Thursday, September 27, 2012

First official taste of 6th Edition metagame

Greetings gentlemen,

my posting rate on this blog is as slow as ever and my response similarly delayed. But I assure you, I do this in order to make sure that the content you read maintaints some quality. Recently, I participated in the 1st greek tournament after the release of 6th edition, and I believe I got quite a good taste of how the new metagame looks like. Of course I would like to share this with you.

So, the tournament was titled “Anvil of Heroes” , it took place in a fairly new gaming club called “Legion Wargaming Club”. 24 Players attended the tournament, with some of the “well known” players of our community being there.
This post will not be about me or my performance in this tournament, but  just  for those who  are interested, I will include my list at the end of the post.

To begin with,  compared to 5th edition era, there were few GK players…actually, only 1, which used henchmen instead of regular GK marines…ouch..
                Actually, there were people representating most armies ( I saw a tyranid player, SoB , SM all kinds of stuff ) which was very interesting. However, most people used Necrons and IG..which of course, was to be expected , and for a good reason.

                I will be very straightforward: at this moment ,the current 40k metagame insists that the only true winning armies/lists come from those two codexes. Each of them has its own flavor that makes it good and unique and is also set apart from the rest because of that.

I will start from the Necrons. My 1st match was against the Necron player who later won the tournament. He used a very flyer-heavy necron list, with 5 Nightscythes and two Doomscythes ,as well as some very cheap Ork allies ( a bare big mek and 20 gretchins )

This list proved to be very, very effective under the current conditions. I got tabled by turn 4, got a bit mad during the game and even made some grave mistakes. Overall the list is very well balanced although it is extreme by nature. What I mean by that is , this list , although being flyer-heavy has enough ground force to secure objectives, as well as prohibiting  the enemy from killing all ground stuff before the croissants pour in.

However, the true power if this list lies in its flyers. The Doom Scythe , and most importantly , the Night Scythe. Let’s examine this unit and compare it to the rest of the flyers out there.
First of all , it is a dedicated transport, meaning that you can spam it alongside other usefull troops and , for a mere 100 points it is a truly imbalanced bargain.
It is an AV 11 all-around vehicle with 3 hull points that ignores Crew Stun& Shaken rather easily ( on a 2+ and 4+ roll respectively , due to its Living Metal rule)
It has a str7 heavy 4 weapon , twin-linked with the tesla rule. The only weapon in the game that rolls 4 dices and can pass 6 wounds. It is great  against everything and you can also use it in great numbers!
                The whole thing gets even more ridiculous when you compare the Night Scythe with the rest of the flyers in the game. I wont bother you with the details , but the Night Scythe stands as the best 100 points you can spend for a model.
Oh the other hand, GW seems to be really fond of the necron codex , and specifically, with the Deathmark Unit.. this is why this unit gets boosts after boosts with every single FAQ.
Yes, it was rapid fire weapons with both the rending and Precision shot rules. Yes it chooses a unit when it deploys and wounds it on a 2+, , …. And yes, this ability is shared with any IC that enters the unit… even cryptecs… I close my care here and leave the rest up to you.
If you don’t play Necrons , perhaps you should consider to do so, and if you don’t want to you should tune you list and make it able to be a little more efficient against them.

And now , I will move on to IG. Well , I believe that there is no reason to explain why the Guard has always been a blessed race… I struggle to remember a day when a played could say the following “ My IG suck hard! I will sell them and buy Tau istead!”. And this is of course , because they have always been a top-tier army , and they remain to be in the dark days of 6th edition.

Not only they have the second best flyer available , but they are very versatile when it comes to allies! They happen to be , the only army who can abuse Prescience with a bulk of firepower. This well known big, 50 man-strong platoon with the 15 autocannons hidden in it now can make it’s weapons twin-linked against everything! They can reroll their close combat attacks ( although I don’t know if even this can make them tough enough to survive an impact from a melee specialist). Just add in a cheap BA or SW librarian and enjoy the incredible number of dice you get to roll.
Furthermore, things get even better for IG because of the new barrage weapon mechanics. Another good reason to remove the dust from the old Basilisk and perhaps invest in a Mandicore or a Medusa. Because now , Barrage are almost 100% better against armor and a fair deal more accurate when they fire.
Finally, Vendettas are excellent flyers ,and real cheap too. 12 armor is very tough for flyers, and its 3 twin-linked lascannons can almost guarantee a vehicle wreck every turn.
All in all, the IG remain as dangerous as always. They are now , the epitome of balance, quantity and quality. You can get their best when you pack some allies with them, but even alone are more than sufficient against any enemy. A remarkable codex that should become the principal for all future codexes.

All things considered, it is definitely not my intention to suggest that IG and Necrons are undefeatable. However, it is an undeniable fact that, during the first months of 40k tournaments they will be just a cut above the rest.  I don’t worry too much though.  Both the Necrons and IG will lose some of their light soon. Whether it comes from new codexes, codex updates or FAQ’s I am sure that they will follow the path already tread by 5th Edition razorspam or even Nob biker lists.

** Finally , as promised, he is my BA list for the 1st Anvil of Heroes Tournament:
Jump pack, Power Sword

Sanguinary Guard- 230pts
Power Axes
Chapter Banner
Sanguinary Priest- 75pts
Jump Pack

Assault  Marines- 215
10 models
Sergeant with Power Axe
2 Meltaguns
Assault  Marines- 215
10 models
Sergeant with Power Axe
2 Meltaguns

3 Attack Bikes-150 pts

Stormraven Gunship- 200pts
-Twin-Linked Multi-melta
-Twin-Linked Lascannon

I hope you enjoyed this article, all C&C are welcome.

Stefanos Kapetanakis, out.

Monday, September 3, 2012

First Thoughts on 6th Edition Part 2

Hello people,

Some weeks ago I  begun to write an article about 6th edition. When I was writing the first part I was explaining my point of view on the new rules. However, the more I read about 6th edition, the more I scout for other people’s lists and the more I play, the way I perceive the new rules is constantly changing.
 Thus, I am writing this second part of my article with a bit of  hesitation as to whether or not my arguments stand correct. After all it has been a mere couple of months since the release of the edition and we are all trying our best to decide what makes a good and competitive list for the 6th.
 So, without further delay allow me to present you my little piece of knowledge , from my rather limited playtesting and reading:

 First of all , I think that after all the fuss about the new rules , the only massive change ( and the most troublemaking ) are the Flyers. As you all know flyers have gotten a great boost and have become a pain in the back for specific armies and lists. To this present day , only  7 out of 16 codexes have flyers:

-          Blood Angels -> Stormraven
-          Grey Knights-> Stormraven
-          Dark Angels -> Razorwing , VoidRaven
-          Imperial Guard -> Vendetta, Valkyrie
-          Orks -> Dakkajet, Burna-bomber, Blitza- bomber
-          Necrons -> Night Scythe, Doom Scythe
-          Space Marines – Stormtalon

Which leaves the rest 8 armies without a flyer option ( of course there are still allies , but we will get to that later ) and Tyranids which currently get neither Flyers nor Allies
But what makes Flyers so good?
First of all, it is hard to destroy them. You must shape your list to provide enough units to deal with them
Secondly, they carry dangerous weapons which can be either anti-vehicle, anti-infantry or both
There are 3 ways to deal with flyers:

1. Include in your lists units that provide high rate of  fire. Massed firepower is always the answer for everything and flyers are not an exception to this. A list that can shoot dozens of high-strength shots will keep the flyer problem to a minimum. Ideal unit for this purpose is the GK Autocannon Dread.
2. Include in the list a flyer of your own. Pretty self-explanatory, flyers can kill flyers and that should be your first target when you deploy flyers
3. Include dedicated anti-aircraft units. Skyfire shooters are currently undeveloped , with the only options being the Fortification weapons , Hydras or the occational boost from a Mysterious Objective

The thing is , not all armies can provide adequate anti-flyer units, although I am sure that in  the near future gamers will find effective ways to eliminate the flyer threat. However ,  unit then every player must construct their list with flyers in mind.


This is the other major change and the one that probably cause more headache ( although not in the way flyers do). With the new allies mechanics we have to  deal with a new , bewildering variety of lists that will expand  the metagame in both competitive and fluffy ways.

How should allies be used?

                Well , personally I think that when a player considers to  add an allied detachment to his army, he should take under consideration the following 2 parameters:

-          Will the ally compensate for the weaknesses of my army? Will it provide something useful to my list?

For example, an Ork player considers to take an allied detachment. He has some very good option for allies , such as IG, Necrons, Tau and even Daemons. However , Daemons don’t have much to add to an ork list because both Orks and Daemons are melee based armies. On the other hand, IG could make better candidates because they have shooting, while orks are infamous shooters.

-          Will the allied detachment be worth its points? Will I make good use of all the allied units?

The hardest part of building an allied detachment is choosing which units will fill your limited available slots. You have to take 1 HQ and 1 Troop choice, and then you get the good stuff. The bottom line here is: 
Don’t take an allied force if you only want 1 unit. Only take allies if all the allied units can be of some use to your list.

For example,  it is not worth it to take IG allies because  you want to include  a Valkyrie or two in your list. You will need to include some guardsmen that will not be of any use.
 However, if you want to take GK allies , it is a nice option to have Draigo and a troop Paladins squad. This detachment makes the best use out of the points you spend on it.

Apart from that , it is your own decision how you will use the allies.

From this point on things get quite complicated and it is really hard for me to give any solid advice on how to make a list. It seems that there is definitely more in 6th that what meets the eye and we have only scratched the surface of the new metagame form. The only sure thing is that more playtesting is necessary , more bold lists must take the stage and all players should let go of the 5th ed. inertial and try their best to cope with the new changes.

Thank you
Stefanos Kapetanakis, Out