Thursday, 20 December 2012

Rules Questioning - Scoutflanking?

Alrighty folks, today I want to bring up a rules query, now it might not seem like a big deal but it’s something that came up last weekend and I wanted to touch on it.

Before we go on I just want to say that this has been debated a fair bit in other corners of the internet but I just wanted to sound out my thoughts and see if anyone has any comments on it.

The topic is to do with our lovely, and now in triplicate, flying machines, the Vendetta and Valkyrie, the question is: Can they Outflank?
This, I did not paint.

I’ll start off by setting the Scene and gathering all the facts, no opinions yet.
The Codex Entry, which has been amended by the FAQ:
Type: Flyer (Hover, Transport).
Special Rules: Deep Strike, Scout, Grav Chute Insertion

Now we need to know what the BRB says about Scout:
The Tome of Wisdom
This rule also confers the Outflank special rule.

And what does Outflank do?
The best way to surprise an enemy is to strike from an unexpected quarter.
During deployment, players can declare that any unit that contains at least one model with this special rule is attempting to Outflank the enemy. This means they are making a wide sweeping move to get behind enemy lines or come at the foe from an unexpected direction.
When an Outflanking unit arrives from Reserves, but not Ongoing Reserve, the controlling player rolls a D6: on a I -2, the unit comes in from the table edge to the left of their controlling player's own table edge; on a 3-4, they come on from the right; on a 5-6, the player can choose left or right. Models move onto the table as described for other Reserves.

So after looking all that it’s pretty clear, they can, right, now this is what has shaken things up, a Q&A in the Imperial Guard FAQ:
Q: What effect, if any, does the Scout special rule have on a Valkyrie or Vendetta? Will this allow it to enter play in Turn 1 by redeploying 6"onto the board? (p56)
A: It has no effect.

So, time for opinions. The main thing here is to interpret this question. It’s a two part with one answer.
Now if it was:
Q:What effect, if any, does the Scout rule have on a Valkyrie or Vendetta?
A: It has no effect.

We’d be safe to assume that the scout rule has no effect, but does this stop the outflank rule being granted completely from the scout rule, let’s assume it does, this is basically removing the Scout rule from the Unit entry completely. Now GW have shown, through other FAQs, that if a rule no longer applies it will be removed from the units entry by FAQ.

Q: Will this allow it to enter play in Turn 1 by redeploying 6"onto the board? (p56)
A: It has no effect.

If we treat this as the question, aside from some off wording, we assume that that you can’t perform these shenanigans, and fair enough.

The problem is it’s a two part question and has just one answer, with the use of the word effect in the answer it looks as if they are answering the question as a whole and not allowing the 6” move for sure, but what about scout in general?

What it comes down to is: Scout confers Outflank, does the statement of “it has no effect” mean that scout has no effect but the USR still confers outflank or is it in effect saying “remove scout from the unit type”?

I’d like to think, because it’s better for me, and with the precedence set for other rule removals, that this is simply clearing up that scout does nothing for the Vendettas other than give them outflank, i.e: no 6” moves on turn one. If they didn't want us to have the rule, why leave it in at all, why not just remove the Scout entry?
How about we roll for it?
Thoughts and feelings on a postcard (the comments).

Monday, 26 November 2012

Imperial Guard in 6th Edition, looking at the book.

This post is part of an ongoing series of musings on how some things are working in 6th Edition I'm going to hopefully take a good look at how things have changed and reach some conclusions. Other things are being covered by some other local chaps who are active in the Irish 40K scene.

Merv at Touched by Greatness has been discussing Chaos Characters as well as Calgar and Guard.

Dave “Little Dave” Coleman over at The RedThirst has been talking about Blood Angels in 6th Ed, looking at foot lists and all those Assault Marines.

Caolan, one of the members of Skibb Wargamers, another local club in Cark, has been talking about BloodAngels but as a Mechanised force.

With all these articles read and digested, I want to discuss how Guard works in 6th Edition and what’s good and what’s bad.

Valhallans, true heroes.

I spoke briefly about the direction I am currently taking, Space Wolf Allies, here. I expect much of the same will come up in this series.

I think the best way to start would be to look at the components that make up a 6th edition force, based primarily on the ‘Fighting a Battle’ section in the book, primarily the missions as they are starting to be played in tournaments. This includes ‘The Armies’, ‘The Mission’ and ‘The Battlefield’.

The Armies
This includes lists, with two major things to consider, fortifications and allies, because of the nature of how I’m going to look at things in this post I’ll just skip over this for now until we know what this force needs to do.

The Mission
So the book has six missions built into, I want to look at each of them, they are:
  • Crusade
  • Purge the Alien
  • Big Guns Never Tire
  • The Scouring
  • The Emperor's Will
  • The Relic

Primary: D3 + 2 objectives
Secondary: Slay the Warlord, First Blood, Linebreaker.

Purge the Alien
Primary: Kill Points – 1 VP per unit
Secondary: Slay the Warlord, First Blood, Linebreaker.

Purge them

Big Guns Never Tire
Primary: D3 + 2 objectives, each one worth 3VPs and each Heavy support killed is 1VP.
(Heavy Support are scoring)
Secondary: Slay the Warlord, First Blood, Linebreaker.

BIG Guns!

The Scouring
Primary: 6 objectives worth variable points and each Fast Attack killed is 1VP.
(Fast Attack are scoring)
Secondary: Slay the Warlord, First Blood, Linebreaker.

A Scourer.

The Emperor's Will
Primary: 2 objectives
Secondary: Slay the Warlord, First Blood, Linebreaker.

The Relic
Primary: 1 mobile objective (the relic)
Secondary: Slay the Warlord, First Blood, Linebreaker.

Yep, that's a relic.

Now this is arguably the most important part of the book, certainly for deciding how to proceed with building any list in 6th Ed, I know some tournaments will not use these missions but the game was designed by the people who wrote these so there must be some correlation.

Before getting into discussing the missions I guess I need to explain how scoring is done in the tournament scene, each game is worth a total of 20 Battle Points divided amongst three criteria primary, secondary and army points. The primary is worth 8, the secondary 6 and army points 6. The primary is either win, lose or draw as is the secondary. Army points are calculated based on the points value of the enemy units that you killed versus the points you lost, this is then split using a malus system:
APs Difference / Battle points.
1301-1850 / 6/0
851-1300 / 5/1
401-850 / 4/2
0-400 / 3/3

Winning Primary - The first glaring thing of note is how the missions are setup, 5 out of 6 involve objectives, objectives that need to be captured by scoring units, the 6th Ed book says:

An army's scoring units are normally all the units that come from the troops selection of the Force Organisation chart”
There are a few exceptions, however:
If the choice is a vehicle or embarked in one
If it is a Swarm
If it is currently falling back

There are also denial units, they can stop you claiming an objective by contesting all units are denial units, and again there are exceptions:
If the choice is a vehicle or embarked in one
If it is a Swarm
If it is currently falling back

So knowing this and knowing that there are missions with anywhere between 1 and 6 objectives we can see where the primary focus of any list should be, troops.
Realistically to even have a chance of winning most of these missions a minimum of 4 scoring units is required; ideally you are looking at 6-7, especially when you have squishy units, like guardsmen.

As for denial, it can be done by Elites and HQ, this generally will be a nice big melee unit or commanders death star for some armies. Guard doesn't really have anything that could charge forward and deny whilst not being scoring anyway, reinforcing the idea that we need troops, plenty of them.

That’s pretty much the primary taken care of, now the one exception being Purge the Alien where Kill Points becomes the main concern, this is always a tough one as guard, we are sat with loads of cheap scoring units, which is great, but they are so very squishy, a stiff breeze could wipe out a unit of these guys, unless they are hidden in cover behind walls and gone to ground, or there is 50 of them, in 1 big pile.

I am of course talking about the Combined Squad rule, allowing up to 5 Infantry squads, and these squads alone, to form together into a huge unit, throw in a Commissar for Ld 9 rerolled, at the cost of 1 of the 5 Sergeants, and these chaps are going nowhere.

There is always the concern that the support units for the guard are going to fall foul of kill points, especially when facing off against tough and expensive armies with very few units, I'm looking at you Grey Knights, but if the Infantry numbers can be reduced to yield just 1 point for that many troops, the support sections can afford to die as long as they can get a kill themselves.

So to summarise, to win the primary objective in missions you must have troops, lots of them. These troops should be resilient enough to survive when you outnumber the enemy. For kill points supporting units should not be spammed, I'm looking at you Chimeras, AV 12 just isn't as daunting as it once was and AV10 is near worthless, glances have made a huge difference in the way that armour works, rapid firing Str 4 bolters are going to start hurting Chimeras at some point.

Winning Secondary – First Blood, this is pretty much the key to secondary, it is the only objective without potential retaliation, Warlord can be contested by making the other chap a priority target, Linebreaker can be sought at any time. First blood can only be countered by making sure to not concede any other secondary.
First blood!

So how do you secure first blood? A lot of it comes down to who gets 1st turn, if you have it, then you set up for an alpha strike, pick the closest available and most easily killed target and set yourself up to hit it with whatever it’ll take to kill it. IF you don’t get first turn you are playing prevention and a counter strike, hide things out of LoS, screen and provide cover saves, make sure there’s nothing exposed that can be taken out.

Guard are masters of the alpha strike, the gun line is without compare. Make sure to include a Lascannon or two for turn 1 tank popping or a couple of juicy templates to place over squads hiding in terrain, I'm looking at you Colossus/Manticore/Medusa/Griffon/Basalisk.

Linebreaker is an interesting one you just need 1 model that is either scoring or denial in the opponents deployment zone, if you are crushing someone this is easy enough to get when it’s close, you may need to jostle for position and try and secure it, grav-chuted troops from a Vendetta in the final turn is an option or just advancing from turn 3 with a Run Run Run order does the same.

Securing warlord should be a case of simply dedicating firepower at the warlord, for most armies they are an offensive character and likely to be up in your face anyway, the issue guard has is in protecting your ever so poorly armoured company commander or other independent character. The best option is to hide them away at the back in some ruins whilst they throw out orders to those 12” away, if they are likely to get killed in turn 1 they can always be reserved or hidden in a Vendetta.

It’s my belief that this should be the main focus when deploying a force for a game, if you can secure first blood, you are most likely looking at a minimum of 3 points for the secondary, but more likely a 6, unless you get tabled, but if you do, you have other things to worry about.

So to secure secondary you need to have first turn and be offensive, go hard or go home, if going second play as defensive as possible in the hope that you can strike back in your round. Bring some hard hitting guns or artillery to the table turn one and if you want to up the ante on the defensive, bring an Aegis (this is something that I’ll talk about more in the future)

4+ for 50pts? I think so.

That pretty much covers all of ‘The Mission’ part of the book and we end up seeing 2 major trends for both primary and secondary, objectives and first blood. This means we need plenty of troops and plenty of fire power (that won’t die too fast).

The Battlefield

The Battlefield part of the book is simply the deployments for each game, of which there are three.

Dawn of War
Hammer and Anvil
Vanguard Strike

The only remarkable thing about the deployments is Hammer and Anvil (aside from it being a pain to play at a tourney if you happen to be on tables in the middle of a row) whilst each deployment gives a 24” minimum distance this one provide the option on increasing that even further. With night fighting being a 50/50 chance you can easily hide artillery outside of the 42” negating a turn 1 move and shoot against you.


After going through all of the above we can see a trend in what needs to be done, grabbing objectives to secure a win. I feel the secondary objective in all these missions and potential securing of 6 BPs for just first blood makes it a top priority.

Next time I intend to look at units in the Imperial Guard Codex in 6th edition and how they fare with the new ruleset.
For the Emperor!

Thanks for reading, looking forward to getting some comments and thoughts.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Heavy weapon team bases.

Now that 6th Ed is in full flow I decided it was time to get my heavy weapon teams on some large bases.

Because I'm using classic Valhallans there weren't special bases for them when they were produced they just came as two chaos and a gun or one sat on a gun with a loader.

As I build my Autocanno teams out of Heavy Bolter dudes, they are on the little trolleys.

To get the bases going I decided to do a little bit of modelling and not just glue the dudes onto the bases, to make it easier to transport and mark wounds etc.

I picked up some laser cut wooden bases. from eBay on the cheap, as the plastic GW bases are extortionate.
A pile of bases.

Then using some Modelling clay I made a pancake of the material between two bases.

Clay ball
I then pressed a couple of bases and the train for the lascannon into the clay to give good anchors for the models.

Fitting the Loaders.

In the end I had 8 bases, 4 Autocannon and 4 Lascannon, now they just need to dry and be painted/flocked and I should have some tournament legal Heavy Weapons Teams!

Finished bases.

Friday, 23 November 2012

A straw house with wolves at the door. They'll Huff and Puff.

It's been a while since I've updated anything. I've been lazy also playing Warmachine and by generally not been building many models.

Now 6th Ed is in full swing things are hotting up. And I am now trying to get my stuff together for Warpcon 2013.

My three 6th Ed tourneys have been rough.

One (Moocon 7) was a 6 Leman Russ list that did okay, I had a lot of pie plates. I was doing great until Deamons (Donal Caroll) in the final round (table 3), they are bent.

All the Leman Russ!

 The second (Gaelcon, one hell of a 4 day weekend) was a Guard blob with Ork Bikers,  that did well too, until the final round (table 3) oh and did I mention it was Deamons and played by Donal and yes, bent.

Bikes n' Boyz

The 3rd (Moocon 8) was basically my 5th Ed list. And it turns out Mech,  doesn't work... It wasn't Deamons this time I just got done, Necrons hard counter AV 12.

Mech looks great, but it isn't 

The things that I have noticed from Gaelcon and games against others in 6th Ed is that:

  • 6th Ed is about scoring, you need to be able to take and hold objectives quickly and reliably.
  • Armour is a lot weaker, glances will kill you.
  • Strength 6/7 is now king, you can glance and glance and glance with all the guns and the armour is gone.
  • First Blood is currently so heavily weighted that getting it can near guarantee you a win on secondary.
  • Blobs are back, infantry is once again a force that is what you need and from a purely Guard perspective it hits a lot of these points.

Infantry blobs are:

  • Scoring
  • Str 7-9  Autocannons/Lascannons
  • Hard to kill in a turn (first blood)
  • Not armour

Now what do they lack? Melee strength?  That can be overcome by volume of hits.

Shooting ability? This can be augmented by including Autocannons and something 6th Ed has brought to the fore, psykers, most specifically allied ones.

Which brings me on to what this is all about, the inclusion of pets, allies, puppies. Space Wolves.

The divination powers are perfect to bolster what is statically average guardsmen and make them better. Who has divination? Rune Priests,  2 of them at 100pts each.

Lacking an assault unit? Have some Grey Hunters.

I'm going to hopefully exploring this alliance over the coming weeks as well as talking about a fair few other things. My 40K passion is back with a vengeance and I want to get stuff done and who knows, maybe win something aside from best painted although I think those were prizes for "painted" not necessarily "best".

Monday, 30 July 2012

500Pts Blood Angel Allies and a little Cygnar

I've finished off the Blood Angels for my 1st 6th Ed Tourney next weekend. I'm going to be using 6 Assault Terminators (4 Hammerrs, 2 Claws) with a Terminator Librarian and then some scout Snipers to make up the Troops choice.

I got to include 3 of the Space Hulk Models and have magnetised them to big bases, I also gave the Libby a storm shield, it's a bit of defiler leg.

Assault Group

Space Hulk Termies and Libby

Scout Snipers

I've also been doing some more work on my Cygnar for Warmachine, after 4 losses the other day learning I've got the bug! I imagine this blog will be having a fair bit more Warmachine content in the coming months, I do have a pact with myself to buy no more before what I have is painted, Warmachine only.

Cmdr Pineapple-head and his two Jacks

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

And now for something completely different.

So I've started up some Warmachine because of some people at work playing it. I bought myself a Cygnar Battlebox. I opted to paint them Yellow.

My Battlegroup

Warcaster - Commander Coleman Stryker

Heavy Warjack - Ironclad

Light Warjack - Lancer

Light Warjack - Charger

I've also finished some Assault Terminators for my Blood Angel allies:

Assault Terminators

Astronomicon – 1850 5th Edition Team Tournament Game 5

Game 5 was against Robs Guard, here’s the list:

Company Command Squad, meltagun x4
Company Command Squad, meltagun x4

Psyker Battle Squad, psykers x8

Infantry platoon (170)
Platoon Command Squad, flamers x4
Infantry Squad, Autocannon
Infantry Squad, Autocannon
Veteran Squad, meltagun x3
Veteran Squad, meltagun x3 

Fast Attack
Vendetta Gunship
Vendetta Gunship
Vendetta Gunship 

Heavy Support
Hydra Flak Tank Battery, Hydra x 2

Chimera, multi-laser, heavy flamer
Chimera, multi-laser, heavy flamer
Chimera, multi-laser, heavy flamer
Chimera, multi-laser, heavy flamer
Chimera, multi-laser, heavy flamer

Pitched Battle Deployment, Primary was Cleanse, secondary Annihilation.

I got first turn and opted to take it. I deployed with the Lootas in the centre and the grots on the far right holding that quarter. The Bikers went on the left hand side of the centre with the Trukks on the right, the Buggies flanking to the far right.

Rob deployed in a long gun line with the Manticores and Hydras on the right, Chimeras in the Centre and 2 Vendettas on my left, the other one on the right. The guardsmen deployed behind.

Ork Turn 1
The Bikers shot forward as did the Trukks. The Lootas failed to make a dent in the Shooting as did the Buggies.

Imperial Guard Turn 1
Two chimeras attempted to move and managed to immobilize themselves. Another two moved up. Everything opened up on the Bikers, they took a lot of hits, and enough of them go through, then the Psykers made them Ld 1, they fled. This thankfully meant that everything else lived through the turn unscathed.

Ork Turn 2
The Bikes continued to flee off the table, with no chance of Rallying. The Trukks hit the Guard line and all the Boyz bailed out ready to engage. The Lootas managed to wreck one of the Vendettas forcing the squad inside to bail out. The Assaulting Boyz managed to Kill: 2 Hydras, 2 Chimeras and 2 Squads of Guardsmen in combat.

Imperial Guard Turn 2
The chimeras pivoted to line up the flamers, and the squad of Guardsmen with flamers jumped out of the right Vendetta. The Following firestorm saw 2 Mobs of boys break or die. The Meganobz lost 2 and the other 2 squads were diminished.

Ork Turn 3
The MegaNob headed towards the guardsmen behind the chimera and the last squad of Boyz assaulted a Chimera. The Trukks Lootas and Buggies attempted some shooting but failed to make an impact.

Imperial Guard Turn 3
Marbo turns up right next to the grots and the remaining units move into position to continue to flame. I take a more casualties and the rest of the Boyz break, all I’m left with is the Grots, Lootas, a Big Mek and a couple of Trukks.

Ork Turn 4
Shooting is ineffectual from all my units and I await my doom.

Imperial Guard Turn 4
Marbo explodes the Grots, the Boyz that are falling back get shot to bits. Another couple of Trukks die, the Meks Trukk gets immobilized. A Manticore manages to immobilize itself on terrain, the Lootas get shot up and break, running off the table.

Ork Turn 5
The Big Mek removes the immobilized result.

Imperial Guard Turn 5
The final round of shooting an maneuvering sees the Big Mek just survive whilst everything else is cleaned up.

Game Ends
Primary: Loss, Secondary: Loss. I managed to get enough points for 1 BP.

It was going so well until Flamers… Losing the Bikers was harsh but was likely to happen anyway. It was a tough matchup but a great game.