BoLS ****s up again

I really hate to do it but I’m going to quote a few things from their most recent “tactica.”

I see the pointy eared space elves getting a lot of negative press these days. The general consensus on the net is that the Eldar are not the heavy hitters that they once were and that they are now relegated to playing defensively for objective grabs and pulling tricks out of their hat to have any hope of winning.

The press is wrong. Eldar are good when you play to win and not contest.

Falcons are no longer unstoppable juggernauts and Harlequins, while still amazing assault units, are no longer able to rip through an army like a buzz saw.

Falcons are more survivable in 5th against non-AP1 weapons, they just can’t move 12″ and fire everything any more *tear.*

If you decide to go foot Eldar which is a very potent option in 5th, your best bet is to go with Guardians, Dire Avengers and Rangers as your troops choices.

Let’s repeat that.

If you decide to go foot Eldar which is a very potent option in 5th, your best bet is to go with Guardians, Dire Avengers and Rangers as your troops choices.

Eldar on foot are not good. Foot is not good unless you have a codex that can pull it off in 5th (Tyranids or SW) who are a) fast b) can shoot down tanks c) tough. Eldar on foot are not fast, can barely shoot down tanks and are certainly not tough.

A foot Eldar list needs two things to really be viable: the Avatar and a Farseer (Eldrad is really the clear choice here).

Two things. One be called mech. Two mech up.

When combined with the guardians, this means you can put out 120 Shuriken Catapult rounds a turn, on the move. What this means is that ANY infantry that comes with 18” of you is going to be gutted.

But what happens when my TANKS come close to you? Eh *nudge nudge*?

So, now you have a solid core of 6 troops choices (don’t see that too often with Eldar!) to make sure that you have the bodies to take objectives, and the firepower to waste infantry, plus the entire thing is mobile. The HQ choices multiply the effectiveness of these units and provide some counter assault punch. So what is the list lacking now? Anti tank/monstrous creature firepower.

Lacking? Uh dignity. Particularly me because it’s almost like you push a little button inside me that says Rage! It’s angry marines all over again πŸ™

You have several options to fill this role, but I go with Wraithlords because they are so hard to kill.

Oh no says IG/SM/Tau, not 3 T8 W3 creatures w 2 S8 weapons. What am I going to do? Kill them. And if I cbf’d, oh I sure hope my mech wall can survive 6 S8 shots.

Throw a Wraithlord into a 30 boy Ork Mob after you have Mind Warred the Nob and laugh as that unit does NOTHING for the rest of the game.

Or if you played a good army you could avoid it, template it, kill it, etc. I thought your army had awesome anti-infantry? Plus that WL has 2 flamers. seriously.

Blablabla this is already turning into too long of a post…

In a year of running my foot Eldar list as my primary army I have not yet lost a single game, and I play at least once a week against a very wide variety of armies and players who are very skilled, and play competitively.

Bullshit. I’ll take 1000pts of something and kick your ass. Come to Australia. No one, NO ONE, not even Sun Tzu himself could play 40k regularly against good opponents and lists and win all the time. You’re either playing shit people (likely), shit lists (likely) or lying (likely). Hell you could be cheating/using rigged dice, too! Watch this. In 22 years of life I’ve won 2 billion Fantasy games and never lost any. No one is going to come out and dispute this because I’ve never lost a fantasy game πŸ˜› (nor have I played any). Now go matchup against a real list and a real player. Videotape it. Post it online. Prove us wrong.

By the by, he has one real anti-tank unit. 7 dragons. On foot.

Again I’m laying down the guantlet. Play someone who has some skill with a list who has some merit. Videotape it. Prove your worth. Even better come down here and prove it to me in person.

Email in: Alexander’s 1750k tau… “Since everyone else is doing it…”

Would you care to rip my Tau list to pieces? I’ve been trying to get a more kauyon approach down where static units grab the enemy’s attention while the mobile elements tear them apart. Anyway, here it is.

HQ

Shas’El
Fusion Blaster, Plasma Rifle
Multitracker, bonding knife
82pts

Elites

2 XV8 battlesuits
Fusion Blaster, Plasma Rifle
Multitracker
122pts

3 XV8 battlesuits
TL-missile pods, flamer
team leader w. bonding knife
139pts

Troops

12 Fire Warriors
Shas’ui w. bonding knife
in/
Devilfish w. smart missile system, disruption pod, multitracker, targeting array
255pts

10 Kroot
5 Hounds
100pts

10 Kroot
5 Hounds
100pts

10 Kroot
5 Hounds
100pts

Fast Attack

2 Piranhas
Fusion Blaster, disruption pod,
multitrackers
160pts

8 Pathfinders
Shas’Ui w. bonding knife
in/
Devilfish w. smart missile system, disruption pod, multitracker, targeting array
226pts

Heavy Support

Hammerhead Gunship
Railgun, burst cannons
disruption pod, multitracker
165pts

3 Broadside battlesuits
Plasma Rifles, multitrackers
team leader w. bonding knife, hard-wired drone controller
2 Shield Drones
295pts

While using this army I’ve found wiping the enemy out is never on the cards. Instead, it’s a matter of taking out key units while minimizing my own casualties, mostly by playing keepaway. Thoughts?

I’m assuming this is 1750 as the points add up to 1744. It’s not a bad list per say, it’s got the right units but there is quite a bit of extraneous items/models/wargear we don’t need and some killing power we do need.

What we don’t need -> plasma rifles on broads, no FW to hijack PF devilfish, bonding knives, Shas’uis.

What we do need -> target lock on Broads, better weapon loadouts on Suits, targetting arrays on Piranhas (confused with your multi-tracker there as Piranhas cant take multi-trackers), another Troop to hijack Fish and consistent Suits.

Again, it’s a decent list but with some streamlining we can make the problem you have of playing keep away disappear. The main reason I think you’ll find you don’t table (or get close to tabling) an opponent is your Crisis suits. As it has been discussed, plasma rifle and missile pod crisis suits add a lot of firepower. Whilst TL-MP have their merits they are sub-par to PR/MP suits. So let’s see what we can do and keep in the same vein of what you sent me:

HQ –
Shas’el w/PR, MP, multi-tracker and HW-target lock

Elites –
XV8 x2 w/PR, MP, multi-tracker

XV8 x2 w/PR, MP, multi-tracker

XV8 x2 w/PR, MP, multi-tracker

Troops –
Fire Warriors x6
Devilfish w/SMS, multi-tracker, DPods, targetting array

Fire Warriors x6

Kroot x10 w/Hounds x7

Kroot x10 w/Hounds x4

Fast Attack –
Pathfinders x8
Devilfish w/SMS, multi-tracker, DPods, targetting array

Piranha w/DPod, targetting array, fusion blaster

Piranha w/DPod, targetting array, fusion blaster

Heavy Support –
Hammerhead w/BCs, multi-tracker, Railgun, DPod

Broadsides x2 w/ASS, TL w/HW target-lock, HW drone controller and 2 shield drones

Broadside w/ASS, TL w/HW Drone controller and 2 shield drones

Total: 1747 pts
5 tanks
61 infantry

That streamlines the list you gave me without adding any new units (other than a couple of suits) and greatly increases your firepower.

How’s that? I’m not really up to date off the top of my head on the tau fluff and how their military fights so up to you to tell me if this fits your theme (I would presume it does since I haven’t changed the models drastically).

Blog Changes

I’ve made a few changes with labels and added a navigation bar in the top left where you can find My Armies and an About Me page. Both of those pages are still under construction currently but will be added to later!

Tyrannofex Conversion

Okay well I’ve been working on this quite a bit today (i.e. an hour…woo). I’m no great shakes at modelling so am quite impressed with myself on this one but don’t blame me for the shoddy modelling! It’s good for me but not for some others out there. I used an old 3rd edition carnifex and bits you get from the old MC sprue + a lot of greenstuff. My inspiration is of course the artwork on page 53 of the Nid Codex. I’ve tried to go for the hunched to the ground but can still swing it’s claws in a “stay away” fashion. Need to add the stacks on the back (maybe plasticard?) and the middle legs which will be pointed backwards as in the picture. Stupidly I modelled the guy without a base so when I put him on a base…the claws are 5mm in the air. >.<. Will fix that somehow but ideas are welcome... He’s going to be armed with the Stranglethron cannon, Cluster Spines and Acid Spray (not sure how I’ll model the Spray…). Anyways thoughts would be great on how he’s turning out! Still need to do another layer of GS tomorrow morning before work. Haven’t done the right arm (left in picture) muscle/tendon extension to torso and there is a gap behind the head which I will layer the GS up on. Thoughts and comments would be greatly appreciated!


Dark Eldar in 5th

This was brought on by BoLS, specifically RealGenius and the comments there that seem to insult DE. I’ve always had a soft spot for DE but never collected them as I’ve never found their models fantastic + when I was younger didn’t have the moneys. Here’s a quick look at a 2K DE list. As has been mentioned before they don’t scale very well because all of their slots are filled up and they really only have one viable build (you can build around this concept but DL spam + Ravagers is um good?).

Let’s look:

2x Dracon w/Warrior Retinue w/2x DL
Raider w/DL, nightshields

3x 5x Wyches w/2x Shredder
Raider w/DL, nightshields

6x 5x Warrior w/DL
Raider w/DL, nightshields

3x Ravager w/3x Disintegrator, nightshields

that should be bang on 2k if I can remember and I’m sure you’ve seen some lists very similar or exactly like this about. Again DE have a really, really good list and that’s about it; hopefully their new dex in 2011 (or 2010 or 2020…) will fix that. Let’s look at some totals:
21 DLs
9 Disintegrators
57 infantry
6 shredders
14 vehicles w/nightshields

Tactics: I sit back and shoot you. You get close, I shoot more.

You have 14 vehicles to contend with, excellent anti-tank and anti-infantry (disintegrators & shredders) which outrange you and have the added 6″ benefit from nightshields.

Stop saying DE are bad. Stop saying DE mech is fail and mech is peaking. If this is what DE is now? With expensive vehicles (ok honestly a Raider w/DL & Nightshields is worth a chimera but we have to pay for nightshields!). See why open-topped is okay in this army? Lots of vehicles, lots of killy of everything and it outranges you (doesn’t need to get close). Imagine DE without open-topped.

RealGenius & BoLS fail once again

Credit to Dethtron here for pointing out how stupid BoLS is.

Let’s sum this up (I know I haven’t finished my Ork articles give me time!):
giving crap armies in 5th more anti-tank doesn’t “end” mech, it makes them more effective against mech.

Furthermore, the deff rolla FAQ doesn’t make Orks a good army now.

Glad we got that out of the way. Remember it’s the 5th edition RULEBOOK which makes vehicles so tough in 5th. You know, the vehicle damage chart? Add in the cheapness of tanks these days and ya, mech is good. Remember that crappy article you guys wrote on hybrid? How’s this going for you ^^.

Anyways Dethtron goes through it pretty well so internet kudos for him :P. But let’s look at what RealGenius says about DE…

I don’t know if I’d count AV10 as “Mech” since a vehicle that is threatened by small arms fire doesn’t mean that you need to really change your army much.

Now if DE get AV11 or AV12 skimmers, then maybe that will be different

This was in reply to someone saying wait for DE for mech to “peak” (another wtf, DE mech will be uh awesome? DE mech is awesome now they just dont have options outside 1 list really, nor scale well. just because they get tons of lances =/= dead mech).

It uses the vehicle damage chart. It’s mech. +1 for IQ <50. -200 for getting Raiders into RF range. Remember their whole fast skimmer crap? Nightfields? 48" range? This is how an open-topped army can be good. By not sucking (like Orks). And when they get buffed with their new dex? & When Shoota Boyz are effective against your “Mech” or when Bolters are preferred over meltaguns to take you out then even a 4+ cover save isn’t going to help you.

The big deal about Mech armies is that you need a lot of anti-tank weapons to take them out. But if your Mech can be immobilized by pretty much ANY gun in the game then you aren’t presenting a Mech problem to your opponent.

Not to say that DE won’t cause people problems. It just won’t be hurting their Mech that people will have trouble with.

A meltagun is going to be better than a boltgun; always. Glad we talked about this. So when your bolters get in range after I’ve shot 18ish DLs at you plus whatever else I have, wtf are you talking about? DE > you.

&


I think we may have already seen the peak, and the DE release will be the nail in the coffin.

To your moronicity. Is that a word? Is now. How can you see a peak in mech when nothing has changed for mech to be bad? It’s not like IG/Nids/SW/SM got 1point 200″ S10 Ap1 20″ ord barrages. Seriously. WTF do you guys smoke?

&

The metagame is interesting to tinker with. I think the main people hurt by this are those that are used to driving their Land Raider Crusader/Redeemer forward to drop off something killy. Now they have to be a lot more careful because something nasty will be there that can smash the something killy AND the LRC/LRR.

I’ve heard about people taking more Lascannons, but what about Marine players taking more vanilla LRs? Nothing like a good armored bunker in your backfield shooting a bunch of anti-Battlewagon guns.

Maybe because of the Deffrolla there will be a meta-shift from the LRC/LRR to the normal LR?

Shit. There is NO metagame. The “metagame” will change when the rulebook does. New army books and FAQs make such tiny changes that should generally have been implemented anyways. I.e. Tyranids = fucking mech up. Tyranids/IG/SM/SW = get psy defense. Morons. Plus you’re going to leave the best LRs at home? Uh why? Whywhywhywhy? Why does a deff rolla even scare your LRs? Your Speeders sitting at home are they? l2block. Seriously.

Email in: Mech Eldar (2k?)

From chair126;

hi there,

uve prob seen me on warseer. i comment on ur painting sumtimes and found ur blog. rly liking it so far. keep it up.

id like to request a eldar list though and i dont want any sort of council (though if the only way they can compete is wit a council ok) which is as top nothc as possible. id like to use as many serpents as possible as ive got 6 a prism and some vypers. i keep losin wit em down in tassie so any tactics would be gr8 to

cheers,
chair126

Well first off thanks for liking the blog. Yes I’ve seen you on Warseer a few times and appreciate the comments on my SM painting blog. So down to the dirty. I’m going to assume 2k unless otherwise noted and if you want a competitive Council list you can’t go far wrong with this.

So anywho let’s get cracking. I’ve been meaning to fiddle around with a 2k Eldar Mech list and lots of AV12 chasis as a restriction isn’t really a restriction at all. Since chair126 asked for tactics I’m going to make the list the talk about it rather than my usual discussion along the way (I’ll explain my choices later in the tactics section).

HQ –
Eldrad

Elites –
Fire Dragons x5
Serpent w/TL Shuriken Cannons, Shuriken Cannon, Spirit Stones

Fire Dragons x5
Serpent w/TL Shuriken Cannons, Shuriken Cannon, Spirit Stones

Fire Dragons x5
Serpent w/TL Shuriken Cannons, Shuriken Cannon

Troops –
Dire Avengers x5
Serpent w/TL Bright Lance, Shuriken Cannon

Dire Avengers x5
Serpent w/TL Bright Lance, Shuriken Cannon

Storm Guardians x10 w/2 flamers
Serpent w/TL EML, Shuriken Cannon

Dire Avengers x5

Fast Attack –
Vyper w/Shuriken Cannon, Scatter Laser

Heavy Support –
Fire Prism w/Shuriken Cannon

Fire Prism w/Shuriken Cannon

Falcon w/Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon, Holo-fields, Spirit Stones

Total: 1997 pts
Tanks: 10
Infantry: 41

You could drop the Storm Guardians completely for another 2 seperate Vypers (same setup) and points to spare or replace them with another Avenger/BL serpent combo but you’ll see why I have that Vyper in a bit and the trade-off in firepower from a single BL down to an EML is minimal and thus worth it.

So. Eldrad into the Falcon alongside 5x Avengers. Double Fortune some Serpents T1 and Guide or Doom a target as needed. Otherwise chuck out Doom, Guide & Fortune as needed (always Guide the falcon unless it has weapons blown off). Use the Vyper behind the Falcon where it can shoot but still get cover. Use Eldrad to Guide if you haven’t Doomed something (or Falcon isn’t in cover to get a benefit from Fortune).

A lot of the internetz hates chin shuriken cannons. I’m going to disabuse you here. From chin shuriken cannons we’re paying 100pts. For 30 S6 shots on 10 different shots @ BS3. That’s 3.33 points per S6 shot. Um. Okay, sold. You’re not going to find that efficiency across the army often. Add in the fact that every one of your vehicles now has at a minimum two significant weapons and a single weapon destroyed result doesn’t in a virtually useless unit (you only need 2! woo). They also love spirit stones. What are the chances of 10 stunneds across the board? Minimal. Chin shuriken cannons are that much better and the same points. At the same time I think having stones on the Falcon and some Dragons helps overcome those occasional stuns. Still, they aren’t needed but provide a little bit of flexibility in planning (remember: these are NOT bought for contesting last turn, that is a waste of points. If I can, it’s a bonus. The point for the Dragons is to get them there. The Falcon to reposition).

Troop Serpents and Fire Prisms essentially fire from back/mid-field and use their speed to move about and control objectives. The Avengers rarely, rarely get out and should only get out en masse to try and wipe a small unit off an objective late game. The Storm Guardians can be used late game to push a unit off an objective. Like Dragons, expect them to die once they hop out so make sure when they get out that it’s pivotal.

Finally the Dragons. Zoom em first turn generally (here’s where your double Fortune goes) and take out the biggest targets of note. If there aren’t really any immediate threats (or you can let the threats come to you) use them in conjuction with the Prisms and Troop Serpents to control the battlefield.

Does that make sense chair126? I choose Eldrad over 2x Seers to a) get the Vyper b) use two of the same power without spending 120+ points x2 and c) not having to pay RoWit x2 to reliably get those powers off w/o Embolden. This does however limit your psychicness to a very local area so you have to be very aware of your Falcon placement and movement.

Thoughts everyone else?

Email in: Ninja tau

Email in from MagicJuggler:

This is MagicJuggler btw.

The internet is retarded. People still believe in Ninja Tau…up to write an article on how to bust it?

I’ve done this a few times on the forums and agree with you. So I’ll gladly hit down on Ninja Tau again :p.

Ninja Tau uses the special wargear positional relay to delay the majority of the army by allowing a unit to come on from reserve very reliably (first failure, most Ninja tau lists who get the bad roll and screw this up, are screwed). They do this to deny damage to their units and come on en masse late game for an alpha strike with 2/3 of their army.

So this fails for a lot of reasons.

1) tau are a great shooting army. You’re stopping them from shooting. That’s bad. You’re doing your opponent’s job
2) Tau are a great shooting army and not shooting at your opponent allows him to get close to your side of the board unmolested. This is a win for the other army
3) combined with 2 it’s hard to utilises blocking and screens which means in those couple of turns Tau are on the board, they are in combat or being melta’d
4) the Ninja tau are relying on their unit with the special wargear option to survive and when it doesn’t, lots of short-ranged guys come in and can get pummelled by long ranged armies
5) Ninja tau bleed units. It’s designed to minimise KPs but you’re sending in single units for the first 4 turns (plus what starts on the table). The enemy is quite capable of dealing with a unit a turn tyvm
6) how do you get to midfield objectives? oh right Ninja tau doesn’t unless you want to DS contest with Suits or something (which is stupid)
7) if you get bad rolls and fail to pop those transports that alpha strike is pretty fail am I right?
8) lack of efficient markerlight support which means to get MLs you’re using up slots better suited for something else

See? bad.

Let’s put this into context. Tau are very good at shooting and defending themselves from alpha strikes and assaults/RF. By trying to force your army to come on later you’re removing the biggest advantages Tau have in 5th and expose their weaknesses. That is not a recipe for success.

Even if you take a good Tau list and add a Positional Relay it gives you ZERO advantages. You’re shooting less and can’t set up your deployment how you’d like it (and unlike in DoW you don’t have night fight to protect you) whilst your opponent advances across the table claiming midfield and gaining your deployment zone.

Viability in 5th? Zero.
Fun factor? Zero.
Ever been a good idea? No.
Will it stop? No.
Should you beat it to a pulp when you see it? Hell yes.

That help MJ :P?

List request: Kaney 2k IG

HQ
Company Command Squad – 4 Meltaguns, Chimera, Heavy Flamer – 145

Elites
Inquisitor – Emperors Tarot, 2 Mystics – 47

6 Sanctioned Psykers – Chimera, Heavy Flamer – 125

Troops
Veteran Squad – 3 Meltaguns, Autocannon, Chimera, Heavy Flamer – 175

Veteran Squad – 3 Meltaguns, Autocannon, Chimera, Heavy Flamer – 175

Platoon Command Squad – 4 Meltaguns, Chimera, Heavy Flamer – 130

Infantry Squad – Autocannon, Grenade Launcher, Commisar, Power Sword – 110

Infantry Squad – Autocannon, Grenade Launcher – 65

Infantry Squad – Autocannon – 60

Fast Attack
Vendetta – 130

Vendetta – 130

Vendetta – 130

Heavy Support
Manticore – 160

Leman Russ Executioner – Plasma Cannon Sponsons, Heavy Flamer – 230

Leman Russ Battle Tank – Plasma Cannon Sponsons, Heavy Flamer – 190

Kaney’s request is a competitive 2k build with an infantry bubble-wrap platoon so let’s see what we can do.

There is a lot of extraneous stuff we don’t need there so let’s start with the basics.

3x 10 Vets w/3meltaguns, demoltions = 390 pts

We won’t put them in Chims just yet as we want to put them in Vendettas so we’ll see how we go for points,

We’d like a bubble-wrap unit too so:

Platoon Command w/4 meltas, chimera = 125 pts

Infantry platoon w/AC x3
include 1 meltagun, Commisar = 225 pts

We may add some Chimeras to the infantry platoon to hijack later but atm no. That’s 740 so for and we still need 3 Vendettas for 1130. And we still want a Company Command squad. Now I think here that the company command squad should be combining with the Platoon to order the Bubble-wrap up and down and to RR hits so they don’t really have need for melta do they… so let’s revisit the Platoon command and Company command together

Platoon Command w/AC, chimera = 95 pts

Company Command w/AC, chimera = 115 pts

This puts us at 1215 and we’ve got our core down. Let’s add some goodies. Manticores are good. 2 is better. 320 points gone and 465 left. We’ve got some Troops, Elites and a HS slot left with 7 tanks so far. So let’s look at adding some Psychic defense as it’s needed.

Inq Lord w/Psycannon, Hood
Mystics x3
3 Heavy Bolter Servitors = 188 pts

They’ll need a shiny new chimera so they can buy one from the Infantry Platoon, +55 pts. You lose a turn of shooting but can get into good position, worth it.

We’ve now got just over 200 points to spend and no Russes as of yet. Now I know Kaney is quite fond of the Executioner so let’s look at one of those.

LR Executioner w/PC sponsons = 230 pts which puts us 8 points and we’d like another BT to take shots for the Executioner so we’ll Drop a Vet/Vendetta combo to give us ~250 points to play with. An attached LRBT with the executioner sets us back 150 leaving us with 100ish points and let’s be giggly. Add in Elite Inq w/Psycannon πŸ™‚ and add in a new platoon giving us:

HQ –
Company Command Squad w/AC, Chimera

Inq Lord w/Psycannon, Hood & 3x HB servitors, 3x Mystics

Elites –
Inq w/Psycannon

Troops –
10x Vets w/Demo, 3x Melta

10x Vets w/Demo, 3x Melta

Platoon Command w/AC, Chimera

Infantry Platoon w/AC, meltagun, Commissar, Chimera

Infantry Platoon w/AC

Infantry Platoon w/AC

Infantry Platoon w/AC

Fast Attack –
Vendetta

Vendetta

Heavy Support –
Manticore

Manticore

LR Squadron w/Executioner w/PC sponsons & Battle Tank

Total: 1998
Tanks: 9
Infantry: 79

Now we can drop a Manticore and go for more blast spam and take 2x PBS in Chimeras (around 6-7 strong) as well but that’s up to personal prefence (this also opens up the option of some more Russes).

As it stands you have a Ld9 stubborn 41 man strong bubble-wrap unit which has 8 S7 shots, protects the chimeras of the Inq, CCS, PCS, which protects the Russes which protect the manticores whilst the Vets deliver alpha strike death to anyone silly enough to allow it.

Thoughts kaney and others?

P.S. all vehicles have hull HFs if they can

Bubble wrap units; why they work

Here.

Posts by em_en_oh_pee after my post.

Seriously. First off stop with the metagame. Quoting myself here:

And everyone needs to stop with the metagame. The good 40k books can bring an army to the table that can beat any other army on any given day. If you play in Area 1 where there are 99% Orks who play horde and you take more templates to deal with them it’s called tailoring, not adapting to your metagame. You go to Area 2 where everyone spams mech and meltas with min/maxing on troops and your flamers are essentially useless and you lose but Area 2 plays Area 1 and they can’t deal with all the infantry so they lose even though Mech > Orks. Then Area 3 comes along. Every player there plays a balanced list and they can beat Area 1, Area 2 and Area 3 whilst Area 1 and Area 2 are only going to have a chance against Areas they are prepared for.

Adapting to your area is not a metagame, it’s tailoring. And when you go to a tournament you will fail if you don’t look at the rulebook and army books and make a list that can tackle any list thrown at you. That is the “metagame.” It’s called 5th edition. Not Austin, Texas or London, England or Sydney wherever your local group is. If your local group does have a large amount of a certain type of army or list take a balanced list and see how you still win and when you don’t play the predominate army type, see how you still win.“

It’s annoying. Anyways, onto bubble-wrap units and why they are good.

A bubble-wrap unit is a unit on foot (yes foot) which uses the 1″ keep away rule, unit size and their bases to make a cushion between midfield and your army. There are a few ways to do this. The most basic way is to take your unit and slap it down in front of your army with little space between. This keeps melta out of 2d6″ (though not MMs), forces units to assault the bubble-wrap unit first and keeps DS units further away from your important units (i.e. Daemons who like to assault, melta drops, etc.). Notice how this setup fits within 12″ (pitched battle) and can therefore be done by ANY infantry unit and does not have to be built into your army list. Obviously DoW relies on a good run roll to be able to achieve the same effect but a thinner layer of infantry can do just as well with the addition of not moving vehicles max speed and rotating.

Another setup is essentially the same but allows a cushion between the main army and infantry unit. This can push meltaguns completely out of range, gives more room for maneuvering behind the bubble-wrap unit and is even more effective against certain alpha strikes (i.e. Air-Cav vets). You have to be careful with such a cushion though to make sure you do not make yourself too vulnerable to fast skimmers. If they can get within the “safe zone” with a 12″ move, that’s not good and you should move your bubble-wrap unit back so skimmers cannot get to your main army. Now this setup is harder to achieve in certain setups such as pitched battle but can be more easily done with infiltrating units (like Kroots, Rangers, Scouts, Ratlings, etc.) and are generally considered in the army list itself (i.e. part of it’s role if needed is a defensive screen).

The final type of bubble-wrap setup I will cover here is a simply extension of the previous two. Use more than one unit. The best way to do this is to expand the 2nd example I used and create more “safe zones” between the infantry lines and main line. This makes the enemy have to go through multiple lines to get to your main army and can offer more tactical flexibility and mobility. Furthermore it makes tank shocking through your bubble-wrap much more dangerous.

Now let’s further examine why such a defensive line is good. We’ve already pointed out that it can sometimes completely negate meltaweapons but is generally going to make them less effective by removing it’s extra die for penetration. It also keeps close combat armies away from your more valuable units and gives you more time to mobilise your army for a counter-attack. When setup correctly it can also lead to killing zones. You don’t care if your bubble-wrap unit dies, it is essentially meant to. If it dies in close combat, even better but you want to make sure the unit which killed your bubble-wrap unit isn’t going to be able to claim cover. You want them out in the open. With some armies this is less of a concern (i.e. Tau thanks to markerlights or an SM army with GKTs as a counter assault, etc.) but you also want to give your bubble-wrap unit as much cover as possible so they last for as long as possible (a defensive screen which doesn’t last past turn 1 and allows meltas to get into range by turn 2 isn’t very useful now is it?). Remember you are more than happy for a bubble-wrap unit to go to ground and get that better cover save. So you have to consider the trade-offs of setting up in terrain with your bubble-wrap unit or be confident enough that you can scoot that unit out of cover with tank shocks or simply blow through it’s cover. Remember you can also get cover through the double defensive layer and having the first layer in cover and only 50% of your models need to be in cover to get a cover save. Below is an example that gives the IG infantry cover (but the ACs are in the open) and when assaulted will leave the Fex in the open and the Hormaguants in cover. The guants can either be tank shocked out or simply flamed to death by hull heavy flamers whilst the Fex will fall quickly to a coordinated AP3 strike (i.e. a couple melta vets or Vendettas).

Overall a bubble-wrap unit delays your opponent which gives you more turns to shoot and more turns to move which in turn is likely to give you more turns to shoot.

Edit: I had a conversation with Wild[TO] about this recently and although I don’t have the quotes on this computer he essentially was trying to tell me defensive layers are bad because people can’t use them right. Alongside em_en_oh_pee from Warseer you can see why they are not more common. Anything is bad when used wrong. If I take 5 TH/SS termies in an LRC and never move it of course it’s bad. Defensive layers have a single drawback, when they get assaulted, survive that assault phase and die in your assault phase. But that is still an extra turn. Combine it with the extra turns it’s likely to have already provided you and your ability to move away from the prolonged combat and that’s a weakness I’m willing to have exploited. This does not mean your mobility is hindered. It does not mean defensive layers are bad. This does not mean Mech is bad. This does not compromise your mech. This does not mean I’m agreeing with Jwolf from BoLS. This is how bubble-wraps should be run and what they do for you when run correctly.

Buy you more time to move and shoot (and launch your assaults if you wish).

That helps you win.