Friday, June 28, 2013

Misfits of 40K: Episode 5

Ok, so I didn’t have a hidden easter egg in the last episode for a clue to this episode, boo hoo.  So I’ll give it to you now, F***ed O**… anyone… no?  Well, this is especially for you Necron players, even though you probably have no clue as to what I am talking about.

This episode is on...Flayed Ones.  Still nothing huh?  Ok, go to the Necron codex and turn to page 37, then 93.  There you go...what?  Yes they have been there the whole time.  No I did not just put it there while you weren’t looking.  It’s not so bad is it?

The Flayed One has had a long existence on the short bus of the 40K universe.  In fact, I’m not sure they were ever popular or good, but after having a look at them I’m not entirely sure why they suck.

This model speaks volumes towards their unpopularity

With a WS, S, and T of 4, 3 attacks, and a 4+ save with Reanimation Protocol they really don’t seem to be all that awful.  They have Infiltrate which also lets them outflank, the ability to deep strike, and are relatively cheap at 13 pts a model.

Now before I get into the meat of the episode, where I convince you that Flayed Ones are awesome, I’m going to point out a couple flaws and reasons they aren't taken.  They are I2, meaning almost everything goes before them in combat, and while the Reanimation Protocol is great, they don’t reanimate until the end of the phase which makes combat res a problem against a good assault unit.  They also can’t get a dedicated transport and the changes to outflank and assaulting from reserves has hurt them.  Finally, they don’t really have a place in the good army builds like “Wraithwing” and “Cron-Air” spam.  They are too slow, can’t start in a transport, and can’t assault when coming in from reserves.  All in all, not a great pairing with the fast moving fliers, and the terrain ignoring Wraiths.

So lets take a couple of other units with similar points costs and do a head to head comparison.  This is a “cost analysis” I like to do to see if a unit can hold its own vs a similar point cost unit in an optimal situation.  The situation I have is if 10 Flayed ones charges a unit of similar points and model size.  This gives me a good idea whether or not they are good even in the best case scenario.  First up, Chaos Space Marines!

A unit of 10 CSM runs 140 pts, bare bones, a unit of 10 Flayed Ones is 130.  The difference is simply the Aspiring champ.  With just basic 10 man units, the CSM will kill 2 Flayed Ones on overwatch and combat, then the remaining 8 Flayed Ones will kill 2.5 CSM back.  So it’s a narrow win, but still a win.  Then there is a chance that the fallen Flayed Ones will get back up.

Why so serious?

With their new fangled codex and rules, Dire Avengers have gotten better.  2 shots and seudo-rending makes their overwatch deadlier.  Again, Flayed Ones charging into a unit of DA will lose 3 to overwatch and assault, and the remaining 7 Flayed Ones will kill 4.5 DA.  After which, 1 Flayed One should get back up.

So, after that quick analysis I know that in a toe to toe fight, in a vacuum, 10 vs 10, Flayed Ones are pretty good. 

I mentioned before that these guys are kinda slow and have a hard time keeping up with the rest of the army, which is their biggest problem.  Well, I’d suck at this if I didn't think of a couple ways to compensate.
The good new is that GW must have thought that these guys were gonna have a hard time keeping up too, so they gave them Deep Strike and Infiltrate.  The bad news is you can’t just throw them down and have them wreck face, they are not durable enough for that.  You need to plan and combine forces so that things meet up at the same time.  I won’t go into great depth on target saturation, but the idea is to time it so that your units spring into striking position the same time your units arrive from Deep strike.  This leaves your opponent with lots of units he has to kill, but he won’t be able to kill them all.  With your remaining units you hammer into him hopefully crippling him enough to win the day.

Flayed Ones work extremely well with Wraiths, because the Wraiths are very durable and very fast and they have whip coils.  This means that most of the enemy models will be attacking at I1.  Combined with the Wraith’s rending and the sheer volume of attacks, a combined charge should be able to kill just about anything.

Another thought is to take a Monolith.

Ok, ok, ok, hold on there.  I know the Monolith isn’t the glorious un-killable nightmare that it was, but it’s still an AV 14 vehicle which is nothing to laugh at.

You silly bitch!  Monoliths suck!

So maybe a later episode will deal with the Monolith, none-the-less this is a way at getting your Flayed Ones in place and it’s possibly more reliable than Deep Striking.

As a last resort, you can use them as a distraction.  They are not that many points in the grand scheme of things and they could cause some havoc if they deep strike in the backfield, which would take some heat off of the units that actually count, like Wraiths.

That’s it for this episode, stay tuned for more craptacular 40Kness.

PS: I quickly gave up on that easter egg thing for next episode.  It's hard enough trying to be funny AND inspiring with the odds stacked against me.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mechani-kon - October 26, 2013

Mechani-kon has recently opened registration for their event on October 26, 2013. According to reports from Winnipeg is Nerdy, they have already filled about a third of the 30 spots available for the 40k tournament.

Check out their website for registration and event information. The 40k tournament is a great time and brings out lots of cool armies. They will have other games available too, including a Warmachine tournament and some open tables for board games from JimCon.

See you there.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

July 20th Apocalypse game: Campaign Teaser 2

What do you mean we killed "almost everyone"? Who was responsible for the primary population analysis?
Blaurrrggg gurrgle blarrrg
Great! Now how are we going to find the weapon?!
Blaaaaah gloooooberrrrr....sorry....

We'll never help you find and/or rebuild the weapon...
Meanwhile far far away a Dark Angel sleeps...ZZZzzzZZZ
Hey, Angel of Death... Heed my words. You must travel to the world of Lanius Excubitor. The forces of Chaos are attempting to find a weapon that could spell the ending of us Elda... The Galaxy!
Whoa, weird dream. Captain, I implore you, we must muster the fleet at once! I'll explain when we get there.
Aww man! Why do we have to go to? We always die the most!
Meanwhile back on Lanius Excubitor
Look, Spikey humies! Get 'em! Waaagh!!!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

July 20th Apocalypse game: Campaign Teaser 1

Hard to read? Click here for enlarged image.

Forces of Good
Sean T: Alaitoc Eldar
Wes S: Dark Angels
Chad R: Dark Angels
Shawn W: Imperial Guard

Forces of Chaos
Rob L: Evil Sunz
JP P: Night Lords
Jordan N: Death Guard
Fabio F: Death Guard

to find out WHY these army are "working together"

Sunday, June 16, 2013

And now for something completly different

Many moons ago, Thursty convinced me to purchase Dystopian Wars. It looked like a fun game, the models were nice and it was dirt cheap to start playing. So I picked up a French starter box (Republique du France)... That was in November! I also picked up a box for my non nerd buddy Nick, as this seemed to be the kind of game he would be interested in (Naval Battles). That was in December.
Well, Nick came over yesterday and we had finally made plans to try out this stupid game we bought seven months ago. I dusted off my starter box and through some paint on the boats. This is how they turned out:

My French fleet sans (that's French for "Without") air craft... and turrets, forgot about the turrets

My Big-ass Mamajamma with.... heat cannon?

The original scheme was supposed to be blue and grey... The dark coulour is a mix of Citadel Regal blue, Minitaire Gun Metal Alloy and Raven black. I don't think I'll ever be able to recreate the exact colour. Whoops

Heat cannon. I get a heat cannon about 20 minutes after eating buffalo wings

Wee bit of OSL

So I guess the bad boys can fly... as to run away faster

The colours look much better in person

Awww, these guys are so teeny weeny and cute

This was an awesome painting project. It took me exactly around 1.25 hours to do, and I think they look really good. I have yet learned to play or have a game, so if anyone wants to teach me.....

A few months ago while we were in Minneapolis to the Dark Star GT, we went to a large nerd store that carried a line of models called "Dark Sword". These models were really cool. I picked up this Pug Princess for my girlfriend as she 1) loves pugs (all her dogs are pug crosses) and 2) likes really cute minis. So I quickly painted this little dudette up for her :)

Pug Princess: One sexy bitch

I'm especially a big fan of the six teet chain mail bikini top

While taking a piss at Montanas with a bunch of the Brandon guys after Prairie-con, I noticed the urinal top cap was brass and oxidized. I thoughts to myself "That's so easy to do with a wash". That's when you know you've hit nerd rock bottom... when you tell yourself you can do easily do the effects of oxidization on a Montanas pisser.

Totally would have been funnier if she was wearing a chain mail thong.
Well there you have it folks. Just thought I'd show you something different that I painted up this weekend.
But seriously, somebody play distopian Wars with me.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

40K Misfits: Episode 4

For those of you who guessed that pulling a rabbit out of my ass was the clue for today’s episode, you are right!  I am going to talk about MAGIC.

Ok, not magic per-se, but psychic powers, and not just any powers, but the Chaos Space Marine ones in specific.

So, as many of you may know I play Chaos Space Marines and I often run a level 3 sorcerer with no god-mark.  Now I specifically take no mark for several reasons.  Mainly it’s due to the amount of suck that surrounds the Chaos powers, but they also don’t have a full list of spells, which means GW had to throw in an asinine rule because they are too lazy to think of 3 more spells.  The rule in question is you must have one power from the discipline of your chosen mark, but you can only have half (rounding up) of that discipline.  This essentially means that you must roll on 2 different charts if you have a mark, making it extremely difficult to rely on anything.  What they also should have done, like they did for the Chaos Daemons codex, was to give followers of each god a different set of BRB disciplines they can choose from on top of the god disciplines.  Seriously, how the hell did Tzeentch followers NOT get access to Divination.

Are you telling me this guy can't see the future even a little bit?!?!

So, in order to keep this post a reasonable length, I’m only going to talk about some of the spells that really stand out in my eyes.  Otherwise it would just bore the shit out of you.

Discipline of Tzeentch is mainly a shooty set of powers with the exception of Boon of Mutation, which may just be the most useless and pointless psychic power in the game.  Even in this series I cannot justify using this power so I won’t even mention it.  However the other 3 powers are decent.

Doombolt is, in my eyes, the best power in this discipline.  18” beam, strength 8, AP1, with a boost if you explode a vehicle.  This power is awesome at killing terminators.  For those of you who aren’t sure how this power works, its like this:

This has nothing to do with what I’m talking about.

draw a line 18” long, the first model on the line takes a strength 8 hit.  The next model takes a strength 7 hit, then 6, 5, 4, etc until there are no more models or the beam ends, all at AP 1.  If you hit a wall or obstacle it loses a point of strength as if it hit a model.  Now if you check the wording carefully, each individual model that is touched by the line is hit, not the closest model in the unit.  This means that this power can be used to snipe out characters, weapons, banners, etc, and you don’t need to roll to hit with your mediocre BS of 4.  This power is great if coupled with a method of moving quickly, a disk, jump pack, anything that can move you into a position to hit lots of models with that 18”.

Last is Breath of Chaos.  A little less than its previous version in that it costs 2 warp charges, but still a great power.  A template that wounds on 4+ and AP2 is awesome.

The discipline of Nurgle is possibly my favorite of the Chaos disciplines because it mirrors my play style quite well, not overly aggressive, subtle, with some de-buffing and a final power shot.

Weapon virus is possibly my favorite spell of all the spells in the game.  After casting this spell, and your opponent fails his DTW roll, you have just given every ranged weapon in that unit the Get’s Hot special rule.  Yeah, exactly, awesome.  Let’s say there’s this unit of orks that have these big guns that shoot 48” and have D3 shots.  You get this spell off, and he gets 3 shots, half of those suckers are gonna die.  Those damn venoms bugging you, cast this on them and there is a damn good chance it kills itself in 1 round of shooting.  And it has a 24” range which is really pretty good.

Plague Wind is a great spell.  12”, large blast, poison 4+, and AP 2.  It does cost 2 warp charges, but this sucker kills half of everything it touches.

Onto the Rocky Horror Picture Show of powers, the Discipline of Slaanesh.

Take a step to the left!

This is another set of powers that I like, although it seems that there are other powers out there that are similar or better.

Symphony of Pain is a good spell with a great kick if you build your army just right.  This malediction sets the target back 1 BS and WS.  Not bad if you’re getting ready to charge a nearby unit.  On top of that, all of your sonic weaponry that shoots at that unit counts as being 1 point of strength higher, which is pretty damn awesome if you’ve taken a bunch of sonic weapons.  I really like this power on a Prince flying around, coupled with a couple of units of Noise Marines with a Doom Siren.  S6 AP3, and without a Helldrake, so it isn’t cheesy, and you can have 6 of them.  Then you take a Helldrake on top of that and unless your opponent is packing a lot of 2+ armour (Garth) he is in a world of hurt.

Ecstatic Seizures sounds like it is a really cool power.  Every model takes a hit at it’s own unmodified strength.  So in most cases, half of the models in a unit will take a wound.  That means it sucks vs small elite units and is great against large units with high S, low T, and low armour saves.  There are 3 things that hurt the viability of this power, it is 2 warp charges to cast, and it’s a witchfire, meaning you have to roll to hit.  With your sorcerer only having a BS of 4, this is too unreliable and it’s not powerful enough to take a lvl 2 Daemon Prince.  Third, the wounds inflicted don’t use any of the models special rules like poison or rending.  Now if you check the wording again, it says each model takes a hit, meaning that all the wounds won’t necessarily go on “jabronies”.  Those special weapons guys have to take their own hits and suffer their own wounds, same goes for IC’s and squad leaders, so it isn’t all bad.

So lets talk about combos.  My very most favorite combo is Weapon Virus and Puppet Master from Telepethy.  Start off by casting Weapon Virus, then move up and cast Puppet Master in your shooting phase, making the target not only shoot at his own army, but it’s weapon could get hot.  Then you charge that unit with some puny expendable unit and have them fire overwatch and cause more wounds on themselves than they do to you (because they have to roll to wound you, while gets hot is an automatic wound).  This works great on Dreadnoughts and other Dreadnought like vehicles that can shoot overwatch, and shoot lots.  Also, the FAQ allows you to pivot the walker to shoot at something out of it’s fire arc, as long at it’s turned back to it’s original position.  So lets take a practical look at the situation.  A Contemptor Dreadnaught with 2 of those fancy assault cannons shoots 12 shots.  So when you cast Puppet Master, it’s going to over heat twice and lose 1 hull point on top of the damage it inflicted while shooting.  Then, because your sorcerer targeted it with a shooting attack, you shoot your melta’s at it possibly taking off another hull point.  Then you assault it and it overwatches you inflicting yet another hull point, and by that point possibly killing itself.

Another combo that gives me a warm feeling is Cultists and Hysterical Frenzy(which I didn't talk about).  35 Cultists with pistol and knife have 2 attacks each.  Give them the mark of Khorne and they have 4 attacks on the charge.  If you then cast Hysterical Frenzy on the unit, they either have 5 attacks on the charge, or their attacks are made at I4, or S4.  That equates to 29, 23 (at I4), and 35 wounds respectively.  If you give the cultists mark of Slaanesh, they could be inflicting 17 wounds at I5.  This is of course assuming that all of them get there and your opponent is T4.  Even if only half of them get to attack, that is still a staggering number of armour saves they are causing.

The last combo I am going to talk about I already mentioned, Symphony of Pain and Doom Sirens.  We all know how awesome S6 AP3 flamer templates are.  A unit of Noise Marines in a Rhino, coupled with a Prince flying around is a fairly maneuverable pair, the Rhino able to move 18” the first turn, then 6”, disembark 6” in the second, plus the 8” template.  If your getting within flamer template range, then you could also give some models in that unit sonic blasters and get a handful of S5 shooting in there also.  Not to mention that all Sonic weapons ignore cover.

Yet again, I could list a dozen combos but that's going to be it for this episode.  Post thought and future episode ideas in the comments section, I do read them and respond.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Prairiecon 2013 - Another Roadside Apocalypse

On Friday night, I had the opportunity to head to Prairiecon 2013 in Brandon for the Apocalypse game. While it would have been nice to take in more of the convention, I knew I only had the time this weekend for one day of nerding. And when it came down to choosing a game to play at the convention, Apocalypse was an easy choice.

I didn't really get a full snapshot of the battle itself, because it is rather difficult to capture an Apocalypse game in a battle report. However, I had my camera handy the whole time and I was able to get quite a few decent pictures. In the pictures, you can see the time of day change because my camera started to flash when it started getting dark. We were playing in a room with lots of natural light, so the battlefield literally got dark when the sun went down. Pretty cool, actually. But my flash made some of the models looks pretty wacky. For some reason, the flash makes hard edge highlighting pop like crazy.

Anyways. A pretty awesome table:

The game was Imperials/Necrons vs Chaos. I believe the final tally was about 14,000 points per side for a total 28,000 point game. Of course, I played with the Traitors. We deployed using a Blind Deployment, which was the first time I had done something like that. It was pretty cool though. Basically, we just put a huge line of cardboard across the whole table and each side put their shit down. Then the cardboard was removed and we started. Just like that... Crazy.

Homer Sayer alone dropped about 6,000 points of awesome minis. Tons of big baddies and super scary heavies. Among his amazing huge model collections were: An'ggrath (the FW super Bloodthirster), Scabeiathrax (the FW super Great Unclean One), a scratch built Nurgle Plague Tower, a scratch built Khorne Tower of Skulls, a Greater Brass Scorpion, and tons of Soul Grinders and Defilers. We also a had a fellow (whose name escapes me) who brought a bunch of Chaos ground troops with a couple Predators and a Land Raider. Another fellow (whose name also escapes me) who brought a bunch of Chaos Daemons. Collin Martin brought some Thousand Sons with a Warcoven and a huge unit of Terminators led by Abbaddon. Then, my Night Lords with their Thunderhawk Gunship.

My Predator and some Havocs support a Plaguereaper

Collins Thousand Sons support a Nurgle Plague Tower

Lots of tanks...

Big Chaos Monsters

Beautifully painted Greater Brass Scorpion by Homer Sayer.

"Mraaah! Where's my Khorne Flakes?"

Lots of Defilers...

Really nice Soul Grinder

Fucking awesome Khorne Tower of Skulls

"Skulls for the Skull Throne!... And the Tower, don't forget skulls for the Tower"

And, there she is...

What we went up against was scary... They had 2 Necron Pylon things (3 Strength 'D' shots each at 120", with fucking Skyfire and Interceptor). Those things dropped a Super Heavy something each round. They had 2 Warhound Titans, each armed with 2 Turbo-laser destructors (8 more Strength 'D' shots). And they had a Reaver Titan (4 Strength 'D' shots). Now, everyone please pull out their calculators and add that up.

Go on. I'll wait...

Done? Yup, that's right. Each round they had 18 Strength 'D' shots!

On top of that, Garth brought 8 Flyers (Storm Ravens, Caestus Assault Rams, Storm Talons, and an Avenger Strike Fighter). They also had this really cool scratch built Sisters Of Battle tank that also had some custom rules made for it. I tip my hat to that guy because it was very well done and the rules were well balanced. Good job dude, whatever your name was... And, a bunch of Grey Knights with more Storm Ravens, and a bunch of Necrons with even more fucking Flyers... ughh.

Ahhhhhhhh Run!

Air Force Garth
That's how big a Reaver Titan is... And just to clarify, I mean look at the Space Marines at the Titan's feet, not the guy's crotch beside the Titan.
Those are Warhound Titans

That's the awesome Sisters of Battle thing I was talking about. Open topped vehicle full of Troops.

Nerds ready to start playing some massive scale 40k


Well, the mission of the game was pretty simple. On our side of the table (Chaos), we had two shrines that we had to protect. The Imperials had to come take the shrines, and they took a shrine by keeping a unit on it for a full turn. The shrines were in our turf, and we didn't need to have unit on them to hold them. The onus was on them to come to us and hop on them. However, they got first turn...

We just didn't have an answer to their massive shooting phases. We had some pretty cool big toys too, but they all got blown up quickly from the onslaught of Str 'D' weaponry. But the game did end in a draw. They got one shrine and they failed to get the other. One of the flaws they had in their organization was a lack of forward moving troops. Lots of big guns and flyers, but not much to go and take objectives. So, they basically tabled us, but couldn't take both objectives.

Lots of great moments in the game. My personal favorite was the game inside the game between my Thunderhawk and Garth's Flyers. Some pretty fun dog fighting... My Thunderhawk did survive the game, which means we have to have another Apocalypse game. Oh darn...

Thanks to Garth and Homer. Really looking forward to July and lots more Apocalypse.

Some more pictures of the action: