Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dead Man Walking

As my last post suggested - I love Dreadnoughts.

To me, there is nothing more fantastic than a warrior who has been maimed, crippled or should otherwise be outright killed but refuses to die. Instead of euthanasia or accepting a non-combat role (a much worse fate than death), the Space Marine takes on the mantle of the Dreadnought - a machine weighing several tons, more heavily armored than most APC's, and armed to the teeth in deadly weapons. Sure, there's the drawbacks of having to essentially hibernate for centuries at a time or risk going insane due to being kept alive in a near death state and not being able to enjoy things like food or drink, but hey. For the Emperor.

I always find a way to field one of these things - even when it's tactically sound to field a different unit (like more Terminators or another Land Raider).

Vanilla Dreadnoughts

They're cheap and they have plenty of options for varied roles. These are similar to tactical marines in that they can be flexible in all aspects of warfare but can specialize to a degree.

1) Dreadnought with Multimelta, Heavy Flamer and Drop Pod - 150 Points

This is a fairly common set up. Having both a Multi-melta and Heavy Flamer allows your Dreadnought to engage either infantry or armor after exiting the Drop Pod. The short range of both weapons is largely negated by the Drop Pod. It's a fantastic (and relatively cheap) Dreadnought to use if you need an "In Your Face" anti-everything unit that your opponent will be forced to deal with.

2) Dreadnought with two Twin-Linked Autocannons - 125 Points

The Rifleman. This thing is made to slaughter light vehicles (Rhinos, Land Speeders, Raiders, etc) and man it is good at it. Against AV 11 or 10, you can expect it get 2 or more glancing or penetrating hits. Field two or three of these things and you can pretty much guarantee your opponent will be walking across the board. You won't be able to kill squat in CC, so stay far away and just unleash flak. Once you start facing AV 13 though, you're at an uphill battle, which brings me to the next choice.

3) Dreadnought with Twin-Linked Lascannon and Missile Launcher - 145 Points

This is the Dreadnought to use (at range) against heavier armor. It's less effective against lighter armor due to having less shots, but you're more likely to do something against AV13 or 14.

4) Dreadnought with Twin-Linked Lascannon and Heavy Flamer - 145 points

This is actually my favorite vanilla dreadnought. You have the power of a longer ranged anti-tank weapon as well as a crushing close range anti infantry weapon. Keeping the close combat weapon allows you to use this Dreadnought as a jack of all trades - if you need help in any field, this is there to help you out (but is not likely able to handle it all alone).

5) Dreadnought with Assault Cannon and Heavy Flamer (125)

Cheap and slaughters infantry gloriously. Try to aim him at heavier targets.

Ironclad Dreadnoughts

AV13 and Move Through Cover go a long ways to helping this thing survive. Unlike the other Dreadnoughts, a Drop Pod is practically mandatory or else you will spend most of the game running towards your target. Due to the close combat leanings of this guy, there is only one way I would field an Ironclad.

Ironclad Dreadnought with Heavy Flamer, Seismic Hammer and Drop Pod - 180 Points

This is the most common (and in my opinion) the most effective Ironclad. Have this baby drop down turn 1. If you are within the 6" melta range against a critical vehicle - do it. Otherwise, pop smoke launchers and wait for a turn. If your back is against the drop pod, it becomes exceedingly difficult to kill this Dreadnought while smoke launchers are up. If you survive, then charge forward, melta/flame whatever is juiciest and start tearing in with your giant fists o' fury. Frankly, vehicles should be your priority target. S10 and +1 on the damage chart from the Seismic Hammer makes a mockery of just about every piece of armor. If you have extra points, consider adding Ironclad Assault Launchers. Grenades are nifty for everyone.

Venerable Dreadnoughts are the expensive, survivable and more skilled big brothers of the vanilla Dreadnought. Due to a higher BS, I can easily encourage using some of the non-twinlinked weapons. You can field any of the vanilla dreadnought builds with this guy, but he can get really expensive, really quickly.

1) Venerable Dreadnought with Plasma Cannon and Heavy Flamer - 185 points

BS5 Plasma cannon is mmm delicious. The Heavy Flamer (notice a trend?) allows you to crush anything that gets too close to your lines. This guy should gladly tear into elite infantry and has the option of firing into light vehicles. Keep him near the middle of the table so he can lend his might wherever needed.

So that's Dreadnoughts in a nutshell. I hope you consider fielding one of these armored behemoths next time you play. I know I am :P


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Justifying the Purchase

Picture Courtesy of Forgeworld

I love dreadnoughts. I just loooove them from both a fluff and game standpoint. If I could afford it, I would totally run the 6 Dreadnought Space Marine army.

However, having just finished painting one, I just realized how boring they look. It is literally a box with arms and legs. So, I've been tempted to get the Forgeworld Venerable Dreadnought (seeing as how the GW is a 3 pound chunk of multi-piece pewter - we all know how much that sucks to work with) because it's a model that just screams its presence on the tabletop and really says "I am a hero reborn."

As much as I love how cool looking this model is - I'm not sure if I can justify it's purchase. I currently have three dreadnoughts (1 regular, 2 AoBR) and the actual likeliness of me running the 6 Dreadnought army is slim. I don't even feel great about spending $12 on the Forgeworld Dreadnought arms, even though I really want to use Mortis pattern Dreadnoughts.

Everyone has a favorite model. What do you go crazy about when it comes to this hobby?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Making the Right Choice

Following up on my previous post about having a choice in your army - I want to explore why you choose your army (or your second or third army).

Now, the following items can be done in any order and will weigh different for each person.
Assuming money is not an issue (which it probably is, this is not a cheap hobby! More on this later), you should consider how the army...

  • Plays
  • Looks
  • Feels

Consider how it plays. Do you like moving lots of models or being capable of out maneuvering the foe? Do you enjoy the feeling of throwing down huge amounts of dice at a time? If you're a new player, you might have some issues finding out what army strengths you favor. In my experiences, your FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store) will have several armies that you can play with in order to learn or if you want to try out a different army. Pay them a visit and see what they have in store.

Everyone has their own aesthetic taste. Needless to say, this will affect some people's decision more than others. Do you like how a certain army looks over another? Is it the models themselves that you enjoy or the GW-eye candy color scheme? Look at lots and lots of miniatures from different armies and different painters and see what catches your fancy. Now, a lot of people may give me some flak for this but I recommend buying a blister from two or three armies if you can't make a decision. Usually, a blister pack is pretty representative of what you can expect for the rest of the army. I know before I started Eldar and Salamanders, I spent a huge amount of time going through the galleries looking for anything that was just gloriously inspiring.

Are you always the good guy when you play video games? Do you just hate the idea of people acting perfectly in line? The fluff behind each army is probably an indicator to whether or not you'd enjoy it. So far, I haven't met a single goodie-two shoes who would enjoy purging plastic life from the tabletop while screaming "BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!" It could happen, though.

Now, I'd like to know why each of you chose your specific army? What attracted you to the cry of Khorne or the Path of the Seer or to heed the Wolfcall?


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Is the Grass Really Greener on the Other Side?

Or is it just the vocal minority just being particularly vocal? I've been sick for the past two days, lying in my death bed and whatnot, hoping that this illness that's been spreading around campus isn't gonna mutate into the zombie plague.

Other than sleeping and studying for my midterm tomorrow, I've been reading quite a few forums have come across a rather common consensus.

Everyone on the forums thinks that their codex blows. That's right. Everyone (with exception to the Space Wolves players who are still on their honeymoon). All across we have complaints from Chaos Marine players, Ork players, Space Marine Players, Eldar players, Tyranid players and whatnot about how there are so many things wrong with their codex, every other army has it much better than them and how it should be GW's priority to release a new codex for their army to fix all their problems and make them the uber army of 5th edition 40k.

Why is this? Well, I think that it's just a whole lot of hodge-podge steam venting from a very vocal minority. These are the kinds of people who will go into every thread and every forum hijacking the thread into "Sisters of Battle need an update" or flaunt their own superiority for choosing to play with an outdated codex. I don't really see why they have to do this. Frankly, you CHOOSE your army and before making a $300+ investment in models, you presumably understand the decision you are making. No one is forcing you to play Sisters, Daemonhunters, Dark Eldar or Necrons. You made the decision.

Yes, the Chaos Space Marine codex was effectively castrated fluff wise in terms of army building. Most players are going to accept this and realize that it also opens up tons of army building options. Yes, the Witch Hunters codex is old and harder to play. But that is the nature of anything with a metagame. As the metagame evolves, some options get left behind and some options become awesome. Your army will never be on top forever (I remember the fall of the Dual Biker Nobz list to the IG - a list that was supposedly fool proof in execution).

To sum it up - every player has a choice in the army that they play and should choose it carefully. When starting an army, you should realize that the game will change and evolve as new armies and codexes are released. No army will be perfect forever, no strategy is unbeatable. We play a game that is as quick to change as the seasons.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Jawaballs' Contest Submission

Hey folks, just throwing these pics out for your judgment.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Making the Outdated Usable

Image Courtesy of Games Workshop

You know what I've got? Army fever. Not for the new Space Wolves. Furry Marines never really peaked my interest. Rather, my interest has been captured by the armies that were "left behind" in the edition change. Namely, the Dark Eldar.

The reason why I want to give the pointy hats a try is that the tactical side intrigues me. I find the glass cannon gamble rather exhilarating, so I'll throw together some builds and hope for the best.

Now, the few Dark Eldar players out there tend to be very vocal about how much their codex is outdated and not particularly competitive. It most definitely is outdated, but I'd argue that it still has a reasonable amount of competitive bite.

  • The metagame is currently leaning heavily towards mech based builds and a dependence on Melta-suicide teams as the premiere anti-tank option, meaning that if you're shot down, you are within striking range.
  • They have the fastest, cost-efficient (not to mention flimsiest) troop transports in the game. The Raider is 55 points, but is still very effective. Move flat-out turn 1, put an expendable Raider to block LOS to your Archon's Raider and by turn two, you'll have a very scary Dark Eldar Lord lopping off heads, kicking ass and taking names (and slaves, lots of slaves).
  • The ability to spam enough Dark Lances to make an armored company cry.
  • Wyches make the assault troops of all other armies throw down their weapons and give up.
  • Last but not least, arguably THE most killy character/retinue/unit in the game - the Archon with Incubi can throw out a huge amount of high initiative power weapon attacks that will more than likely cripple the enemy before he can even swing back.
As with all codexes, you've got to keep in mind what is effective and what isn't. Seeing as how a good 60% of the codex is worthless in this day and age, we've got to make do with what we have. I'll share some builds and other opinions later. For now, sleep.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cake, Baseball and Space Wolves

Last weekend was my birthday, so I spent most of it celebrating as opposed to working on homework which was put off. Today was the Twins vs Tigers where every nerve and emotion in my body was tugged around like a teddy bear at a daycare center. Anywho, time to show you what I've been up to in the past week. Here is the (mostly) finished Brother Goriel for Jawaballs' painting competition. I still have to get him on a base and varnish him, but the varnishing will probably wait until after I take the final pictures.

Now, I got the Space Wolves codex in the mail last night (No FLGS out here in the Minnesotan Tundra) and took the liberty of making a couple lists. And I've got to say it doesn't live up to the hype for me. Sure, you can field four uber psykers and some super killy troops. Sure, you can field an all-terminator army. But I don't think it will be enough. If you do max out the super killy units (whenever it's discovered), you're reducing your model count by a huge margin making it even easier for more balanced armies to just table you with even one or two lost units.

Now, JotWW is a super cool psychic power. But by getting more than 2 rune priests, you're going overboard. Remember - JotWW does not affect vehicles. What style of army is 'in' right now? MECH! Every tactical marine/commander/Khorne Berserker/Plague Marine/Sorcerer will just laugh at you from inside their Rhino. And oh wait, you spent about 500+ points on just four models? Meaning that couple lucky missile launchers or whatever can just finish you outright. That's fantastic.

Remember back in the day when Nob Bikerz were the king of the world? Well, think of that, only instead of two squads of Nobz, you have 3-4 squads of Marines. Marines are easier to kill, lucky you...You just need to stay out of arm's reach or failing that, feed the Wolves a unit and finish them off next turn.

C&C welcome,