Waaagh! Ghazghkull Review: Part 2!

Orks_attack3Oy you humies, Kaptain Klaw here.  Dat git severus and I has come to an understandin ’bout things.  Dat iz Orks iz Da Best, so I can writez whenever I wants.  I had to use me klaw to get it through dat gitz thick head, but he came around to my way of thinkin!  So, I am here to finish educating you lot on day new Ghazghkull book!

Now where waz we?  Oh yeah, onto da formations.  Dis book is chocked full of new formations for you to use when ya runnin’ da boyz.  Formations is really interesting, makes building an army a whole different ball of grot snot.  Dere are so many options!  Nothin better dan having options on how best to kill a git.

Council of Waaagh iz da first one.  Basically, bring old Ghazzy, Mad Dok, 2 warboess, a big mek, and a group of da nobz with a waagh banner as a single unit.  Talk about a death star.  Da unit is fearless and +1WS from da banner and all other orks within 12″ re-roll moral and pinning.  Plus dem warbosses get another +1 to there WS (makin’ dem a total of 7).  Don’t forget old Ghazzy, he gets 2 more ork warlord traits from his own book!  It’s a big old pricy unit, but da options are endless with all those characters!  Maybe dat group can finally put down dat Asterion Moloc and Ivanus Enkomi dat has been runnin’ a muck in my local group! Ghazghkull’s Bully Boyz is up next.  Dey look damn good.  Three units of 5 megaboz armed however you wantz.  Dey get fear, fearless, and +1WS.  Pretty much just throw dem at an enemy.  Better yet, stick dem in a trukk and drive head long into dere linez!  Don’t let dem have all da fun though.

Da Vulcha Skwad is led by Boss Zagstruk.  I never liked dat git, seemz like some dok rammed a boss pole up his arse or somethin.  Anyway, it’s him and three squadz of his stormboyz.  Dey can either be separate units or you can combine all three and Zaggy into one big mob.  Dey all have to deep strike, but dey only scatterz a single d6.  Dey also gain shred on dere hammerz of wrath.  Dey look like fun.  I just want ta see da look on me opponents face when zaggy and 90 of his boyz drop out of da sky in front of dem.

Da Blitz Birgade is a group of 5 battlewagons with deff rollas or rams.  Dey can all scout.  For you less educated gitz, dat is a 12 inch re-deployment (even moving out of your own deployment zone).  Dat can be super face smashin awesome!  Anything inside da transports can’t assault turn one though. So, better bring some dakka!

Da Dread Mob has some cool abilities.  It’s a big mek, a pain boy (because why not), 2 gorkanauts or morkanauts, 3 deff dreads, and 3 units of kill kanz.  Dat iz a ton of armor (hehe, get it?).  Dey gain ‘ere we go, which we all know is awesome!  Dey also get to cause D3 hammer of wrath each!  Throw a kustom force field in dere, maybe a morkanaut for more protection.  Get a waagh from a nearby warboss!  Now you got walkers that can mve 6, run upto 6, den charge (with a re-roll).  Get ready for a wall of armor to come crashing into da enemy linez!

Not to be forgotten (because da sneaky gitz is always hidin’) is Boss Snikrot’s Red Skull Kommandos.  It’s old Snikity Snikrot and 4 units of his kommandos.  Dey all have to stay in reserves, come in on a single reserve roll, best of all though, dey can come in from ANY table edge snikrot wants.  If dey don’t shoot dat turn, dey can re-roll dere cover savez.  Don’t forget, every unit in da formation getz shrouding instead of stealth da turn dey show up.  Sounds like dat group could be good for causing some chaos!

Finally, we get to da mother of all formations, da green tide!  It’s one lucky warboss and 10 units of boyz!  You gets to allocate your hitz from da mob rule chart (because randomizing hits on a unit of 300 boyz may take a while…).  Da get hammer of wrath if dey roll more dan 10 on dere charge distance.  Best of wall, dey get to waagh each turn after da first if da warboss is da warlord (…and still alive).

You gitz think that’s it?  Nope, dere is still more crap in diss giant book.  Dey gotz all deez different missions you can plays, you know if you want to feel like Ghazzy.  Personally, I don’t have time for all dat.  I just want to run forward and krump some ‘eads.

I think dat about does it for me, Da Kaptain.  I didn’t forget me sign off line dis time ( I had a grotz write it down for me).  Until next time dis be Kaptain Klaw sayin’ +++++Transmission Interrupted++++

Crap, how did that damn ork get control of the vox feed again?  Sorry everyone, Severus here again.  Seems that the Kaptain went ahead and sent out his report without my approval.  He is clearly not following the terms of our agreement.  Then again, how much can you really trust a Ork Freebooter?  Anyway, hope it wasn’t to bad of a read.  That damn ork really needs to learn about spell check.  My head hurts just looking at it.

Ork Codex Review: Lords of War

633820285931151815-OrkStompaSeverus here and we are finally making it to the end of the ork codex.  Sneak preview, I feel like the Ghazghkull supplement is really ork codex part 2.  So, I will give my finally impressions of the codex after we finish that book.  For now though, we still have lords of war.

First off, let’s get this out there.  Lords of war are going to become a new unit type that GW will continue to support through out this edition.  They introduced them in escalation.  They continued to support them in the new rule book.  Now, they have them as part of the regular codex.  Even forgeworld put out a list of it’s units that can be used as lords of war.  Are they balanced as a unit type?  Only time will tell.

The first one to appear in our lovely codex is good ol’ Ghazghkull Thraka.  Statline wise he stayed the same, so no new surprises there.  Same with his points.  His special rules changed a bit based on his wargear.  The change to cyborg body means he lost his all the time invuln.  They also dropped the adamantium skull rule but gave him eternal warrior.  So, essential he lost hist +2 attacks on the charge.

Finally his waaagh received a nice buff.  It is still only allowed on turn two or later if he is alive and your warlord.  When he calls it in addition to the normal waagh affects, he gains a 2+invuln until the beginning of his next turn.  Additionally Ghazzy and all other models in his unit with mega armor can run that turn despite the slow and purposeful special rule.  He also has the prophet of the waaagh warlord trait, so he will give everything fearless until the start of there next turn.

I liked Ghazghkull before, no need to stop liking him now.  His move to the lord of war slot means he won’t hog up an HQ slot.  Overall I say he is great.  Opponents weren’t banning him before as an HQ choice, they have no reason to ban him now that he is a lord of war.  Interesting to note:  Think of all the other 4 wound special characters around the 200+ points mark in other codexes.  If we take Ghazzy here as the standard we could see a lot of things moved to that lord of war slot.

Okay, and finally the Stompa!  So, he wasn’t in the last codex, so I am comparing him to his rules in the 6th ed Apoc book.  Guess what, no changes.  He is still a big old AV 13,13,12 12hp super heavy walker.  He still has all the same guns and rules for them.  He can hold 20 boyz, hands out a 6″ fearless bubble, and can take extra rokkits.  Grot riggers give him it will not die.  Now you want to be super cheesey?  Put a big mek with a kff in him to give him an invuln save and the ability to repair.  Throw more meks in for more repair chances.

So, is the stompa worth it?  He is a huge chunk of points for most games.  I feel like if you bring him you will be a much smaller elite force.  You will have to try to kill a lot of your opponents stuff or table them.  Which is possible if you don’t lose that stompa.  It’s sort of a bet big to win big scenario in my head.

That covers it.  Ork codex (part 1) is done.  Lots of cool options.  Some nerfs.  Lords of war are going to become a more common sight I think.  At least Ghazzy.  Okay, tomorrow we delve into the supplement!  Or maybe I will share list idea that I want to use this weekend.  Take care, Severus out!

Codex Ork Review: Fast Attack!


Howdy everyone, Severus back again.  It’s time to move onto the fast attack section of our review of the ork codex.  You can check out our codex review section to catch the previous sections.  In case you missed it, I put the Trukk in the troop section.

Okay, up first is the stormboyz!  These guys saw a points drop, down to 9pts.  That puts them a mere 3 points over the basic boy.  What do you get for that points bump?  The ability to move like jump pack infantry.  Plus now they can run up to 2d6.  There is a draw back, if you choose to run, they do take dangerous terrain tests.  Personally, I think they are a solid unit.  If you position them well and move, run, and charge on a waagh turn you can have up to a 36 inch threat range.  Yes, you will take some loses from the dangerous, but come on.  That’s why you take 30 of them.

Up next, the new and improved deff kopta.  Now, this unit pretty much functioned exactly like it has in the past.  Lets be honest, we all have those black reach models, so we run them with twinlinked rokkits.  GW must be aware of this, because now they made the rokkits a free upgrade.  That’s right, a 30 point T5 2w model with twinlinked rokkits.  Not to mention it is a jetbike that can scout.  I have never been able to do it myself, but I hear they make a great flanking unit to take down armor.

Now, on to my beloved dakka jets.  These things were my babies before.  For a mere 130 points you could put out 18 strength 6 BS3 twinlinked shots at any target.  They have seen a bit of a points increase, up to for 145pt for the extra gun and and the flyboss upgrade.  They also changed the waaagh rule, now they fire and extra per gun instead of double shots.  So, objectively they got weaker.  Ultimately though, I still feel like they a strong choice.

Okay, on to the less popular flyer choice, the burna bommer.  This guy is probably a decent choice.  It has two bombs that it can drop, large blast str5, ap4, ignore cover.  Probably on of the most reliable weapons for clearing infantry in cover in the ork list.  It is fairly cheap for the basic model, 115pts.  Problem is that after it drops it’s bombs it isn’t that good anymore.  A twinlinked big shoota and supa shoota aren’t that impressive.  The missile upgrades are cool but really spendy at 10pts a pop.  I take them occasionally, but in the end, I prefer the dakka jet still.

The last flyer is the blitza-bommer.  It’s more or less an anti-tank flyer with two strength 7 ap2 armor bane large blast.  Now it has a special rule that gives it good orky chart.  A chance to fail, a chance to win, and lots of chances to be average.  Once again, after it dropped it’s bombs, its efficacy drops dramatically.  I would not rely on this one myself, but it can be fun.  Probably up there with the tankbustas with best anti-tank units.

Ahh, warbikers, these boys are going to be fun.  They are fairly cheap at 18pts a piece.  The have some pretty good shooting from the warbike and are armed with slugga and choppas for the extra close combat weapons.  It’s like a boy that can move fast, shoot well, punch hard, and take a punch.  That is a huge win.  If only they could still be troops.  Regardless, these guys are a good buy in my book.

Lastly, the lowly ork warbuggy.  Now, they are damn cheap at 25pts a piece for an armor 10 all around with 2 hp.  They are fast, can outflank, and the kicker is that they can take a twinlinked rokkit for free.  They can come in up to units of 5, so for 125pts you can have 5 twinlinked rokkits with 10hps.  I say theoretically they are a great choice.  The problem is that the model is from like 2nd edition.  It is almost embarrassing that GW has yet to update that model.  Personally, I refuse to use those models until I get a good conversion idea or a 3rd party that doesn’t cost 40 bucks.

Overall the fast attack section is packed full of good choices.  Even the bad options are not horrible and only look bad when compared to the strong choices.  Ultimately I think filling out your fast attack choices depends on what role you need to fill in your list.  Be it anti armor, anti infantry, a jack of all trades, or just a distraction unit, you got plenty of options.  Choose wisely!  Severus out.

Codex Ork Review: Troops (and Trukks)!


Howdy everyone, Severus again.  I am here today to continue the ork review.  Today we are covering troops and trukks.  Yes I know trukks are fast attack, but that section is clogged and troops are light, so they are going here.

Anyway, up first is the good old fashioned ork boy.  Statline and points for the basic slugga choppa boy has stayed the same.  Shootas are a 1 point upgrade.  They now come with stikkbombs for free!  Generally speaking besides the point bump for shoota boyz, these guys have stayed the same.  They did open it up to having more than one unit of ‘ard boyz, so that could become a thing.

Gretchin are up next.  Once again points and stats stayed the same.  Which is’t bad.  They are a super cheap troop choice.  So if you are trying to meet your troop min, you can take these.  Or if you are running a combined arms detachment (CAD), they come with objective secured.  Now you have a super cheap unit that you can hide until late game while the boyz take the fight to the enemy.  Personally, I like them as a meat shield for my big mek with a shokk attack gun.

Trukks are now cheaper by 5 points if memory serves me.  The big change comes in the form of ramshakle.  No longer do we get our own fun cool chart, just the chance to turn a pen to a glance on a 6.  These guys were easy to kill before, now they are easier.  But they are SO cheap you can take tons of them.  They are a fast attack choice, not sure why you would take an empty one as a fast attack though.  You can now take them as a dedicated transport for just about any unit in them, so you can really take a ton of these in a list.

Now, overall I would say the boyz got better for two reasons.  ‘Ere we go and boarding planks on trukks.  Combine those with some basic slugga choppa boys, toss a nob in with a power klaw, and you have a 150ish point unit that is INCREDIBLY fast.  On there own they move 6, get out 6, and can charge 2d6+2 (to a max of 12).  Throw a waagh in there and now you could add a d6 run to that, pushing the assault range out to 30 inches.  Yes, boys are fragile (which feels weird to say) and trukks are not a safe transport.  But each unit like this can throw out a huge threat range.  Bring multiples and hide them turn one then dive on foes turn 2.

I consider slugga choppa boyz in a trukk like suicide units right now.  They are easy to kill, so I don’t expect them to live long.  They can do a ton of hurt to something before they go.  I am still trying to figure out what the sweet spot is in terms of number of trukk boyz.  Today we are trying out three.

Now the biggest change to the troop section is that these two unit are your only options.  No more nobz as troops, no more bikers as troops, and no more deff dreads as troops.  So, better get used to taking boyz and gretching.  I have seen list ideas floating around where you meet the min troop requirements then go get tons of the new toys.  Those lists could be fun.  I have also seen lists with tons of boyz.  Follow your orky heart and have guys.  In the mean time, I hear some ultramarines have a score to settle with Kaptain Klaw.

Codex Ork Review: HQ’s



Howdy everyone, Severus again.  Today it’s time to tackle the behemoth of an HQ section that the new ork codex gave us.  You can go back and check out my overall first impressions here and my first in depth breakdown here.  Enough of that business talk, lets get down to the meat of it.  The ork HQ section is full of options now (8 to be exact), which is about the same number as before.  The difference is that now they are all filling widely different roles.

First off, the warboss.  This guy has pretty much stayed the same.  Still cheap and can pack a punch.  He has access to tons of wargear options now, so you can customized to your hearts content.  His leadership 9 is going to be invaluable to avoiding the dreaded mob rule that everyone is so afraid of.  Of course he gives you a waagh, but only if he is your warlord.  The only hits I think he took were he can no longer get an invuln save.  So, keep that in mind.  Overall, I like him, still going to field at least one in each army.

Up next, the weirdboy!  He has seen an overhaul.  Now, he has the same statline (aka nob profile).  He can take powers of the waaagh or daemonology.  He can be upgraded to level 2.  He has a special rule that lets him generate 1 more warp charge if 10 or models with ‘ere we go are within 12 inches of him.  Overall, he looks like a glass hammer.  He can get some awesome spells off and give you a little defense.  His low leadership is going to hurt against perils and a 6+ save with no options means he won’t live long to a determined enemy.  In short, if you take him, plan on doing a ton of damage as fast as you can before he is killed or blows up his own brain.

Alright, time for our first new option, the mek.  Super cheap and has a boy profile.  You can take him as his own hq slot or an add on to any other hq choice.  I would never waste a slot on him, always take the add on.  Now the way I read this, if you take him as an add on, he is stuck attached to that hq choice.  I could be wrong.  Anyway, these guys are super cheap and come with the ability to repair a vehicle.  They also have access to an interesting array of range weapons and killsaws.  This guy could become a real utility option.  I will have to mess around with him to see the best fit.  Note, he is a character so i guess you could challenge things…

Now for the big man on campus, the big mek.  This guy is going to be the silent champ of the codex.  First off, his kustom force field.  Yes, it no longer effects whole unit and can’t extend outside a vehicle.  But now it is an invuln save, so screw your ignores cover crap eldar and tau.  And, it is the only way to give invuln saves to orks!  Need some insurance that your nobz in a battle wagon will make it to the enemy, throw this guy with a kff in there.  He can still sport his lovely shokk attack gun, which still works the same.  He can also use da fixer upperz, so he is probably the most reliable thing in the codex for repair options.  He can also take mega armor now (whoot!)  with a few options.  The  tellyporta blasta looks neat, but I doubt it will work well in the end.  He can also carry a kff while in mega armor.  Say hello to that!  Orks with a 2+/5++ again!  I am in the process of repainting my KFF big mek, so stay tuned for the results.

Last of the regular HQ options, but certainly not least, the painboy!  Yes, he is no longer a unit upgrade. He is a full fledged independent character.  So now you can hand out feel no pain to any unit you want.  Now this does come with some draw backs.  First off, he is a 50 point character with a 6+save.  The only way to improve that is to hop on a bike.  The second is he takes up an HQ slot.  So good luck getting more than 1 or 2 of these guys in an army with out sacrificing something else.  I like it!  I love my pain boys, so letting them jump around my army just makes me happier.

Now onto the special characters.  First up, my beloved mad dok!  I already covered him in my initial impressions article.  Let me summarize.  Feel no pain, rampage, and fearless to any unit he joins is huge.  He is a pseudowarboss profile with a power klaw.  He is an auto-include in my lists currently.  I used to run him with a whole cyborg army of orks for the giggles, now he is a competitive choice (in my opinion).  Get ready to see a ton of him.

Up next, the universe’s most famous freebooter, Kaptain Badrukk (don’t tell Kaptain Klaw I said that, he would not take it well and try to krump Badrukk).  He sports a flash git profile.  He has some nice armor, a 3+/5++ making him the only ork sporting an invuln all the time.  His gun is essentially a 3 shot plasma gun, so it is pretty darn handy.  He is a fun and fluffy choice.  Ultimately I don’t think he will be that competitive, not going to stop me from giving him a whirl though.

Boss Zagstruk is getting a lot of love on the net right now, and maybe it is right to do so.  He is SUPER cheap.  His statline is a little better than a nob.  I am not the biggest fan of his klaws now.  They give him a strength 8 ap2 hammer of wrath.  Ultimately he will probably kill a random grunt with that.  His warlord trait is solid, allowing a re-roll for moral test for everyone within 12.  The problem I have with that is you are making a model with 2 wounds, T4, and a 4+ save your warlord.  He will be splatted quickly and you lose out on having a waaaghh.  His model is a little further back in the painting queue and I need more stormboyz before I can thoroughly test him out.

And that does it for today.  How is everyone doing with those lovely green boyz?  Is the internet panic over yet?  I should have another game lined up for tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday.  Expect some play testing reports and maybe the troop section soon.  Until then Severus out.

WAAAAAAAAAGH Ork Codex Review!!!!

60030103005_CodexOrksENGHowdy everyone, it’s Severus.  I managed to wrestle control of the blog away from that stupid ork, Kaptain Klaw.  So, now that I am back I wanted to give you guys something we have all been waiting for, an Ork Codex Review!  I have had the codex since friday night.  I have done plenty of reading and played a few games.  This is my early impressions on the codex.

First off, the formatting has changed.  Gone is the standard template from the 6th ed books.  Previously there was a long list of units with fluff, art, there stat line, and any unit specific special rules (glory hogs for example on the tankbustas).  Then in the back you would find the unit entry with points, wargear options, ect.  Now they are all combined into one data sheet, very similar to what we have been seeing in the white dwarfs.  This makes it convenient, now you don’t have to flip back and forth to see those unit specific special rules.  I do miss the art though.

The fluff is good old orky fluff.  A lot of stuff you have seen before.  There are some new variations to it.  I think volume wise, we end up with more fluff in this book than we did the last one.  Hell, my beloved freebootas used to be a single paragraphs in the 4th ed book, now I get a whole page!

Now to the crunch of it, the rules.  A lot has changed with the green skins.  I will spare you the details of going through it unit by unit.  Instead let me highlight the big changes.  First up, we get our own force org chart!  3 HQ’s (1 required), 9 troops (3 required), 3 elites, 3 fast attacks, and 3 heavy supports.  That extra HQ slot is nice since there are so many hq options now (painboys are now hq choices).  Taking this chart allows you to re-roll your warlord trait on the ork table.  It also has a bit of a wonky rule.  If a unit made up of 10 or models rolls 10 or higher on it’s charge distance, they gain hammer or wrath.  Really situational, but extra hits are better than none.

Now, for a true orky guy, this force org chart is great; it really captures the army feel.  Here is the problem, you will not have objective secured.  You need to use the combined arms detachment to get objective secured.  In the end, if you want to be competitive, I would probably use the combined arms detachment.

Up next, the army wide special rule ‘ere we go.  I love this rule.  It allows you to re-roll one die on your charge distance.  So it’s like sort of fleet.  That one die can really save you bacon.  There is second part to this rule though.  When a warboss calls his waagh, units with ‘ere we go can run and then assault.  This is huge.  A well position ork player can reliably get off turn 2 charges.

Now, learn from my mistakes on this.  Mega armor still gives you slow and purposeful (so you can’t run).  Ghazghkull’s waaaagh allows those type of models to run.  But a regular mega-armored warboss can’t.  I forgot this and ended up having my warboss watch from the sidelines for a turn since I ended up needing a 10 inch charge since I couldn’t run.  Fun side note though, multiple warbosses allow for multiple waaghs.  Edit: Only your warlord can call the waaaagh, so that doesn’t work.  Thanks to Boss Trav-Trav for catching that.

Now for that last army wide rule, the mob rule.  Not going to sugar coat it, this one hurts a bit.  Now, you take morale and pinning checks like normal (so, leadership 7 normally).  If you fail, then you roll on the mob rule chart.  On a 1, if you are in close combat you are consider to have passed the morale check; otherwise you fail.  On a 2-3 if you have a character or independent character, you cause d6 strength 4 hits to the unit then pass the test; if you have no characters you fail.  And on a 4-6, if have 10 or more models in the unit, you cause d6 strength 4 hits then pass; if you have less than 10 you fail the test.   In review, you can damage your own boyz a lot just from morale and pinning checks.

The mob rule right now feels a little rough.  Lets be honest though guys.  Orks are not known for there courage under fire or leadership.  I see this rule in two ways.  First off, it is meant to be a draw back.  ‘Ere we go and the waaagh rules are both better than the last codex, so it makes sense that the writers wanted to give a drwa back to balance out the buff we got.  You don’t want your boyz taking leadership checks so play smart.  The other way I see this rule is it starts to force you down a certain play style with your boyz.  Bring lots of them with a nob and get into close combat as soon as possible.  This fits the army theme so well!  If you play the orks like that then theoretically, you would never run.  You may lose some boys to a heavy handed nob, but who cares.  We got plenty of boys.

Okay, down to the nitty gritty of it.  In terms of individual units, there have been TONS of changes.  I will probably save most of these for a group by group review as I get more experience with time (aka, HQ review, Troop review, ect).  For now though, let me give you a few of my favorites.

99800103018_MadDocGrotsnikNEW01Mad Dok Grotsnik!  I loved this guy before, just ask Ralshenik and his daemons.  Now he is even better!  Gone is the rule that made us lose control of him.  Now he gives the unit rampage instead.  In review, he brings in a psedowarboss profile with a power klaw, gives the unit feel no pain, fearless (which is huge with the mob rule), and rampage.  For 160pts.  There are already deathstar’s floating about the net based around this guy.  I am just going to throw him in with some regular old nobz in place of there pain boy.  Good luck trying to tarpit that unit now.  I would like to point out for the price conscious gamers, his model is cheaper than the new painboy.

99810103009_TankbustasNEW01Tankbustas, I always wanted and excuse to buy these guys.  Now they don’t compete for slots against those darn lootas (who are heavy support now).  They had a big change to there glory hog rule.  Now if you kill a vehicle for first blood with tankbustas, you get 2 points instead of 1.  Nice little buff, but also gives us control over them again.  Bomb squigs got easier to use, they hit on a 2+ and no more accidentally hitting something else.  Most importantly though, they gained two things.  There tank busta bombs are now melta bombs.  They also gained tank hunter.  So what little hits you do get you can make count now.  They can also bring a trukk, so no more wasted battlewagons.  And they got 2 points cheaper.  I think that about covers them.

Okay, long ramble aside, it time to wrap this thing up.  My initial impressions are very good about the book.  It is easier to get orks into combat now, where they have always belonged.  For the most part everything got cheaper, so you can take more of them.  Units that were not useful before got some tweaks to make them viable in my mind again.  We gained tons of new options in existing units.  We gained tons of new units.  Yes, the mob rule hurts, but come on, we got to give the opponents some weakness to exploit.  A kunnin ork player should be able to minimize the impact of the mob rule.  Overall, I think the book is very good.  I will hold off on a power ranking for now, expect to see that in the future.

In the mean time, I got to clean up all that damn graffiti that Kaptain Klaw left around here.  Take care!  Severus out.

Dark Angels, and why they are the best army in 40k…

warhammer-40k_00267980The following is a guest article from a legionaire known as Hector the Mightily Bestowed.  He had some issues with my power rankings from 6th edition, specifically Dark Angels and Blood Angels.  Here is his response.

Hopefully the title has your undivided attention. There is no way the Dark Angels can put up much of a fight for the Best Army, they dont have grav-guns, Centurions, Stormravens, strong magic (or anti magic), and their flyers are simply worse than everyone else (ok maybe the tau are worse). The cant out shoot anyone, and their dedicated close combat troops (Deathwing knights) are only good on one turn out of the game… maybe…
What they do have (and 7th edition made WAY more important) is access to the most varied troops choices of ANY codex. Most space marines have 2 choices (tactical squads and scouts). Dark Angels have the standard 2, but can easily add Terminators and/or Ravenwing bike squads.
A 1600 point army can have Azreal, a thunder hammer/storm shield assault terminator squad with Land raider crusader dedicated transport, terminator shooty squad with assault cannon, 2 full Ravenwing bike squads with attack multi-melta bikes and veteran sergeants with melta bombs, and a 5 man tactical squad with a lascannon razorback dedicated transport. That is NINE different Objective Securing units (combat squad the Ravenwing and 2 dedicated transports). Azreal cruses around in the razorback with the tactical marines, the bikes are all stubborn and terminators are inner circle (will never run). The bikes can easily cover the battlefield to secure or contest any objective, at any point.
Toss that up to 2000 points and add in some magic (Ezekiel is no Tigarius, but he is no slouch), and a techpriest with powerfield generator, and maybe a lascannon predator or some other anti armor unit (or just give the other terminator squad a dedicated God hammer land raider), and you have a solid force, capable of crossing the battlefield several times chasing down objectives, and in the case of the terminators, hold them until the end.

No other army in all Warhammer has this flexibility in it Objective Secure Troops choices. They can take fast bikes, the toughest infantry and the heaviest vehicles, all with objective secured. These models can take out any target (minus flyers) on the battlefield.

A standard tactical squad (10 space marines, flamer and missile launcher) with a rhino is roughly 200 points (195). Taking 6 of them, in combat squads gives you 18 OS troops, but there is no flexibility at all here.  A 5 man tactical squad with flamer and upgraded razor back is 150 points (6 takes us to 900 points), for 12 OS troops, with more flexibility, but still nothing compared to the Dark Angels (who can still take rhinos and razorbacks).
Is Objective Secured the deciding factor for best army? No, absolutely not, but it is A factor, and that factor goes to the Dark Angles, without question.

On a different though, what factors also contribute to “best army”? Magic, Shooting, Assault, Leadership, sure. Mobility? eh some armies (AM) movement is less important. Points, Durability, and I’m sure other factors play in… 

Next up: Why the Blood Angels are the best army in 40k…

Winners and Losers of 7th Edition: Eldar, Part 2

Hello again! It turns out that I had a lot to talk about when it comes to psychic powers. If you missed that article, you can find it here.

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The second major change to affect the Eldar, are the new rules for Jink. Yes, this is a universal rule that affects everyone, but nobody quite does anti-grav like we do. In honor of the new allies matrix, I am of course including our Dark cousins in that generalization. Verily there is a bond that neither birthing an evil god nor a new game edition can break.

So far, I’m actually quite happy with the change. It makes the Crimson hunter slightly more survivable, though I will probably stick with my Nightwing (that does not benefit from the change at all). Also, it gives our skimmers the possibility of having a 3+ save, or a 4+ even without having moved! The same is true for Jetbikes, which may see a slight drop in effectiveness. Shining Spears will now benefit from a 3+ save even when not turbo-boosting (which no longer provides a better cover save).

Being able to jink at any time gives some protection from drop pod armies and makes vehicles even more survivable. I think the trade off is fair, since Eldar were at their most vulnerable when they did not have the first turn. Wave Serpents are supposed to be nigh indestructible and extremely fast. But also being a main battle tank was a bit much. Personally, I at most had two of the dreaded scatter-laser/cannon Serpents, so the change will probably be more beneficial than not to me, as I value survivability over firepower (especially now that they can get Objective Secured).

The same cannot be said for the majestic Fire Prism, a staple of my Ulthwé force. It was the first vehicle that I finished painting and has been in easily 90% of my games. It still has, arguably, the best gun in the game. But because it is one shot and 2/3 of its modes of fire are blast, having to jink for its save will virtually nullify its firepower. This won’t make the model useless by any means, but will force you to be more tactical about how to use it. I remember the days when Eldar was a finesse army, if not the finesse army. Any step back in that direction is great in my book.

Another change to the vehicle rules, which overlaps with psychic powers, is the inability to cast blessings while embarked. Again, this applies to everyone, but Eldar guardian heavy lists will be especially affected given the reliance of Conceal/protect to keep squads alive should their transport be destroyed. Hopefully the Serpent’s added survivability will compensate for this loss.

I’m sure that there are more details that I have missed, and will undoubtedly discover as I get to play more games of 7th, but for now, this is all I could come up with. In light of everything, I would rank Eldar as #2-3 all things considered. Second to Daemons and tied with, or third to, Tau.

To be honest though, I think that the playing field has been leveled significantly, and the game is much more about player skill, than the army he/she picked (as it should be). Maybe I have a naive view, but having a “sand box” edition seems to mean that everyone can capitalize on their different strengths and compete as equals.

Winners and Losers of 7th Edition: Eldar

Hello everyone! I’ve not made any posts for quite some time, but I thought that I should aid Brother Severus and add my two warp charges to this series of articles!

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As some readers know, I am mostly an Eldar (Ulthwé) player, so I will share my perspective on how the new edition has affected the master meddlers. Overall, I think that the Eldar have gained more than they have lost, but time will tell!

First, psychic powers! As someone who likes to play his Craftworld the way it was meant to be played (lots of Guardians and Psykers), the rumors about changes to psychic powers were utterly terrifying. Having finally read the rules, I believe that those fears were largely unfounded. Here is the breakdown as I see it:

Warlocks: Although they were good before, Ld8 meant that your chances of manifesting a power were just above average, and rolling either a double 1 or 6 would cost you 35-55 points. Also, many maledictions were hard to use because of the limited range.

Now, warlocks have 3 powers to choose from instead of 2, are half as likely to suffer perils on 2d6 (with about the same success rate) AND can avoid the risk entirely by attempting to manifest powers on a single D6. Finally, you can now move and cast, which gives them a 6″ or 12″ greater effective range.

Spirit Stone of Anath’lan: This item allows the bearer to reduce the cost of manifesting his psychic powers by one, but he may not use his runic armor save for an entire turn. If your psyker is on foot, that is the only save he has! So I would only ever use this with a Farseer mounted on a Jetbike. Before, I never really used this item, since the sacrifice never seemed worth it.

Now, however, 1 WC less to cast is huge! Not only because of the increased cost of Prescience, but because half of the Runes of Fate also cost 2 WC. Sadly, this means that I am almost forced to always give the Farseer a jetbike, as a savvy opponent will easily snipe out a defenseless Farseer on foot.

Seer Council: This overlaps with the Warlock section, but I think that there is a big difference between a lone warlock attached to a squad and a unit consisting entirely of these elven Jedi.

Having them in a council really allows you to “play the odds,” which has become a major factor in how psychic powers work. Warlocks still only have one WC, so technically they have roughly a 10% lower chance to cast powers than before, assuming they use only the dice that they generate.

Obviously, in this edition, you can now pool your WC dice! Were you really casting powers with every single warlock before? Of course not. Now Conceal is guaranteed, so you can roll all your dice together, unless you would like to add some Sanctic powers to the mix. Not only that, but you can use a single D6 for every warlock that has a power you do not currently need, until you successfully cast conceal. This way you are safe from perils, and are not wasting rolls.

This also allows you to experiment with Sanctic powers, because a surprising number of these only cost 1 WC. I would not do this with a jetbike council, but certainly gives you a good reason to try one on foot.

Before, a seer council on foot was a terrible idea. It was slow, exposed (no dedicated transport), and even with fortune, not all that survivable for its cost. Now, however, sanctic powers can fix many of those defects. You may have noticed that blessings of the same type no longer stack. One of my favorite tricks was to make my warlock’s lightsabers (witchblades) Str 5 and melt through land raiders and FA13 walkers.

Being unable to do this anymore made me sad, until I discovered that I could use Hammer hand! Sanctic also allows the foot council to obtain a more reasonable invulnerable save of 3+, which can make the unit good even without fortune (plenty of models out there cost 35pts and have a 3+ save). Also…they can teleport! Watch out for mishaps, but used correctly, gate of infinity fixes this unit’s mobility problems. Special bonus, your warlocks can reduce daemon saves!

Naturally, this will only work well if you generate the powers you want (and enough of them), so it’s probably much more random that what I’m comfortable with, but I’m definitely willing to give it a try!

Farseers: Still one of the best Psykers in the game, don’t get me wrong, but without a doubt they have lost out with the changes. Let’s face it, before you were guaranteed to cast 3 powers, two of which were almost always prescience and guide and, honestly, you did not care too much about the third. You failed to manifest a power maybe once a game and…oh hey…I have my once a game re-roll rune…

In 7th, you can no longer show up with a single Farseer and expect to cast everything you want, all the time. Yes the spirit stone helps, but you are still in the same boat as a Space Marine player that brought a single Librarian to the game. Your effectiveness now depends almost entirely on how many Psykers the other guy has.

Does this make sense? Yes, I can imagine how even the mighty Eldrad will have trouble casting by his lonesome when he is facing off against an army of daemons, or an entire Librarius. But it feels like a waste of points, since you are not getting as many benefits from your expensive psyker.

In terms of wargear, runes of warding are about the same, runes of witnessing are slightly less useful (perils count as a successful manifestation) and Ghosthelms are arguably just as good. However, they do not protect the wearer from all of the perils effects as it once did and spending warp charges to prevent wounds is more costly now. Also…it is now completely useless against the idiotic Grey Knight mind missles and similar weapons, since WC are only generated in the psychic phase…meaning that Farseers will have 0 when being shot at…

This negative view may seem widely inconsistent with the positives discussed above, but bear in mind that 20 WC in an Eldar army will cost you about 1,000pts. This is half of the typical army (our meta plays almost exclusively 2k point games). Not only is this a hefty investment but, unlike other armies, most of those points need to be concentrated into a single unit.

Based solely on psychic power, I would rank Eldar as either #1 or #2. My sense is that #2 is probably more accurate, because Daemons can have Psykers all over the place, not just HQ, making for a much more flexible and balanced army. I’ll have to pit my council(a) against the forces of Tzeench to know for sure!

Winners and Losers of 7th Edition: Space Marines

Morlocs_terminatorWell, with the new edition comes a shake up in the power curve.  This is the start to an article series that we will be doing to outline how the new edition has treated each army (that we have experience with).  I did an article about how I felt the power curve stood at the end of 6th.  That’s what I will be basing the declaration of winners or losers off of.

Lets look at the big rule changes that affected the space marines.  All units scoring really opened up options with this codex.  You can make some really durable objective holding units out of centurions or terminators.  Devastators on a backfield objective can hold it while pounding the enemy lines (so can a thunderfire cannon!).

The objective secured rule makes tactical marines super important.  They are one of the more durable troops in the game. Dedicated transports for Troops gaining “Objective Secured” is great.  Now you can have “super scoring” rhinos or drop pods.  Add in combat squading, and suddenly two tactical squads with rhinos can become 6 units with objective secured.

The psychic phase is a mixed bag for marines.  They can’t take more than 4 mastery levels in a single force org (unless you count tigerius, who is awesome btw).  So, they really have trouble competing with armies like eldar and daemons when it comes to the psychic phase.  That being said, psychic hoods are now very useful.  You can increase your deny the witch odds for all units within 12 inches.   I say its a wash here.

Flying monstrous creatures are now hard to ground and kill for the marines.  The storm talon is easy prey for any flying monstrous creature.  Flakk missiles seem inefficient for there point cost.  The stalker may be better suited at taking down those FMC, but I haven’t play tested it yet.

Mission wise, the new maelstrom missions treat the marines okay.  If you take a mobile force, you can capitalize on a good hand.  They don’t seem to suffer worse than any army in that case.  Eternal war still treats them pretty well.

Overall, I say the marines have seen a bump up in the power curve.  Lists can be more varied since you are not forced to bring 3-4 tactical squads if you don’t want to. On the other hand you can max out your troops and transports and have 18 units with objective secured.  They can’t cast well against psychically powerful opponents, but can defend decently.  The new mission types don’t hurt them.  FMC are a little tougher to take out, but that is the case for just about everyone.

I had them at #5 previously, I think they are at least #3 now and could make a decent argument for #2.  What do you think?