Wednesday, 20 March 2019

North East Open Tournament Battle Report: Game 2- Deathwatch vs Imperial Knights/Adeptus Mechanicus

Welcome to my second battle report from the recent North East Open tournament. In this game, my Deathwatch army would be taking on Adam with his combined force of Imperial Knights. Adeptus Mechanicus and Astra Militarum. 

Mission 2 was Big Guns Never Tire with Vanguard Strike deployment. This gives you points for holding objectives at the end of the game, with extra points for destroying Heavy Support units. 

My army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment
Deathwatch Watch Master- Guardian Spear (D)
Watch Captain- Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Bolt Pistol, Storm Shield (WC1)
9 Deathwatch Veterans- 9 Storm Bolters, 2 Storm Shields, Chainswords, Vanguard Veteran- Bolt Pistol, Storm Shield (KT1)
10 Intercessors- Bolt Rifles, Bolt Pistols (KT2)
5 Veterans- 2 Missile Launchers, 3 Stalker Bolters, Chainswords, Terminator- Power Fist, Storm Bolter, Cyclone Missile Launcher (KT3)
5 Veterans- 2 Frag Cannons, 3 Shotguns, Storm Shield  (KT4)
5 Veterans- Missile Launcher, 2 Heavy Bolters, Bolters, Terminator, Power Fist, Assault Cannon (KT5)
10 Veterans- 6 Bolters, Meltagun, 3 Combi-Meltas, chainswords (KT6)
Rhino- Two Storm Bolters (R1)
Rhino- Two Storm Bolters  (R2)
Razorback- Twin Lascannon, Storm Bolter (Rz)

Outrider Detachment
Watch Captain- Jump Pack, Relic Blade, Bolt Pistol, Lord of Hidden Knowledge (warlord trait), The Tome of Ectoclades (Relic) (WC2)
4 Bikers- Twin Bolters, Sergeant with Storm Bolter and Storm Shield, Chainswords (B1)
4 Bikers- Twin Bolters, Sergeant with Storm Bolter and Storm Shield, Chainswords (B2)
4 Bikers- Twin Bolters, Sergeant with Storm Bolter and Storm Shield, Chainswords (B3)

Monday, 18 March 2019

North East Open Tournament Battle Report: Game 1- Deathwatch vs Death Guard

Welcome to my first battle report from the recent North East Open 2019 tournament. I was invited up to Newcastle to take part in this ITC event and was looking forward to testing my Deathwatch with the new Chapter Approved points drops and Beta Bolter rules in effect. 

The first mission was against Luke and his Death Guard army. The mission was Dominate and Destroy with Search and Destroy deployment. This gives you one point for each objective held at the end of the game turn, as well as a point for each enemy unit destroyed. The mission would also use First Strike, Linebreaker and Slay the Warlord. 

My army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment
Deathwatch Watch Master- Guardian Spear (D)
Watch Captain- Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Bolt Pistol, Storm Shield (WC1)
9 Deathwatch Veterans- 9 Storm Bolters, 2 Storm Shields, Chainswords, Vanguard Veteran- Bolt Pistol, Storm Shield (KT1)
10 Intercessors- Bolt Rifles, Bolt Pistols (KT2)
5 Veterans- 2 Missile Launchers, 3 Stalker Bolters, Chainswords, Terminator- Power Fist, Storm Bolter, Cyclone Missile Launcher (KT3)
5 Veterans- 2 Frag Cannons, 3 Shotguns, Storm Shield  (KT4)
5 Veterans- Missile Launcher, 2 Heavy Bolters, Bolters, Terminator, Power Fist, Assault Cannon (KT5)
10 Veterans- 6 Bolters, Meltagun, 3 Combi-Meltas, chainswords (KT6)
Rhino- Two Storm Bolters (R1)
Rhino- Two Storm Bolters  (R2)
Razorback- Twin Lascannon, Storm Bolter (Rz)

Outrider Detachment
Watch Captain- Jump Pack, Relic Blade, Bolt Pistol, Lord of Hidden Knowledge (warlord trait), The Tome of Ectoclades (Relic) (WC2)
4 Bikers- Twin Bolters, Sergeant with Storm Bolter and Storm Shield, Chainswords (B1)
4 Bikers- Twin Bolters, Sergeant with Storm Bolter and Storm Shield, Chainswords (B2)
4 Bikers- Twin Bolters, Sergeant with Storm Bolter and Storm Shield, Chainswords (B3)

The tournament restrictions prevented double detachments, otherwise I would have tried to field a couple of Battalions for the extra command points. I had been having some fun with the army with the new beta bolter rules, giving a lot of firepower for the Bikers and other elements of the army.

Monday, 11 March 2019

8th Edition Assassins Codex Review

This month's White Dwarf featured updated rules for the Assassins you can field in an Imperium army. This review will look at the new rules for using the Assassins in your army.  

General
The Assassins can be fielded in any Imperium army, each costing 85 points. You can field them in a Vanguard Detachment, or they can be fielded for the cost of 1CP using a new stratagem called Operative Requisition Sanctioned. In matched play, this costs 1CP and you can choose to field any of the four Assassins, but must pay the reinforcement points for them. 

This is a good stratagem, as you don't need to specify which Assassin you are taking before you use it. For example, you could see your opponent's army and decide which Assassin is best suited to enhance your army during the game. 

Each Assassin has a 4+ invulnerable save and a similar general profile. They have 7" move, BS and WS 2+, strength and toughness 4, 5 or 6 wounds and between 4 and 6 attacks. 

The Assassin cannot be your warlord and can deploy from reserves using the standard rules. 

They also get another stratagem called Priority Threat Neutralised for 1CP. This can be played when an Assassin kills an enemy character. You gain 2CP (or 3CP if it was the enemy warlord). This is a nice way of getting a free command point if you have some left and kill an enemy character. 

Vindicare Assassin
The firepower specialist of the Assassins has gotten better in this new version of the codex. One big boost is that if he remains stationary, he always hits on a 2+ in the shooting phase. This is great for ensuring that he will have a great chance of hitting his target and is a great counter to negative to hit penalties from enemy abilities and stratagems. 

His primary weapon is the Exotus Rifle, which is range 72", Heavy 1, S5, AP-3 and D3 damage. It always wounds infantry on a 2+, giving you good odds of hitting and wounding with his shots. It also ignores invulnerable saves, as well as the Vindicare ignoring cover saves, so you have a good chance of getting through all but the toughest armour with ease. He can also target characters, even if they are not the closest. 

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

8th Edition Genestealer Cult Codex Review: Part 8- Heavy Support and Dedicated Transport

The final part of my 8th Edition Genestealer Cults codex review will take a look at the Heavy Support, Dedicated Transport and Fortifications sections of the book. 

Heavy Support
Cult Leman Russ
The Cult Leman Russ got a 10 pts reduction over the index version, making it slightly cheaper to take it.
The Leman Russ provides a nice weapons platform for the Cult. It also benefits from the Cult Ambush rule, which is great for it. This allows you to deploy it in optimal position after seeing your opponent's deployment, either to go after the best targets or to stay safe from enemy guns or attacks. This gives it a nice bonus to help it stay alive for longer.

It comes with the Battle Cannon, Eradicator Nova Cannon, Exterminator Autocannon or Vanquisher Battle Cannon. With Grinding Advance, this gives you some decent firepower on a fairly durable tank platform.

Another nice bonus is that you can purchase an Augur Array for only 5 pts. This gives you a single re-roll to hit once per game. This is a nice bonus for the Vanquisher Battle Cannon, allowing you to save your CP re-roll on a to wound roll or damage roll.

I like the Russ, it gives some much needed heavy firepower to the Cult, at a pretty reasonable cost. However, one of the problems is that it is a Brood Brothers vehicle, meaning it gains no benefit from Cult Creeds or some of the useful special abilities and stratagems in the codex. It does benefit from the Devoted Crew stratagem, allowing the vehicle to act as if it was in its top wounds bracket, so you can get a turn or two of strong firepower from it if you have the CP to spare.

Monday, 4 March 2019

8th Edition Genestealer Cults Codex Review: Part 7- Fast Attack

Part 7 of my 8th edition Genestealer Cults Codex review will take a look at the fast attack options for the army. The codex features a couple of new units in this section, which should be useful for giving the Cult some fast mobility on the board before the reserves arrive. 

Fast Attack
Achilles Ridgerunners
The Cult gets a new buggy, fitted with a heavy weapon for some mobile firepower on the battlefield. First off, I think these are some great models and I look forward to adding one to my army. 

The Ridgerunner has a standard profile for a light vehicle. It has move 14", which makes it one of the fastest units in the game outside of flyers. It has the standard WS6+ for vehicles and BS4+ for standard infantry. It is strength and toughness 5, has 8 wounds, 3 attacks and a 4+ save. It is only Ld 7, which may make it susceptible to psychic powers that use Leadership values. 

It can be armed with either a Heavy Mining Laser, a Missile Launcher or a Heavy Mortar, in addition to two Heavy Stubbers. The Heavy Mining Laser is 36", Heavy D3, S9, AP-3 and D6 damage, so is a great anti-tank weapon. The Heavy Mortar is 48", heavy D6, S5, AP-1, 1 damage and can fire at units not visible to the firer. 

You can also take either a Survey Auger, which denies enemy cover saves, or a Spotter, which increases the range of its weapons by 6". I think I prefer the Spotter, allowing you to go longer range with your firepower. 

The vehicle also gets the Cult Ambush rule, as well as a 6+ save against wounds. It can also make a 9" Scout move before the game begins, though cannot move within 9" of an enemy model. While the Scout move is a nice rule, you cannot use it if you begin the game in Cult Ambush, so may have limited utility in practice. 

The Flare Launcher also allows you to make a Biker unit automatically advance 6" once per battle, which is a nice bonus for some of your Bikers. 

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

8th Edition Genestealer Cults Codex Review: Part 6- Elites

This part of my 8th Edition Genestealer Cults codex review will take a look at the Elites section. The Cult got a lot of new support characters, who mostly reside here, along with the classic units. 

Elites
Hybrid Metamorphs
I never tended to run these guys in the Index. They seemed to be very expensive for what they could do. 

They Hybrid Metamorphs have a pretty strong profile. They are similar to Acolyte Metamorphs, but get 3 attacks base, one more than the Acolytes (though with their Cultist Knives, it adds up to the same, but without the weapons bonuses). 

Where the squad gets their difference is in the metamorph upgrades they can take. They come with a Rending Claw and Metamorph Talon as standard, for 10 points per model. This gives them three attacks with the Rending Claw and one with the Talon (at S4 and AP0). This gives the squad four attacks as standard, which is pretty good for the unit, though I'm not sure the extra attack is worth 3 pts per model over the Acolyte Hybrids. The Talon also gives +1 to hit, which is a nice bonus, but you lose the AP. 

They can also take a Metamorph Claw, taking them up to S6 and AP-1. This is pricey, taking them up to 13 pts per model. S6 is pretty good on the squad, with 3 attacks each at AP-1, they should do a lot of damage to a number of units. Again, I'm not sure this is worth it over the Heavy Mining Combat weapons the Acolyte Hybrids can take. 

The can also replace their rending claw with a Metamorph talon. this takes them up to 11 pts each, but each Hybrid Metamorph then gets 5 attacks in combat (though at no AP). This is actually a pretty strong option against horde armies with poor armour saves, such as Orks or Guardsmen (or other Genestealer Cults armies!). All the attacks also get +1 to hit, allowing them to hit on a 2+ in most cases. 

They can also take Metamorph whips, allowing them to strike again if they are slain. 

I think the double Talons is a good option. A squad of 10 will get 50 attacks that hit on a 2+ at S4 for only 110 pts. That is pretty strong for going through horde units and weakly armoured enemy units. Throw on Might From Beyond to take them to S5 and 6 attacks each, and even vehicles may be threatened by this unit. 

I think the Metamorphs have improved a bit over the index from getting cheaper. They can easily put out a lot of low AP attacks and should be able to do a lot of damage against selected enemy units. They still suffer from the poor durability of the Genestealer Cults units though, so will be easy to take out with enemy firepower. 

Thursday, 14 February 2019

8th Edition Genestealer Cults Codex Review: Part 5- Troops

The next part of my 8th edition Genestealer Cults Codex review will take a look at the Troops choices available to the Cult. 

Troops
Acolyte Hybrids
For me, the Acolyte Hybrids are one of the core choices for the Genestealer Cults army. They have access to some great combat weaponry, as well as the powerful Demolition charges. 

The Acolyte Hybrids have dropped to 7 pts each in the codex (down from 11 pts each in the Index). This was a necessary reduction, in my opinion. They are a strong combat unit when armed correctly, but their durability was very poor, due to being T3 with a 5+ save. They hit really hard on the turn they arrived, but quickly fell to enemy firepower in retribution.

The points reductions in the squad make them an even more viable choice to make up the bulk of the army.

The squad all get rending claws and cultist knives, giving them some strong AP attacks and an extra attack with the cultist knife.

The squad gets access to a number of strong combat weapons in the form of the Heavy Rock Cutter, Heavy Rock Drill and Heavy Rock Saw. All these weapons are Sx2, AP-3 or -4. None of them suffer -1 to hit in combat, so you can get some good accuracy with the squad, especially when combined with a Primus, giving +1 to hit. Some of the choices also have the option to do additional mortal wounds or slaying models outright. You can take two of these for every 5 models in the squad, so these are very powerful weapons to take in a larger squad.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

8th Edition Genestealer Cults Codex Review: Part 4- HQ Units

Part four of my 8th Edition Genestealer Cults codex review will take a look at the HQ units in the codex. There are a few new additions to the army that give you some nice combat and firepower bonuses. 

HQ Units
All Genestealer Cults characters get the benefit of Unquestioning Loyalty, allowing them to pass on wounds to nearby units. This boosts the durability of your characters significantly. 

Patriarch
The Patriarch is a very strong combat monster for the Genestealer Cults, as well as providing some nice buffs to nearby units. 
He has a solid profile, hitting on a 2+, with 6 attacks at S6, AP-3 and D3 damage that allows you to re-roll failed to wound rolls with his Monstrous Rending Claws. He will chew through most squads that don't have a good invulnerable save. He is T5 and 6 wounds, with a 4+ save and 5+ invulnerable save. He is fairly durable, but will fall to high toughness, high AP weaponry. 

He also gives +1 to hit for Genestealer units within 6" (Genestealer units, not Genestealer Cults units), as well as a 6" immune to morale bubble. Like other Genestealers, he can advance and still charge. 

He also gets a boost over the Index version, now knowing 2 psychic powers from the Broodmind discipline, giving him more utility. However, he can still only cast one power per turn, unless he takes a familiar. 

There are a few of the warlord traits and relics that are of good use to the Patriarch. Unfortunately, he doesn't get any Cult Creeds, so won't receive these bonuses. 

He has dropped down to 125 pts in the codex, a 25 pts reduction over the Index. He is good value for points and will crush most units in combat. A solid choice for the Cult. 

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

8th Edition Genestealer Cults Codex Review: Part 3- Warlord Traits, Relics and Psychic Powers

Part 3 of my 8th edition Genestealer Cults codex review will take a look at the Warlord Traits, Relics and Psychic powers available to the army. Check out the previous parts of the review if you missed them; part 1 looking at the generic army special rules, while part 2 looked at the new Stratagems. 

Warlord Traits
The Genestealer Cults get 6 new generic warlord traits, as well as the Creed-specific ones. 

Focus of Adoration- Friendly Cult Infantry and Biker units can perform a heroic intervention whilst they are within 6" of your warlord, even if they are not characters. 

This was the one from Chapter Approved. It is ok, but I rarely found myself in a situation where it would come into effect. I would probably give it a miss. 

Shadow Stalker- Subtract 1 from hit rolls for attacks that target your warlord. 

A solid warlord trait. Will help out a Patriarch in combat against enemy shooting attacks. A great one for a Jackal Alphus, making it -2 to hit in the shooting phase. 

Biomorph Adaptation- Add 1 to your warlord's attacks and strength characteristics. 

Another nice bonus for a Patriarch, giving him 7 attacks at S7. Just a pity the patriarch doesn't get the Creed bonuses, as he would go up to S8 with Twisted Helix! Works well for a Primus, going up to S5 or S6 with the Twisted Helix creed. 

Born Survivor- Reduce any damage inflicted on your warlord by 1 (to a minimum of 1). 

Another nice bonus for keeping your warlord alive for longer. Good for attacks that get through the Unquestioning Loyalty save. 

Alien Majesty- Add 3" to the range of your warlord's aura abilities. 

I think this is a very strong warlord trait. This gives you a 9" bubble of +1 to hit in the fight phase with a Primus, or a 9" immunity to morale bubble with a Patriarch. I think this also increases the range of the Unquestioning Loyalty ability to 6", so gives you more chance of keeping your warlord alive for longer. 

Preternatural Speed- Your warlord always fights first in the Fight phase, even if they did not charge. If the enemy has units that charged or has a similar ability, then alternative choosing units to fight with. 

A nice bonus for a combat character. However, if you are getting charged, you are not going to be able to use it in most cases. 

Monday, 11 February 2019

Winters SEO Battle Report- Tyranids vs Deathwatch

I recently played Winters SEO in another great battle report on his channel. This time my Deathwatch took on his Tyranids. 

If you want a good laugh, check out the comments section. I had no idea that so many stranglers disliked me. I mean, I had my suspicions, but it's nice to have it confirmed! :)