Friday, June 27, 2014

How Do I Beat Eldar Wave Serpent Spam with Dark Eldar?

It seems Dark Eldar are having quite a problem dealing damage to mechanized Eldar.  With 3+ saves on the move and AV 12, it's in the dead zone for lances.  That doesn't in any way mean the Lances aren't good to take, but the math on how much of it you need to down one serpent is a little annoying.

To combat this, the Dark Eldar must scheme and plot ways to overcome the mechanized spamming Eldar are justly feared for.  After all, what more delicious a victory is there than to surprise those who can see a thousand years hence with a new trick?  None whatsoever.

Here are a few tools you can use that don't require allies.

1.  Beast Packs are really fast and really good at bashing Wave Serpents.  I use 4 Clawed Fiends.  Arrange the unit this way:  3 BeastMasters in the front, 1 Clawed Fiend,  Beast Master,  3 Clawed Fiends, 2 Razorwing Flocks.  If you mull this for a while it will make sense to you that by doing it this way, you rapidly become Toughness 5 as a unit.  This unit is fast, becomes very tough and hits really hard when it arrives.

Clearly it would benefit from a Phantasm Grenade Launcher and the stealth doesn't hurt.  So Baron Sathonyx makes an ideal attendant for the unit.  If you do, put one more beast Master up front.  This unit can benefit greatly from mobile cover.  The Dark Eldar have a hell of a lot of it available.  Don't leave it behind.

2.  4 Grotesques, with an Abberation (Scissorhands), the Master Haemonculus upgrade and led by the evil Urien Rakarth.  Raiders are assault vehicles.  It can land on the enemy doorstep, wait for the inevitable fusillade to kill it and then the Grotesques assault from the wreckage.  Tough enough to handle the explosions, resilient, and they become a major issue if they get the charge.  Grotesques can declare Disorganized charges without losing much efficacy and if anyone dares get in on the fun against Urien, he's a real bear to take down and can tank wounds like no ones business.

3.  Webway Portals unloading Talos Pain Engines up front and personal.  Best way to pull this off is to have a couple of layers of fast Units (Hellions or scourges perhaps) come out ahead of them to provide them cover.

4.  Sslyth.  Each Archon allows you to take a group of 3.  105 points isn't a lot to commit, it's 6 wounds (which COME with Feel no Pain, regardless of Pain tokens) that are tougher than Wyches when concerning themselves with vehicles they want to kill, and 15 STR 5 attacks is nothing to sniff at.  Best of all, it's an HQ slot so it can be taken without losing much elsewhere.  It's been pointed out that the Royal court will force you to bring along 1 Lhamaean, a Medusae and a Ur-Ghul.  I recognize that these on their own aren't normally used but then, look at the blog you're reading.  Consider for a moment that they ALL get Tough 5 since the Sslyth will be the most numerous toughness (ties go to the higher Toughness) and like the Beast Pack, this makes the unit VERY resilient.  The extra 40 points effectively gives the Sslyth 3 ablative wounds at Tough 5, AND the Ur-Ghul's Feel no Pain makes it an ideal front man.  And where ELSE can you get basically an awesome Liquifier gun at 15 points?  The Medusae has EyeBurst which is a really really fine weapon most of the time.  D6+1 STR D6 AP Flamer template?  That's pretty nice for 15 points.

5.  Overlooked perhaps in 7E is the way Ramming now works.  You're already headed that way anyways.  You may have even accepted the death of the Raiders.  Accept their death on your terms.  Shock Prows can really add to the equation.  Spear the enemy and profit.

These methods don't rely on Lances.  They rely on brazen courage and speed, something the Dark Eldar are all about.  =)

Good gaming

Friday, June 20, 2014

Null Deployment, 7th Edition

In 5th Edition, as null deployment first descended upon 40K as a concept,I cleaned house.  In all I took four of the first five tournaments using Tau, yes the lowly Tau Empire.  The technique was so bizarre and counter intuitive to the players who came up through the ranks of the first four editions that they scarcely knew what to think of the mad man before them.

For those who don't know, null deployment is where you essentially only deploy enough forces  not to auto-lose in turn one.  You let the opponent go first.  This became known as null deployment over time but at first it was called by another name:  insane.

Even as 5th Edition aged and progressed, there were probably only a handful of Generals I ever saw utilize the method.  Unlike most of the buzz words in 40K, null deployment lacked a name for a pretty long time.  "Null Star" doesn't exactly inspire fear or notoriety in the minds of those reading those words, now does it?

Nevertheless, I have discovered over time a few kindred spirits on disparate forums such as the infamous Egorey (AKA The Duck, AKA Felixcat) from The Dark City who appreciated the technique and it at least gained some recognition, if not applause, as the Edition wore on.

Then as if to mock me, 6th Edition obliterated the ability to do it!  I was understandably upset, and my cheese moved, forcing me to go find new cheese.  Nevertheless, the principles of null deployment did not leave me and I have employed the concept in as good a rendition of it as the new rules allowed to continues success in 6th Edition.

Now we are in 7th Edition and Null deployment is back, baby!

Null deployment has extremely positive strategic value for several reasons:
  • Going second ensures your units show up that much later and they are therefore targets that much less.
  • The enemy must commit to a strategy before you do.
  • You have the maximum amount of time possible to see what the enemy wants to do and FORESEEING what he WILL do becomes easier.  A more novice General greatly benefits from this while a better one positively feasts on the intel.
  • The clock forces the enemy to eventually do SOMETHING.  Making mistakes is one of those somethings.
  • The Clock allows you to make less mistakes
In Warhammer 40K, the essential truth is, you only have about six rounds to do what you're going to do.  Six rounds to get where you need to get and secure what you must secure.  That is an infinitely profound statement if you really grasp it.  Time is a weapon.  It is it's own perfect STR 10 AP 1 weapon.  No special rule in Warhammer can ever lengthen the game beyond 7 rounds and the fact of that must be taken into account by the Generals.

When properly executed, null deployment forces should look something like this:

  • Two hearty high damage output units (preferably with very good range) spread to the corners, or far apart enough to force the enemy out of its blob or gun line formation if the enemy wishes to pursue them.  The damage your two corner units deal must be enough to worry the enemy into realizing that shooting the targets may not kill them faster than the corner units can cause inordinant amounts of damage, thus either forcing the enemy into accepting the inevitable losses or pursuing the units physically (moving to kill or silence them).  Consider them the "Lures".

  • Units capable of being at any part of the board, on command.  This means a likely concentration of Outflankers, Deep Strikers and long range normal reserve units.  Special Rules, Wargear, Psyker powers, Warlord Traits and the like that support or insure such movement are prized.  Things like Aegis Defense Lines and Autarchs are prized for their usefulness in insuring reserves come when you wish.  Webway Portals and Positional Relays may be prized for their ability to bring your units where they wish.  These are just examples.  These units are called the Hunters.

  • Finally you will have mobile reserves that can take objectives when necessary and preferably with long range weaponry.  Eldar Jetbikes, outflanking Chimeras, Slaanesh Lords on Steeds accompanied by Slaanesh bodyguards can all accomplish this task.  Fire Warriors with their long ranges can make admirable units this way also from normal reserve.

Null Deployment has a basic goal: wait for the enemy to divide itself, and give them motivation to do so.  This could be to send units at the Lures.  This could be to take objectives.  This could be to accomplish Secondary Objectives and this could be to avoid what the think you will do next.

For example since the enemy deployed first and gets to choose to go first or not, it is likely that he will, given the seemingly insignificant resistance before him.  Knocking you out early seems a reasonable thought for a General to have.  If he does, you have him where you want him.  He will possibly over commit to the two disparate corners of the board to silence you if you've hidden them well.  Lest he give you a lot of free damage, he wont trust his shooting to end the hearty unit on it's own.  He will send his own Hunters for you.  The more he splits off the better.

If he chooses to make you go first, sensing a trap, you oblige him.  The Lures start whacking tanks or high value high cost targets.  He realizes that letting you go first will now potentially allow you three rounds of this kind of sniping.  He will get impatient and move to you in order to silence you.  This is good.  If he waits too long, this is better.  Either way he's breaking formation AND has allowed you to pump damage into him.

Here's a real example.  A Chaos Space Marine takes two units of two Nurgle Obliterators, puts them in Ruins 70" inches apart from each other after his opponent has deployed.  Nothing else.  Just them.  What will the enemy do, his massive forces arrayed against just four models.  Think he'll give you first turn or will he attempt to wipe you out and end the game turn 1?  Oh I think he can't turn down that opportunity can he?

Understanding that the two Obliterator units are too far apart to fire everything the enemy has at just one group of them, the enemy dispatches a Rhino or a Wave Serpent maybe, full of angry killers, to start the journey to both table corners in turn 1.  He splits his rear fire groups up and moves them to get shots at the two targets if not already able to.  What do you have now?  Four groups of enemies with dead Obliterators on their mind.  Possibly more groups if some stay centered.  The Obliterators fire and kill/silence a central tank apiece with  Las Cannons, ignoring the Rhinos, because side arcs from the table edges aren't hard to get and the Multimelta will be more useful at closer range.  Forward arcs aren't as big as some wish they were!  The second round comes and the enemy surges to the corners again, firing at the ones they can see, still in four groups, now farther apart from each other.  Again the Obliterators fire, killing the two rhinos/Wave Serpents/Whatever, only now the Aegis line gets used to hold off most of the friendly reserves, and preparing for the tidal wave in round 3.  The best case scenario...and I mean best...  Would be that the Rhinos survive and disgorge their occupants.  Enter the tidal wave on round 3 and 4, isolating the weakest enemy groupings and then swarming their objectives and positions.

The fracturing of the enemy force and its lack of direction (for where else could it go but blob up and cower in the middle perhaps while the Obliterators take there toll?), coupled with your ability to strike the weakest piece (or ignore it if its horribly out of place) means every model this Chaos player has is killing its fill and taking almost inconsequential losses in return fire.  With all the intel in the world as to what the enemy is doing and where he/she wants to go, it is a simple matter of simply putting the best unit for the job on point and attacking it relentlessly.  the army has to look more like a tool bag and less like a D-bag army to pull this strategy off.

Clever use of terrain and vehicle wreckage means the beginning of an Exchange game the enemy cannot win.  The Obliterators?  Their life or death is irrelevant.  Consider them acceptable losses.

I did this same thing with single Broadsides and two Shield Drones.  You can do it with Necron  Doomsday Arcs.  The longer range and the tougher they are, the better.  Regardless of the tool you end up using, the principle is the same.

Only actual games will teach you how to employ your particular army this way.  Nonetheless, the concept is there and ready for you to use.  7th edition has brought back this excellent strategic approach.  Each match up will probably determine if it is the right way to go, but it is one of the few strategies I know of that can equalize what would otherwise be a pretty unfair match up and even the odds quite a bit.  Feel Free to ask questions about it below.

Other Tactical articles:  Stuff that's tactical. Click here!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Adepta Sororitas in 7E

The Adepta Sororitas is a powerful force for good in a darkening universe filled with the grim realities of endless war.  Everywhere there is despair, but within the halls of the Sisters of Battle lies the hope and salvation of an embattled people.  Without their guidance, surely the Inquisitors would have long since run amok and the people have given in to their hopeless futures.

In 7th edition, the Adepta Sororitas have become another thing yet again.  They've seen a lot of turmoil since their last codex became a White Dwarf (actually two White Dwarfs, annoyingly enough) and then to its current form.  In between these changes were THREE different editions!  Needles to say the Adepta Sororitas have likely been the most affected by the winds of change in the 40K universe.

The good news?  They weathered it well.   Those intrepidly adventurous sorts who dare to wield their majesty have found victory after glorious victory, to the sound of a stunned and speechless silence afterwards.  They are under rated on a constant basis and despite notable Generals and their success with them, I daresay any forum you go to will characterize them by and large as "mid tier at best".  Those are ironic words because that's been said since 4th Edition despite all evidence to the contrary.  People continue to be left with mouth agape after being inexplicably crushed by their mailed fists though.

I mostly wanted to pontificate on the army as 7th Edition comes into full swing.

My initial observation when the newest Codex came along was that they had gone from a very good horde-like force to an even better armored corps with occasionally horde-like elements added..  6th edition hated on vehicles a little but this was still my feeling even despite that.

With 7th edition I had to admit:  Sisters of Battle were IDEALLY suited to take advantage of Armour!

The Heavy supports got a LOT better.  The Penitent Engine became MUCH better.  Harder to kill than before and of course, like all Sisters of Battle units, they Deny the Witch on a 5+  Further, they  are REALLY going to be a load for enemies to drop economically.  That is really the key word there.  It isn't that they are not killable but that they are now going to cost the enemy a LOT more resources to take them down, proportionally than the enemy wishes they did.

The same basic thing is true of Exorcists and the new damage tables, and the Rhinos:  harder to kill and no more expensive than they were before.

The advantage that Sisters of Battle have is their price.  Though nothing is there to be lauded in their stat lines, they have always been a value buy, and in the economics of 7th Edition, that matters because the lower cost of the units means more possible mobility.  A Space Marine unit that wants to get its unit to the front line pays as little as 175 points to get a 10 man squad into good firing position with a Rhino.  Sisters of battle pay 160.  Unlike the more expensive Space Marines, the Sisters of Battle are there to shoot and are able to fall back from melee to leave their enemies in the open whereas the Space Marines rarely can.  And while no one likes to see their unit pulverized, let's face it, a 5+ save against the Psychic horrors of the universe and the Invulnerable save the Space marines lack certainly make the Sisters of Battle a potentially more hearty army against some forces!  Not only that but their shooting is generally better thanks to their Acts of Faith.  Over the course of many units, those extra points saved start to mount up.  Plus you can get the special Weapons you want from Sisters of Battle even with only 5 Sister units, a luxury Space Marines don't have.  The indignities the Sisters suffer in close combat are unfortunate but as long as you are metering your losses out carefully, you will find that you outnumber and outmaneuver such forces.

In 7th Edition, outmaneuvering the enemy is a thing.  The Tactical Objectives act like magnets, so where they are placed MATTERS.  Depending on the Adepta Sororitas force you're fielding, you might find a lot of value in placing the objectives in the open.  This might seem counter intuitive but consider that you're scoring units are PROLIFIC when you take Rhinos for your troops to bounce around in.  They SCORE and have the Objective Secured rule.  You can win a battle of exchanges if it comes to it.  Sheer number of units and their speed (and flat out moves) coupled with the lesser RISK (lower cost units) in the risk/reward calculation of venturing into the open means that the enemies suffer more from taking chances than you do.  The Adepta Sororitas give you an excellent gambling edge.  In a dice game, you want the gamblers edge.

7th Edition created a Psyker phase which had little impact on the positive side of the ledger.  The Adepta Sororitas force does not stop, so much as RESIST such power and that was pretty much always the case.  The Inquisition can provide some anti-psyker ability if needed and many benefits besides.  Notice that the rules for Warlords changed.  You can take Coteaz and a couple low cost melta units in Rhinos as your Primary Detachment and make him the Warlord.  He not only adds Psyker juice on defense, but he can roll (and re-roll) on the Warlord traits Strategic Traits table.  That makes a lot of sense for him because of the Strategic Trait Strategic Genius, which adds 1 to the attempt to seize initiative!  The Psyker phase will not be a place the Adepta Sororitas ever really competes in a big way but choosing his as the Primary Detachment gives you a great synergistic leader and at least the possibility of Psyker defense on a preferred unit.

In 7th Edition, the Adepta Sororitas forces are now more susceptible to assault but are now reliably better at it also.  Some overlook the pistols Sisters of Battle are now equipped with.  But imagine what a 20 sister squad can do:  they shoot their pistols and flamers.  Once done, they charge.  The Sacred Banner of the order Militant gives the unit +1 attack.  Now imagine Uriah leading the unit with his Zealot rule.  You're getting 3 attacks on the charge from the run of the mill Sisters of battle, and re-rolling misses on the charge!  THAT friends is a crushing blow and about 15+ wounds against Tough 4.  Even better, Uriah gives the unit Counter Attack which no longer requires a leadership check so one way or the other they are hitting you.

Celestians, which were the unit which was envisioned to take advantage of this would get 4 attacks on the charge at STR 4, re-rolling to hits.  That's 15+ wounds against tough 4 just on the strength of the actual Celestians attacks.  They do it on a LOT fewer points than the 20 Sister Squad.  Blobs are harder to maneuver and easier to charge, easier to hit.  So is it possible that Celestians are a better choice than a blob for close combat?Not on the defensive since their Act of Faith makes them STR 4 only in their own Assault phase.  But it is remarkably cheaper for the job, offensively, by at least 100 points.  You can't ignore that kind of savings.

Clearly Battle Conclaves are a more moving option for melee.  They're quite adaptable and can take on a lot of different threat types.  The one type they can't excel at can be handled by Sisters Repentia.  Here again, anyone within 12" of the Sacred Banner of the Order Militant get the +1 Attack and that makes Sisters Repentia scary.  They already posses the Rage rule, so as it stands, they get 4 on the charge.  With the Banner, five?  Hole frejole's!  You just don't need that many of them to handle business and do work.  A wall of Rhinos is the answer here again.  With the army of Rhinos you can command in this army, hiding and protecting the Sisters Repentia is not really a feat.  The enemy in Maelstrom Missions will not be able to focus on them anyways necessarily unless happenstance dictates that they happen to be near the objective the enemy needs, further protecting them.  I like Sisters Repentia a lot.  They get no love but man...

Of course, to have the banner you have to have a Sororitas Command Squad, another unit that isn't particularly popular because it in turn requires the Canoness.  This chain reaction of requirements rankles some.  I would point out however that you're not getting nothing from the investment.  The Sororitas Command Squad is a decent enough hammer against a lot of units and it will rarely be found without a Priest.  So the unit isn't going anywhere unless it feels like it and the Smash War Hymn gives AP 2 regardless of the weapon you wield so the Priest is even good as he comes with 4 attacks on the charge, 5 with the banner.  For 25 points, whose complaining?

I like the look of the army and had my first game with it in the new Edition.  It was as devastating as I remembered it being.  I think Adepta Sororitas forces have a lot of victories ahead of them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Astra Militarum Tactics: 3 tricks you can use in your next game

It was observed recently that often times when you see tactics threads, they are more like unit analysis threads.  They lack the "How to" element that makes a true tactical read.  In the spirit of responding positively to that, I thought I'd list four things you can do in your next game in order to maximize your chances of success.

The Age of Knights

Like it or not, Imperial Knights are a thing now and they are an official Codex, ending any debate over whether they are legal in normal Warhammer 40,000.  They are.

With that, I have personally witnessed the slaughter they can perpetrate and the unlikely comebacks they can cause.  They can do filthy amounts of damage to the bitter end and one is wise not to underestimate it.  In this new age of 375 point models, we need to rethink the value of some units. 

My suggestion for dealing with the Imperial Knights is this:  Don't be subtle. if your meta actually sees these monsters being used, you must fight fire with fire.

My suggestion is to reserve the Devildog Squadron and lure the Imperial Knight in the first two rounds to one side of the battlefield.  By placing them at the maximum range and isolating the Imperial Knight to one side it will have its shield towards one side only, probably towards its existing targets allowing you to easily maneuver BEHIND the shield.  The angle of your lure is of importance when you do this so make sure the charges it has to make are angled such that the sides of the Knights become exposed.  While the armor itself is still tough, you don't have to deal with the shield.  Use a very good shooting unit as bait.  One it can't ignore, and be willing to back it up rather than firing.  Confident in its victory the enemy wont allocate a lot of resources to killing a unit if the Imperial Knight is going "I got this, you guys do your things".  Once the bait is safe, you can use it to wreak ever more havoc.  being a lure is its first job so don't lose sight of that or your whole effort will be for nought.

Now this requires a very expensive unit, but take heart:  It's only necessary if the enemy is daring to bring these things in the first place.  Happily, the unit is also exquisite at  exterminating most any armored threat, TEQ threat and MEQ threat it wants.  So you're not exactly "wasting" points on the unit.  Most players are absolutely mortified at the prospect of pouring that many points into a Devildog Squadron and if you are, fine.  Just know that there are few units that are tougher than this one, that can reach as far as they can with as powerful a weapon as they can.

This same tactic can work albeit with less accuracy, using deep striking units, but to get the same killing power you need two really really good Deep Strikes.  Militarum Tempestus Command Squads can do this but it takes two of them and those squads alone cost as much as a Devildog and they will be killed with far more ease while requiring a near total commitment to the Militarum Scions as your bread and butter.  For the cost of the Taurox you can get the Auger Relay to make certain of the Deep Strike but...  the odds of it surviving to do that job are slim because it will lack the element of surprise and likely be wiped before you can set the trap.  The Devil Dog solution makes it essentially impossible for the enemy to  use your own luck against you.

Some would argue that the overall cost of the Vindetta is still worth it and is the answer to Imperial Knights.  But are you really going to count on a flyers limited movement to allow you to get into position for this shot and are its lascannons going to be better than short range melta shots?  No.

The tactical thing to do is angle your lead lure model so that the enemy is charging a very dangerous shooter and must turn its shield to face it so that the Devildogs can get their angle.

The Battle of Medina Ridge

In 1991, the largest armored battle in U.S. History occurred, called the Battle of Medina Ridge.  Iraqi forces deployed well, using the ridge to obscure themselves from longer range threats forcing the United States to fight in closer quarters.  Had the Iraqi's possessed anything like what the Imperial Guard have at their disposal, the story of that battle could have been quite different.  The United States tanks were built for range, as are many of the Imperiums enemies, and the defilade gave them less rounds to fire into the Iraqis so to speak, while allowing the Iraqi tanks to fire down on the approaching enemy while not having to deal with the movement issues. 

How do we make this happen?  First when Deploying, consider the terrain.  If going first, you wont want to be in motion, but instead firing.  To do so means a clearer lane to AND from the enemy.  This doesn't serve your purposes.  So you must BRING a ridge to the fight!  Your tanks can fire, weapons free, if you position your other units AND THE TERRAIN, to then use the shooting phase to form the ridge AFTER your Leman Russ's have had their say.  Inexpensive units can be used for this to form a reticle forthe more damaging tanks and they also then become guards against assault.  Armored Sintinels are superb for this purpose.  Fire the weapons through the reticle of terrain and walkers, then run them into the gaps so the enemy gets no such clear shots in return.

Commander Straken  can give the Armored Sintinels Counter attack which no longer requires a LD roll, and so with them you can create your own Battle of Medina ridge.

Rollin Rollin Rollin...

Has anyone yet noticed that you can get three Enginseers and connect them to a unit, fixing the wrecked systems in round one and joining them in being ejected in round 2?  Better yet they can have meltabombs!  And as Independent Characters, they can easily pass wounds or take them.

Further, in 7E, you can take a Crusader and stuff it with a Guard unit or just have the Battle Brother unit joined to them.  This means that unless the enemy can kill the Land Raider outright in one round of shooting, which is a serious feat given its 4 Hull Points and better ability to handle hits, that thing may never die.  That these COME stock with Power Axes means you can pretty much roll with confidence forward into many enemies head first and with considerable!  This is a rather indelicate but ultimately scary as hell way to go if you want to transport your Assault unit and give it all kinds of oomph.

Now consider that Land Raider Score!  I am somewhat in awe of the sheer difficulty it now takes to ruin that plan.  If the enemy loses any of its meltas early, it is in serious trouble to try and stop this from scoring Tactical Objectives and there aren't a lot of downsides to daring an enemy to come anywhere close enough to it to try something.

You can pretty much assault two units out of the Land Raider here plus ensure its survival.  So for example you can swing to one flank and then next round, drop both a unit of Enginseers and a unit of {fill in the blank awesome assault unit here} and have an excellent chance of annihilating two or more vehicles with the Multicharge.  Eldar Mech spam is rendered fairly useless against that until someone gets out but by then they are being blown to bits by grenades and satchel charges.

 Prioritizing STR 9+ weapons as targets early will be important.  So stay frosty and nuke them.  this is why a flank swing might be the wiser choice.  you may not hit AS primo a target the round you eject BUT you can make up the diff in subsequent rounds and the enemy wreckage can hide you or else you can tie yourself up if you think its worth it of a round.  Just make sure you're strong enough to break free on their turn.  By doing that you don't get shot in their shooting phase, then you break them in their assault phase and look around for fresh meat as you begin YOUR next turn.

Anywho, have fun and let me know how these things work out for you.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Astra Militarum Tactics part I: Bullgryns and Ogryns

The new codex now has an identity that is forming over the course of games and I have observed a number of them as well a played them with the new codex now.

One of the hotbed topics seems to be utilizing Bullgryns and Ogryns, as well as the math to justify them or else fail to justify them.

My first question when thinking about them was the same that most players ask themselves:  How do they compare to each other, truly.  When you ask that question you need to understand (if you aren't already familiar with them) that they are taken for entirely different reasons.  So a simple analysis of their killing potential isn't enough.  On the other hand, you can't ignore that component and be intellectually honest.

Both are stubborn, possess Frag Grenades, and gain the Hammer of Wrath special rule (at their strength which is really good), adding potency.  Being Very Bulky severely limits the number that can be transported, though as you will see, this affects Ogryns more than Bullgryns.

The stat line remained unchanged from the Imperial Guard codex to the Astra Militarum version other than the armor.  Armor and armaments vary a great deal between the two.

The 4+ armor on Bullgryns is instantly the first thing you notice.  That elevates their suitability against an enormous amount of the 40K universe weaponry.  As this seems to cost 5 points per model and isn't optional, it's good to note that the armor upgrade does protect 3 wound models so the uptick in armor at 5 points is quite worthwhile.  Bolters, Shuriken Cannons and a large number of other nasty weapons become far more mundane against them.  The Slab Shield makes their armor 3+ when they stick together (base to base) making them even more insane when it comes to getting shot up by the enemies.  The Bullgryns start to look like a really good deal.  Add to this the cover bonus to units that are obscured by a Bullgrun and you realize you have a mobile Aegis Defense line in the form of Bullgryns, for tank formations and for normal ones!  If you were to, say, take the cost of an Aegis line at 50 points and distribute that among the models, I think you begin to see real value here.  They are hearty enough to obviate the need for a Land Raider, which the Ogryns really benefit from to proceed across the war torn battlefields of 40K.

Their weapons are different also.   Ogryns have the Ripper Gun while the Bulgryn carries the Grenadier Gauntlet.  I would argue that the Ripper gun which is STR 5 and Assault 3 using 12" range is the superior weapon over the Gauntlet STR 4 AP 6 small blast.  Anyone who spreads out can limit the blast to one model being hit and that's if it doesn't scatter.  The lesser strength of the Gauntlet also means it does nothing to vehicles.  That's important because you'd prefer whenever possible to have the unit blast the rhino open and then charge the unit inside.  The Bullgryns can't do that against the vast majority of vehicles.  Not at all if they get pinned down (since you now cannot Overwatch when you are pinned).

Ogryns and Bullgryns can take a Taurox or Chimera to battle.  The Taurox firing points can give the unit a pretty useful way to fire while staying protected.  With Tough 5 not many are going to die if the Taurox does blow up, especially the armored Bullgryns, and blowing up transports in 7E is simply not as easy to do anyways.  The new rules make the Taurox and Chimeras both take a goodly beating with little or no risk to those inside honestly.

The Bullgryns can take a Brute Shield and Power Maul instead of lugging the other big shield around  They lose their shooting capabilities and it's not cheap at 15 points per model.  You're more or less taking Bullgryns at 60 apiece.  That starts to get expensive.  Now I am not one who strictly looks at points as much as I look at whether a unit CAN do its job and then secondarily, can it do any other jobs.  As I've said before, making sure plan B is almost as solid as plan A is actually important and sometimes a unit that may not look "optimal" in plan A suddenly can look pivotal in Plan B.  Philosophy class ended.

Assuming the Bullgryn upgrades, he's losing all shooting ability.  In addition, he is actually easier to wound.  The Brute Shield really only helps against AP 3 or better weapons in comparison to the Slab Shield on the approach.  Only STR 10 weapons are of concern other than Ap3.  So what you kind of conclude is that the only time these guys will be worth their salt is when you REAAAAALY want to pound armor into the ground and expect a plasma storm.  But Astra Militarum already has this ability to pound armor in spades.  You can ride Bullgryns up in a Land Raider using 7th edition rules on allies which I suppose would be attractive.  It's certainly aesthetically pleasing to see them with Power mauls, wading mercilessly and efficiently through the enemy and taking wounds like champs.  I just don't know if I'd want to spend an extra 75 points on five Bullgryns and the cost of expediting their arrival etc...

So when all is said and done, Ogryns being able to kill vehicles in the shooting phase and their lesser cost along with their better use of transports means they are going to be a decent shock troop for you.  They benefit from now getting to roll against being forced to Snap shot when ejected from their Transport also and even if they fail it, are not as affected by that as Bullgryns who prefer to hoof it.

In a best case scenario for victim and Ogryn during a charge, what are we expecting?  The 5 Ogryns cause 5 wounds against MEQ, and 6.25 against squishies before saves with shooting.  On a good day, the Bullgryns get half that.  On the charge they are both the same but Bullgryns will take less damage at times against mundane weapons, yet will suffer more hits because their shooting isn't as good at whittling before combat.  They also probably take more casualties before they get to the fight.  Bullgryns are more expensive so it's not as if the losses are equal in value.  Tough call.

Which vehicle you would prefer probably factors in.  More can fit in Chimeras and yet more can fit in Land Raiders but it requires an allied detachment.  Personally I'd probably rely on the hard working Taurox.  More firepower, and the Chimera can't hold any more Ogryns if they are accompanied by someone than the Chimera can.  Whoever leads the Ogryns in one will no doubt be a hammer also.  The Lord Commissar or Yarrick choices make sense.  They can both help the unit become even more dangerous, you need an HQ anyways and there's worse places to put one.  Kurov's Aquila makes the Ogryns and their master awfully scary in lesser numbers.  All in all, the smaller unit looks a LOT bigger when the Lord Commissar is in town.  Yarrick is an equally annoying prospect as he seems to like to live through the most mortifying wounds and gets back up, plus he has slightly better stats, can give orders etc...  Tough choice but its good to have tough choices isn't it?

Bullgryns probably are better off in a Crusader but lets face it:  that is a LOT of points to commit.  I won't say it wouldn't be fun, but the Bullgryns best role may just be as your walking wall behind which the tide flows, with Chimeras running interference.  I mean whats the diff between spending hundreds of points on Psykers to protect units when there's a more visceral, more sure version of that via the Bullgryns?  They DO crush face if not stopped so they draw fire well.  They are hearty and can probably absorb quite a but of it before the enemy finally finishes them and your whole army is able to fire weapons free in the meantime.  Two rounds to fire pretty much unabated is pretty nice to think about. As reserved backfield defense you could do tons worse and if you can get them outflanking with Warlord traits or something?  Good times!

Scions and Ratlings are your only other Elite alternatives.  Now that Snipers don't even pin targets, and Scions are basically just better Veterans (which you can actually just take as troops), the slot really feels like its the Ogryns and Bullgryns to lose.  I think in a more mobile warfare, I'd want Ogryns, but for defense or blob type armies, Bullgryns can have a pretty valuable role.

Whatever role you decide for them in your armies, report back here and tell us what you're seeing out there as friend or foe to Ogryns.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

7th Edition Warhammer 40,000--The basics

Well the new Edition is out, and lots of interesting things to remember and/or be aware of that may have changed or are the same.  I will cover more unit specific stuff later.


You knew this was going to come up on my blog.  The rules no longer have a requirement that half your units start on the board.  WHAT?

I literally did a happy dance and had my wife looking at me like I was a mad man as I tore the new rulebook open to the index, pounded my finger on the entry for reserves, flipped with abandon through the book to figure out where the hell the page numbers even were, and finally found (or rather, didn't find) what I was looking for:  Null deployment is back.  Oh glorious day.  GW still aren't letting you assault from reserves.  Frankly, I was quite surprised that stupid restriction didn't go away (I understand the Deep Striking thing but normal reserves?).  Having said that....  I say again, Null Deployment is back!  No more having to set up the pins so the enemy can knock them down.  No.  A whole new level of awesome occurs when you can turn the elite of the enemy into paper weights.  You'll see more from me as I experiment with the possibilities of the new codex's, using this tool...

That aside there is more here.  Generally the player who wins the roll to Deploy first now gets to CHOOSE if the enemy has to go first or not AFTER BOTH DEPLOY!  A surprising development, but a welcome one.  Of course, once the choice has been made, the opponent can still seize initiative but that's of minor consequence, given you had to deploy first anyways.

GW also made it very clear that characters join the unit and are in reserve together.  No more arguments over that should come up.  The rule says not just that you can but that you must announce he is joining them; and therefore he/she must come on the board with them from reserve.  Pretty clear.


I'll start with movement.  There are no longer any Blessings or Maledictions to do before this phase!  Hooray.  One less thing to forget.  In addition, because psychic stuff no longer happens before the movement phase, there are a lot of maledictions that have had their range extended considerably.  The movement phase is now not only when you get into position for all the normal reasons, but also you now use it in consideration of positioning Psykr powers.  This is important to remember as you move towards 7th Edition in your mind.

It is in fact a rule that once you move a unit and then move on to the next, you cannot go back and change it.  This is one of the rarely enforced rules that kind of gets ignored in the interests of the social contract between players.  Obviously, on one hand, you're breaking that contract by forcing your opponent to be "cool" about something they really shouldn't allow.  On the other hand, both players would rather know that they won even despite careful enemy maneuvering.  By allowing the opponent to break this rule (usually repeatedly) you ensure moral superiority come victory/defeat time.  So, for a number of complex and bizarrely human reasons, this rule gets ignored routinely.  However I thought it worthwhile to point out that it's been the rule forever.  If you want to truly be the best, living by it may cost you a show or two, but you'll know that you won the right way.  It's also been a rule for a long time that you cant start moving a unit and then go back, just like chess.  This is for the obvious reason that once moved, there's no way to go back and know for sure if it was REALLY where you put it before you moved it.  Such inaccuracies can show up to be significant in later rounds.  Again, many times players ignore THIS in favor of the social contract.  I'm not sure what to say about it other than that I've let it slide and had to be forgiven more times than I could count.  I like that it's still in the rules, I feel like if it was enforced, lots of little things would be solved, but I cant bring myself to be incredibly hard core about it.

A change that might not get much interest but that I found intriguing is that they eliminated the hypotenuse when ascending or descending.  Now you must move TO the base of ALL terrain types, then count the distance up.  This is not just a ruins thing nor a hill thing.  EVERYTHING works like this now.  The change to horizontal coherency (now if a model is within 6 inches above you, your unit is coherent), many arguments will be solved.  Also notice that the example shows that the model is moving UNDERNEATH the floor and THEN up.  That's important.  Obviously you must include this extra base width of movement in order to get up.  Many Walkers and other units with larger bases will have a harder time climbing up.  As for hills, the base width is equally an issue to be cognizant of.  All of this is quite intuitive.  Many players are used to saying "Hey if the edge of my base makes it to that floor up there diagonally, then I'm on it".  Not so, says the 7th Edition rules.  So pay close attention.  No cheap climbing or free inches.  No hypotenuse climbing.

Yet another great change that will perhaps not be as appreciated as it might be, is that they have actually made the units like Jump Infantry CLEARLY Infantry that may use a Jump Pack.  They are considered Infantry.  This matters little in the grand scheme except that certain rules specify that they affect Infantry which Jump Troops now are, clearly.  Food for thought.  See the top of page 65 and 66 in bold to understand more about that.

Psyker Phase

Wow.  That there is a Psyker phase is new.  There were lots of rumors and, as usual, the truth was somewhere in the middle.

As mentioned, all Psychic powers happen at this stage of the turn and that means that there are no more arguments about "beginning of the turn" as aforementioned nor whether a power could or couldn't be used, no confusion over whether the controlling player decides the order...  None of that matters one fig.  It just

Psychic Focus is a thing now.  Limit yourself to just your one favorite discipline and you are said to have Psychic Focus, which means your Psyker gets the Primaris power automatically!  Level 1 Psykers are getting TWO powers this way.  But wait.  Chaos Sorcerers with Marks of a Gawd  ALSO get the Primaris Power from their Gawds Discipline, regardless of any other powers they gain.  So a simple level 1 Chaos Tzeentch Sorcerer can have three powers to start the game.  That's pretty much not terrible in any way.

One of the weird things that happens when you create a Psyker phase though is that odd things start to have to be put in that phase that were quite easy to adjudicate before.  Force Weapons were an unexpected complication of this.  It costs a Warp charge to activate Force Weapons and so they had to figure out how that's going to work.  Their answer?  Make Force a Psyker Power and manifest it like any other power!  This unexpected twist means now that a unit of Purifiers who may never make the charge are forced to use up their Warp Charge to power their weapons in lieu of another power they might choose to use!  Another example is the item for Eldar that allows them, for one Warp Charge, to ignore a Perils result.  Ironically, they have to manifest that power in the Psychic phase and if they used all their points beforehand, weeeeeeell...  It is what it is.  In any event, a model with a Force Weapon automatically knows the Force Psyker power in addition to all the others they know.

With as many as 4 Psyker powers on one Psyker (Tzeenthc Primaris, Biomancy Primaris, Iron Arm and Force for example), you'd think things could get real crazy.  Not really.  It does elongate the pre-game stuff a little to roll randomly for all those powers, as you furiously write everything down.  In practice the Psyker phase is nowhere near as sure a thing as it used to be and the Psychic Cards you can buy ($15.00 is just way too much but whatevs) make it easier to track.

First off in the Psyker phase you roll a D6 and both sides receive that many dice.  Each Psyker on both sides adds their Mastery Levels to the pool of dice.  Voila.  Start manifesting Powers. The Warp Charge of a power is now a threshold number representing how many 4+'s the Manifester must roll in order to pull off the power with hi dice!  No sure bet.  Suddenly you start to see how quickly those dice in the "Mana pool" can run out.  I recently watched an Iyanden player with 17 dice fail three powers and used up 13 dice doing it.  The other interesting thing is the enemy uses his pool to Dispel your successes.  So if a caster roll's 4 dice and get 2 4+'s, his opponent can roll as many of his Dispel Dice (as I like to call them) as he wants to stop it, and on a 6+ he dispels one of the casters successes.  If he gets rid of enough to drop all successes, the power collapses.  This makes it even tougher on the guy manifesting because he can't JUST throw enough dice to statistically get the power off, but he must also try to get enough successes to make resistance futile.
Lets use a real example.  An Eldar and an Astra Militarum player square off.  Eldar player rolls a 6 for the Warp Dice, and so The Eldar player owns 17 dice(6+ his Psyker levels in the army), the Astra Militarum player owns 10 (6 + the manifester levels in his army) after all calculations are made.  The Eldar player decides to play cat and mouse and use 4 dice to cast Perfect Timing (Warp Charge 1) and gets 2 4+'s.  What he's doing is choosing a suitably scary power to force the enemy's hand into perhaps using up his pool early.  The Astra Militarum player wisely allows the power to go off, knowing what the REAL prize is.  The Eldar then casts two dice and gets a single 4+ to cast Forewarning.  This is a really hard one for the Astra Militarum to let go, and so he grudgingly rolls 4 dice, but fails to get any 6's.  The power goes off.  The dice pools are down to 11 to 6.  Now for the power the Eldar REALLY wants to get off.  He rolls them all for Prescience (Warp Charge 2!) and gets 3 successes!  It goes off with a little insurance to boot.  the Astra Militarum player, cursing his bad luck on Forewarning goes ahead and commits his remaining 6 dice to stopping Prescience and rolls 3 6's.  The power is enied!!  The Astra Militarum sighs the sigh of the relieved.

This little and relatively short game of cat and mouse is one you will need to get good at.  Always use a "diversionary Power" when you can, especially if you rely on certain powers a lot.

Now if that Eldar with his 11 Dice had rolled Double 6's, it would trigger a Perils of the Warp, AND his opponent would STILL get the chance to dispel it (Or Deny the Witch as Warhammer 40,000 calls it).  Bad news.  Because the Eldar has no more dice, he will not be able to activate his wargear that eliminates the Perils!

As you can see, the Psyker phase is not going to be nearly as scary as it used to be with near automatic success and Eldar Psykers shrugging off failures like its yesterdays underwear.

Another enormously big change and blow to death stars everywhere is that a units members can only ever try to cast a power once.  So a unit with three Psykers in it, all with the same power, can only try to cast it one time.  The other two Psykers cannot try that same power.  So Psychic redundancy within a unit is not going to be a "thing" and that's pretty important when you're talking Jet Councils and the like.

Psykers can use NOTHING except Witchfires from a transport and that, only if there's a firing point.  Yet another way in which the game is being brought back into sensibility and balance.  So if you want to manifest powers besides Witchfires, get out of that Trukk and fight like a real ork.

ALL powers must be within line of sight unless specifically written otherwise (such as Nova powers, which don't require it).  This is also an end to some of the odd "hey dude over there" type stuff that happened a lot in 6E.  Can't see the target spot, can't target it.

The Perils chart is brutal.  I wont spend too much time on it but lets just say that you better pray for a six on that chart.  5's not bad either since you can shrug off the wound on an LD check.

They have now very specifically said that a blessing can only benefit a unit once, and again have stated that Different maledictions stack.  This was one of the things I felt they kinda dropped the ball on.  This was the same Malediction language that led to such bitter debate in 6E and may again, though I think the clarity on Blessings will now clarify for most reasonable people the issue.  People who don't understand English are going to have fun with that one.

One of the best things about this new phase is that it's NOT shooting.  You can actually fire at several targets and CAN fire multiple Witchfires which UNscrewed you from having to choose what to do:  shoot your multi-melta or the Psyker power?  Now you can do both!  You could even go crazy and fire off several Witchfires in a round at different targets(Page 27)!  A shooty caster is a totally interesting possibility.

Focused Witchfires reward you for overspending on Power dice by saying that if you get more successes than the threshold (the Warp Charge requirement)  you can simply choose your victim model.  No added rolling.  Yay.

The internet is buzzing with panic over the possibilities of summoning Daemons using the Maelefic Powers of Daemonology.  You're quite likely to blow your own head off doing this as ANY doubles (not just Double 6) will cause a perils of the Warp (unless the manifester has the Daemon Special Rule).  Talk about dicey.  The Incursion Power (where you summon serious numbers of bad dudes) and the Possession Power (where you literally turn into someones worst nightmare) are a whopping Warp Charge 3, which is no small thing.  Getting the power off would require, minimally, 6 dice to give yourself a shot, and given that the enemy may attempt to stop you, you shouldn't try it with that few dice unless you have no choice.  So yeah.  Anything COULD happen but you better make sure your caster is a Daemon before you try this.  The horror stories online aside, I think it's a fools errand for anyone BUT a Daemon to try until maybe the end of the game, perhaps to jack an objective or something.  Still, Daemon summoning is officially a thing and all kinds of armies are doing it for the perceived advantage of "free" troops.  Since they are not actually from your own troops slot, they don't get to be Objective Secured and most have rules that you deal with Daemons EXACTLY as you would any other ally on the matix, so...

One last note.  The Psyker phase does give one more opportunity for forcing a leadership test so 7E has increased the value of High leadership both because of this fact and because of the Psyker powers out there that are going to lower it.

Shooting Phase

Time to shoot an apple off someones head at 50 paces (because we are shooting their equipment riiiight?).

It was observed by the 40K design team that people found wound allocation difficult to understand.  They also observed the expedients players got in the habit of using while dealing with it.  Using that information, they revised how we handle the multiplicity of weapons a unit can carry and the many different wounds and saves an enemy target might have.

Well...  their solution is interesting.  It boils down to this:  You better not screw up the order you fire weapons in.  This is going to be a critical area where mental lapses are going to cost lesser Generals a game here and there.  So let me give you a rule of thumb to use.  Always fire your weapons in the following order:

1.  Templates if they can affect the target
2.  Blasts
3.  Grenades (if you need it to hit)
4  Rapid Fire Weapons
5.  Heavy/Slavo/Ordinance
6.  All others

Weapons are resolved in order, so you fire one type of weapon, resolve the wounds, take out the dead and continue on with the next type of weapon.  Clearly if you don't do it in the order I just recommended you will lose the efficacy of the attacks.  For example,  a Flamer is only 8" long.  If you fire your Haemonculae Casket of Flensing into a unit of Necron Wraiths before firing the Liquifier gun, you could put a lot less Wraiths in the path of the Liquifier, as the Liquifier doesn't get to fire until after the Casket of Flensing's wounds have been resolved.  And in turn the Orb of Despair will not kill as many if you throw it after you fire the Casket.  Tough choice eh?
A similar thing happens with Plasma Rifles in a Tau Crisis Team firing it's Twin-linked Flamer and plasma rifle on a group of Tyranid Hormagaunts.  Rapid firing weapons could lose shots if the flamer is too successful, but you're probably okay with the trade off.

This took a little bit of bite out of shooty units that are on the edge of range and it is significant.  You really want to get as close as possible when shooting now (while maintaining your sanity and sense of self preservation).

Speaking of resolving wounds, the different kinds of saves are all universally under the heading of Saving Throws.  I like that they included the very clear text from the old FAQ concerning Invulnerable saves.  Even if a wound ignores ALL armor saves, an invulnerable save can still be taken.  Clear as glass.

In the case of cover...Listen carefully...  If just ONE firing model  finds the target obscured, it gets cover.  That simple.  No majority.  No nothing.  Same as before.  If a wound is against a target model that is obscured from ONE out of the 25 guys shooting with that particular weapon, he gets cover.  It's simple.  Gets the game moving.  Also, remember that when the next round of weapons in the unit goes off, its from THEIR perspective!  That's where the real change in application comes in.  Its actually harder to get cover against ALL the guns.

NEWS flash:  Pinned models can't fire Overwatch, which was kind of an interesting change.  So when you KNOW you'll be charged in 6E, there was simply no reason not to go to ground.  Now...  You gotta decide if you want to be able to Overwatch or not when the inevitable charge occurs.  I thought that was quite interesting.

Similarly interesting is that a unit that is charging can go to Ground!  That means if the chargers would be obliterated, you can take a hail Mary attempt to preserve them!  What a great option

 Missiles are more menacing now.  Flyers like the Void Raven Bomber and others can carry missiles and in 6E you were limited to firing 2 missiles in a turn.  They eliminated that rule so you can fire all four if you want to!  Imagine the fun devastation that could be.  You're still only allowed four weapons at full BS, and the bomb still counts as one, but what's awesome is you can now decide which four.  Whatever the situation calls for is what you do!

Another good piece of news for Chariot fans is the rider can fire as if stationary.  There was some chagrin over this issue for Daemon players and I am sure others I'm not thinking of at the moment; but that is resolved.

Sadly, though Ordinance may fire on the move, they still gave the Astra Militarum no love in regards to allowing them to fire their other weapons when firing ordinance.  So Heavy tanks remain as Stationary even when moving and still unable to fire their other stuff if they wanna' use that bad ass cannon of theirs.

The No Escape Rule for flamers now makes it a cruelly ironic opportunity to roast those Orks in their Open topped vehicles that so gleefully came forth to murder you with their 15 Burna Boyz packed in.  Vehicles hit with a Flamer weapon are smacked with D6 hits!  So the next time you see that Deffrolla coming up on you and preparing to dump all kinda of unholy fun on you, return the favor with your Retributor Squads Heavy Flamers.  I can already see that Dark Eldar will have to learn an extreme level of caution because one of the favored tactics is to run the flotilla of boats to the enemies gates and LET them shoot the flotilla up, secure that the effort will blunt the attack on the actual Elites inside.  But now that you can char broil them in their coffin, it's a different story.  Frankly, I really don't know if this was a good idea even if it makes sense.  It's a major tactical blow to several army builds i can think of (Raven Guard, Dark Eldar flotillas, and Ork Burna mobz to name a few) that didn't need the adversity.Time will show how to deal with this new reality but this one was a surprise.  One more thing:  the wounds are random.  So no tanking while inside by the Big Bad Leader Guy when the No Escape rule is invoked.  Urien hates that.

Precision Firing/Striking is no longer an Independent Character thing or a Character thing.  So they fire as normal and strike as normal.  The rule still exists but there is nothing tying those rules to characters.  Odd.  I looked for it.  Not there no more!

Barrages no longer Pin and neither do Sniper rifles.  I tried to reverse engineer that decision to see why GW would decide that.  One of the only good things about Sniper rifles to be blunt was the ability to pin a unit down.  Sure, precision shot is still there, buuuuuut...  Dark Eldar Hexrifles, Tau Longrifles and a number of other units will lose a lot of value here but the big loss is fluff.  I mean come on.  it's a SNIPER rifle!  Barrages I could somewhat understand.  I don't think I'd stay where I am after some big 152mm cannon blasts my position.  I'm thinking it is time to GO.  Digging a fox hole now isn't going to save you.  Too late for that.  So I got why Barrages might lose that despite my disappointment over it.  Multiple barrages might give you nowhere TO run and so pinning makes sense there... but at that point the designer has to make a decision for simplicity and so they went with the "chuck it" option.  I have no rationalization for you on Sniper weapons though.  That one mystified me.  If it's the worst thing I have to put up with in 7E, I probably won't care too much.  I guess it's less dice rolling per game?  I dunno.  I got nothing on that.

Wanna' shoot at planes and monsters?  Well...  Once you are selected as a target you must announce whether you'll Jink.  Not a dice gets rolled before you decide; and once you decide, you're snap firing next round.  Same for skimmers actually (so Eldar Mech spam is going to have a tougher choice to make).  In any event, it's now a 4+ Jink save for flyers!  Hey now that is really not bad at all.  If you're the one doing the shooting, it's kinda not awesome and now knowing its a 4+, there's a lot of weapons you'd have otherwise fired at them which you might not, now that it's a 4+.  So Flyers and especially Monstrous Creatures got a lot easier to save.

Jump Monstrous Creatures are kinda crazy too.  They are only taking a single grounding check, as has been remarked I am sure in a hundred online sources, at the end of the phase.  So no one knows whether it worked or its not til the smoke clears.  Best to have a unit prepared to assault if it does.  But if it doesn't work, since they have to alight to the ground for a round before assaulting, there is no down side for the attacker to set up for this charge in the movement and shooting phase.

Assault Phase

Well this is new.  First off, distances.  Terrain is just -2 to the charge.  Love it.  That is just an easy way to handle it and I am 100% okay with it.

Flying Monstrous Creatures must alight to the ground for a round before they can charge as I explained so the new hotness one must assume is constantly flying and shooty Daemon Flying Circus's.  Be aware though that if you DO knock them outta the sky they ARE allowed to then charge on their turn!  Though they may not choose to do so, it is something to think about earnestly before you even shoot them.  But once you're committed to knocking one out of the air, make sure the assault is set up.

Enough on that.  The Assault Phase itself is somewhat revamped and there are some noteworthy little things to remember.

First is that shots made in the Psychic Phase do not affect your choice of assault target at all.  So ignore whoever you shot then.  It's irrelevant.

Next is that as mentioned, you can't go to ground and then fire Overwatch.  So this makes pinning a unit down quite valuable.  In addition on that note, if the enemy DOES kill you on Overwatch YOU can go to ground to try and avoid it, but that ends your charge of course.  Also remember that those who have gone to Ground surrender their terrain advantage and you need no frags to go on your own initiative in that case.

You go at the rate of your slowest model so if you attach a guy to a unit of Thunderwolf Cavalry you better darn well make sure he's got Fleet!

 The challenges did have some fine print worth mentioning.  First, it has been reported incorrectly in numerous places that if a Daemon Prince waxes my Chaos Warp Talon Aspiring Champion, doing 6 wounds, that the 6 wounds are used for combat resolution.  This is not exactly accurate.  Let's assume the Chaos Aspiring Champion had two wounds thanks to its Boons chart.  After the first two wounds, the Daemon basically does 4 wounds to the REST OF THE UNIT (which can and should take any invul saves they are normally permitted).  So no, the "ovrkill" doesnt just tack onto combat resolution because the rest of the unit might save some or all of those wounds.

The biggest thing about Multiple unit charges is that when you declare them you must make sure there is no way that your models could not reach base to base with the primary target.  As before it is therefore really hard to pull off multiple unit challenges.


Morale is essentially unchanged, albeit when falling back there is a bit of a nugget there.  It says that you must be found to be in charge distance in order for the failed Regroup test to destroy the enemy.  Obviously that would not be known until you have shot Overwatch.  So basically the way I read it is, you do the assault EXACTLY the same as normal, move in, everything...and then remove the unit that failed to regroup.

Those are the basics so I hope its helpful to you in getting acclimated to the new Edition.