Monday, February 28, 2011

Footslogging Space Wolves in action.

I haven't played too much 40k lately, but my last 5 games or so over a few months have been focusing on footslogging with no transports. I have won or done at least decent in most of them so the idea for me is at least viable. Obviously lots of troops will do well in objective games, and no transports takes away kill points or even targets of all the anti tank weapons everyone puts in their lists. This is what I ran on Saturday vs Dark Eldar. Obviously my firepower is in the form of Long Fangs, but the Grey Hunters do very well for themselves with lots of wound allocation potential and being good (enough) in close combat.

2000 points

1 Rune Priest, chooser of the slain, living lightning, tempest's wrath

9 Wolf Guard, 6 with fists, 2 with combi plasmas, 1 with a cyclone

10 Grey Hunters, power weapon, meltagun, flamer, mark of wulfen, wolf standard

10 Grey Hunters, power weapon, meltagun, flamer, mark of wulfen, wolf standard

10 Grey Hunters, power weapon, meltagun, flamer, mark of wulfen, wolf standard

10 Grey Hunters, power weapon, meltagun, plasmagun, wolf standard

10 Grey Hunters, power weapon, meltagun, plasmagun, wolf standard

10 Grey Hunters, power weapon, meltagun, plasmagun, wolf standard

6 Long Fangs, 5 missile launchers

6 Long Fangs, 5 missile launchers

6 Long Fangs, 5 missile launchers

Each GH squad gets a powerfist Wolf Guard, 2 LF squads get a combi plasma, and one gets a Cyclone. I spread out, moved on objectives, won combat where necessary in large part to the Wolf Standards I include in EVERY list I make, and relied on my Long Fangs to do the heavy lifting.

 For my Spearhead setup I held 2 units of GH's in reserve.

Thoughts? It did well against the DEldar, but I also had the first turn and knocked out 2 heavy Raiders and 1 transport in the first round. The GH's did their job and smothered the objectives and held off the pointy ears. We called it only at turn three with much DEldar carnage and Wolves holding 3 of 3 objectives.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Skaven Slave Tactics

Slaves are the best unit in the Skaven army book. There is a catchy first line to a blog post! I am writing this little one off because I have been visiting Under Empire and seeing Skaven played lately with little or no Skaven Slave units in the army! For a mere 2 points per model you can build the cornerstone unit(s) of your enemy crushing Skaven army.

So Skaven Slaves are 2 points per model. That's because they suck, right? Wrong! Well... not exactly wrong but it's all in how you use it. 2 points per model, because I never upgrade my Slaves. Shields offer longevity and survivability, but I don't care to add points to an expendable unit. Same reason I don't use spears or slings, as well as the fact that Slaves are not there to kill anything (and rarely will). They have some of the poorest stats in the Warhammer world other than an excellent Initiative 4 which will sometimes beat an opponent to the punch and take away a few attacks.

So how do I use my Slaves? As giant tarpit units. Combined with the amazing Strength-in-Numbers Skaven army rule, if your Slaves are within range of your LD7 General they turn into LD10 Slaves with at least 3 ranks. I run my Slaves generally in 2 units of 40 models, ranked 5 wide and 8 deep. This will keep me Steadfast for longer at LD10 and hopefully with a BSB reroll. BTW that unit of 40 models with a Musician (only) is 82 points. It is a STEAL.

The Slaves are at the front of my army, ready to be sacrificed as any good Skaven Slave would do. I run them towards my enemy and either slam into elite units hoping to hold them in place, or park in front hoping to GET charged and save a round of combat. Many of my opponents know what the plan is and charge them anyways with nowhere to go. Otherwise they waste valuable game time trying to maneuver around my large blocks and may end up getting charged themselves later (in the flank).

As you set this up it is important to protect their flanks to keep their Steadfast LD10 intact. They remain Steadfast if flank charged, but it is the +3LD from Strength-in-Numbers I am interested in retaining. This is why I often deploy my Slaves near the center of the board with my support around them. Often in the form of Storm Vermin, Clan Rats, and General / BSB. I am particularly a fan of getting the Slaves stuck in, and then next turn charging my Hell Pit Abomination into the fray. The Slaves remove enemy Steadfast and the normal problem a HPA faces. The same with a Plague Furnace.

Slaves hold up a unit of Grave Guard with a HPA looming in the flank.

Also, I often field my Skaven Slaves with a 15 point Warlock or even one of my item carrying Warlocks parked in the unit. This will keep them at LD8 with SiN at the very start of the game if they are out of range of the General (which they should never be, but oh well). It also acts as a delivery unit of your Doomrocket or Brass Orb, and then as a further redirector if you use that lone Warlock correctly... but that is another tactics article.

So remember my fellow Skaven Warlords, it is worth it to bring the large units of weaklings. Spent your Warpstone on as many Slaves as you can get!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


After setting up the Skaven battle line in the corner, there was apparently one unit of Clan Rats in reserve pushing a Warp Lightning Cannon to make it into the battle. The Vampire Counts deployed on the front line, ready to charge forward. Their Vampire Lord General on her Nightmare in the back of their line, avoiding the fight.

Early on all of the Skaven shooting failed to do any serious damage. Cannons were misfiring on the bounce and mortars and catapult were scattering off target. Jockeying for position, we then got stuck in on turn 2 when the Grave Guard charged into Slaves and cast flaming attacks on themselves anticipating a Hell Pit Abomination charge in the flank.

The Abomination didn't take the bait and altered its course right into a unit of Ghouls with the Vampire Fire Mage. It was a combination charge with a lone Warlock Engineer who charged to make room for a Storm Vermin charge onto the Grave Guard (which ultimately failed). The Hell Pit Abomination killed 17 Ghouls, and the rest, along with the Vampire, crumbled!

While this was happening the Grave Guard were smashing through the Slaves and Storm Vermin (and my Warlord) with the help of the powered up Black Coach. The Abomination eventually falls to a last die ASF bound roll and some Wraiths, and does not return to life. On turn 5, the flying Vampire Lord surged forward to help his shambling horde finish off the Skaven and was met with a Warp Lightning Cannon to the face, killing her. The GG smash through the fleeing Storm Vermin and cause 2 of 3 war machines to flee and kill the last on turn 6. The Clan Rats and Grey Seer survive to combat res kill the Black Coach.

The battle ended a Draw with only Grave Guard and a Corpse Cart "alive" for the Vampires, and 2 units Clan Rats, a Grey Seer, Gutter Runners, and a mortar alive for Skaven. Nice game Nik!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

GLWL - Round 3

Round 3 of the 2011 GLWL had me facing Mike Hernandez and his very tough Lizardmen army. Mike got Best General at the Fall Classic that I won last year, he and I traveled to 'Ard Boyz in 2010, and we will be meeting at Adepticon this year for the Fantasy Championships. This was definitely a friendly rivalry game.

Mike brought a Slaan with Light, Temple Guard, 3 more units of Saurus, Engine of the Gods, Terradons, 1 unit of Salamanders, and 2 units of Chameleon Skinks. For my list I added a Grey Seer, Hell Pit, another WLC, a PCC, and 2 rat dart units to my fixed list.

At the start of the game, I felt I had deployed perfectly. Even though we rolled Watchtower (I HATE WATCHTOWER) he had most of his forces deployed on his right flank, so I countered by deploying on MY right flank. It looked like I would be able to spend much of the game shooting at his advanced Saurus blocks with my cannons and catapult. How wrong I was.

I had first turn and a mortar and WLC exploded immediately. The Lizardmen were able to buff up at first, but I was able to get the Hell Pit into their line and cause heavy damage by destroying a unit of Chameleon Skinks and damaging the Saurus inside the Watchtower. The HPA got flanked off of the tower and cut down, but then came back to life in a position to flank charge the unit that killed it!

Through out the game my shooting was ineffective, and my magic was more or less just tame. Although the same can be said for Mike's magic. It really was a game that was fought in the trenches. A battle that was basically a draw going into the 5th round. In the 4th turn I drew a charge from the Temple Guard unit into my Slaves. Then I counter charged with my Clan Rats, Chieftain BSB, and Warlord and did heavy casualties to the Temple Guard, forcing the Slaan to accept a challenge from my Warlord on the bottom of 5. The Engine flanked the Slaves for combat resolution but I knew my goal was to kill the Toad. My Warlord couldn't kill him with the first chance... and there wouldn't be a second.

GLWL rules state that the Watchtower scenario must last at least 5 turns. So after turn 5 we rolled and the game ended. With 3 Saurus left alive in the Watchtower and 4 Temple Guard a long side his Slaan, surrounded by about 20 Slaves and 20 Clan Rats with my Warlord and Chieftain BSB. If the game had gone on even one more turn I would have wiped the Slaan and TG out, as well as taking control of the Watchtower! Also, GLWL rules award 500 bonus points for the Watchtower rather than auto winning.

Final score (about) 1100-700 : Lizardmen win. Curse you, Slaan!