Friday 27 August 2021

Heavy support and Superheavies

 The heavy support section is one of the populated sections of the codex, with a number of good units and some not so go units. While there are some units that I think need some work to get them up to a more competitive level, there are also a couple of units that I think will see some characteristics changed due to streamlining. I'll start with these units, as they will be quick to deal with. 

The two main units that I think will see some changes are the Basilisk and Manticore, and the main change will be the damage going from d3 to a flat 2 or maybe 3 damage, although 2 would be more likely. This is due to some other weapons loosing their variable damage characteristics, which is good as it gives a more accurate estimate of damage dealt. I think this is most likely with manticores as a way of reducing the effect of Full Payload manticores.

There are a few other units that need a few adjustments in my view. The Leman Russ Battle Tank, while the main tank is pretty good and not much needs changed, if anything, there are a few of the weapons options that need looking at. The Executioner plasma cannon, which follows the same profile as the standard plasma cannon with the exception of d6 shots. This means that you could end up getting just 1 shot, practicality the same as a standard plasma gun, for a weapon that is supposed to be a tank mounted plasma cannon. I think the shots need to be changed to a 2d3 or d6 with minimum number of shots, say 3. This give it the feel of a proper tank mounted gun. The other option would be to increase the strength, just 1 up, to S8 and S9, giving it that extra bit of punch and bringing it inline with the marines macro plasma incinerator. Personally I think more shots is the way to go, rather than extra strength. This would mean that the tank as a whole, with sponsons, could put out a significant amount 9f firepower. The 9ther version of the LRBT that needs looking at is the Exterminator and it's Autocannons. At present it's two barreled autocannon kicks out just 4 shots, the same as two separate Autocannons carries by guardsmen. Being vehicle mounted it should kick out more shots, in my view, double the number, although 6 would still be better. If marines can carry a 3 shot version around by hand, then a tank should be able to do at least the same, if not more. Again, I don't think that extra strength or ap is needed, just more shots, the guard is, after all, about volume. 

Talking about volume, we have the Wyvern. Now, I love this weapon, it is a good weapon but as I have said before several times, it needs something more, because right now the only thing that makes it better than mortar equipped heavy weapons squads is that you can take more of them. Simply adding an extra point of strength or ap would make all the difference and make them stand out from regular mortars. I think the ap is the way to go, keeping them as S4 with re-rolls to wound. An alternative route would be extra special rules, such as re-roll number of shots or ignoring cover, even going back a few editions and being able to add one to BS if you can see the target unit (advanced vehicle mounted targeting units?) Either way, I think that it needs something extra.

Next we have to fun one, the Deathstrike missile launcher! Now, we all know that the Deathstrike is not a competitive choice, not can the tabletop model ever represent what we read in books, after all, if it did, firing one on the tabletop would wipe out the gaming hall, not just your table! The biggest issue with Deathstrike missile launchers however is the random number of shots and BS. With 3d6 shots and a 4+ BS your looking at just 5 hits. For a single shot super weapon that you can't actually fire turn 1, 5 hits is pretty rubbish. Even with the possibility of extra hits on nearby units, which is slim, as by the time.youanage to fire it most units are going to be out of range of other units, so you might get to roll 2 other dice of which one might hit and get 2 mortal wounds. Against marines, this will mean 3 and a half dead models, not a great return. I think this model needs either a big price reduction, significant damage output improvement or auto hitting shots, maybe even all three! The death strike probably shouldn't be a competitive choice but it should be a devastating one. 

Next up we have what I think is the unit that needs the biggest improvement, not in terms in the units price or stat line, both of which I think are fairly balanced. The biggest issue is the restrictions in match play, know as the rule of 3. Heavy Weapons Teams are a staple of guard units, however they have been severely restricted by the rule of 3, far more so that vehicles. This is because the rule states you can only take 3 of each data sheet, and with guard vehicles this means that you can actually take 9 vehicles due to the squadron rules. Only Manticores and Deathstrikes don't have the squadron rules. This means that taking heavy weapons squads only happens if you've spare point not spent elsewhere, which is rare. I think that either heavy weapons squads need to be allowed to take more teams, at least 5, if not more, up to 9 (3 lots of 3) or we should be able to take them in "squadrons" or multiple squads in a single slot. This would mean that they would become a usable force again.  

I also mention here an additional unit that I think needs adding in, the MT scions heavy weapons squad. I've mentioned scions needing heavy weapons in the troops and transports post but I think that they need a dedicated heavy weapons squad as well. I still think that these squads should have limited weapons options but I also think that they should have unique choices, such as multi-melta's and maybe even plasma cannons. The squads should follow the same rules as the standard HWS, as these could well be the only long range heavy hitting weapons and main anti-tank weapons in the army. 

The last thing to mention here are the super-heavy tanks. Now, in general these are fairly balanced and don't really need adjustment. One thing they do need however is a boost to their saves, in the form of an invulnerable save. These vehicles, while tough with lots of wounds, are still fragile for their size and cost. An invulnerable save would be perfect for them. I'm not after anything crazy, just a 6++ would be perfect, just something to ensure these prized relics have a save. I'm not expecting Knights level of shielding, but just a little extra would be useful.

Friday 20 August 2021

Fast attack and fliers

 There are only a couple of entries here that we need to look at, sentinels, hellhounds and Valkyries, although I will be including Vendettas in this list as well, as they are a common flyer within guard armies.

Sentinels are a good example of what I was talking about with the Chimera and taurox, you have two options that's cost the same but have very different roles. There are a few issues with the two.profiles though I think. Firstly I think there needs to be a greater difference in the movement 9f the two vehicles, with scouts getting faster, at least an extra inch. Secondly I think there needs to be more restrictions on weapon choices, with flamers removed from armoured sentinels, to mirror the availablity of plasma cannons. These are minor changes that shouldn't make much difference to the units. Apart from these changes I think sentinels are pretty good where they are. 

The last fast attack choice is the Hellhound, although it's really three versions, Hellhounds, Devil Dogs and Bane Wolves. All three versions have flaws that need dealing with, some.more serious than others. The basic Hellhound needs the Inferno Cannon range increased. Previously the range was double the standard flamer range, thanks to the old torrent rules, now however it's only just longer than the standard flamer range. The flamer needs to be upped, to at least 18 inch range, 24 would be better. I also think that the ap needs upping as well, just by 1, beefing it up over the standard heavy flamer. 

The devil dog main weapon also needs changing. The Melta Cannon is an assault d3 weapon, which 2as good against the old multi-melta but against the new version it needs adjusting. I think it should go up to 2d3 shots or d6 with a minimum of 3, either way it means that you will get at least the same number of shots at the multi-melta, rather than less. The other option would be to make it stronger with greater damage but keep the d3 shots, otherwise you might as well have two multi-melta's. I still think changing the shots to 2d3 is the best option.

The Bane Wolf is the worst option out of all the variants at the moment. This is due to the small range of the Chem Cannon. At present it's range is laughable and needs a significant increase, at least doubling. It was the same as flamers, but now it is significantly shorter, well within counter charge range. As the weapon is also a d6 weapon it's highly variable and unreliable. If it was a 6 shot weapon or even 3+d3, then you could be more confident about attacking a unit. I think that there are really two ways to fix this weapon, increasing the range, at least doubling it or changing the weapon to either 2d6 or even better 4d3. This would mean that you have the range to engage without worrying about getting swamped in return, alternatively the increased shots means that you can get up close and personal with a good chance of killing off what your shooting at. As it stands you never see Bane Wolves on the table and unless something significant changes, you never will.

I also think that we need a significant improvement in the fast attack section. We have only 2 real options, Hellhounds and sentinels, and there are plenty of gaps in the guard arsenal. For starters I think we need a fast\light tank, something along the lines of the Taurox but without the transport capacity. Even something along the lines of the Chimedon or Chimerax would be fine. Alternatively there are the Tauros models that you used to be able to get from forge world. These models would also be a suitable for filling the role above, fast mobile units with firepower. There would need to be some changes, such as the addition of other weapons, such as heavy bolters and autocannons. There would need to be some changes to the stats, to stop the unit clashing with sentinels, in terms of profiles but I think that could be managed by increasing the firepower and resilience of these units over sentinels. Then there are rough riders, we need our rough riders back and I think they should on horses still. I think that we should have some options for rough riders as well, one lot should be the classic hunting Lance equipped unit and another should be equipped with different weapons, something like flamers or grenade launchers for mobile firepower. These two options, and their alternative builds, would boost up the fast attack slot to proper proportions and fill in the gaps in the guard range. 

Next we have the flyers. The only option in theain guard codex is the Valkyrie, which as it stands is in a pretty good place. There isn't anything that I would change about it as it stands. The only thing I to see in relation to the Valkyrie is some proper alternative builds, along the lines of the new AdMech flyer. We currently have just one option with two weapons choices. The missiles are not great anti-armour options, while the MRP's are reasonable anti-horde weapons. What I would like to see is a proper anti-armour version, basically the Vendetta, a anti-infantry version, with MRP's or even punishers and finally bomber variant, with similar rules as the AdMech version or even just battle cannon type damage. 

While we're talking about flyers, I'll mention the Vendetta, as it's an aircraft that lots of people take. This should be in the main codex, as it use to be. However, there are a few issue with it as it stands. It's to expensive and needs a significant price reduction, as it is nearly twice the cost of a Valkyrie at the moment. It needs to loose at least a quarter of its cost to make it a competitive choice, especially as it doesn't have a number of special rules that the Valkyrie gets. The main rule that is missing is Roving Gunship. This would make a huge difference to Vendettas, meaning that they would be able to reliably hit with their lascannons and do some real damage. I have referred to lascannons a lot here but there is also the hellstrike missiles. These are however a bit lacklustre, being weaker, with less ap, for only a bit more damage. Oh, and your dropping half the number of shots. No body takes hellstrike missiles and unless they do something about it no body will. Yes, the extra damage is too, but I think it needs to do a lot more damage to balance out loosing half your shots. Either that or up the ap to guarantee the kill. 

In think that these two sections of  codex are the weakest sections and need some work on them to bring them up to standard. I doubt we will get much of what I've said but I am very hopeful for rough riders and a Tauros like vehicle. Next we'll jump to heavy support and circle back to Elites, as that's the biggest section in the book. 

Tuesday 17 August 2021

Kill team 2021

 Well I’ve done it, I’ve taken the plunge and put my money where my mouth is and have brought the new kill team box. I have brought through Element Games, giving myself a nice little discount that meant that i could throw in the compendium for nothing. Also, if it’s worked properly then the boys at DZTV should get a bit of benefit from my purchase. I may well be getting some extra terrain, board and possibly the orks but not sure about that one. However, there is a bit of a catch, delivery date is currently 3rd December!

I’m really looking forward to getting this set, the terrain looks fun and easy to build and paint, the models look amazing, although I’m still very tempted to sell the Kreig models and get a set of the new Cadians, plus Cadian command squad to build a full veteran kill team. I guess by the time I get the box through, they may well be on sell on there own. 

I’ve been having a look on the web at the various leaks, about the rules and kill teams and planning my approach to building up my new kill teams. There has been a minor problem with this though, which I will go into detail in another post but basically, with the new format and the loss of a number of elite units, many of my forces are not legal anymore and I may need to combine a number of forces to make just a single legal list. While I suspect that they will release extra books with more units in the future, I still think that my forces will not be fully legal. 

Even so, I am really looking forward to getting games in with the new system, whenever that will be.

Friday 13 August 2021

Troops and transports

 Next up on the list we have the bread and butter of many lists, the troops. I have also put the transports in here, as the two pretty much go hand in hand but we'll come to them later.

There are only 3 troops choices for the AM; conscripts, infantry squad and Scions. The standard choice is infantry squad and it's pretty well balanced. Points wise I think that it is at a good level, the only issue might be the special weapons. At present they are all 5 points and this leaves the likes of the grenade launcher as a poor choice. Yes it's got range but it's not auto hitting like a flamer or powerful like plasma guns. Sniper rifles are cheap, but then they are pretty useless singularly. All in all, the infantry squad is pretty good where it is and doesn't really need anything changing. 

The Militarum Tempestus Scions are the standard troop option for MT armies and a good unit to.mix with standard infantry squads. They are more expensive but have slightly better stats and weapons. Again, I think these guys are pretty good, both points wise and weapons wise. Their ability to deep strike and take 2 special weapons per 5 scions are both very good and give the unit a unique feel. There are just a couple of things I would like to see change here. The first two are very minor and wouldn't make much difference overall I think. Firstly I would like the general leadership upped by one. This is because these are supposed to be highly trained specialist troops and to have the same leadership as a standard guardsman seems a little odd. I also don't see the need for Sergeant's or their equivalents having better leadership these days. The second adjustment I would make would be to Attacks. At the moment they have 1 each, which I think should be upped to a standard 2 each for the same reasons I think they should have better leadership. 

The third change is a bigger change and one I've spoken about several times in previous posts, heavy weapons teams. I think there should be the option for heavy weapons teams in scions but with limited weapon options. Missile launchers and mortars are highly mobile weapons and would fit with the Scions theme. Heavy bolters, autocannons and lascannons are a lot bulkier in comparison and are therefore less mobile as a result, meaning they wouldn't fit as well. I think that you could bring in a smaller, lighter version of the lascannon, something like a hotshot cannon maybe. This would still give options for the force and not change the way the army plays. 

The last troops units to talk about is the Conscripts. Now, these is where things really need a rework. As it stands your paying the same for a conscript, as an infantry man but with lower BS, WS and leadership, no options for special weapons, no vox casters and only a 50% chance of the unit responding to orders. The only advantage of that you can take squads of 30. Conscripts need to either see a price drop, options to take special weapons and vox casters or loosing the d6 roll for orders. I know that these changes were well intentioned, trying to curb conscripts power at tournaments but I think they went to far, one or two of the changes would have been fine, but with all the changes they were completely nerfed. Personally I think that dropping the price would be the best way of dealing with conscripts, meaning that the reduction in cost is balanced by the other rules. Hopefully they will change some of these rules and conscripts become usable again.

Next up are the transports. Here there are 3 options, one, the Tauros Prime, only being available to the Scions. Of all three transports there is little to be said. The one thing that I will say is that I think Taurox's are over priced right now. There is little difference between the Chimera and taurox but there are some key differences. With 1 less point of toughness, two less transport capacity and no smoke launchers, yet more expensive price tag means that it doesn't compete for the roll of transport. Yes, it's faster but that's all it's got going for it, 10 extra inches over a game is t going to be a major game changer very often. I honestly think these should be about the same price but for fill very different roles. Chimera's should be tought, mobile bunkers, capable of taking and dishing out damage but be slow, where as Taurox's should be fast and agile but fragile, unable to take much of a beating. It should then be a case of choosing which direction you want to go in for your troops transports. As such the Chimera should get more wounds, loose some speed (say 2 inches) but get more weapons options, such as the old forge world twin heavy bolter turrets or autocannon turret. The Taurox on the other hand should gain some speed (again 2 inches or so) but remain as it is otherwise. 

The Taurox Prime on the other hand is a different beast. As it stands I think that it's pretty much as it needs to be. I would like to see some more options,such as track guards or Hunter-killer missiles, additional I wouldn't mind seeing the transport capacity to be upped by 1 or 2, to enable you to put a commissar or Tempestor in there as well.

Overall, most of the troop and transport options are at a pretty good point with no major issue. It would be nice to see a few of the minor ones sorted though as these are our core units.  

Tuesday 10 August 2021

Another kill team preview


As usual I'm a bit behind on posts but there are a few good reasons behind this. Firstly my son had an operation recently, a minor thing but it involved a week's isolation and all the fun that goes with that and secondly, were on holiday visiting family. Anyway, I thought I would do a quick round up of what we have learnt over the last two weeks from the Warhammer Community articles and when I say quick, I actually mean it this time!

Firstly we have seen that terrain rules will be similar to the current 40k rules, with different keywords giving different traits to the various pieces of terrain. It looks pretty complicated but we should get use to it pretty easily. 

It also looks like the game will carry over the secondary objectives style of play from 40k as well, although with their own flavour. It looks like the games will be a lot more variable than they have been in the past. 

The next thing we learnt is that the campaign mode will be call spec ops and will function similarity to the crusade rules by the look of it, not that I know how crusade rules work at all! Can't say this is something I'm interested in, so didn't pay the article much attention.

We have also learnt that there will be three main phases tot eh games, the initiative phase, the strategic phase and the fire fight phase. The initiative phase will be exactly that, the strategic stage will be a little more complicated with the option to enact certain rules and options, such as the strategic ploys. The fire fight phase is the main phase and is where all the actual fighting and shooting will take place. It is also the phase that will take up the majority of the game. 

As mentioned above, we are getting ploys, which are basically just Stratagems from 40k. Here they are split in to strategic and tactical. Strategic ploys can only be played in the strategic phase but last the whole turn where as tactical ploys can be used anytime but seem to be very specific and short lived. Hopefully they give us lots of options.

The last thing we learnt about the general game is about EP's, which I think stands for Equipment points but I'm not 100% sure. Anyway, these seem to be a bit.pike relics or special wargear and you get 10 points to spend on upgrading some of your units. The few we have seen seem to be pretty character full and can add a bit more flavour to the force. How balanced these are is to be seen.

In these articles we learnt a bit about the guard teams and how they might function, with the two biggest things being that the standard trooper will be a GA2 unit, meaning that for every activation you can move two models, which is nice. Secondly we learnt that there will be just 4 orders, one being Fix Bayonets. Then other three I suspect will be  take aim and bring it down ( re-roll 1's to hit and wound respectively) and possibly forwards for the emperor ( shoot after advancing) although I'm less sure on this last one. 

All in all it still shaping up to be a great game and with pre-orders no announced, we won't have long to wait to actually find out how good it really is.

Friday 6 August 2021

Hq units


Having looked at the various rules for the guard detachments we now move in to the actual units, starting with the HQ units. Now there aren't many HQ options for the guard and even less for the Militarum Tempestus units. In addition nearly half the HQ options are named characters. This is not very many option compared to some armies, such as marines who have 20 odd generic HQ options.

Most of the generic options, the unnamed characters are, I think reasonably priced. They are in general, relatively cheap, which they should be for the stat line they have, which again, is perfectly reasonable for them. There is only two exceptions to this, and to be honest one of these is more of a wishlist type things. We'll start with this one, which relates to Pask. Now, there really isnt anything wrong with his stat line but I would like to see him received some sort of Invulnerable save, even a 6++ would be great. His tank, Hand of Steel, is supposed to be a bit of a relic tank, so I would have though he would get something. I'd even be happy putting the points up for it as well. 

The other generic HQ option that I think needs looking at is the Tempestor Prime. This unit is Scions equivalent of the company commander, he costs more points, lacks an invulnerable save and can only issue one order a turn, unless he gives up the ability to shoot. Yes he has a 4+ save rather than a 5+ but with the amount of ap-1 weapons out there these days this really means nothing, and the Company commander always has a 5+\5++ as well. For his points he needs an invulnerable save at the very least and really needs a second order as standard. Being able to take the command rod for a third order should be an option, rather than currently being a necessity. At the moment the Prime is more like an up armoured platoon commander than a company commander, which doesn't really fit the fluff about being the leader of an elite force. 

Next up we have the named characters and the main point here is not about their rules but about their points cost. We'll start with the one that I think needs the biggest drop in points, Commissar Yarrick. At his current level he is well over twice the cost of a Lord Commissar for just a couple of extra rules and an extra point of toughness. I really don't see how he is worth twice the price. Yes, he should be worth more points, maybe 10 to 15 points more, but certainly not twice the price. 

Colonel 'Iron Hand' Stracken is up next. He is currently twice the price of a company commander but at least his stat line is better in pretty much every way and he has a few extra rules. Yes, he is definitely worth more points, but I'm not sure about twice the price. Again I think he should be about 20 points more than the standard commander, meaning he's still expensive but not overly expensive. 

Lastly we have the Lord Castellan Creed and, honestly, I'm not sure if he's over coated or not. I might like to see a small points drop, maybe 5 or so but I don't think he needs anything more than that. 

The last thing I would like to mention is about the command structure of the guard. I am hopeful we will see similar treatment to several other codices where you have the option to upgrade your characters. What I would like to see is the option to upgrade your company commander to a regimental commander and maybe even higher. The same could be done for commissars and tank commanders, effectively giving us back the Junior and Senior commanders of old. This system could easily be implemented, with senior officers getting more order and greater range for auras. I can see them doing something as they have for most of the other codices, what they do we will have to wait and see.