Sunday, July 26, 2009


Hey everyone. Another pictureless post but that's ok!

Today I want to rant about codices.. No not complaining about any of them but on how to use then past there literal intentions. What do I mean? Well ill tell you.

A codex is designed to let you play that specific army and of course we all know that and they do a good job. But not everything in the 40k universe is represented. For example DIY Space Marine Chapters often utilize either the generic codex or one of the chapter specific codex (Dark Angel, Black Templar etc.) regardless of whether or not they are a successor chapter. Why does this matter? Well because this is what I am talking about and think is great. Essentially using a codex "Counts As" Army.

For example. By Blood Reavers Space Marine Chapter of which I have that 1 test model is going to be a counts as army using the Blood Angels codex or Black Templars codex depending on army list. That chapter has nothing to do with Blood Angels or Black Templars but is using the rules for those armies.

it doesn't have to be as straight forward as that. From the Warp has a great example of this type of army with his Lustwing. Using the Dark Angels codex for the Deathwing and Grey Knight terminator allies to represent his Lustwing a chaos terminator army. That is a good example of using a codex for its special rules to represent an army of your own design.

There are other examples. One being Using the Tyranid Codex to represent the Xenos on the planet murder from the Horus Heresy Novel series.

Another example is using the witch hunter codex to represent an Admech army. Using the faith points to represent special tech or faith in the omnissiah. Or utilizing the Daemonhunters codex Grey Knight forces to represent Adeptus Custodes along with Space marine allies painted like adeptus custodes.

The new Guard Codex can represent a variety of things aside from the regiments. You can represent traitor guard using many psykers or whatever you want. You can represent Arbites using the guard codex. A penal legion is obvious as well. you can also represent a remnant or hive ganger militia army. You can also play a Admech army with this codex. All these ideas can utilize special characters or specific squads utilizing the counts as rule and of course your own model modification abilities.

So in short if you have an idea for an army from the 40k fluff that does not have its own codex sit down and look at the codices and think. Think about what has the best unit choices and rules set to best represent the army and go with that codex. Just make it clear via wargear options as well as telling your opponent what represents what if its not clear. For Example my counts as Tigiruis model for my pre-heresy Thousand Sons stands out from the rest of the army but I still will let my opponent know what he is.

I find that most players are fine with armies like this as long as you obeying the rules of the codex your using and of 40k and of course that your nice and sporting about telling your opponent what is what. Feel free to post your own army ideas that you have or are using for an army that does not necessarily have its own codex in the comments. Until next time..

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vehicle and Unit upgrades

Hey everyone. Sorry for lack of pictures. I will have pictures of stuff in the future.

Thought I would bring up a little tactica on upgrades. Now in my opinion upgrades are an important part of any army. be it biomorphs for Tyranids or vehicle upgrades or whatever these are the choices that can make an army more effective if used properly.

How do you use upgrades properly? Well you spend points on them of course but it is more then that. In the case of a rhino for example do you take extra armor and a hunter killer missile? Well it all depends on what your going for but what I am getting at is points. Dumping points into upgrades means that your army is going to be smaller. Now its unavoidable for example a devastator squad is meant to take heavy weapons but should the sergeant of that squad have a power weapon of powerfist? Again there is no definite answer as it depends on the army as a whole.

So lets looks at some point costs. Power weapons and powerfist vary between +15 to +25 points depending on codices and which weapon your getting... in general. Now imagine every squad that can take such an upgrade does in your army and well the points add up. Now that is fine but you have to keep that in mind as it can mean the difference between getting that 4th squad or not.

With vehicles it is a little easier to look at. aside from extra armor (in my opinion) everything else is non essential. My only exception is sponsons as i am a huge fan of sponson weapons. However you need not take the expensive sponsons unless your plan calls for it. Dozerblades and hunter killer missiles can be nice and depending on tactic can be great but if you step back and look at it you may not need all those hunter killer missiles which would allow you to take another vehicle perhaps or more effective wargear upgrades.

This idea is especially true with tyranids and there biomorphs. You can really tool out squads with access to a lot of biomorphs but that in turn lowers your squad size and overall amount of squads in general. Taking 1 or 2 essential upgrades can mean the difference between being able to field more squads which can mean the difference more so then how strong one unit is.

Well that is pretty much all there is to say in general about that. It is a simple concept but upgrades can be really tempting. If it does not fit into your armies plan it may not be necessary.

Until next time.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Target Priority: Shooting

Hey everyone. The second installment of Target Priority is here! This is focusing on the shooting phase.

Again this is not about the old special rule. This is about getting the most out of your shooting phase and this is done by picking optimal targets for your units to shoot at. Now aside from some special rules for specific weapons (Like Gauss Weaponry for Necrons) not every weapon is effective against everything. And even weapons that can hurt potentially anything have there specific uses in which they are best. This is all obvious but when people are into the game sometimes the best decisions are not made.

So firstly you have to decide what weapon upgrades you will be taking for your squads. Once your have your army list you need to effectively deploy your army. Deployment is key with shooting because not everyone can move and shoot heavy weapons. If you deply your heavy weapons too close they can be shot up or forced to move back denying you a shot with them that turn. if they weapons are too far away you may not have great targets to shoot at. Terrain factors in. You wont your heavy weapons safe but also with a good vantage point. One thing to keep in mind is that your opponent does not want you to shoot him (Duh!) so if you have a lot of heavy fire on a certain flank you can deny it for the most part to your enemy. Flank Denial is something ill go over in the future.

So the game is in progress what do you shoot where? Well your high strength weaponry will usually be best for tank hunting or Monstrous creature hunting. That Lascannon team or Devastator squad etc will primarily be hunting for things of that nature. On the flip side your heavy bolter or scatter lasers will be chewing into infantry squads. Weapons like Plasma are usually used against heavily armored infantry like Terminators or Meganobz. But Plasma is also good against regular infantry and can destroy light vehicles and potentially wound any Monstrous creature. The true all comers weapon is the Missile Launcher with ammunition for either anti infantry or anti tank.

So in general weapons like those mentioned should be used against there best targets. The trend with 5th edition is for more weapons like Heavy bolters and Melta weaponry and a general less use of things like Lascannons. Why? Cover saves are everywhere making weapons with big punch but low shots less favorable. I personally still like them because they can drop vehicles which have a harder time effectively getting cover saves and the enemy will maneuver differently when my Dark Angel Devestators with 2 Lascannons and 2 Plasma Cannons are in a good positions of fire. This is good because your making your opponent either deal with them right away or move in a way they may not want to originally. But anyway because cover saves are everywhere more people are opting for the "torrent of fire" tactic. Essentially they want to flood infantry (and this only really works with infantry) with so many wounds that they cannot pass them all. This is a good tactic and one that has been in play for a while. So you will see more things like Heavy Bolters concentrating fire into that squad in cover.

Speaking of cover template weapons have increased in popularity. Denying the cover save to a squad can mean the difference between getting a save at all or not. Template weapons ignore cover but the drawback is short range. This means you have to think about how your going to move them and support them. Blast weaponry I feel is also a good choice against units in cover. The reason is because while it generally does not ignore cover its one shot can wound multiple models. With units going to cover they will be in general more bunched together where frag missiles, plasma cannons etc can bring the blast templates strength to good use.

Other armies have way of dealing with cover. Tau Markerlights for example can make the cover save worse and potentially remove it all together if you have enough markerlight counters available. The Key to dealing with cover is knowing what your army has up its sleeve.

One things to be mindful of is assaulting. Do you want to risk getting close enough to rapid fire into a hardened squad only to be charged because of it? Or your assaulters are in position to launch an assault this turn. Do you have them shoot there pistols or have another squad of your shoot the squad you want to assault to weaken it only to leave your assaulters high and dry to get shot up next turn? There is no clear answer. There is always risk involved in a war game but in scenarios like these both yes and no are correct. It all depends on what your squads have and are and what your targets are. i wouldn't necessarily risk rapid firing into a nob squad or a terminator squad. Alternatively if my assault unit was really close to the unit i want to assault i may try to soften it up with shooting.

Alright so that's the basics of selecting targets. Obviously there is more to it with shooting. Like how Fire Dragon squads are really good at dealing with small elite squads in shooting and not just armor. The general thing is to maximize your effectiveness with your guns. Assaulting may be brutal in 5th edition but shooting happens more often statistically in the game. Proper shooting can turn the tide easily for more armies then assaulting can.

I am going to try and get at least 1 post up here a week from now on. More tactica via my opinion, tutorials and progress stuff. This post will get a video supplement soon. until next time..