Email in: Roland’s 2k Wolves

Hey Kirb!
Seeing as we were discussing pieces of this on Vassal, I figured I’d just send the whole thing for you to take a gander at. Any commentary appreciated and if I’ll gladly explain my reasoning behind some of my choices!

~ Roland

Vayar Protectors of Miklaagaard VI

HQ:

Master of Runes Odin
Rune Priest
Master of Runes (Living Lightning, Tempests Wrath)
WTN
Chooser of the Slain
Saga of the Beast Slayer
Total: 170

Lord Tyr
Wolf Lord
Wolf Claw
WTN
Belt of Russ
Saga of Warrior Born
Wolf Tail Talisman
Thunderwolf Mount
Total: 240

Elites:

Pathfinders
5X Wolf Scouts
Meltabombs
Meltagun
PW
Total: 125

Thor, The Lone Berserker, Seeker of Doom
Lone Wolf
Terminator Armor
TH/SS
1X Fenrisian Wolf
Total: 95

Baldr, The Lost Brother, He Who is Bound in Chains
Lone Wolf
TH/SS
Jormagundr (1X Fenrisian Wolf)
Total: 90

Troops:

Emir’s Bane
10X GH
2X MG
PW
MotW
Rhino
Total: 220

Masters of Roos Tertius
10X GH
2X MG
PF
MotW
Rhino
Total: 230

Protectors of Byznum
10X GH
2X MG
PW
MotW
Rhino
Total: 220

Protectors of The Citadel (Odin)
9X GH
1X MG
PF
MotW
Rhino
Total: 215

Fast:
2X Speeders
HB
ML
Total: 180

1X Speeder
HF
MM
Total: 70

Heavy:

Long Fangs
5 LF
1 Pack
5X ML
Total: 140

Total: 1995

Next email (I’ve got another one to get to but will do it tomorrow seeing as I’m tired at it’s late…). I’ll go through it unit by unit and see what we can come up with!

Rune Priest doesn’t need Master of the Runes. When you need to use Tempest, you need to use it and it outweighs Lightning. Whilst being able to shoot lightning the same turn you use Tempest is nice, it’s not worth 50 points. Otherwise drop the WTN and a good setup there.

You’re not getting a +1 attack with the wolf claw and for a few extra points you can get a 3++ (it’s the new black.) on your Lord. Follow up with dropping the WTN (you’re hitting on 3s most of the time, it’s not worth the points). With Warrior Born this unit has a big *hit me* sign and I think he really needs a unit to escort him in which you don’t really have… but you can run him behind your Rhinos and it can work in that regard just don’t send him off on his own until he racks up a kill total.

I don’t really like Wolf Scouts. I have an idea what we can do here but I’ll see if you have the points. LIking the Lone Wolves but give the second one TDA. It’s 5 pts essentially in this build and worth it. We may drop the puppies later but shall see how points go.

Now I think you have one too many GH squads so let’s drop the 9 man squad and certainly get rid of the PFist in the second squad (1-2A is not good). Personally I’m happy with just 10xGH and MotW as they shouldn’t really be slamming into heavy hitting squads anyways and being more of a melta delivery system but we’ll leave them there for the moment.

Now we’ve saved a few points so let’s see what we can do with your Heavy Support, that extra Elites slot and Fast Attack. We’ve got 800 points to play with and I think we need a delivery unit for the Wolf Lord. So let’s try an Iron Priest w/4x Cyberwolves, WTN and a TW mount. I’m not thrilled that it’s not a duplicated unit but in keeping with the theme Roland has we don’t want to make this a calvary hybrid list. We also need a unit for the RP so we’ll bring back the LF unit with 4 MLs and we shall have two of these. This leaves us 335 points. 2 Typhoons and 2 MM/HF later and we have 15 pts spare. So let’s drop the wolves from one of the Loners and add a LF w/ML to a squad and add a Banner leaving us with:

HQ –
RP w/Saga of the Beastslayer, CotS, LL, Tempest

WL w/TWM, Wolf Claw, SS, Warrior Born

Elites –
Iron Priest w/TWM, WTN, 4x cyberwolves

LW w/TDA, SS, TH

LW w/TDA, SS, TH

Troops –
10x GH w/Banner, PW, MotW, 2xmeltaguns, Rhino

10x GH w/PW, MotW, 2x meltaguns, Rhino

10x GH w/PW, MotW, 2x meltaguns, Rhino

Fast Attack –
Typhoon

Typhoon

2x LS w/MM/HF

Heavy Support –
5x LF w/4ML (RP goes here)

6x LF w/5ML

That gives you 2k points if I can add, 44 infantry, 7 vehicles and 6 beasts.

Still to your liking Roland (and cuddly?) and thoughts?

Armies in 5th: Tau Part 5: Markerlights & Commander

This is the final part before I do a summary post. I’ve also heard a couple of rumors running about that Tau could be re-done after the BA but shall see what happens…

The forums like to debate on the best way for makerlights. I will disabuse you. It’s pathfinders. They are easily the best buck per point for markerlights (plus give your FW a ride). You can argue all you’d like about Skyrays and Stealth suits or Marker Drones (which are too expensive) but Crisis Suits, Broadsides and Hammerheads are far, far too valuable to waste slots on markerlights (remember those units are the units that are most likely to utilise markerlights to help them).

8 pathfinders is ideal. This gives you on average 4 ML hits which allows you to raise BS to 5 and limit cover to 6+ for one squad or two squads to BS5 if the squad is in the open. So how to utilise markerlights? In the first couple of turns I prefer to use them on my Broadsides against mech or hybrid lists. This allows you to disable ranged anti-tank, fast melta or midfield transports (depending on list). Remember it’s better to shoot for weaker targets and get a higher ratio of a kill than shooting at a Land raider and do nothing. Later on I prefer to use them with my Crisis suits to damage the infantry which has made it to midfield or is threatening my defensive lines. Against non-mech or Deep Striking lists however Crisis suits usually get the markers from the get go.

Another good use for markerlights which no other army has is breaking up a mech train (I will do a post on this later). By stripping the manufactured cover the initial chasis relies on, the rest of the mech train is far more vulnerable to the rest of the Tau army’s shooting as it is generally stripped of cover (or at least cover is reduced to 4+ from 3+).

An army can of course operate without its markerlights (or not take any). However because they are a unit which draws so much attention and is so few points it is almost another turn of shooting for your tanks as your opponent focuses on taking out 8 infantry (which should be in cover, don’t be afraid to send them to ground either). However, the markerlights can really be a force multiplier as the game goes on so it can sometimes be worth it to hide them the first turn or two (put a tank in front of them) to maximise their usefulness with your suits.

So the final part of Tau, the commander. The commander for me generally runs as a support unit for my Broadsides or Pathfinders by giving them a higher Ld and extra wounds. Equip him with a target lock a missile pod and whatever else you’d like. A plasma gun is in keeping with the rest of the suits but I may often include a flamer as a simple tack-on for throw away situations but his primary use is extra wounds in whatever squad needs it most.

Anyways I believe that is the essentials for Tau as they currently stand. I still think the most important articles are 1, 2 & 3. I’ll write a summary post tomorrow if I have time but hope you’ve enjoyed them so far.

Reply out…

Comment found here. Rather than clog up comments I’m going to reply here to Shanvir.

As for your last point, I’m honestly intrigued. What metagame do you come from? I don’t mean this as an insult, I’ve played in two or three different parts of the US and what’s good and bad varies greatly depending on where you’re at (heck I’ve seen it change greatly just an hour or two drive away). The tactics you’re mentioning makes me wish I didn’t scare away the local Tau players (they played gunline footslogging…I wish they’d gone heavy mech and made it an interesting match like you’re discussing). Anyways I’m curious as to what metagame you’re from because I hardly see raveners (given what’s being played a lot here) as worthwhile (my second army is nids) while at the same time writing off nobs. Yes, they are expensive. But throw them in a battlewagon and they gain range and a bit of durability over bikers. A tad cheaper too given the number of bodies you can amass. Apologies if you thought I fielded nothing but boyz but with the warboss being both an incredible combat HQ and a way to field one of the nastiest melee squads in the game I find myself taking at least one nob squad in every list. It does cripple me a bit in single HQ games but they’re pretty rare anyways.

Firstly, there is no metagame. Everyone plays under the same rules and each codex is capable of making a balanced list which can take on any other list. Some books do this significantly better than others (i.e. Tau, SM/SW, DE, IG, Eldar over Orks, Daemons, CSM, Daemonhunters, Necrons). When you start changing your list to what other people play in your local “metagame” you’re tailoring. You should be able to take your list anywhere and win. So I play in the “metagame” of good armies.

Secondly, Nob Bikers suffer from egg basket syndrome and the Orks can’t put a good army around them. This leaves them open to blocking and feeding sac units. Nobs in BW need lots of upgrades to still be effective in combat and are still extremely vulnerable to shooting. They are certainly an upgrade on Boyz but the Nobs still don’t scare any true CC units.

I’m not quite sure what you mean about training. I don’t have a warseer account or anything but do you mean lining it up so the facing you’re looking at is completely obscured by another vehicle? In most cases its going to be some real interesting geometry to pull that off for two vehicles affecting each other. Do you have a diagram of it? It sounds quite interesting.

A trukk is roughly 80% of the length and about the same width as a battlewagon. While I rarely need it its not that terribly difficult to get cover to my wagon from a trukk. I do agree on the footprint of the wagons…I sometimes envy the people with the oldschool shoebox sized battlewagons. The area covered by their KFFs is huge.

I’ll see if I can make a picture model with Vassal or find a post on it from Stelek’s blog. I doubt people on Warseer know anything about this, they don’t listen. Essentially you use the initial chasis to completely block LoS to the armor facing of tanks behind. This gives it a 3+ save or requires you to move to a different facing. Utilising a few smokes or when you get good at it (see StJohn) 1 or 2 you can give your whole mech army at least a 4+ save and quite a few a 3+ save. Orks can’t do this and its still not easy to get Trukks to give 4+ cover saves to BWagons. Remember you have to cover 50% of the facing and because of it’s narrow width you need to cover the sides which Trukks against find difficult on BW.

The whole point of the big mek (and the reinforced rams tbh) is to try and help me ignore the table as much as possible. That’s mostly because I’m rather weak when it comes to initial setups regarding line of sight taking first turn shots but I’ve found the setup works quite well. There’s very few things that make me play a board full of terrain and a bare one differently…until my stuff is out of its transports. But that’s more about my personal failings as opposed to a failing of the army list.

Again with other mech though they don’t need to rely on outside help and rate of fire still really scares Trukks with or without cover. Even when one wrecks (and doesn’t explode) they provide cover for other vehicles. Trukks never do.

I’ve used lootas before to pad points in my list and I’ve experimented with a lot of different builds but I’m not quite 100% happy with any of them. Maybe you’re correct, maybe its just a bad list and I’m against a bunch of really bad players. But I think you’re overlooking a lot of things in your analysis.

Use lootas, they’re good against whatever you want. If the players you play against (present and past) used Tau gunlines I’d lean towards bad. In a direct matchup with other Mech or Hybrid style lists, Orks fail miserably. Even if my analysis is off on Trukks they still cannot reliably take out other Mech which still gives the advantage to other Mech lists.

Blazers trade for Camby

Well the most exciting thing for me today was the Blazer trade. Full story can be found here. Earlier in the season I would of preferred Webster to be traded over Outlaw as Outlaw was a bit more proven to me and could slide down and play the 4 position. However, I think Camby is an exellent pick-up. Certainly an improvement on defense and with Webster’s overall improved play on both ends of the court I’m happy with him staying on the court.

The lose of Steve Blake isn’t big but it means Portland is sticking with Miller which I like. Miller and BRoy need to figure each other out though so the starting lineup is still evil scarey like. This move also leaves Portland without the problem of having too many players deserving playing time (now having 2 at each position + the rookies who won’t see as much time next year).

This trade has me very excited for next year but hopefully the Blazers can make a push in the later half of the season!

Email in: 1500 tau

My first email request! exciting

Crisis Commander – Shas’El – Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Multi-Tracker – 87

Crisis Team – Shas’Ui – Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Multi Tracker – 62

Crisis Team – 2 Shas’Ui – Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Multi Tracker – 124

Crisis Team – 2 Shas’Ui – Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Multi Tracker – 124

Fire Warrior Team – 6 Shas’La – 60

Kroot Carnivore Squad – 10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Hounds – 88

Kroot Carnivore Squad – 10 Kroot, 3 Kroot Hounds – 88

Pathfinder Team – 216
Pathfinders – 8 Shas’La
Devilfish – Smart Missile System, Disruption Pods, Targetting
Arrays, Multi-Trackers

Piranha Team – 2 Piranhas, Fusion Blasters, Targetting Arrays – 140

Hammerhead – Railgun, Burst cannons, Disruption Pods, Multi-Trackers – 160

Hammerhead – Railgun, Burst Cannons, Disruption Pods, Multi-Trackers – 160

Broadside Battlesuit Team – 2 Shas’ui, ASS, Team Leader w/Hard-Wired
Target Lock, Hard-Wired Drone Controller, 2 Shield Drones – 195

1504

Luckily I know Kyle so I actually know what he’s asking… he’s been using my articles and advice to expand his Tau army and this is what he’s come up with and would like some help trimming it down.

First off, a very good start. Very similar to a lot of competitive hybrid lists you’ll see out there but we need to trim some points for it to be legal. We also should also try and get a target lock on the Commander and perhaps condense those Hounds into one squad (so we need another Hound) which means we have to shave 15 points which doesn’t seem feasible. So since you’ve got a single suit we’ll just add the commander in their and not worry about the target lock though this gives you a little less flexibility in regards to PF and Broadside support.

So we still need to shave off 10 pts so we’ll take off a Pathfinder. Remember we’ve condensed the Kroot Hounds as well so we now have a pack of 10 Kroot and 10 Kroot + 7 hounds.

Thoughts Kyle/Wolf’s Lunch?

Armies in 5th: Tau Part 4: Railguns

Well here we are onto one of the best ranged guns in the game.

The railgun seen on a hammerhead is obviously a far better gun than what you get on a Broadside. In terms of duality it’s perfect. One of the best guns at range to take down tanks and a very good S6 5″ blast for anti-infantry. Combined with the secondary weapon system of SMS (or BCs…) the Hammerhead is anti-infantry first, anti-tank second (3+ to hit on a single shot begs to be missed). It’s a perfect game starter against a mech army to drop an extra S10 AP1 shot on an enemy tank but throughout the game the SMS/Submunition combo is going to be much more useful.

So if the majority if our forces aren’t anti-tank first (Piranhas are disruption first, Hammerheads and Crisis are anti-infantry first but do a very good job at anti-tank) Tau really needs a “screw you” tank hunter unit. This is where broadsides come in. A much more reliable platform than Hammerheads to hit with and are able to spread their damage around with a target lock (read: do NOT take multiple broadsides without a target lock). The problem with such a unit is the same problem you get with Oblits and Lootas in their respective armies. They really stand out to mech armies. This is where the aforementioned defensive units of Tau really help and why you should buy a pair of shield drones.

It then becomes a tradeoff between the two units (Sniper Drones, Ionheads and SkyRays don’t scare a single unit as much as a Broadside unit can or they simply don’t have the duality a Railhead brings). I personally see a lot more 2xRailhead and a squad of Broadsides but 3xBroadsides and 3xRailhead seem to be common, too. The problem with such lists is the Broadsides kill all the tanks and then are left with little to do and with a Railhead list you require more dedicated anti-tank elsehwere (like ickle TL-MP suits). As mentioned before this isn’t great. Broadsides are at least a unit tough enough and with a long enough range to be that type of unit backed up by good duality units.

So this part wasn’t exactly ground-breaking (use more good guns…like duh) and will do Markerlight configurations later, maybe even tonight if I’m not too lazy.

1500 Eldar vs IG

I took my Eldar over to Vince’s today to have a game. Stopped taking pics midway through as it degenerated into “can Kirby use his Prisms to kill enough of Vince’s platoons to win?”. We played 1500 because I didn’t want the game to take ages (still did, thanks Vince for being awake @ 1pm! :P).

Here’s a summary of lists:

Seer w/Guide Fortune
2xDragons in Serpents
2xDA in BL Serpents
5xDA in Gunboat Falcon
2x Prisms

Command in Chim
Marbo
Platoon Command in Chim
5x Platoons w/AC
2x Vets w/metlas in Chima
2x LRBT w/HB

This is another perfect example of why autocannons (and rate of fire) are so great in 5th. Vince rolled really well to hit and pen with his autocannons for the first half of the game (add in my inabilty to make even 25% of my cover saves) and on the first turn was able to shake or stun all but 3 of my tanks (his rolls on the vehicle damage chart were terrible). This made my turn 1 reprisal pretty bad. Following up with his amazing 2nd turn (he blew up all 4 Serpents) it really did become a scrambling game for me.

For the later half of the game Vince was unable to damage my Prisms (oddly enough seeings as they are the weakest tanks I had), blew up my Vyper and tried to get traction in midfield whilst I tried to minimise damage and take out as many of his troops as possible (one of my dragon squads got all the way across the board to blow up an LRBT in combat! woo). As it fell to turn 6 Vince got a damned lucky shot on my Prism and blew it up which forced me into a draw situation which I was luckily able to maintain.

Overall it was a bit of a tedious game seeing as I had so little to do and someone took long turns (hi vince! :P) but was enjoyable to see how Vince reacted to having essentially complete board control but not being able to capitalise on it which allowed me to crawl back into the game.

GG vince.

Answer to Rathstar

Rathstar raised a few questions here that I thought I’d answer more publicly as I think I glazed over these in my analysis.

Q1: What’s you opinion on drones for crisis suits ? I like adding gun drones to crisis suits for extra survivability. With use of cover they have the 4+ cover save to offset the invunverable save of the shield drone, and with only 2 gun drones in the unit they don’t lower the overall unit toughness.

Honestly, low. You’re already paying just under 200pts for the unit and whilst this is a good buy Drones are simply too expensive for what they give you which is not much. Whilst they give ablative wounds to the squad the main weapons shooting at the Suits are generally S8+ blasts/barrages which the Drone(s) aren’t really going to help much against. They also make the units footprint bigger and you need to take at least 2 to make an effect on Ld tests. I think there are a lot better places for thoes points elsewhere in the Tau army. And shield drones are useful on Broadsides because they get their 2+, generally can’t get LoS blocked (Crisis can JSJ) and are therefore generally shot at more.

Q2: I’m surprised you immediately right off burst cannons on crisis suits.

The rest of Rathstars comment in relation to Q2 can be found in the above link but I’ll answer his concerns here. The first problem with burst cannons is they are the staple of the Tau army. Tau already have a lot of S5 firepower so do we really want more? It certainly makes for a cheaper build but I’d rather less fireknives overall than more suits with MP/BC. The MP/BC is geared towards anti-infantry but doesn’t do it that much better than a MP/PR suit whilst the MP/PR suit is much better at those lower AV ranges.

It’s true that to get full effectiveness out of the MP/PR you have to get closer than the MP/BC or TL-MP suit but the MP/PR suit can be firing well from T1 and the MP/BC has to be within a closer range for a longer portion of the game. In an “damage dealth per point” the MP/BC will most likely win out more often than not (I think its the same with Vanguard against TH/SS termies but do we see Vanguard often?) but the MP/PR is so much more effective with MLs and more reliable at taking out those low AV tanks.

I don’t really think MP/BC are a bad choice at lower points (NB: I don’t play below 1500) but once you hit 1750+ 3×3 MP/PR gives the Tau army needed punch from 18″+ against both infantry and vehicles. Also (this applies for all suits), make sure you Kroot screen your Suits and have vehicles around (or BLoS terrain) to jump behind. This makes charging and rapid firing in reprisal a lot more difficult.

Thanks for the questions Rathstar.

Product Review: Legion of the Damned

This is a bit late in coming but the models can be found here. They’ve been out for a while now and are rather useless in game but I’d just like to say those are some damn fine models.

Once I get a bit of liquidity I’ll be bagging a few of these babies just for fun. Kudos to Games Workshop on a quality product. Thunderwolves next please.

Armies in 5th: Orks Part 1: Trukks

Well I’m getting tired of Wisdom of silence over on Warseer saying Mech Orks are good and that they threaten Tau by being able to get into your lines quickly. Ignoring the massive defensive bonus Tau get with Piranhas and Kroot I’m starting on the Ork army early for my Armies of 5th articles. I won’t revisit them until I’ve completed the Tau articles though.

First off, Orks are bad in 5th. Most of the internet thinks otherwise because apparently 100+ bodies is “tough.” Bullshit. The series of articles I will write will show you why. Keep in mind everything we know about 5th and it should be pretty clear.

So we’ll take a look at Trukks first and why they are a terrible basis to build a mech army around (which means Orks have to somehow go for an army build outside Mech to be effective…). Here’s what Wisdom of silence has to say on the matter:

Advantages of a trukk:
Speed: threatens assault out to almost 21″
Squishy: less dangerous to occupants than normal transports (important because orks have bad saves) and may even get you closer when it’s destroyed
Cheap: trukk+boyz+nob/pk/bosspole/4+ is less expensive than a naked tactical squad. leaves plenty of room in your list for goodies

Ya that’s a nice assault range. What does 11 Orks and a PK Nob threaten? IG, Tau, Tac squads, etc. Basically everything that sucks in combat and are shooty anyways. Orks need weight of numbers to be effective and even then they aren’t great. Ask an Ork player how it is to player an SW army? Ya the GHs crap all over your uber assaulty Orks and that’s without upgrades. Next.

So let’s really look at the Trukk.
1) doesn’t benefit from 5th, it’s open-topped and has low armor so it’s just as easy to kill as a tank in 4th
2) doesn’t leave cover for the poor Orks who need it and can send your Orks further away from your opponent
3) as previously mentioned has crap capacity
4) isn’t a tank. This is huge. You cannot tank shock. Anything can stop this bugger from moving. This makes it a lot easier to force those Orks to assault what you want which is not the point of a fast moving, open-topped transport
5) don’t create their own cover (they aren’t getting SMF or have smoke launchers, this means terrain every game, every time)
6) have a really low profile so while it’s easier to get cover for them, the rest of the Ork army doesn’t (compare to Rhinos/Chimeras)

So if it survives and or puts the Orks in a good position you then have a small amount of Orks attacking a largely untouched army which can easily take the charge, lose some sac units and then shoot the rest of the Orks. Trukks are fail. Mech is good in 5th because of the vehicle damage chart. Tranporsts survive the crossing of midfield and if they don’t they help the rest of the army with cover of wrecks. Some armies have transports which also sport guns that work (i.e. Serpents, Immolators, Razorbacks, Chimeras, etc.) and the Trukk has no access to this. Even a Rhino can get an HK missile.

So overall the Trukk sucks. It subtracts from the Ork strengths of numbers and gives them more weaknesses for the tiny potential to get across the board quicker. This means Orks have to rely on other means to effectively play in 5th which I’ll cover in my next Orky article.