Monday, April 14, 2014

Tyranid dataslate part two: Electric boogaloo.

Hi guys, I’m back from outer space and I’m here with a sad look upon my face because part two of the tyranid dataslate review isn’t as soft as part one. The dataslate is still a rip off but this one offers dangerous formations in my opinion.

Incubator Node:
This is the ultimate tax to get another Tervigon in your list, instead of just one overpriced termagant brood you now need three. The Tervigon gets to re-roll any ones that crop up when spawning gants. This pushes up the number of troops arriving into a Tyranid army every turn and while there is nothing in the rules that says the formation’s termagants count as troops, the spawned ones definitely do.

The cost of this is a little prohibitive and you can still fit five Tervigons into an army as it is and use another formation to get Tyrant big guns in there. I would doubt you will see this formation as much but if people are going super breeder with their army lists you could be in trouble. The same rules apply as always, big guns on the Tervigon and splat the gants with Grey Hunters, if you are lucky you can keep out of combat and make the most of your unit’s strengths.

Synaptic Swarm:
This formation is full of synapse creatures. With three Warrior broods and a Tyranid Prime this should cover most of the board with the power of fearlessness. These units have an 18” synapse range which pushes their ability to cover the board to the extreme.

I find that warriors are a small percentage of the units fielded in the Tyranid lists, that isn’t to say that in your local area they aren’t the unit of choice but thirty points a model for something that can be removed fairly easily isn’t a great purchase.

There are better units that offer the same synapse abilities and can cover a lot more of the board in a single turn but if these do turn up in a list they are just an annoyance. Without great strength and low AP biomorphs the warriors are risking a lot to charge Grey Hunters especially with a tooled up Wolf Guard in the squad. Without cover these units are in a bad way with their mediocre saves and while they can take interesting biomorphs and weapons they only serve to further bloat the cost of the units which isn’t a bad thing for their opponents.

Skyblight Swarm:
This is the most choice formation as I can see it. It allows Tyranid players to free up a HQ slot for another Tervigon while increasing the number of flying monsters in the army. This formation is a Fibonacci sequence of pain with one Flying tyrant, one Crone, two Harpies and three Gargoyle broods.

The monstrous creatures gain nothing special but it is always useful to the Tyranid player to have more of them. The Gargoyles however gain lots of shiny buffs with their ability to score even if an objective is contested by another scoring unit. They also respawn in ongoing reserves as a new unit on a 4+ every time the unit is wiped out. I think this is a solid formation. It has no weak points since the Gargoyles are now scoring and semi-immortal and Tyranid flyers are all solid choices. This is the formation that quad guns were built for. Anti-air is going to pay dividends against this formation as four monstrous creatures are damn hard to wipe out unless you can force a grounding. If you can force one of them down prioritise killing it.

Living Artillery Node:
If you like getting hit with barrage and templates then you are probably playing 40k wrong. This formation is a little badly worded, it is probably supposed to be three broods of Biovores, an Exocrine and a Warrior brood. It supplies a lot of damaging units and the synapse creatures to keep them from going to ground. The Warriors must take at least one basic bio cannon but they grant re-rolls to scatter to the formation units within their synapse range. The formation also has pinning on their ranged weapons to twist the knife in your side a little further.

The first unit to kill are the Biovores. Having them sniping characters and special weapons is a blight

on any army and it is worth excising the problem. I know that the Exocrine seems more dangerous but with its limited range it can be held off with good maneuvering and deployment. This formation will be a job for the fast or the long ranged. There are no 2+ armour saves in these units so krak missiles are welcome allies in the purge. Plasma and bolters will do some good but you will have to use weight of numbers as plasma will not deliver instant kills and bolters allow an armour save.

Getting into combat with Biovores renders them impotent but there are few great methods to deliver that. Wolves players that risk Stormclaws despite my belief that they are still a solid choice so that leaves Drop-Pods. An alpha strike will usually remove a brood or two. One or two units of Grey Hunters should wipe out and lock down the Biovores. Push your luck and deploy them tight against the enemy to prevent them using large and small templates on your units. The only caveat is that with three broods of Biovores it will be hard to remove them before they can make a large impact on the game. If you do focus on them too much you may end up throwing troops away needlessly. I hate barrage weapons and my bias may come through too strong, always deal with the biggest threats but pay heed to the units that are going to become threats in the next turn too.

Endless Swarm:
If you like wave after wave of dross then this is for you. Three broods of Hormagants, two broods of Termagants and a brood of Warriors to keep them in line. This formation allows the gant broods to be recycled when they are wiped out. On a 4+ the unit is in ongoing reserves with all of the upgrades on options that were paid for. The unit continues to count as if it was the original allowing it to be continuously recycled.

These units give up victory points so killing them repeatedly is a good thing if you are playing for kill points. If you are having to deal with them in any other mission the first step is to kill the nearest synapse creature and then drop templates on the units to force them to break. A wave of units like that could seriously impede your ability to bring ranged fire to bare on the Tyranid swarms. I think this formation will be used to bulk out the numbers of gant units in a Tyranid army. If your opponent would be the type to go heavy on Tervigons and Genestealers then this is the perfect way to get some cheaper dross units between you and his more expensive monstrous creatures.

That’s part two of the Tyranid dataslate. The formations are a lot meatier than those in part one. Extra flying monstrous creatures are the biggest danger as it is difficult to fit in enough anti-air power in a Space Wolf list The dangers of monstrous creatures and hordes of cheap dross are not unknown to Space Wolf players. Big guns, gun lines, prescience and a bit of luck with your rolls and you should make a decent show. Join me for part three next week when I will despair at the level of monetisation and tell you about the next dataslate. Until then have fun and roll 6’s.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Codex: Militarum Tempestus Review

7:28 PM by Wolfguard James · 2 comments

We are one breath away from the new release of Astra Militarum, aka Imperial Guard. Along with a new name they will also be getting a bunch of new stuff. But this isn’t the subject at hand. This post is about the Codex/Supplement Militarum Tempestus of the Astra Militarum. The Supplement will give us a glimpse of the new Codex.

The biggest weapon of the Imperium doesn’t lie in its big guns, but in their Commanders and the power of their Commands. The Supplement provides a new set of orders to give to the Imperial units. The orders’ rules haven’t changed very much as I explain below.

Voice Of Command: Orders are issued by officers. The rules state that there are units that can issue more than one order, but none of the models in the supplement is capable of doing so. I suspect that the same rules for issuing orders will be passed to the Astra Militarum Codex.  Your officer can issue orders only if his unit isn’t embarked on a vehicle or Building, in C&C, Falling Back or Gone to Ground and within 12” of an issued unit that isn’t a Vehicle. Also the issued unit mustn’t be embarked, in C&C, Falling Back, Gone to Ground or already been issued a command. Furthermore, the Officers’ squads and the issued squad can act normally, except if the order states otherwise.

The ordered unit must then pass an LD test for the order to pass and to gain its bonus. If the roll is a double 6 then the order isn’t in effect and no further orders can be issued until the end of the turn. If the roll is a double 1 the order has passed and all subsequent orders can be issued without the need of an LD test.

The Militarum Tempestus Orders are:

Militarum Tempestus Orders
The ordered unit must shoot. The unit gains the Twin-linked SR.
The ordered unit must shoot. The unit gains Preferred Enemy SR.
The ordered unit gains Crusader SR until the end of the turn.
The ordered unit gains Fleet SR until the end of the turn.
The ordered unit must shoot a Vehicle or Monstrous Creature. The shooting attacks from the unit gain the Rending SR.
The ordered unit must shoot. Hot-shot weapons can fire a single shot, but gain the Sniper and Pinning SR. The unit cannot charge.

As in every Codex and Supplement, the Codex: Militarum Tempestus provides its own Warlord table
Warlord traits
The Warlord has the Fearless SR.
When throwing grenades the Warlord has Twin-linked. When using Krak or Melta bombs in C&C the Warlord has the Tank Hunter SR.
The Warlord and all friendly units from Militarum Tempestus within 12” gain the Stubborn SR.
All Units from the Codex re-roll failed reserve rolls if arrived via Deep Strike. Furthermore, all unit in the same Platoon as the Warlord, only scatter D6”
All models from the Codex, within 12” of the Warlord, gain an additional 6” to their Hot-shot weapons if they didn’t move in the Movement phase.
The Warlord has +1 LD (to a max of 10).

The Supplement offers two HQs, one Troop, one Dedicated Transport and one Fast Attack choices.
HQ choices:

  • Commissar (25P): You can upgrade him for 40p to Lord Commissar. The Commissar has the Aura of Discipline that has remained unchanged and the Summary Execution. Summary Execution states that, when the Commissar units loses an LD test, you don’t execute the highest LD in the unit, but you roll a D6: on a 1 or 2 your opponent chooses which one is execute, on a 3+ you choose the one that will be executed.

  • Militarum Tempestus Command Squad (85P): The unit is composed of four Tempestus Scions and one Tempestor Prime. The Prime is the only model in the Supplement that can issue an order. They have Clarion Vox-net (All units from the Codex within 18” of the Prime use his LD), Deep Strike and Move through Cover SR. The wargear of the unit is Hot-shot Lasgun for the Scions and CCW with Hot-shot Pistol for the Prime. The Scion can also take a Vox-caster (5P), a Medi-pack (15P), and a Platoon Standard (10P) (gives +1 to C&C results). Any Scion that hasn’t taken any Special Gear, can take one Special Weapon. The Primer can take a Power Weapon or Fist, and a Bolt Pistol or Plasma Pistol. Also the unit can take a Taurox Prime as a dedicated transport.
Troop choices:

  • Militarum Tempestus Scions (70P): Are composed of four Tempestus Scions and one Tempestor (sergeant). You can take up to five more Scions for 12 P/mdl. The unit has Deep Strike and Move through Cover SR. The wargear of the unit is Hot-shot Lasgun for the Scions and CCW with Hot-shot Pistol for the Tempestor. The Tempestor can take a Power Weapon or Fist, and a Bolt Pistol or a Plasma Pistol. The scions can take a Vox-caster (5P) and up to two can exchange their Hot-shot Lasguns with a Special Weapon. Also the unit can take a Taurox Prime as a Dedicated Transport.
Dedicated Transport choice:

  • Taurox Prime: The only ground vehicle of the Supplement. The Taurox is the new Vehicle in the Garage of the Astra Militarum. It has the All-terrain APC (re-roll failed Dangerous terrain tests) SR. It has a capacity of 10 models, access points on the sides and rear, and two fire points on each side. It starts with Taurox Battle Cannon and a Twin-linked Hot-shot Volley Gun. You can exchange the Battle Cannon for a Taurox Gatling Cannon (10P) or a Taurox Missile Launcher (20P) and the Volley Gun for a Twin-linked Autocannon (free).
Taurox Prime
Unit Type
Vehicle (Fast, Transport)

Battle Cannon
Heavy 1, Blast
Gatling Cannon
Heavy 10
Heavy 2, Blast
Heavy 2
Hot-shot Volley
Salvo 2/4, Gets Hot

Fast Attack choice:

  • Valkyrie Squadron (125P): The Valkyrie is mostly unchanged. Its point cost got up from 100 to 125. And though it starts with the same equipment, the two multiple rocket pods got down to 10P. It has the same SR as before.
Up until this point the Supplement isn’t that good, although it has a good core, [it has] nothing so far to take the game to the next level. But now I will review its Formations that I believe are the best part of it.


  • Airborne Assault Formation: Composed of one Commissar, one Tempestus Command Squad, three Tempestus Scions Squads and four Valkyries.  The Formation’s restriction is that the Commissar has to start joined with a unit of the Formation. The Formation has three SRs:
1.       Air Cavalry: All the units have to start embarked in the Valkyries and must therefore start at reserve. Furthermore, if a unit disembarks using the Grav-chute Insertion it can re-roll the scatter.
2.       Secure the Area: When the unit disembarks form the Valkyrie, the unit’s shooting attacks gain the Split Fire and Twin-linked SR.
3.       Strategic Intervention: When rolling for reserves, roll a single die for all the Formation, which you can choose to re-roll.

  • Ground Assault Formation: Composed of one Commissar, one Tempestus Command Squad, tree Tempestus Scions Squads and four Taurox Prime. The Formation’s restriction is that the Commissar has to start joined with a unit of the Formation. The Formation has three SRs:
1.       Calculated Strike: All units of the Formation must begin in the table or in reserve, they can’t be separated. Furthermore, when rolling for reserves, roll a single die for all the Formation, which you can choose to re-roll.
2.       Mounted Battle Group: All the units have to start embarked in the Taurox Prime Transports.
3.       Surgical Deployment:  When the unit disembarks form the Taurox Prime, the units shooting attacks gain the Pinning and Twin-linked SR.

The Supplement has great formations. I would use one to take out targets that are near and the other one to take out enemies from afar. I would like to see my wolves fighting the enemy and suddenly 4 Valkyries crossing the battlefield (36”) and dropping Scions/ Commandos on the enemy’s tanks and blowing them up with Split fire and Twin-linked.

I see the Airborne being more melta oriented and anti- vehicle. On the other hand the Ground Assault Formation has two patterns: The anti-horde one with four Taurox Gatling Cannon, with 40 shots just from the Transports, and the long range one with the Missile Launchers. The minimum points for the Airborne are 820 and for the Ground are 640. For that many points surely it can’t be just a support unit, but one that will be the spearhead of your army.

Once again, a nice addition to the game and any army that can take them. I surely think on adding them in my collection and trying them out of course.

[Wolf Tip: Don’t be afraid to try new things and remember that some combos may look good on paper, but in the table it is a whole different story.]

Do you ever go into a fight thinking there's no point in giving my best, I'll get another chance later? We only ever get one shot, Marlin. Life is one shot. Making it count is all that matters.

+++ Skold Greypelt of the Space Wolves on Shadrac
to Sergeant Marlin of the Xth Slavok Regiment +++

Of course I would like to hear your opinion on this and all my previous posts, as well as suggestions for what you would like me to write about.

I hope to get the Codex: Astra Militarum early enough to be able to review it for next week.

Until next time remember Prospero and…


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wolf Tips

5:50 AM by Wolfguard James · 5 comments

In previous posts I have given several Wolf Tips containing special manoeuvres, extra details etc. This time I have decided to make a list of new Wolf Tips aimed at helping you avoid an utter and shameful defeat in the battlefield.

In a 40K game everything can change in just one turn, as everyone can recall from his/her experience. We always strive for victory, a wipe out if possible; but even a low-score-win would be adequate. But what if this desirable outcome is not possible? When you are losing, there is a great difference between losing with 1 or 2 points and losing with, let us say, 10 points. While a “win is a win” it doesn’t stand the same for defeat. When you are playing in a tournament, even one point more can give you the edge and land you in a good place on the finalist chart. Even worse I have had the bitter experience of losing first place for only just one point.

Remember the Wolf Tips do not guarantee you a win, but will help you to avoid a massacre.

  • Wolf Tip1 – Strategy & Tactics: I define, for our purposes, Strategy as your game plan; i.e. the
    way that your whole army will move in order to attain victory. In accordance, Tactics is defined as what each unit will do. For example:
                                       i.      Strategy: your army will be divided into two    flanks to surround your enemy.
                                      ii.     Tactics: The melta squad will hit the enemy tank, so that the 10-men Bolter squad will kill the unit inside it.

When your enemy begins to explain his/her army, you have to quickly decide your strategy against him/her. In your enemy’s turn you have to decide your tactics, as he/she performs his/her move.

  • Wolf Tip2 – Scoring units: Five out of six missions in the game have objectives. You should target his/her scoring units, so that he/she can’t score any points. At the same time you should keep yours out of danger; e.g. keeping them in reserves. Keep in mind that the fifth turn may be the last, so don’t forget to move your Scoring units to the objectives.
  • Wolf Tip3 – Know thy enemy: Every army has its Special Rules. Learn them by hard and, if you can, use them against them. For example, Nids without Synapse don’t function at all, exploit this fact!
  • Wolf Tip4 – Premeasure everything!: The game has changed and pre-measurement is allowed. During deployment, you can thus avoid being shot in the first turn, by carefully calculating the position of your units. In the same manner, you can even avoid being assaulted. For example,
If you want to stay out of C&C you have to be X” away from the nearest enemy unit.
X = 6||12 (enemy unit movement) + 7 (the average of two dice) + 2(just in case)
X = 15||21
(|| stands for OR)

  •   Wolf Tip5 – Know your Army: You have to know your army better than your name. If you want to win you have to know all your Special Rules and use them properly. Know your army’s weaknesses and try to overcome them.
  • Wolf Tip6 – Synergy: Your list must have synergy. Every unit in your army must have a raison d'ĂȘtre. If you take a Thunderwolf Cavalry Deathstar you must also include long range units to support them and some Drop pod(s) to push your enemy back into his field.
  •  Wolf Tip7 – Rulebook: Every game has rules; 40K excels in this area, having far too many rules. You ought to be familiar with (all of) them. Sufficient knowledge of the game rules means no one will be able to cheat you and will better your gaming (rule-wise).
  • Wolf Tip8 – Read the news: You should be informed for everything that happens; such as new publications and releases. I know that now it is more difficult, what with all the weekly releases, but if you want to have an edge in the fight you have to stay up to speed.
  • Wolf Tip9 – Target Lock: Find the right target at the right time. Search for weak spots in your enemy’s lines and exploit them. Does your enemy have one side of a tank out of cover, drop there and take it out.
  • Wolf Tip10 – Learn your stuff: Each time you play with the same (or similar) list you learn it a bit better. Read your Codex, find the best list that suits you and play it to boredom; at which point you will be familiar with it and its true capacities.
  • Wolf Tip11 – Jedi Focus: Every game is different. In any match you may encounter unexpected obstacles; an abuser, a cheater, loud music or sort of distractions. Try to stay focus on the game. Every time that I am super focus I always win.
  • Wolf Tip12 – Statistical dice: I know that there isn’t any die that is statistical, but there is a way to have better dice. A professor from a University (that plays Warhammer) once made one thousand students to roll one thousand rounded dice and one thousand sharp edge dice. The outcome was that the non-rounded dice gave more 3+ results than the rounded dice. So don’t wait, buy them NOW!!!
  • Wolf Tip13 – Practice: You have to play at least once a week to acquire a better understanding of the game. To do that my friends and I have created a team (to play in tournaments) and we meet for practice once a week, to play at least two games each. Also if you can’t play a game, you can always watch one online; e.g. at MiniWar Gamming.
  • Wolf Tip14 – Be a Michelangelo: Find the time to paint at least your list. The truth is that this will not help you win. In truth I have noticed that most of my enemies that had a full painted army weren’t that good of a player. It’s nice to have a full painted army, but don’t neglect your practice. Try to find a good balance between practice and painting time.

I believe that if you follow my advice you will be able to raise your wining ratio. The Space Wolves Codex isn’t the best one, but neither the worst. Our Codex offers many solutions to any enemy. Remember, we are the Sons of Russ. we can take out anyone.

It is the way of Fenris. We stay as long as we can. Fight as hard as we can. Kill as much as we can. Only when we can do no more do we move on.

+++ Skold Greypelt of the Space Wolves on Shadrac +++

Of course I would like to hear your opinion on this and all my previous posts, as well as suggestions for what you would like me to write about.

I hope to get the Codex: Militarum Tempestus early enough to be able to review it for next week.

Until next time remember Prospero and…


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