Email in: 2k Ork List

This list sacrifices Bikers for more scoring bodies/short-range shooting. Thoughts?

HQ:
Warboss on Bike, w/ Klaw: 125 points
Big Mek w/ KFF: 85 points.

Elites:
12 Lootas: 180 pts.
12 Lootas: 180 pts.
12 Lootas: 180 pts.

Troops:
17 Grots, 1 Runtherd: 61 points.
17 Grots, 1 Runtherd: 61 points.
16 Shoota Boyz: 96 pts.
16 Shoota Boyz: 96 pts.
Deff Dread with 2 Big Shootas. 85 points.
3 Meganobz: 120 pts
-Battlewagon with Deffrolla, Ard Case, 2 Big Shootas: 125 pts

Fast Attack:
2 Warbuggies with Rokkits: 70 pts
2 Warbuggies with Rokkits: 70 pts
2 Warbuggies with Rokkits: 70 pts

Heavy Support:
Grotzooka Kanz x3: 135 points.
Grotzooka Kanz x3: 135 points.
Battlewagon with Deffrolla, Ard Case, 2 Big Shootas: 125 pts
Total points: 1999 pts.

Battlewagons to the Center, everything else to the flanks, Kans in front, Shootas tagging behind. Warboss used to reinforce a flank as need be/dissuade charges/suicide into an artillery unit. The infantry is used for bubblewrap duties, or to make the Battlewagons Scoring Units.

Looks fine barring the Troops, I think the army folds there. Whilst you can put another unit in a battlewagon you’ve got half your force on the ground running to keep up (rather than just the Kanz normally). The shootas are much like the gretchin and scare nothing, the meganobz are too small to scare anyone and it just becomes a bit…meh. Whilst they certainly work as bubble-wrap units you don’t have the firepower to blast someone off the board unlike an IG or Tau list and since your BWs want to get in close to Deff Rolla stuff, the point of a bubble-wrap is? With the bikes they can at least keep up to push melta away to a certain amount but don’t impair the BW movement.

I think just be replacing the normal Warboss w/Wazdakka and getting some Biker Boyz in there it’d be a more balanced list with a twist on what has been posted here before. But as it stands you haven’t gained much dakka and have sacrificed mobility and decent Troops.

Warseer Battle Report: BA v Lash CSM 2k

Note: you can click on the pics to make them bigger

Well I played a game at a store before work today. I used some of the promo BA stuff + my own normal marines and versus a CSM lash list. As far as lash lists go it wasn’t bad, those DPs would have been a lot scarier w/Warptime but hey. As it stands I think the core of plagues and oblits is pretty solid other than the 10 man plASMa spam squad + Vindi and the aforementioned Princes. Tried to recreate with Vassal from memory but it’s a bit off.

Here’s the deployments. I screwed up my scout moves in relation to cover since he spread his Oblits out and displayed my side armor. Woops. His deployment is a bit weird but it did get annoying. Anyways his first turn he killed a Baal w/ the Vindi (though he was out of melta range with those Plagues, dur I didn’t screw up that badly!) and stunned one of the Baals with his Oblits. One of his DPs also took a wound from dangerous. My turn saw my Libbys drop pretty nicely but they are likely to get pwned by some melta next turn. However I took out 3 rhinos, a Vindi and a mini plague squad (+ a couple from the other squad). Good FNP rolling for the CSM player. Let’s see how I fair against the return melta. P.S. libby cast sang shield.

His raptors didn’t come in. He moved a lot of melta towards my dreads as well as the Oblits and moved his DPs into my lines. Oh nos. He lashed my disembarked squad towards his line but didn’t move them far enough so they got FNP and a 5+ cover. His plASMa squad opened up on them and none of his plASMa hit (inc 2 Gets Hot! which killed one). Unlucky them. The ASM saved 6 bolter wounds. The top melta squad and oblits destroyed the top libby who’s explosion didn’t kill anyone. The bottom squad missed on the back armor of my bottom dread and the other plagues in the Rhino & oblits only shook it twice. The DPs assaulted and only killed one ASM (and the bottom one took another wound).

My pod didn’t come in (aw L). I moved my remaining Dread towards his Oblits and converged on his plASMa plagues with my Rbacks whilst moving my Baals/Dreads away from midfield to try and take down his Dp there. After the flames cleared there were 5 plASMa plagues still remaining (damn FNP!). My Preds alone were enough to take down the midfield Daemonprince so my Rifledreads opened up on the remaining armor. One dread blew up the top rhino and the other two combined to blow up the final Rhino who’s explosion killed one plague (this game didn’t like wrecks did it…). Libby dread cast MoH (Sang Shield was cast before) and got an extra 3 attacks whilst he assaulted the Oblits whom he wiped. Hope he doesn’t get melta’d! The other DP killed 2 marines and didn’t take any wounds but the marines stayed in combat.

The CSM player is running out of guys atm but his raptors come in. He DS’d them very aggressively in my backfield (?) to take out some dreads (?). The other plagues move towards midfield and the Oblits maintained their firing position. The raptors took out a rifledread, his midfield plagues failed to damage the baal, the top left plagues blew up the libby dread which killed one of their own and the right plagues were stopped by sang shield. The Oblits continued their good shooting but only immobilised the rightmost Razorback. The plASMa plagues were able to get a single shot through sang shield and stunned the Libby’s ride. The DP made the ASM flee but didn’t pursue them as he slunk back into the forest.

My pod came on yay! And then scattered away from objective, boo. My lone ASM rallied and ran back into the fray, the libby disembarked to do some shenanigans and my dreads/baals moved around to blast the midfield plagues/raptors whilst the razors stayed still to try and clear out those plagues on the right! The flamers and lone ASM took down the last DP and 2 more plagues. The baals with some excellent shooting and poor saving removed the midfield plagues from the game and the two rifledreads took down 3 raptors who fled. The pods shot at the right plagues but did nothing again. The libby assaulted the right plagues and killed one but took a wound.

Whilst board control is really mine I don’t hold any objectives so the CSM player seems rather happy about this… with 11 plagues and 3 oblits left. His top plagues move in to try and hold the top right objective some more but that’s the extent of his movement. Those same plagues explode my top most Razorback but oddly doesn’t assault what comes out. Oblits stunned and took off the weapon of my right razor and in combat nothing happened between the libby and plagues (though the raptors continued to fallback).

Move baals/dreads up to shoot the top left plagues on objective and also tank shock the raptors further to edge. Load up the lone ASM in lib razor and drive behind hill to hold objective at bottom whilst rest of my ASM disembark en masse to get rid of plagues. Sang razor still holds sang and moves through forest to provide bubble for everyone. The forest razor, 2x ASM squads and 3 pods only managed to fell one top plague whilst the baals and dreads dropped the 5 plagues on the top left objective. With the assault phase all my ASM charged into plagues somewhere. None were needed down south as the libby dispatched the plagues and he and the ASM consoled whilst up top the plagues struck first and killed none. In retaliation the ASM killed one plague and stayed locked in.

The raptors fell off the table and the oblits continued to shoot well but damage poorly with a double shake on the bottom most razor. The ASM finished off the plagues in combat and the game was called there.

Whilst this wasn’t the most tactical of games from my point I think this is a pretty clear example of lash failing. How often was it used? Once. Did it do anything? No as he could of assaulted the unit anyways. I wasn’t really happy with my BA list. The dreads did some initial damage (taking out 3 tanks <3) but died to melta pretty quickly and I considered myself lucky to have kept one alive more than a turn. The baals/dreads did brilliantly but the ASM were a bit sub-par so might need to rethink the Dreads/ASM core and build around the baals/dreads (yum). Now why did the Warseer popular lash list not have a chance. First a disclaimer, this isn’t directed at everyone at Warseer and I don’t know if this player is from Warseer but lash is still quite often complained about over at Warseer but the need for anti-mech from the oblits and plagues makes it a useless spell followed up by since everything is primed for anti-tank (where chaos are still lacking since they don’t have survivable fast melta) they lack a bit in anti-infantry. I had under 25 infantry going into this game and I lost 4... That’s terrible. The CSM player also stacked his tanks in midfield which gave my blood lance a really nice target. His target priority against the dreads was pretty good but then he simply didn’t have the tools to slow me down as I had too much mech running around and it was simply a matter of attrition for me. If he had used a 12 Rhino CSM list I’d of had a much harder time limiting his mobility (all of his rhinos were gone by T2 and all bar two were gone T1) and he’d of been able to put more shots into multiple targets because of it. So thoughts and comments on layout? Sorry about the shoddy vassal replay, a) I don't know hwo to make it a video, b) it's all from memory but I did write most of it down and c) hopefully I can just use my camera next time! Any suggestions or guest write-ins/links would be nice.

Blood Angels basics…Inc 2K list


I’ve folded under the pressure and will be posting some basics of the new codex now *shakes fist at people*. I’ll also be posting my variation list which is meant to give me a different playstyle to my normal marines without having to spend a heap of money (so whilst it’s competitive I wouldn’t say it’s the best thing out there). So let’s look at what BA can do:

1) Like SW and Tyranids they don’t have to rely on mech thanks to their JP and DoA rule. Their DSing is reliable, their movement speed after DS is good, they can pop tanks through every FoC slot and their infantry can take a beating (hi FNP!)
2) They can mech well but not in the same way as Sisters, IG, SM or SW. Their mech becomes like an Imperial version of Eldar mech and PLAYS DIFFERENTLY. Don’t expect to copy razorspam, dual raider or simple mech spam from previous Marine books and for it to play as well. GW (recently) isn’t stupid, each book is going to do something better than another.
3) Don’t try to max shooting and assault. Like SW & Nids, doing this will unbalance your army as a whole. Go for one supported by the other and you’ll have a much better army which will compete. This isn’t new edition fantasy where every phase you need to be very efficient in.

I think those are pretty much the basics…*shrug*. Anyways, like the most recent GW books there are a lot of good options and therefore a lot of army lists and styles. An excellent JP style army can be seen at YTTH here @ 2500 pts which can easily be scaled back to 2k. Outside of JP there are multiple mech styles, podding and Dreads. So let’s see what I’m thinking of running for my main variation of my Mech Marines (thanks to GWvsJohn for a bit of streamlining help).

HQ –
Libarian w/Blood Lance, Shield of Sanguinius

Elites –
Furioso Libarian w/Blood Lance, Might of Heroes, Drop Pod

Furioso Libarian w/Blood Lance, Might of Heroes, Drop Pod

Troops –
ASM x5 w/meltagun, Razorback w/TL-Heavy Flamer

ASM x5 w/meltagun, Razorback w/TL-Heavy Flamer

ASM x5 w/meltagun, Razorback w/TL-Heavy Flamer

ASM x5 w/meltagun, Razorback w/TL-Heavy Flamer

ASM x5 w/meltagun, Razorback w/TL-Heavy Flamer

Fast Attack –
Baal Predator w/HB sponsons

Baal Predator w/HB sponsons

Baal Predator w/HB sponsons

Heavy Support –
Dreadnought w/2x TL autocannons, Drop Pod

Dreadnought w/2x TL autocannons

Dreadnought w/2x TL autocannons

Total: 2000 pts
Tanks: 16 (3 pods)
Infantry: 26

So light on infantry models but a lot of armor out there. The ASM in RBacks are essentially mini-Celestians from SoB. Again, they do not do this style as well as them but provide for this army some saturation, anti-infantry and anti-mech all in one bundle. Main problem is they are scoring which makes them a bigger target than they should be. Dreads are cheaper versions than SM and since we can take Dakkabaals in the FA slot we can fit in more than 3 dreads like a SM list w/MotF but our Elite dreads are better here. The Dakkabaals and Riflemen dreads provide suppression fire and anti-infantry in a pinch. The Libby Dreads screw up mech castles big time but the 2d6″ scatter of the Pods can be a bit of burden to bear. Since they still have S10 with a blood fist MoH increases the number of their attacks once they inevitably get into combat. Finally the normal Libby provides mobile cover for the midfield body and packs another blood lance in a pinch.

Some options would generally involve dropping an ASM squad. I could then get infernous pistols for each of the other squads and a Sang Priest (or perhaps 2) which will provide some more survivability for my infantry whilst also making them more reliable against tanks. Perhaps any other suggestions?

To make this I need to get 1-2 more Rhino chasis, RBack/Furioso/Baal turrent upgrades (or parts to kitbash), 3 DPods and prob magnetise some arms to my Marines to give them more obvious ccws (rather than my current bayonet style). Not bad for a very different playstyle.

Armies in 5th: Tyranids Part 6: Summary

If we recall back to when I started these articles my aim was to look at the most under and over appreciated armies in 5th edition from the internet’s perspective (i.e. take your metagame and play with it on the Moon). Tau were underappreciated and Orks are certainly over appreciated, so where do Tyranids fall? For the most part I’m going to say underappreciated. Far too many people sit there and say Tyranids can’t play in 5th edition because they can’t smack around mech (hell I’ve heard people begging to go back to the old codex…seriously, what?). Again, if foot Tyranids (or foot SW but they have melta which makes people happy) could smack around mech from T1 AND just roll over you in combat, well they wouldn’t be a fun army to play against would they? Most mech armies shoot the blazes out of you, have some uber or minor cc elements and that’s about it. Go try it with the new BA. Try to make a list that just rolls you over in cc and shooting. By trying to do that you start to dilute both of them and it just doesn’t work. Tyranids (and SW/BA) can pull off non-mech or hybrid mech because they can neutralise your armor, not always through destroying it, but by stopping it from shooting or moving and then can cream you in assault. A quick example before we get back onto Tyranids. SW Calvary w/LF packs. The LF w/ML splitting fire aren’t reliably going to blow two transports up (there’s a chance which makes split fire pretty awesome but it’s not likely) but they are infinitely more like to cause two damage results and this increases the chances of stopping multiple mech targets and allows your cavalry to dominate the game more.

Back to the gribblies. Tyranids have just the mix of tank popping and tank suppression available in the codex to make sure mech isn’t an insurmountable advantage for the opponent. They also have the survivability (read T6 MCs) and/or mobility (Beasts, Wings, Spores, etc.) to play tag with mech. These are all concepts I’ve covered in my previous articles and something the internet I believe fails to appreciate. They’ve come to grips with mech (finally. How long did we have to say mech beats non-mech 90% of the time until they got it?) but now think Mech is always the winner. As an entity, the internet (you know I’m surprised no one has really brought up the semantics of what I mean by the “internet” on this blog yet :P) has grasped that mech is good on some solid premises (mobility and protection) so kudos there. However, they have not understood really what is going on behind the scenes; how the newer books not only provide a variety of builds but completely different builds from the current paradigm (not metagame); how armies that are not based on shooting the opponent’s mech out from under them yet can still win; how being able to crush your opponent in the shooting phase and close combat phase would be imbalanced, etc. SW and Tyranids are capable of crushing mech whilst not being meched not because they can blast you out of your transports T1 but because they can neutralise the advantages of mech to an extent where their close combat ability rolls mech.

I really do need to put these concepts into specific posts… So back to Tyranids and why I believe they are underappreciated and shouldn’t be. Outside of what I outlined above (which as you should be able to see is not Tyranid specific) there is a lot of misunderstanding of the Tyranid units. There are really only IMO two units which should never be taken, Ymgarl Genestealers and the Pyrovore. Other units like Lictors, Mawlocs, Biovores , Doom, Parasite, etc. are units that can work but aren’t really optimal. At the same time these units aren’t that bad that an opponent can easily ignore them and do offer some possibilities (i.e. Mawlocs/Lictors). Whilst the majority of the internet agrees with me here (bar Doom) here is where we happen upon some major discrepancies. I’ve covered all these units before but will do a quick run-down here.

Harpies. The internet hates them for T5/4+. Wait, Tyranids have a fast heavy weapon? And it’s twin-linked? And people don’t like it? Like the Piranha or Crisis suits in Tau, the Harpy provides nothing else the Tyranid codex can outside of spores. This is why it is T5/4+ and the cost of two speeders plus.

The Tervigon. Mixed bag here. I’ve seen reviews without a mention of them and I’ve seen reviews and lists that pack 5 of them into 1500 points. They are an awesome support unit, one of the best in the game but they need to support something. Their killing power is lacking and thus you need to make sure there is enough for them to support whilst not being so easy to kill (i.e. 2 or sometimes 3 at 2k or less points).

Hive Tyrant. It’s not as cheap as it used to be but it now provides a lot more to your army than what it did before. Fire suppression, decent to good cc ability, a good psychic power and army wide buffing. You can also make it a monster in cc w/Guard but it becomes an appropriate point sink then. Why is it so expensive say compared to terminators? Because T6 in combat is tough. It’s expensive because it has to be. Whilst the Prime is an excellent option outside of the Tyrant, a properly built army lead by a Tyrant is greater than its parts. The same deal here goes for Carnifexes. They got a necessary point increase and whilst Trygons are often better in general terms, S10 is hard to ignore coupled with the flexibility a Carnifex provides (you can give it guns and spore it, walk it, get three in a group, etc.).

Warriors/Raveners. Both of these provide target priority problems for your opponent. They are T4 so small arms fire is good against them but they have 3 wounds each which makes them attractive targets for S8+ weapons. This makes your opponent make a choice, get rid of the T4 guys with S8 and suffer the MCs or vice versa. This is good. The more choices your opponent makes, the more likely they screw up. Add in these units are excellent midfield units for different purposes and they are certainly given the axe too often for my liking.

Overall, these articles have shown how to take advantage of the Tyranid book to create a list that can handle mech through shooting and beat face in combat with a variety of units. As most of you are aware, this is the new hallmark for GW books, variety and lots of units that don’t suck. Kudos to them. Whilst the internet doesn’t like the book because they think mech (and particularly AV14) ruins their day, well I just don’t see how they can’t see that a simple core of HG and T-Fexes is very likely to damage 5 targets. Mech generally has anywhere from ~9-16 tanks, that’s a pretty good damage ratio for an army that is all about crushing face in combat.

I’m not going to do a list for Tyranids here because I’ve got a couple in under the My Armies section but if anyone would like to submit some lists based on the principles I’ve outlined in these 6 Tyranid articles we shall see if I can scrounge up a picture saying you’re awesome 😛 (I, unlike Stelek, do not get donations so can’t hand out prizes lol).

Blood Angels Upcoming

I’ve had quite a few requests for BA lists as a vast majority of people now have their hands on it. I won’t be releasing anything until the codex is officially released for everyone however; it’s not polite otherwise. I do have a few lists sitting and waiting and will prob make over time but to those pure mech lovers of SM (like me), don’t worry SM still has their place (and with Bikes) but BA do make a different kind of mech list.

So if you have any requests for BA send them to my e-mail and I’ll post them all up on release day.

Armies in 5th: Tyranids Part 5: HQ & synapse

Well it’s time to look at who leads the swarm. There are three primary choices, the Hive Tyrant, Tervigon and Tyranid Prime. The Tervigon has been discussed in detail as a Troop/utility and is an excellent unit but loses a tiny bit of effectiveness as an HQ since it can’t score. Going for 5 Tervigons has its merits at 2500 points but 2000pts and less you’ve got too much support and not enough killing power. So for this discussion we’ll consider Tervigons a much better choice as a Troop. This leaves us with the Tyrant (inc. Swarmlord) and Tyranid Prime.

They Tyranid Prime is essentially a buffed up Warrior (which lends his BS and WS to them if he joins their unit) but has one major advantage over the Tyrant. He’s an 80pt IC. Whilst it is generally advisable to give him BS/LW (or BSx2) + Toxin which takes him to just over 100pts, he is cheap and can roam. This is huge for Tyranids in making units like Hive Guard or Warrior squads more survivable, particularly for Warriors against S8/9 guns and for Hive Guard with 3 extra wounds which can be taken on a 3+. Outside of this defensive utility, the Prime saves you points (roughly 70-100) as you don’t have to buy a Tyrant. You can therefore buy two or use the extra points elsewhere. They are pretty good in combat and will particularly improve a Warrior unit’s output though this will make them a bigger target especially if you’re running less MCs.

So what does the Tyrant bring to the table then? Obviously MC status + the ability to bring a very evil unit into combat through Tyrant Guard (the Swarmlord can do this especially well and for all intents and purposes the Swarmlord is just a bigger, meaner and badder HT in close combat but not so good at shooting). Outside of that the Hive Tyrant allows you to really change the way your army plays and can be a huge utility unit through upgrades and psychic powers. Firstly though equipment, standard layout is going to be something like LW/BS and a Heavy Venom Cannon with a Tyrant guard. This gives it 6 wounds, very scary in combat and can put out fire support as it advances. The other option is Wings but these are very expensive and will lead your Tyrant to being shot early. Personally I find Trygons or Carnifexes in spores to be more effective MCs in combat than a Flyrant as you are sacrificing the Tyrant’s ability to support an army.

So the unique and primary upgrades for the Tyrant are Hive Commander, Old Adversary and Indescribable Horror. IH is useless, the Tyrant is a beast in assault anyways and most low Ld units aren’t going to want to assault him as it were. The other two however lend themselves very well to armies. Old Adversary makes everything within 6″ much better at combat. This is one improvement over the Swarmlord who can bestow a specific USR on a single unit with 18″. If you’re going for a midfield presence or combat oriented Troops, this skill is an extremely good effect multiplier. Hive Commander will be a very popular choice for any army using reserves or spores. Not only does it give the added benefit to reserves rolls but it allows a Troop choice to outflank; suddenly Tervigons as Troops in a spore army seem more viable. This upgrade is a must if you are using such an army simply for addition to your reserves.

So outside of being able to make super-unit, support the swarm and lay down supporting fire, the Hive Tyrant also has access to some pretty good psy powers. The problem is they are all short-ranged. However, the one that jumps out from the rest is Paroxysm. Whilst the lowering of BS doesn’t really help due to it’s short range, the lower WS can really render super-units useless as even gaunts will hit on 3s and get hit on 5s. Add in Old Adversary & poison and that unit is likely going to be dragged down in combat. Other than that Psychic Scream has some decent utility against low Ld armies and Leech Essence can unreliably help your tyrant stay alive but it boils down to utility as you’re going to be using paroxysm more often than not.

Whilst the Tyrant offers a lot more options for the Tyranid army and can really ‘gel’ a whole list together, you pay for it. Each of these guys is going to net you 200+ points and if you add in the Tyrant Guards start thinking 300. The Swarmlord is even more but is much more potent in combat whilst lacking in support firing and to a certain degree, utility. It then becomes a trade-off between the Prime and Tyrant with what you want as neither is a bad choice. Taking Primes generally lets you fit more into your list and gives your valuable units more wounds whilst the Tyrant soaks up more points but makes your army more potent overall and can lend certain lists (i.e. Spores) a huge boost.

This brings us to the final point before our summary, synapse. Losing synapse isn’t going to lose you the game but it will lose you some degree of control. Depending on the unit, once out of synapse and Ld is failed, the unit will either be forced to run towards the nearest enemy or shoot it (depending on unit type this generally fits their role). Whilst this isn’t a huge problem, an opponent who does take out all of your synapse early on will have a distinct advantage. It is therefore very important when making a list to ensure you have multiple synapse cover units. Generally speaking since Tervigons, HQs and Warriors are so popular this isn’t a problem but with units like Ravengers, Hormaguants or Gargoyles who race ahead, it can be.

Email in: Triple Raider list for ‘Ard Boyz

Let’s build a Codex SM Tri-Raider list for ‘Ard Boyz!

Start with the standard

400 – 10 TH/SS Termies
265 – Redeemer, MM, EA
275 – Crusader, MM, EA
410 – 2x 10 Tacticals, flamer, MM, rhino

I like the Redeemer/Crusader variety, we’ll definitely be bringing 1
of each, so get that out of the way. I know a lot of folks have been
on the Razorback spam kick, but that’s not my style. There are few
things more satisfying than a full Tactical double tap, so the
flamer/mm/rhino style is my choice.

We’re bringing a 3rd Raider (hence the title of the email) so let’s
add it now. We’ll go with Crusader, but know we can save 10 points by
downgrading it if we need them.

275 – Crusader, MM, EA

We’re already at 1625, which is kinda scary, and we still need
something in the 3rd Raider. It’s not a simple decision.

Options
Assault Termies – best pure CC, “wastes” an elites and a HS slot
GKT (HQ version) – adds some shooting, unlimited range Hood,
allows/forces a non-Librarian HQ and opens an elite
Regular Termies – adds some shooting, opens a HS slot, doesn’t “waste”
any points on a 2nd HQ

For now, we’ll go standard, but depending on how points shake out, we
might change.

200 – 5 TH/SS Termies

We still need an HQ, so we’ll go Librarian (no T armor for ‘Ard Boyz,
how sad) for the utility and hood.

100 – Librarian, Null Zone, Gate of Infinity

At 1925 and we still need some transport/light armor busting, and I’m
not thrilled with only 2 troops choices. We’re also down to 1 elite
and 1 HS choice. I’m a little leery of av10 in a 2500 point
environment, so let’s add some transport popping with

125 – Rifleman
120 – AC/LC Pred

I also think a 3rd tactical is needed

205 – 10 Tacticals, flamer, MM, rhino

145 left, let’s go with 2 MM/HF speeders and add a dozer blade or
melta bombs somewhere.

So that’s

Libby
15 TH/SS Termies
3 LR (2 Crusader, 1 Redeemer, I’d put the Libby in the Redeemer)
3 tacs
Rifleman
AC/LC
2 MM/HF

Tough, but I’m not thrilled. I think 2 speeders will be toast in ‘Ard
Boyz and one of their main uses, blocking movement, is much less
useful when you’re the one with 3 LR full of Thunder.

Can we do better with one of our other Termie options? Let’s try a
Regular termie squad. Since they have some shooting, let’s pick up
that 10 points we left out earlier by trading a crusader for a
redeemer. If we then drop the 2 speeders and add a 2nd AC/LC in the
now open HS slot, that takes us to 2465, enough for a chain fist and
an assault cannon.

That gives us

Libby – Gate, Null
10 TH/SS Termies
5 Reg Termies – Chainfist, Assault Cannon
3 LR (2 Redeemer, 1 Crusader, Libby and 5 TH go in 1 Redeemer, Regs go
in the other)
3 Tacs
Rifleman
2 AC/LC Preds

I think this is better. We’re a little short on MM, but 3 are on
tough LR chassis, and the other 3 are probably low priority targets.
We have 3 CC units, 3 transport busting units, 3 scoring units,
nothing av10, and the Rhinos should always have 4+ or be unseen behind
a LR.

That’s my story. Thoughts Kirby?

Hmm, I think it becomes too many eggs in a basket and at 2500 pts, the opposing army can easily neutralise 3 Tacs, one Dread and 2 Preds. You’re then focusing on killing nearly everything with your Raiders and Termies. So let’s keep the Triple Raider but see if we can make the list more balanced.

We’ll start off with the standard 1 Crusader/1 Reedeemer w/10 TH/SS & Libby setting us back 1010 points (assuming 2 MMs on the LRs). So we essentially have a 1500 list to make. We’ll chuck in the extra LR but we’ll make it a godhammer :O and add 5 Tacs to it (who will also buy a Rhino). Let’s see what we can get from here:

HQ:
Libby w/Null & Whatever

Elites:
10xTH/SS termies
Land Raider Redeemer w/MM

Troops:
3x 10xTac w/MM/flamer/Rhino

5xIST w/2mguns

5xTac w/Rhino

Fast Attack:

Heavy Support:
Land Raider w/MM

Land Raider Crusader w/MM

which leaves us at 2080 pts and we’ve got a wee bit more anti-tank. Let’s add 2 Riflemen Dreads and we’ve got 170 pts to play with, not much as we’d really like that extra 40pts for 3 Speeders. Lets Drop the Tacs & Rhino then (so IST go into the normal Raider), we’ve now got 295 so we can get 3 MM/HF or 3 Typhoon type Speeders. I think the MM/HF are better here as we can Deep Strike them or hide them behind the Raiders as needed. This gives us 85 pts to play with. We should take EA on the Raiders so that’s a final 40 pts. 3 HKs on the Rhinos and a combi-melta on a Sarge.

HQ:
Libby w/Null & Whatever

Elites:
10x TH/SS termies
Land Raider Redeemer w/MM, EA

Dread w/2x TL AC

Dread w/2x TL AC

Troops:
10x Tac w/MM/flamer/combi-melta/Rhino w/HK missile

10x Tac w/MM/flamer/Rhino w/HK missile

10x Tac w/MM/flamer/Rhino w/HK missile

5x IST w/2mguns

Fast Attack:
Speeder w/MM/HF

Speeder w/MM/HF

Speeder w/MM/HF

Heavy Support:
Land Raider w/MM, EA

Land Raider Crusader w/MM, EA

Totals: 2500 pts
46 infantry
11 tanks

Thoughts?

Edit: Both GWvsJohn and I agree that Raider/Termies run much better at 2k points as there is less to threaten the Raiders and Termies whilst the army stays balanced. As he points out that extra 500points almost demands another raider and termies but your army doesn’t expand as a balanced list which is the core of the problem we have discovered here at 2.5k.

Reply out: Ninja Tau & Anon

I should of done this as a reply out before but oh well. Link can be found here with comments at the bottom. Anon was replying to my posts on why Ninja Tau is good rather than just really bad. I’ll point out a few things here and then give some examples in a more comprehensive reply rather than a point by point reply.

Firstly, if you’re taking a hybrid Tau and making it a potentially Ninja Tau, why? Hybrid don’t need any of the ‘benefits’ of Ninja Tau and you’re just making it a less reliable list. As I said before if you want to reserve, just reserve rather than trickle on units. Other armies can do far better alpha strikes and earlier in the game. If you don’t want to reserve simply use delaying tactics through kroot and piranhas to avoid opponent alpha strikes and go from there. Saying Tau aren’t one of the best shooting armies in the game is…well backwards. We will now look at some examples with a good hybrid list which has had a positional relay added (since Anon said hybrid tau can do this).

So let’s look at 2 Tau lists that are the exact same except one has positional relay and decides to go Ninja. We’ll assume the non-ninja goes first as the Ninja Tau generally wants to go second to maximise their reserve alpha strike and objective abilities. So with 2 turns of movement the Piranhas will have capped the Commander w/positional relay. Which means the Ninja Tau has given the normal Tau two turns to get into better firing positions, outflank their Kroot if they wish and now only 50% of their army comes on T2. Fail for Ninja Tau.

Let’s look at Marines/IG. Speeders/Vens have the same option as the Piranhas from the normal Tau with the added benefit that all their guns are in range such as MMs and meltas. This is going to negate most of your Dpods for the majority of the army and once again you come in piece meal.

Eldar or DE? They don’t care. They are more mobile than you and have the firepower to take out units as they trickle on as well and are certainly capable of moving around to pop the commander. Whilst you may limit their overall shooting a lot of firepower is going into those few units on the board and let’s not deny either of the Eldars’ abilities to damage stuff, it’s just insulting.

Orks? Well you’ve just taken the advantage from Tau and given it to the Orks. They’ll be in assault range when your army comes on and can use their weight of fire against whatever is trickling on. So they aren’t good at destroying tanks? Those lootas are at least going to shake your Railheads and Broadsides aren’t really going to scare Orks since they don’t have rate of fire. Rather than blasting Orks from T1 and denying them access to your whole army through screens and blocks you’ve let them advance up the field willy nilly. Same goes for Tyranids but they have much more reliable anti-tank and speed so will be a lot scarier. Immo spam WH? Well the same deal really, you don’t want them close so shoot them far away. Whilst they don’t have the speeders of the other Imperial armies they can easily live with you “Ninjaing” with your positional relay. They are so happy you aren’t there on T1 shooting at them, blocking them and screening them.

Do you see the pattern here? People are joyous when Tau don’t shoot at them and as I said in point one, by playing Ninja Tau you are doing half your opponent’s job for him. It’s never a good thing, if you want to reserve, reserve don’t sac units for no gain and try and alpha strike later in the game where other armies are often better due to range limitations.

Edit: replying out again from Anon’s reply to my reply. Will quote specific bits:

1. Tau can pump out a lot of fire early in the game yes, but so can alot of other armies nowdays. The main difference is that Tau are alot worse at withstanding that incoming fire than other armies, and if your enemy is smart and targets the right units that erosion becomes faster. We rely on our suits for decent midrange weaponry, but they are highly expensive and far less survivable in 5th due to the changes in LOS rules. Tau are good at shooting yes, but i suspect not as good as they were – and each new Codex seems to enforce this further.

Tau are able to take their cover with them, suits can hide behind tanks walls and easily gain cover and block a little bit of LoS with one tank, etc. Tau aren’t a glass cannon by any means. Yes they are inefficiently pointed in comparison to the new codecies but Tau are still up there in terms of firepower.

2. Screens are an option, certainly they work for the type of list you play (and its a good tactic I have used in similar lists myself – including my ninja Tau list when I have decided to deploy normally and not use my 15pt peice of wargear). But against some opponents the world of hurt is coming that screening is not so effective, especially with the variety of DS and OF, not to mention infiltration options on the table right now.

Name a situation when blocking or screens aren’t viable? Those screens are better against deployment types because it negates their advantage. I’d like to pod into your forces! Well you can’t because I’ve got this nice little screen here which forces you away from me. DS Defense 101.

Not sure what you’re trying to get at with point 3, explain further? But why also would we forego the option of wiping out when we can? To 4 I see lots of FW based Ninja Tau, whilst this might not be how you run it, it does take advantage of what Ninja Tau gives you, the ability to move on with full firepower at shorter range. This is a liability against most armies so as you said why bother with FW. So since we aren’t using FW you still haven’t pointed out why Ninja Tau is more effective than running normal Hybrid Tau and from your lack of appreciation in relation to screens as deployment defense I’m going to stab at you’re using them incorrectly.

5. As you yourself point out Tau have decent range, alot of other lists now rely on Melta’s, assualt etc as there main anti tank – You choose where your heavy support comes on, and bring it on in the most advantageous location to you – not right in front of a melta. – However, the first unit I normally bring on is Broadsides will ASS and a TL with HWTL and SHield Drones – Very hard to take out with longe range AT and very survivable – in turn 3 I could bring on a hammerhead or maybe stop using the relay altogether. Heavy Support does not always mean tank 🙂

6. Not if you position yourself well, make good use of the terrain and use distraction tactics and survivable units. Sometimes you sacrifice a unit to draw your enemy to a new location or just hold them up/draw fire. And you can stop using the relay at anypoint, on turn 3 your troops come in on a 3+ (so statistically 2/3rd of your reserves should arrive) – Just because you play NT does not mean you hold everything off for 4 turns.

My apologies on the HHead part as I did think you said that but it was on an unrelated part of the post. However, Broadsides or HHead are easy to neutralise for a whole army. Remember the vast majority of competitive lists today are very quick and will play right up the middle so if you deploy in either corner can still easily get to you. Tell IG/Eldar/DE/SM they can’t deal with 5 T4/2+/4++ or an AV13 4+ cover save tank in one turn. You also seem tobe contradicting yourself. You say Tau firepower isn’t that great because they are fragile yet you quite often refer to survivable units or claiming a few units can hold out versus a whole army.

7. And Broadsides are anti mech first 😉 – Shutting down mobility in key areas in easily achievable, targeting the transports – even if it just holds up one unit is disrupting mobility – and drop pod lists etc are disrupted just by you not being on the table, that alpha strike just went bye bye 🙂

Again my apologies on the HHead aspect but this is still a max of 2 tanks damaged with a broadside unit compared to what a whole Tau army can do. Drop Pod lists get lol’d at with a simple kroot screen. Here’s some kroot witha 2+ or 3+ save, melta/bolter them or try to go for my tanks which are outside of 2D6 range (quite potentially a full 12″), will have cover and leave you very open to a reprisal from my whole army. But yes, reserving is a good tactic against Pods and if you really wanted to use a positional relay for that purpose, eh okay, I’d rather spend the 15pts elsewhere but you’re still bleeding two units, this is unavoidable and it is not then Ninja Tau as Ninja Tau is based around playing for a late game objective grab/neutralisation of the opponent’s army which I can do from T1 with normal Tau because my firepower is generally > yours.

8. Well skyrays are a bad choice in any list imo, but i have seen plenty of people who rely on your sort of tactics take them too. – Markers on stealths is generally a bad idea, its better (in a good ninja list) to just bite the bullet and forgo the markerlights. Fireknives are a good configuration granted, but not the only configuration for a crisis suit. They work well with your tactics but another sort of list could well favour a different load out.

I see far too many people take Skyrays or Stealths, they are inefficient in comparison to suits, hammerheads and broadsides. And sure other suits (like TL-MP) can be better than MP/PR when you cover for more anti-infantry elsewhere but your list is far worse off as a whole. MP/PR make a list far more balanced. This has been covered many, many times.

honestly I enjoy the challenge of a good Ninja list more

It’s a challenge because it’s harder to win with, yes? Challenge doesn’t mean you have to think outside the box. Against good opponent’s you should always be doing this anyways. This point boils down to semantics though (oh how I love them).

It basically boils down to this, Ninja Tau is less efficient in relation to a normal Tau list as whilst it may in theory open more tactical options, these options can be quite limiting as you lose board control, initiative, firewpoer and overall effectiveness. What a Ninja Tau list can do, a normal Tau list can do better.

Armies in 5th: Tyranids Part 4: Utility Units


We’ve covered the basic concepts of the Tyranid codex and we’ve touched on units which benefit the army (i.e. Tervigons) but where do some of the other units, who get less love, fit into the scheme of things? Here we’ll be talking about such things as Mawlocs, Venomthropes, Biovores/spore mines, Deathleaper, Doom, Tervigons, Parasite, etc.

First up, remember these are not units that are there to deal massive damage and as such, a vast amount of points should not be invested into them. They are designed to disrupt whilst adding another facet to your game plan. Depending on these units, whether they are good or bad, is going to leave you in trouble. So since we’ve just covered the Tervigon, let’s look at the other spawning creature of the Tyranid codex, the Parasite of Mortex. First it’s a special character so you can’t get multiples and secondly it’s spawning power is conditional. You’ve got to kill something or something has to come in via outflank for it to work. Conditionals aren’t good when you pay for them and outside of that it doesn’t have a great stat line. For fun combined with 5 Tervigons it’d be fantastic to use 200+ models. Otherwise, stick with the Tervigon who not only spawns but provides buffs to the army as a whole.

We’ll look at the other ‘point’ specific utility options for Tyranids before covering the army-wide ones. These units provide a bonus very specifically to a battle plan rather than affecting most of the table. The most obvious of these is the Deathleaper. An excellent choice simply for psychic defense (Shadow in the Warp doesn’t have a long enough range + Eldar essentially ignore it) as well as a disruptive unit. Placing it in midfield can slow your opponent as they move through terrain and invite your opponent to try and shoot at it though remember it’s value against certain opponents is the reduction in Ld against a specific model. Whilst it competes in slots with the Hive Guard and Zoanthropes, it does become a hard choice whether to take more of the former units or add the Deathleaper.

The other ‘point’ specific options for Tyranids are far less effective. These are Doom of Malan’Tai and the Mawloc. We discussed the Mawloc before and in relation to the Trygon it’s quite sub-par (we are assuming here you understand what “anywhere on the table” means; oh and the internet generally loves this guy if he can DS anywhere). Against mech’d lists don’t expect to do too much damage with this guy, S6 is great in large numbers but single S6 hits on rear armor? Mech doesn’t tremble and if they are silly enough to group up where they can get knocked off the board, well woops. As far as anti-infantry go it’s like any S6 AP2 barrage, for 200pts… again no thanks. It has some disruptive qualities but needing to take multiples of them and have reserve bonuses makes your list very predictable and lowers your killing power. If you want to cause this kind of disruption spore mines can do just as well. The other overhyped unit online is the Doom of Malan’Tai (it doesn’t affect units inside vehicles [note exceptions say so quite specifically like the Parasite] and even if it did, the radius and ability isn’t fantastic). The damaging ability of this unit is again…only okay and is best suited for anti-infantry (in case you haven’t noticed, Tyranids don’t need help there). Whilst the large blast is AP1, lack of re-rolls or super high BS leads to an unreliable scatter and Zoans are plain better in damaging tanks. Add in it’s very susceptible to instant death (3 ML wounds and it’s dead) and you’re sacrificing real utility (Venomthroes, Deathleaper) or real killing ability (Zoanthropes, Hive Guard) for something that does niether well.

So what are the ‘army-wide’ utility units? The most obvious is the Venomthrope and doesn’t get much appreciation online. Whilst it is conceivable to get cover for most of your MCs through gaunt/warrior/MC lines or through large pieces of terrain, Venomthropes allow you to move out in the open (and thus not get slowed by terrain) and give you excellent defense against assault. The ability to take 3 in a single slot allows you to spread and overlap their effect without losing too much in offensive capabilities through Hive Guard and Zoanthropes. The other is Biovores/Spore Mines. Whilst they aren’t going to cause huge disruption those little 1″ bubbles here and there can annoy an opponent to no end, particularly pre-deployment. Again they are unreliable as an offensive mechanism but can add more consistent disruption (and at a cheaper cost) than a Mawloc. Whilst I’m not a huge fan of either Venomthropes or Biovores, they certainly have their place in specific lists but you must remember the opportunity cost of taking such (i.e. less HG/Zoans, less T-Fexes/Carnifexes/Trygons, etc.).

Overall, the ability of the Tervigon/Deathleaper/Venomthrope/Biovore to add depth and utility to your army without paying an inefficient point cost and working in against all armies (i.e. don’t care if you are mech’d or not) makes them stand ahead of the pack. Units like Doom, Parasite and Mawloc are all very situational to get their full effect and thus aren’t units that should be taken in everyday armies that want to stay balanced either because they are so useless against Mech or are too conditional in relation to their point cost.

San Antonio Spurs?

They finally coming together without Tony Parker? RJ and Manu finally seem to be putting up the points and Timmeh has been able to rest a lot lately. Let’s see versus Atlanta.

P.S. Go BRoy.

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