Episode 78.7: My Thoughts on the New Age of Sigmar (Sponsored by PopNerdTV)

This post is a joint venture between myself and PopNerdTV, a site where I sometimes post my Battle Reports and do other reviews for. Check them out at http://popnerdtv.com!

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Introduction

 Age of Sigmar is a miniature wargame produced by Games Workshop, the company behind Warhammer 40K, the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings wargames, and the popular predecessor to Age of Sigmar, Warhammer Fantasy. The game is set in a high-fantasy universe where the previous world has been destroyed and what remains of the mortal races such as Humans, Elves, Orcs, Dwarves, and more have been changed from what they once were to adapt in a world where magic rules supreme.

Fans of other army based wargames will have some immediate familiarity with Age of Sigmar as it is primarily played between two participants with each helming a visually and thematically distinct army. These armies can be comprised of an individual Faction, such as the lightning themed Stormcast Eternals or ghostly Nighthaunt, or built under one of the great banners of Order, Chaos, Destruction, and Death. This allows a player to build an army that caters to what they like in game or visually with free mixing of armies as long as they fall under the same ideology.

Long time readers of my work will know that I came back to the miniature wargame genre with Age of Sigmar, shortly after the first General's Handbook came out. This tome provided more rules for the game including a traditional point system for making armies as well as Scenarios and army abilities to make individual factions more unique. Although I eventually left the game for Warhammer 40K I've kept a close eye on the Mortal Realms since then and with a new set of rules, a new General's Handbook for 2018/2019, and even more armies the game looks to be better than ever! Or are there perhaps problems that still lurk within the game? Here are my thoughts on the matter.

History

Before exploring the present I think it's important to touch on the past. Age of Sigmar is still a fairly new game, being birthed from the remains of Warhammer Fantasy which itself lasted through eight editions. Warhammer Fantasy was a much more traditional rank and file army game that took place in a low-fantasy world that would be familiar to anyone with an interest in fantasy fiction. At some point, likely due to lagging sales, Games Workshop decided to end the game and replace it with Age of Sigmar, a continuation of the setting but with many, many changes.

On launch the game itself was not well received. Many Warhammer Fantasy fans were and are completely die hard for not only the setting but the gameplay itself as rank and file games have slowly died out over time. Even worse the game launched with no rules for Matched Play, a method of bringing an agreed upon army size for the purpose of a balanced play experience. Instead the game was billed as "Bring what you want" and had very simplified rules both for overall play and for the armies themselves. As even casual players seem to prefer some system where they and an opponent can agree on a size for the game, Age of Sigmar was relegated to a very small fanbase and alienated the existing player base.

Over time it became clear that Games Workshop had to make an actual game out of Age of Sigmar so they created the General's Handbook, a yearly publication that includes rules for Matched Play as well as the other two styles, Narrative and Open. This provides a way to play for everyone on top of Scenarios, expanded Army Rules, and the ability to balance points and rules for those who enjoy a more competitive experience. This is where Age of Sigmar started to come into its own as exploitative rules were smoothed over and fans of traditional wargames could finally play the game without using ill-fated fan made balance systems.

Games Workshop has billed Age of Sigmar as their introductory wargame and it fits the bill. The rules are very simple compared to most other popular games which makes it a great experience for those who are unfamiliar with the genre. Models are able to move, shoot, and fight in combat via static values that are featured on each model or units rules, called a Warscroll. This allows for fast play as the person playing will know what they need to roll on each dice for success at whatever task they're attempting. The original ruleset for Age of Sigmar fit on just four pages in totality, although this was expanded a bit with the General's Handbook.




A New Edition

While Age of Sigmar has seen steady growth since the General's Handbook, with new armies and rules coming out at a somewhat steady pace over the last year, the game still suffered from problems. The most obvious issue were the so called "Rules of One" which started in the first General's Handbook and were then expanded in the 2017/2018 offering. These rules limited certain abilities to one instance. Notable examples are not being able to use the same Artefact, magical items commonly used by Heroes, as well as limiting attacks which themselves generate more attacks and potentially result in an endless loop.

The Rules of One were contained to the General's Handbook which could confuse new players that began the game with one of the many Start Collecting boxes, or the Two-Player introductory kit that serve at gateways into the system. New players would be unaware of these additional rules which could lead to confusion or a poor initial play experience and disinterest towards the game. Another problem was the integration of "old world" armies, those that existed in Warhammer Fantasy, with the new game. Initially Games Workshop published free to download Battle Tomes for these armies as a way to bridge the gap and incentivize the old-guard not to jump ship, sadly these were often poorly balanced and not maintained.

With the new edition of Age of Sigmar, dubbed Age of Sigmar 2.0, its clear the designers set their sights on issues brought to their attention by the community as well as further, more radical changes. All the Rules of One have been baked into a now expanded set of rules, still only clocking in at 18 pages. These rules remain free to download on the Games Workshop website and are also available for sale, rewarding physical collectors with expanded lore, art, and model showcases. This will hopefully make for a smoother learning experience as the game continues to attract new players while preventing a complete shock to the system of existing fans.

Age of Sigmar 2.0 is also bidding a bittersweet farewell to many of the old armies, relegating them to a system called Legends. Legend armies will receive no further rules updates and will not be featured in the General's Handbook Matched Play rules, effectively cutting them off as viable armies for most groups. This is likely for the best as Legend armies are comprised of models that Games Workshop no longer sells so starting such an army forced a player towards online second hand shops or generic fantasy models made by third-party companies. To compensate for this more and more new armies have been created for Age of Sigmar, expanding the options that players have without having to resort to picking up old and outdated models.

While the rule set for the game has largely remained the same, there are other tweaks that should spice up strategic play. Command Abilities, powerful effects that only a General could use, have been expanded so any Hero can now use them but at a cost. Command Points are a new addition to Age of Sigmar, lifted from Warhammer 40K, which give players a resource pool that they can expend to use Command Abilities from their Heroes or a few generic ones that any army has access to. This should allow Heroes to have a bigger impact on the game and fulfill their roles as respected leaders or feared tyrants. Heroes also get a defensive bonus when being attacked by missile weapons if they're near friendly models, an effort to curb the damage ranged attacks could do to armies built to rely on synergies.

Magic has also been changed with the generic spells that each Wizard is afforded nerfed while the range to Unbind, that is cancel a spell with a friendly Wizard, was increased. As magic is a primary method of Mortal Wounds, a powerful ability that cuts through any armor, the developers clearly wanted to reign access to that in. Certain armies have also received access to Summoning through various means, this allows them to bring extra models to the battle by fulfilling certain criteria. The followers of Khorne receive reinforcements as units are destroyed while the enigmatic Seraphon must channel the energies of their Wizards, creating new troops instead of casting spells.

Moving down the list the Terrain rules for all types of play were also altered. In Age of Sigmar Terrain pieces are assigned a random property before the game begins such as making your units braver or your Wizards more effective. Previously a few of these results were very impactful on the game to the point where one army getting certain bonuses made them nearly impossible to defeat. All of these have been toned down while retaining the flavor of the abilities, it's likely they'll now have an impact but will no longer be the deciding factor in games.

The final two changes are some of the biggest for fans of competitive play. For one units with shooting attacks may now not shoot out of combat, previously models with bows or guns could shoot whatever they wanted as long as they were within range, this made missile attacks the dominant strategy in the game. Now these units can still shoot while engaged in combat but may only shoot the models they're engaged with, this increases the viability of fast models as well as units that can appear from table edges or even closer. On top of that piling in, the action of moving models closer to enemy models in melee, was changed to allow big units to more easily bring their models into the fray. This looks to be an attempt at bringing Age of Sigmar to a more melee focused game instead of a war between ranged armies as it previously was.



Moving Forward

Having read over the new rules and followed a lot of the online forums for Age of Sigmar the consensus seems to be that the changes solve more problems than they create. It's likely shooting armies will still be very powerful as they don't lose their offensive capabilities entirely but have lost some punch. In particular shooting at Heroes should be toned down although certain armies, such as the Human Free Peoples, retain the ability to put out accurate shots that can remove such models.

Magic has been both greatly bolstered and reigned in. While casting spells is now less sure as enemy Wizards can have a go at Unbinding with greater ease there are also new spells that can be added to a player's army or taken from the Realm that the game takes place in, such as the Realm of Fire or the Realm of Life. It remains to be seen if these Realm spells catch on with the competitive crowd but they're certainly something to look out for in more casual play.

So far the Summoning changes have created the most confusion and concern as many veteran players of many different games will note that being able to add "free" models can break a game quickly. While there are restrictions on Summoning such as how the points to summon models are obtained and what models can be purchased with them only time will tell how the game will be impacted.

Overall I rate the changes to Age of Sigmar as immensely positive. Relegating old armies to the shelf was something that had to happen eventually but gets easier as new armies are produced to replace them. Summoning will hopefully create an interesting balance between one player trying to meet certain goals in order to unlock their free units while the other person tries to deny them. Magic is more interactive and puts a higher priority on taking a diverse selection of Wizards since the baseline spells are now much weaker.

Personally I would have preferred that Age of Sigmar stole some rules back from Warhammer 40K such as Heroes not being able to be targeted by missile weapons unless they're the closest model to the firing unit. Being unable to shoot when engaged in combat also seemed like a no-brainer as it makes thematic sense (especially in a fantasy setting without automatic weapons!) and would have placed a much higher premium on good positioning, solid use of screen tactics, and given things like Cavalry more of a place in the game.

While hype for the rules seems to be high, Age of Sigmar isn't without issues. The game still suffers from a lack of new armies as very few were added during the new edition launch for Warhammer 40K. The two newest Battle Tomes will be for Nighthaunt and Stormcast Eternals, two factions that have already received a lot of attention while others suffer in obscurity. There's also rumblings in the community that the new General's Handbook for 2018/2019 doesn't address a lot of the issues certain armies have while worsening the problems of yet other armies. Again, it's a bit too early for accurate comments on those changes as it will take time for the competitive community to make what they will out of them.

In my opinion these are the same issues that most wargames have, balance problems with points and abilities that need to be hammered out over time. As an avid Warhammer 40K player I've seen what Games Workshop can do with the new edition of that game and everything is the most balanced and fun that it's ever been. It remains to be seen if Age of Sigmar can achieve this same level of success, or if Games Workshop even envisions the game as a competitive game that deserves the same level of attention. But I think there's reason to be hopeful and if competitive play isn't your bag then Age of Sigmar has certainly never been better.

Episode 78: The Hero Dies In This One

Another report so soon! After posting my last Battle Report to my local Facebook Group, which I do from time to time, and it just so happened I was able to line up another opponent for Monday. This time I was against Dylan, someone I've played many times and who got 2nd Place at the last RTT I attended. Dylan has grown by leaps and bounds as a player during 2018, going from a very casual Iron Hands list all the way up to a very competitive mixed Imperium army.

I took mostly the same build that I did in my last game, just some small upgrade tweaks. Since I knew this game would be more competitive I wanted to get more table-time with some of the parts of the army that are still very much in testing such as the big Death Company unit.



Imperium (Me)

Imperial Guard - Cadians

Company Commander w/ Shotgun, Karov's Aquila (Warlord w/ Grand Strategist)
Primaris Psyker (Psychic Maelstrom, Terrifying Visions)

Infantry Squad w/ Mortar
Infantry Squad w/ Mortar
Infantry Squad w/ Mortar

Heavy Weapons Team w/ 3 Mortars
 Heavy Weapons Team w/ 3 Mortars 

Blood Angels

Captain w/ Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield
Captain w/ Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield
Captain w/ Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield (The Angel's Wings)

8 Death Company w/ Jump Packs, Thunder Hammers (1 w/ Chainsword, Boltgun)

 5 Scouts w/ Bolters, Sergeant w/ Storm Bolter
5 Scouts w/ Bolters
5 Scouts w/ Bolters

Deathwatch

Librarian w/ Force Stave, Stormbolter, Jump Pack (Psychic Scourge, Null Zone)
Watch Captain w/ Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Stormbolter
Watch Captain w/ Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Stormbolter

7 Veterans, 1 Veteran Sergeant, 1 Blackshield w/ Chainswords and Stormbolters
7 Veterans, 1 Veteran Sergeant, 1 Blackshield w/ Chainswords and Stormbolters
7 Veterans, 1 Veteran Sergeant, 1 Blackshield w/ Chainswords and Stormbolters



Imperium (Dylan)

Custodes

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike
Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike (Auric Aquilas)
Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike (Eagle's Eye)

Imperial Guard - Cadians

Company Commander w/ Kurov's Aquila
Company Commander (Warlord w/ Grand Strategist)

Infantry Squad w/ Mortar
Infantry Squad w/ Mortar
Infantry Squad w/ Mortar
Infantry Squad w/ Mortar

Heavy Weapons Squad w/ 3 Mortars
Heavy Weapons Squad w/ 3 Mortars
Heavy Weapons Squad w/ 3 Mortars

Raven Guard

Captain
Lieutenant

Company Ancient (Banner of the Emperor Ascendant)
5 Aggressors
5 Aggressors

5 Scouts w/ Bolters
5 Scouts w/ Bolters
5 Scouts w/ Bolters

5 Devastators w/ 3 Lascannons, 1 Missile Launcher, Cherub
5 Devastators w/ 3 Lascannons, 1 Heavy Bolter, Cherub
5 Devastators w/ 3 Lascannons, 1 Heavy Bolter, Cherub



Mission and Deployment
ITC Mission #5
Frontline Assault

 Imperium Secondary Objectives (Me)
Headhunter, Old School, Death By a Thousand Cuts

Imperium Secondary Objectives (Dylan)
Headhunter, Old School, Recon

For Terrain I went a bit heavier than usual but nothing egregious, I actually think the more Line of Sight obstructing stuff you have the better! I also try to make my tables work even if Hammer & Anvil is in use so having three center pieces is very helpful for that. Everything was played as Ruins.

Deployment is very important in this matchup so I tried to start slow. My Death Company went in Reserves which Dylan answered with his Company Commander in the middle of the Deployment Zone. This clued me in as to where his Guardsmen would go and gave me a rough idea for the Devastators so I planned accordingly.

Hoping to try out something besides castling up I also put my Guard in the middle. My reasoning was there is no way to escape the Mortars for either of us so I might as well maximize Cover and Line of Sight denial. I was also hoping to manipulate the Aggressors onto the left side as Deployment continued, Dylan put his Devastators on the right so if I could cut them off the game gets a lot easier. Unfortunately I made a few flubs by spreading out my Infantry Squads instead of just castling up in the center-left. This happened because Dylan put Scouts on both flank Objectives and I wanted to challenge him, I should have just let them be for the early game.

Ultimately I ended up with most everything in the center, one Infantry Squad split on either flank, and a Watch Captain on the right flank. Dylan used his Scouts to grab Objectives whereas I made more of a bubble around my castle. All my Veterans went into Reserves along with the Death Company.

Despite getting the +1 to go first I lost the roll and failed to Seize the Initiative. Dylan placed the Aggressors pretty close to my front lines, one on the center-right and the other on the center-left. This meant I had to mentally write-off pretty much every unit that starts on the board except m Characters.










Pre-Game Thoughts

I've played Dylan a few times with the list he's taking and we've determined that the game is massively in favor of whoever goes first. The Aggressors are a very all in and expensive unit which is why I don't personally like them, when they work they really work but when you go second they're very bad. Raven Guard are not as all in as Alpha Legion typically which makes this strategy more viable than what's available for Chaos but it's still risky.

I know from experience that there's no practical way to bubble out the Aggressors without committing to an extreme castle in the corner. However I wanted to test some other Deployments so I mentally excluded that before the game began. I was also curious to see how my list would handle two 3++ Shield-Captains. Those Relics come at a price but Dylan's list is less demanding on Command Points than mine is. I also don't have a ton of Mortal Wounds although it's very hard to get those on a Shield-Captain that's being played well anyways.

Overall I think my army is better suited to going second due to all my Reserves but the game is still very much an uphill battle.



Imperium Turn 1

In true gunline fashion Dylan moved very little, adjusting the positioning on one of the Scouts. Going into Shooting I lost all the Scouts except one Sergeant, all the Mortar Teams except one base, and an Infantry Squad. Overall this is pretty much what I expected to happen with the Aggressors, Dylan's Mortars also rolled well despite him forgetting to do Orders.

My remaining Sergeant and Mortar Team both passed Morale and it was time to see if I could pick up the pieces.

Score
4-0 for Dylan




Imperium Turn 1

My left Infantry Squad moved up through the ruins, hoping to be able to kill the Scouts between shooting and combat.  The other Infantry Squad stayed still while the Watch Captain near them zoomed up, also hoping to remove the Scouts on the right. My Relic Captain used Upon Wings of Fire while the other two jumped towards the building in the center, aiming for the Aggressors. Both the Librarian and Primaris Psyker poked their heads out a bit but still staying safe.

I decided to drop the Captain on top of the center building and after a lot of consideration did not bring any of the Veterans or Death Company in. This was a mistake that I'll detail at the end of the report.

Shooting did very little as I had very few guns. I killed three Scouts on the left and two on the right but rolled poorly for the Mortars and wasn't able to open a hole in any of the screens. Charges got the Relic Captain into the left Aggressors, the other two Captains into the right Aggressors, and both my units near the Scouts into them.

The Watch Captain easily pasted the three Scouts as I'd chosen Troops for my Mission Tactic, I was only able to drag one down from the other unit though, having lost a Guardsmen to Overwatch and the Sergeants Chainsword. I also managed to wipe out all the Aggressors by using Red Rampage on the Relic Captain. One Captain Consolidated into the center Scouts who bounced off.

My hope was to kill the center Scouts with a Captain fighting again and that the left Scouts would also die but it didn't pan out. This would have tied us on Kill More with me having Hold More and opened up the center as a great place to put my Veterans into Turn 2. At the end of the day I just didn't have the firepower to get all that done.

Score
5-5 Tied






Imperium Turn 2

With most of his important units untouched Dylan moved all the Shield-Captains out, keeping two on the center-right while one went left. The Scouts Fell Back from the Captain but Dylan forgot to Fall Back with the remaining Scout Sergeant.

Orders went onto all the Mortar Teams for re-roll hits, as well as the same Order to one of the Infantry Squads. The Guardsmen shooting killed my last Mortar Team and most of the right Infantry Squad. Devastators and Shield-Captains managed to kill all my Captains and one Watch-Captains as I just ran out of screens and had some poor positioning

Charges saw the Shield-Captain on the right get in on the remaining Watch Captain while the one on the right reinforced the Scout Sergeant. My Watch Captain lived with a wound but failed to do damage back while the Infantry Squad was mostly killed off and couldn't drop the Sergeant. I passed my Morale checks.

Score
12-5 for Dylan






Imperium Turn 2

Knowing that the game was completely over I moved the Librarian towards the center Shield Captain and ran the Primaris Psyker towards the left. All my Reserves came in with a Veteran Squad and the Death Company on the right in Dylan's Deployment Zone and the other two Veterans squads largely centered.

Psychic saw Null Zone get cast despite Spark of Divinity and each Shield-Captain took three wounds from a Smite and Psychic Maelstrom.

Shooting pretty much wiped out the Guardsmen, leaving two Mortar Teams and one with a base and wound down. One Infantry Squad was just a Mortar, the other was a guy and a Mortar.

Charges got the Death Company into all three Devastator units and the Librarian into the Shield-Captain and Scouts. The Veterans tried to help in a few places but didn't make the Charges. In Combat I bounced off the Shield-Captain, which was a desperation attempt anyways, and wiped out one and a half Devastator units. Unfortunately Dylan was rolling really hot and killed all but two of the Death Company with punches and guys punching as they died thanks to the Ancient. My Watch Captain was finished off by the Shield-Captain and the Librarian was left with a wound. Finally the Infantry Squad on the right was destroyed.

I quickly let Dylan go through his Turn 3 which saw almost all the Veterans wiped out by the Shield-Captains as well as the last two Death Company. The Librarian died to Combat which would leave me with a couple Guardsmen, my Psyerk, my Warlord, and ~5 Veterans.







Post-Game Thoughts

While initially I didn't think there was much to be learned from this game I thought about it later and came to a few realizations. I won't talk about the First Turn because both me and Dylan have played this matchup enough to know that if I go first I likely win and the same is said for him.

Despite going second the game was actually lost in Deployment and on Turn 1. It's now clear that castling in a corner is the only viable Deployment against this type of list. I could have put the Mortars and Infantry Squads more in the back and then made a no-man's land between that line and the Scout bubble. This would force the Aggressors to only shoot Scouts and Mortars are actually not all that good against Guardsmen in Cover, so I would probably have been left with something.

Besides that my Turn 1 was a series of disastrous decisions. My best play was to drop one Veteran unit in my Deployment Zone and use them plus Psychic Powers/Character shooting to kill off one Aggressor unit, this has extremely heavy odds in my favor. The other unit could be dealt with by one Captain using Red Rampage and Honor the Chapter, again that's extremely heavy in my favor.

Spreading the Characters out in Deployment was also something I should have done as it would split Dylan's attention and ultimately give me information on where the Devastators are going but without giving up targets. The Devastators are basically a six drop package so I could have baited them out and used the center building to cover the Veterans coming in on Turn 1, guaranteeing their safety. Bolters and Mortars do very little to Marines in Cover.

This would have created a situation where only one Captain died on Turn 2 and I had much more of my Guard left. While I'd be losing on Objectives I would probably have tied on Kill More as I could have just shot whatever Scout unit was near me or gone for a very cheeky Charge on the center Scouts and then Consolidate through a wall towards the other Scouts, although I'm not sure if the measurements were right for that.

With all that in mind the game was very useful as a similar list to what Dylan runs (in terms of the archetype) is pretty popular with Chaos. This also cements the continuous need for Scouts with me, I wasn't sure they were still good with the Deep Strike nerf but between infiltrate, being able to still bubble-wrap, and the Objective game they're worth the points.

After this game I came to a few realizations. One is that Mortar Teams don't work in my list, lots of people are running Guard right now for the CP and Mortars get tossed in because they're cheap and have good math for cost. However they do not clear screens as quickly as this list needs them to, especially if -1 to Hit comes into play. They also tax my available terrain because it's hard to hide such big bases. Mortars are fine in more of a gunline build because you can slowly get value out of them over time, my list doesn't work that way.

I'm also walking away as not a big fan of the one Death Company unit. This was originally put in as a way to one-turn Knights with ease as well as be useful against other Lords of War and durable normal targets. In practice it's too many eggs in one basket, I can kill a Knight with a small unit and a Captain, or even just a Captain at times. Having two small units gives me more flexibility into the vast majority of games where I'm worrying about Wave Serpents, Venoms/Ravagers, etc.

I also need more, immediate, screen clearing. For that I may try Inceptors as their math is pretty good with Deathwatch. I may also decide to scrap the Deathwatch entirely, they're really strong but I can retain most of the good things about them by running the Shield-Captains and adding more Guard. That's something I've been toying with for awhile and it has pros/cons but I may try it in an upcoming game. At this point I have a stable of units that I really like across four Factions, now I'm just trying to find the best marriage between them. I'm sure I'll figure it out just in time for the FAQ to come through with unexpected changes which against ruin my army. :P

Anyways that's all I have this time, I have another game this week and then a tournament on Sunday so hopefully this is making up for my previous drought. Feel free to give me a shout, it's really cool to talk to people who read my content.

Episode 77: Beep Boop

Missed my previous posts? Check them out below!


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Well I was hoping to have held the line with a long, GT Battle Report but for reasons I go into that didn't quite pan out. Unfortunately this week was also a bad one for 40K as multiple games fell through and I had a tough time even finding games, sometimes that happens. I've filled the time by checking out the new AoS 2.0 Rules which look to be an equal measure of great changes and things that have potential to break the game. Time will well. I will post my thoughts on AoS sometime this week as a join venture with a website I write for, look out for that. I will likely play some games with the Skaven stuff I already have as part of my 40K collection but will otherwise be holding off as I still see a lot of problems with the competitive side of the system.

Back to 40K, I was able to sneak a game in on Saturday with a local new-comer, Shawn, and his Necrons. Shawn has only been playing a few months to my knowledge but gets games in as often as he can and seems up for a challenge. I was sporting a changed list after posting some revisions online and getting some of the worst advice imaginable, as I expected, so getting some familiarity with it in a more casual game seemed like a good idea.



Imperium

Battalion - Imperial Guard [Cadian]

 Company Commander w/ Boltgun, Chainsword
Company Commander w/ Shotgun, Chainsword, Karov's Aquila (Warlord w/ Grand Strategist)

Infantry Squad
Infantry Squad
Infantry Squad

Heavy Weapons Squad w/ 3 Mortars
Heavy Weapons Squad w/ 3 Mortars
Heavy Weapons Squad w/ 3 Mortars

Battalion - Deathwatch

Watch Captain w/ Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Stormbolter
Watch Captain w/ Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Stormbolter

 7 Veterans, 1 Watch Sergeant, 1 Black Shield w/ Stormbolters and Chainswords
 7 Veterans, 1 Watch Sergeant, 1 Black Shield w/ Stormbolters and Chainswords
 7 Veterans, 1 Watch Sergeant, 1 Black Shield w/ Stormbolters and Chainswords

Battalion - Blood Angels

 Captain w/ Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield (The Angel's Wings)
Captain w/ Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield
Captain w/ Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield

8 Death Company, 7 Thunder Hammers and 1 Chainsword/Boltgun

5 Scouts w/ Boltguns
5 Scouts w/ Boltguns
5 Scouts w/ Boltguns

6 Devastators w/ Missile Launcher, Heavy Bolter, Cherub



Necrons

 Overlord w/ The Veil of Darkness (Warlord w/ Hyperlogical Strategist)
Overlord w/ Warscythe
Lord w/ Warscythe
Cryptek w/ Canoptek Cloak

5 Deathmarks
5 Deathmarks
C'tan Shard of the Deceiver (Antimatter Meteor & Transdimensional Thunderbolt)

5 Immortals w/ Tesla Carbines
5 Immortals w/ Tesla Carbines
5 Immortals w/ Tesla Carbines

5 Canoptek Wraiths
5 Canoptek Wraiths
3 Destroyers
3 Tomb Blades w/ Tesla Carbines and Shadowlooms

Doomsday Ark

Shawn's list was a mix of Sautekh and Novokh, all I recall is the Ark was Sautekh and the Wraiths were Novokh, other than that the Dynasties didn't come up to my recollection.



Mission and Deployment
ITC Mission #2
Hammer and Anvil

 Imperium Secondary Objectives
Headhunter, Recon, Old School

Necron Secondary Objectives
Headhunter, Recon, Old School

Terrain was mostly medieval stuff as a lot of games were going on at my FLGS, always a good thing to see. Forests were played as blocking LoS and being infinitely high unless you were inside the forest, then you can see out and be seen. Buildings were played as area terrain ruins/obstacles.

For Secondaries I took the standard ones when your opponent isn't giving up much, Shawn did the same. For the Mission I felt advantaged as Necrons are not known for being able to hold ground and Shawn's list is heavier on melee than most. The center Objective also affords no Cover so if something like the Immortals jump onto it I can shell them with Mortars at the very worst. Hammer and Anvil also favored me as my army can land where it needs to or shoot from afar whereas Shawn is more medium range and has to deliver his melee units.

 My focus for the game was going to be penning Shawn in so that I can control most of the board and slowly tick up on Objectives. With Terrain I'll be able to either hide or get my Guard in Cover and that eliminates my easy Kill Points so the hope is I can get a few Kill Mores as the game progresses. Big threats will be the Destroyers, Wraiths, and the Deceiver as all those can scythe through my Marines, with them gone the Deathwatch can take the game over.

For Deployment I hid the Guard as much as I could along with the Devastators and the Marine Characters, favoring the right side of the table. All the Veterans and the Death Company went into Deep Strike and the Scouts decided to go for a mostly aggressive play. I reasoned the unit is fairly useless in this matchup so the best I could do would be to deploy them aggressively and try to kill an Immortal unit with melee. In hindsight I should have committed to this and put all three units up the board.

Shawn mostly focused on the left side but put his Objective on the right, this proved interesting as I could take his Objective fairly easily but then would be subject to counter-attack by the rest of the army. A unit of Wraiths and the Tomb Blades reinforced the right but were placed on the line.

I won the roll to go first and decided to take it as Shawn failed to seize. 







Imperium Turn 1

 Right away I noticed a Deployment error from Shawn that exposed his Destroyers and a few other units. With that on my mind I used Upon Wings of Fire into the Relic Captain. My Scouts both moved up to do their Charge against the Immortals, keeping one unit out of LoS to avoid Overwatch as Bolters into 2+ Saves are not very effective. My Devastators also moved over to get sight onto the Wraiths and dump some Mortal Wounds into them (Shawn told me Wraiths have FLY, which they do not when I looked things up afterwards). The non-Deep Strike Captain moved to Heroic Intervention in the event of a Charge and I dropped the Relic Captain 9" away from the Destroyers.

Shooting was very minimal as I had nothing to throw my Mortars into of much relevance, I ended up killing a few Immortals across two units. I probably would have been better to put shots into the Wraiths instead as they don't get back up without a Stratagem. I also managed to kill a Wraith with Flakk Missile and Hellfire Rounds, putting a wound on another.

For Charges I was able to get both Scout units in and the Relic Captain by using Descent of Angels. The Scouts largely bounced, only killing two Immortals, but the Captain was able to drop all the Destroyers with Red Rampage and Consolidate into the Warlord. I took two wounds from the Warscythe and lost two Scouts to the Deceiver. The Captain then fought again via Honor the Chapter, dropping the Overlord. I then Consolidated once more into the Wraiths, who killed the Captain but lose three through Only in Death Does Duty End. The Overlord tried to get back up with Resurrection Protocols but failed even through a re-roll.

Score
5-1 for Imperium

Overall I got the first turn I wanted, doing big damage to nearly all the major targets I identified. Only one Wraith unit will be able to use Repair Subroutines, leaving the other vulnerable. I also eliminated the Warlord which netted me some points and stopped Veil of Darkness, although I wasn't that scared of whatever would be brought along with the Overlord. I had an idea of putting the Captain into something that would kill it if I could get even more value from him and it worked out well, probably something I'll keep in mind going forward. Altogether that one model spent 8 CP in one turn!

  









Necrons Turn 1

 Obviously reeling from being hit so hard on Turn 1 Shawn went about getting his models in order. One Immortal got back up while all the Wraiths on the left failed after using Repair Subroutines. Movement saw the Cryptek move up a bit and the Wraiths move back into his Aura, signaling a play for next turn to get them into the fight. Both the Deceiver and Immortals Fell Back, moving foward, while the Tomb Blades moved to secure the center Objective. Finally the Wraiths on the right Advanced and used Adaptive Subroutines to play for a Charge. A few Scouts died as the Deceiver used his Thunderbolt power on them.

Shooting was mostly ineffective as Shawn was missing some units and others had LoS issues. A few Guardsmen died to the Tomb Blades and I lost all but three Scouts in Shawn's Deployment Zone. Charges saw the Wraiths get into my Devastators and Captain, the remaining Scouts were ignored.

Combat saw all the Wraiths try to attack the Captain, who only took 2 Wounds, attacks back dropped a Wraith. Shawn used Blood Rites to have the Wraiths fight again but a Command Re-roll saved the Captain, making the Combat mostly a wash. My Guardsmen and Scouts both passed Morale.

Shawn scored for Hold More but I netted Kill More.

Score
6-5 for Imperium



Imperium Turn 2

Knowing I could now make an even stronger push for Shawn's side of the board I started by Falling Back with the Captain and Devastators. My healthy Scout unit moved up to try a Charge into the Tomb Blades. What was left of the other Scouts prepared to Charge the healthy Immortals and tie them up, if they could. My Reserves came down with the Death Company focusing on the larger Wraith unit and the Veterans scattering around the board. My goal for the Turn was to get Shawn off his Objective and hold it. The Blood Angels Captain came down on Shawn's Objective to reinforce, this caused both Deathmarks to appear but I only took one Wound on the Captain.

Shooting dropped two of the Wraiths thanks to the Veterans, unfortunately Shawn told me they have a 3+ Save and they had Cover after a loss but this isn't the case as they have a 4+ Save. I also dropped two Tomb Blades and all the Immortals on Shawn's Objective, leaving just an Overlord.

Charges got the Death Company into the remaining Wraiths in my Deployment Zone, the BA Captain and some Veterans into the Overlord, the Scouts into the last Tomb Blade, and the other Scouts into the Immortals. Overwatch did nothing.

In Combat my Death Company made short work of the Wraiths and the Captain bopped the Overlord. I dragged one Immortal down but only wounded the last Tomb Blade. Shawn did nothing in return. This gave me control over both Shawn's Objective and the center, netting me a Bonus Point. I also snagged Recon as the Scouts were still somehow alive.

Once again I hit all my Objectives this turn. Almost all of Shawn's army is now stuck in the corner and he has very little to work with. I should be able to keep control over Shawn's Objective as I have a good amount of models in the area and at least for this turn nothing will be able to put up a fight. The next focus will be finishing off the Tomb Blades and getting into good shooting positions for the Veterans along with Cover.

Score
11-5 for Imperium









Necrons Turn 2

 Once again Repair Subroutines went on the Wraiths, getting all but one back. Both Tomb Blades got up as I didn't surround the last model, I didn't know that was how Reanimation Protocols worked (the model cannot be placed within 1" of an enemy), so that's something to keep in mind moving forward! I believe all the Immortals failed to get up.

The Wraiths and Deceiver moved up to finish the Scouts and the Doomsday Ark poked its head out. The Tomb Blades Fell Back to shoot and the Cryptek followed the Lord to move more towards the center.

Shooting killed quite a few Veterans on the Necron Objective with the Doomsday Ark as I failed a lot of saves, I also lost four Scouts in the center from the Tomb Blades. A few Mortal Wounds went out from the Deceiver, killing more Veterans but sparing nearby units.

A Charge from the Wraiths and Lord got into the Scouts, removing them with ease. I failed Morale on the Veterans, even with ATSKNF, leaving two. Unfortunately Shawn wasn't able to get his Objective back but did kill something. This time I got both Kill More and Hold More for a pretty big Scenario lead.

Score
 13-6 for Imperium






Imperium Turn 3

Seeking to put the nail in the coffin I continued moving up with most of my army. One Watch Captain moved forward to deal with the Deathmarks while the Blood Angel Captain hid out on the Objective for the moment. My two man Veterans walked up to make themselves known before getting wiped out. The Veterans on my side moved towards the Tomb Blades along with the other Blood Angel Captain and the Devastators move up to get LoS next turn. Finally the Death Company used Upon Wings of Fire to aim for the Wraiths.

Shooting wiped out the Tomb Blades thanks to the Veterans and Mortars, giving me firm control over the center Objective. I also finished the remaining Immortals with Mortars and Deathwatch shooting, removing most of Shawn's shooting.

My Watch Captain got into the Deathmarks along with the two Veterans, the Death Company also made their Charge thanks to Descent of Angels. Combat was a mixed bag as I easily dropped the Deathmarks but only killed one Wraith due to poor rolls and great saves from Shawn. The Wraiths and Lord then killed 5 Death Company before they fought again, dropping two more Wraiths.

The turn wasn't as good as I'd hoped due to some dice flubs, the Wraiths still being around is annoying but Shawn was very low on CP so if he tried to recycle them he'd be empty. Killing the Doom Ark will likely be fairly hard with what I have left and the Deceiver has to hide behind it or immediately die to the Veterans. With the Combats going on Shawn will never reclaim his Objective although he can get the center this turn, putting himself into a good position with the Doomdsay Ark but sacrificing the Deceiver.

Score
17-6 for Imperium








Remaining Turns

Shawn played out his Turn 3, killing a good amount of Veterans with the Ark and also finishing the Death Company. He Charged a Cryptek into a one wound Watch Captain but whiffed, losing the Character for his trouble. Two of the Wraiths also got back up, this left Shawn with the Ark, the Deceiver, a Lord, and three Wraiths against most of my army. At this point he conceded the game.

It's likely on my Turn the Deceiver dies and the Ark takes a lot of damage, possibly dying. With no CP remaining the Wraiths would have to run and hide as I chased them down with Mortars and Veterans, the Lord relegated to much the same role. This makes it unlikely Shawn would have scored anymore points for the game while I would have gotten two points under a maximum possible score.



Post-Game Thoughts

While this game was completely one-sided I think it can also be used as a great learning experience for newer players. Before I get into that I'll briefly go over the stuff that applies to my play and my army.

I played very well in my estimation, not really making any mistakes from a tactical perspective. I didn't know about the particulars of Reanimation Protocols but will keep that in mind moving forward, typically I just try to delete the whole unit but that's not always possible. Shawn was a good opponent for mentioning that to me for future use.

Overall I'm happy with how the list played, replacing the Intercessors with Veterans worked pretty much as I thought it would with much more offense but also more of a glass-cannon unit. I think this is the way to go though because with Deep Strike you can guarantee a first hit and I put a lot of pressure on the opponent to now pick between all sorts of targets. Getting the Veterans into Cover is even better but not always viable. I wasn't able to get a good feel for the Devastators but I'm leaning towards dropping them as I really don't want more CP sinks, more units that need to hide early, etc. Mortal Wounds are great but my list can handle most of the threats those combat. I'll likely revert back to two Mortar Teams, get the Mortars back in the Infantry Squads, put just one Psyker in and return to the third Watch-Captain.

So with that out of the way, where did the game go wrong? I'm going to ignore list composition as Shawn said he experiments with many different things that Necrons can run as he learns more about the game. I actually quite liked the Wraiths, they hit hard and are pretty fast while giving a more Infantry based army something to do with its Command Points. Instead I'm going to focus on how a newer player could have gotten more out of this game.

It's important to keep in mind that Shawn was very unfamiliar with what my army is capable of, I explained some things but it takes too long to go into detail about every unit, Stratagem, etc. What I'll usually do when I'm unfamiliar with a unit is ask for abbreviated information that pertains to what I'm doing. For example if I want to attack something I'll ask for its defensive stats and what defensive Stratagems it has access to. If I'm working on positioning I'll ask how far something moves, can it Advance and Charge through any means? These questions help to get more familiar with what an opponent has during the game whereas just reading the Datasheet can waste time and can also be forgotten during play. Even in situations where I know what a unit can do I'll just reinforce that knowledge by asking anyways, best case I'm right and worst case we can resolve any rule discrepancy before I commit to an action, or I can be corrected.

Over time I've noticed that new players, whether they be new to the game or are just starting to get their competitive legs, don't ask as many questions as they should. A lot of the disastrous things that happened in this game to Shawn could have been avoided by slowly getting information from me. Maybe if he knew that Blood Angels can perform a 3d6 Charge Deployment would have been a bit more defensive, that would have preserved firepower and kept more options on the table through My Will Be Done and Veil of Darkness.

Another good way to learn units over time is to check out a site like DakkaDakka or the Warhammer Competitive Reddit and look over lists. If you're unsure what something does, look it up in the Codex. If you don't have the Codex, pirate it (Yes I endorse piracy for rules, this game is expensive enough!) Often people post armies with the most popular units from the Faction they play, that allows for a baseline familiarity with each Faction in the game. It also builds the habit of looking things up which is a very good one to have especially on the competitive side of the game where people claim to know their rules but often don't.

It would be easy to pick apart the turns in this game and point out positioning, deployment, target selection, etc. but those improvements will come with time. Before worrying about those things I'm of the opinion the learning the rules of armies and the game backwards and forwards is more beneficial and will produce more success in the long term than endlessly worrying about this unit could have been here instead of there.

As an aside on Necrons, I looked over their Codex after this game to check some rules (normally I do this during the game but I left my tablet at home). Necrons are considered a fairly weak army in the competitive scene as many of their models are over-priced while Reanimation Protocols is not a powerful rule against players who are familiar with it. Triple Vault has emerged as the most likely competitive list for the army but it's very unlikely to win any kind of even moderately sized event, functioning as a gatekeeper instead. The army is also quite cost prohibitive and likely to be nerfed in Chapter Approved as Vaults are a few hundred points under-priced.

Something that caught my eye was the Nephrekh Stratagem to Deep Strike Infantry. While the Trait itself is fairly weak, although you can make good use of it with Wraiths, being able to Deep Strike is a huge problem solver for Necrons. Destroyers are one of their best units but suffer from being hard to hide and getting blown off the table early. Being able to drop them when you want would resolve that issue and they aren't hurt by the Deep Strike change as they're a long-range shooting unit. Taking a Nephrekh Outrider with Wraiths and Destroyers/Heavy Destroyers is something I'd certainly experiment with if I played Necrons, a Cryptek is also a good HQ for that Detachment because they're very position based but don't care about Charges so much.

When an army is under-powered due to points it seems best to focus on strategies that will not change much as unit costs fluctuate. Obviously I don't have any insight on the next Chapter Approved but I'd bet Necrons will get at least a few point reductions, they're showing up on no top tables and have very little representation overall. Taking losses while getting familiar with strategies other than spamming Vaults seems like valuable experience as well as probably being a more fun army. That being said I'd still probably play at least one Vault in every list. :P

Thanks for reading, I hope to get more reports up this week and I am also running a small RTT that I will likely be playing in, unless that would create a bye. Starting in July I'll have at least two events a month to play in which should be extremely fun and illuminating. I'll try not to drop from future tournaments as well.

Episode 76.2: Man This Community Sucks Sometimes

Well I was expecting this to be a Battle Report addition as I set out to Las Vegas for the Gentleman's GT over this weekend. This was an ~40 person event with a lot of the more competitive guys from my meta in attendance and many more people who I didn't know. I've been a bit under the radar the last few weeks as the event required three colored models and fully based which I had to play catch up on. Fortunately I was able to get everything there with a few days to spare.

As it may be obvious by my opening paragraph, this will not be a Battle Report thread. While I did attend the event I dropped after Round 2 (out of 5) and that will be the focus of my post. Why I dropped from the event is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things and I had a lovely Saturday/Sunday in Las Vegas with a very fun person. Instead what struck me was the apparent difference between some would-be competitive players and others, as well as how tournaments are run.

For those not in the area the tournament itself had a beautiful location inside one of the casino restaurants. This was a closed off area so there were no distractions, there were appropriate tables, semi-appropriate terrain, and a decent amount of space. The event staff was very good a they clearly communicated some changes, some delays, and so on. As far as I know everything went on without a hitch and they provided as much as they could. My only real complaint is not enough LoS blocking terrain on most tables but to be frank I've never seen an event which had enough for every table.

My first game was against a pure Alaitoc army featuring three Fliers, three Fire Prisms, a lot of Guardians, a Shining Spear unit, and Psyker support. I was feeling very sick on Friday morning but I pulled it together and had a good game, ending up with a 31-27 win. The game was very much against me early as the Fire Prisms were able to deploy and never move while I had to focus on the Fliers otherwise risk my Characters getting sniped. By Turn 3 I was able to start turning the game around, taking the Objectives back with my Deathwatch and having cleared off two Fliers, a Prism, all the Guardians, and the Spears. From there the game ground down with me scoring the Bonus Point in the last three wounds and killing everything but one Fire Prism by Turn 6. Overall the Alaitoc army didn't have the strongest composition but the Fire Prisms were money against me as I couldn't shoot them off the table like most armies can.

Round 2 I was against Herb, a local player that I had a not so fun game against in a Tournament a month or so ago when I was playing Plagueburst Crawler Spam. Herb is somewhat known for slow play and in my experience had been very iffy on sportsmanship but I had only played him once so I decided to come in with a clean slate.

This was the worst match I've played of any miniature game, ever, I have to say that off the bat. Herb was packing a sub-par Ynaari list but still a dangerous army featuring two units of Shining Spears, Yvraine/Yncaarne, three Venoms with Blaster Kabalites, a unit of foot Kabalites, Rangers, some Archons, and a Disintegrator Ravager. Overall I felt like this was a good matchup for me since the Yncaarne frankly sucks and there wasn't nearly as many Vehicles as there usually is for my Hammers to deal with.

As per usual I was down a bit early, pinned in my Deployment Zone (Hammer & Anvil) by the much faster Aeldari. Fortunately I deployed correctly and was able to hold off the Shining Spears, smashing one unit to pieces with Captains when it came in. On my Turn 1 I went for a somewhat risky play by trying to Charge with my Angel's Wings Captain into the remaining Shining Spears, knowing Herb would stop my Descent of Angels with Agents of Vect. Unfortunately I didn't make the Charge which would have effectively ended the game but we played on and that's where things got bad.

First up Herb has been playing for a long time and is respected by some of the local groups but didn't know a few of his rules. This included not knowing how the Yncaarne was setup in terms of timing, miscounting attacks, and not measuring correctly. As these piled up it became more and more intentional looking and I noticed more of it happening when I started to swing the game back in Turn 2-3. This also led to a bit of saltiness on my opponent's part as I asked him multiple times to show me something in his Codex which he was always wrong about, this happened three times during one game.

Ultimately the game was in the balance and I was going for my big swing turn, part of which hinged on dropping the Ravager to eliminate the main threat to my Deathwatch and Characters. I was able to drop a Captain in a small window between the Ravager, Rangers, and table-edge but there was no contention as I had enough room by several inches. As per usual I placed my model just over 9" and moved on with the turn. When it came back to my Charges I managed a nine on dice thanks to my Stratagem but Herb immediately measured my Charge and said I needed a ten, going so far as to move it without my permission and then place it back. Even with a Command re-roll I failed the Charge and we played on.

From here I mentally checked out on the game. I'd just been cheated by an opponent touching my model for a crucial charge, a model that was on his side of the table and which I had measured in front of him not more than five minutes beforehand. It was obvious that the model was bumped at best or I was outright lied to at worst but either way I didn't care. This was on the back of my opponent making numerous dice and rules errors that I had to catch. I argued for a few minutes and then just stopped caring. I thought to call a judge but honestly it's he said/he said and I was already over the experience. I ended up losing 17-26 with us getting through four turns. I ended with two full Deathwatch units and a Deathwatch Captain while Herb had an Archon, Yvraine, and the Yncaarne. With more time I probably kill at least the Yncaarne as it only had three wounds left.

I did make mistakes in the game such as not holding different Objectives on two occasions to either deny or net Hold More. I also did poorly on Secondaries as Recon was denied to me early and we didn't play enough turns for me to max it out on the back-end, I also didn't do well on Headhunter due to time. Overall I was pretty happy with my performance though and think I'd win the game most times, I lost almost all my Guard on Turn 1 as I went second and losing both the Charge into the Ravager and the Shining Spears, which would have prevented my remaining Guard and some Characters from dying, were major plot-points.

It might seem a bit lame or childish to drop out but I was I on vacation and honestly figured I'd maximize my fun out of the trip. I don't care about ITC Rankings and think they're a worthless indication of player skill and most of the participants of the tournament had very casual armies so I wasn't going to learn much. Of course I'd still play in a tournament like that just for fun but I don't put myself into the game the way I used to when I was younger so if I'm not having fun, I'll go do something more fun. Once upon a time I took miniature games VERY seriously which ultimately led to me dropping the hobby for years, I think it's pretty common to put a lot of self-worth into the game but I've never seen that end well.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

While pondering the situation on the car-ride home I'm left with many unanswered questions. Obviously I can't know what's in another person's heart or mind and confronting someone about possible cheating or less than sporting behavior has never panned out to my knowledge. Instead I make a mental note and if I'm forced to play against an opponent that I feel has done wrong before I make sure not to give them an inch in the future. My biggest take away was that I need to go back to my old Warmachine habits of announcing literally everything as well as all my intentions. If I'd said out loud that "I'm placing this Captain here within a 9" charge of this model" it's likely someone would have heard me should I need to get a judge involved. 40K plays quite a bit faster/looser than most other games even in a competitive setting but I've been burned by going with that flow a few times now, so it's best to focus on what I can fix.

As for motivations, I think some people put too much of themselves into the game. A lot of the guys in my area are obsessed with ITC Rankings, obsessed with finishing placements against each other, and I think that obsession can turn into pressure, even peer pressure. I'm far from a psychologist but those kind of environments can make people do stupid things which is what I personally think happened. Very few players are outright cheaters in my experience but pressure to win can and has lead to rule bending in many games over many years.

On top of adjusting how I approach games, which will start immediately even in my casual games, I think my attitude is a good one to have. Warhammer is just a game, there's nothing at stake even compared to what people face in games like Starcraft II, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, etc. Most events pay out very minor prizes and even the biggest of the big in the game is a few thousand dollars, a pittance compared to what a player would have to spend on travel, models, supplies, and so on to be in a position to win the Las Vegas Open or the ITC itself. That might sound a bit like patting myself on the back but honestly I just think I made the best of a bad situation without causing a scene or being a jerk. That's kind of my lowest acceptable bar for behavior.

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As far as takeaways from the event I will probably be over-hauling my list. I love my Deathwatch but I'm tired of armies just being able to sit back and shoot me without interaction. I'm also quickly growing bored of the ITC Missions, it's so easy for some armies to play around any Secondaries that the meta is becoming more and more skewed towards the Factions that can build within those confines. That just happens to be Aeldari, Imperium, and Chaos to a large degree. You know, the Factions that are already the best.

Right now I'm looking at replacing the Deathwatch with Shield Captains on Jetbikes as this would add more anti-Vehicle/MEQ/Monster but not rely on me being able to clear screens or have to deal with all the anti-shooting tech that good armies have right now. The more I'm playing with current rulesets the more I love melee, it's so much better than shooting outside of delivery. People just need to improve at knowing how to get charges and tie units up, guns are easier to operate. I also need to beef up my Guard, as I said very few tournament tables that I ever see have terrain where you can hide more than a unit and a character or two. My Guard were getting consistently shredded on Turn 1, I need enough to last until Turn 2-3 which is when the Characters really take the game over. To that end I'll probably test this sometime during the week:


[b]++ Supreme Command Detachment +1CP (Imperium - Adeptus Custodes) [27 PL, 480pts] ++[/b]

[b]+ HQ +[/b]

[b]Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, 160pts]:[/b] Hurricane Bolter

[b]Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, 160pts]:[/b] Hurricane Bolter

[b]Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, 160pts]:[/b] Hurricane Bolter

[b]++ Brigade Detachment +12CP (Imperium - Astra Militarum) [56 PL, 861pts] ++[/b]

[b]+ No Force Org Slot +[/b]

[b]Regimental Doctrine:[/b] Catachan

[b]+ HQ +[/b]

[b]Colonel 'Iron Hand' Straken [4 PL, 75pts][/b]

[b]Company Commander [2 PL, 30pts]:[/b] Chainsword, Shotgun

[b]Primaris Psyker [2 PL, 46pts]:[/b] Force Stave

[b]+ Troops +[/b]

[b]Infantry Squad [3 PL, 45pts][/b]
. 7x Guardsman
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Sergeant: Chainsword, Laspistol

[b]Infantry Squad [3 PL, 45pts][/b]
. 7x Guardsman
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Sergeant: Chainsword, Laspistol

[b]Infantry Squad [3 PL, 45pts][/b]
. 7x Guardsman
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Sergeant: Chainsword, Laspistol

[b]Infantry Squad [3 PL, 45pts][/b]
. 7x Guardsman
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Sergeant: Chainsword, Laspistol

[b]Infantry Squad [3 PL, 45pts][/b]
. 7x Guardsman
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Sergeant: Chainsword, Laspistol

[b]Infantry Squad [3 PL, 45pts][/b]
. 7x Guardsman
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Sergeant: Chainsword, Laspistol

[b]Infantry Squad [3 PL, 45pts][/b]
. 7x Guardsman
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Sergeant: Chainsword, Laspistol

[b]+ Elites +[/b]

[b]Ministorum Priest [2 PL, 35pts]:[/b] Boltgun, Laspistol

[b]Ogryn Bodyguard [4 PL, 55pts]:[/b] Huge Knife, Ripper Gun

[b]Sergeant Harker [3 PL, 50pts][/b]

[b]+ Fast Attack +[/b]

[b]Scout Sentinels [3 PL, 52pts][/b]
. Scout Sentinel: Heavy Flamer

[b]Scout Sentinels [3 PL, 52pts][/b]
. Scout Sentinel: Heavy Flamer

[b]Scout Sentinels [3 PL, 52pts][/b]
. Scout Sentinel: Heavy Flamer

[b]+ Heavy Support +[/b]

[b]Heavy Weapons Squad [3 PL, 33pts][/b]
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar

[b]Heavy Weapons Squad [3 PL, 33pts][/b]
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar

[b]Heavy Weapons Squad [3 PL, 33pts][/b]
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar

[b]++ Supreme Command Detachment +1CP (Imperium - Blood Angels) [30 PL, 659pts] ++[/b]

[b]+ HQ +[/b]

[b]Captain [6 PL, 129pts]:[/b] Jump Pack, Storm shield, Thunder hammer

[b]Captain [6 PL, 129pts]:[/b] Jump Pack, Storm shield, Thunder hammer

[b]Captain [6 PL, 129pts]:[/b] Jump Pack, Storm shield, Thunder hammer

[b]Captain on Bike [6 PL, 136pts]:[/b] Storm shield, Thunder hammer, Twin boltgun

[b]Captain on Bike [6 PL, 136pts]:[/b] Storm shield, Thunder hammer, Twin boltgun

[b]++ Total: [113 PL, 2000pts] ++[/b]

This goes back to the tax of a Brigade but I was already running the Mortar Teams and as I said I need the extra Infantry Squads. I'm appreciating Sentinels more on paper lately as they take a sneaky amount of shooting to bring down and they can hide beyond my army with their pre-game move. This would return an anti-Deep Strike presence to the list and for a few points less than a Scout squad Sentinels are more flexible and likely to do more damage. I also get to try out the Catachan swarm again, I was having issues with it early on but now I have much more anti-Tank so the anti-Horde is appreciated. Leadership 8 is also a big deal on Guardsmen, as I always thought it was, it's hard to explain though.

While I think Shield-Captains are overrated they work super well with this list as I have distractions and can rely on my Blood Angels to open actual Tanks/Monsters which is where the Shield-Captains falter. Instead they give me shooting, combat threats with FLY, and free up the Captains from having to hunt down lighter targets like Fliers, Characters, and lesser Vehicles/Monsters. I also like the flexibility of the Shield-Captains being able to Deny the Witch, Charge in the opponent's turn, and tarpit. While the output from Vertus Praetors is much higher they also die quicker and don't fit into Detachments well. Deep Strike is on the table for them but with no access to more than a normal Charge I don't like those odds. Time and testing will tell.

So my apologies after building up this GT for weeks, it did turn out to be a bust in terms of content and personal enjoyment. I learned a few things that I hoped I wouldn't have to learn but it was a fun vacation in the end. Now I'll turn my eyes back to the drawing board while keeping the horizon in mind, after all more events are always coming. Thanks for reading.