Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How 6th Affected My Armies Part III

"The Wretched Alien Mind Cannot Be Measured By Any Human Standard."

Today we're going to talk about Fast Attack. (Yes, I'm dancing around the Troops section ;p)

This shouldn't take long as there were only three choices from the Fast Attack section that I've ever used. Baal Predators, Land Speeders and Vanguard Veterans. 

Quickly though, I do want to mention the bikes. I think, with the exception of the Attack Bike, people are overrating their toughness being 5 all the time. It doesn't really change much for 1 wound models. Yeah, it's a bit better for BA as they can get 'Feel No Pain' against Lascannons and Missile Launchers now. But that's about it. I still wouldn't really consider using any of them outside of the attack bikes, which are looking kinda good now. Though I am considering mounting some HQ's on bikes for that nice toughness bonus. :)

Okay, so I'll start with the Vanguard Veterans.

I never really used these guys very much as they get pretty pricey pretty quick. That said they do seem to have gained a few bonuses with the advent of 6th. Obviously, they gained the Hammer of Wrath attacks (though not on the turn you deepstrike) but in my experience so far it's not that great. Now don't get me wrong, any bonus is nice, but standard HoW attacks just don't seem to do much. I think where these guys really made some gains is in the fact that they are one of a very small group of units which can assault the turn they arrive from reserves. Now granted that's only if they deepstrike, but still... I still think that if you kit them out with too much they become just too points prohibitive to include in an army, but I'm now toying with the idea of a dedicated parking lot/monstrous creature hunter squad. 5 guys with jump packs, 4 with melta bombs and upgrade the sergeants power weapon to a fist. 195 points and can either multi-assault a few vehicles at once with the melta bombs or go gung ho against something like a tervigon. I wouldn't send them in against a MC with tons of attacks but if they only have a small amount of swings or if already sufficiently weakened it might be worth it. 

Anyway, I think if you found them valuable in 5th then they should be equally viable in 6th if not slightly more so. Still not really a great choice though.

I think Land Speeders gained and lost some things in 6th. I think the Melta/Flamer is just a waste of points now that vehicles are WS0 or WS1 in combat. Combine this with only 2 hull points and getting these guys close just guarantees their doom. However, the Typhoon, which is what I have, seem to have gained some. Being able to fire both the Heavy Bolter and fire Krak Missiles whilst moving 12" is very nice. No longer do we need to choose between the two. Also gaining the 5+ jink save against shooting is a nice little bonus. Every skimmer now has Flickerfields! ;) Well, maybe not, but pretty close. The fact that these guys can hang out in back will often see them ignored for bigger threats. And if your opponent chooses to focus on them instead of the bigger threats, well, good. Of course it should go without saying that you should avoid bolter range like the plague with these guys!

Last up we'll look at the Baal Predator. 

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Like other vehicles they gained and lost with the inclusion of Hull Points. Overall I think there is a bit of a gain. Sure, vehicles will probably tend to be more likely to be destroyed throughout the course of a game, but they will remain more effective until they do. Baal's having AV13 in the front will help with this. Especially if we see a shift in the meta away from melta to plasma guns. I'm already seeing some of this in my local area but YMMV. Like other Fast vehicles they gained in the pure firepower department when moving and the fact that Weapon Destroyed results are now random helps a lot. If you buy the sponsons you only have a 33.3% chance of losing the Assault Cannon/Flamestorm cannon. Not too shabby. They lost the ability to pop smoke in the scout move, but that was really kind of gimmicky anyway. 

Overall I think the Fast Attack section may have seen a slight uptick, but it was always the least useful section of the Force org for us. I think that still holds true. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Terrain Placement in 6th

"The Tools of Our Salvation are Faith and Bullets."

Just a quick break from the 'How 6th affected my armies' series here for a look at an alternative method for placing terrain in 6th edition that some of us in my local area have been using recently.

So there are two terrain placement methods listed in the BRB that you can use. The first is the Narrative Terrain where you and your opponent set up the terrain to a mutually agreeable manner to create a fantastic-looking and evocative battlefield.

The other method listed is the Alternating Terrain method where each 2'x2' section of the board gets d3 pieces of terrain players then alternate placing terrain until they decide to stop or the density limits are reached.

What I have found in the games that I've played thus far is that in the Narrative method we just ended up setting up a board in much the same manner as we did for 5th edition games (which in most cases we were using the NOVA Opens terrain layout.) This layout did not really seem to work as well for 6th edition with the changes to line of sight, cover saves, focus fire and what-not. In the games where we used the Alternating method we ended up with a greater amount and mix of terrain which was good, but because we already knew who was deploying where and what the mission would be, we often ended up with some very strange looking boards where players were trying to stack their deployment zones to some advantage. It just really created some pretty (in my opinion) terrible boards. Further since Fortifications are supposed to be set up before laying out the terrain we would end up in situations where one person would take a fortification and then the first piece of terrain their opponent would put on the table would be a nice piece of line of sight blocking terrain right in front of their quad-gun rendering it useless for much of the battle. Not only is this smart, but it's totally legal by the rules. It can cause for a bit of butt-hurt feelings for the person who spent 100+points on a fortification just to have it terrain blocked.

Well recently a guy named Reese and I got in a game and we decided to try something a bit different. We determined the mission and deployment types as normal. Then, without yet knowing who had what deployment zone/table half, we rolled for the terrain density of each section and set up the terrain accordingly. After all terrain was placed we then rolled for first turn and the winner picked his deployment zone. At this point if he had a fortification he then replaced one piece of terrain in his deployment zone with the fortification.

What we found is that when the players didn't know beforehand where they would be deploying they wouldn't be able to 'stack' their table half in their favor. This created a much more balanced battlefield. The funny thing is that it actually created a far more aesthetically pleasing board as well, and no one risks getting butt-hurt over having their fortification rendered useless by terrain placement. It was really a win-win in all ways.

If you've been using the alternating terrain placement method I would highly recommend giving this method a shot. I've used it in several games now and I really, really like it.

till next time....

Sunday, August 12, 2012

How 6th Affected My Armies Part II

"The Emperor Ask Only That You Hate."

So this time I'm going to start talking about the Elites section.

First up is, probably, the most important choice in the elites section, the Sanguinary Priest.

Pictured here in Terminator Armor

So there have been some significant changes to the priests, or rather to the abilities they bring to the table. First off is the Change to Feel no Pain. It used to provide a 4+ chance to ignore a wound so long as it wasn't caused by ap1-2 weapons or attacks that doubled the models toughness value. Now it provides a 5+ chance to negate any wound that doesn't cause instant death. This has both its ups and downs. First off it's nice to now get FNP vs. power weapons and things like plasma guns and such, but only being a 5+ means against all the things that it worked against before it's now far less reliable. I'm not much of a math guy so I can't give you the mathematical breakdown of which is better/worse, but my experience on the tables is that Feel no Pain is simply not as reliable as it used to be.
The next major change to these guys was the change to furious charge. It now only provides a +1 bonus to your strength and no longer gives +1 initiative. This is a HUGE nerf in my opinion. One of the main reasons Blood Angels were better in assault than most other MEQ's was simply that they dealt damage first. Wounding on 3's was nice but what really mattered was doing damage first so that the amount of damage coming back at you was reduced. Now that we strike simultaneously with other marines and after many of the xenos assault units we lose a bit of survivability. Couple this with the change to FNP and I really begin to question if priests are worth the points at all. I used to spend 180-270pts on them. I'm thinking now of leaving them on the shelf and just taking another squad or so of troops.

We're going to skip Chaplains as we basically covered them already when we talked about Reclusiarch's last time.

Sanguinary Guard saw a bit of a boost with the change of power weapons becoming mostly ap3. This means they aren't as afraid of some of the other cc units out there. Of course anything ap2 is still death to them. Even with feel no pain you will still lose the model 2/3's of the time. At 40pts I still think they are a bit over-costed for what they bring. They are beautiful models though and I do still run them from time to time for that reason alone. There is also a bit of a question concerning their Glaive Encarmines. First I'm still a bit miffed that these are the only two handed weapon int the game (that I'm aware of) that don't grant some sort of strength bonus. That aside, the question is in how to treat them. Does being master crafted and two handed make them unique enough to qualify as 'unusual power weapons' and thus ap3 and strike at users initiative and strength or do we treat them as the type of weapon that's on the model. As you can see in the picture I have two with swords and two with axes. I have thus far been treating them as the type of weapons modeled so the axes are +1 strength ap2 and unwieldy while the swords are only ap3. I actually like having them strike at the different initiative steps and such, but I would be willing to play it either way if my opponent had strong objections to that.

Assault Terminators saw the same bonus as Sanguinary Guard in that they no longer need really fear normal power weapons anymore with their 2+ armor save and the chance at making a feel no pain against them. They however are just as bad if not worse against torrent of fire then they ever were. Overall though I think they got a bit stronger, but they still fall a bit short of their Space Marine counterparts just because the BA ones need to pay extra for their Storm Shields and Thunderhammers. I still won't probably use them a whole lot as they are a slow unit in an otherwise pretty fast army. They just never seemed to synergize well with the rest of the army and that really hasn't changed.

Though I never really used them much I am going to briefly mention the Furioso and Furioso Librarian Dreadnoughts. I really think that as far as it goes close combat dreads took a bit of a hit overall (regardless of army) due to the 'our weapons are useless' rule and melta-bombs gaining ap1. But if you want a cc dread then these aren't bad at all. Armor 13 can make all the difference against krak grenades and is still tough for power fists to get through. They also don't need fear overwatch as much as av12 dreads. Overall though I'd say avoid these guys. If you want dreads take shooty ones as support units.

Sternguard Veterans are another unit that I didn't use much. I do have a squad of 10, but I haven't yet painted them up so no picture. These guys saw a nice boost with the improvement to rapid fire weapons. I always had trouble fitting these guys into lists as they competed with some other very nice units but since 6th (in my opinion) is a much more shooting focused game they may see some more play time in favor of some of the more combat oriented units.

To round out the section I'll briefly mention the last tow choices in the elites slot.

Techmarines. Never took 'em before don't really see a good reason to now. Maybe if they were independent characters, but since they can't join units and share a ride they just seem pretty terrible to me.

Shooty Terminators. These guys seem to have gained all the benefits of Assault Terminators and Sanguinary Guard. Being that I think this edition leans even more heavily to shooting than any edition before I think I may have to invest in a squad of them. Plus a Librarian with Prescience with Divination could really make this unit scary good.

Well I think that's gonna do it for this installment. What do you guys think? Have you used any of these units so far in 6th and if so what has your experience been like. What do you think of the changes to Feel No Pain and Furious Charge? Personally I think those two changes have dealt a major blow to the Blood Angels codex in general. I'm interested in what other BA players think.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How 6th has affected my armies. Part I Knights of Blood

"Brave are they who know everything yet fear nothing."

So I am now 19 games into 6th edition and I figure it's about time I post up some thoughts about how the changes from 5th to 6th edition have affected my armies. First up is the Knights of Blood. I'll talk about the Eldar in another post.

The army I took to Adepticon

I'm going to break this down based on units I actually use (which is most of the codex.) We'll start out with the HQ's and work our way from there.

Up first will be the generic units.

Librarians have seen some of the most dramatic changes, perhaps of all the units in the game, with the inclusion of the new psychic powers from the main rule book and the change to Psychic hoods. Blood Angel Librarians were already very good support units as they were with powers like shield and unleash rage allowing them to provide boosts to the units around them. They can fill this role even better now with the option to trade in for powers from the Divination table. Prescience is a great all around power that can help out in both the shooting and assault phase. From there most of the other powers can add some useful abilities, though I feel that Precognition and Scrier's Gaze don't add much to the army. If you want to beef up your Librarian a bit you can try your luck on the Biomancy table. The primaris power sucks though so you'd best hope you get what your looking for! I haven't really looked too much at the other tables though I do have some experience with Hallucination from Telepathy and that power is pretty fantastic, unfortunately it's only useful if you've upgraded him to be an epistolary.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the nerf to Psychic hoods. Being able to use it to deny the witch for nearby freindly models is nice, but it's not nearly as nice as the ability to shut down any powers cast within 24". 'Nuff said.

All in all I think these guys remain the go-to HQ choice for most lists that aren't running a special character (and maybe some that are.)

Reclusiarchs (and we'll cover Chaplains here as well) have remained relatively the same as they were before. The only major change is that their Crozius Arcanum is now considered to be a Power Maul. That means they now strike with +2 to their strength, which is nice, but only at AP4 which kinda sucks against MEQ and really sucks against terminators and such. Xenos now need to really fear these guys though. The re-roll buffs and fearless they give their units are still quite nice though.

I didn't really use these guys a whole lot except with the Death Company and I don't see that changing much, but they might be the HQ of choice should I decide to ally up with my Eldar since Runes of Warding will hurt my Librarians as they are only Allies of Convenience.

Alright that's about that for the generice HQ choices so lets take a look at the special characters, shall we?

Commander Dante, the living legend himself has really not seen much of a change here. There is a bit of a question about whether the Axe Mortalis is a power axe since that's what it's modeled as or as an unusual power weapon since it has extra rules beyond being a power weapon.  In the games I've used him I have treated it as an Axe since that just makes the most sense to me. It has it's pro's and con's but overall I think I like the Axe profile a bit better due to the +1 strength bonus. Missing out on initiative 6 is a bummer, but I think the greater ability to deal damage offsets that nicely now that he cannot be singled out in combat (excluding challenges of course.)

Mephiston took a bit of a nerf in that his force weapon is now only AP3 and he took the same hit to his Psychic hood as normal Librarians. The flip side of this is that he can now, if you want, take powers from the divination table and use them to help boost the rest of the army while still being a beast in close combat, but you do have to give up wings to do so. Alternately you could gamble on biomancy and see if you can't make him an even bigger badass in cc. I would usually not do either though as you have to trade in three powers and only get two back. It's nice to have the option though.

Astorath the Grim really didn't change at all. He still unlocks the Death Company, which are getting all sorts of press, but we'll cover that in a bit.  His Axe, despite clearly looking like an axe, is definitely an unusual power weapon and thus swings based on his initiative and is ap3. Not too shabby I guess. At least it's not a power maul ;)

The Sanguinor is still a squad killer, but unlike before you now need to avoid 2+ armor save squads since his power sword in now only ap3. I haven't used him yet in 6th but I may have to give it a go as he can soak up any overwatch shots a squad has and then buff any other units that come to play! He's also going to be a beast to kill in challenges, but is going to need to avoid certain match-ups because of the ap3 thing.

Okay so that about covers it for the HQ units I actually have and use. Librarians saw the biggest changes whilst most of the others just saw their weapons change a bit. This is starting to run a bit long and I want to try to get a bit of painting done tonight so I'm going to leave it at that. We'll take a look at more selections next time.

Till then....

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A bit of a retraction. It's not all Doom and Gloom.

"Against the Alien and the Traitor there is no fair way to fight"

So as you may have noticed I had a bit of a blow up the other day. I had had a pretty rough game that night. It was in fact one of several bad that I've had since the beginning of 6th. I was feeling very frustrated and just needed to rant and let off some steam, and quite frankly, my fiancee just doesn't want to hear it.

I may have gone too far in saying (with pictures) that 6th is shit. It's not. There are aspects of it that I don't like. In fact I really can't stand certain aspects of it. The flip side though is that there are things that I really do like.  For instance I like the inclusion of allies. I like many of the movement changes (except the transport rules, those suck IMHO.) I like snap fire and overwatch. I like Flyers and flying monstrous creatures (though we really do need some more of them and some more skyfire, but that will come with time.)

Really though I guess it's just different and I'm having trouble adapting to the changes. I had another game tonight. This time I brought out my Eldar with a small contingent of Grey Knight allies. I faced off against Imperial Guard. I had a very fun time this game. I had to call it early as I had a meeting scheduled, but the point is that I can have fun in this edition. If I can have fun in one game then I can have fun in more. Its just going to take some time to adjust.

I'm sure in a short time I'll be in the full swing of things and will look back at my last post and laugh at what an idiot I was. Or at least I hope so!

Till next time....

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My opinion of 6th edition after 11 games.

So after 11 games I've come to the conclusion that


Now I know that's a pretty harsh comparison so early on in the editions lifespan, but I'm fairly comfortable making it. I will admit that there are aspects of the game I do like. Some of them I would go so far as to say I really like them. However, the aspects of the game I don't like seem to far outweigh the ones that I do. After 11 games I  can honestly say that I got red in the face mad and wanted to rage-quit the game after 7 of them. How is that fun? 

After tonight's game I did rage-quit. Will it stick? I don't know. Probably not. The problem is that I have made friends playing this game and I don't want to risk not hanging out with them anymore. I also still really love the 40k background, both in the rule books and the Black Library books. So do I continue to play a game I think is terrible to hang with friends, hoping against hope that my opinion of the game changes? That's what I'll probably do, but the prospect of ever liking this edition seems pretty bleak right now. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

6th Edition: Initial Thoughts Two Games In

So I posted these thoughts up on The 11th Company forums and then thought to myself, "I should make that a blog post!' So I will.

First up my list of initial gripes.

Mysterious Forests, Rivers (terrain in general), and Mysterious Objectives suck. I want the game to be against my opponent and not against the table itself!

It sucks they kept Kill points (even though they called it something different)

First Blood is waaayyyy too easy to achieve.

Lack of Skyfire for non-Imperials is depressing.

Not being able to assault out of reserves is stupid.

Not being able to assault out of a vehicle at all is stupid.

Random Charge Length sucks (not as bad as I feared, but still...)

Wound allocation is unwieldy and slow. Old version was too so this is kind of a wash, but I was hoping for an improvement not just some weird change.

That's about it for the initial Gripes. Now on to the stuff I like.

Hammer of Wrath

Toughness boost from bikes being permanent for Instant Death and other things.

Allies. I feared this at first, but after reading the actual rules and the FAQ's that help to tone it down I really like it. It should help to shake up the meta and will hopefully see the end of the netlist as their will now be sooo many options available to players.

Snapshot is Great.

So is overwatch.

Real Fliers will bring a whole new dimension to the game (gonna one out for the first time tonight!)

Improved Rapid Fire is long overdue!

Flying Monstrous Creatures are downright scary!

Focus Fire is cool.

And I'm adding one just for the Blog. Movement by model instead of by unit is great. I love that you can now move your bolter guys around and still fire your heavy weapon if he didn't actually move!

Well those are some of my initial thoughs. My two games so far have been fun and I really do like the new edition overall. It still feels like 40k but it feels fresh and exciting again in a way it hasn't for quite awhile. Only time will really tell, but those are some of my early observations.