, 2x Meltaguns, Power Fist, Jump Packs)
Tactical Squad (x10, Meltagun, Multi Melta, Power Fist)
Tactical Squad (x10, Meltagun, Multi Melta, Power Fist)
Devastator Squad (x10, 4x Missile Launchers)

... and that's it.

On the plus-side it's 11 kill points with 4 of those KPs hidden in 10-man squads, it's 59 MEQ bodies with FNP, and the 5 Terminators. In Objective missions it's got up to 8 scoring units, 4 of which are very mobile and can deep-strike if required.

On the down-side it feels a bit light on ranged anti-tank, I wouldn't feel massively confident facing down 5+ Venoms and I'm not sure I could out-last Daemons or horde Orks in assault. Most importantly it's not like anything else I've ever played before so I'd need to get a bit of practice in with it before-hand.

That's it, any comments?


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