Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Another big 40K tournament, WM league in a few and more random STAW stuff... or "Oh, Eldar again" :-)

So, another of the big tournaments over the long weekend…  And to no one’s shock and surprise, it was an Eldar Wave Serpent spam list that was the overall winner.  Top 16 included a few Chaos Demons, Necrons, CSM and even a single Wolves player!  But 6 of the top 10 were Eldar.  Some with the DE allied force of the Baron for his 2++ save in a Seer council…  Several Imperial Knights allied forces in there, no real surprise, the Knights are really quite good and as the largest thing realistically playable (IIRC also largest LEGALLY playable).  The single Tau build was unsurprising, not sure what Aaron from Indy brought with his Necrons, but he is an excellent player so good to see him do well there…  Given the missions and the terrain it came down to the most efficient armies I think, and not sure there are any that combine the mobility, survivability and sheer firepower of a well-built Eldar force.  Demons are good, but just too random I think to count on in a long run.  Necrons and Tau both have potential (at least until the Crons get their hardback and likely some nerfs), but just not quite at the level of the Eldar…  Mind, this is all just my opinion of course…  But I’m a fairly decent player and pretty good at math and tactics, etc., so I think it is an informed opinion at the least…  Right now, and for the foreseeable future, the Eldar are back as the kings of the game…

Guessing this is why I am fairly “meh” on playing the game at this point.  If I want to win, I have to either bring the Eldar spam or have a REALLY good way of dealing with it.  Frankly there are not many good ways to do so.  Drop pods filled with Melta gunners backed by say, my Knight and the Storm Raven?  Maybe, probably the best shot I would have at it.  For right now, the BA still have the ability to Assault out of reserves with their Vanguard Vets so they might be an answer in part…  But a lot of that relies on random luck.  Jink saves being 3+ mean that I actually have to get lucky to destroy a Wave Serpent with a small number of shots.  And if their dice are hot, it just doesn’t matter how much I shoot at them.  Yes, they now have a slight disadvantage of having to snap fire, but with all their main weaponry being Twin Linked and high RoF, not I think so much of a disadvantage.  And of course each of them getting 4 shots (TL) at Str 6 followed likely by the d6+1 Str 7 shots (also TL iff at least one 6 was rolled by the up to 8 dice on the first shooting attack) their odds are quite good to get in a few hits.  Can also move of course, etc…  So, dropping DNs near them is a one shot thing as they can simply shoot it off the table trivially.  The Eldar Knight is also REALLY good, and with the ability to have a Wraith Lord as their Warlord?  Eh, gets silly there, but frankly not all that bad…  Guessing I could make a Warlord from a Marine based book like the CSM or regular Marine book that was more difficult to actually deal with, so no real complaint there, just silly to have the ability to make a MC your Warlord…  Poorly designed if no other force has this option…  Well, other than the Tyranids of course J…  But they are designed that way…  In any case, caffeine hitting and back on topic…  Frankly having to get VERY lucky to even take down their Transports by throwing a big chunk of my force at them seems a losing strategy on the longer term.  Individual games?  Sure, luck being what it is, that’s where the Marines can win a few here and there I think, just that over the long term the odds are NOT in their favor.  Needing AT weaponry with the “Ignores Cover” rule means I have few options.  And that is just to deal with the 130-140 point Transport/Tank.  The crunchy insides I can deal with, eventually…  They have the best basic weapons, and entire units of Melta gunners, so given that they will likely shoot first, will almost always pay for themselves shooting things off the table.  Their AA fire being pretty much just their tanks shooting ala “Hammer’s Slammers” means that most fliers WILL get shot out of the sky, unless you can saturate their defenses like the Necrons I think can with extremely cheap fliers…

Wolves and GK hit last Month, no real surprises and really nothing new in either book…  Yes, Klaus got his sled (Thinking that Grimmar is now Santa Klaus from the Dresden Files books, so Unseelie Court Sidhe…), but the GK?  Really they just lost options…  Yes, some were broken and stupid like the “Ours go to 11” upgrade to all of their ballistic weapons…  Glad I didn’t make all of the Rifleman (AA) DNs that I could have.  Not a bad option, just that DNs overall are just not that good these days.  Saying that though, they were pretty decent books and army lists.  Take out the Eldar and perhaps the silliness of Invisible Chaos things, etc. (Yes, there are more things…) and you have a fairly well balanced game.  Beer and pretzels, yes…  Not really tweaked for a hyper competitive game, but it would at least be fun.  As it stands?  Not really.  Just seeing Cavalry, Chariots and Monstrous Creatures being the viable options makes me miss the days when you could actually play actual Troops in a damn Sci Fi and have a chance to do something other than just die.  Really, Cav and Chariots in a Sci Fi game is probably the thing that annoys me the most…

So, a Journeyman League coming up in a few weeks at the Gopher…  Have the new (to me at least) Paladin of Morrow Warcaster, my Paladins actually did fairly well on the field (“Precursor Knights”), and seeing a lot of Undead and the like, guessing they’ll be fine as a “castle” for my forces to set up around.  Need to remember to keep the Gun Mages a bit back so that the Knights who cannot be targeted by spells do not eat spray spells targeting the guys behind their shield wall…  No clue as to the rules for the League, but assuming it is something starting small and escalating…  I have several unpainted/to be repainted units so the “hobby” aspect is not a problem to get in there I think.  So, have a pretty good handle on the basics of the game now, just a lot changed and VERY different than 40K J

STAW saw me get another strong second place finish…  So, still close enough to Lon to challenge for the Stargazer at least J…  Not sure about this Month’s scenario though.  It looks like it will be difficult at best if you get paired with someone not big on cooperating…  Frankly, not even sure then…  The Borg are VERY strong, and getting harder to damage as the game goes on…  Something to think about, the build for this one.  Leaning toward Federation for the general strong ships to survive, but Dominion or Klingon for the ability to throw out a LOT of damage…  Dominion looks pretty good here I think.  But I actually brought this to OP2:
Fed Borg OP2 build

Fed Borg OP2 build

Cardassian Keldon Class (24)
Sar (1)
Ship SP: 25

U.S.S Excelsior (26)
Mr. Spock (4)
Dmitri Valtane (3)
Photon Torpedoes (5)
Ship SP: 38

U.S.S Sutherland (26)
Clark Terrell (1)
Ship SP: 27

I.K.S. B'Moth (24)
Kunivas (2)
Tritium Intermix (4)
Ship SP: 30

Total Build SP: 120

Generated by STAW Builder

First game was my only loss…  Did 109 points of damage to the cube before time, and had the sole surviving ship (USS Excelsior), but because of 2 critical errors on my part, I lost to Lon who did 113 points to the Cube…  The Keldon class was the MVP, but I flew it out of arc one turn, and the B’Moth I completely forgot about the ability to repair as well as the free extra damage from discarding the Crew card…  So, I could easily have surpassed the total, but…  After that, it was fairly simple, my build is designed to be aggressive, but at a critical point, they step back, throwing the other player’s aggressive ships to the Borg as they are now the closest ones…  At least one other player lost to me because he did not think that I could fire on turn one, but a 4 straight gets you in range (the Cube token is larger than last Months) from the middle of the DZ, the Keldon’s trick from the flank was also a BIG surprise to everyone.  So, just loads of dice rolling and very quickly for me as it was simple once it hit the table.  Mr. Spock on the Excelsior was REALLY good as well, glad he survived every game J