Where did they come from? Where did they go? (Cult Codex Part 2)

Yesterday I wrote a quick summary of the basics of the Cult Codex, today I want to go a little more into some of the special rules. These rules make the codex pretty fluffy, and a lot of fun. However, they are not amazing. Good, but not amazing.

Every unit in the army, excluding vehicles, comes with the Cult Ambush and the Return to the Shadows special rules. These rules, if rolled well, can be bloody mean.

With Cult Ambush, instead of deploying normally, your roll on a table. Yeah, I know, GW loves to make things random, but these are pretty cool. On a 1, you deploy the unit 6 inches from your table edge. On a 2, they are deployed via outflank. On a three, you can set up the unit anywhere on the table that is more then 9 inches away from an enemy unit, but if no enemy unit can draw line of sight you can set them up 6 inches away from an enemy unit. On a 4, you can set up the unit more than 6 inches away from an enemy unit. On a roll of a 5, and here is where is starts getting interesting, you can set them up anywhere on the table that is more than 6 inches away from an enemy unit, and immediately make a bonus shooting attach (so you get to shoot twice). On a roll of a 6, and I love this one, you can set up the unit anywhere on the table providing that it is more than 3 inches away from an enemy unit, and then you can charge the turn they arrive. I used this rule and some genestealers to take out an assault squad in the first turn. This is amazing, providing you go first.

Now, the second special rule makes the first one even more entertaining. Return to the Shadows allows units to leave the board and be placed in ongoing reserves providing that there are no enemy units within 6 inches of the unit. So, the unit can leave and in the next turn, they can roll on the table and come back in an annoying fashion. While this will add even more randomness to the game, and could end up costing you the game if you are not careful, it is a blast.

There is one warlord trait that helps with this. On a six, your warlord gains Ambush Leader, which allows you to choose which result you want to take rather than rolling for it (only with the warlord and his unit). The rest of the traits, while good, are not as great. On a 1, you gain Stealth. On a two, units within 12 inches of the warlord gain counter-attack. On a 3, your warlord gains move through cover, and never suffers an initiative penalty when charging through terrain. On a 4, the warlord gains “It Will Not Die.” And on a 5, the detachment uses his leadership, which is also pretty good, but not as good as choosing to charge on turn one.

The Psychic powers of this codex are good. They are nothing extravagant, but good. The Primus power reduces a target enemy unit’s WS, BS, I, and Attacks by 1. They have a power that gives a unit fleet and relentless, and allows them to charge even if they ran in the same turn. There is a witchfire power that gives them a 24-inch range; blast template shot that is S5 AP3. Another power is a blessing that gives a unit plus 1 strength and rage. The 4th power (not counting the primus) is a roll off. If there is a draw, the enemy unit suffers a -3 penalty to their initiative, if the cult wins, they also suffer wounds with no cover or armour saves allowed. There is also a power that allows the cult player to take control of an enemy unit and shoot is as if it were their own. Finally, there is a summoning power. This varies depending on what warp charge level you decide it is, but you can summon almost any cult troop who then arrives using the cult ambush special rule.

The final item I will cover in my review is a quick summary of the formations. It hurts me to say that the cult has better formations than the Nids, but this should be all that surprising to me, or to anyone else. The codex is newer. It has a Decurion Style detachment.

This detachment, called the Cult Insurrection Detachment, consists of 1 to 6 core formations, 1 or more Auxiliary formations, and 0 to 3 command formations. The detachment gains the ability to reroll the warlord trait IF the patriarch is the warlord (oh, and you cannot have any more than one Patriarch, one Magus, and one Primus in this detachment). All non-vehicle units that gain infiltrate, and if they already have infiltrate, they gain shrouded. The Cult player can add 1 to their reserve rolls (which I usually need) and their opponent subtracts 1 from their reserve rolls. Finally, each time a unit enters ongoing reserves D6 models can be returned to that unit that we already slain in combat. I MUST RUN THIS.

Finally, I am going to give a quick run through of all the formations.

Subterranean Uprising – This formation consists of 0-1 Primus, 1-3 Metamorphs, 2-4 Acolytes, and 0-3 Aberrants. The formation has the infiltrate special rule, must be set up using Cult Ambush but you get to roll two dice and choose, and any unit joined by the Primus gets to roll three dice when rolling on the chart. I like this formation.

Deliverance Broodsurge – 2 to 6 units of Neophytes. All units must take Goliaths as dedicated transports. They must begin the game in the transports but can disembark even if the truck used cruising speed, but they have to take dangerous terrain tests. Also, the trucks ignore crew shaken or crew stunned results, but do lose the hull point. Eh, this one is OK.

Demolition Claw – 2 to 3 units of Acolytes and 2 to 3 units of Rockgrinders. At least one model in each of the hybrids must be equipped with a demolition charge, and the Rockgrinders are also equipped, but for free. The formation gains tank hunter, and the hybrids can reroll the scatter dice when throw a demolition charge. Finally, after the unit throws the charge, if it is within 6 inches of a Rockcrusher, on a 4+ roll, they can replenish the charge.

Brood Cycle – 1 Iconward, 3 Acolytes, 2 Neophytes, 1 Metamorph unit, 1 purestrain genestealer unit, 0 -1 Aberrants, and 0 – 1 Rockcrusher unit. The unit can add +1 to its leadership and weapon skill if it is within 6 inches of another non-vehicle unit. They also have furious charge if they are within 24 inches of the Iconward.

The First Curse – 20 Purestrain genestealers and a Patriarch. With this formation, you roll a D6 and gain the following bonuses. 1 – Flesh Hooks. 2 – 4+ armour save. 3 – Toxic Glands. 4 – Adrenal Sacs. 5 – Preferred Enemy. 6 – Choose one of the options.

Neophyte Cavalcade – 2 Neophyte units, 1 Leman russ Squadron, 1 to 2 units of either Scout Sentinels or Armoured Sentinels. All neophyte units must take a Chimera as a dedicated transport and must start the game embarked in the transport. Vehicles gain outflank except for Scout Sentinels who gain Cult Ambush. All vehicles ignore shaken or stunned results on a 4+, though still lose the hull point.

The Doting Throng – 0-1 Magus, 3 – 6 Neophytes and/or Acolytes (in any combination). Units have Zealot when within 12 inches of the Magus and when Magus is part of a unit, that unit can reroll all failed to hit rolls in every round of close combat. Also, when casting a blessing, the Magus can reroll the test if it failed.

Broodcoven – This formation consists of a Patriarch, a Magus, and a Primus. The three models must be deployed as a single unit. They can join friendly units, but only as a unit, and must leave as a unit. This formation, and a unit they join gain the following rules (providing that the specific model is still alive: Patriarch – Fleet. Magus – Counter Attack. Primus – Preferred Enemy.

That’s all for now.




The Four Armed-Emperor (Genestealer Codex Review part one)

It’s been a long time since I wrote for the blog, and a lot has happened. The biggest thing to happen to me, in terms of Warhammer is the release of the Genestealer Cult codex. I am more excited about this release than any recent release I can think of, including the last Tyranid update. I can’t even explain why I am this excited. I started playing 40K after the Genestealer Cult was discontinued. To me, the Cult was just a myth, something whispered about or reminisced about. But, GW got me excited about a release, so much so that I can now run a 2K army (using the genestealers from my Tyranid army).

My first impression about this army is that it is a glass cannon. Fluff wise, it is fantastic. And if you have some good luck with the dice, you can crush your opponent. However, a few bad rolls and you are going to be fighting an uphill battle.

Today I am just going to cover the units. In a later post, I will cover the special rules, psychic powers, and formations.

HQs –

The Patriarch – A slightly upgraded broodlord. He is a level 1 psyker who can be upgraded to level 2. He can take powers from Biomancy, Telepathy, and Broodmind. His Rending claws have shred and he gives units within the Genestealer Cult Faction fearless if they are within 12 inches of his model. He is strength 6, toughness 5, and has three wounds. He does NOT have an invulnerable save, but he auto passes lookout sir rolls, including in challenges (this will become important later).

Magus – Another level 1 psyker (upgradeable to level 2), and he has access to the same powers that the Patriarch. Units within 12 inches of the Magus gain Adamantium will (which I have to remember when playing). Strength 3, Toughness 3, and 2 wounds, he is not a model you want to get into close combat. He also auto passes look out sir rolls (actually, all HQ options do this, another fact I have to remember).

Primus – The strategist of the cult. Models with 12 inches of the Primus gain hatred. He comes armed with a bonesword, rending claws, toxin injectors (gives close combat weapons poison), and a needle pistol (Poison 2+). He is armed to the teeth. He is a strength 4, toughness 3 unit with 3 wounds. While not being too tough, he is a model, with the proper support, you would not mind getting into close combat.

Acolyte Iconward – The new addition (based off the deathwatch box set release). This little guy carries the Sacred Cult Banner, and is a great model to add to an army. Models within 12 inches gain feel no pain (6+) or if they already have feel no pain, they add 1 to their rolls (so a 4+). The banner also bestows Furious Charge to units within 12 inches. The Iconward won’t hit all that hard himself, but he can make other units a little more survivable, and a little more painful on the charge.

Troops –

There are only two troop options in the Cult codex. Acolyte Hybrids and Neophyte Hybrids. The Acolytes are first and second-generation cultists and are a little better at close combat. They have a higher Strength (4) but a toughness of 3. They also can be equipped with some fun close combat weapons like a rock saw or a rock cutter (both will be covered later).

The neophytes are the 3rd and 4th generation hybrids. These are the ones that can pass as human, or nearly so. These are equipped with autoguns or lasguns. You can choose a few heavy weapon options, and even take a heavy weapons team. These are, all things considered, guard.

Elite –

The elite choices are fun, and very good.

Hybrid Metamorphs – As the hive mind get closer, these random metamorphs begin to appear. They can be equipped with a lot of the same things that regular Tyranids could be equipped with. Scything Talons, claws, whips, and even bone swords. They are obviously meant for close combat. I have yet to try these out (I built Acolytes instead of these guys, but they are on the list). I don’t think they are the best elite choice, but I think they could be fun.

Purestrain Genestealers – Ah, the Genestealers. These pretty boys come in at the same price as the Tyranid Genestealers, but are just a tad better. Not counting their special rules (covered later… this is long enough now), they have some interesting upgrades that make them pretty damn good. They now come with stealth and a 5+ invulnerable save. With their three attacks, and not being more survivable, these guys can put up a fight. Add in the Patriarch, and you give him some models to take wounds.

Abberrants – The mutants of the Cult world. These guys, who are only available through the Deathwatch box set as of this writing) are interesting. Strength of 5, and a toughness of 4, they also come with feel no pain and stubborn. At 30 points a model, they are a bit pricy, but if you can get them into close combat, they will hit hard. Add all the benefits of the HQs, and they could hit like a truck and have a 4+ feel no pain. Not too shabby.

Fast Attack –

Most of the fast attach options come from the Guard codex. You can take Chimeras (sometimes as dedicated transports), Armoued Sentinels, Scout Sentinels, and Goliath Trucks. These bad boys are the Cult Unique transport, and look pretty damn cool. They are not that tough (F11, S10, R10, 3HP), but can get your troops to where they need to be. And being open topped, your troops can assault out of them. They can carry 10 models (no genestealers or Patriarch) and come with a heavy stubber and a twin-linked autocannon.

Heavy Support –

There are only two options, a Leman Russ (not even all of the options) or the Goliath Rockgrinder, which is my personal favorite. The Rockgrinder vehicle has a stat line of BS3, F12, S10, R10, 3HP and comes with a heavy stubber and a heavy mining laser. It can also carry six models. It may be upgraded with a clearance incinerator for 5 points or a Heavy Seismic Cannon for 10 points.

The Heavy Mining Laser stat line is 0-12 inches S8, AP3, Heavy 3, Resonance and from 12-24 inches S5 AP4, Heavy 6, Resonance. Resonance means that to wound rolls and armour pen rolls of 6 are AP1.

The Incenerator is basically a heavy flamer with Torrent. Actually… it is a heavy flamer with Torrent.

The Heavy Mining Laser has a range of 36 inches, and is Strength 9 AP2.

Finally, the Drilldozer Blade. This allows the Rockcrusher to automatically pass Dangerous Terrain Tests. It also adds another D6 to the strength of a ram, and on penetrating hits, adds one to the result of the vehicle damage table.

In a tank shock, the enemy unit takes an initiative test before taking a morale check. If it fails, the unit immediately suffers D3 S10 AP2 hits. If the unit fails to Death or Glory the Rockcrusher it takes an additional D3 S10 AP2 hits. Not too shabby. Not great, but not bad.

That’s all for now. I will continue with the formations and special rules in a lter post. Hopefully not too much later.



Kaptain Klaw’s Review of the Great-Waaaagh Band

Ork_Freebooterz_WarbossOy!  Listen up ya bunch of lazy gitz!  Da Kaptain iz back to tellz ya about da new shinzy, da Great-Waaaagh Band detachment!  Da hummies over at GW wentz and updated da Waaaagh! Ghazghkull supplement.  Da Kaptain got his klaw on da book and iz here ta give ya hiz thoughts on it.

Da big thing dey did waz organize all da Waaagh Ghazghkull formations into one of demz decurion style thingz da space robotz have. Dey call it day Great-Waaagh Band detchment.  It haz all da same special rulz from da previous Ghazzy detachment.  Dat includez dat da warboss haz to challenge and dat you add 2 to da mob rulez rollz.  Even da 3+d3 hitz iz still dere.

Da benefitz for da detachment iz dat if your warlord iz a warboss, den you getz a free waaaagh every turnz.  Da other benefitz iz dat if ya have a mob of boyz with 10 or more modelz, dey get da hammerz of wrath on da charge.  Da free waaaghz iz da best benefit!  Dis letz da boyz really get to da krumping fast.

Now, fur da most partz, da auxillary detachment are all da same from the older version of da Ghazzy book.  Da big stand outz are da Blitz Brigade, Ghazzy’s Bullyboyz, and da Dakka Jet Skwadron.  Der are a few other auxillaries dey added, mostly optionz for takin da fast attack or heavy supportz choices as a detachment.  No cool special rulz.  Dat makes a sad Kaptain.

Da other big compenent iz da core formations dat dey added.  Dey are da Waaagh-Band and da Goff Killmob.  Da special rulz dat are added from dez formations are not dat good.  Da Waagh-Band is completely replaced by da Great-Waagh Band detachment rulz.  Da Goff Killmob getz to re-rollz dere charge rollz.  So da choice for which one iz bestz for yer WAAAAAGH iz based on da contentz.  Da Kaptain likez da Waagh-Band.  Loads of boyz, a few nobz, and a Warboss (Da Kaptain gotz to go somewherez) make for a good start.

Now dere iz a bitz of a problem with da Great-Waagh Band detachment.  If da warboss diez, den da whole free waaaghz thing fallz apart.  So ya gotz ta make sure dat boss iz dead ‘ard.  Ya evenz needz ta uze your orky kunnin.  Wit da all in me headz, Da Kaptain haz made diz list az an example of whatz da detachment can do.

Great Waagh-Band Detachment 1850 pts

  • Command Choice
    • Big Mek, Mega Force Field, ‘Eavy Armor
  • Core Choice
    • Waaagh-Band
      • Boyz – 12 in a trukk with a Nob (power klaw and bosspole)
      • Boyz – 12 in a trukk with a Nob (power klaw and bosspole)
      • Boyz – 12 in a trukk with a Nob (power klaw and bosspole)
      • Boyz – 12 in a trukk with a Nob (power klaw and bosspole)
      • Boyz – 12 in a trukk with a Nob (power klaw and bosspole)
      • Boyz – 12 in a trukk with a Nob (power klaw and bosspole)
      • Gretchin – 10 with Runtherd
      • Meganobz – 3 with killsaws and Battlewagon
      • Mek
      • Warboss – Cyborg Body, Da Lucky Stikk, Mega Armor
  • Auxillary Choice
    • Dakkajet Skwardon
      • Dakka Jet with 3x supa shoota and flyboss
      • Dakka Jet with 3x supa shoota and flyboss
      • Dakka Jet with 3x supa shoota and flyboss

Dat iz what da Kaptain haz come up with so far.  Da dakka jet getz Tank Hunter against other flyerz.  Da also get da extra shotz from all da free waaghz.  Da boyz in da trukks will be able to get stukk in fast with da waaagh.  Finally, da meganobz, da warboss, da mek, and da big mek getz in da battlewagon and go off to find da biggest and da best fight.

So, what do ya gitz think?  Doez da new detachment get ya orky juices flowing?  Or are ya a puny hummie?  Until next time, diz iz da Kaptain sayin’….WAAAAAAAAAAGH!

Tau Update First Impressions

Tau IconHowdy everyone, Severus here!  Yes I still live, although my time for writing and hobbying is slim as of late.  I actually had some time this weekend, so I have been working on painting up some tau.  Why?  Because the greater good got an update!  My campaign book, Kauyon, got delivered with some new bases this week, so it’s time for a first impression!

First off, lets talk about the oddity of this release.  It is not a new codex.  It is an update.  So I only picked up the campaign book.  In it, it clearly spells out what rules in it you should use to replace existing rules in the 2012 codex.  I am really happy about this.  Instead of having to buy a campaign book and a new codex, GW saved me 50 bucks for once and was upfront about what I needed to buy.  Yeah GW!

So, like all new releases lately, GW gave the Tau its own composite detachment (similar to the necron decurion detachment or the space marines gladius strike force).  It is named the hunter contingent.  It has the basic setup with 0-1 command formations, 1+ core formations, and 1-10 auxiliary formations.  The formations for the most part are all put together well.  I won’t go through all the little rules with those, just hit a few highlights.

First and foremost, the core formations gives two important benefits.  First off, everything in the core formation gets 12″ supporting fire.  That is helpful.  Sometimes it can be hard to spread out to avoid template fire or bubble wrap a unit but still keep that good supporting fire base.  Secondly, units in this formation may run then shoot if they are within 12 inches of the cadre fireblade or the commander in the formation.  This is great to allow tau to be more mobile, a big problem for most of our foot troops.

The other formation that I really love is the optimized stealth cadre.  It is composed of 2 units of stealth suits and a unit of ghostkeels.  It’s benefits come in the form of one rule.  It allows the ghostkeel and all stealth suit units within 6″ to gain +1BS and Ignores Cover.  When they shoot at a vehicle, they hit the rear armor regardless of facing.  I have always loved the idea of steal suits, but never found them that effective.  This formation changes that!  Plus it is a great excuse for me to pick up a ghostkeel.

The main detachment, the Hunter Contingent, has a very contentious rule.  It is called Coordinated Firepower.  It basically allows the tau player to join multiple units together when shooting at a target “as if they were a single unit”.  If you have 3 or more units doing this, they get a +1BS.  The rule goes further to specifically mention that bonuses from markerlights apply to all units making this shooting attack.  I have affectionately named this attack “the spirit bomb”.

Goku-Spirit-BombThis rule has met with a lot of debate over the internet.  You can look up some articles if you want.  Essentially, the issue becomes that you can stack some crazy bonuses on all models in you army and then target lock off and use those bonuses on other targets.  Personally, I think that is pretty cheesy and against RAI.  RAW though, it looks like that might be the correct interpretation.  I think it is fair to get all those crazy bonuses if you can only target one unit.  It is the tau anti-death star attack.  Target lock allowing you to take those bonuses and shoot other target is what breaks it.

The formation rules out of the way, they added in a few new units and changed a few rules around for some of our standard units.  First off, the commander gain the option to take a suit that makes him a flying monstrous creature (minus a few rules).  I love the idea, but the weapons he is forced to take are not the best.  He also loses access to all the signature system (tau relics).  It looks fun, but I doubt you will see it that much.  The buffcommander build is just as viable as ever.

The ethereal gained access to armor finally (a 5+).  He also has access to a little hover platform that allows for him to ignore models and terrain while moving.  Looks cool, but kind of meh.

They added a new troop choice known as breachers.  They have short range guns that have a scaling strength and ap.  The best they get is strength 6 ap 3 within 5 inches and two shots.  This is about as close as tau will ever get to an assault unit.  Not my favorite choice, because I could take firewarriors with pulse carbines and do about as well from 18 inches away.

The big addition though is that they have access to a little missile turret they can put down.  It looks really cool, and can be a smart missile or a missile pod. Smart missiles are my choice.  It matches the normal strength and range of most infantry weapons, so it matches their usually targets.  Regular firewarriors (now named strike teams) also have access to this turret.

Crisis suit and bodyguard had two important changes.  First off the maximum squad size went up to 9!.  That is crazy!  A good reason to invest in some of those new suits.  They also gave both units access to the previous experimental weaponry (Airbursting Fragmentation Projector and Cyclic Ion Projector).  Nothing earthshaking, but it is a cool bit of story telling.  Like the Tau empire finally finished testing these new weapons and decided to deploy them to the whole army.

Now onto the big new release.  First off, the ghostkeel.  It is a stealth suit on steroids.  I really like the model.  Weaponry wise I am a bit torn.  It gets a giant fusion gun or a giant cyclic ion projector.  I think if you are running them as a unit (up to 3), then I would go with fusion.  If you want to be flexible and run them in the stealth cadre, I will chose the ion gun.  It has some drones that give it shrouded in addition to the stealth rule it already has.  It doubles that bonus when the shooting unit is more than 12 inches away.  So in short, with good tactics, this guy should always have a 2+cover save in the open.  Finally, it has an option once per game to just disappear.  After it has been targeted, it can force the shooters to only fire snap shots.  That is huge.

And finally, the big daddy itself.  The stormsurge, the first tau gargantuan creature.  It looks awesome!  The rules are an interesting bit.  It is really not that tough, only toughness 6 with 8 wounds and 3+ save and no invuln save natively.  So, krak missile spam, plasma spam, grav spam, ect will bring him to his knees.  On the other hand, this guys is packed to the gill with awesome guns!  It cluster rocket system, smart missiles, and support system (flamer, burst cannon, airburst) are great for clearing out light infantry.  Its 4 Destroyer missiles are one use, Strength 8 ap 1.  If you buff them with a markerlight, they become strength D.  That is epic!

Finally, the big main gun.  They have two options.  My favorite is the pulse driver cannon.  Range 72, strength 10, ap 2, ordnance 1.  Nice and simple, yet effective.  The other option is the pulse blastcannon.  It again has that scaling damage.  Range 10 or under it is strength D ap 1 heavy 2.  10-20 is strength 10 ap 3, and range 20-30 is stength 9 ap 5.  It is basically meant for killing other gargantuan creatures, super heavies, or high armor tanks.  The issue I have with it is you already have access to D weapons via the destroyer missiles.  How much D do you need?

There are plenty of rules and formations I didn’t get into.  I am sure I will get back to covering them at some point.  But for now I am really pleased with this update.  It definitely opened up a lot of options for my Tau.  I always wanted a mobile tau force, and now I think it is viable.  The spirit bomb gives me some options against death stars in competitive play.  Until next time, this is Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.

I caved

That’s right, I caved. This past weekend I bought A devastator squad so that I can build some new marines with Grav-Cannons. But that is not what I really mean when I say I caved. I also bought a Command Squad and a box of bikers. I was doing so well on not spending money, but no, I had to cave. Why do I think I caved when I mention these?

Well, for the past couple of weeks I wanted to play test a command squad for Isurus and the second Company of Carcharodons. However, I was never actually able to get that game in. Every time I would come close, something would come up. Either I would play the Tyranids, or need to play a more competitive game, or just not even get a game in. So I caved, bought the two boxes, and began my conversions. Am I 100% happy with the conversions? No. But I am happy over all.

First, we have the Chapter Champion. I like his pose and that I was able to add the shield. The final goal, after some sanding, is to add the Carcharodon emblem to the shield.

Champion 2Champion 1

Second we have an Apothecary on a bike. Thanks to someone pointing it out to be, this unit will be 3+ Armour save, 4+ cover save, and now have a 5+ Feel No Pain, all with a toughness 5. I don’t like where the left arm ended up, but it could have been worse.

Apoth 1

Speaking of worse, now we come to the banner bearer. I really wanted my command squad to have one. But none of the banners looked correct. They all looked static. So I just tried to make it look like this one guy was carrying it off to the side. The final goal may be to get a banner from a Raven Wing bike squad and convert that into a Carcharodon Banner. But for now, this banner will have to do.

Banner 1

Banner 2

All that is left is for me to build a few more bikers, armed with power swords. Then, I will be happy with my command squad… well, maybe after they are painted.

Hierodule: The Return

Just over 6 months ago, I ordered a scythed Hierodule (as you can see here). Now that I have had it built and painted, and even got a few games in with it, I wanted to give a short review of the unit.

The lone firewarrior tries to delay the hierodules inevitable charge

The lone firewarrior tries to delay the hierodules inevitable charge

First, the Hierodule is fast. The 12-inch move plus the ability to run twice means it can cover a lot of ground, up to 24 inches with some good rolls. This means, unless something bad happens, you will be in a position to charge in turn two. The Hierodule is also usually hard to kill. I’ve seen my Hierodule take a lot of firepower, including nearly an entire Tau army shooting at it for multiple turns. Its toughness 8 means that most standard guns (bolters) cannot even scratch it. However, a unit of Grav-Centurions can easily take it down. Wounding the Hierodule on 3’s, and ignoring its armour, means all the Hierodule has left is it’s Feel No Pain special rule, so it can be killed. Which is why a Tyranid player has to keep is cover as much as possible, which can reduce it’s range.


Now, the Scythed Hierodule does not bring much firepower to the table. Honestly, I think I used the template weapon once, maybe twice, during a game. Yes, it can easily kill a couple of tactical squads or anything else with one wound and an armour save of 3 or better. But there are a lot of units that are multi wound or have a higher Armour value.

24 Epic Battle

However, the biggest drawback I have found is not the Scythed Hierodule’s limited firepower, it is the limited use I get from it. Since this is such a unique unit and such a tough unit, I only play it when my opponent knows what he will be facing. This is not something I want to surprise my opponent with. And this allows my opponent to prepare for it. I don’t think my Hierodule survived one of the games I used him in. Heck, thanks to those grav-cents, I’ve seen the hierodule die in turn one (it didn’t help that I rolled two very low numbers in a run phase, meaning I missed the terrain I was aiming for.

So, what is my final opinion? Excluding that it broke last night, I am very happy with my purchase. It looks good and it fun to play. Will I get the Barbed Hierodule? Probably. But I am very happy I started with the Scythed Hierorule.

Expanding into Formations

This Saturday I decided to run my first Tyranid formation. I ran a soft list, very swarmy, and added the Skytyrant Swam formation. This formation is a Hive Tyrant, which has to take the wings biomorph, and two units of Gargoyles. This means you can run it with 20 to 60 Gargoyles.

There are a few good things that come with this formation. First, the Hive Tyrant adds 6 inches to its synapse range. Not that I would ever do this, but if you give it the Norm Crown, and manage to get dominion off, this would give you a Hive Tyrant with a 30 inch synapse range. Second, the Hive Tyrant can also take Look Out, Sir rolls, and pass them on a 2+. This means that you now have 20 or more extra wounds on the Tyrant. Third, the only way this formation gives up kill points is if the entire formation is completely destroyed. Finally, the formation just looks cool. A swarm of Gargoyles surrounding a massive Hive Tyrant with wings just looks amazing.

Now, having said all of that, I am not sold on this formation. Sure, I ran it with 30 Gargoyles, giving the Tyrant 30 extra wounds, but these wounds are T3 with armour saves of 6. So bolters, while would wound the Tyrant on 6’s, causes wounds on this unit on 3s. And those wounds do not get armour saves. Also, due to the way the special rules read, the Hive Tyrant cannot fly. This obviously makes sense when Hive Tyrant is with the Gargoyles, but it also true when all of the Gargoyles are destroyed. The rule reads “The Hive Tyrant cannot leave the unit during the battle and can only use the Gliding Flight mode.”

Will I run this formation again? Of course, it is fun, and like I said, it looks really cool when they are all painted up. I may even get another 10 gargoyles for another 10 wounds. But this formation is not a game changer.

Unit Review – Raveners

This past weekend, I got a game in with my Tyranids against the Iron Hands with a Skitarii ally. It was a close game; the Tyranids pulling out a one point win. But the all-star unit in the game (on my side at least) was a full brood of Raveners. This unit of nine took out a unit of 10 Vanguard Skitarii, two 10-man squads of tactical marines, and took out the majority of a third before the game ended. I actually run the Raveners because they are fun, not because they are competitive, plus I like the way they look. I have been told that they are the second best unit in my army (after the Flyrant), and while I do not agree with that, I do not think they are terrible by any means.


Each Ravener costs 30 points and has the following STAT line:
WS5 BS3 S4 T4 W3 I5 A3 Ld6 Sv5+

How I run my Raveners is very basic; the full brood of nine with rending claws and no other upgrades. While I obviously have the option of making them shooty, their low ballistic skill does not seem to make them a viable shooty option. And since they come with fleet and basically ignore terrain, I prefer to get them into my opponent’s face as quickly as possible, not having ranged weapons means that I either run them or hold off and charge them. Their weapon skill and initiative, while not at the level of Genestealers, is still above a lot of other units.

So, what does a unit of nine bring? 45 attacks on the charge, 27 wounds, 5-up armour saves (ok, not great there), and a unit that cannot be ignored. They have deep strike and fleet, but are one of the few units that cannot get upgrades like adrenal glands or toxin sacs (which I may not take anyway).

Raveners 2

As much as I love them, I admit that they are not unbeatable. In the first game where in that I played the fully painted brood, they were turned into mist in the top of the first turn (Giving up first blood). My opponent, playing Tau, hit them with marker lights, removed their cover saves and then upped the BS of a R’Varna. The R’Varna then hit the raveners 36 times and caused 29 unsavable wounds. That full unit just disappeared from the board. It should also be noted that S8 attacks can wipe an entire model off the board with one hit. The 5-up armour save means most weapons (in my experience) will just cut right through them. So, yes, there are some down sides to this unit.

How do I counter all of this? Well, with their 12-inch move and fleet, I try to terrain hop until I can get them into close combat. I also use their 12-inch move to cycle unwounded models to the front of the line so that when I finally can get them into close combat, I still have close to the full brood. It also helps if you can get them feel no pain. Any extra chance to save a wound is a plus, and in yesterday’s game, I made an obscene amount to feel no pain rolls (as well as rending rolls, I may have to have my dice weighed).

Is there a better option? Yes. A Shrike Brood can bring the same movement, a synapse range, fearless, for the same points cost. That’s just one option that is viable. For the amount of points I drop into this unit, there are plenty of more competitive units I can add into my lists.

Four Units of Sharks

As I have repeatedly stated, one of my many armies is the Carcharodon chapter of the space marines. This army, while not played much, has a special place in my heart. I was introduced to this chapter thanks my good friend, the Lord Primarch, and while it doesn’t see the tabletop time it used to, I still enjoy playing it. I usually field a very elite list when I play the sharks for fluff reasons. While I may change my list up almost every time I play them, there are four units that are almost always in my lists. In this blog I will briefly cover each and introduce you to a character of my own creation.


First, of course, is Tyberos, the Red Wake, Chapter Master of the Carcharodons. Tyberos is not really all that special. Sure, he brings some interesting tweaks to a Space Marine chapter, but he is not all that different from a regular Chapter Master from the space marine codex. He comes in at 190 points and is basically armed with a powerfist, a lightning claw, and terminator armour. I did a much more in-depth coverage in an earlier blog, so I will not get into all of his abilities here. And while I say that he is not all that special, I use him all the time, and usually he dies in my game. But he is a fun character, and he brings the second unit that I almost always bring.


Tyberos makes a terminator assault squad with lightning claws available as a troop choice. In the fluff, this is his bodyguard, and I cannot leave home without them. I usually take a unit of seven with a land raider as a dedicated transport. The downside to all of this is that one unit is taking up 545 points, or just over a quarter of my total points in my 2K point army. Not that I want to sell terminators short, they are a solid unit, but they are an expensive unit. This unit, being a troop choice, also gives me access to an objective secured landraider, which has not come into play all that often, but it is nice to know I have. A vehicle with armour values of 14 all around is still a tough nut to crack.

The third unit I tend to field is Isurus, Captain of the Second Company, and here we have the character of my own creation. While I do not have a back-story to him yet, I am working on it. He is standard captain on a bike, so I do not need to go through his stat line, but I have equipped him with the “Might of the Lamniforms” which is a melee weapon that hits at +2 Strength, is AP 3, and has rampage and strikedown. This is a version of the Teeth of Terra, meaning it is just as restricted as that weapon. This captain has actually been the hero of many games. Even when the unit he has joined has been eliminated, he has managed to pull out a win for me. Maybe it’s the artificer armour.


Isurus, being a Captain on a bike, frees up the final unit that is almost always in my lists. I love taking a full unit of bikes (if not two) in my Marine list as a troop choice. The speed and variety of weapon options that a full unit brings to the table is usually worth it to me. And again, having objective secured, while not always necessary, is nice to have in your back pocket.

So, there you go, the standard four units in my 2K-point army lists. And those 4 units take up just over half of my points. Like I said earlier, I run a fairly elite army, but it is a fun army for me, even if I do not win with them as often as I win with my Tyranids.

Shorereaper, signing off….

tzitzimitl - air demon

Weekend in Review – Shorereaper

It was another great weekend for gaming, and I got to try out a lot of Tyranid units I don’t normally use. I figure this post would be good to give my honest opinion on a few of those units now that I have another game under my belt with them.

The first game I played was a scenario out of the Leviathan book against the Adepta Sororitas. There were three large blast sized objectives. These objectives would move towards the Sisters table edge if the closet model to them was a Sisters unit, and if the closest unit were a Tyranid, it would move directly away from the Tyranid unit. Sister player scores the objective if they can get the objectives off of their table edge, and I would score them if I could harvest them (mmm… tasty). By the end of the game, I harvested all three markers (or would have had my opponent not conceded). My deployment zone limited my options, so a lot of my units were held in reserve. This was the game where I tried out the units I don’t normally use.

The second game was a quick 1500-point game against the Blood Angels, and again, the Tyranids were successful. The only surprise unit I took was Old One Eye, and this now makes him have a 2–0 record! Like I said, the game was quick. I had some incredible rolls, and even the rolls that didn’t go well probably ended up helping me in the long run (not running out of terrain). My opponent couldn’t make any of his invulnerable saves when he had them, and didn’t do all that well when it came to his armour saves. Old One Eye had three squads (2 Five-man assault and 1 Five-man Tactical) against him at one time, and they still only caused him one wound. He really held up better than I thought he would.

Now, on to some of those unit reviews I promised.

Old One Eye – This buffed up Carnifex is a lot of fun to use. And once he takes his first wound, he gains feel no pain at the start of his next movement phase (if he is your warlord). I do believe that Old One Eye could be a great unit in fluffy games, but I wouldn’t use him in games that I wanted to be highly competitive. There are better HQ choices. I do see me fielding him on occasion though.

Maleceptor – DO NOT TAKE THIS UNIT! Yes, he looks cool, and in this weekend’s game, he was actually a little more productive than in the previous fame, but only in close combat. The one time I got his psychic power off, he missed his shot. He did kill a unit of sisters and a tank, but in close combat. This is not what he is intended for. He also provided a synapse range, which in this list was uncommon, but there are so many better options. So my Maleceptor will be sitting on the shelf looking pretty.

Haruspex – DO NOT TAKE THIS UNIT! This may actually be worse than the Maleceptor, at least the Maleceptor has an invulnerable save. I can think of only two redeeming values of the Haruspex. 1. It looks really cool. 2. Most opponents, not knowing what it can (or cannot) do, will concentrate on killing it, freeing up the rest of your army. In three games I have used it in so far, its kill tally is one Ork Boy. That’s it. To get it anywhere, you need to give it adrenal glands so you can get fleet; raising it’s cost even more. It has one “shooting” attack that will hit 50% of the time. I’d rather have a Carnifex.

Tyrannofex – Honestly, I cannot say anything about this model. Due to the limitations of my deployment zone (3 inches on each long table edge), I had to put this unit into reserves. And due to some poor rolling on my part, he didn’t make his way to the table edge till turn 4. Once he came out, he got one shot off, killed one sister, and that was game. I still do not know how to use it, or if I even should. Maybe I will give a better report later.

Mawloc – I hate Moloc. I have used the Mawloc in three games thus far, and I have had no success with him. I always try for his special attack, and in all three games I have managed to mishap and roll a 1. I cannot blame the unit for my bad luck, but after three times, I am pretty sure that I am never meant to play this unit. I think it does have potential, and I will give it another shot, but right now I am just a bit disheartened.

Harpy – Ah, the other flyer. I cannot say, “Do not take this unit” as I think it does have it’s uses. I just would rather take the Hive Crone. The crone, with its template attack, it’s missiles, and its S8 vector strike is just more useful. The Harpy, with its blast weapon and its bombing capability is just more limited. And once your opponent makes you jink, it’s pretty much out of the picture. Again, it has its uses, but there are better options for about the same price.

So, that’s it for my report this week.