Tuesday, 5 September 2017

BATTLE REPORT: NIGHT LORDS VS THOUSAND SONS


You read that?  Exciting frontline action!
Before I get into the game and such, I would like to send out a big thanks to Sean who, for no reason other than to play me, made a trip into Winnipeg from Brandon.  It made me feel all warm and fuzzy right before he pounded me into dust.

Now that I got that out of the way, lets talk army lists.  I'll keep these quick and simple starting with my army.

Outrider Detachment
Daemon Prince with wings and axe
Chaos Lord with a jump pack and Claws of the Black Hunt
Warp Talons
Raptors with 2 meltaguns
Raptors with 2 meltaguns
Raptors

Battalion Detachment
Daemon Prince with 2 sets of talons
Dark Apostle
Exalted Champion with power axe and plasma pistol
Possessed
10 Marines with meltaguns
10 Marines with flamers
20 Cultists
20 Cultists
3 Rhinos

Sean's army is a Thousand Sons army from the Index, but because of taking Thousand sons, it forced him to take a couple auxiliary detachments in order to take Raptors and Oblits.  His list looks like this

Battalion Detachment
Daemon Prince with wings and 2 sets of talons
Exalted Sorcerer on a disc
Exalted Sorcerer on a disc
Tzangors
Tzangors
10 Rubric Marines with flamer and reaper cannon
Predator with autocannon and sponson lascannons
Mauler fiend
Heldrake

Lord of War detachment
Magnus

Auxiliary detachment
Obliterators
Raptors

For the mission, we decided to try out those fancy new Open War cards, of which I just so happen to be writing a review of, and this game actually does not affect my view on them at all.  That sentence will only make sense if you've read both posts.  We got the Courier, which means that Sean and I each have to choose a model in our army, other than our warlord, and the opponent has to kill that model.  The first player to kill that model wins.  We misread the card and didn't realise that the game essentially ends when one player kills the others Courier, so we continued to play out the whole game.
Our deployment was another wonky one, where one player (Sean) takes a triangle shaped deployment that extends from the corners on his side to a point in the very centre of the table.  My deployment was the opposite that was 2 triangles in each corner measured from the centre of the short edge to the centre of my table edge.  It sort of looks like chevrons if you look at the card.
Finally, the Twist was that everyone adds one to their A characteristic.  This was fine by me as I was looking to assault all the things.  Sean had fewer PL points than me, so he did get a Ruse, but as it was "Dug In" and he ended up moving everything turn 1, it didn't com into play at all.

So, as always, I make a mistake in my deployment.  My first 5 drops were all in reserve, being Raptors, Warptalons, and my Lord with jump pack, so he had a couple units on the table by the time I actually had to put anything on the table.  He had a Predator down on my far right flank, and some units of Tzangors I think when I put down my first unit, the Rhino with Possessed, Dark Apostle, and Exalted Champ, in the triangle on my right side closer to the middle of the table.  I then proceed to place EVERYTHING ELSE ON MY LEFT SIDE.  God damn noob mistake cause it costs me double in this game.

At the end of deployment everything looks like this...


Yeah, you see that Rhino in the top left corner of the pic on the right...stupid stupid spot.  Anyway, I got all my backside covered from the deep striking Oblits and Raptors so I'm content, I guess.  Sean gets the first turn and pulls a swift one on me moving Magnus up then casting Warptime to move Magnus again and get him here...
Oh fuck...I did not see that coming.
Now, had I not been an idiot and put the Possessed and their Rhino with the rest of my army, there is a good chance I would have had to move models to close that perfect landing pad for Magnus.
He also drops in the Oblits right next to my Possessed Rhino, flies the Heldrake over there, and moves his Predator to get a shot on it, he really wants that thing dead.  Of course he kills it but not with his Oblits who shoot like this...
The skulls are 1's.
He does bust it open and the Heldrake burns 3 Possessed.  He then assaults the Heldrake and Oblits into the Possessed, Apostle, and Champ and loses an Oblit for his troubles.  Magnus does not get the job done and fails to kill my bird prince(leaving him on 1 wound), who then turns around and deals 3 wounds back.  The Maulerfiend kills a couple cultists...yay.

During my turn I bring in all my reserves around his backfield and look to take out his predator and his Rubric Marine squad along with his Exalted Sorcerer.  I then proceed to NOT kill the predator with 4 meltaguns and fail 4 out of 5 charge attempts, and I had re-rolls for all of them.  The one unit that did make it in dies.

Cultists back off from the Maulerfiend who is then nuked from meltagun fire form the marines while my other cultists advance, flamer, and assault the Tzangor unit and wipe them out.
Sean then gets a little cocky and splits Magnus's attacks, putting 2 on the wounded prince and the other 6 on the one.  Well the birdy lives and manages to hit back for 9 wounds!  The other prince died...

The rest of the game I can actually swing through pretty quickly.  Thanks to my failed charges, my Warptalons and Lord were gunned down while his Prince jumped up and smashed a unit raptors.  His predator and Haldrake took out the other unit of raptors but for one meltagun who then teamed up with the last Possessed, Dark Apostle, and Exalted Champ to not kill the Heldrake...
See where the Warptalons and Lord used to be?


Magnus finally got that last prince but was then dragged down by the wight of 20 marines who were able to tear off those last 4 wounds while his warlord Exalted Sorcerer experienced a similar fate and was swarmed by a mob of cultists.

It was about this time, the end of turn 4, we realised that Sean actually won so we talked out the last turn as though the game didn't end as soon as my courier died.  It looked pretty close once Magnus was out of the picture, but thanks to First Blood, we were thinking Sean would have won.

Now, having said that, there is a caveat that I need to address, and it's of my own damn stupidity.  I ended the game still with 5 command points.
Can you read his lips?
I could have used From the Shadows to, maybe, keep my Lord alive.  I could've used VotLW to boost the green princes hitting power and maybe killed Magnus sooner.  Or even to re-roll some meltagun shots and maybe that predator would be dead.

Hey, that's how we learn right?  We get so badly butt hurt that we will never forget that feeling aver again...
I forgot what I was talking about...
Looking back on this post I realised I went picture crazy, mainly because I remembered to take pictures, but also because pictures are way easier than typing stuff.  They must be worth, like, 50-60 words at least.

Thanks for reading and as always if you have any comments feel free to leave them anywhere.  I desperately crave vindication for wasting so much time.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

HERETIC ASTARTES: I'VE DONE THIS ALL BEFORE


I bet you heard someone say that right before something terrible happened...well not this time cause all I'm gonna do is be a safe nerd here on my couch and type away.

I'm back with yet another Chaos Space Marine codex review.  Man, it feels like I've done 4 of these in a row... but who's counting right?  So, since I just finished the Index review for the Index: Heretic Astartes, this will be a comparison post with some fancy tactics and combos bringing up the rear.

So lets get the boring stuff out of the way right quick so we can have some fun shall we?

First things first, half of the things in the book got cheaper.  Most of the changes were pretty minor, some of the big ones I'll mention below.
Abaddon gives you 2 bonus command points if he is your warlord.
Huron Blackheart gives you 1 bonus command point if he is your warlord.
Daemon Prince weapons have decreased in points.  The first talon is free, the second weapon costs 10 points regardless of which one is chosen.  The stats for each weapon remains the same, but all thing being equal, you're going to see that axe more often than not.
Chaos Lords and Sorcerers can no longer take bikes or mounts.  Only terminator armour, jump pack, or vanilla.
We got a new HQ!  The Exalted Champion is the Chaos Version of the Primaris Lieutenant, allowing re-rolls to all failed to wound rolls in the fight phase, and he can re-roll all failed to hit rolls if the target is a Character.
The Warpsmith has dropped to 45 points!
Bloodletters, Horrors, Plaguebearers, and Daemonettes are troops choices!  This will void your Legion Trait rules if you take them as a troops choice, but you can summon them, which is probably why they are here, for ease of use.
There is no entry for the Aspiring Sorcerer in the Rubric Marines unit, which means that he costs 18 points same as the Rubrics, down from 30.
Plague Marines get a bunch of new weapons, I'll not go into great detail cause the Death Guard codex will be coming out soon and I'll go over them then.  They get a couple new flamer type weapons and some new close combat ones.
The Doom Siren is Assault D6 now.  Super awesome party time!


Mutilatots, still shitty but they have dropped to 50 points.
Possessed got an extra wound and no points increase!  This is good, really good.  They still have D3 attacks, but there are ways to make sure you get a good result, stay tuned...
Oh god...imagine writing this having to look at that damn dancing lunatic this whole time...he's giving me a headache.
Bikers dropped 6 points!
Obliterators have doubled in fire power getting 4 shots.
The Defiler has dropped over 60 points and 5 PL.  They also have 4-3-2 attacks
The vindicator and predator have dropped 25 and 12 points respectively.
The Baleflamer has been cut in half to 30 points.
The King of Beers, the Khorne Lord of Skulls, has dropped by a massive 100 points!

Well, we got that out of the way pretty quick.  As I said before, there are some other points changes that I didn't mention because they were pretty minor, cultists dropped a point, which can add up, but doesn't really change much.

With that out of the way I, yet again, have to rant a little.  Much like the Index, the organisation of this book is not very good.  It does not flow and it does not feel intuitive.  I may just have not get used to it, as it seems like this is the way they are moving forwards, and I can handle that as long as things are consistent.  Some other things I can handle are a lack of new pictures/artwork, fluff, and models
What I can't handle are the very bad and very obvious errors.  The table of contents are wrong starting at page 120 and I blame Kharn and Lucius.  It looks, according to the Contests, that their datasheets should appear next to their Cult unit of choice, but at the last minute they changed that and added them to the HQ section.  Everything after that is off by only 1 page until you get to Page 129.  This is where the daemons and cult troops start, yet when you look at the Contents, the daemons and cult troops are supposed to start at page 140.  So they got the book all laid out and then made 2 big flip flops right before printing and forgot to change the Contents.  Another pretty big lapse is the missing Aspiring Sorcerer from the Rubric Marine unit points entry.  Now I'll admit that this isn't necessarily a lapse, but it sure feels like they just forgot him.  The only "Copy/Paste bug bites again as the Predator tank is plagued with the same "remaining" wounds mistake that it had in the Index.  The last major error I noticed is that Lasher Tendrils grant an additional 6 attacks, opposed to D6 attacks(what it used to be and apparently what the digital version says).
My last gripe is on all the weapon profiles in the datasheets.  Seriously, do you have to put pistols, and grenades, and bolters, and chain swords in EVERY GOD DAMN ONE?!?!  Never mind those, I could, maybe, handle if they just put all the standard equipment there, but there some that have some upgrade weapons.  For example, look at terminators, they come standard with combi-bolters and power axes which are on the datasheet, but so is the heavy flamer, reaper auto cannon, and lightning claws.  Power fist is not, chain fist is not, combi-plasma/flamer/melta are not...WHY?  What rhyme or reason do they use to determine what weapons get showed off in the datasheet?
*Edit* Since I've started writing this post, GW has actually posted a FAQ/errata, fixing none of things I mentioned and a couple things I didn't notice or care about.

All righty, that's out of the way, now for the good stuff.  While not a ton changed in the actual data sheets, the book contains rules for each legion (except Death Guard and Thousand Sons), relics, warlord traits, and special stratagems.

Lets start with the Legion Traits, if your army is battle forged, and every unit in the detachment contain the same <LEGION> keyword, every INFANTRY, BIKER, and HELBRUTE gain the legion trait special rules.

First on the list is the Black Legion.  They gain an extra point of Ld, and if they have advanced, treat all rapid fire weapons as assault weapons.  This is pretty cool cause you can shoot all those bolters and combi-bolters after having advanced.  Not super great, but very thematic with the unrelenting fire while the marines quickly close with their target.  Also, I have mentioned before that morale has some serious potential to be very devastating, so the extra leadership gives you a little more confidence to take bigger units with less chance of having models flee battle.

Now I know everyone may have a different tone with the next trait, but I think that the Iron Warriors is pretty strong.  They ignore the armour save bonus granted by cover.  In this edition, the 3+ armour save in cover is transformed to a 2+, changing all saves from plasma to a 5 effectively DOUBLING your survivability.  This trait ignores that which, in my opinion is huge.  They also get the ability to re-roll failed to wound rolls against buildings and while you don't see a lot of buildings, boy are they a pain in the ass when they show up and you can't handle that shit.

World Eaters gain an extra attack on the turn that unit charges.  Seems a little...
...until you remember that Bezerkers attack twice in the fight phase.  So that means that that 5 man unit of Berserkers is actually getting 10 extra attacks the turn it charges (barring any kind of interruption shenanigans).

Hey, do you remember that time when I said that morale checks can potentially be devastating?  Well guess who really tries to capitalise on that...did you guess Night Lords?  Then you'd be right.  Enemy units get a -1 mod to their Ld for each Night Lords unit within 6" (up to -3).  That doesn't sound all that great until you start to consider that both Raptors and Spawn give an additional -1Ld to enemies within 1" of them.  If my math is correct, if you have a unit of Raptors and a unit of Spawn assault the same unit, it will have a -4 Ld before taking into account any casualties.  I'm not done on this subject, but I'll get into it more in the combo's section.

Emperor's Children, with their tight, lithe, little bodies always fight first in the fight phase.  If the enemy has units with a similar rule or has units that have charged, then they alternate fighting starting with who's turn it is.  This is, in itself, really powerful but combined with strong shooting capabilities, your enemy will not be able to assault you and control the fight phase as is typically the case.  With Noise Marines having 2 attacks base and all their sonic weapons having an assault profile, this army will really feel comfortable in any phase of the game.

Who doesn't like to get shot?  The Alpha Legion don't, that's why you get a -1 to hit when you target them outside of 12".  Geeze, those plasma guns just got a little less reliable.  Pretty straight forward, but has some combos that can be used.

The Word Bearers get ATSKNF!  Well, it's not as good as it once was, but I have been saying that Morale can be pretty important in this edition, so this is a good thing.

Those are the 7 legions represented in this book, Thousand sons and Death Guard are going to get their own codex, so they don't have a heavy showing in this book.  However, if you don't feel like playing any of those legions and you would rather play a fallen chapter of your own creation, they have an option for you.

Renegade Chapters can charge after having advanced.  I really love this rule as it gives a serious boost to a handful of potentially really powerful close combat units that really need just a little boost to get into combat, Helbrutes, Spawn, and Possessed come to mind.  With their movement of 8" and 7", adding a couple more inches to that makes them particularly scary and faster than they look.

Except there are only 24, not 36.

So, with the introduction of command points and stratagems, this introduces a whole new level to the game.  Since there are 24 of them, I'm not going to be talking about all of them cause some of them suck and are boring.  The particularly awesome thing about these though, is that while they are mostly completely situational, you don't have to spend points on them.  It's not like a situational piece of wargear that you might only use 1 or 2 times a tourney, but is critical in those 2 games and a waste in the other 3 or 4.
For the first of my favourites, we have the Daemon Shell.  This is a special bolt round, only able to be fired by a character that has a bolt weapon, that deals D3 mortal wounds if it hits for 1CP.  If it does not hit, the shooter takes D3 mortal wounds.  Oh, and you can't re-roll a failed hit.  Now, this might not seem very good, but mortal wounds are going to be damn important in this game.  If you NEED to get one or 2 more wounds on a really tough model, then this is your stratagem.  The particularly good thing is that you can do it every turn
The stratagems has claimed our Chaos Boons, requiring a character to slay another character you may then pay 1CP to roll on a 2D6 table to get some very familiar abilities, such as Spawndom and Daemonhood, both of which do NOT cost reinforcement points.  A result of 7 sees you able to pick a boon of your choice (not spawn or daemon prince) and if you happen to get a duplicate power then you can choose a different one.  You may only get each ability once.
Another couple popular ones are Fury of Khorne(3CP) and Endless Cacophony(2CP) which allow a Heretic Astartes Infantry or Biker, Khorne or Slaanesh unit(respectively) fight or shoot again(respectively).  A while back I said to stay tuned on how to make Possessed dangerous, Fury of Khorne is one way.
Tide of Traitors is pretty good, removing a unit of Cultists from the table and setting them up wholly within 6" of any table edge and more than 9" from the enemy at it's full starting strength.  So if that big unit of 40 Cultists just got bogged down by some super bad ass choppy mother fuckers, you can just pop those suckers out of there at the end of your movement phase and put the full 40 models back on the table.  This one is a 2CPer, but totally worth it in particular situations.
Daemonforge allows a Daemon Vehicle unit to re-roll all failed hit and wound rolls for a whole shooting or fight phase.
One of my top 3 is the Chaos Familiar, which allows you spend 1CP and swap a psychic power!  This is fucking amazeballs especially since the GW Grand Tournament pack came out in which the powers you choose stick with you for the whole tourney, you don't change them out each game.  So if it's late in the game and you REALLY need to get a couple mortal wounds on something, swap out Warptime with Infernal Gaze or vice versa if you really to get a model across the board to grab an objective.
If you like summoning, the Word Bearers Stratagem Dark Pact is for you allowing you to re-roll the summoning dice and preventing you from taking any mortal wounds, for 1CP.
The World Eaters Stratagem Scorn of Sorcery allows you deny any enemy psychic power on the table on a 4+.  Since World Eaters cannot take psykers in their army (a thing that was clarified in the FAQ) this helps control the enemy psychic phase.  The nice thing about his is that it doesn't matter what your opponent rolled on his psychic test, you will render it null and void on a 4+.
The last one I want to talk about is my number 1 pick, the Night Lords Stratagem In Midnight Clad.  When one of your Infantry units is targeted by a shooting attack, you can spend a single CP and for the rest of the phase all of the shots going to that unit are at a -1 to hit.  The really awesome thing about this is that you can choose to use it once you are targeted.  Now there is a little bit of discrepancy here, but it looks to me like if the enemy is going to be targeting you with Plasma weapons, you can choose to activate this ability after he decides if he is going to supercharge them.  This puts him in a sticky situation as he is now losing dudes on 1's and 2's.  Keeping in mind that most re-roll abilities only affect 1's, and re-rolls happen before modifiers, 2's are just dead models plain and simple.  I'll get into just how to use this later.

Perils of the Warp
So, we got some new psychic powers, and they are good.  Particularly Death Hex, which I think is pretty clearly the strong front runner.  It has a casting value of 8, which is the highest casting value I've seen on a power so far, but it completely removes the invulnerable save from an enemy unit 12" away.  Think on that for a minute, the whole unit of thunder wolves or thunderhammer terminators, or any daemon units, just defenceless.  I don't know about you but that give me a warm and tingly feeling.  Gift of Chaos is a new offencive spell that forces a toughness test and deals 3+D3 Mortal Wounds if failed.  Plus if you kill a character with it you can replace him with a spawn.  Diabolic Strength is pretty simple, a single model gains +2S and +1A.
We have the 3 from the index as well, Warptime, Prescience, and Infernal Gaze, all pretty much unchanged.  Which make up the 6 base Dark Hereticus psychic powers, but we get 3 bonus powers, one for each god (at least the ones who don't despise the use of psychic powers).  I found it interesting that each of the above powers are all offencive in nature, letting you hit better, dealing mortal wounds, making you stronger or faster, while the 3 god specific powers are all defensive, granting unit buffs that will keep them alive.  The Tzeentch power boosting or giving an Invul save, the Nurgle giving a -1 to hit buff, and the Slaanesh power giving a 5+FNP.

Lets talk artifacts
One of the most exciting things I was waiting to see was the weaponry selection, and I have to say, I was not disappointed.  They did do something that I really loved, they limited the relics to 1(unless you use a Stratagem to get up to an additional 2), it is essentially free, but you only get 1.  Now obviously some are going to be far more useful than others, which I will talk about in more detail, but I will at least touch on most of the items.

Talisman of Burning Blood allows a Khorne following character to advance and charge, and re-roll failed charges.  Eye of Tzeentch gives a +1 to casting Smite, for Tzeentchian psykers only, obviously.  Intoxicating Elixir is for Slaaneshi characters and it gives them +1 S and A.  This one I talk about a little more in the combos section, it's part of the "Super-Blender".  There's the Puscleaver, power sword replacement that is AP-2, Dd3, and wounds non-vehicles on a 2+.  The Axe of Blind Fury is back, basically turning your character into Kharn with 1's not able to be re-rolled or modified and causing wounds to friendly models within 1", it's S+3, AP-3, and Dd3 make it pretty deadly and worth the risk.  The Black Mace is also back, and while it can't be put in the hands of a Daemon Prince anymore, it's still pretty deadly.  Basically a super power maul, you roll a D6 for each model that is killed by the black mace, on a 6 the target unit suffers an additional mortal wound at the end of the phase.  We also see the return of the Murder Sword, which is now useful all by itself.  If you don't remember this used to be a plain old power sword unless you were attacking a chosen character, then it basically became a power fist.  Well now, this bad boy replaces a power sword and has S+1, AP-4, only D1, but it's claim to fame is that you choose a character at the start of the battle and when attacking that character all hits automatically do mortal wounds.  That is fucking scary as shit.  Put that on your Lord and watch as your enemy desperately tries to keep his warlord away from yours.  The Cursed Crozius is a basic power maul that does D3 and allows re-rolls to wound against all IMPERIUM units, it is a Word Bearers only item though.  The Fleshmetal Exoskeleton is going to see it's way onto every Iron Warrior Daemon Prince as it gives a 2+ save and grows back a wound every turn.  The Blade of the Hydra is an Alpha Legion super chainsword, the Claws of the Black Hunt are Night Lords super lightning claws, and Blissgiver is an Emeror's Children super bolt pistol that hates characters.
The Brass Collar of Bhorghaster is one that I want to take a paragraph to talk about.  This is a World Eaters only item, but it gives the bearer the ability to Deny the Witch.  This is pretty damn huge in the world of World Eaters because they don't get any psykers (see the new FAQ).  On top of that, if the model successfully denies the psychic power cast, the caster suffers Perils of the Warp.  Think about that, you're looking to toss out a simple Smite and roll a 6, success!
"I'll just roll d3 for the mortal wounds...what...you can deny?  But you don't have any psykers...oh...a 7, darn you stopped it.  Then I'll cast...WHAT...PERILS?  No, that's not right, let me see you codex... ... ... shit."
Yeah, we all know that feeling.  I hate that feeling, but I love the feeling I get when my opponent gets that feeling.  Anyway, that's it for weapons...

Warlord Traits
These are good.  Not game breaking, but really useful in the right circumstance.  First up is re-rolling failed wound rolls against Adeptus Astartes units.  Fairly circumstance, and useless if you have Lightning claws or a similar rule.  There is an extra wound and a 6+FNP.  Another that re-rolls wound rolls of 1 against everything.  There is also an extra attack.  That's 4 of the 6 generic ones, the 2 others  I wanted to talk about a little more in depth.
Flames of Spite deals a mortal wound to the target unit when the wound roll of your warlord is a 6+, IN ADDITION to any other damage.  So not only does it mean that you actually wounded the target, but you have done an extra wound that they can't save against.  I will add to this in the combo section.
Last of the generics is Lord of Terror which forces your opponent to roll 2 dice for units taking morale checks when within 6" and they have to use the highest.  Have I mentioned how brutal morale can be yet?  Well, I'll get more into this one in the combos section as well.

Now if you don't happen to fancy any of those, and you are playing one of the 7 legions represented in this book, then you can choose your very own fluff, yet still useful, warlord trait.
Alpha Legion, well, we all know and love this one.  Your warlord gains this trait, PLUS a randomly selected one from the generic chaos traits.  When your warlord dies, pick a new character to be your warlord, he gets this warlord trait and generate a new random trait for him, and so forth and so forth.  So your opponent will only score Slay the Warlord if all your characters are dead.
Black Legion grants extra attacks from DTTFE on a 5+ to units within 6"
Emperor's Children gains an extra attack for each wound lost up to +3, but loses those bonus attacks if he heals those wounds back.
Iron Warriors auto pass morale checks wen within 6"
Night Lords, well to put it simply, gain a bonus re-roll command point per battle round that can only be used on the warlord.  That's not exactly it, but it's close enough.
World Eaters add 1 to the S and A each time the warlord slays an enemy character, monster, or titanic model.
Word Bearer, they yell louder so all their aura abilities are 3" bigger.  That might seem kinda shitty, but that can really help you out is quite a few circumstances, especially when you take a Dark Apostle as your warlord.  He has 2 really useful aura abilities and boosting them up to 9" can help you get more models in the fight instead of stringing them out to keep within aura range.

Finally we get to...
I have no idea what this has to do with combos, but it came up when I searched Google, so I'm using it.
So, if you want a really tough nut to crack, something that is gonna take a metric shit ton of fire power to put down, check this out.  Iron Warriors Daemon Prince with the Fleshmetal Armour and the mark of Slaanesh.  Make him your warlord and give him the Unholy Fortitude trait.  Cast Delightful Agonies on him and pop the Iron Within Iron Without stratagem when needed.  This will give you a Daemon Prince with 9 wounds, a 2+ armour save and a 5+ invulnerable save.  He will also get a 6+ save from the warlord trait, a 6+ save from the stratagem, and a 5+ save from the psychic spell.  Since the FAQ stated that if you have multiple FNP type saves, you may take each of them, that means you will be making 4 saves for every wound you take.  To give you a little perspective, you will have to be hit and wounded by 14 super charged plasma gun shots to die.  Or hit and wounded by over 100 shots that don't have an AP.  Or take almost 20 mortal wounds!

Next up we got the Fearball...ok, not the best name but it's better than the Bark Bark Star.  First you start with a couple units of Raptors from the Night Lords legion, add some Warp Talons, a Sorcerer, and a character to be your warlord.  Your warlord could be the sorcerer, but he needs to have the Lord of Terror Warlord trait.  Now, I'll leave the methods up to you, but when you get all those units into combat there is a -5 penalty to the enemy's Ld that are at least 1" away.  I like deep striking them and using Warptime to get the Warp Talons in close for an easy charge, they can't be overwatched when they deep strike so getting them into combat is key to survival and maximum damage.  You can also give the Raptors the Mark of Khorne and the Banner of Wrath to re-roll charge distances.  Then when all the damage has been dealt, any unit within 6" of the warlord will be rolling 2 dice and choosing the highest for morale.  This is a pretty big "eggs in one basket move", but there are some pretty good safety nets to take away a good chunk of the risk.
Lets spitball some ideas, and say you want to charge everything into 1 unit.  You will likely get the Warp Talons there, and odds are, with the re-rolls, you get at least one of the Raptor squads and lets say for the sake of argument you got the warlord in there as well.  The Warp Talons are likely to do around 4 wounds, perhaps the Raptors will do a couple from shooting and another in combat, so say 4 as well.  Well, that's 8 wounds right there, plus the -4 Ld penalty and rolling 2D6 picking the highest, your opponent will likely loose another 8 models from Morale.  This actually translates fairly easily into charging multiple units, assuming the enemy units are largely the same, because we simply split those 8 wounds lost from morale around to the multiple units that took wounds.  There will be some instances where the enemy rolls well and you won't do as many wounds, but I'm dealing with odds here and dice can be unpredictable.

I call this next one...
YOU CAN'T SEE ME
This one is pretty simple.  Play Night Lords, have a hammer unit and sorcerer, both with the Mark of Nurgle.  Put them in a transport and bum rush that bitch right up the middle.  When they jump out and assault, cast Miasma of Pestilence and have them hit like they do.  Some of the cool new combat weapon options from Plague Marines could make them a viable option.  Then, when you enemy backs off and goes to open up on them, you pop your In Midnight Clad stratagem and bam, they are hitting with a -2 modifier.  With the really heavy prevalence on plasma weaponry, this is going to cause some issues because if he decides to supercharge he is losing half his models cause they will overheat on 1-3.

This last one I'm going to talk about today is another Daemon Prince, this time from the Emperor's Children legion with the Stimulated by Pain warlord trait and 2 sets of talons.  Give him the Intoxicating Elixir relic, cast Diabolic Strength, and then use the Excess of Violence stratagem.  This turns your Prince into an even blender-y-er blender with 9-12 attacks at S10.  Those will likely kill 5-9 models generating that many more attacks, assuming you are attacking 2W models with 3+ save, which will kill 3-6 more models for a grand total of 8-15 dead enemy models.  Can you fucking believe that?!?

Well, there we have it.  Thanks again for sticking it out and making it right to the end.  If you have any comments feel free to send them my way.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

HERETIC ASTARTES PART 2: THE MEAT AND POTATOES


Welcome back to the 40KMisfit coverage of the 8th edition Chaos Index.  Last post I went on a rant about the organisation of the book, but I think I recovered well and transitioned into the HQ units.  There were a lot of them and that post was quite long.  Well, looks like we might be in for another long one cause today we look at all the other stuff that makes up the Heretic Astartes army.  Many things stayed pretty much the same, and some things changed drastically.  I won't waste too much time on the things that didn't change that much as I assume most of you have some concept of what I am talking about.


The staple of many armies, our troops have not changed that much.  The weapons, the stats, their uses have all remained pretty much the same, but due to the actual change of the game, their importance has actually increased.  It has been looking like weight of fire is going to be a strong tactic in this edition and few pump out as many attacks as a large unit of Cultists with pistols, which can now have 40 models in the unit.  Including the pistol, 3 attacks per turn hitting on 4's is nothing to sneeze at when there are 20 models making attacks.  Alternately they can keep their Autoguns and 4 of them can take Heavy Stubbers.  Numbers also becomes an important part of the game because objectives is determined by number of models.


Straddling the line of Troops and Elites are the God dedicated units, Bezerkers, Thousand Sons, Plague Marines, and Noise Marines, all of which got better.  Berzerkers dropped to 16 points each and their chain-axe dropped to a point but gives them S+1(making them S6) and AP-1 which is amazing for a single point. They can still only take 2 plasma pistols, but the champ can choose from the Champion Equipment list.  Their big strength comes from their ability, like Kharn, to fight twice in the fight phase.  So when they get to combat, they are going to hit pretty hard.  S6 and AP-1 will cripple marine squads and destroy anything weaker.  Even terminators need to watch out, with enough attacks they will do some damage.

Next up on the list are the Thousand Sons.  Slated in the list at 18 points, this is a bit of a lie as their standard issue inferno bolters cost an additional 2 points, I won't start on this.  These guys are kinda scary as that standard issue bolter is AP-2.  While this weapon has actually become less effective at killing marines(not in cover) as it's 7th ed predecessor, it has become far more capable at killing anything with a 2+ save.  They have also become more durable with their All is Dust rule which adds 1 to their saving roll against D1 weapons, this includes their invulnerable save which becomes 4+.  They also ignore the -1 to hit penalty for moving and firing heavy weapons.  Pretty solid fire base for 20 points per model.  But we still aren't done because each unit of these guys gets an Aspiring Sorcerer that gets a junior version of Smite.  Gotta love those Mortal Wounds.

Plague Marines, these guys have always been good and since they are the poster boys for Chaos this edition, slated to get their own Codex in the next couple weeks, nothing is about to change.  Still T5, their war gear has changed a little, each getting a Plague Knife(re-rolling 1's to wound) and Bolter along with Blight and Krak grenades, losing the pistol they also used to carry.  They also have a form of FNP, called Disgustingly Resilient, that works very similar as before, for each point of damage they take, they roll a D6 and on a 5+ they ignore that wound, including Mortal Wounds.  This gets a little confusing and time consuming with weapons that cause multiple points of damage.  A quick scenario:  A unit of plague marines is hit and wounded by 2 meltaguns and 2 super charged plasma guns, all of the saves are failed.  So while allocating damage, one PM will have to make 2 DR(Disgustingly Resilient) rolls for the first plasma, a second PM will have to make 2 DR rolls for the second plasma, a third PM will have to make D6 DR rolls from the meltagun, and a fourth PM will have to make D6 DR rolls from the second meltagun.  All that for 21 points.  Plus they get a new weapon, the Blight Launcher, 24" Assault 2, S6, AP-2, Dd3.  I am starting to think that Assault weapons are going to be pretty good for certain builds due to their ability to Advance and still shoot and with the PM's movement of 5", this helps their mobility issues.

Last on our list of "Cult Marines" are the formerly "Red headed step-child" of Chaos fame, the Noise Marines.  I think these guys got a boost.  At first look they are not much, they look like your standard Marine with an extra attack for 16 points, but they get access to sonic weapons, which are ok.  They aren't anything to gush about, until you can shoot them out of sequence right before you pull them off the table even if the enemy is within 1".  Yep, when these guys die they can shoot their weapons off one last time at pretty much anything they want before you pull them off the table.  It's kind of like Soul Burst, and we all know how god awful broken that is, you can't kill anything in that army.  And once again, all the Sonic weapons are Assault weapons allowing for Advancing and shooting.  You need some crowd control, these are the guys.


On to the truly elite units starting with Terminators.  TWO WOUNDS!  Now that that's out of the way, they haven't really changed that much.  Combi-weapons, melee weapons, deep strike, 2+/5++, all that jazz.  Combi-flamers have lost a lot of use though as when you drop in you are not able to set up within range of them unless you can cast Warptime on them, which is where we come to our first


2 out of the 3 combi-weapons that Terminators can be equipped with get significantly better when closer than what deep strike allows, not to mention all that close combat potential.  There are a couple ways you can get Warptime close enough to use it.  First, and probably most obvious, you can drop in a Sorcerer in terminator armour or jump pack right next to the terminators and viola, or you can just use tactics and skills and time it just right to have a sorcerer or daemon prince in the right place at the right time.  Either way it gets those terminators a 4" charge after laying waste with combi-weapons galore so they can lay waste again with power weapons galore all for a base cost of 31 points.
However they are not without their drawbacks.  I have discovered that the thing that was so good at killing terminators before (plasma guns) are still really good at killing them.  While extremely durable against small arms fire, anything bigger tends to wipe them out pretty quick.  Second, their minimum unit size is 5, which means there is no room for a character to join them in a Land Raider and that is just all kinds of wrong.

Next on the list are Chosen and they did not change at all.  All the weapons.  Nuff said

Possessed got a bit of a revamp and there are some ups and downs.  First off, they are 22 points, which is a lot for no guns and only d3 attacks.  That is a little too random to be able to rely on.  Now these guys did get some boosts, a 7" move and AP-2 are pretty good and these guys popping out of a vehicle hitting the front line will do some damage, but not alone.  They really need some help be it Prescience or a Lord/Prince for the re-rolls to help mitigate those times they get low attacks.

In a game where you need to being either fast, dangerous, or durable, the Helbrute/Dreadnaught has not been any of them in along time.  That has changed pretty drastically.  Starting off at 72 points, and don't let that fool you cause you'd be hard pressed to get one for less than 125, the Helbrute has gotten faster, tougher and deadlier.  There are many different styles you can build, anti vehicle with twin lascannon and missile launcher.  Anti horde with heavy bolter or auto cannon and a fist with heavy flamer, or even 2 fists and heavy flamers.  Anti elite would be the plasma cannon and fist, or fist and scourge(my favourite). The fist and scourge Helbrute will end up costing around 155, but he gets 5 attacks at S12 AP-3 and D3 PLUS 3 attacks as S8 AP-2 D2.  That's 8 attacks in total!  We have not even gotten to the best part yet, at the end of any phase that the Helbrute suffers a wound, roll a D6 and on a 6 you can shoot(no enemies within 1") or fight.  But beware, although his T7, W8 and Sv3+ makes him pretty tough, a Manticore can still kill him in one turn if it gets 12 shots.  Right Brenden?

And that is all of the elites.  Nothing more to see here...


FINE, WE'LL TALK ABOUT MUTILATORS!  I don't know what GW has against these guys.  They have ALWAYS sucked and their models are terrible.  They still suck, and I haven't heard of any new models for them any time soon.  For 65 points each, and you have to take 3, you get a T4 guy with 3 wounds and 2+ save.  He has S5+d3, AP-d3, and Dd3.  What does this mean?  You roll 3d3 before each time it fights and fill in the blanks.  You don't even get to choose where they go, you have to roll them in order.  Oh, and they are only M4".  What is that all about?  A dedicated combat unit that can't move worth shit?  Sure they can teleport in, but you still have a long charge to make and you only have 3 so you can't even suck in many other units.  The simplest way to fix these guys is, at the start of each turn you roll 3d3 and allocate the results how you see fit.  That way when you are begging for that high damage to kill ork nobs you don't end up with S8 AP-3 and D1.  Or when you're fighting Marines you won't get S6, AP-1, and D3.

In a role of it's own we have the humble Rhino.  It's more than doubled in points cost, but I wholeheartedly agree that it's worth it.  So vehicles got a huge boost in this edition.  No longer are the days where a single lascannon or meltagun will ruin your day and blow up your transport.  Now they will need to dedicate a serious amount of firepower to take it out.  The last game I played my opponent dedicated 2/3 of his IG army to killing a single Rhino and he was not able to, leaving it at a single wound.  This was in part to smoke launchers, which no longer give a cover save but make it harder to hit with a -1 to all hit rolls targeting it.  That does not seem like much, but if you also get it in cover it's a really hard nut to crack.  The Rhino can hold 10 models and take a smorgasbord of weapons nearly making it a razorback.  Tack on a havoc launcher and a combi weapon and you got a pretty good fire platform.  We must remember though, and this is the first unit I've talked about that has this, this unit will degrade in ability the more damage it takes.  It's movement decreases, it's BS decreases and it's attacks decreases.
In my couple games, and this really should not come to any surprise, I have found that you need to pick a job for it to do and stick to it.  I wanted my Rhinos to both act as a fire support and transport troops into the teeth of the enemy tank gun line and equipped them with havoc launchers and extra combi bolters.  Well, if I want them to shoot they are not advancing and not using smoke, and if they are advancing and using smoke that are not shooting, thereby wasting the points I spent on the firepower.  If I was to do it again I would maybe put on a combi-flamer.  Because it's an assault weapon I will be able to shoot after I advance and it automatically hits.
In short, Rhinos are good at their job again.


Ok, my bikers don't look this good, but they get me just as hard.  Getting a 50% points increase, but a 100% wound increase, these guys might just be my new favourite mobile gun platform.  So for 33 points you get a biker with a combi-bolter and a pistol.  You can then choose to buy a special weapon, or you can upgrade your combi-bolter for a special weapon, but why would you do that?  You can have a combi-boter and a special weapon.  And since all units have super split fire you can fire your meltaguns at that Leman Russ tank and the Combi-bolters into that command squad.  Now their increased wounds and firepower are not the only thing that has changed, they have also gotten faster and slower.  Their movement has increased to 14", only get 6" to their advance, as opposed to their 12" "turbo boost".  I don't mind this loss of inches mainly because I can still shoot assault weapons after advancing.  Moving 20" and throwing out a couple meltagun shots can catch someone unaware at the most inopportune time.  I would not try this right off the hop though unless you also get a Warptime off and they can move twice, getting nice a close and not needing to advance.  Alternately you could put flamers on them so they are doing 3d6 hits plus 3 combi-bolters and a bolter.

Raptors have not changed a lot.  None of their stats have changed, their weapon options are all the same, they can deep strike, even their points stayed the same.  The one rule that did change though is they no longer cause fear, but dish out a +1 to morale tests to enemy units within 1", so in combat.  I believe that causing morale tests is going to be a viable strategy in 8th and this ability will really help with this.  For many situations, losing a single model is not that big of a deal, but when you cause a single model like a wraithguard to run, then that's where it makes a difference.

Warptalons are also nearly the same, their points dropped a few and they still have a pair of lightning claws and they can still deep strike.  Again though, their special rule that used to cause a blind test to enemies when they landed nearby has changed to units cannot fire overwatch against them on the turn that they arrive.  This brings me to my next combo...
The idea here is to use the Warptalons to protect your other charging units by denying the overwatch. With a big enough unit of Warptalons this could potentially affect many enemy units.  First off, drop in your Warptalons into a centralised area, usually an area where they would get completely shot to pieces next turn.  Then you use a strategically placed psyker to cast Warptime on them giving them a chance to move their 12" and get right next to all their potential targets and charge as many enemy units as possible.  The enemy can't overwatch and then the rest of your nearby units can feel free to assault free from harassment.  This works great with a couple other units that can deep strike, maybe have the sorcerer do it too, and you have a scary little time bomb that your enemy will have to concern himself with until you decide it's time to strike.  With all those units in reserve, it makes it pretty obvious what you're going to do, but it makes it easier than trying to set up a perfect scenario with unit on the table.  Things might have died, or got blocked or delayed from being where you need them to make the big dog pile charge.

Spawn are still in the fast attack role, but they got a lot slower(M7") and look a lot more like super possessed for 33 points each.  Their S5, T5, W4, and Ad6 all looks about normal but they get a 5+ save and AP-2 D2 which is pretty damn awesome.  Add a bonus ability each fight of -4AP, +2A, OR re-rolling failed wounds and these guys are pretty scary.  They also give out a -1 Ld penalty to enemy units within 1".  Combine this ability to the Raptors ability and you could be causing some serious morale issues for your opponent, maybe forcing him to use command points to keep his units from running.



Our only flier in this book isn't even really a flier.  It doesn't have supersonic or hard to hit and just moves around like a normal model, albeit really quickly.  At 138 points it sounds like a steal, until you realise that the baleflamer(which is still the better weapon at S6, AP-2, D2) is 60 points.  Still, for under 200 points you have a ridiculously fast (30" movement, undamaged) that can get where it needs to be to deliver a very critical strike.  It can also assault and is no slouch in combat with A4, AP-1, Dd3.  It's claws have a rule that makes it better at hitting enemy units with the fly keyword, which could be anything from actual fliers to jump pack units.  It's also somewhat durable with T7 and W12, plus it regains a wound back every turn and has a 5++.


At the top of the heap in the heavy support column is something that I don't think I've seen in a top table competitive game of 40 in many years, the Landraider.  T8, W16, Sv2+, this thing is a beast.  But beware is seemingly fair price of 239 cause it's actually bullshit.  With the inclusion of weapon you are looking at a minimum of 356 points.  It does carry 10 models, and has 4 lascannon shots with 6 heavy bolter shots, it ignores the -1 to hit penalty for moving and shooting heavy weapons, and can take some extra support weapons if you want, it puts out a ton of hurt, and can take a serious pounding.  For it's cost, it's worth it.  There are some definite drawbacks though, just as before.  It's expensive, so when you face that list that has 20+ lascannons/equivalents, you will loose it and soon.  There are a couple ways to protect it though as the new FAQ has stated that if a model in in cover, it does not matter what is obscuring it, only that it is obscured.  So that means if you got a couple treads in cover and your other rhinos are covering 50% of the Landraider, you will get cover giving your Landraider a 4+ save vs AP-3 firepower.  As I mentioned in the terminator section, since terminators only come in squads of 5, you can't fit a character in with them, but you can fit in 3 mutilators and a Chaos Lord.  This is probably the ONLY real potential use for mutilators as it solves their lack of mobility issue and they can remain mobile as long as the Landraider remains nearby and mobile.

Our next killer tank is the Predator, and I have to say I'm loving the Autocannon it comes with.  While S7 and AP-1 is a little on the weak side, but the 2d3 shots and solid D3 make each failed save really hurt.  With a base of 102 points, and the turret weapon nearly 50 points, this tank is going to cost 151 points, add another 10 points for heavy bolter sponsons, or 50 points for lascannon sponsons and maybe a havoc launcher or combi-weapon.  While there seems to be a surge in the popularity of lascannons, I can see a place for a Predator to take the Autocannon turret and lascannon sponsons.  I don't think heavy bolters are what you want to use for crowd control, and certainly not on a vehicle.  You will see some of these, and they will hurt your big stuff so make them a priority.

The Vindicator is up next, and it's cost of 160 is "all in" because it's demolisher cannon has a cost of 0.  Since the demolisher cannon is the only thing that can take it, they decided to add it's cost into the model's cost and give the gun a cost of 0.  Just one more thing that confuses the fuck out of me and the organisation of this book, but I digress.  With all the basic stats of the Predator, except for T8, it's an ok buy but the demolisher cannon is disappointing.  I find that it's either the low number of shots, or maybe the variability of it's damage that just doesn't seem to make up the cost in my mind.  Being a siege type weapon I would have assumed that there would be a boon when shooting at fortifications, or other vehicles, or units in cover, perhaps ignoring cover.  Perhaps more shots, or similar to a meltagun, a higher chance of high damage output.  Instead, it gets an increased number of shots when shooting at a unit of 5 or more models.  This kind of undermines it's large S and D result as most units that consist of 5 or more models typically have a lower T and W, making the S10 and Dd6 somewhat superfluous.

OK, what can I say about Obliterators that has not already been said about Mutilators.  They are kind of shit.  For a unit that has so long been the backbone of the Chaos shooting phase, it's very disappointing to see where they ended up.  While I actually like the idea that they had with both units, I feel they have both fallen short of their mark.  With the same basic stats, the Oblits have a projectile weapon that 24", S6+d3, AP-d3, and Dd3.  The weapons only saving grace is that it's Assault 2, meaning it can advance and shoot, and with it's M4" it'll need it.  Of course it can deep strike, but with it's random shooting ability it is really hard to pick a right target to deep strike near and be able to hurt.  These guys are just too random for 65 points.  Oh, and as with the mutilators you have to take 3, no more, no less.  Bizarre.

Havocs on the other hand are way more gooder than they was before the 8th edition gots here!  Not for any rule added to the Havocs themselves, but because of the rules to the actual weapons and how they are used.  Moving and shooting heavy weapons isn't as much of an issue any more with a mere -1 to hit modifier, and weapons have gotten far more deadly.  While the autocannon has been the favourite of this unit for a long time, for a measly 5 more points you can get a lascannon or missile launcher, both of which are far better than the autocannon.  Another great thing is the infinite split fire unit get, if you happen to be short on heavy support slots then you can put mixed weapons in a Havoc squad and they can still fire at their optimal targets.  Remember to take a couple extra models as sacrificial lambs.

Our Maulerfind/Forgefind duo have levelled out in points, although I'm not too sure it's for the better. Starting at around 170-180 including weapons, I don't really see these guys doing enough damage especially after taking a couple wounds.  First off, they start as WS4+ and BS4+, each degrading as they take more damage, of course the thing that makes them good being the thing that gets worse.  They are fairly tough with 12 wounds, a 3+/5++ and repairing a wound at the start of each turn.  So lets take a better look, starting with the Forgefiend, I've already looked at the stats so lets stick to the weapons.  The ectoplasma cannon is only 24", but it's AP-3 and Dd3 is pretty good, but it's biggest failing is S7.  Only wounding most infantry on 3+ and most vehicles on 4+ really takes some wind out of it's sails.  If you want S8 you're limited to it's hades autocannons, and the AP-1 is really disappointing for a gun of that calibre.  The D2 is nice, but the S8 and it's volume of fire is what this gun really has going for it.  Prescience and a nearby re-roll generator will really show payoffs though.  Same with the Maulerfiend power fists.  Sx2, AP-3, and D3, plus 2 magma cutters which are 6" pistols S8, AP-4, D3.  These are all really good, except for the fact that he only hits on a 4+ and only get A4 at full health, but that's not likely to last since he has to run across the field to get to use any of his awesome abilities.  All said, either version is likely to only get 1 or 2 attacks through without any buffs.  Not very impressive for 180 points.

Another "sort of dud" is our good buddy the Defiler.  While better that it was in previous editions, this guy can put out some pretty serious punch in both shooting and punching.  He is kind of like a Maulerfiend and Forgefiend combined, and he is around 270 points with basic wargear.  The good thing is that he can put out an ungodly amount of fire power and it's pretty decent quality.  Battle cannon, twin heavy flamer (2d6 shots that hit automatically!), reaper autocannon is it's starting equipment, but I would consider swapping the twin heavy flamer for a power scourge to augment his rather paltry A3.  Plus his WS4+ doesn't degrade as he loses wounds.  He also has smoke launcher for some unexplained reason.  You know, in case he needs to advance cause he is out of range with his...battle cannon?  Overall a mediocre unit much like it's daemon engine brethren.  Now if they had thought to give the Warpsmith some sort of ability that buffs daemon engines, that would have been pretty cool.

Lord of War
The last unit I will talk about, and briefly at that, is the good 'ol king of beers, the Khorne Lord of Skulls.  You'll be looking at a minimum of just over 600 points for this guy, upwards of over 700, and honestly, I have no idea if he is worth it.  He has W28 and T8 with a 3+5++ and all those things are good, as are his increasing attacks.  Although they do get weaker, his dual attack methods match this perfectly starting with his slash attacks while his is a his highest S and switching to his smash attacks when his S falls.  Please leave me any messages or info on how this guy plays if you have used him.

Well, once again I have come to end of a long winded episode that's probably going to take several bathroom breaks to read.  Don't push too hard, you blow and "O"ring.  Thanks for reading and feel free to leave comments, I read them all... if there were any...
Until next time, keep them dice rollin.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

8TH EDITION IS FINALLY HERE: HERETIC ASTARTES 1

 




Oh-my-lanta!  What the hell is going on here?  3 posts within a month of each other?  I'm back so soon to start delving into the Chaos index. This one is gonna get deep with tactics and stuff.  Remember, I've only played a couple games, so I essentially know nothing.  Take it all with a grain of salt.

The Index: Chaos is on the smaller side of the indexes coming in at a mere 128 pages.  It covers Heretic Astartes, Daemons, and Questor Traitoris (GW nerd talk for Renegade Knights).  This first set of posts will cover the Heretic Astartes, and I'll get into the others when I have time.  Yeah right...

But first the salt must floweth...

OK, I want to talk right to GW for a minute, join me over here on camera 3, just the two of us...  what... the... fuck... where you thinking?  These books have got to be the most poorly organized books I have ever seen.  They seem to be filled with mistakes, not explain certain things, and be just plain old confusing.  Oh don't worry, I have examples.

My first beef is that basic wargear is not included in the cost of the model from the Heretic Astartes units if you are using points for Matched Play.  Now, it just so happens that most of the basic wargear has a cost of 0, but not all of it does.  When you compare that to the Daemon Entries, there is no Daemons points values weapons list.  So why does a Rubric Marine's Inferno Bolter cost him 2 points when it's standard wargear, but a plaguesword doesn't cost a Herald of Nurgle or Plaguebearers anything?

Next up is simple organization.  Lets take a look at the fucking hoops you have to jump through just to equip a unit of simple fucking Chaos Space Marines (page 26).  First up, we determine the squad size, lets go with 10.  How many points is 10 Marines?  It doesn't say on their Dataslate, so we go to page 118, but if we haven't also read page 114 we would not know that Aspiring Champions actually cost the same as a regular Marine.  Every past edition we have had to pay for that, so you might be looking for that for a while.  Back to page 26 to figure out what weapons they should have.  They all have their basic wargear, which is no longer actually included in the models points cost, so we will have to jump to page 119 quickly to make sure none of it actually costs any additional points then back to 26 for upgrades.  The Aspiring Champ is the first on the list so we have to go to the Champion Wargear list to figure out what he has access to, page 11.  I can't decide whether to give him a Power fist or Lightning claw, so I have to go to page 124 and 125 to get their profile, then go to page 119 to compare their cost.  Now back on 26 I see that one model can take a weapon from the Special or Heavy weapons lists on page 11, and if I have 10 models I can take two Special or Heavy weapons.  The cost of said weapons is on page 119 and the profiles are on 122 and 123.  I also have the option of taking a Chaos Icon, rules found on page 10, but cost is back on 119.
Just to equip a unit of Chaos Space Marines I have to visit pages 10, 11, 26, 118, 119, 122, 123, 124, 125, and maybe 114 if you haven't read every page before trying to make a list.  10 pages that need to be flipped back and forth to and that needs to be done for each and every unit until you can memorize all the things you need to know.  While I'm on the thought of memorizing things, what the fuck is up with bull shit points cost?  Only about half of all the points costs of models, weapons, special wargear ends in a 0 or 5.

As a second example, lets look at the Lord of Change.  It has one Dataslate.  In that Dataslate is weapon options for a baleful sword and a rod of sorcery, but good luck finding the baleful sword in the weapons points list cause it's not there.  The rod of sorcery is, but not the sword.  So how do you find out the cost of the sword, well the Lord of Change has 2 entries in the model points list, one with the sword and one without.


My final beef is the blatant looking errors.  Now maybe I'm wrong on this, perhaps they did this on purpose, but I doubt it.  The first one I found is that there is an item in the Heretic Astartes other wargear price list called an Instrument of Chaos for 0 points, but I'll be a fucking monkey's uncle if I could find what unit can take one.  Next up is the difference of Typhus and the Lord of Contagion.  They have the same stat line and every rule that the Lord of Contagion has Typhus has, then Typhus has a shit load more rules that makes him way better BUT he costs less points.  While we are on Typhus and the Death Guard, why is it that Terminators are not in the list of units can can be taken in a DEATH GUARD army (page 57)?  That is just a damn shame.  I understand that I can take a separate detachment and get terminators with the mark of Nurgle in the army, but they won't be able to benefit from the Death Guard keyword.  Do I need to remind GW of the Deathshroud and the Gravewarden?  I'm going to assume that this is going to get rectified when the Death Gurad codex comes out shortly, but why is it something that has to get fixed?

These guys no longer exist.
End of rant.  That went on for a while but I have to mention that very few issues have anything to do with rules.  It's simple organization and lack of consistency that dives me up the wall.

Starting with Heretic Astartes, we have the keywords.  Most of the entries have keywords inside angular brackets like <LEGION> or <MARK OF CHAOS>.  This means that you can insert whichever legion you want.  There is also mention of Renegade chapters, but there doesn't seem to be any further explanation or list of what we can use.  This is likely for those fanboys out there who have created their own fallen chapter with their own name and story and not for the gamey douchbags who want to name their fallen chapter Howling Griffons so they can take Obliterators with their Space Marine army that also has the same Keyword.
In any case, when you replace the keyword <LEGION> and <MARK OF CHAOS>, all other references in that unit are replaced with the same keyword.  The example they give is a Chaos Lord from the Word Bearers legion.  The <LEGION> keyword on his datasheet is replaced with Word Bearers, and now his Lord of Chaos rule will only affect other units from the Word Bearers Legion.
Neato!

Next up we have the new version of Veterans of the Long War, now called Death to the False Emperor, and it's way better.  In the FIGHT phase, when you roll a 6+ to hit you may roll an additional attack (these do not generate more attacks).  Now, after a little looking, this is determined AFTER any modifications.  So if you get a +1 to hit modifier (wait till we get to the psychic powers), you will generate extra attacks on a die roll of 5 or 6.  Of course this only works if you are attacking armies with the IMPERIAL key word but we all know there are shit loads of those out there.

Each of the 4 gods once again get their banners followed up by an unaligned banner.  Khorne allows a reroll to charge distances.  Slaanesh turns Death to the False Emperor into a 5+ (meaning that with prescience you're getting extra attacks on a 4+).  Nurgle hit enemies within 3" with a -1 to Ld.  Tzeentch dishes out a mortal wound to the closest unit on a 4+.  And the undevided grants a +1Ld to the unit. They are all the same points, but I think Khorne and Tzeentch come out looking like winners.  The Slaanesh banner is good, but only works against Imperial armies, and poor Nurgle once again gets the worst banner.  If the range was changed to 9" or even 7"(keep it fluffy) it would make it a viable item, but it's short range limits it drastically.

The last bit before we get into actual units is the new psychic powers.  There are only 6, 3 for everyone, and 3 for Death Guard only.  First up is Infernal Gaze, roll 3D6 and for each 4+ the target takes a mortal wound.  That one will not get much use as Smite is better and everyone gets it.  Warptime targets a friendly Heretic Astartes unit within 3" and they may move as if it was the movement phase.  That one is good and I will get into it later but you can probably see the potential for it.  The last is Prescience, it also targets a friendly Heretic Astartes within 18" unit and gives them a +1 to their hit rolls.  This one is good too, especially with a Lord nearby handing out re-rolls.  You'll likely never miss.
The Contagion discipline has a decent set of powers, one granting a friendly Death Guard unit a boost making them yet more resilient giving all units attacking it a -1 to hit.  The next gives a de-buff to an enemy unit with a -1S, -1T, OR -1A.  If you're having troubles with hordes, Plague Wind can help, rolling a D6 for each model in the target unit, a roll of 6 will inflict a Mortal Wound to the unit.  Of course this one works on smaller elite units too, where one wound means a lot.


Let's start with the bosses, and at the top of the list is the boss of all bosses, the big baddie himself, Abaddon the Despoiler.  Tipping the scales at 253 points, his impressive stat line, weapons, and special rules drastically overshadows his old model. 2s to hit and save, 7W and 6A is pretty good, particularly with the weapons he comes with.
The Talon of Horus is a dual purpose weapon with a Combi-Bolter that deals D3 wounds, and a power fist without the to hit penalty.  Rounding out the weapons is Drach'nyen with +1S, AP-3, D3 damage, and the old familiar daemon weapon rule.  The cool thing now is that even if you make all your attacks with the Talon, you will still get the 2-6 attacks from Drach'nyen in addition.  Unless you roll a 1...but that's what command points are for!
His Dark Destiny grants him a 4++ and halves all damage he suffers(rounding up).  This is a bit controversial as it doesn't really say when you half it.  Do you half the damage immediately?  If he is hit by 2 lascannons, do you halve each one, or total the damage and then halve it?  Either way it's pretty good and keeps him safe from big guns.  He also has 2 really good aura buffs, one allowing all Heretic Astartes units to auto pass morale tests when within 12", the other granting re-rolls to hit for friendly Black Legion units. All to hit roll.  That's pretty good even if it is only 6".  He is a no-brainer and I'm betting you will see him everywhere.  Rise of the Black Legion.


Huron Blackheart is next in line coming in at a measly 125 points, but don't let that fool you, this guy has some punch.  He has the stat line of a Lord but rocks some decent weaponry and special rules that make him seriously worth the points.  The Tyrant's Claw is both a heavy flamer and a power fist combined in one, he has a power axe, a 4++, and he is a psyker able to cast and deny 1 power.  With him is the Hamadrya, which is a familiar that actually is it's own model, has a single wound and while it's still alive it allows Huron to cast an additional power.  His final, and in my opinion best, ability is very much like Abaddon's in that he has a 6" aura that allows Red Corsair units to auto-pass morale tests.  Auto passing morale is going to be very important in this edition, trust me on this.  With the low points cost I see him being played by anyone who already has a Red Corsairs army painted up and just needs an excuse to use him.  You could pair him with a Sorcerer or a Lord for the re-rolls as that's about the only thing he is missing to make him an auto-include.


Next up is the cowboy himself Cypher.  His claim to fame is he can shoot his supercharged plasma pistol(2) that doesn't get hot and his 16" bolt pistol(3) ALL THE TIME.  Even after falling back or advancing.  That's pretty much it for him, but he is only 110 points so let those trigger fingers fly.  Cheap, hard to pin down, can pack a punch but is kind of squishy to small arms fire so keep him hidden, which actually hurts his effectiveness.  I don't really see him being taken too often,


Fabius Bile is the cheapest of all named characters at only 109 points, but regaining D3 wounds back each turn he could be difficult to put down.  However we all know why we are taking this guy, he has the ability to enhance a unit of non-Character Heretic Astartes Infantry that are within 1" of him at the end of the movement phase.  While he may only enhance a unit once, he can enhance one unit per turn.  The affected unit may gain +1 S, T or A but you must roll a D6 for each model and on a roll of 6 the unit suffers 1 mortal wound.  Despite his low cost, I don't see him being used a lot.  If he could enhance the same unit multiple times, perhaps increasing the chance of them dying, then he might be worth it, but as it is the buffs he grants won't tip the scales often enough to be worth it.


I'm going to jump around the book a little and keep going with the named characters, Kharn the Betrayer being the next one to cover.  Kharn rocks a plasma pistol that always supercharged, a 4++ and Gorechild, a +1S, AP-4 D3 damage axe that always hits on a 2+ regardless of modifiers.  To counter that, any to hit rolls of 1 can not be re-rolled or modified and will hit a friendly unit within 1".  If there are no units within 1" then the dice are discarded.  Now for 173 points he has got to have more than just that, and he does.  World Eater units within 1" of him can re-roll all failed hit rolls which is a big deal, just ask Abaddon.  With the range of this power only being 1", he will likely only be in range of 2 units, but if those units are a couple of Forgefiends, or a couple units of plasma toting Chosen, this has some serious potential for damage output. He can fight twice in each fight phase, and thanks to the recent FAQ, we know that this means he counts as 2 units when choosing who to attack with, and thus can be chosen twice.  This means that if he charges, he will make both of his sets of attacks before the enemy goes(barring any silly rules that interrupts those attacks)


Our next characters just so happen to the big and little brother of Tzeentchian fame, Magnus and Ahriman.  Now these guys are almost the same in their psychic power casting abilities.  Each can cast and dispel 3 powers, each get a bonus to casting and dispelling.  The big difference is that you can almost fit the cost of Ahriman(125) and 3 Sorcerers into the cost of 1 Magnus(415).  Now Magnus is a Lord of War and has way more wounds and bigger weapons and is stronger, and his Smite does D6/2D6 wounds, etc etc, but being that big allows him to get shot where as Ahriman and the Sorcerer's can be hidden.  Magnus plays a dual role in that he can cast powers and beat face, while Ahriman can only really cast powers, but you have almost 300 points for backup so this is really a preference call in my opinion.


Typhus, Host of the Destroyer Hive and all other afflictions is one tough son of a bitch.  T5, W6, 2+/4++, FNP(5+) this guy is one of the toughest characters in the book.  Plus he can lay the smack down with his Manreaper at S+3, AP-3, and 3 damage.  He is also a psyker that can cast 2 and dispel 1 and takes his powers from the Contagion discipline.  The Destroyer Hive is represented as a 2D6 pistol that ALWAYS hit on a 5+ and is S4 AP-3.  That's awesome for taking out any and everything.  The number of shots shows potential for horde control, and the good AP works on tough units and its a Pistol which means you can shoot it at things your in combat with, or that are in combat near you.  That's not all the Destroyer Hive does as it also pumps up nearby Poxwalker units with a +1S and T bonus.  Finally, all Death Guard model within 7" of Typhus are surrounded with plague.  Enemy units that are within 1" of such a model at the start of your turn will take a mortal wound on a 4+.  So why doesn't everyone play Death Guard?  Typhus seems like an absolute beast for 164 points.  He is god awful slow.  M4" and his Advance moves are halved.  The only thing that can really mitigate this is that he can teleport on the battlefield.  Still once he is there he is easily avoided, just like "real" zombies.  So he hits hard, but is slow as molasses.  I can see him being used in a Land Raider, or as a buff for your speed bump of Poxwalkers.  I feel that with the way charges and pile in moves work, speed bumps and defensive walls are going to be pretty important.

Just behind Typhus are the Lord of Contagion and the Malignant Plaguecaster.  They are, combined, not as good as Typhus so I'll not talk about them.


Our last named hero walks on the scene for 115 points and, honestly, Lucius the Eternal doesn't really show much for it. Armed with a D2 power sword and a couple of assault projectile weapons, he range is not great and his stats are average.  His armour gives him a 5++ and will cause a Mortal Wound on a 4+ when he makes a successful saving throw.  It's not clear as to whether or not it's for each saving throw, which would change things considerable.  If half of all the saving throws I make would turn into Mortal Wounds on the enemy, that would definitely make Lucius worth his points.  His other great boon is that if he directs all of his attacks against another character, he may make an additional 2 attacks.  I really don't see him being used that often unless his armour actually does do multiple Mortal Wounds.  I guess we will have to wait and see.

That wraps up the named characters and brings us to the generics.  Starting with the Chaos Lord who is your swiss army knife of characters.  There are 7 different entries for him with various mounts and bits of armour ranging in starting cost of 74 to 125 points, but some things remain the same.  He grants the typical re-roll of 1's bonus and he comes with a 4++.  Depending on the weapons he gets and what he is riding or wearing, he can do just about anything.  However I have noticed that he is not the beatstick he once was.  With just the standard array of weaponry he just doesn't have the punch to really stand out as a serious threat the way that many of the other named characters do, but is fantastic as a support unit.  Put him in a vehicle with a hard hitting unit and watch them hit harder, you can also use him to support that unit for the counter charge when he can Heroically Intervene to get some hits in while staying relatively safe from enemy attacks (since they didn't charge him they can't attack him).

Now, if you're wanting some dedicated support for a hard hitting combat unit, the Dark Apostle is your guy.  He grants a re-roll failed hits in the fight phase and use his Ld for morale tests aura.  Pretty good for 72 points.  He does have a 4++ but isn't the most durable guy so keep him safe and let him buff the beat sticks.  I see him being carted around in a transport with some Bezerkers, Possessed, or alongside a Maulerfiend or 2.  Or even getting him to show up right when some Warptalons drop in.

Now for everyone's favourite, the Daemon Prince.  He got a pretty serious make over a points reduction with a base cost of 146(170 with wings).  Now you're saying that's pretty much the same cost, but just about all his stats have improved by 1 point except for his attacks witch have dropped to 4.  However, since he hits everything on 2+, it pretty much makes up for that.  He is a Psyker and can cast and deny one power and comes stock with a 3+/5++.  His weapon options are pretty powerful, but can be costly.  The Daemonic axe and Helforged sword are 45 and 42 points respectively, while a second set of Malefic talons only set you back 10 points.  The axe grants +1S, AP-3 and D3 for a -1 on your to hit rolls, wile the sword only has AP-2 it still has D3 and no penalty to hit.  Being the weaker of the 3 weapons at AP-2 and D2, the talons grant an additional attack when the model fights, or 3 additional attacks when equipped with 2 sets of talons.  You can also buy a Warp Bolter, something that has been lost since the 3.5 Codex in which it was called the Kai Gun.  It's an assault 2, 24", S4, AP-1, D2 projectile weapon for 9 points which is a steal of a deal.  I find that for the savings in points, 2 set of talons, the Warp bolter, and wings for 189 points is a really good option.  Yet I'm not done with him as he also has a re-roll 1's to hit aura that works not only on Heretic Astartes of the same Legion, but to Daemons of the same god.  Probably the best candidate for the Warptime psychic power if I have ever seen one, it gives him a 26-36" charge range with 7 attacks(8 attacks at S8 if he's a Khorne Prince and charges).  Plus he is a character with less than 10 wounds, so he can't be targeted by shooting unless he is the closest model and that is fucking golden.  The Daemon Prince is almost an auto-take in a Heretic Astartes army.

Like the Chaos Lord, the Sorcerer has multiple entries all sporting different mounts and armour, the only one that missing, for obvious reasons, is the Juggernaut of Khorne.  Ranging from 90 points, for the basic Sorcerer in power armour to 140 whopping points in Terminator armour, he is more expensive that the Lord, yet worse in every way.  Worse stat line, no special force multiplier rules, the only thing that makes him worth the points is that he is a psyker and can cast two and dispel one power.  This means he know Smite and the 2 power that matter from the Dark Hereticus discipline.  So, I could go into several ways to use this guys here, involving multiple different units and different tactics, but I think that I will save that for each of the units entries and maybe for some army theory at the end of the series.  I'm going to say, that it's safe to say, that this guy is going to be a popular choice.  Oh, and he can take some special weapons, does that make you happy?

Our final candidate for the "Will see the table again" awards goes to the Warpsmith at a base 74 points.  Armed with an ass load of guns and BS2+ he will hit and kill stuff.  He comes with a flamer, meltagun, and can upgrade his pistol to a plasma pistol or a combi weapon.  His only special ability is to repair a friendly vehicle within 1" for d3 wounds, or to inflict a single mortal wound on an enemy vehicle within 18" on a 2+.  This is not a shooting attack and happens at the end of the movement phase.  That means he could potentially pop out of a vehicle turn two, 20ish inches up the table and unload 2 meltagun shots hitting on 2+ after tossing out a mortal wound to a vehicle just for shits and giggles.  With all the trimmings above he comes to around 125 points.

So there we have all the HQ units.  That was a lot of typing, but we are not done yet.  There is still a lot of book to go, but I will have to cover that in another post.  Well at least this 8th edition of rules is giving me something to write about.  I hope you all enjoyed this post and I look forward to hearing from you.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.