Friday, March 29, 2013

Recent 11th Company Interview Reflection (Part 1)

I recently was interviewed by Pat of 11th Company fame.  Pat also being a long time Daemon player made for a great conversation.  I really like listening to these guys, so you should check them out if you have a little commute or painting time to spare.  You can listen to Episode 156 here.  My interview is about an hour and a half in.

So, I listened to my interview and want to post some reflections about my early thoughts on the Chaos Daemon codex based upon my showing at the March Contest of Champions.  I went 0-3 in all close games, but never the less took a beating that day.  I'm used to 2-1 or 3-0 results so I had to man up and be a gracious looser.

At 1500 points a took an All-Tzeentch list to see if I could make a proper go at it with the new codex.  My list looked something like this (I don't have the actual points load out with me):

- Fateweaver
- 2 Heralds of Tzeentch w/ Locus of Conjuration (one ML2 and one ML1) and Exhaulted gifts

- 16 Pink Horrors with Blasted Standard
- 12 Pink Horrors (naked)

- 3 Flamers (pyrocaster upgrade on 1)
- 4 Flamers (naked)
- 4 Flamers (naked)

- 6 Screamers

- Tzeentch Soul Grinder w/ pleghm

- Aegis Defense Line w/ quad gun

Fateweaver - which is too bad because I just bought a Fine Cast model of this guy after using a LoC forever in this spot.  His re-roll on the warp storm table and single die re-roll is not worth 300 points.  He is less durable than previously and once he's locked in combat any real value he had diminished greatly.  Had I taken a DP or LoC I would have fared better.

Pink Horrors - I previously wrote about how the shooting on these guys isn't that bad.  It isn't - BUT deny the witch is THAT good, and losing overwatch is a big deal.  I used to take 20 horrors and my opponents would have to really debate the assault before committing.  Now, there is no reason not to assault this unit.  This cost me one of the games.

Tzeentch - I'm still waiting on a GW FAQ to correct what I believe was a mistake on the Buring Chariots (not being able to move and shoot).  Psychic shooting is rough, Eldar, Space Wolves and Tyranids are going to relegate my Tzeentch Daemons to casual play unless I ally in Slaanesh, Khorne or C:CSM.  I'm simmering this decision as I write.

Soul Grinder - Even AV 13 only requires a single penetration to toast near 200 points.  This is the problem with vehicles in general.  No complaints, but he got popped on turn 1 in my first game.

Deployment - Being able to deploy models lulls my opponents into a false sense of security.  I wasn't too sure about this, but when used properly this can be every bit as flexible as the old Daemonic Assault rules.

Tzeentch Heralds - Yes, prescience is that good, presuming you can hex your opponents DtW die. The Locus of Conjuration is great also, psychic shooting is just way too random...

Friday, March 8, 2013

Helldrake does as Helldrake pleases

Q:  Can Heldrake really do as Heldrake pleases?  
A:  Yes, Heldrake is now an Assault Vehicle.

"The Legions of the Chaos Space Marines have learned to climb onto the back of the Heldrake and ride it into battle. They launch assaults by swooping up high and then leaping down off the back of the Heldrake... DEATH (the the false emperor) FROM ABOVE!!!!!

Models "on board" a Heldrake can launch an assault after disembarking from a Heldrake. Measure from the Heldrakes base (naturally) in any direction (of course), however add 5d6 to their assault range to represent the boost they get from diving off a super-sonic Heldrake's back. Furthermore, models on board can draw LoS from any point on the board to launch their assault.

Also, all models launching an assault will ignore cover saves, gain the Crusader special rule, have Missile Lock (to be redacted later), have Preferred Enemy (Tau), and naturally, gain Furious Charge.  Models equipped with Plasma Pistols gain the Salvo 4/8 rule.

Finally, the Heldrake himself can participate in the assault to support his passengers. The Heldrake fights in combat as a Walker. However, at the end of a round of combat, the Heldrake is not locked and instead returns to a Swooping/Gliding (player's choice) state in the same position he was in. The Heldrake does not need to pile-in nor make a charge move nor has to be anywhere near the actual combat to participate. 

Furthermore, in subsequent turns, the Heldrake can continue to fight in any combat he was in that is still ongoing no matter where he is at on the board. 

Lastly, the Heldrake now has the Skilled Rider special rule and can be mounted on a Palanquin for 35 points."

-Neil Gilstrap, host 11th Company
Neil's original blog post can be found here.  I stole the whole thing in its entirety, QFT.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

11th Company

I'm a fan of the 11th Company, a long running (maybe longest running) Warhammer 40K podcast.  Neil, Pat and the rest of the crew are fun guys to listen to.  Neil is the tactical genius and Pat is the face man.  By that I mean that Neil is a bigger blowhard than I am on most subjects while offering great insight into the tactical value of units and their codices while Pat arranges great interviews with interesting and exciting guests.  See what I did there?  You will...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sportsmanship - Soft Score or Necessary Evil?

Personally, I think these 3 questions pretty much sum of the issue of sportsmanship, soft score or necessary evil?
  1. What is the genesis of the sportsmanship score at 40K tournaments?
  2. What does one hope to accomplish by scoring sportsmanship?
  3. If you score sportsmanship how do you ensure your players all follow the same guidelines?

Questions about the new codex for a GW FAQ

Dakka is compiling a good thread on all of the questions that are being asked on the interwebs.  Here or some of my favorites.  I also go on record on how I think they should be ruled and how I think GW will rule.

I'll keep updating this thread for a few days with my thoughts.  As someone reminded me, we should have an FAQ within 9 days.  Everyone knows Tzeentch's number is best and since Phil and I share the same first initial and last name we must have some connection.  So, on the 9th day (which will be this coming Sunday) give or take a day we'll have a C:CD FAQ.  Anyone want to wager on the over/under?

First thoughts with the new Daemons

After spending last week reading both German copies and photos of the real thing, followed by actually getting my iPad copy Friday night and then playing the old codex on Saturday I got to give the codex a whirl today.  First thoughts:

  • Damn, that's a lot of psykers.  I have to learn a new phase of the game.
  • What, no...  You can't double me out I have Eternal wa....  Oh, crap, you're right.
  • Oh yeah, I forgot to roll on the Warp Storm table, hang on a second.
  • I need more and multiple colors of tokens to mark war charges, warp flames and soul blaze.
  • There aren't enough psychic cards in the deck for me to use that much divination.
  • I need cards for the Daemonic Rewards so that I can put them next to the models.
  • Discs are jet bikes?  Let's see what I can do with screamers.
  • Wow, 30 minutes of set-up and rolling dice and we're now just starting the game...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Final Game Thoughts

Necrons and Daemons are ever so slightly less cheesy.
Yesterday was the final outing for my old daemons.  I say final because I don't think I'll be playing in any tournaments in the next 28 days or so, and I think that the local tournament scene generally has a 30 day window on codex releases.  Anyway, my friend Andy and I teamed up for a local team tournament at Olde World Gaming in Elk Grove, CA.  Andy plays Necrons and Dark Angels, and neither very often.  We went into the day with the thought of finishing in the mid/upper tier but I wasn't expecting 3 wins.

The first game was against a newer player, and while he put up a good showing it wasn't really a fair match.  He was the ringer playing a single 2k point list against our Necron/Daemon list.

The second game was against a local favorite and his brother.  It was Space Marine bikes and Tau against us in Vanguard.  This was a much harder fought win, but still a win.  There are games like that one where everything goes my way and I see that my flamers are just awesome.

The last game was a knock down drag out "mirror" match where we fought Necrons and Tyranids.  It was Dawn of War and every turn ebbed and flowed.  At any given point the game could have gone either way.  We ended up pulling out a narrow victory, unlike the first two games.  The win earned me a Burning Chariot model, which presents its own set of issues (embarked passenger firing heavy weaponry, d'oh!).

So, when I look back at my experience this last year with my daemons I see a mixed bag.  I did well with them in 5th edition, but not awesome.  That said, I only started playing 40k again a little over 2 years ago, so I consider myself still learning.  The changes to the flamers and screamers made my army better, no doubt, but did it make me a winner?  I can't say for sure, but it didn't hurt my odds.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Changes that would have lessened the sting from the nerf bat

I'm going to focus on Tzeentch and things that would have lessened the sting of the change IMHO.
  • Give all units that start on the board scout.  Seriously, we're daemons that errupt from the warp.  Placement should be scary for the opponent.  This compromises between normal deployment and complete deepstrike.  Most units would get a 6" move.
  • Allow Ld tests for pshycic powers to be taken on the modified Ld even if it takes it higher than 10.  Fateweaver is the boss.  He lost his reroll bubble, don't make him fail psychic tests 3/36 times.  He should auto pass, but still take perils.
  • -1 to opponents DTW.  Seriously, the average marine unit should not get a 1/6 chance to shut down psychic shooting from a daemon (made of the warp).
  • Daemons should be able to manifest witchfire for overwatch.
I can pretty much live with everything else.  Yeah, there is stuff I don't like, but these few changes would make the stuff that isn't supposed to be wonky and unreliable a little more paletable.

What do you think?

Pink Horrors Point Efficiency (part 2)

In the early day of 6th edition screamers and flamers were the damage dealers in an all Tzeentch army, but you were forced to take Pink Horrors to round out the army and score objectives.  Most daemon players would take other troops choices, but I remained true to my devotion to the changing tides of the aether.  I liked taking them in squads of 10-20 to keep them alive and deal some damage. I routinely ran a large blob squad of 19 horrors and the Changeling plus a Herald.  This was a mixed bag.

Survivable 4++ save (rerolled near Fateweaver)
Massed fire (60+ shots at 18")
Great overwatch potential (often poor actual results)

Large deepstrike footprint
360-455 points that can mishap
Low BS shooting