Monday, November 29, 2010

The Duke Rides Again: Evolution Games Tourney Aftermath.

This passed Saturday I played in a good old fashioned Rogue Trader style 1850 point tournament at my local FLGS Evolution Games. I decided to bring the Dark Eldar. In fact I went with a mostly Wych Cult army. My list consisted of

The Duke
Lady Malys

3 squads of 10 wychs with Hekatrix armed with an agonizer and blast pistol. All had haywire grenades and the Hekatrix had a phantasm grenade launcher.

1 squad of 8 Kabalite Trueborns with 2 blasters and 2 splinter cannons. 3 had shard carbines while the Dracon sported a phantasm grenade launcher, ghost plate, blast pistol and agonizer.

All squads were mounted on Raiders with Flicker Fields and Night Shields. They also had Grisly Trophy’s and Tormentor Grenade Launchers.

3 Ravagers one of which had all Disintegrators. They too had Night Shields and Flicker Fields.

Game one was vs an ork horde heavy on Nobs. I faced two Nob Squads of doom one of which was mounted on bikes. He rushed forward having gotten first turn but really did not do anything other than that. This put me into position to get Gain some pain tokens. I dispatched his two Defcoptas giving The Duke and his unit and a wych unit a pain token. This put their total to 2 as I rolled a 6 for my combat drugs. The two Ravagers on the table, I opted to keep one in reserve with 2 wych units Immobilized his battle wagon while the raiders blew up the truk carrying one of the Nob squads. Turn 2 saw the further advance of the orks and some shooting which was rather ineffectual. I now had My wyches and the dukes unit In range of the Nob squads. After My reserve rolls being lack luster, I closed in. The Duke and his unit Disembarked And shot the Biker Nob squad, with Warboss, with impunity killing 3 nobs. The wyches did likewise to the now on foot second Warboss and Nob squad, with the support of the raiders. The Ravager continued to pound the battle wagon destroying a big shoota. In the assault phase The Duke killed the war boss while Lady Malys and the Trueborns killed 3 more bikers. Having lost the combat they were swiftly cut down as they only inflicted 2 wounds on the Dukes unit. The other Nob unit was more successful but failed to win for two turns. They were eventually whittled down but managed to survive the whole game, well at least the pain buy was alive. The wyches managed to hold two objective in the end. One after they wiped out a unit of grots and then a unit of burna boys who tried to lend support, the other was in my deployment zone . Sadly the Duke died in close combat after his unit was laid to waste by grotzookas. I won none the less.
Game two I squared up against Vogrin in a grudge match. Sadly this game went down hill fast. Scared of the mystics the Inquisitor brought with him, I deployed on the board despite not getting first turn. That was what sealed my fate. In the opening salvo the Manticore got 3 rockets on the Dukes unit after his raider, and two others had been downed by battle cannon and multi laser fire. The salvo immobilized one of the Ravagers and wiped out the Duke and his unit. I swear I always roll a one on my shadow field saves when it really matters. I managed to kill a couple tanks and a unit before being tabled in turn 4.
My third game saw me facing the Emperors finest, the Ultrmarines. This was a dawn of war mission so I started with everything off the table and gave the first turn to my opponent. He also opted for nothing on the table besides a squad of scouts. He then held most of his forces in reserve. This proved great for me as I just picked apart his army form a distance. It was turn 4 before he got any kill points because by this time I closed the distance. It got pretty bloody, but I manged to wipe out 3 marine units, kill a vindicator, a rhino and a razorback. The scout squad died early as well giving me 7 kill points. MY opponent managed to kill 2 wych units, they ran and got away , but were below 50%, The Duke and Lady Malys and the Trueborns they were with for a total of 5 Kill points. I was worried for a bit as he brought a squad of thunder hammer wielding terminators, big surprise. The Duke and Lady Malys did mange to kill 3 before they died though.
I have to say the Wych Cult continues to impress me. I will be purchasing some new models in the near future and I dare say I will be buying more Wyches than Warriors. I do have some more Craftworlders bits to buy as well, but I must finish some painting with them first. The only real complaint I have is wounding with wyches in close combat. Its rough is you don't have furious charge and don't wipe the unit in the first round of combat. I do like how effective you can make them against a variety of opponents though. I really recommend using the shard net and impaler though for your special weapons. As you stand a decent chance of getting a re roll wounds in combat combat drug result the razor flails are a kind of a waste. I would rather reduce power weapon or fist attacks personally.
So I did not place, but I went 2-1. My loss was to Vogrin who actually tied for first. Sadly the other person who was in the tie was using an internet favorite list. Lash Prince with lots of obliterators. Very sad.
Well Next time I will be going back to the light side and talking about my Ulthwe themed Adepticon Army. I am going to try and get back and do recaps of my ongoing Rogue Trader game as well. One of my players said he missed the game master point of view recaps. I may also have some more Dark Eldar morsels to discuss.

Until then.........

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cult of Personality: Wych Cult Armies

So I can admit when I am wrong. I have not given the Wych Cults the chance they deserve. In the wake of the “Freak Show” not doing so well in two games I took the advice of FarSeer Re-Rolls and tried out a nice wych cult list. I played one of our regulars at the shop. He is one of our local Seers, but today he was testing the waters with his Tyranids. This actually was a good thing for me as I never run Wych Cult. So I ran a slightly modified list from what FarSeer Re-Rolls usually runs. He prefers Reaver bikes, lots of Reaver bikes. I opted for only one squad. I did however take 3 maxed out Wych Squads of 10and a Squad of 8 Hekatrix Blood Brides. I also took Lady Malys and an Archon along with 2 Ravagers.
It was not a pretty battle to say the least. I flat out moved across the table as he opted to deep strike his whole army. Turn 2, 2 trygons and his Hive Tyrant came in along with a squad of Genestealers. I was pretty tight in a broad circular formation. He landed both trygons amidst my raiders. The Hive Tyrant came in right next to lady Malys and the Archons transport. Shooting from the Tyrgons brought down a Raider, but only Immobilized it.
This is where it got ugly. All 5 of my Squads and the Ravagers opened fire in a torrent of splinters and dark energy. The Trygons took 8 wounds between the two of them while the Hive Tyrant took 3. Then the Assault phase came and everybody charged. I had the Reavers and one and a half squads of wychs on one Trygon and another 1 and a half squads on the second Trygon. This meant 2 Agonizers on each. The Hekatrix Blood Brides and Lady Malys with the Archon charged the Hive Tyrant. The Succubus's and Reaver champions dealt the killing blows to the Trygons while the Syren of the Blood Bride Unit cut the Hive Tyrant down.
The Next turn saw the arrival of the 3rd Trygon and the rest of the Genestealers. There was also a Mycentic Spore pod containing 3 Zoanthropes. I now lost some wyches to templates. IN my turn I mounted up all the units that could and moved the wych unit without a transport to an objective.
In the following turn I moved them into position to assault the Zoanthropes and Genestealers. I was worried about the Death Leaper that was lurking about. He attempted to get rid of a raider but failed in the last turn. The Reavers assaulted the Zoanthropes while the wyches moved into position. The Genestealers holding one of the objectives moved off of it to assault the Reavers and wiped them out. This pulled them out of cover and into assault range for a wych squad. I swooped in with the raiders and assaulted two units of Genestealers. This paid off as I wiped both units out. Its not often you get to say “the squad strikes simo with the stealers” The death leaper made the mistake of trying to assault a Ravager. It did get one of the Dark Lances, but this left it out in the open. It died to Dark Lance fire.
It was at this point my opponent scooped. His remaining squad was way on the other side of the table and could not get to an objective in time. It also did not matter as I controlled 3 out of 4 objectives.

So my opinion has changed. I really like this list. So much so I am running it tomorrow at the Rouge Trader style Tournament at my FLGS Evolution games. Granted the Duke will be in attendance rather than the Archon that accompanied Lady Malys. I will probably be dropping the Blood Brides or even the Reavers in favor of a True Born Squad as well.
The Wych Cult army is very effective. It can bring a lot of hurt to both vehicles and units. They lack poison close combat weapons, but the special weapons and 4+ invulnerably save in close combat makes up for it a little. You can equip your Hekatrix's and Syren's with a nice array of special weapons that can really hurt the high toughness critters. The real key is your raiders though. You must deploy and run your army with protection in mind. You must make sure your Wyches are not exposed and if they are get them to cover. The 6+ save out of combat is not so great. Keeping the Wyches in cover and keeping them in close combat actually keeps them alive rather well.

I will post the tournament results on Sunday. I will also start talking about my list development for Adepticon finally. I am determined to run a themed Craftworld list and make it work. 

I also Found a better picture of the new Aspect Warrior shrine that will be in Imperial Armour 11.  
The Shadow Specter shrine should be interesting.  I know I really like this model though.  So here is the pick to drool on until they are released.

Until then...................

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Freak Show: Haemonculi based armies

Well kids I tried out an army concept I have been pondering since my first glimpse of the Dark Eldar Codex. The “Freak Army”. This is a purely themed army list that is lead by a coven of haemonculi. The base of this army is of course Wracks. Wracks are the heavily and horrifically modified servants of the Haemonculi. Some are actually volunteers others, well lets just say they weren't willing subjects.
Supplementing the wracks are units of Grotesques. I was only able to include one Chronos Parasite Engine because my trial game was 1500 points. I may not include more as you will see why in a bit.

I faced off Against the Storm Lord and his Necron army. We played a 1500 point pitched battle for kill points. I deployed my three Wrack units in Raiders on the table and kept the Grotesque unit in reserve along with the Chronos. After moving flat out in turn one strait towards the Necrons with two of the raiders I got fairly close with the 3rd and disembarked the Wracks. The Haemonculis leading them was equipped with a Webway portal so I could deploy the big boys close to the enemy. The whole strategy was to get close and get into hand to hand as quickly as possible. Which I did. I did loose some Wracks, but in the first two turns I took out lots of warriors, a tomb spyder and inflicted some wounds on the Night Bringer. Ultimately One of the Wrack units actually killed the C'Tan. The 4+ poison close combat weapons they have are very nice for laying into targets bigger than them. They are a bit disappointing against soft targets like Guard, Tau and other Eldar but effective none the less.
If not for the uncanny ability of the Storm Lord to roll “we'll be backs” I think I could have tabled him. This was not the case as it seems his knowledge of his army has increased quite a bit and he kept his lord out of reach. Also I could not really hurt the monolith. 3 dark lances is just not enough for that beast. The Game ended in only 5 turns and I was edged out by a kill point.
So what did I learn from this rather close game? Well first I was surprised by how well the list actually did. The Wracks when lead by a Haemonculis is sitting pretty with two pain tokens right off the bat. Granted this is not a big deal having furious charge as you have the poison weapons but the 5 initiative is very nice. The Grotesques on the other hand, it is a big deal. This increases their strength to 6 on the charge. The unit of 6 I took had both my Haemonculis Ancients in it. They were devastating to whatever they charged into. The toughness of 5 really gives them an edge and combine that with 3 wounds and its pretty nice. Of course they have no save other than a FNP roll. When you have the Haemonculi armed with agonizers and liqufier guns, then add a liqufier gun to the unit of Wracks it is very bad for whatever squad you attack, as Long as you roll decently for the AP and strength of the gun.
The list is very all or nothing. If you get mired down and can't get close you might as well scoop. This type of themed army is a little weak against tanks as you only have 3 or 4 dark lances and possible a couple monstrous creatures to destroy vehicles. I am going to tweak the list a little and get it up to 1850 and try it out at our FLGS Evolution Games today and see how it stacks up against Space marines and Guard. I may take out one of the Haemonculis Ancients so I can squeeze in 2 talos and some Scourges. I think the scourges fit the freak theme as they are also products of the twisted haemonculi. I actually like how this list works. It is not quite a bland as the Kabalite lists I have been running. It has a lot of character and has lots of modeling potential. I will get it up to 1850 and report later this week how it did.
I will also be working on my Craftworld Adepticon list as I have a few tweaks to do with it as well. I have to get in some games vs guard and space wolves as me thinks I will be seeing a lot of them at the convention.
One more bit as well. Granted I could care less, but apparently blood angels is getting a second wave. Rumor has ti the storm raven will be dropping in February and boy is it ugly. More Importantly than that the Dark Eldar fliers will be dropping not that long after. It would seem GW has plans for a flier based expansion. Think spearhead like. I guess we will have to see what happens. I am still crossing my fingers that Grey Knights does not drop before the cutoff to use them in Adepticon. Granted even if they do people will be hard pressed to learn the nuances and get miniatures ready.

Well off to the FLGS for some 40K . I will have some bat reps and tidbits later in the week

Until then....

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Forces of Commorragh: Kabalite Warriors

The backbone of any Dark Eldar force is going to be made up of 3 different units. It all depends on the theme of the list. Kabalite Warriors, Wychs and Wracks all are troops choices the later when you have a haemonculis leading the army or what I like to call the “freak army”. Wychs are the core of a Wych army. We will be talking about Kabalite Warriors though. They are the backbone of a Kabalite army.
I have never been a huge fan of the wych cults. I use them occasionally, but Kabal based armies have always been my preference. The Kabalite Warriors have not changed much from their last incarnation. They have increased in cost form 8 to 9 points. Squad size has stayed the same and the stat line is the same. The changes to their wargear and transports as well as the Addition of the “Power From Pain” rule is what has made them deadlier.
The “Power From Pain” rule is what has really upped the ante in the Dark Eldar army. Being an alpha strike army this gives Dark Eldar a chance to gain some robustness on turn one. Letting loose a volley of splinter fire from your warrior unit on a very small soft target gives them “Feel No Pain” as long as they destroy the unit. Having the pain token generating Chronos Parasite Engine close at hand or even putting a haemonculis in the unit gives them some very good survivability. This somewhat offsets the fragility of the basic Kabalite Warrior unit. This increased survivability is one of the aspects that has made the basic warrior unit a major threat. All of a sudden bolter fire does not mow down the whole squad.. You can hold objectives with more confidence, especially in cover. My opponents have been having nasty flashbacks to my Fortuned units when facing warriors with FNP holding on objective in cover. The best part is you don't pay any additional points.
The special and heavy weapon options have not changed. The weapons themselves have changed. Many armies, especially tyranids, are living in fear of a basic troop that can shred their monstrous creatures with ease. The 4+ wounding poison splinter rifles have increased the deadliness of the basic warrior. Combine that with the fact blasters are now an 18” range and you have some nice hitting power at range. The splinter cannon having two firing options, assault 4 or heavy 6, make taking a heavy weapon worth it. The main issue I faced in the old edition of the codex was that one warrior was useless if the unit stayed mobile. You essentially wasted points on a dark lance if the unit did not remain stationary. This was an issue for anybody who played the army as it was meant to be played. Fast, hard and mobile. This is not an issue with the extended range of the blaster and the duel mode of the splinter cannon. I will however give a unit a a dark lance if they are going to be set up outside a transport and the squad size is larger than 10. I am kind of intrigued with running Kabalite Warriors Like I run my Guardians. Squads of 20. This means a blaster and 2 Dark lances. When in cover holding and objective, they may be very hard to remove from said objective.
The Sybarite has been contained and its options limited now. Although you can make them expensive, they don't have to be, but the cost is worth it for some gear. The Phantasm grenade launcher is one. Having both offensive and defensive grenades is very nice especially when it was not an option before. Having access to a blast pistol is also nice.
My standard squad now consists of 10 warriors with one upgraded to a Sybarite. I have a blaster and Splinter cannon for my special and heavy weapons. The Sybarite has Ghost Plate, a Phantasm Grenade Launcher and an agonizer. I mount them in a raider with Flicker fields and Night shields as well as Grisly trophy’s and Tormentor Grenade Launchers. The unit comes out to 265 points This is roughly about the same as a Dire Avenger unit mounted in a wave serpent with minimal weapons. The bonus is they can wound anything, have an invulnerably save while mounted on the transport, they can all fire from the transport. The transport supports the unit in leadership tests and affects enemy units leadership tests and the transport comes with a Dark Lance. You could even add splinter racks to the Raider and make all their shooting twin linked. Now if only GW would FAQ fast vehicles passenger shooting rules. As is the unit cannot fire if it moves at cruising speed. This is a major hindrance for Warrior Units. Granted they could only rapid fire 12 inches if the moved, but the blaster and splinter cannon could still fire at a distance.
I have been experimenting with dropping a warrior and the splinter cannon and putting a haemonculis with an agonizer and liqufier gun just to give them a pain token to start off with. The only downside is you can't drop the sybarite as you need the 9 leadership score. This can be bolstered if you keep them close to a raider with Grisly Trophy’s so they can re roll failed leadership.
All in all I am really happy with the changes as the Warriors themselves have not really changed. Its just their equipment changed and made them better by proxy.

Next time I will be discussing a concept I have been toying with. I am going to be trying out today ,after the homework is done, in the secret gaming lair of The Stormlord. I watched “Hell Raiser” the other day and now I am intrigued with the concept of the “Freak” or Xenobyte style army. SO next time we will look at the Wrack based Haemonculis army.

Until then......

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All Your Base Are Belong To GW

I have been thinking about some things since Dark Future Games “End of Days” tournament this past August. With all the new models and codex coming out it occurred to me that some codex’s are kind of side lined and there are a lot of 3rd party models being developed to fill in the miniature line gaps GW apparently likes to leave.
Vogrin and I had teamed up for the “End of Days” and we won all but our last game. One of our opponents was using Space Wolves. Of course as any space puppy would do he was using thunder wolf cavalry. My only issue with this was that they were massive and their bases were actually bigger than a monstrous creature base by a bit. He was able to chain assault Vogrins Guardsman with impunity. Then it occurred to me. Aren't Thunder wolves supposed to be on bike/ cavalry bases? I also started contemplating the nature of 40K and how as a system it really lacks any rules defining size. Your only real guide post is what bases models come with. If you have two models of similar size they should theoretically have the same size base. This has issues though. What if they package a base with a model that is to small? What if they screw up and put a base that’s to big in. What if the model doesn't come with a base. I know Necron players get pretty worked up when you tell them the Monolith has to be on a flying base to be legal in most tournaments. The complaint being “ it didn't come with a base!”
With all the 3rd party miniatures, the conversions and “counts as” running around how do we really determine what is to much and what is two little. I would say common sense, but as forums and tournaments have shown me there is very little of that when it comes to gaining the edge thru trickery and modeling rather than just good strategy and generalship.
Games Workshop has always, for some reason, vague and resistant when it comes to classifying base types and what is mounted on what. Its basically the same resistance they have to clarifying rules questions.
If you haven't guessed this whole issue of base size annoys me. I especially get annoyed when base size is used to the advantage of my opponent. Thats the biggest annoyance. I was told some stories from Adepticon last year by those that went of rampant base and modeling abuse. My favorite was the guy who had Chimeras represented by skimmer like craft on flight bases. He was trying to use skimmer like rules for shooting and cover despite the fact Chimeras would block line of sight. Here we have a clear abuse. My example of the thunder wolf cavalry is also blatant abuse. I would say it even borders on power gaming. Granted I was very bitter due to the fact Vogrin and I were cleaning up at that tournament and we got taken out by a newb trying to abuse the system.

SO there is my rant. What are your opinions and experiences with this? Share with the group.

So sadly no team tournament action for yours truly. The spots filled up before we could register. I am all registered for the GT. Now I have to decide on combat patrol of possibly the Kill zone tournaments. It will probably be Combat patrol as I have some nice 400 point lists with my Dark Eldar. More on that later

Until then.....

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dakka? I Got Yor Dakka Right Here!: Ulthwe vs the Green Tide.

In the quest to make an Eldar list for Adepticon I decided not to do the typical Eldar tournament list.  I wanted to avoid the usual  suspects you find in lists that contaminate the forums.  This of course includes lots of dire avengers, duel Seers, Warp Spiders and lots of wave serpents. They lack originality, especially when you have seen them so many times. Then the cliche of the dead horse and beating it comes to mind.  They are a major crutch.  People min max them and tweak them to such a degree it borders on silliness. They also lack any theme.  Themed lists can be very strong.  They also really bring a kind of synergy to the table.  They also challenge you as a player.  Easy wins are no fun if you ask me.  Speaking of wins that are not so easy.
I recently played a 1500 point game against an Ork army. A green tide to be exact. 180 orks on the table that were mostly sluga boys. There was a unit of Flash Gitz and a Big Mek as well.  Despite being outnumbered very badly, my theme list held up and won in a Kill Point game.  Thats Right a theme list.  I have decided to go strait up theme.  I am going to have fun and I am going to make Ulthanash Shelwes Black Guardians strike fear into the Imperium once again.
SO what ended up laying waste to the green tide? What left one Flash Git running from the board at the end?

HQ: Eldrad Ulthran w/ 10 Warlocks, Enhance, Embolden, 3x destructor in a Wave Serpent w/ BL
HQ : The Avatar of Khaine.
Troop: 16 Guardians w/ Shuriken Cannon and Warlock with Embolden
Troop: 16Guardians w/ Shuriken Cannon and Warlock With Embolden
Heavy: Night Spinner
Heavy: 3x War walkers Bright lance, 3x Scatter laser, 2x missile launchers

So I was very out numbered. I really slowed down the rush though thanks to the Night Spinner. Also thanks to massed shuriken catapult fire , the prowess of the Avatar and Eldrad and his Warlocks in close combat I wiped out the horde. I have added a couple things to get the list up to 1850. It is Aspect Warrior free say for a unit of Dark Reapers. This is totally in line with the fluff of the Craftworld of Ulthwe as its heavy on Guardians and lacking Aspects. Dark Reapers are the most common Aspect on Ulthwe according to fluff, even if it is written by C.S. Gotto.  I also have the Single Seer council.  I like the Avatar in the list, but I may opt for Maugan Ra Instead to go total theme as an Ulthwe Strike Force.
I am interested to see how it does against Guard and space marine lists.  I know I am setting myself up for some major fail, but I am sick of all the min maxed net lists.  Its time to put some fluff back into the hobby.

So my road to Adepticon continues. I am officially registered for the GT and I have declared Eldar to be my army for the tournament. I will be using the Dark Eldar in the Team tourney. So I guess I have a list to hammer out and possibly some Models to paint.

Next time I have a bit of a rant about Bases. Also I am going to start really delving into the new Dark Eldar Codex. I started with the Leader of my pirates, now I ma going to detail the fleets backbone. Kabalite Warriors. Once I find an opponent for it I also have a Swooping hawk heavy list with Bahharoth for a battle report.

So until next time....

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Phoenix Court of Khaine pt 7: The Avatar of Khaine

He is the fury of the Eldar psyche unleashed. He is the embodiment of war and death. He is the Avatar of Kaela Mensha Khaine the bloody handed god of the Eldar. The Avatar is a bestial engine of destruction. He inspires all Eldar around him with thoughts of bloodshed and compels them to new heights of heroism and resolve.
The Avatar is my second favorite HQ. Actually for one reason, he makes units fearless. This may seem like a small thing compared to his relatively low points cost, Ability to lay waste to units and vehicles alike either shooting or in close combat and his nigh unto indestructibility, thanks to Fortune and an invulnerably save. Making units fearless is no small thing though, especially when you run lots of guardians, as I often do.
The Avatar can be a literal lynch pin in holding objectives and holding back the tide of the enemy. Large units of Guardians can be very hard to wipe out when they are fearless and preferably in cover, although a conceal will do in a pinch. I like to put the Avatar between two units of Guardians and form a wall that protects the rest of my foot advancing units. The mobile units can then do hit and run attacks on priority targets. You can't ignore 30 to 40 Guardians advancing with the Avatar between them. In scenario set ups that allow you to get close quick, massed shuriken catapult fire can be very devastating, especially if the units have been guided and or the target units have been doomed. Guardian storm units can be very devastating too when the Warlock with them has Enhance. They are then quicker and on even footing with most units. Throw the Avatar into the mix and you have a close combat that is not enjoyable for your opponent.
Kari Christensen © 2006 Games Workshop
As we all know the Avatar is immune to flame and melta weapons, including inferno cannons. This works to your advantage in a couple of different ways. First it makes placement of units with these weapons predictable. Why have your vet or chosen unit loaded with melta go after the big guy immune to the weapons? This allows you to plan your deployment to cover tanks and such with troops that will have no issue taking these units out. This also lets you lure these melta units in with a tempting target so you can wipe them out. Eldar strategy, to me anyways, is always a one two punch with a little bit of a psych out. Its a set up and knock down with a feint worked in just to keep your opponent guessing. The second advantage, kind of, is that the Avatar will take fire from the other big guns, such as battle cannons, manticores demolishers, lascannons and of course the Plasma guns that those Imperials love so much. So it is important to make sure you have a seer close at hand to fortune the big guy. This keeps these weapons from hitting the rest of your army. Smart players will see thru the ruse, although they will still try and take the Avatar and Guardian units out as he really can't ignore them.
The ultimate power of the Avatar is unleashed when you use him in an Apocalypse game. Although expensive the Phoenix Court of Khaine formation is awesome. All 6 Phoenix Lords with the Avatar. His aura and melta blast shooting attack double in range, he becomes immune to that nasty plasma and he gets an additional attack for every Phoenix Lord within 6 inches. Its is a very brightly colored Death star.
I field the Avatar quite a bit. He is a nice alternative to a Phoenix lord or second seer as he contributes to the army. He can kill his points in enemy troops without issue. He also enhances your units without any rolling required.
In my battle report coming later in the week I will detail the Avatar and his performance against the Green tide army I fought. He killed his points in ork boyz and them some. Also I will detail my Adepticon List development. I am bound and determined to use Swooping hawks although Baharoth may be left out in favor of the Avatar. It is a toss up.

So until next time.......

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lets Kill some MOn'keigh: Duke Sliscus

Duke Sliscus is a mad man. He is a Pirate who is about as unpredictable as they come. He left the dark city because he was tired of the petty and lethal politicking. He ply’s the stars raiding and slaughtering with is Pirate band the Sky Serpents and has done so for thousands of years. He is a hero to many Dark Eldar and a thorn in the side of others, especially the 3 Archons he stole his ships from.
I really like the Duke. I am basing my Dark Eldar force on him and his Sky Serpents. The two things that really endeared The Duke to me were two of his special rules. He allows all Venoms, Raiders and Ravagers to Deep strike as he prefers orbital insertion. Second he also rolls two dice for combat drugs and chooses the highest. Add in the fact he can nominate on warrior or Trueborn unit and allow their splinter weapons to wound on a 3+ and his twin venomed blades which wound on a 2+ ignore armor on a wound roll of 5 or 6 you have a very nice character. He is a bargain at 150 points. The Duke is armed with a blast pistol, his venom blades, carries plasma grenades, combat drugs, a shadow field and ghost plate armor.
He also has a nice stat line that will ensure he strikes first and hard. The Duke must start the game joined to a Kabalite warrior squad or Kabalite Trueborn squad. This is really not an issue as he is not an Archon and cannot take a retinue. This means you want him in a unit so he is not by himself and an easy Target.
I have centered my Dark Eldar strategy on the Duke. My current army lists have been using him and 3 haemonculi along with 3 Kabalite Warrior units on Raiders as the core. I have been toying with the other units. The latest version saw action against Vogrin this past Saturday and did not do so well, mostly because of dumb luck. As previously stated this codex is unforgiving and mistakes are disastrous.
I am using the Dukes theme of mobility and vertical insertion, I know sounds bad, to hone the list. I am using Kabalite Trueborns on Venoms as deep striking anti tank units. I am also using Voidraven bombers to wreck utter havoc with exposed infantry and heavy armor. By using the Duke you do not have to upgrade vehicles with retrofire jets, thus saving points, and you essentially get a Dark Eldar drop pod army. You can hit hard and fast. In theory is should work great. This is proving to be a challenge though to make it work. The main thing we discovered is that there is no exceptions for fast vehicles when it comes to occupants shooting out of them when they move at cruising speed. Occupants cannot fire when the vehicle moves at cruising speed. When you deep strike you count as moving at cruising speed . This snagged my plans for the Kabalite Trueborns and the warrior units as I had splinter rack installed on the raiders and the Trueborns had 4 blasters in their small 5 man squads mounted on venom’s. I was forced to rethink the strategy after loosing a lot of troops because I had to dismount them to fire on enemy tanks. I like to blame this on the Dukes tendency to sacrifice all his troops just to get one kill. The guy is kind of crazy after all.
I like the Duke and his crazy ways. The Sky Serpents are defiantly going to be the theme for my army as I paint and collect the new models.
I will post more as I develop the list and use the Duke more. I will have my battle report with Vogrin up later this week. I will also have the last part of the Phoenix Court of Khaine. I will also have a battle report up about my Craftworlders. They fought a Green Tide ork list Saturday night and to my surprise the only survivor was a single flash git. I will post the list.

Until then.....

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

New Forgeworld Sexiness: The hornet

Looks like Forge world is begging me to not buy Dark Eldar.  They have just released a new light tank called the hornet.  It is a fast attack choice and fielded in squadrons of 1-3 tanks.  They can be armed with 2 weapons form the usual list, but the list also includes the pulse laser.  Did I mention they have scout? 
I see some very nasty things happening with a squadron of these little guys.  Granted thay are 55 points base plus weapons and vehicle upgrade so they are quite expensive.  They pack some punch though.  The weapons are not twin linked and they only have a ballistic skill of 3.  This means you will hit half the time but in a squadron armed with pulse lasers that can do some real damage. 12 strength 8 AP 2 shots would be pretty nice on a squad of marines or terminators.  Granted that squadron would be about 400 point give or take  They seem to be a Craftworld version of a Ravager but without the  low cost and nifty tricks.  I will probably break down and buy 3 though just to see how they fit into the mix.
Well I did not get a battle in with Vogrin yet, but Saturday I will be trying my new 1850 swooping hawk Ulthwe list.  Should be interesting.  I will also be finishing up the Phoenix Court of Khaine series with the big man himself.  The Avatar.

Until then.....

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Phoenix Court of Khaine pt 6: Baharroth The Cry of The Wind

Swooping Hawks are quite reviled for some reason. I blame the beardy gits on the forums for this. Baharroth is the Phoenix Lord of this much lamented aspect. I personally like Swooping Hawks quite a bit. When used properly they can wreck a lot of havoc with vehicles and light infantry. Baharroth actually fixes one big issue I have had when using swooping hawks. They are prone to assaults when they deep strike. Baharoth helps them with this issue in several ways. Firstly he makes the unit fearless so they will not run away even when massed fire is poured into them. Second besides the usual Exarch powers he also has Hit and Run. This is very Important. This allows you to disengage from an assault so you can hit your primary targets, Artillery and vehicles. Third he is armed with a power weapon and actually has a decent strength, initiative and weapon skill to use it. This helps discourage assaults by the common rabble of your opponents army. Throw a fortune on the unit and you will be able to escape from an assault while inflicting some kills and possibly routing a unit.
Baharroth is also not quite as expensive as the other Phoenix Lords. He clocks in at 200 points. A nice round number. This does take up and HQ slot so the great HQ debate continues. Most Eldar players will opt for double Seer. If you are going the no Seer route though you can have quite a power unit taking an Autarch and Baharroth in a unit of swooping hawks. An Aspect heavy force has rather specialized Fast Attack choices. You can only make one of them fearless though. Only two of them can deep strike as well. Although warp spiders are nice I prefer to go with swooping hawks as they are more flexible and reliable in their movement.
So I view Baharroth as a decent choice for an aspect heavy force or just in general as long as you are running Swooping Hawks. Again I will reiterate that I think the Phoenix lords are a tad overpriced and must have a specific purpose in a list. Otherwise you are wasting points and a valuable HQ spot.
So my two cents about the Phoenix Lords. For the last Part of our series I will cover the man himself. The center of the Phoenix Court. Khaine Himself. SO the last Installment will cover one of the only other HQ choices I ever use if not running double seer. The Avatar of Khaine. Also I am going to introduce you to one of my favorite Dark Eldar Characters. Duke Sliscus the Serpent. Hopefully I should have a Battle report with Vogrin later in the week as well.

SO until then.......

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Phoenix Court Of Khaine pt 5: Karandras

Of all the Phoenix Lords there is one that will live in infamy. Arhra was the father of scorpions. He betrayed the Asurya and destroyed the original temple shrine where Asurman First tempered the Eldar's passions into the path of the warrior. Arhras' most gifted student took his place as the Phoenix Lord of the Striking Scorpions. He tempered the murderous nature of Arhra with the patience and cunning of a hunter. He now fights his mentor when he shows himself, although he goes by the name Drazhar now.
Karandras is a hunter. With Mandiblaster and chain sword he cuts down his prey with precision. He also carries the deadly Scorpions Claw which cuts though vehicles and power armor with ease.
Besides the stat line and normal Phoenix Lord rules why is Karandras my favorite? He is a strait up marine killer. He is strength 8 when he uses the Scorpions Claw. He also has 7 attacks on the charge thanks to his Mandiblaster providing +2 attacks instead of the normal 1. He also does not suffer from the one thing I don't like about Striking Scorpions. He is Fleet. Granted if he is in a squad, which he should be, he losses this ability. He does however boost up the kill power of the squad by a lot. As I often do I run an Exarch in the squad despite having the Phoenix lord. In this case the Exarch will not have any powers as Karandras already has them all. So you can infiltrate or outflank and have move through cover. In addition you get stealth. This comes in handy especially when you infiltrate and are faced with high strength weapons hitting the squad. You should always start your scorpions in cover when they infiltrate anyways. The Exarch gives you a second power claw. Granted he only hits at strength 6 but you still wound toughness 4 stuff on 2's. This means you have 9 Scorpions that deal 36 attacks to thin out the ranks of the enemy squad. Basically the only things going before them would be character, Dark Eldar wychs and Genestealers. So you get 11 powered attacks to concentrate on a smaller number of models. All of these will usually be hitting on 3's. Not to shabby.
I almost always infiltrate my Striking Scorpions these days. Outflanking has not been kind and unless you are setup in table corners you get no real advantage. Karandras gives you options and a lot of punch in a unit of scorpions. He gives you the stealth and all the Exarch powers so there is no real reason to not infiltrate
Is he a deal at 215 points? Not really, but that has always been my main complaint about the Phoenix Lords. It is also y complaint on my second favorite Dark Eldar character.
So how does he stack up to Drazhar? Well Drazhar is 230 points to already more expensive. He has the same stat line and he is also an eternal warrior. Drazhar can possibly have more attacks it depends on if he is going 2 handed or double power weapons. He does strike first though and he gains the preferred enemy against IC's as well as gaining more attacks on rolls of 6.
Vogrin and I actually did the math and it comes out almost dead even and it is completely up to the dice as to how it turns out. If Drazhar fails to kill Karandras in the first go Karandras could kill Drazhar. Second round Karandras would die though unless the dice are completely against you.
Well we have one more Phoenix Lord to go and in my opinion one of the better ones. Baharoth will be our last installment of the Phoenix Court of Khaine series.
Also I have some opinions on White Dwarf I want to share. This is mostly because of the Battle report in the latest issue. Dark Eldar versus a non mechanized Imperial Guard army. Think about it for a second. The only question is.....really?

So that and some battle reports later in the week. One will be versus Vogrin on Wednesday. We will be trying out our Adepticon lists on each other and see if the Dark Eldar are as good against a Guard army with some armor. So far not so much.

Until then........

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!