Monday, January 31, 2011

WHFB Battle Report: Dark Elves vs. Warriors of Chaos

Hey all.  Getting more playtesting in with my Adepticon list.  This weekend I got to play against a Warriors of Chaos army.  It wasn't the most absolutely cut throat of lists, but it packed some pretty nasty offense, so it wasn't a scrub battleforce list by any means.

I ran my list as shown here, with the Shades making up my last 200 points, if you were wondering.  The Chaos list was as follows...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Black Templars 'Ard Boyz List Ideas

So here goes.  I've been brainstorming about BT 'Ard Boyz lists for a while now, trying to optimize and squeeze.  I've narrowed it down to two versions I really like.  One is ultra-streamlined min-maxed, the other I sacrifice some firepower to add close combat prowess to my HQ units.  The one thing I fear about playing a list like this is that I won't have enough CC power to beat an ultra-aggressive army.  I figure that giving the HQ a storm shield and LC or TH makes them a great deal harder and makes the terminator units more resilient.   On the other side of the coin, by paring them down to the most basic equipment I can add 4 more missile shots, which can be a huge deal, too.

Friday, January 28, 2011

WHFB: Deployment Tactics Part 3

The final installment in this series is a deployment method that is used primarily with shooty armies with a large amount of war machines.  A tradition straight across the board deployment for a gunline/shooty is begging to be smashed by the Strong Flank deployment, so clearly there has to be a better way.  This deployment method, like the others I've detailed utilizes fast cavalry with vanguard moves to create the tactical situations it needs for success.  Guess what that means for Dwarves?  

Thursday, January 27, 2011

WHFB: Deployment Tactics Part 2

In part one, I talked about a fairly basic deployment strategy, the Strong Center.  That deployment is fairly strong when you have powerful infantry units that can dominate in close combat and usually a magic bunker backing them up.

This article will be about a deployment near and dear to my heart, the Strong Flank.  As you might guess, this is a deployment where you stick your money combat units all crammed into one flank.  The goal is to quickly overwhelm one of your opponent's flanks with the full force of your army and destroy his army in detail.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WHFB: Deployment Tactics Part 1

There have been a lot of posts on other blogs about 40k deployment and common deployment tactics.  Heck, a debate over the term 'refused flank' sparked one of the most epic FNIF to date.  Deployment seems to be an area where people have the least confidence in their game, and this is true in 40k as well as Fantasy.

Fantasy deployment is great, because of alternating unit deployment.  Each unit you deploy sends a message to your opponent about what your strategy will be.  The key, you'll see, is often times sending messages to your opponent that aren't correct, to trick them into making poor deployment choices.  It is a chance to game your opponent, and you ought to take advantage of it.

In Fantasy, deployment strategy is largely based around the type of army you are running, with some consideration to your opponent's army type.  For Part 1, I will discuss the most common type of deployment, the Strong Center.

forgive the crudity of these graphics

Armies that use the strong center will largely be composed of infantry, though Brettonians use it too, and are primarily trying to win the game through close combat.  If your army fits that description, this is the deployment you will commonly use.

The idea is you put your beater units right in the middle of the board, whether they be Sword Masters, Black Guard, Chaos Chosen, Black Orcs, Lead Bellies, and so on.  They will advance directly ahead, confident in their ability to meet any opposition head on.  The key to this is getting the opponent to fight you head on.  To do this you will need to channel his army inward, to the center.  You do this by deploying your shooty units directly adjacent to your beater units.  They will be too close to the beat units for anything to try to charge them without getting charged by your beater units.  So they will have free reign to shoot at their targets unmolested.  Putting them in this position also allows them to shoot to their flanks to protect your power units from skirmishers and cavalry hitting them on the flanks.

Your Scouts/Vanguard are also important.  As you can see, I assumed that your Vanguard fast cavalry would Vanguard move directly up the flanks.  These maneuvers will either split their army, weakening their middle- which is a good thing- or it will funnel them directly into the teeth of your army, which is a good thing too.

Not pictured above is a magic bunker.  Not all armies have one so I omitted it.  Generally it would be deployed directly behind your beater units, meaning someone would have to run them over to get to it.  If someone crushes your beater units, you probably lost already, anyway.

The key to this strategy, as you might guess, is having credible shooting threats and credible flankers.  If your Vanguard/Scout units are weak and not at all scary, your opponent can ignore them, or worse, easily kill them.  If your shooting is inconsequential, they can put more pressure on your flanks.  Not every army has the tools to have good shooting, in that case, put more emphasis on the flankers, or vice versa.

Now the other side of the coin, how do you defeat this deployment if you see your opponent utilizing it?  A strong flank is a good option, as it will allow you to crush his flankers and shooting easily on that side, and take on his beater units piece meal.  If this isn't possible due to your army composition, you should attempt to outflank him.  Crush his flankers and shooty units and try to get his beater units to either change directions or get slammed in the side.

Lastly, its important to consider if his beater units are a threat.  If you can tarpit them with Skaven slaves, or even defeat them with superior units of your own, by all means do that.  When your opponent doesn't realize that he isn't The Beatdown in this match up, punish him for it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Real Life: My House Was Raided By The Police

This story starts, as most stories these days do, with someone trolling a web forum.  That someone was me.  I post semi-inflammatory comments on my local newspaper website.  The other people who post there are generally far right wing wackos, religious nuts, and people who are far too emotionally invested in city government.   What happens is the editors publish semi-literate Letters-to-the-editor about hot button issues.  This draws out the initial wave of wackos.  Then I come in and post someone that I know will inflame the wackos to even greater right wing nutjob fervor.  Classic trolling.

Recently, there was in my Podunk county a Frog Leg Festival.  Yes, that’s right.  A festival where rednecks and swamp people gather to eat fried frog legs and listen to country music and ride carney rides and play carney games.  The newpaper website posted a story about it, and I commented on the story by saying something along the lines of, “a well placed explosive device at the frog leg festival would do everyone a favor.”  Clearly, this is satire.  I am not a terrorist, not do I plan on using bombs to kill rednecks.  Mission accomplished, the next handful of comments were people offended by my comment expressing shock and outrage.  Classic trolling.  My comment was deleted by the moderators and I assumed that was the end of the story.

Before I start the next phase of the story, it will only make sense if I take a brief aside.  In our local government, there is a political gadfly.  The gentleman is a conspiracy theorist anti-government nut job.  He attends every city council and county commission meeting and regular accuses the councilmen and women of being liars and thieves.  He makes all sorts of preposterous allegations.  Not surprisingly, he also posts the same insane ramblings on the newspaper website.  He is my favorite character as he is a completely paranoid delusional nut job.  Not only do I troll the website in general, I troll him in specific.  My screen name is a variation of his real name, this is a key detail.   Remember, before you think I’m a jerk for what follows, that this guy is a lunatic.  He is an awful person and deserves all the bad things in life.  Don’t believe me?  The guy evicted his own children from the house he owns that they rented from him. 

So back to the story.  Someone reported my “explosive device” comment as a terrorist threat to the sheriff.  Some simple moron actually thought it was a legitimate threat.   So the super sharp detectives got my IP from the newspaper and zeroed right in on me?  As I learned after the fact, the extent of their investigation was to see that my screen name was similar to this guy’s real name, and assumed that I was him.  What happens next is where the story goes to epic.  They pay a visit to this guy at 9pm Friday night to ask him some questions about the posting.  Since he is a paranoid, anti-government wacko, he told the detectives to “get lost, pigs.”  Smooth.

The police did not get lost.  They got a warrant.  And they came back to his house around midnight and bashed the door in.  It didn’t take long after that to get his cooperation, and it didn’t take long after that for them to realize that he wasn’t the poster of the “threat.”  I knew I was an expert internet troll, but my trolling is apparently so good that it crossed over into real life.  A combination of his innate insanity and my expert trolling resulted in his door getting blown off the hinges.  Sometimes I manage to impress myself.

So the detectives finally trace the IP and narrow it down to my employer.   The IT people quickly figure out who it is, and I get summoned for an interview with the detectives. The detectives asked me a bunch of questions about the post itself.  I tried to explain the joy I get of exciting the lunatics on there with my trolling.  They were serious people and didn’t see the humor in making people on the internet mad at you.  Maybe it’s a generational gap, I dunno.  I figured everyone knows the internet exists for the sole purpose of half the population using it to infuriating the other half, and then laughing about it.   Then they asked me about bomb making and if I was involved in any extremist political organizations.  Of course, I replied that I am not a bomb maker, nor am I affiliated with any revolutionary groups.
I figured that cleared it up, but the detectives apparently weren’t convinced.  They asked me if I would object to them searching my house.  I asked, “if I say yes, are you going to destroy stuff and trash the house?”  They replied that they wouldn’t so I said sure.

They put me in the back of their car, which luckily enough was an unmarked car and not a police car which would have been humiliating.  We get to my house.  They do a cursory look around and even say, “You have a nice house.”  Gee, thanks.  They did a brief search through my living room, kitchen and garage.  I honestly think If I had the chemicals to make a bomb in my garage they wouldn’t have found it.   They went through the drawers in my bedroom briefly.  They didn’t even find where I stash my pistol and my shotgun, though I did warn them ahead of time that I was a gun owners.

What they were interested in, however, was my books.  If you haven’t been to my house, I have several book cases full of books.  I think they were looking for instructions on how to make bombs or revolutionary propaganda.  They spent 5 minutes looking through my room, but 20 minutes going through my books.  Every now and then they would pull one out and ask me what it was about.  “Umm that one is a compilation of essays from a symposium on the collapse of ancient civilizations.”  Very controversial stuff there.   My copy of The People Speak by Howard Zinn got a weird comment out of them.  The detective pulled it out and said, “now I see where you get it from.”  I don’t even know what that means.  I didn’t know Howard Zinn’s books spark people into trolling websites, or maybe the cop was a fascist and doesn’t like Howard Zinn.  Luckily, they decided there was nothing of interest  to them there and gave up. 

I say luckily, because I remembered later that I own a copy of The Anarchist’s Cookbook that I bought when I was 15.  If you aren’t aware, that book is basically an instruction manual of how to over throw the government and make bombs and weapons out of house hold items and things that can be acquired at hardware stores.  I am rather glad that they didn’t notice it, because it may have complicated matters somewhat.  Or a lot.  Then again, I didn’t commit a crime, and owning that book isn’t illegal.

So all told, I have achieved epic troll status.  I got my enemy’s door bashed in by the police through my machinations on a website, and I came away with a fantastic story.  At no time was I really worried, since my “threat” was clearly satire and covered by free speech.  Actually, the only thing I was worried about was how my boss would take it, but she didn’t seem to care at all, and in fact thought the story was great.  Win again.  A cursory search of my book shelf is a small price to pay for the smiting of one’s enemies.

40k: Black Templars Marshal Painted Up and 'Ard Boyz List

Took a few pics of the new Marshal I painted over the weekend.  Kind of a ruish job, but I tried to make it stand out a bit.  It's a kit bash of a normal assault terminator and the plastic chaos lord kit.  I love the articulated lightning claw and I had to incorporate it.  Plus the cape in that kit is amazing.


Check out my storm shield

Articulated lightning claw owns

I love this cape.  How does every Space Wolf player not use this?
So onto the list...

I want a list with terminators, mech, and enough CC to at least hang in there against aggressive lists. 

EC with AAC
Marshal with Terminator Armor, Lightning Claw, Storm Shield
Terminator Command Squad with Tank Hunting Cyclones

Terminator Squad with Tank Hunting Cyclones
5x Terminator Assault Squad with Furious Charge
Ven Dread with Tank Hunter and TLLC and Missile Launcher

4x5 Crusader Squads with Missile Launcher, Plasma Gun, TLLC Razorback

3x MM/HF Speeder

3x Predator Destructors with Las sponsons

I really wanted to add a Castellan and move the terminator shooty squad to HQ, ditch the Assault Termie Squad and add 2 MM Dreads in Drop Pods.  Unfortunately, the points aren't there, even if I make the first Marshal a Castellan too, and give him crap equipment.  I could make it work by dropping a Speeder, but I really don't want to trade 5 assault terminators and a speeder for 2 dreadnoughts.  

I feel like the Troops, Heavy Support and Fast Attack are solid, but the elites and HQ are a mess right now.  The only things I'm married to in those zones is the Ven Dread and having 2 units of Cyclone termies somewhere, whether in HQ or Elites.  I need input.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Weekend Warrior

Hey all.  It was a pretty busy weekend for me.  Friday after work I was so worn out that I went to sleep at 7:30pm and woke up Saturday at 8:30am.  In my experience, 13 hours of sleep is a sign you really needed some sleep.  

Saturday, I dedicated to modeling, and painting while watching college basketball.  I built, magnetized and painted 5 Razorbacks I've had sitting in my closet since July.  I was happy to get these done finally, since any list I play in 'Ard Boyz this year will almost certainly have Razorbacks.  I also kit bashed together a Black Templar Marshall in terminator armor with Lightning Claw and Storm Shield, and painted that up.  Lastly, I painted and based 3 Dark Elf repeater crossbowmen standard bearers.  Damn Blood and Glory mission making me take standards on units that don't need them.  And of-course, I took pictures of none of this.  Not taking pictures is a theme of the weekend for me.

Saturday night we had a cold snap, and I didn't leave my house Sunday morning for my training ride until 10am because it was too cold to bike before the sun was higher in the sky.  This doesn't really matter much in my story, except I planned on leaving the house at 8am, which would allow me to do a long training ride and get to the FLGS in time for some Adepticon playtest games I scheduled.  With the late start, I was super rushed all day, and I only got in one game instead of the two I had planned.  I was going to do a nice battle report with pictures, but since I was so rushed I completely forgot to bring my camera, and secondly, I tabled my opponent on turn 4.  A turn 4 tabling is a good sign in play-testing, but poor material for a battle report.  I considered doing a text based report, but I doubt anyone is interested in reading a wall of text about how masterfully I played.

But I did watch some interesting 40k games while playing my Fantasy test games.  I watched a pretty well optimized 2,500 'ard Boyz Space Wolves mech list get crushed by a 30 TH/SS terminator Shrike list.  Granted, had Shrike not gotten the first turn it might have gone differently, but what I saw was a mech list with lots of las/plas razors and long fang missiles didn't have enough firepower to kill 30 TH/SS terminators.  They took out a lot of them over the coarse of the game, but there weren't enough turns in the game to kill them all, especially since they crossed the board fast enough to start doing damage and thus lowering the Wolves' firepower.

This taught me a couple things...

1.  It is generally agreed upon that 180 Orks is a list you should play test against, not because its particularly good, but because it is a good test of your list's ability to hand hordes.  If your list can't handle 180 Boyz, it probably won't handle good horde lists, so go back to the drawing board.  Along that vein, I think all 40k playtest gauntlets (for games over 2k) should include a SM list with 30 TH/SS terminators, because it will expose a glaring weakness in your built.  It takes 60 wounds of small arms fire to kill 10 TH/SS termies.  Can your list do that times three before they reach your lines?  Are you sure?  It definitely made me rethink my 'Ard Boyz list choices.

2.  My LGS has stepped it up competitively.  There is another LGS a couple towns away that has lots of players, but the owner hates GW games.  He only carries them because he has to from a financial perspective.  My local LGS is the opposite, he loves GW stuff.  The best player in our store actually lives closer to the other one, and has been slowly poaching their best players.  At the previous years' 'Ard Boyz 40k tournaments we have had around 16 players, about 5 of whom were a real competitive threat to me on the table top.  This year we are going to have around 25 players about half of whom are good enough (and play good enough lists) to beat me.  So my streak of finishing in the top 3 in the prelims for 3 years in a row has a good chance of ending.  I'll have to really step my game up to progress.

3.  I need play test partners who I can test with away from the LGS.  I said this before in my article about overcoming localism, but you can't think regionally or nationally if you're treating your LGS as a shark tank.  Unfortunately, to get to 'ard boyz semis, you have to beat the local guys first.  I really don't want to show my lists to everyone before the tournament.  Ideally, I'd have one or two other guys I can trust and we can test together privately where there won't a lot of people taking notes about my lists and metagaming against me.  Last year I avoided this alternating between 'Nilla Marines, BT, Daemons and Eldar in test games so no one could be sure which list I would bring.  But my time is precious and I'd rather not waste time playing armies just to throw people off the scent.  To sum up, I'd rather have two other guys who know my list inside and out from play test games than a dozen of people who know what I'm bringing and plan against it ahead of time.

So that was my weekend.  Busy and productive, but rushed.  I think I'll post my current BT 'ard Boyz list later on today when I get some free time at work.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

WHFB: Dark Elves Witch Cult 'Ard Boyz List

Hey all.  Just a little fun list for a Saturday when I don't usually post anything.  This isn't a list I will play, but its a radical departure from the norm, and there are people out there who love Witch Elves.  If you own 90 Witch Elves and 3 Cauldron of Bloods, God help you.

Units and their explanations as follows...

Supreme Sorceress
-Level 4
-Power Scroll

[Witch Elves lists are weak on magic by nature.  Hopefully this gives them the chance to first turn Purple Sun the warmachines that would otherwise eat this list for breakfast.  Also note, she can't join any units in this list.  You CAN, however, get 4+ Look Out Sir saves for nearby units backed up by the Pendant.  Don't expect her to survive for more than a couple of turns, so get the most out of her as early as possible.]

Crone Hellebron

[Hellebron makes Witch Elves core, so she is a must.  She is also one of the baddest close combat characters in the game.  Makes one opponent lose an attack, and then gets 6+d3 strength 10 attacks of her own.  With re-rolls to hit.  At initiative 8.  Anything that doesn't have Always Strikes First dies, period.  Pick which unit you put her in based on the opponent.  If he has 4 Hydras or Hell Pits, put her in the Flame Banner unit, otherwise put her in the Standard of Discipline unit.]

Death Hag
-Cauldron of Blood
-Battle Standard Banner

Death Hag
-Cauldron of Blood

Death Hag
-Cauldron of Blood

[These primarily give your Witch Elves ward saves and make them Stubborn with BSB rerolls using Hellbrons LD10.  If needed, they can give Killing Blow, but usually the extra attack is useless.  5+ ward will be your staple.]

30x Witch Elves
-Banner of Murder

30x Witch Elves
-Standard of Discipline

30x Witch Elves
-Banner of Eternal Flame

[Lot's of poisoned attacks.  No saves.  Cauldrons give good saves and Stubborn with re-rolls.  These do damages.]

4x War Hydra

[I don't need to explain why 4 War Hydras is a scary thing.]

=Total: 3,000


Friday, January 21, 2011

Theory: Total Tech

Over on 3++, AbusePuppy posted an excellent article about why bad units are bad, and how no amount of logical fallacies will change that.

This made me hearken back to my MtG days and the concept of "tech."  The definition of "tech" has changed over the years in Magic, but when it originated, it meant you took a known netdeck, and put one or two unique, situational cards in to catch your opponents off guard.  From a game theory standpoint, you were trading away overall power and optimization for the factor of surprise.  This often times worked quite well.  Andrew Pacifico won the original Junior World Championships with a fairly stock Tradewind Rider deck with the difference being that he played with single copy of Disrupt.  Without getting too technical, Disrupt is a counter spell that counters other counter spells if your opponent is out of mana, and allows you to draw a card.  So it costs you no resources to use, and allowed him to force through key spells against the counterspell heavy decks of the day.

However, the spell is highly situational, and the trick will only work once.  Because of that, its a bad card.  Even worse, if everyone starts using the trick and it becomes standardized in the netdeck, people will stop falling for it even the one time.  So as you can see, it's not that great overall.  But since Andrew was the only one doing it, and he never played his same opponents a second time, as you would expect in a tournament, his tournament report is littered with examples of close games that were completely swung in his direction due to the single Disrupt and went from close games to dominating wins.

So how does this apply to Warhammer 40k and Fantasy?

It pays to be high tech
I do not want people to say, "well my Swooping Hawks are total tech, so they are good."  They aren't.  They do not have the ability to swing a game with that surprise factor.  Most 40k tournaments are open list, meaning your opponent can see exactly what units you have before the game starts.  That limits the surprise factor.  Thus, any techy units you bring have to actually be pretty good.  So in 40k, since there is no surprise factor, you need units that are underutilized by still good.

A perfect example of a tech unit is Wolf Scouts.  When the codex launched, nobody was using them.  They were written off as crap.  Then someone thought, "you know, a decent close combat unit with a meltagun walking behind the opponent's backline for low points is pretty good."  And they used them to devastating effect.  Before long, there was a lot of debate about whether they should replace Land Speeders in the "projecting melta downfield" role.  I think we can all agree, however, that after the initial shock of undervalued unit swinging tournament games became a "known" aspect, the unit has lost power.  The unit was unknown, and undervalued, came out and was exceptionally powerful because opponents undervalued it, and now it has respect.  And it's achieved a balance in what people expect it to do and what it can do.

Another good example was right before Razorback spam became popular.  The internet, and most players stuck in a 4th Edition mindset, had written off razorbacks as complete shit.  So when the first guy rolled up to a tournament with a list containing 6 razorbacks, I'm certain the list was given no respect and only after the opponents were smacked around by it did they realize what happened.  It took the internet a glacially long time to catch up.  As recently as October 2010, I tried (in vain) to convince the Warseer drones that Black Templar squads with Razorbacks were an optimal unit choice.  The fact that they didn't get it at all shows that the metagame evolves very slowly, or doesn't exist at all in some places.

With those historical examples out of the way, how can a player move forward and identify potential techy stuff to add to his list for a tournament, and take people by surprise?  There are a few common factors that most techy units will possess...
1.  Powerful weapon with a cheap delivery mechanism.  Check and double check, and triple check your codex for ways to deliver melta, plasma, or heavy weapons.  Generally a techy unit has to be cheap, because it by definition has to be a quirk in a list, not a key aspect of the list.  A 100 point unit with a meltagun.  Or a vehicle that can take a heavy or special weapon for cheap.  

2.  Non-traditional deployment.  Generally, but not always (like the Razorback), techy units will Infiltrate, Deep Strike, or Outflank.  I'm sure a great many opponents looked at that first list with Wolf Scouts and thought, "crap unit" and moved right on.  And never really remembered that they Outflank and what the implications might be to their army.

3.  Come from an underutilized area of the FoC.  Most lists need their heavy support maxed out, and often elites, too.  Not every list is maxing out its Fast Attack or Troops.  So quite often, you will find tech units there, so you won't have to sacrifice your money units to make room for them.
This was tech before electricity.

Before I wrap this up, I'd like to mention how this applies to Fantasy.  Fantasy tournaments are closed list generally, and with the plurality of magic items and banners, you can spring all kinds of surprises.  Bound Spells are one of the best ways to use them.  I got owned in a Fantasy game because I wasn't away my opponent had the magic item with Vaul's Unmaking (destroys an opponent's magic item) bound in it.  He quite cleverly didn't utilize it on the first turn when he could have, so I had no warning it was there.  He waited for a time well into the game and used it to kill the defensive equipment on my wizard and then kill her in the shooting phase.  That item was total tech, and I could see that scenario repeating several times in a tournament.and turning the tide of games completely.  So give those magic items you'd never consider using as "over priced" a look through and try to find ones that could take people completely off guard.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Black Templar Thoughts: One Week Later

A week has passed.  The collective 40k blogosphere has had a chance to clean up after metaphorically (or not) finishing in their pants when the new FAQs propagated around the net.
My Marshal.  It's what Lysander wishes he could be, but alas he is in a garbage chapter.

When the news first broke, everyone was in a mad rush to post their Belial with command squad, and 4 units of TH/SS termies and a Cyclone.  Until cooler heads began to prevail and question the groupthink theory hammer.  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

100th Post Extravaganza! Mayhem! Carnage! Et Cetera!

When I started this blog, I didn't think I would get anyone to pay attention to it at all, nor did I think I would have enough to say about anything to fill 100 posts.  But here I am anyway.  Thanks to everyone who reads this stuff on a regular basis and thanks to the people who comment and make me think.  I'd like to especially thank the HoP crew for adding me to their blog roll when I didn't have any content and by thinking some of the stuff I wrote was good enough for Weekly Top X and featured on Friday user articles.  I can say that I owe just about every reader of mine to you guys.

But enough thanking.  I didn't want the 100th post to be meaningless, and I couldn't think of any awesome content to write about worthy of a 100th post.  So I decided to photograph my 2,200 point Dark Elf army that is ready to begin playtesting for Adepticon.  Without further adieu, the forces of Naggaroth assemble...

Group Shot of the whole force ready for battle.
A pair War Hydras!
Repeater Crossbowmen and Shades
More Crossbowmen and Dark Riders
The Officers: Battle Standard Bearer, Master, Supreme Sorceress.
First games of playtesting begin this weekend.  I should have a bat rep for you Monday morning.  Thanks again, to everyone who reads this.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Nutrition and Diet: Tournament Day

As I have mentioned before, I am a fitness nut.  I keep track of not only the quantity of the food I eat in calories, but also the quality.  By doing that, I can control my weight to the pound, as well as my percentage of body fat composition.  This is all well an good for me as a bike racer, but how does my fitness obsession eccentricity help you as a fellow Warhammer tournament player?

The Food Pyramid is pretty much bullshit, but at least it knows the stuff on top is bad news.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Black Templars 2,500 List: I Like Terminators

What follows is not optimized.  I know a dozen ways I could shave points in this list to buy more firepower.  And as 'Ard Boyz season approaches, I will.  This is basically a hybrid foot/mech list heavy on Terminators.  I like Terminators with Tank Hunters and heavy weapons.  I like Terminators with Thunderhammer/Storm Shields and Preferred Enemy.  This list has all of that.  Here goes...

The old Black is now 3++


Yeah baby!

No need to release a 5th Edition codex now, since this changes all the rules to bring them in line with 5th.  Let's go through the major changes, shall we?
1.  Black Templar bike squads have switched to the 1 special weapon per 3 bikers ratio as in 5th Edition Codices.  This is a nerf, ofcourse, but at least it makes sense.

2.  Templars that have gone to ground cannot Righteous Zeal.  Everyone I knew already played it that way.

3.  Storm Shield goes up in points but...

4.  ...Cyclone Missile Launcher is Heavy 2.  Tank Hunting HEAVY 2 Cyclones?  Guess who is the best shooting SM army now?

5.  Narthecium grants FNP.  Cool.

6.  ...Storm shield 3+ invulnerable.  Furious Charging Str 9 Hammernators!

7.  Updated Power of the Machine Spirit.

8.  Power of the Machine Spirit can't shoot the turn the tank pops smoke.  Speaking of...
9.  We now have the same crap smoke as normal marines.

Now I am excited to come up with some BT lists.  Get ready!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

WHFB 8th Edition Primer: List Building 101

Since lately I've been brainstorming lists for armies I don't actually play, I've been forced to think about what makes a list good or bad in Fantasy.  There is an often cited maxim that out of the phase, movement, magic, shooting, and combat, you have to be able to dominate two and have at least decent ability in the third.

While this was a truism in 7th Edition, I don't think this is true in 8th.  8th Edition has several changes that make battle-force and/or balanced lists pretty mediocre.  A list with some magic, some shooting, some fighty, and a mix of fast and slow units won't win against a good list.  What will happen is that your opponent will decide which of your pieces is a threat to his more streamlined gameplan, destroy that aspect, and then win the game without much difficulty.

In 8th Edition, doing one thing really well is better than doing a lot of things OK.  Step one of list building, decide how you're going to win, add the units to execute that format, and then tailor the rest of the list to support that goal.

If it's a fair fight, you already lost.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WHFB: Brettonian Thoughts in 8th Edition

So Brettonians.  They are considered near the bottom of the heap.  It's pretty much true, sadly enough.  They are an army without crazy magic phases, and without really strong shooting phases.  They do have strengths, though.  They are fast, and they can fight in hand to hand.  And unlike other elite armies, they don't care as much about ranked infantry unless we start talking about 100 strong stubborn Skaven slave units.

Monday, January 10, 2011

WHFB FAQs Updated, Analysis Incoming!

The main rulebook FAQ caught an update.  Grab it here.  My analysis later after I've had a chance to read it and live my life a bit.


Only a couple of really interesting changes to note...

WHFB: Orcs And Goblins Need a New Book?

A couple of months ago I questioned whether or not Orcs and Goblins sucked in 8th Edition.  My answer was a decided 'no' as I feel that they have game in several phases of the game and cheap heroes to take advantage of the move to a percentile army composition system.

Since that time, the rumor machine has churned out the idea that they will be the next book on the horizon for Fantasy.  This may be a bittersweet thing for OnG players.  Right now they have a competitive book that fails to make players happy because it isn't internally balanced.  So despite having a competitive book, they will get a new one.  The Dark Eldar also had an old book that was still competitive but not internally balanced, and it worked out in their favor.  OnG shouldn't rest happy based on that, because as the Beastman book proved, newer doesn't mean better.

Since this Orc and Goblin book is soon to be a relic, I thought I'd post what I believe a competitive list based on what I view their strengths to be.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tavern Talk: New Years Resolutions

The new year is here, time for all those promises you make to the 'hobby gods', friends and family about your hobby.  It is time to admit them to the blogosphere, to share with us all the resolutions you have made for Fantasy in the new year.  What are your plans for the up coming year?  What goals do you hope to achieve for 2011?  

I don't normally create New Years Resolutions, because from a psychological perspective they set you up for failure.  But I do have hopes and aspirations for the new year I'd like to share.

1.  Finish my armies.  I have a stack of unfinished projects.  My Dark Elves are two Hydras and 15 Dark Riders away from being done.  After I finish those, I will be able to build tournament ready lists at 2k, 2.5k, and 3k.  On the Space Marine side, I have 5 Razorbacks to finish before 'Ard Boyz this year, which will be feasible after I finish my Dark Elves.

2.  Attend two GT's this year.  I plan on playing in the Fantasy championships at Adepticon.  After that I'd like to attend a GT in the late summer, early fall time of the year.  Ideally Bolter Beach because it's in-state and I would have friends I could stay with for free.  But who knows, if I somehow become a much better player and get a Vegas invite I would be very interested in going to that one.

3.  Get to the semis in Fantasy and 40k.  I don't think making the Finals in both is realistic, but I could probably make it to the semis for both again.  I think it's feasible for me to make the finals in one of them, but unless they make the prize support worth a plane ride I won't be attending them.


1.  Get ahead on my CPE.  Continuing professional education is a joke.  The classes and tests are easy and pointless.  It's just a shake down.  But I hate waiting until the last minute to get mine done.  I'd like to finish it early and not have to stress at the last minute.
2.  Ramp up my racing.  I plan on attending the Swamp Classic this year in February, and my goal is to win the time trial.  When I raced it in 2009 I came in 2nd, and I'm much stronger now so winning is definitely possible.  I also plan on racing in the state road race championship in October, and there is no reason why I couldn't win it.  Someone has to win, and I'd put my fitness up against anyone in my category with confidence, so why not me?

That's it for me.  The key to keeping your resolutions is making them attainable and practical.  Hopefully mine are.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

WHFB: Wood Elves Thoughts

In one of my recent posts Adam asked what my ideas of Wood Elves were in 8th.  It got me thinking, since only one of my locals plays WE and he has probably only played a handful of games of 8th, so his force certainly isn't optimized.  All you read on the internet is how bad they are, but is it true?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Better Playtesting: Play Aids and Analysis

In this installment of Better Playtesting, I thought I'd go into a few minor things you can do to sharpen up your technical play.  Some of these are things I touched on in the previous articles, but explored a little more thoroughly.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

WHFB: 8th Edition Tricks

I've been re-reading the rule book lately and I find this to be very rewarding when it comes to improving your play and opening up new tactics.  I noticed as I read through each section, ideas were popping into my head on how to try new things to take advantage of rules that most people take for granted.  This is especially true in things that changed since 7th.  A lot of veteran players in my area are still playing 8th Edition incorrectly by using 7th Edition rules that no longer exist; not because they are intentionally trying to cheat, but that they simply haven't read the rule book enough.

So hopefully the articles in this series will be short, but contain actual useful information you can use to win games, as opposed to long theory articles that don't actually help you on a practical level.  So today's trick involves charging, and getting a unit to run off the table in one turn.

Much like the Russians did to Napoleon, once you have them retreating you have to keep them retreating.

Monday, January 3, 2011

WHFB Hobby: Dark Elf Motor Pool Completed

Coming to an 'Ard Boyz table near me this summer, my recently finished 8 Cold One Chariots.  I got a lot of modeling and painting done this holiday season.  Besides assembling and painting these chariots, I also got my 3rd and 4th Hydras assembled and primed.

I didn't put any great deal of time into these, mostly assembly line dry brushing.  I did some washes on the crew's armor and on the characters I did washing and highlights, but I painted all of these from start to finish in about 5 hours, 2 of which was spent on the characters.  I can't wait to get my Dark Riders assembled and painted and we will let the Adepticon play-testing begin.