Sunday, November 23, 2014

Necrons vs. Tau Empire Battle Report!!!

I've done a spate of battle reports lately as I've been testing an army for a friend more so to show him how it works.

Below are the three videos that constitue this one Battle Report.  I hope they will teach you a little something about NON spammy Tau lists.  Note that the only unit I have more than one of (except troops of course) is the Pathfinders.  You might also note that the Pathfinders in this list never fire their Markerlights!

Enjoy.  And yes.  I know.  I need to get better at combining videos.  Dang battery or my memory both crapped out on me.

First:  The Setup, Click this link!

And now the main event:

and the final portion!

For more Tau:

Tau flyers

Thoughts going into 7E

Friday, November 21, 2014

Haemonculus Coven Book

Well I have a few thoughts about how to use this book.

First Impressions

My first impression was a little luke warm.  I wasn't really negative so much as wondering about Whether the Coven being so much different was going to play well without the help of certain fairly iconic units in the Dark Eldar Codex.  So let's start there.

Big Differences

The biggest difference Dark Eldar players will feel in my estimation is the Power From Pain chart. 

The Covens book uses an entirely different chart.  For the uninitiated, the Power From Pain rule is essentially a clock.  On X Round, you get Y benefit for all models in the army that have the Power From Pain Special Rule.  Unlike before, there's no need to kill a darn thing.  You just become progressively more frenzied by the blood orgy you're perpetrating (more or less).  The Power From Pain chart for Dark Eldar grants (eventually) Feel No Pain, Furious Charge, and Fearless (and even Rage if the game goes that long, which IS new to the new Codex:Dark Eldar) to the models with the rule, just as before only on a clock.

In the Coven book, it's totally different.  The Power From Pain list includes Eternal Warrior, Fear, It Will not Die, Fearless, and Zealot (not necessarily in that order).  Since the Coven lists only allow you to take units that already have Feel No Pain, the Coven chart had to change.  This Coven chart really makes the units allowed in the list truly frightening.  Fearless makes the Grotesques impossible to break; and once they attain the Fear rule, as I will explain, there is a real chance that the enemy WS could be reduced to 1!  IMagine a unit of Grotesques that, when it chargers in round 2, has It Will not Die and it's natural Feel No Pain?  Hoboy.

Fear is the Mind Killer...

The thing that makes the Fear rule work better in a Coven list is that pretty much everything in this Codex Supplement has a rule called Freakish Spectacle which is a 12" bubble of -1 Leadership. 

This coupled with Fear makes the units in the force have a real chance of actually affecting the enemy.  This could be the difference in an assault at a critical time against an excellent melee unit. .  Units that have And They Shall Know No Fear (ATSKNF) or the Fearless special rule won't care.  However there's a lot of units that will be affected. 

Aside from that, normal morale checks will be affected in any event.  This ability dove tails nicely with any Dark Eldar who ally with the Coven with their Armour of Misery and its aura of -2 Leadership.  The combination of the two could make the Soul Fright ability of Torment Grenade Launchers extremely valuable (albeit again, not to Fearless units or those with ATSKNF).  The Torment Grenade Launcher act like a Psychic Shriek type of attack that is done on normal 2D6 and of course isn't psychic.  Even without normal Dark Eldar allies, one must admit that Fear can be a real X factor for this army to wield.

Building your Coven

The only units allowed in the normal Coven lists are Haemonculi, Wracks, Grotesques, Talos, the Cronos and their dedicated transports.  That leaves you with a lot of holes in your list you don't normally see.  The Force Organization chart allows up to 4 Heavy Support, 6 HQ's and 8 Elites, and requires two HQ's and two elites minimum but only those units I mentioned can fill the slots.  

The six Formations you can use from this book all include the same units, only in various combinations.  Each Formation, predictably, has it's own special benefits.  One really interesting thing here is a 7th Formation.  The 7th Formation, called the Carnival of Pain, is literally all six Formations combined.  If you have the models to pull this off, then the entire army gains the Carnival of Pain special Rules:  While Urien's alive, his clock spinning ability called Master of Pain affects all non vehicles, plus the Carnival of Pain will then re-roll 1's to wound in close combat!  To be fair the Carnival of Pain takes about 2500 points to play, BUT it can technically be built with about 2K.

The Most Interesting Formation

The most interesting Formation is perhaps the most deceptively uninteresting.  The Formation is called the Scalpel Squadron and is simply a pair of Wrack units and their Venoms.  That's it.  If a member of this squadron gets first Blood, it gains D3 Victory Points instead of just 1!  but that's not the interesting thing (although it would seem to be).  What is different is that they must be placed in reserve and Deep Struck round 1 in their transport.  Why does it matter?  Well anyone who has read my articles knows I am a very big proponent of the Null Deployment concept and with the Scalpel Squadron, you can literally deploy the beginning of the game.

Why do it?

Well because if you choose to go second, the enemy cannot hurt you for two entire rounds while the clock winds on your Power From Pain chart.  Not only that but the enemy MUST start thinking about objective on the top of round 3, and will be fragmenting his force for you.  Care must be taken to keep the Scalpel Squadron safe until the Cavalry arrive so don’t be overly in a hurry to get First Blood with them.  It can wait.  Keep them safe and use the time to draw the enemy into bad decisions, or indecision.  This isn't going to be advisable every game, but the ability to do it is priceless against Drop pod forces, and you WILL see those at tournaments.

Beware the Dark Holes...

I mentioned that there were holes in the Coven.  Anti-air is one and really only an Aegis is available to fix that problem.  This presents a danger for sure and means that the army must come to grips with its enemies quickly and without hesitation.  There is normally going to be nothing fancy about this army because once the gloves are off, they better come off fast, faster than Dave Semenko when anyone got cheeky with Gretzky.

Another hole is ranged anti-tank workers.  Like Orks, the Coven prefers a slug fest and it shows in every rule.  If your plan is to use the Coven to load up on Transports that shoot, it's probably a very terrible idea.  You could have done that without the Coven book and better.  So the army HAS to embrace SPEED as its weapon of choice.  Not long range shooting.  Which means the army should by and large prefer Raiders because of the advantages of having another Hull Point.  The army should also use Aethersails, another reason the Venom isn't probably the tool of choice.  The Raider allows the army to set up 43" away and then on their turn, move 36" plus the distance of turning in place (the age old trick in 40k).  This puts you squarely nose to nose even when you go second and keeps you out of the range of 36" weapons to start the game.  Once you're up their nose, they will kill two or three transports.  Accept this fate before you play a Coven list or don't play it.  However, once you're nose to nose, its time to start punching it.  Often.  Your fists need to be your anti-tank in a Coven list.  You won't have many grenades and Raider Lances are never going to get it done in the numbers you'll have them, especially if you're utilizing their speed.  Getting stranded is a fate worse than death for this force so don't waste time getting into a shooting match.

Please feel free to ask questions, since I have not covered everything here.  I'd also like your thoughts on the article and anything in it or even requests.  Share it if you liked it.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tau Empire vs. Eldar Battle Report

I did a battle report and struggled mightily to put this video together.  Who knew video editing could be so annoying?

Anywho, Thought I'd share the hard work with you even though I will never claim to be an expert with the camera.  =)  The lists are below the Battle Report.

Here is the list I used:

Total Roster Cost: 1994

Heavy Support: Hammerhead Gunship (1#, 145 pts)
   1 Hammerhead Gunship, 145 pts = (Submunition Rounds + Disruption Pod)

Heavy Support: Sniper Drone Team (6#, 84 pts)
      3 Firesight Marksman,  
      3 Sniper Drones

Heavy Support: XV88 Broadside Team (3#, 114 pts)
      1 Broadside Shas'ui (Twin Linked Plasma Rifle + Velocity Tracker)
         2 Shield Drone

Troops: Fire Warrior Team (14#, 216 pts)
      11 Fire Warriors(EMP Grenade, Carbines)
      1 Devilfish (Disruption Pod)

Troops: Fire Warrior Team (14#, 216 pts)
      11 Fire Warriors(EMP Grenade, Carbines)
      1 Devilfish (Disruption Pod)

Troops: XV8 Crisis Team (Mandatory) (3#, 144 pts)
      1 Crisis Shas'ui [Tau](Flamer x1 + Twin Linked Fusion Blaster x1+ Bonding Knife Ritual 1)
      1 Crisis Shas'ui [Tau](Flamer x1 + Twin Linked Fusion Blaster x1+ Bonding Knife Ritual 1)
      1 Crisis Shas'ui [Tau](Flamer x1 + Twin Linked Fusion Blaster x1+ Bonding Knife Ritual 1)

Elite: XV104 Riptide (1#, 230 pts)
   1 XV104 Riptide (Elite) [Tau]  (Ion Accelerator+ Velocity Tracker+ Talisman of Arthas Moloch)

HQ: Cadre Fireblade (1#, 60 pts)
   1 Cadre Fireblade (HQ) [Tau]

HQ: Aun'Va (3#, 100 pts)
   1 Aun'Va

HQ: Commander (3#, 162 pts)
   1 Commander(Flamer x1 + Drone Controller + Stimulant Injector+ Command and Control Node + Positional Relay+ Onager Gauntlet+Neuroweb System Jammer)
      2 Marker Drones

Fast Attack: Drone Squadron (4#, 56 pts)
      4 Marker Drones, 56 pts = 4 * 14

Fast Attack: Pathfinder Team (13#, 295 pts)
      5 Pathfinders(EMP Grenade+ Rail Rifle x3)
         1 Pathfinder Shas'ui(EMP Grenade)
            2 Shield Drone
      1 Pulse Accelerator Drone
      1 Recon Drone
      1 Devilfish(Disruption Pod)

Fast Attack: Pathfinder Team (9#, 172 pts)
      5 Pathfinders(EMP Grenade+ Rail Rifle x3)
         1 Pathfinder Shas'ui( EMP Grenade)
            2 Shield Drone
      1 Pulse Accelerator Drone

Here is the list I faced:

 Wraith Knight

2 Fire Prisms

3 Shooty Wave Serpents (with Dire Avengers in them)

 5 Kabalites

Unkillable Deathstar:  Asurman+Eldrad+Archon (Husk,Shadowfield, Soultrap)+ 3 Incubi in a Raider (Dark Lance)

Eldrads powers:  Executioner, Doom, Fortune, Guide, Mindwar

Crimson Hunter