Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Elvensword Ambassadorial Tournament

As the time approaches for this tournament, I am very excited.  It started out as little more than a "good idea we should try" and we did for the first two.  With three sponsors, this should be the best to date.

A lot of the excitement was seeing how well you could do against the universe of other armies out there.  Unlike all the other tournies I have been invited to, this one gives you the chance to experience the feeling that tournaments were really meant to embody.

As a tourney goer, I am hoping for 3-5 great games and a chance to win.  You also want good sportsmanship so the game doesn't feel like drudgery.  Having enough judges is key to good events, not just from the rules standpoint but also observing slow play and other more innocuous forms of seeking advantage.  This event will have enough judges to watch for that.

Having your name forever etched on the Elvensword as proof of your races armed supremacy is cool.  Free food is part of the festivities, and of course, some of the most awesome and useful door gifts I have personally ever seen make this an event that most will remember.

So raise your mugs Ambassador.  We dine now, but know that blades will soon cross in the arena!  You can comment and talk about the tourney here!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Purgation Squad vs. Dual Dreadnoughts

This unit has been overlooked in the shadow of the Grey Knight Dreadnought (with requisite ammunition).

Some of my peers online claim that given the choice between a pair of STR 8 AP 4 wielding titans and 10 Purgationeers (4 x Psycannons), the Purgation squad is just a decent second place. 

Consider though:  every army is geared to kill armor.  A lot.  Your own is probably festooned with many meltas and the like.  The dreadnoughts are definitely not at the bottom of the enemy's priority list either.  Dreads must stay in danger to be effective and many Grey Knights have taken to using Venerable versions at tremendous additional cost to keep them on the field a while longer.

Here's my take, and you tell me if I am crazy. 

The Purgation Squad does not needs to be in much danger (if any) so in KP missions, they are absolutely stellar. 

Combat squads allow you to REALLY pelt the enemy softies with your Storm Bolter fire while reserving the heavier stuff for the heavier targets (obviously).  The dual Dreads are not going to get 12 Storm Bolter shots every round nor be able to guarantee its torrent will continue like Purgation squads can; and those Storm Bolters come with Force weapons attached by the way!  That is no small issue.

On the heavy side, they can fire 16 heavy duty shots insted of the Dreads 8.  The twin linking only affects the Dreadnought shooting 33% of the time, so many times you're really only re-rolling one hit or none at all.  The Purgation Squad isn't insta-killing like the Dreads, but when the armor is mostly gone after a couple rounds, which unit are you really going to want at your side for the remaining FOUR rounds of the game?  With 16 shots, Purgation chances of rending are pretty good in the first two rounds, making the STR difference of the Dreads look somewhat less relevant to the discussion.

I am in no way suggesting the Dreadnoughts aren't very good.  They are.  They help keep the enemy honest using their Autocannon range.  Yet if you can get TL Lascannons on Razorbacks, Vindicare Assassins and other such things, I feel the ranged threat profile is high enough that you can forego the Dreads range.  Certainly you can when the Grey Knights get first turn and are able to move to firing range (from out of line of sight) turn one, a more than fair trade off.

The Psychic defense is the most compelling reason to take the Dreads in my opinion, and that one reason keeps me testing them out.  Frankly my Win/Loss percentage hasn't fallen enough regardless of which option I take which makes it all the more difficult to really say (in my mind) which is better overall.  ForumHammer might say the Dreadnoughts but in actual practice (and I get a lot of it) they are a hairs bredth apart and the enemy has more to do with their overall value than any actual comparative analysis and even when the scale tilts, it doesn't tilt very far.

What I can say is there is a STRONG argument to be made FOR Purgation Squads and players should feel good about going either way on this issue.