Friday, September 26, 2008

Jetbike Aces

Since I wanted to play my jetbikes in slightly larger squad sizes instead of using a bunch of little units, I needed a couple more bikers and a couple less warlocks. I took the two warlocks I wasn't going to use and gave them guardian heads. I need to make one more of these guys and then each of my three jetbike squads will have team leaders. They don't represent anything rules-wise, but it will be nice to have an additional model stand out in each unit besides the warlocks.

I also switched out my dire avenger exarch's twin cats with a power weapon and shimmershield. I am somewhat dubious as to the shield's real worth, but it does make for a cool swordsman pose in any case.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Oye O'Shovah

Did I mention I was making a tau farsight army? This list is about 25 points shy of 2000. Probably not too 'eavy, but after I won the battlesuit megabox or whathaveyou, I only need to get the devilfish and fire warriors now to complete the collection.

farsight
4 shasvre bodyguard
CiB/plasma rifle/mt
plasma rifle/missile pod/mt
plasma rifle/burst cannon/mt
plasma rifle/missile pod/drone controller/mt
marker drone

3 crisis suits
plasma rifle/missile pod/mt
plasma rifle/burst cannon/mt
team leader
plasma rifle/missile pod/mt
drone controller
marker drone

3 crisis suits
fusion blaster/burst cannon/mt
fusion blaster/flamer/mt
team leader
fusion blaster/flamer/mt
drone controller
marker drone

6 stealth suits
2 fusion guns
team leader
drone controller
marker drone

12 fire warriors
shasui
markerlight
devilfish
disruption pod

12 fire warriors
shasui
markerlight
devilfish
disruption pod

12 fire warriors
shasui
markerlight
devilfish
disruption pod

2 broadsides
2 targetting arrays
team leader
hardwired target lock
hardwired drone controller
2 shield drones

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Saim Hann Private Reserve

So, I was going over my last 2k Saim Hann list (not intended to be especially 'eavy but 3 fire prisms is pretty mean), which currently looks something like this:

Farseer - jetbike, spirit stones, mind war, fortune, guide, runes of warding, singing spear

6 Guardian jetbikes - 2 shuriken cannons
Warlock - jetbike, embolden, singing spear

6 Guardian jetbikes - 2 shuriken cannons
Warlock - jetbike, embolden, singing spear

6 Guardian jetbikes - 2 shuriken cannons
Warlock - jetbike, embolden, singing spear

10 Dire avengers
Exarch - diresword/pistol, bladestorm, defend
Wave serpent - twin-linked scatter laser, shuriken cannon, spirit stones, star engines

Vyper - scatter laser, spirit stones, shuriken cannon, holofields

Vyper - scatter laser, spirit stones, shuriken cannon, holofields

Vyper - scatter laser, spirit stones, shuriken cannon, holofields

Fire Prism - spirit stones, holofields, star engines

Fire Prism - spirit stones, holofields, star engines

Fire Prism - spirit stones, holofields, star engines

Anyway, I was thinking this army might do well to take advantage of the 5th edition reserve rules. Holding everything back could be beneficial for several reasons:
  • The main strength of the army is being able to engage the enemy on your own terms. This tactic might be the most drastic expression of that, essentially a drop pod army with a little less reach but the ability to redeploy surviving forces (by hauling ass and regrouping) if the enemy comes on too strong.

  • Given that the bikes all have to ride flying bases, absolute cover is pretty impossible with any bike squad size over 4 or 5. If I didn't get first turn, any decent gunline could make mincemeat of many key units before I could budge (or cast fortune). But not if I didn't have anything on the board yet! And since deployment zone choice would be pretty moot, I could always choose to go second and deny my opponent even more time to shoot up my guys.

  • Moving on from my own table edge is not that big of a deal given the ridiculous movement capabilities of every single unit. In spearhead deployment, I could attack and defend both quarters along my table edge and potentially have access to a very wide flank on the enemy. It could prevent scuttling nids and other fast assault units from engaging 1st turn in the dawn of war scenario, and a surprise group of bikes and tanks coming in from the table edge in a later turn could pick the weakest point in their line, blow through it, and disrupt the whole attack.

  • I still haven't played against chaos demons, but trickling my army out more slowly might mitigate the surprise deep-strike shooting attacks that demons are capable of.

  • The less time my enemy has to immobilize or destroy my skimmers, the better. The vypers, fire prisms, and wave serpents all have key secondary roles to play as objective contesters.

A few more thoughts. The biggest cons to using this strategy would probably be the sheer unpredictability (somewhat overcome by redundant units) and the drastic reduction in killing power by trickling my guns onto the table a bit at a time. The army thrives on concentrating as much firepower as possible on one or two key enemy units at a time, and without backup, units might not survive long enough to make any kind of dent into the crucial targets (big guns, troops holding objectives). I know there's a few fellow wild riders out there, so drop a line. I still haven't even put my warhost up on those bedamned flying bases yet, but they're all based. I'm still going to try and finish the nid paint jobs before moving on to the eldar.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tournament: Battleforge ('Ard Boyz) 9-15-08

The first round of the 2008 'Ard Boyz competition was held at 2 different stores in Austin last Saturday. This year I picked Battleforge because they were awarding double tournament points and they run a kick ass store besides. After hemming and hawing for a month or so, I decided to take tyranids (see the last entry for my list).

I played a test game using 6 stealer squads and a third sniperfex, which worked fairly well, but after the ruling came out about needing to destroy all elements of a force org slot in order to get kill points (and a few nightmares about endless swarms of land raiders), I decided to include 3 warp blast/synapse zoanthropes for better anti-armor and a smallish swarm of endless number fleshborer gaunts for objective control. I also decided to give scuttlers to only two of the 12-man stealer squads. I wanted to have more models on the table to begin with so that my big bugs would stick around longer and have some assault defense besides. I still kept the two since dawn of war would be used for two of the missions and I wanted to try to get first turn assaults (or at least threaten with them). I had three fun games against always congenial opponents and ended up with third place. First place went to Nick's Black Templar horde and Josiah's land raider extravaganza got second.

Here's the missions for the tournament.

Game 1 - Chaos

For my first pairing, I drew Bigred and his mighty armored chaos firebase. He was playing Typhus, 14 chaos glory terminators in 3 squads, 3 land raider transports, 2 squads of 5 chaos glory marines in rhinos, and 3 defilers with 2 extra close combat weapons. Larry is a great general and competitor and I knew it would be an uphill battle. Even with the zoanthropes, the land raiders were pretty frightening, and if it hadn't been for a clutch barbed strangler immobilized result on the one carrying Typhus, things would have probably gone much worse than they did. I scuttled both scuttlers. One came in on my left side to attack a rhino flanking me on that side to grab an objective. Unfortunately they were only able to destroy the transport's combi-bolter, so the marines got out the next turn (with their flamer) and killed 9 in one round of fire. I removed just enough models to keep the demon pack that had just arrived nearby from assaulting, and then charged in myself in my next turn. The three of them wiped out the demons after two more rounds but the marines eventually finished off the sole survivor. The other came in on my right side to join the swarm I'd spread out to grab objectives. Two land raiders and gradually disgorged two terminator squads into the mix. Along with the marine squad, they wiped out the zoanthropes, gaunts, hive tyrant, and 1 stealer squad. One defiler charged into a carnifex, took it down to one wound, and the carnifex struck back and exploded the maniacal demon engine. The remaining stealers were fairly successful in fighting off the terminators and consolidating my objectives, and I was ahead by one objective until the 6th and final turn. I lost one too many of the back-from-the-dead gaunts to defiler ordnance (I had only managed to immobilize a couple of them), and without any synapse left on the table they abandoned their objective and ran off the board. It was a minor win for Chaos and we both had earned two bonus points. Very tough game, a lot of fun!

Game 2 - Tyranids

Adam was one of two other tyranid players at the first round of 'ard boyz, using a list with more upgrades and a greater variety of units than mine. He had an assaulty tyrant with a venom cannon and 2 guard, a broodlord with 8 or so genestealers, a squad of warriors with deathspitters and a venom cannon, a single lictor, 20 or so genestealers, 2 small squads of fleshborer gaunts, a big squad of hormagaunts, a big gun fex, a dakka fex, and 3 zoanthropes. I went first, setting up all my stealers along the center line, and he set up his battle line 18" back from me and the broodlord's unit behind me on the left. First I had to deal with the broodlord. I brought my heavy support onto my table edge in turn 1 and unloaded into them, killing 5 or 6, and then charged my nearest stealer squad in and finished them off. One hive tyrant and two stealer squads attacked on the right side, while the other tyrant and two more stealer squads attacked on the left. My lictors were fairly ineffectual, and starting at my table edge kept my fexes and zopes pretty much out of the game after their initial attack on the broodlord. On the right, my stealers worked their way through his dakkafex and gaunts while my tyrant wiped out his stealers and zoanthropes. I finished off his stealers in the middle and left and charged into his hive tyrant with stealers and one of my own tyrants. It was an epic battle, and his tyrant's close-combat biomorphs kept the big guy swinging and killing until a few surviving stealers finished him off. The game ended with me ahead by 8 kill points, enough for a massacre result.

Game 3 - Eldar

As has happened many times before, I was paired up against Jay in the third round. He was running Eldrad, Maugan Ra, 3 squads of 10 dire avengers with dakka wave serpents, a squad of pathfinders, 2 squads of 10 fire dragons, 2 fire prisms, and a squad of dark reapers. He rolled to go first, and set up his objective, three dire avenger wave serpents, pathfinders, and HQ-reaper megasquad in cover on my left side. I set up my HQ and troops right on the center line again. I decided that the more units I could swarm on his objective the better, and use the sure-to-die-and-return gaunts to hold my own with anti-skimmer and synapse support from the zoanthropes. He used Eldrad's special rule to move one of the wave serpents and the HQ-reaper megasquad over to the opposite side of the board, which was great from my perspective. They were still in range to shoot up gaunts and genestealers in range, but I didn't care much so long as it bought me time to disable as many skimmers as possible and prevent any last-minute land grabs. Very luckily, I seized the initiative and the scuttling stealers brought down both of the avenger serpents Eldrad had apparently abandoned to fate. The rest of the army moved up. The 20 avengers emerged from the wreckage unscathed and unleashed shuriken hell, wiping out the offending squads to two stealers each. One unit broke and retreated to the closest hive tyrant, while the other was charged and wiped out by one of the avenger squads. The aspect warriors tried to make a final charge into the gaunts leading the swarm, but with feeder tendrils nearby, they didn't last long. I took losses here and there from reaper rockets and fire prism blasts, but still had plenty of models left by the time I earned the bonus point for controlling both objectives. The carnifexes and tyrants slowly brought down the rest of the skimmers as they tried to flank far around and contest my objective. One wave serpent made it within 18" or so inches but a barbed strangler destroyed it in the fourth turn. In the fifth and final turn (random turn length), he darted one last skimmer over to contest my control of his own objective but came up just short of the needed distance. I controlled both objectives and was ahead in kill points, giving me a massacre. One more tense and highly enjoyable game!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

'Ard Boyz 2008 List

Tyranids - 2500 points

HQ

Hive Tyrant - 2 twin-linked devourers, enhanced senses, toxin sacs, shadow in the warp
3 Tyrant Guard - 1 with lash whips

Hive Tyrant - 2 twin-linked devourers, enhanced senses, toxin sacs, shadow in the warp
3 Tyrant Guard - 1 with lash whips

ELITES

2 Lictors

TROOPS

12 Genestealers - feeder tendrils, scuttlers

12 Genestealers - feeder tendrils, scuttlers

12 Genestealers - feeder tendrils

12 Genestealers - feeder tendrils

12 Genestealers - feeder tendrils

16 Gaunts - fleshborers, without number

HEAVY SUPPORT

Carnifex - venom cannon, barbed strangler, extended carapace, reinforced chitin, enhanced senses

Carnifex - venom cannon, barbed strangler, extended carapace, reinforced chitin, enhanced senses

3 Zoanthropes - warp blast, synapse creature

Monday, September 1, 2008

Revised Bugs

I got that Dragon's Lair tournament report coming, in the meantime:

The dragon's lair tournament is up, back a few entries. Here's a revised nid list I want to try soon:

Hive Tyrant - 2 twin-linked devourers, toxin sacs, enhanced senses, warp field, wings, flesh hooks

Broodlord - feeder tendrils, flesh hooks
10 genestealers - flesh hooks

Lictor

2 x 10 Genestealers - scuttlers, feeder tendrils

2 x 10 Genestealers - feeder tendrils

2 x 25 Gaunts - fleshborers

3 Zoanthropes - synapse creature, warp blast

Carnifex - carapace, exoskeleton, chitin, regenerate, venom cannon, barbed strangler, enhanced senses, flesh hooks

50 genestealers, 50 gaunts. Going down to just one gunfex is regrettable, but with 30 genestealers and a broodlord outflanking (plus the lictor attack), hopefully the one big guy will keep heavy weapons in place long enough for the infiltrators to get into combat. The zoanthropes are my primary line of defense against AV14, except for maybe a few monstrous creature attacks.