Friday, June 29, 2012

Allies- How they benefit fluffy army building

So Allies seem to be a pretty contentious point of discussion for many people. I for one fully embrace the idea however, and I will tell you why (I have a soapbox of a blog and I am going to use it).
Hey, you aren't Cadians...
As I have stated MANY times in the past, I hate that characters are the one way to make variants of armies, and I think chapter traits and doctrines did and would do a much better job. Furthermore, I have had some posts about counts as style armies (and proxying) and really felt that designing an army to be themed and fluffy was much more justifiable than playing the flavour of the week with whatever models you have.

SO Allies really opens up A WHOLE HEAP TON of opportunity for the player to create fluffy, effective, and characterful armies. I will give you a BUNCH of examples (as you will see IG is a critical factor for alot of these). The only thing I wish there was was a FW allies chart as well so we could see the level of alliance their army lists have.
1- Iron Warriors- These guys need siege equipment to play. Otherwise they aren't true IW. SO utilize IG to access siege equipment like Basilisks and Medusas. You can take 3 in a squadron. Model the mandatory troop guardsmen as slaves for the army.

2- Space Wolves- remember the days of old when they could take Leman Russ Battle Tanks, a tank named after their very primarch? Well those days have returned. By simply including a squad of vets and a IG HQ (Lord Commissar or Primaris Psyker) you can get up to 3 LR in a single choice. And if you model the guard effectively, you could make them like wolf scouts, or even use wolf scouts as the base and equip them with Lasguns, so you wouldn't even be using IG fluff wise and could claim it is a pure SW force, just utilizing 2 codicies.
3- Tau Gue'la- Literally a million possibilities both ways. And IG platoons can be so large you can fit ALOT of humans into a Tau list. OR you can even flip it and take a little bit of Tau in an IG army to get a Gue'la force with advisors. Really perfect combo here.

4- Ork Looted and Slave Army- Use IG for access to vehicles. Turn the infantry choices into haggard looking slaves. Really opens up vehicle selection, and can give some non-open topped transports to Orks. I'd like to see a sentinel built with an ork pilot now.

5- Exorcist SM- So exorcist SM are suppossed to be a new type of Daemon Hunter, created though ritual possession of the novitiate and exorcism of the daemon through their will alone. Of course they guys would work with GK and Ordo Malleus elements (and are actually monitored closely by them). Through in an inquisitor and some GK forces to an SM and you really have the feel of the force.

6- Chaos Renegades/Cultists- IG + CSM or Chaos Daemons and some chaos modelling really makes the force as chaotic as can be whilst demonstrating that Chaos is more than just the elite forces playable in the game as of now. You could even claim the CSM HQ to be the warband's warlord. Perfect way to play Alpha Legion as well.
Chapter Master Leonidas with the Banner
7- Angry Marines- A joke army, but one still made possible more so by a combination of Blood Angels and Black Templars. No better way to be angry all the time in my opinion. Download Fandex

8- Exodite Eldar- Dark Eldar and Eldar make the perfect combination to create exodites. Really comes down to modelling and unit selection, but a very potent and fluffy combination

9- Harlequin Force- Really DE with some Eldar in it, probably rangers and some jump infantry or vehicle or bike support, and I think you could craft a seemingly perfect harlequin force.

10- Mechanicum Army- Necrons and IG combined for this once. Most likely an IG base with necron elements added, though thinking about it, you could just use alot of Necrons and then IG for their vehicles. But this is the only obvious way to me to make the Cyborg army.
11- Rogue Trader- IG and GK. IG for the bulk of your troops and GK codex for inquisitorial purposes. The inquisitior and his forces could be your Rogue Trader and his household body guard while the IG are the crew of the ship.

12- Chaos Legions- You can do any of the Chaos legions with the application of the correct daemons from their codex. Really nice because of the ability to unlock and take the greater daemons as an ally HQ or even 2 lesser ones as one Force Org slot. And then you just take the appropriate troops and elites, troops or fast attack. OR you can take a Daemon Prince from CD that feels more like a DP dedicated to his god than the CSM one does.

13- Kroot Mercenaries- Well really any codex that can take Tau as an ally can just buy a bunch of kroot for their list and BAM there are your mercs.

14- Army of Ultramar- Ultramarines with a bunch of IG allies or vice versa. Either way, the perfect way to show the most integrated defence force in the Galaxy.

15- Cadian Interior Guard- These are the guys that defend Cadia from the corruption from within that inevitable occurs in the eye. IG with SoB or GK forces, particularly inquisitorial forces, is the best way to represent this crack Witch Hunting force.
16- The Fallen- An IG army with some Dark Angels allied is the best way to represent a small force of Fallen and the forces they tend to manipulate. Equip a DA captain like the Cypher model and you can make one of the most wanted men in the galaxy come to being on the table, even without special rules for him
17- Silent Sisterhood- SoB with Grey Knight Inquisitorial elements seem to fit the bill for these Psyker hunting banes of Chaos. Anything to nullify psychic powers is a boon. You could also recreate the assault on Prospero as a Heresy Era army by utilizing SoB as Sisters and taken them as allies with Space Wolves.

As you can see there is ALOT of potential to exploit the allies matrix to further explore the fluff of 40k on the table top. And that is just limiting yourself to the fluff of 40k. Imagine making a Halo army using Imperial Guard as UNSC marines and Space Marines for spartans with some landspeeder tornados (converted on wheels) for warthogs or bikes as mongooses (mongoosi?). Or maybe you feel taking a wack at the convenant, using Orks for brutes and gretchin as grunts and then taking some form of space marine or eldar as Elites. Maybe you want a Star Wars clone army, using IG with eldar allied psykers to be Jedi. Maybe you want to birth something from your own imagination. It is all up to you as the player, and allies can be a great medium to work in. But please avoid awful fluff

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Why Blood Angels are going to utterly DOMINATE early 6th ed

So this post is kinda tooting the horn of my own army. I personally believe BA are gaining some of the largest benefits of the edition change and I am here to tell you WHY.
1- FNP- Sure FNP goes down from a 4+ to a 5+, and I hope when Codex:CSM comes out that Plague Marines have some caveot to this to help them out (though T5 may still be enough of one), BUT that lowering isn't all that BAD for Blood Angels as they are still wearing Power Armour. Let DE and non power armoured players whine about this one. The sons of Sanguinius are to BA (get it) to let this drag them down.
2- Jump Infantry- As in my previous post, I believe Jump Infantry will be masters of the Battlefield in 6th edition. Able to move 12 inchs. Rumored to be able to roll 3d6 and choose the highest or 2d6 and reroll one, but even without this still an avg charge of 7 in and a possibility of a full 12. Able to move 2d6 in assault phase EVEN IF NOT CHARGING. Relentless (no heavy weapons, so no real benefit here). And these are just benefits for ALL Jump Infantry. OH I almost forgot. A free I10 hit at base S (4 for these guys) on the Charge. Take that Banshees.
Now lets see what tricks BA also have in the bag. So Red Thirst means I have a good chance of getting Fearless and Furious Charge (even better with Astorath). Now imagine the reach of a furious charging unit. Awesome. Now lets take a look at Death Company. These guys are about to become the most feared assault troops in the game.
Furious Charge- +1 S.
RAGE- +2 A for charging. On top of 2 base and 2 CCW. This is the biggest benefit of all.
Able to reroll hits and wounds.
Able to buy special CCW on EVERYONE
When you slap jump packs and power weapons on these guys, you now have a unit that can eat 10 man Plague Marine squads in one go. I may drop vanguard to bring them back into my list.
Now top all of the above off with DoA. I can reach you anywhere at anytime (after 1st turn) and there is nothing you can do to stop me.
3- Fast Vehicles- So BA transports, Predators and Vidicators are fast, and under 6th vehicles can move and shoot MORE. This is great, especially for the Baal Predator with its squintillion weapons. And the Baal is an even better tank killer now with Hull Points allowing weaker weapons to glance a tank to death. And the Vidicator gets full S across the template, not just under the hole, so it is improved too. But back to the FAST part. Speed is going to be KEY in 6th ed. With one third of scenarios playing across the board long ways (short edge deployment zones) and the triangle set up creating large distances as well (I am assuming APOC set up with a larger No Man's Land), and then Jump Infantry, bikes and normal vehicles moving super fast, fast vehicles will be GREAT. Oh, and flyers will be zooming around every which way. Having a Baal Pred that can rev its engines to get in range and then pour on the fire (twin linked assault cannons baby) to bring that beast out of the sky will be nice.
4- Lots of Librarians- I am not sure how all the new psychic powers are going to be or what they are going to be, but I am sure everyone will want to mess around with them and since Blood Angels can bring extra psykers to the table, they will be a great test bed for this. FURTHERMORE since everyone else is going to be throwing around psyker powers like confetti at a parade, having psychic defence will be critical too. Librarians have hoods. Nuff said.
5- Allies- So BA can ally with a whole bunch of people. Not really sure if I am going to be taking Allies, as no one has better jump infantry really, though some GK may be nice. HOWEVER I think taking Blood Angels is one of the smartest things a player can do. I think alot of the following will be seen:
Chaplain, Death Company, Furioso Librarian.
Librarian, Assault Squad, Furioso Librarian.
Either of the Above with a Storm Raven instead of Furioso.
Either of the Above with Sanguinary Priest instead of Furioso.
The Sanguinary Priest will be super great for the most trusted category of Allies, as a unit can consist of up to 3 of these guys and an aegis of FNP and furious charge will be most welcome, especially on other assault armies like SW, GK and BT.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Predictions on the Meta Shift of 6th edition

Well my copy of 6th edition has shipped and is on its was to me in Japan. YAY.

I am looking forward to sixth with an eager and nervous anticipation. There are alot of rumours flying around at this point, and they are getting more and more hammered out, and somethings are even being pulled from copies of the book.

So I just want to have a quick discussion on some changes I see happening in 6th.

1- The reign of the Plasma has returned- so 5th ed really saw melta weaponry become the special of choice. With mech armies reigning supreme, hard tank hitting power really counted for something. But now I think melta weapons are going to come back and at least be more prevalent then they were in 5th. Why? Well there are several weapons of plasma and each has its own reasons.
Plasma Pistol- with random charge ranges, close range weaponry is more important than ever. Popping off some sure shots before charging will be critical because you never know if you are going to fall short in assault. High S and good AP make plasma pistols a reliable way to score a wound. Sure the melta is high S and close range, but not everyone/everything can take it and it still provides no benefit in CC.
Plasma Gun- being able to always shoot twice at 12 or once at 24 is GREAT. This gives you high S and AP at range and more firepower up close. As well, the new hull points mechanism benefits the Gun as penetrating isn't as ciritical anymore when wheight of fire at sufficient  S alone can wreck a vehicle. At S7, the Gun fits right in there, able to glance 13 and under, with A 11 being easy and ideal, and still likely to penetrate. Plust this can happen at range or double up with rapid fire, where as meltas are no more than once at 12. Plus, with casualties removed from the front explicitly, I feel more comfortable have weapons with reach in the back of my squad than my short range power at the front just begging to be gunned down.
Plasma Cannon- With blast templates being uniform S across the template against vehicles now, you get a very potent weapon able to smash aside heavy infantry and light to medium vehicles with ease. Yes Krak missiles can get a higher S, but are more likely to miss and Frak missiles are far worse vs infantry.
BASICALLY it comes down to the tactically flexibility offered by plasma under 6th, and IMO that is a flexibility no other weapon type surpasses.

2- The reign of the Mech is over- So while vehicles will still be potent, I feel they are now shootier and more fragile, which is perfect. Tanks should always shoot ALOT. They have several people inside them just for that. I always hated limiting how much I could fire when I KNEW my Leman Russ had separate gunners for the sponsons. Meanwhile hull points make tanks vulnerable to weapons they were never vulnerable to before. What did chimera's ever truly have to fear of 2 heavy bolters. Now one heavy bolter can chew one up in one turn with some luck, never mind 2.

3- The reign of Jump Infantry has begun- this is the most exciting thing to me. More reliable assault ranges, potential for extreme movement across the board, free I10 attacks (take that Banshees). DoA Blood Angels will be supreme masters of the battlefield. I am so happy to play them. It is like Christmas came early for me. I can not wait to have my fire 24 inch assault. The brutality will be beautiful.

Then there are some minor changes I see occuring. Tau will gain some foothold again with 1/2 distance instead of 12" rapid fire (if true) with Pulse rifles (15" x 2) and Kroot Guns (24" x 2). I don't like the different power weapons. IE Sword vs Axe. While cool, it means models I have built with Axes because I liked the look of them more may now have to be redone to change to a sword just for a reason in the rules, though I don't know how this may shift the meta. The mission set ups are going to cause another shift. With 1/3rd of them being potentially short edges, you are going to see bikes, skimmers and jump infantry grow in popularity, not even to mention the comign of Flyers. Mech will still be essential, but as a deivery rather than combat system IMO. Speed matters in 6th edition, and if you are slow, you might as well be static and prep a good defence. One thing I haven't seen is about random game length. I hope it is gone acutally, because with SO MANY fast things on the table, the 5th/6th turn swoop and grab is going to be really prevalent, so a known factor of when the game will end can play a critical role in preventing such a manuever. JETBIKES ZOOM!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cypher? - Discordian

Cypher is my second favorite character in 40k. My favorite character being a dude who's imaginary friends are in fact a unit of terminators, I just wished he had half as much fluff as Cypher.

Back to Cypher, I keep seeing rumors talking about Dark Angels, Chaos Space Marines, and every once in a while something about the Fallen.

Here's a little info on the Fallen and Cypher for those of you not aware of this awesome back story of 40k. The Fallen are currently former members of the "Loyal" Dark Angels. I say "Loyal" with quotes because there is a lot of indication that the current members of the dark angels, or at least the upper hierarchy, where in fact swayed by chaos and the Fallen stood up to them for doing so.

End result of whatever really did happen is now these Fallen are actively hunted by the Dark Angels to be whisked away to The Rock (the Dark Angel Space Castle), where they are interrogated and encouraged to apologise.

You can have one just like this too and only at the cost of your own home world!
(Which you destroy because you couldn't get along with your Siblings)

Cypher is one of the Fallen who has made a name for himself by being very mysterious, very skilled, and very wanted by the Dark Angels. There's a lot of speculation on what he's really trying to do, a lot of what the fluff is pointing to is that in fact Cypher and the Fallen are loyal to the emperor. And are only on the run because the Dark Angels who are still Dark Angels don't want people to know that they almost backed the other Chaos Space Marines or at the very least attempted to pretend to be late so that the emperor could be killed.

So you end up with this awesome conspiracy theory where the the good guys did something bad and are now trying to be good, while hunting the bad guys who happen to be good guys who are now stuck working with the bad guys who in are fact bad because they are trying to kill the good guys who where bad still trying to be good guys.
Now like I said I have been seeing a lot of rumors about whats to come, in fact somebodies blog today had a photo shot of just mister mysterious above and It made me want to check something.  

I went to GW's website looking for Cyphers model page. Guess where I ended up?

Awhile back I wanted to field him as my callidus and ended up just making him out of a dark angels veterans box, but when I looked up his model on GW and I could have sworn it was in the collectors range then. Which makes sense because he hasn't had rules in a couple editions.

If anyone can back me up on this that would be great, because I could just be going crazy thinking for the best and I want to make sure.

Space Marine Captains- How to make the worst HQ FUN in the 6th Ed. Space Marine Codex

As we all know, no one ever takes the lowly Space Marine Captain. There is either a named Character that does everything he does better and then some OR the benefits of a Librarian/Chaplain just flat out outweigh what he brings to the table (which they always do).

Now what I am going to propose can atcually be taken FOR ANY CODEX CHAPTER- Blood Angels and Dark Angels namely. You will see why the Wolves and Templars wouldn't really benefit from it as I explain.

So, as we know army variants are now driven by characters, and while in the past I have suggested that different doctrine-like qualities be applied to SM Tactics to get different Chapters, I have also come to realize that the standard codex really only supports Battle Company engagements.

That is that, unless you take a named character, you are typically limmited to playing 2-5th companies. While DA can also play DW/RW (which taking the named Character make sense for) and Blood Angels can claim to play as 8th Company taking assault marines as troops, the core for a SM army is TACTICAL SQUADS (meaning technically the reserve companies, 6 and 7, are "playable").

However, this is not neccesarily how forces are always deployed and battles always fought. So while I'd like to see my idea linked above put into place, I think the following would be nice as well.

1- SM Captains should have the largest selection of Wargear. These guys should have virtually EVERYTHING avaliable to the other than the specialised equipment of Characters/Chaplains/Librarians/Techpriest/Apothecary. Everything else should be free game. EVERYTHING. I think even heavy weapons, because if I was 9th Company Captain, heck, I'd possibly want a Lascannon. This way, there can be combinations and options just not available or affordable on other characters.

2- You should have the option to select what company he is, and with that, your force composition can change. This is where the SW and BT don't fit into the concept. Each SW Grand Company is pretty much a self sufficient force, with their own Blood Claws, Grey Hunters, and Long Fangs. Different Wolf Lords would have their own force compositions, and this match in fluff to force composition is already allowed under the current codex. BT are pretty much the same way with their Marshalls and Crusade Fleets. BUT Vanilla SM, DA and BA all have a structured orginization to their Chapter's companies. As such, wouldn't it be nice to be able to say "I want to play Ultramarines 9th Company" and be able to do it. Just massed SM firepower and siege capability, with a Captain geared for such a fight in stats, equipment, and rules? Maybe 10th Company. Sure you can fill your troops with Scouts as it is, but wouldn't it be even better if you could have a Captain in Carapace Armour leading them and rules to enhance a force of scouts beyond what their standard rules apply? What about 1st company? How come only DA have that capability especially when you read about it all the time- Battle of McCragge, Battle for Nocturne, aboard Space Hulks, etc. etc. An army of Sternguard/Vanguard/Terminators/Dreadnoughts ONLY. At the same time, certain restrictions would have to apply to each variant (EG- No Dreadnoughts in 10th company, no Assault squads in 9th). Obviously, the standard run of the mill captain would have access to the whole range of Codex choices, BUT not provide the benefits that a specialised captain would.

Now I think this just MAKES SENSE and would be FUN. Everyone like rules that match the fluff, and the point of the game is to be FUN contrary to what you may think (because winning is fun, but fun can be more than winning). It also would be good for the hobby aspect of the game, allowing for more unique forces, conversions, and characters.