List-Fu: Stelek's Ravenwing #1

CoolMiniOrNot - Zubr

If I was going to run a Ravenwing biker list, this is absolutely where I'd look to begin. I've been hoping that there was a competitive biker build coming in the Dark Angel codex (I haven't had a proper look at one yet), and this in my mind makes a very solid start.

2000pts Stelek's Ravenwing #1 - Initial Concept

1 Sammael on Jetbike, Warlord
6 bikes, 2 plasma guns, meltabombs; and an attack bike with a multimelta
6 bikes, 2 plasma guns, meltabombs; and an attack bike with a multimelta
6 bikes, 2 plasma guns, meltabombs; and an attack bike with a multimelta
6 bikes, 2 plasma guns, meltabombs; and an attack bike with a multimelta
6 bikes, 2 plasma guns, meltabombs; and an attack bike with a heavy bolter
6 bikes, 2 plasma guns, meltabombs; and an attack bike with a heavy bolter

When going for a maxed out generalist marine troop choice, I think Stelek's basic load out of plasma, multi-melta/heavy-bolter, melta bombs and twin-linked bolters contained within multiple mobile and (relatively) durable troop units is the way to go. It's similar in many ways to what I'm working on for my mech Space Wolves with Imperial Guard list, of course in a different format (bikers instead of mech), but the aims are comparable.

One benefit of the Ravenwing over vanilla bikers I can initially see is the addition of hit-and-run. After the initial I10 impact hit, in combat a biker isn't much more than a T5 marine - i.e not very good! At least hit-and-run gives them a chance to get out and back to a coordinated move and shoot role with the rest of the army.

And as I'm sure anyone else who's read the codex or the internet since the release will already know, there may be an interesting opportunity to play with the banner of devastation (or bolter-banner), given the relentless nature of the bikes. Just not on a biker command squad...

CoolMiniOrNot - Yaroslav

As with all marines, a great deal of the survivability of the bikers against low AP weapons depends a lot on cover saves (including self generated ones, which is nice). However, given how powerful the Helldrake can be post FAQ, and given the low model count of this type of elite army, I would definitely take these flying BBQ monsters (and Rune Priest assisted Imperial Guard Colossi, Eldrad powered Tau gun lines, etc. too - just any mid-strength AP3+ cover ignoring weapons) into account when building the army and selecting allies.

Anyway, there are some kinks to work out, but a very interesting start none the less!

Food For Thought: 6th Edition from a Sneaky Perspective on 3++

Sneaky Dan from 3++ has given us a quick back-to-basics style article running through some excellent tips covering deployment, fire lanes and target priority. Good reminders for beginners and vets alike.

List-Fu: Josh Roberts, 1st at Caledonian Uprising '13

The Warhammer Forum

Results are in for this weekend's Caledonian Uprising tournament, with UK number one ranked player Josh Roberts taking his Necrons through a strong field for the win.

83 players out of the intended 94 players braved the snow to make what is one of the highlights of the UK tournament scene's calendar, with a significant proportion of the top ranked players in attendance. By round three out of five, the top ten tables were dominated by Necrons and Daemons.

For anyone interested, pdfs of of the rules pack and all of the 1850pts lists can be found on the Warhammer Forum here.

Before getting to Josh's list, a few brief observations on the tournament and overall lists:
  • Following the UK trend, Forge World was allowed. A good number of marine and guard lists had hyperios or sabre defence platforms, but surprisingly few brought contemptor dreads. There also only a couple of lists with lucius pattern drop pods (a Space Wolves list with 3 and one in a vanilla marines army. No Blood Angels blender dreads though!). Looking at the overall results and given that the players seemed generally aware and able to incorporate Forge World units into their armies (as with the 40kUK Heat 2 I attended at Brighton in October), my current opinion is that allowing Forge World in tournaments doesn't appear to be breaking the game in the way that much of the internet would seem to believe. The lists on the top tables currently generally appear to be 'pure' GW lists. Something for further thought anyway...
  • Anti-Daemons/Wraiths tactics were notable in many of the vanilla Space Marine lists, using the Null Zone/Thunderfire Cannon combo. Given the results, it didn't seem to help much!
  • For most marine armies, drop pods predominantly replaced rhinos/razorbacks, with the notable exception being Grey Knights making the most of the strength 6 razorbacks. For my initial thoughts on mech in 6th see this article here.
  • Approximate army breakdown (attending): Necrons (15), Tyranids (8), Daemons (7), Eldar/Dark Eldar (7), Double Space Marines (7), Space Marines (6), Imperial Guard/Space Marine variant (5), Grey Knights (5), Eldar & Friends (4), Orks (4), Tau & Friends (3), Chaos Marines (3), Space Wolves (1), Others (9). 

The Warhammer Forum

Anyway, the winning list:

1850pts Necrons, Josh Roberts

HQ 1: Necron Destroyer lord, Sempiternal Weave, Mindshackle Scarabs
HQ 2: Necron Destroyer lord, Sempiternal Weave, Mindshackle Scarabs

Troop1: 10 Immortals, Tesla Carbines
Troop2: 5 Warriors, Transport1
Troop3: 5 Warriors, Transport2
Troop4: 5 Warriors, Transport3

FA1: 6 Wraiths
FA2: 6 Wraiths
FA3: 5 Wraiths

HS1: Annihilation Barge, Tesla Cannon
HS2: Annihilation Barge, Tesla Cannon
HS3: Annihilation Barge, Tesla Cannon

Transport1: Night Scythe, Troop2
Transport2: Night Scythe, Troop3
Transport3: Night Scythe, Troop4

The basics of the winning list comprises of the now familiar set-up of fast, durable wraiths with destroyer lords tanking strength 8 shots up front, backed up by the strong supporting fire power from the triple barges plus air support and durable objective grabbing from the night scythes and warriors.

Of course there is a lot more subtlety to playing the list, and the army does have it's weaknesses (AV13+ at range? Other suggestions welcome!). However, comparing this army to my list building requirements, you can see that it covers the bases well and avoids all but the most basic upgrades, leaving an efficient balanced and focused list.

There were a lot of Necron lists this year, all pretty much variants around the above theme, managing to hold off the 'unbeatable Deamon lists', Tyranids (doing well Stateside), and plenty of other strong Forge World enhanced, anti-flier capable lists.

So congrats to Josh on the win! If anyone has any tips using or playing against this type of list, please feel free to add your thoughts!

New Banner!

New banner!

New year, new look. It's taken a few attempts to get something I'm happy with, but it's up and a big improvement on the old one. I've kept the overall site's theme colours, developed the text style and can change the background image easily whenever the mood takes me.

Eventually I'd like to work up a logo and a t-shirt including the site address to wear to tournaments, but that's a little way off yet (too many models to buy first!).

I particularly like the photos of my Koplow dice between the text at the bottom. Nice.

Food For Thought: List Building Questions

Rodin Thinker Silhouette

I thought I'd start of 2013 with a Food For Thought covering one of the fundamental aspects of the game for me - list building. Now is not the time for me to go into why I think bringing a balanced list along is a good idea, but what I am going to offer today is the six fundamental questions I ask myself when I'm putting together an army.

Now, there is a huge amount of depth behind each of these questions and I've only really recently articulated these as I develop my understanding of what I want my 6th edition competitive army to be (but that is a subject for another post!). The more I play, the better I understand them myself, but they do help frame my thought process on and off the battlefield.

Anyway, enough rambling, these are the questions:

  1. Can this list take and hold multiple/low numbers of objectives?
  2. How effective is it in killpoint style games (low number of VPs vs effeciency/MSU)
  3. How easily can it take/give up secondary objectives?
  4. What control can I exert on the different areas of the battlefield (rear/mid/enemy deployment/flanks/airspace/reserves/alternative deployments)?
  5. Am I comfortable with the balance of scoring (including secondaries), board control (mobility/range/blocking) and threat (anti-infantry(GEQ/MEQ/TEQ), ant-tank/MC, anti-air)?
  6. Do I know what each unit’s purpose is and how the army works together as a whole (e.g. mobile&reactive/static&dug-in/glass hammer/etc.)?
If these are obvious to you, good! However, there is a lot of subtlety that can be applied, for example between the balance between threat versus durability? Do you achieve durability though large units, MSU, mobility or deployment? How many troops do you need to hold you home objectives and how can they contribute to the game offensively?

There are many more, but I hope you get the idea that whilst these may appear obvious to begin with, these is more to it the more you think about it. In time, I hope to delve into some of the subjects I've touched on here in further Food For Thought and CONCEPTS: posts, but I will discuss the coming year in another post.

If you have any other useful list building questions or requirements, please feel free to add your thoughts!