Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Revelations



Hey all!

Well we hit mid-week and i'm really looking forward to my game of 40k tomorrow evening against Jan's Orks. But before that I would like to make a couple of announcements here on Wild Serpent. Firstly some bad news I'm afraid, Wild Serpent blog is going on hold for the foreseeable future. Why? Well that brings me to the good news my friends, because alongside some 40k Eldar buddies of mine, we have launched a new joint blog.

The New blog is called The Witchblade and you can get to it HERE. We are all Eldar players and nuts about Eldar so expect great content from the new blog. Please add The Witchblade to your respective blogrolls as this will greatly help us from the very start :)

Finally I want to thank you all for following this blog for so long and I hope to see you all over on the Witchblade along with Jay and Mike.

Many Thanks,

Johno

Monday, 19 August 2013

Eldar Units in a Nutshell



Hi guys,

Johno here and today I’m going to summarize each section of the new Eldar Codex and pick out the good, the bad, and the ugly of each section. I know there are lots of excellent in-depth reviews of the new book online so I will take a lighter approach so for those of you at work can skim over this and get all the information you need without getting caught by your boss with your head in your smart phone. We are very lucky that our new book is very strong in nearly all areas and we have a lot to choose from. I'm going break this analysis it down into HQ, Troops, Elites, Fast Attack, Transport, and Heavy Support.

HQ Section

Excellent Choices:

Avatar – Fearless Bubble, Attracts fire from other units, anti-EVERYTHING. Cheap for what you get!
Loadout – 205pts with Fast Shot

Eldrad – Best Psyker in 40k, Nice special rules with a sprinkle of cheddar. You WILL lose friends.
Loadout – N/A

Farseer – Excellent Psyker and very versatile. Makes already excellent units amazing.
Loadout – No Addon’s really worth it

Autarch – Great Support Character, Often underestimated. Can hold his own against most.
Loadout – Jetbike, Mantle of the Laughing God, Power Axe, Banshee Mask.

Karandras – Godly close combat character. Powerfist strikes at I7.
Loadout – N/A

Asurman – Another great close combat character with good rules to match. Close call between him and Karandras.
Loadout – N/A

Fuegen – Really good close combat character and has feel no pain, whats not to love?
Loadout – N/A

Prince Yriel – Fantastic close combat character but at a hefty price.However you get a lot of nice special rules and a lot of killy for your buck.
Loadout – N/A

Moderate Choices:

Wraithseer – Crucial if you are taking Wraithguard/blades and can give them great buffs. Don’t bring if not taking Wraith units.
Loadout – No Addons

Warlocks – Excellent support units for large groups of guardians. Is 35pts too much for a guy who’s head can explode on a roll of 9 on 2d6? You’re Choice.
Loadout – Singing Spear (Basically a 12” range Lascannon).

Maugan Ra – Decent close combat and ranged character however he’s not exceptionally great at either really. Definitely not worth the outlay in points.
Loadout – N/A

Illic Nightspear – Comes with a great sniper rifle and very killy. Very Fragile. Unlocks Pathfinders. Can be a thorn in your opponents side.
Loadout – N/A

Poor Choices:

Jain Zar – Great Close Combat character however with lack of grenades means she will die fast.
Loadout – N/A

Baharroth – Can be useful but unlikely to really make back his points in most games. Can be good for stealing Line Breaker in late game.
Loadout – N/A

Troops Section

Excellent Choices

Guardian Defenders – Cheap and once in range are devastating. Great buy!
Loadout – Support Platform with Scatter Laser or Brightlance. Blobs of 20 are amazing.


Dire Avengers – Upgraded version of the Guardian. 18” range can be crucial. Better Armor and invun save from Exarch. Excellent unit.
Loadout – Exarch with Powersword and Shimmershield.

Guardian Jetbikes – Extremely fast and durable. Cheap and very reliable Catapults (Twin linked).
Loadout – Take in units of 3 or 6 with upgraded Shuriken cannon for every 3 you take.

Moderate Choices

Rangers - Still a great sniper unit however compared to other races snipers they are expensive for what you get. Not sure if worth it.
Loadout – N/A

Pathfinders - Amazing Snipers but having to spend all those points on Illic Nightspear to unlock them relegates them to moderate choice.
Loadout – N/A

Poor Choices

Storm Guardians – A close combat unit that does its intended job quite poorly.
Loadout - Can be ok if you take blobs of 20 with flamers or unit of 10 in a wave serpent with two fusion guns.

Elites Section

Excellent Choices

Fire Dragons – Still amazing even with points hike. Very reliable.
Loadout – 5 Fire Dragons in Wave Serpent, Done…


Wraithblades – Phenominally hard unit to shift if attached with Wraithseers giving buffs. Capable of 2+ armor save. Extremely killy and will worry your opponent from turn one.
Loadout – Axes and shields are best. Buy a unit of 10 with two spirit seers and march them across the board.

Wraithguard – Shares the W.Blades durability but lacking an invun save however give these Wraithscythes and they WILL kill anything you point them at.
Loadout – 5 bodies with Wraithscythes in wave serpent.

Striking Scorpions – Fantastic Close combat unit. The Exarch really makes them shine with his I6 Powerfist.
Loadout – 5 Scorpions with Exarch and Scorpions Claw.

Moderate Choices

Harlequins – As good, if not better close combat unit than Striking Scorpions, however you have to pay through the nose to get them.
Loadout – Shadowseer, Troop Master, Kisses all round.

Poor Choices

Howling Banshees – Best Model, Worst rules. Decent for protecting backfield troops or counter attacks. Will die in droves.
Loadout – 9 Banshees and Exarch with Executioner.

Fast Attack Section

Excellent Choices

Crimson Hunter – Best Air Superiority fighter in the game, epitome of “glass cannon”.
Loadout – Keep with the Pulse Laser and Bright lances and upgrade to an Exarch for BS5 goodness and able to pick out models in a squad on a roll of 6 to hit.

Warp Spiders – Amazing damage output, extremely fast. One of the codex’s best units.
Loadout – 8 Warp Spiders with Exarch and Dual Spinners.

Moderate Choices

Vyper Jetbike – Packs a huge punch but fragile. Very flexible. Can make back their points but die easily.
Loadout – Upgraded under Shuriken Cannon, Shuriken Cannon or Scatter Laser Turret.

Swooping Hawks – Great harassment units, Can win you games. Great at claiming line breaker. Will destroy tanks and infantry.
Loadout – 5 Hawks with Exarch and skyleap.

Poor Choices

Hemlock Wraith Fighter – Too expensive and rather situational. Can horrify your own units too. Best to leave at home.
Loadout – No Addons

Transports Section

Wave Serpent – Expensive transport but absolutely worth it. Probably best transport in the game right now and our best tank in general.
Loadout – Holofields, Scatter Laser, Upgraded under Shuriken Cannon


Heavy Support Section

Excellent Choices

Wraithknight – Extremely durable, fear factor, kills everything. Expensive but worth it.
Loadout – Standard two Heavy Wraith Cannons is best.

Fire Prism – Kills armor and all types of infantry with ease. Can be very difficult to kill. Avoid getting close to close combat troops.
Loadout – Holofields

War Walker – Good Value, More durable now with inv save, a lot of firepower.
Loadout – Dual Scatter Lasers is best

Moderate Choices

Falcon – Excellent anti-tank platform, Can carry small units. Typical tough Eldar tank design.
Loadout – Pulse Laser and Bright Lance, Holofields

Nightspinner – Kills all infantry with impunity. Durable grav tank. Cheap.
Loadout - Holofields

Wraith Lord – Very tough, Decent price, good all rounder. Can get bogged down in close combat with hordes.
Loadout – Ghostglaive, Brightlance, Missile Launcher

Dark Reapers – Expensive, Very killy, Can kill all infantry and vehicles and also aircraft with an Exarch.
Loadout – Upgraded all missiles to Starshot, 5 Reapers with an Exarch included, Night Vision, Skyfire, Fast Shot.

Vauls Battery – Very Cheap and durable but slow, move OR shoot.
Loadout – D-Cannons


No Poor Choices in Heavy

So there you have it, the Eldar codex in a nutshell. All the good and bad points of each unit. Hope you found this article useful for those of you wishing to know which units to take and their strengths and weaknesses. The above evaluation is by no means the bible but it should give you a snapshot of all the Eldar units.

Thanks for reading!

Johno


Friday, 16 August 2013

The Tournament Dilemma



Hi guys,

Johno here with idea’s for a couple of new look Eldar Saim Hann lists for an annual 1600pt national tournament coming up at the end of September called NWG. I love themed armies with lots of background and story to them, but sometimes we are led astray by wild thoughts for just a cool army regardless if it fits fluff or not. Well these new army lists kind of go against the usual make-up of a traditional Saim Hann army but I think it could be good fun to play and look brilliant on the table-top.

List 1:

HQ’s
Autarch 150pts – Jetbike, Mantle of Laughing God, Power Axe, Banshee Mask
This guy will boost my reserve roles for my Jetbikes or my fliers or allow me to delay them with his master of strategy rule. But also he is quite good on his own. With mantle of the laughing god he can’t join another unit but gains hit and run, shrouded and stealth and can reroll all cover saves which on a Jetbike can be a potential 2+ cover save. Pairing a Banshee Mask with the Power Axe should allow him to still hit with his axe before most enemies. He’s isnt going to kill Abaddon or anything but still quite good.

TROOP’S
10 Dire Avengers 160pts – Exarch, Power Sword and Shimmershield
10 Dire Avengers 160pts – Exarch, Power Sword and Shimmershield
10 Guardian Defenders – 110pts – Bright Lance
10 Guardian Defenders – 110pts – Bright Lance
5 Guardian Jetbikes – 85pts



The Guardian squads and their bright lances man backfield objectives if possible, the Avengers move forward using battle focus to kill enemy infantry and heavy infantry from afar. The Jetbikes will either go in reserve and contest or steal late objectives or backup another squad.

FAST ATTACK
Crimson Hunter 160pts – Pulse Laser, Bright Lance x 2
Crimson Hunter 160pts – Pulse Laser, Bright Lance x 2
Nightwing Interceptor 145pts – Shuriken Cannon x 2, Bright Lance x 2

This will be my source of a good amount of anti armor in my army. Although hard to hit for regular based weaponry, Eldar flier’s are extremely fragile so I will have to be intelligent in my placement of them. Luckily the Crimson Hunter’s weapons are ranged 48” so if im smart I can stay out of that intercepting weapons like Aegis etc.

HEAVY SUPPORT
2 War Walkers 140pts – Scatter Lasers x 2
5 Dark Reapers – 217pts – Exarch, Fast Shot, Skyfire, Night Vision, Starshot missiles.

Here my two War Walkers will tackle all types of targets, from infantry to light vehicles to fliers. My Dark Reapers excel at killing infantry and armor and the Exarch is pretty handy at taking out fliers also.

List 2:

HQ:
Farseer 100pts - Guide, Precience
Farseer 100pts - Guide, Precience

My two Farseers will take Guide and Precience and spam cast both powers on the Wraith Knights and Dire Avengers. I will run both Farseers in the Dire Avenger Squads.

TROOP’S
10 Dire Avengers 160pts – Exarch, Power Sword and Shimmershield
10 Dire Avengers 160pts – Exarch, Power Sword and Shimmershield
10 Guardian Defenders – 110pts – Scatter Laser
10 Guardian Defenders – 110pts – Scatter Laser
4 Guardian Jetbikes – 78pts – Shuriken Cannon



Both Dire Avenger Squads will benefit from guide from the Farseers spitting out 18” bladestorm death with rerolls to hit. The two will hold back field objectives and kill light vehicles and infantry with the 36” range scatter lasers. The Jetbikes will go in reserve and hopefully come in to steal late objectives or boost other units.

HEAVY SUPPORT
Wraithknight 240pts – Heavy Wraith Cannon x 2
Wraithknight 240pts – Heavy Wraith Cannon x 2
Wraithknight 300pts – Sun Cannon, Shimmershield, Scatter Laser

The two Wraith Knights with the Heavy Wraith Cannons will pop Tanks and Transports and Monstrous Creatures with their instant death Distortion rules, all the while advancing to get into close combat. The Sun Cannon Wraith Knight will take out Elite Infantry and Light Infantry while also advancing. Should be hard to deal with these three.

So there you have it, the two lists I am pondering for this tournament but I just don’t know which one to take. List one is excellent at anti-flier and air superiority however I know it won’t dominate some of those airforce lists out there but it should do ok. Plenty of troop’s choices with 5 squads in both lists at 1600pts. The Autarch will hopefully help manipulate reserve rolls and kick some butt with his Power Axe although he will stay well clear of Greater Daemons or Typhus etc. List two introduces three Wraith Knights. This could be a lot of fun and a pain in the arse for opponents to deal with provided they aren’t sporting a load of poison weaponry. The dual Farseer support should mean that all shots hit from these monsters and also from the Dire Avengers. The Farseers will also help with the Wraith Knights hitting fliers however it’s still a long shot and I suppose list 2 somewhat ignores fliers to an extent.

Which list would you take?





Friday, 19 July 2013

WraithMight!




The ground shook under foot, rubble from a ruined Imperial communications outpost poured off the rough edges of broken walls with each footfall. Luther’s Noise Marines dived out of the crumbling structure just in time as the alien construct smashed through what remained of the reinforced armored wall. With its elegant shape and smooth lines the Eldar Wraithknight moved with an un-natural grace for a silhouette of its size. The Wraithknight stood upright among the broken ruins bringing it to its full colossal height, challenging with its tank sized sword. Then it charged accelerating at breakneck speed….

I may be no author but I do like to think I know a little about Eldar and today I want to talk about the Wraithknight. This beast is the tallest kit GW has ever released standing at an impressive 9”, it even towers over the Tau Riptide and rivals the Ork Stompa. Aesthetically in my opinion this model is very nice, especially when armed with the Ghost Glaive and Shimmershield. So let’s take a closer look at this monster:

Type: Monstrous Creature

WS
BS
S
T
W
I
A
Ld
4
4
10
8
6
5
4
10

That’s a very impressive stat line right there especially with it’s incredible strength 10 and toughness 8 along with 6 wounds. This means most fire arms won’t be able to even wound the Wraithknight requiring weapons of strength 5 or more to even be allowed to roll to wound and at that, they are needing 6’s. Also in 6th edition monstrous creatures only need to have their toe in cover to claim that invaluable 5+.

Armaments:

Wraith Cannon’s x 2
I recently played a doubles game with this configuration and popped a Land Raider quite easily. This gives you two strength 10 shots at BS4 with an AP of 2. Also any roll of a 6 to wound causes instant death due to the distort rule. At base, this set up costs “just” 240pts and it WILL reliably kill armored targets. You pay the points to kill the enemy tanks and it will do it well but what happens when all the armor is destroyed? Well this is where I think investing in two shoulder-mounted Scatter Lasers might just come in handy.

In my recent game I destroyed the Land Raider and a Razorback, oh and managed to send Marneus Calgar into the warp but after all that there was very little to shoot at. I was shooting just two shot’s a turn so it felt like it was a little redundant, bit like shooting a high powered rifle at a swarm of rats. So my recommendation would be to take two Scatter Lasers along with the 2 Wraith Cannons bringing the points cost up to 280pts but making it much more flexible.

Suncannon & Shimmershield

Straight away im just gonna come out and say the Suncannon is awesome. It’s a 3 shot Strength 6 AP 2 small blast weapon with a decent range and is sure to melt infantry of all kinds in large numbers. Then there is also the Shimmershield which gives the Wraithknight that invaluable 5+ invulnerable save. So no more trying to touch cover, you can get that 5+ out in the open and in close combat. Then at least one Scatter Laser is a must have. That will allow you to reroll the scatter dice for the Suncannon shots making it super accurate. This is an absolute beast and will cause havoc with all armies you face. Just beware that everyone and their granny will be out to get it, but that’s what you want!

Ghostglaive & Shimmershield

Not as good as the other two set ups in my opinion but it certainly has its merits. Taking into account that the Wraithknight can jump 12” and then a potential 12” charge, that bring's its threat to a fantastic 24". Upon the charge the Wraithknight will also get a single Strength 10 Hammer of Wrath strike at initiative 10 so before the combat even starts you can take out that character in a 1v1. Then striking at initiative 5 with 5 attacks on the charge and at Strength 10, very little will survive. Just beware that if your Wraithknight gets charged by 30 Ork Boyz or Chaos Cultists or Plague Zombies that they will tar pit it for the rest of the game. Like all Eldar units it is still a precision tool and should be used for smashing vehicles or other monstrous creatures and small elite squads.

Overall the Wraithknight is an excellent addition to any Eldar army and will serve the player well. It isn’t a battering ram, but a destructive tool that in decent hands it will ruin your opponents day. Also enjoy the pictures in this article from various talented hobbyist's from around the globe.
Thanks for reading,

Johno




Monday, 15 July 2013

Eldar- Battle of the Battle Tanks



“Today we are crushed by the sheer weight of the mechanized forces hurled against us, but we can still look to the future in which even greater mechanized forces will bring us victory. Therein lies the destiny of the world” – Charles de Gaulle, WWII

Johno here, with a little look at the futuristic and sleek grav tanks of the enigmatic Eldar. Simply put, first there were three, now there are four…

At first it’s hard to ascertain what the best Eldar battle tank is. Four tanks (Falcon, Fire Prism, Wave Serpent, Nightspinner) all with the same armor values (12/12/10) and three residing in the Heavy Support section and one sitting comfortably in the Dedicated Transport section of our new Codex. But what is a Battle Tank?

Here is Wikipedia’s definition:
“A main battle tank (MBT), also known as battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the heavy direct fire role of modern armies”

I don’t think this definition is any different for our favorite space elves. They use MBT’s just the same as the Imperium uses its lumbering behemoths, a universal direct fire role tank. However as much as this is true but with a slight twist, two of the Eldar tanks have transport capability (Falcon & Wave Serpent).
My interpretation of universal means, that the Fire Prism, Falcon and Wave Serpent can pretty much take on anything that gets in their way, be it armor or infantry and in some cases aerial targets. In these categories mentioned, I feel that not all three excel at.

Let’s take a quick look at the three tanks in more detail:

Falcon:
Heavy Support
Transport Capacity = 6
Type: Skimmer
Armor: 12 (front), 12 (sides), 10 (rear)
Stock armament: Pulse Laser, Shuriken Cannon, Shuriken Catapults

Upgrades:
Shuriken Cannon can be upgraded to Bright Lance, Scatter Laser, Star Cannon or Missile launcher. The Shuriken Catapults can be upgraded to a Shuriken Cannon.

Loadout:
If I were running a Falcon I would kit it out with the Pulse Laser and a Bright Lance and a Shuriken Cannon. That’s 3 Strength 8 shots at 48” range and 3 additional Strength 6 shots at 24” range. In this role I would place 6 dire avengers inside to hold backfield objectives and fire with my turret weapons at 48” range. Also don’t leave home without Holofields.

Fire Prism:
Heavy Support
Transport Capacity = 0
Type: Skimmer
Armor: 12 (front), 12 (sides), 10 (rear)
Stock armament: Prism Cannon, Shuriken Catapults

Upgrades:
The Shuriken Catapults can be upgraded to a Shuriken Cannon.

Loadout:
I always run my Fire Prism’s with Holofields as with all skimmer tanks, they can make their points back in no time. I don’t tend to bother upgrading the Shuriken Catapults to the Shuriken Cannon as I never plan on getting anywhere near 24” with my Fire Prisms. The Prism Cannon is one of the most deadly weapons in Eldar weaponry arsenal.

Wave Serpent:
Dedicated Transport
Transport Capacity = 12
Type: Skimmer
Armor: 12 (front), 12 (sides), 10 (rear)
Stock armament: Twin Linked Shuriken Cannon, Shuriken Catapults, Serpent Shield.

Upgrades:
The Shuriken Catapults can be upgraded to a Shuriken Cannon. The Twin Linked Shuriken Cannon’s can be upgraded to twin linked; Scatter Lasers, Bright Lances, Star Cannons, Missile Launchers.

Loadout:
Ideally you should be transporting a unit in your Wave Serpent so it’s going to be getting close to your enemy. The best loadout really depends on your role as you can go for anti-infantry/Flyer or anti-armor. In my opinion the best loadout has got to be the Twin Linked Scatter Laser turret and the upgraded chin weapon to the Shuriken Cannon. Also as per usual don’t leave home without Holofields.

So here is a brief look at the three tanks in question but let’s categorize how well they take on most targets utilizing the different options they have at their disposal. Please note this is just my own opinion and taken from my own knowledge and experiences.

Nightspinner:
Heavy Support
Transport Capacity = 0
Type: Skimmer
Armor: 12 (front), 12 (sides), 10 (rear)
Stock armament: Doomweaver, Shuriken Catapults

Upgrades:
The Shuriken Catapults can be upgraded to a Shuriken Cannon.

Loadout:
The Nightspinner is a great tank for taking on light armor but particularly infantry.To augment this, upgrade the catapults to a Shuriken Cannon and as per usual take Holofields. Strength 7 large blast with Monofiliment special rule followed by 3 Strength 6 Bladestorm shots is nothing to sneeze at. Dont forget all armoured targets are hit on side armor and at +1 Strength (8).

Grades:
1=Poor, 2=good, 3=excellent, 4=Superb


Infantry
Heavy Infantry
Light Armour
Heavy Armor
Aerial
Transport
Total Result (24)
Falcon
3
3
3
4
1
2
16
Fire Prism
4
3
3
4
1
1
16
Wave Serpent
4
4
4
2
3
4
21
Night Spinner
4
4
4
1
1
1
15

The above results show the Fire Prism, Wave Serpent, and Falcon compare very closely in most categories with the Nightspinner faring better in infantry areas. In the Heavy Armor category the Prism and Falcon seem to do better with their higher Strength weaponry options than the Wave Serpent. This is not to say the Wave Serpent can’t take out Heavy armor with its twin linked Bright Lance.

In the Infantry and Heavy Infantry all tanks did well. The Falcon would equip a Shuriken Cannon or Scatter
Laser or Starcannon along with the chin mounted Shuriken Cannon for this role. The Nightspinner in particular does well in the infantry area, able to ravage hordes of infantry under it's large template barrage Doomweaver. The Prism has its various templates, and the Wave Serpent has sheer volume of shots along with Bladestorm. But the two categories that I felt the Wave Serpent really outshone the other two was in the Transport category with a capacity of 12 models and also the capability to deal with aerial threats. With the Twin Linked Scatter Laser turret and Shuriken Cannon and Serpent Shield your Wave Serpent can put out 4 x Strength 6 shots, 3 x Twin Linked Strength 6 Shots and D6+1 Twin Linked Strength 7 Shots on an aerial target. I recently had success shooting down a Space Marine Storm Talon in this way.

So there you have it folks, the best Eldar Battle Tank is the Wave Serpent. It can reliably take on most targets you are likely to face on the tabletop and do it very well. The Fire Prism is still an excellent tank and will do well in most battles. The Falcon is an excellent anti armor tank with a decent transport capacity for some late game objective holding troops. It’s really a testament to how good our tanks are that all tanks do so well in nearly all categories. The Nightspinner will reliably crush enemy infantry. I feel we are very fortunate to have such good tanks and I foresee a real resurgence in mechanized Eldar armies.

I hope you enjoyed reading.

Johno


Friday, 12 July 2013

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread - Gaming Clubs



Hi all, Johno here,
I would just like to discuss why joining a gaming club can enhance your hobby and bring your enthusiasm to a whole new level. Simple things like chatting with like minded individuals and discussing basic views on parts of the hobby are just some of the advantages to getting involved with your local club.
I would like to kick this off by giving a scenario that I think most of us have been in at one stage or another and where I think most of the gamers in the country are at currently. There are the gamers who haven’t yet discovered a vibrant and active community such as ours with players attending tournaments regularly and at their local clubs and participating online in various forums and blogs. For the few hundred players that we all know and that take part on online sites such as www.w-ired.org, I am convinced that there is at least twice or three times that amount of players who have started collecting a wargame and are completely oblivious to the Irish war gamming scene and on their own.
Obviously the Irish war gaming scene is relatively new in its current format that we see today. For instance when I played in 2nd edition WH40k back in the 90’s there were no clubs around where I was from. When I got back into the hobby about 5 or 6 years ago I did what a lot people did, I went online to GW and checked out their models and since then I have never looked back. For two years or so I collected by myself, not knowing anyone else in the hobby until one day I went online and discovered Drogheda Gamers had a forum. Through there I met Jan Karnowski who was also living close to me at the time. We played nearly every week against each other but we realized we needed more opponents because although they were always fun games, we needed fresh blood so to speak.
I discovered www-w-ired.org run by Nigel Kavanagh and promptly wrote a post on behalf of Jan and myself looking for local gamers to play and perhaps set up a club. Nigel got back to me informing me that NWG and Grumpy Old Gamers were also looking to merge and form a new club and heard that a new hobby shop (The Hobby Shack) were opening in Wicklow town. On September 1st 2011 5 of us met up and formed The Last Chancers gaming club over a very late pizza. Since then the Club has gone from strength to strength absolutely exploding in size and attracting players from miles around.
Since forming the club we have held painting day’s and competitions, ran painting tutorials and airbrush tutorials, hosted games days and held gaming nights every Thursday. Sure at the start there were Thursdays where sometimes on a rare occasion there were too few of us turning up every week to consistently get games in but we grinded it out and over time this has become a less and less an occurrence until it basically never happens anymore with up to 20 players or more playing one game or another on a Thursday evening.
What a club can offer is a group on enthusiastic gamers who all have similar interests to you and love sharing their ideas and talking and playing the hobby. Ever need advice about good or bad units or army lists? The lads will always jump hurdles in order to help you out. Members are always buying new armies and getting rid of old stuff. I can’t even begin to imagine how many bargains I have gotten from fellow TLC members over the years.
If you are really lucky like TLC is or some of the Dublin based clubs are, your club will obtain a base for gaming regularly. If you and your buddies are looking to start a new club in your area the first thing you need to do is secure a location to do your gaming week in week out. Without this it is very hard for your club to get off the ground. TLC was blessed to have The Hobby Shack’s support and indeed it was crucial to the clubs success to date.
If you are living in an area of the country where you think there isn’t any other gamers and you feel that enthusiasm for the hobby is slipping away, try dropping a post on www.w-ired.org and you never know what other players might be closer than you think…

I thought I would just leave you with some pics from Thursdays gaming in the club. Enjoy :)

Johno












 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Power Of The Vyper



Johno here,

Those of you who have followed me either here or on www.w-ired.org or have played against my armies on the tabletop will know I love my Vypers. Even when we took the leap from 5th edition to 6th edition with introduction of hull points, I rarely played a game without my trusty Vypers. You hear alot all over the webtube how Vypers are useless and not worth the investment but I don't buy it at all.

Facts:
Base cost - 50 points
Ballistic Skill - 4
Weapons - twin linked Shuriken Catapults underneath and a Shuriken Cannon turret.
Armor - AV 10/10/10 (Open topped)
Type - Fast Skimmer

Options:

May exchange the Shuriken Cannon for one of the following; Bright Lance Scatter Laser Star Cannon
May exchange the twin linked Shuriken Catapult for a Shuriken Cannon
May take options from the vehicle equipment entry in Codex Eldar

Now how to load it out:

First things first, you will want to upgrade that 12" range Shuriken Catapult to the Shuriken Cannon for 10 Points. This immediately increases the Vypers firepower but almost as crucially, it's active range. With an armor value of 10 all way around, you don't want these getting anywhere near all those Boltors if at all possible. Then you need to decide if you want to upgrade the turret to a Bright Lance, Scatter Laser, Star Cannon or Missile Launcher.

Bright Lance

For 10 Points you can upgrade the Shuriken Cannon to the mighty Bright Lance. With a 48" Range and a Lance that's hitting on 3's now thanks to an upgraded BS4 in the new Codex this could plug a whole in much needed AT weapon systems. It has a Strength of 8 and is AP2 but for those unfamiliar with the Lance rule, anything above AV12 is counted as AV12. This means the Bright Lance will always glance on a 4 and penetrate on a 5 or 6 at the very worst. But back to the Vyper itself, would I equip my Vyper with a Bright Lance? The answer is simply no for two reasons. The first is that you have already upgraded the Shuriken Catapults to the Shuriken Cannon so by taking a Bright Lance you are equipping one anti-infantry weapon and one anti-tank weapon that don't compliment each other. That's a 70 point model that will never be firing to it's full potential each turn. The second reason is that there is so much better anti-tank option's in the heavy support section that it just seems like a waste of great anti-infantry potential for this unit. Therefore I cannot recommend the Bright Lance for the Vyper. The only way I see this working is if you don't upgrade the Catapults to the Cannon but for 10 Points it's hard to say no.

Scatter Laser

The next option is the fantastic Scatter Laser. The Scatter Laser has a long range of 36", and puts out 4 Strength 6 shots with an AP of 6. So it's not great at denying those armor saves but to be honest with the abundance of cover saves these days, I think the volume of high strength shot's mitigates against this. The best part about the Scatter Laser though is the new rule called Laser Lock. If one of your shots with a weapon that has this rule hit the target then all other weapons on the vehicle are twin linked. So the Scatter Laser is a 10 point upgrade for the Vyper which means you are paying 70 Points for a fast moving Vehicle that put's out 7 Strength 6 shots if you upgrade the Catapults and 3 of those 7 shots are twin linked and nearly always wounding models on a 2+ and any roll of a 6 to wound means it's counted as AP 2 thanks to the Bladestorm special rule. These can reliably strip other light vehicles and transports and can even have a decent chance of taking down flyers due to the volume of high strength shots. I highly recommend kitting out your Vyper's with a Scatter Laser Turret.



Star Cannon

The Star Cannon is third choice turret option and is a fairly decent gun. It is an Eldar version of a Plasma Gun with a 36" range and shooting two Strength 6 shots with an AP of 2, perfect for killing Terminators. I think this is a better option than the Bright Lance but compared to the stock Shuriken Cannon turret I dont think it is worth the point's investment for one less shot, and with the Bladestorm rule the Shuriken Cannon can get AP 2 shots too. It is far inferior to the Scatter Laser with only half the shots and lacks the Laser Lock special rule that makes the Scatter Laser so amazing.
Missile Launcher

The final option for the turret mounted weapon is the old reliable Missile Launcher. Like the regular Eldar Missile Launcher it fire's the Plasma (Strength 4 small blast) and Starshot missiles (Strength 8 AP3). Mounted on a Vyper you are paying 15 points for the privilage and bringing the cost of the skimmer to a expensive 75 points. I feel with the Missile Launcher it is a jack of all trades and master of none. The Bright Lance deals with armor better and the Scatter Laser and Shuriken Cannon deal with infantry better so I would refrain from taking the Missile Launcher.


Other Equipment worth taking

Just one other piece of equipment that you might want to consider is the Holo Field. The Holo field adds +1 to your cover save so a moving Vyper will get a 4+ Jink save and a 3+ when moving flat out. They are expensive however due to being 15 points each so I recommend you take one Vyper per squadron with a Holo field and place it a bit closer to the enemy with it's 4+ cover save since the other Vypers in the squadron with benefit hopefully from it's Holo Field.

So How To Run a Typical Squadron

Typical Vyper Squadron - 225pts

Vyper 1: Shuriken Cannon, Scatter Laser Turret, Holo Field
Vyper 2: Shuriken Cannon, Scatter Laser Turret
Vyper 3: Shuriken Cannon, Scatter Laser Turret

Thats 21 Strength 6 Shots, 9 of which can be potentially AP2 and 9 of which can be twin linked. Nice!

How to play them

Always keep your Vypers at arms length because the internet is right about this one, they are fragile. Focus on infantry and particularly heavy infantry and monstrous creatures. So move 12" keeping the Vyper with the Holo Field's an inch closer towards the enemy and shoot those Scatter Lasers first so your Shuriken Cannon can benfit from the Laser Lock special rule. Alot of opponents haven't played against Vypers before since most Eldar players don't field them and this can work to your advantage giving them a nasty surprise. When it comes to your second turn keep near your maximum range for the Shuriken Cannon which is 24" so fly backwards if you have to. If you are taking a few squadrons and both squadrons are focusing on one unit then have one of your Vyper squadrons move a bit closer so that it is still in range of those Terminators once the first squadron has finished shooting them. If you can, always try and keep them 25% partially behind a wall to get better cover saves with the Holo Fields.
I hope you enjoyed this article and convinced you to take some Vypers of your own. And lets be honest, the model still rocks after all these years.

Thanks for reading,

Johno.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

New Eldar Psychic Powers



Psychic Powers

The Eldar are the most potently psychic living race in the galaxy yet some of their wargear doesn’t reflect this, like the super nerf to Runes of Warding and also leadership 8 warlocks, but in saying that I think their new psychic powers are quite nice. In the Codex there are two lines of psychic powers available, one for the warlocks (Runes of Battle) and one for the Farseers (Runes of Fate). Let’s take a look at them.

Runes of Fate Overview
One would think that with the name Fate as opposed to Battle, that the Runes of Fate would be all about blessing and helping your units but the fact is, that Runes of Fate are very much a direct set offensive powers compared to Runes of Battle with their blessings. These powers are available only to our Farseers and range 1 to 3 Warp Charges. The powers themselves are quite useful but they do have to compete with Divination and Telepathy from the main rulebook. So I will let you decide.

Primarius - Guide
The venerable guide, oh how we love you. Typically Guide was always one of the most used powers in the old Eldar Codex and even though it is similar to Divinations Primarius power Precience it’s still an excellent choice. It has a range of 24” which is fantastic (Precience is 12”) but unfortunately it only offers rerolls to hit with shooting as opposed to both shooting and close combat that Precience offers. For an truly excellent loadout on a Farseer take guide primaris power and then the precience primaris powers casting rerolls to hit with shooting and melee left, right and center on two separate units. Really effective on a backfield Farseer near some Scatter Laser Warwalkers or Dark Reapers.

Executioner
Executioner is a witchfire power with a range of 24” and deals 3 automatic hits to an enemy model. Also it carries the fleshbane special rule so you will be wounding on 2+. Unfortunately it doesn’t have an armor value but that doesn’t stop the fun. If the model targeted dies then another model is chosen and suffers 2 automatic hits and then if that model also dies then a third model is chosen and that suffers one automatic hit. Very handy for picking out heavy weapons and squad sergeants etc.

Doom
Like Guide, Doom is an old favourite among all Eldar players. However this version of doom has gotten a nice little buff. It now allows reroll failed to wound rolls and also failed armor penetration rolls against vehicles. Couple this with all our Wraith Cannons and rending Shuriken weapons and this becomes a real gem of a power. The only problem is as per the rest of the powers, it is randomly rolled for so you can’t rely on getting it.

Eldritch Storm
Eldritch Storm has a reach of 24” and throws out a Strength 3 large blast template, so it’s pretty good at taking out large blobs of infantry. But it also comes with fleshbane so you are wounding everything on a 2+. It also has the pinning special rules so it’s extremely useful against units with low leadership such as Orks or Guardsmen. The fun doesn’t stop there though, it has the Haywire special rule also so it will glance ANY vehicle on a roll of 2-5 and automatically pens it on a 6. With a large blast it could easily cover squadrons of light vehicles etc. A fairly decent power that at first glance seems underpar.

Death Mission
Death Mission is an interesting power. It costs two warp charges to cast and it boosts the Farseer’s Weapon Skill, Ballistic Skill and Initiative by +5 and also gives him/her an extra two attacks. This means that you will have a WS10, BS10, I 10 Atk 4 Psyker running around the battle field. Sounds good right? Not quite, because it certainly comes with its drawbacks. When you cast Death Mission you roll a D3+2 and that is how many tokens you have and on a D6 roll of a three or lower at the end of each turn, one token is lost. If you lose all of them, the model is removed as a casualty. The power once cast, lasts for the entire game and the only way to keep your tokens up is by casting it again so you can roll that D3+2. It seems a bit situational but could be useful if your Farseer is leading a close combat unit such as Harlequins. Having said that it’s random so you can’t rely on getting it.

Fortune
Good aul Fortune. I once played an apocalypse battle with a large seer council on bikes and they tanked the fire power of a full Tzeench and Dark Eldar force for three turns before being taken out. This power was a must have and it is still great only that it‘s now random. It has a range of 24” now as opposed to the old power which was only 6”. It costs two warp charges to cast and it allows you to reroll all saving throws and all deny the witch rolls. This could be incredibly useful and annoying for your opponents when cast on your Wraithknights or Wraithguard. It is effectively an even better version of the old Fortune but unfortunately it’s now random like the rest of the powers. I can kind of understand this though because it was quite broken in the last Codex.

Mind War
Mind War is a witchfire power that has a range of 24” and a warp charge of two. This power can be hilarious to use if you manage to get it off a few times during the battle. However the only times I have used it was in a recent game where my opponent managed to roll higher than me. You select a model within 24”, usually a character or Sergeant and you both roll a D6 and add it to your leadership. If the Farseer scores lower, he/she has their Weapon Skill, Ballistic Skill and Initiative reduced to one until their next turn. If both scores are equal the enemy suffers the above afflictions, however if the Farseer wins, the enemy suffers the number of automatic wounds equal to the difference rolled between the two players dice roll and these are at no armor saves or cover saves. It can be extremely effective at taking out those squad Sergeants with power fists or heavy weapons etc.

Runes of Battle Overview
The most obvious thing about the Runes of battle is that it is divided up into modes for each power that affect your enemy and also those that bless your own units. Most of these powers are quite supportive in their nature while the powers available for Runes of Fate are the opposite. The list of powers are actually very potent and nearly all are very useful however this is somewhat hampered by the fact that these are randomly rolled for. Not all is lost though, the primaries power “Conceal/Reveal” is a very strong ability and a lot of players might not bother on rolling on the table as this power is exactly what they are after.

Primaris - Conceal/Reveal
The blessing side of this power, Conceal, is an excellent power that grants the unit shrouded special rule. This is a fantastic rule especially when used in conjunction with Jetbikes who already have the 5+ cover save from jink. Now they can get a 3+ cover save. It really is a brilliant ability. The blessing side of the power removes stealth and shrouded from an enemy unit which can be extremely useful against some Tau and Daemon units and not to mention those other Eldar/Dark Eldar players you will be facing.
 
Destructor/Renewer
Destructor is a witchfire power and is basically a heavy flamer and features the nifty feature called soul blaze.I think this power will come in very handy against some of the tougher foes out there. Renewer on the other hand is a blessing power that if a friendly model is within 18”, you can restore a lost wound to it. It’s very useful if you are playing any of the Eldar Monstrous creatures in your list.

Embolden/Horrify
Good aul embolden, well now it has gotten better! Embolden makes the warlock and his unit fearless! I can see this great for twenty Guardians lead by a warlock. The Horrify power reduces the leadership value of an enemy unit by -3. This is absolutely lethal and used alongside a Wraith Fighter, you will see tones of Orks and Guardsmen running for the hills.

Enhance/Drain
Wow I used to never leave home without an Enhanced warlock in my seer council. Again if used with a large squad of Storm Guardians this could be effective but to be honest will you ever be running Storm Guardians? Enhance provides the Warlock and his attached unit with a +1 to their Weapon Skill and Initiative. Drain reduces the weapon skill and initiative of an enemy within 18” which could be excellent if one of your close combat units is about to charge an enemy unit.
Protect/Jinx
Protect is a potentially fantastic power that grants the Warlock and his unit a +1 bonus to their armour save which could be excellent for giving Jetbikes and Wraithguard that 2+ armor save to drastically increase their durability.  Jinx reduces the armor value of the enemy by -1 which could be excellent by softening up tough units like Terminators etc.

Quicken/Restrain
Quicken provides the Warlock and his unit with an additional three inches to any running they decide to do. Again due to the fact that Warlocks can only really join 4 units (Jetbikes, Defenders & Storm Guardians, Vaul Support Batteries) and the fact that bikes can’t even run anyway I think this is most useful to Guardian Defenders. Why? Well Storm Guardians are so outclassed by most other dedicated close combat units in our army but by adding 3 precious inches on a squad of 20 Guardians armed with 12” shuriken weapons, this could potentially be a big boost in getting them into range in conjunction with Battle Focus, Restrain reduces the chances of running from an enemy unit. I think this power will be mainly used in its blessing form due to the flexibility it provides.

Empower/Enervate
Finally we have the Empower/Enervate power. Empower grants the Warlock and his unit a +1 bonus Strength which given to the right unit could become extremely handy. Strength 5 Striking Scorpions or Strength 8 Ghost Axe wielding Wraithblades anyone, or dare I say Strength 4 Howling Banshees? Nice! The Enervate power typically targets an enemy unit within 18” and reduces their Strength by -1. It’s quite handy considering our close combat units and most of our units for that matter are toughness 3. If those space marines are wounding our units on a 4 instead of a 3 then all the better!

So there you have it Folks, a comprehensive look at our new psychic powers. What do you think? Which powers will you hope to get?