Friday, 13 July 2012

Dark Eldar/6th Ed Initial Thoughts

Hello Sir#67 here with my initial thoughts on 6th ed 40K.

So far I've played 3 games, 1 against Guard, 1 against Necrons and 1 against Grey Knights.

I used Dark Eldar in all three games so this post is going to be half 6th ed thoughts, half DE musings with plenty of rambling along the way.

Dark Eldar have undergone some fairly major changes, some good, some bad.

Lets start with the general changes then I'll go through a few units.

Feel no Pain and Cover changes mean that are units are by and large more fragile than they were before. This is offset by the general increase in our offensive output.

Dark Lances and Blasters are ap2 so now get +1 on the damage table. The inclusion of hull points means your anti tank is now fairly reliable and heat lances are out of the park good.

Hull points also mean our tanks can't be taken down by a lucky glance.

2 glancing hits will be the death of your venoms though and in the latter 2 games I found I was playing them alot further back than I was in 5th ed. The the changes to rapid fire ranges this wasn't to much of a problem but the blaster in with the warriors wasn't seeing much use. 16/17 poison shots into something 24" away was interesting though. I think these guys may end up being replaced with wracks.

The wracks have a higher toughness and come with a pain token so can survive life outside of a vehicle, a necessity if I want these squads to be claiming objectives.

Reaver Jetbikes have just gotten better. The changes to turbo boost has increased their speed by a third though they can't bladevane units in the movement phase anymore, which while being situational is something I'll miss. The other side of this is I found myself using the reavers as mobile cover quite often during games.

If there was no viable target for the reavers I'd turboboost them in front of my vehicles as the last act of my shooting phase. 2 Reavers can get a ravenger/venom/raider a 4+ cover save fairly easily.

The Baron led Hellions are still awesome. The reduction in cover saves and feel no pain have hurt a little bit but the rules for hitting vehicles in combat/hull points have made them a great anti tank unit.

All of my previous reservations about beast packs have disappeared and the changes to cover mean the 4++ of the kymere is more valuable. They may make it back into my regular lists but more play testing is required I think.

Seeing as we've covered most of the DE fast attack choices I'll put in my 2 cents about Scourges now.

The main thing I can see myself using them for is a haywire blaster delivery system. They can take 2 for every 5 guys for a decent points cost. The ability to put 2 glancing hits on something with relative ease is quite a potent ability in this edition. Unfortunately they have to compete with alot of good units for their slot.

Whyches got a bit shafted by snap fire but not to badly. An FAQ stating they get their dodge save against this would solve alot of their problems. Strangely with the changes to the vehicle and walker rules Whyches with haywire grenades are now premier dread hunters. Agonizors may be getting swapped out for venom blades and phantasms (defensive grenades now give you stealth if you charge within 8").

Warriors are still pretty decent. Not sure what to say on them really. I've ran a unit of 20 with 2 splinter cannons and a blaster with the Duke and I've really enjoyed it. If the meta shifts to more infantry based armies he might just stay.

I've tried a talos with twin linked haywire blasters and chain snares and to be honest he's been a bit of a let down. He may shine in a more defensive roll but like scourges competes with other great choices in his slot.

Which brings me on to the Ravenger. These guys are even better now, they can still move 12" and fire everything and don't need the flicker field due to the jink rule. I have considered swapping the flicker fields out for night shields but like alot of things in this post I'll have to give it some play testing.

I haven't considered the void raven or razorwing yet so I'm not going to comment on either one though the flier rules open up some interesting possibilities.

I'm not to sure on the new rules yet. There's things I like and things I don't (wheres my full DoA list!!!) but I always said I'd wait until 8 weeks after the first 6th ed codex and that's what I plan to do.

That being said the 40k part of my life has got all sorts of additional competition from Malifaux and Warmahordes (more posts on that to come) so where as I probably wont give up entirely I can see myself scaling back my 40k expenditure/time.

Hope this made for interesting reading, as all ways the above is only my 2 cents. I'll go back and review some HQ choices after a few more games.

Stay classy


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Allies for Tau

Seeing as how my BA armies have been screwed over by 6th ed (controversial I know, but that’s how it feels), I’ve been thinking more about Tau.

In particular I’ve been thinking about Allies.

Seems to me that the Allies system is a perfect way for old codexes to be “boosted” to make them more competitive. As the Tau codex is now the oldest codex, I wonder….

If I were to list the 3 biggest draw backs with a Tau army they are

·         Crappy troops (yes I know fire warriors got a little bit better, but not that much better!)
·         Crappy BS on their elite fire platforms (XV8s being BS3), and
·         Difficulty in dropping heavy infantry without plasma, and only having 2 viable platforms for plasma (XV8s and XV88s), both of which have their issues (XV8s are BS3, XV88s are very static)

I’m sure there are loads of options to boost these, but the 2 armies I know best are Blood Angles and Eldar (used to play Eldar a lot before I played Tau), so these are the ones I’ve been thinking about.

The most obvious one is BA. An allied detachment of a JP Librarian with shield and fear, combined with 2 JP Assault Squads (with priest if points allow) solves the first problem. Giving the assault squads twin plasma guns and the sergeants twin plasma pistols solves the 3rd. Putting plasma on the ASM allows you to put twin linked missile pods on the XV8s, solving the second problem.

However, more interestingly it would allow you to play aggressively, moving forward with your army (ASM covering the suits, suits giving fire support to the ASM) rather than hugging the board edge. A Tau army coming to get you is novel!

The more intriguing option however is Eldar. Run Eldrad as your HQ, with a squad of Rangers (Eldar snipers for those that don’t know). The interesting addition is Eldrad, he brings so much to a Tau army. 

Firstly their is psychic defence. Eldrad has  runes of warding. For those of you who don’t know this forces psychers to roll 3d6 on their psychic test. They then take one wound from perils for every point they roll above 12. There are no saves from perils any more. Oh, except Eldar Farseers who save on a 3+! If your playing Grey Knights laugh as their heads explode, or they glance their Dreadnaughts to death failing fortitude rolls!

Next there is Divination (not the new powers, but Eldrads own special power). This allows him to redeploy d3+1 units right before the game starts. This is pretty huge for Tau.

Finally, there are his psychic powers, and this is where it is really interesting. First up, none of the elder powers work on Tau units. But that’s OK, because Eldrad gets 4 rolls on the Divination table if he swaps out his codex powers. He is also mastery level 3, and (uniquely I think) can cast the same power twice. He has access to the Divination table and another one that isn’t important (!). Go look at the Divination powers. They are awesome for Tau.

The primaris power, Prescience (i.e. the on he is guaranteed to get) allows you to re roll missed to hit rolls – so twin linked fire knives! And because Eldrad can cast it on 2 unit per turn that’s 2 squads of twin linked fire knives.  Foreboding gives Eldrad and his unit counter attack and Overwatch at normal BS.  Perfect Timing allows the unit Eldrad is attached to, to ignore cover. Misfortune forces 1 (or 2) enemy unit to reroll successful saves. Forewarning gives one (or 2) units a 4+ invulnerable save. Only 2 of them are so so – Precognition allows Eldrad to re roll missed hits and wounds, and Scriver's Gaze allows you to re roll reserve rolls. However, because the best one is the automatic one, and he gets 4 rolls on the table, chances are he’ll get the ones you want.

These work so well with a Tau gun line army – Land raider in cover? Cast Perfect Timing on your Broadsides – no more cover. Terminators charging your lines? Cast Prescience on 2 squads of fire knives, and Misfortune on the terminators. Six twin linked plasma rifles, and 6 twin linked missile pods, shooting at the terminators who must re roll their successful saves! That’s one very dead squad of terminators!  Or, my personal favourite – a unit of TH/SS assault terminators is about to charge your Kroot line – cast Foreboding on the Kroot giving them counter attack and overwatch at BS3, cast Prescience on the Kroot allowing them to re roll missed to hit rolls (shooting and combat), and then cast Misfortune on the terminators forcing them to re roll successful saves! On average Overwatch will kill 2 terminators, and assault will kill the rest before they even have a chance to swing! Alternativly cast Forewarning on the Kroot giving them a 4+ invulnerable save. Never seen such a scary pack of Kroot in your life!

The big downside of course is that it does very little to solve the biggest problem with a Tau army – crappy troops! Rangers are OK – they have the sniper rule, and unlike most snipers they rend on 6’s on the To Hit roll – so any precision shot they make is AP2. They also get stealth which is helpful. Upgrading to pathfinders also helps. Their stealth roll bonus is now 2+, and they rend on 5’s and 6’s, but they are still not great. So you will be “stuck” with 2 relatively rubbish back field scoring units (Rangers and Fire Warriors) and as many Kroot squads as you can afford. It’s not terrible, but it’s not great.

I’m going to try both, but I really like the Eldrad option.


Monday, 9 July 2012

2 games into 6th

I’ve now played 2 games of 6th edition and I’m getting  there!

My last game was against Little Geek’s Demons. He tabled me! What did I learn?

Well first, demons got way better in 6th edition!

Flying monstrous creatures are pretty hard core! When Little Geeks FMC’s come in they “swoop”, which means I can only hit them on sixes. When they move they can jump over my vehicles and hit them with a “vectored strike” which is a “sort of” assault. It hits on threes on the side armour. When it lands it can still fire one weapon, or if it’s a Lord of Change with some sort of upgrade thingy, 2 weapons. In one turn Little Geeks Lord of Change swooped over a Baal Predator, knocked off its assault cannon with a vectored strike, landed and then toasted a devastator squad with Breath of Chaos! His blood thirster is also a FMC….. so it is a truly horrible close combat monster, that you can only hit on sixes before it rips you apart….!

Demons can now tear vehicles apart quite easily. Little Geek runs 2 big squads of fiends – so hitting on 3’s, with 6 s5 rending attacks each on the charge, they easily rip apart anything that isn’t AV13+. Fiends are also beasts, so they can catch anything but the fastest vehicles.

It’s not all good for Demons – blood letters and blood crushers are pretty weak now (hell blades being AP3), but who cares when you have fiends!

And that made me think about how weak vehicles are now. Much has been made of hull points weakening them, and that’s true. But the really weakness I think is how vulnerable they are in assault. Now you hit them on 3’s rather than 4’s or 6’s. Couple that with hull points and even a pack of 10 Kroot will tear a rhinos apart no matter how far it moved… (30 attacks on the charge, 20 hits, 9 glances ..hell they could multi charge 2 rhinos and still have a reasonably good chance of killing both of them!) And if the Kroot wrap around the rhino before they charge it…..the contents are dead as well!

The other problem is the inability to charge on the turn you disembark even if you haven’t moved, and even if you have been blown out your transport. The earliest you will every be able to charge anything out a rhino is turn 3, and only then after hanging around for a turn getting shot at, assaulted and allowing your “target” to get out the way.

And to top it all you can’t claim an objective while inside a vehicle, nor can a vehicle contest.

Anybody who ran a mechanised army will have to radically rethink how they do it.  A few thoughts

·         Razorbacks are now backfield support units. The last thing you want to do is move them forward into assault range. Arming them with twin linked heavy flamers is now pretty pointless, and assault cannons questionable. In this role they are perhaps stronger as they are harder to stun.
·         I’m struggling a bit to see a role for Rhinos – moving forward with them is now pretty dangerous, but staying in the back filed is pretty pointless. Over 200 points to shoot a heavy and a special out the top hatch. Not exactly points efficient.
·         Chimeras are better because they have the 4 firing hatches – but hull points, and a 5+ cover save effect them too – auto cannons and XV8s with missile pods will strip them of hull points pretty quickly (on average 6 deathrain XV8s will kill a chimera!).
·         Putting anything in a transport you might want to use in assault (unless it’s open topped or has an assault ramp) is pretty pointless. For blood angels 5 man assault squads used to be a cheap scoring upgrade for a razorback, with a melta gun (maybe with an infernos pistol on the sergeant), who, if you gave the sergeant a power weapons, and there was a priest hanging around, were OK in assault, particularly if you teamed up with another 5 man squad. Seems to me there is just no point in thinking this way anymore.
·         For marine armies I wonder if we’ll see the resurgence of the tactical squad? The ability to combat squad and keep both squads in the rhino increases flexibility. Being able to jump out and rapid fire something over 12 inches away helps, and  8 rapid firing bolt guns, a missile launcher and a plasma gun on overwatch might make you thing twice before you charge them. Is this the new use for Rhino’s?
·         Landraiders become relatively better. Harder to “one shot” and you can assault out of them.
·         Ironically I think predators become better.  While hull points and 5+ cover makes them easier to kill at range, it’s harder to stun lock them so, while they might not last as long, they are more likely to fire to full effect until they die.
·         In a Tau army there is now even less point in bringing hammer heads and fire warriors in devil fish. Disruption pods only give a 5+ save. One of the big advantages of a hammer head over a broadside was the ability to tank shock on to an object to contest it.. not any more! I bought a Devilfish for my fire warriors so they could move forward onto objectives, tank shocking if needs be….not any more!

Hmmmmm……back to the drawing board…!


Friday, 6 July 2012

Stormtallons in 6th

Remember this

"If I could use stormtallons to escourt Stormravens in my BA army, that would be awesome"

Well, guess what, with Allies now I can. Take a a primary Codex marines detachment with 3 stormtallons and some bikes as troops. Then add a BA allies detachment with an HQ, a stormraven, some death company and a death company dreadnaught. Stormtallons can be attached to a unit and come in on that units reserve roll. The Stormraven has 3 units in it (including the HQ) and is a unit in itself. Attach all 3 tallons to the raven and its contents. Everything comes in on one reserve roll, probably turn 2.

Cool beta strike!


Thursday, 5 July 2012

6th Edition

My first impressions of 6th ed were very positive. I love the allies rules and was very excited about the other changes. However, I played my first game of 6th last night, and I have my doubts!

Now, what follows are my first impressions having played one game – so more or less entirely irrelevant. I need to play a heap more games before I come to a conclusion. A lot of what I’m about to say comes from needing to rethink tried and tested strategies and ways of doing things and I guess that’s what I’m finding frustrating. Now you can argue that that’s all part of the fun of a new edition, and you would be right, but some stuff is just irritating, and makes very little sense.

Here’s 2 things.

First I wanted to bring my Tri Raven list, but I can’t any more. The ravens and their contents must start in reserve. Because I don’t have anything other than the stuff in the Ravens, I can’t comply with the only 50% in reserve rule, so the list just doesn’t work. What’s wrong with being able to keep more than 50% of your force in reserve!

Second (and this is the biggie) I found wound allocation really irritating. Allegedly it stops the wound allocation abuse in 5th. Now I never found that terribly annoying to be honest. Yes Nobs and Paladins were irritating, but that was about it – the way you could allocate wounds on single wound models was mildly annoying, but no big deal. As I read the rules in 6th, it’s open to far more abuse!

Now this may be because I’m doing it wrong, and if you think I am please let me know, but the big problem I see is in units with different armour saves.

As I read the rules in assault, if there is more than one model in base to base with the attackers, the defender gets to choose who he allocates the wounds to first. If there are different armour saves on those models he can allocate all the wounds on the model with the different armour save. The attacker rolls all the dice one after another until that model is dead before moving on to another model. The problem it seems to me is that if there is one model with a tough armour save then all the wounds can be “wasted” on that model before doing anything else.

Last night my buddy had wolf guard terminators in packs of grey hunters. I assaulted them with a BA assault squad, doing about 7 wounds. He rolls them one after another on the terminator and only if he rolls a 1 does he move on to the grey hunters… annoying is that?

Worse,  imagine a biker command squad with a captain in artificer armour. If you allocate all the wounds to the captain he has a 2+ and then a 5+ against everything that isn’t AP2. I’m no math whiz but isn’t that something like 30 wounds before he’s dead, given he has 3 wounds?  Even when the power fists swing he has a 4++ and then a 5+ FNP. Remember he’s T5 now so unless there is something swinging at S10, he will not be insta killed - so he gets all his wounds and his FNP. So it needs something like 10 or so AP2 wounds before he’s dead, so 20+ power fist attacks! A whole squad of power fist terminators! And let’s not forget that once he’s down to his last wound  he can “look out sir” that last AP2 wound to his buddy with the storm shield!

You might say “a ha, but I can challenge him with a sergeant and take him out the combat”, well yes, but if I refuse the challenge, while that takes out his attacks, I can still allocate wounds to him.

If this is right biker command squads are insanely hard. I suspect you could do similar things with Nob bikers – but I don’t know the rules for orks as well.

Please, please tell me I’m getting this wrong, cause if I’m not, this is way, way worse than Paladin wound allocation shenanigans.