Monday, December 30, 2013

All Good Things: The Year In Review

Well here we are on the cusp of a new year.  2014 is upon us and 2013 is at its end.  Terra has completed GW one at least, has seen some massive changes.  In fact,  2013 seems to have the overtones of "The Empire Strikes Back" for the 40K hobby.
another orbit and the Hobby, the

We have seen a rapid release of product this year from GW.  In fact this is the fastest GW has put out product in its entire history.  5 codex's a years was a dream a mere 2 years ago.  Not only are we getting Codex's at a rapid pace we are getting  supplements and expansions at the same time.  Not only has this given players a ton of new things to play with, it has also given them one big question.  Whats is normal 40k?  Not only that, but what is legal?  Spellduckwrong touched on this a couple weeks ago.  Well technically speaking its all normal.  You play using what you want and don't play with the stuff you don't like.  This barrage of product and rules has left the community a little blind sided and the narrative nature of the game finds itself completely at odds with the competitive side.  It is the competitive side that is causing a lot of the questioning and arguments.  Rightly so.

As a T.O. I am a little overwhelmed by the slew of products and rules.  I applaud those running the big events like NOVA, The Las Vegas Open, Da Boyz and of course the event I attend Adepticon.  I especially don't envy Reecius.  The Vegas Open is the first event of the year so to speak.  He has a lot of pressure on his shoulders.  I salute your efforts sir and agree we need to come together as a community and fix things so those that want to play competitive, can with a minimal amount of confusion.

Tj, The man formally known as Old School Terminator, recently mentioned the Magic tournament scene in a conversation I had with him recently.  Magic has a very strict and organized tournament circuit.  they ban and limit cards that unbalance things or sku results.  We should look to that as an example.  If we need to restrict and strip things down to make the game work on a competitive level then lets do it.  Limiting points is already in built.  Banning allies or supplements may need to happen to make things balance out.  We already do this to an extent, but it seems we as Americans need somebody to tell us its OK to do it.  Well that's not the America I am use to.  If somethings broken fix it.

The community has grown a bit soft and lazy in my opinion.  GW is not going to do this stuff for us.  We as the community need to do it.  We need to do it now.  In fact one of our local players has been calling for a conclave of players form around the state to hammer out a tournament standard.  We will see if The Judge can get all the groups around here together.  I know I will lend my help. We have to come together and get this all hammered out.  2014 must be the year we take back our game.  The hobby must be stronger to grow.  You cannot build without a firm foundation.

SO, play those narrative games with gusto.  We have lots of new toys and tools to use in them.  Contribute to the solution instead of being the problem when it comes to competitive play.  I think 2014 will be a great year for 40K.  It will also be a great year for Firestorm Armada.  The new rule set is pretty tight.  More on that next year though.

So with 2013 coming to a close I bid you farewell.  See you next year.

Until then....

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, WAR CALLS!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas From The Craftworld!

From all of us here at Craftworld Lansing, Merry Christmas.  The holidays can be rough because of family or
just general crappiness, trust me I know.  Just remember you are not alone.  I will be spending the day painting and enjoying a days worth of Dr. Who.

May you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I may be doing a year in review before we hit 2014 and some parting thoughts as we move into a new year.

Until then........

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

Merry Christmas!!!!!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Game Standards for Typical 40k

I think there is a divide in thought between the two main perceived groups of 40k players. In one camp, there seems to be the uber-casual players who do whatever they like and in the other there seems to be the hyper-competitive tournament scene players.

While I don't doubt that these are indeed two groups of people, I think there is a third group that many, if not most, gamers fall into and this is what I will call "typical" players. A typical player probably plays in a few tournaments or events here and there, might play at someone's house/garage/basement on occasion, but the bulk of their games are pick-up games in their local 40k community (whatever that may be).

Obviously, at a tournament or event, there are certain special rules and conditions placed on the players for whatever format is being used. But since, in my assessment, the bulk of a typical gamer's games will be pick-up ones, what is the baseline rules and conditions for those?

I would say that in my opinion, the majority of these pick-up games are standard missions out of the book, using the current edition's rules, and using units/books that are widely regarded as standard. These standards are usually pretty well aligned with the tournament scene for their area. I know that around here, we frequently will default to the way that Adepticon runs things. It isn't so much that it is important to have the absolute best rulings, or refuse to give up the right to decide for yourself, but it is important to have base-line components in the game already laid out for both players. It is this common ground that makes for a more enjoyable game. I don't know about you, but it feels off-putting to show up to a game in a place you aren't a regular to and then get into a conflict because of a local "house rule" or some other oddity that you weren't aware of because it is taken for granted by the usual players.

The point of me writing this is to try to illustrate a slightly different angle to some of the insanity that has been rocking the 40k blogosphere lately due to GW's release schedule. I think that what is at the heart of much of this chaos is that what was once "typical" 40k is much less concrete than it used to be. Obviously, tournaments can do what they like, as can players. But having standards that are widely accepted would be wonderful. And if people want to depart from those standards, at least both players are making a journey from the same starting position.

That is all.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

New 40k Term: Revdar

Quick post today, I started seeing this term popping up and thought I would highlight it here. The word of course is "RevDar".

As far as I can tell, this is the term for an Eldar list that includes a Revenant Titan for games of 40k using the Escalation rules. Granted, at 900 points, this model does dominate what your list will look like. A Revenant and a few other things. Probably Jetbikes because they are cheap, fast, and Troops.

Oh Internet, you never cease to amuse me.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Eldar Ghostwarriors Dataslate

The Eldar Datalslate has arrived as part of GW's advent calendar release schedule.
As per GW's site:
The Eldar Ghost Warriors contains 1 Eldar Wraithknight; 3 boxes of Eldar Wraithguard; 2 Eldar Wraithlords; and 3 Eldar Transfer Sheets which can be used to add Craftworld markings and heraldry.

So we have 15 Wraithguard, a pair of Wraithlords, and a single Wraithknight making up this formation. Unfortunately, the Wraithguard can't take any transports so they will be hoofing it.

The formation does come with some interesting special rules, however. As reported over at Faeit 212:

Desperate Measures: All Friendly units in this unit and those within 6" have Hatred. (re-rolls in the first round of close combat)

Wraithbone Wall: Any friendly unit that receives a cover save from this formation form the intervening models rule, receives a cover save of 4+.

You can definitely do some cover save shenanigans with this but given how common Ignores Cover is in the game these days I don't think it holds much water.

The bubble of Hatred is also kind of meh. But if you were building an assault list, you could do worse than having that many pissed off Wraith-constructs whipping everyone around them into a fit of hysteria. Maybe splash in the Avatar to project Fearless and add a dash of Harlequins. Might be a fun list, but over all not my style at least.

So far, the winner is definitely the Tau Dataslate.

What Did You Do, GW?

Let me preface this by saying I am not complaining, lamenting, or anything else. Honestly, I don't really know what my feelings are right now and I kind of just want to talk about it as the gravity of the situation hasn't quite set in. As many of you know, Escalation and Stronghold Assault are out. Escalation isn't the cause of my bewilderment, it's just some data sheets carried over from Apocalypse and implanted into normal 40k games, the points costs of the units will limit these being used for the most part. But what really is throwing me for a loop is the Stronghold book.

There's a lot in there. A lot.

Dreadbeard had his copy of Stronghold at the shop today and we perused it and played a test game. Unfortunately, rules questions started popping up left and right. Like what happens when a wandering Vortex template encounters models on a multi-level ruin? Is the template on the ground floor? Seen from above like a barrage? Hits everything regardless of level? Chosen by one of the players? Who knows? There were many other little questions about rules interactions that came up, but we tried to work through them as best we could.

What concerns me most about Stronghold isn't the D weapons (which are brutal and awesome) or the Void Shields (which are pure win), but it's something a little more innocuous. Mainly, a little section under the Obstacles section that you can buy as an upgrade for pretty much any Fortification. I'm speaking of Walls. Yes, Walls.

According to the book, walls are purchased in 6" sections for 10pts a pop, up to six sections per Fortification. What makes me raise an eyebrow, is that they don't give a height. You could theoretically, make them 10" tall and have a 36" long line of walls that block line of sight. Kind of neat right? Yeah, probably. That's a cheap way to avoid getting your models shot off the board on Turn 1 and can make up for bad terrain availability (especially at tournaments).

Where we start getting into the weeds a bit is that since you can buy 36" of wall per Fortification, and some Fortifications are actually a group of many Fortifications, the amount of walls you can bring really start getting absurd. With the Void Relay Network one, you could bring 252" of wall. 21 feet of LOS blocking terrain. You basically build a labyrinth on your half of the board. I don't know how to feel about that, and I hope I am just misunderstanding.

I did think of two ways to build the labyrinth and still forge a raging narrative. A) You play some flavor of Chaos and model up a Daemon Prince to look like a Minotaur as a throwback to old mythology, or B) you do up the maze to look like inside the Webway for Eldar or Dark Eldar.

In conclusion...

I guess I don't have a conclusion. Not until this sinks in. 40k changed today, and I don't know what that actually is going to mean going forward.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Breaking The Meta PT 3: Psychic Powers

SeerK here. In this third installment of breaking the meta, we will be talking about using your psychic powers
to maximum efficiency. I would also be remiss if I did not clue people into how you combat psychic powers as well. With all the Daemons and Eldar Bike councils running around you really need to know how to deal with them.

SO this whole thing started because I am sick of Tau and Riptides. These guys a very susceptible to the effects of psychic powers. Granted if they are rolling deep with Riptides they are using the Farsight supplement and have that stupid Amulet of Moloch. Part of establishing psychic superiority and dominance is destroying your opponents ability to counter your powers. Using the previous shooting and close assault methods discussed and good fire discipline can eliminate the threat of the amulet. By concentrating on and eliminating the bearer of the amulet, or equivalent psychic defense, with the heavy hitting weapons, IE your AP 2 weapons, you open up your warlocks and seers to hit the other units in the psychic defense zone with powers like Jinx and Horrify. These allow units like Dark Reapers and others with AP 3 weapons to eliminate the remaining Riptides.

Its all about synergy. Despite how much the codex has changed, the Eldar army is still about synergy. The same could be said for pretty much any army or codex in the game, but Eldar have to work together to get your desired results. This is one of the primary reasons I hate what Wave Serpents have become. They are like a crutch when used enmasse.

Lets look specifically at some of the powers in the Runes of Fate and the Runes of Battle that can help your other units wreck some havoc. Although many lament the fact Warlocks have to roll for their powers and take psychic tests, the Runes of Battle are very flexible now and make Warlocks much more of a utility unit. I myself am A little put off I can only have 10 per primary detachment, but I am an Ulthwe player so I am a bit biased. I digress though. The two powers I really like in the Runes of Battle are Protect/Jinx and Embolden/Horrify.

The Runes of Battle powers are duel use. You have a blessing and a malediction in most cases. My third favorite power is the only exception as it is a witchfire and blessing. That Power being Destructor /Renewer. I choose Protect/Jinx as my first favorite power because it does two things. Literally and figuratively. Not only does it give your units a better armor save but it removes the heavy armor advantage from your opponents units. In the case of 2+ armored units this make your own units way more effective against them. Although this is pretty obvious, the true value does not make itself apparent until you start looking at all your AP 3 weapons and the abilities tied to said units. Combine this with stacking powers and enemy units fall apart quick.

I will use the Riptide as an example. So you have a Unit of Warlocks or several Warlocks within striking distance of a Riptide. You successfully hit the Riptide with a Jinx power. This reduces his armor save to a 3+ and unless he activated his Nova reactor to improve his Invulnerably save this makes the Riptide very Vulnerable to units like Dark Reapers. The Jinx power will affect the whole unit, so if the Tau players is being cute and attaching a Tau Commander or some other independent character to the Riptide they will be affected to.

Embolden Horrify is great for making units more susceptible to pinning and just running away in general. Used in combination with units that have pinning weapons or psychic powers can really cause problems for your opponent. Combining Horrify with the Terrify power can be some great fun. Having a unit or effect that causes you to re roll successful leader ship adds to the fun. For example. You hit say a Unit with the Horrify power. They are at -3 Leadership. You then hit them with the Terrify power. They loose any fearless they may have had, but more importantly they have to take a leadership test and possibly have to fall back. Having a Hemlock Wraithfighter within 12 inches causing a re roll if they succeed in passing the test makes it a bit more interesting. This is a bit stacked I know, but I kinda want the Hemlock to be useful for something. The real benefit to the Horrify power is hitting units of psykers with it. If you get it to go through it can really cause some problems for Seer Councils, screamer stars and Tigerius. It combines will with Mind War and Psychic scream as well so you can set up some one two punches with your Farseers and Warlocks.

Spirit Seers add a nice bridge in the psychic arsenal. They can choose from Runes of Battle and Telepathy. This gives you some utility since they are Mastery level 2. If only they could take Jet Bikes......

What I am really getting at is that you have to look at how all your units interact. Look at how your main codex interacts and build a firm foundation with your codex. Allies do add some nice tricks and gimmicks, but you have to look at what they add to the primary detachment. The Eldar have the greatest psychic might in the game, not enough people are utilizing it. The most common way people are using it is in the form of the Bike Council or Jetseer Council as many refer to it. Two Farseers and up to 10 Warlocks on Jet Bikes. A deathstar to rival any in the game. In fact it may be the end all Deathstar in the game currently. Neutralizing it can be very difficult. Especially if Fortune is involved.

If you are running it or trying to get rid of it, the methods I have gone over here and in the previous two installments help. Basically you are trying to remove the synergy from the unit. Removing the things that make it an unstoppable force. Removing the cover save it can boost up to 2+, getting rid of the Fortune re roll, eliminating the Embolden making it fearless. Also just using things that specifically target psykers. Mindstrike Missiles, Culexes Assassins, Shadows of the Warp, Hemlocks, and my current favorite the Crucible of Malediction. Combined with something that lowers leadership, it can be devastating to a unit of psykers.

The meta will be shifting quite a bit soon. The new supplements are really going to shake things up a bit me thinks. More on that after I read them and we get a reaction from the tournament scene. \\
So there is my 2 cents about breaking the meta. I think I have all the Tau caused anger out of my system now.

Until Next time

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

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tau data slate in review !

Hey all dreadbeard here with just a quick post. I bought the fire base cadre data sheet last night night and I gotta say it's got some interesting bits to it. Let's run the numbers!

1. When taking the firebase it is not part of your force org (wow ok)
2. You get P.E. Every loyalist in power armor 
3. They get hatred your stuff 
4. you get tank hunter 
5. All these extra special rules for what you might be taking anyway for free 

So in review you could now possibly take six riptides in a list (given enough points). they got more special rules for no points. Worth your $3.99, Hell yes!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Its Thanksgiving here in the United States.  Its a time to be thankful and eat ourselves into a coma.  I am thankful for a lot of things.  In fact I should be more thankful.  Not just this time of year, but all year long.  We often take a lot of the little things for granted.

So from the Craftworld, Happy Thanksgiving and also Happy Hanukkah.  It started yesterday as well.  May your weekend be filled with food, family and friends.

Until Next time.....

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

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Craftworld Open At UCON: Results

What a good weekend.  The Firestorm Event on Friday did not have the number of players I hoped for, but
it was a good Start.  We had 4 players and George Gasser took home our top prize for the Brawl In The Shoal Zone event.  Enjoy your new fleet sir!

Saturday was a day filled with being lazy, Firestorm Armada games and final preparation and set up for the Craftworld open on Sunday.  I want to give a special thanks once again to the guys at the Michigan GT for letting us use the Terrain from the GT.  Check out the website and reserve October 11th and 12th on your calenders next year.  The GT is back and will be bigger and better.

I also have dates for next years Craftworld open. UCON will return to the Marriott on Eaglecrest next year November 14th, 15th and 16th.  The Craftworld Open will be on November 15th next year.  The open is going to be bigger and better next year.
We have big plans and thanks to a move to Saturday we will not be Crunched for time.

We had well over $700 in prizes this year including free bits courtesy of Paulson Games for all the participants.  I will be doing a battle report and review of his latest creation Mecha Front next week.  Well I know you are anxious to know who took the top honors at the 2nd annual Craftworld Open.  So without further adieu, this years winners.

1st.  Ben Marouski (Necrons and Chaos)
2nd.  Aaron Simone  (Chaos Daemons)
3rd.  Jeff Crawley  (Eldar)

Players Choice Best Painted:  Vytau Malesh

Congratulations to this years winners.  I appreciate everybody for coming and playing.  The support is very welcome.  I hope that we have all your support next year and we can make this a bigger and very regular yearly event.

I want to thank our sponsors, whose links are on the blog sidebar there, BC Comics, Evolution Games, AFK Games, Paulson Games and Pandimonium for their generous donations for this years prizes.

Now I have to start preparing for Adepticon.  I have a GT list and a Combat Patrol list to come up with.  I have a very oddball list in development for the GT and I am keeping it under wraps for now.  Things could shift Drastically in the next few months as we get Codexes coming out.

I will post more pictures in a dedicated Picture post Wednesday.  I will also be finishing my series about
breaking the meta.  The third Installment will be covering the use of psychic powers in the Eldar army.  Mainly how to use them in conjunction with the other elements of your army to get maximum effectiveness out of them.

Until then......

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

Friday, November 22, 2013

UCON At Ground Zero

Seerk here. I am coming to you semi live from Ypsilanti Michigan. I am at the Marriott on Eaglecrest, home of UCON. Somehow I managed to get a room on the 8th floor. Its the fancy level. You need a roomkey for the 8th floor to even get to the 8th floor.  Apparently my super Seer power is to be a con baller on a shoestring budget.

Well the Craftworld Open is Sunday. We have more space and way better terrain this year thanks to the fellas over at the Michigan GT.  As I post this i am finishing up the mission packs.

Registration for the convention opens at 8:30 a.m. Sunday. I want dice rolling at 11 a.m.  I will post some pictures of our prizes this year once I have it all in one spot. Players will be treated to a nice sample of bits from Paulson Games for just entering. 

Well i have work to do and a Firestorm Armada event to run at 6. See you all Sunday.

Until then

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

Saturday, November 16, 2013

UCON Is Upon Us. The Adepticon Road Begins

We are a week away from UCON. The blitz of the Adepticon Web cart is behind us. I managed to get into nd on the wait list for the GT so chances of playing are pretty good. Our Badab War themed team for the team tournament otherwise known as “The Badab Motherf@%*!ers” is 8th in line on the wait list for the team tournament.
a combat patrol, Privateer Presses Iron Arena and a weathering class taught by Mr. Justin of Secret Weapon Miniatures. I also managed to be 2

I kinda dropped the ball on Adepticon registration and to my teammates I apologize. I wish registration could have happened after UCON. Or at least a little after so my credit cards have time to recover a bit. I digress a bit though.

UCON is a week away and we have one final sponsor joining us again this year. Pandemonium in Garden City Michigan was once again very generous in its support of the Craftworld Open. We have well over $500 in prizes for the Open this year. Space Marine kits, Campaign books, Paulson Bits and even an Aquila Strong point are all up for grabs.

I would also like to once again thank the guys over at the Michigan GT. They have been nice enough to provide the terrain for this years Open. You can look forward to next years Michigan GT on October 11th and 12th once again in good old Lansing Michigan. They are looking to expand so keep your eyes on the Michigan GT website for details.

I am looking forward to spending 3 days in a nice hotel in the Ypsilanti Ann Arbor area. The convention is very laid back and full of gaming goodness. It is a shame I cant do events as I will be running things all weekend. I will be assisting PG_Hick with the Warmachine Steamroller Saturday after running the “Brawl In the Shoal Zone” Firestorm Armada Event Friday night. Should be a busy, but fun weekend.

Well For those of you not attending UCON I will be doing updates while I am there. Following UCON expect to see a lot about Adepticon. Our Road to Adepticon has begun. This will be my 4th year going. Dreadbeard and The Judge have a couple years on me so they are true Adepticon Veterans. BigMek SkrapKlaw is returning for his second year and has graduated from the scout company. In fact the only Adepticon Virgin going this year is our own Spellduckwrong. So stay tuned for articles about our own journeys down the Road to the best 4 Days in Gaming.

See you all at UCON and then see you at Adepticon!

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

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

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Road To Adepticon.......Starts tomorrow....But First UCON

Many of us are poised over our computers ready to attack the web cart of Adepticon.  I would be as well, but for the fact I dropped the ball and did not plan for the biggest event of my war gaming year.  Oh well not much I can do about it other than get up early and register tomorrow then cross my fingers I can get into at least one of the events I want.

I was planning on doing the Team tournament and possibly the GT, but I am pretty sure they might be sold out by tomorrow morning.  I guess it will be the wait list for me.  I will still build my GT army and display board.  I will also still build my team tournament force.  Mostly in the hopes I will get in from the wait list or one of my team mates had more foresight than I did.

In other news UCON is next weekend.  AFK games has joined our sponsors.  AFK is on the south side of Lansing and is newly expanded.  More space and more Game tables await.  So go check them out next time you are in Lansing.

I apologize to those that went to pre register and were unable to.  They did keep it open a few extra days, but I was not expecting such a limited window.  I promise I will look into it and see about getting registration open earlier and closed later.  I am looking forward to next weekend.  Between the Firestorm Armada "Brawl In The Shoal Zone", the Warmachine Steamroller and the Craftworld Open it should be a fun and busy weekend.  The Craftworld team will be there all weekend.  Even if you are not participating stop by and say hi if you are in the area and check out the convention.

I did want to make one note in regard to the FAQ.   I know Codex Space Marines was not allowed at the GT so the FAQ does not cover the new codex.  If you have any questions please contact me.  I will make a couple notes though.  Most notable are how I am ruling on Grav Weapons.  So add this as an addendum to the FAQ

Grav Weapons

Q: If I roll a six when against vehicles, do I do one hull point of damage and another hull point for the immobilized result?
A:  No you do one hull point and the vehicle is immobilized.  No additional hull points are caused for the immobilization.

Q:  Do vehicles get a cover save when shot at by Grav weapons?
A:  Yes.  Grav weapons do not have the ignores cover USR and do not state they ignore cover.

SO there you go.  If you have any questions feel free to email me so I can add more to the FAQ.  Well thats all for now.  Its been busy as hell around here as of late.  Lots of planning and logistics putting together the convention events.  Then there is that pesky job thing.  

Hope to see you all next weekend!

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

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

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jetbikes Win Again

Had another game tonight with the Jetbike list against SeerK. Hammer and Anvil deployment, Purge the Alien was the mission. His list he deemed the "Bike Breaker Version 2". His army had me seriously worried. Specifically threatening were three Wave Serpents at the fore and two squads of Dark Reapers sitting on a Skyshield Landing Pad with none other than Eldrad leading them. Since the Reapers need only look askance at a Jetbike to kill it (because they are AP3, have long range, and ignore Jink saves) I felt like I was going to take some heavy casualties.
On my side of the board, I deployed some LOS blocking terrain and tried my best to deny him some lanes of fire before I could get up and running since he had first turn. His shooting took a toll on my Warlocks though, and he vaporized a full squad of Jetbikes.
My first turn didn't result in much damage since he was passing saves like a champion and my Jetseer council failed their 5" charge. My second turn however, resulted in me killing off all three Wave Serpents, instant deathing Eldrad, and stomping both Dark Reaper squads. He conceded as he only had two Ranger squads and two Guardian squads left, I had only given up the one kill point.

Another solid and fast win for the Jetbikes.

As I get more practice with the bikes, I am learning that they have a specific way they need to be played. More the pattern they follow for the attack. I haven't quite gotten it down to a science, but I am starting to notice it. As time passes, and more games are played, I hope to master the maneuvers and perfect the forms.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Breaking The Meta And Killing Riptides PT 2: Close Combat

So before I went on a tangent plugging the ever living daylights out of the Craftworld open and the other events the Craftworld team is bringing you at UCON, I was talking about killing Riptides and trying to break the current meta, which quite frankly is pretty rough right now. Last time we talked about shooting mostly. Now I want to delve into a subject there is much conjecture about in 6th , edition, close combat. I want to also cover the use of Psychic powers, as this is one of the biggest Benefits the Eldar have when it comes to taking down tough enemy units. So lets get into the fray as it were.

Close Combat aka Assault
The Eldar have some crack assault troops. Howling Banshees and Striking Scorpions at the fore. There are some oft overlooked gems in the ranks of the Warhost though. One of my favorites and an excellent slayer of Riptides is the ignored and unused Shining Spear. Now that the Shining Spears can be taken in units of more than 5 they can be a very potent Assault unit. The Laser Lance Is a very short range weapon for shooting, but its primary function is close combat. At a strength of 6 and an AP of 3 they are very effective in hunting big varmints like Riptides. Combine this with the Ability of the Exarch have a strength 8 AP 2 Star Lance and Monster Hunter you can take down most monstrous creatures in a turn with a big enough unit. You also have Hit and Run so you can get out of combat and charge again to get your strength 6 again with the Laser Lances. I personally like running a Farseer and or Autarch with the unit to add some more punch and resiliency. Having invulnerably saves in the mix along with a possible Fortune is pretty handy. Now I know the Laser Lance is only AP 3 but that is effective against most targets. It is not effective to deal with a Riptide though, until that is you hit it with Jinx from a Warlock. I will get into this though when I cover psychic powers.

Dedicated close combat troops are an extremely effective way of dealing with Tau and some other army builds. You just have to know how to deploy them and how to use the troops effectively to get the desired results. The current rules set has killed one of the most effective ways to get your Striking Scorpions in to the fray quickly. Not being able to Assault after an Outflank deployment put a kibosh on one of my favorite tactics. This tactic forced your opponents to deploy his forces in such a way as to avoid being assaulted from the flanks. You can still do this but with units like War Walkers though. Its risky putting a lot of units in reserve, but using a screen of War Walkers followed by a unit of Scorpions can help get the Scorpions into the fray. Most opponents will try and take out the War Walkers first especially if they are armed with something suitably nasty.

Deployment for Scorpions is going to be completely situational. Infiltrating will probably be your best bet for many situations. Deploying in terrain to take advantage if the move through cover and more importantly Stealth will help keep the unit alive as it advances. The real trick is using your other units to funnel your quarry towards the Scorpions. Scarier mobile units can be used in this way. Shining Spears or even the dreaded bike council can really make big critters move where you want them to when you have them barreling down on them.

Arming your Exarch, and actually running an Exarch, is pretty clutch when hunting big critters. Also running a squad of 10 is important. When monster hunting I always arm the Exarch with a Scorpions Claw. With Crushing blow he is strength 7 and strikes at initiative. Adding Monster Hunter to the mix helps the rest of the Squad possibly finish off the high wound models. The only real snag is if the Monster is a character and it challenges the Exarch. With only 4 attacks on the charge the Exarch cant kill a full wound Riptide or Tervigon in one round. Which is kind of important as the Exarch will die quickly on strikes back in a challenge. Dedicated monster hunting units are substantially bolsters by the presence of a Phoenix Lord. Karandras and Jain Zar in their receptive Aspect units make the units much tougher to deal with for your opponent and the killing power is also increased.

Howling Banshees are not really suited to hunting big prey, but they seem to be geared towards hunting characters, especially IC's, and death star units, at least in a support kind of way. They strike fast, but not particularly hard. The Exarch can be kitted with an Executioner which makes her strength 5 with an AP of 2. This is pretty decent for hunting IC's. You can neutralize the IC by giving the Exarch disarming strike and shield of Grace. With very few exceptions you will always be striking first as well. The Banshees are great for supporting Scorpions if you have another unit moving in to support the unit or model the Scorpion unit is attacking.

The Seer Council is a good bridge between Assault and our next topic, Psychic powers. I have always preferred a council on Foot, but its proving to be quite cumbersome anymore. I prefer the foot council
mainly because you cant put Eldrad on a bike. Oh lord do I want Eldrad on a bike. The Bike council is a Death Star at its best. Mobile and chuck full of Eldar psychic Shenanigans. They are good against pretty much everything. Their resiliency make them excellent for fighting other death stars and tough units. If anything just to tar pit them so they are completely ineffective for the rest of the game. The only real down side to a full bike council, that is 10 warlocks on bikes and 2 Farseers, is the amount of points the unit takes up in a list. They can, however, completely cripple a unit before slamming into it and laying waste to it. Jinx, reveal, horrify, enervate and Drain all sap out a units effectiveness and with 10 Warlocks in the group you should get most all of these powers, sometimes doubling up so you can use the Blessing portion to further enhance your already formative capabilities.

We will get into the intricacies of Psychic powers next time. The real thing I am trying to convey is thinking outside the box and trying different things in the codex. The Eldar have changed substantially and it seems people are hung up on Wave Serpent Spam and the old way of doing things.

SO next time Psychic powers.....and probably more UCON plugging

Until next time.....

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

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Musings About the Current Meta

Meta, a word that can produce sighs, sneers, or a quiet acceptance from players. Some people balk at it, but call it what you will, you know what I'm talking about. Perhaps if your play group is very small and isolated you may be insulated from it, but if you're playing in community events like small tournaments or even bigger regional ones, you've seen the meta and probably been on the receiving end of it.
Basically, my point is that its tough out there right now. There are a lot of powerhouse builds being wielded with varying degrees of skill and it is hard to make lists to deal with all the likely threats that one would be expected to face.
I'm debating in my head different approaches to succeed nowadays on the game table. Better to do your best, make a balanced "all-comers" list as its called, or specialize in one or two aspects in the game and hope to make the best of those advantages? I don't know.
I have been noticing a slight shift recently from absolute number of shots for the shooting aspect of the game to slightly better quality of shots. Grav-guns have certainly made this shift a little easier as they have quality and rate of fire. Also, an increase in general mobility has been gathering steam in people's lists. Gun line style armies are getting rarer and rarer because they struggle in the objective based environment that most missions create. Interesting shifts.
And looking to the future, the hordes are coming. Hordes that don't care what AP your weapons are, and may have enough bodies on the table that many lists might not have the sheer volume of fire to stop them. Tyranids, Orks, and to a lesser extent Imperial Guard are coming and the body count is going to rise. Essentially, throwing another curve ball into the mix for players to have to plan for when building their army.

To reiterate, it's tough out there, and it doesn't look to be letting up anytime soon. So my question to you is, what is your philosophy for surviving on the table these days and going forward into the future?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Path of the Bonesinger: Farseers on Jetbikes Conversion WIP

Last night I took a pile of bits and started bashing together a pair of Farseers on Jetbikes for my new Jetbike list. They are looking pretty rough right now, as I still have some Green Stuff work to do on them, but overall I'm pleased. The two Howling Banshee bodies I had lying around collecting dust finally found a purpose as well as the incomplete old style Reaver Jetbikes I had in my bits box.
My Farseer on foot was named Elros Mithrandir because that is what came out of the Elven name generator I found online when I inputted "Chuck Norris". I'll have to put in Sigourney Weaver and Kate Beckinsale to get these girls' new Farseer names.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Resurgence of Hobby

With my newfound hobby motivation, I decided to do something that had been passively keeping me away from working on my army. My work area was just trashed. The remnants of several projects had been just pushed over to one side of my table, intermingled with each other and then layers of junk were placed on top. Finding implements could result in several minutes hunting through the heaps.
I cleaned everything off, separated goodies from just worthless odds and ends, as well as organized my tools so I could actually grab the one I wanted. In addition to actually having a workspace that I am not frustrated by anymore, I found tons of bits and little things I had totally forgotten about. This is a great way to begin this new adventure in the hobby side of things.

How do you tend to keep your hobby space? Chaotic, hyper-organized, an ebb and flow of messiness to cleanliness, something else?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wave Serpent Down: Revenge of the Jetbikes!

I had a grudge match last night against the five Wave Serpent list that massacred the previous incarnation of my Jetbike army. SeerK rolled it out again so that I could test my new retooled Jetbike list as I viewed this as my worst matchup. The new list was utterly victorious. The Wave Serpents went down fast and SeerK took the gentleman's way out and conceded at the top of Turn 3, as he only had seven infantry models and a Crimson Hunter left and I had only given up two kill points.
The new list hits like a freight train and I am inspired enough to actually get everything finished from the hobby side of things. I have been in a bit of a hobby slump because I wasn't motivated to do anything. As I reflect on my tendencies, I usually am only able to muster sustained hobby progress for models I am actually going to use and enjoy in the near future. During my search for non-Wave Serpent lists, I was unable to commit to anything. Now I have purpose.

So can my Jetbikes beat Serpents? Oh, yes. Now I just need to start hunting the other normal tournament lists.

Since "Serpent Spam" is crossed off my list, what other builds should I seek to test my Jetbikes?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Craftworld Open: Missions

SeerK here with another UCON event feature. This time I am skipping to the end as it were and detailing the missions for the 2 nd annual Craftworld open. I will be making an update about prizes in the next few weeks as sponsors hop on. I do want to thank Mr. Paulson of Paulson Games for making a generous donation though. I am currently trying to put together a mini swag bag for participants. Paulson Bits bags are the first to join the mix along with a nice discount coupon from Paulson Games.

I would also like to thank B.C. Comics of Fenton and Evolution Games for their generous donations.
Now for some missions. Since this is an RT, Rogue Trader, style tournament I wanted to keep things simple and fun. So we have some consistency in the primary, secondary and tertiary objectives. I did add one bonus objective to each mission though that adds to your overall score for the tournament rather than each individual game.

The Missions

Mission 1

Deployment: Dawn of war ( aka classic pitched battle)

Primary Objective: Big Guns Never Tire with 6 objectives ( Heavies count as scoring +1 VP Per heavy killed)
Secondary Objective: Victory points ( 1 VP per unit killed, retreating units and units in reserve at end of game count as destroyed
Tertiary Objectives: Slay the Warlord, First Blood and Line breaker

Bonus Objective: “Come on you Apes....” the player who declares and successfully makes the longest charge without re rolling any of the charge dice gains this objective. You gain d3 Battle points to be added to your overall score.

Mission 2

Deployment: Hammer and Anvil (short board edges)

Primary Objective: The Scouring with 5 objectives placed on the center line of the table between the deployment zones ( fast attack units are scoring, +1 VP per fast choice destroyed)
Secondary Objective: Victory points ( 1 VP per unit killed, retreating units and units in reserve at end of game count as destroyed
Tertiary Objectives: Slay the Warlord, First Blood and Line breaker

Bonus Objective: “Are you not entertained!?!?” The player who wins the most challenges during the game wins this bonus objective. You gain d3 Battle points to be added to your overall score.

Mission 3

Deployment: Classic Spearhead (table quarters with a 12 inch diameter no mans land in the center of the table

Primary Objective: The Relic
Secondary Objective: Victory points ( 1 VP per unit killed, retreating units and units in reserve at end of game count as destroyed
Tertiary Objectives: Slay the Warlord, First Blood and Line breaker

Bonus Objective: “I got this.....” The first player to make a “Look Out Sir!” roll forfeits this objective to his opponent. You gain d3 Battle Points to be added to your overall score.

So there you have it. This missions for this years Craftworld open. I wanted to throw a thanks out to the guys at the Michigan GT as well. We will be using the terrain from this years GT for the tables at UCON this year. If you are not familiar with the terrain take a look over at the Michigan GT website. There is line of sight blocking terrain as well as ruins and forests. Prepare accordingly.

Remember I want a 3 color standard this year as well. I want to try and get some people to do some hobbying. Depending on how preregistration goes I may be lenient on this as I do want people to come and play. For the love of Khaine though no bare plastic. I will be keeping you posted here as always and on the Facebook Event page.

Until next time.

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

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Perhaps There Just Weren't Enough Jetbikes Last Time...

Well, if I am really going to try this Jetbike thing, then it's time to go all in and get nearly every variation I can out of the codex. Sorry, Autarch, you're sitting the bench on this one. So here's the new retooled list I am going to try running. Other than my trusty Rangers (who are ridiculously good sometimes and compliment Jetbikes very well actually) and the often late but clutch Crimson Hunter, (somebody has to pop Heldrakes with a quickness) its all bikes. Dropped the Vypers and the Fire Prisms, they just didn't add what I was looking for in the list.

Eldar 1848

Farseer (Jetbike, Singing Spear)
Farseer (Jetbike, Singing Spear)

Warlock x4 (Jetbike, Singing Spear)
Warlock x5 (Jetbike, Witchblade)

Shining Spears x8
Shining Spear Exarch x1 (Star Lance, Hit and Run, Monster Hunter)

Windrider Jetbikes x9 (3x Shuriken Cannons)
Windrider Jetbikes x9 (3x Shuriken Cannons)
Windrider Jetbikes x9 (3x Shuriken Cannons)

Rangers x6
Rangers x6

Crimson Hunter Exarch (2x Brightlances, Pulse Laser)

If nothing else, playing this list is going to get me VERY familiar with the intricacies of the Eldar Jetbike (since there will be 47 of them now) which may lead to more adept choices for list changes in the future. I'm fairly excited, because even though the bikes have been so-so in play tests thus far, these guys are blast to run on the table. And there's some assault in there too, which I think should add an extra layer of fun.

Model count comes in at an even sixty, and some of those the opponent is really going to have to earn. I think the rework really confronts some of the glaring weaknesses of the last version. Namely Daemon Princes en-mass and Wave Serpents in any large quantity. I should be alright to make Riptides cry as well.

What do you think?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Retooling the Jetbike Army

Well, I got another game in with my Jetbike army. SeerK was kind enough to take a five Wave Serpent list against me at my request. I eventually conceded around Turn 4. I learned a ton about my list in the course of the slaughter. There's no way I can make the Jetbike list competitive in its current form, not tournament competitive anyway. Since getting a list that is capable of winning at least at the RTT level is the goal, I must take my lessons and return to the drawing board.
I've got some things cooking in my mind. The big thing that I feel like I was lacking was staying power with my Jetbikes. Thirty bikes spread across five units just doesn't work. The scoring elements are just too fragile when I roll a solid string of 2's for armor saves. The bikes are ok. But they suffer the same way that any elite, low-model count list does when the dice turn slightly sour.
Fundamental lesson learned. Check.
Now to retool, rework, and relaunch the army. I WILL make Jetbikes work in some fashion, but unsurprisingly, the first draft wasn't a keeper. No problem, this is a fun challenge.
Anyone have any suggestions? I'm back to the brainstorming phase.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

More Jet Bike Adventures

I played another game last night with my fledgling Jetbike army. My opponent had a mostly foot Marine army (Black Templars allied with Dark Angels) and the mission was Relic. The Jetbikes successfully managed to grab the Relic and scoot away with it. Jetbikes are great at The Relic.

So this is the third game I've played now with my new Jetbike obsession. Unfortunately, the data leaves me a little wanting. All three of my opponents have played very slow lists and while it confirms my assertions about mobility being a weapon in its own right, I haven't been able to test the list against anything where I don't have a severe advantage in that respect. We have a White Scars player at the shop, and I will corner him eventually to get a game in. I also need to get someone to bring one of the cookie cutter style tournament Tau lists.

But for now, I am learning how to move the Jetbikes around so they aren't competing with each other for space and to most effectively get their weapons on target. They actually produce a pretty good volley of fire. The Bladestorm rule for them really gave them some teeth, not to mention the Ballistic Skill 4 upgrade from the last Codex.

What do you think would be a bad/difficult matchup for this list? These are the types of games that I am going to be seeking because rough games teach me the most about an army.

Friday, October 18, 2013

My Jetbike Army So Far...

Well, I figured I would post up the army list I am working with currently. I would like to preface this list with the explanation that I am performing an experiment that is not necessarily tied to the jetbikes. Basically, I am trying out a new idea I had for building a list. My idea was to start with a very low variety list. A list that probably has a ton of bad matchups, but whose composition was very different than what I had been playing before. Through practice games, I will gain experience using the units in the list, as well as learning where it really falls down. Once I identify the weak points in the army, I can then begin to switch out units to fill those gaps. My hope is that I will develop a list that performs very well because it grew organically over time. So here it is:

Eldar 1850

Farseer [Runes of Warding, Singing Spear, Jetbike]
Farseer [Singing Spear, Jetbike]

Windrider Jetbikes x6 [2x Shuriken Cannons]
Windrider Jetbikes x6 [2x Shuriken Cannons]
Windrider Jetbikes x6 [2x Shuriken Cannons]
Windrider Jetbikes x6 [2x Shuriken Cannons]
Windrider Jetbikes x6 [2x Shuriken Cannons]
Rangers x5

Vypers x3 [3x Star Cannons]
Vypers x3 [3x Star Cannons]
Crimson Hunter [Exarch, Pulse Laser, 2x Brightlances]

Fire Prism [Holofields]
Fire Prism [Holofields]
Fire Prism [Holofields]

This list has the basic tools required to have a chance in most games. That chance can go to the "slim" part of the spectrum pretty fast, but it's still there. The very original version of the list had a sixth squad of jetbikes instead of Rangers and a third squadron of Vypers instead of the Crimson Hunter. I made a command decision and made the switch because I knew I would need the Rangers for sitting on back objectives, and I wanted NEEDED to gain skill with the Crimson Hunter. Though, admittedly, I weep silently for the loss of utter uniformity.

I am kind of excited to be trying this list growing idea out. The mostly one-dimensional aspects of this list should make it pretty easy to isolate trouble areas and remove them. In addition, as I gain practice playing it, I will be able to more effectively use the units that remain so that I can hopefully get a solid feel for what the changes are actually doing.

What do you think?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Adventures in List Building

I've been trying to quit Wave Serpents cold turkey. Currently, I have been experimenting with Windrider Jetbikes, lots of 'em. Past two games I have had 32 (counting the twin Farseers) flying around the board. I'm not sure how I feel about them, honestly. I'm giving my opinion some salt because much of my trouble probably stems from my trek over their learning curve. So far, they seem to be getting in each others' way. I'm also still learning how I want to deploy them, they have such a huge footprint that getting them behind stuff can be challenging, so I tend to keep a squad or two or three in reserve for better or for worse.
Anyone have any anecdotes about Jetbikes that I can digest to quicken my mastery of them?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

UCON Updates: New Sponsors and Podcasts!

Hello all.  SeerK here to update you on our sponsors.  Last time I highlighted one of the Events I am running UCON this year.  Spartan Games maker of Firestorm Armada is going to be sponsoring the Firestorm Armada event.

Battle Front games is also helping out with the Flames Of War Event I am running at the convention on Saturday the 23rd.  I love it when the game makers help out.

Image by Scott Sez.
I also wanted to give a shout over to the guys at The 2nd Founding podcast  for plugging the convention, especially the Craftworld Open.  There are 27 spots open as I write this.  I would suggest Pre registering at the UCON site to reserve your spot.  Last year we had quit a few people show up day of.  If the event sells out during pre registration I can try and get more space to up the player cap.
Especially the

For you Warmachine fans , PG_Hick is bringing you a 50 point Steamroller on Saturday starting at 10am.  I would also suggest pre registering.

Well I will be continuing on the subject of meta breaking and killing Riptides next time.  I will be covering Close combat and Psychic powers.

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

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

Monday, October 14, 2013

UCON Event Highlight: Firestorm Armada

SeerK here.  Well we are just over a month away from UCON.  I will be posting Missions for the Open starting next week.  I have a flyer going around and will be posting a second version at shops around Michigan as soon as Dreadbeard makes it.

I wanted to take a minute to highlight some of the other events we are running at the convention this year.  I have always been a fan of games involving ships battling it out in space.  I played Battle Space from FASA and of course Battle Fleet Gothic.  The group at the FLGS got me hooked on Spartan Games Firestorm Armada.

I am running an event at UCON on Friday the 22nd from 6pm to 10 pm.  I will be teaching people how to play and running something akin to Privateer Presses "Iron Arena" format for the rest of the night.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Iron Arena, its an open gaming format that is run at Adepticon.  You play games to acquire points which can be turned into free stuff.  The more games you play the more points you get.  This encourages you to play people they have not played before and lets you play different kinds of scenarios and point levels. I think it should be fun.  The event is only $3.00 in addition to the UCON badge.  So hit the UCON site and register!

For those not familiar with Firestorm Armada, it is a Ship combat game made by Spartan games.  Here is the game in their own words. From their website.

What is Firestorm Armada?
Firestorm Armada puts you in the Admiral’s chair, commanding fleets of high quality Spartan Games miniatures. At your disposal are squadrons of starships ranging from small Frigates to gigantic Dreadnoughts. No matter the fleet, these ships are ready to receive your orders today and charge into battle.
The Firestorm Hobby
Firestorm Armada is much more than just a tabletop game. It is an engaging and engrossing hobby that is also incredibly rewarding, with huge amounts to explore. From the fleets of miniatures you can collect and paint to the tactical challenges of the game itself, all wrapped up inside the rich background of an area of space we call Fathoms Reach.
Muster your Fleet
Firestorm Armada is a space combat game that pits fleets against each other on the tabletop. But which fleet will you choose? Will it be the Terrans staunchly defending their territories or the Directorate out for profit through arms deals? Perhaps it will be the Dindrenzi seeking revenge for the destruction of their home world or the Relthoza looking to expand their empire.
Firestorm Armada has many races for you to choose from; each one with its own unique style in both models and game play. You should always select your fleet based on what interests you. Do you prefer the look of a certain race? Is it their background that interests you, or do you relate to their style of game play?
Within each fleet there is a wide variety of model squadrons for you to choose from, each one specialising in a particular battlefield role. To find out more about the races of the Firestorm Galaxy, their background history and tactics, and see some example fleets for you to use as inspiration"

I own a Rense System Navy fleet and I have been thinking about a Ryushu Fleet as the models are brand new. I really enjoy this game and I hope to see some of you there.

I also want to thank our current Sponsors

B.C. Comics

Evolution Games

Paulson Games.

They are contributing prizes as well as terrain and game aides in some cases. Thanks guys!
If you would like to Sponsor the events please contact me at the blog email at the top of the page.

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

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

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Breaking The Meta: KIlling Riptides And Trying New Things

Well I went 1 and 2 at the primer at Flatland games prior to the GT. Bill Kim laid waste to my army despite
my best efforts to wipe his troops from the board. My win against Dreadbeards Tau in round two did not prepare me for a more optimized Tau tourney list in round 3. I went 2 and 4 in the GT actual and once again the Tau gave me issues when Riptides were involved. Needless to say I hate Riptides. IN fact I have been putting a lot of thought into the Riptide. Mostly how to kill one quickly and efficiently with the tools I currently have in the codex. The real issue is killing multiple Riptides. As it seems the current meta makes facing 2 to 4 Riptides a forgone conclusion.  On the note of Meta, I have been putting a lot of thought into the current one as well.  I think its really time to explore the codex and try some new and different things.

Many tournament lists run more than one Riptide and therein lies the challenge. The amount of fire needed to bring down one Riptide can eat up a lot of your firepower. When you are dealing with more than one it gets tricky. You need a cohesive plan and very good fire discipline to take down more than one. You of course can ignore the Riptides and take out the players ability to score, which is pretty minimal when you are running 4 Riptides, but its hard to ignore the damage multiple riptides can do. So first lets look at the Riptide and see if we can find some chinks in its armor.

If we look at its stat block we can see it has the usual Tau weaknesses. A WS of 2 and a base BS of 3. It is T6 though with 5 wounds and a 2+/5+ save. When it comes down to it they are a big tough terminator with character like wounds thats lackluster in close combat. Its nova generator allows it to be fast, have a 3+ invulnerably save and overload its weapons. It can only do one at a time though and they have to do it in the movement phase. Lets look at what the Eldar have to kill Riptides on an individual basis before we move onto fighting groups of them.

Ranged Combat
This is an area that Tau excel in. You cant out shoot them with Eldar. Yes we have the Wave Serpent and they can bring massed fire, but as soon as you start taking casualties the amount of fire you can bring drops off quite a bit. In addition the real combo that makes them effective, scatter laser and shield, only has a range of 36 inches. Despite the mobility of the Wave Serpent force, Tau heavy weapons can range them in easily and take them out fairly quickly, especially when the shields are down. Combine this with tournaments moving towards making the shield a weapon that can be destroyed and you find yourself in a pickle quickly.

Massed fire can bring down models. Quality fire, the AP 2 kind, can bring down Riptides more quickly. So what do the Eldar have that gets the job done. They have more than you think. Bright Lances are the first obvious answer. Rate of fire is an issue with the Bright Lance though. Falcon's and Crimson Hunters, and War Walkers can bring several to bear, in the former two cases the pulse laser can be lumped in with the lances. The faithful Star Cannon is my personal choice. My War Walkers have become packs of Riptide hunting wolves. Three Walkers Armed all Armed with Star Cannons and the ability to out flank help put them in position to hit Riptides hard in their own backfield.

There has been some discussion among the Craftworld writers about how to best deal with the Tau. The consensus is that bum rushing them and weathering the fire is a viable tactic. This tactic also brings probably the Eldar's most deadly weapons to bear. Distortion weapons.

Wraith Cannons and D-Scythes are close range power houses. A squad of Wraith Guards can easily lay waste to a Riptide when they are within range. The real trick is getting them there. This of course means doing something contrary to current Eldar tactica. Not dropping shields on your Wave Serpents and moving them flat out into the jaws of the enemy. This same tactic is viable with Fire Dragons as well. Massed Fusion gun fire has a similar effect. Although the Distort rule does have the edge as it can kill a Riptide with a single hit.

AP 2 weapons are an obvious choice in dealing with well armored targets. The Eldar have other tricks though. Psychic tricks. Running deep with Warlocks and Spirit Seers gives you a decent chance of getting the Protect/Jinx power from the Runes of Battle. If you run Bike councils or Foot Councils, which I am trying to make work once again, you will get this power at least once.

This power can be major when facing the Riptide. Hitting a Riptide with a Jinx makes it way more vulnerable. Especially to Dark Reapers. A decent Sized Squad of Reapers and level a Riptide with Starshot Missiles. I know this can be a little tough to pull off, especially when the Tau player is running the Farsight Enclave book with that stupid amulet. The real key to that will be discussed in a future post about tactics. Namely it involves order of fire and target priority.

Next time I am going to talk about hand to hand combat. This is an area that the Eldar can really hurt the Riptide and the Tau in General. You just have to play it smart and not get shot to pieces while trying to assault the Tau lines. Therein lies the challenge.

Until Next time......

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

Monday, October 7, 2013

Reflections on Michigan GT

I have been reflecting on the Michigan GT. I have basically taken a week off from 40k after the tournament to think about the new direction I want to take my list and recover from the cold I picked up over that weekend. I'm back up to 99% healthy.
I have been thinking about the Tau quite a bit and their role in the tournament. I don't think a Tau army took any of the top three spots, even though there was quite a bit of Tau out there. Steinerp did a good job doing the codex demographics over on his blog Aspects of the Void. Check it out.
Other than the legion of Riptides (I battled ten of them over the course of four opponents *sigh*) the running constant for the Tau was the buff commander suit. That little fellow was in all four lists doing about the exact same thing. Either joined to Riptides or Dark Reapers. Sprinkle in some Sky Rays and maybe a dash of Kroot and you had the basic core list everyone seemed to be running. Got kinda boring after awhile. So it would seem that slightly tailoring a list in order to just kill that bugger would do loads to help destroy these kinds of lists. Usually the whole thing was built around the one combo and the amount of damage it could do. I don't think that is a particularly sound plan for a six round tournament. Looks like the standings agree with me.
Also, I expected a ton of "Wave Serpent Spam" lists, as people tend to say with varying degrees of vitriol. As far as I know, I had the most Serpents at five. Strangely, there weren't even that many with four. Perhaps the actual spam version of that flavor of Eldar finally made its weaknesses apparent enough.
I have also decided to mostly retire my mechanized Eldar list from regular play. I will still probably take it to tournaments until I get a new one honed enough that I think I have a chance at winning with it. My new list won't have any Wave Serpents in it. Largely, because Wave Serpents have pretty much ruined my play experience. I've been heavily into mech-dar for a long time now, and I won a lot of games when Wave Serpents were considered to be over costed and sub par. Now that they are awesome, I look like "that guy", I see the fun drain out of my opponents' faces about turn 2 or 3, and I sound like everyone else running net lists throwing the caveat that they "have always played this list". So now I am on a quest to make a new killer tournament list that doesn't utilize a composition similar to what people expect tournament Eldar to look like.

Sounds like fun to me.

And as a last note, I want to say congratulations to the staff of the GT, it was a great event. There were a few hiccups which were to be expected for a first year event, but overall it was a ton of fun and I can't wait for next year.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Codename 40k Diva: The Aftermath Of The Michigan GT

Man what a weekend.   Six games over two days on the south side of Lansing.  I have to say it was good Gorham.   Bill Kim and CVinton, Chris Vinton of DFG, talked me off the ledge as it were and I continued.  Lets just say things went smoother after some Jack Daniels and later Some UV Blue.   I will now be known as the 40k Diva by many of the participants and staff.  I know CVinton plans on reminding me of my tantrum from now until eternity
times despite a rocky start by yours truly.  I went 2 and 4.  I actually almost did not continue past round one.  I was a big dummy and did not read the FAQ.  This cause some confusion on my part and I did not use my Wave Serpents properly.  Regardless I got mad at myself and rage quit.  My first game happened to be against the winner of best overall, Tim

I had some very good opponents.  One army in particular caught my eye.  My round 3 game was versus Jon Blowers and his Chaos Marine army.  He was using the old Obliterator models as his Plague Marines and all the other models in his force was converted and custom kit bashed.  I was a fan of his bikers.

I also had the pleasure of playing and meeting Ken Blakely from the 2nd Founding Podcast.  He kind of wrecked me.  Damn Riptides.  It was a good game though and some good conversation.

I want to say congrats to Craftworld Lansings own Autarch, Spellduckwrong, for making the top 10.  He had some very tough opponents.  He Had the Best General winner in the last round.  Jesse Zischke congrats on the Best General man.

I  placed 38th.  I did not leave empty handed though.  I won one of the oldest traditions in 40k.  The Pub Quiz.  I got a Space Marine Strike force for my encyclopedic knowledge of 40k.  Not to bad.  Now I have a bulk of what I need for my next project.  More on that later though.

on to UCON......

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

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

Friday, September 27, 2013

Michigan GT Countdown: Game On

With shower complete and coffee in hand, it is nearly time to head out.

Here's the list I'm taking today:

1842 pts --- Mechanized Eldar

Spirit Seer (Warlord)

6x Rangers

5x Wraithguard with Wraithcannons
-In Wave Serpent with TL Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon, Holofields

5x Wraithguard with Wraithcannons
-In Wave Serpent with TL Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon, Holofields

10x Guardian Defenders
-In Wave Serpent with TL Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon, Holofields

10x Guardian Defenders
-In Wave Serpent with TL Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon, Holofields

10x Storm Guardians with 2 Flamers
-In Wave Serpent with TL Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon, Holofields

Night Spinner with Holofields and Spirit Stones

Wraithknight with two Heavy Wraithcannons

HQ 1
Elites 0
Fast 0
Troops 6
Heavy 2

This list has proven to be able to handle itself in nearly all situations as long as I am not being stupid. There's options for nearly any situation, and I can play this list as cagey or aggressive as I need to, which I feel is one of its main strengths. It has some rough match ups, but the feeling seems to be mutual with my opponent in those cases. The rough match ups generally tend be great games because they are so close though, so at least there's that.

Let's see if Fortune smiles on me.