Wednesday, 17 April 2019

SETTING UP FOR SUCCESS


A couple weeks ago I saw a post on one of the many Warhammer 40k Facebook pages where a player was complaining about his Defilers and how poor they were doing.  He described as they charged into a "Smash Captain", didn't kill it, and died in return.  Many of you may be thinking "Well duh!" and that was my first reaction.  This led me to writing this post on how to set yourself up for success.

First off, this is a lot harder to do than you might imagine, mainly because your opponent is trying to set you up to fail.  Secondly, because you might have an unrealistic idea as to what is actually going to happen when you charge a Defiler into a thunder hammer wielding psychopath with a storm shield.


This all starts from the second you begin to build your list.  As you are doing so you need to be acutely aware of how your army functions when you lose certain aspects of it.  Lets take a look at an excellent example, LVO winner Brandon Grant.  Brandon had a Castellan Knight backed up by a metric shit ton of Catachan Guardsmen, a massive squad of Bullgryn, and a couple Wyvern.  Turn 1 Brandon lost his Bullgryn and turn 3 his Castellan. A ton of people were counting Brandon out of the match, however he knew his list could flood the table with bodies, and thanks to some seriously good calls on target priority, his opponent didn't have enough anti-infantry firepower left to kill them all.

It might be small, but it's powerful
Now that we are confident that there is still hope after we lose that critical part of our army, we have to know what our opponent is trying to do.  This is going to change from opponent to opponent, some are going to come out swinging for the fences, others are content to whether the firepower and sit on objectives.  Brandon's opponent, Alex, had a ton of anti-tank firepower and, with Doom and Jinx in place, is capable of killing that Castellan in a single turn.  Knowing this, and knowing that the Knight was the biggest threat to those fliers, Brandon deployed his knight far enough back, and with enough screening units in front, to ensure that Alex could not cast Doom and Jinx on it turn 1.

Moving on from there, we come to the part where we look ourselves in a mirror and say "That Defiler can't kill a Captain with a stormshield, even with Daemonforge."  Knowing what your units can and can't do is critical.  Spend time figuring this out, even come up with scenarios on your own and roll some dice to see what could happen.  Does a 5 man Berserker squad kill that Smash Captain?  Most of the time.  Does that Defiler kill a Rhino?  He can with Daemonforge.  Knowing these match ups will help guide you to make smarter decisions during a game, and all you have to do is fuck around with some dice by yourself for a while.
I have to emphasise one thing, and that is DO NOT base the effectiveness of a unit based on what it did that one time.  We all have those moments when something crazy awesome happens and those are super fun when they happen, but don't get caught up in the moment and forget that that is not going to happen every time.


Brandon knew he was going to lose the knight, it wasn't a matter of if, it was a matter of when.  He was able to delay it a turn by good deployment, and another turn on some lucky dice.  All the while he was making decisions for the late game as though he had already lost the knight.  Do you know what Guardsmen can't do?  Survive Eldar Jetbike shooting.  What does a Castellan do better than shoot down fliers?  Shoot down Jetbikes.  So lets get rid of those Jetbikes.  Come turn 3 this is now a game of "Can Alex kill enough Guardsmen with Eldar fliers?"  Alex tries, but Brandon manages to keep enough bodies alive and score enough points to win the game 33-29.

I hope you can apply some of these ideas to your games to make you a better player.


I'd like to give out a huge thank you to Brandon Grant who took a couple minutes out of his day to cast with me about his game and his list.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.

Monday, 15 April 2019

FROM VIGILUS WITH LOVE: CHAOTIC COMBOS


Well, there it is.  That's the planet that gave us Chaos players our new set of updates.  Last post I went through all of the new stuff, but in this post I'm going to pick out a couple of awesome combos and go into a little more detail.  Some of these are going to be a little convoluted and pretty difficult to pull off, involving a bunch of parts, but are undeniably powerful.  It's time to rule the world, just like Chaos is meant to.


My first combo is a "Smash Captain" the likes of which the Imperium has never seen.  Now to be fair, there are more version of this guy than you can shake a stick at so I'll talk about a couple.  A think to mention before hand though, Chaos lacks in the region of weapons that deal multiple damage with no penalty to hit.  We can get some relics that do that, but they typically don't offer the same AP or S values.

First on my list if a Flawless Host Chaos Lord with dual-lightning claws and Intoxicating elixir and Ultimate Confidence warlord trait.  Now the first thing you will notice is that he only does single damage attacks, but if you cast Prescience and Diabolic Strength on him he is getting 7 attacks that explode on 5+ resulting in 13 attacks.  Now, if you have an ability that lets you re-roll all hit rolls, like the Flawless Host stratagem you can fish for those 5's and 6's reliably racking up 16 attacks plus another 4 against Imperium units because Death to the False Emperor stacks.  You're looking at 10 dead MEQ's (12 if they are actually marines).  Now, instead of Intoxicating Elixir we could give him the mark of Khorne so he could attack twice with 1 less attack.

The next one-man wrecking crew is a Black Legion Lord with the new relic chainsword, Ghorisvex's Teeth and the Flames of Spite Warlord trait.  Now, you may have heard of this guy already, a couple other podcasters and youtubers have been talking about him, but with the potential he can put out, I can't not talk about him.  First off, you get 2 extra attacks, if you include Diabolic Strength, that's 7 attacks, and any wound rolls of 6+ inflict a mortal wound in addition.  Since he already has a relic we might as well give him the mark of Khorne so he can attack twice.  I've seen some guys talk about giving him a second chainsword, but that attack will only benefit from Flames of Spite and have the base stats, not any of the stats from the Teeth, but lets do it anyway.  So, we have 7 attacks, hitting on 2's, at S6, AP-3, 2D and 6+ is 2 mortal wounds (one from the relic and one from the warlord trait).  If you have a nearby Dark Apostle you can give him +1 to wound, and if you can use VotLW to give him another +1 to wound meaning that those mortal wounds are now scored on 4+.  That means those 7 attacks will likely score 7 hits, then half of them will score mortal wounds in addition to the normal damage for a total of 10 dead MEQ or 11 wounds off of a Knight (not counting Death to the False Emperor).


Next up we got a combo that will help deal with armies that love to get right in your face ASAP.  Now, while this is not a difficult combo to actually pull off, it could be really tricky to know when to use it and when it's just a gimmick that's going to lose you a Havoc squad.  So the first thing we need is a Havoc squad, and I recommend the new chain cannons.  This unit of Havocs needs to be in a Scourge detachment and that detachment needs to be a Devastation Battery.  Now the Scourge have a stratagem that lets you shoot at a unit that has arrived as reinforcements if it lands within 12" and the Devastation Battery has a stratagem that lets you shoot at the end of enemies first movement phase if they have the first turn.  That means if someone uses one of those fancy re-deployment abilities like Da Jump or Dark Matter Crystal on their first turn, you could potentially shoot them twice.  Once at then end of the Movement phase and once when the unit is re-deployed (which may also be the end of the movement phase).  One round of 4 of those chain cannons can take out 7 MEQs, so 2 rounds does double that.  Here is the kicker though, since it's the first turn, and it's not your turn, and its not the shooting phase, it's tricky to get any kind of buffs off on the unit.  The best you can hope for is a Dark Apostle since their abilities activate at the start of the battle round, and a Lord nearby for re-rolls.  Even still, those 2 buffs will score you 3 more MEQ kills.
However, as I said, not every army will charge forward and it's likely that they will be able to stay back 24" and shoot that forward unit of Havocs off the table, but it still creates a zone of "don't go there" which you could use to deny objectives or board control.

Possessed have gotten a TON of love in the last couple sets of rules we got, but the biggest one just might be the Black Legion stratagem Chosen of the Pantheon which gives you ALL of the daemon gods key words.  Think about that for a second...ok, now take a look at the Chaos Daemon book and have a look at all the abilities and psychic powers that affect them.  They get +1S for being near a Herald, and that would be +1S for each god specific Herald.  If you have a specific god detachment they also get that Locus, so extra damage for Nurgle, re-roll charges for Khorne, Advance and charge for Slaanesh, and a weird "you can't hit me" thing for Tzeentch.  Boon of Change (+1A, S, OR T), Fleshy Abundance(regenerate D3 wounds), Virulent Blessing(+1 to wound and 7+ is double damage), Miasma of Pestilence(-1 to hit the unit), and Historical Frenzy(fight in the psychic phase) are all possible powers that can be used on them.  Add on effects from artifacts like the Crimson Crown and extra attacks on wound rolls of 6+.  There is also the Daemonkin Ritualists detachment with the warlord trait that makes all wound rolls of 6(unmodified) add a mortal wound and the stratagem that gives +1S and A.  We can't forget the Hereticus and Malefic powers either as Prescience and Warptime are powerful additions as well as Mutated Invigoration (re-roll number of attacks), Cursed Earth(+1 to invulnerable save), and Infernal Power(re-roll 1's to hit and wound).  PLUS we can add the every familiar Stratagems of VotLW and Fury of Khorne.   Our final addition to the stack of buffs is the Dark Apostle and he has a +1 to wound buff.
So lets look at some math here, you can get +3 to wound(VotLW, Virulent Blessing, and Soultearer Portent), each 6 doing a mortal wound(Shepard of the True Faith), and each 7+(so a roll of 4+ on the die) doing 2 damage(Virulent Blessing) and each 6+(so 3+ on the die) gets you another attack(Crimson Crown). You can get +6S (1 for each Herald, Vessels for the Neverborn strat, and a Greater Possessed) for S11, +1 to hit(Prescience), and re-roll all hit and wound rolls of 1(Infernal Power) and +2A (Vessels of the Neverborn, Boon of Change - not guaranteed).
Lets say you have a MoP, Sorcerer, Dark Apostle, Greater Possessed, and a Herald of Nurgle and Khorne with the Crimson Crown all getting their buffs on the unit of Possessed.  That means each Possessed will get 2-4 attacks hitting on 2+ at S9.  Wound rolls of 3+ will get you another attack, 4+ will deal 2D, 6 will do a mortal wound, and you can re-roll wound rolls of 1.  Assuming you roll a 2 and get a total of 3 attacks each Possessed, this will result in...


Now, I don't normally do this but I'm going to break down the numbers because this just seems fucking crazy to me and I'm going to do this against a knight, just for shits and giggles.
So, with the assumption that there are 20 Possessed all getting to attack, rolling 2 attacks, getting Prescience, Putrescent Vitality, and Infernal Power off and being within 6" of a Nurgle Herald and a Khorne Herald who has the Crimson Crown(neither of them are in pure detachments), a Greater Possessed, and a Dark Apostle with Soultearer Portent.

Of those 60 attacks, 58 will hit, 56 will wound - 38 generating extra attacks, 28 dealing 2 damage, and 9 dealing mortal wounds.  Of the 1D wounds, 18 get through dealing 18 damage while the dual wounds deal 36 damage for 54 damage.  Add on the 9 mortal wounds for 63 damage.
Then the 38 extra attacks will hit with 37, wound with 36, 18 of those dealing 2D and 6 of them dealing mortal wounds for a secondary total of 42 wounds.

FOR A GRAND TOTAL OF 105 WOUNDS!!!  AGAINST A KNIGHT!!!  109 dead GEQ, 78 dead MEQ, 105 damage to pretty much any vehicle without an invulnerable save.  I went over my numbers a couple of times, and used an online app, and even with all the multipliers and potential errors and fractions, I came up with the same thing.  If I fucked up somewhere, please, please, please let me know and point it out to me cause this seems to crazy to be real.
Anyway, that is quite a few things that have to happen in order to make this work, but there is room for error.  No one thing will cause this to fail.  If you remove the Khorne herald and all his bonus attacks, you are still S8 with +3 to wound and still dealing 63 damage.  If you also remove the Nurgle Herald you are S7, with +2 to wound, still dealing 9 mortal wounds, but your normal damage drops to just under 30.  Boo hoo, your still killing a knight.  REMEMBER, this is all possible because of one stratagem called Chosen of the Pantheon.

I think I'm actually going to stop there.  There are a couple other more obvious combos like a Lord Discordant with Maulerfiends or Defilers in a Soulforged Pack detachment, stacking buffs on an Alpha Legion unit to get -3 to hit it, and using a bunch of the above buffs to make Obliterators way more dangerous, but they all seem rather superfluous compared to what I just showed us.  Thanks for reading and I am really curious to see all of your comments and remarks.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.

This post has been sponsored by...


My good buddy Donny is painting up a storm pumping out minis from a game called Monster Slaughter.


And some from Artizan Designs Wild West line


Don't, worry though, he's still keeping his skills sharp and getting in some 40K minis.


If you need some models painted check him out at his Facebook page Idle Hands Commission Painting and Upholstery. Yes, he also does upholstery work, so if you have an old chair in your gaming room that you want refinished, and you live nearby, he could do that for you too!  What a talented guy!