Warheads

Official and Glorious Blog of the Inglorious and Officious Warheads Gaming Club

Month: April 2012

Blood, Guts and Glory Review

The latest FoW release focuses on the US-German tank battles in the Lorraine from September 1944 to January 1945. Following the Allied breakout from Normandy, the German position in France has completely collapsed. Little stands between the lead American echelons and Germany. Only their crippling supply difficulties slows the Allies. Patton, starved of resources, begs, borrows and steals fuel to keep his attack pressing on. In a bid to stall Patton’s Third Army’s drive on the Rhine, newly formed German Panzer Brigades are thrown into a hasty counterattack. The result was the largest series of tank battles on the Western Front.

In game terms, the setting provides us with a moderate reversal of the traditional US-German clash. We have inexperienced German troops with a surplus of the most modern tanks and equipment trying to overwhelm units of hardened American veterans. The Germans formations are operating with the bare minimum of support, lacking in reconnaissance and artillery but well-supplied with AA assets. The Americans have the full array of divisional support. If you have a fondness for armoured lists, read on.

US Section
The Americans have two special characters available, Lt General Patton and Lt Colonel Abrams. Patton provides a bewildering list of army-wide buffs while Abrams boosts your armoured assets. On a historical note, the modern day Abrams tank is named after the latter.

The advantage to these smaller sourcebooks is that the lists have a certain character which can be missed in more generic army lists. The Americans can go with the veterans of the 4th Armoured or the less-capable 7th Armoured Division. You can choose Armoured Rifle Companies or Tank Companies from either division. There is also a Tank Destroyer Company representing the 644th Tank Destroyer Battalion or the 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion. These are the classic punch hard and leg it units. Frankly, it’s the most broken list in the book and the internet is brimming with love for it.

Pimping your Sherman tank.

For me, the main draw is that a vast range of late war Sherman designs are available within these lists. Aside from the basic M4 (read: rubbish) model, we can bring the up-gunned (76mm) version, the heavily armoured “Jumbo” and the speedy but stable “Easy Eight”. These, respectively, give us the standard Sherman horde, guns which can take out anything short of a King Tiger, tanks with armour superior to the Panther and the ability to move and fire without penalty. The customisation options within a single tank platoon are generous and you can tailor it to be a jack of all trades, sniping unit or a heavy assault force.

To give an idea of the points costs, here’s a 1725 point tank company from the 4th Armoured Division.
Company HQ
2x M4A1 Shermans
Tank Platoon
2x M4A1 Shermans
2x M4A1 (76mm)
1x M4A3E2 Jumbo
Tank Platoon
2x M4A1 Shermans
2x M4A1 (76mm)
1x M4A3E2 Jumbo
Assault Gun Platoon
6x M4 (105mm)

To put it in terms that will resonate with the MMORPG-addled youth of today, that’s 6 painfully average tanks, 4 snipers and 2 shield tanks. Along with six tanks that specialise in pounding infantry and guns into field-grey goo. They can also fire bombardments.

German Lists 
The German may not have any special characters but the book lets you combine the best German equipment with the low points cost of a Reluctant Trained rating. In previous army books, sub-standard German troops were generally reserve or police formations caught in the wrong place. This meant that the lists lacked access to the good toys that make the Germans feasible in competitive play. No more.

When we say that we get all the good toys, we actually mean three good toys. Cheap Panthers, soldiers bristling with panzerfausts (each stand gets one as standard) and excellent AA platforms. Brace yourself for the shock of having points to spare after buying all your tanks. The sample list below fills all but two slots in its OOB. That’s the Force Organisation Chart to the 40kers amongst us.

There are two groups of lists in the book. The first units deployed were fully equipped and are represented by a FHH Tank and two FHH Mechanised lists. For the later stages of the operation, we have slightly more ragged Tank and Infantry companies.

For illustration, a 1750 point force from the 113. Panzer Brigade.
Company HQ
 2x Panther G
Tank Platoon
 4x Panther G
Tank Platoon
4x Panther G
AA Gun Platoon
4x Mobelwagon
Motorised Platoon
3x Panzer Grenadier Squads
Motorised Platoon
3x Panzer Grenadier Squads
Ten Panthers for the price of six. They may break if tested but the armour and gun are the same no matter who the crew are. One the best AA options in any German list at a ludicrously low price. And enough points to bring two full infantry platoons. Crazy.

Tank Aces
About a third of the book is devoted to the Tank Aces campaign, which pits small platoons of armour against each other in vicious firefights. The campaign structure is based on the fighting around Arracourt and consists of three to four campaign turns. The points totals are small, starting at 500 points and increasing to a maximum of 900 points. Each player has a Tank Ace,which acts as their avatar during the campaign.

You begin with one average commander and less than a handful of tanks. Battles are fought, your forces expand and your commander gets that little bit tougher with each fight. There’s an RPG element as your Tank Ace levels up over the course of a campaign. There are thirty-six upgrades to choose from, spread over nine tech trees.

As a self-contained series of missions leading to a grand finale, it seems very well suited to club play.

The inaugural Flames of War league in Gamer’s World, Dublin was successful (apart from the damning fact that I’m not going to win it) and we’ll be looking to build on its success by running a Tank Aces campaign over three weeks later in the year. So grab yourself a box of PSC tanks and watch this space for more.

Joey’s Journey into Flames of War #3

Well even though Owen paints much better Skids than me (see comment section on last week’s post) I’m going to throw up a picture of my horrendously painted models anyway. I’m going for a snow effect colour scheme for my boys (the vunderfull vaffen SS) fighting the filthy communists on the Eastern Front. I wanted to go for something that looked like the paint had literally been slapped on by an incompetent buffoon. This is something I turned out to be quite effective at for whatever reason…. 
Buffoon couture.

How I did it was by undercoating in black first then giving the hull a coat of Fortress Grey and the tracks a drybrush of Boltgun Metal before inking the whole damn thing with watered down black ink. After this I got a fine sponge (the densely packed stuff you find in figure cases) and dabbled a little bit of Skull White onto it. After removing most of the white (like you would before drybrushing) I liberally dabbed the white onto the model to create a kind of pebbledash of white paint on the hull.
This actually represents accurately what the Germans did themselves on the Eastern Front since whitewash paint wasn’t really available they literally slapped whatever white looking crap they could onto the side of their tanks.
Not this kind of white looking crap…

My room smells like Chaos Black spraypaint now…and beer…but mostly spraypaint.
It was good to do a bit of painting again since it’s been a while and, for once, it wasn’t power armour! It was even better that I got all of this done in about 45 minutes:

Yes I said 45 minutes…and this game is cheap as hell, Y U NO PLAY ALREADY??!
So it was time to find myself a real life opponent. I’m taking part in the Warheads inaugural Flames of War League which is on every Thursday night in Gamer’s World, Dublin. It’s an escalation league so it goes 1250, 1500 and then 1750 points values to get everyone up to playing ETC level as quickly as possible. At first I thought I’d be borrowing whole armies for weeks but like I said above the stuff is so unbelievably easy to paint and you can do an entire army for about fifty euro even with the PhD workload I’m able to field more than half an army of my own stuff already!
So my opponent this week was the wonderful Bazweena (or Irish ETC Captain Barra to you and me):
always the bridesmaid…
Baz, getting into the swing of competitive ETC play early on in his Flames of War career was fielding some complete bullshit shield list of American sky riders (I shit you not a complete glider army…) which comprised the 40k equivalent of 25 thunder hammer/storm shield terminators supported by nine imperial guard basilisks.

Aerial recce shot of my pretty tanks about to get blown sky high by that massive plane on the right.
The mission was a lot of fun (any objective mission in FoW is ended at the start of your turn if you have any objective without the enemy nearby….) and was pretty close right up to the end. We fought over the French town of…let’s just say Bourgogne, pictured in exquisite detail below.
I quite like the terrain actually and a lot of the FoW stuff for the league has been provided by the players taking part!
At the back of his table corner Baz had a bunch of artillery whereas over on the right of the picture he had a platoon of US Airborne holed up on an objective (horribly difficult to shift when dug in and concealed).

Our spotters had spotted a major firefight unfolding between the German Heer and some lowly Canadians. Apparently we later found out the dastardly Canucks called in a massive airstrike and Padraic’s sad-face told us all what Canadian air-power was all aboot.
Back to the mission at hand for me, I made full speed towards the nearest objective and after softening the burger-eating invasion monkeys up with some MG fire I assaulted them in numbers and because of the awesome German half track rules (last week’s post!) came off the better for it. Unfortunately Baz spent the entire next turn firing every piece of artillery on the continent at my poor half tracks and destroyed all but two of them in one fell swoop.
🙁
Still though it didn’t need to be troops on the objective to take it just anything in my force so my Panzers moved into occupation mode and braced themselves for a withering round of fire to come from the artillery confident that if  they survived Baz had no troops nearby to contest.

I’ve got you now American swine-dog!
So Baz shot me with some stuff while moving his reserve airborne (who had arrived by now) closer to my tanks hoping to assault that turn and deny the objective to me. Logically when he opened fire with the artillery I removed the closest two Panzers until I got bullshit-rules-lawyered by our gracious Captain who claimed that by the ‘rules’ he could assault a tank that had already been blown up and consolidate onto the objective (dick).
What did Jew say?

By now the rest of Baz’s army decided to show up and blow the last of my tanks to smithereens.

You win this round Bazweena….

It was a learning experience to say the least, a big step up from my first game which was basically rolling to hit and kill etc. This game was much more intricate with Baz not holding back on any rules.

Next time: I said a glass of juice, not gas the Jews!

– Joey

The Ethos of Team Ireland, Flames of War

Joel Rosen’s landmark study The Erosion of the American Sporting Ethos analyzes the demise of the competitive spirit in sports and the loosening of standards.  Nothing is more illustrative of this decline than the outcry that arose in 1997 when University of Indiana coach Bobby Knight used the pedagogical method known as “choking” to help a player regain his motivation and focus.

Coach Knight was excoriated by the media.  But the flaccidity is not limited to the U.S.  For evidence of the global decline of the sporting ethos one need only look at soccer.

We find this decline of the sporting ethos to be unnerving.  When did it start?  Why is it happening?  Are we at risk?  Why is Cristiano Ronaldo such a chump?  As the Flames of War team prepares for the ETC in Poland these questions, along with a few others relating to the availability of small denomination bills of zloty, weigh heavily on our minds. Ulimately we must trust that our core values will provide a modicum of protection from this post-modern disorientation, confusion, and anomie.  With this in mind, and in consultation with Tony Robbins, the Flames of War team has articulated a specific ethos.  We present it below with an exegetical note for each core value. 

1. Provide succor to comrades, mendicants and feckless gobshites.
Our team dedicates one weekend a month to community service for the installation of anti-aircraft weapons.  Because in V3 air power is scary.  


2. Strength is wisdom and wisdom is strength.
Every member of our team knows the answer to the Riddle of Steel.

3. Danger is our ale and we do not water it down.
If you give any member of our team two Guinness and twenty minutes he can make you one budweiser.

4. Honor your kin, honor your comrades, honor the ground you tread, honor your foes, though they be unworthy.
We have seen ISU-152s fail fire power checks.  We have seen conscripts route veterans.  All these moments will be lost in time, like PZ IIIs in mud.

5. There will be much woe, and thine heart must endure and thine hands must be strong.
Our hearts are filled with love, but we will nuke you in order to protect our precious bodily fluids.


 
6. Just as gold is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall our foes be melted in the midst of Team Ireland and they shall know that we have poured our justice upon them.
You’re going to look pretty funny tryin’ to eat corn on the cob with no fuckin’ teeth.

St. Augustine claimed that self-doubt is the path to salvation.  We disagree.  Our ethos imbues us with confidence and ensures a lack of reflectivity on our part that can only result in victory.  Onward to Poland.  Onward to victory.

Joey’s Journey into Flames of War #2

Willkommen mein herren, to ze second instalment of mein journey into Flames of War (FoW).


Last time I discussed about what a cool game it is and some history behind my dudes, this time I hope to delve a bit more into the make-up of the list I’ll be playing; a mechanised German SS Company.

This is my chariot of choice^, the versatile Sd. Kfz. 251 (or Sonderkraftfahrzeug 251 to the cool kidz) but we’re going to call them Skids from here on in mostly because it means me not having to pronounce that word in my head each time or use that ungodly acronym again. It was an incredibly versatile vehicle (pronounced va-hick-ill to our friends in Navan) with 23 official variants (like comms, artillery, weapon upgrades, AA, etc.) and a billion unofficial addons:

These vehicles form the core of my mechanised list, carrying around both my Commander, 2ic, platoon commanders and the platoons themselves. They have some neat special rules, some German and some just for half tracks and give you great bang for your buck. I won’t go too much into the special rules but will try and highlight just what makes these glorified tractors so good.
1. They’re Half-Tracks
– so they move 12″ just like wheeled vehicles and can go 18″ on roads. FoW is played on a 6’x4′ just like Warhammer 40,000 or WHFB so you can see quickly that transports tend to move at respectable speeds in this game too.
2. They don’t have wheels…
– so they don’t get stopped by very difficult going terrain types instead they need to take a skill test to get passed them. While this is dangerous enough at least it gives you the option of jumping on that objective whereas a jeep would just whimper and turn back.
The same applies to barbed wire so wheeled transports can’t even attempt to get passed them and tracked vehicles can. It’s not necessarily an easy skill test to make but like I said having the option of entering that part of the battlefield opens up for the game for you and, just as importantly, your opponent.
3. Mounted Assault

….that’s exactly what I was implying.
Back on topic, German mechanised units have this really cool special rule that essentially makes every Skid a Land Raider! It’s exactly as cool as it sounds, so these half tracks are more versatile than wheeled vehicles and more versatile again when compared with opposition half-tracked vehicles.
4. Halt! Hammerzeit!
– Obligatory picture to follow but first some rules. In FoW whenever a transport delivers it’s fleshy human cargo to an objective/assault/cover etc. they’re sent to the back of the lines i.e. removed from the game. Coming from 40k I was pretty shocked at this but was quite relieved when I read the German special rule that says they don’t go anywhere, they stay put and lay down a withering hail of fire.

As promised.
So this is roughly what they’ll look like for gaming purposes (ignore the Tiger tank).
At the front we have my commander and his second in command (2ic) and behind them two platoons of four Skids. One Skid in each platoon goes to the platoon commanders and each of the rest has two squads mounted up. I’m going to get cracking on painting this force up nice and quickly to get it to a tabletop standard hopefully.

So half-tracks are pretty nifty and I have a feeling that if I’m to master this list it will be through the use of these semi durable transports.

Next time: Getting out of Mein Kampfort zone.
-Joey

Joey’s Journey into Flames of War #1

Guten tadhg mein herren. So I’ve been given the distinct pleasure of being a member of the Irish ETC Team to go to Poland this year but for a change it’s not the 40k team (who instead will have to valiantly struggle without me) but the Flames of War Team!

I haven’t played Flames of War (FoW) much and was chosen more so for a) my interest and b) my previous gaming experience. This may sound all too hasty of the Captain (ETC Veteran MacNiocaill from last year’s 40k Team) but makes so much more sense when you look at the numbers of people currently playing FoW in Ireland. I’m confident I can adapt to a new game system in the time given especially given the similarities between this and Warhammer 40,000.
The more I read about it the more it seems like a cracking game; fast-paced, balanced, large variety of competitive missions to play and it’s got a price to beat the snot out of GW’s pricing as illustrated by this year’s illustrious Vice-Captain.
I haven’t quite decided on what exact list to use yet, all I know for sure is that it will be mechanised (rhino spam) and German (I did Nazi that comin’). On that basis I picked up Grey Wolf which is like a book full of codexes for the Germans serving near Russia during Operation Barbarossa.
For history buffs it’s full of geeky richness guaranteed to give you a raging nerd-on and if you’re getting into the game at all it’s a must have since it has all the most up to date legal German (and friends) lists.
The first list which caught my attention after reading through the book was a list based on the 5th SS Panzer Division, named ‘Wiking’. These guys were mega elite veterans who bought hook, line and sinker into the Nazi ethos and were all volunteers trained to a high standard and indoctrinated to believe that what they were doing was the bees’ knees.
From Wiki:
The 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking was one of the elite Panzer divisions of the thirty eight Waffen SS divisions. It was recruited from foreign volunteers, from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, the Netherlands and Belgium under the command of German officers. During the course of World War II, the division progressed from a motorised infantry division to a Panzer division and served on the Eastern Front during World War II. It surrendered in May 1945 to the advancing American forces in Austria.
So you can see they didn’t stop until the last days (and I’m sure Herr Newbreed would point out they were more than happy to surrender to the Americans rather than the Russians). The difference in playstyle from these guys and traditional SS is however that these guys weren’t quite up to the standard of other elite units. Probably wouldn’t say that to their faces though….

….eyes….so cold…so distant….
They’re listed as Fearless Trained, differing from their Totenkopf (Super-Nazis) brethren who are Fearless Veterans (in game terms this basically means they’re both hardcore morale-wise (not moral wise though…) but the Wiking soldiers are a little easier to shoot at.
Obviously this disadvantage comes with a friendly points decrease (about 30% across the board) which I think is quite a bargain considering you still get access to all the nice equipment and list special rules.
As a start here’s what I’ve acquired (I say acquired instead of built because Paul Quigley previously owned all this stuff before giving it to me so I had very little work to do! Legend):
I’ll delve a little more into the special rules next time and the shape I want the army to take but for now I’ll leave it at that and once again thank Paul Quigley (so handsome) for his help in getting me started with the models, he’ll always be my schoiße-Kombo…..


-Joey

Irish Warmahordes Faction Rankings

While we wait for the Retcon/Moofool results to wind their way onto Ranking HQ, we briefly consider the newly founded Warmahorde rankings. To those weaned on Ranking HQ, this system is very different. The various factions and casters are ranked, no details on individual players are available. The Warmahordes players have consciously avoided a player-centred ranking system, largely based on their unease at its impact on Warhammer 40k and Fantasy tournament scene.

The system is very much in the teething stages with less than a handful of tournaments submitted. Each new event will cause some major shifts but, for now, let’s just examine the state of play. We disregard the Mercenary faction as they have yet to be played.

1st Place

The barbaric and backwards Trollbloods finish top of the faction rankings with a win ratio of 87.5%. Their casters all perform well. Prime Grissel leads them with a 3 for 3 record. Borka has the dubious honour of being the only Troll caster to lose a game, going 2 for 3. With a total of eight games played, they are the least used faction in this ranking period.

2nd Place

Lagging well behind the leaders, the twisted Legion of Everblight have a solid win ratio of 71.43%. Everblight’s draconian rage should be focused on Epic Lylyth and her shoddy 0 for 2 record. The blighted poster-children are Bethanye and Kallus, each on 3 for 3. Their position is impressive as they are joint fifth, with Skorne, in popularity. Fourteen games played in the period.

3rd Place

The righteous, just and godly Protectorate of Menoth have a respectable 60% win ratio. The perfectly rounded number reflects Menoth’s divine influence. That it is not 100% is clearly due to a lack of faith on the part of the Menite players. Thyra leads the congretion with a 2 for 2 record. The ever popular Prime Kroess is the shakiest caster on 2 for 4. They are still an uncommon faction, sixth favourite with ten games played.

Not On The Podium

Those desert rats, Skorne, are close behind on a win ratio of 57.14%. Rasheth and Epic Makeda are the two main casters with a combined record of 7 for 10. They find themselves tied with Legion as the fifth most popular faction, on fourteen games.

Poxy Druids, what have they ever done for us? They ruin the roads, block the drains,burn your schools and warp our cattle. For all their efforts, Circle has a 55.56% win ratio. Morvahna is, by far, the most popular choice running 3 for 5 in her games. A rare faction, joint seventh on nine games.

Those genocidal, sectarian fascists, Cygnar sit on a 47.62% win ratio. May it slump further. Epic Caine is their only strong performer, going 2 for 2. His struggles can’t compensate for Siege, who goes 2 for 7. Despite their reputation as under-powered in tournament play, they are the second most popular faction with 21 games played.

The humble and gentle animal faction, Minions, have a symetrical win ratio of 44.44%. Most of their casters are winning half their games with Sturm and Drang dragging the average down on 0 for 2. Another rarity, joint seventh in popularity on 9 games

The Retribution of Scyrah. They may be a doomed race but they’re determined to get a few hits in as they’re dragged towards the door. They’re just not hitting hard enough, a win ratio of 41.18%. Even their most popular caster, Rahn, is running 4 for 9. Another common choice, Ossyan is doing terribly on 0 for 4. Third in popularity with seventeen games played.

This is a surprise as Cryx is seen as one of the strongest factions. But they slump to a 34.78% win ratio. Some of the strongest casters, in theory, come in very low. Epic Skarre is 0 for 1, Epic Deneghra is 1 for 3. They can take some consolation from the fact that they are the most popular faction with 23 games played in total.

Regrettably, Khador appear to have replaced Cygnar as the whipping boys of the Iron Kingdom with a win ration of 26.67%. Strakhov fights bravely and manages to go 2 for 2. But some of the remaining casters are starting to look like traitors. Karchev, Prime Butcher, Prime Irusk, Prime Sorcha and Epic Sorcha have a combined record of 0 for 9. The fourth most popular faction with 15 games played.

For more detail on all casters and factions, the full rankings are available here.

Tyranid Primer

The 5th edition Tyranid codex has often been condemned as uncompetitive. As a long-time Nid player, I’d just like to say, yes, yes, it is. But the position is far from hopeless.

The internet is full of codex-wide reviews and plaintive cries of “I want a fluffy assault-focused horde”. I’ll be doing something a little different here. I believe that a tournament-focused Tyranids list is actually rather fluffy. It can rapidly produce a mass of bodies, on par with the Ork horde and its uniformity actually adds to the menace in a way that a fluffier list composed of a hodge-podge of Nid units does not. It’s core tactic is to use the mass of bodies available to gum up the enemy’s lines and hope that something cracks. What could be fluffier?


Playstyle
The Tyranid playstyle is rather different to the standard 40k style. Rather than focusing on assigning firepower to targets, it revolves around attrition, sacrifice and force preservation. The most common decision is not what target to attack but rather what target to block. Individual units are not particularly resilent but the overall force can be.


Army List

There are a limited selection of worthwhile units in the Tyranid codex. Some are first rate units in a third rate codex, others are inherently poor but used out of necessity.

The First Rates
Tervigons
These are the beating heart of a Tyranid force and act as a windvane. Generally, the number of Tervigons left in the field is a strong indicator of the condition of your army. The spawning mechanic and ability to buff gaunt units all make for a potent force multiplier.

Their ability to provide Feel No Pain saves singlehandedly grant the units around them a degree of resilence otherwise lacking.

Hive Guard
Frankly, these would be a solid unit in any codex. High toughness, accurate, a great gun and a good, if situational special rule. The range is a little short, but as the only source of decent anti-mech firepower, these become critical to your success.

Gaunts
This is something of a… lie. They are a first rate unit but only when spawned for free. They provide the bodies to gum up the enemy warmachine.

The Second Rates
Genestealers
Despite their many many failings, amongst them, paper armour and no way of mitigating the effects of cover in assaults; they can, when assisted by Tervigons and moving through cover, advance through fire and really cause difficulties for anyone without major anti-infantry firepower or flamers.

Tyrannofexes
The only decent heavy AT gun you have. It’s accuracy is woeful but it’s happy to duel at range due to the fact that it boasts a 2+ save. As it’s a stand off unit, it can avoid the combat deathstars which chop through your MCs. And as a member of that fraternity, it’ll keep hitting at full power until its very last wound.

The Heartbreakers
Zoanthropes
The Zoanthropes attracted a great deal of attention in the early days of the codex. They have one of the best anti-tank options in the game. But once brought onto the field, it soon falls apart. It’s range is poor but that is not an insurmountable problem. However, it does require a psychic test to activate and its short range effectively forces it into range of the psychic defences which shut it down.

Venomthropes
Very expensive, grants a variety of buffs. Actually quite useful. It directly competes with your Hive Guard though and falls over dead at the first sign of danger. Another false dawn. If it weren’t for the average toughness, this could have had some potential.

Trygons
This suffers from the bane of almost all the Tyranid monsterous creatures. Toughness 6 and a 3+ save protects you from nothing. There are very few heavy weapons that will not wound you on a 2+ and also punch right through your armour. When your intended role forces you to move into range of such weapons, your life is short and rather pointless.

The Rest
Honestly, I could break them down unit by unit but in every case they fall short. They are either less suited to a role than one of the units above or when used in their intended role prove fatally flawed on the battlefield.

Tactics
The main issue you face is the abundance of extremely sub-optimal match-ups. There are those that deny it but the codex simply cannot handle certain builds. Most of the newer codexes can, all other things being equal, swat you like the bugs you are. The staple of the Dark Eldar, the Venom skimmer, is your death. Barring ludicrous luck, you simply cannot defeat a force with more than six. They can simply gun down your shooting units and even your best melee units cannot drag them from the skies in any reasonable time. The Space Wolves have the benefits of many missile launchers which can hack away at support and synapse with ease. This is coupled with the psychic power, Jaws of the World Wolf, which really punishes the poor initative of your few decent units. The Grey Knights can also prove very very dangerous. The psychic power, Cleansing Flame, prevents you from using your numbers to win combats. And the army-wide force weapons neutralises your monsterous creatures. Hammerhand and psybolt ammunition works to counter your high toughness also.

In the special cases mentioned above, you play cautiously, preserve as much as possible and hope for runs of terrible luck on the part of the enemy. But outside of those, your chances are good against a wide range of lists. You the tools to go toe to toe with most codexes.

Onto the happy news, your overall strategy is actually quite interesting. In normal match-ups, you simply apply pressure to your opponent and exploit any errors made. The sheer mass of a Tyranid force can be intimidating. The pressure inflicted by your board control makes the opponent react to multiple threats and forces those errors.

The tactic is universally applicable to all armies but the concept of screening is utterly critical to a Tyranid force. This applies both on the squad and army level. Your backfield assets are vulnerable to any decent assault force and must be screened. Your counter-charging units must be screened until they are thrown into the fray. On the wider battlefield, you have the potential to clog large sections of the board. You can also use bait units in a manner few codexes can. When it comes to shaping the battlespace, the Tyranids excel unless they run out of bodies to throw into your path.

The ability to threaten multiple objectives simultaneously is critical as the Tyranids are quite slow. Your axis of attack can be clearly identified as soon as you start plodding in a particular direction. This means that you must commit your forces correctly at deployment, there will be no real chance to recover.

Overall, the codex retains an non-standard playstyle which has its appeal. A well-designed list has a mass to it which can let you bully through smaller forces. The ability to weather two turns of shooting and come out with a larger force is also deeply amusing, when it happens. Throwing unit after unit of termagaunts into Terminator squads and grinding them down through attrition is extremely satisfying. In essence, if you think you’d like being an Imperial Guard Lord Commander, you’d probably enjoy playing Tyranids.

Report from the Front – Retcon Results

The battle has been fought, and the victors have been found. Congratulations to Mike Tangney, Richard Flood and Jan Karnowski for coming out top of the tables in 3rd, 2nd and 1st places respectively! More details after the break.

The final standings were as follows:

Name Battle Points Victory Points Difference
1. Jan Karnowski 72 2791
2. Richard Floody 72 1693
3. Mike Tangney 71 4081
4. Peter Scott 68 1493
5. Darragh Cullen 68 652
6. Rowan Sheridan 61 2285
7. Chris Britton 61 1306
8. Alec Cornelius 59 396
9. Phil Johnston 50 -2307
10. Alan Condren 49 536
11. Ryan McMullan 49 -639
12. Johnny Fisher 48 1297
13. Anthony Caragianis 44 -1531
14. Adam Colgan 42 457
15. Chris Poulton 41 -1190
16. Ulick O Sullivan 39 -1018
17. Sean Naughton 31 -2022
18. Cormac O Tuairisg 28 -2661
19. Ryan Kirwan 24 -2509
20. Alan Garvey 23 -3110

 Congratulations to all those that participated.

Report from the Front – Retcon Round 3

After being captured, our informant has finally managed to escape and make it back with more information, which you can read after the break.


Round 3 progressed as follows:

Victory Points Battle Points
Jan Karnowski : Alec Cornelius 1010:750 11:9
Johnny Fisher : Peter Scott 1293:858 14:6
Darragh Cullen : Richard Floody 342:1090 4:16
Rowan Sheridan : Chris Britton 1585:520 19:1
Phil Johnston : Sean Naughton 1532:1360 17:3
Chris Poulton : Mike Tangney 576:1207 4:16
Alan Condren : Alan Garvey 1592:810 19:1
Ryan McMullan : Ulick O Sullivan 1311:536 19:1
Ryan Kirwan : Anthony Caragianis 993:591 10:10
Adam Colgan : Cormac O Tuairisg 937:780 10:10

With the standings at the end of the first day looking like this: 

1. Richard Floody 53 2339
2. Jan Karnowski 45 1785
3. Johnny Fisher 44 2075
4. Darragh Cullen 41 751
5. Alec Cornelius 41 671
6. Rowan Sheridan 40 1878
7. Mike Tangney 38 1824
8. Phil Johnston 38 -913
9. Chris Poulton 32 -153
10. Peter Scott 31 158
11. Anthony Caragianis 30 -120
12. Alan Condren 30 -271
13. Ryan McMullan 30 -484
14. Sean Naughton 24 -34
15. Chris Britton 22 -734
16. Ryan Kirwan 22 -932
17. Adam Colgan 12 -1505
18. Alan Garvey 11 -1566
19. Cormac O Tuairisg 10 -3272
20. Ulick O Sullivan 6 -1497

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