Thursday, April 28, 2011

What an Adeptus Mechanicus Codex should look like

So there has been buzz recently over Ad Mech. Subtle buzz, and community only buzz, but buzz none the less. I think at this point, especially after the books Mechanicum and Titanicus, it is only a matter of time before GW does an Ad Mech Army. The fluff for them isn't nearly as vague anymore and they are becoming much more well defined and are surprisingly more militant than one would think.

Overall Concept-
I think this would be a very diverse army with alot of choices and the ability to go small and elite or large and guard like depending on how you play it. I think it will need to be very synergetic though and have a lot of force restrictions based on HQ choices (certain units can only be taken under others, some are made scoring, some are made troops, some 0-1 restrictions are lifted, etc. etc.)

So HQ Units first-
Well one choice would be "Techpriest" and you would then have to choose which rank to purchase him at, like a librarian or a Guard Officer. The ranks would be Arch Magos, Magos and Logis. These choices are really just stat line changes and such, not much influence on force org. What would influence the force org would then be what order you choose them from. Now the codex would not include every order, as some are not going to be common on a battlefield. The ones to choose from I think should be as follows
-Explorator- Would come with orbital strikes and some deep striking capability for the army
-Biologis- Would give something like Red Thrist, but rather everyone would gain the USR Preferred Enemy against whoever you are facing on a successful roll
-Technicus- Would some how buff vehicles
-Cybernetica- Would unlock certain units
-Executor- These guys represent Titan Legion and Knight Orders, but in this context they will help with Knights and certain Skiratti

Next Choice would be a Skiratti Commander. This guy would really be a combat beast, and would allow Preatorians (an elite choice) to be troops.

There would be 2 Possible Retinues. One would just be a generic "Science Team" of some sort and would be like a command squad. Would consist of the following options: Skiratti Bodyguard, Servitors, Lexmechanics, Transmechanics,  Iron Priests, Genetors, Artisans, and a Famulous

The second retinue would be for a Cybernetica tech priest only and would be an elite Cybernetica Maniple.

So first choice would be the Preatorians. This would be the elite unit that no Ad Mech army would want to go without at least one of. Essentially their terminators. As said above, a Skiratti Commander should make them troops, or maybe just scoring. Squad size would be like 3-9 or something.

Next would be a 0-1 Selection of a Legio Cybernetica Maniple. These guys would be AWESOME. A Cybernetica Magos would lift the 0-1 ban obviously. Squad would consist of a Techpriest and 1-4 Robots. Robots would be of the following variants
Not sure what each variant would do yet, but it would be cool.

Next Choice would be the electro priests that show up through out black library books. Probably a unit of 3-5 CC monsters with their electrical powers. Some sort of exploding electrical discharge when they die would be in order. Hi I, A, and WS in order. Power weapons. Expensive.

Then would be a Cydonian Sister, or more commonly known as an Admech Assassin. She would have fleet, to represent her hover feet, and would be another CC monster. Character killing would be her mission. Maybe only allowed if you take an Archmagos.

Last Elite unit would be an Auxilia Myrmidon. This would be lead by a Magos Militant, and consist of Secutors and Myrmidons, depending on the points you want to spend. These guys would just be elite combat techpriests essentially.

Though I actually don't think they should look like the above from more recent descriptions, the first obvious troop choice would be Skiratti Hyspasist Squads. I think what they will need to be is a much more barbaric (almost SW like) but techno force still. Genebulked, armoured up, cyborgs. Squads would be 9 Troopers and 1 Tribune/Magnus. What I think there should be is 3 basic variants when you buy them, and one special one
Start with this statline- WS3 BS3 S3 T3 W1 A1 I4 LD9 Sv4+
1- CQB Variant- +1WS +1S, 2 CCW
2- Ranged Variant- +1 BS, Unlocks More special weapons. Only one to take heavy weaps
3- All Pupose Variant- +1WS, +1BS
4- Legio Elite- If you take an Magos Executor, you would gain access to Titan Legion Skiratti. They would be one of the above variants and gain the Tank Hunters USR.
Lasguns and shotguns as standard choices. Laspistols and CCW as stand on CQB. Upgrades for bolt weapons. Auto Grenade Launchers, Meltas, Plasmas and Needle guns as ranged spec weapons. Autocannons, HB, plasma cannon, lascannon, multi-melta heavy weapons. Have a 3+ armour save upgrade.

Next would be an Enginseer and Servitor Cohort. 1-3 Enginseers, up to 5 servitors per seer. Gun servitors, technical servitors and combat servitor choices. This standard affair for Enginseers.

Last troop choice would be Heavy Servitors. Basically think of Ogryn Servitors. Just big guys with power fists, thunder hammers, and big guns. The catch would be they are non scoring and have some sort of detrimental USR. Slow and purposeful is ideal. Not fast in combat, just hard sluggers.

Didn't give this much thought. Chimera and LR? IDK. I think this would be more of an afterthought to fit what is developed as the rest of the army.

This section of the army would probably be the weakest and the least used, but is there for players to utilize as they like.
Light Cataphract Squadron- Some sort of light, fast armoured vehicle. Maybe a skimmer? Landspeeder-ish.
Centurions- Think of them as jetbike preatorians. Similar to Necron Destroyers really. Require a Skiratti Commander as HQ, as they would be rare and only employed with a significant Skiratti force.
Mameluks- Essentially a Hyspasist bike squad. Or maybe mechanical steeds to give more of a nod to their name sake and add a cavalry unit to the game.

First up would be Sagitarri Squads. Essentially Heavy Weapon Hyspasists. They would have the ranged variant stat line and unlimited heavy/special weapon choices.

Next would be Cataphracts. These are the armoured components of Skiratti legions. Squadrons of three tanks like IG tanks. Would have access to LR executioner, punisher and vanquisher. Then have Admech tanks, like above. I think that is called a nexus. Not sure though.

Then their would be a Cataphract Walker Squadron. Ad Mech Killa Kans essentially would be good. Something heavier than a Sentinel, but less than a Dreadnought to justify and Squadron of 3.

Then there would be a Balisteria  Battery. This is the Ad Mech artillery. Some sort of exotic big guns is in order IMO.

Lastly, and only unlockable by a Magos Executor would be the Knights.
 These guys are BA. If you have not yet read Mechanicum, do so. The above seems a little big though, maybe something more along the lines of the following.

APOC Units
A new army require new Apoc units, and this is the perfect one to introduce Ordinatus pieces to the game. Don't you agree?

Well there you go. That is all my brainstorming. I think it would be a sweet army to play and I hope I made it diverse/unique enough for you to think so too.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Random Thought Feel No Pain - Discordian

So after checking out all of the units in the new grey knights codex something popped out, the assassin has a modified 6+ Feel No Pain save. Could this really mean GW has decided to change their policy about giving everyone a 50% chance to avoid bad stuff?

Frankly with the current trend I found this shocking. Its been awhile since I played a game where their wasn't at least one unit in my opponents army ruining all my attempts of small arms fire. The problem I see is that even if they change up what FNP saves are per unit, like with the assassins, its not going to change the older books that wont be updated forever. So......I was wondering how the USR itself could be changed in the next edition to force people to play smarter and not assume their best units have this get out of jail free cards.

Thats when I might have had a break though.....

Before thinking about this and inflaming my hate of FNP and its mass proliferation in 40k I had finished playing a game of fantasy. And one of my favorite mechanics of that game is the modifying of armor saves due to strengths of weapons. Thats when I wondered what if thats how FNP worked. For every point above the toughness of the unit the save goes from a 4+ to worse. I thought about how it would effect common FNP spamming units I felt it was actually a novel idea to change the USR.

It wouldn't hit units like Plague Marines and Plague bearers hard because most of the stuff tougher then them is already bypassing their FNP because of the other basic rules of it, but it would curb all the cheaper stuff the can spam the rule. Dark Eldar and Guard for example will take FNP on a 5+ generally because the game is more centric around str 4, a 6+ on str 5, and on str 6 where is gets bypassed anyways they wouldn't get one.

What do you guys think? Any chance this is me coming up with a totally dumb idea?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gothmog's thoughts on Proxy and Counts As

So I know it has been going around the webzones and interblogs for sometime now, but I thought I would chip in my 2 cents on the whole “Counts As” debate. I am a middle grounder and in my own humble opinion, I believe I have the ideal answer to counts as armies and proxies.
First off let me say proxies have only FIVE instances for their use, and then only for fun games.
1- You left the model at home. I once left a single terminator at home. The squad is 5 terminators. If you aren’t going to let me use a suitable replacement for the game, you are a poor sportsmen.
2- The actual model broke and you haven’t managed to fix it yet. This should only be temporary. Same reasons and number one apply though. They can’t legitimately use the unit, but they have it, so be cool.
You know that kid that annoys you that seems to break everything
3- The model is unfinished. EXACT same as above, just a slightly different circumstance
4- You are play testing a new character/unit/army before buying it. Everyone should be able to experiment with a codex without having to invest $$$. It costs enough as it is, some people can’t afford to toss away $50 just because they are curious on whether something fits their play style or not.
5- You are learning the game. Same as playtesting really.

So there are the five, but some are so close it is really like 2 and a half, but what evs.

Now that you know WHEN you can proxy, I will tell you what proxying is. It is using an equivalent sized model to fill in for another model, whether wysiwyg or not. Base and height are the most important factors. Bulk to some extent as well. It does not have to fit your paint scheme, your army, anything.

Remember, a suitable model
See, Suitable
NOTE I said model. DO NOT use a Dr. Pepper bottle as a Mr. Carnifex.  That isn’t proxying. Okay, so it is, but it is very poor and unsporting. So no!
My sentiments exactly
Proxying is NOT so you can show up today and play SW, tomorrow and use CSM, the next day use BA. Just because they are all in power armour, it does not give you the right to use every codex under the sun. You do that, you are unsporting and I will not play you. It tells me you are just tailoring your list to beat me, are a power player, and probably aren’t a fair sportsman in other aspects of the game.

Now for Counts As. This is not the same as proxying. To me counts as is very much a part of the hobby and it is truly the definition that matters.

What counts as is building an army where the fluff and appearance do not match the established fluff and appearance of the codex they are to use. As a rule of thumb as well, a counts as army should be unable to be used as anything other than 2 codices, and in most cases only 1.

Now what I mean by this is you choose a theme to establish. In this case I am going to go with Night Lords CSM. As we know, you can’t really represent a Night Lord Army utilizing the CSM codex. So I am going to counts as Blood Angels. What I then do is proceed to meticulously model my unit to conform to the rule of the Blood Angel codex whilst maintaining the appearance of the Night Lords legion. When I am done, this army should ONLY be playable as Blood Angels. Now, since it is Night Lords, I most likely will be able to use the CSM codex as well, but I should have units to represent the units from the CSM book. I should not run my Assault Squad “Raptors” as Chosen on foot. I should have models to fit that. My Terminators are not Obliterators. Etc. Etc. That is proxying. I should not also be able to switch to another Power Armour based codex. I picked Blood Angels for the list, and CSM for the theme. Those are my limitations.
Now if I make something like Adeptus Mechanicus and decide to use the SW codex, I should only ever use the SW codex for this army, as it was built with that in mind and has no actual game equivalent.

The thing you must do as the Counts As player though is making sure you are making the choices that fit your fluff. DON’T ABUSE YOUR NEW CODEX. If you decide to play Ultramarines 8th company and you want to use the BA codex, that is fine. What is not fine is then proceeding to take furioso/librarian dreads, sanguinary guard, storm ravens, and Baal Preds. The Ultramarines do not have these, so you should not be choosing them, no matter how much you like them. If you like them, make your own BA army, or invent a new Blue SM chapter that if second founding of the BA. No Ultramarines markings. This does not mean to not be creative though. Note, I didn’t take out Death Company. They could be a great representation of Tyrannic War Veterans IMO. Convert and paint them properly and it is really convincing. You can even use the fancy Ultramarine chaplain model and the “Character” name in your army, though based on BA chaplain rules.

You basically need to think of Count As as an army of conversions rather than someone abusing the system.

If you are still on the fence, let me put this forward to you. My Genswick Guard that I am doing. They are not guard models. They are really converted Brettonian models, and I will be using some ork stuff as well. Would you complain about them? This is technically a counts as army. However they will clearly be Guard, despite that I am using non-IG models, and I will make it absolutely clear what everything is and answer every question you have.

There is also something called the “Rule of Cool.” If some one took the time to make a themed army and modeled everything and really thought it out, don’t be the person to discourage such fine hobby work by not playing with them. What they did is cool, so be cool about it and let them play.

SO to recap, showing up with a force you can use the same models for X different armies depending on how you feel isn’t count as. That is just large scale proxying and is wrong. Actually taking the time to think about a list and how to make a themed army to fit the constraints of a codex but match your desires in appearance and fluff is Counts As. The first is wrong. The second is good. Be creative. DC Tyrannic War vets, Sanguinary Guard Raptor Chosen, Deamon Prince Dreadnought etc. etc. Convert, be cool, and be a fair sportsmen. Remember, your army is just one army, not many.

For everyone not Counts As, remember the rules for proxying. Enforce them, and you may see a culture change in the game that will make everyone happy.
Multiple Proxy Disorder.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mordrak and Friends - Discordian

I have played a few games using Mordrak and have had mixed results. For the most part he does work to scare people away from spreading out their forces, nothing scares flanking units like a bunch of ghosts popping out of some random boulder. But you need to really think ahead on what you want his unit to accomplish during a game if you want to play him otherwise he will spend all day chasing units like a dog chases passing cars.

So far they are all I have finished painting

But the real advantage I see in him is reactionary deployment. As someone who has played Eldrad many of times setting up first and then being able to move even one unit after your opponent has deployed is incredibly useful. And since Mordrak and friends can't buy any special weapons, thats for the most part the real advantage of his special rule "first to the fray". Although never underestimate mass bolter fire on a 5+ armor units caught in the open.

There is always the option of attaching independent characters to him, but I'm not to motivated to do it. The reason why is because I feel Mordrak and his buddies are largely expendable. You should put him on the table where your opponent will have to deal with him like on a objective in the no mans land or behind a building your opponent was planning on moving up and castling around. He's for the most part a unit I will leave unsupported and rather use the rest of my resources to support everything else moving up. This doesn't mean put him in first turn rapid fire zones or banshee class assault unit running distances. Just put him in a place your opponent will have to keep looking over muttering "what am i going to do about those jerks"

Throwing the occasional non instant killing wound on Mordrak is also fun, getting more ghosts after the game has started is always great. The last game I played I took a perils casting Hammerhand and was like "wait that triggers a ghost roll sweet". Just remember he is a assault unit and everybody leaves the party if he dies, so don't risk it too much. One thing I didn't catch from the leak to the final addition is they changed it to added at the end of the phase. Sorry Mesdoram :(.

"Wait what happens when he takes a wound?"

I think for now he's going to be my primary HQ choice. His surprise factor despite how well he preforms the rest of the game has always payed off.

My next two projects are going to be finishing up my buffer Librarian and a storm raven. All I have to do for the librarian is paint his staff and some detail work, but the raven will take a little more time....

He's a Force Multiplier with FORCE

I hate all the stuff they decided to put on top.

I wouldn't mind hearing what you guys think of where I put the top turret weapons instead. They are magnetized and so are the wings and tail, it allows me to keep them with the rest of my army without getting a bigger case.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The game's a changin'

Hey all! Mesdoram here with some thoughts on updating lists in the wake of the new Dark Eldar and Grey Knight codices. After getting some games under my belt against both, I have some good ideas about what to do and what do avoid.

Freshest in my mind is a game against Discordian using the new GK codex. Way back when, my Plague Marine squads with meltas and flamers could withstand the heat of close combat and act as a tarpit unit. If they touch virtually any unit in the GK codex in CC, they will be wiped from the board either that assault phase or the next. It's also a losing battle against Dark Eldar and their Wytches. My durability is matched by dodge and FNP, my hidden power fists are ineffective against dodge, and my toughness is negated by poisoned Agonizers.

Daemon Princes and CSM Terminators will have a hard time against Grey Knights since they lack frag grenades or the initiative to beat halberds. A Librarian attached to a squad can cast a reactionary sanctuary making the assault into difficult and dangerous terrain. Without psychic defense or frag grenades, those two potential CC beasts get slaughtered. It's almost safe to say that GK Librarians will be ubiquitous in non-Inquisition lists since they're so amazing. A Grand Master and Librarian provide so much flexibility to the whole army, it's difficult to counter.

What's the answer to this bizarre CC prowess in the newer codices? Shooting. Had I taken more than one Obliterator squad and turned tail with my Plague Marines and Princes, I might have stood a chance against Discordian's Grey Knights. The Psycannon shooting isn't incredibly threatening, and dual AC Dreadnoughts die easily enough with AV12. I am even getting driven more towards the idea of only plasma Plague Marines, and perhaps in minimal numbers. They're just tending to be ineffective in a lot of situations where I need them to have staying power. On a side note, if you can disembark enough of a Dark Eldar army before they are in striking distance, you win.

I find myself getting backed into a corner and having to play very defensively against newer armies. What situation do you find yourselves in when playing these difficult enemies?