Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Adepticon and the Future + Black Templar 2k List... for NOVA?

So, as you all know, this has been a pretty rough month for me.  I'll be traveling to Chicago this weekend, but not to attend Adepticon to play Fantasy as I planned, but for more somber circumstances.  I hope everyone going has a great weekend and has plenty of good luck.  My money is on Xaereth to win in 40k and Rhellion to crush face in the Fantasy championships.  Don't let me down!

I was thinking about the rest of the year and planning out my tournament attendance.  June and July are my big months for cycling in terms of racing.  Pretty much all my races will be packed into those two months until the State Championships in October.  So From August -October I'm free.  'Ard Boyz prelims is early August and Semis in mid-September, assuming I make the Semis, ofcourse.  So basically, late August is looking like the best time to attend a tournament, which is perfect for NOVA.  So right now, I'm seriously considering it.  I have a buddy who lives within walking distance of the tournament location, so that is ideal too.  I should know this week if that is happening.

I've been following Laeroth's blog and his development of a 2k Templar list for the NOVA, and I've come to some very similar conclusions as him regarding Templars at that points level.  So I made a list.  It has a bit less gunline firepower, but it trades that for increased forward movement ability and a bit more resiliency. and combat punch.  I feel like with every match having five objectives puts an enormous pressure on your to have a list that can project units downfield while also camping strongly in your side of the board.

So here is my first draft a NOVA list.

EC with AAC - 140
5x Terminators with Cyclones, Tank Hunters -255
4x Landspeeder Typhoons -280
4x5x Initiates w/ Meltagun in TLLC Razorback with Smoke and Extra Armor Searchlights -756
2x5 Initiates with Lascannon -190
3x Predator Destructors w/ LC sponsons and Searchlights -378

Total = 1,999

I kinda like it.  My initial thoughts is if the meltaguns suck, or it turns out I don't need to move those units into the midfield, I can direct swap them for missile launchers and turn it into more of a list that plans to be a gunline.  The Terminators are a lot of points, but I feel they are needed to keep doofuses from just running amok in my back lines.  Thoughts?  

Who knows, maybe by August I'll have a Grey Knights 2k list I'm more excited about.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tribute To My Dad

My dad, among all the other contributions he has made to my life, is the reason I'm into this hobby.  Primarily, he was into model railroading, and to this day he is the best terrain modeler I've ever seen.  I wish I had pictures of some of his stuff, it was mindblowing.  He also collected civil war miniatures, and he taught me when I was in elementary school how to pour molten pewter into molds and cast my own minis.  He taught me to paint them in high gloss oil paints. 

While I never really got into the historical stuff he was into, it was only natural that while pursing my Magic the Gathering career and spending endless days at the LGS that I would be drawn to the Warhammer hobby.  He encouraged me, bought me paints, modeling equipment, and basically taught me everything I know about the hobby side.  I don't claim to be a even a mediocre painter, but it was a proud day for me when my dad stopped giving me advice on how to improve my horrid paints and gave me the sincere compliment, "wow, that model looks great."

I even pulled him into the GW hobby a bit.  He never played a game, but he scratch built an amazing castle to 28mm scale, and bought a full Vampire Counts army to attack it, and a Wood Elf army to defend it.  For him, it's just a fantasy genre diorama piece but it still captured the GW feel.

My dad lost his long battle with cancer today.  I have a lot to thank my dad for, far beyond just this hobby, but this seemed like the appropriate place for this one, anyway.    I don't think he  knew just how much of a big influence he had on me, but hopefully the people who knew both of us can see some of the best parts of him in me.

Love ya, Pop.

40k Weekend Hobby Update: Grey Knights Venerable Dreads

Hey gang.  I was pretty busy this weekend but I took time out to watch a lot of the NCAA tournament, and for me, nothing makes me want to paint more than while I'm sitting watching sports so I get the 2 for 1 factor.  Anyway, I got the chassis painted and finished for my GK venerable dreads.  I'm still waiting on the AC arms from Forge World, but for the most part these bad boys are done.  My LGS says they will have their GK shipment in on the 29th, so after that it will be assembling 40ish Purifiers.

Yo! Check us out.
And a close up...

I'll beat ya with my nubs... for now.

Friday, March 25, 2011

WHFB: Orcs and Goblins 8th Edition List Idea Part 2

Happy Friday.  2 posts in one day, I must be going crazy.  How about a chariot spam OnG list?  Stelek did one, but for 2,500, but I think most people play 2k.  Let's see what we can do that spams chariots but doesn't simply scale his list down...

OK so here goes.

Savage Orc Shaman
-Dispell Scroll

[Yes, I said never take a SO Shaman.  Well in this case we will have a BSB and it should be OK for the free ward.  Don't expect the magic phase to be anything spectacular, we are looking at this as a defensive place holder.]

Savage Orc Big Boss
-Crown of Comman
-Gold Sigil Sword

[Pretty fighty, and does a lot for your list.  Stubborn Savage Orcs are hard to move.]

2x 26 Savage Orcs
-Musician and Standard
-Extra Hand Weapons

[There are no core chariots so we have to make the best of a bad situation.  These units can fight like hell.  They are ITP.  They have a ward save.  They are good places for our characters to sit.  Thus, they won't get in the way of our chariot plan, and they can kick butt too.]

9x Goblin Wolf Chariots
-Extra Crew

[That is a rather insane amount of Str 5 impact hits and Str 4 spear attacks for so few points.  And at M9, they are fast by chariot standards.  Strong stuff!]

3x Orc Boar Chariots
-Extra Crew

[More Str 5 impact hits in a tougher package, but add into the mix the 3 str 5 crew attacks and 2 str 5 boar attacks.  That's a ton of damage, and very hard to kill.  Most people do not have the shooting firepower to stop this many chariots.]

5x Spear Chukkas

1x Rock Lobba

1x Doom Diver 

[I would have liked more war machines, but what can you do at 2k?  It would have required cutting chariots and I'm not really willing to do that.  This isn't a scary amount of firepower, but you only really need them to shoot for two turns before the carnage starts.]

Total: 1,993

So it has some shooting, and an absolutely insane close combat ability.  Let's get nuts.  Have a good weekend!

WHFB: Orcs and Goblins 8th Edition List Idea

So you want to see my thoughts on an OnG list using the new book.  There are tons of good ideas for lists honestly, but this is the straight-forward and obvious approach.  It isn't very subtle but it has some tricks and it pretty nasty for a 2k list.  I shudder to think of what it would be scaled up to 'Ard Boyz level.

What it is: 

Night Goblin Great Shaman
Dispell Scroll

[Pretty standard OnG caster.  Why not an Orc?  Because as you'll see, we want Curse of Da Bad Moon.  Don't expect any miracles in magic, this primarily exists for anti-magic, but if you can get off Itchy Nuisance a couple times per game, it's a bonus]

Night Goblin Shaman

Night Goblin Shaman
-Power Scroll

[The Plan is to get Curse of Da Bad Moon on the scroll bearer.  You should roll his spells last obviously, and switch out any 6's before he rolls.  He will have a pretty high chance of getting it, like over 90%.  If he survives the miscast on turn 1, keep throwing 6 dice at it every turn until he dies or you win the game.  the other guy is there to make sure you get the spell and to cast Sneaky Stabbin' and suck dispel dice out of the pool before the Level 4 casts Itchy Nuisance.]

Savage Orc Warboss
-Sword of Swift Slaying

[He is your LD9 bubble guy, and good luck to anything that wants to kill him.  5 ASF Str 6 attacks.  Pretty brutal, and cheap.]

Black Orc Big Boss
-Banner of Eternal Flame

[Now you have army-wide LD9 with a re-roll.  Who cares about NG only being LD5 again?]

Savage Orc Big Boss
-Additional Hand Weapon

[Dirt Cheap, and quite killy.  As you'll see, he is a serious threat to your opponent and will attract a disproportionate amount of his firepower, or your opponent will pay for ignoring him.]

5x Spear Chukkas

[Duh. Winning.]

2x Rock Lobbers

[More winning.]

2x Doom Divers

[Bye bye Chaos Knights/Warriors and monsters]

25x Savage Orcs
-Additional Hand Weapons
-Big uns

[A tad expensive, and will draw fire.  So much so that that they will be in tatters most times before they hit the enemy.  But that's fine.  They won't be running due to ITP and your Warboss and BSB will still be alive when they hit the enemy, and hopefully enough of Big Uns to do damage to whatever they touch.]

2x 25x Night Goblins
-3x Fanatics

[God paying for those Fanatics sucks.  I was very tempted to cut down to one Fanatic each and run a 3rd unit, and that option is definitely worth considering still, but I think 3 Fanatics is just an absolute beating.]

10x Goblin Wolf Riders

[This is the delivery system for your Savage Orc on warboar.  They hit decently hard with spears and are cheapy cheap.  Put them on the flank and rush them up as fast as possible.  As you might notice there are a lot of "must kill" units in this army for your opponent to deal with and this is one of them.  My guess is most people won't have the fire power to kill them all in 2k lists.]

So in summary.  The list has insanely good shooting phases due to the 9 warmachines.  It will have at least one devastating magic phase, maybe two if you're lucky.  And it can throw down in close combat.  As much as I'm down on balanced lists for most armies, OnG are actually capable of pulling them off due to how cheap their characters and war machines are.  They can have a substantial magic-wing of the army and it's cheap enough that if it doesn't do a ton it's not game over.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thank God You Wanted To See Another Grey Knights Post...

...because that's what you're getting.  Luckily, I am the only person on the 40k blogosphere who is even talking about this release, much less making lists for them.  I feel bad that GW's newest codex is being so thoroughly ignored by the community.  And I'm also glad because I would never want to nauseate everyone with yet another list if every other site was pumping them out.


So in my previous GK post I basically made a list of things I wanted in my list.  I think I made a list that does that.  Here it is...

5x8x Purifiers w/ 5x Halberds, 1x Hammers, 2x Psycannons in Rhino w/ Dozer Blade
3x Psyfle Dreads
3x Venerable Pysfle Dreads

It's a straight-forward list.  My concerns are two-fold: that it doesn't have enough firepower.  10 psycannons and 12 TL-psy-autocannons seems like a lot on paper, but when I compare it to my current BT 'Ard Boyz list it definitely comes up lacking in terms of numbers.  My second concern is it doesn't have much resiliency.  With the heaviest armor being AV12 and only 40 MEQ bodies I feel like even with Fortitude it will be an easy army to suppress and destroy.

On the plus side, it is very, very balanced.  Its shooting is capable of taking out heavy mech, light mech, monstrous creatures, and infantry rather well.  Additionally, it packs significantly more close combat punch than most lists with similar levels of firepower.  

Other ideas I kicked around: dropping the 3 Ven dreads and adding a Librarian with Shrouding and 2x Stormravens withs psybolts and dakka weapons.  This idea was cute and added overall firepower, but made the army even easier to suppress, even with Shrouding.

I don't think it's a tricky list at all in terms of interactions between units, but it should be solid.  The one thing I like most about it is how it looks and feels like an actual cohesive army.  So many GK lists I see mix one assassin here, acolyte unit there, random inquisitor etc.  They seem like lists that 'fee' like a battleforce made up of bad units from difference codices, whereas this one feels at least like it's a real army.  Maybe it's just my imagination?  Either way, I can't wait until March 31 so I can start assembling and playing

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Today in Awful Warseer Tactics Part 14: AoBR Terminator Edition

Back again for another dip into the cesspool of insanity and bad advice known as Warseer.  Threads like today's subject make me cringe.  What we have a complete newbie to the hobby asking an honest question, "what is the point of the AoBR terminators?"  It's a good question, since they don't come with a heavy weapon.  All they have are a 40 point price tag, the firepower of 10 tactical marines, and Powerfists.  Clearly, out of the box they are fairly useless.  

The correct answer is, "buy the bits for a CML and have a compact 5 man squad that has some anti-tank capability."  Also acceptable, "buy TH/SS bits and turn them into Assault Terminators."  But as this is Warseer, I can predict the following: he will get the right answers early on in the thread, but it will be complete lost in the noise of bad advice.  Let's see if I'm right...

HRM: ... Almost finished up painting my AoBR Marines, and I've been pondering a few things about my potential force. Namely... The Terminator squad. What are they... for? I get that the Dreadnaught, with it's multimelta, is for anti-tank, but the Termies have powerfists, right? So they're good at anti-tank as well, it would seem. Yet they also have storm bolters, which would make them good at anti-infantry, too. They seem to be stuck in the middle, so to speak.

So pardon my noobishness, but what role are regular Terminators "supposed" to fill? Is there a consensus on this? I dunno if I even want to really include these guys at all once I have more troops bought, as I really don't like the models (dual-lightning claw Termies, now... ), but I'll use them for now - I'm just not sure HOW.

Thanks, all, in advance! 

Like I said above, buy them a heavy weapon bit and let them fill a firepower role or buy TH/SS bits and make them close combat power houses.  Done deal!
GremlinXLT:  The only time I ever use regular terminators is with Black Templar and that somehow pretains to his question how?. And thats just for the two cyclone missile launchers they can get with 5 guys. For vanilla marines the best terminator IMHO is the Thunder Hammer/Stormshield one.

Not terrible advice, he is steering him in the right direction using them as TH/SS termies.
bosky: Some people just can't resist the 2+ save. Others tend to Deep Strike a squad of Terminators in a suicidal anti-tank mission. 

...and here comes the bad advice.  Advising someone to deep strike 5 terminators with no heavy weapon on a suicide anti-tank mission (powerfists lol?) is fucking stupid.  If that is the best you got, don't bother posting.
HRM: You're not the first guy to recommend these Termies to me. Sadly, the models look HILARIOUSLY bad, so I'm never using them.

Oh man.  I had respect for you as a newbie who asked an honest question, now I see that you're destined to be a Warseer scrub forever.  I predict that within a year, you'll have switched to Eldar and embrace the Isrado Swooping Hawk philosophy.  Or switch to Chaos and become a total whiner.  "Yeah I don't use the best unit in my codex because it looks hilariously bad."  In fact, if you don't like the aesthetic of Thunderhammers, I'm not even sure 40k is the game for you.  Don't show this guy the Jokoero mini.
MrVampireChicken: wen i vs my friend he uses vanilla and i use blood angles his five termis absolutely owned my death company in 2 rounds

so they are a valuable resorse and i agree that the ones from aobr do look ugly so convert them 

Oh fucking christ.  Please tell me this is a troll and no one could intentionally type like that, AND give such awful advice.

Kelanen: Tactical Terminators are a jack of all trades, master of none, with good survivability. they are a flexible, versatile unit, that have a reasonable chance of doing just about anything.

This doesn't answer his question, what is he supposed to do with them.

Volandum: They are mobile fire support and counterassault for an infantry-heavy advance, and I find they work very well for this task.

Yeah those 10 Storm Bolter shots are setting the world on fire in terms of mobile fire support.  And they counterassault those Genesteals so well, right?

fluffymcfluff: I might be the only one on warseer who prefers the tactical termies. As said in previous posts, they need to fill a role, I use mine for a distraction/counter assault 90% of the time. 

You might also be the dumbest person on Warseer.  What the fuck is a "distraction unit?"  Do you think I'll see your lame as tactical terminators sitting there, and forget everything I know about target priority and go into some anti-terminator zombie mode?  I think you do, actually.  That just showcases the absolutely abysmal level most of you drones play the game at.
Blademeister: It depends on what the opponent is using. 

Fuck you.  You don't write your list based on what your opponent is bringing.  Typical 11 year old scrub mentality.  Except this person is probably an adult.
anewhope:  5 Assault Terminators (2TH/3LC) in a Land Raider with a Chaplain is good combination as the Chaplain enables you to re-roll failed hits and you can reroll failed wounds on the claws. Get the +1 attacks for charging and you're going to causing major damage to most units in the game. 

So he has to buy bits to make them CC, buy a Land Riaider (vanilla pattern since you didn't say Crusader) and waste his HQ slot on a Chaplain.  Well that is some downright terrible advice.  And people wonder why vanilla marine armies rarely win big tournaments.  Look at the list writing ability of most vanilla marine players.

And with that, I reach the end of my sanity.  What have we learned?  For starters, we learned that Warseer drones are incapable of answering a simple question in a clear and consistent manner.  Secondly, we learned that the original poster fits in perfectly with Warseer: he asks tactical/list writing advice, gets the right answer, and then consciously ignores it for fluff/modeling reasons.  He has a long and bright future ahead of him at Warseer, I think.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Listing My Wishlist of Grey Knight Wishes

I've been brainstorming GK lists ever since I committed to playing them, but I haven't thought of a list that has everything I want, and will also be competitive.  So this post is basically going to be a summary of the things I want my GK army to be (and things I don't want it to be) and hopefully putting it down here will help me make sense of it.  It wouldn't be too bad if some of the more knowledgeable readers gave me some constructive input, either.

Yeah, you're in.

1.  3x Psyfleman dreads.  These are a given for me.  Nothing else in the heavy support section can do what these can do combining firepower, range, and resiliency.  In my Grey Knights army list Excel spread sheet I have these typed in already, so they are essentially the foundation of my list.

2.  Pure GK.  The circus units don't interest me.  Buying Chimeras doesn't interest me.  Coteaz doesn't interest me, even if he unlocks arguably the most competitive build in the book.  I want the army to be Grey Knights in Rhino chassis, though I'm not opposed to using terminators/paladins if the list makes sense.

3.  Purifiers.  They are the bomb.  There are only a handful of units in the game that aren't absolutely terrified of them in close combat: TH/SS terminators, and Genestealers come to mind.  That's good company to be in, and they can actually shoot really well unlike those units.  

4.  Crowe?  Crowe is the most awkward unit in the book.  Unlocks the best unit in the book as troops, but is super tough to use since he can't join units and will likely have to footslog.  And when he does get to combat it's likely a suicide mission.  People are calling him a 150 point tax, and it might be true.  The HQ slot is even more valuable than the points.  Grand Masters are ridiculous.  Libbys are insanely useful.   My current thought is to take Crowe, run him right behind a Rhino so he is out of LOS and bring no other HQ, putting all my points into units.  But all the amazing tricks that GM and Libbys can do are hard to pass up on.  But GM and Libbys have issues of their own being in terminator army.  Unless you do a terminator/paladin unit deathstar to put them in they are just as awkward on the battlefield as Crowe.

5.  Rhinos or Razors.  Razorbacks add much needed long range firepower that GK lack.  However, the best aspect that GK bring to the table are their excellent special assault weapons which Rhinos use well.  However, a Rhino sitting on an objective in your back lines with 2 psycannons inside not firing due to range isn't utilizing your points very well.  Neither are spending lot's of points on a Strike squad with a psycannon just to huddle inside a razorback 48" away from the fighting.  That's a lot of points to spend per Razorback.  My gut instinct says take Rhinos, go to the midfield, and near the end of the games move units backwards as needed to hold objectives.  Thoughts?

6.  Venerable dreadnoughts.  Expensive for an AV12 vehicle, but they are tough to kill and come with melta (fills a void in the army list) or can be given TLLC/Missile Launcher (fills a void in the army list.)  So are they worth the cost?  Not sure.  I would imagine a pair of them sitting in cover shooting would be hard to silence and they add more valuable 48" shots.  


Monday, March 21, 2011

40k Hobby Super Secret Project

I haven't mentioned it yet on here, but I am starting Grey Knights.  My Templars are finished essentially, as I have the painted models to make literally any build in the codex.  I love Templars, but frankly, I'm tired of the 4th Edition book.  Even post FAQ, I am just bored of making it work.  I still plan on playing Templars at any tournaments I go to for the rest of the year since I know the book inside out, but I'll be working on Grey Knights in the meantime and hopefully the competitive builds will be fleshed out by the time I have working force.

So why GK and not something else?  Tyranids have interested me for a long time, but starting a 2k-2.5k Nid force would be like $500 if I did it cheaply.  But luckily I own all the Rhinos and Razorbacks and Dreadnoughts I could ever want.  So all I need to actually buy are GK infantry.  So starting them is cheap.  The other reason is, the models are kick ass looking and relatively easy and fun to paint.

Remember a few weeks back when I showed the forgeworld auto-cannon arms?  When I (like everyone else) realized how awesome psyfleman dreads are I caught all the inspiration I needed.  Without further adieu,  here are my assembled and painted GK psyflemen.

Pretty simple forumla I'll use for the rest of the army when I get it going.  Dry brush boltgun metal, badab black wash, boltgun metal first highlight, mithral silver second highlight and skull white final highlight.  I think they came out pretty good, I'm stoked for my GK's to come in and to brainstorm list ideas.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Real Life: I Raced

Pretty hard ride. I came in 4th out a couple hundred so I am beyond happy with that result.  Have a great weekend!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

WHFB Orcs and Goblins Review: Part 6

Let's close this bad boy out with a look at the Specials and Rares.  This is usually where most armies get their mojo from, and OnG are no different.  The key is avoiding the overpriced, underpowered options that can easily lure you in.

Let's start with the one that will suck everyone in first...

Black Orcs:  Black Orcs are cool.  They are cool looking models, and have cool rules.  4+ armor save with shields, can use ADH, HWS, or GW.  Very cool.  They also get immune to psychology.  Very cool.  Now the uncool part: everything that kills normal Orcs still kills them, despite the armor.  And they cost 50% more than a Savage Orc, but the SO is just as killy.  Honestly, it isn't that they are too expensive for what they do, it's just that Savage Orc Big Uns do the same job way better for way cheaper, and come out of your core, not the much prized Specials slot.

Boar Boys: If for some reason you don't give Big Uns to your Savage Orcs, here is the unit to give it to.  This unit is insanely powerful on the charge, and thanks to M7 they will get it.  Give them shields, spears and make them Big Uns.  In a unit of 10.  With standard and musician, they clock in at a respectable 260 points and can take a magical standard of up to 50 points.  Remember how I said to put your Orc Warboss on a War Boar?  This is why.  This unit is a beast.  10 Str 6 attacks on the charge, 10 more str 5 from the pigs, 3+ armor save so they are survivable.  Give them the Razor Standard and they will filet nearly any unit in the game.  This is the elite hammer Black Orcs can never be.  What could top these?

Savage Boar Boys:  Yep these.  Try 15 strength 6 attacks on the charge backed up by 10 strength 5.  Only a 4+ armor save, but they get a 6+ ward.  And they are immune to psychology.  Yes, these are expensive and not for every list.  But they are strong stuff.

Boar Chariot:  Another nuts choice.  Check out Stelek's chariot spam list.  For 90 points you get... D6+1 Str 5 impact hits.  3 Strength 5 crew attacks.  And 2 Strength 5 boar attacks.  They only have a 4+ save but you can take enough of them to saturate the field, especially when you put cheap hero level dudes on them.

Goblin Wolf Chariot: Dirt Cheap.  Insanely powerful.  The amount of them you can bring in a list is staggering, as is the amount of impact hits they can deliver.  For a mere 150 points they deliver 3d6+3 Strength 5 impact hits.  That along is often enough to crush nearly anything.  And that's before the goblins and wolves swing.   They aren't super survivable, but you can take so many of them it's ridiculous.

Goblin Spear Chukka: Holy crap.  You can take up to 6 of them per army for 35 points each.  That's the easiest 210 points to spend ever.  I'd probably stick to 5 and clock in at 175.  These is where laying down the firepower stars.

Squig Hopper:  And here is the crap after a few good units.  These do nothing you'd want for a price you wouldn't want to pay.  The one benefit is they are skirmishers who are ITP meaning your opponent HAS to kill them to the last squig and he will likely have to do it in close combat.  But with all the gems in Special, pass on this.

Squiq Herder: Just say no to Squigs.

Snotlings: These are supposed to be a tarpit unit, but they really aren't capable of it.  They aren't Stubborn so they will just die.

Trolls: Man the models are so cool.  But the rules let them down.  LD4 and Stupidity.  Sigh.  If you don't have an Inspiring Presence bubble to baby sit them they just sit there waiting to be put out of their misery by every flaming unit ever.  Pass.


Onto the Rares.  The Spear Chukkas in the Specials are the base of your fire power, but this is where it get's nasty.
Goblin Rock Lobber: 170 points for two of these.  Automatic in every OnG army.  Don't argue, just accept it.  Stone throwers are nuts against the big blocks you will see, and since you can't count on magic to kill blocks like other armies, this is how you do it.  Most big blocks don't want to get hit by two of these a turn.  Tough luck.  I would pay for the Orc Bully with these to ensure the firepower keeps going.  Bring 4 at the 'Ard Boyz level.

Doom Diver Catapult: Another easy 160 points to spend in every army.  This is how you smash MSU elite armies.  You only need 3 at the 'ard Boyz level, but it's quite lovely watching Chaos Knights evaporate to these.

Snotling Pump Wagon:  Cheap and cute, but out of place.  The lack of reliability is the biggest problem, and generally you're better off with the above two machines of death.

Araknorak Spider:  The centerpiece model of the army.  Super tough and super killy.  Unfortunately, it's warmachine and magic bait.  You can only afford one at 2k points, and it's sure to die unless your opponent ignores it (!) and taking it means you are leaving warmachines at home.  Sorry, the warmachines play, this doesn't.  Save it for your spider themed fluff list.  That said, with one as a Shaman mount and one from Rare, you can have two and two could be tough, even for a cannon army to deal with before the pain train starts.  Still, my recommendation is that they are outshined by the more humble choices.

Squiqs, Trolls, and Giants: No, no, and no.  Unless you want to run some themed troll list with max trolls there is no need to bring them ever, and Warriors of Chaos does it better.

Well, it's been fun doing this review.  Next week I'll post some list ideas and put the OnG to bed.

Friday, March 18, 2011

WHFB Orcs and Goblins Review: Part 5

Yo yo!  Happy Friday gang.  Moving right along to the Core choices.  The Orcs and Goblins are blessed with some excellent and cost effective Core choices that allow you to build a nice variety of armies.  Let's check them out.

Before I start, I will mention Big 'Uns.  One of your Orc core choices per army may be upgraded to Big Uns which are the 40k equivilant of Nobs.  The upgrade makes them base strength 4, 5 with Choppas.  This is huge.  Every army, even a goblin based army, should have at least one Orc unit just to take advantage of this upgrade.

Orc Boys:  You standard Orc Boy is 6 points and not too shabby compared to a human.  Base toughness 4 is great in Fantasy.  Strength 4 in the first round of combat is strong stuff.  Unfortunately, they don't do anything spectacular, and there are better choices available in the book.

Arrer Boys: Arrer Boys cost 1 more point than a normal Orc Boy and come with bows.  They also get the Choppa rule, so in combat without upgrades, they are just as good as normal Boys.  The drawbacks is they can't take shields, spears, or magic standards.  Essentially, they trade shields for bows.  BS3 means that they won't hit very often, but they are a slightly better choice than a normal Boy in my opinion.

Savage Orcs:  These are the kings of the Orc core choices.  They cost 8 points each, but they have the following advantages over normal Boys: frenzy (+1 attack and ITP), 6+ ward save, can carry Big Stabbas.  Huge.  Leave the Big Stabba at home, since M4 means charges will be fairly rare, but purchase the following upgrades...

1.  Musician, Standard.
2.  Additional Hand Weapon
3.  Big Uns

This is a monster of a unit.  Base 3 attacks.  Strength 5 in the first round of combat.  Immune to psychology.  A unit of 30 set up this way costs 296.  Deploy it smack dab in the middle of the field and push it forward.  It won't run due to shooting thanks to ITP and with your BSB and general nearby (or in the unit) it won't fail the Frenzy test too often.  Name the 296 point Core choice that one on one can beat this unit.  Not many exist.  Khorne Mauraders maybe.  Lothren Sea Guard maybe.  That's good company to be in.  Also, this is one hell of a unit to hold a Folding Fortress.

Goblins:  Your basic goblin.  They key selling point are Nasty Skulkers.  Base 3 attacks with Killing Blow.  However, they are still I2, so they strike slower than even basic human troops.  Even with 3 Nasty Stalkers you only have a 33% chance of getting a single killing blow to go through per turn.  This just isn't very effective.

Goblin Wolf Riders:  Fast cavalry with M9.  Can take bows, spears, and shield.  You'd want to give them spears for str4 on the charge, but they are a very expensive unit with low leadership.  Ideally you want fast cavalry that can cause failed charges by breaking and reforming, but these guys are too low of leadership to do that.  The role for these guys is warmachine harassers since they can march 18" turn one.  Still, not a great unit.

Goblin Spider Riders:  I love the rule of being able to treat walls as open terrain, but it just doesn't happen often enough to matter.  The spiders' poisoned attacks are irrelevant.  If you need fast cavalry, take wolf riders.  Too expensive and too situational.

Night Goblins:  These guys are full of win.  3 points each, and faster initiative than normal goblins.  Lower leadership, but that's what characters are for.  The Fanatic upgrades are as good as always, but netters is extremely expensive.  I would buy these in units of 25 with spears and a single fanatic and challenge people to deal with them.  Most people at a tournament will assume 3 Fanatics, so you get the deterrent factor of 3, at the cost of 1.  However, if you're going to run a Goblin-star, buy 3 Fanatics for maximum damage.   After your unit of Savage Orc Big Uns, fill out the rest of your core with these guys for 120 each with standard and musician.

In summary, the core choices are varied pretty well.  There is a good mix of effective and fluffy units.  The ability to run an all spider goblin army is cool and fun, if not very effective.  The big winners for competitive players are Savage Orc Big Uns with additional hand weapons, and Night Goblins with spears.  I know everyone was hoping that the generic Orc Boy would get a reason to exist in this book, but unfortunately, the Savage Orcs got all the love.  Luckily, the Savage Orc models are insanely nice so have at it!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

WHFB Orcs and Goblins Review: Part 4

Good day all.  This review may take a long time at the current pace, but it should pick up now that we're moving onto units.  So let's talk Lords and Heroes today.  Special characters will get discussed last after everything else is done.

So Lord level Warbosses.

Orc Warboss:  This is the cheapest option for a warboss, but he does the least.  He doesn't grant any sexy leadership buffs like a Black Orc Warboss, nor is he a combat monster like a Savage Orc Warboss.  This is the choice when you want the cheapest LD9 Inspiring Presence you can get.  He can be tooled up to be pretty nasty, but honestly, if you want a combat monster get a Savage Orc. 

Savage Orc Warboss:  He trades light armor for a 6+ ward save.  He also gets an extra attack due to Frenzy, which also gives him ITP.  He benefits from "choppas" so he has base 5 strength 6 attacks to boot.  This base makes him a combat monster.  My advice: mount him on a warboar (for another str 5 attack) and give him an additional hand weapon for a total of 7 strength 6 attacks.  Nasty!

Black Orc Warboss:  The big boy, points-wise.  ITP and Quell Animosity make him the best leadership character in the army.  You don't want to give him magical weapons, because the Armed to the Teef rule is pretty useful and you don't want to negate it.  If you take this character, and I don't recommend it, give him defensive equipment like a 4+ ward save, and smash people with his strength 8 great weapon. 

Goblin Warboss:  Low points for a fighty lord.  There are two uses: Goblin-star, and Folding Fortress.  Goblin Star is a goblin unit where the first row (or two) are made up entirely of cheap fighty Lords and heroes.  It's a bitch to kill that unit since attacks have to be allocated individually, and they can hit back pretty strongly.  Folding Fortress for 165 points in a warmachine based army?  Hell yes.

Night Goblin Warboss: Trades lower leadership for faster initiative.  After you have your normal goblin warboss, you fill out the spots next to him in the front rank with these guys, each with some cheap magic weapon.  Also a reasonable Folding Fortress vehicle if you have another character for Leadership.

Orc Great Shaman and Savage Orc Shaman: Never, ever, under any circumstances take the Savage Orc Shaman.  A 6+ ward is not worth potentially failing your frenzy check and charging when you don't want to with a L4.  Both mount options are fairly stupid, keep him on foot and give him anti-magic items like Dispel Scrolls, etc.

Goblin and Night Goblin Great Shamans:  No Araknorak mounts, please.  These are no high leadership models, you do not want the L4 goblin shaman and araknorak to run off the table because you someone broke.  Night Goblin Shaman gets Magic Mushrooms and actually costs less.  Focus Rumination for less points?  I'll take it.  

Orc Big Bosses:  The vanilla is boring and doesn't do much.  The Savage Orc is better to be put on chariots with additional hand weapon and taken in multiples. 6 Str 5 attacks, plus the impact hits, plus the str 5 boar attacks, plus crew attacks.  Yep, that's good.  The Black Orc Big Boss is your BSB.  His superior defensive equipment and leadership qualities make him the ideal BSB for your army.  Throw him in a unit of Savage Orcs with Crown of Command and crack heads.

Goblin and Night Goblin Big Bosses: Goblin-stars.  5 of these in the front row of a goblin unit makes that unit a real annoyance to kill.  I'd suggest giving them additional hand weapons to pour out a huge volume of str 4 attacks for the points.

Orc and Savage Orc Shamans:  Again, don't take the Savage Orc Shaman.  You don't want frenzy on a caster.  Keep these cheap, and if you give them magic items, make them things that screw over enemy casters.

Goblin and Night Goblin Shamans:  Always take the Night Goblin.  Magic Mushrooms + Sneaky Stealing is how you win in the magic phase.  No magic items, these are disposable.

Summary:  I love fighty Savage Orc characters.  They just do so much freaking damage.  Though a defensively equipped Black Orc with great weapon isn't much worse.  Goblin characters are cheap and decent and enable you to run a pretty cool list which I'll discuss when I get to lists at the end of this series.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WHFB Orcs and Goblins Review: Part 3

OK, now that we have covered Gobbo spells, we can move onto their bigger brothers.  Bigger doesn't always mean better, so it's worth taking a look at these spells in depth.

Spells of the Big Waagh!

Lore Attribute: Power of the Waagh!  If there are more friendly units in combat than there are friendly units fleeing, any spell with a strength or strength bonus is increased by 1.
Fairly situational, but when it works it's nice.  Chances are you won't see a bonus from it before turn 2 or 3 so you can't make any plans with it in mind.

0 Gaze of Mork 7+.  Draw a 4d6 straight line from the shaman anything hit takes a strength 4 hit, can be buffed to 8d6.

At first, this sounds pretty decent.  Hey it's a snipe spell that can hurt BSB or wizards, and it's a signature spell.  The drawback is it's very short range, and only strength 4.  Chances are you'll only get to cast it once per game, and there is a 50% (or more) chance it will do nothing. 

1 Brain Bursta 6+.  18" Str 5 snipe spell.  Can be buffed to 36" on a 9+.  

Much, much better.  Since the spell counts as having the Sniper special rule, you can target musicians and unit champs.  Plinking away a musician per turn is not an inconsiderable power, when you remember how strong musicians are in 8th.

2 Fist of Gork 8+.  Remains in Play.  The shamans gets +3 strength and +3 attacks and a 6+ ward.

Use it as a defensive measure.  Most people's solutions to wizards is to kill them in CC, and this effectively dissuades that option.  It's not really a smart idea to charge into a combat and plan to have the buff there, since it can be dispelled prior to the combat being fought, but it may keep you from being charged.

3 Hand of Gork 9+.  You can pick up an unegaged unit and place them anywhere up to 3d6 inches away with any facing you want.  Can be buffed to make it 5d6.

Repositioning your units midgame can be game breaking.  I won't go into all the possible uses of this spell, as your imagination is the limit.  Suffice it to say, that everytime you cast this successfully your opponent should have big reason to complain.  One of the best spells in the book.

4 'Eadbutt 9+.  Direct damage spell with 4d6 range that does strength 4 hit with multiple wounds (d3).  But only to a wizard.  Can be buffed to 8d6 on a 12+.

This is powerful.  But really short ranged.  This is a great way to take out hero level casters, but you will likely only get one shot at it.  Decidedly "eh."

5 'Ere We Go 11+  All Orc units within 2d6 get to re-roll To Hit in close combat until next turn.

Whoa, now that is nasty.  The only drawback, and I stress only, is that it doesn't affect goblins or trolls etc.  You have to run Orc-heavy, but that shouldn't be a huge deal.  If you can time this right to hit multiple units on the turn you charge with them all, it can be game breaking.

6  Foot of Gork 15+.  Direct Damage foot template 36" placement.  Scatters d6 inches.  All models take a str 6 hit with d4 multiple wounds.  Can be buffed to 18+ which means on a 4+ you can resolve the spell again (and again, and again potentially.)  On a 2-3 the spell stops.  On a 1, it hits one of your own units.

This isn't quite Dweller's Below level ultimate spell.  The buffed version is very tempting, but there is a pretty decent chance it won't do anything extra, and at worst can hurt you.  So basically it is a strong template attack on a 15+.  Whoop de doo.  This army has plenty of warmachines for that.  Throw your power dice at Ere We Go and Hand of Gork. 

Summary:  Two real winners.  Hand and Ere.  These are the power spells of the lore, as they are the ones that have a chance to be utter game breakers.  Consider anything else you get to do as a bonus.

Some general words on OnG magic strategy.  I touched on it yesterday and I want to emphasize the best strategy I see as being casting lot's of little spells on 1 dice +1 mushroom dice.  If they go off, great!  If your opponent dispells them, great!  After you drew out some dispell dice, cast Ere We Go and win.  The worst case scenario is your opponent knows this gameplan and saves his dispell dice for Ere We Go.  That's fine, because your little gobbo spells aren't bad, and frankly, magic is an afterthought in this army and you should be happy even if your only successful spell is Sneaky Stabbin'.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

WHFB Orcs and Goblins Review: Part 2

OK, so in Part 1, we tackled army special rules and magic items.  The items were greatly underwhelming, the special rules were cool.  So now let's do a look at the Lores of Magic for the little green skins.

First a word on OnG magic.  There is no Teclis here.  No Supreme Sorceress with Power of Darkness.  No Dual Slann insanity.  Orc or Goblin Shamans will never dominate the magic phase, and thus, you shouldn't base any of your plans around magic.  Consider any offensive spells your successfully cast as an unplanned bonus in your gameplan.

Little Waagh Magic

Lore Attribute: Sneaky Stealing.  Whenever you gobbo successfully casts a spell, on a 5+ you steal a dispel dice from your opponent and add it to your power pool.  

This is pretty cool.  It creates an obvious strategy of casting your Little Waagh spells first to draw out dispel dice one way or the other, and then drop the bigger spells later in the phase.   To make this work, you need a L4 Orc shaman and lots of low level goblin shamans, which is thankfully not too hard to do.

0 Sneaky Stabbing 6+.  Grants armor piercing to all a unit's attacks.  If that unit is fighting in the flanks it re-rolls all to hit and to wounds.

This has good synergy with Magic Mushrooms.  Throw 1 dice at it, getting a freebie with the shrooms and you have an easy way to use Sneaky Stealing and get a respectable buff to your units.   It's pretty good, especially in an army with Spider Riders, who are suited to getting flank charges off.

1 Vindictive Glare 5+.  24" magic missile that does 2d6 str 3 hits. Can be buffed to 3d6.

Yawner.  OnG don't need magic missiles, they have warmachines.

2 Gift of the Spider God 8+.  Short range augment spell that gives a unit Poisoned Attacks.

Somewhat high casting cost, but the ability to give shooty goblins poisoned attacks is strong.  Especially if they already have armor piercing, too.

3  Itchy Nuisance 8+.  Hex that debuffs an enemy unit's Movement and Initiative by a d6.

Wow.  Now this is a strong spell.  This is how you kill deathstars.  Every turn their movement is -d6 is another turn of war machines pounding the crap out of them.  When you do get to combat, they will likely be I1, which means your Orcs will actually strike before them.  This is golden.

4 Gork'll fix it 8+.  Hex that makes target unit re-roll all 6's when rolling to hit, to wound and armor saves.

This isn't bad, but it's not great.  It's best used defensively against a shooting unit like a big Skink or Gnoblar (or Goblin!) horde to mitigate their shooting, since they will usually need 6's to hit anyway.  Even works well against DE crossbowmen who typically need 5+ to hit.

5 Night Shroud 9+.  The shaman's unit gets softcover against shooting, and anyone charging them has to make dangerous terrain tests.  Can be buffed to 15+ to affect every unit within 12".

The dangerous terrain part is the cool part.  This is your anti-horde defense, as if an army based around warmachines needed more.  40 Marauders charge you?  Well, odds are that 6-7 of them will go poof before they get to swing.  Not shabby, but not exactly Final Transmutation, either.

6 Curse of da Bad Moon 15+.    Makes a small template that moves 4d6 inches.  Any model passed over by the template must make a random characteristic test or die.  Can be buffed to 25+ for a big template and allows the shaman pick the characteristic to test on.

Green Sun of Xerus?  This is definitely powerful.  Powerful enough to consider taking a Power Scroll on a level 2 shaman who picks spells after the L4 rolls.  This is potentially more devastating than Purple Sun, in that it can hurt Elves and WoC, which the Purple Sun doesn't scare too badly.  Seriously though, as powerful as this can be potentially, you'd be foolish to make a game plan based around getting it off.  Too much bad stuff can potentially happen, and it requires a substantial investment in a Lord level goblin shaman which is a mistake.

Summary.  Well the Lore has some interesting stuff.  The strength of the Lore is spamming easy to cast small spells to drain the opponent's dispel pool.  Itchy Nuisance and Sneaky Stabbing are the two all-stars in the Lore.  The ultimate spell is a game changer, but unreliable.  Stick to using Sneaky Stabbing to do some Sneaky Stealing, and you're on the right track.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Super Shameless Plug: Buy My Eldar

Hey guys.  I've been trying to sell my Eldar for a long time, since I don't play them ever and I'd love to see them go to someone who would get use out of them.

Here is the link to my eBay auction.  Please pass it on to anyone you know looking for an Eldar army.

Please don't player hate on my painting or modeling skills, I am well aware that I suck.  

I promise if these sell I will use the funds to buy new stuff for new armies and have new adventures for you.

edit: SOLD!  Thank you guys!