Monday, 27 August 2012

Throne of Skulls Stats and Ork Evolution

Ok, I said I was going to spend some time writing posts whilst I was on holiday. And I did, however, I'm not bringing one to you today for 2 reasons. The first is that it is not yet completed, it's pretty long but I'm still trying to say something sensible on Lone Wolves to close the post out. It's on the topic of whether Wolf Scouts are still worth taking. Secondly, I cannot get said article off my Ipad as I need a Wi-Fi connection to e-mail it to myself so that I can copy it across here, or just post it directly. I come to you today and most of the time from an area with a wired connection.

Before I get on and talk a bit about how 6th edition has effected my Orks, I'm just going to say a few things. Firstly, I'd like to thank GoatMajor for the game whilst the Throne of Skulls youngbloods was going on, it was very enjoyable and certainly beat sitting in the bar for the duration of the entire tournament. You can find his blog at Simon's painting blog and stuff on the right of this post, it's definately worth checking out (as are all of the Underlings blogs). I was lucky enough to see his Necron army first hand and it looked fantastic, made my half painted Eldar army (often painted in different colour schemes as I changed my mind with colour choices) look like I had kicked a shelf full of paint pots with their lids loosely on onto my army, and has encouraged me to start painting my Eldar again, this time I've gone for a Biel-Tan colour scheme, let's hope I stick with it. So yeah, thanks for the game and thanks for encouraging me to paint my Eldar, it was much needed. A thanks also goes out to my first round of Throne of Skulls, who also came out for a game, it was nice to see a Sisters of Battle army on the table.

Speaking of which actually, I'll quickly run through which armies were the most common at the July Throne of Skulls in case anyone wants to tactically choose which army to take.

The most common were Space Marines.

Followed by Necrons, then Grey Knights and then Imperial Guard.
After those came Chaos Space Marines with Space Wolves and Dark Eldar coming afterwards with the same number of players.

Then Orks, and similarly Blood Angels and Eldar were drawn on player numbers behind them (Orks won both the Throne of Skulls and the Youngbloods).

Dark Angels came next, with Tyranids and Tau drawing on player numbers behind them.

Following were Chaos Daemons and Sisters of Battle with 2 players each and then Black Templars who were represented by a single player.

Right, now, the changes to the Ork army that I use. There's not really much to say about it, but I'll just quickly run through it again before I get started. Essentially, it's Ghazzy and a Warboss to make 2, 10 Ork Nobz squads in Trukks Troops, I then use the freed up Elites slots to get 2 squads of 12 Lootas, and then take a squad of 30 Ork Boyz with Shootas, 3 Big Shootas and a Nob with a Power Klaw for some over the top deckchair goodness.

I'm just going to run through some of the improvements that I think that my army got in the rulebook transition.

Looking at my Boyz for just a start, they were a unit that you wouldn't really be able to shift via shooting (30 T4 fearless models going to ground are not easy to shift, especially when there are 2 squads of Nobz down your throat), and also something that you wouldn't want to get into combat with, lots of attacks, Power Klaw, that sort of stuff. Now it's a unit that you really don't want to get into combat with unless you're some sort of combat machine, or a Soul Grinder. The first reason of that is overwatch. At the end of the day, Orks are only really suffering a -1 to their BS when snap firing so how often we hit is only halved. But with this unit you are unleashing 53 S4 shots on overwatch and 9 S5 shots, so on average you're going to be hitting with 8.83 S4 shots and 1.5 S5 shots before combat even starts, not bad. Then you have the end of Fearless wounds, which is really helpful as essentially I would lose as many boyz as I lost the combat by before. Additionally, if the enemy unit doesn't manage to get the charge off on me, I can just let rip at normal ballistic skill after the unit has already been overwatched from the charge attempt and charge them myself. Admittedly the Power Klaw can now be challenged but overall I think that the improvements outweigh the downgrades. Remember that the Power Klaw can challenge too if you really need to.

Lootas, as a shooty unit, have also benefitted from Overwatch. However, I would also say that the inculsion of Hull Points has been another plus factor for them, as they are now feasibly able to destroy vehicles with an armour value of 13, with that many potential shots you are likely to do some damage. For example, lets say that you have 2 squads of 12 Lootas firing, on average they will get a total of 48 shots, so 16 hits, so on average you are going to be getting 2.5 glancing hits on a 13 armour vehicle, that's not bad. Basically, the range of targets that they can hurt has increased, and they're getting S7 snap shots when they are charged.

I think that one of the main drawbacks to the army now comes with the Nobz. Despite the fact that they can still pull wound allocation shenanigans and can do it more cheaply as you don't have to customise all of the Nobz. However, the problem comes with transportation.

Trukks are fragile, they are even more fragile with 6th edition. That was fine in 5th, as all you had to do was keep the Trukks alive long enough so that when they inevitably die they would do so in front of your opponents army and Nobz would run out of the wreckage and create havoc. Now, you need to keep the Trukks alive long enough to allow the Nobz to disembark. True, it is still an assault vehicle, but you still need to get it close to the enemy lines without dying. Additionally, if a Trukk blew up in your lines, it would be unhelpful, but a turn or so of walking and Ghazzy's Waaagh! would soon rectify that. Now, with the changes to fleet, that's not as effective as it once was. This is where I think I will change the list.

With my Space Wolves taking up the points level of about 1,500 - 1,750, my Orks have seen little to no action over the last few months, the changes to the list should rectify this, and so I'm planning to increase my Orks to fit the points bracket of 2,000+pts. Swapping the Trukks out for Battlewagons seems the best plan here, as although they lose some speed they remain open topped, are much more durable and can still do things after delivering their contents. I'm then just going to be filling up the additional points with Lootas.

So, those are my plans for my Orks, however when these plans will be implemented is anyone's guess, as next year I'll have University and everything that comes with it to pay for, but we'll see how that goes and how much money I can save on things like bus fares each week by walking everywhere.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Daemons Analysis Part 3 - Flamers, Screamers and Hellflayers

EDIT: This post is now out of date. An updated post will be posted shortly, and a link placed below:

With September just around the corner now and with all of the goodness that it is supposed to promise, I've decided to get the Daemons analysis finished in one final post on the subject so that we can have a break from me trying to analyse units and failing for a couple of weeks. I'm on holiday again next week, I'm going to Scarborough, but my plan is to write a whole new host of posts on my shiny new Ipad whilst I'm away, so that the content wheel will once again start churning properly when I get back.

So, off we go. This post, again, might be a little brief, as there's not really much to say on these, as the Hellflayers are similar to the Chariots and the Screamers and Flamers have just been through some modifications. So it might look like I'm trying to squeeze blood from a stone at some point.


Starting with the Hellflayers. Oddly enough this is, out of the 3, the unit that I have the least to say about. Simply put, a Hellflayer is a Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh with 4 key differences. The first of which is that it takes up a Fast Attack slot as oppose to a Heavy Support one, so you don't take slots away from Flying Daemon Princes, which is nice. Secondly, it comes with the Soulscent special rule, which means that it gets an additional attack at normal initiative for every unsaved wound caused by its Hammer of wrath attacks. Which means that, against marines, it will on average get 2 additional attack, which is by no means spectacular.

Now onto the negative differences. The first of which is that you can only take Hellflayers individually. So, again, you are not going to be able to form a particularly nasty close combat unit with them. Secondly, a Seeker Chariot costs 20pts more than an individual Chariot, but is half the cost of a full 3 Chariot squad. So, the question is, does a Hellflayer do a better job of taking out backfield shooty units than a pack of Chariots considering that you are paying half the points and not taking up that vital Heavy Support slot?

Well, lets look at the maths for a Hellflayer charging a 5 man squad of Devastators whilst at full Hull Points. So, 2D6 Hammer of Wrath hits, averaging 7. at Strength 4. So 3.5 wounds, 1 rending, 2.5 standard wounds, 1 failed save. 2 dead marines. So, 7 attacks, 4.6 hits, 2.3 wounds, rounding to 2. 1 rends, and the other is a standard wound, which is saved. So, 3 dead marines after all of the Hellflayer hits, leaving 2 left standing. We'll assume that the Sergeant was killed just for simplicity. 2 attacks, 1 hit, 1 wound, saved. So, the Hellflayer wins combat by 3, leaving some of the squad alive, so either they'll rally next turn or they'll be locked in combat, probably for a slap fest lasting for quite a duration of the game.

So, I'd say that you can rely on this to shut down 1 unit, but any more and you're looking at a cavalcade of Seeker Chariots to do the job. So, do you want to spend 60pts on being able to take out a single static shooting unit at best, or 120pts and a Heavy Support slot on being able to possibly take out a few. Anyone who's seen my Ork list will know that I like overkill, so I'd personally go for the Chariots. But as I say, it's a preference thing.


So, we know that Seeker Chariots are colliding with Daemon Princes and Soul Grinders in the Heavy Support choices, but what would Hellflayers have to compete with in Fast Attack? Other than Flesh Hounds, Seekers and the like they would also be clashing with Screamers (segwaying like a pro).

Screamers have gone through some changes with this new update, and it's difficult to pinpoint whether they have improved or not. Firstly, let's look at the changes to their statline. They now come with +1 wound, +1 initiative, and +2 attacks. They do however, lose their 4+ save, having to rely on the 5+ for being a Daemon. I'll come to the maths on whether they're more survivable later when I get on to flamers.

Additionally, they lose Warp Jaws, and they get something called Lamprey's Bite. Now, instead of getting 1 attack with a Melta Bomb, Screamers get 3 attacks (assuming that they didn't charge) at S5 AP2 with 2D6 armour penetration. I'd call that an upgrade. They also get a new special rule called slashing attack, which is like a sweep attack but is done when you turbo boost and you can't use Lamprey's Bite through it.

I'd just say use this unit to take on vehicles and small elite units like Terminators. Simply because that's where they will do the most damage, and you can't afford to through them somewhere were they're going to be hit by too many attacks. Their weapon skill of 3 will really hurt them there, as at the end of the day they're T4 Sv5+ models with 2 wounds, they might be able to take a bit of damage, but ideally you want to be breaking through a unit before it has a chance to swing back, so avoid big units or units with high initiative. On average you will cause 7 wounds at AP2 to T4 models with 5 Screamers on the charge, the remaining 23 boyz aren't going to care.

The last 2 changes to Screamers are to do with how you take them. The first of which is that you can no longer take them in a squad of 12, the maximum size of a squad is 9. The second change is that the Screamers have increased in points cost. They are now 9pts more expensive per model than what they were. So, do you think they have increased in usefulness enough to warrant this increase in points? I would say yes, but as with most things in the Daemon Codex, they're only worth their points if they are used properly.


A unit whose points cost did not change proportionately to the changes in their rules are the Flamers of Tzeentch, or at least, that's what I think. As well as having got a lot better in 6th edition with nothing wanting to charge them due to getting (D3 x number in unit) / 2 armour and cover save ignoring wounds on you, not even walkers with the ability to strip Hull Points on a 4+ with every hit, they have now got a boost here too.

The first thing to get out of the way due to it being the least interesting is the boost to the initiative (+1). It's not really as though you're going to want to charge with your Flamers and it's not like anything is going to get past your overwatch very often unless they're a pretty large unit, which will probably have been flamed by you the previous turn anyway thinning out their numbers.

Right, onto more interesting things, like the changes in their durability. The Flamers have lost their 4++, now being replaced with a 5++ for being a Daemon, but, like the Screamers, they get 2 wounds. So, before the update it would take 3 Boltguns rapid firing to kill a Flamer (6 shots, 4 hits, 2 wounds, 1 saved), now it would take 9 Boltgun shots (4.5 rapid firing if you will) (6 hits, 3 wounds, 1 saved, loses both wounds). So, from here we can see a 50% increase in the durability of a Flamer. No getting around the 2 wounds with S8+ either, as now they actually benefit from having Eternal Warrior.

In the army list section there can be found a couple more changes. Again, the maximum squad size has been decreased to 9, which is dissapointed as I would have liked to take 12 Flamers and hurl them around reliably destroying 1 unit every turn (unless they suffered the full shooting capacity of the opposing army first). They can't be given Bolt of Tzeentch anymore, which I was never going to do anyway as, although they are BS4, it cost 30pts just to give a model bolt. You can however give the unit a Pyrocaster for 5pts, which in essence is a Flamer with +1 attack. I personally wouldn't bother with this, as it's not like you're going to be using that attack very often and when you do it's not going to make much difference.

I think that from the changes to the Flamers I can conclude that unit has increased in usefulness. Both through this update and through 6th edition itself. So, you'd expect this unit to go the way of the Screamers and become more expensive. Actually, they are now a whole 12pts cheaper than they were previously, almost a third off what they used to be.

I smell a bargain.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Tournament of War: A Tournament report

Ah, I'll just sneak this tournament report in now. The tournament that I attended was called the 'Tournament of War' at my local club, which is Steel City Wargaming in Sheffield. A great club and this was an event to match, really well run.

The scoring for the tournament was broken down as follows. The primary way of differenciating players was through tournament points, with 3 points being awarded for a win, 2 for a draw and nothing for a loss. The second was through victory points scored in games, it wasn't a margin of victory, just a straight up, how many points did you score method. The 3rd bracket was how many points you lost over the course of your games. As in, if you lost a full unit, as in completely dead, how many points was that worth, tallied up to form a total, and whoever lost the least if it came down to this would be placed higher.

3 games were played by each player over the course of the day, and everyone was playing the same mission each round. I came down with one of my friends who had not yet attended the club. I won't name drop as I'm not sure if he's ok with that but he brought Necrons and I was bringing my improved Space Wolves, although it is not yet optimised. My list was as follows.

Rune Priest with Chooser of the Slain, Living Lightning and Jaws.

Rune Priest with Tempest's Wrath and Jaws.

Allied Primaris Psyker.

3 Wolf Guard, 1 in Terminator Armour with Power Fist and 2 with Standard Power Fists.

5 Wolf Scouts with Meltagun.

Allied Veteran Squad with a Grenade Launcher.

2 squads of 7 Grey Hunters with Meltagun and Wolf Banner.

10 Grey Hunters with Wolf Banner and 2 Meltaguns.

2 packs of 5 Long Fangs with 4 Missile Launchers.

5 Long Fangs with 2 Missile Launchers and 2 Lascannons.

Allied Manticore.

All of this came to 1,499pts.

My friend was taking something along these lines.

Overlord with Warscythe and Mindshackle Scarabs in Catacomb Command Barge.

20 Necron Warriors.

2 squads of 15 Necron Warriors.

2 squads of 3 Destroyers.

2 Monoliths.

Just before I start I want to quickly say that all of my opponents were great and I enjoyed every game. But anyway, on to the games:

My first game was against a Tau player. Now, in every tournament that I have attended my first game has ended in defeat. However, against Tau, I was reasonably confident that I could break this curse. This was then cemented when the mission was Big Guns Never Tire, and I got the first turn, blowing away his Hammerhead and getting 2 victory points straight off the bat. However, he fired back to knock out my Manticore with a single shot from his Broadside, the same Broadside then found a Scout squad behind in the next turn which promptly melted him with a single shot. In essence, I had to keep my objectives and I'd win on secondaries to take the game, but I needed to push for a third objective to try and get as many points as I could.

The game ended with my having 3 objectives, first blood and killing 2 Heavy Support choices, and my opponent having 2 objectives and having killed one of my 4 Heavy Supports. Meaning a 12 – 7 victory to me. I was pleased with this, but this was nothing compared to the carnage that descended on the tables next to me. On the table ahead, our resident tournament player brought down some Tyranids with a large number of victory points, landing him on the top table, whilst my friend on the table below me beat down an Ork army claiming a 14 – 3 victory, landing him on the top table also. Necron Vs Necron action.

I ended up on table 2, playing against a Chaos Space Marine army with 2 squads of Obliterators, some Sorcerers, a Defiler and a lot of standard marines. It was the Emperor's Will, and when I failed to kill anything (night fighting - I only wounded an Obliterator) in my first turn I knew I was in trouble, the Manticore died in the first shot of the game and from there I lost the ranged firepower to knock my opponent off his objective, I kept dropping as many templates as I could onto my opponents objective, but when I finally killed the first squad another took its place. In the end, everything piled onto my objective and the ranged battle was his. I killed the Defiler and Oblits but for some reason the last men standing in both the Chosen squad and a marine squad refused to die giving up points, he jumped my objective on turn 6 and on turn 7 took it. I avoided a tabling by having a single Long Fang remaining, losing 12 – 0.

Meanwhile, my friend was tabled on turn 7 by the other Necron army and unluckily didn't manage to kill a unit, so he joined me one table ahead of me after losing 15 – 0.

I was pushed back towards mid table after that game, and my third game came against the other Chaos Marine player in the room (there were only 2), He was running a similar list except instead of standard marines he had Plague Marines and had dropped 1 Obliterator and the Chosen. I was going second in this game of Crusade and Dawn of War. I spotted a mistake at the start of the game, where my opponent had deployed his defiler behind a large ruin which blocked line of sight and his Obliterators nearby. So, I proceeded to stick my Manticore on the other side of the terrain and put my flimsy Guardsmen on that objective.

We got night fighting, and I failed to sieze. In my opponent's shooting phase, nothing died. In mine, the Manticore smashed a Plague Marine squad reducing it to 2 men, and a few more were shot by bolters and other pieces of small arms weaponary. In turn 2 the pile of dead started to increase, before this game, my Terminator Wolf Guard had been allocated 3 wounds over the course of 2 games on a 2+ save, he had died in both games. This time, he didn't get the luxury of that save, but he managed to pass far too many 5+ invulns before finally succumbing to Plasma cannon fire.

My scouts came on behind the Defiler, and missed with their Meltagun, a Long Fangs pack was shot and ran off the board giving my opponent First Blood, but then he moved a squad of Plague Marines off an objective to go and take another one, whilst en route they were cut down by Long Fangs. My Warlord, although managing a successful duel with a Sorcerer was punched in the face by a Power Fist after a glorious intervention, whilst my Primaris psyker squad and a lone scout managed to take down the remaining Plague Marines and the Obliterator squad. Claiming a 3rd objective. Meanwhile, a Defiler was munching his way through a pack of Grey Hunters whilst my Rune Priest 'perils of the warp' – ed himself to death.

Luckily for me, the game ended at the close of turn 5, as the defiler had finished with the Grey Hunters and was ready to drop his Battlecannon on my Veterans. As it stood, I had 3 objectives and my opponent had none, also gaining a Slay the Warlord point after my Manticore dropped a missile on my opponent's other Chaos Sorcerer. Thus resulting in a 10 – 2 victory to me. This result pushed me up the table a considerable way and now that the results are out I can edit this post and say that I finished in 5th place.

My friend ended up playing Eldar in his last game, and unfortunately lost that one as well, mainting his record of winning 1 and losing 2 games in every tournament he has attended, hopefully he can break his own tournament curse next time, he's a good enough player to do so.

That's all for the tournament, all I can say is that if you live anywhere within the region of South Sheffield then I'd definitely recommend coming down to the club. It's a really friendly club and they did a fantastic job of running this event without even considering that it was the first tournament the club has run. Just put Steel City Wargaming into any search engine and it should be one of the top options.

Well, that's all for today. See you Friday.

Forget the Schedule

I have been horrendously busy over the last week, so unfaortunately I have not been able to get a post in. I'm still really busy, but I just have time to sneak a quick post in. I'm going on holiday next week, and so I'm probably not going to be able to get a post in until Friday at the latest. So, I haven't abandoned the blog, I'm just going to be away, but this should give me time to churn a few thoughts around my head so that I can really get a decent analysis in on the remaining 2 parts of the Daemons analysis. As well as this, I attended a local tournament yesterday so I'll be talking about that as well as a few other games that I've been involved in, and hopefully get something down on the Tyrannofex as well.

That's all for today really, as I don't have much time to write anything even remotely satisfactory. So, next post coming on Saturday.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Picture Drought Ends

Hey, look at that, I actually hit a scheduled time. Now to sneak some pictures into this blog, but first off, I'm just going to quickly mention the progress that I have made with my Space Wolves. My Space Wolves are essentially my Tournament army now, although I do sometimes take my Orks, I will be taking my Wolves to the majority of competitive events that I attend. Using armies like my Eldar, Necrons or Daemons for the less competitive games, and sometimes the Orks again. The Orks are my middle ground. So, I've spent my time since Throne of Skulls considering how I could improve my Space Wolves list. This doesn't mean making it 'WAAC', what it means is, improving it competitively, but also making it more fun to play.

What I'm thinking of doing now is including a Guard contingent, as my small Guard force has been gathering dust for the last year, so I've broken them out of the cupboard, and am preparing to initiate them into the list by hurling them into a tournament at my local club on Saturday. I don't really want to give too much away, but I'm not taking any flyers or fortifications in the list. But anyway, as I didn't get a chance to post pictures of my units just after finishing them for Throne of Skulls, here are the ones I didn't show, and some objective markers (I also painted the word 'smoke' on 3 bike bases for smoke markers and painted numbers on 28mm bases ready for the scouring).

Here's my second Rune Priest. Sorry for the shadows and the darkness of the pictures. There'll be some more lightly tinted pictures in the Dakka gallery within an hour of me posting this, so if you're really that fussed about it just type Rampage's Space Wolves into the gallery and I'm sure they'll come up.

My 3rd Grey Hunter squad. I like to colour code them all by giving them different coloured shoulderpads so I know which models go in which squad. A little sad I know but I like to see the same models in each squad each game. Seems to give them a bit of identity rather than just slapping a bunch of models on the table.
These are my Long Fang packs. Not really sure what else to say about these really.

These are my objective markers. I'd completely forgotten to make the 6th objective marker for the Scouring until the evening of the night before, which is the buried Space Wolf in the top left.

That's all I've got for today really, at least I've finally got some colour into the blog, which was much needed after the monstrous post in the first part of the Daemons analysis. Hopefully I'll be able to hit the second schedule marker in a couple of days time.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Clearing the Backlog: Daemons Analysis Part 2

I was planning on doing a post on the Tyrannofex, explaining my long running confusion as why it is taken in Tyranid army lists. Just as I started writing said post, I then remembered how much I have to write about, considering that my largest number of posts in a month is 8, and that it is unlikely that I will meet this in the holiday month. So, I'm going to quickly skip through the backlog of posts, so that I can try to build a schedule of some sort. Even though I am terrible at keeping to schedules, I feel that this will help to give me some idea of what I'm going to be doing, and also give you an idea of what's in the pipeline as well. So.

Sunday 5th August: The Picture Drought Ends

Tuesday 7th August (again, hopefully): Daemons Analysis Part 3

Friday 10th August: King Eldrad and the Great Marine Marathon

Sunday 12th August: Steel City Showdown

Thursday 16th August (or around that date): Daemons Analysis Part 4

Sunday 19th August: Units -The Tyrannofex

EDIT: If you've read this post before and you think that this list has changed, it has (although I don't really think that anyone will have paid too much attention to this part so I doubt this is the case). This is simply because me and ZacharPaladin did not manage to finish our game yesterday and so it's difficult to do a post on it.

There we go, on with the rest of the post.

Exalted Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh:

Right, this one could be a little quick, but that could be down to the 1,700 word monstrosity that I churned out in the last post, as this unit is very similar. So, in comparing the exalted chariot to its less blessed brethren, it costs the same as 2 ¼ standard chariots. So, you'd expect it to be better than 2 chariots then.

Well, for a start, unlike the standard chariot, it does not come with fleet, something which I found odd as it is the only difference in the Exalted Alluress in the 2 chariots, not that it makes much difference, but it does make a difference in the chariot itself. Whether this will be Errata-ed I don't know, and if it is, which way it will swing. But, as it stands, it makes it slightly worse than a standard chariot.

What it does have over a standard chariot however is double the number of hull points. Which, when considering the Fleshshredder special rule, gives it double the hammer of wrath attacks. So, if you had a squadron of 3 Exalted Chariots, no standard chariots at all, you would on average kill 12 marines just on the I10 attacks.

Other than that, there are no changes. So, simply put, 1 Exalted Seeker Chariot is like 2 normal Seeker chariots, except it doesn't have fleet, and costs more than 2 Seeker Chariots. Great.

You could argue that with 3 of these you could make a unit that will hit pretty hard, and granted, it will hit hard. But then I'd argue that you are getting 4 Rhinos with a 5++ worth of durability for 270pts, and I could do a far better job of making a beatstick unit with Khorne anyway, even if it is slower.

So, in essence, I'd leave these guys at home, and take the regulars. It's only 120pts for 3 of those. Maybe, if you'd like to do a bit more damage, take one Exalted Chariot and 2 standard Chariots, but I know that I'll be taking 3 normal ones.

Just a quick side note, you can also take these things for Heralds of Slaanesh, which isn't too bad. Each chariot basically comes with a 10pt discount on its base cost from the heavy slot, as your replace the Alluress with the Herald.

And that's pretty much it for the Chariots, I did say it would be short, so sorry about that. Now, I've got 10 Bloodletters and a Keeper of Secrets to spray and a game this afternoon.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

I've got a brand new Combine-Harvester: Daemons Analysis Part 1

I realise that I've left a pretty big gap between posts here, and that really should be construed as a break on my part, but I'm going to be using my pre-post incessant ramble to explain this short absence. I realise that I've been talking a lot about what I've been doing over the past month or so, and so I've decided that it's time to get back to talking about something other than me. Therefore, I decided that my next post would definitely be about tactics or analysing a unit, rule, or something to that effect. I could have just jumped back on my, '6th Analysis' wagon, but I have decided to leave that one for now, as there's not really much I could say that I'm sure someone else hasn't touched on elsewhere. In an ideal world, I would have liked to talk about how my opinion of the flyers I reviewed a few months back has changed, the meta as it appeared at the Throne of Skulls and even getting into the nitty gritty detail of, 'how axes aren't so bad after all'. But, time to move on.

I've saved this topic for a while for 2 reasons. 1. It's an August release, so it seemed appropriate to leave it until August. And 2. It has taken me a long time to get my head around some of these changes for Daemons, I don't think I've fully managed to do it yet, I've been to and fro as to whether I like the new units from my inner Daemon player's perspective or not. But anyway, let's get started.

Seeker Chariots:

This is where the combine harvester reference comes in, as – in a typical British farming comparison – they look like they're ploughing the fields of corpses, as a combine harvester ploughs a regular field, which, to be honest, I think was the point, and the sculptors have done a fantastic job in representing this in the models (just clearing up the reason for the title). It could be the copious amounts of Slaaneshi daemons that I've been gluing together this past week but I seem to have got a Slaaneshi bug (all innuendos to the side please), and I really like these new models. But anyway, onto their place in a Daemon army.

First, lets look at the in the context of the Daemon army itself. They fill in a heavy slot, which is a little annoying. The 2 armies that Daemons seemed to struggle against the most before 6th edition were Grey Knights (naturally) and Dark Eldar. The latter was not helped by a lack of speed on the part of the Daemons. Since the rulebook dropped, they have had one large speed injection in the form of flying Daemon Princes, which also take up a heavy support slot. Damn. So, in taking these chariots, you're not taking Daemon Princes.

But, are these worth taking over a Daemon Prince? Well, lets see. They're basically a Rhino with 2 hull points, but then also cost 5pts more than a Rhino. So, not quite as durable, but more expensive, not really actually, as it also counts as a Daemon, meaning that the Chariot itself gets an invulnerable save. Pretty nice. A secondary perk of this is that it also comes with Fear. You can also take these in squadrons of 3, which has a number of plus points to it. Some of them I'll get to later.

So, lets put it this way. A squad of Long Fangs with 4 missile launchers will, on average take 2 hull points off an armour 11 vehicle per turn. So, when taking invulnerable saves into account, 3 packs of Long Fangs shouldn't quite kill a squadron of 3 Chariots on a hull points basis, still leaving one alive. That said, I'm not completely certain on the rules for squadrons and the vehicle damage table yet so they could very well do it through that, but I'll have to check up on that, the rulebook's only been out a month. Not bad for a 120pt unit.

So, we've looked out how much damage the unit can sustain, what about how much it can dish out. Like most Slaaneshi units, it doesn't have a ranged presence. They do get sweep attacks, 4 S3 rending ones to be precise, which isn't bad but it isn't great, it's the low strength which causes the problem really. That said, S3 rending can sometimes surprise you. On Saturday my Pathfinders (Eldar) somehow managed to blow up a Rhino.

But anyway, this unit really relies on hitting first and hitting hard, as it can't really sustain long assaults with anything that is S4, as it's just a Rhino with less hull points and an invulnerable save. So, how much damage can these things do on the charge. Well, lets assume with have 3 chariots with full hull points, and they are charging a squad of 10 tactical marines, as any close combat unit which can't kill marines at full strength isn't a great assault unit.

So, they charge. One nifty little rule that these guys have is called Fleshshredder, and it is essentially taking their hammer of wrath attacks and modifying them, so each chariot will hammer at S4 and with rending. Not only this, but instead of getting D6 Hammer of Wrath attacks, they get D6 for every hull point remaining. So, in this instance, 6D6 S4 rending attacks. Not too shabby. On average, there will be 21 attacks at I10. The Chariots also come with WS5, meaning that 14 should hit, 7 wounding, and 2 rending hits. So, 2 marines drop dead, and 2 more marines fail their saves and are removed too, so 4 Marines are already down. Then, you follow up with the remaining attacks. 15 in total, 10 hitting, 3 wounding, 1 rend, and another failed save. 6 marines in total are felled. 4 Attacks back, 2 hits, possibly a glance, but unlikely.

Oh. So there are still 4 marines left. Looks like they aren't a very good assault unit then. This was my first reaction. Then I thought, that now they are trapped in combat, they can't be shot at in the next turn, so they can kill the marines and jump another squad next turn. Then I ran the maths again. 12 attacks, 8 hits 3 wounding, 1 rend, 1 failed save. 2 Marines are still standing there.

Ok, so despite the multitude of high initiative attacks that this unit gets, it still can't shift a 10 man tactical squad over 2 assault phases. So, this unit must be a bad unit. I still don't think so. Yes, maths says you can't kill a full tactical marine squad over a game turn through combat, but is that really what you want to be doing with them? If you're into Raaagh! Smash! Beatface! Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne! I suggest that you go and play Khorne, and pick yourself up a nice big squad of Bloodcrushers or something.

That's not what these guys do. They're not as 'beatface' as the Khorne units, they're not as shooty or manipulative as the Tzeentch units and they're not as durable as the Nurgle units. So what do they do? (Yes, I like rhetoric today).

The one thing that they do very well is move quickly. So what I'd use them for is shutting down enemy shooting. It was demonstrated that in a first round of combat, these guys should kill 6 marines. The maximum squad size for a squad of Long Fangs is 6. Even if you charge a 10 man squad of vanilla Devastators, then, even though you're unlikely to kill them all, you'll at least tie them up. It's not just Long Fangs though, Lootas, Broadsides, etc can all be targeted by the Seeker Chariots for a charge, moving up turn 1 with that 24” movement including the shooting phase flat out move as there is nothing better for the squadron to do, before setting up a charge in the next turn. Plus, the Chariots themselves have fleet. Nice.

So, in short, use the Seeker Chariots to prey upon enemy static shooting units like Long Fangs or Lootas. The beauty of charging big squads of Devastators is also that they can't choose to run away, as I believe that they still hit you on your rear armour and so can glance on 6s, giving them a tiny chance that they could kill you, so unlikely that you can rely on them not doing it but also trapping them in the combat. The only things that you can't really hurt are Dreadnoughts, Predators are fine as that many rending attacks are likely to do something, but not Dreads, as all you'll be able to do is try and rend them and then get a 3 on a D3 to glance. So, avoid Dreadnoughts. Luckily, only 1 army tends to really use them as a firebase, and that's Grey Knights, so there wasn't really much hope anyway.

Plus, this unit is pretty cheap. I'm still on my Space Wolves kick, but when it wears off I'm considering going back to Daemons, and when I do, I'm thinking of taking 2 flying Daemon Princes and 1 squadron of 3 Seeker Chariots in my heavies. The aforementioned squad only costing as much as 8 Lootas.

I'll come on to using exalted chariots in such Seeker Cavalcades in a later post, as I think that this one has gone on long enough. So, I'll just leave it with a summary.

This is not a unit that you can just throw into combats here there and everywhere, you have to specifically target a unit and go for it, creating a charge on it. Such units that you can target are generally ones which provide an army's long range firepower, but avoid combats with Dreadnoughts. I wouldn't say it's a bad unit at all, it has its uses, try and keep it alive first turn before getting a charge off in the second. In fact, I like it.

Now, I'm going off to see what the rest of the internet thinks of the Seeker Chariots of Slaanesh.