Category: Vassal

5 Reasons You can Master 8th Faster with Vassal 40K

Looking for a way to speed up how fast you master the new edition of 40K? You might want to consider trying Vassal.

For those who haven’t heard of it, Vassal is a program that allows users to play turn based games online. It’s very basic, and rule-system agnostic (a fancy way of saying it doesn’t know what you’re playing and what the rules are, but just lets you get on with whatever it is). Despite looking like a 1990s Amiga game at best, it has grown to be a huge hit with competitive gamers -especially for FFG’s X-Wing and Star Wars Armada.

In X-Wing in particular, tournament gamers from around the world have credited Vassal as a key contributor to honing their skills and improving their game, for reasons I’ll briefly cover below. I must have logged hundreds of hours worth of games on Vassal back while I was an avid X-Wing player, including participating in several Leagues and international tournaments.
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Star Wars Armada – 5 Things you need to Know

swmw1_plastic_imperial Star Wars Armada – it should have been an easy sale to a strategy gaming fanatic like me, who’s already done two 40K armies in Star Wars themes (not to mention a third at epic scale!). Let’s just say I am a fan.

The truth is though that when I first tried a demo game I was skeptical, it seemed a bit too simple (and properly-engineered star destroyers just too durable) which is why I didn’t get any models until now. However, the whole of Wave 1 is now out and the game has improved, so I finally made the plunge and bought my very first Armada ship last night. By the time midnight had struck, I had bought another 4 capital ships and 14 fighter squadrons.

But at least they are easy to store. Here are 5 things you need to know. Read more

Diving in to X-Wing

This article is about X-Wing, Vassal, tournaments and advice on how to accelerate the process of learning a new gaming system.

A friend of mine called JJ flew in to visit a couple of weeks ago, and in the time it took to get him from the carpark to a café on the seafront, he convinced me to try Fantasy Flight’s X-Wing game. We went straight from the beach café to a games club, where I bought the starter set. This is how geeks holiday.

That makes me a real late-comer to this game, which I’m sure we’ve all seen talked about on gaming sites and forums, but let me assure you it is a very good, tactically challenging game that rewards planning and fast-decision making, and also features both the dice rolling that table-top gamers love and a poker-style element where players attempt to guess and outsmart the concealed moves laid down at the start of each round.
The models are brilliant and it’s genuinely a quality gaming experience. Read more

Vassal Battle Report – Tau vs Daemons (Part 1)

My Tau go Pew Pew

Matt and I decided to do some vassaling fun with the two latest books – Tau and Daemons at 2000 points. I’m writing this as we go :). Matt won the first game automatically because of the poor mission design of 6th edition and got to place two objectives (Hammer & Anvil) and I got to place one. It was certainly possible for the game to still be won by the Tau but it was a significant uphill battle and Matt being the ultimate gentlemen allowed the game to be four objectives instead (we did want an enjoyable game after all…) – and this is why Tau a) like allies and b) 6th edition missions need even the slightest of tweaks to be made competitive worthy.

I’ll split this into two posts as we took a break midway through Turn 3… Read more

Kirby vs Archnomad – List Selection in WM/H

Hi everybody. Kirby and I are going to have a game of WM/H on Vassal in the near future, and I’m using this as an example to talk about list selection in steamroller format games for WM/H. So, without wasting any more time let’s get a look in at these army lists. They’re 35pts, Menoth for Kirby and Legion for me. 

So, I’m running these two beauties:

pVayl +6
Typhon 12
Scythean 9
Seraph 8
Shredder 2
3 Raptors 6
Forsaken 2
Forsaken 2

eVayl +6 (Tier 4)
Ravagore 9
Angelius 8
Angelius 8
Scythean 8
Harrier 2
Max Pot 3
Shepherd 1
Shepherd 1
Spell Martyr 1

That pVayl list has been serving me very well at 50pts lately (I add a Ravagore and the Blackfrost Shard), and, whilst I haven’t played either of these lists at 35pts before it’s got the same essentials and I imagine it will be fine. My pVayl list is the one I’m most comfortable with, as she’s my most practiced and probably favourite Legion warlock. eVayl is my 2nd most practiced though, and, unsurprisingly, second favourite (out of the like 11 games I’ve had with Legion, but anyway). pVayl looks to hit (stupidly) hard  and accurately first, and then set up a piece trade that’s already in her favour, but she doesn’t like excessive shooting or enemies that can control or deny her positioning. eVayl on the other hand is a lot more passive. Or possibly passive aggressive. She looks to set up position favourably before the enemy (faster beasts turn 1 and +1 to your roll help with this) and then continually hit and run and grind the enemy down, with the ever present threat of a really potent assassination. In addition to this, pVayl is really strong against Hordes, and quite likes scenarios that are easy to clear pieces off of (with small control points) or scenarios that are hard to score (so she can play hide and go seek). eVayl looooves radial deployment because she can play super safe all game and she’s a fan of scenarios with big zones / areas to control because it gives her lots of leeway to run away without giving up control points.

So, with all that said, I randomly rolled scenario and got Radial – Command and Control (if you want to question that Kirby, ask Jamie Perkins, who happened to be in the Vassal lobby when I rolled it ^^).

So, lets see Kirby’s lists. I basically know that I’m playing eVayl at this point anyway (because she loves big zones, she loves radial, and pVayl hates this scenario because she has to sit back, but I can talk about what I’m worried about in each matchup).

eFeora (+6)
 – Redeemer (6)
 – Reckoner (8)
 – Templar (8)
Full TFG + UA (8)
Daughters (5)
Choir (2)
Covenant (2)
Vassal (2)

pSevvy (+6)
– Blessing of Vengeance (7)
– Reckoner (8)
Avatar (11)
Choir (2)
Full Errants + UA (10)
Vassal (2)
                                                    Wracks (1)

Ok, so, two fairly standard Menoth lists here. We’ll start with eFeora. I can tell straight away that that redeemer will probably be bonded, and dropping fire all over my stuff. Which is annoying but it’s fairly standard eFeora and I’ll just have to deal with it. I’m not too worried about the infantry with either of my casters, because Chiller + Typhon + Incite deals with pretty much everything short of a Cryx Horde, and eVayl has shooting and the combo of Icy Grip/Overtake at her disposal. The two heavies are harsh but definitely not unmanageable for my 4. Really quite standard eFeora, the only thing is it does pretty much entirely remove my ability to Assassinate in this matchup (eFeora is immune to my shooting and pSevvy is immune to my spells, although he’s fragile enough I probably wont need the spells if he’s ever in the open).

The pSevvy list is similar (ugh). I hate Menoth, I just don’t like how often they tell my I can’t do things. But anyway, BoV is standard with pSevvy, the Reckoner is a reckoner, can’t really comment, it’d be like kirby commenting on the fact I had a Scythean. The Avatar with Defender’s Ward can suck a bag of ***** though. I can’t really engage it head on and I certainly can’t let it get to one of my heavies without me being able to kill it in return. The angels are almost certainly going to have to put in a shift against this guy. Hopefully I’ll be able to Purify off Defender’s Ward and just one round it. And there are errants in there too, who I’d probably rather deal with with pVayl than eVayl, but at least eVayl has purification and some shooting to whittle them down. Due to the expensive avatar + full errant unit there’s not as much in this list.

If I’m entirely honest, I’m probably more afraid of pSevvy in this matchup, and due to the scenario I feel he’s “probably” a stronger choice (what with this scenario forcing your caster back), especially considering how much eFeora dislikes Purification. But I’ll let Kirby decide that.


Ok, so, we had the game. Here’s my report:

The board:

The board.

So after deployment I failed to seize ^^.


Avatar gets 4. 1 To the Reckoner and 1 to BoV. Errants run. Sevvy goes, casts Eye of Menoth and Defender’s Ward on the errants.  Choir advance and cast passage. BoV runs. Avatar runs. Reckoner runs. Vassal runs.

eVayl’s pot handlers die mysteriously, a Shredder spawns and then legion takes some potshots and kills some errants. Refuge and Occultation go up on the angels, and the Scythean gets Admonition. Stuff advances.

Ok, so this was a fairly standard first turn for each of us. I personally expected Defender’s Ward on the Avatar because the shooting that would be going at the errants is easily boostable by me, but whatever, I guess the Avatar has Passage for now. I made a Shredder to throw Tenacity out with and put my upkeeps up in fairly standard places.

After we had both had turn 1. 

Here we agreed that the forest was probably a bit stupid, so it got moved to a little bit less of an offensive position. Sevvy upkeeps both, Avatar gets 2. Errants run to jam. Choir cast passage. Reckoner assaults my Scythean and does 5 damage. Avatar casts Gaze of Menoth and runs, keeping a toe in the zone. BoV runs over to threaten my support next turn with ashes to ashes / immolation. Vassal advances over to the Avatar, and gives the Reckoner Enliven. Severius casts Vision on the Reckoner and calls turn.

Certain factions have a hell of a time dealing with terrain, and I always hate games where I feel I lost to the crappy map. Another fairly standard turn here by Kirby, just establishing dominance in the zone. 

There’s Menoth in my grill.

Angelius charges in and kills a pair of errants, then refuges in front of the reckoner. My spell martyr runs. Angel gets admonition. Ravagore advances and kills the errant banner and sets the Vassal on fire and reduces it to 2 boxes. My shredder activates, casts Tenacity on an angel and kills an errants. My angel charges the reckoner and rolls 1,1,2 to hit. ballocks. Buys on the errant officer to get refuge to trigger. Ballocks. That was important. Otherwise it’s just damage control. I can’t finagle away with Refuge because of Gaze of Menoth, and I didn’t half kill the Reckoner, as was my intention. My only hope now is that I have something left at the end of the turn that can kill the Avatar.

I don’t have a clue what I was thinking here. My initial plan was to get the angel with refuge to charge in, kill some errants and then fly b2b with the Reckoner, so that when Angel #2 came in he wouldn’t be stopped by Gaze of Menoth. Thing is I can’t eyeball distance on vassal for shit, and as you can see I’m about an inch out. Then, in addition the that the Angel’s attack on the Redeemer rolled 1,1,2 to hit (I missed a lot of attacks I needed 6s or less for this game) and I was basically stuck. The correct play after I didn’t get in b2b with the Reckoner would probably have been to chill, hang back, and make him start a piece trade. He only had 2 heavies to my 4, with spell support that would have been a much smarter play. But being just out put me on tilt. 

Archnomad throws away his angels.

pSevvy gives 3 to the Reckoner, the Avatar rolls 3, and he upkeeps Eye of Menoth. BoV gets one. Avatar walks up to my Angel and kills it. I don’t reave. Reckoner kills my other angel, errants kill the harrier. Scythean took an Ashes to Ashes and it didn’t kill a shepherd. The avatar got enlivened. (forgot a photo here, sorry)

Paying for my stupidity here. Basically gave Kirby both Angels for free. Still, I’m annoyed one rolled 1,1,2 to hit, seeing as he would have been on boosted dice +4, which could basically have half healthed the Reckoner, which would have made my late game much easier. 

eVayl didn’t have anything to upkeep. A mix of shredders and pot killed the errants. eVayl went and made a node of the shredder, and put Refuge on the Scythean, Occultation on herself, Admo on the Ravagore. The ravagore walked up and headbutted the avatar, and then boosted a bought attack on him. The scythean went in, almost boxed it and then I learned that BoV had a repulsor shield. I got pushed away, leaving the avatar on 1 box. Ballocks, again. That basically just cost me the game. Shepherd goes for a last ditch and charges the KD’d avatar, needing 11s to kill it, and I roll 10. Bah.

Still on tilt here, forgetting rules and such, in an important situation like this can easily cost games. As this did, seeing as my Scythean “would” have killed the Avatar and would also have taken a fairly serious chunk out of the BoV had I remembered the rule and positioned accordingly (I could have ran the Shepherd/positioned the ravagore so that I couldn’t be pushed back at all and could have wailed on both jacks till they die). Two game throwing moves, two turns in a row. 

“Whaddya mean, Repulsor shield?”

PSevvy gives 3 to BoV and the Reckoner. Upkeeping EoM. Choir sung battle. Avatar went and mauled the ravagore, after casting Gaze. BoM killed both my shredders and the shepherd. The reckoner got admonitioned away from by the ravagore, and then assault shotted anyway and took the ravagore to 8 boxes. Then an Ancillary attack at dice +3 took the ravagore to 1 box, and he’s on fire.

Once more Kirby making me pay for stupid mistakes, he’s basically on clean up here with those 2 jacks. 

My poor Ravagore.

This is the beginning of the end. Things got a lil hectic here and I forgot to take some pictures. 😛 I’m sure you can see where the game is going but I think I did a damn fine job clawing it back.

Fire runs out. eVayl goes and heals stuff, the ravagore kills the avatar. The pot spawns a shredder which dents the BoV. The scythean whiffs tremendously (crappy to hits and crap damage rolls) and does absolutely nothing, running away with refuge.

Seriously, looking back, I feel that my dice were probably a little under average this game, but not to the extent that it makes up for my misplay with the Angels or forgetting Repulsor Shield on the BoV. I also feel that rather than Refuge the Scythean here I should have Admonitioned, but I had basically lost hope here anyway. 

The reckoner kills the Scythean, and then I move in the ravagore to counter and kill the reckoner, and die to defensive strike on BoV. Can you tell I don’t play against Menoth very much? So, that was basically the end for me. However, I managed to claw my way back (almost) by killing the BoV and almost all the choir with a never ending horde of shredders (protip: Make sure stuff dies near the pot). It came down to last turn I needed to kill a shredder and a choir with an obliteration to get 3 corpses in the pot to spawn a shredder who could go rabid and charge Sevvy (hitting on 9s, killing on 6,6,6), but I left one choir boy alive which pSevvy fired an Ashes to Ashes at, and killed eVayl.

Yeah, Kirby totally deserved the win, especially considering I played like it was my 1st ever game with Legion where charging 2 Angels into the middle of a Menoth army makes sense in my head. I feel I did really well to claw it back as much as I did, but considering I was basically playing 2 Angels down the whole game I didn’t really see a way for Kirby to lose if he played it out correctly after that. 

The board towards the end of the game, not much left for either player.

The board at the end of the game.

So, in summary, I need to practice against Menoth. My group has no menoth players and they’re very uncommon locally. Forgetting the repulsor shield and also defensive strike (twice! >.<) literally cost me the game here. Well, throwing away my two angels probably did (I could totally have waited a turn, no reason I couldn't, and just positioned) but that's what lost me my attempt at clawing myself back into the game.

Practice against Menoth needed, and a very good game, considering the only models left on the board when the final damage dice went down were pSevvy and eVayl.

Thoughts Kirby? You should post an opinion in this as well. 😛  

Vassal Bat Rep

SirBiscuit and I did some Vassaling today so I decided to record one of our games and do a voice over. It’s Vassal so not the best depiction of play but hopefully you get the general gist. I’ve sped the video up and taken snapshots at each phase of play and added in a voice over. Let me know what you think in terms of this style of bat rep when real games are unavailable.

Edit: so of course my video software didn’t work. It recorded, but didn’t work so rather than a commentary battle report we’ll just look at some things that cropped up in relation to the new edition. (end game picture above)

Mission was a Feast of Blades one (number 3) with a quick modification (Vanguard Strike deployment) for 6th edition. I used a Tyranids list to check out how the changes have affected them – basically a list used in 5th edition with a few small tweaks (dropping of T-Fex, adding more psychic powers, etc.) so we’ll see how the changes go here. Biscuit used a Grey Hunter heavy Space Wolves list (a difficult match-up for Tyranids in the past) with Space Marine allies.


Hive Tyrant w/TL MC Devourer, LW/BS, Old Adversary, BRB powers
2x Tyrant Guard
Tyranid Prime w/LW/BS, Toxin Sacs, Rending Claws
3x Hive Guard
3x Hive Guard
3x Hive Guard
11x Genestealers w/Toxin Sacs, Broodlord w/BRB powers
10x Termagants
10x Termagants
Tervigon w/Toxin Sacs, Adrenal Glands, Catalyst, Onslaught
Tervigon w/Toxin Sacs, Adrenal Glands, Catalyst, Onslaught
Carnifex w/2x TL MC Devourers
Carnifex w/2x TL MC Devourers
1999 points
Space Wolves: 
2x rune Priests, 1 w/chooser, both with Rune Armor, BRB powers
Allied SM libby, Null Zone, The Avenger

5 Squads of Grey Hunters, 3 8-man and 2 7 man.  All squads have a meltagun, Wolf Standard, and Rhino w/dozer blade.  All squads have an attached Wolf Guard with a Power Sword and Combi-Melta

Allied 5-man scout squad, camo cloaks, ML and sniper rifles

3 6-man long fangs. 1 has 5x missiles, the other two are 3xmissile 2xlascannon.  All have an attached Wolf Guard wtih no upgrades.

199 points
We are playing 2000 points, ironically both our lists came to 1999 :P. Warlord traits were three on Strategic table for Biscuit (re-roll outflanks) and a four for me on the Command table (re-roll run within 12″). Benefit for me, none for Biscuit. Good system *thumbs up*.

Battle Points were:
Tyranids – 8
Space Wolves – 10

Minor Victory for Tyranids. (though apparently we were playing battle points not Win/Loss, so Space Wolves attempt to win but I keep slapping them aka Biscuit until he cries =D).

So, stuff we noticed:

Random Charge Length – I failed several key charges, even though they were often within 6″. Then things died due to massive shooting and being in the open – this is really going to be important setting up charges REALLY close to your opponent, particularly for slower armies like Tyranids.

Wound Allocation & Look Out Sir – very important in terms of model positioning, particularly with different units (i.e. Prime + Fexes, Tyrantstars, etc.) and positioning for objectives. Killing one Grey Hunter last turn would have given me another objective.

Combat Dynamics – chuck in RCL alongside Overwatch and Challenges and the combat system has taken a huge overhaul. Lack of No Retreat! was massive – Termagants pushed Grey Hunters back into their DZ and were able to hold them there, even if they didn’t die.

Vehicles are much easier to kill – Hive Guard took two turns to drop all the Rhinos. Obviously one of the best units to deal with vehicles here and there were only five but it’s much easier to torrent them to death though suppression is obviously harder. This was also only seen against low AV at close range – higher AVs at range like Predators are still going to be quite durable and harder to suppress.

Cover changes – MCs die a little bit easier, so do Termagants. Obviously! It’s easier to get a 5+ compared to the old 4+ but when you do, all those missiles keep pouring through and if FNP isn’t around (runic staffed :P), the results are dead MCs faster.

So list thoughts.

Iron Arm was awesome on the Tyrant but I think the Tyrantstar isn’t as good – you need to fiddle around with placement and cannot allocate wounds on the fly though Look Out Sir! saves help a bit, they aren’t 100%. I think a Flyrant would be better in general and just foregoing the concept of OA aura. Fexes are probably a bit more vulnerable than they were before just as above with the cover changes but they are much more deadly to vehicles and have higher charge distance potentials. Tervigons with no No Retreat Termagants = awesome however, same with Hive Guard so I can foresee me reducing those numbers to get other options. Something faster certainly would have been nice…

Anyway, hopefully we’ll get some more actual battle reports up with a greater detail of analysis but hopefully we can start putting the pieces together. Biscuit will comment below 😛

Email in: Battle Reports/Vassal

“Hey, I was reading through some of the old posts (Batreps), and I was curious if there was anyway to watch games being played on Vassal? While I am more or less on the opposite side of the world, i think it would be fun to watch some of the more experienced list builders and what not get some games in. (40k internet celebrity death-match? Haha)

I am still coming along with the Tau, although, I’m hesitant to get my suits (or converted suits as the case may be) all up and running with what I hope will be a tau update soon. Still got plenty of work to be done, and a life to busy to do it. Which leads to a question. Any experience with lists seeking to bring massive amounts of Birdmens? (talking minimum 60+). Flamer Deathrain suits, 88’s, pathfinders and Kroot?

No codex or scribe on this comp, so just gonna guess-timate on the points here.

1500 pts (or so)
El Mp Flamer 70

Xv 8 Mp Flamer x3 150
Xv 8 Mp Flamer x3 150
Xv 8 Mp Flamer x3 150

FW x6 60
Kroot x20 +hound x1 146
Kroot x20 +hound x1 146
Kroot x20 +hound x1 146

Pathfinder x6 +DF Dpod 150ish

88 TAx2 160
88 TAx2 160

Just curious if anything like this has been used, and I haven’t found the info on it yet.

Anyway, appreciate all the good work, enjoying the blog as usual. Take care. “

You can watch games on Vassal easily enough yes – just join rooms and sync with the players. Most of the stuff that goes in there is pretty meh though. It’s better to try and organise a game with someone from the chatbawks so you both know you’re looking for a competitive minded game, etc.

What does mass Kroot do for the army? I can’t say I’ve run one or seen one run outside of Mercs but there’s only so much defensive prowess they can provide and they aren’t exactly a durable target to keep pumping out firepower – even with cover. Really three squads is okay if you keep them smallish as you have some tactical flexibility with them but otherwise the standard twox 17 sized squads are your best bet. With spare points grab Piranhas for more aggressive defensive blocking.

Vassal Ladder Season 2

Season 2 is getting under way for the 2nd part of the Vassal league with the playoffs (top 8) for Season 1 being planned as well. There has been a bit of a delay with Katie Drake having been busy of late and SageoftheTimes has jumped in to help out the DevGaming League in running the show. You can check out more information here with the annoucement re-printed below.

“Alright, so after all of the random wtf, we have Season 2 coming up! It’s happening next [weekish], so sign up, tell your friends, bribe people, and beyond all, play 40k!

Rules are basically the same as season 1, because it worked well, so don’t break what worked. (If anyone has something they disagree with vehemently, say so/PM SageoftheTimes about it, keep in mind, you need to make a case for it)

Finally, those who were looking forwards to the playoffs, THEY WILL HAPPEN. We just need to figure out how we want them to take place (soon, very soon), specifically rules & formats. Might just copy Nova-style, but I’d like to look at it more closely before decisions are made.

To all those who waited patiently, thank you. To all those who want to play, sign up!

Thanks again all

The DevGaming Leagues Team”

To join Season 2 jump onto the forum and go to the registration page and follow the instructions there. Rules for the Ladder are there with another month of Vassal gaming coming up :).

Also, are people interested in doing something like this for Warmahordes as well?

3++ Vassal Ladder Season 1 has begun!

Hi everybody, this is Katie and I’m here to let everyone know that Season 1 of the 3++/ Vassal Ladder has begun!

If you’ve been living under a rock the past couple weeks, you can read about it here. Additional details can be found on the Ladder forums.

For those who expressed interest but haven’t signed up yet, or have yet to submit their army lists now is a good time.

I look forward to seeing you guys on the Ladder.

Katie D

3++ Vassal Ladder Season 1 – Launch

Hi everyone, this is Katie Drake bringing you Ladder-related news!
I have a pretty big announcement to make. 3++ has teamed up with Athran from to present to 40K players everywhere Season 1 of the V40K Ladder!
The official forums are up. To get involved, begin here. You’ll need an account to make posts and join the ladder.
There have been some changes to the rules because of the way that’s ladder software works, so be sure to read the updated rules post found in the forums. It’s nothing major, just the way points are earned and lost after games as well as a couple clarifications.
The Ladder will open for registration at 12:00AM on July 31st, Eastern Standard Time. People are encouraged to use the time between now and then to write army lists, read over the rules, ask questions and maybe get some practice in.
I hope to see people signing up to the forum and posting questions, comments and more soon. Looking forward to laddering with you guys!
Katie D