Monday, February 28, 2011

Tau Progress and Super Heavy Scratch Builds

I discovered today that my scratch built Thunderhawk had taken some damage in the closet. While the repairs where drying, I decided to snap some pics of it and my scratch built Marauder. I also took some pictures of my wip Tau army.

I'm Officially Done With YTTH

Stelek is hating on Kirby and 3++. YTTH really improved my understanding of 40k, but it's not living up to the reputation it earned these last few years. It was always fun to watch Stelek tear into BOLS and DAKKA. Mostly because those camps rightly deserved a kick in their complacency. But 3++ is a decent blog, and they support the same concepts of competitive play that Stelek put out there when he started his blog. A lot of people have taken up the concepts Stelek originally voiced and present them in a more practical and less venomous way. Those bloggers are the ones I'm going to pay attention to. I'm done with a guy who isn't posting anything interesting anymore, and can't even play nice with the people who agree with his basic point of view.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Transform and Roll Out!

I was tentatively committed to doing an Ultramarines Honor Guard counts as Grey Knights army. Mostly I wanted an excuse to buy some Stormravens. Though now GK's apparently can take Optimus Prime as a heavy support choice.

There's no passing that up.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A View to Kill Points

Let me preface this post by saying: I hate kill points. Here are some thoughts I have on the different ways to run a Annihilation mission in a tournament format.

First of there are the two common scoring methods for Annihilation:

Kill Points

Kill points took all the hard math(you know: addition and division) out of determining the winner in annihilation missions. Everyone knows the common example of why KP are a problem: that a 260 point Land Raider scores you the same amount of points as a 35 point Rhino. A common argument I hear for KP's are that they balance Small Model Count(SMC) armies against Multiple Small Unit(MSU) armies. I think it overcompensates for MSU's advantage in objective games. SMC armies tend to have halve the available KPs as MSU, and the MSU KPs are much easier to claim.

Victory Points

The old tried and true method for kill-em-all scenarios. It has the advantage of providing fine granularity that KPs don't, but can be a hassle to calculate when 50% casualties come into play. Plus they can be hard on armies that have a small number of expensive targets. This is really hard on the small model count armies, flipping the polarities on the way KP's reward small armies and hurts MSU. Victory points reinforce the advantage that MSU has in objective games, which is not necessarily a good thing. One lucky shot in this situation can swing the score several hundred points.

I have an alternate option that I would like to test out in future tournaments:

Graduated Kill Points

This option gives kill points a little more granularity. Basically a unit is worth 1 kill point for every 100 points it's worth. 1-100 points is 1 KP, 101-200 is worth 2, 201-300 is worth 3, ext. ext. This rewards a player for taking out a hard target in the same way as VPs, while still being fairly abstract like KPs. For instance a Land Raider(260 points) and a 10 man Marine Squad with Rhino(205 points) are both 3 Kill Points. As a bonus, the Marine player doesn't get penalized for using combat squads. Broken down the rhino and two combat squads are 1 KP each. This approach allows the SMC armies to claim easy kill points while the MSU armies don't have to dig themselves out of a huge KP disadvantage. In this system available KPs for MSU armies should roughly stay the same. KP's for the SMC armies should go up, but should stay lower than the MSU lists. For instance, take 4 units at 70 points each. This counts as 4 KPs in this system and cost 280 points. A single 280 point MC in another army would only count as 3 Kill Points. You still maintain a slight edge in annihilation for running SMC, but it's not as drastic of an advantage.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Army of Two

Ever since my recent game with Sandwyrm, I've been thinking of ways to improve my neglected Ultramarines army. It's led me to put together a new 1500 point list for the Hivefleet Indy tournament this weekend. So the new list looks like this:

Captain w/combi-melta and relic blade
Captain w/combi-melta and relic blade
9 Man Sterngaurd squad w/ 2x combi-melta and rhino
Dreadnought w/2x twin -linked autocannons
Dreadnought w/2x twin -linked autocannons
10 Man Tactical Squad w/meltagun, missile launcher, and rhino
5 Man TacticalSquad w/combi-melta and las-plas razorback
5 Man TacticalSquad w/combi-melta and las-plas razorback
LandSpeeder w/heavy flamer and multi-melta
LandSpeeder w/heavy flamer and multi-melta

My usual combo of Shrike+TH/SS Termies is a bit too expensive for 1500. My other usual choice of HQ, a Librarian, hasn't been working out too effectively for me. His abilities are nice, but he can't save his squad in HtH combat, and his powers are not useful if every match up. So I decided to go with two captains that can beat face 100 percent of the time, versus a librarian that can give me a tactical advantage 50 percent of the time.

I tried it out last Saturday against Dodger3's demons. The Sterngaurd did well, they sacrificed themselves to take down Fateweaver with poisoned bolter fire. The captains performed even better. They took down 7 Bloodcrushers in melee combat with a little supporting fire to soften them up first. I ended up loosing the game to a couple of bad rolls at the end. It didn't help that I wasted my dreadnoughts and speeders by getting them too close.

I think it's a solid list. I'm debating whether to cut a few guys from the Sterngaurd squad to afford a few more upgrades. Namely, more combi-meltas for the Sterngaurd, and a power fist for the 10 man tactical squad sergeant. I do like being able to fire 18 shots of special issue bolter ammo though.