Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Chaos Marine Analysis - Bikers

Well it's Halloween, and whilst my block of University flats is empty due to everyone going out and having fun, I remain behind. There is no room for merriment here!

But seriously, there's a bit of a hidden agenda behind my lack of Chaos posting this week. The agenda in question is that the unit that I have set myself to talk about next is one that I know absolutely nothing about. Incoming Chaos bikers. In 9 years in the hobby I have seen bikers once, and that was back in the days when I picked up my Eldar and barely knew what I was doing. The only other time that I have seen bikes is when my Eldar were out and kicking, but I don't count those because they are jetbikes.

So, I am going to attempt to talk about a unit the likes of which I have barely ever seen in action, late at night and with nothing to keep me awake bar a bottle of Sprite. If/when this is a terrible terrible analysis please leave feedback that will help me better understand these guys in the future, thanks (you may have noticed that my ego bounces up and down like a yo-yo (I can't think of an original similie right now)).

Before I get started though. GW news. I'm going to start with some generic products with the new paint set. I'm just going to rattle off a couple of my original thoughts on this very quickly. I think that the design of the box is good, I like the fact that it doubles as storage space for your paints. The downside being that most of the paints are going to dry up before you use them. If you work out the maths you're essentially getting 21 paints free, but I can probably think of more than 21 paints from that set that I'd never use. That's that then.

Obligatory embossed army cases are coming for Christmas. As an owner of one that I got a couple of years back, although they're good they're not that comfortable to wear (due to them being as wide as a house) and you can get much more efficiency out of a dual KR case, so I'd probably stick with that. That said, I am probably going to be picking up a few of the Northern Wastes (Space Wolves) basing kits. I sort of have to don't I?

Other than that you've got the huge trenchline, which I was interested in until I saw that it cost £100. And there's more. A Space Marine megaforce (of course) and a Necron one too. I like the look of both of these, I think they both make a solid core for a new army, but from a competitive standpoint I probably wouldn't bother if you're looking to build a new tournament army. Finally, GW have heard our calls and released a box of Cultists (whoo!). Not great though, they are the Dark Vengeance Cultists (which is good), but I'm a little disappointed that GW haven't done this properly. Instead, they've released a mini-box, which is £6 for 5 cultists, 3 have Autoguns and 2 have dual close combat weapons. So, if you're looking to give all of the cultists in your army 1 of the 2 choices, half of that box is going to be redundant.

Look at that, I'm procrastinating even inside the post.

Bikers time.  

I'm going to do this the way I know, compare them to something. Let's compare them to a standard Chaos Space Marine. Ok, so for 7pts more, what do you get? Well, the bikes get to move a heck of a lot faster, that's obvious, but they also get twin-linking on their bolters (bikes), dual close combat wepaons and T5. Hmm, looking good already. Their marks are a little more expensive though.

I always like to have at least one fast contingent in my army. The main reason for this being that Linebreaker point. I really like to push for those points, as I know that they can make a huge amount of difference in a game. Take the Emperor's Will for example. I am most likely going to keep hold of my objective, you are most likely to keep hold of yours. This was the case even before 6th edition, but now that the game has very muched shifted to shooting based, even less units are willing to go forward, so no-one's going to get linebreaker, and no-one's going to get slay the warlord if you hide them in your armies (which you probably are doing).

This means that the game is going to come down to whoever gets first blood. In this way, winning on the secondary objectives can really take the pressure off on the main ones, as all you have to do is draw, and I think that bikes are good for Linebreaker. Maybe put another couple of bikes in there to increase durability in case they are shot at, 5 in a squad maximum, hide them behind terrain and then turn 3 or 4 start to make a break for it, taking advantage of that sweet 4+ Jink save and T5.

So, how do I see this in comparison to the other Fast Attack choices. I think that they all fulfill different rolls. Spawn are an excellent tarpit, no two ways around it, that is what they do best and they can also put out a bit of damage too. The Heldrake is an infantry frier, it will stomp MEQs like nobodies business. Bikers I think are a difficult unit to use, you can take advantage of a bit of bad positioning exposing a meltagun in an enemy unit with your speed for example, you can prey on a weakened unit that could cause you a problem elsewhere if not dealt with, and they can grab that linebreaker point for you. Just whatever you do, hide them first turn, even if you're going first, a sieze would cause you a problem if they're in the open in front of guns, especially missiles.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Invasion - Tournament Report

I want to apologise for the lack of chaos analysis posts recently. However I'll get right down to it and there should be a post late Wednesday night. Additionally, if you thought there was an additional paragraph above this about Flamers and Screamers, there was. However, now that the Chaos Daemons FAQ has been released in English it is incorrect so I've redacted it to avoid confusion.

However, on to the topic at hand.

This Monday I attended my first doubles tournament. This was an interesting experience for me, each half an army had to operate as though it was individual, and this included for the purposes of the for e organisation chart. So I took a Rune Priest, 2 large squads of Grey Hunters, and 2 packs of Long Fangs. I found a team mate a day before the event, who had a company command squad in a Chimera, 2 squads of Veterans and 2 Leman Russ Battle Tanks.

So it was to our horror, with no practice with each other whatsoever, that our first game was on table 5 against a Dark Eldar army with lots of Blasters and 3 Venoms coupled with a Necron army with a pair of annihilation barges, a flyer, Spyders, etc. The Scouring, Dawn of War.

Essentially, we knew that this was going to be a shoot out, whoever got first turn would knock out some opposing firepower and take the game. They got the first turns, killing the Chimera for first blood, the company commander for slay the warlord and crippled a Leman Russ, stopping it from shooting and leaving it with 1 hull point. The game ended 8-5 to them. A fantastic start.

Despite this, the tournament was still there thanks to a couple of things. Firstly, there were 4 winners, one from each store, and all but 2 of our teams lost. Secondly, the scoring increased in each round, with a win in round 1 being worth 5pts, round 2 10pts, and round 3 15pts.

So we move to the next table, and there we are greeted by a guard and grey knights alliance with 2 vendettas and a stormraven. Fluffy tournament my arse. Purge the Alien, Hammer and Anvil.

We got pretty lucky this game, with one long fang squad with a Rune Priest in it going crazy. A lone long fang, hitting, penetrating, and blowing up a vendetta on the second turn, with the priest throwing a grenade off a bastion hitting and glancing a stormraven removing its last hull point and killing it. Overall this was a resounding victory, with only an opposing vendetta left on the table. We didn't count up points but I think that it was 13-6 to us or something.

Going into the third game, there were 3 teams from our store neck and neck. The previous winners from the first round both lost, so it was between the second round winners. We were playing one of these teams. Emperor's Will, Vanguard Strike.

We were playing against a dual space marine army, and it was a fantastic game, with the stormtalon sneaking up behind one leman Russ and scouts behind another, both vehicles exploded killing far to many models. Essentially, we won this through slay the warlord and first blood, we were never going to get that objective. 5-3.

So, on battle points we were 26/30, unfortunately for us, the other Oxford team also won. So it came down to theme and painting to see who would win. Now as I was kicked from the other team because my Space Wolves didn't fit with the Night Lords as well as the renegade Guard did (understandable), you can guess who came second.

So, not a bad result overall, looking ahead to throne of skulls now, I have plans, and curtesy of a trip to warhammer world, I now have forge world upgrade kits. Well done to the winners from my store though.

I hope this comes out ok. Blogging on an iPad is weird.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Chaos Marine Analysis - Heldrake

Yes yes I've been neglecting this for a few days, but I really needed a short break. I've had lots of work to do and the fact that I stayed up until 4:00am last night finishing off watching season 2 of Battlestar Galactica (I'm just too grim-dark). Add to this the fact that I went down to my local store yesterday and came back again with 2 tournament tickets, one of which being the January Throne of Skulls and the other being for a doubles tournament happening on Monday, and you can see that I have a lot of prep to do.

On Wednesday however, I was able to get 3 games in against a Chaos Space Marine player, who is now my partner for the doubles tournament. We actually evened each other out quite well, I tabled him the first game, we fought to a draw in the second and then he tabled me in the third, the lists also seem to completement each other quite well, we have 4 troops choices (a legal requirement that each 600pt force brings 1 HQ and 2 Troops), he has a hitty HQ in his Chaos Lord and I provide some excellent psychic defence and buffery with my Rune Priest, equally, he has a hitty troops choice and a good deckchair troops choice in a Khorne Marine and Nurgle Marine squad respectively, whilst I bring the swiss army troops in the Grey Hunters, he fills out the roll of get close and wreck face flyer goodness in the Heldrake, also useful for the Scouring whilst I do what Space Wolves do best and bring the big guns. Incoming 2 packs of Long Fangs.

But anyway, onto the bulk of the post. Speaking of Heldrakes, that is what I'm going to be covering today. I think that this unit is very well costed. It comes in at 10pts more than a standard squad of Warp Talons and it's very well armoured too, the same as a Vendetta in fact. Same BS, same armour values and same hull points. In fact, it's a little bit more durable than a Vendetta. It comes with a 5++ save and 'It will not die', and although it doesn't have twin linked, it has a slight consolation in that once per game it can re-roll to wound, although that comes with a slight risk.

Base, it comes with a Hades Autocannon, which is a 4 shot Autocannon with +1 strength. I'm not sure about this, as what you'd be using this for is taking advantage of the Heldrake's Skyfire rule, and using it as flyer defence, it wouldn't be good for much else as it is unlikely to cause too much hinderance to infantry and other vehicles, although Vector Strike will do a little. Then when you're firing at a flyer, you're likely going to hit twice and maybe cause 1 Hull Point of damage, you probably aren't going to get another shot then as the opposing flyer zooms towards you and you zoom away from it, unless you hover, which will expose yourself.

Therefore, I think that the best way to run this is to take advantage of the only upgrade that a Heldrake can take, and give it a Baleflamer. This is similar to the flamer that the Baal Predator can take, although I've had a memory blank and can't remember what it's called, but it also has Soul Blaze (...great...) and Torrent, which basically gives the template a 12” range where you can place it, allowing you to more easily encompass as many models as possible. This is a fantastic weapon for Marine hunting, my Long Fangs were roasted many a game by this, and remembering that it's a flamer, they aren't going to be getting a save unless they can get an invulnerable save from somewhere, or if they're Terminators, which do get Invulnerable saves anyway.

So, Heldrake. If you're an MEQ player facing off against a couple of these things, especially in smaller points levels, it can be terrifying, but not too much so. It's a good unit, but I think that only time will tell as to whether it is better than Spawn or Bikes.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Chaos Marine Analysis - Chaos Spawn

Now that I've finished with all of the non-special character Hqs, I'm going to move on. I'll come back to the special characters later and when I do I'll also go through the units that they unlock / unlock as troops. So I'll move on to Fast Attack to give the false impression of progress.

The unit that I'm going to be talking about today is the one that I looked at first when I picked up the Codex. We already knew that they were probably going to be getting a buff, they couldn't have been much worse in the previous Codex, but the buff that we've seen is pretty strong. Allow me to introduce the Chaos Spawn.

I am pleased to say that the random movement that the Spawn saw in the last Codex is gone. Already much better, but what I can easily compare them to now are the Wraiths from the Necron Codex. Here's why.

They're beasts, so they're pretty fast, like the Wraiths being jump infantry, but what makes them most comparable is that they both tarpit extremely well. Base, Spawn are 10pts per T5 Fearless wound. That is excellent, but it can get even better once you get into the Marks. Yes, Spawn can take Marks, and the most obvious one is Mark of Nurgle, meaning that you are now paying 12pts per T6 Fearless wound. I would definitely recommend giving them this Mark. The first reason being that you are basically immune to boltguns, if you're charging a squad of tactical marines they will need 6s to hit and 6s to wound. Not easy. Add to this the fact that they cannot be instant killed by S10 weapons, whereas without it I'd just point my Manticore at you and then your Spawn are in trouble.

Yes, Spawn have random attacks, and they have a random mutation in combat, but honestly, I don't care. What you use them for is tarpitting and it doesn't matter how many attacks they get or what their mutation is, although the 4+ save is quite nice. Like Wraiths, you can't rely on them doing real damage, due to the random nature of the Spawn, but you can guarantee that unless your Spawn are in combat with a huge hammer unit they are going to keep them there for a while, many hammer units may even struggle with that, all for 180pts. In short, I think that we have some cheese here.

That said, they can still churn out a decent amount of damage if the dice are with you, with between 3 and 8 S5 attacks per Spawn on the charge. The only downside to their tarpitting however is that they're WS3, so they are going to be hit on 3s most of the time, but your opponent is also going to need 6s to hit them on 3s most of the time too. So, how exactly would I run these? I'll just put in a summary.

5 Chaos Spawn: 180pts
-Mark of Nurgle

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Chaos Marine Analysis - Warpsmith

The first positive thing that I have to say about the Warpsmith is that his model is very nice. Ok, that's aesthetic opinionated crap over and done with, let's get down to analysing this thing in a way that is less objective.

The Warpsmith is 5pts more than a Dark Apostle, and comes with his own special shenanigans. First off, as a parallel to the Techmarine in the Space Marines Codex, instead of improving one of your pieces of terrain, you get to worsen one of your opponents. Although you can't use this on area terrain. I would say that this is better than being able to improve terrain. Yes you can take an Aegis Defence Line and give your units a 3+ save base or something like that but at the end of the day, it comes down to how dependant upon terrain Chaos Space Marines are.

If you're more dependant on it than your opponent, then you'll want to improve your own terrain, as your opponent won't care too much if you degrade theirs. But if you're playing against an army that is dependant upon it (Dark Eldar, Tyranids), they're going to hate their cover saves being reduced more than you'd enjoy your cover save being better, if you get where I'm coming from.

His second piece of shenaniganary is to do with his ability to repair vehicles. Incorporated in the rule which allows him to do this, is a second paragraph which allows him to mess with enemy vehicles too. Essentially, if he hits it, its weapons get hot (Leman Russ Punisher fun), when I saw this I also thought, hmm, Stormtalon, that'll come close to me and can get a decent number of shots off. But King Kelly has thought of that, the Warpsmith rolls to hit with BS rather than a fixed number. Balls.

Other than all of this, he also comes loaded with a crap load of basic wargear. He has a 2+ save (not so basic) but no invuln, but he also comes with a piece of wargear that gives him extra attacks, a flamer, a meltagun and allows him to fire 2 weapons. He can also take Veterans of the Long War and standard Chaos Artefacts, Rewards and so on.

But do you want to load him down with that extra stuff? The reason that you'd take one of these guys is for the shenaniganary surely. Yes, he's not bad in a fight with those 4 attacks base but when considering his base cost if I wanted a brawler I could do a whole lot better with a Chaos Lord, who is also fearless. So, don't bother with that. Maybe go with Veterans of the Long War though, that's always nice to have.

So, is he worth his 110pts? I think he's not bad for it. He's very versatile, being able to deal with hordes and vehicles with his weapons, he's good in a fight, although I think that an invulnerable save would be nice - if you really want to spend points on him go for Aura of Dark Glory then – as he strikes with an Unwieldy weapon. And he also comes with some nice special anti vehicle rules as well and the breaking down of opposing terrain is a nice force multiplier.

So, if you're looking for a versatile HQ unit without having to flick about the book for that perfect upgrade, why not go with the Warpsmith. Plus he's one cool looking model.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Chaos Marine Analysis - Dark Apostle

I'm going to try to keep up the pace here. I might not be able to get a post done tomorrow as I've got a lot of work to do, but I'll try to get the last generic HQ choice done. So Dark Apostle today.

As a Word Bearers player I will almost certainly be taking one in my army, so I'll try not to destroy my opinion of them too much. The first thing that I noticed when I was looking at his entry isn't too exciting, it just specifies that he can take Veterans of the Long War for free. Why would you not do that? You might as well just auto include it in his Special Rules. Speaking of special rules, here is the first appearance of the USR, 'Zealot' giving the Apostle Hatred and Fearless, so already you can put him in a big squad and he'll buff it pretty well, a bit like a Marine Chaplain (no surprises at that comparison).

He can take Chaos ranged weapons, rewards and artifacts but honestly I wouldn't. He already comes stock with a Power Maul (thunder hammer), grenades and a 4++ save. He also gives all units within 6” his leadership and members of his squad get to re-roll on the boon table.

The only thing that I would be concerned about is his lack of attacks. He only has 2. So in every combat he should hit once, and reliably kill/wound (depending on toughness and eternal warrior) 1 model per turn of combat. So maybe a Mark of Khorne is in order. It's the cheapest of the Marks and it'll give him an extra attack enough of the time to make an impact. But then the question comes down to, do you really want him in combat, or just to buff a squad?

I'd say that the answer to this is yes. What good is buffing a squad if you're not going to do anything with it? I like rhetorics this month. The other way that I could see you using him is castling up your fire base and objective campers around him and making your Obliterators leadership 10 or Fearless depending upon whether you've joined the squad, then attatching him to a different unit to charge with/take a charge should the enemy get too close. But then are you getting enough use out of him?

I think that this is another thing that requires playtesting, and who knows? As I go through the book I may find units where I think, 'a Dark Apostle would be awesome in here'. As I do, I'll let you know.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Chaos Marine Analysis - Daemon Prince

I've had to have a bit of a think about the Daemon Prince, I definitely like the new incarnation, although the passing of Lash will be looked on with sadness/joy depending upon your perspective. I'm going to go the for controversial option here and say that I'm saddened by its passing. I never played Lash Chaos, so I'm not saddened by it because I now can't use another cheesy combo. The reason I'm saddened is probably down to a sense of nostalgia. About a year after I first got into 40k my gaming buddy started using a dual Lash Prince, Tri defiler list.

The first time I played against that with my Footdar I was tabled and only managed to kill a single Thousand Son in the process. I didn't mind him playing the list, because during this period my game really started to improve, and although it took me 2 years to beat the list, I came out of that a much better player than I had started as. That's probably expected due to my increase in experience but I believe that playing against a hard list like that drove me to want to improve my play as much as I possibly could. Plus, Lash was quite common in my community and although I played against it a lot I have won every game against a Lash list that I've played since I first beat it at the end of 2010, because I'd played it so often that I knew exactly how to deal with it.

But anyway, that's past, onto the present. The current Daemon Prince has one heck of a beasty statline. I'm actually thinking of bringing back the Arena once I've finished analysing the Chaos Codex and watching a bear DP fight the Avatar of Khaine. It's 10pts cheaper than an Avatar though, but anyway. How are you going to kit this guy out?

Well for a start you have to take a Mark, so which one to take? Well, starting off generically, each Mark gives you hatred against Daemons of the polarized God, I'm not going to state outright which hates which but Lexicanum will tell you. But, other than that, they all come with their own nifty rules. Khorne gives you furious charge, Nurgle gives you shrouded and slow and purposeful. Slaanesh comes with quite a few, +3” to your run, fleet and rending. But my favourite by far is Tzeentch, which allows you to re-roll all saving through results of 1, being familiar with this through my Space Wolves I'll come on to how nasty this can be in a minute. All of the Marks cost the same, with the exception of Slaanesh which is 5pts cheaper and all 5 give you access to Mark associated psychic powers, with the exception of Khorne of course.

Now, moving onto individual upgrades. You can give him Wings, a good decision. Why not make your 200+pt Monstrous Creature flying, they're nasty. The one I probably have more to say about however is the humble upgrade of power armour. For 20pts I really think that this is mandatory. Especially considering the Daemon Princes Toughness of 5, as otherwise I can drop a Manticore missile on you and 2/3rds of the time that is going to result in a dead Daemon. So, give him a 3+ save to mitigate that. Now, normally I still wouldn't like the risk for such an expensive model, but remember, you have a Mark of Tzeentch, and now, half of the saves that you fail are going to allow you a re-roll, that's pretty nice.

You can also give your Daemon Prince psychic mastery levels, so he doesn't have to take any psychic powers at all, for the same cost as the Sorcerer has to pay per level. I probably wouldn't go with this, I'd like to keep my DP as inexpensive as possible, especially when I would be paying 25pts for something that is essentially random. If you're going for the biggest beatstick that you can find. Sure why not? But then you'll also want to dip into the Chaos Rewards, etc, which I'll come onto now.

I probably wouldn't take the rewards. I've heard about taking the Axe of Blind Fury but then I'm not getting Mark of Tzeentch, plus I'm a WS9 S6 Monstrous Creature with 5 attacks anyway, and this isn't something that I'd really like to go overkill on. So essentially, this is how I'd set up a Daemon Prince.

Daemon Prince: 220pts
-Mark of Tzeentch
-Power Armour

And that's already pretty expensive.766 words. Cutting down.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Chaos Marine Analysis - Sorcerer

I promised a smaller post today, and hopefully that's going to be the case. I'm probably going to be talking about the psychic powers more though, so let's delve right into it.

The Sorcerer is the single cheapest HQ that Chaos Space Marines have access to, so if you're just wanting to take the minimum, he's your man. He can then take Terminator armour at 15pts less than how much a Chaos Lord has to pay for it, probably because you don't have to include the Power Weapon, as he just keeps his Force Weapon. He can also take all of the wargear that a Lord can take as well, but I probably wouldn't equip him with any of this as it's generally not going to be used with a Sorcerer, for example, why would I pay 15pts for a Power Weapon when I already have a Force Weapon? Or any of the other close combat weapons aren't that much of an improvement for a Sorcerer considering that you might not be able to get maximum use out of them with him and you're already replacing a Force Weapon.

So, psychic powers. You can only take Marks of Nurgle, Tzeentch and Slaanesh on Sorcerers, because Khorne hates psykers, and that's why he doesn't have a psychic discipline.

Tzeentchs powers aren't bad. The Primaris Power is quite nice, it has got a medium range and is a strength of D6 +1, so quite random, and for every model removed due to this you inflict you get more hits, it's also a blast weapon. So a strong power, you can then get Boon of Mutation which is very different to its previous incarnation, instead of turning one of your opponents models into a Spawn, you give one of your Characters a free roll on the Boons table. Quite nice.

Doombolt is in there too, effectively Bolt of Tzeentch, except vehicles that you blow up do so twice as far. And then there's the infamous Breath of Chaos. I don't really think that I need to explain what that does. Essentially, Tzeentch seems to specialise in psychic shooting attacks with a buff power thrown in.

With Nurgle, you get another D6 +1 psychic power, but this time it is for the nummber of shots, being an AP5 poisened weapon. However, I'm not really a fan of it due to its pistol range. Nurgle does seem to specialise in Maledictions, the first power making an opposing units weapons get hot, and with a 24” range that's quite nice. Not game changing but nice.

The second psychic power is a Malediction with a random effect. It comes with an excellent range and could have some excellent effects. The first effect isn't great, reducing enemy attacks but giving them shrouding. The second one is much better, reducing strength and stopping units from running, the third one is essentially enfeeble, which is really nice.

The final power isn't great again, it's a psychic shooting attack with a 12” range, except instead of the random number of shots you get a large blast, but the real kicker is that it's AP2, which is really useful.

The Primaris power for Slaanesh is pretty good. 4 shots, 4 strength and AP4, it has got a range 4x as long as the Nurgle power as well. It also comes with a lot of special effects such as pinning, concussive and more.

The first power is then a buff, which will randomly give a unit a +1 buff to one of their stats, all of which are useful in combat, essentially making a single unit more effective in close combat, although it only has a 12” range meaning that you'll have to get your Sorcerer close to the action.

Symphony of pain is the second power, this time a malediction, it has a medium range and reduces the ability of an opposing unit to hit, in combat or at range, it also makes them more succeptible to sonic weaponary. The final power is quite simple, 24” range, each model hits itself in the face in that unit, with no AP.

You can then upgrade your psychic mastery level up to 3, 25pts per mastery level which is nice. But which psychic discipline is the best? Assuming psychic mastery level 1, I'd probably say Slaanesh, but once you start upgrading your mastery level I'd move to Tzeentch, as all of the powers perform a simple task whilst the Slaanesh ones are all completely different in application.

So there we go, a quicker breakdown this time. I'm not really going to comment on how good this unit actually is specifically as I don't have enough information to look at units in the context of the rest of the army and see how it works synergistically. However, I do have plans to come back to each Force Org slot in turn and look at the whole thing rather than unit-by-unit breakdowns once I have some more information and can look at units as part of the whole Codex. Ah, much better this time, just over 850 words.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Chaos Marine Analysis - Chaos Lord

Disclaimer. Regarding the Chaos analysis posts, I'd like to make a quick apology. The reason being that this post alone is over 2,000 words long, and when I see a huge block of text I often can't be bothered to read it. So what I'm going to do in the future posts is shorten them dramatically, and just talk about what I think is the best way to use it, shortening the post, as the length of these posts are getting crazy. So, if you think I'm doing something wrong, or have any constructive criticism to offer regarding the blog, or if I'm going overboard on something, please drop a comment at the bottom. It really is much appreciated. Equally, if you disagree with me on any points or if I've got anything wrong, please let me know, I like to hear from you. Thanks.

I don't care if individually analysing individual units is unoriginal, I'm doing it damn it! By this I mean, sorry for the break, but to make up for it, so brace yourselves for a long post today, because here comes an unrelenting block of text. In other news, a friend of mine has just started a blog, you can find a link to it just above the Underlings blog list on the right of the page. But anyway, on to the Chaos Lord.

I'm not going to pass an overall judgement yet saying that he's good or he's bad, as I want to compare him to the other HQ choices, of which there are many (11 other than the Lord). He's got a solid statline, as you'd expect, but as with these things it's the special rules that matter the most. He comes with Champion of Chaos, letting him roll on the boons table, but the one that I find the most interesting is the inclusion of fearless, which could be really useful in sticking him in a squad and making everyone fearless, doing the whole Eldar/Dark Eldar Pheonix Lord trick. As well as this he has the dual close combat weapons of bolt pistol and close combat weapon but no bolter and Frag and Krak grenades.

So now we delve into the unending pit of wargear. Apparently, he can take items from the charts of melee weapons, ranged weapons, Chaos rewards, special issue wargear and Chaos artefacts. As I say, long post.

Melee weapons. The Chaos Lord can get a Chainaxe for 8pts. Now while I believe that a Chaos Lord with a Chainaxe would look very nice indeed, I'm not buying this. Essentially, what a Chainaxe does is make the Chaos Lord's close combat attacks AP4. Anything with an armour save of 4+ is probably going to be something that I'm beating in combat anyway (Fire Warriors, Dire Avengers, Necron Warriors, etc), so why would I pay 8 points to do it better? Next.

Next up is the Power Weapon and the Lightning Claw. Both cost the same number of points, and when I saw this I was a bit confused, surely I'd just take the lightning claw as it's exactly the same except with a re-roll. Then I remembered that it's a special close combat weapon, so I wouldn't be getting the bonus for dual close combat weapons. So if you do want to spend 15pts on beating up MEQs, you can go for either +1 attack power weapon or re-rolling power weapon. That said, I probably wouldn't spend that many points on a model that can't deal with Terminators, although I suppose that you could model him a Power Axe if you needed to, but then you're wasting the I5.

If you do want to deal with Terminators, why not go for the Power fist, at 25pts. To me that sounds a bit hefty, when I could just as easily be putting that on a Chosen or something. To be honest. If you're just looking for a bog standard Chaos Lord out of these, I'd go for the Power Weapon just because it's a generic Captain weapon, but so far I'm not seeing anything special.

Ranged weapons. Combi Bolter, 3pts. Not a bad investment. At least the guy gets a Boltgun, plus it's unlikely to miss at Twin-Linked BS5. Again with the combi-weapons, good Lord are these things expensive. I really don't like them, I know that a lot of people do but I am paying 7pts more here to lose the Twin-Linked on my Boltgun in favour of 1 shot with either a Flamer, Melta or Plasma gun, I like to be able to use my points more than once thanks. It's why I hate the Tachyon arrow. 30Pts for something that can only be used once and might not even hit, really?

Next up, Plasma Pistol. I have to use this, and that makes me sad, I don't want to have to convert my Dark Vengeance Chaos Lord because it's such a pretty model. The reason that it makes me sad is because I don't want to spend 15pts on a 1 shot weapon with a short range that will blow up in my face every time I miss with it.

Analysing individual units that come in White Dwarf updates is so much easier, at least there's a Codex that I'm familiar with that I can compare them to in relation to their Force Org slot.

Chaos rewards. Now this is going to take even longer. 9 completely new upgrades in here.

Starting with Ichor Blood. 5Pts, and what it does is it causes 1 S3 AP4 hit to any and every model that caused an unsaved wound on your Chaos Lord in combat. Now any model that managed to cause a wound on your Chaos Lord probably isn't going to care about this but it's quite nice if you have 5pts to spare, but I wouldn't go out of my way to take it.

Gift of mutation again, 10pts, roll on the boons table at the start of the game. I'll probably take this for the fun of it, but again, I think it'll be too random a way to use 10pts in tournament play.

Aura of Dark Glory. 15Pts for a 5++ save, not bad. I'll probably come back to this later though, as I think that there's a bit of a points inconstancy here.

Familiars. These guys are interesting. The spell familiar is also completely useless here, it allows you to re-roll psychic tests. As a non-psyker, the Chaos Lord doesn't take psychic tests, so I'll skip over that one. As for the combat familiar, the Chaos Lord gets +2 normal strength no AP attacks. Not a terrible upgrade as there's the potential to squeeze a lot of attacks out of this guy, but I'd probably rather spend these points elsewhere.

One of my favourite inclusions in the codex as far as upgrades is the inclusion of Chaos mounts, they are all effectively stat improvement pieces of wargear with the exception of Slaanesh, which gives you Acute Sense and Outflank, unfortunately, you can't put him in a squad with the mark of another Chaos God, so no squads of 20 Khorne Berzerkers outflanking unfortunately, it also gives the Lord an extra attack and +3” run moves, and makes him cavalry, and is the cheapest of the steeds at 20pts. Definitely my personal favourite. Khorne's Juggernaut also makes you cavalry and effectively makes you much harder in combat, whilst Tzeentch makes you extremely speedy by making you a Jetbike, and Nurgle doing the predictable thing and making your Lord more durable. You should also note that you need to buy a mark of a certain God to purchase the appropriate steed.

Finally onto special issue wargear. I'm going to try and run through this as quickly as possible. Blight Grenades. I wouldn't take them, essentially they are assault and defensive grenades and you already have an assault grenade anyway, plus you need to buy Mark of Nurgle in order to purchase it.

Everything else can be found in the rulebook with the exception of the sigil of corruption, which is the Chaos equivalent of an Iron Halo, for the same cost as a Long Fang with a Missile Launcher. I'll be coming onto invulnerable saves in a minute though so not too in depth here.

Last sub-section for the wargear. Chaos Artefacts. The Lord can take a dimensional key. This is quite an interesting bit of kit, however I'm not sure that it is worth as much as a 4++ save. When the bearer kills a model in close combat, it makes it much easier and safer to deep strike units near to him and creates difficult and dangerous terrain in the same area for your enemy. I probably wouldn't take this because if you're getting into combat with this unit anyway then your opponent probably isn't going to want to get close to it anyway. Defensively it could be quite good though, preventing any of your opponents other units from charging you too easily if you're sat on an objective, however, I still don't think that it's worth the points.

I do really like the burning brand of Skalathrax though. Essentially a flamer with a 12” range, AP3 and Soul Blaze. Quite expensive, and so I'm not really sure what to make of it. I smell playtesting. If you're looking for more Chaos goodness, I'd recommend going over to Predictably Unconventional and Perpetually Thwarted over on the Underlings blog list, I can see that they're doing some Chaos posts too, and I'll probably go and have a look at them once I've finished this post. At this rate I'm not going to be able to return to the 40k internets for about a month, and I'm not sure that I can take that especially with how much time I have off right now. So yeah, check those out.

I originally said that I don't like the Axe of Blind Fury, but since then I've changed my mind. I think that it's most comparable to a Frost axe, the difference being that there is a chance for it to wound the wielder and it is a lot more expensive, and it also comes with a rule called blinded which reduces certain stats. However, it has the potential to give the wielder between 2 and 6 more attacks. Pretty nice. You do need Mark of Khorne to take it though.

Murder sword. I really don't think that this is worth it to be honest. It's the same points as the Axe of Blind Fury forgetting the Mark, but it's basically a Power Weapon that will perform much better against a single model on the board. No.

The Scrolls of Magnus are terrible too in my opinion, they are almost 50pts, and what they do is give the wielder a random psychic power, and every time this happens, he will take a S3 AP1 hit with ignores cover, and the odds are the power is going to be one that you won't find useful as even the discipline that you generate from is randomly selected, and there's no way to predict what you're going to get. To finish off, I think that the black mace is quite nice though, a bit expensive for a weapon that won't cut through power armour though, as it is the same as the Scrolls of Magnus.

I'll come on to the Marks when I get to the Special Characters that unlock units as Troops, i.e. Typhus, Kharn, Lucius and Ahriman, other than that, he can take Veteran of the Long War, which I would probably take as just a nice 5pt upgrade, although if you're going for a cheap HQ then I'd probably leave it.

The Terminator armour however is probably why I wouldn't take the Sigil of Corruption or the Aura of Dark Glory. Yes, 40pts is expensive, but considering that you are effectively doubling your durability it's not a bad upgrade. For a start, even before taking AP into account your save is twice as good as pre-terminator armour, plus you're getting an invulnerable save, Power Weapon and combi-bolter into the bargain, and if you are desperate for that 4++, why not take a Mark of Tzeentch.

To conclude, I'd say that the reason to take a Chaos Lord is if you just want to fill in that Force Organisation slot with a cheap HQ unit and make one of the Elites choices other than Thousand Sons troops. If you just wanted to fill in the mandatory slot, then the Sorcerer does it better due to their lower base cost. However, I can't really pass judgement without going into the other HQ units, so I'll have to wait for tomorrow, when I'll get cracking with the Sorcerer.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Chaos Marine Analysis - Dedicated Transport

There's not really much to say about the Rhino (none of that introductory crap today, straight into it), the only difference between it and the loyalist Rhinos (not including Blood Angels and their special Rhinos) is that it has a Combi-Bolter instead of a Storm Bolter, which means that it's rapid fire instead of Assault 2 but also gains twin-linked. Other than that, it's down to the upgrades, which I'm going to run through now.

The first thing that caught my attention was the Dirge Caster. I think it's quite quirky. Essentially, any unit close to a Rhino with a Dirge Caster cannot fire Overwatch. That's quite a nice little thing to have. The main problem that I have with it though, is that the Rhino will have to withstand a turn of fire before it can get this off.

The way that I was thinking this would work is that the assault troops disembark early, going ahead of their Rhinos, with them moving up behind. Just as your unit gets close enough to assault, you can use the flat out move in the assault phase coupled with the normal movement to speed the Rhino up and stop the Overwatch, also providing so good cover in case your unit gets out of the combat in a single turn. That said, the Rhino still isn't very survivable, and as a Space Wolf player the first thing that I think when I see a Rhino is, 'ooh, free first blood/kill point!'. So I'd worry about this staying alive long enough to pull this off.

The next piece of new wargear around are the Warpflame Gargoyles. Essentially, it gives the Rhino's shooting Soul Blaze. Really, you don't buy a Rhino for the shooting, and the odds of you getting a wound with the combi-bolter are low against the basic troops of most armies, so this isn't going to go off most of the time. I'd say that here they're just points that are getting sunk into a Rhino when it's not useful enough to put those points into such a flimsy vehicle.

The next one up is quite interesting. The combi-weapons. Now you can take a combi-flamer, melta or plasma on the Rhinos. For the measly cost of 10pts. Even staying away from the 40k internets, I've caught snippets of people getting excited by these, and I don't know why. To start with, it's 10 pts into a single melta/plasma/flamer shot.

Thinking about the Melta. When is this really going to get used. Are you thinking of rushing a Rhino with a combi-melta on it to take out an opponent's vehicle? Good luck getting it that close. Are you thinking of sitting it back and waiting for your opponent to bring their tanks to you? Well, what tanks are going to be coming towards you? Assault vehicles is the answer here, now let's name an assault vehicle. Land Raider. Now, the odds of that one Melta shot killing that Land Raider are pretty low, and even if it does, as an assault vehicle the contents are still probably going to come over and punch you in the face, as it's probably going to be full of Assault Terminators, or Death Company, or something like that.

Combi-flamer. Useful against hordes. But realistically, it might kill a few Orks/Termagants, but compared to the number of models that I have on the table as a horde player I'm not going to care that much.

Now the combi-plasma is a little better. That said, I probably wouldn't put this on my Rhinos, as I don't like the idea of pumping 10 more points into a flimsy vehicle for potentially shooting 1 gun once.

Especially considering for 2 points more you get a gun with a long range, decent strength and blast, which can fire every turn rather than just once. It's Havoc Launcher time. I don't think that it's changed at all, but then again I don't have the old Codex, but if I was going for a shooty Rhino I'd go with that. Better against horde armies than a combi-flamer hands down. Higher strength, same AP, has some range and can fire more than once.

I'm bored of Rhinos now but luckily there's not too much more gear to go. However, one piece of wargear did make me laugh, and that is the Destroyer Blades. With the pricing of 15pts and the limited number of opportunities that you're going to be able to/want to tank shock with your Rhino, I really don't think it's worth it. But with a kickback to my Orks, this upgrade has pursuaded me to take some Chaos Rhinos and give them these. Put shortly, a Destroyer Blade is essentially the Chaos Rhino's equivilant of a Deff Rolla. Sweet.

Now onto the final upgrade of Daemonic Possession. And I use the word 'upgrade' in the loosest possible way here, so I'm going to put it this way. Positives of Daemonic Possession. Ignore Shaken and Stunned results most of the time. Negatives of Demonic Possession: Lower Ballistic skill, steep points cost, and a chance that the Rhino will eat embarked units, although doing so will recover a lost hull point. There we go, considering that Daemonic Possession in points cost is almost half way to a new Rhino, don't take it.

Today's analysis is over, hopefully I'll be looking at more exciting units next time. With one half of the compulsory slots covered, I think it's only fair that I move on to the over half and look at the HQ choice. Starting nice and generic. Chaos Lord will be up tomorrow.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Chaos Marine Analysis - Troops Part 2

Churning these out at an increased pace now. I've just realised that in total there are 37 units in this book. I've done one of them. So, moving on to Cultists.

To start with, each cultist is really cheap (as you'd expect). They cost less than a third of a Chaos Space Marine. This then means that I probably wouldn't bother giving them a Mark of Chaos, simply because doing so is increasing the cost of each cultist by a decent percentage per model.

However, one list idea that I really like the idea of with these guys (as an Ork player) is running what I like to call, 'the heretical tide'. Simply, I can take 210 cultists including 6 champions for 900pts. That's not a bad swarm at all, and I reckon that it could be quite enjoyable to play. Not for my wallet due to the cultists being stuck in Dark Vengeance and this relies on them not taking Autoguns, so I'd need 21 boxes of Dark Vengeance to make this without converting Guardsmen and what have you, and then you need to remember that you only get 9 that you need from the set as you don't want a Flamer or a Heavy Stubber. It's almost certainly not a fun list for my back either.

Still not a bad deckchair unit either. 165pts for 35 bodies in cover with 3 Flamers or Heavy Stubbers, the former making it even more intimidating to charge that unit on the overwatch, 64 shots and 3 Flamers is going to do something, plus 68 close combat attacks at worst.

I'm not really sure what else I can say about Cultists. I'm definitely going to be taking some, fitting in nicely with my Word Bearers, probably a squad of 20 with close combat weapons and a squad of 20 with Autoguns.

Are they more optimal than the Chaos Space Marines. It depends what you are wanting to use them for, and how much cover you have in your local area. Lots of terrain? I would say that these guys are probably better for camping objectives, they're a cheap squad which you can go to ground with in cover with lots of bodies and you can make good advantage of, 'out of sight' to keep at least a couple alive if the worst comes to the worst, although as not the most threatening unit in the world I would be surprised if the majority of your opponents firepower came at them.

I think that we'll leave this one here, a short post for the Cultists, I'll be back with the Rhino in the next post. That one will be up either later today or sometime tomorrow.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Chaos Marine Analysis - Troops Part 1

Right, so I finally have a copy of the Chaos Codex in my lap, and as the Rampage hospital gets ready to increase in occupancy as my flatmates start to return from their night out, I can finally get down to some Chaos-y business.

First off, a disclaimer. I would fully encourage you to read some of the other Underlings blogs on this subject, as it's always good to be presented with 2 different perspectives. I have no idea what anyone else has wrote, making an effort to stay away from all Chaos related publications as much as I can, but I'll definitely go around and have a look once I've finished the series here. But anyway, on to the topic at hand.

First, as many people have already said, it is a very pretty book. It's nice to have a full colour hardback book with embossed logos and the artwork is exceptional, really benefiting from the colour. I've only flicked through so I haven't been able to pick a favourite yet, but it is outstanding. It might take a bit of getting used to, for example I turned to the Rhino entry to be greeted with a sentence telling me to turn to the vehicle upgrades page for points costs, and then when you find it you have to find another page telling you what the upgrades do. I'm sure that I'll get used to it with time though. Quick and strange comment coming up, it smells just like my Collectors Edition Fantasy rulebook on the inside (i.e. It smells good).

Quickly on to units. Today I'm going to start talking about the Troops choices, I'm not going to go into Typhus' Plague Zombies or units that can be unlocked as Troops choices, but I will be talking on the subject of Chaos Space Marine Squads, Cultists, and then the Chaos Rhino, starting from the top.

When I decided to do Troops choices first I thought it could be quite a boring introduction to the Chaos army, 'they are the backbone of the army blah blah', and that there wouldn't be too much to say about them. However, I have a lot to say about the standard marines here, and I like them.

Comparing them to a standard Space Marine, just statline and special rules based, they don't have, 'And they shall know no fear' (ATSKNF), and they can't combat squad. However, they do cost just as much as a Necron Warrior, 2pts less than a Grey Hunter. Not bad at all. I still would not say that they're just as good for their points as a Grey Hunter. Firstly because of not having ATSKNF. Even though you wouldn't expect them to have to have it, it's such an important rule as a Space Marine, making it very difficult to kill a squad in one go, such as them running off the board or catching them with a sweeping advance.

However, I do think that this lower base cost can make them a very good deckchair unit. Before going into upgrades and how this can be made even more effective, we can look at the unit sizes. One thing that I think makes this selection particularly interesting is the ability to take 20 Chaos Space Marines in a single squad. Just 15 Chaos Space Marines on an objective in cover is going to be one hell of a brick to get through, and that will cost you 205pts.

So, now looking at wargear, and believe me there's a lot of it. As I'm going through I'll stop at more interesting pieces. Starting from the top of the left column again, we have an interesting little piece that allows your Chaos Space Marines to take an additional close combat weapon in exchange for bumping them up to the cost of a Grey Hunter per model. Essentially, an extra attack. That's quite nice for if you're pushing a squad forward. I'm not sure how this compares to the rest of the Codex because I haven't been through the main challengers to this (things like Khorne Berzerkers) yet, but when I do I'll refer back and make a comparison. Alternatively, a Marine can swap his Boltgun for the close combat weapon for no additional cost. Again this kind of depends on how aggressive you plan on being with these guys but I always like to have a Boltgun for the range, so I probably wouldn't go for this option. All in all, I probably wouldn't go for the close combat weapons. I'd be holding out for better close combat units in the codex but even so, with 40k being much more of a shooting game in 6th edition I don't think that I'd get enough use out of them to justify the additional cost. Besides, 13pts for a T4 3+ scoring bolter is nice.

Now, into the special gear for these guys. The first one that comes up is something called Gift of Mutation. I think that this is a fantastic idea for a special rule. I'm not a fan of it from a competitive standpoint, but I am really tempted to take it on my Champions for my Word Bearers. What it does, is it allows your character to roll on the boon table at the start of the game, ignoring Spawndom and Daemonhood, which at 10pts is quite fun. The reason why I don't like it from a competitive standpoint is two-fold. Firstly, that table is extremely random, as it should be, and when I play competitively I try to cut down on randomness as much as I can and go for reliable units that I know can get certain jobs done, so I can intricately understand their strengths and weaknesses in each situation, with as few variables as possible. There are a lot of potential situations coming out of this. Also, you may roll a power that isn't particularly useful. For example, +1 initiative probably isn't going to be great for a champion in a unit that is camping an objective.

Moving on to the Marks of Chaos now. Starting with Khorne. I like this mark. For the same points cost as a second close combat weapon you can get rage and counter-attack. So basically, you get an additional +1 attack when charging and being charged (the latter if you pass your leadership check). However, that is only for a single assault phase. So this seems like a bit of a pointless mark for me at the minute, as for the same points I could get a close combat weapon which would permanently give me +1 attack, and I don't even have to give it to all models in the unit. Next.

Tzeentch time. This mark costs the same amount as the Mark of Khorne, except instead it gives you a 6+ armour saves. I smell mathammer time! So, what you're doing, is you're increasing the cost of your Chaos Space Marines squad by about 15.3% in order to make them 16.6% more durable against weapons that ignore your armour save. Ok, but then, how many weapons ignore a 3+ armour save? And then, how often is my squad of compulsory objective hogging troops going to be out of cover, where I would have got a cover save that cannot be worse than the save I am purchasing? Yeah, I'd skip this one too. Next.

Ah, the old favourite. Nurgle. Nice and simple, costs 50% more than the other Marks, but is +1 toughness. So you're essentially paying the points cost of a regular vanilla marine and swapping ATSKNF for T5. A better buy than Khorne and Tzeentch.

Going to Slaanesh, we have the same points cost/model as Khorne and Tzeentch, and is just +1 to initiative. Not bad if you're going for a combat unit. In fact, if you're willing to spend the points on making a Chaos Space Marines Squad a well hitting close combat unit, I'd probably take 20 of them, and give them close combat weapons and a Mark of Slaanesh. So you're getting 60 I5 attacks on the charge ignoring the Aspiring Champion. Not too shabby, but also really, really expensive, so I probably wouldn't bother.

Ok, that's it for the Marks, but we're not done yet. Chaos Icons. Icon of Wrath, Furious Charge and re-rolling the result for charge distance, although you can't re-roll just one of the dice like you can with fleet. This costs 10x as much as a Mark of Khorne, although you do need the Mark to get this icon. I probably wouldn't bother with this upgrade. For one you have to get a pretty useless Mark to get it and for another how often are your Chaos Marines going to be charging.

The Icon of Flame is the Tzeentch Icon. Essentially, it gives your unit psybolt ammunition, but swapping the strength increase for Soul Blaze. Honestly, I'd prefer have a strength buff that Grey Knights get, I don't really rate Soul Blaze, essentially just being the possibility of a couple more Boltgun hits, and at the same points cost of a Grey Hunter, I wouldn't purchase this Icon either, especially considering you also need to get the Mark of Tzeentch.

The Nurgle Icon causes Fear. Fantastic. Essentially it's just the War Shout that Howling Banshees get but at double the points cost. Again, I wouldn't bother.

Now the Slaanesh Icon is quite nice, but at double the points cost of the Tzeentch Icon, you'd expect it to be. Simply, it gives your unit Feel No Pain. I still can't see this getting used though. If you're camping an objective you're going to be taking Mark of Nurgle, and so wouldn't have access to this, the only time I can see this being used is through the 20 man strong Chaos Marine hammer that I mentioned earlier. But, it is already an extraordinarily expensive unit, I think that it's too expensive for what it is anyway, and this probably won't offset that too much.

Now, here comes my favourite Icon. The Icon of Vengeance. You do not have to purchase Marks in order to access it, and it's 5pts cheaper than the Icon of Excess (Slaanesh). It's ability is very straight forward, the unit gets fearless. Now try sticking a 10 man squad of Chaos Space Marines in cover with a Mark of Nurgle and an Icon of Vengeance. Yes, it comes in at just shy of 200pts, but try shifting that brick off an objective.

Last point now, I promise. A nice alternative to the Icon of Vengeance is Veterans of the Long War. You are saving the cost of a Grey Hunter by swapping the Icon of Vengeance out for this in a 10 man squad, and what it does is it bumps your Leadership up by 1. Meaning that when using the Aspiring Champions leadership you will be Leadership 10. As well as this, you are also getting preferred enemy Space Marines, which includes all of the Marine Codecies. Pretty nice.

In short, the way I would run a squad of these is as follows. 10 Chaos Space Marines with Mark of Nurgle and Veterans of the Long War. Sorry this has taken so long, but as I am now down the middle of the 3rd page on my Word Processor, I think I'm going to leave this here for now. I'll be back with another post within the next days. Hopefully concluding the Troops choices with Cultists and the Rhino.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Postponing Chaos

Just a quick post today. This being the first Codex that has dropped since this blog properly got going, Necrons doesn't count as I was still trying to get into the swing of regular posting. So, as I've seen, pretty much everywhere is doing some form of analysis of the Chaos Space Marines Codex, which is a good thing, different perspectives and opinions upon the same article and backing them up gets us to think a bit more and come to a conclusion ourselves rather than just hearing one opinion and going along with it. So, when I get to posting about the Chaos Space Marines Codex and the units within, I would fully recommend you to make sure to check out some other sources too, and not just take my word for it. I'm sure some of the other Underlings blogs (to the right of this post) will be offering their own opinions on the subject.

The reason that I say, 'I'm sure that' is quite simple. I have been taking a break from the 40k internet for the last couple of days since the Codex drop, as I don't want my opinion to just be derived from what somebody else thinks, or what the internet in general thinks. This is because it gets me thinking and allows me to learn the rules better and actually understand a lot of my reasoning for why a unit is good/bad, etc. I did the same thing in the flyer release before 6th edition, and as a result, I am very confident that I know the rules for the Stormtalon well enough to be able to run one without having to refer to the White Dwarf (even though I don't play Marines).

So, when am I going to start posting, and how is it going to work? Well, to the first question. I am heading into the city on Wednesday to pick up a copy of the Chaos Space Marines Codex, and a ticket to the January Throne of Skulls, after keeping my wallet restrained for the last couple of months. I also have the whole of Wednesday off, so all being well, I should have my first post on the subject up in the evening.

Now, as for the second part of that, I'll refer to units. I'm not going to go into synergy in the army initially, that might come towards the end of the month. What I am going to do, is go through each of the force org slots, and analyse which unit is optimal for each slot based purely on it's own merit and not to bringing too much synergy into it, although there may have to be with some HQs unlocking units as troops. Apparently. I'll probably get down to talking about the book itself later on though. So until Wednesday.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Battle Report Relapse

I've still not finished painting my Hellbrute, so unfortunately it seems as though I'm going to have to deep into the long forgotten realm of battle reportage just to get some content down. No pictures for this one I'm afraid, it's pouring with rain here in Oxford and I didn't want to get my camera wet on the way so I'm just going to force you through this enormous block of text. Here you go.

My opponent was an Imperial Guard player, he was running something along these lines.

Company Command squad, with 2 bodyguards.

Techpriest Enginseer with what I think was a Servitor.

6 Stormtroopers with a Plasma Gun.

1 squad of Veterans with 2 Flamers, Power Fist and Carapace armour.

1 squad of Veterans.

1 Platoon Command squad with Power Weapon.

3 Autocannon teams. 

4 Infantry squads (in 2 blobs of 2 squads).

Bane Wolf.

Leman Russ Exterminator with Pask.

Leman Russ Battle Tank.

Aegis Defence Line.

I was running the same list that I posted in the previous post, I.e. My Space Wolves with Imperial Guard allies.

So, the game began, my opponent won the roll off to decide who deployed where, but I won the roll off for priority and I chose to go first. We were playing the Scouring and Vanguard Strike. I deployed with my Long Fangs towards the front, there wasn't much cover and what there was I wanted to use for my Guardsmen to allow them to hold one of my objectives, and I was getting my 3+ save most of the time anyway and I wanted to be able to reach the back of the Guard deployment zone, plus, it's not like they were going to come to me.

My opponent used his blobs and company command squad to castle up around one objective that was out in the open, whilst he deployed another veteran squad in a Bastion next to another objective ready to jump out and claim the objective, with another veteran squad, the platoon command squad, the 2 Leman Russes, the Stormtroopers and the Techpriest all behind it, and the Bane Wolf to the side. Castling up in 2 seperate areas.

The game definately started to become difficult when we revealed how many victory points each objective was worth. The one that my opponent had placed his Aegis around turned out to be worth the maximum 4 points, with the 2 near his bastion being worth 3 each, leaving my objectives to be worth 2, 2 and 1. Great start.

The first turn started decently, I started edging my Grey Hunters forward to attract some fire as I needed to keep my Long Fangs alive to shoot my opponent off his objectives, and maybe I'd be able to get to my opponent's side of the board to start contesting objectives. My large Grey Hunter squad moving down the middle/right and the other 2 sneaking down the left, with the one with the Primaris psyker in it much further ahead than the other.

My Long Fangs managed to destroy the Bane Wolf, giving me First Blood and a further point for destroying a Fast Attack choice, with the remaining fire killing the squad of Autocannon teams, the Manticore scattering wildly off target from the blobs.

My opponent fired back with a huge number of Guardsmen, but they were only able to down the Terminator at the front of my large Grey Hunter block, with a lot of my Grey Hunters surviving a shot from the Leman Russ Battle Tank due to having a 4+ invulnerable save thanks to my Warlord's rolling on the Divination table. A few Grey Hunters on the left flank were also felled by Pask and his friends.

Simply put, a lot of the game was a shoot out. By the time we got to turn 5, my opponent had 8 sanctioned psykers, his Leman Russes, a regimental standard bearer, 2 squads of 3 Veterans, 3 standard Guardsmen left over from one of the blobs, half a Platoon command squad and his Techpriest left.

I had 2 halves of Grey Hunter squads my Rune Priests, Manticore, Veterans and 1 1/2 squads of Long Fangs left. It was one of those games were both me and my opponent were confident that we would win the game.

My opponent saw it as a matter of simply jumping on all of the objectives at the end of turn 5 and winning that way. We'd already worked out that I was probably going to achieve 8 victory points at the end of the game, 5 for my objectives and 3 for First Blood, Slay the Warlord and killing a Fast option, however, my opponent came close to knocking me off one of my 2 point objectives.

I saw though, that one of his veteran squads was just too far away for claim the objective in one turn (a lone Grey Hunter charging them and tying them up for 2 turns, even with a Power Fist in the squad), and if they moved any further forward my Long Fangs would open up on them and should kill them. Fortunately this was not necessary, as my opponent rolled a 2 at the end of turn 5 ending the game with an 8-7 victory to the Space Wolves.

It was a difficult game to be fair, my opponent played well although I'd probably have gone to ground behind the Aegis a couple of times a lot of the casualties were caused  by my Manticore's barrage weapons, which count as firing from the centre of the blast meaning that it wouldn't have helped much against that.

All in all, the most enjoyable moment of the game was probably when the Stormtrooper squad (which had been reduced to 4 men) fired on my Grey Hunters, killing 2. The Plasma gun exploded in it's wielder's face, killing him, forcing a morale check, which was failed, running away, they then failed to rally until they finally hit their home board edge. Still, a good enjoyable game. Close games are always my favourite.

Hopefully I'll be back soon with some proper content.