Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Other Life

By the time you read this, I will be on an airplane going to Phoenix, AZ for the Tour de Scottsdale.  In the non-wargaming part of my life I am a bike racer and I participate in all the things that go along with that: waking up earlier on the weekends than on weekdays to train for 4 hours, controlling my diet down to the calorie, shaving my legs, wearing skin-tight lycra, and spending enough money on bike upgrades to make buying a pro-painted 40k army look cheap.  How expensive?  You could buy a decent used car for the price of my time trial bike and race wheels.  My cycling shoes cost $400.00.  Not many of even the most shopping addicted girls can say they own a $400 pair of shoes.  Remember, more money than sense.

Anyway, it suffices to say I treat cycling as what the internet would call "serious business."  I'll be out of town until late Monday, so posting will be minimal until then.  I promise to have some goodies for you when I get back, though.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Small Gift For You

The small gift for you.

Hey all.  I know a lot of you love Army Builder.  I know a lot of you don't.  If you're anything like me you like spreadsheets for your lists.  If you're REALLY like me, you prefer other people do your work for you.

So I did.  Here is a copy of the spreadsheet I use for my Fantasy army lists.  Obviously if the units you're putting in have more or less options you'll have to add or remove rows.  

One of the nifty things I did was make it so it will tell you if you're over or under your force allocation restrictions.  You want each block to say 'Good!'  You're going to have to tinker with the boxes a bit as the units allocated to Lords, Heroes, Core, etc are going to be different with every army.  And if you're not playing 2500 points you'll have to change a couple things around.  

Despite the fact that you still have to do some customization the hard part is already done for you.  I hope you enjoy and/or find it useful.

Warriors of Chaos: Looking So Good, Failing So Badly

Dark Elves are not my first Warhammer Fantasy army.  Way back in the mid-to-late 90's I started a Chaos army that had lot's of Knights, Bloodletters, and Chariots.  It was a fun army, but I hardly got to use it before my LGS at the time went under.  So I sold the army on eBay along with my IG army for 40k.  I didn't play Fantasy for years and years until in 7th Edition when the new Warriors of Chaos book came out.  The models were beyond amazing.  The Lord of Juggernaut sold me on the army.  I bought a bunch of stuff and soon had a pretty fearsome all cavalry list with three units of knights, lots of marauder horsemen, 2 mounted nurgle sorcerers and a sorcerer lord of Tzeentch.  It was a fairly by the book list that everyone has seen before.  But it was fun, and I enjoyed it.  

I painted this.  Again, I am aware I suck at painting.
When the rumors for 8th started swirling I knew that the jig was up.  The all cavalry thing was not going to work.  I wasn't going to be able to blow people away with 16 power dice per phase anymore, either.  

So what do Warriors of Chaos have that is good about them in 8th?

1.  Fighty, fast heroes.  Tzeentch exalted heroes on discs pack a pretty mean punch and are pretty resilient.  Having a Tzeentch flying circus is going to be your only real defense against enemy warmachines.  Seriously.  It pains me to say it, but unless you are charging their warmachines on turn 2, you will lose.  Even more unfortunately, these guys can't win you the game by themselves.  They are more fighty point for point than other armies characters but in 8th Edition fighty characters are not going to cut it.

2.  Hellcannons.  High strength large template shots.  Good.  Monster that is hard to kill and is tough in combat.  Also good.  As the army's only real artillery and shooting this is invaluable and absolutely necessary. to have a pair of in a 2500 point army.

3.  Fearless Marauders.  Either Slaanesh or Khorne marauders with flails or great weapons are some of the best horde blocks in the game.  They are very squishy, but they are immune to psychology so they aren't going to run.  They are a glass cannon for sure, but they are a cheap threat that must be dealt with.

4.  Warriors.  They are overpriced, yes.  But they ARE killy.  Mark of Khorne with halberds is 3 str 5 attacks.  That is pretty great.  The drawback is they are slow.  This is why they cannot be the entirety of your core choices.  Treat them the way other armies treat their elite infantry, not their core.  A unit of two that are 12 strong with mark of Khorne are another must deal with threat.

5.  Marauder Cavalry.  Vanguard moves are fantastic in 8th.  So is scout deployment.  Your army is slow and once the game starts your warriors won't be outmaneuvering anyone.  With vanguard moves and 5 flying fighty characters you try to create enough chaos to allow your infantry to deliver.

Put it together and what do we have?

Nothing good.  No magic, no intimidating heavy armor.  Average warmachines.  The army book is simply 'meh.'  You just can't make a balanced force out of it.  Now I know people say you can bring 3 hordes of Khorne marauders with knights on the flanks, backed up by hell cannons and steamroll people, but I've not ever seen that work in practice.  What have seen are those hordes getting cut in half by turn 2, the knights do absolutely nothing important in combat, and ineffectual magic.  Compared to The Dwellers Below, you think anyone gives a crap about Infernal Gateway anymore?

Everytime I look at my Lord on Jugger, I go, "man it would kick ass to play that."  Then I sigh and think, "maybe in 4 years when the new book comes out."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dark Elves in 8th Pt. 4 (2,500 points)

Like I said in my post about converting my BSB, 'Ard Boyz season is over so the 3,000 point lists can go away for another year.  Since 8th Edition launched right at the start of 'Ard Boyz season I haven't even written a 2,500 point list.  Obviously, I'm limited to the models I own so my 2,500 point list will resemble my 3,000 point list in most ways, though I can buy new stuff if need be.

So there are a couple things I definitely want in the list.  

1.  3 units of Blackguard.  These are my hammer units that kill everything they touch with the exception of Swordmasters.  If they were good at 3,000, they will be even better at 2,500 as my opponents lose 500 points of support that could be directed their way.

2.  Level 4 Supreme Sorceress with Sac Dagger.  Need to have a level 4 to be competitive, and the Sac Dagger combined with Lore of Death will always put me in a situation to have more dice than my opponent.

3.  Lot's of bolt throwers.  I can run 4 bolt throwers or 2 Hydra.  Hydras are really strong, but they don't help me cover my weaknesses.  Blackguard murder what they touch, but they die to elite high elf units, things with impact hits, high toughness enemies like T6+ monsters, and shooting.  The Hydra do help with the shooting a bit, but they don't have anymore game against the units that BG are weak against like Swordmasters, Ogres, chariots.  Bolt throwers solve those.  4 Reapers can reliably do 8-12 wounds a turn to Swordmasters if they concentrate firepower.  

4.  Big magic bunker to power the sac dagger.  Add a BSB into the mix to season.

5.  MSU Crossbowmen.  10 xbowmen in a 5x2 formation can throw out 20 shots a turn.   Their real purpose is to blast away any scouts or fast cavalry that try to flank my magic bunker and/or bolt throwers.

So how would this list look?

Supreme Sorceress                  320
-Pendant of Kaleth
-Sacrificial Dagger
-Level 4

Master                                     155
-Armor of Eternal Servitude
-Dragonbane Gem
-Sea Dragon Cloak

20x Black Guard                       320
-Full Command
-Banner of Murder

20x Black Guard                       340
-Full Command
-Razor Standard

20x Black Guard                       305
-Full Command
-Banner of Eternal Flame

40x Warriors                             314

10x Crossbowmen                    115

10x Crossbowmen                    115

10x Crossbowmen                    115

2x Reaper Bolt Throwers          200
2x Reaper Bolt Throwers          200

Total: 2,499

So that's where my head's at right now.  My big concern is how to deal with gunlines.  Against Dwarves or Goblins or Empire the Purple Sun from the Level 4 can conceivably help, but that's not a given since a fair percentage of the time I won't get it.

I was thinking of using the following deployment formation for the BG so they give themselves cover...

This formation gives 2 of the BG units cover.  I'm willing to sacrifice the leading unit to ensure two full strength units hit home.  If everything goes right, that will be some dead dudes.  They can't do a flee response very easily due to re-direction and standing and firing will still allow the rear units cover.  So again, dead baddies.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Today in Awful Warseer Tactics Part 4

Ready to cringe?  I have delved deeply into the bowels of Warseer and emerged covered in the faint odor of string cheese and monster energy drink.  But it wasn't all for naught, as I have discovered another thread whereby a simple fool asks an honest questions and receives terrible answers in return.

I'll kick this bad boy off by saying its about Dual Last lists.  For years the internet told everyone that dual lash was OP and the best thing ever.  Then people realized it wasn't so great and now the pendulum has swung back the other way with every cretin on the internet saying its crap and ridiculously easy to beat.  The truth lies somewhere in the middle.  The list is still pretty decent.  Will it beat an experienced 5th edition player with a solid mech list?  Probably not.  Will it beat your average noob with a battleforce list?  Yeah, it probably will.  It may even catch some good players unaware and steal a win or two from even a strong player.  

By far the most infuriating thing about this thread are the players who chime in bashing the list talking about how easy it is to beat.  I know full well I could play a tuned dual lash list and beat any of these scrubs into oblivion.  I'm not a great player trying to brag, in fact I'm pretty mediocre.  But I can detect bull shit and I know these Warseer scrubs talk a way better game than they play.  So on to the madness...
Hashulaman:  Is taking 2 slannesh princes mandatory to even have a chance with winning in a CSM army anymore? Can't we make a Nurgle or Tzeentch DP work? I don't mind runing 1 lash prince, but honestly with all the mech, 1 would be enough as to me a second would be a waste.

Besides it seems to me we have overlooked some of the other Prince setups and everyone expects a Lash Prince and have made precautions agaisnt that. Taking a different setup would not only be a nice change of pace (for me anyways), but it could throw off the game of those who plan to fight lash princes. Hell, alot of these players probably go mech so they can't be lashed that much. 

A fair assessment.  Warptime Princes are pretty strong and demand a response.  The correct answer is, if you are playing a dedicated Lash List, run two princes.  If you are running something other than 9 Obliterators, 5 units of Plague Marines etc., then you ARE probably better off with Warptime.  Lash works when the whole list is built to synergize with itself.  If you aren't going to do that, don't run Lash.
skarsniktheunclean: unless it says so in the codex,nothing is ever mandatory!!!!


Listen, Matt, the question was clearly intended to be "is it mandatory from a competitive standpoint" not "is it required per the codex."  Your answer is inane, and you're dumb.  Cheers, Nike.

eyescross: 2 Nurgle Warptime Princes can put the pressure on anyone, too. 

Thread over.  As we all know, it is never that easy.

Thud: No, it's not. Lash is overrated, situational, dependent on a specific build and easily negated.

If you go up against decent players with a Lash army you'll find yourself being dismantled fairly quickly. I suggest going for a more balanced approach that does not hinge on gimmicks. Warptime Daemon Princes are certainly better than their Lash counterparts, but I'm not a fan of big spending in the HQ section in general. 

You're on the right track but you lose credibility with your "dismantled quickly" line.  Two lists that are identical except one is dual lash princes and the other is dual warptime princes aren't going create situations where the dual lash list gets dismantled easily but the dual warptime will give a good game.  There is is a fair amount of parity between the two.  Lash IS overrated you're right, but you yourself are overrating Warptime.

One Mean Duck: I think the question should, "are obliterators mandatory?" Because armies without them don't win and chaos with them do... at least as far as I have seen 

No, asshole, the question is what the question was.  You are raising a different point, and the point is wrong anyway.  Go play in traffic.

Latro_:  In 5th ed also known as Rhinohammer, lash is no where near as feared as it was in early 5th. As soon as everyone realised mech was amazing they soon stopped whindging lash was broken. 

I've never heard anyone intelligent use the term 'rhinohammer.'  

Robpro: lash is always a good, general purpose thing to have. Unless you can win the game without ever killing a tank, there will be guys to lash (typically by turn 2). 

Wow an intelligent response.  You mean people with Lash lists bring anti-tank tank weapons to make it possible to lash people?  That's crazy!  

VonMansteinNo, its still 30 points to get it and it prevents you from taking Mark of Nurgle. Prince is ussually dead before getting Lash off 1 time. 

Do you understand how much firepower it takes to bring down a Daemon Prince in cover?  That's a lot of missile launcher shots.  Sure, many armies have that kind of firepower.  But is that how you're going to use it?  You're going to fire 15 missiles at a single prince and ignore the chaos rhinos/melta-bunkers?  Please do that, and lose the game.

Glabro:  Take a lash if you play a Slaanesh or a more generalist list. That is, unless you are one of those players who ignores fluff and fun in the name of power in lists. 

I knew it wouldn't take long before some idiot used the 'f' word.

Aussiesocks:  If they can counter lash with 35pt rhinos, your warptime-less daemon princes are close to useless. 

Oh let's play this game.  You counter my 25 point Lash with a 35 point Rhino.  Hmmmm.  I counter your 35 point Rhino with my 10 point meltagun.  You lose.

Erwos:  I play fluffy Iron Warriors. I don't take a lash.

Good for you?

Evil Sponge:  Lash has pretty much been nerfed into oblivion since 5th and the subsequent codex updates.

This is the typical overreaction I was talking about.  Things the internet thinks are good are beyond broken, things the internet thinks are bad are "nerfed to oblivion."  Stop with this sky is falling bullshit.  Is Lash weaker than it was at the height of 4th edition?  Yes.  Is it "nerfed to oblivion?"  No.

Grey Knights Rock:  I think that regular chaos space marines in a large squad are very effective. 1 point less than space marines, and they can be taken in squads of 20. a mass of bolter fire is a very useful thing against tyranids and orks.

Do you even have any idea what the topic at hand is?

Jonathan I Hmm there seems to be a lot of black or white opinions flying about that don’t take into account tournament meta.
I’m going to blame Stelek for that one.

What does Stelek have to do with it?  I agree that there are black and white opinions being given by dumb people who have no right talking about anything, but I am willing to bet the anti-Lash crowd here did NOT get their opinion from Stelek.

Valek:  Honestly Lash is crap. to many mech, to many hoods, wolves crap dispel. Not to mention you have to make your army so you can take the most out of it. 

Those same criticisms apply to Warptime.  It's not like Warptime is easier to get off under a hood than Lash is.

Jonathan IThere are 133 tournament gamers in West Australia, out of those 133 the vast majority don’t run 5th edition lists. 

That's because there is heavy comp there, and 5th edition lists are punished.

VonMarstein:  I never go with Lash to tournements and trust me, I perform very well. 

Go on and toot your own horn.  How many major non-comped tournaments have you performed very well in?  You place in your local 'Ard Boyz?  So do I.  But I don't claim to be good.

Kane40k:  Ive actualy won LESS games with Dual Lash lists. Choose a Play Style that you like. you will enjoy the game more. Do those Princes of Nurgle and Tzeentch!  

Choose a play style you like.  So long as it's my play style.

Apathyman:  In fact, the more mech that exists in an opponent's army, the less Lash is effective. Nurgle/Wings/Warptime is a great all around kit that's good no matter who your target is. 

What a stunning revelation.  Thank you for explaining the relationship between Lash and Mech opponents.  No one has proffered that before in this thread.

And with that, the thread and my sanity come to an end.


Dark Elves Battle Standard Banner

Now that 'Ard Boyz season is over, for me anyway, I figure it's time to start thinking about 2,500 points.  Dreadlords and other fighty lords don't make sense at any points level really, but they make even less sense at 2,500 than they do at 3,000.  With that in mind, I decided to add a BSB to my army in place of the Dreadlord. 

Unfortunately, there is no foot BSB model for the DE, so I took my walkin' Dreadlord and converted him to a BSB.  I used extra bits from my warrior boxes to make the banner itself and I used a WoC Maurader pole to lengthen it so it would look the appropriate height. 

Let me know what you think.

Re-rolling all my leaderships!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Warhammer WHFB Primer to 8th Edition Common Magic Items Part 5

Part 5.  Enchanted items.  Some good stuff in here, unlike Arcane items.

Drink the power up, win the game.

Wizarding Hat: 100 points.  The wearer becomes a level 2 wizard with a random lore and gets Stupidity.  This a 'fun' item that fluffy carebears will love.  It isn't competitive by any means, especially based on the points cost, but you will see people play it in fun lists or big group games.  Rating: *

Folding Fortress: 100 points.  Holy moley!  A piece of fortified terrain that you can deploy anywhere in your deployment zone.  In the right list, something with lots and lots of shooting it can become a game breaking bunker.  This requires a specifically tailored list to break, but it is breakable.  Rating: ****

Arabian Carpet: 50 points.  An infantry or monstrous infantry unit gains flying but can't join units.  I guess not everyone gets to use Discs of Tzeentch.  This is pretty expensive, and I'm not sure that is worth the price.  Rating: ** 

Crown of Command: 35 points.  The bearer gains stubborn.  More importantly, the unit the bearer joins gains stubborn.  This is full of win.  A tough, stubborn unit with a BSB isn't going anywhere.  It can create an anvil unit out of a nothing unit, and open up all sorts of different tactical options.  One of the most powerful magic items in the book.  Rating: *****

Healing Potion: 35 points.  One use.  Heal D6 wounds.  Eh.  Only really useful on characters with 4 or more wounds.  Unfortunately on beaters like that, it is a waste of points.  Rating: **

Featherfoe Torc: 35 points.  Flying creatures reroll successful to-hit rolls.  The anti-flying joke continues.  Rating: *

Ruby Ring of Ruin: 25 points.  Bound spell level 3.  Fireball.  This can be really useful for shutting down regenerators.  It is more versatile than the flaming banner, but more expensive.  You have to determine what works best for your army.  Rating: ****

Terrifying Mask: 25 points.  The bearer causes terror but cannot confer his leadership.  Terror isn't especially scary anymore.  I'd pass on it.  Rating: **

Potion of Strength: 20 points.  One use.  +3 strength until the end of the turn.  This is very situational, but when it works it works.  Unfortunately, the Relic Sword is usually better for what you need this to do.  If people still used Bloodthirsters this would be a somewhat useful item.  Rating: **

Potion of Toughness: 20 points.  +3 toughness until the end of the turn.  Not nearly as useful as the strength potion. Rating: *

Other Tricksters Shard: 15 points.  Anyone in base to base contact has to re-roll successful ward saves.  This works best on fighty characters who are built to fight other characters.  This isn't a particularly big niche.  Or even a good niche.  Rating: **

Ironcurse Icon: 5 points.  The bearer and his unit gain a 6+ ward save vs. warmachines.  This is actually really good if you are going to run a big block of infantry.  It's only 5 points and it only has to make one save to pay for itself.  A solid deal.  Rating: ***

Potion of Foolhardiness: 5 points.  +1 attack on the charge and ITP until the end of the turn.  This isn't exactly bad, but it's not exactly good.  Obviously best with a mounted character with a lance.  Compared to other 5 point 'throw-away' items it doesn't compare that well.  Rating: **

Potion of Speed: 5 points.  +3 initiative.  It's pretty good on a cheap character for suicide charging a magic bunker to kill a wizard so he gets his hits in before he dies.  That's not going to happen enough to make it worth even 5 points. Rating: *

Enchanted items have some real winners, especially the Crown of Command.  Crown of Command and Folding Fortress are game-breaking, and Ruby Ring is simply powerful.  Good stuff.

It's been fun doing this series, I hope you guys enjoyed it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

WHFB Primer to 8th Edition Common Magic Items Part 4

Welcome to part 4 of this series.  This one will focus on Arcane items.  These can ONLY be taken by wizards so in many ways they are the opposite of magic armors.  A lot of them are one use only, too.  So for one use each, and a lot of points they better be gamebreaking.  We shall see...

I wonder how they knew it was ancient when they labeled it.

Book of Ashur: 70 points.  +1 to all attempts to cast and dispell.  A 70 point upgrade to be a level 5 wizard.  If it also came with a 5th spell this might have been worth 70 points.  As it stands, it isn't worth the points at all.  Rating: *

Feedback Scroll: 50 points.  One use only.  After your opponent casts a spell roll a die for each die he used to cast the spell and the caster takes a wound on a 5+.  If this was 25 points it would be great.  Or if it wounded on a 4+.  The big drawback is that it can only be used during the dispell step, so if your opponent casts irresistibly you can't use it.  If it wasn't for this drawback I'd call it the Scroll of Kill Teclis.  But it just isn't.  Rating: **

Scroll of Leeching: 50 ponts.  One use.  After your opponent casts a spell, you skip the dispell step and you add as many dice as he threw to your dispell pool.  The best use of this is to kill Remains in Play spells, or to come back from a double six winds of magic hole.  But really, neither of those is worth anything close to 50 points.  Rating: *

Hex Scroll: 50 points.  One use.  You can turn an enemy wizard into a toad for maybe a turn if you're really lucky.  Potentially powerful but too hard to use.  Crap.  Rating: *

Power Scroll: 35 points.  One use.  Any roll of a double will cause irresistible force and a miscast.  Very strong.  Internet morons will say it breaks the game because a 115 point level 1 mage can suicide cast a Purple Sun or Dwellers Below.  Big whoop.  That is a strong effect but not game breaking.  It's a gimmick.  It will beat bad players who don't see it coming a mile away.  It's still a solid piece of equipment but not nearly worth the hysteria the internet makes it out to be.  Rating: ***

Wand of Jet: 35 points.  One use.  After dice have been thrown in a casting attempt the wizard can add an extra D6.  This is the very, very, very weak equivilant of the Dark Elves' sacrificial dagger.  I can't see anyone paying the points for this, unless ofcourse, you combo it with the Power Scroll to have 7 dice attempt which will assure you of doubles.

Forbidden Rod: 35 points.  One use.  Add D6 dice to the power pool.  Bearer takes D3 hits no armor saves.  LOL WUT?!  You mean I can get an extra 3 or 4 power dice for the low, low price of one of my wizards?  Count me out.  Rating: 0 stars.  Seriously do not take this even as a joke.

Tricksters' Shard: 25 points.  One use.  Use at the start of an enemy magic phase.  Whenever you dispell an opponents spell his wizard suffers a wound on a 5+.  Another joke of an item.  Do you know how hard it is to dispell 3 spells in one phase?  That's pretty rare, and a pretty hard way to do a single wound to a wizard.  Fuck you GW for making me waste words on this item.  Rating: *

Earthing Rod: 25 points.  One use.  You can re-roll once on the miscast table.  Wow an item that actually has an ability someone might want.  That said, it still sucks.  There are no 'good' results on the table, just less bad ones.  Save 25 points and suck up the results.  Rating: *

Power Stone: 20 points.  One use.  You get two extra dice for a single casting attempt.  This holdover from 7th edition got a little better now that power dice are limited, but it's still way overpriced.  If it cost 5 points I'd play it.

Scepter of Stability: 15 points.  The disspell equivalent of the Jet Wand.  It's cheaper though, but way more useless.  Rating: *

Channeling Staff: 15 points.  +1 to all your channeling attempts.  Eh.  Instead of an average of one successful channel per game you will get 2.  Not worth 15 points, is it?  Rating: *

Scroll of Shielding: 15 points.  One use.  Give a 4+ ward to the unit targeted by a spell.  Maybe good IF THE BEST SPELLS IN THE GAME DIDN'T IGNORE WARD SAVES!  Rating: *

Dispel Scroll: 25 points.  One use.  Dispel a single casting attempt.  The old stand by.  In 7th edition you could bring multiple and use them to survive the nasty spells of the first couple of turns until you could kill the wizards.  That strategy is out.  Now this item is a lot more niche.  It went from a must add two copies to each army to maybe add one.  Rating: ***

Yup, you guess it: common arcane items blow.  Anybody disagree?

Friday, September 24, 2010

WHFB Primer to 8th Edition Common Magic Items Part 3

Let's keep the ball rolling.  This one will cover Talismans and Magical Standards.  Moving right along...


Talisman of Preservation:  45 points.  4+ Ward.  Why is this better than the armor that does the same thing?  Wizards can wear it.  That alone makes it worthwhile.  Yes it is expensive.  Yes it only stops 1/2 of the wounds for a ton of points.  But certain army books have no access to simple 4+ ward saves for their wizards at any price.  Sorcerer Lord (or regular Lord) of Tzeentch on disk with Enchanted Shield gets a 1+ armor save and 3+ ward.  That is pretty damn beefy.  Is this a no brainer pick for every army?  No, it is too expensive for that.  But it is something that in the right list can be amazing.  Rating: ****
Obsidian Lodestone: 45 points.  Magic resistance 3.  Very expensive, but combos we'll with units that already have a ward save.  If you're unit has a 5+ ward already, it becomes 2+.  I'm not saying this is worth the points at all, I'm just saying that there are all kinds of dirty tricks you can do with it.  Drop a Comet right in front of your magic bunker unit that now has a 2+ ward save against magic and see if anyone tries to charge them.  It's too situational and too expensive to be great, but it can be good with very specific lists.  Rating: **

Talisman of Endurance: 30 points.  5+ ward save.  A 5+ ward save is the benchmark for wards.  Anything better probably costs significantly more points or has some drawback.  Anything worse probably isn't useful.  This is slightly on the expensive side, but is still not terrible.  Rating: ***

Obsidian Amulet: 30 points.  Magic Resistance 2.  This item is simply 'OK' but there are certain times when it is more than OK.  A unit with a 4+ ward save already can turn into a 2+ ward save verse magic.  Put this on a character in a unit of Phoenix Guard and all the tricks you can pull with the Lodestone you can do with this, but for 15 points less.  Still, paying for magic resistance when so much of the dangerous magic avoids ward saves makes it somewhat difficult to pay for.  Rating: **

Dawnstone: 25 points.  Re-roll unsuccessful armor saves.  Pure garbage.  A character that has a good armor save already is almost always better off with a ward save than this.  Against lots of weak attacks you have to hope your armor and ward are good enough, and if you get hit with a high strength attack this isn't going to save you.  Rating: *

Opal Amulet: 15 points.  4+ ward save that is used once per game against the first wound you suffer.  Horrible waste of points.  Rating: *

Obsidian Trinket: 15 points.  Magic resistance 1.  I'm not sure sure I can think of a time when paying extra points for magic resistance 1 would be worthwhile.  Rating: *

Talisman of Protection: 15 points.  6+ ward save.  6+ isn't going to save your character.  On normal characters Rating: *.  On a Chaos Warriors Tzeentch Sorcerer Rating: ***

Seed of Rebirth: 10 points.  6+ regeneration.  The poor man's Talisman of Protection.  I just don't think you should ever take this item under any circumstances.  Rating: *

Dragonbane Gem: 5 points.  2+ ward save versus flaming attacks.  Here we go.  This is like the awesome helm of the same power except it doesn't add to your armor, wizards can wear it, and its 5 points less.  A lot of the ways people get regeneration in their army books is magic armor, so you need this as you can't wear two magic armors.  Very excellent item for the points.  Rating: *****

Pigeon Plucker Pendant: 5 points.  5+ ward save in close combat against models who fly.  Are you kidding me?  Rating: *

Luckstone: 5 points.  One use only, re-roll a failed armor save.  This item isn't great by any means.  But if you have 5 points left over on a list and literally have no other use for the 5 points, give it to your battle standard bearer.  Rating: **

Summary: Talismans are usually a better deal than the magic armors in the book and usually cheaper to get the same effect.  Plus you can give them to wizards which is a huge plus.
Magical Standards

I'm told these are magic banners.
Rampager's Standard: 55 points.  Unit can re-roll it's charge distance.  It is a lot over priced, especially compared to the +1 movement banner which is essentially just as useful.  Would it be nice to have?  Yeah, for 25 points that is.  Rating: *

Wailing Banner: 50 points.  Unit causes terror.  Units don't fail leadership often enough to make spending 50 points worth it.  Maybe if it forced them to make the test at -2 or something it would be worth the points but as of now it doesn't compare to army book banners of the same points cost.  Rating: *

Ranger's Standard: 50 points.  Units have strider special rule.  You have to be kidding me.  Maybe for 10 points.  Rating: *

Razor Standard: 45 points.  Unit gains armor piercing.  Holy cow this one is awesome.  It turns OK shooting units into excellent ones.  It turns good close combat units into deadly ones.  This should be taken in almost every army.  Rating: *****

Warbanner: 35 points.  +1 Combat resolution.  Since the CR bonus for additional ranks is capped at +3 in 8th edition this extra point of resolution is important.  To compensate for the increased power, they increased the price by 10 points from 7th edition.  This banner won't have a place in every army, but there are some where it will be golden, especially if you can get it at the 7th edition price in your army book.  Rating: ***

Banner of Swiftness: 15 points.  +1 movement.  Wow this is strong.  An extra inch of movement is absolutely killer in 8th edition as charge distance is random.  An extra non-random inch of charging is fantastic.  And the banner is a measly 15 points.  Rating: ****
Lichbone Pennant: 15 points.  Magic Resistance 1.  Compare this to the obsidian trinket.  They are essentially the same.  I have a hard time thinking of too many times I'd take this over Banner of Swiftness for the same point cost.  Rating: *

Standard of Discipline: 15 points.  +1 Leadership but cannot use the general's leadership.  This depends on the army.  Certain forces greatly benefit from this one, others don't.  Warriors of Chaos usually had LD8, and they usually don't have generals with something higher, so this can be very useful for them.  Armies with good leadership like Elves won't see much benefit.  The banner of Swiftness still owns it at the 15 point level.  Rating: **

Banner of Eternal Flame: 10 points.  Unit causes flaming attacks.  The best banner of the common banners.  Don't leave home without it.  It's cheap so if it isn't useful you won't feel bad, but when you do need it (Hydras, Treemen, Tomb Kings, Hellpit Abominations, Life Magic) you will wish you had it.  Seriously, always find room for it on one unit in your army.  Rating: *****

Gleaming Pendant: 5 points.  Re-roll your first failed leadership test per game.  A throw away 5 points that can save your ass.  Obviously, you only take this if you don't have a Battle Standard Bearer.  Some armies don't take a BSB because it's not in the gameplan, and that's where this can fill in if you have 5 throw-away points.  Rating: ***

Scarecrow Banner: 5 points.  Unit causes fear in units with flying.  I think this whole theme of shitty items that affect flyers is some kind of inside joke at GW.  I normally enjoy dry, British humor but this is too much.  Rating: *

In summary, some really good banners.  A couple must takes in there, in my opinion and a few that are just OK when speaking in generalities, but become rock stars for specific armies.  Are there any that I rated crappy that really stand out in particular army books?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

WHFB Primer to 8th Edition Common Magic Items Part 2

Part 1 dealt with the common weapons, so today we'll be talking about the common magic armors.  A couple of things to note.  First, wizards cannot wear magic armor with a few exceptions, so these items only apply to fighty heroes and lords, and a few unit champs that can take magic items.  I'll talk about each item, give a few of its basic uses, strengths, and drawbacks.  Then I'll assign is a score on a 5 point scale with 5 points being the best and one point being terribad.  And we're off...

This is not magic armor.

Armor of Destiny: 50 points, Heavy Armor, 4+ Ward.  Expensive, but powerful.  Not every army book has access to a straight up simple +4 ward save with no drawbacks.  Some books, though, have better/cheaper ward saves available.  The strength of this item has a lot to do with the available options in your army book.  Even in a book with weak options, this one is still expensive.  Rating: **

Trickster's Helm: 50 points.  +1 to your armor save.  Any successful wounding rolls against the wearer must be re-rolled.  This is another powerful, but expensive item.  This item is best on high toughness characters where str 3 weapons need 6+ to wound.  If this item were 25 points it would be a no brainer, but as of now it is simply too expensive to be of great use.  Rating: **

Armor of Silver Steel: 45 points.  2+ armor save that cannot be improved further.  The strength of this item depends on the other armors available in your army book.  The Dark Elves have a 1+ save for 35 points, making this trash for them.  The Wood Elves have nothing like this.  This armor excels when characters have Great Weapons or Halberds and cannot use a shield.  Expensive but can be invaluable if you want a 2 handed weapon and do not want to sacrifice armor save to get it.  Rating: **

Armor of Fortune: 35 points, Heavy Armor, 5+ ward save.  This is a good all around piece of equipment.  Good but not great.  It's pretty expensive for a 5+ ward.  But again, not every book can get a simple 5+ ward at any price.  Rating it objectively though, it's still overpriced.  Rating: **

Helm of Discord: 30 points, +1 to your armor save.  Anyone in base to base must pass a leadership test or cannot attack and is hit automatically.  Frankly, this is garbage.  In 8th Edition people don't fail leadership tests.  Anything that is good when your opponent fails leadership tests is by definition not good.  Rating: *

Glittering Scales: 25 points. Light Armor.  Enemies are at -1 to hit the wearer.  Nifty piece of armor.   Almost game breakingly good.  Usually people hit on 4+.  Turning it into 5+ is good.  Problem is that most things you're scared of hitting you aren't worried about it.  But still not bad.  If it was heavy armor it would be a no-brainer.  Rating: ***

Shield of Ptolos: 25 points.  Shield.  Grants a 1+ save versus shooting attacks.  This is simply not good.  The shooting a lone character is most worried about are warmachines, and those will usually negate your armor anyway.  If your character is in a unit, he gets a look out sir save and this isn't needed.  Rating: *

Spellshield: 20 points.  Shield.  Magic resistance 1.  Garbage.  6+ ward vs. magic only for 20 points.  Pass.  Immediately.  Rating: *

Gambler's Armor: 20 points.  Heavy armor, 6+ ward.  Better in every imaginable way than the spell shield.  But still nothing to write home about.  Rating: *

Dragonhelm: 10 points.  2+ ward save against flaming attacks, +1 to your armor save.  This is awesome.  There are so many ways to get regeneration saves and this combos amazingly with all of them.  If your character has 4+ regeneration this completely covers his bases, and gives him +1 to his armor save to boot.  Rating: ****

Enchanted Shield: 5 points, adds +2 your armor save.  Holy points reduction from 7th edition.  Since you can't go below 1+ armor save anymore this is much less useful.  Allowing people to get -1 armor saves in 7th edition made it brrrroken.   Now its just 'OK.'  If you need a cheap way to get 1+ armor saves without overload on magic items, this is it.  Compare it to armor of Silver Steel.  It's 40 points cheaper and the only restriction is you can't use a 2 handed weapon.  Other than that, virtually identical.  Rating: ***

Charmed Shield: 5 points.  Shield.  Ignore the first hit the bearer has on a 2+.  This sounds pretty bad at first.  But it does grant the ability to ignore a cannonball or a bolt on a 2+.  This item is actually a good deal for a character mounted on a monster, since monsters will attract bolt throwers and cannons.  It can be the difference between getting into combat on your dragon without having taken a wound, or being killed outright.  I'm not saying its a no brainer for a monster rider, but it is something to consider.  Rating: **

In summary, you'll notice there are no 5 star magic armors.  Almost all of them are overpriced for what they do.  The only time they are a value are when they provide a must needed service that your army book can't provide.  Otherwise the points are generally better spent elsewhere.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WHFB: Primer to 8th Edition Common Magic Items Part 1

Hey all.  In this multi-part series I'm going to go through the common magic items in an effort to help get new players up to speed with the new edition.  While every item has a theoretical use, some are more useful in an all comers setting than others.  I'll talk about each item, give a few of its basic uses, strengths, and drawbacks.  Then I'll assign is a score on a 5 point scale with 5 points being the best and one point being terribad.

Let's start with the choppy ones: magic weapons.

Giant Sword: +3 strength.  60 points.  It's way overpriced.  There are not many scenarios where +3 strength is very much better than +2.  Most Hero or Lord level combat characters in the game are strength 4 at least, and there aren't too many times where strength 7 is better than Strength 6.  Fighting Monsters or chariots would be an exception, but most people don't tool their combat characters out for that purpose.  Over priced and pretty useless.  Rating: *

Sword of Bloodshed: +3 Attacks.  60 points.  Expensive.  It can be really strong on a model with high base strength like an Ogre character or Chaos Lord.  If it was cheaper, that is.  Right now 60 points is too expensive for ANY combat weapon in the game.  Rating: *

Obsidian Blade: No armor saves allowed.  50 points.  Waaaaay too expensive.  A Lord with Strength 5 and a +2 strength sword is not going to allow most armor saves, either, and do it cheaper.  This item is a noob magnet.  Rating: *

Ogre Blade: +2 Strength, 40 points.  It's a much better value than the Giant Blade, but honestly 40 points is probably still too much to spend on a magic weapon.  Compare it to a mundane Lance, or Flail, or Great Weapon.  Those are like 5 points each and while they have drawbacks, they aren't really 35 point drawbacks. Rating: * 

Sword of Strife: +2 Attacks, 40 points.  Let's pretend in your army book there was a second Lord choice that for 40 points more came with 2 extra attacks.  Nobody sane would use that.  Speaks volumes for this item.  Rating: *

Fencer's Blades: Paired weapons, gives bearer WS10.  Costs 35 points.  Pros: you get WS10, and +1 attack.  Con: you can't use a shield.  Would you pay 35 points extra for a Lord whose statline had WS10 and +1 attack?  Me either.  Rating: *

Sword of Anti-heroes: 35 points.  +1 strength and +1 attack for each character in base to base contact at the start of every combat phase.  Pretty weak, in my opinion.  It's situational and you might go the entire game without using it once.  It think 35 points is too much to pay for anything situational. Rating: *

Spelltheiving Sword: 25 points.  Wound a wizard, he loses a spell.  Utter trash.  If you are easily wounding wizards they should be dying.  Rating: *

Sword of Swift Slaying: 25 points.  We have the first winner.  This is an amazing item.  On a high initiative Lord or Hero chances are this will be giving you re-rolls to hit in addition to striking first.  This item is useless for High Elves, obviously, and weaker on low strength characters.  But high strength, high initiative characters like Chaos Exalted Heroes it becomes startlingly good.  Rating: *****

Sword of Battle: 20 points.  +1 attack.  Same criticism as the sword of strife.  Compared to paying 5 points more for the Swift Slaying Sword, this just doesn't make sense. Rating: *

Berserker Sword: 20 points.  Frenzy you can never lose.  This gives you +1 attack and Immune to Psychology.  The drawback of frenzy is inconsequential usually.  This is generally superior to the Sword of Battle. Rating: **

Sword of Might: 20 points +1 strength.  Strong.  Makes you character significantly more killy.  Strength 5 is light years better than the standard strength 4.  Rating: ***

Gold Sigil Sword: 15 points.  Gives you Initiative 10 in combat.  Not too shabby actually.  It's a cheap and always useful item that will let weaker characters defeat strong ones.  Always useful.  Rating: ***

Sword of Striking:  15 points +1 to hit.  Heroes hit  on 3's usually.  Hitting on 2's is mega awesome.  This is very good on high strength characters that don't have much trouble wounding.  Rating: ****

Biting Blade: 10 points.  Armor piercing.  The poor man's Sword of Might.  Not a bad value at all.  Rating: ***

Relic Sword: 10 points.  Always wounds on a 5+.  Very situational, but also very good in those situations.  Useful against monsters, chariots and Steamtanks.  It essentially doubles your chances to hurt them in combat.  It does what the Sword of Strife does for 30 points less.  Think about that.  Rating: **

Shrieking Blade: 10 points, bearer causes fear.  Fear is more or less useless in 8th edition.  So is this item.  Rating: *

Tormentor's Sword: 5 points.  Gives Stupidity when it deals a wound.  I consider 5 point weapons to be more valuable for the fact that they are magical than their real powers.  This sword's ability is useless, but for 5 points you get to hurt Ethereal units and bypass wards that only work on mundane attacks. Rating: *

Warrior's Bane: 5 points, a wound causes the person to lose an attack.  Not bad actually compared to Tormentor's Sword.  It's very good on high initiative characters to allow them to win combats against superior opponents.  Rating: ***


The magic weapons in the BRB are generally overpriced compared to the army book items.  Under normal circumstances, the only ones worth taking are Warrior's Bane, Sword of Striking, Gold Sigil, Sword of Might and Sword of Swift Slaying.  

Comments?  Criticisms?  Death threats?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Today in Awful Warseer Tactics Part 3

Oh, hello.

It's time for another dose of the horrible, horrible advice people receive on Warseer.  Today's thread is a real winner.  The original posters asks how his Warriors of Chaos army can cope with his buddy's Skaven army.  In particular he has no answer that he can conceive of to deal with Hell Pit Abominations.  Let's go to the thread, shall we?  My comments will be in orange.


Bishamon_o: so i was playing against a friend of mine a while back, he plays skaven, and he brought his hellpit all went well until he charged the HPA into my warriors, my attacks bounced of his toughness and regen, and he killed 15 of em, i failed theyre leadership test ( they were stuborn, but if you roll 11 it doesnt matter much)  after that i tried to kill it but most things i threw aginst it didnt quite cut it.  now ive heard from pretty much everyone is that the key to killing the HPA is to use flameing attacks ( duh, like i didnt know that myself).  the problem is how to deliver said attacks to the beasty.  because the chances of killing it before it attacks me arent that high, and the points cost of my units that can possibly take him on mean that if he gets the chance to attack back, he'll get his points back at least.  another problem i had trying to figure out a counter measure, is how do i catch the damn thing, with pretty much my entire army consisting of big blocks of infantry, im haveing troubles finding a way to even get to the damn thing ( with its random movement in every direction it wants) so if anyone could give me some usefull tips for dealing with the monstrosity, theyd be very welcome 

A couple of things.  First, why are your warrior's attacks bouncing off of him?  You are using halberds, right?  If not, you should be.  Str5 is the key to making warriors at all useful offensively.  Second, why are you running warriors in units bigger than 12?  That's fail right there.  Warriors should be, at most, 6 wide and 2 deep.  They are too expensive to pay 80 points for +1 combat resolution from a rank.   12 Khorne Warriors with halberds against a Hellpit should make 24 attacks.  18 hit.  9 wound.  Fails 4 regeneration saves.  Still alive but hurting.  Add the Flaming banner, which every army should have at least one of somewhere and he is outright dead.  That's the easy way to deal with it.  I can get into complicated tactics like using Marauder Horsemen as bait to get him where you need him to be for your flaming attack troops to come into play.  Warriors of Chaos don't get flaming attacks anywhere else except magic, and you aren't going to kill it with magic reliably.  So now that I've told you the correct answer, let's see what the pin heads have to say.

Kevlar: Chaos knights with flaming attack banner should make short work of him.

Except magic swords don't get the flaming banner.  Try again.

Witchblade: Flickering fire is always nice.

Wrong, dumbass.  Flickering Fire typically does 4 strength 4 hits.  That will reliably do 1 or 2 wounds at most, per turn.  That is not an efficient way to kill a 6 wound creature your opponent brings two of.

eyescrossed: The flaming banner will only work if you buy lances for the knights. 

True, and since lances blow, that is a horrible tactic that borders on list tailoring.

The_Varangian: not directly relating to this, but a dwarf runelord with flaming atacks, always wounding on a 2+ and with some other runes works really well. bretonnian lords on pegasus work well aswell. 

At least you admit you are derailing the thread completely.  No one gives a squirt of piss about your Dwarf Lord or Brettonian lord in this thread.  And you know that.  You admit as much.  Yet you STILL need that +1 so you contribute jack and shit.

Mulletron: a slightly more costly measure you could go for a tzeentch lord. Put it on a disc to help makle sure you get into combat and hellfire sword to negate the regen and then multiplying each wound caused by d3 could be enough to take it down in one turn (with a bit of luck).
Except the Hellfire Sword is bad bad bad.  It's too expensive and isn't very good against all comers.  Don't encourage list tailoring as a solution.  That is the mark of a weak minded player.  The flaming banner is is worth taking because it will be useful against a wide range of opponents.   A Tzeentch Lord on Disc is a good idea for a Chaos list.  With the Hellfire Sword is just bad gearing.

russellmoo:  Easiest would be to have your wizard take lore of fire-

Except Lore of Fire is shitty.

Hammerwar: I'm not so sue; ensorcelled weapons are MAGICAL weapons, whereas flaming attacks doesn't work on models' MAGIC weapons. It seems the suffix '-AL' on the knights' weapons may differentiate the two but perhaps observing this is excessive pedantry. So I'm not sure. 
Oh, fuck you.  FUCK YOU.  That is the most horrible example of RAW-ing I've ever heard.  You're damn right its excessive pedantry.  If you draw that distinction I'll say that their swords don't hurt Ethereal units.  Die in a fire.
Chaos Undecided: Of course a Lore of Fire caster can do the same job even if taking one doesnt seem in fashion these days, question is would you over roll the number of dice to try and get the irresistible force at that crucial moment is it worth potentially blowing up your caster to kill off the abomination

That's because Lore of Fire sucks, as I said before.  And thanks for explaining how Irresistible Force works and how to use strategy to determine how many dice to throw.  You're breaking new ground.

Da Black Gobbo: What about a lord with the sword that causes 1d3+1 wounds and counts as flaming?

That was already suggested.  You fail.

You Pale Companion: Tzeentch chaos lord on disc with that fire sword which does D3+1 wounds and some protection with the spare points.
But only use it when you are sure he will bring at least one HPA.Or at least something big you can kill.

More list tailoring advice from really stupid people.  And an idea that is bad being suggested for the third time.

Kevlar: Give it to a demon prince. He gets a free 5+ ward and wings.

You're the same idiot who suggested Flaming Banner on Knights.  And now you suggest giving equipment to Daemon Princes, which the army book does not allow.  You can stop posting your idiocy anytime now.

Rakton:  how about 15 flaming khorne warriors with halbs? only 305 points although not as competetive as nurgle can do some damage to that hellpit. 
Ding ding ding.  Nearly the correct answer.  You only need 12 warriors, but OK fine.  You fail by suggesting that Nurgle is "more competitive" since Nurgle is arguably the worst mark in the book.  But this should end the thread right?  Never is it so easy...

Rabid Bunny 666: Hellcannon: Hit the unit next to it, its not immune to panic and its only LD 5 IIRC. Why fight it when you can send it running?

The HPA is leadership 8.  Fail advice.

Exodus2013:  I'd say Dwarf cannons with the Rune of Fire would work better then anything else though but this obviously isn't an option for a WoC player :P.

This post shouldn't need an explanation of how awful it is.

PeG:sorceror without any mark, death magic should have some tools to deal with both the abomination and some other nasty models you might face. 

At least you didn't recommend Lore of Fire.  But your idea is still pretty merit-less. 

After this, the thread degenerates into talking about how Goblin armies can deal with it, and more pedantic debate about the difference between Magic Weapons and Magical Weapons and the Flaming Banner.  I'm not sure the OP ever got his question answered satisfactorily, but that should be expected when you ask the dumbest players in the game to help you solve your problems.