Sunday, September 12, 2010

The lulz of the Interwebz

Just want to point out a few things that entertained me.

So I was checking out YTTH today and I saw this post by Auretious Taak. Now I have said it before and I'll say it again: I believe this guy snorts crack before he writes his posts. You can judge for yourself.

Then Stelek responds with this post. I have always enjoyed Stelek's verbal curbstompings but I have to say this is my favourite one of all time. He wasn't extremely vicious in this one, so I guess I liked it partially because he misunderstood Taak's post and partially because I've always wanted Taak to get owned like that.

Kirby was sorta caught in the crossfire of this drama and it's unfortunate because I think he's a pretty cool guy and I like what he's done with 3++. Especially the chat feature, though it needs the name max character limit to be one higher--otherwise I will be known as MorbidlyObeseMonke on it. lol

tl;dr don't let Auretious Taak post on your blog unless he gets clean.

I also enjoyed this bit of drama. Flagfail is involved.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Conquest GT Round 4 Battle Report: Nurgle Marines vs Necrons

Sup readers!

This is game four of the Conquest GT, against Wesley Cogdal. He came up from the Seattle area along with a few friends. His army was beautifully painted (he had the highest appearance score as well), and he does commission painting. His site is Stiff Neck Studios so if you live in the Northwest and want a pro-painted army you should check it out.

The game was played almost two months ago, so my memory is very faded. Therefore this will be mostly pictures but I will try to describe what's going on.

Each segment will describe the picture above it.

Wesley's list:
- 2 Nurgle DP's with warptime and wings
- Greater Daemon
- 3 Plague Marine Squads w/ Meltas, Icons, fist champs
- 2 lesser daemon squads
- 2x2 oblits (nurgle drones in the pics)
- Defiler

My list:
- Deceiver
- 2x 5 Immortals
- 2x 10 Warriors
- 2x 3 Destroyers
- 10 Scarab Swarms
- 2 Monoliths
- 3 Tomb Spyders

Deployment was pitched battle.

So the mission was sieze ground with 3 objectives. One was in the centre, one was in my deployment zone in a bunker on the far right, and one was in a bunker on the far left side of his DZ. Wesley got first turn.

This is his deployment.

Here's my deployment. One immortal squad is in the green bunker on the left, and one warrior squad is in the grey bunker on the right with the objective.

Turn 1
He moves forward, popping smoke. He killed 2 destroyers as well.

I shoot at things (can't remember much).

Turn 2
The greater daemon comes into play. He moves forward again, assaulting the Deceiver with a Daemon Prince.

They put two wounds on each other, tying combat (Deceiver is not fighting like he should be).

He killed the other immortal so they WBB into this squad because of the Tomb Spyders nearby. Meanwhile, the summoned Greater Daemon and his other Daemon Prince join the Deceiver combat.

The Immortals stand silently against the incoming Plague Marines.

Turn 3

An overview of the left half of the battle. On turn 2 I popped his middle rhino, and I moved my Monolith to contest the centre objective.

I move my Tomb Spyder and Monolith to block incoming forces from getting to the objective. The Deceiver began to get his act together and has now killed both Daemon Princes and is working on the Summoned Greater Daemon.

Turn 4

He gets his other Lesser Daemon unit in, while his dudes fire meltas from the rhino. It doesn't look like it but he would've been out of assault range if he had gotten out. The lesser Daemons assault my Immortals and they draw combat. The Deceiver kills the Greater Daemon and escapes with one wound left.

In my turn, the Deceiver kills the rhino near my objective, and I kill some Marines in shooting.

Turn 5

My Immortals kick some Lesser Daemon ass.

His Lesser Daemons were able to kill both my Tomb Spyders (wtf?) and prepare to take my objective along with his Defiler and a single surviving Plague Marine.

Bottom of turn 5: I turbo-boost my Scarabs to contest his objective next turn. At this point we each hold an objective and the middle one is contested.

We roll and the game continues.

Turn 6
He blows up BOTH Monoliths with Lascannons and then assaults my warriors on the objective.

I try to salvage a tie by moving my Scarabs and Destroyers to contest the objectives, and I can't recall the details but obviously I was unable to get them because I ended up losing the game.

Post Game
In retrospect I should have deployed both of my warrior squads close to my objective, rather than just one. This would have given me an extra turn of bubblewrap on that objective. Aside from that there wasn't a lot I can do when both of my Monoliths get killed on the last turn of the game.

The Deceiver killed 2 Daemon Princes, the Summoned Greater Daemon, and a Rhino for a total of 548 points worth of dead models when you include the Plague Marine Champion sacrificed to get the Greater Daemon onto the table.

It was a close, fun game and I gave Wesley my favourite opponent vote. He went on to win Best Overall.

Anyways, this was my first picture battle report so I hope you enjoyed it. I realize now that I should do more table overview pictures and less close-up action shots. Will consider that next time I take pictures for a battle report. : )

Friday, September 3, 2010

The WAAC Accusation

Okay guys, time to get my monthly post out of the way now. I intend to change that to once a week.

The term WAAC (win at all costs) is thrown around a lot these days. Generally it's used to describe someone who brought a good list and knows how to use it. In other words, a competitive gamer.

But let's take a closer look at the acronym. Win at all costs (with emphasis on all) should mean that someone will literally do anything if it gets them closer to a win, and they'll do everything they can to get that W. So, by definition a WAAC gamer is someone who slips cocaine into their opponents' water bottles and cheats. Their army must also be painted by the best painter in the world, and have a full-length movie directed by James Cameron to explain the fluff (this will gain points from fluff bunnies).

If they don't do these things, they do not fit the definition of "win at all costs".

I am going to start calling people out on this whenever I see them use the term WAAC because it's annoying.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pictures!!! :D

*CLICK TO ENLARGE ANY OF THE PICTURES*

Hey guys, I finally uploaded pictures from my camera onto my new computer, so here is a picture of my Necron army. That's the 2000 point army I took to the Conquest GT.

This is a picture of Wesley Cogdal's Nurgle army. I played him in round 4, and he went on to win the tournament. He is a comission painter on a site called Stiff Neck Studios, so if you live in the Pacific Northwest and want your army professionally painted, check it out. He's also a really cool guy and a very good player.

This is the Tau army I faced in round 5. There was very nice blending on the paint job.

This is the Eldar army that came second at the tournament.

This is a nicely painted Marine army that I figured I would include as well. I love the paint scheme on this army; does anyone know what chapter that is? 
Anyhoo, I have been really busy lately and haven't had a lot of time for 40k. Hopefully that will change and I intend to write up some battle reports (I took pictures of the last two games) though I don't remember a lot so they'll be mostly pictures.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Revived (random topics)

Hey everyone, like a thread on LO I am alive again! (except this is 3 weeks, not 3 years) The reason for my absence is that I got my hands on a StarCraft 2 Beta key, which has pretty much taken up all of my computer time. Now that the beta is down I am posting. If you guys are interested I could do some posts on SC2 (I play Terran in platinum league).

So to do a quick update, my Necrons didn't do as well as I was expecting at the ConQuest GT. I had one win, two losses and two draws. One of my draws should have been a win, but we didn't finish the game and I made a really stupid mistake. All of my games were very close though. I took pictures but I still need to download the software to upload my pictures :(, but it will happen eventually (you finally get to see what my Necrons look like). Anyways, I came within 3 points of best sports using the totally fair system of 1-10 subjective scoring.

I want to start a new army (and my Orks aren't even done yet XD).

This time I want to have an actually competitive army though, and I want it to stay competitive for a few years while my Necrons are being updated. Recently a friend of mine finished his Flesh Tearers army, and it looked awesome. I loved the gritty, dirty Space Marine feel. So without further ado, here is the cheesy ass Space Wolves list I came up with.

HQ
[110] Rune Priest w/ Living Lightning, Jaws of the World Wolf, Chooser of the Slain

Elites
[125] Dreadnought w/ 2 TL Autocannons
[125] Dreadnought w/ 2 TL Autocannons

Troops
[160] 5 Grey Hunters w/ Meltagun + Razorback w/ Lascannon, TL Plasma Gun, Dozer Blade
[160] 5 Grey Hunters w/ Meltagun + Razorback w/ Lascannon, TL Plasma Gun, Dozer Blade
[130] 5 Grey Hunters w/ Meltagun + Rhino w/ Hunter-Killer Missile, Dozer Blade

Fast Attack
[90] Land Speeder Typhoon
[90] Land Speeder Typhoon
[90] Land Speeder Typhoon

Heavy Support
[140] 6 Long Fangs w/ 5 Missile Launchers
[140] 6 Long Fangs w/ 5 Missile Launchers
[140] 6 Long Fangs w/ 5 Missile Launchers

Total: 1500 Points

It seems rock solid as far as I can tell. The Priest sits inside the rhino and fires Living Lightning out the hatch. The dozer blades and HK Missile were thrown on with extra points I had (dozer blades can be lifesavers if you have extra points). So the alpha strike of this list is rediculous with:
  •  9-14 Str7 shots
  • 2 Str9 shots
  • 22 Str8 shots (or small blast templates)
Tell me what you guys think. Also I have a buddy who is selling his IG army, so I might get in on that (or should I just finish my fucking Orks).

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tournament Summary

Last night I arrived home from a party at 3:00 AM, baked out of my mind. Of course, this is not exactly the best way to prepare for a tournament.

The tourney started at 10:00. So I wake up and arrive and I was basically a zombie. In my first game I was half-asleep with a nasty weed hangover. I played against Tau and all I remember is that I phased out. Can't really comment since I have no idea what happened.

Lunch break I have a coffee and an Advil which seemed to fix my brain.

Second round I was against mech Marines with 2 vindicators. The primary was 4-objective seize ground and the secondary was to kill more units than your opponent in CC. I had great rolls against his vehicles, destroying almost all of them, while his Vindicators were simply unable to penetrate my Monoliths. Ended up with a major victory for me.

Third round was against a fluff-oriented foot Daemonhunters army. Primary was table quarters and I can't remember what the secondary was. Almost killed everything but finished with a major win.

All three of my opponents were great and I had a blast. Of course, small tournaments don't really matter but I've got to remember to not go partying the night before the GTs.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Quick Half-assed Update


^Get it?^
O hai everyone.

I haven't really been posting very much these days. No excuses, I just don't really feel like posting. I've got plenty of ideas for things to post though. : P

You probably noticed I added a poll feature. The results were very interesting. Perfect spread between 2000, 1850-1750 and 1500 was not what I was expecting. I thought 1500 would be favoured less.

I'm going to a 1500 point tournament on Sunday, bringing the usual Necrons. Here's my list:

Deceiver
2x 10 Warriors
2x 3 Destroyers
5 Scarabs
2 Monoliths

At 1500 I think I'd prefer a Destroyer Lord over the Deceiver so I could get more Scarabs and Destroyers, but I don't have a Destroyer Lord model, so I'll be running this.

EDIT: Just found this site; it's a cool mathhammer type thing for various 40k weapons. Worth taking a look at if you haven't before.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Battle Report: Necrons vs. Space Marines

Pre-game Thoughts
This will be a quick and succint battle report of a game I played yesterday on Vassal. It was my second test game with the 2000 points Necron list. The first game was against Space Wolves where I got pretty lucky and tabled him. My opponent this game was running an odd but powerful Space Marines list. He had:

Vulkan
Pedro
5 scouts w/ cloaks and sniper rifles
5 scouts w/ cloaks and sniper rifles
10 sternguard, all with combi-meltas in a pod w/ locator beacon
10 sternguard, all with combi-meltas in a pod w/ locator beacon
10 sternguard, all with combi-meltas in a pod w/ locator beacon

2 speeders vulkan-style MM/HF
2 speeders MM/HF
2 speeders MM/HF

Mission was sieze ground (5 objectives); deployment was Dawn of War. The objectives were crammed together in the centre of the table.

One look and it's pretty clear to an experienced player how the list works. I suppose it could catch someone off guard if they hadn't played against this style of list. It's pretty tough and it can dish out a strong alpha strike with 36 twin-linked melta shots. I knew I couldn't let those hit my warriors.

Deployment
With this in mind I won the roll for first turn and gave it to my opponent. It meant he would get the side with more objectives but it was worth it because denying him the drop melta alpha strike was critical. He placed his scouts in cover on an objective on the left side of the board (from my perspective) with the speeders rolling on turn 1.

I deployed nothing. Scarabs would zip on turn 1 (as a bait), monoliths deep strike. Everything else in reserve.

Turn 1
He drops 2 pods, one with Vulkan + sternguard and one with Pedro + sternguard in the centre of the table, on the objectives. Notably, he didn't combat squad them. I meant to ask him why after the game but forgot. Speeders zoom in behind them.

I put my scarabs behind a hill on my right as a bait. Everything else is in reserve.

Turn 2
He plays it smart and doesn't take the bait. He drops his third pod in the middle. Vulkan's squad is on the left, pedro's is on the right and the regular sternguard are behind them. He zooms one speeder squadron down my left flank while the others stay with his vanguard.

I get both monoliths, both warrior squads, both tomb spyders, one destroyer and one immortal squad. My Monoliths deepstriked onto 2 objectives, pushing his guys out of the way. I put the destroyers and spyders in the middle of my deployment zone, and immortals on the left. Scarabs turbo-boosted forward with warriors behind them on the right. Everything had cover. Destroyers killed a speeder on the left after he passes 11 out of 12 cover saves.

Turn 3
He blasts my monoliths with melta fire, destroying one and putting 4 weapon destroyed results on the other (which hardly make a difference) and stunning it.

I get the rest of my reserves. My shooty Necrons (immortals and destroyers) are all on my left flank. My assault units (monstrous creatures) go up the middle straight for the objectives but they're still out of charge range. Scarabs move in for the assault while the warriors remain on my right flank (I'm waiting to teleport them onto the objectives). In shooting I reduce Vulkan's squad to 4 models and the Deceiver makes the regular sternguard squad run away. I also immobilize his lone speeder on the left. Scarabs assault Vulkan's squad.

Turn 4
His Sternguard squad can't regroup because my Monolith is within 6" so they keep running but not off the board. His units are out of range of my Necrons so he kills a Tomb Spyder.

I turbo-boost one Destroyer squadron towards his scouts to contest the objective next turn. I shoot Pedro's squad down to two models and they flee. The Tomb Spyder joins the Vulkan vs Scarabs assault (scarabs are almost wiped out by now). One Warrior squad on the right moves forward to capture an objective while the other moves closer to the Monolith.

Turn 5
All of his dudes regroup. One speeder squadron moves in to contest my objective, while Pedro and a Sternguard vet capture another. He shoots at the turbo-boosting destroyers, killing them. In the assault he wipes out both the Scarab squad and the Tomb Spyder.

It's the bottom of five and he has 2 objectives while I have zero. I move my Monolith towards Pedro's objective, contesting it. One Warrior squad portals through the Monolith and captures another objective. Destroyers move forward to contest the scouts' objective next turn. I shoot everything at the Speeder squadron contesting my right objective, killing both. In the assault the Deceiver wipes out Vulkan's squad but Vulkan stays alive.

I have 2 objectives and he has 1. The game continues.

Turn 6
He zooms another speeder squadron to contest my objective on the right. He has very few units left at this point. In the assault the Deceiver whiffs and misses Vulkan with all four attacks.

In shooting I kill one of his speeders but he makes tons of cover saves so the other one survives. I assault his scouts with my destroyers and tie them up.

I have 1 objective, he has 0. Game ends.

Postgame
There are several ways to defeat a Deep Striking army and reserving a large portion of your army is one method. It takes their best strength away from them (alpha strike). Going second really helps as well. In the case of sternguard, they are slow and vulnerable after they've been dropped.

My opponent played well, dropping in the middle of the board. It meant he would be out of range of my Necrons, but that's better than being slaughtered on the turn I rolled onto the board. There really wasn't much he could do without transports for his Sternguard. Drop Pod armies are not flexible so they can't adapt if faced with someone who knows how to beat them. Podding Sternguard is great on paper but doesn't hold up that well in real games.

At the end of the game I had lost:
-Scarabs
-Tomb Spyders
- Monolith
-3 Destroyers

He had lost:
-4 speeders + 1 immobilized
-about 25 Sternguard
-Vulkan

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Conquest GT & 2000 pts Necrons list!

Okay so two pieces of news to start off with.

1) I have decided to take my Necrons to both summer GTs. If I'm going to convince people that Necrons can win, I have to practice what I preach. I'll still be working on my Orks though.

2) I have found the Conquest GT rules. I was pleasantly surprised that there is no Comp and it's 2000 points (both of these are unusual for my area). Rules can be found here. Battle is worth 100, sports is worth 55 and appearance is worth 50.

So that means I have to make a 2000 point Necron list, a points value that I'm not familiar with. My 1500 and 1750 lists are already set in stone, but at 2000 there are several different ways I could go. I've decided to run a more MSU-style list using Immortals (conversion time) and Warp Spyders. Here's what I'm going to be playtesting for now.

HQ
[300] The Deceiver

Elites
[168] 6 Immortals
[168] 6 Immortals

Troops
[180] 10 Warriors
[180] 10 Warriors

Fast Attack
[150] 3 Destroyers
[150] 3 Destroyers
[120] 10 Scarab Swarms

Heavy Support
[235] Monolith
[235] Monolith
[110] 2 Tomb Spyders

Total: 1996 Points

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What is Chuck Norris' Statline & Rules?

So in an effort to create the illusion that I'm actually putting some work into this blog, let's try this:

What would the statline, special rules and wargear of Chuck if he were to be played in 40k?

Hopefully I'll get around to making real posts soon. : D

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Codex Ranking--Part I of II

In this post I am going through my choices and explaining why they are ranked where they are.

Imperial Guard
Mech IG has absolutely ludicrous fire power. It can blast half of an enemy army off the board on turn 1. Additionally, it has all the small things that can really help in some games. Part of this is from allied DH inquisitors which will no longer be available a few months from now. There is also the reserve manipulation abilities of the army which make reserving your entire army against an alpha-strike a very risky manouvre. On top of all that, IG has the ability to field rediculous amounts of AV12 vehicles, making it one of the most resilient armies because it can take losses and still deal out the pain.

Space Wolves and Blood Angels
I haven't done enough playtesting yet with the Blood Angels to really know if they are better than Space Wolves. I am planning on doing a comparison between these two excellent codices in a later post. Both armies combine speed, shooting and assault into their game. From the lists I've seen on the interwebz, BA tend to be faster while SW are usually shootier.

Eldar
I may have ranked these guys too high because they are a bit of a one-trick pony. With everyone gearing up to kill the AV12 spam of IG, Eldar mech got caught in the crosshairs. However, mech Eldar still excels at objective games because of their speed and the durability of DAVU Holo-Falcons. They are also a hard counter to assault-based armies because they have the speed to zoom away from most deathstar units. Foot Eldar is similar to Tau: good at killing but awful at moving out and holding objectives.

Orks
Orks have, in my opinion, the most durable troops in the game. They can pack more T4 wounds into an army than anyone else. They basically have two very strong builds: Battlewagon and Foot. I used to play Battlewagons but I sold that army because I didn't like the style of play, and now I'm working on my Foot army. Trukks are easy Kill Points and don't carry enough Boyz to be effective, while bikers are overcosted. Ghazghkull is a beast in CC. People will argue that he is only effective for the one turn where he Waaaghs but my response is that he only needs one turn. Anything else he kills during the game is just gravy.

Space Marines
The Vanilla Marine codex has only a couple advantages over the Wolves and Vampires. First off is Null Zone, which is IMO the best of any Chapter's psychic powers. Then they have combat tactics which is an underrated but extremely useful special rule in the hands of a good player. Combat tactics is what makes foot marines an actually decent army. Not amazing but it can still compete. There are also a couple little things like the Ironclad and thunderfire which are not available to the other codices.

Chaos Space Marines
Like it or not, Lash of Submission is still an excellent psychic power. I'd say it's still the best psychic power in the game. Combine it with Oblits, one of the best (if not the best) long-range unit in the game, and Chaos are a great shooting army with decent CC punch. We all know the list; not much else to say here.

Witch Hunters
Ahh, witch hunters. There are two ways to play them: shooty with 3 exorcists and inducted guard, or Immo/rhino rush. Then you can also do a hybrid army involving exorcists and sisters with rhinos. All are decent builds but all have their weaknesses.

Dark Eldar
DE epitomize the term "glass hammer". They can give a punch but can't take one. The only way for them to survive is to fill up the FOC with 12 vehicles. Lately we have seen Dashofpepper do very well with Dark Eldar, showing that they can still compete with those brand new 3rd and 4th edition codices.

Tyranids
I've never played Nids and never will, but I feel sorry for the die-hard Tyranid fans. They still only have one viable build (Nidzilla), and it got slightly better than the old codex. It retains its classic weakness, lack of long-range anti-tank. Hive Guard are the one exception which means everyone is taking them. So now we are back to where we started with every Nid player running the exact same thing.

Chaos Daemons
Daemons are the best close-combat army in the game, with a variety of tough units. They also have decent support fire to pop tanks for the CC-beast to eat the guys inside. So why am I ranking them so low? You've probably guessed, Daemonic Assault. To be honest it cripples them too badly. Deep striking is a fairly easy tactic to defeat if you have good bubblewrap units, and any shooty army should have them. Others, like Eldar, can just fly away because they're too fast for most Daemons to catch them.

Black Templars
Ahh, the good old Black Templars. The codex is still held afloat by their Furious Charging, Prefered Enemy assault terminators and their ability to spam land raider crusaders. If you can handle the LRCs, you win. If you can't, you lose.

Daemonhunters
With DH you pretty much have to go down the route of LRC-spam. Sometimes an IG platoon is included for bubblewrap and additional firepower. The classic smoke launchers (weapons can only glance) are a nice bonus and DH get a better crusader for 258 points than marines get for 275.

Necrons
The Crons are still kept alive by 3 units, The Deceiver, Monoliths and Scarabs. Those three units are fantastic, while the rest of the codex is pretty much crap. The Crons have some glaring weaknesses in the tournament metagame. Among other things, they cannot deal with lash+oblit chaos or seer coucils.

Tau Empire
I like the Tau a lot but they really got screwed by 5th edition. While they can pump out a lot of firepower, it isn't enough to beat the really shooty armies like IG, CSM and Eldar. It's also very easy to pin them down in a corner, because they have no counter-charge units (kroot are too weak) and no real way to move out and capture objectives. The whole army suffers from morale problems so you'll often see vast amounts of units run off the board after taking a few casualties. BS3 is a big problem, along with lack of psychic defense. They need a new codex badly.

Dark Angels
Dark Angels are like codex space marines, minus everything fun and interesting. Their assault termies suck, they have crappy psychic powers, no chapter tactics and everything is 10% more expensive. Their only good unit is the AV14 land speeder. While awesome, it doesn't compensate for the rest of the codex. Their bikers can get a first turn charge but for 40-50 points per model it isn't worth it.

Part II will answer the comments and explain why I don't like the tier system and a couple other details.

Monday, May 31, 2010

MOM Playing... Blood Angels?

So a buddy of mine has 3 razorbacks (TL-Las), 3 rhinos, 2 predators, a dreadnought, 1 LRC, 2 Godhammer LRs, 3(?) speeders, and a bunch of tactical marines that he is selling. I could get some of these for pretty cheap and I'm wondering if I should make a Marine army out of them. It would probably be Blood Angels since they do mech the best IMO.

I'm very tempted, but I still have to finish my Orks. Someone needs to talk me out of it. lol

BTW I hope to be posting some pictures of my Necrons and my WIP Orks. My explanations for the codex rankings should be out within the next couple days, and I plan on doing a comparison between the SW and BA codices. Then I have to get back to work on the Necron tactica.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Here is what I have to deal with

This is one of two GTs being held here in Vancouver this summer: http://astronomi-con.com/

Here is the main part that I'll copy and paste from the site.

The tournament is scored out of 200 points as follows:
78 points - Game Play
60 points - Sportsmanship
30 points - Appearance
20 points - Composition
10 points - Army List
2 points - Bonus for submitting your Army List prior to the event.
 
5th Edition Warhammer 40k Rules will be used. 

 If the Codex is available for your army you must use it and have it with you during all games, along with your army list for use as a reference.

Some Chapter Approved articles may be used. You must have the Chapter Approved book or the White Dwarf magazine with these rules with you if you want to use them in your games. See the FAQ page for a complete list of all approved additions.
Vehicles from the Imperial Armour books will be allowed.

Note: You are still limited to a single Force Organization chart for your army - so no Super-Heavy vehicles are allowed.

 Special Characters WILL be allowed.

 
The rules for Flyers in the Apocalypse expansion book WILL be used.

 VDR vehicles are being allowed - subject to the approval of the organizers. Stats and photos of your VDR creations must be submitted for approval no later than one month prior to the event. Email the stats and photos of your VDR creations to: vdr@astronomi-con.com. VDR creations should be added to your army to enhance its theme - not for the purposes of power-gaming. The organizers reserve the right to disallow any VDR entry deemed to be inappropriate.


Now I wouldn't have a problem with this if there were real tournaments held in Vancouver, but there aren't. If I want to go to Vegas I have to qualify at either this or at the Conquest GT (which hasn't posted its rules online yet). I have my fingers crossed that the Conquest tournie will be legit.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Monolith vs. Heavy Destroyers (long)


The main question I have been asked about my Necron list is why I use Monoliths. With Necrons you basically have two options for ranged anti-tank: Heavy Destroyers and Monoliths. I am going to explain why the Monolith is better. I'll be using the example of 3 Heavy Destroyers for 195 points against one Monolith for 235 points. It's a 40 point difference which is big but it doesn't make up for the immense difference in usefulness between the two units.

Offensive Efficiency

The three destroyers will of course hit their target on average two shots out of three. Personal experience and some quick math tells me the Monolith will hit an average sized vehicle about two thirds of the time. A lot of people are hung up on the fact that you have to roll to scatter, but it's really not that bad at all.

Now, penetrating the vehicle. We will assume that the target is AV12-14, because FA Destroyers can handle anything below that. Both units have Str9 weapons, but the Particle Whip is Str9 Ordnance which is better than Str10 against anything aside from AV14. So here's the math per hit (rounded to the nearest percent):

G=glance, P=penetration
    AV                     Heavy Destroyers                 Monolith
     12                        P50%, G17%                  P75%, G9%
     13                        P33%, G17%                  P55%, G11%
     14                        P17%, G17%                  P31%, G14%

The relative strength of the Monolith goes up the higher the AV of your target, which is important because they are generally the most dangerous and therefore need to be gotten rid of the quickest.

Now, the most important thing which is overlooked by many because it cannot be expressed by math: cover saves. It's very easy for your opponents to get cover from the Heavy Destroyers, which negates half their shots. On the other hand, it's pretty much impossible to get cover from the 'Lith's shots without smoke or disruption pods because the guns are mounted so high up. Remember, the roof of a vehicle is still part of the front/side/rear arc.

Then there is AP1. We all know how awesome that is, so I won't go into it any further. When you consider all of these factors in together, it becomes obvious that the Monolith is more efficient at destroying AV12-14 vehicles.

Survivability

So now that we've taken a look at offense, we have to consider the other side of the coin. Survivability helps out your offense in the end because the longer a unit stays alive, the more it'll get to shoot and therefore it'll kill more. It also increases the chances of the unit helping out in the end game contesting objectives and such.

When it comes to survivability, the comparison isn't even remotely close. 6 Heavy Destroyers (the correct amount if you've decided to take them) will not last through the first shooting phase against anyone who knows what they're doing. Then once they've done that, you have no anti-tank. The Monolith being destroyed by shooting is very rare, and it's only weakness is Str10 (and that's not even a weakness; it's the same as other vehicles against it). Against Str10, it's still much better off than the HDs.

Duality

Heavy Destroyers have very little purpose outside of vehicle and MC killing. Admittedly, these are very common in the current metagame. The monolith, however, is at home killing hordes of infantry, MEQs, any multi-wound T4 squads, bunched up MCs and of course vehicles. It is in fact a very good example of duality in 40k.

Here's one tactic I love to use against disembarked troops. I first learned this trick using Tau Hammerhead submunitions but it works even better with the Monolith. So let's say some veterans just hopped out of their Chimera to plasma some destroyers. First off, this is a bad idea on the IG players part. First rule of 5th edition is Never Disembark. Obviously there are exceptions, but I'm rambling. Let's say it was some Fire Dragons because the decision to disembark is more reasonable (still a bad one though). So what I'll do is place the centre of the blast template on the vehicle such that it also covers all of the recently disembarked infantry. Then if I can potentially take out two units in one shot. While it may seem obvious, the amount of players who haven't considered this tactic is astounding.

Other In-Game Uses

The most important reason why I use the Monolith is the synergistic effect it has with the rest of my army. I am going to go into this in detail in my further Necron tactica posts, but I will summarize it here. The Monolith can block assaults and LOS. Against shooty armies, keeping the Golden Boy alive is critical and the only way to do this is to plop the monoliths down in between him and the Lascannons while they advance into the midfield. If I didn't have the assault-blocking capabilities the Monoliths provide, you can bet I would Phase Out a lot more.

The Monolith's portal is critical to keeping your Necrons alive and safe. I generally don't use the portal unless they're stuck in combat or I have like 8 warriors in WBB position. Sometimes I portal them onto an objective late in the game. There are more uses which I will go into in later posts.

Heavy Destroyers can perform none of the above roles. They bring very little to the army aside from killing power. They can run away from things faster than Monoliths, but Monoliths don't need to run away from anything. They have longer range, but pretty much everything is going to be in range of a Monolith on first turn anyway. They can constest objectives, but not as well as a Monolith due to tank shocking.

All in all, the Heavy Destroyer can be a fun choice in a Destroyer Wing army, but if you want to play competitively the Monolith is your only option.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Codex Power Ranking

Here is how I would rank the various codices in terms of how powerful they are. This assumes equal scenarios, player skill and luck (something that is obviously impossible). This also assumes that each codex is using an optimized list.

Imperial Guard
Space Wolves
Blood Angels
Eldar
Orks
Space Marines
Chaos Space Marines
Witch Hunters
Dark Eldar
Tyranids
Chaos Daemons
Black Templars
Daemonhunters
Necrons
Tau Empire
Dark Angels

One thing to keep in mind is that these codices are all capable of winning. As I said in "The Importance of the Army List", I firmly believe that skill, luck, scenario and matchup have a greater impact on the game. I am not really a fan of the tier system because no two armies are exactly equal in power. I like the best-to-worst list better.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Direction 40k is Headed

So fifth edition has been out for almost 2 years now and players have, for the most part, adjusted to the changes. It is a very different game from third and fourth edition, but then again that should be expected when editions change. Otherwise we would just be wasting our money on a new rulebook. Though I have a strong dislike of True LOS, you have to take the good with the bad, and pretty much all the other rules changes were for the better. So anyway, this post is about what trends we are seeing with the most recent codex releases, and judging by these trends, what the future codices will hold in store for us.

The Alpha Strike
This concept has been around for a long time but it has never been as prominent as it was following the release of the Imperial Guard codex. With vehicles that could shoot d3 STR10 ordnance blasts mounted on an open-topped 12/10/10 hull, it was crucial to get first turn, because they are so easy to kill. This is the epitome of a glass hammer. The idea behind the Alpha Strike is that your first shooting phase cripples the enemy enough that they don't have enough left alive to come back and win the game. It's disliked by many, but this is a perfectly valid strategy. It was perpetuated by Darkwynn's win of 'Ard Boyz 2009. Now I'm not going to get into whether or not his list is good or the ensuing flamewar between BoLS and the Voldomort of 40k, but the main thing that this win proved was the effectiveness of the Alpha Strike army.

Manipulation of Reserves
One of the best counters to the alpha strike is to keep everything off the board. GW has realized this, so they have added ways to manipulate reserve rolls in order to have an advantage against the alpha strike. Now, someone can put their entire army in reserve and come in on 2+. Not only that, but their entire army can be deep striking and outflanking. This means they will be in your face immediately, not coming on peacemeal like they otherwise would. I love this new game dynamic because it changes the way we think from, "I line up on my side, you line up on yours, and we blast away" to a much more complex battlefield because there are so many more options. Fritz's Null Deployment strategy is a good example of this.

The Other Stuff
But MOM, what about all the new psychic powers and cheap transports? Aren't those changes just as big? Well, yes, they are. But in a different way. Mech and Psykers are just two examples of how to do well in the alpha strike game. They are tools which help complete the task of winning. In other words, it cannot be said that psykers or mech are ways of playing, but it can be said that alpha strike and reserving everything are.

In short, the game is becoming very dynamic, and it is most certainly not Fantasy's retarted little brother. Once all the codices are updated (HA! yeah right), the game will be very interesting and I can't wait.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Yep, 5/5, cinco de mayo. Today's mon anniversaire. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the blog; I haven't been posting a lot lately but I intend for that to change.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Necrons Tactics Against Assault Armies

My Necrons tend to fare very well against assault armies. For the most part, this is because they have to come towards me or I will shoot them up. Coming towards me means they have to go through the Deceiver, something very few units can do. Being an assault-based army means they do not have the capability to do a high amount of significant damage in the shooting phase. Of course, most assault armies still have some shooting, but generally it's not going to make a big difference.

Whether I want first turn or not depends on my opponent's army. If I am worried that they have enough fast, hard assaulty units or the primary is Kill Points then I will take first turn for the alpha strike. Usually I will take second turn so I can react to their deployment and refuse a flank. Having second is great for last turn portalling warriors onto objectives.

So let's start with deployment. I will want to place the Deceiver and Monoliths as far forward as possible so they can get into the action ASAP. These units are not really worried about shooting. The scarabs will go behind them for the cover save. I put my warriors in a place where they will be useful later in the game, so basically on an objective or somewhere safe. I place my Destroyers somewhere safe where they will be able to get good lines of sight to priority enemy units.

One more thing to mention regarding deployment. When you set up warriors (or any static shooty unit for that matter) you don't want to set up like this:

X is one squad, O is another.

XXXXX OOOOO
XXXXX OOOOO

This leaves you vulnerable to multi-assaults. It's better to set up like this:

OOOOOOOOO
XXXXXXXXXX

This way they can only assault one squad at a time, meaning it essentially takes them twice as long to kill my guys. While it may not seem like much, this one-turn delay can completely change a game.

When the game starts my opponent will most likely move his models forward. On my turn I turbo-boost my scarabs forward to tarpit a unit that I know I will not be able to kill this turn. This tactic is less effective against flying units like jump pack marines but it still works (more tactics on this later). Monoliths and Deceiver move forward. Getting charged is a non-issue for the Deceiver because he can just leave combat if he wants to. Monoliths, destroyers and maybe warriors shoot at whatever needs to be shot.

Second turn my opponent is likely to charge the scarabs, deceiver and/or monoliths. If he had any units capable of killing the monoliths then I would have wrapped my scarabs around my monoliths to block the charge. When considering if the deceiver should leave combat, sometimes it's not about whether the deceiver can beat the unit, but how long he'll take to beat it. You want to be moving around to use the deceiver for maximum efficiency. In my turn I will shoot some more, then I charge the Deceiver into whatever target seems the most threatening. There are some units which the golden boy needs to avoid (seer council, massed poisoned weapons, etc). These will need to be delayed or taken out using shooting.

At this point, I'm either doing clean-up duty, or I'm trying to get as many bonus points as possible or maybe pull out a draw, and everywhere in between. A note about phase out: assault armies should never phase me out because 1/3rd of my Necrons are destroyers, and they are too fast to be assaulted by almost any assault unit. So even if I lose all my warriors (which should only happen in Annihilation), I can still avoid phase out. This is obviously something I'd like to avoid if possible, but sometimes I don't have a choice.

Next up: Necrons vs. Shooty Armies

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Possible Reconfiguration of my Ork List

This was my previous 1500 Ork list that I was planning to bring to the summer GTs:

HQ
[103] Big Mek w/ Shokk Attack Gun, Bosspole, Ammo Runt
[103] Big Mek w/ Shokk Attack Gun, Bosspole, Ammo Runt

Elites
[225] 15 Lootas
[225] 15 Lootas

Troops
[170] 20 Ork Boyz w/ 2 Big Shootas; Nob w/ Power Klaw, Bosspole
[170] 20 Ork Boyz w/ 2 Big Shootas; Nob w/ Power Klaw, Bosspole
[49] 13 Gretchin + Runtherd
[49] 13 Gretchin + Runtherd

Heavy Support
[135] 3 Killa Kanz w/ Grotzookas
[135] 3 Killa Kanz w/ Grotzookas
[135] 3 Killa Kanz w/ Grotzookas

Total: 1499 Points

This is my revised list:

HQ
[225] Ghazhkull Thrakka

Elite
[225] 15 Lootas
[225] 15 Lootas

Troops
[190] 25 Boyz w/ Sluggas & Choppas; Nob w/ Power Klaw, Bosspole
[190] 25 Boyz w/ Sluggas & Choppas; Nob w/ Power Klaw, Bosspole
[40] 10 Gretchin + Runtherd

Heavy Support
[135] 3 Killa Kans w/ Grotzookas
[135] 3 Killa Kans w/ Grotzookas
[135] 3 Killa Kans w/ Grotzookas

Total: 1500 Points


The new list gets rid of the Shokk Attack Guns (they were useless for me) and adds more assault capability with Ghazzie and the large choppa boy squads. The new list has better anti-mech because of Ghazhkull, while still retaining the anti-infantry cheesiness of the Grotzookas. By the way, 'zookas are amazing. They absolutely slaughter any type of infantry, and with STR6 and multiple shots they make rhinos very uncomfortable.

So I'm gonna be testing this version of the list out and I'll see how it goes. I've played it twice so far with one win and one draw. Opinions?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Necrons Introduction

Behold, part one of my "how I play Necrons" tactica. I hope there are some Necron players out there reading this because I feel the army is underrated and I have seen lots of Necron players struggling because they don't know the basics of the army.

In case anyone missed it, here's my 1750 list:

-Deceiver
-10 Warriors
-10 Warriors
-5 Destroyers
-5 Destroyers
-10 Scarab Swarms
-Monolith
-Monolith

It can be changed to go up in points, but it's very difficult to go down. It works best at 1750 though.

The Necron codex is very old, and it was designed for a different type of game. 5th edition nerfed glancing hits which was previously the main way for Necrons to hunt vehicles. So with that in mind, vehicle hunting is made more difficult with Necrons but they can still be very good at it. Foot armies actually give me more trouble than mech armies.

A quick look through the Necron will show you that the codex as a whole is overcosted. IMO there are precisely three units in the army that are priced about right: Deceiver, Tomb Spyders, and Monoliths. There is one unit that is in fact undercosted and that is Scarabs. Look at equivalent units from other codices such as Rippers and it is really no contest. In fact I would go so far as to say Scarabs are the best bubblewrap unit in the game and I intend to go into that in detail later.

The rest of the units in the book are overcosted. There are, of course, varying degrees of overcostedness. Destroyers and Immortals are tolerable, while Wraiths are just ludicrous. But we have to make due with what we've got. Having an army with such a low model count has a few perks though. You will always have room to spread out your models (making blasts less efficient), or alternatively you can castle them up in a corner.

The Monolith is a very unique vehicle. It is nigh invincible against a lot of armies because a lot of people rely entirely on Meltaguns. Combine this with its huge footprint and LOS-blocking ability and you have a powerhouse that will protect your models from both assault and shooting. The portal is also very handy and I could write pages about it alone.

Essentially, my Necron army works by baiting my opponent into trying to Phase Out my 'Crons, and ignoring the objectives. Then I go to work glancing their vehicles and killing a few things here and there with the Monoliths. Meanwhile, the Deceiver goes to town in CC and by the time my opponent realizes they can't phase me out, it's too late. This also reveals something about how to beat Necrons. When you face Necrons, especially in a Massacre/Major/Minor tournament, the instinctual response is to go for Phase Out. Against a good player this generally isn't smart. As the interwebz always says: play the mission, not the man.

Next up, Part II: Necrons vs Shooty Armies

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Necron Tactica Incoming

I'm currently working on an all-encompassing Necron tactica. It's not going to be about what you should take in your list or stuff like that, but rather it's just how I play my Necron army. I'm planning on it being 7 parts, laid out like this:

Part I: General Ideas & Strategies
Part II: Against Shooty Armies
Part III: Against Assault Armies
Part IV: Annihilation Strategy
Part V: Seize Ground Strategy
Part VI: Capture and Control Strategy
Part VII: Dawn of War

The reason why I'm doing Dawn of War but not the other deployment types is because DoW is played totally differently from the other two deployments. So the entire tactica is pretty much centered around Pitched Battle and Spearhead and then the last post will describe how the game differs in DoW.

Again, I have been quite busy lately so it might take me a long time to write this up, but I promise it will be done.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Suggestions?

I've been pretty busy lately so I haven't had much time to post. I've been meaning to get around to discussing Blood Angels but I haven't played as many games against them as I would have liked. I know I'm just another dude on the Interwebz, but is there anything you would like to know my opinion about?

I'm on the fence about whether or not I want to go to 'Ard Boyz this year. Doing so would mean I would have to convert a bunch of warriors into immortals, something I don't really want to do. It's really time-consuming and I have enough on my plate with the Orks as it is.

So I guess this is just an update to let people know I'm alive... yeah.........

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

1750 Necrons vs Tyranids Battle Report

I was asked to post battle reports of my Necrons. I haven't played any games with them in since the Battle Missions tournament (I'm gonna be playing Orks until August), but here's one I wrote on Dakka about a month ago. This basically shows my usual tactics against a Deep Striking army.

Tyranids
- The Swarmlord
- Flyrant w/ Hive Commander + other stuff (made no difference)
- Doom of Malan’Tai + spore
- 3 Zoanthropes + spore
- 3 Zoanthropes + spore
- 9 Genestealers w/ toxin sacs + Broodlord
- 9 Genestealers w/ toxin sacs + Broodlord
- 9 Genestealers w/ toxin sacs + Broodlord

Setup
Mission was Annihilation; deployment was Spearhead. I won the roll for first, and I considered giving it up because I was predicting he would put everything in reserve, but in the end I decided to take first.

Deployment
The quarter I chose was on the left side of the board. I deployed everything as far away from the short table edges as possible because I didn’t want to get roflpwned by his genestealers outflanking. Monoliths were close to the center; warriors and C’tan behind them with the Scarabs slightly to the left. Destroyers were lined up on my table edge right behind my warriors.

He kept everything in reserve as I had predicted. Stealers outflanking, Swarmlord walking on and everything else was deep striking.

Turns 1&2 – Necrons
I shuffled my models into a piece of area terrain about 3 inches off my table edge. Monoliths in front, C’tan and warriors surrounded by scarabs with my destroyers in the back, right along my table edge. All the jetbikes had turbo-boosted for the 3+ cover (2+ for scarabs). I left a big hole in the warriors to bait the Doom to DS there, then get killed by Big D.

Turn 2 – Tyranids
Everything came in from reserve. Swarmlord moved and ran forward. All of his stealers came in on my left in a big horde. The Zoanthropes dropped about 12” in front of my monoliths. His tyrant landed about 9” forward/left of my army. He would need to be killed next turn. DoM took the bait and landed right in the middle of my warriors, taking off 2 scarab wounds, then dropping its psychic power pie plate instant-killing 4 swarm bases (I forgot to take cover saves lol). The zoanthropes shoot at my monoliths, destroying one.

Turn 3 – Necrons
I turbo-boost my remaining scarab I shuffle my Necrons around a bit, getting my destroyers into LOS of the tyrant. My surviving monolith moves forward. DoM takes a wound off my C’tan. My shooting goes fantastically. The flyrant goes down to destroyer fire, while the Doom’s pod is killed by my warriors’ mass rapid-firing. Then I shoot my monolith’s pie plate at the left zoies. I hit and wound all three, and he fails all three invulnerable saves in some awesome luck. The Deceiver kills the Doom in assault. 4 KPs in one turn, not bad!

Turn 3 – Tyranids
At this point it’s an uphill battle for him. He has 3 Genestealer squads on the left, 1 Zoanthrope squad, the Swarmlord and 2 spores. Basically in this turn he moved and ran his Swarmlord forward, Zoies whiff on the Monolith, and his genestealers kill my scarab roadblock.

Kill Points – Necrons: 4, Tyranids: 2

Turn 4 – Necrons
I have not lost a single Necron model yet, so things are looking good. I portal my left warrior squad through the monolith to get them out of charge range of the Stealers and into Rapid Fire range of the Swarmlord. The Swarmlord has moved to within charge range of the Deceiver, so I move forward for the epic fight. I move my Destroyers out of charge range from the Genestealers, failing one DT test. They pop off some shots at one stealer squad, reducing it to just the Broodlord. Portalled warriors rapid fire the Swarmlord, taking off 2 wounds. Then the C’tan charges the Swarmlord taking off one wound while remaining fine himself.

Turn 4 – Tyranids
His Genestealers all move towards my army but nothing is in charge range. My opponent shoots his zoies at my ‘Lith and does no damage. I believe his shooting at the Monolith was a mistake because my warriors were all huddled up together after going through the portal and he could have blasted them with AP3. My deceiver leaves combat.
Kill Points – Necrons: 4, Tyranids: 2

Turn 5 – Necrons
My downed destroyer which had failed DT gets back up. Then, when I move to get in LOS of his swarmlord & zoies, I fail 3 out of 5 DT tests. I kill his Swarmlord and a spore from shooting and kill his Zoanthropes in CC with the deceiver. I had placed my Warriors so that his last spore and my one monolith were blocking his stealers from charging.

At this point he concedes, as none of his stealers are in charge range. Kill Points were 7-2 for the Necrons, and there was no way for him to phase me out as I had not lost a single “Necron” model aside from the 3 destroyers in WBB mode.

Post-game Thoughts (written a while ago but still applicable)
This game has reinforced my opinion on the ‘nids: they are not very good. Doom of Malan’Tai is useless against Necrons, and I was prepared for his all-reserve strategy. The Swarmlord did not fit into his list. If you want to start in reserve with ‘Nids, you need to have everything deepstriking, not some deepstriking, some outflanking and some walking on. If you do the latter it will be easy for an experienced opponent to kill you in bite-sized chunks. The all-deepstriking ‘Nid army is powerful purely for the shock factor, and if you have never played against it before then it can be pretty tough. However I have played several games against drop ‘Nids so I knew what to expect and I was not surprised by anything so this game was a breeze.

So to sum things up, ‘Nids should be deployed on the table and run across. However, it is very difficult for them because they lack the speed to get into the assault quickly and they still lack long ranged anti-tank (tyrannofex is not points-efficient). Another thing that I think is quite important is that ‘Nids have no way to tank shock (or do anything similar). The tank shock move is so underrated and without the ability to tank shock troops off an objective the codex will struggle in objective games.

Comment away...

Monday, April 5, 2010

My 1750 Necron List

I tend to reference my Necrons a lot when I'm writing, here it is just so everyone knows what it is.

HQ
[300] The Deceiver

Troops
[180] 10 Warriors
[180] 10 Warriors

Fast Attack
[250] 5 Destroyers
[250] 5 Destroyers
[120] 10 Scarab Swarms

Heavy Support
[235] Monolith
[235] Monolith

Total: 1750 Points

Basic tactics are the monoliths and C'tan advance to kill things, while the warriors and destroyers stay back and shoot at anything that needs to be softened up before the C'tan roflpwns it. Scarabs are my main bubblewrap. Monoliths are mainly anti-tank but they also block assaulters or LOS, portal my warriors out of close combat or onto objectives.

FWIW, I have 30 models so I Phase Out when I have 7 models left, but in ~30 games with this list I've only Phased Out once against "Leafblower" IG when they got first turn. I've come close many times, but that was the only actual phase out. My most recent tournament I played against triple-Land Raider SM, which I won by a Massacre victory; then dual-Lash + oblits, which I won by another Massacre, then a Minor Loss to Mech IG.

I intend to post pictures soon, after I fix the Deciever's broken arm and head.

The Importance of the Army List

As interwebz players, we have all seen countless army lists and the discussions which revolve around them. I would actually say that I see more discussion of army lists than tactics. This is interesting because, for the most part, I would say tactics are much more influential in the outcome of a game than lists are. I don't like to toot my own horn, but I do very well in local tournaments with my Necrons against tough lists. Furthermore, I rarely come away from a game thinking I played perfectly but I lost solely because I was playing Necrons.

Yet, we still discuss army lists much more than tactics. Why is that? The answer is quite simple: it's easier to talk about army lists than it is to talk about tactics. With army lists, you have the list written out in front of you, and you have your codex which tells you your alternative options. There is no abstract thinking required. Now, I'm not saying building good lists is easier than playing, I'm saying they are easier to discuss. Tactics, on the other hand, require abstract thought in order to talk about. You need to be able to imagine and visualize the models on the table, the distance between units, and the terrain. This can be very difficult if there are no pictures provided, especially when you get into complex situations.

I like to think of the player and army list as a contruction worker and his tool kit. Take Mike Holmes from the TV show Holmes on Homes (if you haven't seen it Mike Holmes is a beast at renovation) for instance. Now let's say someone gave me a brand new, top-quality kit of tools, and gave Mike Holmes an old crappy one. I'm sure Mike Holmes could still do any renovation job ten times better than I could. This is because he knows how to use what he has to build something.

But where am I going with this? Think of Necrons as the old crappy tool kit, and Mech IG as the brand new one. They both have similar tools (anti-tank, anti-infantry, counter-assault etc.) but the IG list's tools are newer and better. However, a good player will make due with what he has, and the difference between the IG list and the Necrons is actually very small IMO (maybe 10-15% in power).

There is one big exception to this, however. That is if the list is entirely lacking in one area, or it has so little that what it has can be killed very easily. Let's say it has no anti-tank, then that makes a huge difference. Again, going back to the tool kit metaphor, if you give Mike Holmes a tool kit but you don't give him any nails, he won't be able to build much, no matter how skilled he is. Similarly, if he doesn't have any spare tools and one of them breaks (killed by your opponent in 40k terms), he won't be able to do what that tool did.

Every codex in the game is able to build a list with enough tools to compete. Some have very few tools for certain jobs, and some have only one good set of tools (Dark Eldar). Some have extra 'bonus' tools (psychic hoods, RoW etc.) but in the end I think too much emphasis is put on the army list. Some people build a list and don't playtest and then go to a tournament expecting to win with it. Then they get owned. This happened a lot at Adepticon with people using the SW Razorback spam list. Ignoring the fact that that list is not nearly as good in real games as it is on paper, people just took it without practicing and tweaking their list (it's always a good idea to try out different things in lists), and they got destroyed as a result.

So what do you guys think? Am I just crazy and the army list is more important than I believe? Does it depend a lot on luck? Also, do you have experiences of you or others using lists that everyone thinks is gonna get smashed and then does really well?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My Thoughts on the Adepticon Cheating Controversy

Immediately after Adepticon ended, Tastytaste from Blood of Kittens posted that he had video evidence of cheating. A week later, he posted 3 unclear videos, saying they were evidence of cheating. I think this was a very weak attempt at trying to get attention.

Then, Tim posted this. I don't know about anyone else, but I fully believe this is sincere. He forfeited his Vegas ticket which was a very big thing for him to have done. I think Tastytaste owes Tim an apology.

I want to talk about the topic of cheating. If you see it happening you should immediately take action. Don't stare at your feet, don't take out your video camera. First what you have to do is make sure you are correct. Think the situation over for a minute and if you are confident then call the guy on it. If he persists, bring a judge over. IMO there are two main reasons why people don't do this:

a) Intimidation - This is a factor for some people, but it's really an irrational fear. I have never even heard of a situation where someone actually physically attacked another player. That would be assault and he could go to jail for it. I have experienced many times the threat of violence, heck someone threatened to punch me at a tournament a while ago when we were on the top table. But these threats never actually materialize and if you're afraid of someone you just have to get over it. I'm a skinny 5'9" guy and if intimidation has never been a problem for me it shouldn't for you.

b) People unsure of the rules - A lot of times people are not clear on the rules and this leads them to be more trusting of their opponents. They might think their opponents are making a mistake but are unsure if they are right about the rules, so they don't bother to bring it up. It's very important to learn the rules of the game inside and out so these things don't happen. I know the rules better than the back of my hand and it really helps.

If I'm in a situation where I think my opponent is doing something wrong, I do not interrupt them and I open up to the relevant rules. However, I do this such that I can keep one eye on my opponent and watch what they are doing. If I am correct, I show my opponent. If I'm wrong, I put my rulebook away and no harm has been done.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

1500 Shooty Orks GT List

HQ
[103] Big Mek w/ Shokk Attack Gun, Bosspole, Ammo Runt
[103] Big Mek w/ Shokk Attack Gun, Bosspole, Ammo Runt

Elites
[225] 15 Lootas
[225] 15 Lootas

Troops
[170] 20 Ork Boyz w/ Shootas, 2 Big Shootas; Nob w/ Power Klaw, BP
[170] 20 Ork Boyz w/ Shootas, 2 Big Shootas; Nob w/ Power Klaw, BP
[49] 13 Gretchin + Runtherd
[49] 13 Gretchin + Runtherd

Heavy Support
[135] 3 Killa Kanz w/ Grotzookas
[135] 3 Killa Kanz w/ Grotzookas
[135] 3 Killa Kanz w/ Grotzookas

Total: 1499 Points

SAG Meks attach to the grotz. Boyz run in front of my killa kans to give them cover, while some of the boyz stay behind the kans so they also get cover. The list is very shooty and resilient, but slow. I haven't played it a lot, but in the games I have played with it I have been very successful. I will have a lot of time to practice though because the GTs are in the summer.

When the deffrolla FAQ came out, the interwebz went wild, saying assault Orks are awesome now and much better than shooty orks. I still think assault orks are a decent army at best, but shooty Orks are actually very powerful at low points levels because they have a lot of cheap, resilient units.

Thoughts?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Battle Missions Tournament Game 3

At this point, there were three people who had won all three games. One Lash Chaos, one Orks, and me with Necrons. The Chaos and Orks were paired up against each other while I was paired up with Nathan, who had one draw vs. Cory's Daemons who I played in game 2, and a win against the Chaos player I played against in round one. Now Nathan and I are good friends, and we play each other all the time. In fact, I had played him the day before and beat him in capture and control. We didn't need to exchange lists because we already knew them.

Nathan's list was:

Librarian w/ Bike, Null Zone and Vortex of Doom
Rifleman Dreadnought (2x TL autocannon)
10-man Tactical Squad w/ Flamer, Multi-melta, Power Fist + Rhino w/ Extra Armor
10-man Tactical Squad w/ Flamer, Multi-melta, Power Fist + Rhino w/ Extra Armor
2 Attack Bikes w/ Multi-meltas
2 Attack Bikes w/ Multi-meltas
2 Attack Bikes w/ Multi-meltas
Vindicator
Predator w/ Heavy Bolter Sponsons

Setup
So in this round we roll on the Battle Missions random chart to see what mission we get. We got the Tau Mission "Counter Attack" which is where the player who goes first can only deploy his HS and Troops choices, but they gain the Stealth USR. Deployment is Spearhead, and everything else must enter from the board edges that are not part of either players' deployment zone. The player who goes second can deploy anything. Objective is kill points.

Deployment
He deploys his Vindicator and pred in forests, the vindy was quite far forward. His tactical marines were in their rhinos near his table edge.

I placed my monolith and C'tan forward. I had a crazy plan for this mission. My idea was to line up my guys along his entry point to my left so he had to come in on the opposite side of the board. With this in mind, I packed my scarabs, destroyers and one warrior squad as far to the left as I could. The other warrior squad was behind the C'tan and monolith.

Turn 1
He doesn't move anything. First shot of the game: his vindicator blows up my monolith. His predator downs a destroyer or two but they get back up.

I turbo-boost my scarabs to line up on the table edge to my left. The destroyers and warriors fill in the remaining gaps. Deceiver moves forward. My destroyers get side armor shots on his vindicator, which did not have cover, and they blow it up.

Turn 2
His dreadnought, librarian and one attack bike squad come in from reserves. The libby attaches to the attack bikes. In total his shooting reduces the deceiver to two wounds, and downs 3 destroyers.

One of my destroyers get back up, so there's 3 alive total. I move my deceiver forward and my shooting is useless : (

Turn 3
The rest of his reserves come onto the table, and he focus-fires on the deceiver, killing it.

Now that all of his reserves are on the table, I turbo-boost my scarabs forward so that next turn I can tie up his attack bikes. In shooting, my destroyers pop one of his rhinos.

Kill Points: 2-2

Turn 4
He repositions his stuff, and focus-fires on the scarabs, killing a couple but for the most part their 2+ cover save protects them.

My shooting fails and I charge my scarabs into his bikes.

Turn 5
He charges his tactical squad into the scarabs and one scarab lives through the fight.

My destroyers kill the other rhino, then the last scarab is killed in the assault. Nathan has killed way more stuff than I have, but we're tied in Kill Points at 3 each.

The game continues.

Turn 6
He moves his attack bikes forward and focus-fires my destroyers, killing them.

I move my warriors forward (I've also been moving them forward in the past couple turns). One of his attack bikes took a wound during the CC so I choose them as my target. The first squad of warriors fire at them, reducing it to one two-wound attack bike. Now, my other warrior squad rapid-fires, doing 6 wounds. Nathan makes 5 out of his 6 rolls, meaning the bike survives and the Kill Points score is 4-3.

The game ends.

Postgame
Another close, exciting game. The monolith going down before I could even move was unfortunate, but that's what happens sometimes, and you have to work with what you've got.

In the other game, the Orks stomped the Lash Chaos army. This meant Alex, the Ork player, was the only one with three wins, so he got first place. Nathan, my last round opponent, got second place with 2 wins and a draw. I tied for third with Amin, the Chaos player. Muskie won Best Painted with his Death Guard which has beautiful free-hand on the Land Raider.

One conclusion that I have come to in my experience is that smaller tournaments actually have the potential to be more competitive. Not competitive as in WAAC but rather that the tournament can be run very well and find who the best player is much easier. There were no soft scores at all in this tourney and nobody had any problems with sportsmanship or anything like that. Then again this may have been because most of us were friends. The Best Painted award didn't factor into overall scores but there was a fully painted requirement to enter the tourney. Everyone had nicely painted armies.

The only thing I would have changed is that you should only be allowed to have one list, but I can see the reasoning behind two because some of the Battle Missions are very oddball so it prevents you from getting totally screwed. Also at 1250 you don't really have enough to make a full army so parts will be lacking and having two lists partially solves this problem.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Battle Missions Tournament Game 2

This game I was up against Cory with his beautifully painted Chaos Daemons. I used the same army as round 1, and Cory had:

Great Unclean One
4 Blood Crushers w/ Icon
5 Fiends of Slaanesh
3 Flamers of Tzeentch
7 Plague Bearers w/ Icon
7 Plague Bearers
5 Plague Bearers
Soul Grinder w/ Battle Cannon thing
Soul Grinder w/ Battle Cannon thing

For the mission, I chose Implacable Advance. It was similar to pitched battle, but with 16" deployment zones and a 16" no-man's-land in the middle. An objective was placed in the centre of each deployment zone and one in the centre of the board. However, in order to capture an objective all you need to do is have a scoring unit on it uncontested at the end of that player's turn. The only way for the opponent to take this objective is to get one of their scoring units on it uncontested. Whoever has the most objectives wins. Also, all non-fearless units gained the Stubborn special rule, which was HUGE for Daemons vs Necrons.

Deployment
I placed my monolith in the centre as forward as possible with the deceiver to the left. Warriors behind them in cover, with scarabs to the right of the warriors. Destroyers were behind the warriors, lined up on my table edge.

I got first turn on a roll of 2+ which I made. I didn't have a choice to give my opponent first turn.

Turn 1
I moved my monolith and Deceiver forward and portalled the warriors through the monolith. They captured the centre objective and then ran to spread out.

For his preferred wave, Cory chose a relatively balanced force: 2 Soul Grinders, flamers, fiends and the 7 plaguebearers with the icon. He got his preferred wave.

One soul grinder landed directly in front of my monolith and warriors, while the other one mishapped and was killed. The fiends were to the right of my monolith, and the plague bearers landed on his objective to secure it. His flamers of tzeentch landed on the left near my warriors on my objective. In shooting, his soul grinder killed four warriors from my front squad and his flamers killed a few warriors from the rear squad. My front warriors failed morale and fell back to be near the other warrior squad.

Turn 2
My warriors that had fallen back regrouped. I moved my scarabs to the left so his fiends would be out of charge range in his turn. I moved the monolith and deceiver forward. The monolith was right on top of the centre objective. My warriors rapid-fired his flamers, killing them. My destroyers and monolith killed a couple of fiends.

From his reserves, only the Great Unclean One came in. It landed right next to the scarabs. He would definitely be in charge range of my warriors next turn. Everything else moved towards my army. His soul grinder assaulted my monolith, immobilizing it.

Turn 3
The deceiver moved towards his soul grinder. My scarabs lined up from my table edge to my monolith, blocking his fiends and GUO from my warriors. I began to move my destroyers toward the left corner of the board. I shot at his GUO and reduced it to three wounds. The Deceiver charged into his soul grinder, immobilizing it and taking off both DCCWs.

From his reserves came his Blood Crushers and his 7 plague bearers. The Crushers land to the left of my warriors, within charge range of the Deceiver. His plague bearers landed to the right of my monolith. The GUO charged into my scarabs, killing all but two. The deceiver left combat from the soul grinder.

Turn 4
My warriors shot at the fiends, killing them. My destroyers, who were now in the left corner, killed one bloodcrusher. The Deceiver charged into the Crushers, killing all but one, while the GUO finishes off my scarabs.

The final plague bearer squad comes in from reserve. They land to the left of my warriors, below the Blood Crushers and Deceiver. The rest of his forces are now within charge distance of my warriors. The GUO charges into my eight-man squad nearest to my table edge, while the 7 plague bearers charge into my six-man warrior squad nearest to the monolith. Both remain locked in combat. The Deceiver finishes off the Blood Crushers.

Turn 5
The deceiver charges into combat with the GUO. He lands three hits, and the GUO has three wounds left, meaning I need to roll 3 2+s  to kill it. I roll, and up pop... THREE ONES! The GUO reduces my warrior squad to two models, but they stay in CC. In the other combat, both sides have lost a couple models.

His other plague bearers which had landed last turn charge into combat with the warriors of the top squad near my monolith. They deal a few wounds but I think three warriors stayed alive. In the other combat, the Deceiver was once again unable to kill the GUO, so the GUO finished off my warriors.

So now it came down to the roll to see if the game goes on or not. If the game ends, I win. If it continues, it's about a 90% chance that Cory will phase me out. We give the dice to the store owner who was passing by. He rolls it, the dice rolls through the air, and comes to rest at the foot of the Soul Grinder. The roll is... a two! Necrons take the victory by the skin of their teeth.

Postgame
This is about as close as games get. I had a blast, and I would have still if I had lost. The mission certainly gave me an advantage over a Daemon army. Anyhoo, it was a great game overall and it's games like this that are why I love 40k. The next game was great too.

Next game: Nathan and his Ultramarines!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Battle Missions Tournament Game 1

In the morning, I decided I'm just going to take one list and use it for all three games. The games were played on 4x4 tables. I forgot to bring my camera, so no pictures unfortunately. This was my list:

- Deceiver
- 10 Warriors
- 10 Warriors
- 5 Destroyers
- 8 Scarab Swarms
- Monolith

My round one opponent was Ray, with Chaos Space Marines. He had:

- Slaanesh Daemon Prince w/ Wings, no Lash
- 10 Chaos Space Marines w/ Heavy Bolter, Plasma Pistol, Power Fist
- 10 Chaos Space Marines w/ Heavy Bolter, Plasma Pistol, Meltagun, Power Weapon
- 8 Noise Marines w/ Asp. Champ w/ Power Weapon, heavy weapon + Rhino
- Defiler
- 3 Obliterators

Setup
This round, my opponent got to choose which mission we played. He chose Black Crusade (I think that's what it's called). It's pitched battle with 15" deep deployment zones, and the mission is Kill Points. Any non-vehicle unit goes back into reserve when it is killed. My opponent got first turn.



Deployment
All positions are from my perspective. He deployed his oblits and defiler on the right, the CSM squad with the fist in the middle. His rhino and Daemon Prince lined up forward on the far left of the board, with his CSM squad behind them.

I deployed my Monolith in the centre, as far forward as possible. C'tan to the left of it, and scarabs behind. Destroyers were on my table edge to the left, and my warriors spread out on the right, one squad in front of the other.

Turn 1
He moved everything forward. Shooting was ineffective.

I turbo-boosted my Scarabs in front of my destroyers. C'tan moved toward the Daemon Prince, but it would be out of charge range. My monolith scattered off his rhino, and my destroyers took two wounds off the DP. Warriors killed a CSM.

Turn 2
He moves everything forward again. Shooting takes a wound off the Deceiver. He charges his DP into my deceiver and gets roflpwned.

I turbo my scarabs into the midfield. In shooting I destroy his rhino and 3 Noise Marines. I charge the Deceiver into his Noise marines and kill three, and the last two fail their No Retreat saves.

Kill Points: 3-0 for me.

Turn 3
Once again he moves everything forward. His Noise Marine squad comes in on the right-middle of the table. Shooting does nothing noteworthy.

I line up my scarabs in a wall in front of his oblits, defiler and CSMs. Monolith goes beside them to extend the wall. Shooting reduces his oblit squad to one model, and his right CSM squad to three without the PF champ. Big D charges into his left CSM squad, killing a couple but they stay tied up.

Kill Points: 3-0 for me.

Turn 4
His DP comes in on the left for round II with the Deceiver. The defiler and CSMs are blocked by my Scarabs. Shooting is once again rather useless, so he charges his CSM squad into my scarabs. He kills a couple and they stay tied up. Deceiver leaves combat.

I kill the last obliterator, rest of my shooting whiffs. Deceiver charges into his Daemon Prince and takes off three wounds. My scarabs remained tied up with his CSMs.

Kill Points: 4-0

Turn 5
His oblits come on in the centre. Shooting does nothing noteworthy, so my Deciever takes out the DP in CC.

My shooting also does nothing, but in the assault my scarabs took out his last CSM.

Kill Points: 6-0

Game ends.

Postgame
This game was totally one-sided. Not much input I can add. But don't worry, my next two games are VERY close and exciting, so keep reading.

Next game: Cory and his Chaos Daemons.