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Tactics

Wow, so its been a while since I have been able to sit and breathe. Sadly I have neglected the blog, partly because of work but also because I didn’t want to comment too much on 8th Ed 40k without trying it first. Spoiler season was just crazy so whatever I had wrote would probably have been lost to the warp the very next day.

Alas, I managed to get two games in over the weekend (using modified ITC) with my Craftworld Eldar. The event was Save vs Summer at Camp Zama, Japan. The restrictions were 1250 pts using only 1 detachment. Also models had to be as close to WYSIWYG as possible. I had a patrol detachment (3 command points, CP) and my list was as follows;

Avatar of Khaine
Autarch with Warp jump generator and Death Spinner
Guardians (10) with Shuriken Cannon platform
Wraithguard (5) with D-Scythes
Wave Serpent with Twin Bright Lance
Warp Spiders (6)
Vyper with two Shuriken Cannons
2 War Walkers each with a Scatter Laser and Star Cannon

Not very powerful or efficient but I wanted to try out things. I had never used Wraithguard or a Wave Serpent so I was interested in their resilience. The Avatar was an experiment also, mobility hurt him last edition so I wanted to see if this still existed. I knew this list was better in midrange distances, and I didnt have much high strength weaponry as I would like. S6 is ok, but not vs many T7 vehicles. Overall, my aim was to have fun, try new units and get to grips with the rules- these were my first games of 8th!

I won’t go into too many details of the games but I played vs Tau (Longstrike) and codex Marines. I lost vs Tau and table the Marine player (who I think was fairly new to 40k). A word about CPs, I only had 3. I would have loved more especially in a tight game. So I clearly made an error choosing the patrol detachment instead of the Fast Attack detachment for an extra 2 CP (duh!). The CP’s I used didn’t change a huge amount, but they at least gave me or my opponent a chance to change the odds. For example I needed a 3+ to kill a crisis suit but rolled a 2 then a 1. Or a hammerhead doing an extra 3 damage. Having the chance is better than not having the chance at all.

So I lost vs Tau. Now I can accept losing, however I made things difficult for myself by not taking the chance to move the 1 piece of LOS blocking terrain we had before the game started. Therefore, my opponent (Julian) could castle up at the back with a large killing field in front of him. This really affected how I deployed and acted in turns 1 and 2 as I didn’t know how deadly things were- I was too conservative and didn’t put pressure on when I should have. Even then I had a couple chances to steal it had a couple rolls went my way. The final score was 5-11 mission points which was perhaps a fair reflection of my naivety, but overall an enjoyable game given how close it was.

Game two was a bit of a blow out. I played vs Bruce who had a Marine army consisting of two Rhinos filled with dudes, a Dreadnought, then a large assault squad and terminator squad to Deep Strike. Now there is nothing wrong with Deep Strike, but you have to be sure that it will pay off otherwise the counterstrike will be hard as your army is now split. Unfortunately for Bruce he only succeeded in heavily damaging the Wave Serpent. In my turn I deleted both his deep strike units, was fortunate with the maelstrom to go ahead. It didn’t get better for Bruce as by turn 5 he was table and I had only lost a couple Wraithguard and a Vyper. I am certain we was new to 40k so I chatted with him at the end about little things he could have done differently to break up my army better. This game we had LOS blocking terrain and it made a huge difference to me- crucial part of 8th Ed I feel.

This comes to my first unit review. The Avatar of Khaine. This guy is a bruiser. He chops stuff up easily in combat, has a meltagun, a 12″ fearless bubble and is extra resilient. However, he is still slow. Vs Bruce I couldn’t get him where I wanted because I cannot Advance and Charge meaning he can only move 7″ plus 2d6 if you want to charge (re-rollable). Therefore for him to work well the enemy has to come to you. Is this a guarantee in a tournament setting? No, as he got blasted off the table vs Tau thanks to my poor positioning and bad saving dice. If a tournament had a side board then I would consider taking him but otherwise he will be relegated to casual games vs an army I know.

The Autarch was great, he flew across the table thanks to the jump generator (so did the Warp Spiders), and the re-rolls of 1 was an excellent bonus. The Wave Serpent was tough, and Twin bright lances are good, the S8 -4 AP did a lot of good work. The Wraighguard were great, so tough, great weapons (unless you roll a 1 or 2), but underwhelming in combat with only 1 A. The Vyper and War Walkers were solid as they are fast, but the mass S6 weapons wasn’t that good. On the Vyper 2 Shuriken Cannons was good as there are no penalties to moving and advancing thanks to Battle Focus, and the -3 AP on a 6 to wound is nice. The War Walkers can be a little tricky, -1 to hit if they move, and with S6 weapons they are suited to killing infantry/T6 vehicles. Maybe I will try Missile Launchers or more Bright Lances.

Overall Craftworld Eldar are solid and fun to use. The army list should be built to take advantage of Battle Focus. I will try to get a couple more games in with a similar list to really get the hang of Eldar- and use the correct detachment!

Thanks for stopping by, and I will try to get all the painting updates on here in the next few days.

 

Floorhammer 40k fans, we are back with two short battle reports for you! Actually, these battles took place on the tables of GW Ikebukuro, Tokyo, rather than the floors of a suburban Tokyo home in true Floorhammer battle style. Alas, games were played, models were picked up from the table- blood for the blood god, right?

My opponent was Kyle, a fairly new arrival to Tokyo and has thrown himself into the wargaming community around Tokyo. I have a huge amount of respect for him considering I know how tough it can be moving to Tokyo. Kyle has settled with Thousand Sons, and I had played him before- Rubric marines are scary as hell with a 3+/4++ and AP3 bolters. However, several constraints have meant Kyle hasn’t had the chance to expand his force yet. I knew  roughly what models his force would be comprised of, and perhaps I had this in the back of mind when I made my lists. I didn’t specifically tailor my lists against him to counter what he could do, but I’m saying a bias could exist. Alas, Kyle said he had a great time and thats the main thing.

I decided to take my Space Marines out for their first battle. Named the Sunbreakers, akin to the Salamanders chapter, they use flamecraft to purge the enemies of the Emperor. If you have seen any of the blog before you can see how they look.

We played two games, Purge the Alien and the Relic on a 4′ x 4′ table as it was only 500 pts. Sadly I didn’t take pictures, I will do better next time. Kyle took first turn in both games, which was perhaps a slight advantage for my Pod coming down to pick off an isolated unit.

My lists were as follows;

Purge the Alien

Techmarine; Servo-harness (with Centurions)

Tactical squad; Combi-flamer, flamer, Drop pod

Tactical squad; Combi-flamer, flamer

Centurion Devastators; Twin-linked lascannons, Hurricane bolters

The Relic

Techmarine; Servo-harness (with Pod unit)

Tactical squad; Combi-flamer, flamer, Powerfist, Drop pod

Tactical squad; Combi-flamer, flamer

Land Speeder; Multi-melta

Dreadnought; Assault cannon, heavy flamer

Game 1; Purge the Alien

Kyle had roughly a Chaos lord with Mark of Tzeentch plus some wargear, Rubric marines, Cultists and a Helbrute. These units are solid and caused plenty of problems, however the lack of mobility and heavy weapons are issues that can be exploited. Something like Obliterators and Warp Talons would go a long way to resolving these problems. Alas, onto the games!

Purge the Alien started with me Podding in close to the Cultists and burning them off the board to score 1st Blood and a kill point. The Centurions and the Rubrics+Lord were doing a Waltz around the main line of sight blocking terrain in the middle to avoid each others line of site. Turn 2 saw the Hellbrute kill a Marine from the Podded squad, and the Lord jumped close to  assault the Pod. In the assault phase the Lord’s melta bomb immobilized the Pod again to reduce it to 1 HP. On my turn the Centurions blew up the Helbrute.

In Kyle’s Turn 3, the Lord failed to finished the Pod- the 1st of about 4/5 snake eyes Kyle rolled over the course of the afternoon. Horrendous luck. The Rubrics took out a couple more marines from the Podded squad but they held morale. At this stage, the second Tactical squad were in support of the first squad and hid in cover to get in better position for next turn. The Lord finally wrecked the Pod scoring Kyle a kill point.

The next turn saw the Lord reduced to 1 wound from Lascannons (he had Eternal warrior) and rapid firing bolters. Another flamer killed 3 Rubrics in a crazy combo of Salamander chapter tactics rerolls, and some awful armour save rolling. The coup de grace was on turn 5; the Chaos Lord was killed in overwatch to more flamer fire. At this point we called the game with the final score 5-1 to the Sunbreakers.

Game 2; The Relic

With a changed list, I wanted to mix up the tactics a little to see what worked and what didn’t. 1 of my marines was killed by the Cultists heavy stubber. Kyle jumped the Rubrics onto the Relic, however the Pod came down with the Techmarine and deleted them off the board. Between 3 flamers and a few rapid firing boltguns the squad caused about 15 wounds. The Land speeder jinked from the Helbrute’s multi-melta.

Turn 2 saw the Cultists managing to take down the Powerfist Sarge and the Lord charged the Dreadnought. The Dreadnought caused 2 wounds that would instant kill the Lord, however both were saved thanks to the Lord’s 3++. The Lord’s meltabomb penetrated the Dreadnought but Kyle rolled a 1 on the damage table, taken to 3 thanks to AP1.

On my turn 2 the Tactical squad targeted the Helbrute missed 2 Krak grenades (shooting and assault phase), and the Techmarine’s plasma cutter, and powerfist attacks all did nothing. The Hellbrute squished a guy and the squad fell back. The other tactical squad charged the Lord to support the Dreadnought. The Lord has to issue challenges so it meant the Dreadnought was safe for a turn. The Lord cut up two marines, and the Dreadnought missed all its attacks. The remaining two marines failed morale and ran.

Turn 3 was a turning point. Having the momentum turn favourably for the Thousand Sons, the screw was there to be turned. In hindsight, Kyle could have moved the Cultists out of the fortification to try to close down the Relic and at least try to down my Marines in volume of fire. However, the Helbrute missed with its Multi-melta. This was extremely crucial as when it charged the Hellbrute caused 3 wounds- enough to kill the remaining Marines with the Techmarine but leaving the Techmarine alive. If the Multi-melta had hit, and likely killed, then the Techmarine would have been dead too. In response, the Techmarine proceeded to wreck the Hellbrute with its Servo-harness. To compound the misery, my Dreadnought instant killed the Lord. In my turn, the Techmarine moved onto the Relic.

The next couple of turns were a forgone conclusion, and with the Sunbreakers scoring Linebreaker, Slay the warlord, 1st blood and the Relic for a final score of 6-0.

Redux

Both games were a lot of fun, and had a plenty of tough tactical decisions. The balance of luck was definitely in my favour. Kyle was a great sport about it and a pleasure to play him. Once his army takes on a couple more units, the games will get tougher and more interesting. The scores belie how both games were on a knife-edge during the middle turns. Also in such small points games, the effect of luck becomes more pronounced. We each have so few units that the loss of a couple means the game can completely swing against you.

Some specific learning points. I learnt that Space marines are really quite average at combat, especially vs a Chaos lord who prefers combat (whoops). In this case, they saved the Dreadnought but its something to keep in mind. On the other hand, the Salamanders chapter tactics are awesome, and a lot of fun. The rerolls are definitely nice, and catch people out- its turns the humble flamer into a devastating force. But I can imagine against higher toughness units, or units with Feel no Pain the effectiveness will drop significantly.

Moving forward, I really want to get some WIP for a bunch of models I’ve been working on. Also I want to get my Dark Angels showcase up too as there are some cool models in there. If time permits I will try to get one of these up by the end of the week.

For now, I’m signing out, and happy wargaming.

 

 

Happy wargaming all!

This past weekend I got my first couple games with the new Gathering Storm 2 book, the Ynnari faction. I played 1200pts vs Tau, and 1000pts vs Chaos. Here I won’t go into any details about the games (I didn’t really record much of those games). So today I am going to talk about my first impressions of the book, and some highlights/tactical points. Bare in mind that I’m not a fantastic player, or look to use only the most powerful combinations. This is just one gamers opinion 🙂

Firstly, the Reborn warhost detachment is very powerful, especially if you meet the requirement of 7+ units. This is super easy to achieve, even at 1000pts. One of the main benefits having 7 units has is that it gives you 2 Soulburst activations rather than 1. This very powerful at any stage of the game. In the early turns, you can get extra shots with your long range firepower, or extra movement with fast units such as Warp Spiders, Windriders etc. In my case, I was running an Autarch with Banshee mask, Fusion gun and Hawk wings; being able to wreck a vehicle, then move 18″ was hugely advantageous. As well as the second unit’s Soulburst action. In later turns, it was great as I was able to perform some shenanigans. For example, I finished off some Kroot with my Dire Avengers, had the Autarch charge a Firewarrior squad (with no Overwatch), and then Avengers shoot another unit. Fantastic.

What I really loved was that I was able to interact with my opponent on their turn. It definitely influenced their strategy on how to deal with my army. Furthermore, it gave me a chance to answer a problem before it got out of control. In a Maelstrom game, the cards can still wreck you, but Soulburst can give you a fighting chance to table your opponent given how good eldar shooting etc can be. I think when I get the hang of positioning my units better, I wont miss out of any activations -it is criminal if you do! Make sure your units are buddied up in case the worst happens. I made this mistake a couple times, but only hurt me once.

This book is great, but where does it fall apart? Of course there are some restrictions and issues. Well the fact you have to be within 7″ of the destroyed unit means either your stuff is dying, or you are up close with the enemy. Perhaps a little too close, especially if you are in a meta that features close combat armies or about to be smashed by 20+ rapid firing Pulse rifles. Generally, being close to the enemy isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but requires you to have sufficient support to take advantage of Soulburst. I’d also say that in Maelstrom games, objectives win the game. Being in bubbles within 7″ of each other really hamstrings your ability to capture objectives unless you have a list that has this problem in mind. Therefore, you are in a bit of a tug-of-war between maximising Strength from Death and the mission objectives.

Another issue was that Strength from Death only activates for non-vehicle units. Eldar and Dark Eldar have some really nice vehicles that would love to be able to move, Flat Out or shoot etc that cannot take advantage of this rule. Don’t get me wrong, if one of your vehicles is destroyed your units within 7″ get to Soulburst. However, I feel this will influence the way you build your Reborn warhost to maximise the number of units that have to opportunity to Soulburst. In addition, it could lead you running units that you might not necessarily think is optimal. I could be a little paranoid and will have a play a few more games before my verdict is truly out.

Finally, there is no Ob. Sec. This I think will not generally be an issue, but certainly something to consider, especially competitively against Battle Companies with their 1 million Ob. Sec. units.

In summary, the book is a heap of fun- and iv not even scratched the surface with the special characters and formations. If you get the chance to try your Eldar/Dark Eldar/ Quins with this book then leave comment below as I would love to hear what your experiences have been like so far. Now I am eying up the Ulthwe strike force as that looks like it will cause most people many headaches.

Chris