Thursday, June 27, 2013

6th Edition Tau Flyers: How to make them work

I am working on a fairly interesting side project on how to make Eldar Flyers work and while I was, I thought more about my Tau flyers also.

Tau flyers are a conundrum for sure.  My friend has used one to good effect enough times now that despite my own trepidation about them, I decided to start thinking how I could make it effective.  First I needed to grasp what they really were MEANT to be in this codex.

When you look closely at a Razorshark Strike Fighter, what do you see?  Well as I realized that it really was a LOT like a Hammerhead Gunship with Ion Cannon plus two Seeker Missiles.  Such a thing would cost you a Heavy slot normally and would cost 141 points.  Let's compare a little.  The Razorshark Strike Fighter is 145.  So right out of the gate, it's kind of a flying IonHead tank.  The IonHead is AP 3 which is no small matter and is its most outstanding advantage over the flyer.  The Razorshark Strike Fighter also comes with a Missile Pod option to make it slightly more dangerous to more targets than the secondary weapons on the ground bound Hammerhead.  Ballistic Skill is clearly to the Ionheads advantage, but when firing a blast weapon, the impact of that advantage is at lease marginalized because Hits on the scatter die don't care what your BS was.  Against hordish sorts, the flyer may well do better.  Against Flying Monstrous Creatures who are VERY difficult to hit, the Skyfire ability of the Flyer is big.  You pay 15 NET points than you would otherwise spend on the Hammerhead.  So while the Hammerhead is good against a lot of targets, the variety of targets the Razorshark can take on is better.  Razorsharks are better against vehicles because the vehicles don't care about the difference in AP (The IonHead AP3 vs. the Flyers AP 4 is the same in game terms).

The Sky Shark Bomber can engage with three targets in two different phases per turn, plus once more in the end of the enemy's move phase if it gets a chance to use interceptor fire!  THAT is really unique.  Even the vaunted Storm Raven can only attack two targets in one phase and can't then intercept.  The Bomber can fire at reserves as they come in with Interceptor and obviously it is armed to take out other flyers if it has to.  What does it all mean?  It means that the Tau can both take and maintain air superiority with bombers.  4 STR 7 shots on Interceptor is pretty good, maybe good enough to stun another flyer or even knock it out before it can do damage.  In most rounds it is getting 6 STR 7 shots and because the Drones are not WEAPONS, they cannot be taken away with Weapon Destroyed results.  So it is quite difficult to stop the Bomber from affecting the enemy unless they actually kill it outright.

Both flyers carry the Seeker Missiles and therefore are quite deadly to any armored target.

So then there are a few things you MUST also take if you commit to an air attack.  The first is a Broadside unit, preferably with Heavy Rail Rifles and taking away the enemies cover save via Markerlight support.  You must knock out Aegis Defense line guns turn 1 and you will want to do it with as few units as you can get away with.  If you want to maintain high volume of firepower while still accomplishing the task, you will need to arm your High Yield Missile Pod Broadsides with the Seeker missile which will allow their blizzard of shots to reasonably affect the Tough 7, 3+ save 2 wound Aegis Line gun.  You must cause 6 wounds to reasonably hope to kill the gun with anything less than AP 3.  High Yield Pod broadsides can do it but I'd take the insurance in the form of the Seeker Missile, personally, so you're not wasting additional units to finish the job, units whose capability to do so is far lesser.

Once the gun is down, your own flyers can handle the aerial attackers themselves.  However...  Just as a precaution, you need to invest 3 points in the Decoy Launcher on your planes should these efforts fail. It protects them when they show up against interceptor threats.

Predator of the Skies as a Warlord Trait really comes in handy if you take the Bodyguard Markerswarm, because you can use it to assist in the anti-aircraft work of the Razorshark or the SkyShark.  MANY Tyranids use the "Flying Circus" of freakish flying monsters as their army and you will definitely want the help bring them down, and fast.  The best way to try and ensure this happens is take a Warlord that has NO Ranged weapons, NO Jetpack and that CANNOT deep strike.  By doing this you will essentially only have 3 Warlord Traits you CAN roll, a 33% chance of getting the one you want.  This strategy means that in your list, the Ethereal is probably going to be the Warlord and then he will likely be attached to the Bodyguard Swarm and the Command suit (who will take a Drone Controller).  This combination will allow you to take on nearly all aerial opponents with confidence.

So now that we have the supporting cast for the Aerial attack, here's the list so far, minimally.  I chose dual plasma because the XV8's don't want to be too close if they are doing markerlight work, but they want to contribute heavily when the time comes and the drones have been whittled. However you can certainly use some other weapon load out.  Missiles are another decent choice for these, though STR 7 is so well represented in such a list that the need for more of it might be questionable.

74pts  Ethereal (Warlord, 2 Marker Drones)

137pts  Commander (Command and Control Node, Drone Controller, Onager Gauntlet, 2 x Markerdrones)

172pts  2 Bodyguard XV8's (4x Markerdrones, each with 2 Plasma Rifles)

54pts  6 Fire Warriors

54pts  6 Fire Warriors

274pts  3 Broadsides (All three with High Yield Missile Pods and TL Plasma, 3 x Seeker Missiles, 2 x Velocity Tracker)

Total spent in support:  765pts

Now we can safely buy our Aerial attackers, having taken care of the basics.  Question is, what mix do we want?  The Bombers are multifaceted and quite effective.  The Fighters are vicious killers also.  Tough choice.

For purposes of this example, I think we will try a Razorshark Fighter to escort in our two Bombers and we'll see what kind of holes that leaves us to fill.

153pts  Razorshark Strike Fighter (Missile Pod, Decoy Launcher)
168pts  Sun Shark Bomber (TL Smart Missile System, Decoy Launcher)
168pts  Sun Shark Bomber (TL Smart Missile System, Decoy Launcher)

That is now a very large amount of air power.  We hit 1254.  Time to start taking care of the essentials.  Scoring units for an army are a must.  Likelihood is, we will need a Kroot wrap for the broadside unit.  Kroot wraps are inexpensive ways to put an enemy SQUARELY into the wrong place at the wrong damn time at pretty much no real cost to you.  In addition, getting TO the objectives is kind of important.  It seems like we need a bulky extra couple Kroot Units to come in and fire from the side that the jets have cleared out.  Outflanking isn't as reliable as one would like AT TIMES, so we will throw a Doggy in there with them for Acute Senses.  That should solve the problem.  Now there is nothing in this lifetime more annoying than outflanking Kroot Riders.  The angles they attack from matter a lot.  so we will definitely take those since we are already taking Kroot.

60pts  10 kroot Broadside Wrap
140pts  10 Kroot + 1 Hound + 3 krootox for outflanking objectives but with options to gunline
140pts  10 Kroot + 1 Hound + 3 krootox for outflanking objectives but with options to gunline

That pushes us up to 1594.  The Ethereals Powers would be somewhat wasted if we didn't populate some more Fire Warriors at the fire base to keep the enemy honest and not allow them to stand back and get in a shooting war.  Let's add to our troops and plan on using the other two as reserves so we can claim objectives later without having to trust the low LD of Fire Warriors:

99pts  11 Fire Warriors

That places us at 1693, with 2 heavy slots left open, plus all the elite slots.  I'm thinking we are at the part of the list where we identify needs  outside of just supporting the Aircraft and scoring.  This is where we could start looking at allies, or even just deciding if we have enough killing power yet to eliminate enough threats.  Dreads and the like can drop in also.  Can opening ability is definitely present but Land Raiders will laugh off our firepower.  I feel that's a real hole in the fabric of the list.  To fill that gap, we will need a serious can opener. 

153pts  3 Crisis Suits (4 Shield Drones, 2 Gun Drones, Shas'Vre w/ Vectored Retro Thrusters, 2 Fusion Blasters each)

This unit can open the can, survive whats inside if they charge and get away in a pinch.  Init 4 should ensure the escape more often than not if the Shield drones can hold just long enough to mitigate some of the wounds.  It most definitely has the power needed to kill a LandRaider and just about anything else that stops by.  It can even pin an opponent which can be game changing against the right one.  Monsters will be equally delighted to see this unit coming.

The last points of the list could be anything.  We have taken care of Hordes big time, we've got scoring units, we have the ability to SHIFT from Gunline to mobile any time we need to and we have anti-MEQ coming out of our pores, plus the sheer volume of high strength firepower bodes well for our chances.  Much of it is very hard to kill i nthe form of the Flyers!

Looking around, I find that having only ONE Markerlight source (plus the Bombers) might be a hole to fill.  Can't take Pathfinders nor Drone Swarms.  Accuracy is the key.  So I think I will insert a FireSight marksman unit and their Drones, which the Ethereal can turn QUITE deadly when targets are within 24" range.  Points are tight so we might not be able to get a lot of Sniper Rifles in there but at least we get the Markerlights, plus the Sniper Drones are not wasted firepower.  BS 5 Markerlights in general are pretty awesome when they also come with stealth!  Plus going to ground if firing at enemy planes is pretty much like NOT going to ground against enemy planes.

84pts  3 Firesight Marksmen + 3 Sniper Drones

The last thought I had in making sure this all works the way it is designed to, is to include something that modifies reserves.  Frankly, ANY army that relies on reserves for one of its most important features NEEDS some source of help in ensuring there presence or lack thereof.  when needed.  The best way to get this is the Eldar Autarch as an ally but since points are scarce, we can also utilize the Aegis Defense Line, and add a Comms Relay.

70 Aegis Defense Line + Comms Relay

Well that leaves us with the following list in total.  I feel that this list will hi-lite the strengths of the Flyers as well as provide very deadly close line support in the form of a plasma storm.  there aren't many armies that can boast 7 Plasma guns to fire into you when you get close plus all the other goodies. 

70 Aegis Defense Line + Comms Relay
 84pts  3 Firesight Marksman +3 Sniper Drones
274pts  3 Broadsides (All three with High Yield Missile Pods and TL Plasma, 3 x Seeker Missiles, 2 x Velocity Tracker)
99pts  11 FireWarriors
60pts  10 kroot Broadside Wrap
140pts  10 Kroot + 1 Hound + 3 krootox
140pts  10 Kroot + 1 Hound + 3 krootox
54pts  6 Fire Warriors
54pts  6 Fire Warriors
153pts  3 Crisis Suits (4 Shield Drones, 2 Gun Drones, Shas'Vre w/ Vectored Retro Thrusters, 2 Fusion Blasters each)
74pts  Ethereal (Warlord, 2 Marker Drones)
137pts  Commander (Command and Control Node, Drone Controller, Onager Gauntlet, 2 x Markerdrones)
172pts  2 Bodyguard XV8's (each with 2 Plasma Rifles, 4x Markerdrones)
153pts  Razorshark Strike Fighter (Missile Pod, Decoy Launcher)
168pts  Sun Shark Bomber (TL Smart Missile System, Decoy Launcher)
168pts  Sun Shark Bomber (TL Smart Missile System, Decoy Launcher)

Points: 2000
Kill Points: 15-17
Models:  98

This list should allow the Tau Flyers to have their day in court.  I hope you find it useful.  =)

For  Eldar articles, try this one:
Cool Eldar Stuff

For more Tau goodness try these Battle Reports:
Tau Battle Report 1
Tau Battle Report 2

Monday, June 24, 2013

Warhammer Space Marine HQ's in a 6th Edition World

I have pondered this for a while:  where have all the Ultramarine's gone?

I looked at the codex and other than a slight points difference in the troops choices, I see very few reasons not to play this codex for what it has that others do not.  I'd estimate that you'd be OUT 50 points on your troops choices when its all said and done playing them rather than other variants like Space Wolves and while that isn't zero points, it's not as if it doesn't also come with some interesting payoffs in the form of characters and adaptable build availability.

I want to go down the list of interesting things about the heroes of this codex and how 6E may have valued them.  Maybe share some opinions on them.  I am not a frequent Space Marine player, but have faced them so many innumerable times and have read the codex so many times to know my enemy that it feels like I've always played them.  Most people probably feel that way, given the sheer volume of players who used that codex for so long.  Before the dark times.  Before the Blood Angels.

Captain Darnath Lysander is where it starts for me.  He's an incredibly effective model.  I used him in my Tau forces before the new codex dropped for Tau.  The need for a melee presence diminished a great deal in the new Tau codex and so I stopped using him but as a Space Marine HQ, he's pretty hard to beat for overall awesome value.  He bolsters your defenses like a TechMarine which is a terrific ability for allies and codex marines alike.  Nobody would argue that Eternal Warrior isn't awesome on any HQ, as First Blood and Warlord are critical points and you can snipe for both with some weapons.  His weapon is ruthless, and he makes a unit Twinlink their bolt weapons?  I mean...  if I could twin link a Tactical Squad how many of my 50 points did I get back?  How bout Gets Hot Vengeance Rounds in a Sternguard squad?  Oh yeah!

And your ENTIRE force is stubborn?  That's pretty nice.

I was beaten at a GT quite a few years ago by a girl who used Pedro Kantor.  She turned a seemingly sure victory into a jarring defeat, bringing waves of attacks I simply could not handle.  Now consider that in 6E context for a second.  In 6E we are always complaining about how "nerf'd" melee is.  But imagine applying this many attacks and you will not be AS concerned about how many got into melee will you be?  He also seems to compliment Sternguard well, making them scoring units.  Sternguard in Pods led by Kantor is a frightening prospect.  That kind of torrent could end an army pretty quickly and a group of Sternguard with 4 attacks on the charge?  Know anyone who ISNT intimidated by that?  I've seen this character used on several occasions and then finally against me.  It was an eye opener and Pedro may be a decent answer to the overwatch problem.

Antaro Chronus and Torias Telion are probably busts for the most part, and I have never seen them be worth the points spent.  outside of a force with Korsarro Khan, I am not sure I would spend the points on either one.  At least Torias has Acute Senses which is quite useful for reasons having nothing to do with offense.  But its a tough sell to tell you you really NEED either one of them.

Ortan Cassius is an under used character.  He's got a beefy Tougness of SIX, bolter wounds on 2's and he is a Chaplain so that means he makes someone a beatstick when they aren't shooting.  He's not expensive really so he allows list flexibility (which to me is kind of a big thing).  He's not going to go down in history as better than many of the other choices available but do you need him to be for that price?  Remember, he's designed to hang out with his buddies, not live on an island.  Liturgies of Battle takes even Tactical marines and makes them decent.  In 6E where you're spending points on Aegis Lines and the like outside the codex, I feel that a character like this allows you a little room to afford those things and he doesn't stink up the joint.  Food for thought.

Varro Tigurius is spendy.  He is valuable for his psyker powers but lets face it:  he just isn't very impressive for the points given the price of other Mastery Level 3 types, even if he does have awesome access to the Space marine spellbook.  Having said that, his strategic value in controlling when reserves do and do not come in should not be overlooked.  Now I speak as one who uses this kind of utility in his Autarchs, IG command groups and Tau whenever possible.  So the ability to do this is more attractive to ME than it might be to some.  I would consider it a serious challenge to justify Varro, but the possibilities he presents, if he gets priced differently in future codex's, could be something to look for in the future.  But not now.  6E doesn't like a lot of fat being added to HQ's, especially ones who aren't eternal warrior and ARE just two wounds anyways for that kind of price.  If you're going with ANY HQ with 2 wounds, he better be tough like Ortan.

Captain Cato Cisarius is an assassin.  He comes with better armor than a Tactical Terminator (and Feel No Pain if THAT isn't enough!), a Plasma pistol, plus a hard core blade that can whoop a Hive Tyrant in one shot.  He helps seize initiative, and bolsters the entire army with his LD; and a unit he doesn't even have to be a part of gets an awesome ability (likely Tank Hunter would be the best to choose but there are others).  In other words, he does a LOT for your force.  I was kind of surprised as I read in preparation for this article.  I can say honestly I've not seen ONE person take him.  That Plasma pistol is very accurate and he can be killing light transports and Riptides with equal glee.  If Combat Tactics is something you are adept at using to your advantage, this guy is a GREAT choice because you get to keep it while still gaining all these abilities unlike some of the other characters.  His price tag is the same as Darnath Lysanders, and so when I look at the two, I can see what people see in Darnath that they don't see in this guy.  After all Darnath will probably instakill on every blow against NORMAL targets.  But...  There is a lot to be said for having a cold blooded assassin like this in your force that can kill them all.  And his init 5 doesn't get stuck going last which means there's the possibility at least of him never being touched at all by his victim...Not that he'd probably feel it.  6E has introduced a lot of monsters lately.  It might be a good idea to do something about it.

Marneus Augustus Calgar is the ultimate HQ for the UltraMarines.  I doubt any WraithKnight wants to see him coming with his awesome melee ability and re-rolling to wound.  His men simply ignore attacks on their morale, such as what the Eldar Hemlock WraithFighter would allow you to do (In fact, an army I am testing now).  His AP 2 bolter is just mean and it doesn't miss.  The Orbital bombardment is an afterthought, a mere homage to his rank.  His real threat comes from his fists.  Just a truly awesome character...  I have faced him only a handful of times.  It seems impossible that someone so capable would be overlooked but he is the price of a Land Raider and I suppose that doesn't help his cause.  I can tell you however that in all the games against him, he was a difference maker.  In 6E he takes away list flexibility and you'll be giving something up to take him.  But he can singlehandedly eliminate so many things from affecting your army that he seems solid to me for 6E games.

My Space marine force is led by Kayvaan Shrike.  I am a motion offense oriented General.  He fits that perfectly and in fact was, in my opinion, better before 6E actually.  Fleet is by no means a bad deal, and giving it to an entire army is simply awesome on its own anyways, because here again, in 6E we want more surety in our charges.  Kayvaan solves such a big problem for Marines that way.  He's a fairly pedestrian commander in other ways, and you're paying 35 points for his added abilities above and beyond what a Captain might normally cost so he really is very reasonably priced.  He's not the combat monster other characters can be but in 6E where you just cant afford to be unreliably charging...  He's a good choice, I felt. 

Easily the most popular and common amongst the Vanilla marine commanders is Vulkan He'Stan.  The margin of popularity is not very close from all indicators I have seen.  He turns one of the most powerful units in 40K into even more fearsome monsters through his ability to Mastercraft Thunderhammers.  His skill in tuning Melta and Flame weaponry makes the most commonly taken weapons in the armoury that MUCH more attractive. especially in 6E where Flamers have become so much better.  He essentially plays to all the strengths of the Codex and so people take him like he's going out of style.  In a 6E world, where shooting has increased its role in the game, what more COULD you ask than that your most devastating melee threat get even better...and that your most devastating shooting attacks get better with them?
I would have a hard time arguing against this guy and that makes anything I might say about OTHER HQ's pale for some readers...and that's too bad.  I know for a fact from all the chatter online that most consider him one of the only "competitive builds" Vanilla Marines have anymore.  However you CAN find creative ways to employ the other HQ's.  Competitive types do gravitate to what one person I game with called "the obvious" instead of the "Stealth Cheese" excellence of some of these other choices.  Lets hope that this little review reminds people that there ARE choices!  Choices or not, Vulkan He'Stan is very very good.

I will end with Kor'Sarro Khan of the 3rd Comapny.  Furious charge, which his unit gets, has become less cool while Hit and Run has become more critical.  His ability to grant both are highly useful.  Letting your vehicles and other units outflank is pretty awesome to me.  I have used Dominion Squads to fantastic effect, and his ability to give that to anyone's unit in a transport is a BIG deal.  Imagine 3 Outflanking VINDICATORS.  My lord that would be rough!  I have personally seen how effective outflanking Bike units can be, specifically Attack Bikes coming in from all angles.  Assault Terminators able to arrive in a much safer configuration against Riptide Early Warning Systems would be a big boon.  Varro Tigurius comes to mind as a synergistic but INCREDIBLY expensive option.  The Comms Relay is a much cheaper way to get it.  However, if you THINK you want a Librarian for your force ANYWAYS, an Aegis with Comms Relay is a lot of points for a mobile army to be paying and in that odd scenario, you might ACTUALLY WANT to take Varro!  If you're going to pay for the Psyker anyways, why pay for both that and a Comms relay?  Odd but true, Varro could ACTUALLY make sense to take despite his exorbitant cost.  Controlling reserves is important business if you're going to use that tactic.
What limits the cool factor here is that now half your army must be on the table and not outflanking.  That little wrinkle in 6E puts a little damper on my enthusiasm for the possibilities.  Still, It is a viable force and it is an incredible force multiplier for someone like me who is highly adept at using tactics like this and positioning well for it and so on.  So I get a little excited about the many ideas I can come up with for using this guys ability but sorely wish it included the ability to break the Half on/Half off rule.

Well I have talked enough about all this.  Some will find this refresher course on Space marine characters easier than reading an entire codex.  Others will find it pointless since they have no intention of using anyone but Vulkan at tournies.  But for those who find the possibilities more interesting than the negatives, this post is for you.  =)

Friday, June 14, 2013

The new Eldar: Prince Yriel

So I have had time to ponder the new Eldar units.  Some of you love Eldar and some of you just don't want to be caught flat footed.  Either one of those categories will find this useful.

The first one I was interested in was Prince Yriel.  As the Iyanden book is coming and he is the Admiral of their fleet, he's worth a look.  He's a tough Autarch with a whopping 4 wounds which is great.  He gets the Ambush of Blades Warlord trait and I thought for a while as to which units would benefit most from this.  Re-rolling to wound is most useful to weapons that are lower in strength, at the fore of the battle.  His Eye of Wrath makes him a terror to the unit of his choice in close combat.  The fact that the enemy can stop him from using the Eye of Wrath means you probably want to put him in a unit that HAS a character of some sort that can take the challenge, so Guardians are probably not a great choice.  He can also JUMP to a unit when ready.

He himself is only STR 3 so of course the Ambush of Blades is useful, but it really is great for helping with weapons that are higher in volume of attacks.  Imagine a swarm of high volume attackers empowered by the Ambush of Blades!  Striking Scorpions and Harlquins are both high volume attackers.  Shuriken Catapults in large numbers, and Lasblasters with their excellent rate of fire also? 

That ability makes a 10 Hawk unit cause over 11 wounds to T4, not counting the grenades.  Dire Avengers, solely on the strength of his Warlord trait, would cause 10 (and possibly Rend non-vehicles) for 130 points...  Luckily they dont compete for FOC so you can have both.  In other words, Yriel can make some interesting units more effective.  Interesting enough to take more of them?

Scorpions and Harlequins are the best receivers of Yriels beneficence at the fore of the battle, but why empower the already impressive?  It seems to me that empowering less EXPENSIVE units might be wiser, or ones who can be prone to catastrophic loss like the Banshees if they flub.

All things considered, Harlequins need the least amount of help and therefore gain the least from his ability.  If you want to maximize what he can do FOR the army, I'd suggest the Banshees or Scorpions to accompany him to the fore.  And given that Scorpions simply live longer and can be a threat sooner, I suggest the Scorpions.

So through a sort of deduction process, I feel as if Scorpions could actually be an EXCELLENT Elite choice when playing Yriel.  As he is Iyanden I am sure the thought was that WraithBlades and such would be where he would augment his army, but those are high cost LOW attack output models that beneift very little from him.  The irony of it all.

So in a Yriel led army (and not a purely Iyanden themed one) I might actually recommend Scorpions and Swooping Hawks as greatly benefitting from his presence..  But would that make for a good army?

Well let's see.  He has the path of Strategy, so Hawks WOULD come in on 2+ and would do some damage in round 2 with many many companion shots from Avengers and others for blasting the bubble wrappings away if the Serpents and others have not.  They then could provide serious anti-tank threats.  Lets try this odd combinatrion.

140pts  Prince Yriel

70pts  Spiritseer

170pts  10 Dire Avengers (Exarch w/DireSword+Pistol and Disarming Strike)
120pts  Wave Serpent (TL Scatter Laser)

130pts  10 Dire Avengers
120pts  Wave Serpent (TL Scatter Laser)

160pts  5 WraithBlades (GhostAxe and ForceShields)
120pts  Wave Serpent (TL Scatter Laser)

61pts  3 Windrider Jetbikes (Shuriken Cannon)

61pts  3 Windrider Jetbikes (Shuriken Cannon)

185pts  10 Swooping Hawks (Exarch w/ Hit and Run)

185pts  10 Swooping Hawks (Exarch w/ Hit and Run)

193pts  9 Striking Scorpions (Exarch w/ Scorpion Claw)

198pts  9 Striking Scorpions (Exarch w/ Scorpion Claw and Monster Hunter)

85pts  Aegis Defense line (Icarus Cannon)

Now with this list the game plan is something like this:

Yriel's Serpent comes to the center of the trouble area, accompanied by his WraithBlade servants.  Tough and at least capable in melee if not actually sterling themselves, their master provides the most serious melee power, leaving them to do their job:  Guard him if he gets shot out of the Serpent until he can join the Scorpions.

Striking Scorpions can infiltrate if going second to threaten anyone who tries to come forward in round one, pressing the enemy back a bit and drawing fire that might otherwise be directed at the Dire Avengers or bikes, which are scoring.  Of course if the enemy decides to focus on Avengers or the bikes which they might want to kill for First Blood, the Scorpions will be more free to do damage.  =)

In round 2, the Fit hits the shan.  In drops a fusilade of shots, Yriel goes off with his power and the storm of fire is truly impressive.  Literally 174 shots plus the blasts are possible, most re-rolling to wound because of a well coordinated pattern of Battle Focus movement!  Not only that but the re-rolls to wound will become rending in some cases and the field is now saturated with targets for the much diminished enemies to try and kill.  The Bikes will hide and wait their turn to matter.  The SpiritSeer will shoot down planes.  The Swooping Hawks will prepare to kill the vehicles if they themselves are not killed immediately by the enemy, forcing the enemy to fire on units they'd rather not.  And the charge in round two is not to be forgotten, if necessary.

It's...  a lot of shots.  Kinda like bringing an IG gunline to the middle of the battlefield in turn 2 and giving them a crazy upgrade.  Even for one round, its pretty menacing.  Best part is you actually HAVE three semi-hammers to protect that line of death from being overrun in the ensuing turn and Hit and Run is likely to save the weakest of the units from trouble.  they really will only be truly threatened by counter shooting.

I'd be very interested to see this kind of list.  Prince Yriel is 40 points less expensive than Karandras if you wanted the same impact from him.  Of course Asurman might well give you the chance to do the same thing but again more expensive and less certain than either choice.

The SpiritSeer can be icing on the cake really in this offensive set.

Anyways, this meditation produced a very unexpected result.  One I would love to see a battle report or two on.  Obviously the list can be tooled a little to allow a 6th scoring unit if it seems necessary.  Anyone game to try it?

Monday, June 3, 2013

New Eldar: Old theme, new look.

I went through the codex to update my Eldar list.  As many of you have done, I wanted to see whether the old hat fits on the new head, so to speak.  Here is what the old list looks like, updated for 6E and the new Codex: Eldar!  Feel free to comment.

**85pts  Aegis Defense Line (Icarus LasCannon)

**130pts  3 Dark Reapers (Exarch with Tempest Launcher+Fast Shot)

**130pts  3 Dark Reapers (Exarch with Tempest Launcher+Fast Shot)

**165Pts  Vaul's Wrath Support Battery (3 x D-Cannons)

68pts  4 Windrider Jetbike Squad

68pts  4 Windrider Jetbike Squad

**120pts  10  Guardian Defenders (Eldar Missile Launcher w/Plasma and Starshot Missiles)

**120pts  10  Guardian Defenders (Eldar Missile Launcher w/Plasma and Starshot Missiles)

**96pts  8 Rangers

186pts  8 Striking Scorpions (Exarch w/Claw and Crushing Blow)

187pts 8 Warp Spiders (Exarch w/ TL DeathSpinner. Pair of Powerblades)

187pts 8 Warp Spiders (Exarch w/ TL DeathSpinner. Pair of Powerblades)

187pts 8 Warp Spiders (Exarch w/ TL DeathSpinner. Pair of Powerblades)

140pts Autarch (Shard of Anaris, Banshee Mask, Warp Generator, Fusion Gun)

128pts Autarch (Warp Generator, Fusion Gun, Scorpion Chainsword, Faolchu's Wing)


Like all my armies, this one is designed to go second.  As you might expect, lest the enemy force my hand, I will be reserving many units.

The Aegis takes on aircraft, manned in all likelihood by Guardians.  The Reapers will be clustered in hiding somewhere whenever possible, as the unit is small enough to fit in very small LOS blocking spaces.
Vaul's Wrath will deploy centrally in most missions, though the enemy could dictate that given its range.  Rangers will, in most missions, deploy and begin grounding or whittling Monsters, or just trying to cap the Powerfists et al in enemy units that are likely to storm the castle.  If it makes MORE sense, I will switch out the Rangers for Infiltrating Scorpions, but I prefer to threaten the outflank in most games.  Even when I end on the wrong side it affects enemy deployment knowing they can do it and Line Breaker is as good as a kill a lot of times.

The rest of the forces are in reserve.  Wind Riders are for stealing objectives.  Scorpions are there to Line Break and punish units that stray too close to the edges when they are not initially deployed;  and their stealth will help keep them alive and upright if the enemy takes an interest in them after they show up.

The three Warp Spider units will Deep Strike and can provide the punch and volume to take out the enemy forces, preferably on the same side the Scorpions come in on so the Scorpions can support them.

The Autarchs are there to make sure the operation goes smoothly.  Though only ONE of the Autarchs is allowed to affect the roll to bring reserves in (boooooo), you are now explicitly allowed to do so separately for each unit (Yaaaaaay!), so having two ensures that we can influence reserves if one goes down.  In addition, the Autarchs are quite accurate and deadly for tank hunting.  If they need to break off and do that, they can.  One of them is even capable of taking out Mephiston, which by the way I shed zero tears over.  Anything that kills Mephiston is worthwhile and wholesome.  No greater kudos can be gained than to down that monster and laugh as the Gawds do.  For he is evil and must be stopped at all cost.