Monthly Archives: July 2012

Road to NOVA: Preliminary FAQ Released

Hey all, Son of Adam here with the next part on The Road to NOVA.  Recently the provisionary FAQ came out.  This is interesting even if you are not going to NOVA because you can discuss the legitimacy of some of their FAQ’d answers to some of the holes in the new edition before GW officially makes a ruling on it.

            There are some points of particular interest that I want to note:

  • Flyers cannot leave combat airspace the turn they come in from reserves (second turn for air force vs. air force just got important)
  • Flyers in locked velocity just remain in their speed “set” that is combat speed or cruising speed.
  • The death ray (Necron Doom Scythe’s main weapon) can only resolve a hit against a flyer if it is shooting in skyfire mode.
  • No one gets Flakk missiles unless stated so. (so no one)
  • Eldar can target their squad for fortune, guide even if battle brother characters have joined.
  • Reserve modifiers affect allies.
  • Flying monstrous creatures that have failed their grounded test will remain to only be able to be hit by snap fire and will continue to have to take grounded tests for the rest of that turn.  –That one is particularly curious, but it is RAW-
  • Wounds do not carry over after challenges.
  • Black templar allies do not need an emperor’s champion
  • The Space Wolves Wolf Standard needs to be declared for the next assault phase, meaning that if you wish to use it in the same turn you are in, it must be declared as late as that turn’s shooting phase.
  • Space Wolves may use their staff, wolf talisman, and deny the witch roll for each psychic power used against them.
  • All perils of the warp from Mindstrike Missiles on a squad with Brotherhood of psykers are resolved against the one character (or randomly selected model) in that squad.

These are pretty interesting and there are a lot more in the actually FAQ.  Check it out.  I especially think the one about grounded monstrous creatures is interesting.  I’m not sure if it helps them or hurts them; maybe a bit of both.  I also appreciate the clarification for the Doom Scythe’s Death Ray, it balances it in a legitimate way.

I’m interested to see what else they change in the revision.

Have at it folks.  Anything you disagree with?  Anything you are surprised at?  Anything you are happy about?

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Grey Knight List Building: Multiplying Effect (Prescience)

Hey guys, Son of Adam here from MasterCraft Gaming with a quick discussion about a potential list element for the Grey Knights.  Some people have been requesting more Grey Knights tactica, and Vanguard thought that I should post up a discussion that we had about them, and so, here you go. 

            Let’s take a quick step back and explain something simple, but useful (and often overlooked).  Some effects in 40k multiply their effectiveness.  They offer a buff at a flat cost that a varying number of models can take advantage of, depending on the list created.  A squad purchasing psybolt amo is a good example, or Black Templar’s creeds.  The buff that is given becomes less and less expensive (per model) as it is spread across more models that are taking advantage of it, and therefore increases its efficiency.

4 to 5 twin-linked psycannons is no small thing.

            And now the next step: Grey Knights now have access to the divination psychic discipline and with it, the incredibly helpful primaris power prescience.  Prescience, unlike most powers, is guaranteed.  It is also one of the multiplying effects that we just talked about.  When applied in bulk the relative cost drops.  –As a side note, please be aware that lowering cost is only a tool, it is not the aim, and the aim, if you haven’t read it yet, can be found here.– 

            One of the prime examples to look at is a squad of 10 Paladins/purifiers with 4 psycannons.  (Which can be combat squaded to leave the cannons together and make the other half combat related or serve some other function.)  How much would you expect to pay in order to twin-link all of your psycannons and bring a chaplain with you whose power is in effect every turn, and not just on the turn you charged?  Some may say just make the cannons mastercrafted and ignore the bonus to combat, after all they generally only miss about once per shooting phase anyway.  Normally I would validate that opinion, however, with the advent of fliers and flying MCs, the ability for paladins as characters to make precision shots, and the bump to the amount of infantry we expect, I would have to make the argument again.  What is the value of a squad being able to re-roll all missed to hits in both shooting and in combat?  Quite high I expect.

            Before we get too far let’s look at who can get prescience and evaluate their usefulness in furthering our ability to achieve the golden rules.  As per Grey Knight FAQ, only the inquisitors and librarians get rulebook powers.  Here are two quick (and not exclusive) things to note about their differences.

  • Librarians- can add to the multiplying effect with more powers/mastery levels.
  • Inquisitors- (Malleus) can add an additional Psycannon making the squad have 5 twin-linked Psycannons (flier or not that’s painful).

            Always remember killing is not the goal, but a squad like this is something that a list can be built around.  You can tactically achieve a 24″ threat range that people will not want to be in.  When you have something like that, you can then build a list around it that can use that bubble to manipulate your opponent’s movement, and put them in places that are more advantageous to the rest of your list.

            That’s just a quick little thought for all of you MasterCraft fans who play Grey Knights (this is also useful for other armies).  Find ways that you can build lists with something that has this kind of influence, and then comment with how that went.

            As always fellas, thanks for reading.  Please follow/like/sub our stuff and leave some comments if there is anything else you want to see or see changed.  Thanks.

Battle Report: Grey Knights vs Space Wolves (2k)

Hey guys.  Check out this video.  I brought my Grey Knight army with all of the new different groups that I talked about in my Road to Nova Intro post against Steve’s Thunder Cav Space Wolves army.  We played one of the NOVA primer missions.  This is our first video so let us know what you think.  We are always trying to improve.  Remember to subscribe and like our stuff.

By the way, we missed some of the video in the middle, but tried to make up for it with pictures.  Don’t worry we won’t be doing it that way next time (unless you guys like it that way).  If there are any armies that you would like to see played against/with let us know and we will try to get a vid up for it.  Thanks guys.

Thanks to Incompetech.com for the music.  Here is the link to the Showcase for Steve’s army

Steve’s Space Wolves (Berzerker Wolves) 2k

Wolf Lord: Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Runic Armor, Thunderwolf Mount, Wolf Tail Talisman, Saga of the Bear, 2 Fenrisian Wolves

Wolf Lord: Powerfist, Storm Shield, Runic Armor, Thunderwolf Mount, Saga of Majesty, 2 Fenrisian Wolves

Rune Priest: Stock

Wolf Guard Pack- (lead each squad):

2 w/Power Armor, Powerfist

Terminator Armor, Power Sword, Cyclone Missile Launcher

2 w/Terminator Armor, Power Axe

Grey Hunters Pack: 7 Hunters, 1 Melta, Wolf Standard, Mark of the Wolfen, Rhino

Grey Hunters Pack: 7 Hunters, 1 Melta, Wolf Standard, Mark of the Wolfen, Rhino

Grey Hunters Pack: 5 Hunters, 1 Melta, Wolf Standard, Mark of the Wolfen

Thunderwolf Cav: 1 Fist, 3 Storm Shields

Long Fangs Pack: 6 Fangs, 4 Missiles, 1 Las

Long Fangs Pack: 5 Fangs, 3 Missiles, 1 Las

Vindicator

My eclectic Grey Knights list 2k

Draigo

Librarian: Stock

10 Purifiers: 4 Psycannons, 5 Halberds, 1 MasterCrafted Hammer, Rhino w/Dozerblades

5 Paladins: 2 Psycannons, 1 Banner (No apothecary sorry for saying so in the description)

5 Greyknight Terminators: 1 Incinerator, 1 MasterCrafted Hammer

Storm Raven: Assault Cannon, Multi-Melta

Dreadknight: Personal Teleporter

Land Raider Crusaider: Multi-Melta, Psybolt Amo

Deployment: Refuse Flank

Hey all, its Son of Adam again with a littletactic for deployment; the second sphere of Game Strategy.  In this write up we are going to talk about how faster armies can really take advantage of the refuse flank deployment.

Swarm/non elite armies have an advantage and disadvantage in their numbers.  They can overwhelm an elite force or outlast it in a battle of attrition.  However, its disadvantage is in the deployment sphere.  You can only physically fit so many models on any given portion of the table, and so these armies are forced to spread out or play some squads in reserve.  Either way, this deployment style has a weakness against the refuse flank deployment.  (Something else I must note here is that swarm armies are forced to do this, but many elite armiesdo this as well, from tactical necessity, or poor play.  Either way it will open up the opportunity to take advantage of the refuse flank style of deployment).

The Tau Piranha is a good example of a unit that can take advantage of the refuse flank tactic.

In the refuse flank tactic, you can counter deploy against an enemy that has spread out by focusing all of your forces on one flank of the table.  The advantage here, which is best utilized by ranged or fast moving units, is to be able to bring the full force of your army against a smaller portion of your opponent’s army, in order to overwhelm it with less losses.

For example let’s imagine that a Vulkan player takes 4 rhinos full o’ tacs and evenly spreads them across his dawn of war deployment zone.  You take your speedy Dark Eldar list and counter deploy them all on his right flank.  Now when the game starts all he has to do is prepare the two rhinos in range for your force, and hurriedly try to move the other two to that side of the table, forfeiting all of their support until they get there.  Then you can bring all of your mobility and firepower to bear in order to overwhelm his two tactical squads just in time to now take the same force against the other two that have essentially just made it to the fight.

This is a fantastic way for making up for being outmatched

with your list.  If your opponents army is better than yours and makes this mistake (or is forced to), then you can even the odds by making a portion of his army irrelevant for the purposes of the game.

Thanks for reading.  Leave a comment or write us an email with any feedback.  Check out our other stuff and sub/like/follow our sites.  Thanks for the support all.

Cheers

Quick Tip: Trapped in a Transport

Simply moving to surround an immobilized transport can sometimes be more effective than charging it.

Hey guys, Son of Adam here with a Quick Tip.  These tips are all going to be under the Micro-Gameplay heading.  Quick Tips are going to be short, very particular, ways to fight on the battlefield.  Today’s Quick Tip is called Trapped in a Transport.

            If you are holding, or trying to deny the enemy from holding, an objective and a unit that has the strength to take it from you just got immobilized in a transport right on top of that objective, what should you do?  The first and most obvious thing people want to do is charge it, but I want to suggest to you a different approach.

            For our example let’s take the mission I just recently play against Steve.  Near the end of the game his Rhino full of Grey Hunters came running down on top of my home objective.  Then in response I tried to come and take it back with my own, combat squad, of purifiers in a rhino (4 halberds, 1 hammer).

            I was able to take out his rhino but his troops took the objective from me.  I believe it was at the top of turn four that his grey hunters then made a counter assault to stop my purifiers.  He charged my rhino and destroyed it.  This however ended up giving me the advantage.  At the bottom of five I was then able to move the purifiers into position to contest the objective, and then get a full volley off before charging.

            Being outmatched, Steve could have employed this tactic to trap me in my transport.  (To be fair, in our particular game my rhino was not immobilized or stunned, but we will continue to talk about it as if it were for the sake of the example).  If his unit had simply moved into position to surround the rhino, my purifiers would have been stuck inside the transport and only been able to shoot out of it.  Even if I killed most of the squad I would still have been trapped in my transport.

            This is far more relevant in 6th edition when we consider a change to the rules.  Look in your rule book with me at page 123.  It shows you that units that remain fully in a transport can neither score nor deny objectives.  Furthermore, neither can any tanks (with the exception of “Big Guns Never Tire” and “The Scouring” missions where they can become scoring –but still cannot deny, take a look at that part closely).  With this in mind we can see the tactic come to life. 

            If the Grey Hunters were to have trapped the Purifiers in the rhino I would have only been able to shoot him, but not score/deny his objective.  In this instance we can see the very heart of the Golden Rules of the Art of War(hammer).  It would be more wise, and potentially game winning, to simply sit in front of the rhino’s doors and not attack anything than to charge the rhino and kill it.

            Remember this little tactic whenever you are facing an immobilized transport with some very nasty units inside.  Trap them in their transport and win the game.

Cheers

Again let us know your feedback.  Has this ever worked for you?  Have you seen this done against you?  Were their games you could have won if you had trapped that deadly unit in their transport instead of freeing them?  Let us know.  And while you are at it check out our other stuff and like/follow/subscribe to our sites.  Thanks guys, we are always looking to improve.

Tying for the Win

Hey guys, Son of Adam here with a quick article on tying for the win. This is part of the third sphere of game strategy; macro-game-play. Let’s hop down this rabbit hole and see what’s inside.

After a long hard fought battle sometimes both players get the same number of kill points, or have the same number of objectives and the game comes down to those good ol’ secondary objectives. Now that we are talking about sixth those are the; slay the warlord, line-breaker, and first blood objectives. When tying for the win, as the name says, you try to do this intentionally. However, if you are playing in a tournament with different rules you will need to figure out if this tactic will work and what other subtle things you need to do in order to pull it off.

Jetbikes are often overlooked in list building, but their manueverability is useful for getting into the enemy’s deployment zone.

Playing for the tie is often much easier than going for the win, but with this tactic you can achieve both. At the start of the match take a minute and look at the mission and both armies, then judge for yourself; do I have an easier time at winning the secondary and tying the primary or at winning the primary? Whichever one turns out to be more of a sure thing is the one you should go for.

You must be subtle when you do this, as in the minds of most players it will be the battle for the primary and a disregard of the secondary. Let’s continue on in the Art of War(hammer) here.

“9. As circumstances are favorable, modify your plans.

10. All warfare is based on deception.

11. Hence, when able to take the objective, we must appear unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must appear far away; we must make them believe we are other than what we are.

12. If your enemy’s strength is greater than your own evade him and seek victory another way.

13. Attack where he is unprepared, appear where you are unexpected.

14. These tactical methods, which lead to victory, cannot be divulged beforehand.

15. The general who wins has made many calculations before the battle is fought, likewise the general who makes few looses. Therefore, calculate how you may achieve victory beforehand and it shall be yours.”

So, when your force is outmatched you must modify your plans and play for a victory through secondary objectives while still appearing to play for the primary. When doing this, you will then appear where you are not expected, and attack what he has not prepared, and secure the victory.

When considering the secondary objectives, Draigo is a great choice. Not only is he hard to kill, but he also excells against other warlords.

When you are building your list keep this tactic in mind. As an example; if you know you will be playing the standard 6th edition missions, build a list that can achieve first blood, has a general that is hard to kill, and can use its mobility to get into the enemies deployment zone, while still being able to contest objectives. This may make your list look weak to some, which in the end is a good thing, as it will further the deception that you are outmatched and boost the confidence of your opponent.

Go out and try using this tactic. See if you can take victory from a strong opponent or against a list that is stronger than yours. Then make sure you come back here and tell us about it. Be sure to check out our videos and follow/like/comment/sub to our stuff. Thanks for the help fellas.

Please note that all references to the Art of War(hammer) are a fictitious knock off of the real Art of War by Sun Tzu. Some portions are a direct quote; I do not mean to take credit for any of it. Go check it out, it’s a great book.

Army Showcase: Space Wolves

Hey all, themightysquig here showing off some more really well painted models.  This army showcase is of our buddy Steve’s custom Space Wolves army.  He custom made these guys to be chaos space wolves and I think they turned out great.  I grabbed a few shots of this army in action, but I wanted to get a few posed shots so we could get a better look at them. Enjoy!

Thunderwolf Lord with wolves.

This guy looks boss and tanked it for his squad in the game.

Grey hunter with a standard

This was his rune priest/scorcerer

Grey hunter with the Mark of Wolfen

Special thanks to our friends at Stomping Grounds for letting us photograph in their store!

Have a model you want to share? Email me at themightysquig@mastercraftgaming.com with a pic of your favorite model. Tell us how you made it and we’ll show it off on our site! We are glad to link your blog as well, so don’t be afraid to show off!

Introduction to the Road to NOVA

Hey all. Son of Adam here from MasterCraft Gaming. Well fellas, I’m heading out to NOVA this year, and with the advent of 6th edition this is going to be a crazy and challenging tournament. I’m looking forward to it.

I’m opening up this series on the road to NOVA with some introductory thoughts, predictions, and aspirations about this year’s competition.

To start off, for those of you who don’t know, NOVA is one of the top five largest events in the country for 40k. This GT is a three day, eight-round, 256-player, 2k tournament down in Arlington Virginia. The results of the 2012 tournament will go a long way to shape the meta and conventional wisdom about 6th edition.

Expect to see more fliers in the 6th Edition.

I, for one, am very excited about the opportunity to participate in such a rare tournament. Let me explain to you what I mean. Each year the top players in the country travel out to these tournaments, and they bring the best they can to fight for glory (or mediocre internet notoriety and some respect at their local club). These players seek out to break or beat the meta. This year however, things are different.  This year there is no meta.

Players will be trying to break what they think the meta will be. There have already been some extreme and frightening combinations that people have come up with in the new rules, and people are starting to think of them when considering what to bring. In addition to all of the different predictions and their proposed counters, other players will simply be bringing what they brought to 5th edition tournaments. The diversity of lists should make this a very entertaining event. Contrary to this years Adepticon, I don’t expect to find 25% of the players bringing Grey Knights, for the one reason that, nobody knows what the “Grey Knights” of 6th edition is yet.

This edition does seem like a bit of a rock, paper, scissors type of game, which I like, but this makes the eccentric quality of the lists being brought very interesting. Let no one fool you, as much skill as will be present, luck will play no small part in determining the victor this year. Some of the new lists are fantastic against what was good in 5th edition, some lists, in anticipation, counters those, while other list, that remain 5th edition lists, will naturally be good against those counter lists.

This type of event happens very rarely. A huge national event, with the advent of a new edition, where there has been no other national event to shape the meta prior. Needless to say, I am stoked to be attending.

Now that I have put out some introductory thoughts with some predictions hidden in there, let’s talk about some of the particulars of what I expect. I think there are five new aspects of the game that got a big change in the new edition and I think people will be looking to break the game there. Those aspects are; fliers, psykers, monstrous creatures (flying and otherwise), 2+ save/Deathstar units, and allied combinations.

If you are building a list for NOVA, consider using one of these and make sure you build your list with a defense against all of these. I would count on having to play each one of these. We don’t have space to give a brief overview of all of these groups here (believe me I tried) so I am just going to post up, bullet style, some considerations for each.

• Fliers excel with their fire power, denial of targets, and mobility.
• However, I have seen that they struggle with keeping something on the ground alive, contributing points to table quarters (a bigger deal for NOVA than other tournaments), and killing enough mass models with a solid cover save.

• The new psykers have some crazy tricks, but they are hard to play and the powers are random to get.

Psykers can randomly generate strong powers.

• With the powers being random and easy to stop, most are simply trying to make sure that no one can use psykers against them rather than employing some themselves.

• Monstrous creatures do have an inherent weakness against fliers as they can be hit by them but can not  hit them easily in return.
• They have gotten better with an easier time at getting cover, and a potentially longer charge range.
• With the advent of challenges I think where these guys will shine is in tar-pitting units or hiding in combat.

• Large hard to kill death-stars will be harder to kill and more deadly with the changes to wound allocation and with the combination of allies.
• However, with NOVA and the focus on objectives/table quarters, they can be fought with good deployment, and tactical evasion.

• Some of the allied combos are great a combating an armies weaknesses and pulling off some great complimentary effects.
• These are really limited by the allies chart and the fact that you still need to stay within the points allotment. (It seems obvious, but will startle you every time you build a list with them).
• They may shine best with small allied detachments to throw in some unexpected quarks and filling in wholes.
Those are just a few quick tips on what I expect and how to treat them.

As for my aspirations; this year I have been trying to stay pure and go with a single army (no allies). I have always enjoyed the challenge of taking what could be considered a bad list and doing well with it. We will get more into what I am taking in another post.

I have done some play testing with it against some of the aforementioned lists and done fairly well. My hopes are simple; to represent my dex well and shake up some things for 6th edition. I have built a list that I think counters most of what I am anticipating, without suffering too much from what people holding onto 5th will bring. It’s a tough line to walk, but I’m trying hard. More on this as things move forward.

-Cheers

Battle Report Teaser: Grey Knights vs Space Wolves

Hey all, themightysquig here for MasterCraft Gaming, bringing you our first ever Battle Report Teaser! You’ll have to wait a few days for the official Bat Rep video for all the details you’re looking for, but until then, here’s what I can tell you. Last night Son of Adam played his buddy Steve at Stomping Grounds in Warminster, PA.  He brought along his Grey Knight army to take on Steve’s Space Wolves. And I brought my camera to take all these cool pictures of the battle!

Long Fangs take position in a ruin.

Vindicator comes around the corner with some support to get a shot at the land raider

Moving into the high ground the purifiers open fire.

Undaunted, the sole remaining purifier holds his ground.

The thunderwolf Lord leads a bloody charge against the dreadknight and the paladins.

Long fangs are ambushed by a dreadknight.

The Grey Hunters make a heroic counter charge.

Draigo leads what is left of his men against the Space wolves force.

One squad of grey hunters in a rhino makes an end game dash towards an objective.

Purifiers ride out to meet the endemy.

Terminators use Shadow Skies to drop from a Storm Raven that flies by.

A dreadknight scales a building while hunting his foes.

Grey Hunters charge what is left of the purifiers.

While holding onto the objective a squad of grey hunters provides some supporting fire.

Special thanks to Stomping Grounds for providing a great place to play.

The Grey Knight vehicles, Dreadknight, and Draigo were painted byPaul over at For Holy Terra.  Our very own Vanguard painted up the purifiers.

Let us know what you think.  Thanks.

Custom Modeling by Eric Dolphin

Hey all, themightysquig here bringing you a spotlight on some really awesome custom models made by Eric Dolphin. Eric is a very talented artist and his skill really shows in these pieces.  I only had  a short time with him, so I apologize for just providing two photos, but we hope to see some more of his stuff in the future. If you want to see what projects Eric is working on now, take a look at his blog: Unto the Anvil of War.

We have a custom sculpted plague marine, a demon prince, and a sorcerer. BIG DADDY! AWWW YEAHHH

Here’s a closeup on that scorcerer.

Special thanks to Showcase Comics for allowing us to photograph in their store!

Have a model you want to share? Email me at themightysquig@mastercraftgaming.com with a pic of your favorite model. Tell us how you made it and we’ll show it off on our site! We are glad to link your blog as well, so don’t be afraid to show off!