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Analysis: Codex Eldar Craftworlds [Revised]

Sunday, 21 June 2015


Here is an update on the list I'm working towards as I build and paint my Astra Militarum army.

Army List: Astra Militarum 2000 pts Mech


Here is an update on the list I'm working towards as I build and paint my Astra Militarum army.

Thursday, 18 June 2015


After ranting about how far the once-might Tau Empire has fallen, here is an 1850 pts Tau army list in counterpoint. There is nothing really 'unconventional' in this list, it simply aims to shoot efficiently with just enough mobility to scrape through Maelstrom missions. It would face an uphill battle against Eldar Craftworlds and Necrons—and to a lesser extent Space Marines and Imperial Knights—but it is more than capable of dominating the 'middle-tier' of competitive 40k.

Army List: Tau 1850 pts Counterpoint


After ranting about how far the once-might Tau Empire has fallen, here is an 1850 pts Tau army list in counterpoint. There is nothing really 'unconventional' in this list, it simply aims to shoot efficiently with just enough mobility to scrape through Maelstrom missions. It would face an uphill battle against Eldar Craftworlds and Necrons—and to a lesser extent Space Marines and Imperial Knights—but it is more than capable of dominating the 'middle-tier' of competitive 40k.

Monday, 15 June 2015


The resurgence of the Tau Empire a couple of years ago was one of the final nails in the coffin for Space Marine dominance in competitive 40k. But now we have a new Marine book, and the Tau book continues to wane with age—are Tau still enough of a threat to keep the Emperor's Finest down? Or have the Space Fish Communists been definitively knocked off their podium? Here are five reasons why I believe the latter.

Rant: Five Reasons Why Tau are No Longer Competitive


The resurgence of the Tau Empire a couple of years ago was one of the final nails in the coffin for Space Marine dominance in competitive 40k. But now we have a new Marine book, and the Tau book continues to wane with age—are Tau still enough of a threat to keep the Emperor's Finest down? Or have the Space Fish Communists been definitively knocked off their podium? Here are five reasons why I believe the latter.

Sunday, 14 June 2015


It's take five long months, two paint strippings, and one rebuild, but I've finally finished my first Astra Militarum Taurox!!! Enjoy some pics!

Showcase: Astra Militarum Taurox Conversion


It's take five long months, two paint strippings, and one rebuild, but I've finally finished my first Astra Militarum Taurox!!! Enjoy some pics!

Saturday, 13 June 2015


While the 40k world's attention is focussed on the release of the new Space Marines codex, GW have quietly released an 'extra-codex' Formation with 'webstore exclusive' rules: the Skyhammer Annihilation Force. And wow, this is one Formation that you cannot ignore!

Composition

The Skyhammer Annihilation Force comprises:

  • Two Assault Squads with Jump Packs
  • Two Devastator Squads in Drop Pods
And no less than four special rules:
Shock Deployment: All units in a Skyhammer Annihilation Force start the game in Deep Strike Reserve. Instead of using the normal deployment and reserve rules for these units, you can, during deployment, choose whether this Formation will arrive during your first or second turn. The entire Skyhammer Annihilation Force automatically arrives on the turn you choose—no Reserve Rolls are required. Ignore this Formation's Drop Pods for the purposes of the Drop Pod Assault special rule.
First the Fire, then the Blade: On the turn they arrive from Deep Strike Reserve, the Devastator Squads in a Skyhammer Annihilation Force have the Relentless special rule and the Assault Squads can charge even though they arrived from Reserves that turn.
Suppressing Fusillade: A unit targeted by a Skyhammer Annihilation Force's Devastator Squad in the Shooting phase must take a Morale test at the end of the phase on 3D6, regardless of how many casualties were inflicted. If the test is failed, the enemy unit does not Fall Back, but must immediately Go to Ground. If the test is passed, the enemy unit is unable to fire Overwatch for the rest of the turn.
Leave No Survivors: Assault Squads in a Skyhammer Annihilation Force can use their Jump Packs in both the Movement phase and the Assault phase. If an Assault Squad from a Skyhammer Annihilation Force charges a unit that has Gone to Ground as a result of the Suppressing Fusillade special rule, that Assault Squad can reroll failed To Hit and To Wound rolls in the ensuring Assault phase.

Application

Putting all these special rules together, we get:

  • An extra two Drop Pods arriving turn one, on top of whatever you're getting from Drop Pod Assault
  • Two* Devastator Squads that Pod in with Relentless—perfect for quad-grav squads
  • Two* Assault Squads that must Deep Strike in, but can then charge immediately with no risk of Overwatch, plus Hammer of Wrath and rerolls on charge range and To Hit and To Wound
This Formation is exceptionally powerful, because it comprises four valuable units with no tax, and effectively ignores all the detriments of Deep Strike!

Furthermore, the Chapter Tactics and Combat Squads rules also apply to this Formation. Remember that you can choose Chapter Tactics for this Formation independently of other Formations and Detachments in your army; I think Ultramarines would be best so your Devastators can reroll To Hit on the turn they arrive.

If you take 10-man squads then you can Combat Squad into up to four Assault and Devastator Squads respectively; this would allow you to semi-reliably Pin up to four enemy units, and tarpit up to four other enemy units in assault, on your first turn—potentially before your opponent has even had his first move!

Finally, if you're willing to gamble against the risk of Mishaps, you could load up an Assault Squad with attached Independent Characters with Jump Packs / Terminator Armour / another form of Deep Strike, then first turn charge with your deathstar without them ever being shot.

Conclusion

I don't know why GW persist with releasing 'webstore exclusive' rules (or 'White Dwarf exclusive') instead of just including them in publications, or emailing them out to their mailing lists as an incentive to subscribe to their spam. There is no actual exclusivity to these rules—they will get published online sooner or later. And while I personally love the new rapid-release approach GW has adopted over the last couple of years, making rules difficult to access serves no meaningful purpose—and is somewhat detrimental to competitive play, since no one likes to get surprised by new rules mid-way through a tournament!

But release method aside, GW have really done well with this new Formation. Space Marines really needed a boost to get them back onto competitive tables, and the Skyhammer Annihilation Force just might be a big factor in their resurgence. Watch out for this one on the battlefield!

Analysis: Skyhammer Annihilation Force


While the 40k world's attention is focussed on the release of the new Space Marines codex, GW have quietly released an 'extra-codex' Formation with 'webstore exclusive' rules: the Skyhammer Annihilation Force. And wow, this is one Formation that you cannot ignore!

Composition

The Skyhammer Annihilation Force comprises:

  • Two Assault Squads with Jump Packs
  • Two Devastator Squads in Drop Pods
And no less than four special rules:
Shock Deployment: All units in a Skyhammer Annihilation Force start the game in Deep Strike Reserve. Instead of using the normal deployment and reserve rules for these units, you can, during deployment, choose whether this Formation will arrive during your first or second turn. The entire Skyhammer Annihilation Force automatically arrives on the turn you choose—no Reserve Rolls are required. Ignore this Formation's Drop Pods for the purposes of the Drop Pod Assault special rule.
First the Fire, then the Blade: On the turn they arrive from Deep Strike Reserve, the Devastator Squads in a Skyhammer Annihilation Force have the Relentless special rule and the Assault Squads can charge even though they arrived from Reserves that turn.
Suppressing Fusillade: A unit targeted by a Skyhammer Annihilation Force's Devastator Squad in the Shooting phase must take a Morale test at the end of the phase on 3D6, regardless of how many casualties were inflicted. If the test is failed, the enemy unit does not Fall Back, but must immediately Go to Ground. If the test is passed, the enemy unit is unable to fire Overwatch for the rest of the turn.
Leave No Survivors: Assault Squads in a Skyhammer Annihilation Force can use their Jump Packs in both the Movement phase and the Assault phase. If an Assault Squad from a Skyhammer Annihilation Force charges a unit that has Gone to Ground as a result of the Suppressing Fusillade special rule, that Assault Squad can reroll failed To Hit and To Wound rolls in the ensuring Assault phase.

Application

Putting all these special rules together, we get:

  • An extra two Drop Pods arriving turn one, on top of whatever you're getting from Drop Pod Assault
  • Two* Devastator Squads that Pod in with Relentless—perfect for quad-grav squads
  • Two* Assault Squads that must Deep Strike in, but can then charge immediately with no risk of Overwatch, plus Hammer of Wrath and rerolls on charge range and To Hit and To Wound
This Formation is exceptionally powerful, because it comprises four valuable units with no tax, and effectively ignores all the detriments of Deep Strike!

Furthermore, the Chapter Tactics and Combat Squads rules also apply to this Formation. Remember that you can choose Chapter Tactics for this Formation independently of other Formations and Detachments in your army; I think Ultramarines would be best so your Devastators can reroll To Hit on the turn they arrive.

If you take 10-man squads then you can Combat Squad into up to four Assault and Devastator Squads respectively; this would allow you to semi-reliably Pin up to four enemy units, and tarpit up to four other enemy units in assault, on your first turn—potentially before your opponent has even had his first move!

Finally, if you're willing to gamble against the risk of Mishaps, you could load up an Assault Squad with attached Independent Characters with Jump Packs / Terminator Armour / another form of Deep Strike, then first turn charge with your deathstar without them ever being shot.

Conclusion

I don't know why GW persist with releasing 'webstore exclusive' rules (or 'White Dwarf exclusive') instead of just including them in publications, or emailing them out to their mailing lists as an incentive to subscribe to their spam. There is no actual exclusivity to these rules—they will get published online sooner or later. And while I personally love the new rapid-release approach GW has adopted over the last couple of years, making rules difficult to access serves no meaningful purpose—and is somewhat detrimental to competitive play, since no one likes to get surprised by new rules mid-way through a tournament!

But release method aside, GW have really done well with this new Formation. Space Marines really needed a boost to get them back onto competitive tables, and the Skyhammer Annihilation Force just might be a big factor in their resurgence. Watch out for this one on the battlefield!

Monday, 8 June 2015


It's been all quiet on the hobby front for the last few weeks. I've had a few games with my growing Astra Militarum army, and observed a few games involving Eldar on one side or both. Here is an 1850 pts list that I'm thinking about using to really get into the swing of the new Craftworlds book.

Army List: Craftworlds 1850 pts Fun with Formations


It's been all quiet on the hobby front for the last few weeks. I've had a few games with my growing Astra Militarum army, and observed a few games involving Eldar on one side or both. Here is an 1850 pts list that I'm thinking about using to really get into the swing of the new Craftworlds book.