Friday, April 28, 2017

8th Edition Announcements: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (so far)

Well hasn't it been an exciting couple of days. Whether you like what you have seen or not, it has at least been that. Now lets discuss some of the detail
- All models have rules at release- I am sure one or two minor things someplace in a Forgeworld book, or any existing unit without a current model, will get forgotten, but by and large it is nice to know that nothing will not be included NOR will they get short changed and only KINDA included like Brettonians and Tomb Kings in Age of Sigmar

- Day one rules- Free core mechanics and new condensed, and supposedly cheaper, codicies to buy. I am not sure about the cheaper part, but it is good to see day one rules for everything.
- Army building app- While not a day one release, still nice to know an official one is coming, which means you units will be updated automatically as things change too. This also leads me to think that 8th Ed is sooner than we thing. Since they know it will not be ready for 8th ed release, it can't be too far off.

- Vouchers- if you bought a codex between Feb 25th (I believe) and April 22nd they will give you a voucher for its full value. What remains to be seen is if this applies to Imperial Armour books as well.
- No universe destroying- What has been rumoured and shown about the lore so far is consistent with 40k and actually seems pretty good. I for one think that new map is neat.

- 3 ways to play- while I am sure that Matched will come to dominate most play, the fact that there is a variety of built in a methods to play, each with their own method of balance, is nice. I especially like that Narrative and Matched play will have their own points systems.
- Deathstars are gone and benefits for being single faction- LOVE THIS. The days of loophole manipulation and best unit selectiveness seem to be a thing of the past. And the ability to see armies that better reflect the lore and intent/flavour of the army is welcome to me. Plus, I think it will ultimately create a more dynamic game, instead of seeing the same few armies and lists over and over.

-Individual weapon damage output. I really really like this. The fact that each weapon is now more representative of how much damage it does and what it is designed for. Lascannon is still one shot, but a potential to do a lot of damage. That's neat and will go a long way towards balancing all the weapons instead of just seeing Grav Spam. Everything will have its place.

-AP save modifiers- at first I was unsure of this, but I have come to like it. The idea of outright just ignoring armour past a certain point was kinda silly. That armour is still there. It still is going to do something. Its just a question as to what degree it will influence the hit.

-Ballistic Skill- FINALLY instead of that silly reverse table, it is just a straight up "ROLL THIS". Makes so much more sense.

-Adding run to the movement phase- I typically did this any way to save time, but it is nice that it is formalized and makes it so that you can no longer see how things "played out" before deciding if you were running or shooting. Forces you to plan and think ahead your actions more.

-Simplified Psychic Phase- Really like that all psykers will now be much more defined and have utility rather than batteries. Also like it going back to a straight 2d6 system. This should really speed up that phase which as of now seems to take a disproportionate amount of time. HOWEVER this can easily move to the BAD or UGLY IMO. Every psyker gets SMITE which takes only a 5+ to do d3 Mortal Wounds... yeah... "D is gone"... but not really...

- Loss of templates- while not TERRIBLE it kinda stinks. I for one liked them. They weren't problematic for me and them felt right for a game full of explosions and inaccurate equipment. Especially when ever you placed templates for Super Heavies. You could just imagine the BLAST! Now that is will all just be dice, some of that magic is gone. You loose the narrative element of using a template. It robs the imagination and I don't think it really offers that much in terms of mechanics improvement. In fact, I think it detracts from the tactical aspects of the game as well, as unit spacing, unit placement, and shooter maneuver/angling aren't necessary. In fact, now keeping a smaller foot print is even better for going into cover our avoid LOS to certain units.
Plus, I owned a sweet custom army themed set that now is useless.

- Expansions seem to be Narrative Only (for now)- from the live QnA, they heavily suggested that Planetstrike, City Fight and other expansions (Apocalypse and Zone Mortalis?) would be for Narrative play. As some one who LOVES Zone Mortalis and really likes City Fight, I am kinda disappointed. I am sure they will be adaptable for Matched play, but the question looks: How much work will it take to adapt?
-Weapon Skill- While I like the change to BS, the WS change doesn't do it for me. Combat is two sided. Imagine Jet Li for a moment. If he is fighting you, he is probably going to kick your butt, right? (Assuming you aren't some super martial artist). BUT NOW imagine him fighting, IDK, Jackie Chan (I know these are just hollywood guys, but for the sake of argument), it is going to be HARDER for him to land blows, because Jackie KNOWS how to fight back. It just MAKES SENSE. Now lets look at it the other way. You are a random guy who hits on a 5+ lets say. Now you walk up to a tank or gargantuan creature, like a stromsurge, AND YOU MISS 2/3 OF THE TIME? What are you a Storm Trooper? Can't hit the broadside of a landraider? Its literally a wall of metal...

-Mortal Wounds- Wounds that allow no saves of any kind. This existed before. It was called D. They nerfed it from 6th to 7th. Now it is back. Hopefully scaled back. Can move up to the good if handled properly, but as of right now, seeing the Smite Psychic power, I am worried they will be all too prevalent. If the game is "faster" just because everything dies and not because mechanics are any better, that isn't really a good thing IMO.

- Invalidation of ALL BOOKS AT ONCE- This one stings. It stings bad IMO. Not only do I own a TON of GW books, I own a whole bunch of FW ones. To have them all be worth nothing at once is pretty rough. And don't give me the line of "But they have so much fluff and art and painting guides etc. etc." in them. All that is just going to be copy pasted into the next thing I buy. So what was the point again? Sure, books always end up being invalidated, but it is gradual and spaced out. The fact that I have NUMEROUS books less than a year old and will never touch them again is poor. Especially when you consider 7th Edition was the SHORTEST EDITION TO DATE and yet had THE MOST BOOK RELEASES. Kinda a dick move, further validated as dicky when you consider that on their live stream they have said this has pretty much been in development for two years... which BTW is HOW OLD 7th EDITION IS. They may not have known from the start, but I am sure sometime between 15 months and a year ago they KNEW all the books would be gone. And yet they kept making and selling new 7th ed ones for us.

-Everything can hurt EVERYTHING- This feels silly to me. Sure it may be ASTRONOMICAL CHANCES but the idea that a lasgun can kill a Land Raider or a Titan is ludicrous. And the thing is it will inevitably happen. Even if there is a 1 in 10,000 chance, enough people play this game on a weekly basis and enough dice are thrown that IT WILL HAPPEN. IT IS A MATHEMATICAL CERTAINTY for something that should be an impossibility...
-Voluntary Fall Back from Assault- UGH. Without seeing more, I do not like this. There is no way that can be all it is. Sure you can't run or shoot etc. etc., but you didn't mean to do that with your IG conscripts, Tau Fire Warriors/Kroot, Plague Zombies or Eldar Guardians. They were just an ablative unit to absorb first charge. Now I can't even lock you in place and you will get to shoot EVEN MORE at me? Why do you hate combat GW? There better be something like one of the following with this

  • It triggers attacks of opportunity for the not-falling back player. You want to turn your back to me? I get to hit you with impunity.
  • The non-falling back player has a chance to follow and overrun you. What, just because you are done fighting, my Death Company is just going to let you walk away? FAT CHANCE.
  • Normal assaults can sweeping advance old school. CHAIN ASSAULTS! WOOT!

-Vehicle profiles- I like that walkers have T and W now, I really do. But I am not sure about the rest of the vehicles types. And IDK how I feel about progressive damage. Also, unless vehicles get different saves for various facings, it really is another thing that robs tactical employment from the game. If shooting all sides is equal (the same Toughness values), then there isn't much incentive to move tactically to engage.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

5 Things to Change with Grey Knights + My Grey Knights

Discordian here! Here to talk about more things not Blood Angels. My Grey Knights. This is the third article in a series that showcases my armies and and go over a few points I'd like change. The first two can be found HERE and HERE, if you missed them.

Grey Knights are such a cool concept. Marital warriors specially trained to murder the horrors of the abyss. To protect the Imperium from the shadows, without fan fair or recognition. I don't say to protect man, because most of the time they kill everyone that sees them and/or bathe in their blood for some reason.......

Yeah 40k even the "good" guys are assholes..... 40k right, never change.

Originally when I got into the hobby I had no plans to take up a Imperium or even a human army. All my friends had that covered so I was sticking with Xenos. But that all changed when I went to a Gamesday and my friend really wanted a giant FW daemon bird. He didn't have money, I did, he had a army he didn't want, and that's how I ended up with a entirely metal infantry model army.

As time went by and editions got added I ended up picking up some friends. 

The 5th edition codex really flushed out GKs, before it they and SOB were the original allies armies.

Rex sometimes moonlights as my Draigo

Just recently for the 2017 Adepticon I ended up converting a new Dreadknight. 

I have never been a fan of the baby carry look.

I do have a hodge podge of other Imperial things that I've run with my GK. Mostly because "7th" took out so much of the army, it ended up being really boring playing a pure GK. I've been running my dreadnoughts through Blood angel detachments because they have/had actual good psychic dreadnoughts. And I've been running a Raptor Wing to supplement my lack anti tank a lot lately.

As for how the army plays, there have been a few issues I had hoped had changed during 7th. But that doesn't look like its happening before 8th. Who knows maybe everything I wanted will happen.... right? what could possibly go wrong.....?

1. Psychic Powers

One of the most annoying things that happened to Grey Knights in 6/7th, was the change to their powers. In 5th every unit had fixed powers suited for their purposes. Vehicles could ignore shaken/stunned, purifiers burned things in close combat, Interceptors intercepted, and Purgationist shoot things really well.

In the changes to how powers worked and the creation of Santic, GK ended up getting some lame duck options. Transports vehicles lost powers completely and Dreadnoughts aren't jumping for joy for a 6++ at their price point. Purifiers still burn things, but the best way to do that before the recent Nova nerf was hiding in rhinos pulling drive by shootings. Interceptors became just fancy expensive jump infantry. Purgation squads largely became pointless.

Not to say some of those things were fair as they were, but the latest GK is a massive over correction from the power levels of 5th book. Hilariously made clear when Necrons came out after with T5 wraiths with fake 4+ fnp saves.

2. Weapons

So currently GKs have issues with their weapons, again a issue with the current codex change. CCW lost abilities and Psybolts got taken away.

I really liked the blade shield rule, +1 to invuls in close combat on power swords. That and 2++ only in close combat staffs, were a neat compromise to GK not having stormshields. Halberds gave initiative bonus option. All three of those things were great because it made a predominantly close combat chapter a close combat chapter.

The real issue was 5th GK shooting was ridiculous and definitely needed to be addressed. They had the best bolters, assault cannons, and autocannons for some reason..... the first kind of makes sense, but the later two didn't. GKs need good small arms assault fire, they didn't and still don't need str7 or str7 and rending shoots.

The later needed to be changed, but when both changed along with the inquisition removal, GK lost any capability of being a competent standalone army. Unless you just field Dreadknights for days.

I would really want psybolts for storm bolters to return. And address the fact that psycannons should change back to a anti-daemon weapon, or at least get a assault profile back.

3. Available Units

So GK have what I like to call Allie syndrome. They get better the less GKs you have in your army, because it is just easier to add units from other places to do the jobs of GK units. Really the only truelly desired units are the Dreadknights and Librarians, because they became supper cheap for what they bring, and guaranteed "Gate of Infinity" Draigo cab service.

Some of the few competitive lists are based around the core concept of strapping Draigo to anything not GK, usually Grav Centurions.

GKs are a elite force, they do have units that fill most purposes, they just really have to pay for it and the current system asks why bother when you can fill it with other army units.

I'd be happy if they just retooled some units, but I wouldn't mind a few generic units just being GK codex available. Since they already have Tech-marines, servitors and thunder-fires come to mind. Some escorts through Stormtalons and landspeeders wouldn't be a stretch. Just one additional unit in each GK slot would go a long way towards making GKs a independent army again.

4. Grey Knight Army Vs. Grey Knight Allies

I already touched on this above. GKs just get better the less Gks you have in your GK army. Weather it be it be Allies or just maxing Dreadknights.

GK never got a Voltron Formation detachment, they got a old 6th edition style CAD like detachment that actually just makes them easier to add to other forces. They just needed more rules for playing just them and they didn't get anything.

Kind of to late now, but all that really needed to happen was for them to have a formations detachment. Some special rules that did things like make easier for them to cast santic powers or something through being required to have multiple GK units, you know a good reason to field more GKs,

5. Bring back Mordrak

This Guy

If Age of Sigmar is any evidence of how units in 40k will be laid out in 8th, most of these issues should disappear. Every unit will have a unique psychic powers on their page and pure armies get solid benefits, if that happens its fairly easy to play around with that to make things interesting again. I would also really like a reason to field Brotherhood Champions without being laughed at........

My armies I have left to talk about are all three Eldar factions. I'll try and finish them up quick, because it looks like I don't have much time left before 8th Edition happens. And everything I want to talk about becomes even more meaningless.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tactica Blood Angels: Archangels Orbital Intervention Force

Since you have had to put up with Discordian bloggign about Xenos so much lately, lets talk about what really matters: BLOOD ANGELS! And what is best about them right now? THE ARCHANGEL'S ORBITAL INTERVENTION FORCE!

Hopefully you can use this before 8th drops.

First and foremost let me say any way you run this formation it is good. Deep Striking and Assault Terminators are just GOOD. Period. This is the single best formation Blood Angels have (nevermind it is one of like three usable ones) and quite possibly the greatest thing since sliced bread... or maybe just the Rhino Rush. IDK. But lets continue.
What is best in life?
Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.
That is what an Archangel's Orbital Intervention Force does.

What is the Archangel's Orbital Intervention Force?
Well for those of you who don't know, it is a formation of 3 Blood Angel Terminator Squads. Either type is fine, though 99% of people are taking Assault Terminators. What the formation allows you to do is to 1- Shoot Twice the turn you arrive for normal terminators OR 2- Assault the turn you arrive for Assault Terminators. This counts as a disordered charge though so no +1A or Furious Charge bonus. The whole formation must deep strike and comes in together or not at all (1 d6 roll for everything).
I wish they had made the rule "You may either shoot twice OR assault the turn you arrive" instead of breaking it up by type. Sure assault terminators would never choose the "shoot twice" option, but I feel like this could have given people with normal terminators a reason to play them and would have given some much needed umpf to that unit choice.
"Why are they Archangels?" you may ask. Well, that is the name of the Blood Angels first Company. Makes sense for a bunch of orbitally descending gods of battle.
What should my formation consist of?
So this article is focusing on using the formation to its maximum potential. As such, no standard termies. Sorry guys, back in the case.
Here is what I run in nearly EVERY list I use these days

Archangles Orbital Intervention Force- 665
Terminator Assault Squad (5)- 225: 5 x Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields
Terminator Assault Squad (5)- 225: 5 x Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields
Terminator Assault Squad (5)- 215: 3 x Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields, 2 x Pair of Lightning Claws

Now most people are spending that extra ten points to get those last two TH&SS guys. There is nothing wrong with that, but you are doing yourself a disservice, and here is why.

How to use the AOIF
It is going to be really really tempting to throw 15 guys armed with Storm Shields and Thunder Hammers at big stuff. Wraith Knights, Imperial Knights, Stormsurges, etc. etc. And to an extent this is true. I often use 10 of these guys versus a WK, especially when fielding my own Knight Atrapos.

So two things that brings up: Why not send all 15 at them and why not send your own big thing at their big thing. Lets address the 1st point there

There is little in the game that 15 terminators armed with TH&SS can kill that 10 can't. If I am using my AOIF in this manner I send my two units of all TH&SS after the big thing and they, unless the person gets extraordinarily lucky stomps, never manage to kill all ten. To ensure you don't die horribly to stomps, make sure you are clustering your Terminators as little as possible and attempt to deep strike on two separate sides of your intended target, in order to get the maximum amount of spacing.

This gives the added benefit of the combat typically not ending in my turn, but rather my opponents turn, limit his time to shoot the terminators.

If you don't have something big to crush, split these units up on the battlefield and take out scoring units and Warlords. A lot of instant death potential in the squads, and they require an inordinate amount of firepower to remove for the most part
With the remaining unit of Terminators (the one with LC), I chase softer targets. Model placement is key in this unit, and you want to ensure the units most likely to shoot you will draw LoS to a Thunder Hammer guy first and the Lightning Claw guys second. The order which you remove casualties from this squad plays into their Efficiency. Always take a TH first, LC second if possible. Usually I do that alternation again (forcing it by putting the model I can afford to loose next closer) unless a situation I am trying to achieve calls for a different approach (IE I need all THs to kill some big heavy things, or I am facing lots of weak stuff and weak shooting, so I want my LCs to survive for max attacks). Sometimes I kill off 2 TH first and preserve the LC until the end. It is all just really situational. Do you need more attacks that are reliable or fewer, stronger, attacks?

Bottom line is that Lightning Claw guys are still terminators and that 2+/5+ Inv isn't bad and still repulses most shooting in the game.

What the LC bring to the table is the ability to gut scoring units. They get 3 attacks in that deep strike charge and 4 in any subsequent charge. At S4 or S5. And reroll to wound. Two of them regularly clear out Eldar units on their own for me. And they do it all at initiative which is key, especially against other Marines.

Futurmore, if I really did need to charge at 3 units at one target, then the difference between 15 and 13 TH is nearly negligible. So I save 10 points I get to spend else where, primarily on Relics.

And remember, on subsequent charges, you get normal charge bonuses, so your LC become S5, AP3, Shred with 4 attacks on the charge. That's pretty nice.

Too Long Didn't Read
Replace two of your TH&SS guys with Lightning Claws. You will be better off for it.

I probably had more to say when I started typing this, but the 8th ed announcements really took center stage. Not long to put this to use, but I imagine some of the principles will stay the same. Best of luck and may Sanguinius guide your hand.

Monday, April 24, 2017

8th Is Coming and Why I'm Not Mad

Discordian here! Some pretty big news hit over the weekend if you haven't been paying attention, GW announced big news was coming and big it was.

They're beginning the process of rolling out 40k 8th Edition. Their lead in was a new website, a quick keep calm FAQ, and declaration of war on 7th edition. We don't know much, but we do know all current rule books will be invalidated.




*Coolest book I've ever owned

 And This (My Book Shelf will be happy)

Will be strictly reading material.

What does this mean for the game?

Games-workshop is doing a fresh start, they are starting a new edition and they don't want the ghosts of Christmas past to be a drag. This is very similar to what fantasy went through.

Why I'm not worried?

GW learned a lot from the Fantasy change. Its sad that fantasy had to be a beta test for something like this, but it seems to have recovered very well.

And as a result GW learned what their customers were willing to put up with and how long it takes to respond.

Why I'm not mad?

I have a lot of 7th Edition books. And the one thing I've hated more then anything is that they were not created equal. Grey Knights and Dark Eldar ended up being trimmed down 6th edition books, Craftworld got super charged by 7th, Harliquins became a stand alone weird thing, and Tyranids..... well...... they were present......

And oddly enough this wasn't a new thing. Every edition has been like this, there are always weird inconsistencies in army play-ability when your rules are spread across half a decade of releases. Things don't change properly, new things get real shiny, and then the last of the things end up pulling their punches because we all learned better.

8th edition is looking to do the one thing I've always wanted to happen, change the core of everything at once. From what they are saying it looks like core rules, AND codexs, are being completely replaced with 8th edition versions.

How much of 7th is staying in there we don't know yet. But I think it will be more of it than not. GW asked us what was wrong, and then spent a lot of time doing reviews of all the current codexs. They now have a huge database of what things we want to change, and more importantly how bad we are at reading.

6th almost did this, but it changed the core without changing the arms. 8th is looking to be far more comprehensive. The logic is looking like the core/army rules change immediately, and future supplements will build off both.

So, right now I'm super psyched. How the rules actually changed may make me sad, but the concept which they've told us is all I ever wanted.

One last Family Picture Time

One more thing

The last thing to go over is that they're being super open about everything they are doing. And they will be keeping us up to date in the coming weeks before the switch gets flipped. An incredible change of pace from previous edition changes for any of their systems.

Stay Tuned and Hold on to Your Butts.......

Friday, April 21, 2017

5 Things to Change with Tyranids + My Tyranids

Continuing in my trend of inundating my friends blog about Blood Angels with not Blood Angels. Lets talk about Tyranids!

This was a army I started because my friend said he had a battle box somewhere in his basement and he didn't want it. After finding them, and an a trip to the local GW store where I picked up a metal Hive Tyrant and some Balrog wings, I had a new army.
His name is Jerry

Tyranids have always been my fun army. They play very differently from everything else I have, so I've always kept around to spice things up.
Caw Caw

They're also one of my more flushed out painted armies apparently......

I've now played through 4 different Codex with them, and somethings have gotten interesting and some things have gotten silly. Spore pods have cometh, goneth, and cometh again. The once objective scoring troops slot has been replaced with things that can't secure objectives. Oh and Red Terror is a thing again.....

Codex: Tyrainds however really isn't in a great place right now, Codex: Hive Tyrant however is doing swimmingly. On that note these are the following things I hope change soon, either with my hopeful ideas or at least something. 

1. Army Wide Special Rules

Most armies get army wide special rules that benefit them positively. Tyranids get Fearless and the added benefit of not eating themselves, you know for kicks. The biggest glaring issue with this is that the Fearless benefit only really kicks in for 50% of the units, because half of all Tyranids have fearless standard. Now there is a bonus hidden in the instinct tables, but you would have to choose to risk your unit not doing what you want 50% of the time. Eating themselves for example.

I don't have a problem with Tyranids having issues if big brains aren't around. Its super thematic and really characterful. Its just that it should have a bigger effect. It used to be for a short time they also got Eternal Warrior when in synapse, which wouldn't be a bad bring back with all things considered. But that isn't really the interesting addition I'd really want.

I would really prefer a re-work of the current instinct types. Right now all non-synapse Tyranids have either Feed, Lurk, or Hunt. Keep that, but make it so that if your're in synapse you get fearless and something else based on your type.

Feed = Rage
Lurk = Stealth
Hunt = Preferred Enemy

You could even go crazy and have units with two types, or have synapse creatures having them too. If you end up out of synapse, have that be a Ld check to see if you keep the new secondary bonus. If you fail, well you loss your army wide rule for a turn and your probably getting shooed out a window by a broom or something.

After that Shadow in the Warp should take some ques from psychic abomination, not as heavily, but something similar where you decrease casting chances and have some kind of resistance. Here's a stab at it.

Shadows in the Warp: Enemy models within 12" of  at least one Model with this rule, generate one less warp charge then they would normal generate, to a minimum of one, and manifest psychic powers with a -1 modifier on the test, to a minimum of 6. In addition friendly Models within 12" of a model with this special rule have Adamantium Will

These two things changing somehow would go a long way towards giving Tyranid armies more options, and a reason to play them as they are always heavily depicted in the fluff. A indescribable horde of monsters striking fear and darkness where they tread. Instead of right now where Tyranids devolve into a army of just ignoring the synapse whenever possible.
How do you describe that to someone?

2. Rules Locations

Tyranids need a 7th edition codex, not just to make half their units usable, but to freaking bundle up all the piece meal rules that have been released. Here's a quick individual run down of where things are, and I'm probably missing somethings.

Codex Tyranids - most units, rules
Data-slate Leviathan 1 - 5 formations
Data-slate Leviathan 2 - 5 formations
Data-slate Leviathan 3 - 5 formations
Supplement Shield of Bale - a 6th edition style detachment and 6 new units, several formations some of them reprints from above.
Deathstorm - 1 formation and 3 unique units
Start Collecting - 1 Formation
Imperial Armour 4 - Technically Counts!

That is not some silly allies trap you've tricked yourself into which is why you have a bunch of books, all of that is one army and all currently usable. Most of it is crap, but it exists.

THIS NEEDS TO END. 1-5 need to be put into one codex. Probably half the formations can just disappear because a lot of them are really bad, like really bad. I guess they will still exist if you really really want your gargoyles who take their pet spore mines for walks.

3. Bug Guns

Here's the deal, I could easily whine about how Xenos armies have some issue with assaulting into cover when they clearly know its a problem, or shouldn't care because they have 6 limbs, but I feel it's just a waste of time at this point because GW isn't changing their mind anytime soon.

So lets talk about something real simple. Tyranid Guns.
Tyranid weapons are literally attached to the models using it, they grow them on themselves and sometimes they have minds of their own. This used to be represented by the units profile factoring into the weapon profile, weapon Str = user + or - and shoots sometimes depended on the users attack stat. I liked that. It would do two things, add a unique mechanic back to Tyranids and it would cut down on the random ass names I'd have to remember. Here's a potential few....

12", Str = User, ap-, Assault = User Attacks +1

12" Str = User +1 (Max5), Ap5, Assault = User Attacks

18" Str = User (Max 6), Ap-, Assault = User Attacks +2

Barbed Strangler:
36", Str = User +1 (Max 8), Ap5, Large Blast, Pinning AND Strikedown (Its literally a god dam net, I don't care about Fearless saying you can just walk away)

Venom Cannon
36", Str = User +3, Ap4, Small Blast

Another thing I thought would be interesting would be to use other profiles for different things, like toughness for flamer weapons.

Also I'm willing to ignore that strangle-web and spike rifles exist as long as GW ignores them too.

4. Psykers
I've Always loved this image

Tyranid psykers are very limited in what they can do. They have one chart and a handful of unit specific powers. Which is annoying because Biomancey feels useful to a army of Bugs that specialize in bettering themselves. I'm going to breeze past the part where they don't actually harness the warp and aren't actually psykers, because that is cool fluff just unnecessary for rules purposes at this point. Its a lot like Magic and Psionics in 3.5, just accept that they are interchangeable and have as little exceptions as possible.

The easy solution would be to give them access to core tables. A better option would be to just give them a second table and split the powers they have into offensive and defensive, bonus if one happens to be like the Eldar runes of battle table.

My ideal option though is to create two tables, one with really powerful ones exclusive to super leader bugs (Tyrants, etc.) and one with lesser ones for lesser psykers (Broodlords, etc.). Again like Eldar.

End result, simply something that gives Tyranids more powers or at least more options with those powers.

Additionally again making Shadow in the Warp legitimately useful would be helpful too.

5. Bombs

I know troops have really become less useful this last edition. It would be great to make troops legitimately useful again no matter what they are, to give more reasons to bring them other than for obsec and scatter lasers. But at a certain point we have to have limits on what can be troops, which brings me to to my last point.

Troops at the very least, compulsory or otherwise, shouldn't be exploding bombs that literally can't score. The second I saw that fart bombs were troops, my mind literally exploded.

Its not like Tyranids didn't already have a cheap troop choice to fill this roll, but this literally made a cheaper one that makes my eyes want roll out of my head.

Move them to fast attack like their smaller versions, and lets not be dicks. At least on this one thing.
"That's my fun army" - That Guy

Tyranids are a very interesting army. They are organic animals in a galaxy of armored boxes and chainsaw somethings. They are the bad guys everyone can fight

Even Genestealer Cults aren't friendly with them. As it should be, because the second any of them saw a real Tyranid they would be physically compelled to cover themselves in barbecue sauce and literally jump into its mouth.

I'm okay with all that.

The only problem is this is Voltron edition. Where crossing codexs is the norm. And for Tyranids to compete with this, they really need a well thought out synergistic army that is actually good. Right now that's not Tyranids, and its making super interesting army concept super uninteresting to play or play against.
And continuing to give me a reason to not even bother painting this guy

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Painted Red Hunters Space Marine Army

This is the force I painted up for Adepticon. Just a small group of Red Hunters Space Marines. Painted using nearly 100% wash tech over silver, but all the iconography is normal paints, free handed.
This is converted from a Kataphron tread set and a SM Stalker/Hunter Tank.
I used DW models as much as possible from Death Masque and a small purchase or two.

As of right now they are up for sale on ebay if you are interested/like what you see.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

5 Things to Change with Tau + My Tau

So, this is going to be a part of a series of articles. I’m going to put forth suggestions on how I’d like some of my armies to change, plus I will be showcasing some glamour shots of my model collection.

I guess I'll start with were it all started. My first army. Tau.
When I think of future warfare, if it’s not instant vaporization from super weapons, its super mobile untouchable firepower. That's Tau, and that is why I decided to pick them as my first army.
Well not everyone is a track star……
(This joke would have been better if I owned any Stormsurges... Sorry...)

1. Markerlights
Honestly the only thing that needs to change is Scour (the one that ignores cover), it just needs to go back to the old way. Back before 7th edition it removed cover saves point for point, just like Pinpoint (+Bs one). Someone decided it should be a flat 2 points removes all, and I just don't get why. It was perfectly fine the way it was.

The only other thing else is maybe bring back the -Ld for pinning tests, but I don’t think that is going to happen because there is some larger conspiracy at play. Notice how Snipers and Barrage lost it?

2. Coldstars
Cool idea. Really. Problem, its only usable on IC HQs you don't want to fall out of the sky and instantly die. With the FAQ changes to Monster ICs, they can’t even hide in units before they take flight now. They just need something because they are just such a hard unit to justify in lists.

Make them T5, make them reroll grounding tests, maybe make them Elites or Fast attack choices rather than valuable leader units, or at least allow them to pick their weapons. Something.

And before anyone freaks out about Coldstars everywhere, they don't have smash or vector strike. They even rightfully lack Fear. They are really just fast dudes with an autocannon and three firewarriors strapped to their backs.

I can only find my drone commander Interesting for so long

3. Planes
It took me a few minutes to figure out where to start with this. The Tau codex flyers are just bad. Hilariously in ITC and pre-Death from the Skies formats, they each are better at doing each other’s jobs. The Sunshark (Bomber) is better at shooting at planes and the Razorshark (Fighter) is better at bombing. And on top of this they also suffer from ground units being able to do both jobs better. I had one and eventually used it for spare parts.
Meet my Longstrike

So, let’s start with the Sunshark. I want them to just scrape the idea it’s a bomber. The pulse weapon is completely unrecognizable as a bomb system anyways. Make it a support plane instead. Give it the option to have bubble effect of some kind, like a cover save or preferred enemy. These planes don’t have hover so they, and your army, would have to keep moving to make use of it. It would be a cool addition that does something interesting and useful.
Razorsharks are a little easier. Just give them Vector Dancer, the fluff for them even talks about how they give up drones to be better at dogfighing, and make their gun have a more anti-air profile, maybe give them twin-linked and remove the large blast profile altogether.

4. Vehicles
Tau vehicles were what made me fall in love with Tau. The Hammerhead is a tank from the future and it’s not something you can escape, because it will hover after you.
Hello Again
Outside of changing vehicle rules which make them vastly inferior to other options, there are a couple of things that could change that might help. Tau vehicles used to have multi-trackers and target-locks, they both allowed them to shoot like fast vehicles and split fire their weapons. They wouldn’t mind them back.

Another addition could be to have a new piece of wargear that lets them shoot and move.

Outside that, weapons do need to be looked at. But I plan to cover that in the next section.

5. Weapons
If you ask anyone who doesn't play Tau, the major thing they will tell you that needs to change is Riptides. According to DakkaDakka, they are apparently the anti-Christ. That or Stromsurges should be a walker.
Seriously, How do I not own any Stormsurges?!

But let me give you a better suggestion of something to focus on. Tau Weapons. These are the profiles of the Riptide primary weapons, normal and overcharged. 

    Heavy Burst Cannon
    (Normal)       36" str6 ap4, Heavy 8
    (Overcharge) 36" str6 ap4, Heavy 12, Rending

    Ion Accelerator
    (Normal)       72" str7 ap 2, Heavy 3
    (Normal)       72" str8 ap2, Large Blast, Gets Hot
    (Overcharge) 72" str 9 ap2, Large Blast, Ordnance

Now the Heavy Burst is the default weapon. Now it isn't that bad, but if its not overcharging you're not going to write home about it. The Ion on the other hand, which to be fair is the the upgrade option, is vastly superior. It has shots, can blast, great for intercepting, and you don't need to risk overcharge wounds. Ever wounder the cost difference? 5 points. Yeah...... 

This is common trend in the Tau codex and is a serious legitimate reason for hate. You literally have auto-take options that have either no, or next to no, cost penalty. Here's a few more examples, Default first and upgrade "options" second.

    Broadsides Primary Weapon
    Heavy Rail Rifle                       60" str8 ap1, Twin-linked
    High Yield Missile Launcher   36" str7 ap4, Twin-linked

                   SAME COST

    Tau Tanks Secondary Weapons
    Burst cannon     18" str5 ap5, Heavy 4, Twin-linked
    Smart Missiles   30" str5 ap5, Heavy 4, Twin-linked, Ignore Cover and LOS

                    SAME COST

    Ghost-keel Primary Weapon
    Fusion collider  18" str8 ap1 Blast, Melta
    Cyclic Ion Raker  24" str7 ap4, Heavy 6 or 24" str8 ap 4, Large blast, Gets Hot

                   SAME COST
These guys are fully magnetized. Hilarious.

Tau shoot good, I play them, I get it. And it is hard trying to cost that against other armies, because Tau literally have nothing else. But this is a terrible internal imbalance. I could go for paragraphs on why Rail weapons should be improved, but that is a personal grievance.
Which I rectify through Conversions
But if any one thing needs to change within Tau, it is at the very least their weapons. Its very hard to argue against Tau haters when I know for a fact Tau don't pay for some of the advantages they have. They should have those shooting advantages because Tau fail in two other phases, but there needs to be a legitimate choice when it comes to them.

Otherwise make Kroot, and dare I say Vespids, close combat beasts that can shoot mind bullets at people.