Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shooty Terminators feelings thoughts and Emotional outburts

Hey gang I've been thinking, A dangerous past-time I know... about units I've discounted in favor of others and I think I may have missed something. Namely shooty terminators seem to have been taken off the game board by a perception that the assault terminator is just better. This and some discussions with Ciaphas Cain about the Imperial Fist list he came up with made me think. And as you can tell from my boota blog I like to try different things from time to time. And so my eye now heads over to the misunderstood Shooty Termies.

Arguments against shooty, they have only a 5+ invul compared to the 3+ ss variant. This is true, I contend that if you are relying on invul saves on your terminators wither 3+ or 5+ is less of a concern when dealing with ranged attacks. Their are few high volume of shots low ap weapons in the game, theirs plasma and some rarely taken psychic powers. But typically you are making saves from shooting on your terminator armor only not the invul. In this case both have the same save a 2+.

So with that why Shooty termies, the answer I give is flexibilty. No other unit in the marine codex has the combination of deployment, firepower, protection and range that shooty terminators do. Assault terminator are a focused unit they can do only 1 thing they do it extremely well but they are not flexible. The shooty terminators provide flexbilty. Two key items for shooty terminators the Chainfist upgrade and the Cyclone missile launcher. Why I believe these two are key is the chainfist is a meltabomb on steroids, This turns every termy equiped withit into a landraider busting machine, on the charge each chainfist is 3 attack that all resolve the roll for armor pen at str 8 + 2d6. Also each termy save the Srgt has a powerfist, I love PFs attack wise TH terminator and shooty terminator are virtually the same, save the dropping of int.

And now the most obvious advantage that shooty termies have over assault terminators they can shoot. I love the stormbolter, 2 shots str 4 range 24" and if you take a Cyclone missile launcher you still get to fire your stormbolter as well. Why I like the Cyclone is anytime you can take a missile launcher take it, 2 shots that can either be small blasts or str8 ap3 death is golden. Not to mention when mounted on a terminator the unit can move fire the rockets and then charge, love relentless. I find the key advantage the missile launcher has over the assault cannon is simply the range, and the variable round. Fewer shots but I like the options the extra range provides.

Some tactical thought

Shooty terminators are a great backfield counter strike force, in this method you can deploy them towards your rear objective and use them to take out enemy units that have broken your lines the combination of firepower and pf attacks can be an excellent counter charge.

Shooty terminators can deepstrike in late and finish off units, or get side rear armor on vehicles.

SHooty terminators can actually do something if their ride is destroyed or their libby teleport is broken.

I'm not saying their a better unit then assault terminators, I'm just saying don't discount them. thoughts feelings emotional outburts?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Let's Talk list Design

Everyone these days has a belief method and voodoo ritual on what makes a good list or how they go about army list construction. Some have radically different ideas or lists of elements every list should have and the list goes on. I play vanilla marines, it;s my favorite codex because it has a highly fluid and flexibly structure. What I mean by that is by the inclusion or exclusion of a unit the entire army plays and functions very differently. A fleeting Shrike Lists plays and should be built differently then a steadfast Lysander build, or an attack bubble Vote for Pedro list. This diversity and flexibility makes this dex the most fun for me to use and I still believe its got some good competitive style builds for a majority of units in it.

Well my personal philosophy of list construction is to build to the maximize the strengths of your selected army and units to maximize your advantage before you hit the table. What that means in English is,if you Take say Vulkan you should be making extensive use of Flamers and MM. I also contend that everything in a dex can be useful, but may be points prohibitive to be competitive. My favorite poster child is Vanguard. This poor unit is simply too expensive compared to what it does and requires help to make the unit really viable. Exceeding what another unit can do for less points. So what does this all mean basically build a list around the interactions of the units and create a solid force that can:
1.) Kill
2.) Take objectives
3.) Delay and Disrupt the enemy
4.)Threaten the enemy.


A solid list has the ability to deal damage to the opponent, all list need some ability to do damage to all foes in order to win the game this can be done differently in different armies my preferred method is to make sure I have enough units that can kill tanks, kill Montrous Creatures and kill infantry. Current metagame is mech so weapons that kill tanks should have a high importance in your list.

Take Objectives

In 5th ed, you have to have scoring units you need something to hold an objective or control objectives once you taken them from the enemy. Scoring units are key to 2/3 of the basic missions and required to win unless you table your opponent.

Delay and Disrupt your enemy

This is a high level concept that is built into all of my lists. I want to have units that provide me options to slow down or disrupt my enemy all together. This typically comes in the form of some element of outflanking, deepstriking or other high mobility units. Quite often this role is filled with the humble rhino used as a mobile piece of terrain to block LOS and movement. If your opponent is an eggs in one basket kinda guy you need the ability to shatter the basket. Disruption can often do more to win you a game then anything else.

Threaten the Enemy

This speaks to a concept called target saturation, you want to multiple threats in your army that will hurt your opponent. These threats need to be numerous and designed in such a way that all of them are not easily countered. You need something in your list that forces poor choices on your opponent. And once your opponent has chosen his path you need to utilize the other threats to exploit the weakness inherent in the choice they make. Again a little high level but all will be made clear with examples.

Lets Look at one of my Favorite Thousand point lists
Libby with Null Zone and Smite
5man Sternguard 2x Missile Launcher Srgt with CombiMelta in a rhino
Dreadnought Multimelta DCCW and Storm Bolter Extra Armor
Dreadnought Assault Cannon DCCW and Storm Bolter Extra Armor
10 Man tactical Squad Meltagun Missile Launcher Srgt with Combi Meltagun in a rhino
5man scout squad 3xSniper Rifles Missile Launcher Srgt. with Sniper Rifle
Predator Auto Cannon and Heavy Bolter
Predator Auto Cannon and Heavy Bolter

Quick Evaluation

Can it kill, yes I have weapons that by pass FNP and armor, I have the ability to hurt MC's heavy infantry and regular infantry. I have the ability to kill tanks.

Can It take objectives, yes I have 2 base troop choices with Combat tactics I can stretch it to 3. The troops in this list are an area of slight concern but the idea is at a 1000pts I should have enough troops to get the job done.

Can it Delay and Disrupt. This is precisely what my dreads are their for. They are my disruption force they have to dealt with or it can get a bit nasty. The libby's psychic hood and nullzone power are also usefully in the disruption of my enemy's pyschic phase and reliance on invul saves. I can also depending on the game and my mood utilize my scouts as an outflanking force. Not recommended but an option non the less.

Does it threaten my enemy? Yes I have 2 dreads and two shooty Preds along with Protected Sternguard launching missile attacks. This threat core threatens my enemy both at range and as they approach my army. Again is it perfect no but it gets the job done quite a bit. More on list design philosophy and tactics to come.

Remember if you can dream it you can do it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wargames Con some thoughts of a personal tactical nature

Hey gang back as you can see from Wargames con and going over my notes from the 40k singles. I did about what I expected, i had two big loses 2 big wins a straight draw, a minor loss and an I"m too hung over finally. In the process of going over my notes both on paper and the ones in my head, I found somethings about myself, the list I took and most importantly some simple rules of engagement.

Let us begin at the beginning because it is a very good place to start. I went with my comfort zone, Lysander. I love the man the myth the legion and in 3 of the six games the 7th doesn't count as I was destroyed like spencer at adepticon and couldn't play it, I played Lysander like a champion in the other 3 however I set him up for abject failure.
Game 1 Lysander vs the Assault cannon rodeo of the Blood Angels

Okay game 1 I in my moment of Zen like brilliance decided to do exactly what I warned myself against 100times, but all my eggs in a single basket and send it through the warp. Nothing bad will happen, famous last words. The set up libby, 8 man assault termies 7 TH/SS 1 LCs and Lysander all deployed behind my armored wall. I open the gate of infinity no issue, I then proceed to deepstrike. I roll the scatter die forward toward his line double 4's 1 man is toast. But wait it gets better 1" away from his razorback, its cool 66% chance of only mildly bad things happening...I roll my mishap its a 2. Yup all my termies lysander and my libby gone in a puff of smoke. At which point I decided to have fun. I killed some stuff, he killed more of my stuff. I end the game with 1 pt.

What did I learn? Don't put all your eggs in one basket and send it through the warp. 1 and only time I did that for the tourney. However the fear that the incident caused hampered me in later games. When it may have been more prudent to take some risk. The other point I learned which is a recurring theme is I deployed my terminators poorly. There designed to take a pounding they should have been deployed as far forward as possible and used as a net against his speedy razors. Instead I deployed cowardly and reilyed on the warp to save me. Believe in the emperors armor not the tricks of the of warp.

Game 2 wait for it Lysander vs the Lawn Equipment of the Imperial Guard

This game was interesting my combimelta alpha strike proceded to flounder resulting in a single shaken on the Demolotion plasma cannon Lehman russ. This time I did something equally fun and stupid with my libby and my terminators, instead of making the unit earn its points, I instead hold the unit back. I would blame the fact that I was starving at this point but honestly, the 2 coors before teh game are more likely culprits then low blood sugar. Had I pressed his flank with my terminators instead of playing hey just shoot them, I would have had a better result.

What we learned friends don't let friends play tactically stupid. This game was purely lost by a lack of basic game play on my part. What great is I never do that at my home store. No I wait till it matters.

Game 3 Lysander vs Vulkan Hestan and the funky bunch

This game I saw an interesting Space Marines with Vulkan build and all of a sudden my brain realized it was time to play some Warhammer 40k. Turn 1 his landraider exploded to my sternguard, His thunderfire cannon was broken his rhino was destroyed and his ironclad dreadnaught was immoblized and lost its melta arm. From here I played clean up, he had two horrific mishaps with a landspeeder and a unit of Tactical terminators both being eaten by the warp. We ended on turn 5 due to time constrants with me holding two objectives and contesting the third with my terminators ready to charge his two remaining units the next turn had we had the time. Very good game, bad luck by my opponent with two deepstrikes he should have attempted in the locations he did. But such are the vagerys of the dice.

Game 4 Lysander vs the Blood Angels 60 boots with 2 sangs and Sanguinator

This game Lysander taught the blood angels why being fearless sucks! My sternguard and hellfire rounds eat the sanguintor on turn 2. He deep struck too close to me with most of his units. So that he only got a single charge on me. Lysander ate two ten man blood raged assault squads and two sang priests. I missed full points by having my terminators gate scatter too far away from his finally jp sqaud. Great game but blood angels that don't get the charge off are target practice.

What I learned, Stubborn has its advantages when you bring terminators to mop up. Sternguard eat lots of things. Lysander is dead sexy some games!

Let's Talk about Protection

No, mind out of the gutter, I'm talking the often misunderstood and much praised and despised Extra Armor. This article will focus primary on standard vanilla marines and my thoughts overreactions and personal experience with Extra Armor. I'm a fan of extra Armor on two vehicles, Dreadnoughts with DCCW and Land raiders full of assaulty goodness. Everything else extra armor doesn't make sense to me.

Okay why extra armor on Dreads, the reason is I want the dread to keep moving, can't shoot awesome I'm gonna move and then I'm gonna run. Again this goes to directly to my belief on what dreadnoughts are, Dreads are DCCW delivery systems. The gun is their to scare you, the DCCW is what does most of the damage. Again why I take Extra armor on the raider is the raider is designed to move and deploy its contents. Giving it every advantage to do its job is key.

Why I don't advocate it on rhinos namely is the cost of the advantage relative to the unit. 15pts on a 35 point vehicle to me is to high to have a 2 result moved down to a 1. Rhinos have the advantage of being inexpensive points wise, why almost double the points with a single piece of wargear that provides little mobility. Buying two sets of extra armor means with those points plus 5 more I could just get another rhino and give the previous 2 a cover save.

So in conclusion Take Extra Armor on your dreads and your crusaders don't take it on your rhinos. Or even better tell me what you think.

Back to the Blog

Alright gang starting the blog up again. Will be importing stuff from my freebootaz blog so the world can see my crazy takes on 40k. Well not crazy, simply different. I strive to provoke thought in my readers, and if only for a minute entertain you as well. My ideas are my own and I seek to better the hobby for all by creating dialogue with the masses. Again everything you see on here is from my own play testing, game won experience. I'm of the firm belief don't knock it until you try it.