Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Space marine chapter tactics

So with the 7th ed batreps out the way, I thought I'd get back to 8th. So With the release of the marine codex and the new chapter tactics, I though I would have a look through and see whether my marines will be staying with their current parent chapter or jumping ship to a new chapter.

Ok, so in terms of fluff, nothing will change, I'm not going to start rewriting the fluff for a chapter tactic but I am also not going to stick to the same tactic if it no longer works for me.

Now the only army that I will be looking at is the Emperors Disciples, as, for reasons that will be explained in a future post, the Brazen Hawks are on hold at the moment.

So, what are the new chapter tactics? Well, here they are, if for some reason you haven't seen them already!

So, I was running the Disciples under the Imperial Fist, mostly for the re-rolls on the sternguards special issue ammo. However, the new tactics have changed that and so a rethink is defiantly called for.

Image result for imperial fists chapter symbol

These days the Imperial Fists tactic gives you re-rolls to wound on buildings and what is effectively ignores cover. Now, I don't think that I have ever played a game within my current group that involved buildings that could be wounded/damaged and I think I've only ever played a couple of games against buildings, one being a skyshield landing pad. So re-rolling wounds against a building is pretty useless to me, so its will about the last part, which is basically ignores cover of the old days. Now, at first i thought that this was pretty underwhelming. After looking at it again, I don't think its actually that bad. As my disciples are a firepower based army, with no combat elements, having the ability for the devastators to sit back and fire at units without worrying about cover is good and it is also useful to the sternguard, who with their special issue boltguns and 30" range can also sit back and not worry about enemy units hiding in cover. So after my first thoughts about how the new chapter tactic was, well, rubbish, I've come around to thinking that its actually quite good, half of it anyway. But what about the other tactics?

Image result for ultramarines chapter symbol

We'll start at the top, with the Ultramarines, the poster boys of the imperium. The tactics give them +1 to leadership and the ability to shoot after falling back. In the new 40k, leadership is afar more important that it use to be and there are fewer ways to alter it as well. Fearless and stubborn are gone and generally leadership values are down across the board. A +1 to leadership is now a big bonus and means that for even a full size squad of marines, taking casualties is not a big problem. For a possibility of failing a moral test, a unit will need to loose at least 4 models and for a 5 man unit thats  game over, for a tom man unit, its still not a big problem, as with ATSKNF, you effectively need to loose 4 marines and roll a double 6, possible but unlikely. The second part I think is useful but not exceptional. Being able to shoot after falling back is something that I don't think will come up very often, as most likely you'll be decimated in combat and thefore your shooting will be ineffectual or you'll be wanting to get as far from combat as possible. The modifier means that you'll also be missing half your shots, at a time you probably want as many to count as possible. Don't get me wrong, I think its a good chapter tactic overall, but not one I would use much.

Image result for white scars chapter symbol

Next up is the White Scars, and this remains true to the fluff, a 2" extra advance and charging after falling back. Personally I don't think these two really go together is some respect, but could suit a army as a whole. The extra advance move will be great to units like bikes and assault marines to really shift them around the table. This is great for the early game, to get units where they need to be to counter the emery deployment and for late game, when those last objectives come in to play. The second part really only benefits assault based units. These units will want to make sure that they are first to strike to do maximum damage before the counter. Now, this could be achieved by spending a command point in your enemy's phase but in your own you would just have to hope that ypir got first strike. This means that yup can fall back and then strike again, getting that first strike in. Against other combat orientated units this can be vital. As such i see this really being used by the likes of vanguard vets and maybe a command squad, possibly by a few characters, such as champions, but o. The whole, I think that it is really the first part of the chapter tactic that you'd pick the White Scars chapter tactic for and as my list has neither bikes nor assault marines, its no use to me.

Image result for black templars chapter symbol

Next up is the Black Templars and their re-rolls to charge. Now, a lot of people seem to dislike this, but it is very BT, as they have a habit of getting up close AMD personal. Re-rolling charges means that you massively increase your chances of getting in to combat and a tooled up crusader squad can do a lot of damage. Personally I think this is great for a combat army, with lots of large crusader squads, tooled up for combat. It will mean that you can be sure of getting in and getting those all important hits in first. A good tactic but I do feel its lacking a little extra, a leadership +1 would have been nice, or even extra attacks on long (9"+) charges maybe? Again though, this is for combat armies and not really any good for the disciples.

Image result for salamanders chapter symbol

Now we get to the Salamanders and there chapter tactic. This involves each unit getting 1 re-roll to hit and 1 re-roll to wound each turn. Personally I think this is one of the best tactics and to me it shouts PLASMA!! Plasma is still one of the best weapons on the table and in supercharged mode it even better, but with a significant downside, those 1's. Now, with this it means you can re-roll them, or 1 per unit anyway and in a 5 man unit with a plasma gun and maybe a plasma pistol (or possibly a combi-plasma), you can chance it, as there is only a small chance of getting more than one 1 and you always have your command re-roll if you do. The re-roll to wound has a different application I think, as how often do you roll on those one shot weapons (ie melta) get the hit you need only to roll a 1 to wound. This re-roll means you can roll with more confidence and rely on getting that vital wound. I really like this chapter tactic and I think that it would go well with the disciples.

Image result for raven guard chapter symbol

Next up are the Ravenguard and true to form, their not very easy to see. The modifier to hit when a unit is more than 12 away has numerous applications, being useful to both units like devastators and tactical squads, through to assault marines and vanguard vets. Place a unit of devastators in some ruins at the back of the field and they will have a -1 to hit and a +1 to save, making them that much harder to remove, even a tactical squad benefit, as they can operate in the open with greater impunity. The tactic also benefits the likes of assault marines and vanguard vets, meaning that they can maneuver in to position for those critical charges better, hovering off at range until its time to strike. For most units this will mean staying about 24" away, an enemy movement of 6" and then a 12" jump and a 6" charge. All in all its a good tactic and one that could be beneficial as the disciples will spend most of the time outside that 12" bubble. Again though, another little extra would have been nice, even something as little as a single re-rolled charge or save per turn. Nothing special, just a little extra something.

Image result for iron hands chapter symbol

Finally we get to the Iron Hands, the mechanical men. These guys gain, what in the old days would have been a 6+ fnp, and is pretty much exactly what they had before. Now, while this is not ground breaking, it is good. It is one of the few ways to counter mortal wounds, something that can cut through marines quickly and easily. Granted you only have a 1/6 chance, but thats better than none at all. I think this tactic is useful but I don't see it as useful to the disciples. I believe that it will apply to all Iron hands models, vehicles included, but I still don't think its very useful to me. This is probably also the only one that I don't think really needs a second part to the tactic, as it is pretty good, but it would be nice if all the tactics had a second part, even if it was gust for the sake of it.

At the end of the day the choice really comes down to three tactics, the Imperial fists, salamanders and  raven guard. These are all great tactics, each giving some good benefits. All three are useful for the disciples, ignoring cover bonuses is great, meaning that there is no hiding place from the devastators or the sternguard. However, the that -1 to be hit modifier is pretty big as well, especially now that modifiers happen after re-rolls. Again, it means that the units can hide away and shoot and also be that bit harder to hit in return. However, right now there is really only one tactic that really stands out and  that is the salamanders chapter tactic. Being quite a small and elite force its important that you do as much damage as possible every time you shoot and with the re-roll options for each unit, it is possible. It could mean the dirrerance between 3 missiles hitting and only two wounding and all 4 hitting and 3 wounding and at d6 wounds, it could make quite a difference.

As the force is probably going to be fielded with the stone dragons or an inquisitorial force, the leadership traits are not as importantband while it might be nice to have a relic or two in the force, its not essential. So as things stand, I will be looking at the salamanders chapter tactic and waiting to see what the Wolves get.

Up next will be my thoughts on The new primaria marines and there role/position in the established marine battle order.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Imperium Vs Harliquins. (7th ed)

this is the very last game of 7th that I played and was a bit of a mash up of units that hadn't seen the battle field in a while. With the new rules, many of these units will probably see the battlefield a lot more that they have in the last few years.

The list included 3 vet squads, 2 with 3x flames and one with 3x melta, these were accompanied by two command squads, my usual two, creeds squad (although minus creed on the occasion) and plasma command. The force also featured two Russ battle tanks and a hell hound. To finish off there was a scion platoon, with a command squad and 3 small squads, who would be deep striking in.

The main battle line

Melta vets to the flank

LRBT, a very lengthy WiP 

My opponent was playing Harliquins today and having played them before, I was expecting a tough fight. He had brought a very mobile army, with two units of bikes, a couple of voidweavers and a starweaver. There were also a couple of troupes, death jesters, shadow seers and a solitaire. A nasty little force, but quite a fragile one, if I could pin it down.

The Quins right flank, facing off against the melta vets.

Some Quins characters

Turn 1

Didn't start well, mostly due to having the initiative stolen from me! This meant that he got the jump on me and moved all of his jet bikes and skimmers forward, while his troupes stayed back. As a result he unloaded all of his haywire in to my LRBT's. This was not good news, I had completely forgotten about the abundance of haywire in the Harliquins army. As a result of all the shooting, one Russ was immobilized and on 1 hull point and one left on 2 hull points. Not great for the top of turn 1! Not a lot else happened luckily but my reply want much use either!

Moving forward 

I moved forward with as much of my units as I could, the only ones that remained stationary were the vets to the left and the command squad in the centre, both were holding objectives. The tanks did little damage to the two skimmers, taking just one hull point of one of the skimmers, their invun saves dealing with the rest. Unfortunately this mean that they could shoot normally next turn, which want great for the tanks!

Tanks vs skimmers

Not a pretty view!

Turn 2

Things didn't get much better at the start of turn 2 either. The jet bikes pounced on the vets, who somehow managed to survive, even though they took some losses. The other skimmers also moved forward, going after the tanks again, but due to some bad scatter, only one tank was destroyed, the immobilized one luckily! The other survived to fight on.

The jet bikes pounce.

Retaliation was swift though, with the plasma command and chimera targeting g the third flyer, destroying it in a hail of plasma and laser fire, Unfortunately the plasma command squad didn't fair very well, loosing 2 to gets hot and a third when the skimmer exploded. 3 of the 4 scions turned up though, just the command squad remained behind. They didn't do masses, but they did enough to get noticed. In very un-guardsmen like fashion as well, one squad of Flamer vets charged one of the other skimmers, doing no damage at all. The hell hound was having a go at the other skimmer, but not much luck there either. At this point in the game things look like they could go either way.

Retaliation, flamer vets just in shot at the top.

The guard lines.

Turn 3

I didnt get any pictures of turn 3 for some reason and my memory is a bit sketchy, as i usually use the picture to remind me of what happened. My opponent didn't do much this turn, just moving a few models around to get better positions for charging. I do know that during this turn the jet bikes were finally dispatched by the vets after another round of combat. Also the character person, possibly a Solitare?, did its jump across the field to attack the command squad hiding in the ruins, causing a few casualties on the vets. In reply, my last russ decided to ram the skimmer that had moved in to my deployment zone, smashing in to smithereens. The Scions on the far side tried to eliminate as many of the remaining Troupes as possible and the hellhound in the centre toasted the skimmer up the top, shaking the crew.

Turn 4

Turn 4 and the foul Xenos were starting to get thin on the ground. Again, my opponent did a bit of shooting, whittling down the melta vet squad and doing damage to one of the flamer vet squads. The Scions proved to be a little more durable, but not much, loosing a few members from pretty much every squad. The Scion squad in the centre of the building, next to the hellhound were eliminated by a combination of death jester, solitaire and the other one (XXX). At the other side of the board, the command squad and solitaire went on a bit of a slap fest.

The slap fest

Scions eliminated and the Quins ready to pounce on the hellhound.

The battlefield

In retaliation for eliminating the Scions in the centre, the chimera and vets gave it there all, easily killing of characters. Not a lot else happened, as the slap fest continued and the vets on the far side held there ground.

The chimera supporting its hellhound brother

The guard start moving forward to swarm the ruins

Turn 5

At this point in the game, the little man turned up and started to cause chaos! He borrowed the remaining Russ and went on a little drive!

The tank parked in its garage!

Another shot

In game, the Quins made a bit of a last ditch attempt to stave off the guard advances, with all the units remaining in the centre and right side of the board shooting and charging. Unfortunately for the Quins, the Scions were in no mood to get up close and personal, gunning down a number on the charge and dealing with the couple that remained in short order. In other news the slap fest came to an end with the death of the solitaire and the survival of my warlord with 1 wound, the rest of the squad sacrificed themselves for their commander. During my turn, most units just moved around to consolidate themselves on to various objectives.

At the end of the game, we totted up the points, and once all the maelstrom points were taken in to account the score was 10 to 9. The guardsmen had just edged out the foul xenos, taking the win. So thats it, all my 7th edition games done and dusted and on to 8th! I will will have an 8th edition report up soon, as i have got my first games under my belt now. Ill do a full writ up on my thoughts as soon as i get a chance to sit down and write them.

Below are some picture taken by the little man.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The Relic, Hjaltland LI Vs Ultramarines (7th ed)

Having reviewed the main armies of mine and the changed that 8th brings, I thought I would slot in a couple of battle reports. These where the last games I played under 7th Ed rules a few weeks ago. While 7th is probably long forgotten by most people out there, there hasn't been a chance to post these up and so I though that I would still do it anyway. 

For this game I was playing an opponent who hadn't played in a while and wanted to try a few units before they disappeared forever, at least in their current form. His list therefore consisted of a librarian conclave including Tiggy and  a drop pod full of grav-Dev's, also in the list were 3 tac squads, two razorbacks and a squad of TH/SS termies. Nothing too challenging apart from two of the libby's managed to role invisibility! 

The battlefield 

The guard lines

The ultramarines lines

We were playing the relic, placed in the center of the square buildings in the center of the board.

Turn 1

Turn one started quite badly for me.

Clear shots on the razorback and tic squad on the roof

Not so clear shot

The drop pod of doom landed smack in front of my lines. It had scattered forward a bit so the grav Dev's had to sot beside rather than infront ofthe pod, but it made little difference, with a whole hostofhits reducing one wyvern to a smoldering wreck and taking a hull point and immobilizing the other. Later in the game it transpired that I had inadvertently cheated, when asked about saves I had stated that everything was a 5+ when in fact the command squad was a 4+. Had I remembered this has would have targeted the command squad and not the wyvern. But in truth, he actually removed the bigger threat, as even one wyvern managed to kill off a 5 man tac squad to earn me first blood. I also put every single other shot in to killing off the Dev's, even the quad gun joined in. Nothing else really happened as the terminator's went invisible and ran for the relic.

End of turn one, not a pleasent sight for the guardsmen 

Turn 2

Again, my opponent played itfairly safe. Invisibly was cast on the termies who collected the relic this turn. The rest of the units mostly shuffled around bit, but did little to my army. On my side the vendetta came on and fluffed its shots at the second razorback, getting only one glance from 3 twin linked lascannon shots that auto glance on side armour!

Target sighted........target missed!

Other than that all the happened was that my squads moved forward, looking to try and overrun the marines with there greater numbers.

End of turn 2 and its looking a little shaky for the guard.

Turn 3

This turn my opponent did exactly what he needed to do. He withdrew back away from my advancing hordes. He took a few potshots but nothing of note. In reply my guard did little as well. What it did do was take out tiggy, dropping the psykic powers down a bit and i also got a few marines holding the enemies left flank. The vendetta finally killed of the second razorback, but only just, a glance and a pen. 6 twin linked strength 9 ap2 shots should do a lot more than 2 glances and 1 pen to an armour 10 rhino, I'm looking forward to seeing what damage the vendetta is capable of doing in 8th.

Finally killed off.

More aerial reinforcements

Turn 4

At this point things were getting a bit precarious for my opponent, having just a razorback, two libby's, a captain and half a tactical squad, along side his termies. Now, at this critical point his psychic dice failed him, failing to cast invisibility. I want really in a place to take full advantage of it, but I did mange to take down one of the termies, alongside the captain for slay the warlord. In total I whittled down his forces to just a few tactical marines, a libby, a razorback and a handful of tactical marines. I was quietly confident at this point that I could force a draw, or at least a very narrow defeat, but without invisibility the terminator's were now at least possible to kill.

The remaining ultramarine forces

The table

The guard forces swarming forward. The drop pod is just out of range for line breaker.

Turn 5

This turn started off with the Ultramarines pulling back, trying desperately to keep hold of the relic. With 4 termies, 4 tactical marines and a Libby left it was going to be close. The ultramarines did little else but move around, including boosting the last razorback in to.my deployment zone. The left me with 2 options, destroy the rhino and force the draw or go for the relic and hope I kill of the termies. I chose the latter and it didn't quite make it. With the termies hiding in a ruin I shot what I could at it and everything else shot the tactical marines. The tactical marines were wiped out but the termies proved a little bit harder to remove. 4 rapid fire plasma guns and a plasma pistol, resulting in 4 hits and 2 dead guardsmen!, 3 twin linked lascannon, 4 flames, hitting a total of 14 times, and a multilaser for good measure resulted in just 3 dead termies. Leaving 1 holding the relic and nothing left for me to shoot at. It was also out of sight of anything that could charge.

End of turn 5, the last remaining termie pulls back in to the ruin

Balanced on a knife edge

So turn 5 was over and done, the score was sitting at 4 to 3 against me and there was just one dice roll to go. That dice roll turned out to be a 4 and we moved on to turn 6

Turn 6

So game went in to turn 6, much to my opponents disappointment. by going in to turn 6 it gave me the upper hand and the chance to win. As it was, all I had to do was take out 1 terminator, and with 2 plasma guns and a plasma pistol, 3 twinlinked lascannons plus some flamers and multilaser, things were looking grim for the lone terminator. Needless to say, it was dispatched in short order, although I was unable to claim the objective.

As the dust settles, the Relic is left, laying out in the open.

The last remaining forces of the Ultramarines.

So, with the last terminator dispatched, my turn ended and we rolled to see if we went to turn 7 but unfortunately we didn't. A roll of a 2 meant the game ended as a 3 to 1 victory to me. While the game may have seemed onesided it wasn't quite so much. My opposition had a few very expensive units, the termies at near 500 points and the grav-devs over 200 (I think). Combined with tiggy and that pod, that accounts for around 1000 points. In a 1500 point match its a lot of points for not very many models and facing my horde, they were very much out numbered from the off.

I think he played the game well, but I would have been far more aggressive withthe rest of the army, charging up the field to support the drop pod and put pressure on my lines. This may have given him more space at the back or even in the big ruins in the center to hide from my flyers and the plasma command squad. Using the termies to hold the relic and casting invisibility on them effectively made them invincible, hitting on 6's and always gaining a 3+ meant my only 2 real options, the plasma and lascannons, were about as useful as the massed lasgun fire. Although, you should never underestimate the effect of massed lasgun fire!

I have one last batrep for 7th coming up and then its on to 8th. By the time you've read this I will have played a couple of games already and have some idea about the new game but that's for another post.