Monday, October 22, 2018

Force or Power

I was listening to a really cool podcast from Frontline Gaming over the weekend that was all focused on "Unraveling the Psychic Phase" and it is worth listening to a few times.  It is a great primer on ideas and thoughts for that phase of the game, and I was very happy with the detail and discussion. 

That had me thinking about Space Marine Librarians and their GK brethren.


In the prior editions, Force weapons were a major thing for the game, with the opportunity to punch a unit back to the Warp (remove from game).  Force staves, Force Swords, Force Axes.  It was all about the Force, but you needed to activate the Force weapon to give it a chance to work, hit and wound, and then your opponent had to fail against it. 

In 8th Edition Force Weapons are probably not worth it. Why? 

Example:


  • Force Sword, S User, -3AP, D3 damage. 8 points.
  • Power sword, S user, -3AP, 1 damage, 4 points. 


No other benefits of Force that I'm immediately aware of.

It makes me wonder.

A Force Stave is the same number of points as a force sword (8), but is +2 strength, -1 AP, D3 damage. You could then change it to a relic staff (Blood Angels, I assume others have equivalent), which gives you +1 to psychic rolls when manifesting a power.  Playing Blood Angels, the difference between the stave vs sword is a non-argument for most cases. I'd go with what you have modeled and be fine, but the preference is the sword for the -3AP. A Force Axe is 10 points, +1S, -2AP, D3.

It is just a shame that a Force weapon activation spell or stratagem does not exist.  Could you imagine a spell (say, WC7) or stratagem (say, 2CP) that would take the weapon up to D3 mortal wounds instead (to give the user the ability to take out a 5-wound model or so, or when really lucky as many as 9 wounds)? That would give a Librarian with a Force Weapon the tool needed to take down a "powerful" demon or equivalent, and have the ability to spend on other stratagems or spells to boost him to even higher damage output. It would make it more thematic as well - after all, it was cool in prior editions when you could pull it off. 

C'mon, GW, support the narrative aspect of the game!

Regardless, Space Marine Librarians cannot take power weapons, only force weapons.  That said, are the 8 point spent on a Force Weapon better spent for two power swords or a single power fist in a unit accompanying the Librarian on his mission? Maybe so. It depends on the combat role. 

Frankly, with no natural invulnerable save (unless you go terminator), the basic Librarian might be best left in the supporting role.  You can model the Librarian holding a book out at arm's length to read it with bifocals. After all, you are not "forced" to give the model a weapon...The one I use in my Blood Angels (not pictured above) is the old metal model, kitbashed to have a power sword, but has the standard plasma pistol he came with...he's likely to live longer using the pistol and smite than jumping into close combat...

Your thoughts?

MING

Friday, October 12, 2018

Updated 1850 - BloodyGuards ver1.2

As promised here is my revised 1850 list:

1850 Blood Angels (3 detachments, 14 CP)

Battalion
Librarian, jump pack, plasma pistol, force sword, smite, shield, quick
Sanguinary Priest, jump pack, bolter, power axe, veritas vitae relic
Tac squad, 5, flamer
Tac squad, 5, flamer
Tac squad, 5
Plasma Inceptors, 3
Flamer Aggressors, 3
Predator, autocann-lascann, stormbolter
Predator, autocann-lascann, stormbolter

Vanguard
Captain, warlord, jump pack, thunderhammer and stormshield, angels wing relic
Sanguinary Guard, 4, jump packs, 1 power fist, 3 encarmine blades, 1 plasma pistol, 3 angelus boltguns
Sanguinary Guard, 4, jump packs, 1 power fist, 3 encarmine blades, 1 plasma pistol, 3 angelus boltguns
Company vet squad, 5, jump packs, power fist/stormshield, 3/w paired lightning claws, 1 w/ chainsword and handflamer

Allied Battalion (Cadian)
2x company commanders
3x infantry squads with mortars

The above also takes care of some typos or errors in the prior list.  

Overall, I think it is an interesting list for play and goes with the them very well.  Lots of gold painted sanguinary models.  I think if I had the Sanguinor model itself, I'd work that in for the next version! Or...even a librarian dreadnought...or swap the predators for other dreadnought(s).    

Is it amazing? At 1850, it is probably not too bad.  If there was good terrain coverage it should do well.  

Overall, it has some good parts to it - the predators are there for the long range support fire on larger beasts or tanks or knights.  The plasma inceptors are there for dropping in to slaughter back field high value targets or elite infantry.  Tac squads and cadians for warapping and defending any deployment are objectives, supported by the flamer aggressors.  Mortars for sniping at hideen stuff or more long range support. The remainder (Captain, etc.) all head off together to do the punching and poking. The job of the Priest is obvious to support that, giving them additional strength and hopefully recovering bunches of wounds or models from the graveyard. So, overall, its pretty good on-screen.

I'll have pictures of new models being assembled and painted next week.  So much to do! Eventually (for November), I need to have a tough as nails PITA list for the 2018 Standish Standoff...

  
 

Friday, October 5, 2018

Updated 1850 - BloodyGuards


Here is my revised 1850 list:

1850 Blood Angels (3 detachments, 14 CP)

Battalion
Librarian, jump pack, plasma pistol, power sword, smite, shield, quick
Sanguinary Priest, jump pack, bolter, power axe, veritas vitae
Tac squad, 5, flamer
Tac squad, 5, flamer
Tac squad, 5
Plasma Inceptors, 3
Flamer Aggressors, 3
Predator, autocann-lascann, stormbolter
Predator, autocann-lascann, stormbolter

Vanguard
Captain, jump pack, thunderhammer and stormshield, warlord, angels wing
Sanguinary ancient, power fist, angelus boltgun, banner, possible 3rd relic
Sanguinary Guard, 5, 2 jump packs, power fists, 3 encarmine blades, 2 plasma pistols, 3 angelus boltguns
Company vet squad, 5, jump packs, power fist, bolt pistol, 4 pairs of lightning claws

Allied Battalion (Cadian)
2x company commanders
3x infantry squads with mortars

This list is interesting as it includes the Company Vet Squad - which I'll have to verify in the codex, but these guys have the command squad bodyguard special rule...which is new to the BAs and regular marines, and something Ol' Reecius at FLG was experimenting with at the Nova.  Basically if they go around with the Captain (or other character in the list) and they can take the wound on a 2+ (as a mortal wound). Overall, they are equipped the same as the Vanguard squad posted earlier (right now), for about the same points (had to drop the hand flamer for a pistol).

I'm now looking to drop the Sanguinary Ancient and just rebalance with more Sanguinary Guard (two units of 4 would be the goal), but it might mean taking some of the claws out of the "BloodyGuards" for the captain. I would think most of you might recommend arming them simply with just bolt guns and chainswords if I'm really just using them as a wound bank. Dropping the Ancient would get me more bodies and bolters and blades at the expense of a "reroll 1's to wound" and slightly improved leadership bubble.     

Thoughts?

MING

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Next list 1850 first cut

I did download BattleScribe and used it for the first time.  The cool part is that it works well on my phone, so its easy to take a list to a game and not have a bunch of paper flying about. 

As I've alluded to in the recent past, I'm transitioning now from a Death-Company focused Blood Angels list to a Golden Host focused list. 

First list has models I have in my beats lab:

1850 Blood Angels (3 detachments, 14 CP)

Battalion
Librarian, jump pack, plasma pistol, power sword, smite, shield, quick
Sanguinary Priest, jump pack, bolter, power axe, veritas vitae
Tac squad, 5, flamer
Tac squad, 5, flamer
Tac squad, 5, flamer
Plasma Inceptors, 3
Flamer Agressors, 3
Predator, autocann-lascann, stormbolter
Predator, autocann-lascann, stormbolter

Vanguard
Captain, jump pack, thunderhammer and stormshield, warlord, angels wing
Sanguinary ancient, power fist, angelus bolter, banner, possible 3rd relic
Sanguinary Guard, 5, 2 jump packs, power fists, 3 encarmine blades, 2 inferno pistols, 3 angelus bolters
Vanguard vet squad, 5, jump packs, power fist, hand flammer, 4 pairs of lightning claws

Allied Battalion (Cadian)
2x company commanders
3x infantry squads with mortars

So far, so good.  I was hoping to meld some scouts in, but I don't have the models. I'll be considering changing the Sanguinary Priest to a chaplain if the points fit.  Will need to try it out on some stuff. 

Thoughts?

MING

Monday, September 24, 2018

Ogryn 2++ IMHO is really 3+/4++

Rant time.

Yep, another conundrum by players pushing the envelope.

In the tournament I was in this weekend (12 players), I unfortunately did something horrible in my past 15 years or so of Warhammer 40K.  I came in last place!

Besides that, there was some interesting stuff going on, but the thing that got my goat the most apparently is a "real discussion" in some circles of 40K.

I assaulted a bodyguard Ogryn with a tooled up Mephiston, expecting to win, while Lemartes win in to assault the opponent's warlord.

Lemartes easily popped off the warlord, no big deal, he was just the head of the Catachans = Strakken himself!

Mephiston, on the other hand, could not even wound the Ogryn Bodyguard.

Why?

Because the Ogryn was wearing a halloween mask, giving him a 2++ save I was told.

Yep.

So that had me go into the actual codex to see what was going on.

Ogryn bodyguards have a base 5+ save.

If you give them one (Slab) shield (0 cost, takes up a slot), his 5+ goes down to a 3+.  The other option is a different (Brute) shield, which grants a 4++ save (5 points, so the Ogryn is a 4++/5+).

If you give him a relic mask, the mask says it gives the user (infantry) a 4++ save, plus one per game a D3 wound restore.

So my opponent used the FREE shield, added the FREE mask, to claim he was now a 2++ Ogryn.

After reading it through, I'd have to say, Fu## you. 

In all of Games Workshops current writing, there are saves, invulnerable saves, and FNP/resilient  saves.

The cheap, FREE shield says it adds 2 to your save, not your invulnerable save or your FNP/resilient save.

The Ogryn should have been 3+/4++.

Period.

Undoubtedly if I'd brought it up to the TO, I felt like I'd have lost the argument of rules as bent versus rules as written, rules as implied, or rules as costed, rules as "more like guidelines" or whatever.

I did discuss it with my long-time Astra Militarum buddy after the day was done, and he agrees I got boned by it.  Others said, "well, if he's wrong maybe it will be in a FAQ".

Now I know there are threads at Dakka, BOLS, and B&C that writers are trying to claim some form of miracle.  A 2++ Ogryn. Using him to tank wounds for the character he stands with.

Just read the G-D words. "any" does not mean "insert word invulnerable here". The free shield is worded to take the 5+ down to a 3+.

Overall, I feel this is just WAAC'ers pushing the envelope to do something that was not intended to be done or written to be done.  Its like when others were claiming you had to fire everything, even one strike missiles like HKMs, if the unit fired at all ("no holding back!"). Grrrr.

Regardless, I felt this game was played pretty loose by my opponent, he certainly did not get any sportsmanship score from me.

In the next opportune phase, Mephiston jumped away, then used a power to get even further away, and hid till the game's turn 3 end.

Lemartes, left in the open, was pretty much mortared to death.

Overall, as promised, I'm putting the Death Company-themed list away for a while.  The next few weeks are planned to be at 1850 points.  I've downloaded BattleScribe to my devise, and have been playing with it in oder to figure out how it works and such.  It took a bit to figure some stuff out (while watching Sunday Night Football), but I already have a base list for this week's fun and such.  It was interesting to see the details I could look up, something I did not expect.

Overall, there were other things that were important to some of my game losses, but those are best for a different day.

MING






Friday, September 21, 2018

Blood Angels 1750 Evolution

Read this post with a Scottish accent. It ends up that most of the (last) video casts I'm watching nowadays are from the UK...

Yes, the current list (previous post) just is not doing it for me. 

I played a game vs Tau on Wednesday.  My opponent is pretty awesome in playing, and I've lost more games to him than won, so he always presents a great challenge for me.  My opponent started with a full "infantry" brigade and a "drone" battalion, so he had lots of CPs to start. So yeah, 6 squads of warriors and at least 3 units of drones.  I wish I had a detailed list, because it is pretty good.  Lots of characters to hand out bubbles, lots of targeting lasers to give other benefits.  Not very mobile.

We rolled up the mission where you can steal "secure" objectives. 

He won the roll to go first and I seized.  I'd only held the Hammer Captain, Lemartes, and the Jump DC in reserve to drop in on Turn 2.  We played to 5 turns. 

At the end, I'd lost the game (no photos - the lighting was poor), about 18 to 12.  We were back and forth through turn 4.  A great hand draw on Turn 5 for him really created the points gap.

Overall, my list weaknesses (to be fixed) before tomorrow's FLGS tournament include:

1. In "mustering" I have an issue with relics to really take advantage of the CP farming abilities.  I need another (unnamed) character in the Blood Angels in order to get Veritas Vitae, and I need make the warlord one of the company commanders in order to obtain the two sources of CP recovery. The goal is to have all three elements of CP recovery, in order to get the most benefits.  The negative of this is that the Captain loses his warlord trait (his FNP save as death company will only be the 6+ rerolling 1's which is far worse than the 5+ rerolling 1's I currently use).

2. The snipers pretty much accomplished nothing. I really need three more mortars.  I'll see what I can do, so it probably means cobbling together another group of three mortars tonight (if I have the bits) or getting in three heavy bolters.  In fact, as the FLGs may not have updated their mission packet to current ITS missions, I can save some points by adding the heavy bolters to the astra militarum squads.  This means these 10-man squads now become 9-model squads...I need to check the astyra militarum stratagems and see if they can get hellfire shells on those to create a source of mortal wounds.

3. Catachan vs Cadian? I'm probably just going to go Cadian.  Although I'm not sold on it, Cadian rules and stratagems may be better for this particular list since the Astra Militarum tend to just sit back and shoot.

4. Need to spread the death company special weapons around.  I talked about that in the last post.

Long term, I need to look at a way to shut down or bypass invulnerable saves on my opponent's largest models. In this case (seen in other games too), large models with 4+ or 3+ invulnerable saves are pain.  In the game this week, on Turn 3, I was able to use the Captain to multi-assault several tau units including the Riptide.  The Riptide (slightly wounded) ultimately was attacked by 4 jump death company (TH, PA, 2 PS), and the Captain (TH/SS).  Using all of the stratagems I could muster, including having the DC attack twice, the Riptide survived with three wounds, which in the bottom of the turn was increased to 6 wounds, and ultimately (after flying out of combat) the Riptide shot the DC off the table. In the following turn 4, the Captain and Lemartes (survivors of Turn 3 Tau love) moved on to multi-assault the center of the tau line, using up the remainder of my CPs, eliminating an ethereal, the remainder of the Tau drones, and two other warrior squads...in response, the Riptide, and three other Tau characters, totally destroyed the Captain and Lemartes.  It was bad.

6+ FNPs on the death company are as bad as they sound.  Might as well not have it.  Just wastes time.

Overall, I made some other mistakes - I probably should have just started with everything on the table.  The Stormraven could have done more on Turn 1 (shot down on Turn 2).  Stuff like that. 

The Astra militarum - except for the mortars - did not do much in the game. Except for what CPs they provided - might as well have had just three full units of mortars....which if I had the models...

Anyways, all for now.  Happy Friday and see you across the table! After this weekend, my list will stay Blood Angels bu totally change with the death company theme being changed to the golden host...remember those experiments where I ran equal points of anything Sanguinary vs DC counterparts and golden painted stuff wrecks everything black? Yeah...

Overall, it has been fun running a DC themed list.  The counts-as Catachans might as well be fluffy Baal defense auxiliary...

All for now,

MING   

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Up-scaling Blood Angels to 1750

I have a minor tournament at my FLGS on Saturday, 1750 points.  But September is such a busy time!

For the sake of consistency, I'm continuing my theme of using all of the painted death company marines in my collection and supporting units (Battalion plus vanguard detachment, 9 CP) and then added to it exactly 250 points of Astra Militarum (Catachans Battalion, 5 CP):

Blood Angels (1500):

  • Company Captain with JP/TH/SS/AW relic (all set to become death company)
  • Chaplain Lemartes
  • Mephiston, LOD, smite, shield, wings, quick
  • Death Company, 10, with Jump Packs, 2 PA, 3 PS, 1 PF, 1 TH
  • Death Company on Foot, 10
  • Death Company Dread, Blood Talons, melta, storm bolter, magna grapple
  • 3 tactical squads, 5 ea, 1 flamer
  • Stormraven Gunship, TLLC/TLMM, HBs, 2 SSMLs
  • 3 Flamer Aggressors


Astra Militarum (Catachans, 250):

  • 2 company commanders (las pistols and chain swords) (more relics)
  • 1 Infantry squad with a flamer
  • 2 Infantry squads, no upgrades
  • 1 special weapons squad, 3 snipers
  • 1 heavy weapons squad (3 mortars)

My intent was to go all-Angels and include a Jump Lieutenant and Plasma Inceptors, but I'm not done yet with them - who knows? Maybe I'll have them done before the weekend!

This current list does let me 14 CP, and the ability to maybe farm up some more.  One of the things for me to remember is that the Blood Angels stratagems do allow me some interesting things that I'm learning from my favorite battle reports and bloggers.

1. You can turn more than 1 character to death company using the stratagems.  If I add in the Lieutenant, he becomes more resilient and benefits from the black rage and, it helps on making sure the Captain and others really max out on wound production.

2. You can use two stratagems on turn 1 to get the Death Company into position - one to get the jump squad a free move and advance forward, the other to bring Lemartes forward with them. Let the jump pack death company use the 3D6 assault rerollable, on turn 1.

3. The warlord trait that supports the Captain best (5+FNP when he goes DC), ALSO gives a reroll 1's on that FNP...I have no idea how many times I did not remember that!

4. I have to see if I can get another Death Company marine (on foot) modeled and done, to get some of the power weapons spread around.  It would be good to have a hidden thunder hammer in there.  Speaking of which, the power axes on the jump DC just need to go...in this edition, power axes seem like a waste of points for blood angels compared to power swords or other choices.

5. Overall, between pre-game CP uses and the deployment CP uses, I'd end up starting the game with about 8 CP remaining. The key is to get the Astra Militarum deployed first, so their relics can possibly recover the 3+ or so CPs the Blood Angels use in deploying or turn 1.

As for the Astra Militarum, I have a interesting conundrum.  Models.  Frankly I'd drop the snipers for another heavy weapon squad - but I'm out of mortars!  Heavy bolters cost a bit too much for a swap. Also, I'm using the Catachan faction, but the models are bog standard guard in green and tan with no red bandannas or big giant knives...

If anyone local wants to trade some Catachans for some Tallarn, let me know!  I'll consolidate to Catachan if you want some cool (metal) Tallarn characters and about two squads worth of infantry all painted and ready to go!  Painted or unpainted or in the box Catachans are fine...I only have about 2.5 squads worth of Catachans at the moment and more are needed!

I love the Catachans for their +1 S and ability to reroll flamer hits.  As you may recall, my earlier 2000 point list swapped out the company commanders for Strakken and a Lord Commissar. Strakken adds a lot of fun when running a small force he can lead. Overall, keeping the Catachans in my list (as above) means I need to cull out some Astra Militarum stratagems, relics, and a cheat sheet on their orders! It all adds up in complexity...this gets me thinking...if I drop the flamer from the bloos angels tac squad, I can give those points to the Catachans for another flamer...

Overall, this list will give me a large number of bodies...could be interesting! Hope to practice on Wednesday and Friday...going 2-1 for the day on Saturday would be awesome.

MING