Monday, July 30, 2012

The First 6th Edition Tournament In Lansing: Aftermath

Well This weekend marked the first 6th edition 40k tournament of the Lansing area. 16 Warriors descended on Evolution Games and fought on the field of battle. Congratulations goes out to AFK games native and fellow Seer Paul Steiner and his Eldar war-host. He beat out CVintons Necrons for top honors. He also put my Dark kin in their place in round one of the tournament. Dark Future Games own CVinton took 2nd while Lord Solar Steve took 3rd and local regular and outright lucky Git Austin Proux took 4th.

I was middle of the pack being edged out by one battle point by The Judge. I have to say I am still feeling out 6th edition. The new meta seems to be leaning towards shooting. As such I constructed a list to take objectives and dish out lots of Daka. So I went the Kabalite Warrior route.

HQ: Duke Sliscus

Troops: 9x Kabalite Warriors with Sybarite and blaster. Raider with Night Shields and Splinter Racks

Troops: 10x Kabalite Warriors with Sybarite Blaster and Dark Lance. Raider with Night Shields and Splinter Racks.

Troops: 10x Kabalite Warriors with Sybarite Blaster and Dark Lance. Raider with Night Shields and Splinter Racks.

Troops: 10x Kabalite Warriors with Sybarite Blaster and Dark Lance. Raider with Night Shields and Splinter Racks.

Troops: 5x Kabalite Warriors with blaster mounted on Venom with Night Shields and Splinter cannon

Troops: 5x Kabalite Warriors with blaster mounted on Venom with Night Shields and Splinter cannon

Heavy: Void Raven Bomber with 2 Monoscythe missiles and 2 shatterfield missiles

Heavy: Ravager with Night Shields and 3 Dizzys

Heavy: Ravager with Night Shields and 3 Dizzys

The list worked reasonably well although I am still learning the nuances of the Dark Kin in 6th. There is basically zero room for tactical mistakes. Splinter Racks are one of the keys of the list. Since you can shoot from the back of the Raider making all the warriors shooting, at least splinter weapons, twin linked is pretty nice. It helps with snap shots a ton and if you only move 6 inches with the Raider you can use full ballistic skill. The other key is distance from the enemy, which can be very hard to maintain. The speed of just about every army has increased and the Dark Eldar, although they have a slight edge, did not get a whole ton faster than the other armies. This is where the Night Shields come in. With the exception of the Tau the night shields allow you to keep units just in your range and your Raiders out of range. Heavy weapons aside that is. As long as you move 6 inches you can fire at full ballistic skill and you have a 5+ jink save with a Raider and a Venom.

This worked rather well in game one, with the exception of the Harlequin unit that I could not get range to. When his Nightwing, Forgeworld 40K approved units were allowed, came in after my Voidraven did I knew its fate was sealed. I have another trick to share, which borders on the transition gray area. It involves an Exarch and a Aegis defense line quad gun. Regardless I lost momentum and the Craftworlders wore me down in a war of attrition.

Round two was a heart breaker. Local Chaos Marine player Austin is known for basically one thing. Having hot dice when its a clutch moment. Truth be told I should take this kid to the casino and have him throw some dice on the tables. I had his army basically wiped off the table. A allied ratling was turtled up in a set of ruins while little over half my army was trying to kill a plague marine who was holding the relic, aka primary objective for the round. I tried but alas after 7 turns the 2 models were still alive and victory was stolen from me. If I had won or at least denied the primary to him I would have placed. Oh well.

Round three was a massacre. I wiped a blood angels with codex allies army from the face of existence in 3 turns.

So I am going to continue to tweak this list. I have talked over some tactical issues on my part with opponents and list related development stuff with Wolfson, he is running a similar list, and I am going to make a couple changes as I got 3 very good games in.

So more on that later. Later this week I am going to talk about fortifications and terrain. I have some mixed feelings on the new options.

Until Next time........

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

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Eldar Rumour Round-Up pt 2

Well Kirby continues to bring us some model descriptions from the land down under.  It would seem that the Eldar codex is probably done, at least form what I am reading.  The amount of new models and units is telling me a couple things about the new codex.  First here are some details on a couple new models.

via Kirby 

Still no talk at all regarding schedule or rules. This is a detailed description of the contents of the Eldar boxes which were sighted. 

Some teasers to get you started:

The Avatar of the Young King

Completely new design, much smaller, only as large as a wraithguard, set of aspect armour where every piece is spread out and connected by a body of magma, looks like an fire/earth elemental clad in a suit of armour, dire avenger helm with fire from the eyes and half burnt helm crest, floats and torso pose looks like vader during his Noooo scream, hands are armored, blood is dripping from the left, the right is molten and transformed into a blade.

Eldar Spirit Warrior

wraithlord-war walker mix, trygon base, running bird legs with hooves, huge scaled torso, a dozen poles extend from the back (like wraithlord but three times as much), left forearm replaced with massive lance, right hand holds extra handle on lance shaft or a three pronged swastika blade. Lower back, left shoulder and part of the left arm are concealed by an impressive cloak, head is surrounded by scaled armour plating, large gem at the front, doesn’t bend upward towards the end but downward, whole model leans forward, chest can be opened, female pilot inside.

After I saw this Faeit212 also had a nice description  of some of the other models I posted on here earlier.
via Kirby at 3++
Okay guys, got some extra details on the earlier Eldar rumors, specifically artwork and what everything looks like. Still no rules. Looks like the Xentarchs are indeed Exarchs, whether they are special Exarch's or just new remodelling is to be seen. We've also got names nailed down a bit more from translations.

With the recent release of the end of this year's schedule looking like Chaos and Dark Angels getting done, we might see Eldar landing early Q1 2013. This would be very much appreciated. Depending who writes it

Anyway, details below!
Eldar Warpspiders/Everguard
5 per box
Spiders: whole squad looks like the old exarch, no huge weapon, helmets smaller, but same shape, wrist blades, two small spinner weapons on rod mount from the back. Spider web like straps on the chest that hold the backpack (doesn’t look as broad as the old version), running, jumping and slightly cowering poses, exarch has extra pair of weapons on the cover, don’t remember the back pictures

Everguard: aspect warrior body with runes on the chest, same collar as warpspiders but no mandible arcs and gas masks, different more warlock-like face plate and small arc at back of the head, double bladed two-handed spears, very dynamic models, jets from the side/underside of the backpack, squad leader has larger head-arc, mantle hangs over the backpack, flies in the wind

Eldar Sky Charriots/Shining Spears
3 per box, look like small vypers, slightly larger than jetbikes. Two parts: an engine part with jetbike-like canopy but in the shape of a dragon, owl and hawk head, sideway jets, and a distinct winged chariot part, parts are connected by arcs.

Riders either warlocks but arms are not robed, spear, sword and staff; or shining spear aspect warriors with lances, shining spears have smooth canopies with gems instead animal heads, helms look very cylon-like, have collar-like shoulderguards

Eldar Jetbikes
3 per box, the same pose as dark eldar jetbike, guardian riders with smaller helmets or bareheaded with lots of flying hair (80s heavy metal mane) and without backpack, vyper-esque smooth canopy, jet and wings have the same design as a falcon grav tank, under slung twin shuriken catapults and/or serpent-shaped bladehooks, some riders have axes with a hole in the blade

Eldar Dragon Riders
3 per box, very slender lizard mounts not unlike slaanesh steeds, all female rider, no helmets, long braids, guardian armor without backpack, all have shining spear lances, sabres and/or sniper rifles as sidearms, the armor has no decoration, not even gems or small bubbles, only exception is a gem that holds a cloak that falls to the left side of the rider, very simplistic look, not aztec or tribal at all

Eldar Wraithguard/Cataphracts
3 per box, look like old versions but have two rods for upper arms and thighs instead of just one, some have feet, some hooves, large fins at the back

Cataphracts: float/fly, fluttering cloth pieces instead of legs, wing-shaped shields and spears, segmented/armored head

Eldar Swooping Hawks
5 per box, larger wings, not so stiff and two-dimensional, several straps of clothes from the loin, wrists and ankles, model stand on these straps, both shoulder plates have inbuilt missile racks, Exarch has two shoulder-mounted blasters and a scimitar in one hand and two optional rifles, one is the same as the old exarch had, the other is a small star cannon

The Avatar of the Young King
Completely new design, much smaller, only as large as a wraithguard, set of aspect armour where every piece is spread out and connected by a body of magma, looks like an fire/earth elemental clad in a suit of armour, dire avenger helm with fire from the eyes and half burnt helm crest, floats and torso pose looks like vader during his Noooo scream, hands are armored, blood is dripping from the left, the right is molten and transformed into a blade

Eldar Warlock
fits the current warlocks but sharper robe edges, hadouken pose but with staff in two hands

Eldar Spirit Warrior
wraithlord-war walker mix, trygon base, running bird legs with hooves, huge scaled torso, a dozen poles extend from the back (like wraithlord but three times as much), left forearm replaced with massive lance, right hand holds extra handle on lance shaft or a three pronged swastika blade. Lower back, left shoulder and part of the left arm are concealed by an impressive cloak, head is surrounded by scaled armour plating, large gem at the front, doesn’t bend upward towards the end but downward, whole model leans forward, chest can be opened, female pilot inside

Eldar Phoenix Lord Nuadhu, The Fireheart
nuadhua holds lance upright, one end on the ground, points with axe on something, shining spear helm with tail of hair, layered armour like dark eldar-armour but with smooth curves, can be placed on vyper-variant, looks very similar to a vyper, canopy more segmented and wings in falcon-style, one large jet engine, chariot platform on the back, two large pennants

Eldar Webway Gate
Two arcs that almost touch each other at the top, whole construct has hazelnut shape, pyramidal platform with oval basis, several destroyed columns, front columns are intact and carry swooping hawk and dark reaper statues, whole model is covered with thorn-twines (seems to be optional)

Eldar Dire Avenger Xentarch
holds two handed samurai sword downwards, two wrist-mounted shuriken catapults, banner, 99% that the phoenix on it is modeled on, one foot stands on a rock with an owl next to it, all armour plates are bedecked with a rune pattern, don’t know if this is only painted on

Eldar Howling Banshee Xentarch
golfer pose, bends forwards and slashs upwards with a sabre, stretches other arm straight into the air, holds tri-swatiska, has snakes woven into her hair

Eldar Striking Scorpion Xentarch
jumps forwards, holds two short but thick chainswords in front, back of armour has backbone-like element that looks like a scorpion tail, continued on the helmet and ends in a sting, stands on ornamented plate with roots on it

Eldar Fire Dragon Xentarch
knees almost, holds very long pike with two hands ready to fire, huge cluster of grenades on his back and his belt, helm ends in a dragon head

Eldar Lamia Strike Fighter / Moon Siren Bomber & Eldar Black Warden

Ok SO the Avatar may be shrinking or we are getting a different HQ choice.  This little bit seems to confirm the fact you are going to be able to do several different types of armies with the codex.  Namely an Exodite army and an army that can be from one of the major Craftworlds.  The Young King, and the rumored Xenarchs could be for the court of the young king which is the group that leads the Aspects of Biel Tan into battle.  It has also been suggested these could be new sculpts for the Phoenix Lords but I am guessing just Exarchs.

Also non Forgeworld Flyers says to me that although many players are hoping for Forgeworld to be included I don't see it happening.

The Spirit warrior is from hallowed 40K antiquity.  Old school players may remember the old Eldar Knights and such.  For those that don't remember think baby Revenant Titan.  I like all the stuff that seems to be on deck for the new codex.  The fact these models are done tells me the codex is done.  From what I understand Tau and Eldar are going to be fighting for a Q1 release.  So 2013 will be the year of the Xenos.

I am also looking forward to the release of the box set. A teaser is in the latest issue of White Dwarf.

Well there I will have some aftermath from the tournament Saturday.

Until then.....

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

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

6th Ed Breakdown: Allies

It use to be that allies were limited or non existent in 40k. Old school players, those that played in 2nd edition, will remember the ability to take allies in your army.
Allies are back and in a big way. The Eldar have the ability to take Tau and Dark Eldar as battle brothers. This opens up a lot of possibilities for combinations. It also allows you to build a list that can have some support the primary codex does not provide, broadsides splitting open everything so my Wyches can pummel the contents? Yes please.  Some great psychic defense for the Dark Eldar. Yes Please! Flyers and Wicked close combat units for the Eldar.  Thank you!  I have to say there is a catch though.

Now I have looked and done up a few combinations that sound cool.  I have watched quit a few games with other armies and several allies combinations.  Although I have seen quit a few cool combos and some neat on trick ponies  I have to say allies must be really adding something to the primary army to warrant taking them. 

I have been tooling up a Dark Eldar list for a tournament this coming weekend and I was going to include some Eldar in the list to give the Dark kin some psychic defense and some long range artillery in the form of a Night Spinner.  After some conversations with Old School Terminator I started taking a second look at allies.

 Wolfson has been playing a lot of games with the Eldar and Dark Eldar over on the east coast with OST.  OST mentioned that when using the Eldar as Allies with the Dark Eldar they tended to slow down the Dark Eldar armies momentum.  The psychic defense was nice, but not worth the massive amount of points the Eldar took up.  So the real questions you have to ask yourself when taking allies are; what do they add?  What are you trying to supplement or add to army?  What deficiency is the allied force filling in for?

So with this in mind I have been looking at different combinations.  The main thing a Dark Eldar army is really lacking is Psychic defense and extreme long range support.  The Eldar can provide both.  The Tau are masters of long range fire.  A Broadside team or Hammerhead or any number of different units can provide long range support with extreme punch, but the Tau also have no psychic defense. So The Eldar and Tau working together can be mutually beneficial.

I have a small cadre I am going to use to see how they work with the Eldar.  I am still working out what to use with the Dark Eldar if I use anything at all.  As is the list I have built for the upcomming tournament is strait Dark Eldar.  The addition of any allies would be problematic and would not really add anything.  I am sure as time goes on Allies will be incorporated more into future Codex's. but as it stands all the current books are built for 5th, or 4th in some cases and 6th in the case of the Necrons, and although adding an allied force may give you access to a very powerful unit, it may not add anything to the whole. 

So in my opinion the Allies rules can be a trap if you don't consider them carefully.  Well Looks liek we are not getting flyers in August after all.  The massive Daemon release is taking precedence.  Granted the Daemons need an update and this does cover two different games which from a business standpoint gives GW a nice boost for the summer quarter.  I really like the new Exalted Chariot of Slaneesh.  I am also throwing it out there that I think I might have been wrong about an Eldar flyer.  I am thinking the Eldar flyer that is slated to come out is actually the Dark Eldar Void Raven.  I guess we will see.

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

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

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Eldar Rumors: New Kits Spotted

Well looks like GW is keeping some new Eldar kits under wraps. Kirby spotted some new stuff down under while digging for rumors.
Again I will believe it when I see it, but it has me hopeful that the new codex is nigh. So here is what was seen.
Plastic Warp Spiders/ Everguard ( sounds high elf)
Plastic Shining spears ( granted mostly plastic now but a new kit that's all plastic would be nice)
Phantom Wachter ( my Germans rusty but I think that's a spirit seer or maybe shadow specters, it translates to Ghost Guard or Phantom Guard.  I guess that could actually be the plastic Wraith Guard)
Plastic Wraithguard ( this has me excited but I will believe it when I see it. Its a possible explanation why we havn't seen a finecast model though)
Resin Exarchs or Xenarchs as the name read.
Resin warlock
Resin avatar box
Resin Black Warden, looks like female Autarch or an Exodite leader
Resin dragon riders
Resin Webway gate( this has me very excited as it seems to point to Eldar having a Webway portal like the dark kin).
A flyer kit. Apparently crossbow shaped.  This had a mix of weapons and what looked to be a distortion cannon in a dorsal mount position.  I think there is a good chance of the flyer.  It could be Eldar or it could be a Void Raven Bomber as there is an inbound flyer release including the Dark Eldar and Tau.
A Shining Spear Phoenix Lord is possible, but the Description and Name Niaduh leads me to believe that there is a new codex inbound and Niaduh Fireheart The famed Wild Rider Cheiftan of Saim Hann is making a return to the game.  He was seen riding what looked like a Vyper bike.

Plastic or resin "Halcones Cazadores", which if my Spanish is correct is "Hunting Hawks" or in English Swooping Hawks.  Granted the current models are finecast, but a redesign could be cool. There was also mention of Jetbikes.  I know Jes Goodwin did a prototype for a new Eldar Jetbike like 3 or 4 years or more ago.  If this was put into production I will be buying tons.  Saim Hann army numbers.

There was also some Eldritch Raider models, which says to me that Prince Yriel's boys and girls will be making an appearance with the codex allowing you to run a Pirate list or what has me kind of excited an Exodite List.

Well there you have it.  We might have a codex by early 2013, me thinks after the Chaos Codex drops in September, or rumored to drop.  I am sensing major changes and several different army options in the same ball park as the Dark Eldar.

Well I am going to try and have my post about Allies for the Eldar up by Saturday.  I have been toying with a few combos.  I am going to decide on one and use it at the First 6th edition tournament in the Lansing area.

Evolution Games in Lansing will be having an 1850 tournament on Saturday 28th. doors open at 11 and dice roll at noon.  1850 pts, allies and Fortifications will be allowed.  Hope to see you there.

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

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

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Changing Gears: Relearning Armies In 6th Ed

So I have gotten into the double digits for games of 6th edition now.  Most of which have been with the Eldar and the Dark Eldar.  My win loss record is not a pretty one.  Fumbling through all the changes has been challenging, but with each game things get smoother.

I think the big hurdle is really relearning how your army work in the new edition.  I have been rereading my codexes, which really is a good idea anyway, as I read through the rulebook.  Knowing your own army is important as is how it functions with the rule changes.  Reading the FAQ for your codex is also important as this gives you some updates and changes to how things work.  In some cases stuff is added that was not there before and other stuff is removed altogether.

My latest game was with the Dark Kin against the forces of the Tau Empire.  Now the Tau have been in a funk and although a decent army, in my opinion, they have been suffering from old codex syndrome.  This latest game was the first time I have played against the Tau in a while.  The changes to how things work, especially shooting, wound allocation and cover, have been very kind to the Greater Good.

6th edition is shaping up to be a shooting game.  This is a big swing as close combat was a major decider in past editions.  Imperial Guard and Tau armies fell apart when dedicated close combat troops reached the lines and started their bloody work.  I knew I was not going to be able to out range the Tau, so in a classic move I rushed my units forward to bring the fight to the Tau and slaughter them in close combat.

This proved to be a big mistake.  The 15 inch rapid fire range was very deadly and with the fire warriors behind an Aegis Defense Line, with a quad gun, my Voidraven bomber and Reaver bikes were quickly dealt with after I misjudged the range.  The Broadside units made quick work of my Raiders which left my warrior squads in the open and subject to punishing volleys of Pulse Rifle fire.

Even when the remains of my forces reached the lines A series of failed charges meant another round of shooting.  I was tabled in turn Tau.  My previous battles versus the Tau never went this way.  I am really at a loss.  I am really taking a hard look at my armies and how I have to change my tactics.

I did learn one thing with the Craftworlders this past week as well.  The new psychic powers are a trap.  Giving up your regular powers for stuff from the new disciplines ensures you don't have access to Fortune.  The equivalent power in the Divination discipline only affects the caster and not his unit.  So if you choose to exchange powers do so with extreme discretion.

Well I am going to throw some thoughts and opinions out this week about allies and Fortifications.  After playing a few games with both involved I have some ideas for the Eldar and Dark Eldar.

Until Next time...............

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

Monday, July 9, 2012

6th Ed Breakdown: Wound Allocation

Well I have managed to get 5 games of 6th edition in over the past week. Between work and the 4th, happy belated birthday America, I wish I had more time to play.  There is so much to take in.
I have gotten in games with my Craftworlders, the Grey Knights and my re-acquired Dark Eldar. I like the changes in the rules and how they affect the Eldar. The Grey Knights took somewhat of a hit, but I have a couple tricks I want to share involving them with today's topic.
Wound allocation in 5th edition was a broken system. It lead to the creation of death star units that were nigh unto UN-killable without a major dedication of fire. The wound allocation methods and rules are very different now and as such nerfed killer units.  Essentially wounds are now allocated from closest model to the firing unit back, only taking armour save into account for any different type of allocation. Weapons are divided into wound pools based on strength and AP.
This means placement of your models within the squad is pretty important. It adds a tactical element to the game which fast moving and multi deployment style armies can really exploit.

Both the Eldar and Dark Eldar can really take advantage of wound allocation as it now stands.  Lets look at a few examples of how you can better protect your units and how to hit enemy units to really cause some damage.

Now the real key thing with the Craftworlders is protecting your Exarchs.  They have a different save, usually, than the rest of the unit and since they are the source of the units special abilities you will have to protect them. Granted this can be hard.  Positioning them near the center of the unit with regular Aspect warriors forming a circle so to speak around them will help you deal with attacks from multiple directions. Liberal use of the "Look Out Sir!" rule should also be used.  Granted Precision shots from characters and sniper weapons can foil this strategy.  "Look Out Sir!" lets you shunt even theses wounds to the rest of the unit though.

"Look Out Sir!" can also be used very effectively to keep your Farseers alive, especially when they are in with a unit of Warlocks.  Warlocks are all Characters.  They can still do "Look Out Sir!" rolls, but the real important thing is that you can redirect wounds from Warlocks with vital powers, like Embolden and Enhance or even if they are equipped with Singing Spears.  Now remember you can redirect a wound or unsaved wound.  so if you can attempt to redirect a wound away form a vital Warlock before you roll to see if the save is good, just in case you don't want to risk the loss.

Challenges in close combat although good in some cases can prove to be a bad day for most Exarchs.  You do have the advantage in Initiative in most cases, but a lack of Strength or power weapons that can do the job quickly.  If you know you cannot win the challenge don't accept it.  The Exarch powers will be active despite the Exarch not fighting.  Also since the Exarch and the Aspect warriors have the same leadership value, bowing out of the challenge keeps the Exarch alive to fight another day or in this case the next turn.

The Challenge can also be a very effective way to keep your Wraithlords alive.  The Wraithlord, according to the rulebook, is a Character.  This means they can issue and accept challenges.  When you charge challenge that Sgt with the Power Fist.  Guess what if he refuses he can't strike or hurt you.  If he accepts he will be a smear on the ground.  I know that may cause your opponent to try and use the "Our Weapons are Useless" rule, but as I see it the unit can hurt you, but your opponent choose not to.  This can also help in combats where a big bad, Tyranid, Daemon Prince or what not, is trying to lay waste to a unit that can hurt it but probably not bad enough to win.  The Wraithlord can go in and challenge the beastie, who is a single member unit and as long as he is a character too, can't refuse the challenge

Now I have been reading, a lot, and I have a few thoughts on how to take out targets.  Psychic powers aside, I will cover them next week after I touch on allies, you can really pick units apart quickly if you maneuver your army correctly and exploit your deployment possibilities and opportunities.

People will get smart quickly about how they arrange their unit, well a few will anyway, Special weapons and Sergeants will be visible but not in the forefront.  Tag teaming units is a excellent method of trying to eliminate special aspects of a unit.  Basically hitting the unit from two sides.  The real trick it to lure a unit into position with Unit A so that Unit B can hit it from the opposite side.  This is where Swooping Hawks, Warp Spiders  and Jet Bike Units come in.

I am going to start running Warp Spiders a lot more in this edition.  Although the Web Spinner is pretty short ranged the mobility of the unit and the fact its strength 6 more than makes up for it. Having no AP value no longer hurts the weapon either.  Just be sure the Exarch has Withdraw for a quick way out if you get assaulted. 

Well I am still pouring over the book, FAQ's and Codex's.  Its a lot to take in.  SO far I have hit mostly upon the Craftworlders.  I have only gotten one game in with the Dark Eldar so far and I am still feeling them out and seeing what they can do now in 6th.  I will have some more thoughts on them when I cover Allies and Flyers.

Well that's all for now. Later this week I am going to be talking about Allies and all the possibilities for the Eldar.

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

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