Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tau in 8th: Initial Thoughts

After a long period of inactivity, I would like to share with you my initial thoughts on things that I find notable about the new codex. Bear in mind that not even a day has passed since the first picture-leak of the codex, hence my opinion might not hold up as we receive more information about the rules and delve more into the general gist of the 8th edition. So without further delay, here are some ideas/predictions that I find intresting in regard to their tabletop applications.

-Tau Commander
He grants you access to arguably the most impactful abillity in the current codex, namely Kauyon and Mont'ka. Frankly, there are no other ways at the moment to get re-rolls on hits in shooting (beside rerolling 1s that can be achieved through numerous ways, such as Storm of Fire and Markerlights) aswell as advance and shoot for multiple units. The fact that both these effects are communal combined with his abillity to arrive precisely (both in terms of timing and placement) via Manta Strike enhaces your overall burst damage and can provide some crucial tempo swings. When it comes to his equipment, I find 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters plus a Multi-Tracker to be the most compelling choice, if you intend to Manta Strike. Although Fusion Blasters are also very effective, the >9" restriction of Manta Strike doesn't allow you to get the most out of them when it matters the most. On the other hand, 3 Cyclic Ion Blasters grant you either 9 S7 shots or 3xD3 S7 shots that inflict D3 wounds each, while hitting on 2+ rerollable prevents you from taking any mortal wounds.

When it comes to the Stormsurge, I think that the buffs it was gifted with are quite obvious just by glimpsing at it. 20 wounds and toughness 7 are nothing to laugh at, although keep in mind that S4 weaponry wounds it on a 5+ now. It now possesses more weapon systems and is able to leave combat without any drawbacks whatsoever. Support systems also do wonders for this guy, due to its vast range of weapons. Advanced Targeting System  makes all of its weapons significantly stronger, Early Warning Override syrnergizes with its large footprint  and Shield Generator thrives on its large number of wounds. Counterfire Defence System could also be a contender in a more cc-oriented meta.That being said, it is also a tad cheaper compared to 7th edition. It can also trigger its Destroyer Missiles with ease, as it takes only 2 markerlights for them to be fired at the model's BS. The most impressive feature though, has to be its new Pulse Blastcannon. The latter has a tremendous damage output within 10" that can be employed in very sneaky ways, such as by combining Ethereal's Zephyr Grace with Mont'ka in order to close the gap between a potential target. One could argue that its Stabilising Anchors got worse compared to 7th edition, but you also have take into account the general power creep decline that all armies have been subjected to.

-Fire Warriors
While there are definately more striking options in the Tau arsenal, Fire Warriors still remain the backbone of the typical Tau army and I think that they finally got some room to shine. This has also a lot to do with the general points increase in the more appealing (in terms of damage output) options (Βroadsides, Riptides etc) along with the belief that troop choices will reclaim their fundamental role in the force organization chart. That being the case, Fire Warriors bring a lot to the table, due to a variety of armywide cumulative synergies, such as Ethereal's Storm of Fire, Pulse Accelerator Drones and Cadre Fireblade's Volley Fire, which now works as a 6" aura. The latter could be capitalized on by bringing multiple units of Fire Warriors to the table that can dish out a potent amount of fire. Furthermore, their weapon options allow them to be suited to different army settings, such as gunline or mechanized or to more supplementary roles.  They are also 1 point cheaper than they used to be (40 points for a 5man strike team) and their new photon grenades make them a great utility option aswell.

That's all for today!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hive Fleet Daedalus Vol.1

Greetings fellow wargamers,

 Long time, no see. I find it amazing that this blog continues to have a steady flow of view each day, even though I haven't posted anything since November..  I feel humbled that there is an audience for this blog and I should feel bad  I don't commit more for this page.

 Anyway, today I want to share with you some photos of my completed tyranid models from Hive Fleet Daedalus

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Five direct ways to beat the Screamerstar

Today we are going to discuss about different ways to deal with the famous "Screamerstar", that we so often see getting fielded nowadays. This usually consists of 1-4 Heralds of Tzeentch with Grimoire(depending on the list and the player's commitment to the unit) attached to 9 Screamers of Tzeentch alongside with Kairos to get the precious reroll on the Grimoire. Νοte that we are not going to debate on different methods to bait,delay or minimize the unit's damage or to disrupt its Grimoire roll by killing the Fateweaver and thus getting an advantage, but rather on direct ways to crack through the unit's tough shell, making it an easy prey for your army.

1)Go First!
One of the most obvious ones. While it's not always worth taking the first turn and allowing your opponent to deploy reactively and also to have the last word on the mission, you should really consider it against the Screamerstar. Going first means that you 'll get a whole turn of shooting before he gets his psychic powers off and thus making the Screamers invulnerable. Just make sure that you are going to get clear paths of fire to the unit, because LOS block via terrain is going to ruin your plans.

2) Precision Shots
Νοt so much a rule you can rely on, cause let's face it, there aren't many units out there that can lay down a significant amount of precision shots in order to overcome the look out sir rolls and the Herald's save to eventually kill him, but it is definately a rule you must not forget about when facing the Screamerstar. Special characters, sniper weapons or specific rules that state so, can override the standard wound allocation system and allow you to get your hands on the juicy targets. Specific units who come to mind, that can effectively break through the Screamerstar, are the Tau Sniper Drones(especially with the Ethereal buff) or the Vindicare Assasin(remember this guy?), but I am sure there are more out there.

3) Barrage weapons
An other straight-forward way to manipulate the standard wound allocation system. Just rain down those blasts on the head of the Grimoire Herald hoping he misses his look out sir roll. Often it might be a good idea to focus other elements on the daemon army with this kind of weaponry, but depending on the circumstances, for example if there aren't any other notable threats or if you have a plethora of barrage shots(Thunderfire Cannon or Manticore), going for the Herald might prove itself really rewarding.

4) Positioning
Obviously the angle you are going to fire the Screamerstar from plays an important role on which models are going to get hit. In most cases you will see the Screamers to be up in front of the unit in order to soak up wounds, while the Herald who holds the Grimoire will hide in the back in order to survive as long as possible. Naturally, as the game progresses the models are going to get repositioned, with the protection of the Herald being the pivotal aspect of their formation. However, especially after the Screamers will start approaching your units, they will be unable to provide a 360° arc of protection to the Herald. This will leave direct fire paths to the Herald open, that you can exploit by getting in the right position. Fast units or unit that arrive from reserves are especially good at archieving this as they have enough mobillity to flank the enemy's formation.

5)Focus Fire
The most tricky one, but also one you should always pay your attention on. Often the Screamerstar in its attempt to spread out in order for example to avoid blast weapons or to present a bigger threat, finds itself being protected by different values of cover(not that they matter anyway). You can even affect the unit's cover by moving up models of yours in such a way that they intervene between the Screamerstar and your firing units, and thus providing cover to a certain part of the Screamers. The thing is, that by using Focus Fire you can isolate certain models of a unit(depending on the unit's cover saves) and focus them down while ignoring the rest of the unit towards wound allocation. This can sometimes prove itself a really worthy move, especially against units like the Screamerstar, as you will be able (providing that the circumstances allow it) to snipe off the weaker parts of the unit aka the Heralds and thus crippling the whole unit's durability.

Thank you,

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Competitive Chaos Space Marines in 6th Ed. Part1: An Ode to the Ruinous Powers

Greetings fellow wargamers,

 Today’s post is dedicated to the beloved Sons of the Warp, the Chaos Space Marines and their position in the “ food chain” of the current meta.
Being the first “pure” 6th ed. Codex, Chaos boys heralded the start  of a new codex format which was supposed to be balanced and make every unit in the book viable.  Kind of…

 It is an undeniable fact that 80% of the units that are included in the Chaos Space Marines codex should be avoided in any competitive army list. Having said that, let’s take a look at those few units that are decent enough to be taken into consideration.


A rather uninteresting section of the book, most Chaos players should prefer the cheapest possible solution to fill that compulsory HQ slot. A naked Lord or Sorcerer ,hidden in a blob of Cultists is the standard option for most chaos lists.
Alternatively, it is possible to upgrade said Lord/Sorcerer with all sorts of weapons and equipment ,  then attach them in units of Chaos Bikers or Terminators ( see below) .  It all depends on the army list and the purpose of the HQ.
As far as Special Characters are concerned, I would suggest to avoid them completely, as  almost all of them offer little to compensate for their immense points cost and they give few or none army- wide buffs.  Even if some of them make horrifying beatsticks, they are simply not worth it,  as a nicely armed plain Lord can perform as well for half the price.


The only unit that is worth considering  from the Elite slot is the Chaos Terminator squad.  Compared  to their loyal counterparts, the Chaos termies are both cheaper and more versatile. In the past, these guys were used  as suicide units armed with combi- weapons. They can still perform this roll nicely and this is actually remains the most common way in which they are used.  I would suggest taking a small squad of terminators as distraction unit  if there are leftover points that can be invested.
 On the other hand, as I mentioned above, the Terminator unit can be further empowered with the addition of an  HQ character ( mostly Sorcerer) in terminator armor for some decent shooting support with combi-weapons etc.


The Chaos army has access to some rather nice troop options that offer both flexibility and adequate damage output.

Cultists:  by far the most common troop choice these days, cultists are dirt cheap and can fill the compulsory troop options for a mere 100 points. They have almost 0 damage output, 0 survivability outside of cover, but are otherwise decent for their cost. Their sole purpose is to claim objectives and thankfully they can do that very well.
For the most part, cultists are more than enough to cover the needs for Troop units.  Regular Chaos Space marines are certainly to be avoided simply because they are outclassed by those humble cultists.

 On the other hand, the codex provides access to another 4 units of troops: Khorne Berzekers, Thousand Sons, Noise Mariners, Plaguemarines. Although these guys are normally an Elite option, it is non-negotiable that they should never be taken as Elites. The only way that these guys become viable is via marked HQ’s ( with the appropriate deity’s symbol), as a Troop choice instead. This is why I am mentioning them in the Troops section.

 Khorne Berzekers and Thousand Sons are definitely bad options and have no place in competitive environment. On the other hand, Plaguemarines and  Noise marines, although they are both considered “ outsiders”, can perform well in most lists.

 Plaguemarines are rather expensive, starting at 24pts each, but their cost is arguably justified by their T5, FNP, Fearless and defensive grenades, all of which make those sick bastards quite obnoxious for the opponent. Still, they are armed with bolters, for what that’s worth, but can take up to two special weapons per 5 guys, which is OK.  Taking into consideration the fact that the amount of weapons that  ignore cover is on the rise, perhaps Chaos players should rethink their lists and make some space for a few Plaguemarine squads.

Noise marines were considered to be garbage, until the FAQ gave them 2 Blastmasters per 10 models.  Now, for 240 points you can get 10 marines with 2 str8 ap3 Blast weapons with the Ignores Cover special rule, and although the point cost is definitely non-negligible,  Noise marines can perform well as objective holders while dishing out some serious damage from a safe distance.


When people talk about the Chaos Space Marine codex, the main subject of discussion is almost always the same: Helldrake.

I believe there is no need to explain why the Helldrake is considered the best flyer  ever made, and possibly one of the best units to hit the tables. This mighty mechanical dragon would certainly bring tears of joy in the eyes of the Chaos gods themselves, and for the opponents of the Ruinous powers there is without a doubt,  no other instrument that can convey the sheer terror and butthurt  that is synonymous with the Denizens of the Warp..

Having said that, it is an undeniable fact that those 3 Elite slots , more often than not, are dedicated exclusively for the accommodation of Helldrakes.  For all and any competitive purposes ,  any Chaos list should begin with the addition of at least 2 of these wicked monstrosities. From that point on, the list can be tailored to match the desires and needs of the player.

Despite the fact that the Helldrake is the sole unit that still  keeps the Chaos engine alive, his effectiveness has diminished over time. Certainly, it will still perform excellent and all that, but the metagame is ever changing, and with all this bombardment of new releases that we experienced this year, the Helldrake has indeed lost some of his glory.

 For example, against the most recent threats, like Tau, who has a bunch of Interceptor weapons, and plenty of bodies with 2+ save, or Eldar, who spam AV12 vehicles and T8 MCs,  Helldrakes are not as effective as they used to be previously, when everybody used Aegis Defence lines and blobs of Troops. Furthermore, people realized that the paranoia that followed the release of the Helldrake was nothing more than a hype, and that the damage caused by the dragon can be easily reduced simply by spreading out your troops, keeping a safe distance from the opponent’s table edge or simply making changes in their army lists and try to play around it.

So, where were we? Oh, yes, FA slots! Except the dragon, there are other interesting options that I should mention.
 Chaos Bikers and Chaos Spawns are the alternative units that can be taken, if the Helldrake is not your thing. I am making a single paragraph about both units, because they are both used in the same manner: fast, durable melee specialists.
Bikers and Spawns need Lords on bikes ( or Juggernauts ) to accompany them.  Probably the best option is to use a Nurgle lord on Bike, with a chaotic artefact of your choice,  alongside a large squad of bikers/ spawns with the same mark. 
 I believe that bikers are somewhat better that spawns, because they don’t rely as much on the joined HQ. Spawns have no armour save and they need a sponge-character to absorb incoming damage. In melee they are quite decent though  and their 3 wounds can make them rather resilient against anything but massed shooting.
 Bikers, on the other hand have the characteristic reliability of the Space marine, some shooting potential, access to special and melee weapons etc etc. 

In the end,  both units are perfectly viable, although personally I would choose the Chaos Spawns, simply because they make better use of the attached character, and their Fleet special rule, which can make all the difference in certain situations.

Heavy support

 Obliterators: The second-best unit in the book, Oblis have been a common sight in Chaos Space marine armies for a long time and despite the changes in the metagame and a small hit from the nerfbat, they retain their potential as flexible shooting platforms. They should be included in most chaos lists as they are probably the best heavy support option available in the codex.

Forgefiend: This is a personal favorite of mine, a unit that I suggest every time I happen to chat about Chaos army lists. I believe that Forgefiends are one of the most underestimated units, and here’s why:
Sure, they are expensive to field. 175 points for an AV12 Walker certainly seems like a bad deal and it only gets worse when you notice that BS3, but he has 8 str8 ap4 shots at 48”, 5++  and the Daemonforge rule.
 It seems that Forgefiends are ideal candidates for prescience...and it just so happens that Chaos Space Marines can ally with Daemons and get access to Heralds of Tzeench. That’s all I am suggesting, perhaps I am wrong and that combo simply isn’t worth it.  I still need to test it out, but I think it can make a decent option.

Maulerfiend: The melee-oriented cousin of the Forgefiend is quite cheaper and has 12” movement, which make it a great option for dedicated assault Chaos lists. It’s not great, but can perform well in lists that are built around it.


The Codex: Chaos Space Marine still makes viable and competitive army lists, despite the fact that it had the misfortune of being the 1st 6th ed Codex,  in an ever-changing  environment where new threats are presented with each new release , can still perform very well.
 In this article I only wrote about those units of the codex that I consider the best, but that does not necessarily mean that the rest of the Codex is terrible. In any case, I hope you enjoyed this 1st part of the Chaos Space Marine tactica. More to follow…

 Stefanos Kapetanakis, out.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Competitive Blood Angels Part 5: Wall of Raiders

 Hello fellow wargamers

Today we will analyze a BA Land Raider- heavy list.

 To begin with, why using Land Raiders?

 The answer is very simple: Resilience and Counter-meta.

In the 3rd part of these series, I mentioned the reasons why Land Raiders remain a great option. In fact, currently LR are becoming such a good option amongst Space Marine players, that they are starting to form a brand new archetype of their own.

Every SM codex has access to them and most chapters can make an efficient LR heavy list. However, BA are quite unique solely because they get LR as dedicated transports, leaving space for HS goodness.
Thus, without further delay, allow me to present you a typical BA LR list:


  • Terminator Armor
  • Power Axe
  • Blood Lance
  • Shield of Sanguinius



Assault Terminator Squad-225
  • 5x THSS

DT: LR Crusader-260
  • Extra Multi-melta


5xAssault Squad- 100
DT: Land Raider- 225
  • Extra Multi-melta

5x Assault Squad-100
DT: Land Raider-225
  • Extra Multi-melta




Stormraven Gunship-200
  • Twin-Linked Multi-Melta
  • Twin-Linked Lascannon

TOTAL: 1850

This is quite a balanced LR- heavy list. It has enough firepower to deal with most enemies, it contains some vital units ( vindicators, Stormraven) and has a decent, reliable, melee unit.

 The philosophy of the list is quite plain:

Libby, Corbulo, terminators in LRC, 5man marines in LR. It behaves like a moving wall (good old 5th ed. Bag of tricks),  making excellent use of the high AV of the list.

The terminator unit should be nearly unstoppable with Corbulo and his incredible 3+, 2+ FNP guarantee that they will survive long enough to completely wipe out the opponent.

And while most LR lists have little to no way of dealing with enemy flyers, the presence of one Stormraven should be enough to take care of any airborne threat.

 I believe that lists like this are probably the best  our codex can offer. At the moment, I dare to say that they are counter-meta against Tau and Eldar, simply because their shooting units are unable to harm high AV targets.

Against a list like this, most Tau players will only get to do some damage with their Riptides, while your AV Wall with proceed with deadly efficiency, completely abusing the lack of melta weaponry that characterize today’s meta.

This list is also very, very effective against Necrons, who also rely on str7 shots and can only pierce LR if they get in melee. Our buffed terminators should be enough to deal with as many as 12 wraiths without any problem at all.

 The biggest problem of the list is, of course, the lack of troop units.  Having only 2 units of Assault marines means that the opponent can eradicate them fast, denying you any means of claiming objectives. The trick here is to keep them in their safe zones ( LR) until late game, making sure not to miss their timing to go and get those obj, while using the bulk of the LR to keep them hidden from any harm.

 If played correctly, this is a list that can almost guarantee a draw, get a minor victory easily, and lose fairly hard. In team tournaments, I would certainly insist that a similar list should be included in the team. It is just that good.

Thank you

Stefanos Kapetanakis.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Competitive Blood Angels Part 4: Time to Strike

  In the previous parts of this tactica series we have discussed some of the best units and elements of the Codex. Now it’s time put theory into practice and make some army lists. I will begin with a list focused on assault


Librarian- 125
  • Jump Pack
  • Force Axe

Sanguinary Priest -75
  • Jump Pack

Furioso Dreadnought- 175
  •          Frag Cannon
  •          DCCW wt HF
  •       Drop Pod

Furioso Dreadnought- 175
  •          Frag Cannon
  •          DCCW wt HF
  •       Drop Pod

10x JP Assault  Squad- 225
  • Power Axe
  • Meltagun x2
10x JP Assault  Squad- 225
  • Power Axe
  • Meltagun x2
10x JP Assault  Squad- 225
  • Power Axe
  • Meltagun x2
5x Assault Squad- 125
  • Flamer
  • Sergeant wt 2 Hand Flamers
  • Drop Pod

Heavy Support
1x Stormraven Gunship- 200
  • TL multi-melta
  • TL Lascannon

1x Vindicator- 150
  • Siege shield

1x Vindicator-150
  • Siege shield

 This is obviously an assault oriented list. Featuring 30 assault marines, boosted with a librarian and a priest as well as lots and lots of support for these units.

 The basic idea of the list:

-Deploy 30 marines+ characters as close to the enemy as possible, taking into consideration the safety of the units ( aka do not deploy on open ground)

- 1st turn, 2 furiosos arrive from reserves. Each one has 3 template weapons. Abusing the accuracy of a drop pod deep strike, place the dreadnoughts into the best position possible in order to achieve maximum template coverage. The key here is to go for a quick 1st Blood, while throwing 2 bulky, 13AV dreads right into the heart of the enemy. Your opponent will most likely turn his attention to the furiosos, allowing the rest of the army to advance safely.

- Vindicators are here to soften up targets so that the assault  squads can finish them with minimum casualties. Furthermore, it can cripple most assault units in a single shot.

- The Stormraven is there as a cute anti-flyer option and provides some additional firepower.

- The 3rd drop pod and its contents are fit to claim isolated objectives. They also have 1 flamer and 2 hand flamers to clear enemy units from cover. The option of 2 hand flamers is personal preference, and you can easily exchange them and the flamer for a meltagun and a power weapon, or something like that.

All things considered, I believe that as far assault BA go, this is probably one of the best builds possible. It makes a balanced, consistent force that maximizes synergy between units to get the most out of the force. Still, it is a list that relies heavily on the element of surprise and a suspicious opponent could possibly workaround it.

Next part will  feature a Land Raider heavy BA list. Thank you
 Stefanos Kapetanakis, out

Friday, August 23, 2013

Late summer post: 6th edition gets better!

Hello fellow wargamers,

Last year, when 6th ed was introduced, most people embraced it with joy, pointing out the spectacular new elements that were added to the game, bold changes that would allow for a broader spectrum of tactics, lists and strategies and so on. Everybody was loving the new edition and there was little to no whimpering, compared to previous editions or releases.

 During that time, my local community saw a bloom in the number of players, with many people getting introduced into the hobby, returning 40k veterans or people switching from Fantasy to 40k.  It seemed that 6th was going to be the best edition we have ever experienced.

Nonetheless, as time passed and players begun to attend tournaments, as more and more people started to dig into the rules and the metagame slowly took shape, it became blatantly obvious that there was no balance in the game. Necrons and IG were incredibly overpowered compared with the rest of the codices. In many cases, it was almost impossible to win with certain armies against those two monsters. And when people noticed that, they realised that there was something wrong with the game.

 Even after the release of the Daemon codex, there was still little competition for the aforementioned armies. Around that time, I saw many people quit the game, searching for alternatives…..in fact, it was a time when 40k was in a “ limbo” state.

 However….after all these months and after 5 6th ed. Codices, things have changed.  All these new releases shed some light on some of the more underplayed armies and gave them new toys which changed the meta completely.
 I believe that the game is reaching its peak, as more and more codices will get an upgrade and a new balance will be instilled. With the current rate at which codices are released, I am confident that soon every army will be able to perform equally well.  Even now things are much better, and we already see some more variety in the armies and lists fielded.

That’s all I had to say.  Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Stefanos Kapetanakis.