Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nerdcrons Part 2

Lovell brought the Battle Missions book to our game the other night and wanted to play one of the Necron-specific scenarios. I don't recall the name, but it had us deploying along the short table edges, which was novel. The scenario was supposed to represent the Necrons striking into an undefended zone to harvest the population, and combat between two forces that rely heavily on Deep Strike was interesting. To win, a player needed to hold the majority of the objectives, of which there were three. I made a conservative Deathwing Assault into no-man's land, and in the remaining turn I grabbed the objective in Lovell's deployment zone with my command squad. Most of the action played out on the Necron end of the board and when the dust cleared, there were Dark Angels on all three objectives.

Lovell dug up a... I'll call it a "speculative codex" from the wilds of the Internet. I wasn't so sure about it, but I don't blame him. It's old enough that I was using it before I sold my Necrons, quit, took a few years off, came back, and spent a few years collecting space marines. According to some people, it's old and busted, so it makes sense that Lovell would want to get away from that image.

Initially, I was pretty shocked by the fake Necron book. Most of his units had 3+ Feel No Pain rolls that could be taken regardless of the strength or AP of the weapon firing on the unit. Some of this was due to the proximity of the monoliths, but the rules also gave the monoliths a 3+ cover save against all attacks, which essentially made them invincible considering their universal Armor 14. The Necron lord with his 3+ invulnerable save (in all fairness, a storm shield) and his attacks that ignored all saves also threw me for a loop, and the Monolith's ordnance blast being upgraded to AP 2 seemed almost nonsensical. But if I was able to beat the army 3-0, can it really be as bad as it looks on paper? I also have to admit it gave me one of the most hard-won, enjoyable games I've played recently. So although it certainly needs some amendments, I'd face it again.

All of this rumination on the strengths and weaknesses of the Necron codex has me thinking about the Dark Angels codex, as well. Over the last year or so I've been operating under the assumption that it's a fundamentally flawed book. I think that's probably true, but it also has a lot going for it. Consider:
  • Belial is pretty cheap compared to a similarly-equipped space marine captain, even accounting for his lower stats
  • Terminators become a bit more survivable if you use their flexible weapon options to play some wound allocation tricks
  • If you can pull off a Deathwing Assault, you're probably in good shape
  • You can pull off a Deathwing Assault if you bring some bikers, because they all come with teleport homers
So although there are a ton of disparities between Codex: Dark Angels and Codex: Space Marines (the newer book having units and upgrades that are both cheaper and better), the important thing is to treat the Dark Angels book as an army unto itself. Codex marine strategies won't work here, because it's simply a different list altogether.

Still, it's a drag not being able to put a bunch of tactical marines on the table. I've yet to determine whether plunking down 25 terminators makes up for that.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Of the Nerdcrons and Their Ilk

How I Disproved Your T-Shirt, Or, This Blog Needs More Pictures

Last night was a big night for miniatures at PAGE. Lovell threw down the gauntlet with his homebrew Necron codex, and since I was the last to yell "not it!" we faced off. Lovell wanted to play "his scenario" from the Battle Missions book, and, being a gentleman, I assented.

I'll post more about the battle and my thoughts about the scenario and the unofficial Necron codex a little later, but for now, I'll leave you with some light reading:

Why Necrons Need Nerfing on Warhammer 39,999

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dark Angels vs. Codex Space Marines, 1750

The results are in, and this year Election Day was really tough on... the Dark Angels. My good friend Joe and I met last night in his palatial estate for a gentleman's game of Warhammer 40,000. My list consisted of mostly Deathwing units with a tactical and assault squad thrown in to showcase my newly-painted squads and to boost my numbers and mobility. Joe brought a Vulkan-themed codex list instead of his usual Drop Pod extravaganza, although both drop pods and Sternguard made an appearance.

We generated an Annihilation mission using Pitched Battle deployment rules, which was good as neither of us have played regularly for a while. He won the roll for first turn, and I didn't attempt to steal the initiative as I was planning to make a Deathwing Assault (tm).

In the end Joe won out, scoring 6 kill points to my 4. He did an excellent job outmaneuvering me, rendering my command squad, captain, and a supporting Deathwing squad (over 1/3 of my army's points value) almost completely harmless. Some highlights:
  • A four-turn dreadnought vs. venerable dreadnought slugfest (the venerable lost, but at least it held down a flank in the meantime)
  • Vulkan He'stan slaughters two full Deathwing squads, almost single-handedly
  • a single squad of terminators absorbs comical amounts of heavy bolter and autocannon fire
There's also some pictures of my in-progress tactical marines on Joe's flickr.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Weekend haul, gearing up

I spent most of the weekend fulfilling family obligations and doing holiday stuff so I wasn't able to wrangle as much painting time as I'd hoped, but I did steal an hour or two to to continue working on tactical marines. I also put together and primed a venerable dreadnought using yet another spare Assault on Black Reach model and some bits from the Dark Angels veterans sprue.

Tonight I'll finish up a few things for tomorrow's match against Joe's Kingbreakers. I'm tempted to post my list, but I can't risk letting classified information fall into the wrong hands. One way or another, though, there's bound to be a whole lot of deep striking...

I'm hoping to have some photographs of the action.