Friday, 20 April 2018

FAQ Updates - the big FAQ

So, finally we have the spring FAQ or as GW have called it The Big FAQ 1. There are many FAQ's that have been updated, somewhere in the region of 25 or more and all on one day, which really is phenomenal. However, despite there being so many updates in one day there are really only 3 updates that I am interested in and one that doesn't seem to have been updated! These are the Big FAQ itself, the Main Rulebook FAQ and the Astra Militarum FAQ. The BA FAQ has yet to be updated and while it maybe that it isn't getting an FAQ at this time, there are some updates in the Marines FAQ that will be applicable to the BA codex, so I imagine that it will be updated soon. I will go in to these updates as well at the end, just for completeness.

Edit: the original plan was for one post but as I've been writing this it's been getting longer and longer, so I'll split it down in to at least 2 posts.

Now, there are a lot of changes within the FAQ's and I'll not be going in to all of them, as some of them have nothing to do with my armies, as such this review will only cover the bits that I think are relevant and anything that I found interesting.

First on the chopping block is the main FAQ itself, the BIG FAQ 1.

The first thing that you see in the FAQ is the implementation of the Psychic Focus and Targeting Character Beta rules, although with some subtle changes.

Psychic Focus has bee altered to get rid of Smite spam lists. This simply changes the Smite rule so that the number required to cast Smite increase by 1 every time you cast it. So it will still be fairly easy to cast 2 or even 3 times, but after that it will get a bit harder, requiring an 8 or more to cast a 4th time. This rule doesn't affect Grey Knights or Thousand Sons, as their Smite rules work slightly differently and they would be affected significantly more by the new rule than a lot of armies. This seems like a good idea to me, it nerfs Smite Spam, but doesn't stop players from casting Smite with a couple of pyskers. I usually run 2 psykers in my armies and this ruling means that I can still do so and not be penalised. The only issue for guard that I can see if for Wyrdvane Psykers, who cast on 1d6 rather than 2d6. While you can spam these guys, as there quite cheap, 24 points for a min unit, in order to cast smite repeatedly now, you would have to max out the units, and even then, you could only cast smite a max of 4 times before they could no longer cast it. So if you do spam Wyrdvane Psykers, you'll have to use them first.

The character targeting rules have also be updated to take account of some people breaking the system. In the old days, as in the early days of 8th, people took advantage of the fact that the character had to be the closest VISIBLE unit. if you made it so nothing else was visible, you could shoot any character you wanted. Now, you have to be visible AND closest, a small change but in means that as long as one trooper is closer, even if its hidden deep in a ruin, you cant shoot the character. This makes quite a difference, as it means that you characters can almost act with impunity, apart from snipers of course! The other change is minor but important, in the other characters effectively no longer count for determining if a character is closer, meaning you can't hide a character behind a character.

Next up is the new rules for tactical reserves. This is a huge change, by far the biggest change in my view and will be game changing. There are 2 main changes to note, firstly that not only does half of your total units have to start on the table but those units have to equal half of your power rating. Secondly, you can only drop units in to your deployment zone turn 1. The sum total of this means,, no dropping in half a dozen big nasty assault units while leaving 6 cheap as chips characters hiding in your deployment zone. The first part of this rule is going to get abused a lot I think, infantry already see lots of 6 man tactical squads and the like. The second part is going to nerf alpha strike armies. For me this seriously damages my Blood Angles force, as the while point is to drop in and assault. Granted it's not the end of the world, but I'm going to have to think hard about what to do with the likes of my death company. Don't wait until turn 2 or do I deploy and hope I get to go first, playing the forlorn fury stratagem? This ruling is really going to need mento sit downdand think hard about what changes in need to make, i thunk for starters that I'm going to have to paint my sternguard vets a lot sooner than I though! Now most of my guard armies it won't be a problem, as the scions are there for late drops and objective grabs anyway, so generally don't come in turn 1, the only issue could be the Dagr Ormr Militarum Tempestus force as they are based around the scions but there should be enough heavy weapons teams to soak up the damage and survive. As for my Dark Angels, well I'll deal with all those terminators when Ive finished my guard armies!

The new Battle brothers rules is next on the list and is a bit of a surprise. Granted, Imperial soup is a thing and I'm sure that Chaos and Eldar have similar things but I guess I didn't realise it was such an issue. I would have thought loosing the various detachment benefits would have been enough to off set any benefits you might gain from running a soup list but I guess not. At the end of the day however, this change is not going to effect me at all as I either run Astra Militarum or Blood Angles detachments.

Talking of detachments, these have seen some changes and while most people think it's a good move, most of my regular opponents have other ideas! With the increase for battalion to 5cp and brigade to 12 CP, my 1000 point guard list goes from 14 to 17 cp and my 1500 point list goes from 17 to 22 CP! That's a whole lot of command points! I still think that patrol detachments should have got a CP or two. If they had 1cp like the other detachments it would be better, but I'll take the other rises too. My blood angles will benefit from the rise, as they struggle with command points, usually having between 4 and 7, the extra 2 points will be very useful and enable me to use some of the stratagems that I don't use as I lack the points, like death visions of sanguinius.

The next bit that caught my attention was the changes to ignoring woulds. I feel that this is a good change and how it should be. Having an extra save is fine, having two or even three is silly. I don't have this issue, as the most I get is one on my death company and the BA command trait that give you one, calls out the death company save and replaces it. I also haven't come across multiple saves in my games, so it won't make much difference but I still think it's a good move.

The last two sections are the organised play section, which again won't have much of an impact on my games, as we don't play competitive and not many people spam units anyway, and the points section. The points section is interesting as there are some significant changes, most notably for me, the dark Reapers points increase. These are an excellent unit and are dirt cheap at the moment. The drop in points for commissars is good and will be covered in the guard review bit, because it's the rules updates to commissars which is more important.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Hildasay PDF

As is usual for me, I have a painting project trundling along in the back ground and right now it is the Hildasay PDF. These boys do not form an army on there own but rather form a part of the Dagr Ormr's strike force, alongside the Scions of the Dagr Ormr.

One thing you'll notice is the there are a lot of heavy weapons teams in the pictures and that's because the force is pretty much all heavy weapons, it's there sole purpose in the strike force. While the Dagr Ormr are a hard hitting army, they also lack any form of long range punch. Yes the Taurox Primes have some punch, but there expensive. Heavy weapons teams in the other hand are cheap and cheerful, plus they have extra options not available to Taurox Primes. 

The first batch, which forms just over a third of the models from the heavy weapons teams.

2 complete missile teams and two loaders, from the old 2nd edition models. 

The gunners. The guys will be assigned a gun, lascannon or heavy bolter, once the guns are completed. Again, there is a 2nd edition gunner on the right, who will rejoin his heavy bolters when it's complete.

The rest. These are mostly gunners mates, with the exception of the mortar man on the right. The three on the front left are part of the lascannon teams and the one between them and the mortar man is the mate for the 2nd edition heavy bolter. The four at the back are generic gunners mates and will go with either the mortars or heavy bolters.

This is the sole "complete" model in the collection as it is the only one which is actually based properly, as in fixed to a 60mm base. The rest will be based on 25mm bases and then placed on 60mm bases during the game, mostly for ease of transportation. 

A better view. I've posed this guy slightly differently as he's side on to the gun and is supposed to look like he's trying to adjust something or maybe clearing a jammed round. 

This is my favourite model so far in this collection. It's quite difficult to see in these pictures, I'll have to get some better ones, but the arms and binoculars (monocular?) are actually Tau. When you look closer you can see the three fingers, but at a glance, in works well. 

I also like the shoulder rifle with token camouflage, it needs some more work to lighten it up and add some contrast, but even so I like the effect.

Friday, 13 April 2018

1000pt Eagle Knights Vs Eldar

So this was my second game with the Eagle Knights, played last weekend. It was a 1000 point game against an Eldar army. It was looking like it was going to be a good game but things worked out badly in the end, mostly due to errors on my part. Ill go in to the errors later but first the army lists.

My list consisted of a supreme command detachment of a Captain with jump pack, Librarian with jump pack and Lieutenant with jump pack (spotting a theme here?). I also had a Vanguard Detachment with a Chaplain with jump pack, a 6 man Death Company with 3 plasma pistols and 3 power mauls and jump packs, a 5 man Death Company with 2 Thunder Hammers with jump packs, a 5 man Vanguard squad with 2 sets of power claws, a power fist and 2 power axes, all with jump packs and finally a 10 man Assault Squad also with jump packs.

My opponent had a Aultach on Skyrunner, a Farseer, 3 Dire Avengers, 2x 5 man squads and a 10 man squad, a 5 man Fire Dragons squad, a 10 man Striking Scorpions squad and a 10 man Dark Reapers squad.

Turn 1

Despite finishing setting up first, we decided to go with the Chapter Approved type roll off and I managed to secure first turn. I had decided to keep my Death Company squads, Librarian and Chaplain in to reserve and with first turn I decided to drop them in behind the main threat, the Dark Reapers. This was my first mistake and probably my biggest! Dark Reapers are a big threat, with the -2 ap missiles, long range and there always hit on a 3 rule. I wanted them gone quick and decided to throw the 6 man DC squad, Librarian and Chaplain at them. However, I got hit with Forewarned, a very powerful stratagem. This enabled the Dark Reapers to fire at the DC squad, wiping out 5 of the 6 members, leaving just one with a power maul. The Librarian and Chaplain remained, but the majority of the hitting power was gone. I still went for the charge but only the Chaplain got in. This was the only part of the plan that went right, as the Chaplain was wearing the Angles Wings jump pack, meaning no overwatch from the Dark Reapers and in the ensuing fight, he managed to put down 3 Reapers on his own. Unfortunately, the as the rest of the squad failed there charges, including the other DC squad going in on one of the Avenger squads, the first turn carnage turned out to be exactly that, just it was BA blood that was spilled and not Eldar.

In the Eldar turn I got hit with a second stratagem that pretty much finished me. Even though I had failed to eliminate the Dark Reapers, I though that I had at least stopped them shooting but no, my opponent playeea second stratagem, enabling the Reapers to fire, wiping out the Chaplain and last DC marine, with the newly arrived unit of Friends Dragons (who had been set-up in the Webway) turned the librarian in to dust. The second squad of DC marines also fell to the combined fire of the Avengers and newly arrived Striking Scorpions.

At the start of the bottom of turn 1

Just before the carnage started again.

My remaining forces at the end of turn 1

The Eldar forces at the end of turn 1

Turn 2

By this point the battle plan was in tatters. The DC should have pounded the Reapers to dust and now be starting on the squad of Avengers in the far building and the chaplain and Librarian should be chasing down the Farseer and Aultach. Instead I had nothing in range to threaten any Eldar models. So I decided to just throw caution to the wind and go for it, using my last command points to jump my vanguard vets forward, this time making sure that they were out of site of the Reapers. They managed to get in to combat, but due to some rather rubbish dice rolls, I managed not to wipe out the Reapers!

The end of the top of turn 2 and the Vanguard vets are looking a little isolated.

The view of my deployment area and there isn't much left.

You can see one of my assault marines combat squads moving up the table. They just failed to reach cover in the central building.

The Eldar didn't hold off on the punishment and while the Dark Reapers couldn't fire after falling back, they didn't need to, as the combined fire of the Aultach and Avengers took out the last two vanguard vets. The Fire Dragons moved to capture and hold an objective and the Avengers and Scorpions on my left flank took out the assault squad on that flank.

Bottom of turn 2 and it's looking dire.

Turn 3 and I was really in trouble. I had half and assault squad, a captain and a lieutenant. I moved up to see what I could do, which wasn't a lot. In reply the Eldar dropped there last unit in, a full unit of Dire Avengers. These dropped in to the centre and tried to kill off my last units. Fortunately they failed, everything else just moved up to prepare for the killing blow.

Turn 4

I knew that this was going to be the final turn and I decided that I really didn't have many options, so i did the proper thing and charged everything in tot he only unit I could, the newly arrived Dire Avengers. The assault marines went in first and managed to survive overwatch, taking just 1 wound, the captain followed suit. The lieutenant however, was just to far away and failed his 10 inch charge. The Angles did there stuff taking out the full unit with ease, the assault marines taking down half a dozen or so and the captain making short work of the rest. They were however now out in the open and exposed. So the scorpions and Farseer finished off the captain and a few of the marines whole the fire dragons toasted the lieutenant and the last remaining marines. And with this the game ended in a crushing defeat.

The final result. Lots of Eldar and no Blood Angles.

The final score at the end of turn 4. The red dice is mine.

In the end the Eldar lost just a Dire Avengers squad and 7 Dark Reapers, while I was tabled. Not really what I would call a good result under any circumstances. So what went wrong? Well, quite a lot really.

The big mistake was deep striking all the death company. I should have used the Forlorn Fury stratagem and placed the death company on the table. Of I had done this I could have moved one squad right up the table withing just a couple of inches of the Reapers and then used the Descent of Angles stratagem to get the Chaplain with angles wings in, denying the Reapers overwatch and also stopping the forwarded stratagem from destroying anything. I should also have moved everything else up in the first movement phase as well, rather than sitting back and waiting for the deep striking units to do there stuff.

The second big error was then throwing the vanguard vets forward unsupported, this was a desperate move really in an attempt to destroy the only unit with the capability to out range me, it didn't really work and while I learned from the first failed attempt by placing them out of line of sight before charging, i really should have known better than to just throw them in.

Other minor mistakes include not shooting in the fire shooting phase as I was so taken a back with the destruction of the death company squad that i forgot all about it. I also didn't really have any plans other than plan A, and I really should have. Always have a back up plan or at least don't put everything in to just one option.

I think the real lesson that I learnt from this game though is that the list doesn't really work. Yes you can make it work but it lacks a lot of options. It's a short range assault army and all it takes is to loose one unit and it all falls apart very quickly. I think that you could play this very differently and have some success, but as a standard list it doesn't work. If I was playing a 2000 point game, joing this up with a 1000 point guard list would be excellent, as the guard would provide the long range fire and the Angles the short ranged assault, plus you'd have CP's to spend. For my next game, I'm going with a very different list, back to a similar list To my first game and bringing back the tactical and devastator squads.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Aegis Defense Line

Up today is my only fortification, the Aegis Defense Line with Quad Gun. While 8th edition has reduced the prominence of fortifications, i rarely see fortifications these days and while i don't really use it much, i decided that it needed a coat of paint. It's a very basic paint job, minimum colours and minimal detail.

The complete collection

Defense line, front above and back below. Basic and simple as i said. I could have added more details, painted some more detail on the metal parts, which i think are speakers and communication equipment? However, i just decided to keep it simple most as it was quick.

The Quad Gun has got a bit more detail on it as i though that it's a bit more of a focus piece, plus there are a lot more details on here, with the cables, buttons and screen. 

I don't know how much use this will get in games, but its nice to finally get it all painted up.