Category: Nerdrage

8th Edition Rant Follow-Up: ITC Missions and “Return Fire”

Good day, fellow murderous ’58 Plymouth Furies! Today I follow up on my sad, bitter post about the state of 8th edition. A lot of the commenters offered useful advice and I am deeply grateful for it. There was also a lot of discussion on implementing some sort of alternating unit activation mechanic. I’m going to tackle some of this stuff here.

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Synapse – The Changes

Synapse is nothing new – it’s been the Tyranid “thing” for ever and the fluff demands you “shoot the big ones first” as the swarm then dissolves into a gribbly horde of stupid.

Games Workshop finally took it’s fluff into game context and frankly, I don’t recall a rule which so consistently and actively worked against it’s army.

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Your reaction, too?

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Guest Article – Soft Scores

By Sethis

So, soft scoring.

For those of you who don’t know what the term means, it generally applies to two main catagories – Painting and Sportsmanship. It can also be applied to other minor areas of organising and running a tourney such as having your list submitted by a due date, having your list in the correct format, arriving on time etc.

“Soft scoring” simply means adding or taking away points from your tournament score based on the above, so to take an example from a tournament I recently attended, their score system looked like this:

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Lay Off of Matt Ward, Guys


So okay I guess it’s all fashionable to hate on Matt Ward. And I guess it has been for some time. But you know what? The man doesn’t deserve it. No, he’s not very good at writing fluff; I can’t count how many times the Blood Angels trapped someone behind their own defenses and wiped them out. Some of the stories are kinda cool, but for the most part they aren’t terribly inspiring, and that’s sort of unfortunate. But I would much, much rather have a book with good rules and mediocre fluff than the other way around, and of the current batch of GW codex authors I think Ward easily takes the top spot.

“But Matt Ward’s books are totally broken and OP and cheesy!”

No they aren’t and fuck you, sir, for “cheesy.” “Cheesy” is what players say to blame a loss on a factor that is nominally out of their control because they don’t want to accept that games have rules and we play by those rules. Accept it and get on with your life.
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Flyers – le sigh, Allies and 6th (again)

So Helldrakes are the new bazinga. For those of you who don’t know why yet – they can stay on the board and always vector strike and always place a template on a unit they want to (in range of course). They don’t have to hover, they don’t have to fly off or spend turns where their primary weapon isn’t doing much like the other flyers out there. As long as they can place the base, they are okay. That just smacks away one of the biggest (…only?) down-sides flyers had was if they wanted to maintain zooming, they had limited movement options or had to fly off the board which resulted in less firepower throughout a game. Or they could hover and thus be shot down as per normal.

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Allies, Fluff & It’s Cinematic

Reader’s beware: not a happy post :P!

It’s Cinematic. Forging a narrative. It’s the 6th edition catch phrases and of course we love applying them to everything. Want to know what it’s best applied to? Allies. The universe we all love and enjoy is bloody vast. We’ve all read lots of fluff background, books, stories, etc. and we’ve seen lots of crazy combinations. Off the top of my head I can remember Eldar & Imperial Guard allying, Space Marines & Tau, Blood Angels & Necrons, etc. I can remember Grey Knights allying with anything. And then killing them once their task is done.

It’s fucking Cinematic.

And you know what? Allies allows you to do this. Things might not make sense on the face of things. Imperial armies and Xenos don’t generally get along and although it’s very possible to see Imperial Guard allying with anyone and anything (humans suck – they are so corruptable and easy to seduce with boobies), the entire Allies matrix doesn’t always make sense. Guess what? It doesn’t have to.

It’s bloody Cinematic.

The fluff has a well-documented history of alliances forged under necessity. Hey mortal enemy! The Tyranids are coming and going to EAT us. Want to stop our pathetic mortal battle and like…live? Sure says the mortal enemy and then both of them plot how to screw the other royally once they both live but band together to blast those crazy bugs back to space! Because living and stabbing your mortal enemy in the back rocks. Haven’t I seen a movie like this? Or read a book about it?

It’s damn well Cinematic.

Dying isn’t. Dying ends the Cinematic and that’s clearly why Tyranids cannot have allies. They are un-Cinematic. I’ve figured Games Workshop out. The most Cinematic stuff is heroic individuals like Space Marines kicking arse. They get lots of Allies to therefore be the most Cinematic dudes possible. It’s harder to be Cinematic without showing off to your best buds or worstest enemies. You’re not being a show-off – you’re just one of those sad guys who thinks their heoric stand will go down in history and people will toast them with ale later in the millenia. But if you’ve got all these randoms watching you?

It’s stupendeously Cinematic!

And Imperial Guard can ally with lots of people because…boobies. Didn’t I explain this before?

It’s erotically Cinematic.

What’s the point of this you ask? If you don’t like fluffy play, that’s okay. You’ve got Allies to make a wealth of really good & balanced lists which just wasn’t possible before in 5th over so many books. If you do like fluffy play, that’s okay. YOU’VE GOT A CINEMATIC MATRIX. And that movie was Cinematic A+. Some of them might not make sense to you but it might make sense to someone. Someone might find it fluffy & interesting or think of a good background story for such a combination of armies & units. Good for them. They’re helping Forge the Narrative and making your game Cinematic. Don’t cry and whine about the system, particularly if your issue is someone using it to make their army better. Because…

That’s not Cinematic and that’s poor form laddies.

The New Tervigon…Impact?

So with the new Tervigon (and T-Fex, Swarmlord and bits for a Harpy) finally landing, the major question in everyone’s mind is what is going to happen to the old models and how is TLoS and cover going to interact with these models, in the future 6th edition rules and ultimately the viability of Tyranids on the whole.

Personally, and this is both as a gamer and as a newly blooded TO, old Tervigon & Tyrannofex conversions are fine – as long as they are reasonable. And by reasonable I mean anything based off something Carnifex sized – it was one of the biggest models back then and it’s basic construct was and still is, pretty similar to the artwork we had of the Tervigon and T-Fex. I believe any TO who goes against this…well, shame on them – particularly if it’s GW sponsored. We’ve heard from them for years about how they are a modelling company yet they dick around arguing legal terms with fans trying to help other fans out whilst making a little bit of money and fail to produce models which are a big part of an army (including Thunderwolves from Space Wolves). There’s protecting your IP and then there’s being, whatever colorful word you’d like to call Games Workshop currently.


So this harks back to the issue of TLoS, cover and the differences between the old converted models and the new models. I haven’t held the new model in my hand so it’s difficult to ascertain it’s exact height and where the rough 50% cut-off is going to be. In some of the new pictures released (hi Phil Kelly’s Tyranids!) we can see roughly two Termagants will reach just under the Tervigon/T-Fex head (see silly picture below) – this is the rough height of your medium sized Tyranid models such as Hive Guard/Warriors/Raveners/etc.

If we cut out the spines, this could conceivably cover half the model – the issue is the spines are part of the model and even without them, it’s not really covering 50% of the model thanks to the really tall hind legs which is putting the majority of the model up in the air (cause you know, that’s what evolution would do! :P). Now, I feel this is more of an issue with a T-Fex compared to the Tervigon who has that massive egg-sac underneath to counter-balance this. If you have some slightly taller models (Zoanthropes, Primes, etc.), you can start generating cover. and the stack-like things on top of the model aren’t exactly providing much in terms of mass – to me. This is all without a model present of course so the Hive Guard/Warriors might actually provide cover, but it’s unlikely and certainly won’t to the T-Fex (this is less of an issue due to a 2+ save though).

If this is the case, well conversion models are going to have a real ‘modelling-for-advantage’ issue – at the time, they were perfectly legal and based on a big GW product. Most people bulked them out somehow (I bulked mine out for example around the rib cage – made it wider and added some greenstuff to the hip join to make it longer) to represent the larger than Carnifex size but Games Workshop has basically dwarfed these with their new models and this has made the majority of conversions too small as they can get cover a lot easier.

However, since Games Workshop took two whole, bloody, frustrating, years to bring these models out despite being a “models company” – well tough shit, not everyone is going to buy these so the converted models are going to stay and they better bloody well be legal in GW sponsored tournaments (even though we don’t care about them at this point in time). The issue of course, is one needs to pretend they are bigger than they are without gaining any of the benefits. Now I’ve always personally had to do this with my T-Fexes since I used 3rd edition models for them (so they looked significantly different). This has made them much smaller and could be seen as modelling for advantage but I’ve always let my opponent see them (unless there was this massive thing in the way) and as long as there has been a Hive Guard+ sized model in front of them, they get cover. And since my gun is so close to the ground, the opponent has often got cover when a taller model would not have given it. And I don’t get the benefits of hiding behind a super tall model (though it would be unlikely to BLoS to Hive Guard anyway). This will really now need to be done for nearly every converted model out there unless they were big to start with or the opponent is happy enough to concede such models will get cover from Hive Guard sized models.

What this means is we need to get cover beyond our old layered Tyranids. No more Termgants to Hive Guard to MC cover wall – something new needs to happen. This can be as simple as running Venomthropes and if 6th edition really does take cover to 5+, well these guys are a pretty solid choice. Except the Tyranid army is now forced to take these to get cover reliably and this reduces their already struggling anti-tank. Larger units such as Gargoyles could be used but they really have the same role as Termagants and are going to be stuck babysitting Tervigons – not fun. Of course, Tyranid Primes if larger than Hive Guard/Warriors can still provide cover and since Games Workshop STILL hasn’t released an official model for them, well hello taller conversions since Games Workshop, through no rules changes at all, just effectively nerfed Tyranids. Again. And this is what happens when a “models company” attempts to make a game. (not bitter, I swear) Basically, you’re going to need to look outside your normal ‘my army brings its cover with it’ for Tyranids from this point on – MCs can still give cover to MCs (ahem T-Fexes) but something is unlikely to have cover unless you work a lot harder for it (because it was so easy before).

Ultimately, these models simply should not be bought. Personally, I dislike the look of them but beyond that, Games Workshop has made poor modelling decisions which impact the game in a negative fashion and made us wait a very long period of time for this whilst modelling them to such an extreme degree to attempt to render all conversions worthless so this model has to replace them (along with any other models we need to buy to ensure they have cover). Unfortunately, I know people will buy them because they’ve just started, never converted anything or just look cool and this is why Games Workshop never gets better, people keep buying and eating up their crap /rant.

Ahem – so, rant over! Once the models are released and there are exact sizes to measure up against we can see how damaging this really is though I think something around the 3″ mark is really going to be needed to give these guys cover without arguments – I could be wrong and then this would just be a less pointless rage and discussion but from the pictures, I don’t think so unfortunately. Now this could all change a ton in 6th edition where cover might be different (but I don’t see how much easier it would be to get for MCs), MCs might be better in other ways (5++ naturally!?) or mech is easier to kill (less reliance on Hive Guard therefore not so bad to buy Venomthropes in their place) but it still doesn’t make sense to release them now but hey *shrug*.

Here are also some more pictures of the Thunderwolf Lord, the lol Cyberwolf and Arjac (and the lash whips + boneswords).

Games Workshop: Rights and Wrongs

This is not a battlefield, this is a cake.

Sometimes, I just feel like alternating between scathing criticism of the game company I love and gushing praise for the rules that I put my every effort into tearing open to expose the pulsating, disgusting, flawed guts of. That’s normal, right? Well I sure as hell hope so, because here it comes.

Right: Making models

Games Workshop, you make some very, very nice models. Your plastic kits in particular are simply leagues beyond virtually anyone else in the industry, and of late they have been getting more customizable, having more parts, and been larger and more impressive. The cross-combination potential and extra bitz in the the GK, SW, and BA kits makes kitbashing and swapping parts a breeze, which is truly a boon. For so many players who only play GW games, this isn’t really obvious because they don’t get a lot of exposure to other companies’ minis, but placing them side by side (or working in close when painting, etc), it’s easy to see where GW’s superior sculptors and casters are really earning their paychecks.

Wrong: “We’re just a model company.”


No you fucking aren’t. What’s that big black book the players are always referencing? Rules. What are those $30 things that everyone always carries around with them? Rules. You make rules. You also make models, but you do not ONLY make models. Your models are good- we’ve been over that. Now quit making excuses and clean up your rules and you’ll really have a handle on the market. Good rules prevent players from getting into arguments. (Protip: “4+ it” is a seriously weak solution.) Good rules show people that you are a professional company that knows what they’re doing and hires intelligent people. Good rules reinforce that this is a good game worth spending money on and not just some nerd’s pipe dream that accidentally got successful.

Right: Ignore the whiners


Okay, let’s face it, gamers are basically the biggest bunch of manchildren this side of professional sports. They are whiny and unsatisfiable and no matter what you do or fail to do, it will incite a chorus of “omg worst ____ evar!” bullshit responses. It is an utterly unwinnable situation trying to make them happy, and GW has taken the smart path and chosen to not even try. No, that’s not sarcasm- GW has realized that what gamers say they want and what they actually want are so utterly divergent that it is simply not worth the time it takes to listen to them, and in this they are pretty much entirely correct. Now, yes, there are times when they should listen, but most of the time it’s in everybody’s best interest just to tune out the complaints and pretend as if everything were fine, because usually it is (or at least not broken in any way that relates to what people are saying.)

Wrong: “Interwhat?”


Some people like to act impressed by the blog GW runs on their main site; I’m not. It’s not a bad blog, and they showcase some nice conversions and ideas there, but in the end it’s no more special than any of the hundreds of other amateur gaming blogs I have access to across the web. Oh, you didn’t realize I knew about those? Because yes, I fucking well do. Look, I don’t expect you to try and keep pace with the whole internet- that’s not even a slightly fair expectation. What I DO expect is that you will admit that that the internet exists and influences the hobby instead of pretending it’s still 1993. A casual browse through the forums and blogrolls would yield you dozens of better FAQs (and, often, FAQ answers) than the nonsense that goes into most of your updates. We would really appreciate it if you would answer the questions that are frequently asked rather than making stuff up yourself. Also, internet retail is a thing now. People sell products through online channels, often across wide distances. You aren’t going to stop this, so quit halfassedly pretending you can, or that you can somehow use magical legal powers to stop the internet from doing things you don’t like. There are better ways to go about these things.

Right: FAQ updates


Fantasy 8E was the start of this, but it has spince spilled over into 40K as well. Basically, GW is using the FAQs to take a little time to update some of the older armies that are suffering badly from the edition changes, like Dwarves and Black Templars. It’s not nearly as nice as an actual full new book, but it at least helps keep things somewhat in line, so you don’t feel stupid with your combat-only-4++ Storm Shield and one-shot Cyclone Missile Launcher. It keeps these armies more viable and gives a nod to loyal players who stick with them, helping them limp through the worst of an edition where they’re unlikely to get an update.

Wrong: Information blackouts


This goes right back to that “we don’t believe in the internet” thing. Look, this is the Information Age. Every single person in the first world has a camera with them 99% of the time and anonymous channels of distribution are utterly ubiquitous. The Pentagon can’t stop people from leaking secret information to the public, what the fuck makes you think you are going to be able to? I realize you don’t like/want these leaks- shit, I even wrote an entire article about it. But they are there. They will happen. It is the internet, it is unpreventable. So stop chopping off hands because you get a hangnail, for crying out loud, and give us some actual previews of stuff. It’s good for your business, it makes us like you, and there’s no real downside other than “oh noes I wanted them to learn this on the 14th and they learned it on the 3rd!”

Right: Black boxes


The model kits in these especially are a nice way to get a look at new releases that’s better than what a blurry cellphone picture from a forum can possibly provide. Many times a model looks a lot better in person than it will from some particular angle, and features that looked glaring and awkward are much less so on the table. By sending these out, you give everyone a taste of what’s to come and advertise your upcoming releases in the best way possible, as there is almost always someone in the store who will assemble/paint the model early on and have it displayed for all to see.

Wrong: White Dwarf


Who even buys this anymore? The only time I ever see WD mentioned is when someone makes a post saying “I used to buy White Dwarf, but I just stopped/haven’t for a long time because it sucks.” It’s a terrible, ad-filled glossy piece of shit with nothing of value in it. Remember what I said about the internet existing? There is better painting advice available EVERYWHERE on the internet, in literally hundreds of varieties. Also battle reports. And showcase models. And actual previews of things BEFORE they come out. In short, the only unique feature of White Dwarf is the GW employees talking about how they play the game wrong and giving us their insipid insights into how “Eldar are a really strong army, I run 60 Storm Guardians and do pretty well with them.” There is no possible way this magazine is still making money; either turn it over to someone competent and put some actual interesting content in it or drop the whole damn thing and admit that physical hobby magazines expired half a decade ago.

Right: 5th Edition


The current edition of 40K is basically a godsend- its rules are far and away the best ever in the game’s history and balance and playability are at an all-time high. Moreover, they have been updating codices to avoid leaving anyone stuck in 3rd edition (and are almost finished) and have taken several old, uninteresting, niche armies and turned them into exciting and viable tabletop forces. For all the whining, for all the weirdness in some places in the rules that still remain, for all of the issues with codices, 5E is still the pinnacle of the game so far. Don’t fuck up 6th.

Wrong: Tournament support


GW does send out prizes to stores, which is good, and does host… some tournaments, which is better than not, but they still refuse to have any kind of direct hand in most of that sort of thing, resulting in an awkward “who knows what you’ll get” experience for players new to an area. Moreover, their view of what tournament players want is… well, it’s bad. Who likes Ard Boyz? Not many people. Who likes Throne of Skulls? Certainly not tournament players. Who likes the GT series? Some people, but not because of anything to do with it being some kind of “official tournament circut.” Stop getting your fluff players to organize tournaments, GW. Tournaments are good for your game.

Right: Switching to resin


I’m gonna say it: metal models are fucking awful. I don’t like them, I never have. They’re hard to convert and assemble, they’re hard to transport, they break easily, the paint chips and rubs off at the slightest touch unless you seal them, and any kind of metal-plastic hybrid kit is basically doomed to be a nightmare to assemble. Switching over to resin was an excellent move on GW’s part, because it lacks most all of those issues and is cheaper on their end to boot.

Wrong: Finecast


The Finecast launch was a disaster. While not all of the models are flawed, a very large (~30%) number of them were, which is just unacceptable for a company the size of GW. They knew there were problems and they tried to pretend there weren’t and the internet (remember the internet, GW?) called their bullshit right out in the open and told everyone how much it stunk. What could have been a genuine improvement instead turned into an awkward sidegrade; and don’t tell me it’s because they didn’t have experience with the new medium, Forge World has been making resin models for years now and it would not have been hard to tap those resources. Trying to pass off an inferior product because “we’re new at this, give us a break” only works when you are guys doing everything out of a basement- when you are a multimillion dollar publicly-traded corporation recognized across the world as the largest producer of miniatures wargames, you cannot fall back on that sort of thing.

Right: Starter kits


Assault on Black Reach and Island of Blood are both excellent ways to get a player into the game- they contain a variety of models in different poses that show off what GW can do with even simple plastics and they have everything you need to play a fairly balanced game; just as importantly, they are (comparatively) affordable, giving new players an option to start the game without completely breaking the bank. One big thing though – bring back starter kits with terrain!

Wrong: Startup costs


With all of the above aside, this game is expensive to get into, in terms of both money and effort. If you’re lucky and get one of the starter box factions, yeah, your first 700pts are pretty cheap, but outside of those you’re paying through the nose- and if you can’t find someone to split things with, it ends up looking like a lot less of a deal. The Battleforces have been getting worse and worse with each new release- they’re still technically better than just buying all the kits individually, but if you weren’t planning on using every single thing in that box, you’re better off not buying it. Oh, and you’ll still need to sink $30 for a codex and $50 for a rulebook and at least another $100 of models (because a Battleforce alone is really not enough to play any kind of game with) and suddenly that hole is looking really, really deep. Look, we understand that this isn’t Magic- you can’t just buy a $15 starter and get down to the game. But try and make entry a little easier- maybe have free mini-codices and rulebooks for people to start out with that are free/cheap and just contain what you need to play a basic game with the battleforce? And make the battleforces cheaper and more “basic” so you have something to suck in new players (but also won’t just be the only thing anyone buys). We know you need to make money, but if you can’t get someone started on the game, you can’t make any money off of them, and convincing mommy or daddy to spend $100 is a hell of a lot easier than $300.

“That isn’t fluffy for your army.”

This is one of the worst things you can hear from someone else in the game (aside from “You’re cheating” or some of the strings of obscenities) because it’s not just rude, presumptuous, and self-righteous, it’s also outright wrong.

There is no “right” fluff for an army. A lot of people get up in arms about things like being able to field a ton of Purifiers or having Grey Knights and Daemonhosts in the same army, but I think that’s very wrongheaded and harms the hobby as a whole. Maybe my Purifiers or Daemonhosts represent something else; or maybe my GK are part of a secret order of Purifiers that keeps itself hidden from the rest of the Imperium and thus aren’t part of the small contingent that is name in the GK codex. Or maybe I just want to play some damn Purifiers and stop having a hissy fit, you big babby.

Everyone has a right to dictate their own army fluff; that’s part of the great thing about 40K, because it’s set in a universe so fantastically large that even all of the cannon fluff we’ve seen so far doesn’t even scratch the surface of what the Imperium contains. There are TRILLIONS of people in the Imperium, and a thousand (or so) Marine chapters; I think there have been maybe a hundred named planets and a similar number of official chapters. There is room for whatever wacky idea you see fit to put down on paper, if you so please.

So why is it some people insist on telling you what is and isn’t “right” for your army? If I like Thunderwolves, or Purifiers, or Trygons, or Razorbacks, or Nobz, or whatever thing I have focused on, who are you to tell me that I’m violating the fluff? Sure, most Space Wolf bands probably aren’t dragging around fifteen giant mutant space puppies, but who knows, maybe one of them is? It’s not like those guys are anal-retentive like the Ultras are. Maybe my Guard regiment consists of only the best of the best from several planets who have been organized into an elite human strike force to complement the usual “overwhelming numbers” style of regular Guard regiments? Schaeffer’s Last Chancers, anyone? Don’t tell me all Veterans is “unfluffy,” because that’s bullshit; anything can be fluffy if you want it to be.

I’m not saying you have to like it; it’s perfectly understandable if someone else’s view of an army doesn’t mesh with your own. One of the Marine players in my area thinks all-bike armies are stupid and shouldn’t exist, even though they’re written right into the Codex Astartes. And that’s entirely within his rights, too- you aren’t required to like anything. But try to exercise a little bit of tact when someone else brings an army that doesn’t suit your personal tastes, okay? I totally don’t get why anyone would want to play Footdar because I think it’s about the dumbest thing in the world, but it’s their choice to do so. If someone spends the money and time to make an army, let them; it’s not yours or anyone else’s place to dictate the army they want to play.

And yes, not everyone who plays an army will have a deep and extensively detailed backstory for it; that’s fine, too. Some people enjoy doing that, some people don’t. Some people like to name their models, some people just wanna play Future Chess With Tanks. Neither way is right or wrong, they’re just different from each other. If someone asks you for advice on how to make their fluff more interesting- or their list more competitive- sure, go ahead and give it, but don’t burst in unasked and inform them that their army is bad and they should feel bad. Let them enjoy this hobby as they please, just as you do.

Working on Grey Knights…

I know the vast majority of you are tired of Grey Knights just like everyone else who is complaining about bandwagon jumpers. I’ll point out it’s not exactly new and every time a properly released army is re-done, lots of people jump onto the new codex. It’s how Games Workshop stays afloat through the year and whether or not people are jumping onto the new codex because they like the models, have played the army for years, are just getting into the game based on it or are looking for the ‘next best thing’ doesn’t really matter, they are playing it and you’ll play that army a lot over the next several months until the next army book drops. It’s not new, yes it’s annoying – particularly with Draigowing seeming to be ‘the thing.’ It’s particularly annoying lately since Games Workshop has released a lot of new Marine books, updated the two others and completely screwed up one of the most notable Xenos books, Tyranids.

Then Necrons will drop and we can see other forums light up with whining about OP they are, followed by Matt Ward is terrible and we should let people like Cruddance, who gave us Tyranids, write more, which will be concluded with months of people complaining about how many people play Necrons who aren’t really Xenos as their statlines used to be like Marines. People just like to complain okay. You know what I’d really love? People to just stop complaining and try to enjoy what we have. There’s providing feedback (which Games Workshop doesn’t listen to), providing constructive criticism and then there’s bitching. Like what I’m doing right now :P.

Ok sick rant over, sorry (I imagine 50%+ of comments will focus on those two paragraphs rather than those below…). Luckily we at 3++ have lots of authors so after the first couple weeks of hammering out the new book, you don’t see them so much. Unfortunately for you, Grey Knights are one of the armies I play, so you’re still going to hear about them – just like you do with Vanilla and Blood Angels (and Tau and Eldar when they come out. And Dark Eldar). Anywho, with my latest tournament being quite a disaster with not only being sick but going an essential 1-3 with Tyranids, I’ve pretty much decided to hang them up for the time being from competitive play. I’ll whip em out and beat up on Vince regularly worry not!

Anywho, so the question is what army do I start taking to tournaments? I’ve pretty much got my Marine and Blood Angel lists sorted with trusty old magnets, it’s just a matter of painting the Marines (since the vehicles are nearly all done) and Bikers. This of course leaves the trusty old Grey Knights – everyone’s favorite ranting stick of late. Now my mixed MSU Grey Knight list has two major issues I’ve been looking to address over the past several months.

  1. It’s firepower is all wounds based. I force the opponent to take lots of saves on every unit which is generally reliable. Sometimes though, one cannot punch through high armor/FNP units with reliability. The same goes for tanks – lack of AP1 can be a pain sometimes.
  2. No real combat presence. I don’t have a beatstick I can use if the shooting dice go sour.
So the obvious answer is to add some melta and a combat unit. With that in mind I also want to try and use the following units:
  • Grandmaster
  • Terminators/Paladins
  • Interceptors
whilst having Purifiers and at least seven+ psycannons and the usual large number of vehicles and Psyfledreads. I like this stuff and I want to use it and I’ve got some old metal Grey Knight Terminators I want to use (with about 12 more coming my way with 200ponies and Vince selling me some). With this in mind and knowing I need melta, I need Coteaz as well. The problem of course…all of that whilst maintaining at least seven Psycannons and three Psyfledreads just isn’t going to work. Let’s see what the points would have been for giggles.
Coteaz
Grandmaster w/Incinerator, MC Halberd, Blind Grenades, Rad Grenades, Psychotroke Grenades
3x5x Purifiers w/2x Psycannons, Hammer, Rhino
10x GKT w/2x Psycannon, 2x Hammer, 5x Halberds, Brotherhood Banner
3x5x Acolytes w/3x meltaguns, Psyback
2x5x Acolytes w/3x Plasmaguns, Psyback
10x Interceptors w/2x Psycannons, MC Hammer
3x Psyfledreads
2555 points – yikes! There’s really no way to trim that list without losing something I want. So what am I going to lose? We’ll drop the Interceptors for now. I love the concept of scoring 30″ shunt guys but without being able to get even remotely close to two full squads, for now we’ll leave that utility tool at home. Dropping them rackets the points down to 2260 – still well over a squad of anything (other than the GKT) so we are going to need a list fiddle. Let’s look at the evolution of some of my thoughts. Here was a first draft.
List 1
Coteaz
Grandmaster w/Incinerator, MC Halberd, Blind Grenades, Rad Grenades, Psychotroke Grenades
3x5x Purifiers w/2x Psycannons, Hammer, Psyback
5x GKT w/Psycannon, Hammer, 3x Halberds
5x Acolytes, Psyback
2x3x Acolytes, LasPlas
2x3x Acolytes w/3x Meltaguns, 2x Psykers, Rhino w/searchlight
3x Psyfledreads
2000 points, 43 infantry, 11 vehicles
This list seems to have a nice balance of options. You’ve got LasPlas, Psybacks and Rhinos supported by Dreads with seven Psycannons and six meltaguns. Only 43 infantry though so a bit light there and the GKT as a five-man squad aren’t exactly scary. With Coteaz and the Grandmaster tagged along they are a bit more punchy, particularly with the grenades, but still…lacklustre. Couple crappy rolls and bang – gone. Add in a lot of my firepower is tied up with just 15 Purifiers, and let’s face it – dropping three tanks + 15 MEQs isn’t that hard for many armies. So, let’s look at list 2 with some help from AbusePuppy.
List 2
Coteaz
Grandmaster w/Incinerator, MC Halberd, Blind, Rad, Psychotroke Grenades
2x5x Purifiers w/2x Psycannons, Hammer, Psyback
10x Purifiers w/3x Psycannons, 2x Hammer, 5x Halberd, Rhino
2x3x Acolytes w/LasPlas
2x5x Acolytes w/3x meltaguns, Rhino w/Searchlight
5x Acolytes w/3x meltaguns w/Psyback
6x Acolytes w/Psyback
3x Psyfledreads
2000 points, 49 infantry, 11 vehicles
We keep our Psycannon numbers are seven yet up our infantry count to 49 (though average durability is a little lower) and meltaguns to nine. The ten-strong Purifiers are a lot scarier than the five Terminators but they are being asked to do quite a bit with both shooting and combat as options. No Terminators makes me sad though I do love me some Purifiers so that makes up for it. Coteaz + Grandmaster special sauce with the Purifiers gives them an awesome amount of options. 20 Purifiers isn’t much better than 15 for localised firepower but since we’ve got some increased threats from more Acolytes (another meltagun unit) this minor increase in numbers here is okay (plus the GM + Coteaz are likely with them now instead of the Terminators unless they outflank). Still, target number one is them (particularly if they become scoring) and I’m not a fan of naked Acolytes – also a problem from list 1. Let’s look at the next evolution.
List 3
Coteaz
Grandmaster w/Incinerator, MC Halberd, Blind Grenades, Rad Grenades, Psychotroke Grenades
3x5x Purifiers w/2x Psycannons, Hammer, Rhino
5x GKT w/Psycannon, Hammer, 3x Halberds
2x5x Acolytes w/3x meltaguns, Psyback
5x Acolytes w/2x meltaguns, Psyback
2x5x Acolytes w/3x Plasmaguns, Psyback
3x Psyfledreads
2000 points, 47 infantry, 11 vehicles
Back to the three small Purifiers and Terminators but now with all the Acolytes in Psybacks with melta-weapons. I like this a bit more as I’ve got five Psybacks, seven Psycannons, three Psyfledreads, 8 meltaguns and six plasmaguns with a reasonable amount of infantry. The Acolytes are now all threats so if the opponent focuses on the Purifiers the Acolytes can actually do something. The small Terminators are still annoying though as they really aren’t that scary. We can change them to Paladins (and change a Purifiers to a Strike Squad) which gets us Warp Quake and a scarier combat unit but we lose some special weapons from the Acolytes and the Paladin unit is very vulnerable to S8 firepower. It would look like this…
List 4
Coteaz
Grandmaster w/Incinerator, MC Halberd, Blind Grenades, Rad Grenades, Psychotroke Grenades
2x5x Purifiers w/2x Psycannons, Hammer, Rhino
5x Paladins w/2x MC Psycannon, Hammer, 3x Halberd (1 MC)
2x5x Acolytes w/3x meltaguns, Psyback
3x5x Acolytes w/Psyback
5x GKSS w/Psycannon, Psyback
3x Psyfledreads
2000 points, 47 infantry, 11 vehicles
So the question is: are two meltaguns, six plasmaguns and Warp Quake worth changing the Terminators to Paladins? Also having the naked Acolytes doesn’t tickle me nicely – even when I aco-spam I want them to have at least Storm Bolters to provide extra firepower yet here three squads have nothing. A melta-bomb on each wouldn’t be amiss… Anyway, at this point I’m really not sure so play-testing will have to be used but I’d love to hear your opinions and tweaking ideas. The list looks solid on paper but they just don’t feel right at times…
Oh and before we go, there is of course me throwing out my want for the Grandmaster completely and doing something like so…
List 5
2x Ordus Malleus Inquisitor w/Terminator Armor, Hammer, Psycannon
2x3x MM Servitor, 4x Acolytes, Chimera w/Heavy Flamer
2x5x Purifiers w/2x Psycannons, Hammer, Psyback
5x GKT w/Psycannon, Hammer, 3x Halberds
4x5x GKSS w/Psycannon, Psyback
3x Psyfledreads
2002 points, 51 infantry, 11 vehicles
Though points need to be trimmed and we have to ask what the hell five Grey Knight Terminators are going to do without IC support. Beyond that though we have 11 psycannons, six meltas, 50+ infantry, six psybacks + two chimeras and three dreads with a much more impressive number of stormbolter shots over others. Dropping the GKT for another GKSS frees up more points for the henchmen squads to get more bodies and some meltaguns/bombs as well. This really moves away from what I want to use model wise though but if anyone can think of how to fit such into this, I’m all ears.
Anyway discuss away whilst I wallow in my sick bed :). At this point List 3 and 4 are what I’m looking at in terms of satisfying my personal and gaming needs whilst List 5 is probably the best in terms of actual gaming.