Tuesday, May 29, 2012

6th Edition Is Nigh

Games Workshop for one reason or another likes to keep a tight lip about any of their upcoming products until a month before they are released so they can fatten their coffers with pre-orders.  Granted from a manufacturing and production standpoint this allows the company to plan production runs and plan all the logistics without the sometimes troublesome sales prediction models.

That being said the hobbyist is left without anything to really wet their whistle, so to speak on upcoming models and codexs.  Well left with nothing except lots of speculation and supposed inside information.  I worked for GW before they really cracked down and they have always done controlled leaks of pictures and information about upcoming products.  This stopped once it got carried away and a couple of coworkers were fired for just confirming stuff on message boards back in the day.

The only real good predictor of something new is when the products suddenly disappear from the website and your local FLGS is told they cant get any more.  This has happened this very week.  The buzz around is that 6h Edition is nigh because the 5th edition rulebook is no longer available on the GW site or at the GW stores.  Local independent stores cannot order anymore.

This means we are seeing 6th edition in either June or July.  Since they are toting their new flyers with new models and rules for said models in the June issue of White Dwarf I think we can expect 6th to drop in July.  That said I am going to really concentrate on the painting and modeling aspect of our hobby.  I just picked up some Eldar models to round out the army and I plan on getting them completed over the next couple months.  I am not going to really buy any more Eldar though until I see the new rules and or a new Codex.

I did pick up a couple squads though of a new army.  A very different army for me and quite a divergence if not a 180 form what I usually do.  I have just completed the assembly of a Grey Knight Strike squad and a Grey Knight Terminator squad.  Just have to pick up a Grand Master and I have a legal army.  Why Grey Knights?  Well its not much of a stretch in my mind.  They are a small elite force with huge psychic potential.  Sounds a bit familiar to me.  This is going to be a for fun army for me that I can win some games with.  I love my Eldar don't get me wrong, but you have to be utterly flawless to play competitively or even have a decent winning percentage anymore with them. Its time to clean my slate and start over.  Seems like a ideal time to do it as we have a new edition coming.  I will continue to play and write about Eldar, but look for some Grey Knight stuff too.  I am tying the army to the Eldar though.  Justicar Thrawn will be in it as he did become the stuff of legend after cleansing the Great Enemy from Malan'tai after the loathsome Tyranids tore it asunder.  I would like to think of my Grey Knight Brotherhood as the Guardians Of the now dead Malan'tai.  Protecting it until the Spirit Stones of the fallen can be recovered and set free in the infinity circuit of another Craftworld.

Until next time.

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

Friday, May 25, 2012

Strength 6 Is The New Black

So I have been playing with an Army list as of late, that just started out as me throwing together a list to play Samsquatch Monster and his Soul Drinkers, Blood Angels but painted like the Soul Drinkers.  It was just a friendly laid back game at the FLGS one night.  It was a very close and very enjoyable game.  I ended up winning and the performance of the list versus a pretty decent Blood Angels list got me thinking about how it would do against other armies.

This led to a second game with the list in the 40K man cave that is the basement of the house I share with Samsquatch Monster and The Judge.  This second game was against Craftworld Lansing's own resident Phaeron, The Stormlord.  He is still feeling out the Necron codex despite it being out for a while.  A crazy school schedule and two kids will do that though.  This game again was very close but thanks to the Hardiness of the actual Stormlord and 2 Monoliths he managed to hold an objective with a pair of immortals while contesting mine with his namesake.  The list still brought the hurt though and against my current most hated foe, the Necrons.

I am hoping to test the list against CVinton this weekend.  The real strength behind the list is the amount of shooting in it.  This combined with the fact that a bulk of it is strength 6.  With the exception of the Dire Avengers and the Pathfnders the Rest of the list has strength 6 weapons with a very good range.  Here is the first incarnation of the list.

HQ:  Eldrad Ulthran

HQ: The Avatar Of Khaine

Troops:  2x Squads of Dire Avengers

Troops: 1x Squad of Pathfinders

Heavy:  3x Squadrons of 3 War Walkers 

Fast:  1x Squadron of 3 Vypers

Fast:  1x Squad of 5 Shining Spears

Two of the War Walker Squadrons are armed with dual Scatter Lasers while the third is Armed with Bright Lances and Scatter Lasers.  The Vypers are armed with Scatter Lasers with chin mounted Shuriken Cannons.  As you may remember the Laser Lances the Shining Spears carry are a strength 6 weapon.  Granted very close range, but very effective.  The Pathfnders Provide good covering fire and objective holding capability, while the Dire Avengers advance with the Avatar to contest and seize your opponents objectives and give you some mid range to close range fire.  I put Eldrad with one of the Dire Avenger Squads.  His primary purpose is to bolster the unit while hitting the War Walker Squadrons with Guide.

It works pretty decently.  I have been toying with a couple changes though after some post game discussions and analyzing.  I have removed Eldrad in favor of a Farseer on a bike.  He will ride with the Shining Spears to lend some power to that unit.  This also gives me an opportunity to cover some more ground and be able to hit War Walkers or even the Vyper Squadron with guide.  It also gives the Shining spear unit the Ability to crack open some vehicles to slay its occupants in close combat thanks to the Farseer's Singing Spear.  We will see how it works.  I plan on using the Original versus CVinton just to get in 3 games with it before I make any changes. We will see how it works.  I will post a report next week.

So that's the list.  Pretty simple actually and yes it is similar to some other lists I have seen before.  sometimes you have to go back and look at stuff again.  Like I said before I am getting back to basics.

On that note I would also like to say I have decided to play a non Xenos army.  Not the first time for me, I was a pretty rabid Sisters Of Battle player when I worked for GW.  This is however my first actual Marine army.......kind of

More on that once I get some of my new models together.

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

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

Friday, May 18, 2012

Finally I am Painting Again: My Wraith Seer

Hi All.  SeerK here with my first painted model in a while.  After Samsquatch Monster laid down the Paint a KP a week Challenge, I decided it was time to get off my butt and actually do something in the hobby other than playing.  So I give You my new Wraith Seer, Venerable Seer Badjer. 
I went with a simple color scheme.  The colors of Ulthwe.  I have not really painted a whole lot over the past year and it feels good to have a model turn out half way decent.  Its not my best work but i find it acceptable.

The Wraith Seer is a very nice unit.  It has a slightly better profile than a standard Wraithlord.  A weapon Skill of 5, 4 wounds and 3 attacks.  It also benefits from a 3+ armor save and a 5+ Invulnerably save, which frankly I think standard Wraithlords should have.  It acts as a Spirit Seer to Wraithguard and Wraithlord units which is a big help when you are running this guy in a Wraith wall list.  Its Wraith Spear also adds +1 to results on the vehicle damage table.  This makes the Wraithseer pretty deadly to vehicles.

His powers also are nice.  Sadly you don't get the benefit of spirit stones or Runes Of Witnessing.  I think this would make this guy a little over the top though especially with Spirit Stones Equipped.  You can make a Wraithlord or Wraithguard squad Fleet with one power.  You can also give the same two units Feel No Pain.  Kind of sick albeit a moot point most of the time, especially with Wraithlords, given the weapons typically directed at them to bring them down.  The last power makes an enemy unit within 18 inches take a pinning check at a -2 to their leadership.  This power could actually come in very handy.  Granted you have to be close, but if you have night spinner support or Pathfinders also forcing checks you may get lucky.

So next time I will have some more projects and musings on the Wraith Wall concept, and I will introduce a list i have been playing with that I call " Strength 6 Is The New Black".

Until next time.....................

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

Friday, May 11, 2012

Back To Basics: A Second Look At Shining Spears

Since Adepticon I have been looking over my Craftworlders with renewed vigor. The Dark Kin will be making a comeback next month as I decided to get them back from CVinton and give them another round while I figure out the Eldar. I am getting back to basics. I have been playing so long and worrying about higher level tactics I have let my foundation of basic strategy and tactics crumble. That being said I am modeling and painting and rereading my codex for the 40,000th time. I am looking at units again and finding new purpose for them.

I think I mentioned the success I have had using one of Khaines most ill used Aspects. My Shining Spears have had a rather impressive record over the past 3 games I have used them in. With 2 command barges, a Necron Overlord, a score of Blood Angels and Astaroth The Grim Under their belts they have been proving their worth. Not to shabby for an Aspect Shrine that basically is non existent on Ulthwe. I have to make an apology to Samsquatch Monster though as I thought the Laser Lance was a much lower AP than it actually is. Granted all the kills were made in close combat so the power weapon aspect of the Laser Lance did most of the work on the charge, but this just goes to show you that even a veteran makes mistakes with units you almost never use.

Shining Spears are expensive. Clocking in at 35 points a piece the high cost is offset by the fact the unit size is capped at 5. Armed with the strength 6 AP 4 Laser Lance and the bikes twin linked shuriken catapults they are decently well armed. Range is the real kicker. The Laser Lance only has a range of 6 inches so the major punch of the unit is meant for very close range. The Lance ability of the Laser Lance makes is very deceptive. One would think this would give them a good punch against vehicles. This is a major trap and makes you scratch your head as to what Phil Kelly had in mind with this weapon. At strength 6 armor 12 still is only glanced on a 6 making the unit woefully inefficient in dealing with all but the lightest open topped vehicles. One would also think the weapon would have a better AP than 4 with the Lance ability. The Exarch does bring a Strength 8 Star Lance to the table as well as the skilled rider ability and withdraw in the form of Exarch powers.

That all being said the Shining Spears are a very niche unit, like a lot of Eldar units. I have been using my Shining Spears as a hunter killer unit. The Exarch with a Star Lance has the Ability to bring down light vehicles, like Rhinos and Command Barges, and the unit then can assault the occupants and do some major damage thanks to a high Initiative and a strength 6 power weapon in close combat. You can make hit and run attacks pretty effectively thanks to the withdraw power. You just have to time it right and hit units that cannot catch you when you hit and run. The unit really relies upon proper target selection and position. I like to isolate foot units hit them and then withdraw in my assault phase. This can backfire if you don't retreat far enough, but if you pick the right unit to hit this will not be an issue. Obviously you don't want to hit dedicated close combat units or head towards these units especially if its jump infantry. Common sense I know, but like I said I am getting back to basics. I will hit small units, combat squaded marines and the like, as they make very easy targets.

Using the skilled rider power to your advantage is also a big thing with this unit. Don't be afraid to move through or land in terrain. In fact retreating through terrain gives you added protection after doing a hit and run on a unit. Using your other units as bait, like pathfinders, lures the enemy in. I like to keep the Shining Spears within striking distance of my advance units of Rangers. It keeps the rangers safe and your opponent can't really ignore them if you have them parked on an objective or they are killing targets with impunity.

Mutual support as always is very important. A Farseer and even a properly outfitted Autarch can really bolster the effectiveness of the unit and really add punch in its hunter killer purpose. An Autarch either with the unit or working alongside, but not actually part of the unit, can give you a really nice one-two punch. Since the Autarch can be equipped with a fusion gun and already comes with Haywire Grenades, a favorite of mine, he can add vehicle busting power and thanks to a good weapon assortment and a decent number of attacks in close combat, added close combat punch. The same could be said for a Farseer.

I am still experimenting. I am actually picking up an Autarch on a Bike today to try out tonight. Sammy, The Judge, CVinton and I will be playing at a new local store called AFK games which recently opened on Lansing's south side. I will be trying out some stuff and experimenting. I do want to say though that strength 6 is the new black. If even half of the 6th edition rumors are true, namely vehicles having hull points and you actually being able to glance things to death, Eldar are poised to make a major comeback.

Next time I hope to have my first painting project in a while completed. My Wraith Seer is about half way done. I need to lay some catch up in the kill point a week challenge over at DFG.

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

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

Sunday, May 6, 2012

We Live To Rise: Finally My Hobby Vigor Returns

Well Adepticon was great this year.  In the wake of the convention Samsquatch Monster, Lord Solar Steve, The Judge and I started a little contest or challange if you will. This would be the paint a kill point a week challange that has now been expanded to the readership of Dark Future Games and now the craftworld. I am in the process of painting my new Wraithseer that I aquired at Adepticon along with a proper spear wielding Forgeworld Avatar of Khaine. The urge and want to paint and do more than just play is returning to me.
This got me much more into the casual play mindset. I actually got a very good game in the other night with Samsquatch Monster, a game I actually won. I played kind of a silly list. I didn't put much thought into. I just played a list I thought would be fun.

This got me thinking. Did being so competitive and obsessing over the perfect competitive list kill my hobby desire and all the things I like about this game we all play?  It may not have been the only culprit but it was a big contributor.

So I am going to take back my hobby and play for fun. I will still play tournaments but I am going to get my zen back. Seeing Eldar in the top 16 at Adepticon told me that its not the army that's lacking. This Seer has lost his edge and its high time I get back to basics and get it back.

So in the future look for more hobby articles and more battle reports involving some very fun and maybe competitive lists. We also may see the literal return of my Dark Eldar.

Next time I am going to talk about my new favorite unit in the eldar codex......Shining Spears.

Until then.........

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