Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Tournament round 1 analysis!


So, after my first game of 9th, which as a bit of a disaster, I've a few thoughts on the game and also 9th.
First up a quick run down on the menu forces and what they did in the game;

The Storm Lords arrayed for battle

Jump captain - did little during the game and while running with the clawed vets was not really required to remove any of the units they faced. 

Jump chaplain - was most useful for dropping the charge distance for the fist equipped vets, was useful but never really had much of an influence due to being dropped out on the edge of the board.

assault Intercessor squads - didn't get to do much during the game as both were destroyed by the Hellhammer early in the game.

intercessor squads - one held the home objective all game and the other gradually moved up to take my objective late in the game. Both proved very very hard to remove.

Blade guard squad - these were a name in my side the whole game. These will be target priority one next time. I threw bits and pieces of firepower at these guys during the game but I should have thrown everything at them early on and removed them. The main cannon of the Hellhammer would have been good for removing these guys, had I fired it them. With 3 wounds and a 4++ save, every failed save would have been a dead marine.

Blade guard, chief Apothecary and Judicar

Invictor tactical warsuits - the suits had their lucky pants on for the game as the vendetta fired 12 lascannon shots for 5 damage, which came from the 1 shot that actually went through. These guys should have been dead, or at least one of them should have been. 

Judicar - while not powerful himself, his ability really proved decisive. The ability to make a model fight last is really good and I should have targeted him earlier. I probably did have the chance to but didn't take it, which was a mistake.

Apothecary - not just an apothecary but a Chief Apothecary, which is massively overpowered! The ability to heal two models up to 3 wounds and bring a model back on full wounds for 0cp is huge and kept the blade guard punching at full power all game. He needs to die and die soon next time!

Vanguard vets - the claws did what they did and wiped out every unit they touched with ease, apart from the Ogryn Bodyguard, which proved a little harder, the fists were a less useful, originally dropping on the far side and then not really having any proper targets to attack.

attack bike squad - outflanked, missed, died to the Hellhammer, just as planned. Could have been a real pain but the Hellhammer did what it was supposed to and wiped them out with ease

outrider squads - these were a pain but I managed to deal with one fairly early but the other survived being hit with a Hellhammer, only taking out one and injuring another. I think I should have hit the blade guard rather than these guys turn 1. Still a unit that needs dealing with in a Scars list, due to there immense mobility.

So in summary, most of the units I thought were going to be the big threats were and then a few extras, namely the apothecary! I also ignored the blade guard, thinking that they wouldn't be able to do.much against the Hellhammer but with D2 power swords, this was a mistake!

I also guessed on three secondaries; Engage on all fronts, Thin their ranks and Assassinate. I was kind of right, as he did take engage on all fronts but took the mission specific secondary - direct assault and the marine specific one - oath of moments, which seems such a broad secondary that there is always going to generate points.

All in all these secondaries proved well chosen, with mobile troops easily able to pick up engage, and the second two complimenting each other nicely.  The oath of moments secondary is quite a good secondary and you can easily pick up 5 points over the course of the game by pretty much doing nothing.

Forces of the Imperium

But enough about my enemy, how did I do? Badly that's how, I had many good ideas which turned out to be not such good ideas but I learnt a lot of lessons, so that was a positive. Firstly the way objectives work in the sweep and clear mission is very powerful, claiming an objective until it's taken by someone else and not having to leave units babysitting objectives is very useful and something I forgot about. I could have moved up a lot more that I did. Secondly, talking of moving up, I did the unthinkable and split my infantry up and sent them off by themselves. This got them destroyed and my tank unprotected. This was a mistake and it cost me both tank and troops. Thirdly I was far to eager to push forward, I should have sat back for the first couple of turns and then pushed forward turns 3 onwards. I relied on the tanks toughness and high wounds to keep it alive but even with this the wounds were chipped of one by one or rather two by two by the blade guard. There was even opportunities to retreat with it at times but I didn't, which was silly. 

Secondaries wise, I think I did alright with them. Engage worked well and if I had thought a bit more at the time I could have easily managed this most turns. Parking the Hellhammer in one quarter, my main force in another and then pushed all the infantry up in to the third. The flyers would have occupied the forth when they turned up. I think the mental interrogation was also good, maybe I could use another psykers to make the most of it but I still think it was a good choice. The last secondary, while we stand, was also a good one for the game as my flyers took very little damage at all, due to the lack of long range high damage weapons the enemy had. The Hellhammer obviously died and as I mentioned above, I could and should have played better with it. In the end I think that I over played my hand and didn't really have a good handle on the abilities of my units. Needless to say I think I have a lot to learn about 9th but I also think I've made a good start. 

The next game will be a few weeks away, after at Christmas sometime. I hope that this will go a little better and I will have a better grasp of tactics and abilities. I don't think that the secondaries will change much but I do think how I play will. My opponent will most likely be Marines again but with a different flavour, so we will have to see how that goes. 


Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Tournament R1, the Enemy

This post is going to be a break down of all the individual units within the enemy army and my thoughts on them both as individuals and their place within the greater battle plan of the enemy. In truth by the time you read this I will have already played the game and will know better what effect each unit had on the game, so will try and write a little edit to each entry to see if I was right or not. 

The storm lords

The army is painted as storm lords, a white scars successor chapter and operate as any true scars successor would. This list is no different, it has a very fast and mobile feel to it with only a few units not being jump pack or bike units. 

Jump captain, lightning claw and bolt pistol - most likely to be running with the vanguard vets. He could be with either combat squad, fists to help with hitting or claws due to war gear. Not a big threat on his own but a definite force multiplier. Also the warlord, so if the chance occurs he will be removed.

Jump chaplain, crozier - most likey running with the other combat squad of vanguard vets. With the litanies he knows, he could be with either squad. Again, no a major threat on his own but a massive force multiplier and will be removed if the opportunity presents itself. 

2x 5 man assault Intercessor squads - these two squads are actually one of the least threatening units here, especially in the first turn or two. This is due to their lack of ranged firepower. Yes they are very quick, with a threat range of upto 24 inches but more likely 16 inches, however with only pistols, they have a limited shooting potential. This means they will mostly likely be advancing every turn and with these being troops, they will be going for objectives and as such are high on the priority list. 

2x 5 man intercessor squads - these will no doubt form the static home objective holders and probably won't move around all that much. They don't pose much of a threat as I doubt they will be advancing or assaulting much during the game. These will be low on the target list and will probably get the attention of the plasma command squad when they drop.

5 man Blade guard squad - Against a number of enemies, these would prove a major problem. With guard however there weapons are just as deadly as chainswords. I assume that these will be running with the Judicar and strike for the heart of my army. There shields will protect them from a lot of attacks and the hellhammer's -4ap is next to useless against these guys, instead it will require weight of fire to bring them down. These will be a priority for autocannons and heavy bolters.

2x invictor tactical warsuits - fast, mobile and aggressive, these will push up early and try to get the jump on objectives, forcing me to move up to take them out, rather than other targets. These are going to be high on the list and will be the main target for the Vendetta when it arrives plus the lascannons from the Hellhammer. 

Judicar - not a major priority, it's main ability doesn't do much for the guard, as fighting last won't make much of a difference to the outcome of the combat. In this circumstance, it doesn't provide much of a force multiplier either. All in all, a low priority target.

Apothecary - this model could be a pain if it is able to bring some models back, especially something like the bladeguard. Not really a priority in itself but worth taking out if I can.

10 man Vanguard vets with jump packs and 5x claws, 4x fists and 1x hammer with 10x shields  - this unit will combat squad, 5 men with fists and hammer and another 5 with claws. Thee fists will be a threat to my Hellhammer and will need targeting as soon as they arrive, the claws will go for the infantry and are less of a worry. The fact that they all have shields will make them a pain to remove. 

2 bike attack bike squad with multi-melta - these will be target number one for the Hellhammer turn 1. These will need taking out as soon as possible to stop them getting a chance to get shots in. They are the only real long range anti-armour firepower and with 4 shots have a good chance of doing some damage. These at at the top of the turn 1 list. 

2x 3 man outrider squad - this is the biggest range threat to the infantry, being fast and mobile with lots of shots. These are going to be pretty high on the target list and the main target for the Hellhammer once the attack bikes have been dealt with. 

So in summary, turn one the assault Intercessors and the attack bikes will be the main targets with other targets being attacked as opportunities appear. Turn 2, providing turn 1 went to plan, the bikes, vanguard and warsuits will be the main targets, after that it will be a case of taking out anything that's left  these units and then focusing on other targets. Simple.

I also guess that he will be taking these three secondaries, as they are the ones that I would take if it was me.

Engage on all fronts - he has fast, mobile and resilient troops and he want to close and engage, therefore he will be spreading around the board. It should be easy for him to claim 2 points a turn and probably manage to claim 3 points in at least 2 turns.

Thin their ranks - I have significantly more units and significantly weaker plus the two vehicles. In total I have around 130 models and so 13 points to give up here.

Assassinate - with 6 squishy characters and one slightly less squishy one on the board it should be fairly simple for him to remove several of these and claim points. With jump troops moving up to 24 inches and bike going up to 32 inches, it should be easy to sweep past screens and take out characters. 

Ok, so things may not be so simple but hopefully the dice will be with me and I can pull it off as planned!

Edit: ok, so there was so many errors I thought I'd right a separate post going over it all!

Friday, 11 December 2020

Tournament round 1 tactics

With the matches for round 1 now know and my opponents army list also known (shown previously) we have some extra things to consider. These fall in to 3 basic categories, secondary objectives, enemy threats and battle plan. I'll go through them all individually but there will be some overlap, especially between the objectives and the plan. 

First up I'll look at the threats to my forces, which are many and varied! Ok, so that's true for the infantry but maybe not so much for the vehicles. The infantry are out matched in pretty much all departments by the enemy infantry, with things like the assault Intercessors being able to lock out 21 attacks, which should kill 8 models on average on the charge and only 6 otherwise. From a squad of 10, this isn't great! The blade guard are going to be even more deadly, as are the vanguard vets with lightening claws. However, they have little range firepower, with just 10 intercessors being able to fire. This means that keeping the infantry at range is the best option although not really possible. It does mean that it gives me clear targets for the first round of shooting, hit the assault units hard with the mortars, try and strip a few models off the units, even one or two would make a difference. As for the rest of the units, the bikes are the next most dangerous, they can pump out a lot of shots and are very mobile. Annoyingly, they are also 4 wound models and the Hellhammer cannon is a damage 3 weapon! It's the same as with the attack bikes, but at S10 I'm wounding on 2's with -4ap, so I should be able to put some hurt on them. Talking of the tank, there is little anti-armour weaponry here, the vanguard vets with hammers, the attack bikes and the invictor warsuits fists. With only the attack bikes being ranged, these will be an early target, followed by the vets, with the suits being last on the list due to their lack of mobility over the others. 

So in quick summary, primary targets for anti-infantry are the assault elements, blade guard and assault Intercessors turn one and vanguard vets (w\claws) turn 2 or whenever they drop in. For anti-armour it's the attack bikes and then the outriders. 

A very important issue in 9th is secondaries. New to the game these have quite an impact and it's very hard to pick which 3 I want. It was relatively easy to pick a few that I didn't want, such as Titan slayers and attrition. In the end I get it down to a short list of; 


While we stand, we fight

Engage in all fronts

Line breaker


Investigate site

Repair teleport homers

Mental interrogation

Psychic ritual

This was a good start as it gave me option from all the sections, however, there were a few issues. Such as engage on all fronts, line breaker and domination are all from the Battlefield supremacy section. In the end I realistically brought the list down to these three options;

While we stand we fight

Engage on all fronts

Mental interrogation

While we stand we fight seems like a good one as the three models are my superheavy and my two flyers. Now my enemy doesn't have much anti-armour and the flyers, as long as they stay in supersonic mode should be able to weather what firepower he has and hopefully gaining me at least 10 points.

Engage on all fronts was harder to pick as all options were viable. However, I decided it would be easier to guarantee 10 points for the match by going for the quarters rather than objectives. I should, if I'm careful be able to get 12 points for this one. The other advantage of this one over the other two is that flyers count and I've got two. 

Mental interrogation is my last choice. With 2 psykers on my side and none on his and 4 enemy characters, I should be able to get in range o get this off. I did think about psychic ritual but I'd much rather take some points rather than none, as worst case I should get at least 6 point here. 

This means that I should be looking at gain a minimum of 28 point with a realistic chance of getting 36 points over the course of the battle.

Lastly we have the battle plan. The main plan is obviously to hit the enemy hard and destroy him but more realistically the plan will more about board control. Part of the plan is dependent on who goes first. If I go first then I will move up on to at least 3 objectives, with the home objective being held by the mortar teams and two squads of guard with the autocannons. The superheavy and two other squads will move to the centre objective and two other squads probably with the wyvern will move to the objective in the top left quarter, with other units dispersing around the board, with at least on moving in to the 3 quarter. When the flyers come on, they will drop there cargos in the enemy zones for the extra quarter and then go around taking out targets of opportunity. If I go second then I will still move up but I will be looking to keep things a lot closer together, especially if he has reserves. In both cases the mortars and wyverns will be going after intercessors and vets while the big guns go after the bikes and warsuits. The main thing will be to get at least 3 objectives and out score my opponent, maybe even pushing for 4 once my reserves come in to try and keep my opponent from scoring as many points as I can, while also maximising my opportunities. 

Hopefully this will net me the full 45 points but I should be able to get 40 points quite easily, meaning I should hopefully be looking at a score of at least 68 but possibly even 81. Alternatively, I could be looking at less than 30!

I'm looking forward to this game, it's going to be a baptism of fire for sure! Hopefully I can pull out a win, even if it costs me all my models........

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Tournament round 1

After a long time of waiting the first round of games in the tournament has been drawn and with 12 players entered there are to be 6 games. The sides have been split in two, imperial to non imperial, with the imperial side made of 5 Marines (white Scars, space wolves, dark Angels, blood Angels and Deathwatch) and sisters\custodies and the non imperial made of 2 GSC, Necrons, Eldar, death guard and, interestingly, my guard! Why I have been dumped into the Xenos and Traitor group I have no idea! But anyhow, the list that I will be facing is quite a fast and combat oriented list, as shown below;

Jump captain, claw and pistol

Jump chaplain, 

2x 5 man assault Intercessor squads

2x 5 man intercessor squads

5 man Blade guard squad

2x invictor tactical warsuits



10 man Vanguard vets with jump packs and 5x claws, 4x fists and 1x hammer with 10x shields 

2 bike attack bike squad with multi-melta

2x 3 man outrider squad

So, lots of fast units and that's before we consider the White Scars chapter tactics, which enables them to charge even if they advanced or fell back that turn. Add in the combat doctrines and you've a very fast and powerful assault army. The mission has also been picked for the match, in this case it's one of the GT missions,strike force mission 32 - Sweep and Clear. 

While these is one good thing, that objectives are held even if you don't have any units on them, the board lends itself to the Scars.

The 18 inch gap in the middle of the board means that a jump unit, starting on the board, can be at the edge of my deployment zone before then charging. Bikers are going to be in my deployment zone and even non-jump infantry are going to be well within charge range. I'll go into full analysis in a different post but needless to say, there's going to be some hard thinking needed. 

Even though this list is fast, there isn't much that can threaten my superheavy at range, so I think that is going to be key. Only the attack bikes in the list have good ranged anti-armour and the vanguard vets with hammers and warsuits have good combat anti-armour. Kill of the bikes and keep to rest at range and it should be able to survive. 

In theory, I have a good list to counter the Scars fast aggressive list and it will be a grinding game, one where I will have to try and out last my opponent more than anything. 

Friday, 4 December 2020

Commanders and command squads.


The other day or rather night, as it was 1am and I was waiting for the wee one to finally decided it was time for bed, I was watching random YouTube videos and came across Mordian Glory, a name I know of from Winter's SEO, and decided to have a little watch of some videos. He's got a series he is working through talking about fixing rules and one of them struck me, specifically the one about command squads. Now, I don't agree with all that he said, in fact I don't really agree with much of it at all but that's ok, I can rant here about my feelings!

So what are my feelings? I think that command squads do work at the moment but not for what they should be doing. They are generally used for special weapons squads, usually with 4 plasma or melta, something I'm guilty of doing myself and as it stands, why wouldn't you! However, I feel this isn't really right, as special weapons squads are for special weapons and command squads are for command. Now back in the old days, I'm talking 5th here, we had proper command squads with advisers and bodyguards and I think we need to return to this, not quite in the same way but certainly take certain elements. 

The main element I think we should be taking is the bodyguards, maybe not the models, although I do think this would be a good thing but definitely the rules. After all, part of a command squads role is to ensure the survival of the commander. It would be nice to see bodyguards come back as an option, either as additional men in the command squads (with very limited weapon options) or as additional units, such as Calgars Victrix's Guard, with fixed weapons. I'd prefer them as addition men for the command squad, with options for pistols and combat weapons, similar to Sargeants. Advisers are still around in character form and they work as they are so no need for change there. 

Although the main point of Mordian Glory's video was command squads, I wanted to start with the commanders themselves. There are two at the moment, platoon and company commanders. 

Platoon commanders are almost the same as company commanders but with one less order. In the past they had less orders they could issue, 3 rather than 6. I like the modern version and really don't see much wrong with how they are. Their weapon options are fine, although I probably would like to have the option for a power maul or similar alongside the power sword. All in all I would leave the platoon commander as he is.

Company commander is the highest level commander we have right now and again, there is little wrong with him. He can issue two orders, which is fine as it stands, although if they bring in similar restrictions to the space Marine Captain\Lieutenant then my feelings might change. Stat wise I think he's fine, he's not supposed to be a combat monster or a one man basilisk, his main job is to issue orders and command. Again, I'd leave him as he is.

Now we get on to the new ideas, the Regimental commander. Space Marines can upgrade a Captain to Chapter Master, so I don't see why we shouldn't have the option to upgrade, in a similar fashion, a company commander to regimental commander. I would be quite happy to pay a command point or two, depending upon level of upgrade. The level I would like to see would be a single CP upgrade, gaining a further order, an increased aura range and extra wound or two, plus the added leadership bonus. Other than that he would remain the same, apart from maybe a extra bit of armour save, say 4+. The idea would basically be a steady progress from platoon commander to regimental commander, in line with both lore and common sense. It's hard to really get a sense of bigger formations with the guard at the moment when the highest commander you can have (apart from Creed) is a company commander and that's not really how it should be. 

Next up are the command squads and this is where things get a little bit come complex. The command squads in my opinion need quite a bit more work to bring them up to where they should be. As it stands there is just one command squad, with one set of options and I think this should be changed. It would be quite simple I think to do, as you have a standard command squad, which can take a vox-caster, a standard, a medic, a Sargeant, up to 2 special weapons and a heavy weapon. Obviously they couldn't take all of these at once, still being restricted to 4 members but they can be taken in any combination. The trick would be what level of these things can be taken and that would depend upon what level of commanders you have. 

Take for example a Platoon command squad. You could take a vox-caster, which would give to the ability to issue an order to another vox unit within a certain range, say 12 inches, a medic who could heal a wounded man on a 4+, a standard that gave a leadership buff within a certain range, probably the same as the medics range. Plus you could have a platoon Sargeant, basically a standard Sargeant stat line but also giving out a buff, maybe +1A or +1S, again maybe the same range as the standard and medic, say 6 inches. Add these to the option for special weapon troopers, all with standard trooper stats and options, including heavy flamers as standard and you have a small command squad that gives out buff to a small area, as a platoon commander would. 

Next up would be the Company Command squad, which would follow a similar structure to the platoon command squad, with a vox-caster but with maybe a 18 inch range, a medic, who wouldn't need to roll a dice but could automatically heal a wound or a man but still with a 6 inch aura (after all his arms are only so long!) and a standard that would buff leadership, out to say 12 inches but maybe also mean that you only fail combat attrition tests on a 1 regardless of losses. The company Sargeant and special and heavy weapons troopers would all be veteran stat lines, with the same options. The company Sargeant would also give a buff, probably the opposite to the platoon Sargeant.

The final option would be the Regimental command squad. This, like the regimental commander would be a stratagem upgrade, only available if a regimental commander has been taken and would be fairly fixed in it's options. You would have to take a company level Vox-caster, Medic, Standard and Sargeant and then upgrade, probably a 2cp upgrade, for a total of 3cp to upgrade to a full regimental command structure. For this upgrade you would get a 24 inch aura on the vox-caster and standard, with the standard giving a +2 leadership and either a re-roll to leadership tests or limiting the losses to combat attrition to 1 model. The medic, still with a 6 inch aura can heal d3 wounds or raise d3 models or maybe a FNP aura ability and the regimental Sargeant would give buffs within 12 inches, maybe both +1S and +1A plus he would have a booted stat line himself, maybe 3 or even 4 attacks and S4. All members would have a 4+ save as well, to represent their higher level of status. 

Now, I know that there is a lot of wish listing in this post but I can also see some of this happening in the game, although most likely in crusade mode, something I don't intend on playing. I am intrigued by what the new guard codex may bring us, I don't think it will be a big change from what has come before and will mostly combine all the various bits and pieces from the various books and supplements that were released over the last few years. I doubt that there will actually be many new units, if any at all but maybe we'll get a surprise or two!