Batrep: Nurgle Daemons vs. Genestealer Cult (51 power)

Not to be confused with my recent 50 point battles against Mitch’s Chaos models, I played yet another smallish game against the forces of Darkness.  In this instance, I wound up playing against Albert, who fielded a bunch of Nurgle units instead of Khorne, so I got to see how other things functioned.  It was his first game of 8th, so we went through things as slow and methodically as possible.  Technically, it was also a 50 point game, but he didn’t have the right models with him to field exactly that many, so I let him squirt over the top a little.

I also wound up mixing things up a little bit and fielded a cult army…

Forces of Nurgle:

  • HQ:
    • Great Unclean One (Virulent Blessing & Fleshy Abundance)
  • Troops:
    • 10x Plaguebearers w/ Icon & Instrument
    • 10x Plaguebearers w/ Icon & Instrument
    • 10x Plaguebearers w/ Icon & Instrument
    • 6x Nurglings
  • Fast Attack:
    • 2x Beasts of Nurgle (?)
    • 6x Plague Drons w/ Icon & Instrument

No surprise, Albert threw down a bunch of Nurgle demons on the table–pretty much one of every available option (short of Scabeithrax–thank god).

The question marks by the Beasts isn’t because I’m unsure of whether he had them or not, but rather because I’m not quite certain if they’re elites or fast attack.  Probably the latter, but I’m throwing them into the fast attack slot for this battle report.

Genestealer Cult:

  • HQ:
    • Patriarch (Might From Beyond)
  • Elites:
    • 10x Purestrain Genestealers
    • 10x Purestrain Genestealers
  • Troops:
    • 10x Acolyte Hybrids w/ Hand Flamers & Rending Claws
  • Fast Attack:
    • 1x Sentinel w/ Lascannon
    • 1x Sentinel w/ Lascannon
    • 1x Sentinel w/ Lascannon
  • Heavy Support:
    • Leman Russ w/ Battlecannon, Plasma Sponsons, & Hull Mounted H.Flamer

My genestealer cult still suffer from the same list building restrictions as they did in 7th edition: namely that I haven’t painted up any characters still, so I’m forced to lean on my Tyranid units for that.  I also haven’t painted up any heavy weapons, or vehicles (though the latter works because I have a bunch of pre-painted tanks laying around.

I’m pretty convinced that MSU (multiple small units) is still the way to go in this edition.  Sure, it means that I basically never get first turn (which isn’t really something you particularly want with an assault based army), but there are numerous advantages with smaller units.  To test the theory, I figured I’d run my squads bigger this game.

I threw in the lascannons as last minute adds because I didn’t want to run more acolytes and metamorphs (which are practically identical when I read through them).  Plus, it gave me some shooting units that I so sorely lacked when I had faced Mitch earlier. Continue reading

8th Edition Tyranid Index Review: Old One Eye

My 8th Edition Tyranid Index Review continues with HQ’s that I’ve already played.   I’ve skipped over the Swarmlord and Prime, because they haven’t seen the table, but I have fielded Old One Eye in a couple of battles (including this one), so we’ll cover him now.

Statline:

Like all of the other 10+ wound critters, Old One Eye gets reduced in effectiveness over time.  So it’s hard to do a direct comparison of him between the editions, but we’ll give it the old (one-eyed) college try.

His statline also changed radically.  In fact, none of his stats are the same as they were in the previous edition–well, except his armor save.  Everything else has changed (with most of them going up–so that’s a plus).

His move went up by 1, making him slightly faster, but that’s not anything to write home about.

His Toughness went up by one, which basically means that Plasma wounds him on a 4+ and various Strength 6 weapons only hurt on a 5+.  Coupled with the fact that he will get an armor save against most every weapon (even if it’s just a 6+), that should lead to a little increased durability.

His stats that fluctuate over time are weapon skill, strength, and attacks.  Weapon skill went from a 3 to a 3+ in most cases, so that’s a definite improvement.  Strength went from 10 to varying between 5-7 so that’s certainly down.  Attacks went from 4 (essentially 5, considering the extra hand weapon) to somewhere between D3 and 5.

With his old strength, he could wound anything up to T8 on a 2+, whereas now he only wounds things up to T3 that way (and that’s assuming he’s at full strength).  Coupled with an overall reduction of attacks, his ability to wade through combatants is decreased.  What he has going for him is that he does a straight 3 wounds per attack, meaning he’ll actually fair better against large models and characters.

Overall, his durability has increased, but his damage output seems to have decreased.  This may be a wash as far as stats go, but seems a little worse to me.  Of course, he’s hitting far more often than he did previously, so in all actuality, this is probably a better statline than the previous edition.

Abilities:

Alpha Leader has changed in that it no longer gives him poor man’s synapse (which was a terrible ability).  Frankly, any change to that was likely to be a bonus.  Now, he adds +1 to hit in assaults for nearby Carnifexen (including himself).  He’s going to count as a force multiplier for nearby carnies, so expect to see him with some friends.

“Living battery ram” used to give him additional hammer of wrath attacks, but as that’s gone, it’s now morphed into an “Immortal Battering ram” that gives him a 4+ to inflict D3 hammer of wrath attacks in the form of mortal wounds (done to a unit, not a model, so this should be able to kill off multiple figures).

He also has a new rule called “berserk” rampage wherein he can get additional attacks for each successful hit.  Frankly, I was forgetting to roll these in my game….

Regen still exists, except now he just automatically regains a single wound per turn.

In every instance, I think that his abilities are much improved from 7th edition.

 

Weapons:

He comes armed with Monstrous Crushing Claws, Scything Talons, and a Thresher Scythe.  Unlike most unit entries in the codex, he’s not required to pay the “tail tax” on his attacks.  In fact, you can pick and choose to make as many (or as few) attacks you want with the tail (too bad you can’t use these in conjunction with Berserk rampage).

His claws and talons have the same damage and AP modifier, but at least you have the option.  Generally for a normal carnifex, I think I’d choose to roll two sets of scything talons as the extra attack seems better than the extra strength.   But since he has the option, you’ll generally want to use the claws when it comes down to units that are T6 or less.  The damage output winds up being quite similar in most cases for the base attacks, but Berserk rampage helps swing the favor towards the talons.  Otherwise, I think the claws are a better solution against T7 critters.

Considering the last edition just gave him a straight AP2 one damage attack, these are a tad better.  Combined with the tail option and Berserker Rampage, he can do more damage to little guys and big guys alike.  This is a solid win for this unit.

Points Cost:

Unlike most of the other units in the game, his points are a fixed 140 points and all wargear is included.  Whereas he previous rocked the scales at 220 points, and many models in this edition actually got more expensive, coming in at a mere 140 points is a steal for this guy.  Another solid win.

Other Changes:

There really aren’t a lot of other changes that impact him.  We’ve already discussed that his pseudo synapse is gone, so his role (if you can call it that) of acting as a synapse node is gone.  Instead, he’s a force multiplier for other units of Carnifexes in your force, so I think you’ll see him in lists like that.

Hammer of Wrath as a rule, was pretty unimpressive for all units in the last codex, except for carnifexes, so I think it’s worth noting that it’s absence will be felt overall.  Lucky for this guy, he gets his new rule that makes up for it (sort of), but normal carnies will not be so lucky.

Overall:

This guy strikes me as a steal.  I’ve used in in two games, and he really did do a number on a land raider for me, despite me forgetting that I got additional attacks for every hit I rolled, and he comes in at a sizable discount to what he used to be.  If he had synapse, I would think that he’d be a shoe-in as an auto-include for this codex.

As it stands, I think he’s a great choice to include if you’re running units of carnies already.  I can see him hitting the table far more in this edition….

P.S. Man, I don’t seem to have any good pictures of my carnifexes available… I know I don’t have a dedicated model for this guy, but you’d think I could at least throw up some pics, given that I have nine of these painted.  Man, I need to get to work on those pictures…

Batrep: Chaos Space Marines vs. Hive Fleet Proteus REVISTED (50 power)

Seeing as our last game was a bit of an atrocity that lasted less than two turns, we pushed the reset button and tried the game again.  We used the same armies and terrain, but mixed up the mission, deployment and, of course, strategies…

Chaos Space Marine Forces (Patrol Detachment)

  • HQ:
    • Kharn the Betrayer
    • Chaos Lord w/ Powermaul & Bolt Pistol
  • Troops: 
    • 10x Khorne Berserkers 2/ Chain Axes, Power Axe & 2x Plasma Pistols
    • 10x Chaos Cultists w/ Autoguns
  • Heavy Support:
    • Chaos Land Raider w/ Combi-plasma

There’s not a lot to say about this list that I haven’t said already.

So I won’t.

Hive Fleet Proteus (Outrider Detachment)

  • HQ:
    • Old One Eye
  • Troops:
    • 10x Hormagaunts
    • 3x Ripper Swarms w/ Spinefists
  • Fast Attack:
    • 3x Shrikes w/ Rending Claws & Spinefists
    • 3x Shrikes w/ Scything Talons & Spinefists
    • 3x Raveners w/ Rending Claws & Spinefists
  • Heavy Support:
    • Trygon Prime w/ Biostatic Rattle & Adrenal Glands
    • 2x Carnifex w/ Scything Talons & Bone Mace

Unlike last game, I actually included my squad of raveners this time on the field.  Everything else was the same mentality… I can’t elaborate too much more on the list because I didn’t tweak anything between the games.

Mission & Deployment:

We opted for another of the Eternal War missions wherein we didn’t mess with cards.  I don’t recall the name of the mission we played, but it was essentially old school Meatgrinder.

You kill me; I kill you.  Who needs rules?

We earned points for each unit killed, plus additional points for the triad (Warlord, Linebreaker, First Blood).  I won the roll for deployment and took the side I was already on (though his side had better cover–I figured I’d already won once, and the difference was negligible.  Plus, that would mean I’d have to move all of the way over there…)  He had fewer units, so finished setting up first and took the first turn.

This time, I opted not to try to seize.  This was because I was unlikely to make charges from where I stood originally, so I let him move towards me to start the game. Continue reading

8th Edition Tyranid Index Review: Tervigons

My 8th Edition Tyranid Index Review continues with HQ’s that I’ve already played.  Keep in mind that at the time I’m writing these, I haven’t played many games of 8th.  Granted, with my release schedule for posts, by the time this goes live, I hope to have quite a few games under my belt.  So, take these posts with a grain of salt.

My goal here, as with all of these review posts is to try to compare/contrast each unit between the latest edition and it’s predecessor.  I’m moving on to the Tervigon here, as this is the only other HQ I’ve played with to this point.

Statline:

Like our friend, the Hive Tyrant, and all other 10+ wound critters, the Tervigon gets reduced in effectiveness over time.  So it’s hard to do a direct comparison of her between editions, but we’ll do what we can.

The easiest stats to start with are Save and attacks, as these both remain unchanged since the previous edition.  Technically that’s true, but armor is a little better in this edition, so even keeping her 3+ is a bit of a buff for the old broad.

The other stats that don’t change as she gets wounded are her leadership, and her Strength / Toughness / Wounds.  For her leadership, she lost a point, but I don’t see this being a big deal.  Firstly, she’s a synapse creature, and she can’t form a unit, so she can’t take morale tests.  The other purpose for leadership in the previous edition involved psychic powers, which is no longer the case in 8th.  Practically speaking, though she lost a point of leadership, I can’t see how that is at all relevant.

The bigger items are, of course, Strength and Toughness.  She, like all creatures on the big base, seems to have picked up a point of strength.  A bump from 6 to 7 means that she now wounds T3 models on a 2+ and T6 on a 3+.  She lacks the attacks to really deal with the hordes that are likely behind those t3 wounds, so that’s not a big bonus–but T6 is fairly prevalent on light vehicles and monstrous creatures, so that’s a nice little perk.

Toughness 8 though is definitely the sweet spot.  T9 is obviously better when dealing with things like powerfists and melta guns, but only getting wounded on 4+ from these items (and still getting a save, no less) is HUGE!  When coupled with an upgrade to 14 wounds, she’s a mega tank.  Granted, she can’t put out huge amounts of damage, but she should be able to anchor the center of your army for synapse.

The three stats that adjust over time are her Move, WS, and BS.  Her move starts out faster than she was in the last edition, so she should be able to keep up with your army to provide that synapse, but as she gets wounded, she slows to a crawl.  Realistically, that’s about on par with the rest of the big bugs I’ve seen so far.  WS and BS start off where she was in the past edition and then slowly fall over time.  Without many attacks or a great gun, this shouldn’t be too terrible though.

For her stats, she’s a little faster, a little stronger, and A LOT tougher than she ever was before.  I’m putting this solidly in the buff column.

Abilities:

She’s a synapse creature, yadda, yadda, yadda.  More on that in the basic overview of the Index Review here.  She still is able to spawn termagants, but this has changed since the previous edition in a few ways:

  1. She doesn’t roll to spawn.  When she opts to use this rule, she automatically spawns 10 guys.
  2. If you want to spawn a new unit, you need to reserve points / power at the beginning of your game to enable you to do so (I’m assuming people are playing “Matched play” by default.  See rulebook214 for more info.
  3. Replacing dead models in an existing unit does not require additional points being spent.
  4. She never spawns out (at least when replacing units).  She can keep going the entire battle–so, unless an enemy can kill at least 11 termagants in a turn, she can keep a unit effectively at full strength for the entire game.  Too bad they can’t tarpit…

She also has the Brood Progenitor and Synaptic Backlash abilities as well.  These abilities now only affect a 6″ bubble (half the range from 7th edition) and similarly buff and debuff ‘gants within that range.  Brood Progenitor no longer gives them counter-attack, but instead gives them the ability to re-roll 1’s to hit with ranged weapons.  Backlash still kills gaunts, but instead of attacking each with 3d6 hits, it now merely kills off d6 of them, making the downside far less nasty.

Weapons:

For weapons, she comes with the Stinger Salvo by default–which is unchanged except that it’s now AP -1.  She can no longer upgrade to the Cluster Spines though.  With the omission of templates in the new edition, paying extra points for what would almost certainly be d6 shots at the same strength and no AP modifier would not be a worthwhile “upgrade.”

In assault, she has massive scything talons, which attack at her base strength (7), -3 armor, and cause D6 wounds.  Despite not having a large number of attacks, she can pump out as many as 18 wounds per turn in assault, so your enemy is going to have to respect that.  She doesn’t have a great weapon skill, but at least she gets +1 to hit with these claws.

She can also upgrade to Massive Crushing Claws.  These simply double her strength in trade off for -1 to hit.  If you do the math, you’ll find that the stock talons are better than the claws against T6 and below.  Against T7, the claws nudge ahead barely by 3%, and then hold about a 6% advantage up until toughness 13 (does that even exist?!).  In short, claws are better if you’re only hunting massively large things–which, based upon her shortage of attacks, is probably something she’d be good at doing; however, it seems inevitable that you’ll be surrounded by smaller critters throughout the game.  The good news is that the “upgrade” only takes three additional points, so it might be viable in some circumstances.

Points Cost:

She comes in at a hefty 250 points (or 253 if you upgrade to the claws), plus you need to reserve extra points for the ‘gants you intend to summon (unless, you’re simply reinforcing them).

In 7th, she came stock at 195 points and could buy cluster spines (+5) and/or claws (+15).  Typically both were good choices, so I ran her that way, totaling 215.  Increaing her to 250 points gives her a tax of about 16%.  I haven’t done enough analysis on the other units, but this seems about normal.

Other Changes:

She lost her ability to count as “troops” when purchased with a squad of termagants.  Like with our friend, the Broodlord, I don’t see this as a downside.  Multiple HQ’s are required to fill out a Battalion Detachment–which is the quickest way to earn additional Command Points.  Additionally, with new detachments like “Supreme Commands,” you have ways of fielding a large amount of HQ’s quite easily.

She’s a psyker, and has lost some options in her abilities, but that’s par for the index.

Toxin Sacs and Adrenal glands are still available, though I don’t know that I’d bother buying either with the new rules as they provide minor situational benefits–but perhaps if you had 4 or 5 points to burn?   The biomorphs for Regeneration and Acid Blood are no longer available for this unit (and may be completely unavailable in the index–I haven’t gotten that far).

Overall:

You’re paying a little more points for her overall, but getting a tough beastie told hold synapse in the center of your army.  She can reinforce a reasonable number of ‘gants every turn throughout the entire game without fear of spawning out.  She just doesn’t have the damage output (in either shooting or assault) to make her a star.

Still, she’s a rock-solid choice and provides an option if you just have to keep your synapse alive.  I like the option, and think she’s certainly worth the additional cost in 8th edition.

 

Batrep: Chaos Space Marines vs. Hive Fleet Proteus (50 power)

For my second game of 8th edition, I built a small list for playtesting things that I hadn’t yet seen on the table.  I managed to include only units that I hadn’t fielded before, which is great–though I won’t be able to keep it up, as I’ve mixed and matched troops too much, so at this point the only troop that I haven’t used yet are Tyranid Warriors.

Still, the hope is to try out some new things and see how they work in this version of the game.  We’re still playing with power level because the guys that come aren’t power gamers, and we can trust people not to abuse the system…

Chaos Space Marine Forces (Patrol Detachment)

  • HQ:
    • Kharn the Betrayer
    • Chaos Lord w/ Powermaul & Bolt Pistol
  • Troops: 
    • 10x Khorne Berserkers 2/ Chain Axes, Power Axe & 2x Plasma Pistols
    • 10x Chaos Cultists w/ Autoguns
  • Heavy Support:
    • Chaos Land Raider w/ Combi-plasma

This was Mitch’s first game of 8th edition, so we went with a small list to get the feel of things.  He had been caught up in the excitement that people have for vehicles–particularly land raiders, so he committed almost half of his points to that unit, and then filled out the rest of the army around it.

Hive Fleet Proteus (Outrider Detachment)

  • HQ:
    • Old One Eye
  • Troops:
    • 10x Hormagaunts
    • 3x Ripper Swarms w/ Spinefists
  • Fast Attack:
    • 3x Shrikes w/ Rending Claws & Spinefists
    • 3x Shrikes w/ Scything Talons & Spinefists
  • Heavy Support:
    • Trygon Prime w/ Biostatic Rattle & Adrenal Glands
    • 2x Carnifex w/ Scything Talons & Bone Mace

My list actually was supposed to include a squad of three raveners as well, to fill out the Outrider detachment, but I forgot to put them on the table.  I realized this in the second turn, but figured it was my mistake so they never made the table.  I guess I could’ve just said I reserved them, but I didn’t bother going that route.

The list itself was just a conglomeration of stuff to try out things in the new edition.  I started with Old One Eye, and threw in the carnies to go with him (because he’s a force multiplier for them), and then determined that I needed to have fast units to keep up with them.  So that basically explains the rest of things.  Shrikes are the fastest synapse I can get without continuously buying flyrants every game, and the Trygon prime serves about the same purpose (though he uses the “burrow” ability more than the speed.

For the Trygon tunnel, the raveners would make a good choice to go into the tunnel, but I opted to go with the hormagaunts (partly because I forgot the raveners entirely).

Mission & Deployment

Neither of us was terribly particular about the mission style, so we opted to go with the classic “Eternal War” missions (as the last game I played used the mission cards).  We rolled up “Big Guns Never Tire,” which doesn’t seem to have changed all that much from the previous edition.

We placed the objectives in fairly generic locations, but as each of us was running what was essentially an assault-only army, we both knew that we’d be meeting in the middle and beating face instead of playing the objective game.

He had setup terrain in a rather sparse fashion so, when he won the choice of sides, it didn’t much matter which side he took.  He deployed everything in the Land Raider over a series of turns (note: this was before the FAQ had come out and indicated that you place all of your units inside a transport when you place the transport) and placed it in the center of the board.  His Chaos Lord, as an afterthought, tended to the cultists in the corner.

My deployment wasn’t anything spectacular either.  I put things into the ruins to give myself cover against his land raiders as best as possible, and then failed to seize the initiative.

Turn 1: Chaos Forces

His land raider deathstar surged forward into the middle of the field, parking itself in a crater and firing it’s lascannons into my lines.  Actually, the Lascannons went into a carnifex and the heavy bolter went into a warrior.  I don’t think that he even fired the plasmagun (likely because he didn’t reference his list and was just going off of the model WYSIWYG.

Those lascannons are terrifying.  Four shots that hit a carnifex on 3’s, wound on 3’s, and do D6 wounds each.  I toyed with the idea of doing the math to see what the odds are of it killing one outright before I had a chance to react, but that’s more complex than I’d care to tackle.  Each one has a 37% chance of doing a wound (Assuming a 6+ armor save), and each wound would be between 1-6 damage.  My math shows it as about a 16% chance that the land raider does no damage at all (well, with just the lascannons), so there’s reasonable odds to peel at least a wound or two off of me.

I’m getting dangerously close to some complex math-hammering.  Suffice it to say, I was scared and had deployed accordingly.  He did manage to do unsaved wounds with one of the guns, to the tune of five damage.

Turn 1: Tyranids

My Trygon and buddies popped out in the backfield, positioned so he could shoot at either the raider or the cultists (he opted for the cultists).  Then, after managing to pluck off a few of them, he managed to successfully roll a charge on the rear of the land raider.

Everything else surged forward and charged the raider as well.  This was based upon me looking up the rules for disembarking and finding that he couldn’t do so if he was within 1″ of me.  So, if you surround the vehicle, they can’t disembark from it.  So, I did a huge series of assaults and managed to make them all (except for a lone carnifex in the back).  They charged in and did a number to it.

The rending claws did a wound here and there, but the big bang came from the carnifexes–especially from old one-eye who just does more damage than his cohorts (and has a higher strength to boot).  I wasn’t able to destroy it outright, but I did knock him down to just one or two wounds before passing the turn.

Turn 2: Chaos Marines

Mitch started off the turn wanting to disembark, but failing there.  Also, despite the fact that he could disengage at will with his raider, the movement rules prevented him from moving through my models, so encircling him meant that he was trapped in combat.  He did manage to shoot at (and charge) my hormagaunts, and killed almost all of them, but when we moved to the other assault, his attacks whiffed and I punked him with Old-One Eye.

That lead to the discovery that when the vehicle explodes, you have to disembark from the vehicle before removing it from the table.  Any models that can’t are destroyed.

Well, since he couldn’t disembark before, he couldn’t at this point, and all of the models inside had died the death.

As a consolation prize, the raider at least blew up and wound up taking out a carnifex with it.  Still, that meant that all of my units were basically in assault range of his chaos lord and my turn was up next.  He wound up conceding the game on the spot.

The Aftermath:

There really isn’t much to say here.  I wound up winning the game with an automatic victory based upon him conceding/being tabled on turn 2.  Technically, he wasn’t actually tabled, but with only one model left against my entire army (who were all basically within charge distance), that seemed like a forgone conclusion.

It was a rough game, but at least it was quick, and we both learned a lot about some nuances of the rules.

What I Learned:

  1. Surrounding a model is bad.  Or good, depending upon your perspective.  The point is, it stops units inside transports from disembarking and it stops them from leaving combat (though I’m sure units with the “Fly” keyword are exceptions to this rule).
  2. Carnifexes are pretty good at anti-tank.  They don’t have a large number of attacks, but multiple damage each makes them decent against multi-wound models.
  3. Rending claws are better than scything talons.  I ran squads of each, and though there wasn’t much experience to go on, they faired better with claws–at least against models with a 2+ armor save.  This probably required further investigation.