Sunday, September 28, 2014

Thoughts on the Relentless Codex Regeneration Cycle!

I can barely catch my breath from the last codex review I've written before GW announces that they're releasing the next one. August saw the release of both the Space Wolves and Grey Knights books and Dark Eldar will be hot on their heels in the first weekend of October. That's pretty insane when you compare it to how long we used to have to wait for a codex. We were lucky to get three in a year before but we've now had three in a couple of months once DE comes out. Rumours even have it that Blood Angels will be next after a brief spell of Fantasy releases.

So where does that leave us? Here's the list of current 40K armies and their release dates (shamelessly stolen from Wikipedia):

7th Edition
Dark Eldar (Oct 2014)
Grey Knights (Aug 2014)
Space Wolves (Aug 2014)

6th Edition
Astra Militarum (April 2014)
Militarum Tempestus (April 2014)
Imperial Knights (March 2014)
Legion of the Damned (March 2014)
Tyranids (January 2014)
Inquisition (November 2013)
Adepta Sororitas (October 2013)
Space Marines  (September 2013)
Eldar (June 2013)
Tau Empire (April 2013)
Chaos Daemons (March 2013)
Dark Angels (January 2013)
Chaos Space Marines (October 2012)

5th Edition 
Necrons (November 2011)

Blood Angels (April 2010)

Clearly then, if Blood Angels are next it isn't much of a leap to assume Necrons won't be far behind. That'd then put CSM next in line and could potentially mean just an 18 month lifespan for their current book. In 40K terms that doesn't seem long at all. That's assuming they continue once they've cleared the 5th edition books? At that point everything would be in a hard cover at least but wouldn't have this new datasheet format. Clearly someone at GW has realised they can give you a new book and a couple of models at a more regular interval and you'll still cave and buy it.

I have to say that, like a lot of people, it feels like GW really is rushing things with this current accelerated cycle. The Grey Knights book is certainly streamlined but doesn't half feel rushed. I have my concerns about the DE book too but I'm reserving judgement until I get my copy next week.

Vanishing Units
One thing that is clear is that if a unit has rules but no model it's going to disappear. So far we've lost Zogwort, Wazdakka, Mordrak, Valeria and Thawn. With the DE release it looks like we'll double the number with Duke, Baron, Malys, Vect and Kheradruakh all for the chop. You should know by now that I love special characters so I think it's a massive shame that these units are disappearing. Perhaps they'll reappear one day.

Some will blame Chapterhouse for the loss of these units but I think the fault lies with GW. Look at the Necron codex. It introduced several new special characters but within a couple of months of the book arriving we had models for them all. Dark Eldar didn't even manage to get the Voidraven bomber model until now. I can't pretend I'm a long time DE player but it still frustrates me hugely that they feel overlooked compared to other armies. Old school DE players waited a long time for an update of their codex and for the latest incarnation to strip so much away is likely to be gutting for them.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the book will be a lot more streamlined and there'll be some good stuff in there but if nothing else it stunts the creativity of people when they don't need to convert models to represent the missing ones. I still use my Arjac "conversion" despite there being a model for him (and thankfully there is one so he wasn't removed).

Well that's the term that seems to be floating around at the moment. Is it really the case though? Individual books are certainly losing a lot of what is termed "bloat" by the community but the game as a whole is becoming increasingly more complicated. I've found it incredibly difficult to come up with a solution for Blog Wars and what I have come up with has been met with a raft of complaints.

The game is more complicated than ever. I could've simply said "no Unbound" but the armies you can create within the "Battle Forged" bracket are still daft. Look back up at that list of codices and there's already a few extras there that didn't exist until recently. Inquisition and Assassins were part of the GK book of course and Legion of the Damned were in the SM dex but Imperial Knights and Militarum Tempestus are almost totally new. I just don't see the need.

Warhammer 40K was never the most ideal template for competitive play but I can't help but feel that GW are making things worse rather than better. Perhaps once all of the books are renewed some master plan will emerge but I'm not holding my breath.

The sad thing is I still love this game. I've dabbled in other things but I keep coming back to 40K. There's something about the imperfections that make it better somehow. Would it lose its soul if it was a truly streamlined competitive game? I think it probably would.

Leaks or should that be "leaks"
One final thing that caught my eye this week. The image on the left was one of the "leaked" pictures of this week's White Dwarf. I assumed it was someone who had a copy of both the weekly edition and Visions who had taken a shot to show the new flyer. However, this same image appeared on the GW site on Friday as part of their What's New Today blog. It's definite the same image which adds a little weight to my theory that GW starts at least some of the leaks off themselves to generate interest. Maybe I'm just a conspiracy theorist but as a marketing ploy it would actually make a lot of sense!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Finalising the Details for Blog Wars 8 Army Selection

I've recently posted about the rules pack for Blog Wars 8 as I wanted feedback from you guys. This has given me some great insight into what people expect from the event and helped me make some decisions about how things will be run. I'd like to thank everyone who's either commented or emailed me. One thing is clear, people want very different things from the tournament. Some want more restriction, whereas others want more freedom. Hopefully what I'm outlining below (and what I've updated in the event pack) will be some sort of middle ground that makes the majority of people happy and doesn't piss everyone else off too much.

Army Selection
My initial attempt at coming up with a system of army selection for Blog Wars seems to have frustrated a lot of people. Limiting the armies to just two detachments appears to have been a step to far for most of you. For this reason I've changed things a little so that you can now potentially take, for example: a combined arms detachment, allied detachment and Inquisitorial detachment. I'm now allowing formations but you have to choose between a formation and allies. I don't want people to be able to pick bits of things from too many sources. Not only does this make things incredibly confusing for their opponent (and me when I'm checking lists) but also it fits in better with the ethos of the event which encourages armies to be themed around a special character (more on that later). However, by allowing formations I am at least giving people more options if they don't have access to things like Allies/Inquisition/etc.

I'm still torn on the Imperial Knight issue. I'm determined that they should be allowed at Blog Wars now but I still think that 3 in a list with some other units would be very difficult for most people to deal with. What I've done therefore is met people in the middle and allowed 2 knights per army. As with any army in 40K, some people still won't be able to deal with them but equally others won't find them any trouble at all. Bear in mind that Gerantius is allowed as a special character but he isn't on the list as he's not going to eligible to be the "Commander" as he isn't in the "Core Force".

Hopefully this addresses the main issues people had with my first attempt at army selection. I'm keen to avoid changing it much more as players need to be planning their lists but I'd still like to hear your opinions. Here's an update to the diagram to show how things now work (click to embiggen):

Warp Charge
I don't know if this just got ignored by people but there were no complaints about the restriction of warp charge to 12 points. As I've already said, I'd hope that the kind of lists that are penalised by this e.g. conjuration spam Daemons, wouldn't appear anyway but I still think this is a good idea.

Painting Competition
I recently posted about the painting competition here. I'd like to get some more feedback before I make a decision on what's changing there though so please read the post and let me know what you think.

If you like the sound of things now and want to get yourself a ticket simply send £17.50 to via PayPal (ideally using the "Sending Money to Family or Friends" option). Please include your name (in case it's different to the PayPal account and I'll add you to the list.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

After Action Thoughts on 7th Edition Space Wolves

I've now had a decent number of friendly games and a tournament to get to grips with the new Space Wolves codex so I thought I'd share my thoughts. First off I'd like to say I'm still very much feeling the love for my wolves. Space Wolves may not have been my first 40K army but I've always had a soft spot for them and they're certainly my favourite now.

The tournament I played in allowed two detachments of any type so I took along two CADs of Space Wolves. This allowed me four HQs without sacrificing Objective Secured which I'm still a big fan of. Here's what I was running:

1,750pts of Space Wolves
Thunderlord w/ runic armour claw, shield and helm
3x WGBL on wolf w/ fist, shield and fen wolf

3x 8 Grey Hunters w/ chainswords, meltagun and terminator w/ fist/PF in a pod (one with standard)
5 Blood Claws in a Stormwolf w/ multimeltas

That's it. Doesn't look like much but it hits hard when it has to. The lord has six S6 attacks at I5 and a Hammer of Wrath attack at S5. He re-rolls to hit and wound which lets him shred troop units and gives him a reasonable chance against things like daemon princes too. The battle leaders are awesome against DPs though with their S10 fists and the fen wolf allows them to soak up the odd S10 shot that might come their way. I run them all solo so they're difficult to deal with. Your opponent will struggle to charge more than one allowing the others to pile in and help out if necessary. Massed shooting is an issue but it all comes down to how well you can roll 2+/3++.

The hunters in pods aren't what they used to be but they're still awesome. Incidentally, it's worth noting that you can get a wolf guard pack leader in terminator armour with a fist for the same cost as a power armoured leader with fist. The difference is the combi weapon is cheaper for the terminator. Obviously not an option in rhinos and you sacrifice a second special weapon for the grey hunters (since you can only get 9 models in the pod) but still good to know.

In my friendly games before the tournament I was running a 15-man blood claw pack in the stormwolf with a priest but I quickly realised this was far too many points off the table at the start of the game. It hits incredibly hard when those 16 bodies get into combat but even if you get them turn 2 the stormwolf needs to zoom for a turn and then hover to get them in combat. Not only does it put it in danger but a turn 3 charge really isn't that exciting. The stormwolf is awesome and helfrost is scary even for models that only fail the strength test on a 6. Obviously it isn't reliable but things like that can come good and change the course of a game in your favour. Don't forget the flyer can hover late game to use Obj Sec to claim an objective. It's not invincible though so having just a 5-man squad is a lot less risk since they're all gonna die if the stormwolf gets taken down.

So how did it perform at the tournament? Well this event allowed Lords of War so in the first game I met a tyranid list with harridan and 4 FMCs. The S10 guns made short work of my thunderwolves and I simply couldn't down the FMCs quickly enough. The stormwolf killed the warlord tyrant on its own but it too fell victim to the S10 from the harridan. Obviously the list struggles against multiple FMCs but that's true of a lot of armies. The second game was against a warhound titan with some grey knights and an assassin. The callidus allowed a re-roll to Seize giving my opponent first turn. Of course he rolled 6s on the destroyer table for his first two shots removing my warlord and a WGBL. The mission was similar to Control Freak at Blog Wars though and so I held my own pretty well. My opponent's rolling was insane though and an uphill struggle ended in a narrow loss. With two narrow losses I ended up on the bottom tables and met a daemons list without any of the usual tricks in it. This gave me a fun game with plenty of combat and a decent win to place me mid table at the end of the day.

Following the event I've tweaked my list slightly. I really don't think the wolf standard is worth it in this particular list (and I'm not sure I'd bother generally). The extra 25 pts that gives me go into a fen wolf for the wolf lord and an upgrade to hammers for the battle leaders. That means they'll be striking at the same time as a monstrous creature if they get to a second round of combat thanks to Concussive. Might not save their life but should help them finish off the MC with their dying breath.

It's difficult to comment on the performance of the list when I had such bad luck with both my draws and dice rolls. In the first game I probably passed only 50% of my 2+ saves and in the second my opponent rolled an insane number of 6s. The last game gave me a hint of the potential of the list with two WGBLs going toe-to-toe with a Bloodthirster and coming out on top. One of them then went on to insta-kill a daemon prince too. The wolf lord chewed through karanak, 3 bloodcrushers and a squad of plaguebearers.

Obviously I couldn't run this list if the tournament wasn't allowing two CADs but it's helped me realise how useful Objective Secured is. Unless you're wanting to run a raft of HQs the Wolves Unleashed detachment isn't good enough to tempt me to drop Objective Secured. Despite the bad matchups the list held it's own and still would've won the first two games if the odd dice roll had gone my way. Neither felt like a whitewash.

I'd love to give rune priests a go but I'm finding it very difficult to write them into a list. I think there's a spot for them in a drop pod with some hunters but they'll often find themselves shut down by more powerful psychic armies. As I said in my review it's difficult to resist the temptation of a thunderwolf HQ. Even without any support they're still great for the points.

Finally, with this list at least, I'm really not seeing the point in using the codex warlord traits so I've been opting for the strategic table. This gives me a chance of getting some reserves manipulation for me or my opponent.

I'm determined to win the Best Painted award at the next event on October 18th so I've got some hobby work to do to update my wolves and add some much needed detail to them. I'll be posting about it soon starting with my stormwolf that I'm particularly proud of.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Improving the Blog Wars Painting Competition

One of the things that came out of the feedback from Blog Wars 7 was that the painting side of the day would benefit from some tweaking. Here are some things I'd like some more feedback on before I finalise the details. Before I go any further, remember tickets for BW8 are on sale now so click on the big logo on the right to find out how you can get yours.

Best Army Award
There were comments after BW7 that there were some armies making a repeat appearance in the painting competition. Whilst the winners hadn't won before, with those armies at least, there was a feeling that only new armies should be allowed to compete. On the flip side of this other people said that it seemed unfair on those hobbyists who only had a single army that they were continually improving. I have to say I think it would be unfair to exclude people who've won before. If someone won the tournament with the same list twice in a row that would be perfectly reasonable (if dull) so things shouldn't be different in the painting competition. I try to make sure I acknowledge the runners up in the awards ceremony and in my post after the tournament.

A possible solution might be to indicate which armies have been entered before. If people decide they're still the best in the competition they can still vote for them but if they think there's an equally good entry that deserves acknowledgement this time then they can vote for them instead. There was also a suggestion of a one event cushion between winning the best army i.e. you could win it at BW6 and BW8 but not BW6 and BW7.

Best Special Character
Since Special Characters are a big part of the identity of Blog Wars this prize will always be a feature of the painting competition. However, I don't think it's always obvious which model a player is entering into this part of the competition. Some pre-printed labels on my end might help players to indicate their character so I'll come up with some ideas. I like this award because it allows people to really focus on a single model and still be in with a chance of a prize without the rest of their army being to the same standard.

Again, there were potential issues with the same character winning so it was suggested that a character couldn't be entered again. I'm not sure I'm a fan of this as it's not always about winning but also showing off a model you're proud of to a new audience.

Best Theme/Conversion
This is something I've run in the past and I'd like to resurrect it this time around. Since I think there's already enough for players to vote on I think the best thing to do is make it a judge's decision. Similarly I'd also like to highlight particularly stunning conversions. I'd aim to avoid giving one person all of the prizes but it's not impossible for the players to vote for the best SC that also happens to be the best conversion.

My experience of painting competitions at Blog Wars and other tournaments is that it's often actually the best converted army that wins "best painted". Whilst they're both parts of the hobby side of the game I think they're very different skills and people don't always possess both. Having an award for conversions will acknowledge this and hopefully encourage players to vote for the actual "best painted".

Well this bit is up to you guys really. There's already a portion of the prize pot assigned to the painting competition and I think the value of the prizes is reasonable. I'm prepared to commit a portion of the pot to extra prizes for the painting so let me know what you think. If you think the painting competition deserves bigger prizes I want to hear that as well.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Blog Wars 8 - Tickets Finally Available!

Well after those mammoth reviews of the SW and GK books it's time to turn our attention to Blog Wars again. I apologise for the delay but I'm pleased to announce that tickets are now available for Blog Wars 8. Please see the BW8 page for details of how you can pick up yours.

This will be the first Blog Wars of 7th edition since BW7 occurred only a week after the release of the new rulebook. That means there's a few things we need to discuss. I have an idea of how I'd like to do things but I want your feedback before I finalise the rules pack. Anyway, here goes.

Ticket Price & Venue
Since the first Blog Wars the price of tickets has remained constant at £15. This time around I'm going to increase the price to £17.50. That's partly due to increased costs but also because I intend to offer more prizes for the painting side of things and generally better support there. I still think £17.50 is a good price considering the top prize in the raffle last time was an £85 Imperial Knight and will be something similar this year. Remember entry to the raffle is included in the ticket price and you're also getting 3 games of 40K, lunch, spot prizes and tournament prizes.

I hope the price rise doesn't put anyone off and that people still think the event is worth the money. The venue is again the NWGC in Stockport (see the BW8 page for details).

Army Selection
With 7th edition there is a huge amount of freedom with army selection now and with formations, faction specific detachments and everything else it can be a little overwhelming. Most tournaments organisers have come up with their own rules for how to go about picking an army and I've been reading various event packs to try and decide how I want Blog Wars to work.

There are two important things for me. Firstly, I want to try to minimise the amount of dirty combos that can be created without restricting the ability to created interesting lists too much. Secondly I want things to be pretty simple so that it doesn't take you half an hour to try and work out how your opponent came to this apparently random selection of units and realising what dirty combo he's come up with.

Here's my current solution. This is by no means set in stone and I welcome any and all feedback on it.
  • Two "Forces" per army - Core and Additional
  • Core Force - Combined Arms Detachment or Faction Specific Detachment (e.g. Wolves Unleashed)
  • Compulsory special character must be in Core Detachment which becomes "Commander" for Blog Wars scenario purposes
  • Faction Specific can come from Supplement e.g. Champions of Fenris
  • Additional Force - Allied Detachment (not Come the Apocalypse), Inquisition Detachment, Imperial Knight Detachment, Legion of the Damned or Officio Assassinorum.
  • Must be different faction from Core Force
  • The minimum FOC requirements for the detachment in the Core Force must be met before the Additional Force can be selected e.g. 1 HQ and 2 Troops for a CAD
  • Lords of War and Fortifications allowed from a restricted list (see BW8 page)
  • Warlord may be selected from either Detachment
  • No Forge World units allowed in either detachment

I know that seems like a lot of rules and restrictions but with the open nature of army list selection in 7th I think it's necessary. I'd like to explain my reasoning behind these decisions though.

We've all gotten used to having a Primary and Allied detachment and this is still permitted within this format. I know some will say I'm living in the past or whatever but frankly the system of army selection 7th is horrific and this way makes things a lot easier. It's a massive headache to restrict things like this so I'm certainly not doing it for fun and I wish GW had made things a lot easier for TOs.

It's important to remember that Blog Wars is deliberately different from other tournaments out there. If you want a no holes barred event there are others available. If you want three games in a friendly atmosphere then come along to Blog Wars 8. I appreciate this seems complicated so please comment here or on the BW8 page for clarifications.

I've thought long and hard about all of these decisions and my aim has always been to make the tournament enjoyable for everybody not just those with expensive toys. The super heavies/gargantuan creatures aren't all overpowered but it seems unfair to permit some armies to have them when you've banned the only option from another army. Imperial Knights are a little different but all the same I'll be restricting them to one per army unless I here a compelling argument otherwise. Formations are a tricky one and I'm still not convinced either way. For now I'm not allowing them as to me they seem to be either awesome or terrible with little in between, again compelling arguments are gratefully received.

Psychic Phase and Scenarios
As I've mentioned in the event details I'm limiting warp charge to 12. I'd hope that the Conjuration spam armies wouldn't appear at Blog Wars but a lot of TOs are implementing this restriction and I think it makes a lot of sense.

I've kept the scenarios pretty much the same apart from changing the last mission so that you only start scoring from game turn 2. Hopefully that will make it a little less of an advantage to go first. Of course all units are now scoring in missions 2 and 3 so I've now made Commanders (the Special Character) have the Objective Secured rule.

As ever, I'm open to comments and criticism and indeed I'd love to hear them.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

7th Edition 40K - New Grey Knight Codex Review - Draigo, Brotherhood Formation and Conclusion

This is the last guest post from Matt (something I hope he'll do again as it saves me A LOT of time). I'll add my own thoughts on the book at the end but here's the final bits from him.

Kaldor Draigo
My joint favourite character in 40K (tied with Mephiston). I actually think that he has gotten better, even better than he was in 5th edition. Yes his stats have dropped, but this really does not matter at all, except maybe the T5 to T4 drop a bit, but this is nothing compared to the improvements.

Firstly he always hits at S7 AP2 I5 and his weapon is Master Crafted. If he uses Hammerhand this becomes S9 AP2 I5!! Don't forget that he is also Eternal Warrior and has a Storm Shield. 

But that's not it. Attach to Draigo's squad (or just to Draigo) either Stern or a Librarian with Sanctuary and Draigo can now have a 2++ save!! 

But that's still not it, make the squad they are attached to a Paladin unit with an Apothecary and now Draigo has FNP 5+!! Basically he can become The Emperor if you want him to be. Yes I know to buff him to that level costs a lot of points, but I'm just saying that it is possible. 

However, there is one other thing that is great about Draigo and that's the fact that he knows Gate of Infinity. This means that he can be attached to any squad (not just GK squads remember) and teleport them around the board all game. This brings about many possibilities (not least of which is easy last minute objective grabbing) and if just used within the GK codex means that the unit he is attached to can start on the board and still Deep Strike into the enemy lines.

I love him more than I used to (and believe me he really does love him, almost as much as I love Arjac - Alex).

Grey Knights Brotherhood Formation
I'm not going into this because it's a bit rubbish. If you are playing a game with this many points then you won't want all the units listed here. The bonus you get of harnessing Santic powers on a 3+ isn't even close to being good enough to offset all the rubbish units you have to run.

I really like the codex overall. I think that GW have done a decent job of separating the Grey Knights out and making them good enough to run on their own in 7th edition without the need to run Inquisition alongside them. There are some obvious choices within the codex like Dreadknights for Heavy and Purifiers for Elites, but there are many decent HQ and special character options which means that many different types of list can be put together. For example, you could have a Deep Strike heavy list with the prospect of everything arriving from turn one, or you can run a mechanised list with land raiders and rhinos. Both types of army can make for good, even competitive lists. I will certainly be trying them out at tournaments myself.

I have to say I agree with Matt that they've managed to keep GK unique and powerful enough for you not to need to run Inquisition. In some ways it's a shame that a lot of the funky special rules have been lost but it makes for a simpler army and takes away some of the avenues for cheese that existed before. I know some may not be a fan but this has seemed like the way GW were going to go for a while. There are some that don't like the new SW or Ork books either but if you plan on playing competitively you just have to swallow the bitter pill and move on. I was certainly negative about the SW book when I first read it but I'm really starting to love it now. There's no question the GK book is all about Purifiers and Dreadknights but I think this was pretty much the case before anyway.

That's your lot then. Two codexes wrapped up in the space of a month. GW are certainly keeping me busy (well Matt this time). Rumours have it that DE are next with a possible Inquisition update also suggested. After that it's BA and hopefully Matt will step up again as they're another one of his long term armies.

Friday, September 05, 2014

7th Edition 40K - New Grey Knight Codex Review - Heavy Support

Once again this is a short section when you remove the Land Raiders. They're the same as the other marine books again and as with the Rhino/Razorback they no longer have any GK extras to set them apart. Whilst this might be frustrating for GK players it does make sense and removes some of the silliness that we saw in late 5th edition. Anyway, here's Matt.

Purgation squad
Same problem again here with special weapons. Psycannon and Psilencers work best when the unit doesn't move, but the problem is they are 24" range, not good. However, 4 incinerators in a squad is good. Night Vision special rule? Why? Shame they didn't give them Relentless or Slow and Purposeful instead, if they had then these would have sometimes been selected over a Dreadknight…

This is the star of the codex, just as it was in the last codex for me. I've always loved these guys, I've run two of them in an army on countless occasions and taken them to many tournaments, they were always a solid choice with a Personal Teleporter and Heavy Incinerator. Both of which have remained the same thankfully. Everything else about this guy has gotten better though.

Firstly, he now comes with Sanctuary as standard and so can boost his invulnerable to 4++, this makes him much more survivable especially when in combat against other MCs as he will usually strike last but also usually strikes harder due to his Force weapon. Which leads me onto his melee weapon options, you will always need to upgrade your Dreadknights to either the sword or hammer, just so that they have a force weapon, you will thank me next time your Dreadknight is facing off against a Wraithknight. If the 4++ keeps him alive and his force weapon is active then whatever MC he is fighting against will die, be it a Wraithknight, Hive Tyrant or even a Bloodthirster.

But the best improvement on this unit has to be the ranged weapons. All 3 options are now great. The Heavy Incinerator, as already mentioned, stays the same and so remains a solid choice, even against 3+ armour or better the fact that it's Torrent always allows you to score a lot of hits, obviously it shines against 4+ or worse though. The Heavy Psycannon used to be a Large Blast S7 Rending, pretty rubbish if you ask me, that firing option remains, but the second firing option is to have it fire 6 S7 Rending shots, great for a bit of anti-tank and against well, pretty much anything really. The Gatling Psilencer, however, used to be rubbish against anything non-Daemon. But now it is a 12 shot S4 ranged Force weapon which is an awesome idea! 

Now I’ve read many people saying that the Psilencers just aren't worth it as strength 4 is just too low to kill anything. I agree if talking about the regular version, but the gatling version on a Dreadknight pumps out 12 shots on the move, that's 8 hits and around 3 wounds on a T5 MC such as a Daemon Prince, therefore if said MC has 3+ armour he will statistically fail one save and therefore die due to force!

Basically these are now even more awesome and everyone running GK will run them, it's just a shame they didn't get another wound as I'm awful at rolling 2+ saves…

Another unit I'm not looking forward to facing. The saving grace is that if a GK player goes for a GK-specific detachment he'll only be fielding two Dreadknights. Nevertheless with a whopping price reduction they seem like an automatic choice. I'm generally not a fan of this but having used them as part of our old doubles list I can't hate it that much!

One last post to go in this GK review where Matt will be looking at Draigo and the codex formation before wrapping things up.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

7th Edition 40K - New Grey Knight Codex Review - Fast Attack

Another short section today. Once you take away the dedicated transports you're left with just the Interceptors and Stormraven. Anyway, over to Matt.

I'm only going to cover units unique to Grey Knights as everyone knows what a Rhino and Razorback do. There's no difference now from the SM version as Psychic Pilot, The Aegis and Fortitude no longer exist. They may get mentioned within some unit reviews though.

Interceptor Squad
When I learnt that a new GK codex was coming out one of my first thoughts was that I don't own any Interceptors and that they may end up being pretty good due to their manoeuvrability. However, due to special weapons not working well with power armour (as mentioned in previous posts), Interceptors are not as good as expected. Don't get me wrong I do think these guys are still a viable choice due to their manoeuvrability and the fact that they are essentially space marines with force weapons. They are your best chance of getting foot soldiers into combat without using a Land Raider or Stormraven. I still don't think they will get much use though, mainly because they are 24 points per model which is 1 point less than a purifier… (We get it, you love Purifiers - Alex).

I will briefly talk about this as it used to be unique in the previous codex due to Mindstrike missiles and psybolt ammo. I used to run mine with hurricane bolters and psybolt ammo, this gave it a hell of a lot of S5+ shots, but made it cost more than a land raider. I did used to like the Mindstrike missiles, but only sometimes (i.e. when the opposition had a psyker or two). However, I do actually think that with the loss of psybolt ammo the replacement of Mindstrike with Stormstrike is actually a good thing. This is because Mindstrike were practically useless if the enemy didn't have psykers, and were also useless against the Stormravens primary targets, other flyers. Psybolt ammo used to mitigate this deficiency by allowing you to spam S7 and S5 shots, but for a premium price. Therefore I am saying that if we can't have psybolt then we should have Stormstrike over Mindstrike as this gives the Grey Knights a solid anti-air gunship.

Wow, seems like we're rattling through this book at a fair old pace. It's quite obviously a more specialised army than the Wolves were but that makes sense from a fluff point of view and it was always going to be the case when they removed Inquisition entries. Anyway, heavies are next.

Monday, September 01, 2014

7th Edition 40K - New Grey Knight Codex Review - Elites

Onto the Elites section today and there's a lot more to love than in the Troops section. It makes sense that the GK-specific detachment has limited Troops but extra Elite slots. Anyway, I'll hand over to Matt and he can explain in more detail.

So this is the unit that everyone is excited about, mainly due to them having the Cleansing Fame psychic power as standard. This is quite a big deal, it's a 9" Nova that is essentially a heavy flamer with Soul Blaze (i.e. S5 AP4 Ignores Cover). Against some armies this could turn out to be really brutal, for example Orks, AM or Tyranids troops will all die in droves on a 2+ with no saves. Even units in heavier armour have to worry if there are lots of Purifier units around all with the ability to blast out 2D6 heavy flamer hits to all units around them. It is worth remembering that a Nova automatically hits all enemy units within its range, this includes FMCs and flyers and even units locked in combat! Of course this all sounds great but the problem is that the power is only 9" range and Purifiers are just marines in power armour when being shot at so it is difficult to get them close enough. A good tactic though is to stick them in a rhino, because the power is a Witchfire it can be cast from the rhino hatch, also Purifiers can be taken in a squad of 10 and put inside a rhino at the start of the game. They can then combat squad into 2 five man units doubling the generated warp charge and Cleansing Flame casting in the process!

There is much more to Purifiers than just Cleansing Flame though. I've already mentioned warp charge generation and because they are ML2 a few small Purifier squads really start to add dice to your warp charge pool. Also when compared to a Strike Squad they have 1 extra attack, are all Fearless and their close combat attack have Soul Blaze! All this for just 5 points more per model than a Strike Squad member. This is why you want 4 Elite slots.

These guys are the GK elite. I love the idea of them and they are pretty mean considering that they are all 2 wound terminators with weapon skill 5. The problem with these guys is the cost, just as it was in the previous codex. They are 55 points each and when you consider that 2 regular terminators are 66 points you begin to wonder if they are worth it. What I mean is that the rest of the stats are the same, so you are only getting 2 attacks per model just as you are with a regular terminator, so if you instead buy 2 regular terminators instead of one paladin you will have twice as many attacks and the same amount of wounds, but the paladin can be instant deathed, whereas you would only lose one regular terminator to a strength 8+ wound.

However I am certainly not saying that I wouldn't run them, there are plenty of upsides to running Paladins when compared to regular termies. For example you can take 2 special weapons for every 5 models with Paladins, this means that they could go in a Land Raider and carry 2 specials into battle, whereas you would need 10 terminators to do the same. Also they are WS5 and so hit most things on a 3+, that's quite a big deal. But the biggest bonus for me is the fact that you can upgrade one Paladin to an Apothecary which gives the entire unit FNP, this can make the unit seem almost invincible against some armies.

I think that overall Paladins always seem very attractive until you start to write a list with them in, where you quickly realise just how many points you can sink into them. Just like all ground troops they suffer from the lack of mobility, I certainly don't like the idea of keeping them off the board in reserve and even with Gate of Infinity you can't risk deep striking them too close for fear of a mishap, so they just end up too far away and struggle to catch things in combat (enemy units tend to stay away from paladins for some reason), of course this is not always the case and with multiple units close to the enemy lines they can often get in but it is often a problem for a flashy expensive close combat unit such as this. Even with 2 Psycannons they are not worth the points to be used as a ranged unit, so ideally it would be good to have them in a Land Raider, but of course this makes the points problem even worse and before you know it you've spent half your army's points on one unit!

These used to be standard fare in a 5th edition GK list. Everyone ran them with 2 twin lined autocannons with psybolt ammo (which raised the strength of the autocannons to the magic 8). However psybolt sadly doesn't exist anymore and even if it did those Dreadnoughts are nowhere near as effective due to autocannons being unable to destroy any non-open topped vehicles without stripping all the hull points. So basically this turns into a regular SM dread with mastery level 1 and the ability to give itself a 6++. Not great when you consider the other Elite slot options available but possibly still worth considering to mix it up a bit. Dropping or charging from a Stormraven is still a good tactic and dreadnoughts are generally better now due to the increased durability of vehicles in 7th.

I can't say I'm looking forward to playing Purifiers in our next game (which will have already happened when this post is scheduled to go up). I already experienced them in the FAQ'd version of the old book against my Orks and Cleansing Flame proved disgustingly good. It's a shame they feel like an auto-include but I can't pretend I don't love the way they look with the white helmets!

We're around half way through the book now and I'm hoping people can see the positives despite the negativity that has surrounded this book.


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