Saturday, May 29, 2010

FTW Games

There's a new sheriff in town! And by "sheriff", I mean store, and by "town", I mean Richmond, VA.

It looks like a nice store; I hope some of my more southerly friends check it out.

Not-so-Serious Soap Box: Smoking is bad for your habit.


I'm all for individual freedoms, but I'm all for people realizing the costs of their bad habits. And the bad habit I want to talk about is the big daddy: smoking. I've never smoked myself, beyond the odd bummed clove while drinking. The main reason was that I was too cheap. And smoking is stupid expensive in the long run. Let me illustrate it for you.

One of the fellows on the Freebootaz forum quit smoking for six months, and with his savings, was able to buy the following:

A Chaos Warhound and 2 turbolaser arms
2 Renegade IG Conversion Kits
1 Renegade IG Enforcer kit
1 Renegade IG Priests
2 Shadowsword kits
3 Manticore/deathstrike kits
1 Basalisk Kit

1 Wii

Just think about that amount of stuff. That's just six months after quitting. Don't make the decision for health or whatever else. Make the decision to quit because of the shiny stuff you'll get otherwise.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A breakdown of the 'ard Boyz winners from 38 Tournaments


So, I was looking at Dakka's "How did you do" thread, and I was compiling the results for 38 different tournaments just to get a sense of what I'd be facing in the upcoming semi-finals.

Here's what I found. To get these numbers, I took a look at the winners of the 38 tournaments and assigned 3 quality points to the 1st place winner, 2 quality points to the second place winner, and 1 quality point to the third place winner. I then added the total quality points earned and then divided that total by the total number of times the race placed. For example, the Blood Angels placed 8 times in 38 tournaments, once in 1st (3 points), four times in 2nd (8 points), and thrice in 3rd place (3 points). Divide that by 8 times they appeared nets you an 1.75 quality points.

Here they are broken down in a more raw form:


Nids were surprising, as they placed 19 times out of the 38 x 3 positions available, making them the most populous of all the winners. We'll likely see more of them. Orks were not a surprise, as people were using them to meta the dreaded third scenario. I didn't expect my beloved Blood Angels to fall so low, not did I expect the IG to be so high, considering the internet babble about the death of the Dreaded Leafblower build. The numbers show that people still have trouble with that build.

Also, what the hell are daemons doing there?


I forgot to add the population totals from the orginal post, and I think it's vital to the discussion:

Army Total Population out 114 places

Nids -19 - 16.6%

IG - 13 - 11.4%

Daemons - 5 - 4.4%

Eldar - 6 - 5.3%

Orks - 17 - 14.9%

Wolves - 9 - 7.9%

Dark Eldar - 5 - 4.4%

Tau - 4 - 3.5%

Blood Angels - 8 - 7%

CSM - 10 - 8.8%

Black Templar - 3 - 2.6%

Marines - 9 - 7.9%

Vulkan - 4 - 3.5%

Dark Angels - 1 - .8%

Necrons - 1 - .8%

The numbers just above show raw success regardless of place. These numbers assume that the semi's are your only goal, and that success in reaching them is your only concern. I think that's a poor goal to set. It's far better to choose an army that will allow for greater success. In other words, it's better to be vying for first and just get second than to have to battle it out for third.

Doe you beleive that this trend toward Nid, Ork and IG success was caused by Scenario Three? Or do these scores show people's "first choice" armies?

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Part Three of Stories of the 42nd

Imperial Guard, Photoshop

Continued from Part Two

Lt. Revkin peered over the lip of the trench in a vain search for the hidden snipers. He'd heard of them before from his men. "Always deadly, never seen," had been the words of the Angel Company quartermaster he had been grifting over a game of tarok. The fat bastard was right. I can't get a bead on them. How do you kill an enemy you can't tell apart from the trees... Then it hit him. Ducking down into the trench, he tapped his combead to link him to his driver.

"Chimera 1, Chimera 1, come in! We need those woods torched. Enemy snipers ahead. Repeat, Enemy snipers ahead. Relay word to the 57th, and tell them we need Colossus fire 50 yards forward of your position". The driver's acknowledgment was almost drowned out by the roar of promethium from the Chimera's flamer. "Dyalov, we're moving out to rejoin the others. Keep to the trench." Out of the corner of his eye, Revkin though he caught movement, but when he turned, all he saw was more mud and brambles, lit by the purifying light of the flamer. Making the sign of the Aquila as a protection against evil, he moved on.


Precious good that's gonna do you here, iceboy, thought the collection of brambles. Of course, it's just that kind of blasphemy that got me here in the first place. The smoke from the forest fire began to itch his throat as much as the explosive collar he wore itched his neck. The voice of Penal Sgt. Killgore called out over the combeads he and his fellow Legionnaires wore. "Time to earn your penance, squad. Rejoice in His Mercy. Let's move up and find those snipers." The blasphemer knew that to remind the Sgt. that there was artillery fire coming in would be meaningless. The Sgt. was as dedicated as any Commissar, and merciless as an Ork warboss. Just about as bright, too. Whoever assigned a Catachan Penal Sgt. to a Valhallan regiment must have been one cruel son of a bitch.

The eight of them, the ones that survived the infiltration into the woods, moved cautiously forward. As they advnaced, they gave each other mutual cover, leap-frogging between whatever pieces of rock and stump the forest provided. Their orange jumpsuits and ill-fitting flack vests were covered in mud, giving lifesaving concealment to those that deserved none. They moved with collar-enforced discipline through the undergrowth, seeking out the xenos who might stall the 42nd's advance. The woman ahead of him, charged with murdering a superior officer over a card game, scanned the forest from behind a tree stump. Not well enough. he thought, as the rapist behind him was taken down. Just as well, no one liked him anyway. The murderer popped off a few shots at random, and was just as surprised as anyone was when she heard an answering scream. Killgore pointed unerringly in its direction. "Maybe 20 yards ahead! GO! GO! GO!"

And there was no argument. The seven sprinted forward, firing at random, hoping to hit another ghost hiding in front of them. Grenades, why don't they give us grenades! Killgore, the murderer and he were the first to break their way into the clearing. The sudden brightness and stillness stunned them all. After months in on this gray sump of a planet, the sudden riot of color they saw was almost too much to take. An arch of bleach white bone dominated the clearing, glowing and pulsing. Surrounding that were a council of the xenos witches, their attentions focused on the arch. Eldar troops walked beneath the arch, only to disappear. The murderer broke the silence. "They're retreating." Killgore tapped his combead, relaying their position to command.

Killgore turned to the seven penitents. "We have a clear duty. We must kill the witches before they all can escape. For the Emperor..." was all he could get out before a trickle of blood appeared on his lips. The trickle became a torrent, as an Eldar they had not seen appeared behind him. Clad in a riot of color, shifting and whirling, the Eldar disposed of Killgore's corpse in the manner reminiscent of a dance step, that is if your partner was a broken doll. The dancing Eldar turned to the shocked penitents just as they had begun to raise their weapons. A quartet of Eldar, similarly clad and masked, appeared around the six remaining humans. The dancers slapped the weapons from human's hands, and as they did, the penitents heard a familiar sound echo from the leader's mask. It was the scream that lead them into the trap. It ended in a mocking note as the five xenos fell upon them. It was the last sound they ever heard.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rebuttal: The Autolas Predator

Much to my chagrin, I still read Stelek's Blog "Yes the Truth Hurts", mainly because the lack of good competitive analysis on the internet is a frustration of mine, and only a few spots actually have it. One of them being "Yes the Truth Hurts", even if you have to wade through Stelek's off putting and overly critical nature.

I could post my rebuttal on the comments section of Stelek's blog, but what is the fun of being a contributor to a blog if you can't write an article or two.

This article is in response to Stelek's article he posted concerning the Autocannon / Lascannon Sponson Predator(known as the Autolas Pred) and it's use in the Blood Angels codex, specifically in relation to a directly competing choice the two twin-linked Autocannon Dreadnought (know as the "Rifleman" Dread).

It's a good read, and he makes some excellent points. You can read it here:

Essentially his argument boils down to these points, that puts the Rifleman Dread above the Autolas Pred:

1. The Predator is overpriced because it doesn't fully utilize it's fast status and is to static in a Blood Angels list that relies on speed.

2. Eldar have better fast moving tanks then Space Marines, and Space Marines shouldn't act like Eldar.

3. It doesn't have a high side armor and is more prone to die quicker to side shots. Versus Eldar the higher front AV means nothing.

4. Cracking heavy armor is unnecessary in that slot considering Assault Squads with Meltaguns.

5. You can accomplish the same task the Autolas does with other slots and save Heavy Support slots for other things.

They are not bad points, but I think the point of including the Autolas Predator is lost a little in this article.

The majority of this article compares the Blood Angels to Eldar, which I think is a misnomer. Obviously having Fast Vehicles does not make Blood Angels Eldar. Marines are still Marines and play the same. The only thing Blood Angels do is promote a fast moving glass hammer aspect to units that are accustomed to being more "take all comers". The role of an Autolas Predator in a Blood Angels list in not the same roll as a Falcon or Wave Serpent in an Eldar list, and the Autolas shouldn't be trying to accomplish the same role.

Comparing the two units (the rifleman and the autolas) is a good comparison point because you are more likely to take one of the other. So let's compare them.

The Autolas Predator is 135, 140 if you include a Dozerblade (and at tht price, why not).

The Rifleman Dread is 120. 135 if you take extra armor, which is more appealing to a Dreadnought then a tank.

Both units provide the same role, long range fire support for an army that is best played aggressively. This is a critical function, as an assault army losses a lot of efficiency if the opponents guns run unmolested for even a single turn.

The Predator has +1 Armor on the Front, but -1 on the sides. Has a slightly bigger profile so it is a little harder to get cover then a dreadnought, but not by a significant number. The Dreadnought has a higher profile on it's guns, but generally, if your opponent knows what he is doing, you are probably shooting at something in cover anyways. All of this is not a significant argument for me to dismiss either as the better choice.

Both have the same move and fire potential at 6". The Predator has the ability to move flat out for last minute objective contesting if it needs to, but we are not Eldar, we should only consider that as a last resort action. The Predator can move 12" and fire a single weapon, but that seems to be a waste to move and intentionally limit the fore power it puts out, and should only be done, again, if absolutely necessary. The Dreadnought on the plus side can tie units up in close combat, but the con of that is that the Dreadnought in no longer shooting, the Predator can easily move away and fire again, if ever charged.

So ultimately both units in optimal situations will be moving 6" and firing almost all the time.

The real question is and will always be, is a higher front armor and 2 Autocannons, 2 Lascannons worth 15 points more then a lower front armor and 4 twin-linked autocannon shots.

Let's look at damage output for each against common targets (for the sake of argument, I am going with front armor on all targets, and cover for all targets, my opinion, worst case scenario is always the best judge):

Against a Chimera:

2 Autocannon Shots hit 1.32 times, of those hits, 0.22 Penetrate, 0.11 Get's Past Cover
2 Lascannon Shots hit 1.32 times. of those hits, 0.66 Penetrate, 0.33 Get's Past Cover
Total 0.44 chance of Penetrating

Rifleman Dread:
4 Autocanno Shots hit 2.64 times, plus 0.89 for twin-linked, equals 3.53 hits, 0.56 Penetrate, 0.28 Gets past Cover
Total 0.28 chance of Penetrating

Against a Rhino:

2 Autocannon Shots hit 1.32 times, of those hits, 0.44 Penetrate, 0.22 Get's Past Cover
2 Lascannon Shots hit 1.32 times. of those hits, 0.87Penetrate, 0.44 Get's Past Cover
Total 0.66 chance of Penetrating

Rifleman Dread:
4 Autocanno Shots hit 2.64 times, plus 0.89 for twin-linked, equals 3.53 hits, 1.16 Penetrate, 0.58 Gets past Cover
Total 0.58 chance of Penetrating

In each instance, the higher strength of the Lascannons make all the difference. And should we go into the amount of tanks in the game that a Rifleman Dread can't even hurt? Like Russ chasis and Monoliths? How about Tyranid Monstrous Creatures? Most of the time they will not stand to concentrated Lascannon fire in conjunction with other shooting, but they can easily handle Autocannons that grant them their saves. And my last point is Valkries/ Vendettas/ Storm Ravens which are big models on a tall stand that rarely get cover. The higher strength matters much versus them.

To me, this points out why the Predator is worth the 15 point difference. That doesn't make the Rifleman Dread bad by any stretch of the imagination, but the higher strength and low AP of the sponsons keeps is as a competitive choice in my opinion.

On last argument, part of Stelek's anti predator argument was this little jem.

"When deploying your army on the long board edge, you should put a Predator in each corner. This allows you to cover midfield and keep your higher front armor against the enemy. This will let you fire into side arcs of any vehicle that crosses into midfield, with at least one Predator. The other will likely be firing into the front arc, which may or may not matter. For Chimeras and Battlewagons, it does. For most other units, it does not. Oddly enough, the only Predator you'll be shooting in the side armor, will be...a Blood Angels Predator."

I think that argument is ultimately very situational. Namely one point I have is that you will not have pitched battle deployment in every mission. In Dawn of War, you can move on to cover the field like that, but in Spearhead, it is nearly impossible without burning movement to set that up.

Side shots are nice, but not necessary. As I pointed out, against most targets, the higher strength of the Predator allows it to still have a reasonable chance to penetrate even from the front. Also with the ability to move and fire, I can still get side shots on things with minimal effort. If I was worried about my opponent shooting me in the side, I would be more then willing to either move behind cover and/or still keep my front facing to the enemy and shot only a single lascannon at my target.

As he eloquently pointed out, Blood Angels have plenty of opportunity to bust hard armor. The role of the Autolas and the Rifleman is to shake/stun armor on your approach to an IG gunline, or to eliminate aggressive armor coming your way that will more then likely be in light armored transports. In that regard, my opinion is that the Predator is superior in that task. Especially combined with the necessary support elements.

If you are fielding Dreadnoughts in a Blood Angels army that aren't Librarian Dreads, they need to have Blood Talons, but more on that later.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Fun Army

Chaos Daemons, Nurgle

At this point I have four fully purchased (but not fully painted) 40k Armies, my Flesh Tearers (Blood Angels), my Celestial Lions (Codex Marines), my Valhallan 42nd Imperial Guard, and last, but not least, is the Host of Hope's Demise, an all Nurgle based Epidemius army, full of Nurglings, Plague Bearers, and assorted corpse yellow goodness. The 42nd and the Flesh Tearers are competitive minded, and I consider the Celestial Lions and the Host as "for fun".

What makes a "fun" army? That's the nebulous part, since fun is different for everyone. For me, the fun army is one built with form over function. You have to look at the army and say "Yes, that makes sense from what I know of the background of 40k.", not "How the hell did he shoehorn that nonsense in?".

In that mind, I created a list that I still think will win games, but due to thematic elements, will likely have vulnerabilities that most tournament savvy players will exploit.

Host of Hope's Demise - Chaos Daemons

Epidemius 110
Great Unclean One Cloud of Flies Aura of Decay 185

Plague Bearers, 7 Chaos Icon 130
Plague Bearers, 14 Chaos Icon 235
Nurglings, 7 91
Nurglings, 7 91
Nurglings, 7 91
Nurglings, 7 91

Heavy Support
Daemon Prince, 1 Wings Iron Hide Mark of Nurgle Cloud of Flies Noxious Touch Daemonic Gaze 235
Daemon Prince, 1 Wings Iron Hide Mark of Nurgle Cloud of Flies Noxious Touch Daemonic Gaze 235

Points Summary:
HQ: 295
Troops: 729
Elites: 0
Fast Attack: 0
Heavy Support: 470
Total: 1494

So, we have an army that's random, and controlled by the whim of the Chaos Gods, but if the right wave comes in first, it will start murdering any ground troops available, adding to the Tally of Nurgle straight off. Then, when the Nurglings come in, the little nasties will hopefully have Noxious Touch straight off, and will be wounding on a 2+ in close combat. This army is highly vulnerable to mech, with only three models being able to pop armor (the two daemon princes, and the Great Unclean One). Any high toughness foot army needs to watch out, though! So that's nids and Eldar Iyanden Armies, then, I suppose. For that exact reason, it's not exactly a take all comers list, but it makes for great moments. Moments like nurglings murdering a Bloodthirster in close combat because they wound on 2+ with no armor save. Just avoid Sisters Of Battle and Vulkan Marines. Template weapons will clear you out in a hurry.

Board Games, Card Games and you

Thanks to Twitter, I now know Fantasy Flight has put their new trailer for the Horus Heresy up, which can be seen here.

Who knew we would live in an era where board game companies have trailers for their products? Let me state first and foremost that I have not received anything free from any games manufacturer. I think there's that law where you have to make that statement, right? Note to Fantasy Flight: I wouldn't be opposed if you did send me free stuff.

My friends Dom, Tony and Dustin often get together for a game night, where we pull out the board games and the various carbonated beverages and go to town. So, from time to time, I'll write up a review of some of my favorite games we've played, starting with one of my favorites: Cutthroat Caverns.

Cutthroat Caverns

Published By: Smirk and Dagger Games
Play Style: Co-operative Betrayal (My Favorite Kind!)
Number of Players: 3-6
Playing Time: 1 hr. 30 Min.
Final Grade: A

The tagline on this game pretty much sums it up: "Without teamwork, you'll never survive. Without betrayal, you'll never win."

You play as one of a group of adventurers that has worked together before, and you've established that who ever kills the most monsters gets the first pick of the loot. You enter into the dungeon, smash your way into the inner sanctum at the center, and there you find it, the Ultimate Artifact of Incredible Power. Whoever gets first pick of the treasure will control the artifact and live a life of unfathomable luxury and ease. But the nine monsters between you and the dungeon's exit might have something to say about that...

So, how does this game work? The basic object is to be the living character with most prestige at then end of the last encounter. That person will claim the Ultimate Artifact for himself. Note, however, the emphasis on "living". Now, you're a party, so you can't just go killing your other teammates. Instead you might play cards that: force the monsters to attack them instead of you, give the the wonderful opportunity to act as a human shield for you, or cause their attacks backfire so badly, they injure themselves.

You can do that all you want, but of course, the other characters pale in comparison to the monsters you'll encounter. As a clever design feature, the monsters are scaled in power in relation to how many people start the game. What does that mean? If you start with six players, and you get two friends killed in encounter 2, the seven remaining monsters are going to be "6 Players" tough, not "4 players" tough. They'll wail on you so hard your grandmomma will cry. So you have to keep the other players around to keep your own sweet self alive. That is, of course, until the end of the game, when you can merrily frag them to your heart's content.

In the basic set all the characters are essentially the same. Whether you're slinging spells, wielding a blade, or backstabbing a monster, you all do damage based on the cards you secretly set in front of you. These cards get revealed in the order of initiative (which is based on separate cards randomly drawn each round). As cards are revealed, they're placed on a stack and are resolved in order. If there is a damage result that equals or exceeds the monster's current hit points, then the person who did the killing blow earns prestige based on the monster's difficulty. Not knowing what cards your friends have, you have to guess at what kind of cards they'll play. If the monster survives, he generally attacks one or more players for varying amounts of damage.

But you knew it wouldn't be that simple. Once those damage cards are set, you can use action cards from your hand to screw with everything. With the right cards, you can change the initiative of the players mid-round, you can discard a person's attack before it's revealed, you can double or halve a person's attack value, or cause them to fall on their own sword. Of course, there are cards to counter all those counter-cards. The exception to all these? If your character plays an attack card with his portrait on it, that attack card is privileged, and no-one can mess with it.

Since all the characters are generic, what makes this game shine? Simply put, the encounters and monsters are all uniquely fiendish. Each encounter card is different, and each one can elicit groans from the players. From the goblin who has been cursed with an on again, off again invulnerability, to the trap rooms, to the Cursed Paladin who gains life equal to the damage he does, each is wonderfully deadly. Every expansion to the game ends up adding more encounters to the deck, adding even more replayability. The expansions also add character abilities and additional magic items, adding to the player's power as the dungeon gets more deadly.

The cards of of good quality, and the production value is high. The artwork is excellent, and reflects the game's morbid humor quite well. This game will go well with the competitive player who has a sense of the tongue in cheek. People have called it a "more serious version of Munchkin", but I think that's an inapt comparison. Munchkin, while funny, isn't really that great of a game, and isn't really replayable over and over. I think Cutthroat really shines in comparison by being a tighter game. Most of us have played games of Munchkin that have 5 expansions shoe-horned into it. You never end up seeing all the cards, so half the jokes become wasted. Cutthroat's deck is more manageable, and it has more depth to it's play. I would thing that Cutthroat is a small box that would make a fine addition to any gamer's closet.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Product review - Armory Spray Primer.


So, I usually use the Walmart brand Colorplace Flat Black, but I was at my local gaming store, and decided to pick up a black primer while I was there. My only gripe with the Colorplace spray is the fact that it isn't a true black; it's more of a dark grey.

They were selling the Armory spray at a very reasonable price for a specialized primer, and I picked it up.

I regret my purchase. My new vindicator is completely fuzzed, and I'm going to have to dip it to clear that gunk off of it. I did all the usual tricks: I shook it for a minute, sprayed a bit to get it going, and then used small sharp bursts. It worked for the GW primer back in the day, and it worked for Colorplace as well. It does not work for Armory at all.

The nozzle is now clogged with black gunk. It even had a ribbon of black pigment ooze out of the thing like one of those crappy black snake things you give to kids that you can't trust with sparklers.

So, in short, don't buy this product.

New Additions to the Flesh Tearers

I received some Sanguinary Guard as part of my 'ard Boyz winnings, and I thought I'd pose them to be "in flight". I cast some resin bases up for them, and then cut the rubble from the bottom of the feet to add the post (a paper-clip). I then added some Green Stuff and piping to my Librarian Dread.

My plan is to paint the Sanguinary Guard in an atypical paint scheme: red bodies, black wings and shoulder pads, and gold death masks. That will match my painted Dante model.

I can't say enough about these models. They really expand the boundaries of what I thought was possible in terms of plastic detail. They'll be a real pleasure to paint.

Blood Angels, Flesh Tearers, Resin Bases, Sanguinary Guard

Blood Angels, Flesh Tearers, Resin Bases, Sanguinary Guard

Blood Angels, Flesh Tearers, Resin Bases, Sanguinary Guard

Blood Angels, Flesh Tearers, Resin Bases, Sanguinary Guard

Blood Angels, Flesh Tearers, Resin Bases, Sanguinary Guard

Blood Angels, Flesh Tearers, Librarian Dread, Resin Bases

Why Size Doesn't Matter.

Hello, Mahu here, new contributor to this Blog.

I want to address a disconcerting trend in recent discussions on the internet and all over, the matter of point costs.

Some argue that lower point games, specifically, 1500 to the 1850 range allows "tighter" army lists, and therefore require the player to be forced to think more tactically about their choices and actions within games.

The most famous posts advocating this has been Tastytaste's Blood of Kittens Website:

Others, more notable Stelek on his "Yes the Truth Hurts" Blog, advocated that games need to be around a minimum of 2000 points in order for the full potential of the game to be realized, and allow players access to all the "toys" their codex has to offer.

I think both arguments have merit, but I also think both arguments fail to grasp the simple concept of a restrictive points system.

You can't have everything.

There is always going to be that unit, that symmetry that you are looking for that will be hard to fit into any points cost. But the basics of list construction will always be the same.

1. Do you have decent anti-tank?
2. Do you have the ability to handle hordes?
3. Do you have proper scoring coverage?
4. How do you handle strong assault armies?
5. How do you handle strong shooty armies?
6. Does your list contain the four basic principals of good list design; Adaptability, Synergy, Redundancy, and Personal Preference? (More on this later).

The only thing that really changes at certain points levels are the units you use to accomplish those tasks.

For example, I am going to be playing in a 1500 point tournament this weekend with my Blood Angels. Here is the list I intend to bring:


Mephiston = 250


Furioso Dreadnought w/ Blood Talons, Meltagun, Heavy Flamer, Extra Armor in Drop Pod = 185


5-man Assault Squad w/ Flamer, Power Weapon in Razorback w/ Twin-linked Assault Cannon = 175

5-man Assault Squad w/ Flamer, Power Weapon in Razorback w/ Twin-linked Assault Cannon = 175

5-man Assault Squad w/ Meltagun, Power Weapon in Razorback w/ Twin-linked Heavy Flamer = 145

5-man Assault Squad w/ Meltagun, Power Weapon in Razorback w/ Twin-linked Heavy Flamer = 145

-Heavy Support-

Predator w/ Autocannon, 2 Lascannon Sponsons = 135

Predator w/ Autocannon, 2 Lascannon Sponsons = 135

Vindicator w/ Siege Shield = 155

I have a crap ton of shooting, plenty of scoring coverage, and two fairly decent assault elements. At this points level more "flavorful" units like Sanguinary Priests seem like a waste, especially when they are not adding anything much to the low model count of this list.

This is a competitive list to be sure.

Did the lower point level "force" me to not be as competitive? I really don't think so.

Did the lower point limit "weaken" my army? Again, I think not, it only changed my considerations in making my list.

If anything the lower point limit merely made my list a little more "one-dimensional", as the considerations and unit choices I had to make where almost made for me.

My preference is for the 1850 to 2000 point range. My feeling is that at the higher point level, you can be a little more liberal with how you create a balanced competitive list. For example, Sanguinary Guard and Dante feel much more at home in a higher point list then a small one.

Is there more room to spam in a higher points cost list? Sure, but as I showed you, no more so then in a lower point list.

So my end point is this, as to the argument of what point cost creates a higher test of skill, at what points cost creates a better "tighter" competition, I saw that ultimately it doesn't matter. A good player is a good player, and the fundamentals of list design does not change, no matter the points cost.

We can have our preferences, as I have shared mine, but at the end of the day that is all they are preference.

As our good Black Templar Player's remind us: "Accept Any Challenge, No Matter the Odds".

Monday, May 17, 2010

Brutal honesty


"People who are brutally honest get more satisfaction out of the brutality than out of the honesty." - Richard J. Needham

Too often, the anonymity of the internet allows us to hide behind our jolly pirate nicknames. These faceless knaves look at lists posted on boards by underdeveloped hobbyists, and reply with savage intensity usually reserved for child molesters and line dancers.

But that's too easy. Tearing down someone serves no purpose. It's less than useful. Mentoring someone is hard, and it takes honesty and patience. The only reason I got into this hobby is because people took the time and the effort required to be mentors. The people who sheltered and nurtured my desire to participate were the ones who gave me honest appraisals of my lists (crap), my painting (still crap), and my generalship (better than it was). Without them, I might have missed out on 17 years of fun.

I'm not asking that people coddle anyone. What I'm asking for is a basic respect that you would give to any stranger on the street. Every list that gets attacked might push some 14 year-old kid out of the hobby, which hurts us all in the long run. Tell a kid honestly why you think his list is poor, -- that it lacks anti-tank, or that lacks mobility-- and advise him how you think he should change it. Ask him why he took that one subpar unit, and advise him to try subbing a different unit to test it out. Don't be surprised if he doesn't take the advice immediately, but over time, that stuff sinks in.

It takes more effort to be a mentor. It is more difficult than snapping off a snarky comeback. But it's worth the effort in the long run.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Daydreaming about a list

The 2500 point list I would build if I was a master painter with more money than sense. Inspired by the Sanginary Guard Box set:

Dante 225

BA Libby with jump pack, Unleash Rage, Shield of Sanguinus 125

Sanginary Guard Squad x 3 with Death Masks, Inferno pistol and Power Fist 250 x3

2 Regular Assault Squads (ten men) with Flamers x2, Power Fist x1 each 225 x 2

1 Regular Assault Squad (eight men) with Melta x 1, Power Fist 189

2 Sanguinary Priests with Jump Packs 125 x 2

2 Vindicators with Siege Shields 155 x 2

2 squads of Attack Bikes x 2 with Multi-meltas x2 100 x 2

Would it be effective? Hell no.

Would it be pretty? Hell yes.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

'ard Boyz result

I went with my Blood Angel list, and fought three skilled opponents, and three hard lists, but I ended up taking the top prize.

And now, I'm exhausted.

Friday, May 14, 2010

And, yes, I'm still undecided

I played against Keith last night with a slightly tweaked version of the BA list in the last entry. I ended up winning fairly handily.

Upon reflection, I think Keith's list was interesting, but not as strong as it needed to be in terms of an 'ard boys style competition. I'll save a full bat rep until Sunday. I also forgot to take pictures, which I'm kicking myself for, as I had my new BoLS approved flip cam with me. :)

Here is an alternate list I'm thinking of taking:

Librarian Epistolary / Null Zone / Vortex of Doom / / Force Weapon / Psychic Hood / Terminator Armor w/ SS 190
Khasaro Khan 160

Tactical Squad, 10 Power Weapon / Flamer/ Multi-Melta / Rhino / Teleport Homer/ Melta Bombs 240
Tactical Squad, 10 Power Weapon /Melta Gun / Multi-melta / Rhino / Teleport Homer / Melta Bombs 245
Tactical Squad, 10 Power Fist / Flamer / Missile Launcher /Melta Bombs 200
Tactical Squad, 10 Power Fist / Flamer / Missile Launcher / Melta Bombs 200

Assault Terminators , 7 Thunderhammer/Storm shield x 5 Lightning Claws x 2 280
Assault Terminators, 8 Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield x 5 Lightning Claws x 3 320

Fast Attack
Vanguard Veterans, 9 Sgt's Power Weapon / Power Weapon x6 / Power Fist x 3/ Melta bombs / Rhino 395

Heavy Support
Devastator Squad, 5 Missile Launcher x3 135
Devastator Squad, 5 Missile Launcher x3 135

Points Summary:
HQ: 350
Troops: 885
Elites: 600
Fast Attack: 395
Heavy Support: 270
Total: 2500

22 kill points for mission 3 and 5/10 scoring units as needed. I looked at the mission, and I really needed mobility and protection. The rhino offers a bit of that, and they'll help get my homers into place. Khan would run outflanking with the Vanguard, and will give them FC and hit and run. Hopefully, with three holy S$% units, I'll be able to split fire.

The transports are vulnerable to AT fire, that I know. I might swap out the Devs, and replace them with Vindicators to give the Rhinos mobile cover.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I hate the end of the semester

16 pages worth of projects due, and 'ard Boyz this weekend.

Still, despite the Third Mission Controversy, I think I'm going with my Blood Angels list. I'll do some play testing tomorrow and Friday to see if I should go with something else, but here goes nothin'

Flesh Tearers 4th Company Blood Angels

Reclusiarch Power Fist 145
Librarian Unleash Rage Shield of Sanginus Epistolary 150

Assault Squad, 10 Power Fist Flamer Flamer 225
Assault Squad, 10 Powerfist Melta Melta 235
Assault Squad, 8 Powerfist Remove jump packs Melta Gun Rhino 204
Tactical Squad, 10 Powerfist Melta Gun Multi-melta Rhino 250

Sanguinary Priests, 2 Jump pack Power Weapon for Jump Priest 140
Assault Terminators, 7 Lightning Claws x2 Thunder Hammers x 5 Land Raider Crusader Multi-Melta 565
Furioso Dreadnaught, 1 Librarian Dreadnought Wings of Sanguinous Blood Lance 175

Fast Attack
Attack Bike, 2 Multi-Melta Multi-Melta 100

Heavy Support
Vindicator, 1 Siege Shield 155
Vindicator, 1 Siege Shield 155

Points Summary:
HQ: 245
Troops: 914
Elites: 880
Fast Attack: 150
Heavy Support: 310
Total: 2499

Thursday, May 6, 2010

WIP Thunder Hammer Terminators

I need a few Thunder Hammer terminators for a tournament this weekend, so I slapped some paint on a few. These are nowhere close to being done, but I'm liking the way the red is turning out. I started with white primer, a thin coat of mechrite, and then a base of blood red overtop of it. I then hit it with some Baal Red, which you can see on the model below.

Blood Angels, Flesh Tearers, Terminator Armor, Thunder Hammers, Warhammer 40,000, Work In Progress

This model hasn't been hit with Baal Red yet.

Blood Angels, Flesh Tearers, Terminator Armor, Thunder Hammers, Warhammer 40,000, Work In Progress

They're both on my resin bases that I cast.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


A good deal of ink seems to fly each year prior to Adepticon about one topic more than any other: the INAT FAQ. It is either viewed as the most comprehensive tournament FAQ ever produced, or reviled as a serious undermining of the rules system by which we play.

We've all come across that rule which is vague. It seems invariably that the rule that causes the most arguments is the one for which GW hasn't made an errata or clarification: Doom of Malanti's, Deff rollas (finally taken care of), the use of Descent of Angels for Storm Ravens with embarked squads, the Manticore's template scatter... Maybe those have come up in your games, maybe they haven't, but I guarantee you that in six months, these things will be gone over line by line by the FAQ council that Adepticon appoints.

But is that a good thing? Opponents have valid points. There are out and out rules changes in the INAT, no if, ands, or buts. This is not all from GW's canon. A group of people are putting thier own clarifications, changes and spins on the product that you've purchased. It's fan based, not offical. And there's the very valid sticking point. It's not official. Stelek, a well known opponent of the FAQ, articulated his views thusly: "You have no right to change the way the game is played."

Proponents are very quick to point out that even GW doesn't count its own FAQs as official, except for the errata. And GW's FAQs fall very short of answering questions that will come up in the higher levels of play, things that if answer one way or the other will determine who walks home with a pat on the back, and who walks home with a thousand dollars worth of prizes. Things like that can put real pressure on a judge to make the "right call", and no matter what call he chooses, the blood-crazed hounds of internet will savage him. The proponents value the transparency that the INAT brings; here's the call we made on this, it was put up months ago, please review it. At that point, there's no argument. There might be bad blood, or hurt feelings, but the matter is closed.

As for myself, I find the proponent's argument more measured. Having been to Adepticon but the once, I only found reason to call upon the FAQ one time. The judge came over and quickly applied the ruling needed with minimal fuss. I played seven tourney games under the FAQ, and really didn't have to consult it. Which made the sturm and drang over the FAQ seem wasted effort. Differences in play exist from person to person, region to region, and state to state. The INAT, or something like it, is needed at nationwide events to smooth out those differences. Is the INAT appropriate at every event, regional or otherwise? That depends on the payer base and the Tournament Organizer's call. The only reason I would be unlikely to use it at an event is player feed back.

As to the charge leveled that the organizers of Adepticon have no right to change or clarify the game to their liking, I would refer the gentleman to the gray box on top of page 2 in the 40k Rulebook, under "The Most Important Rule". The game designers want you to do with your game what you want, including making house rules and house clarifications if you see fit. The only difference with the INAT is its scope.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Stories of the 42nd, Part Two

When we last left Captain Sorin, his assault on the Eldar stronghold in the woods was at a critical point. Angel Company had been mauled on the left, but Chain Company was gaining ground on the right flank. It was up to Faith Company to hold the center, and support Chain's assault.

Lt. Revnik's heart sank as he watched the xenos beam carve its way through Katya's hull. The jouncing of his Chimera's hull made it hard to focus his periscope on the stricken vehicle, a Chimera that had been with the regiment since it's inception. There is no way that anyone could have survived that! Then, he saw the Company's banner unfurl. Though, all things are possible through Faith! Heartened, he turned to his men. "Boys, get your flamers ready! We have xenos to burn!" The red light of the cabin washed over the mud-streaked faces of his squad. The pilot lights of their flamers flickered as they bounced their way across the rutted no-man's land, tiny devotional candles to the Emperor.

The xenos weapons tried to make their mark in the Chimera's hull, but found no purchase. The tank's gunner fired its weapons haphazardly, doing little more than keeping the Eldar heads down. Revnik ordered the driver to press into the woods. The driver's reply was terse. Revnik heard the questioning and fearful tone even through his combead, but knew that his order would be followed. The beast was likely to be bogged down inside the tree line, but it would bring the squad's flamers to bear that much sooner. Anything to confound the enemy and take pressure off the assault. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a fist sized hole being bored into the turret. The gunner (or what was left of him) fell back down into the hull. Cauterized, he though dully. No, cooked. Putting his flamer aside, Pvt. Dyalov alone had the presence of mind to quickly get a blanket to cover the tanker's body. With the boy covered, Revnik snapped out of his shock.He was from the motor pool. I didn't even know his name.

The driver, ever professional, warned the squad that they had ten seconds to the tree line, and that they should brace themselves. The Chimera roared over the embankment that hid the Eldar, and pressed into the woods. Its heavy flamer was a font of vengeance for the fallen men of Valhalla, its flames a benediction for the men behind the Revnik's squad advancing into the Eldar guns. The rear gate slammed down, and Revnik's men poured forth. The xenos, armored blue and yellow, turned their strange weaponry toward the squad, but the Emperor's wrath would have its say. A fan of flame poured forth from the squad. Revnik added his laspistol to the assault. They even die gracefully. Aiming for one alien's chest, he watched as it danced its way out of fatal wound, the lasbolt hitting it in the arm. It was spun, a dervish now sans an arm. You can't outrun light, though. He put an other lasbolt right in the thing's chest for good measure. By now, the Eldar's infernal disc throwers were sending stray shots the squad's way.

Heedless of the danger, Revnik charged the line of Xenos in the trenches. Gurov took an unlucky hit to the fuel line. His promethium tank went next, and the spark from the Eldar weapons ignited the remaining gel and Gurov with it. His screams did not slow the remaining men. Wielding their flamers like clubs, they savaged the remaining xenos near them. The Eldar seemed frail, but proved quick and strong enough to leave Kozmin lying on the forest floor, his large frame bleeding from a dozen delicate cuts. What Revkin and his men lacked in finesse, they more than made up for with their zeal. The Lieutenant's chainsword carved into the peaked helmet of one of the Eldar citizen-soldiers. A foe had stabbed through Dyalov's greatcoat, only to have his alien blade turned aside by the hidden flack vest. Dyalov responded in kind, but with better luck. Maisky overbore his opponent, toppling the alien, and made he short work of it. The remaining Eldar seemed hesitant to engage such savages, and that hesitation cost them their lives. The Demolisher shell hit the far end of the trench, followed quickly by the atomic bright flash of plasma. The alien menace had been vanquished by the superior fire power of the Imperial Guard. Not a single enemy stood in sight. Ears ringing, Revkin was shocked into speechlessness for the second time in five minutes. And then he began to laugh. It was the laughter of a man who assumed himself dead a second earlier, and found himself given a reprieve. Dyalov and Maisky soon joined him, the laughter sounding madly through the smoke and flame of the wood. They laughed till it hurt.

That was, until Maisky's head took a round and exploded. "SNIPERS!" shouted Dyalov, as he tackled his Lieutenant into the trench...

Theme: How do you tie it all together?

You have models, and you have a list in mind.

How do you make these models work together? Often, the models from the same army are similar in nature. Imperial Marines of all flavors are a fine example of this. But what happens when you're playing imperial guard and you're tired of painting just Cadians? Or you play daemons? The Gods of Chaos favor certain color schemes, and you are left with a plan to make what seems like an explosion in a paint factory.

What do you do? The key is a proper selection of colors.

My guard army contains many elements. I have Tallarn, Valhallans, Cadians and even a Mordian sergeant thrown in for good measure. With a casual glance, you'd never notice it, due to the army's unified color scheme. Let me show you:

Psychic Battle Squad Overseer

Cadian Bodies, Imperial Guard, Pig Iron, Pig Iron Heads, Warhammer 40,000

Imperial Guard, Valhallans

Guardsmen, Imperial Guard, Warhammer 40,000

Even though the models have different colors, poses, and body styles, they all reference the main color: olive drab. It allows for differences amongst the models to blend into a cohesive whole. The same goes for any other guard army, and any other color choice. Imagine an army of Tallarn in white tunics with black turbans. Pair them with Sisters of Battle from the Order of the Sacred Rose. Though the armies are different, their cohesive color scheme will make them a stunning army to field or face.

But what about the daemon army? Slaanesh loves his/her/its pinks and purples, Khorne, his reds, etcetera. How do you blend them? We turn to fashion advice for this. For maximum impact, one mixes vivid colors and neutrals together. The colors should be an accent to the larger neutral palette. What is a neutral color? A neutral color is one not found on the color wheel: black, white, grays, beige and other earth-tones.


How does that knowledge help us bring those disparate elements together?

Model by Ferix on DakkaDakka:
Chaos, Daemonettes, Daemons, Tattoo

The skin on this daemonette is a neutral shade, leaning toward a white/beige, with the blue accents becoming the accent.

You could easily pair that deamonette with the following bloodletter, if one tweaked the colors.

Model by Catpeeler on DakkaDakka:
Painted Bloodletter 2

Another example of a neutral fleshtone comes from my own daemon army, the Host of Hope's Demise. Though it would not fit with the above two examples, I would have no trouble painting a daemonette's flesh in the same earthy flesh tones.

Chaos Daemons, Nurgle

The neutral flesh you choose for your army will help it blend, while each squad will show the colors of it's patrons, giving both players a quick visual shorthand to each unit's nature.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Possible 'ard Boys List #2 Celestial Lions (Space Marines)

My Marine List

Captain Leo Cusuro (Kahn) and the Libby ride in the LRC with the TH/SS termies, and everything can outflank. The Assault squads, which normally suck since they need to spend three turns getting anywhere, can hit a line in one or two turns. The devs are there to avoid a penalty from not having HS (which came up last year), and to move on and start taking side shots next turn. I won't nessecarily outflank everything every time, but I'd like to think this would really screw with leafblowers. Kahn would also give the termies FC and Hit and run for extra fun.

Celestial Lions, 3rd Company Space Marines

3rd Company, Celestial Lions, Space Marines, Warhammer 40,000

Captain Leo Cusaro (Kor'sarro Khan) Power Armor Frag and Krak Bolt Pistol Moonfang Iron Halo 160
Librarian Termnator Armor with Storm Shield Null Zone Vortex of Doom Force Weapon Psychic Hood 140

Tactical Squad, 10 Sgt Upgrade Power Weapon Flamer Lascannon Rhino Melta Bombs 235
Tactical Squad, 10 Sgt Upgrade Power Weapon Melta Gun Lascannon Rhino Melta Bombs 240
Tactical Squad, 10 Sgt Upgrade Power Weapon Flamer Heavy Bolter Rhino 220
Tactical Squad, 10 Sgt Upgrade Power Fist Flamer Missile Launcher Rhino 230

Assault Terminators, 6 Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield x6 Land Raider Crusader Multi-Melta 500

Fast Attack
Assault Squad, 10 Sgt Upgrade Power Fist Flamer 225
Assault Squad, 10 Sgt Upgrade Power Fist 215
Attack bikes, 3 Multi-Melta Multi-Melta Multi-Melta 150

Heavy Support
Devestators, 7 Sgt Missile Launcher x4 182

Points Summary:
HQ: 300
Troops: 925
Elites: 500
Fast Attack: 590
Heavy Support: 182
Total: 2497

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Possible 'ard Boy List #1 The Flesh Tearers

Wow, it certainly has been some time since I looked at this. Time to blow the dust off of it, and get back to regular posting now that school is winding down.

'ard Boy Season is upon us, and given my resounding lack of success from last year, I want to make up for it this year. I know that I'll be facing leaf blowers x 8000 if I go, so I'm thinking I need to make a list that combats that, rather than succumb to using my own Imperial Guard list. In that vein, I'm looking at two non-ig options I have that might make my inital run easier.

Blood Angels, Flesh Tearers, Veteran, Warhammer 40,000

Flesh Tearers 4th Company Blood Angels

The Reclusiarch rides with the Termies, and the libby and the priest float where they're needed. This list is not subtle at all, and is meant to pound face. It's got psy defense, and can kill anything it gets it's hands on. The baal can scout or outflank, which ever is needed. The tac squad can combat squad in case an objective needs a baby sitter, a risk, but worth it.

Reclusiarch Power Fist 145
Librarian Unleash Rage Shield of Sanginus 100

Assault Squad, 10 Sgt Cost Paired Lightning Claws Flamer Flamer 230
Assault Squad, 10 Sgt Cost Powerfist Melta Melta 235
Assauly Squad, 9 Sgt Cost Powerfist Remove jump packs Melta Gun Rhino 222
Tactical Squad, 10 Sgt Cost Powerfist Melta Gun Lascannon Rhino 260

Sanguinary Priests, 1 50
Assault Terminators, 6 Lightning Claws x3 Thunder Hammers x 3 Land Raider Crusader Multi-Melta Extra Armor Search light 531
Furioso Dreadnaught, 1 Librarian Dreadnought Wings of Sanguinous Might of Heros 175

Fast Attack
Attack Bike, 2 Multi-Melta Multi-Melta 100
Baal Predator, 1 Extra Armor Heavy Bolter Sponsons Searchlight 161

Heavy Support
Vindicator, 1 145
Vindicator, 1 145

Points Summary:
HQ: 245
Troops: 947
Elites: 756
Fast Attack: 261
Heavy Support: 290
Total: 2499

I know that most IG players will be running with a Mysticx2 combo, so I'll want to avoid Deep Strike. I'm going to put the vindicators in front of the Land Raider to provide cover, and move agressively up a flank. Depending on the sight-lines afforded available to the mystics, etc, I may combat squad my melta assault squad to drop them on a flank. As long as they can avoid the mystics, they might be able to roll up a flank. Descent of Angels will make Deep Striking more attractive, and could combat the penalty for the Officer of the Fleet.