Monday, July 11, 2011

Battle Overview - 2000 GK's Test List

I finally managed to get in a game with the list I posted last time. Overall, I was pretty pleased with how it went. Of course, things could have swayed back and forth depending on our rolls but I think it was a good impression of how the list is designed to play like.

2000 points against a standard shooting Space Wolves list: 3 rune priests, 3 long fangs (two with Las, one with Plasma), 3 tactical squads with 10 men each with a Power Fist, Melta, and Combi-Melta in Rhinos, small Wolf Scout unit, and one Dreadnought with Assault Cannon to flavor, served chilled over ice.

We roll off and I choose to go first. Termies loaded up in a Stormraven, Psybacks spread out a little bit with their Riflemen escorts, Vinnie in a tower and Calli in reserve.

First turn = first mistake. It was my first time using the flyer rules in a regular game, so I had heard from one of our rule-lawyers (who is usually wrong) that if its a transport that moves flat-out and get immobilized-turned-to-wrecked, you lose the squad. Well, with a troop choice, an HQ, and a Heavy Support loaded into it, I wasn't going to risk that. Post-game I looked it up specifically and that only happens if its on your phase (like if you landing in rough terrain and take a dangerous test). So I only move 12" to fire my guns and not risk the crew. What I should have done is blast forward with all power to engines and start chewing up Long Fangs.

Either way, turn 1 consisted of me moving up the line, and destroying most of one unit of long fangs, popping two of the rhinos, destroying the weapon on the third, and preventing the dreadnought from shooting. Not bad if I do say so. I realize I should use the Vinidicare more for HQ sniping at this point but he was dead the follow turn, so "Ooops".
----He responds back by destroying the Stormraven and trying to soften up my Interceptors and Termies. Plasma Cannons shuffle back into position and a Tactical Squad moves forward.

Turn 2, Purgation Dread saunters up, some of my Strike Squads get out of their rides. And the Callidus drops in. The Dreads rock it out with their shots out, bringing the last Rhino to a stand-still and killing off a few Long Fangs. The Purgation Dread is close in so it lays down template 1 and tags 5 marines, template 2 does the same. 10 wounds turns into 8 dead marines. Hot damn! I charge in, kill one more marine, and low-and-behold the power fist kills him with shot straight to the face. The Callidus dropping rolled a 5 for the number of hits (right on!), and then only killed one Long Fang (awwwwwh). The shredder template got another but the unit didn't panic because of the priest.
----His turn equaled some more shooting and at everything that could bleed. Callidus took shooting from two units to get rid of her. The Long Fangs she lit up had only one Lascannon left and she managed the 4++, but didn't see the other Lascannon from the Tactical Squad behind her. Doubled out. His Wolf Scouts came on the board and assaulted my weakened Interceptors. The Hammer in the unit kept it real and prevented a total wipe out from the unit.

Turn 3 = Shooty-McShoot-Shoot. Dreads doing their thing, Termies walking up, and the Interceptors getting a support charge from a Strike Squad to help out. I'm slowly whittling away at their numbers but there's a lot left, so I need to start focusing down. I manage to miss almost completely the lone Tactical Marine with the Power fist.
----Power Fist guy rolls in and pops one of my Razorbacks (the Lascannon one). This guy has more than made up his points in punching out a dreadnought AND a transport. I end up getting some Plasma to the face and lose another transport.

The rest of the game was dancing back and forth while keeping the troops alive. Once a full unit passed the mid-field line, my Termies jumped it but I lost my Librarian to Perils of the Warp from casting Hammerhand, of all things. The game ended with my opponent being up by one kill point in the last turn. A rough, long-fought game but a fantastic test run.

Time for lessons learned:
Two Riflemen Dreads = Required Gear.
Again, still impressed with their performance. They lasted the entire game with 3 Long Fangs on the board. The Purgation Dread did incredibly well, but my opponent had a bad phase of armor saves that happened on that shooting phase so we'll see how he goes. He might just become a third Riflemen thanks to magnets.

Halberds on Strike Squads are worth it.
The Strike Squads are cheap and upgrades are expensive. One or even two guys with Halberds make a huge difference when fighting grunts. The Justicars with 2A (3 on charge) make huge differences in terms of on coming attacks. I might expand to include one more guy in each unit so I have more wounds to throw around.

Be prepared to lose ANY Assassins you bring.
All the Temple Assassins are crazy killy, so they will be a priority. Vinnie did great and Calli drew fire. After a few more games, I will have to figure out if I want to swap out the Callidus with a Clexuss Assassin, and utilize him as a counter attack unit to support the other squads once the line is crossed.

I'm hoping to get at least one more game in this week. As for now, gotta try to finish the bases and get three colors my tanks. Weathering is probably going to start up this week too. If there's enough time, maybe even finish painting the Assassins too. Stay cool out there, Internet, cause its sweltering in Virginia.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

2000 GK's and the Callidus

I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with a Grey Knight list that doesn't feel like a carbon copy of another. I had a pretty strong 1500 list with an Inquisition focus, but at a bigger level I feel the Knights themselves can be a lot stronger overall. I think I might have something solid enough to do some damage while keeping the opponents attention all over the place. 

The current idea is to have multiple targets with each pairing being a threat, that if ignored, can put a unit down or at least tie up their attention. 

Librarian (force sword, Warp Rift, Might of Titan, Sanctuary, Shrouding) - 170

Vinidcare Assassin - 145
Callidus Assassin - 145

Terminators x 5 (4 halberds, 1 cannon, 1 hammer) - 225
Strike Squad x 5 (1 halberd on the Justicar, 1 cannon) with Psyback - 165
Strike Squad x 5 (1 halberd on the Justicar, 1 cannon) with Psyback - 165
Strike Squad x 5 (1 halberd on the Justicar, 1 cannon) with Lasback - 195

Stormraven Gunship (twinlinked assault cannons, multimelta, no other upgrades) - 205
Interceptors x 6 (1 cannon, 1 hammer) - 176

Riflemen Dread with psybolts - 135
Riflemen Dread with psybolts - 135
Purgation Dread (twinlinked heavy flamer // DCCW with heavy flamer, psyflame) - 130
[I think that gives me like 9 points left over, so Searchlights for everyone! Yay!]

Note: You're about to read me working through the list with some strategy and logic behind it. Just a heads-up.

So the general layout would stick the Librarian with the Terminators in the gunship. Rocket around or straight up the gut to create a sense of urgency. Slap the Purgation Dread in the back to get it across the field quickly. The trick is just clearing that 24" gap between the lines. Once its on their side, the Dread is just going to cause as much havoc as possible. The gunship only really needs to survive maybe two rounds of shooting to get over, but with the mass of missile launchers out there, gotta test it out some movement strategy. 

Interceptors pick the weak flank and either jump along or try an ambush an exposed unit. I'm debating on the cannon or the incinerator for them but I think from turn 1, the cannon will give me a better chance overall of doing damage. They can buddy along with another unit as a supporter rather than a solo unit. 

For anti-tank, the two Rifleman Dread, LasBack and good old Vinnie. Plus the multimelta on the gunship and the Librarian being able to Might of Titan should help support that and psycannons all over the place. So on a good turn, from range being able to pop potential 5 tanks of various armor values, I'd feel pretty safe. On a bad turn popping at least 1 to 2 should be enough to get the Psybacks and Strike Squads together to fire up.

For each Strike Squad and their Razorback, I can buddy up a Rifleman or the Vinidicare to assist in limiting the field. With three Dreads helping out, I also get the Reinforced Aegis and a Psychic Hood flying around. 

Now the only thing that might look out of place here is the Callidus Assassin. I think she's been given a rough time with the new 'dex but I think I might have figured her out. She drops in all sneaky-like within 3" (but not within an inch) of an enemy unit and is placed there. She has Stealth so cover is awesome, but dropping her into cover using deepstrike causes a Dangerous test. 4+ invul, and a FNP at a 6+, she actually can reasonably land in a terrain piece with a unit and survive. That is if I'm remembering my Deep Strike rules correctly (please correct my logic if you know differently). 

So she's landed, d6 STR4, AP2 hits on the unit. Just hits, so you take the raw number and try wounding. Against something like a Long Fang squad, you have a decent chance of removing a few from the squad (if you get lucky, you could actually cause a panic check in the movement, and then again in the shooting phase). Now you're stranded with a template weapon close to a squad that just lost a few guys. Everyone is trashing this template but I think it can really do some harm. The big deal is that its STR 8, AP 1. Sweet! But it works against LD instead of Toughness. Lame! or is it? 

Now, follow me here. If my logic is correct: similar to a unit that has a mixed toughness values you would use the hit individual model's value. To wound you use the LD value of the models hit instead of toughness. So slapping this template down on, say a Tactical Squad, you would be rolling against LD 8 for the grunts and LD 9 for the Sarge. My understanding of leadership is that the Sarge's LD is used specifically for tests, but the value stays the same in terms of the profile. So Sarge is gone on a 5+ and grunts on 4+ (barring invul saves, of course). No cover saves because of the Template rules. A small 5 man marine squad would have something to fear, but imagine lining up against a bigger unit. 20 guard unit, that template could do some serous hurt. 

If all of that logic stands up, the Callidus is pretty powerful and not as situational as most people think she is. I really wished they covered her specifically in the FAQ, because subtle differences in wording can make or break her easy. 

If she gets charged by the unit she's been blasting, at I7, she should be able to reduce the amount of attacks coming in and has the 4++/6+ just in case. Hit-and-Run gets her out of dodge with an I7 on your opponent's turn and you're free to finish off the unit with firing your next turn. More likely, she'll get shot to hell, in which case she's absorbing the fire of at least one unit away from the rest of the army. This is all based on a good target being available to bomb out and you roll with reasonably good luck. So, slightly situational, but if you haven't popped a transport with that much fire by at least turn 2, then you have other problems. If anything, even having the Callidus in your army provides you with an advantage in the mental game. Until she comes in, any unit out of a tank is at risk. 

My goal this weekend is to get a game following the list above in the NoVA primer set-up. I need to get as many games as I can before that weekend so I'm ready to go. 

Let me know what you guys think. Is my logic around the Callidus wrong? Is the Stormraven not worth it? Find a way to reduce points and add more units? Is she really going out with him? Is she going to take him home tonight? Sorry, radio's playing. Till next time, folks.