Monday, July 28, 2014

Results From the BAO

Howdy folks. We wrapped up the BAO today. Good news and bad news. Good news: I won best Daemons, yay!

Bad news: I was a mere 25th overall out of 115, so not a terrific showing for Daemons in general. The top tables seemed to be mainly Space Marines (lots of bikes, Drop Pods and Land Raiders) with Imperial Knights, Necrons and Tyranids. White Scars (which looked suspiciously like Ultramarines) won the whole shebang.

My list:

Herald of Tzeentch, ML3, Grimoire (every game)
11 Horrors
11 Horrors
8 Screamers
8 Screamers
Soul Grinder, Tzeentch, phlegm
Soul Grinder, Tzeentch, phlegm
Soul Grinder, Slaanesh, torrent
Daemon Prince, spell familiar, Tzeentch, wings, armor, ML3
10 Cultists, 2 autoguns
5 Nurgle Spawn


I won my first game against Nids and got to see the Heirodule in action. That beastie has 10 S10 shots, and 5 S10 melee attacks. And BAO turned it up to 11 by ruling that it gets to double its dangerous terrain check on 3d6 even though that's not a rule.

I took care of it in the first game by charging it with Nurgle Spawn. They tied it up for two turns, and I just dropped Daemons all over the board and clogged both Emperor's Will objectives. And we ran out of time on four.

Game two was kill points, and if I lost any game, I figured it would be that one. I drew Geoff "iNcontroL" Robinson's Nids. He was also rocking a Heirodule. He also had two Flyrants and the Living Artillery formation ducking under a void shield generator. His troops were deep striking Ripper Swarms. After watching the Nurgle Spawn tie up the Heirodule in round 1, I tried the exact same trick.

Turn 1 went great. I had Shrouding up, lost nothing and was setting up to rush him. The Warp Storm table killed turned one of his Flyrants into a Slaanesh Herald for first blood. I figured I had him. Turn 2, the Spawn charged the Heirodule and the Screamers dashed up alongside them. If even one Spawn lived, I would be in his backfield tearing him apart for major KP. Instead Geoff rolled a 6 for stomp and then two 6's and wiped all the spawn in one go, freeing the Heirodule up to attack my Screamers, and pick me apart in general. So I lost hard on KP and couldn't swing secondary my way. I couldn't summon in that battle, either, but I'm wondering if I should have because it was possible to table that army if I could take out the other Flyrant. Either way, I would have done it exactly the same if I had it to do again. I will charge a Heirodule with Spawn in any game except Scouring.

Game three was Relic. I drew double barge Necrons with a Tau Firebase Cadre. I got Cursed Earth with my DP, so I just grabbed the Relic with 2++ rerollable screamers turn 1 and moved it to my board edge while dropping. Not much of a game since there was little he could do about it, though the secondaries went his way. His army did an admirable job of blowing everything I dropped on the board away, but that was the point.

Game four I drew White Scars and Eldar with two Serpents, which was pretty much Objective Secured spam. I got seized on, and we ran out of time at turn 5. Had I made a 3" run, I would have contested the critical objective and won 6-4, but I rolled a 2 and so lost 9-2. Hard luck. I was crushing him, but there wasn't enough time to take out every OS unit. Had it gone six, he'd have been nearly tabled. Seven and a tabling was certain. Daemonettes everywhere.

Game five was against Necrons again, which are just plain easy. I had four full summoned Daemonettes on the board and was out so I was dropping Flesh Hounds just to make sure he didn't get any objectives.

Game six was against the guy who won best IG, which had Yarrick and a mob of Conscripts, a Primaris, Pask with two Punishers, two Eradicators, two Russes and two Vendettas. It was a complete rout in my favor with Daemonettes everywhere. I even managed to kill Yarrick and his whole blob with Nurgle Spawn.

My Bastion only ever died in the first game when the Heirodule charged it. We ran out of time and he may or may not have been able to kill my warlord, so I gave it to him, but he only died legit in the game with Geoff, and only because I left the Bastion for reasons I cannot recall. The Bastion did its job. The Bastion Tzerald will be my go-to HQ for Daemons primary for awhile.

My list has trouble in kill point games. Rather than Soul Grinders, I'd much rather have an Imperial Knight equivalent to hold down the center. Almost all the top armies had some sort of rock or two to hold the center. Usually a Chapter Master and a Knight, or a Heirodule. My list works on summoning, so it takes time to build momentum, but by the time turn 4 rolls around, you're drowning in bodies. That technique doesn't work in KP games, and I can't field anything as nasty as a Heirodule or a Knight. Zarakynel with Grimoire? She's no Heirodule. Not BAO legal either. Hope the Slaanesh Knights come out soon.

The CSM Daemon Prince is the shit. He never died, and he got me a unit nine times out of ten with his spell familiar. The Horrors dropped another unit most turns. I really don't think I can improve on this setup if dropping two units per turn is your goal. The Nurgle Spawn were clutch. They held up a Heirodule, killed Yarrick tied up some barge Lords so my Grinders could get in there and finish them. They had some bad luck against Geoff, and weren't much use against White Scars, but having that throwaway tarpit was awesome.

Screamers are problem solvers, but usually die once they reach their target, unless you're playing IG, because IG don't seem to have much going for them besides Wyverns.

The Grinders are needed. They killed Kor'Sarro Khan and the White Scars CM in the Scouring game I barely lost. They shot down a Night Scythe that could have dropped a unit on my side of the board and scored a secondary, but I'd rather have a Knight and a good shooty FMC.

Anyway, I'm on vacation til Monday probably. Looking forward to trying out some Warmachine and probably going to be doing some CSM primary as I think that might be stronger than Daemons, but until I can get something that can take on Heirodules and Knight Titans, I will be at a disadvantage in KP missions. The meta is big, hard-to-kill units/vehicles and a fair amount of objective secured spam. Drop pods, Land Raiders, Wave Serpents, Knights, Flyrants, Heirodules (if LOW is legal for you) and Barge Necrons with the usual suspects. Plan accordingly.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Painting Update: Fallen Angels

Seeing as my summer is coming to an end soon I have been painting like a mad fiend.  Right now I have six terminators and another rhino to finish and I will be done with the current iteration of my Fallen Angels army.  Here are some of the things I have finished recently.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chaos Space Marine Reviews: Heavy Support

We'll wrap this series up before I go out the door tomorrow. I'm on vacation all next week after BAO. We're dumping the kids with the grandparents and spending a few days in the south bay. So you won't hear much outta me for a good week and a half. I have no idea what to expect at BAO with the edition so new, so I'm just going to play my game and hope for the best. Don't expect any batreps with purty pictures, either. Ain't got time for that shit in 2:45...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chaos Space Marine Reviews: Elites

I think the number of appealing Elites choices in all codices from CSM onward can be counted on one hand. Lessee... Riptides... Um... Crisis Suits, but they're usually troops. Ironclad Dreadnoughts? Well, I've never seen one, so I guess not... Wow... Fire Dragons! Okay, two-and-a-half!

So I guess this time I'll talk about why you don't like your elite choices, and we'll throw in Cypher for the hell of it.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wanna See My BAO List?

The BAO FAQ came out today. Reece and a number of other TO's from very large national tournaments met a few days ago, to, I assume, coordinate their rulings and create a comprehensive GT FAQ for one and all. First someone proposed they open the meeting with the Tournament Organizer Dance. Then once that was complete they moved into the business of coordinating their rulings on the Games Workshop FUQ's.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Chaos Space Marine Reviews: Fast Attack

Someone pointed out I didn't include Cypher in the HQ review. This is true. We'll toss him in with the Elites when we get to it since there isn't much left in that slot to talk about. Today is fast attack!


We should start with the elephant in the room. While once the terror of the skies and probably the best flyer in the game, now you probably won’t see it in on the table in the hands of a competitive Chaos player. Consider the baleflamer. Assuming (which you can’t) that the Drake comes on turn 2, it will kill 4-8 models, tops with the flamer. Nothing compared to what a Wyvern squadron or Thunderfire can do. Then it may no longer have a target and be forced to leave the board. At that rate of killing, it is tough to justify its cost.

If the enemy is heavily mechanized, this thing is SOL. And since when is killing infantry hard to do? Its best target are those annoying Eldar jetbikes, and bikes in general, but the nerf to vector strikes made it less attractive in that role as well.

The hades Drake has some value that it can force other flyers to jink, which is a good thing to do, if no substitute for being a major threat to other flyers. Had it retained the 360° fire arc, you could still do the vector strike, rear armor shot with Daemonforge, which was its bread and butter, but that is lost, and it doesn’t work on ground vehicles at all, so it’s not really worth bothering with. Even so, it’s still better anti-flyer than anything else Chaos can field besides a lash Prince with Iron Arm. I believe I did the math some time ago and the hades Drake is still better AA shooting than flak Havocs, plus it has the vector strike.

Sad times, but my Drakes will be spending the next several years in the box outside of friendly games.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Chaos Space Marine Reviews: Troops

I lumped everything that could possibly be a troop into this section since it's not all that unusual to be running a marked Lord of some sort in a CSM detachment. Since that encompasses pretty much the whole Elites section save for like three units, the Elites review will be short.

Chaos Space Marines

There’s no practical way to make them what one might describe as “good”. You can add a Lord or Apostle to make them fearless, but they’re still on foot. You can make them Fearless and S5 with Fabius, but you have to take Fabius. They get swept if not fearless and they come up against anything mean, though that's hardly different than what will happen to Tacticals in the same scenario.. If they could take a heavy weapon at 5 models, you could sit them back with an autocannon in a Rhino and a havoc launcher and have a halfway decent cheap, objective secured unit. Alas, no can do.

Their selling point over Tacticals is the extra LD, and the ability to take two special weapons and/or two melee weapons making them better at midfield. With meltaguns making a comeback, this is okay. Now, Rhinos I like. Certainly, Rhinos are nice to have for extra objective secured, unfortunately, the nature of the army necessitates rolling those Rhinos into harm’s way.

Give them an assault transport and we’ve really got something here. Until then, we don’t.
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