Monday, July 21, 2008

Wherein I Crash the Storm Shield Party and Interject Some Sobering Thoughts

I originally posted a form of these thoughts on Bolter & Chainsword in the New Codex: Space Marines, It's going to be huge thread.

Basically, there's a persistent rumor that Storm Shields are going to confer a 3+ Invulnerable Save (sometimes written as "3++"). Supposedly, this rumor has been confirmed as true from multiple sources, but I'm still a little skeptical.

Regardless, I wanted to interject these thoughts:

OK, so I have a box of assault termies and I was SO looking forward to giving them all lightning claws, joining a TDA chaplain to them and on the charge playing "suck on this". Looks like NOW, though, there's an important decision to be I want a CC wrecking crew that can shred pretty much any unit I need it to (can you say Point. Click. Die.?) OR do I want to mix-and-match in some SS/TH termies OR do I want to build a very slow (I1...*sigh*) but VERY durable SS/TH-only squad?

I think it's time for some magnetized arms, myself.

Oh...and while I'm all about a 2+/3++ configuration for termies myself (I think they should all be that way, if they're going to come even somewhat close to matching the fluff) I do want to point something out (even though it's going to sound like I'm parade-raining): that damnable single pip, AKA the 1, has a nasty habit of popping up when you have to roll a handful of dice in response to, oh, say, massed gunfire or Khorne Berzerkers in CC. As sexy as 2+/3++ sounds, Tau/IG/Bladestorm-ed Dire Avenger gunlines will force enough saves for a 1 or 2 to pop up more often than you'd like (which is NEVER, am I right? :) ) and if there's only 5 in a unit...well, even one 1 is one too many. Same goes for Harlequins/Berzerkers/Chosen with a pile of PFs. I know I'd love to think 3++ is great -- oh, and it IS, make no mistake -- but it's not invulnerability. Remember this: every time you have pulled a marine off the board and put him back in the tray -- if you even got to roll beforehand -- you rolled a 1 or a 2.

Sorry for the sobering thoughts...but we're partying like we've been passed out 1+/1++ saves...and we haven't.

Personally, while I hate, hate, hate "the fluff argument" (even though I somewhat ventured into this territory above) I think termies should be 2+/3++, T5 with accordance with the fluff. They would then cost 75 points, but I'd pay it, and it might even make me stop preaching that holofields should cost 1,000 points (which they should -- I'm looking at you, tri-Falcon list).

The point I was trying to make is that while 2+/3++ SOUNDS really, really good, it ISN'T invulnerability. It's a damn sight better than 2+/5++, and it will definitely come in handy for those times when you REALLY need an invulnerable save, but without some kind of re-roll-ability (which, come to think of it, with the new FNP rules, wouldn't help for anything you'd need to roll an invulnerable save against anyway) it's really not all that great.

Consider this: Tactical Dreadnought Armor is supposed to be impervious to small-arms fire. However, more often than not, it's massed small-arms fire that usually kills my termies. If you have to make a pile of save rolls, I can promise you that you're going to get a 1, and there you go: dead terminator, at the hands of small-arms fire. I know that game balance demands this, but it doesn't mean I have to like it.

While we're on the subject, I'd like all penetrating hits against a Land Raider to be downgraded to glances, a BS10 Vindicator with 60" range, and a rending pony. :)


  1. That's crazy talk... you can't have a rending pony...

    I can agree with pretty much everything you said. I feel if anything the decision was/will be made in order to force more thought in the selection process. I personally run a mix of Lightning Claws and Thunder Hammers/Storm Shield termies (with a chaplain of course... have you ever considered sacrificing his crozius and giving him lighting claw too... evil). I feel like it gives them a bit more flexibility and I just like the idea of different marines being experts with different deadly weapons. That and Thunder Hammer just sounds kewl!

  2. Yeah, I know, but a guy can dream, can't he? :)

    I thinking a LC/SS terminator might be the best "middle ground" solution. Sure, you get one less attack with that configuration (which you're going to get with TH/SS config) but at least you'd be striking at initiative. Toss in that chaplain (and yes, I've thought about giving the chaplain LCs, but decided that just wouldn't be right, you know?) and you've got a pretty decent CC wrecking crew...

  3. Would the rending pony have a 3++ or a 5++?

    Just curious.

    I see what you mean though, people are acting it's the next best thing since sliced bread. Like it's the only reason they've been holding back from building that all TH/SS army of doom.

  4. @ronsaikowski: The Rending Pony has T10, FNP, and 2+/2++. What REALLY makes it special, though, is the Rending Pony Weapon (RPW), with is S10, Twin-Linked Assault 4 Large Blast. Of course, it has BS10 and the "Rending Pony Owns You" special rule, which allows you to re-roll any to-wound rolls until you roll a 6 on each one. In close combat, the Rending Pony Strikes at I8 and has 9 base attacks. Furthermore, it has the Preferred Enemy USR. Of course, the RPW acts as two CCWs and the RPOY rule is also in effect.

    The Rending Pony counts as 1 HQ and 2 Troops slots by itself.

    The only real problem is the cost: 2001 points.


  5. Now that's funny.

    That's all good and well but am I going to need to build this model or is one available to buy?

    I would hate to see this little beauty go the way of the drop pod and see so many problems just because there is no "Official" model.

  6. Unfortunately, there's no official model, it's scratch-build only.

    GW once mentioned "plans" to make this model, but claimed they were unable to secure enough "Unobtanium" to make the master. Who knew?

    However, there was supposedly one picture of a WIP Rending Pony in Codex: Ridiculousness. Too bad it's out of print, and there were only 10 made in the first (and only) print run. :)

  7. Unobtanium... I have to get me some of that!

    I once saw a guy with a converted Rending Pony take out three Greater Daemons of Bulshitz in one battle... it was a sight to behold! I think Ron or someone with some talent needs to make a data sheet for the rending pony. I'm thinking of using the dwarven pony from the Fantasy Battle set to convert my own. I guess I could just have it towing a cart with the turret from my Macharius Vulcan Mega Bolter tank in it?

  8. I said,

    "I think Ron or someone with some talent needs to make a data sheet for the rending pony."

    I meant that Ron HAS a lot of talent. I should have said, "... Ron or someoneelse with some talent..." I noticed that it could be taken otherwise when I reread it.

  9. I just realized I mis-spelled Unobtainium. Maybe that's why it's so hard to find...?

    @seemyinnergeek: I agree, Ron definitely has talent, and that's the way I took what you said. You didn't happen to get any pictures of that converted Rending Pony, did you? I'd love to see some actual photos of one in play! Also, if you're going to have it towing the VMB, you've got to be playing Apocalypse, right? Considering the cost of the Rending Pony itself...

  10. @Joe
    Here is the way I see it. If someone wanted to play me in a 2000 point game of 40k and they needed to go one point over, I'd be cool with that. So, since the Rending Pony is one HQ and two troops choices by itself and comes in at 2001 points, I think I'm good in a game of regular 40k... But I'd also take it in Apoc games too.

  11. I might be able to get ahold of the near mythical pony and said data sheet.

    It will take me a day or so but let me see what I can do guys.