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Messages - Celerior

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Discussion: THE LIST / Re: Grey Knights Vostroyan 2K
« on: Today at 10:17:14 AM »
My feel is that in this edition, you have to play one of two ways:
- "I'm going to waste you harder and faster than you waste me", or
- "Good luck wasting me with THOSE guns!"

The first variant includes both assault armies and Tau, but comes down to having an army that can wipe another army off the table by doing a lot of damage quickly.
The second variant includes both marine (2+ in cover vs. AP 0) and guard (300 bodies!!!) armies, and tank-heavy armies.

The problem with your list is that it is... perfectly balanced? Your tanks aren't numerous enough to swamp your opponent's anti-tank firepower. Your infantry aren't numerous enough to swamp an opponent's anti-horde guns. Deep striking some strike squads, you'd get a lot of firepower out of storm bolters on turn 1, but yours arrive on turn 2, and in less numerous fashion due to the expense of terminators. I haven't done the math, but I don't think you have enough anti-tank firepower to take out much more than a single enemy rhino on turn 1.

So on the offense, your list doesn't do damage until the terminators hit on turn 2, and on defense you don't have enough of any one thing to swamp your opponent's guns. Your opponent can fire his bolter equivalent guns at your guard, his anti-tank guns at your vehicles, and his anti-elite guns at your terminators. Meanwhile, you don't have enough conscripts to effectively swamp him in bodies, not enough terminators to do significant damage, and not enough speed/range to hit him with much on turn 1.

How did this happen? Two expensive named characters, two expensive vehicles which honestly aren't that much tougher than rhinos, and two expensive terminator squads. That 2+ armor mainly helps you on defense, but your terminators are your offensive spearhead.

If I built the list how would it be different?
I would drop the storm raven, land raider, named characters, and terminators. In their place, I would pick up lots of strike squads and lots of infantry squads with lascannons or missile launchers. I'd attack via deep strike with all the strike squads, probably turn 1. A strike squad has as much firepower as a terminator squad, but is way cheaper, so I could have lots of them. Storm bolters are awesome in this edition. With lots of cheap infantry units on the field, I could keep a lot of units in deep strike reserve! Also, in the assault, I think I'd rather have more strike squads. Between more smites and more bodies, I think they'd do more damage. And don't ignore the possibility of 2+ saves in cover for even your base marine.

Discussion: THE LIST / Re: Grey Knights Vostroyan 2K
« on: Today at 09:41:34 AM »
(TLDR, I like infantry squads but don't like your loadouts.) If your ratlings don't typically survive your opponent's first turn, those two spare sniper rifles will be pretty useless. I'd swap them out for plasma guns. Also, mortars do well when you can hide them out of sight. You aren't going to do that with 2 ten-man squads. If you want mortars, take them as a separate unit and hide them out of LOS. Also, you're paying 47 points for 1 sniper rifle and 1 mortar - hardly points efficient firepower. I've found that infantry squads work very well running up behind the conscripts while holding plasma guns.

Consider replacing the lord commissar with another company commander and a regular commissar. The point cost is rather small for the extra orders you get, and the benefit a lord commissar has over a regular one is minimal. On the other hand, 2 company commanders for just ~75 men is hardly fluffy, so maybe not.

Discussion: THE LIST / 2000 Marines/Militarum latest iteration
« on: September 23, 2017, 11:58:49 PM »
One of the things I love about this edition is how you can build really competitive lists that are super fluffy. In this scenario, a lieutenant from a reserve company of a Raven Guard successor chapter takes command of a force of Catachans and deploys advanced pickets, anticipating the enemy's approach...

Space Marine Raven Guard spearhead detachment:
 Lieutenant, 2 chain swords (upgrade one to the teeth of terra)
 Scout squad, 10 men
 Devestator squad, 6 men, heavy bolter, 2 lascannons
 Devestator squad, 6 men, heavy bolter, 2 lascannons
 Devestator squad, heavy bolter, lascannon

2 Imperial Guard battalion detachments:
 Company commander
 Company commander
 Tempestor prime
 Tempestor prime
 Tempestor prime
 50 conscripts
 50 conscripts
 Infantry squad, plasma gun, lascannon
 Infantry squad, plasma gun, lascannon
 Infantry squad, plasma gun, lascannon
 Infantry squad, plasma gun, lascannon, boltgun
 Tempestus scions, 2 plasma guns & 1 plasma pistol
 Tempestus scions, 2 plasma guns & 1 plasma pistol
 Tempestus scions, 2 plasma guns & 1 plasma pistol
 Tempestus command squad, 4 plasma guns
 Tempestus command squad, 4 plasma guns
 Tempestus command squad, 4 meltaguns
 Astropath, laspistol
 Astropath, laspistol
 Astropath, laspistol
 Astropath, laspistol
 Astropath, laspistol
 Commissar, boltgun
 Sergeant Harker
 Heavy weapon squad, 3 mortars
 Heavy weapon squad, 3 heavy bolters
 Heavy weapon squad, 3 heavy bolters
 Sabre battery, defensive flashlight
 Sabre battery, defensive flashlight

Deployment: The scouts deploy as a screen to defend the main body from deep strikers getting within charge range of anything important. If necessary a couple of astropaths do the same on the flanks, or I deploy the smallest devastator squad "from the shadows". Behind these skirmishers, the conscripts make up the front row, with the infantry squads behind them. In terrain somewhere in the back sits the lieutenant's command post, from which he directs his devastator squads' firepower.

Tactics: The gunline units do their job. The scions do their job. The conscripts threaten to tie in assault and hold objectives, and with the help of astropaths in my back line, prevent opponents from deep striking effectively. The command points earned by the guard get expended by the marines: hellfire shells, orbital bombardments, and rerolls that have a better chance of success.

Very similar lists have done well for me at tournaments. The separate marine detachment is new to the list, though. I will be trying it out tomorrow.
C&C welcome.

Discussion: THE LIST / Re: 2000 Astra Militarum tourney list w/report
« on: August 06, 2017, 09:07:08 AM »
A battle report for this army is now available here:

Discussion: Battle Reports / 2000 point tournament report
« on: August 06, 2017, 08:58:11 AM »
I brought the list I posted here to a local NOVA tournament.

Round 1
I faced a chaos list with 34 brimstone horrors, a bunch of flying demon princes including a couple named ones, Magnus the Red, and two chaos knights.
Mission: Primary objective: objectives. Secondary objective: pick from a list. Tertiary objectives: kill something every turn, turns 2-5.
Objectives: I picked linebreaker, marked a unit of brimstones for death, and picked one which basically meant that I had to kill all the brimstones. This was a big error. I was going to deploy my scions against the knights, right? And my opponent was going to be rushing my army with them, right? Why not target them?
Deployment: I made the error of being spooked, and getting distracted by terrain, and got thrown off my game. I deployed in a corner where there was cool terrain instead of in the middle. This cost me in the end, as I couldn't reach all the objectives.

Turn 1, he advanced, took out the mortars, took out my 10 scouts, and did some damage to the basilisk. My astropaths denied a smite or two and Magnus' warp time power. They would continue to deny many powers.
My turn 1, my scions took out one knight and damaged the other. I killed one brimstone squad, but not the targeted one, which was hiding in a building, and short enough to be out of sight to most of my shooting.

Turn 2, he killed a lot of scions, but not all of them.
My turn 2, I killed the other knight and did a lot of damage to Magnus.

His turn 3, He killed almost all the scions and flew Magnus away from a lot of the firepower. At this point we were running out of time and realized we were only going to get 4 turns, because the organizers only gave us 2 hours of play per round!
My turn 3, I double-timed the conscripts and got them near many of the objectives.

His turn 4, one unit of brimstones reached a distant objective, another hid in a building in a corner, and his demon princes sat on two others. Magnus was going to be irrelevant to the scoring, so he basically just sat around and used smiting powers to kill about 20 conscripts. He would have had to kill about 20 more to make a difference.
My turn 4, my backline held 2 objectives, and my conscripts reached two more. Because I had deployed in a corner instead of the middle, I didn't manage to reach the other two, and I only managed to kill about half of the brimstones on the distant objective, and two brimstones survived my desperate assaults while hiding in the building.

Scoring: I beat him on primary objectives by 4 points, but he achieved all his secondaries and I achieved just 1, and I hadn't killed units on turns 3 and 4. He won, 13 to 11.

Lessons: Don't get spooked by a flying army and don't fall in love with awesome terrain features, because a 5+ to a 4+ isn't really valuable. Focus on secondary objectives first and pick things that you will be doing anyway, not things that seem easy. If you spend turns 1-2 focusing on secondary objectives and complete them, then once you've achieved them, focus on getting to objectives by the end of the game.

Round 2:
I faced a footslogging salamanders army with a lot of primaris marines. 10 hellblasters, 10 intercessors, 5 scouts, 5 tacticals, a predator, a razorback, a primaris rhino, a chapter master, 5 reivers, 5 vanguard vets with hammers. I seized the initiative, though really I shouldn't have bothered, but we both realized that this was going to be an unbalanced game.

Turn 1: My conscripts and scouts moved forward, half my scions dropped and killed half the hellblasters and the predator.
His turn 1, he killed most of the scions who had dropped, and used his reivers and vanguard vets to take out some of my scouting elements.

Turn 2: With all his deep strikers accounted for, I moved much of my army up farther, killed most of the reivers and all of the vanguard vets, and killing a couple of scouts. More scions dropped and killed all but one of the hellblasters. One reiver survived my assault which tied up him and a tactical squad.
His turn 2: He killed most of the scions that had dropped near the hellblasters with intercessors. His final Batman (reiver) survived the assault again.

Turn 3: I backed off the reiver and shot him to death, along with the scout squad, who didn't get 2+ saves in cover because of my astropaths. I tied up some big dreadnought and advanced my blob further towards his tactical squad.
His turn 3: He killed some conscripts.

We still had time, but rather than play out a fairly boring turn 4, we just assumed that his forces tucked in the corner could survive but that I would be able to take out a tactical squad and seize its' objective on that turn.

Scoring: This time I achieved all my secondaries (linebreaker, kill something on turn 1, and marked the reivers for death, since I figured they'd be coming near me...), got full points on the primary mission, and only failed to kill something on turns 5 or 6. He didn't achieve any secondary objectives and controlled just one primary objective marker. Final score: 18-4.

Lessons: If you're dealing with a firefight and actually want to win it, drop all your scions at once. Don't hold one in reserve here and one in reserve there. My conscripts can get to objectives. My backfield lascannons and plasma guns etc. can provide the extra last bit needed if it turns out I didn't put quite enough force into something.

Round 3
I faced a THUNDERHAWK GUNSHIP!!! In his backfield, he deployed a devastator (missile launchers) and hellblaster squad. A bunch of high firepower primaris units backed by a variety of characters sat in the thunderhawk's hold.
I deployed fearlessly in the middle of the table. For his objectives, he basically ended up trying to kill 60+ models, a conscript blob of 50, and my basilisk.

Turn 1: His thunderhawk flew to midfield. He shot at some targets he considered important: my heavy weapons and infantry squads. His devestators did a bit of damage to my big blob.
My turn 1: I dropped most of my scions to take out his hellblaster and devastator squads (one of my secondary targets, and another of my goals was linebreaker). I used overkill on both targets, fearing an auspex scan stratagem. My opponent didn't bother because with so much firepower available to me, "there's no point". I killed the support units, and shot the leftover plasma at the thunderhawk. My conscripts and other stripped another couple wounds off the thunderhawk.

Turn 2: His thunderhawk disgorged a ton of primaris marines. Between them and shooting from the thunderhawk, they killed most of his target, the 50-man blob. The thunderhawk also killed some more heavy weapons and almost killed his target the basilisk.
My turn 2: I fell back with what was left of my first 50-man blob. Using ignores cover from the astropaths and a few smites and some help from scions advancing backwards from where they had dropped (and then using orders to let them shoot anyway), I knocked out most of the folks he had dropped, leaving only a few characters. I kept them around in order to have something to kill for the tertiary objectives on the next two turns.

Turn 3: His thunderhawk wiped out the rest of his targeted conscript squad and the basilisk. His characters shot and assaulted, but did limited damage.
My turn 3: I killed all but one character, his captain (who I was saving for turn 4 for the tertiary objective). I did kill the character who was holding the relic. I managed to spread out my conscripts in a way that forced my opponent to drop the thunderhawk into hover mode on turn 4. My last plasma scion squad dropped and did a bit of damage to the thunderhawk. Astropaths came running out of their hiding in buildings and did a bit more. Conscripts did a bit more. One last infantry squad did a bit more, and brought the thunderhawk down one step on its damage table.

Turn 4: He disembarked his final hellblaster squad and moved them to one objective, grabbed the relic with his captain in the middle of the table, and moved the thunderhawk to be within 6" of another objective.
My turn 4: I killed the captain for control of the relic, double-timed some characters to the objective held by his hellblasters, moved some conscripts to outnumber his thunderhawk by the other objective, and kept some scions hunkered down in his backfield for the last objectives. I killed just enough hellblasters to control the last objective, and we called it with just a couple minutes to go.

Scoring: I controlled all the primary objectives, he controlled none. We had both achieved all our secondary objectives, and I had taken care to kill something every turn, except for turn 5-6, which we didn't get to. I won, 18-9.

Lessons: Marine HQ choices are a serious liability, just as I had suspected. They do little damage. Especially if you strip away the models they're supporting. Multiple astropaths allowing units to ignore cover against multiple targets and also smiting was awesome.

Other thoughts: The basilisk makes a great "distraction carnifex", sitting in cover and tanking quite a bit of firepower before going down. Vehicles DO have the survivability and damage output to be worth their points if you can prevent opponents from getting into assault or deep strike range. My opponents shot at it and targeted it even though usually there were better things for them to target.

I came in 4th of 21 players, 2 points out of third place. Not getting to turn 5 hurt me, and if we'd had more than 2 hours per round I could have gotten there and scored another point in at least two games, probably all three.
But I should take ownership of my big mistakes in game 1, where I got thrown off my game by the number of flyers and sought to protect my big guns from assault by deploying in the corner. That was really stupid of me. I should have let him get at them, because my army isn't really built to win on damage output, but on conscripts reaching all of the objectives.
Also, my secondary objective picks were all wrong in game 1, picking models which my brain identified as bubble wrap, but which he could hide with little loss of operational efficiency. I learned my lesson by game 2, when I marked for death his most aggressive assault unit (reivers).

Discussion: THE LIST / Re: 2000pts Blood Angels
« on: August 02, 2017, 05:32:49 PM »
Nine drops at 2000 points is pretty compact. This edition has been pretty good at creating a smart disincentive for MSU! On that topic, is nine drops few enough to give you the first turn against most 2000 point lists out there? It certainly does against mine.

Discussion: THE LIST / Re: 1000 Points of Tempestus
« on: August 02, 2017, 05:26:08 PM »
I don't think that flamers are a good idea on scions. Hotshot lasguns have more than double the range, far better AP, and get almost as many hits on average when firing at an enemy within 9" if they have someone to give them orders. Flamers are better in overwatch of course, but if your scion squad is being charged, you're already in deep trouble. Don't build an army to make a bad situation slightly less bad.

General Discussion / Re: MathHammer 40k 8th Edition
« on: August 02, 2017, 11:45:27 AM »
When I've been calculating the relative effectiveness of various weapons and units, I've been mathing it up against three hypothetical enemy targets:

Marines in cover (T4, 2+ save, 1 wound each)
Guardsmen (T3, 5+ save, 1 wound each) equivalent units, like gaunts in cover.
Vehicles (T7, 3+ save, multi-wound damage)

Most everything I've seen has basically one of those statlines, or something close enough to it to be approximated that way.

Is there anything common in your local metas which isn't much like any of the above, and which I should account for? I haven't seen much of bikes...

General Discussion / Re: My thoughts on 8th editio
« on: July 27, 2017, 03:19:56 AM »
Good to hear Orks are back! I look forward to seeing hordes of them at my first 8th ed tourney in about 10 days. They're probably the army I'm most nervous about facing, aside from another guard list.

So I'm REALLY liking what I see of 8th edition and the changes to the meta. It seems to me that GW has done many things to encourage balanced army building. Pretty much everything has a hard counter to it, and you saw what they did when silly-looking flyer-spam became a thing! They want cinematic, varied lists to be viable.

Here come some tournament related thoughts which boil down to this: Unless you're playing Orks or perhaps Harlequins, your army needs something I'm calling skirmisher units.

I'm in Paris on vacation, and have been seeing lots of awesome historical things, and I've also been learning a lot recently about WWI and am a history and military history fan. Throughout history, a lot of mistakes happened because it took armies time to adapt to new technology, and figure out tactics to counter the tactics that their opponents would develop to counter the advantage of the new technology.

Let's review some of the builds I've seen recently in person or online:

Close range shooting:
- Scion spam. (If drop pods were cheaper, you'd see them here, too.)
- Wave serpent spam. Rush fire dragons, wraiths, and guardians up the field.

Long range shooting:
- Vehicle gun line (razorbacks, leman russes, or even wave serpents again...) The idea is to shoot down incoming assaults and shrug off incoming fire.
- Infantry gun line (dark reapers, devestators...) similar to the previous entry, but leveraging 2+ saves in cover and bodies rather than high toughness and multiple wounds.
- Flying gun 'line' (Tau suits, but also flyerspam). The idea is to be hard to assault, resilient, and rely on long range shooting.

- Harlequin rush, Hormgaunt rush, and I believe another couple armies can do that decently, too.
- "Da jump" Orks, Genestealer cult, vanguard vets/terminators, and other deep strike based assaults.

What do wave serpent spam, vehicle gunline, flying gunline,  and infantry gunline have in common? They're vulnerable to the new hotness: deep strike. Whether accompished by "Da Jump", scions, terminators, flyer special delivery, or especially Genestealer cult, some of which get to move after deep striking, your army is under serious threat turn 1. What alleviates that threat? A cheap screen of space marine scouts, astra militarum ratlings or  the ubiquitous conscript screen, or whatever your codex equivalent is.

I think of these deep strike prevention units as "skirmishers". In many civil war battles, units would send scattered skirmishers ahead, to screen a larger unit's advance. A whole column fighting in one mass would be inefficient against a scattered enemy. This grew more pronounced in WWI, when "over the top" attacks did disastrously against scattered and entrenched riflemen and machine gunners. In WWII, even travelling in large convoys set you up to be bombed. Today, armies don't act in large columns at all. In 8th edition, the advent of perfectly timed and placed deep strike makes skirmishers an important part of the game in the early rounds.

I've designed my list (can be found in THE LIST section) on the idea of progressive waves of skirmishers. Scouters to defend against deep strikers, and conscripts to defend against harlequin/hormagaunt rush. This is meant to defeat armies that rely on deep strike or assault. These skirmishers can also rush up the field and assault a vehicle or infantry gunline.

Ideally, facing a deep strike based list (terminators and devestators?) that doesn't have sufficient skirmisher support, if I seized first turn I could rush my skirmishers across the field, deep strike some scions in, launch a couple of assaults to cover the last crucial inches, and deny my opponent anywhere on the board to legally deep strike. My point here is this: YOUR ARMY NEEDS SKIRMISHERS!!!

I think the designers of 8th edition had balance in mind when they designed the rules. It makes battles more cinematic if you need a little of this and a little of that, plus they can get players who used to spam one thing to need a little bit of a lot of things. The only spam that is still generally effective, in my opinion, is model spam.

Discussion: THE LIST / 2000 Astra Militarum tourney list w/report
« on: July 25, 2017, 02:26:22 PM »
One battalion and one brigade detachment, rearranged by battlefield role:

1st wave: The skirmishers.
Scout sentinel, heavy flamer
Scout sentinel, heavy flamer
Space marine scout squad
Space marine scout squad
Space marine scout bike squad

Their role is to start in possession of the midfield, and prevent turn 1 deep strikes from threatening the body of my army. I expect to go second each game, but if I manage to seize the initiative, they can do some damage and maybe tie up a couple of things in assaults.

Wave 2: The tide
Conscripts (50)
Conscripts (50)
Commissar, plasma pistol
Company commander

This group's job is to charge up the board against elite gunline armies and lock them in assault or shoot them with the astropath(s) providing ignores cover. They are the bubble wrap that prevents deep strikers from getting near anything valuable. If they last through much of the game, they can also get to a lot of objectives.

Wave 3: The big guns.
Sergeant Harker
Infantry squad, plasma gun, lascannon
Infantry squad, plasma gun, lascannon, boltgun
Infantry squad, plasma gun, lascannon, boltgun
Infantry squad, plasma gun, lascannon, boltgun
Heavy weapons team, 3 heavy bolters
Heavy weapons team, 3 heavy bolters
Heavy weapons team, 3 mortars
Sabre weapons platform: defensive searchlight
Sabre weapons platform: defensive searchlight

This group brings the slow, grinding firepower. It's hard to silence these plasma guns and lascannons when they come with 8 ablative wounds, a commissar to keep the morale losses low, and a horde of conscripts about to assault you if you're a shooty army and bubble wrapping these squads if you're an assault army. If it seems to you like there's not enough here, you're right. Here comes the rest...

Wave 5: The ambush
Tempestor prime, command rod
Tempestor prime, command rod
Tempestor prime, command rod
Tempestus command squad, 4 plasma guns
Tempestus command squad, 4 plasma guns
Tempestus command squad, 4 meltaguns
Tempestus scion squad, plasma pistol and 2 plasma guns
Tempestus scion squad, plasma pistol and 2 plasma guns
Tempestus scion squad, plasma pistol and 2 plasma guns
Tempestus scion squad, plasma pistol and 2 meltaguns

(That's all the plasma guardsmen I own.) Their purpose is to take down key tough enemy targets, and perhaps buy the conscripts one more turn to rush enemy gunlines.

Wave 6: Backfield characters and redundancy
Commissar (the 3rd)
Company commander (the 2nd and warlord, staying out of the way)
4 more Astropaths (numbers 2-5)

First of all, it's their job to deny my opponent anywhere in my backfield to deep strike, forcing them to deep strike near conscripts. Secondly, the astropaths can help my units ignore cover. Thirdly, they can deny many powers. Fourth, can offer a bit of smite spam. Sixth, they can control objectives with minimal wastage of force. Seventh, redundancy against snipers.

Discussion: THE LIST / Re: Space Wolves 8th Tourny 2k
« on: July 25, 2017, 01:33:36 PM »
Too many drops?!? My guard list for weekend after next's tournament has 38.
At least with the reroll on seizing the initiative, my odds of going first are about 30% each game.

Discussion: THE LIST / Re: Space Wolves 8th Tourny 2k
« on: July 24, 2017, 11:13:06 AM »
So... how did it go? What else performed well? What performed poorly?

Discussion: THE LIST / Re: 2000pt Fluffy Raptors Chapter List
« on: July 16, 2017, 07:23:14 PM »
I don't think that snipers are going to be as effective as people hope. I run conscript blobs, and if I'm facing snipers, I'll hide my commissars behind LOS-blocking terrain or vehicles. Snipers can target characters, but anyone can target snipers! If I'm running something vulnerable to that, I'm targeting the snipers early.

They ought to fix snipers by saying that models more than 9" from snipers can't shoot at them until the snipers shoot at least once.

Discussion: THE LIST / Re: Space Wolves 8th Tourny 2k
« on: July 16, 2017, 07:13:27 PM »
Two things I don't like, one thing I really do.

Seems light on model mass. I've faced Tyranids' turn 1 charge. This army is slower, and will take a round of firepower before it hits. And it will suffer as a result.

I don't think thunderwolf cavalry are as good as they used to be, unfortunately. They look great, and I loved the presence they had last edition. Facing them always sent a bit of fear through me, even if I knew exactly what I was going to do with them.

But unfortunately T5 with multiple wounds isn't what it used to be. About 20% of the time that a marine with a missile launcher fires at a thunderwolf model, it'll one-shot that model. Whoa. An opponent's army should be able to take down your spearhead before it hits.

The stormwolf, on the other hand... I approve. Flyers are a tough nut to crack, and using them to deliver units that can deliver both shooting and assault value is just right! And folks inside take much less damage these days when they crash. If you have another flyer, I'd say do it twice!

Discussion: THE LIST / Re: 2,000pt SM list with guard allies
« on: July 16, 2017, 06:17:51 PM »
Frankly, I don't think 40 bodies is enough.

Next combat patrol, I plan on bringing 100 conscripts, an astropath, company commander, and commissar. I also plan on skipping some shooting phases. Just to see how it deforms the game.

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