Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dying blogs?

As with a number of other people in the blogosphere, I read with a little worry and trepidation what has been happening over recent hours with blogs such as Faeit212 and BoLS.  Whilst BoLS now appears down simply due to technical issues, Faeit seems to have gone, rather than have a singular offending post removed due to copyright infringement.  It'll be an interesting next few days and I'll be trying to keep up with developments, but would encourage others to seek other sources of information than Warpstone Flux.  Although I've discussed rumours here before (as per the GW legal statement that allows me to do so), I've never leaked anything here -- that will certainly always be the case.

But the increased negative atmosphere in the community does have me concerned.  Have I accidentally done something problematical?  I tried to re-read through my posts, but think they're all okay.  But equally, thousands of posts over several years is hard to comb through.  Note to self: breathe!  Keep calm and carry on.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

FAQ Digest

The new FAQ just released provides some gems contained within a lot of reading.

For the core rules, the situation with blast templates has been tidied up (glad to have no more arguments about that within our local group!).

 For the armies that I'm interested in, the major one that took my notice was about Abaddon. He is marked by destiny (the gods themselves appear to have plans for him ... just as planned!) and he will not be turned in to either a jibbering chaos spawn or undergo dark apotheosis in to a daemon prince. Fluff-wise, I really like this. Its similar to how Alpharius/Omegon never became a daemon prince (and adds fuel to the rumours about them not really being chaos aligned) and means that Abaddon has a future in the background beyond his dark crusades.

For the daemon armies, there really is not too much of interest to note. It simply clarifies that heralds who take chariots replace the other lesser daemon that would usually come with said chariot.  And the daemon prince of Khorne is clarified.  All good, but not exciting or unprecedented.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chaos Daemons Review: Fiends of Slaanesh

The fiends of Slaanesh have also taken a hit compared to the previous codex.  They have 3 wounds each, sure, but they are still only toughness 4.  That means they're going down like space marines with a worse saving throw.  And they're also vulnerable to instant death if they don't make their saving throws: think vindicators wiping out an entire unit.

They are now also missing grenades. This is significant.  Their loss means the fiends are a lot less playable than before.

What they do have is the ability to cause a successfully charged unit to lose 5I.  With their own I6, this means that they will go first against anything in the game -- they just have to pull off a successful charge.  Therefore, there is a role for fiends in an alpha-strike sense.

Their ability to reduce Ld of enemy psykers is an interesting one.  But its not too significant.  Overall, I think the fiends are now over priced compared to some other units in the game.  The main thing I can see using them for is shock commander killers.  As such, I'd be tempted to take them in units slightly bigger than the default if I'm going to use them.  Get them on the board.  Tactically get in to position (and/or screen other and support units along the way) and aim to wipe out an enemy command structure.  There's probably better ways of doing it though, but they're still kinda viable in this role.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Chaos Daemons Review: Beasts of Nurgle

They are beasts - yes.  But they're also slow and purposeful!  The interaction between these two rules is entertaining and not to be taken lightly.

One of the most interesting aspects of Beasts of Nurgle is their ability to counter charge a successful charge from the enemy on a nearby unit.  Therefore these guys have a tremendous escort role in the new daemons codex.  Several of these scattered throughout a couple of plaguebearer units could be quite a devastating combination.  Particularly since they combine T5, W4, It Will Not Die, and poisoned attacks.  And any unit charging them counts as a disordered charge.

The main drawback is the points cost and the random number of attacks (d6+1).  Hence, I feel a bit on the fence about these guys.  They could be spectacular!  Or they could be a damp squib.  I'm just torn.  Perhaps a few proxy missions are in order.

I think I'd field them in small quantities.  So my preferred combination would be two (104 points) or three (156 points) Beasts of Nurgle in a unit.  Keep them alive and keep them rolling with the plaguebearer mob (or others).

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chaos Daemons Review: Flamers of Tzeentch

We all knew that something had to be done about these guys!  I was expecting a bit of a reversion to the original 5th edition rules myself.  But instead, the actual attack from these guys (the flames themselves!) got altered.  So, the flames might kill some models - sure.  But if they don't, the enemy gets an improved (or 6+) feel no pain roll!  Yikes!  This makes the flamers such a gamble!  With only AP4 on Flamer's flames now, the Heldrake looks a much better option to be honest - go Chaos Space Marines if you want hard hitting flamer templates.

On the other hand, they are toughness 4 with two wounds each.  That's not bad for the price tag, but it's not brilliant either.  A pyrocaster upgrade costs 5 points and makes one model BS5.  That's pretty decent and could pull a duty on quad guns.  Indeed, having flamers on a quad gun might be somewhat viable: charging them would result in a few casualties and perhaps a 6+ FNP enemy ... but then again, they could probably hold on until reinforcements arrived.  For the rewards, I like the mutating warp blade -- it does create chaos spawn which is very exciting (well, to me at least!).

Here's a few thoughts about builds.

2 Flamers of Tzeentch, 1 Pyrocaster (74 points)
Place them behind a quad gun equipped structure (defence line, or perhaps a bastion) and use the pyrocaster to shoot things out of the air.  Feel free to leave the position and swoop on a nearby enemy.  Or let them charge you and hope you don't give them a big FNP bonus.

9 Flamers of Tzeentch including 1 Pyrocaster with a mutating warp blade (222 points)
Nine is Tzeentch's sacred number -- so its fluffy.  And the mutating warp blade is neat!  The rest of the unit are there to deliver the bearer in to combat and in general be a road bump.  Just hope that you don't give too many units FNP -- hopefully with so many flamer templates going off most opposition (wisely) targeted would perish.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Chaos Daemons Review: Bloodcrushers of Khorne

Sadly, the bloodcrushers are not what they once were.  Their toughness is 4 and they lack the armour save that they used to exhibit (now a measly 6+!).

On the flip side they do have 3 wounds each.  But this is not truly enough to offset the negatives that they have received.  Sure: cavalry with power weapons is nice.  But just not here.

To create a build, the axe Khorne is somewhat appealing, as well as the banner of blood.  But I think the real good option is to make them in to a horde.  Sure: they're susceptible to mass firepower: but is there enough to stop their advance?  Especially if they're the escort for a herald?!

Here's some examples:

9 Bloodcrushers of Khorne, Axe of Khorne on bloodhunter, Banner of Blood Icon (435 points)
27 wounds.  Its okay, but its not going to last forever.  Better deliver the herald whilst they're still alive.

3 Bloodcrushers of Khorne, Axe of Khorne on bloodhunter (145 points)
A distraction unit, also a potential screen unit.  It isn't going to last long, so enjoy it whilst they last.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chaos Daemons Review: Blood Throne of Khorne

The blood throne is the first of the chariots that have distinct entries in the codex. As a 12 12 10 3HP thing, it is somewhat fragile and likely to be taken down with a few hits.  But equally, its no worse than a rhino (apart from the open top aspect of course), and we still see many a rhino on the battlefield even in 6th edition.

For it to be fully effective, the blood throne needs to be up close and personal with the enemy -- the ability for it to heal itself via gorefeast / hammer of wrath is excellent.  Whether we this is the deciding factor is unclear to me: I think a turn of dedicated incoming fire is going to eliminate it with ease.

The totem of endless bloodletting is an interesting upgrade that allows loci to spread 6 inches from the chariot.  I like the intention behind this rule immensely.  The greater locus of fury and the exalted locus of wrath are going to be excellent contenders for this honour.  As such, this "force multiplier" is sorely tempting to the for a Khorne focussed army since chariots of this nature will become nodes / nexuses of the army -- effectively making the Khorne daemons have an edge more deadliness in close combat.  As such, if we are running Khorne and taking a blood throne, I'd be tempted to take more than one.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tau Codex Impressions

The Tau codex has now been available for a few days and I've been trying to think how to best exploit it from a chaos point of view.

In terms of chaos space marines, having the Tau as allies gives a little bit of flexibility for cheaper troops to get in there as auxiliaries.  I feel the Tau would make great back field allies -- creating a wall of firepower to cover the advance of chaos space marine troops and elites.  Indeed: letting the elites and chaos troops go forth and do what they need to do.  I'd probably still be looking at keeping elements like the heldrake, but mixing in there perhaps a riptide with some tau fire warriors.  And perhaps if I'm feeling a little bit more fluffy, taking some Kroot along the way as well for laughs.

For chaos daemons, I think the complementarity is high.  Let the daemons deep strike and close to close range for some melee, whilst the fire warriors hold the rear (and perhaps an objective) at the back, using marker lights as a deterrent for incoming charges. Indeed, the possibilities for having a somewhat static gun line at the back and a forward component of (say) Slaanesh is very appealing as it combines together all the right ingredients for a balanced, yet powerful army.  Let the dark gods corrupt the Tau: she who thirsts will be pleased...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Chaos Daemons Review: Nurglings

Not only can they deep strike, they can also infiltrate.  Seriously: infiltrating nurglings!  Sneaky critters! I'm actually in love with the new nurglings: they're cute, playful, loving, caring and have sharp teeth and claws for invaders.  Oh, and they like turning milk sour.  And other fun things!  (mostly involving slime, disease, decay and disgusting things).

But at 45 points for 3 bases (or swarms as they're now referred to), are they worth it?  They each have an incredible 4 wounds and attacks, but everything else is 3's across the board (save leadership).  This isn't so bad to be honest.  I can see uses for them in the front as a magnet, in the backfield as a rock, or about anywhere else as a conga line of tarpitting.  But they're up against plaguebearers: are those extra wounds and infiltrate worthwhile?  Its a balance to be sure.  A unit of nurglings and several plaguebearer units could be great in tandem.  But slow and purposeful will hurt.

Here's my suggestion:
7 Nurgling Swarms (105 points).
Why 7?  Because its Nurgle's sacred number. And its enough to form a solid conga line. Enough said.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chaos Daemons Review: Daemonettes of Slaanesh

Daemonettes are still high initiative and good WS.  They still lack in the toughness department and they still have rending and fleet.  Plus they can run a valuable extra 3" thanks be being Slaaneshi.  Keep the pink horrors at home: I'm taking these androgenes and the plaguebearers!

Sure, they lack durability.  But that's not the point.  They can hit hard, travel quick, rend light vehicles to death and out-initiative marines in close combat.

The Alluress upgrade should be automatic: the extra attack for 5 points is a great deal for the Slaaneshi player. In terms of rewards, the ether blade (normal or greater variant) should be a great option for the daemonettes.  The rapturous standard is interesting, but probably not strictly required I think -- unless the daemonettes are aiming at taking monstrous creatures down.  The instrument is also worthwhile on one squad here and there.

Here are a pair of sample builds

12 Daemonettes of Slaanesh, Alluress with Etherblade (123 points)
A small tactical and surgical strike squad suitable for forward deepstriking.  They'll probably get shot to pieces, but a few should survive to rend their opponents.  Alternatively look to rend a light vehicle to death. And 12 is a multiple of Slaanesh's holy number (six), so its also fluffy.

20 Daemonettes of Slaanesh, Alluress with Etherblade, Instrument of Chaos, Icon of Chaos (215 points)
A large squad of forward deepstriking, or rear guard actions, and also scoring.  Get them in combat as soon as possible.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Chaos Daemons Review: Plaguebearers of Nurgle

Sure, they're not as tough (literally) as they used to be, but plaguebearers are still a strong choice.  And they're now cheaper than they've ever been, making them very tempting for troops choices in the chaos daemons codex.

Shrouded is great for Nurgle daemons, and although it comes at the price of slow and purposeful, it is not a strong issue (and one that has been with plaguebearers already).

Taking a plagueridden champion is almost mandatory - the extra attack in close combat is going to be good.  Interestingly, they have a none-zero BS now.  Hence they can potentially use a quad gun on a defence line if required.  This provides many tactical options - particularly for placing an objective behind such a line and sitting there all game long.  Having plagueswords (which CAN glance a vehicle to death) is powerful, hence the lesser and greater rewards aren't actually too tempting overall.  A random greater reward could be taken for an offensive build though, but I'm feeling that the ability to save on points here is useful.  The instrument and icon are both great choices (again, particularly for aggressive armies), but the plague banner is an excellent choice for such aggressive builds -- do not underestimate poison 2+ -- it is very potent stuff!

Finally, if you're going to take plaguebearers, let me emphasize that they have great resonance with Heralds of Nurgle.  Add in a herald with the greater locus to grant feel no pain to the entire unit for an extra 70 points - this should almost be an automatic play!

Here are some builds to think about.

14 Plaguebearers of Nurgle, Herald of Nurgle with greater locus, Aegis Defence Line with quad gun (323 points)
Its fluffy because its a multiple of 7.  Its great because just what the heck is an opponent to do?

20 Plaguebearers of Nurgle, Herald of Nurgle with greater locus (250 points)
Camping on an objective?  This is not a bad start!

10 Plaguebearers of Nurgle, including 1 plagueridden, instrument of chaos and plague banner,  Herald of Nurgle with greater locus and level 2 psyker (245 points)
The aggressive build for a small, dedicated unit.  Probably going to see a few of these kinds of build in a mono-Nurgle army.

10 Plaguebearers of Nurgle (90 points)
Sorry, just got to include this one. Really, really cheap.  And they can still work.
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