More Nids!

As every Tyranid player should know by now, GW has decided to bless us with another 2 new MCs. While I think the Tyranid Codex is lacking in certain areas, I am not sure that these new units fill any gaps. Just think about the MCs that are available to the Nid Players, the Swarmlord, Hive Tyrant, Carnifex, Hive Crone, Trygon, Trygon Prime, Mawloc, Tervigon. Did Tyranid players really need another two? And I didn’t even list them all! I am not going to jump on the “My codex sucks” bandwagon just because it may not be as good as the Eldar codex. I actually enjoy the Nid codex. But where old armies are in desperate need of new rules and new models, GW decided to release more Nids. But, since I know I will be getting these new models, I guess I should to a quick review of them. FYI – any information I got, I got off of facebook pictures, so I may still be wrong.

First, the Toxicrine is the venomthrope’s bigger and meaner cousin. The size of this monster’s tentacles really stands out in the pictures I have seen. The stat line reads as WS3, BS3, S5, T6, W5, I3, A6, Ld8, and Sv 4+. All of that for 160 points. With the WS of three, it will probably only hit half of the time on most models, but that seems pretty common in the Tyranid army. And being poisoned with a S5, most failed wounds will be rerolled. The Weapons and Special rules are Acid Blood, Choking Cloud, Lash whips (hey, now I can attack at initiative 6), Toxic Miasma, Fearless, IB of Feed, Poisoned (2+), and shrouded. The Toxicrene is also “Hypertoxic,” meaning that on a To Wound roll of six, the hit gains the Instant Death rule.

The chocking cloud has a range of 12”, S3, AP-, Assault 1, Ignores Cover, Large Blast, Poisoned (2+), and Predatory Sentience. Predatory Sentience gives the attacks by the Toxicrene against open topped vehicles or vehicles that have lost at least 1 hull point Armourbane. And, the cloud counts as being Hypertoxic too!

I already know I am going to order this model. I think it does look amazing. However, I am not sure that this unit would fit my current lists. I like it, I will field it, and I may even have fun with it. But I don’t think it was necessary. And the same goes for the Maleceptor.

Where the Toxicrene was the Venomthrope’s cousin, the Maleceptor is the Zoanthrope’s not so distant relative. The stat line is WS3, BS3, S6, T6, W5, I3, A3, Ld10, and a Sv of 4+ for 205 points. This new MC comes with talons and is a level 2 psyker. It is also a synapse creature and has shadow in the warp special rule. The Maleceptor is also the second Nid model with an invulnerable save (5+), not counting the Swarmlord who only has it in close combat. Ok, it’s the third.

The Maleceptor comes with a new psychic power called Psychic Overload. This is a Warp Charge 2 focused witchfire power that the Malecaptor can attempt to manifest three times in each of its psychic phases. It has a range of 24” and forces the target to take a leadership test on 3D6 (vehicles count as being Ld10). If the test is failed, non-vehicle models suffer D3 wounds (No Armour or cover saves) and vehicles suffer a single glancing hit (no cover saves). While the Maleceptor can attempt to manifest this power three times, it cannot target the same unit more than once each phase.

I do like the looks of these new models, and I will be getting as soon as I can. I just don’t think they were necessary. I would have liked to have seen a Hormagant spawner, or a drop pod, or maybe even a new Broodlord model.

But I will take what I can.

Mingling Tournament (Shorereaper’s perspective)

This weekend I entered a “mingling” tournament at Critical Hit games. The intent of this was more to meet and greet new players than to play competitively, so I decided to write a list that was fun to play. And it was, but it really was not competitive, not even close. I decided to bring my Tyranids so I would at least know the army.

The List consisted of (1500 Points):
Swarmlord
3 Tyrant Guard
Tyranid Prime w/ Lashwhip, bonesword, extra talons, and adrenal glands.
8 Warriors w/ extra talons and adrenal glands
7 Ripper swarm bases
28 Hormagaunts
Venomthrope
6 Raveners w/ Rending claws
Carnifex w/ Adrenal glands

What I liked about the list is it game me a chance to learn about some units that I hardly ever take. I really gained an appreciation for the Prime and the warriors. I never take the prime, and I limit my use of warriors. The rule allowing the warriors to use the Primes BS and WS helps them significantly (although, in this list they had nothing to shoot). Because of my lack of ranged weapons, this list also forced my decisions on what to do during the shooting phase. I had nothing to shoot, so my units always ran.

I admit that there were some significant issues with this list. First, I only had two synapse units (ok 3, but the prime joined the warriors). Second, I had nothing to handle flyers. Third, in objective based games, I had a list that had to get into close combat, so I had to leave all objectives behind. Actually, while the objectives were ignored, that tactic did seem very Tyranid.

Knowing how bad my list was, I changed my goals for the tournament. Goal number one was what my goal should always be, just have fun. I didn’t care about winning the tournament. And I did have a lot of fun. Yes the list was bad, but it was fun to play. My second goal was to just not be tabled by turn 3, and I was successful in this as well. Yes, I was tabled in turn 5 once, conceded in turn 4 once, and just lost a game because it went to turn 6 (where I would have been tabled), but I was never tabled by turn 3. Yes, I lost all three games, but I achieved the two goals I had.

Having said all of this, I actually believe that all of the units I brought can actually be really good, but not in the combination I brought them. Each of them would need to be supported with different units.

I enjoyed a list created for the sole purpose of close combat. In fact, after playing this list, I may create a 2K list that is geared for the exact same purpose, only adding in a flyer for the “Just in case my opponent has more than one flyer” scenario. I mean, I need something that can handle flyers bouncing around taking out my models.

In short, one should always when playing one’s opponent. Bring a list that you want to play and have fun with. Yes, winning is important, but having fun should be more important.

Ok, maybe not in a tournament setting, but in most cases.

Not the Blog I wanted

Ok, my intention while I was on my vacation was to read and wrote a blog about the “new” Dark Eldar codex during my travel days. In this, I epically failed. I only got as far as reading half of it during my flights to San Diego. Sadly though, meeting new people, meeting new sharks, and a small bout of seasickness distracted me.

Having finally finished the codex, I wanted to add a quick review about the new Voidraven Bomber. I preface this with the fact that I am not a Dark Eldar player (yet), but I have faced them frequently.I also want to add that I really did enjoy the codex. I liked the fluff. It almost makes me want to break out my friends models and give them ago. Heck, it almost makes me want to but my own DE army. I did notice that the Harlequins are no longer an option for the Dark Eldar and they do not have a Lord of War choice in the codex, unlike the Orks. So while I do believe the codex is good, I also know it has its faults.

Now, finally onto the Voidraven Bomber. When I first saw the model, I was impressed. Games Workshop really does know how to design their models. But at a cost of $80, I thought they really needed to make it worth the money. After I read the first battle report in White Dwarf, I had high hopes, but now that I have read the codex and put some actual thought into it, I am not sure that the model is worth the purchase.

The bomber comes in at a cost of 160 points. With this you get a BS4 flyer with armour of 10 and 3 hull points. It is armed with 2 void lances and the void mine. The Void Lance is S9 and AP2 with… well, lance and a 36-inch range. The Void Mine is also a S9 AP2 weapon with lance, but it is also a large blast. This bomb will wreck a unit of terminators, providing it doesn’t scatter too far. Again, I am impressed, but there are some serious issues. While the mine is very powerful, it is also one use only. And with this being a flyer, once it jinks, the player will not be able to use the mine that turn.

The Bomber can also take 4 Shatterfield missiles, 4 implosion missiles, or 2 of each option. The Shatterfields are S7, AP-, Large blast missiles with shred and a range of 48 inches. The Implosion Missiles are S6, AP2 blast missiles also with a 48 inch range. Of course, all are one use only, and again, if the opponent can get this vehicle to jink it cannot use the missiles. The Void Lances can be exchanged for Dark Scythes, which are S8 AP2 blast weapons and a 24-inch range at zero additional cost. The Voidraven can also be upgraded with Night Shields to give it Stealth for an additional 15 points. So it’s jink save could be really impressive.

So, if you take this bomber, you do get a somewhat cheap and powerful bomber, but with armour values of 10, you may never get to use it to its full advantage. For example, if Tau pathfinders markerlight it, and takes away its cover saves, this vehicles is coming down in a fiery ball of destruction. It won’t take much to cause a penetrating hit. Now, the light armour does fit with the Dark Eldar fluff, but at 160 points and $80 dollars for a model that doesn’t even have any options, I think I will pass.

For now at least.

The Epic Showdown – Severus Vs Augustus

epic match upHowdy everyone, Severus here again.  As I mentioned previously, our gaming store, Critical Hit Games, put together a little league/tournament.  2000 points of warhammer fantasy goodness, allowing the end times supplement rules.  Random pairings were made, money put into a pot.  Winner takes all.  I got Augustus.  Let me give you readers a little history lesson.

I am not that good at fantasy.  I make poor tactical and list decisions.  I often see those decisions in hind sight.  Augustus on the other hand is a skilled fantasy player who writes some amazing lists.  In our history I have never come close to beating him.  Ever.  So, with that in mind I set out to have fun and try to make it a good match for him.

I took a bit of an interesting list.  I decided it should be lead by none other than the recently promoted Krell, Mortarch of Despair.  He would of course be backed up by a Lord Necromancer (level 4 with a 4+ ward and dispel scroll).  He would need some lieutenants, so I put a wight king bsb in.  Finally, I rounded it out with a second wight king with the enchanted shield and the sword of anti-heros in case I faced some sort of death star.

Now to the meat of the army.  Core wise I went with 20 crypt ghouls and 40 skeletons.  I put in a unit of 20 zombies to make a little bunker for the necromancer.  Special wise I put in my obligatory 3 spirit hosts and 4 crypt horrors.  For rare I popped in a terrorgheist and a mortis engine.

The plan was to keep the skeletons (with krell and the fighty wight king) and the ghouls (with the BSB) near the mortis engine to weather any damage as they advanced up field.  The crypt horrors and spirit host went on the flanks to tie things up.  The terrorgheist planned to run around and cause chaos.  And the zombies shuffled behind with the necro to keep things re-growing.  I will leave the high elves for Augustus to explain.

The game started off well for me.  First off, no banner of the world dragon.  Honestly, I am not sure vampire counts/undead legion can ever crack a unit carrying that thing.  So with that, I pretty much just started shoving things forward, up the gut as some would say.  I got a bubble danse macab off, so I ended turn one right up in the grill of the elves.  Even more luck on Augustus’ turn.  His white lions failed a charge on my terrorgheist, leaving there flank wide open to my skeletons.

My turn 2, I charged in with the skelletons and a spirit host (poor decision).  I moved the mortis engine and ghouls up on the skeletons lef flank to guard it from the horde of sea guard standing there.  The terrorgheist went after one of the 3 or 4 bolt throwers on the table.  The crypt horrors were out of position so just shuffled around to try to protect the zombie bunker from an eagle.  I believe it was this turn that I got curse of years off on the sea guard.  Didn’t kill that many (like maybe 4 or 5), but it took the pressure off me magic wise.  Combat went well, I put down about 5 or 6 white lions.  They held (stupid stubborn) but failed a combat reform.

I believe it was Augustus’ turn 2 that I realized he can fly charge his eagles past all my crap into my zombies.  Which he did.  He charged my crypt ghouls with his sea guard.  Magic saw him get off a hand of glory on the sea guard (I think).  He did not dispel curse of years so I killed a few more sea guard.  Combat with the white lions went in my favor again, but nothing really changed due to stubborn and a failed reform.  His sea guard ate my ghouls before they could do anything.  This is where the rules got fuzzy.  He tried to over-run into my skeletons flank, but he could not close the door due to my mortis engine being in the way.  I could not close the door since I was locked in combat.  We ruled that since he couldnt complete the charge that he couldnt get into the skeletons (yet).

Turn 3 I positioned my mortis engine to make sure that a charge by the sea guard would prevent them from over running into anything.  Its pulse also killed an eagle this turn.  The terrorgheist went after a second bolt thrower.  The crypt horrors tried to shuffle around the skeleton block to get after the sea guard.  The zombies were still stuck in combat.  Nothing significant magic phase wise other than curse of years being dispelled.

Now here is where I make another error.  Because I put that a stupid spirit host into combat with the flank of the white lions, I don’t have room to maximize.  So krell no longer can swing on them.  I still win, they still stay, they still fail to reform.  I believe it was this turn that the zombies finally beat the eagle and ran it down.  Moving them out to my right flank (away from the sea guard!).

Turn 3 for Augustus, he charged the poor mortis engine.  Nothing else can move I think at this point for him.  Magic seems un-eventful if my memories serves.  He quickly dispatches the mortis engine.  The results explosion does not do any significant damage to my knowledge.  White lions still lost, still say, still fail to reform.

Turn 4.  Mistakes were made, again.  I decided to position my terrorgheist on the far flank of the white lions from my skeletons to scream into combat.  I was afraid of charging, he was down to like 2 wounds at that point.  Augustus had about 6 white lions left.  Crypt horrors continued to try to walk about the skeletons, although now it is becoming clear that they will not be able to stop the sea guard from getting into the skeletons flank.  Another mistake was made.  I should have held them back a bit so they could see the sea guard if they charged the skeletons.

Fast forward to combat.  If I can kill all the white lions, my skeletons can reform to take the sea guard charge.  I failed to kill the last white lion.  I should have sent the terrorgheist in there (who cares if he died, I needed just one more wound!).  So now my flank is wide open, my crypt horrors can’t stop the sea guard.  The end is near.

At this point things sort of turn into a blur.  The sea guard charge the skeletons and do a lot of damage.  The unit lives, by about 10 skeletons.  Krell kills the Anointed in a challenge, but dies shortly there after to the BSB in a following challenge.  The second round of combat grinds down what is left of the unit.  I was not able to see the sea guard with the crypt horrors, who re-positioned again to get a better angle.  They finally made a charge into the sea guard near the last turn and held them up, preventing the rest of my army from being slaughtered.

Overall it was an enjoyable game looking back on it.  IN the end, Augustus won by about 500pts.  Had I taken my time, I probably could have made some better decisions.  Would it be enough to win the day?  Who knows.  Maybe we can get August to weigh in on the subject.  Until then readers, this is Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.

A Tale of Some Druken Elves

I must spin you a yarn. It is a tale of some drunken elves who fought and army of the undead. It is a tale of Elves who showed up for a fight, well, supposedly they showed up for a fight. They didn’t really fight all that hard.

Actually, that is the tale. There was nothing to the game worthy of a full tale. I got my tale handed to me by the Lord Primarch and his army at Critical Hit Games. I couldn’t even tell you what was in his army, but I can try. He had a unit of three chariots, a large unit of bowman, a Terrorgheist, a unit of Hexwraiths, and Arkhan. He may have had more, but this is what I can remember.

I brought a unit of 40 spears, 2 units of 12 darkshards, 2 bolt throwers, a level 4 supreme sorceress, Hellebron and a Couldron of blood, and 2 units of Doomfire warlocks. It was not a great list, but I thought it would hold up.

I didn’t realize how bad it could be facing an army that keeps summoning more and more units. I can tell you that he summoned two 200-point units of skeletons, another terrorgheist, a vampire, and so much more. It ended up that my 2K list had to face an additional 1300-points.

Yes, I know I should have dispelled some of those summoning spells, but the dice gods were not with me. I have never rolled so many 2’s, nor have I seen so many successful channeling rolls (on my side as well). It just was an ugly battle that only lasted three and a half turns.

So, the Guinness Elves will not be returning for round 2.