Tuesday, 6 August 2019

POW 4: GOING IN BLIND


Hello everyone, a couple weeks ago I took part in the 4th annual Plains of War GT Warhammer 40k tournament.  It's run by the 40 Below Gaming club here in Winnipeg.  This is the second one I have been to, and I had an absolute blast.  So lets get right into this review starting with all the boring stuff that's surrounds the games themselves.

First off, the space is great.  It's a hotel meeting room, so carpeted floors, water stations, nearby restaurants and you could pre-order your food so it would be ready for you at lunch.  Lunch break was an hour and a half so you certainly didn't need to stick around and there are plenty of locations to eat at in that area of the city.  There is one downside to such a nice event though and that's the $90 ticket price which is STEEP, considering previous years the ticket price was only $60.  It did come with a sheet of raffle tickets and three 3D printed objective markers but they were hoping to make this event a Major and hit 60 people, unfortunately they barely broke 30 players and I think the price tag had a lot to do with that.  However, that might have been the only downside.  The tables had plenty of space, each with 360 degree access, and the terrain was some of the best I've seen.  None of the tables I played on had too little terrain and all of the terrain was well painted, looked good, and matched the FLG mat that was on each table.  They had some pretty sweet raffle prizes as well including a Battlefoam 720 full of pluck foam.  All in all, the event was run very well.

So the list I was running was a gamble, both in that it had more power armour bodies than cultists and I had not actually played a game with it yet, or at all in over a month.  So I was a little rusty.  My list looked like this:


Black Legion Battalion
Abaddon
Sorcerer, combi-bolter, force axe.  He usually got Angles Bane, the Balck legion relic combi-bolter
10 Marines, 2 melta guns
10 Marines, 2 melta guns
10 Cultists
5 Havocs, reaper chaincannons
5 Havocs, missile launchers

Scourge Battalion
Sorcerer in Terminator armour, combi-bolter, force axe
Sorcerer in Terminator armour, combi-bolter, force axe
10 Marines, combi-plasma, 2 plasma guns
10 Cultists
10 Cultists

Crimson Slaughter Air Wing
3x Heldrakes

For game one I was asked to play on the stream.  The organisers have actually tried to get me on the stream a number of times at different events but my opponents had declined, not wanting to be on the stream.  So I finally managed to make it onto the stream, got all mic'd up and promptly got tabled by my opponent, Marcus, and his dirty Tau which looked like this:


I don't know Tau really well, but he had 3 commanders, 2 other small characters, 2 Riptides, a Y'Vahra, a handful of Strike squads, a couple units of Pathfinders and a mess of drones.

So although this game was on the stream, the mics weren't working so there is only the hum of the crowd for audio so I will give a quick rundown of what is happening.  Marcus gets the first turn and jumps the Y'Vahra up who takes out both red Heldrakes.


Now, I knew the Y'Vahra was good, and that you should never charge it, but that was ridiculous.  The rest of his shooting takes out most of the chaincannon havocs and one of the Marine units.  Now, I chose to use the Punishing Volley stratagem at the end of his movement phase, but made the mistake of using my missile launchers to shoot the Y'Vahra.  With a 2+ save and the ability to pass off to the drones it's unlikely I'll actually do any damage, but one missile does manage to make it through for a couple wounds.  What I should have done was to use the chaincannons in hopes of forcing more saves and/or passing off more wounds to the drones, likely getting more damage though either way.
During my turn I killed off the Y'Vahra, cause I sure as shit don't want to have that happen to me again.  Then I made my second mistake, I assaulted a unit of Firewarriors with my final Heldrake which allowed them to pile in and consolidate onto an objective losing me a point and giving him a point.  Stupid move.  Things continued to sway his way for several reasons, mainly because he's better than me and his army is more "honed" than mine.
Abaddon manages to take out a Riptide which is only the beginning of a bloody path that he will reap though this tournament.  Finally, we ran into a really weird situation at the end of the game, because we were playing with a clock there was a rule that was implemented in that you can opt to not make any attacks in combat, but if that's your choice then your opponent gets to determine the outcome of the combat.  Meaning he can choose to wipe the unit out, kill everyone but a few models, etc etc.  Now I had a unit of Marines in combat with his 2 little characters and a Strike squad, this unit of marines happened to be my last unit on the table and if they stayed in combat he would not be able to table me.  So he opted not to fight with his units, and since I took Head Hunter, I opted to kill everything I was in combat with to get 4 points on the last turn so he could clear me out.  I lost 26-17, although now that I look at the score I realised that he should have gotten an additional 8 points for tabling me on turn 4.  As it turns out, he didn't really need them as he won best general anyway.

For game 2 I sit down across from another Mark, this time playing Orks.  He had a bunch of characters on bikes, a couple Weirdboyz, 3 units of 30 boyz, a unit of 10 Meganobz, 15 Lootas, and a mess of Grots.
We deploy and he puts one unit of boyz and the Nobz in reserve.  I get the first turn and manage to completely wipe a unit of boyz and push my Heldrakes right in his face putting some wounds on the smaller outlier Grot units.  His turn sees his second unit of Boyz Da'Jump'ed right at me and stall out on the Black Legion and Scourge Marines while he tears 2 of the Heldrakes down with Lootas and power klaws.  I pulled back and shot the boys off the table, put some firepower into the Grots holding objectives and took out a handful of Lootas.  I also moved around to defend against the reinforcements that would be coming in.  The Boyz arrived right in the middle of the table taking up the position of the unit that was wiped out the previous turn and the Nobz showed up on my left.


The Boyz failed their charge and got shot up pretty bad in my turn.  The Nobz made their charge and hit a couple of units but failed to really inflict any kind of serious damage.  I backed out of combat with the Nobz and fired everything I had left at them which only amounted to 3 dead Nobz.  I was really hoping to kill a couple more because Abaddon was going into them and I was not confident that Abby could kill the 7 that were left.  Well I was wrong, he did.  This lead to the slow demise of the Ork army and I pulled out a victory 26-20.

Game 3 pairs me up against Ryan with 6 Dreadnoughts, 3 Razorbacks, 3 Thunderfire cannons, and some random other stuff.  It turns out this is a pretty good list against mine as I don't have a lot that can deal with T7 at any range over 12", other than the ML Havocs which died right away along with 2 Heldrakes.  I did manage to Devastating Volley off one of his TFcannons though.  My turn sees Abaddon smack down both a Smash Captain on bike and a Razorback.


The rest of the game is me walking up and slowly getting shot off the table.  I do have to say, Ryan used the Slamander Chapter Tactic to great effect as each marine unit was small and had a meltagun and a combi-melta and the Dreads had Lascannon/missile launchers.  This allowed him to maximise the effectiveness of the high quality shots without the necessity of a support character.  I lost 30-21.

At the start of day 2 I get approached to play on the stream again.  As I mentioned the audio from my first game didn't turn out so well so they decided to give me another shot to redeem myself.  I don't, but Abaddon kills 2 Defilers before the last one explodes and kills him.  The link to that game is here so instead of me talking about it, you can just watch it.  Although I did just give away the best part.

Game 5 is against my good friend Sean.  He's got a character heavy list with 3 Princes, Arhiman, and Magnus and a big blob of Tzaangors.  Now I have played Sean a couple of times, and he really likes to get aggressive with Magnus, buffing him up and then Warptime him right in your face.  I was kind of hoping he would do that this time and set up so that Abaddon could counter charge and he did exactly that.  The problem is that Abaddon completely bounced and then got absolutely smashed by Magnus.


I was able to hurt Magnus pretty bad with shooting though, and managed to kill him turn 2.  Meanwhile Sean is racking up points like crazy.  Around turn 4 I finish off the Tzangors and my Heldrakes come back and I am able to start picking off all his characters, slowly clawing my way back.  When it was all said and done, we had gone through 6 turns and ended in a tie.

So far my record is 1-1-3 and while I'm not particularly well in the scorecard area, I've played 5 really great opponent's which means I'm going into this game with high spirits and looking to have fun.  I get to play Ronnie and his mechanised Orks.


This game is probably the most fun game I've played this event as almost everything dies, and I've made it a personal mission to kill as much of it with Abaddon as possible.  Ronnie puts 3 Deffdreads and a unit of 6 Killa Kans in deep strike and the rest of his big toys around the middle of the table.  His grots and Slaver sit on an objective.  I've got my cultists forming the obligatory speed bump with the Black Legion on my left and the Scourge on my right and the Havocs take up an elevated position in the backfield.
Ronnie gets the first turn and the big orange "Naught" moves up and shoots away one of the cultists units and then charges the Scourge unit behind them wiping them out.  I managed to shoot a couple wounds off of him with Devastating volley, and a couple more in the shooting phase before Abaddon steps up and rips a hole in the beast and it explodes.  This happens almost every turn with a bunch of stuff moving up, killing a bunch of models around Abaddon and then Abaddon killing it.  It happened with the other 'Naught, a couple Killa Kans and a Deffdread.  At the end of the game the table looked like this...


Not a lot left for either side, but I managed to win 29-19 mainly due to Abaddon's murderous rampage and and picking Gangbusters as a secondary.

All in all I had an awesome experience, even if my list was kinda shit.  As for my list, it had several issues.  Mobility (outside of the Heldrakes), durability, and the ability to deal damage at more than 24".  I was really counting on the Heldrakes to fill all those roles, but I was sadly let down.  Which was my own fault for not play testing at all.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed this write up and feel free to leave any comments.  Thanks for reading.

Until next time, keep those dice rollin.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

OBLITERATORS: OLD VS NEW


There has been a lot of talk as to whether or not the new Obliterators are worth their new points cost. They went way up from 65 points to a whopping 115 points.  This points increase includes a lot of things, but most of them are combat related and many don't see this as a viable upgrade.  I on the other hand, see this as a vast improvement on the unit and a total change to how it operates.  Lets plug some numbers into the machine and see what kind of results we get.


So for the comparison I am going to use a number of models that has approximately the same number of points, which means we will have a unit of 4 new Oblits and a unit of 7 old Oblits for a point cost of 460 and 455 respectively.  The comparison will consist of 3 sections, shooting, combat, and durability.  So without further ado, lets get into the swing of it.


First up shooting, which is very "swingy" at best so I'll use the extreme range of damage from worst stats to best stats, all the while using math to determine average results.  So for the old rules, we got 28 shots which will result in 13-16 dead GEQ, 6-13 MEQ, 5-31 damage to a VEQ, and 3-24 damage from a KEQ which comes out to an average of 33 points of unit to inflict 1 point of useful damage.  Now to clarify what I mean by that, I took the average damage inflicted and divided it by the cost of the unit counting a 3 damage hit against a guardsmen as 1 point of useful damage.  The new guys results don't surprise me that much with 24 shots killing 11-14 GEQ, 5-11 MEQ, 4-26 damage on a VEQ, and 2-21 damage on a KEQ for an average damage output of 39 points of unit to inflict 1 point of useful damage.

Lets put this into some perspective here, if we take an equal points value of Chaos Space Marines, that would work out to 3 units of 10 each with 2 plasma guns.  This works out to 21 dead GEQ, 11 MEQ, 12 damage on a VEQ, and 7 damage on a KEQ for an average of 36 points of unit to inflict 1 point of damage.


In the fight phase things are different.  While the new rules gift them with a little more punch, their attacks characteristic stayed the same.  The new Oblits will only put out 12 attacks which will result in the slaying of 6 GEQ, 3 MEQ, and 3 damage on VEQ and KEQ.  The old models will have 21 attacks killing the same number of GEQ and MEQ but only half of the damage on VEQ and KEQ.  This gives us 123 points of unit per 1 point of damage vs 152.  Lets face it, these guys are not meant for punching, but with their relatively short range they will likely see some combat and the newer rules will help them keep their head above water.

When comparing defence I am going to look at 3 different weapons and how many shots from each it takes to completely wipe out all of the Obliterators.  The 3 weapons I will use will be bolters, super charged plasma guns, and lascannons which are basic enough to easily transfer the idea and results to many other weapons of similar profiles.  I find these results interesting, yet again they don't really surprise me.  The older rules will find that 378 bolter shots, 37 plasma shots, and 19 lascannon shots will kill off all 7 models.  The newer rules will withstand 432 bolter rounds, 27 plasma, and 25 lascannons before bring removed from the table.

Now you'll notice that there is a weird swing where plasma takes less to kill the new models but everything else takes more.  It takes 2 plasma rounds to kill both the old guys with 3 wounds and the new guys with 4, but lascannons average 3.5 damage.  Which means that when you take the averages it will take 2 lascannons to kill a new guy while only 1 will kill an old one.  On top of this there is the extra point of toughness which now makes successful wounds a 3+ instead of a 2+.  So there is this spot of strength 8-9 weapons that deal 3 damage that the new rules are significantly better at resisting.  Reaper launchers, thunder hammers, power hammers, pulse lasers, and ork rokkits are all examples of these and considering their prevalence in the game, this is a decent upgrade.  Even weapons that deal D3 damage have a chance at killing an old Obliterator, but now need at least 2 hits to kill a new one.


My final thoughts are, the sky is not falling.  Obliterators have changed, that much is certain, but they have not gone the way of the dodo and I am 100% certain that there is still a spot for them in your lists.  While they don't quite put out the same amount of damage as they did before, they have become more durable in many ways and can actually fight their way out of a paper bag if they happen to get touched by a rogue guardsmen looking to pin them in combat.  While the models are bigger, you don't need as many which makes them a little easier to deploy and hide (in some circumstances). Finally, any buffs you do cast on them will be more effective as there is more power in each unit than before.  In all transparency though, any offensive buffs bring them closer to the same damage output, but not quite the same (when using the above examples).  However the defensive spells take them way beyond the durability of the older models.  At the end of the day I don't see these guys going away, and it's likely that you will start to see them come back as 1 or 2 man units hanging around a Master of Possession.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.

This post has been brought to you by my good buddy at


He just finished up a job painting up the new Shadowspear box and they look damn good.  Don't believe me?




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