A Distant Third

This weekend was an eventful one for my Tyranids and me. First, I got my first game in against the new Eldar codex, but I will get into that more in a later post. The bigger event was a tournament on Sunday at Critical Hit. While many of my friends have been play testing their lists for the last month, I wrote mine this week (play testing a variant once). It was an 1850-point tournament and I wanted to bring something competitive. I used the Hive Fleet Detachment from the Shield of Baal book. This is the list that I brought:

  • Hive Tyrant w/ Wings and 2 TL Devourers w/ Brainleech worms (230 pts)
  • Hive Tyrant w/ Wings and 2 TL Devourers w/ Brainleech worms (230 pts)
  • Hive Tyrant w/ Wings and 2 TL Devourers w/ Brainleech worms (230 pts)
  • Ripper Swarm w/ Deep Strike (45 pts)
  • Ripper Swarm w/ Deep Strike (45 pts)
  • Ripper Swarm w/ Deep Strike (45 pts)
  • Venomethrope (45 pts)
  • 5 Zoanthropes, Neurothrope, Tyrannocyte (400 pts)
  • Hive Crone w/ Stinger Salvo (165 pts)
  • Hive Crone w/ Stinger Salvo (165 pts)
  • 2 Biovores (80 pts)
  • Exocrine (170 pts)

The plan was to protect the rippers by keeping them in reserve. I could deploy the flyers in cover (if I was able) and keep the Venomthrope close in order to increase their cover save while they were on the ground, hopefully keeping them from having to jink. I felt that this was a fairly competitive list and I hoped I would have a decent showing.

Round one was against another Tyranid player. In his list was a Barbed Hierodule, 3 Flying HT’s, the Swarmlord, Rippers, a Malanthrope, and a few other units. The mission was the Relic with Hammer and Anvil deployment. My opponent deployed first and we had some fun Nid on Nid action. It really was a close game, his warlord trait (reducing my reserve rolls by 1) kept my Zoanthrope brood out of the game till turn four. He had the barbed Hierodule jump on the relic and just pick off units left and right. I did kill the Malantrope, the Swarmlord, a ripper swarm, a flying HT, and knocked down the Hierodule down to one wound. However, I couldn’t knock the relic out of the Dule’s grasp and he took the win. It was a fun game even if it was Nid on Nid action. I felt that my list had a decent showing, and I may have even been able to pull out a victory if I did a few things differently. However, I didn’t do those things, and round one ended in a loss.

Round two paired my bugs up against two Imperial Knights and the Iron Hands. My opponent brought two Thunderfire cannons, a Chapter Master, a Psyker, Tactical Squads, and some Scouts for his Iron Hands. The mission was Crusade (with 4 objectives) with Vanguard Strike deployment. My opponent really didn’t have much to handle my massive air attack, so he just wanted to put up a fight and have a fun game. Sadly, I am not sure he did. I surprisingly had an easy time with the knights. A flying HT and my Zoanthropes took down one Knight and the two Crones and another flying HT took down the other thanks to some great rolling, and this all happened in turn two. My Tactics were to ignore the Thunderfire Cannons, since they really couldn’t hurt much of my army, and pick off everything else. By turn three, the game was pretty much over and he conceded the game. I actually felt guilty, even in a tournament setting, I prefer have close games.

After that win, I found myself paired up against Salamanders in round three with Dawn of War deployment and the Scouring mission (all objectives worth 3 points). My opponent brought a drop pod assault with 2 more Thunderfire cannons, an assault squad, the Forgefather, a Sternguard squad, and a lot of Tactical Squads and Devastator squads. He won the deployment roll, and immediately went after my warlord with his Sternguards. And after 20 shots, and many hits, he knocked my warlord down to one wound, barely missing out on first blood and slay the warlord in turn one. He did end up killing the warlord, the biovores, the venomthrope, and a hive crone. I, however, managed to just pick off everything he had that could wound me (ignoring the Thunderfire cannons again). I did struggle getting my Zoanthrops out from reserves again, but this time thanks to just some poor rolling. However, while I couldn’t get my Zoanthropes onto the table, the rest of my rolling was incredible, much like the rest of the tournament. After a few turns, my opponent conceded, so I picked up my second win of the tournament (again feeling guilty because of how badly it went for him).

Thanks to kill points, I manage to slip into third place in the standings out of 8 players. The list performed about as I expected, if not a little better than I expected. I got to face three opponents I normally do not play, so I consider that a win as well. However, I must give a shout-out to Severus and A-Bomb for finishing first and second, as well as a thank you to my opponents for three great games.

Skitarii and Iron Hands…A Bond of Steel

I know cheesy title, but I couldn’t resist.  Howdy everyone, Severus here.  I want to talk to you guys today about something that has re-ignited my hobby fires.  I will admit, over the past few weeks, the hobby has been less fun for me due to personal reasons.  I have been resisting looking at the Skitarii release because I knew I would fall in love with them.  I broke down and picked up the codex this weekend, and it was just what I needed.

First off, the fluff behind this is amazing!  The skitarii are the emotionless expendable troops that get the job done no matter the cost.  Just like my beloved Iron Hands.  The Iron Hands have a very close relationship with the mechanicum.  It is even speculated that the Iron Hands have avoided reprimand for there severe tactics because of the mechnicum’s backing.

My force is Clan Sorgol.  I want to ally them to Skitarri based out of Forgeworld Metalica.  Why?  Because I love metal and I could not pass that opportunity up.  So, to establish a connection, I needed to do a little fluff writing of my own.

Metalica is located across the galaxy from Medusa in the Ultima Segmentum.  Iron Father Telavek had been sent to answer a request for aid by the Ultramarines during their attempts to stop Hive Fleet  Behemoth.  During the numerous battles, a manipule of Skitarri from forgeworld Metalica were attached to Telavek’s command.  He was impressed by the resilience of this fighting force and there dedication to completing the mission, regardless of the cost.  The Tech Priests of Metalica were similarly impressed by Telavek’s strict adherence to the most logical plans of attacks and his reverence for gathering as much data about his foes as possible.

At the conclusion of the Behemoth Campaign, Telavek and the Tech Priests swore oaths of brotherhood to one another.  Either force would willing answer the call to war if needed.  This bond would stretch across the galaxy.  Telavek often would request aid from Metalica, even if other imperial forces were closer to lend support.  He knew he could trust these Skitarii to get the job done even if it meant there lives in the process.

So, with the fluff established time to actually move on to building a list.  Skitarii are a tricky bunch.  Generally speaking, they are fragile.  Toughness 3 for all the infantry and AV 11 for the vehicles.  I wanted a cohesive force that works fluff wise and still plays well on the table.  Here is what I have come up with.

Clan Raukaan Supplement

  • Iron Father Telavek – Chapter Master with Terminator Armor, Thunder Hammer, Gorgon’s Chains
  • Terminator Assault Squad – 5 Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield
  • Tactical Squad – 8 Bolter Marines, Plasma Gun Marine, Sergeant, Rhino
  • Tactical Squad – 8 Bolter Marines, Plasma Gun Marine, Sergeant, Rhino
  • Tactical Squad – 8 Bolter Marines, Plasma Gun Marine, Sergeant, Rhino
  • Ferrum Rex – Land Raider Crusader
  • Ferrum Vindicae – Vindicator with Siege Sheild
  • Stalker (still working on a name)

Skitarri Maniple

  • Skitarii Vanguard – 9 with Radium Carbine, Alpha with Radium Carbine
  • Skitarii Vanguard – 9 with Radium Carbine, Alpha with Radium Carbine
  • Sicarian Ruststalkers – 4 with Transonic Razors, Chordclaws, and Mindscrambler Grenades, Princeps with the same
  • Ironstrider Ballistarii – Twinlinked Cognis Lascannon
  • Ironstrider Ballistarii – Twinlinked Cognis Lascannon

The idea behind this list is that the marines are there for anti-infantry and holding ground.  T4 with 3+ armor save and 6+ feel no pain is pretty good at standing on ground and not giving it back.  Telavek is with the terminators in the land raider.  They are more of an anvil unit.  They can certainly deal out some damage, but they are even better about soaking it up.  The stalker and vindicator add some supporting fire.

The Iron Hands portion of the list has two big weakness.  High toughness models (aka monstrous and gargantuan creatures) and flyers.  The skitarii fill that gap.  The Radium carbines on the vanguard can wound ANYTHING on a 6. Plus they cause 2 wounds per each 6 rolled.  That can help chip wounds off some big enemies.  The ruststalkers are very fast so hopefully they make it into combat.  Once in combat, they have a fleshbane attack (always wounds on 2+, even against a gargantuan).  Plus they always wound on a 6 and are ap2 when they roll a 6.  Top it off with haywire grenades, and they can tackle most any target in combat.

Finally, the Ballistarii.   This is the unit I am a little unsure about.  They have good shooting with a twinlinked lascannon with precision shot.  The cognis rules makes them BS2 on snap fires, so they actually have a chance at hitting a flyer as well. They are fast, so they can get around into vehicles flanks to make those lascannons better.  They just seem really light on defense.  I think they are more a finesse unit.

So, what do you think?  Are the Skitarii of Metalica worthy allies to Clan Sorgol?  What about this list?  I have never played nor seen skitarii played, so I am open to feed back.  Until next time, this is Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.

Orks are Officially Da Best!!!

Ork_Freebooterz_WarbossHowdy everyone, Severus here.  Today, I wanted to finally report on how that tournament my FLGS was holding.  Just as a refresher to anyone, it was an 1850pt tournament using ITC FAQ and had 3 rounds.  Round one was the relic with hammer and anvil deployment.  Round two was crusade with 4 objectives in vanguard strike deployment.  Round three was the scouring (all objectives worth 3 points) with dawn of war deployment.  I of course, brought the ork list I have been practicing with for a few weeks.  We had a good turn out for our little gaming group, with 8 players showing up.

  • Combined Arms Detachment
    • Mek, Slugga and Choppa (joins ‘Eavy armor boys)
    • Big Mek, ‘Eavy Armor, Kustum Force Field (joins tankbustas)
    • Grukk Face Rippa (joins ‘Eavy armor boyz)
    • 2 Mega Nobz with kill saws and Boss Mega Nob with kombi skorcha, trukk
    • 11 Tankbustas with Boss Nob (rides in a battle wagon)
    • 15 boyz with slugga, choppa, and ‘Eavy armor, Nob with power klaw and ‘Eavy armor (rides in a battlewagon)
    • 11 boys with slugga and choppa, nob with power klaw and boss pole, trukk
    • Deffkopta with twin-linked rokkits
    • Deffkopta with twin-linked rokkits
    • Deffkopta with twin-linked rokkits
    • Battlewagon with big shoota
    • Battlewagon with big shoota
    • 3 mek guns with traktor kannons
  • Combined Arms Detachment
    • Pain Boy (joins mega nobz)
    • Pain Boy (joins ‘Eavy armor boys)
    • 11 boys with slugga and choppa, nob with power klaw and boss pole, trukk
    • 11 boys with slugga and choppa, nob with power klaw and boss pole, trukk
    • 11 boys with slugga and choppa, nob with power klaw and boss pole, trukk

I had three really good games against great opponents.  Round one was against my friend Josh and his Salamanders.  I about crapped a brick when I saw his list.  It had tons of flamers and multi-meltas.  Of course Vulkan was there to add more fire to the fight.  Topped off by two thunderfire cannons and this list had all the tools to pop my transports and roast the orks when they were out.  Heck, with flamers, he could burn the orks IN the transports.  I took a ton of casualties, but was able to get my mega nobs onto the relic and jump them into an empty battlewagon eventually.  Round one for the Orks!

Round two was against another friend, John, and his tyranids.  His list featured 3 flying hive tyrants with all sorts of guns, a barbed hierodule, a swarmlord, and then tons of those spore mines, ripper swarms, and mucolid spores.  I was able to knock down and kill two of the flying hive tyrants in turn 3. After that is was just a matter of staying alive and getting onto the objectives. Orks held two to the nids one.  Another Ork Victory.

So, last round I was on the top table against another friend, A-Bomb, (sensing a theme yet).  He brought Blood Angels!  He had two tac squads in rhinos, an assault squad, a baal predator, a small unit of sanguinary guard with Dante, and a stormraven packed with death company, a chaplain, and a death company dread.  It was a close fight, with a really back and forth feel to the game.  In the end, Grukk was able to beat Dante, the death company, the chaplain, and the death company dread.  That pretty much gave me my whole left flank with one unit.  I had three objectives to his one.  A third Ork Victory!

With that, the Orks proved da iz da best!  I am honestly surprised I did so well with them.  I thought my list had potential, but I figured I wouldn’t make it against some of the other competition.  I had some good match ups, so that helped.  There was a two knight list with iron hands, not sure what my orks would have done there.

The best part about all this is I won some store credit.  I have recently picked up the Skitarii book.  With that credit to start me off, I think I am going to start a small allied force of Skitarii to work with my Clan Sorgol Iron Hands.  More on that later.  In the mean time, this is Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.

Taking Down the Dirty D – Ork Style

wraithHowdy everyone, Severus here.  Like many of you, I am preparing myself for the release of the new Eldar codex and all the changes to come along with it.  The biggest issue most people are having trouble adjusting to is all the D-Weapons that the Eldar have now.  There was a very interesting article on Spikey Bits on how to deal with the D.  It is worth a read.  The take home points are lock the units with D weapons in combat and run MSU (multiple small units) to mitigate the effects of that shooting.

So, with all of the above in mind, I sat down to write an Ork list to take out the D.  First and foremost, i needed to stick with the MSU concept.  If one squad capable of killing a wraithknight or wraithguard was killed, I needed spares.  Secondly, I need klaws.  The only way my orks can hurt these constructs is klaws.  Third, I need bodies for the klaws to hide behind.  Last, I needed speed.  Eldar are very maneuverable, so I need to be quick if I wanted to catch them.

CAD 1

  • Grukk Face-Rippa (joins large mob of boyz in battlewagon)
  • Warboss with powerklaw, da lucky stikk, and warbike (joins warbikers)
  • 12 boyz with nob (powerklaw and boss pole) in a trukk
  • 12 boyz with nob (powerklaw and boss pole) in a trukk
  • 18 boyz with nob (powerklaw and boss pole) (takes a battlewagon as transport)
  • 8 warbikers with nob (powerklaw)
  • Battlewagon with big shoota

CAD2

  • Big Mek with kustum force field (joins tankbustas in battlewagon)
  • Warboss with powerklaw, boss pole, and ‘eavy armor (joins boys in trukk)
  • 12 Tankbustas with 2 bomb squigs (go in battlewagon)
  • 12 boyz with nob (powerklaw and boss pole) in a trukk
  • 11 boyz with nob (powerklaw and boss pole) in a trukk
  • Deffkopta with twinlinked rokkit
  • Deffkopta with twinlinked rokkit
  • Deffkopta with twinlinked rokkit
  • 6 Lootas
  • 5 Lootas
  • Battlewagon with big shoota

In terms of the list, I have 4 mobs that I feel like I could throw into combat with a wraithknight and do some serious damage to it.  Even a unit of boys on its own could do a little damage with the nobz klaw.  I doubt that whatever unit makes combat with a wraithknight will live (stomps are brutal on orks), but they should do some damage before they die.

Every unit is very mobile.  Either in trukks or battlewagons or riding bikes or deffkoptas, everything can move a combined 12 inches and assault.  Throw in a run move on my waagh turn and the ‘ere we go re-roll and I should have a decent chance of catching a unit.  While on the subject of charges, small units (boyz or deffkoptas) can soak up overwatch.

For the most part, I made everything cheap and minimal upgrades.  Defense wise, most of these units will never have a save against decent shooting.  So why bother paying for it, just bring more bodies.  The only exception is the tankbustas.  Giving them a 5+invuln along with there vehicle is a good investment.  These guys are dangerous in both shooting and assault to wraith units.  They pack a lot of strength 8 ap 3 shots and have melta bombs in close combat.

Now, there are some obvious issues with my list.  Not a lot of anti-air.  Pretty much I am relying on luck rolls from the lootas, deffkoptas, or bikes.  Outside that, I am dead in the water.  Scatter laser spam would also screw this list up.  Since I didn’t buy saves for anything, all these little units would be eaten quickly by a few soucres of scatter lasers (war walkers, vipers, jet bikes, ect).  The problem I am running into is that in order to counter scatter laser spam, I need to buy saves (‘eavy armor and feel no pain).  These are wasted points against a D weapon (no armor saves and no feel no pain).

This is just the first attempt at taking out the eldars new dirty D.  I should get a game in this weekend against them, or at least watch one.  Hopefully I can test this list out.  Let me know how you think the list will do.  Until next time this is Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.

Don’t Feed The Trolls

please-dont-feed-the-trolls_o_574238

Howdy everyone, Severus here.  I went on a sort of mini-vacation last week, which sort of threw off my writing lately.  I was completely disconnected from the hobby.  Sometimes it is a good thing to unplug and step back for a bit.  When I plugged back in this week I discovered that the world of 40k is ending…again.

Let me explain.  Early rumors for the new eldar book came out this week.  I say rumors, but realistically, we are talking about images from the coming white dwarf, so they are probably pretty solid.  If you want to read all that, check out spikey bits or bols.  The specifics is not what I am here to talk about.  In short, the internet is up in arms over the changes to eldar.  They appear to be getting a boost power wise again.

Now I ,like many of you, had a fit of nerd rage when I read everything.  I though, “GW doesn’t give a shit about balance”.  I was looking forward to eldar making a come back in our local meta (they have been harassed so much due to their book’s strengths that they have stopped showing up).  Now I feared that this new book would suffer the same fate, shunned by anyone that doesn’t play them.

After letting all these rumors stew a bit, one of my friends suggested going on to the forums to see some of the guys reactions.  I flat out refuse to do this.  Why?  Reading all that negative stuff on those forums make me feel negatively about the game.  I do this for fun, I don’t want to get depressed by a new book.  So why should I feed into it?

I would caution anyone from forming early decisions about the eldar right now.  Wait a few weeks until we get the full book.  Who knows what is in it?  More importantly, who is to say how it will affect your regular gaming?  I know that in my local meta, none of the eldar guys are going to run out and buy 10 new jet bikes to get all those sexy scatter lasers.  Distort weapons were ridiculously strong to begin with, so what if they are a little stronger.  And a wraithknight was a really tough target to bring down.  That will be still be the case.

In short, don’t feed the trolls.  By that I mean both the internet ones and the little ones in your head that make you start to panic.  Give this some time.  Yes, it is possible that GW is making the eldar codex better than it was.  So what?  They were tough before, and they will be tough after the new book.  That doesn’t mean you can’t continue to enjoy the game.  Roll dice and have some fun. Until next time this is Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.

Bloody Long Game

This weekend I got in a team game with the Lord Primarch (Ultramarines) and Augustus the Arcane (Minotaurs) vs. Severus the Uncompromising (Orks) and me (Tyranids). It was a fun game that ended with a one-point loss for the Orks and Nids. And I did learn a few things from this game.

  1. When you have a team game with 2000-point per player lists, and not play Apoc rules, you are in for a long day. The game lasted at least 6 hours.
  2. I need to learn how to accurately measure. Somehow, I had an eleven-inch charge in turn 1, which should have been a twelve-inch charge at best. Outcome didn’t matter as I failed the charge and the Raveners died in second half of turn one anyway. I really didn’t intend to cheat, but I admit it, I miss measured something.
  3. Centurions can wreck a Hierodule. In turn one, while I was trying to keep my dule away from the monster killers, I had a very poor run role, followed by another one, keeping the dule out in the open. Yea, it died pretty quickly.
  4. When you are having serious back issues, playing warhammer doesn’t help. This is not an old man’s game. I need to hire some youth (preferably of the opposite sex) to move my models for me.
  5. The weirdboy can actually be productive! How weird is that?
  6. The Lifta Droppa is hilarious when it works. And in this game, it worked very well. In theory it should hit a third of the time, but I swear that in a six turn game this thing took out at least 2 Drop Pods and a hovering Stormtalon. I think it took out even more than that, but still.
  7. The Biovore is not as bad as I feared. In fact, the one I used performed so well that I am building another one now. I will probably do a more through review later.
  8. I am getting old. Ok, I didn’t learn that in the game, but the point still stands.
  9. Drop Pod Assaults are worse in team games. There was a wall of them. Well, there was till the Lifta Droppa threw a few out of the way.
  10. I wanted to play a large game against Serverus once. Something like 3000 points per side. After this game, I now longer want to play that. I would need to nap after that game.

So that is it. A few of the things I learned from a very long, but very fun game played this weekend.

Shorereaper out.

Now… where is that bed?

I Hate the Green Tide

Howdy everyone, Severus here.  Today’s article is pretty simple.  I hate the green tide.  I had a chance to play a game this weekend against a friend.  I have two tournament lists that I wanted to try out.  One is trukk based, the other centered around a green tide.  I have run the trukk one a few times and liked it.  I figured now was the time to give the green tide a try.

I will never play that army again.  It is not a bad army, in terms of competitiveness.  It is a SUPER tedious army to play.  We played on a terrain dense city fight table (mistake number one).  My opponent was playing sisters of battle with tons of bolters and flamers (mistake number two).  We rolled up dawn of war deployment (mistake number 3).  All of the above made for a very un-fun game.  Let me explain

Due to the the terrain dense table, I was always rolling for difficult terrain.  Due to dawn of war deployment, My boyz were stretched out nearly 6 feet long.  Due to the high number of flamers I had to make my boys spread out as much as possible.  This meant moving models small distances through terrain.  Trying to balance them in awkward spots.  All while mainting as much distance between my boyz as possible.

Here is the part no one thinks about with the green tide.  If things go well, you have to move that mob of boyz 5 times a turn.  First your standard movement phase, then you run, then you can charge (since the formation has a free waagh every turn after turn 2).  If you make combat, you pile in at initiative.  Finally, if you win, you can consolidate.  Rinse and repeat again and again and again.

Even with my opponent boltering and flaming me to death, I still had boyz left.  He quickly ran out of room to run.  He was corned and we ended up calling the game early.  It was a powerful army even in this circumstance.  It was just way to annoying to play.  Trying to keep my nobz spread out, making sure there were plenty of boyz around each character to soak up any wounds, all of that made the movement of the mob more complex.  And when you are moving up to 5 times a turn, it drives you nuts.

So in short, strong army, horrible to play with.  I can not speak for my opponent, but it was not an enjoyable list for me to play.  Ultimately, that is what it comes down to for me.  Did I enjoy my time with the game?  In this case no.  So, even though the trukk list is probably the weaker list, that is what I will be taking to the tournament.  Until next time, this is Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.