Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Change in the Weather

So, last time we talked (or so) I discussed moving away from a Draigowing/Paladin heavy army.

I've since been trying out pretty much a list every week or so trying to find one that I liked and that worked as well as I wanted. 

The problem, you see, is that I really like Paladins, and so I've been pretty determined to keep them in the army. While it may not be the best decision I've made in terms of points efficiency and so on but I really like Paladins and so for the time being, they're in. :)

So, working off the basis of a 5-man Paladin squad it was time to come up with something to go along with them.

Considering the severe lack of long-range firepower is pretty much the entire GK 'dex, I decided to go ahead and add a couple of "psyflemen" dreads. Yeah, I know, they're the darlings of the Internet right now and having played a few games with them, I can understand why. No, they are auto-game-winners or anything but they definitely do fill a role that really nothing else in a "pure" GK list can do, and shoot across the board reliably.

I like units that are useful in all phases of the game -- this is why I like Paladins so much, they're good in every phase of the game. I tried a few games with GKSS but they were fairly useless in CC -- 1 attack pretty much gimps them to the point where you really don't want to get in melee with them, and that's a shame.


Crowe Purifiers.

You have no idea how badly I don't really want to run them, but point-for-point, there's really no substitute for Purifiers, and being able to take them as troops? Yes, please.

Except...well, I can't quite seem to get the hang of using Crowe. Some of my fellow Austinites love him and use him to great effect but I just can't seem to find anything to do with his odd-duck ass. More often than not I was struggling to come up with a use for him, so...well, I'm thinking he's not going to work for me.

So...I tried to cheat the system.

I created an abomination of a list with 2 Grand Masters and minimal 5-man strike squads, Paladins and 3 units of Purifiers...planning on using the Grand Strategy x2 to get scoring Purifiers without paying the "Crowe tax".

In the end, though, after much discussion, I settled on something a bit more reasonable: 2xPurifiers with Rhinos and Psybolt, 2xGKSS, Paladins, 2xPsyfleman and one Grand Master. I figure I can still use Grand Strategy to make Purifiers (or Paladins, or a Dread) scoring if the game type calls for it, otherwise it's probably time to make some scouting Paladins and/or Purifiers...man I love Grand Strategy -- the counter-attack "power up" rocks as well (mmm, Paladins with counter-attack).

The main strength of this list, though, is in the number of boots on the ground, and then number of storm bolters (32) and psycannons (14) it can bring to bear each turn. That's...a whole lot of shooting -- and it works. Well.

I'm concerned about the lack of a Librarian, though, even though I really haven't missed him the last few games I've played without him.

After a few games with the list (and if I make any tweaks) I'll post the list (though it is very simple, really) and let you know how it works out -- hopefully, somewhat near now I want it to. :)

How about you guys? Ever had a unit that you liked so much you just couldn't drop it from a list, even if "conventional wisdom" said it wasn't the "best"? Ever had to tear down an army and start over? How did it work out?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Draigowing Nuts & Bolts

Bryce commented on my last post:


Nice to hear more about a Draigowing, I'm working on 20 paladins, a librarian, a vindicare, and Draigo although he seems lost in the mail.

Any advice?"

My reply:

If you're going to go down the Draigowing road and include a Vindicare, I would say find the points for a Techmarine. He has a couple of  uses: 1. Bolster that ruin and park your Vindi in it for a tasty 2+ cover save. 2. Grenade caddy -- though if you use him for this (and you should), make sure you pony up the points to give him a warding stave, it's the only way to give him an invul save, even though it's only there in CC the warding stave gives him a shot at surviving power weapon/high strength attacks (and he WILL be singled out if you don't hide him, your opponents will HATE those grenades). I've run a Techmarine with a paladin squad and done some tests with running him with a DCA/Crusader squad and the grenades really help and the invul keeps him alive. If you do run him, though, keep in mind the Techmarine can NOT deep strike, so you can't use that as your delivery method for the unit he's attached to.

Other than that, keep in mind that Draigowing is the most elite of the elite armies, you have to REALLY know your stuff to squeeze every point of effectiveness/efficiency out of it to win games. Consider a Land Raider or Stormraven to get them into CC (which is where they really shine) but choose every assault carefully. Avoid TH/SS terminator units because you'll struggle against them, soften them up with a few rounds of psycannon/storm bolter lovin' before assault. Definitely kit each one out individually because you'll need the wound allocation shenanigans to keep them alive longer. Always take a Brotherhood Banner, the extra attacks REALLY help. Also, remember if your pallies don't cast hammerhand that turn (the libby and/or Draigo and/or Techmarine can do that for you) you can use the BB's auto-activate force weapons ability to shorten those rounds of combat versus pesky multi-wound enemies (ork nobs, I'm looking at you). 

If at all possible, use the Vindi to snipe out rune priests, Njal, librarians, etc. -- anything that hampers your ability to cast psychic powers.  While they aren't required for GK to perform (strictly speaking) they definitely make things easier, and with Draigowing, you have to use every trick in the book to make it work. It goes without saying that if you play against Eldar and they have Runes of Warding...well, it's going to suck, and suck hard, and there's no getting around it. However, if you can mange to drop the Farseer with a lucky Vindi shot or chop him up into tasty elven chum in assault, you're in business. Unless you're playing footdar, though, most of the time the Farseer will be safely hidden away in a transport. If you can crack that open, yay, if you can't...well, continue the game minus psychic powers. Psychic powers are great buffs, but (as I mentioned), they aren't necessary.

Remember what I said about a delivery system? Here's the downside: you lose valuable rounds of shooting while embarked. And paladins with psybolts and 2 (or 4, if you're taking a full-size unit) psycannons is a punishing volume of fire. You need it. Maybe think about taking a full-size unit and combat squad them into two units, one with 4 pyscannons and a storm bolter as a firebase, the other all storm bolters. Attach a libby, Draigo and the Techmarine to this unit, embark in a LRC and head off to beat face while the other combat squads shoots, shoots, shoots to victory.

One thing I feel I should warn you about, though. Draigowing is a very unforgiving army. You just don't have the bodies to absorb wounds that any mistakes you might make will cause. You need every model in the army doing everything it can every turn or you'll quickly find yourself in trouble.

If you're looking for some other advice from other (probably much more capable players), I would suggest Black Blow Fly's Terminus Est blog (love that name, being a fan of Gene Wolff). He's been running Draigowing for a while and presents some solid ideas/advice. I got the idea of running combat-squadded paladins split along CC/shooting roles from him.

Finally, I can hear what some of you are thinking (OK, not really, as that would make me some kind of mutant), but I can imagine what some of you are thinking: "Joe, just last post you said you were giving up on Draigowing because you couldn't make it work. What gives with you passing out advice on how to use it?" That's a great question, thank you for asking. Yes, you're right, I decided that I couldn't make it work, specifically in a competitive environment. But I also said that I don't think it's an issue with the list itself, rather, my skill as a player -- all I'm doing here is relating my experiences with a Draigowing list, and hoping that Bryce (or anyone else) can build upon my experiences and hopefully do something great.

I love the concept of Draigowing -- Paladins are everything I think terminators should be (well, actually, they aren't, I think they should be at least T5, but that's a pipe dream). I do plan on re-visiting them after getting better at 40K in general. The list is too unforgiving for the number of mistakes I make in an average game. 

Good luck, Bryce. I hope you can take Draigowing to the next level!

What do you think, guys? Have you ever had a concept for an army list that you just loved, but couldn't quite make it work? Did you stick with it, or did you move on to something else? Ever re-visit a list concept? How did it go if you did?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thinking About How I Play

So, after the debacle that was 'aaaaard Boyzzz, I've been giving some serious thought to how I play.

I made some pretty serious mistakes that cost me games, or (at the very least) hamstrung my efforts at winning.

Here's a prime example: In game 1, I had a unit of paladins fail a leadership test and scamper (remember my rule about doing well with paladins, "Don't roll 1's"? Well, I rolled a couple of 1's at a very inopportune time, and followed it up with a 5 and 6 on the leadership test...don't you just love those special moments?). In and of itself, that's not so bad. I was only down a couple of guys, and still had 2 psycannons.

I forgot that you can shoot while falling back.

I even commented on it, and my opponent said nothing to correct me -- and that's not his fault, it's a tournament, and it's not my opponent's job to know the rules for me. No, I blame myself.

But by losing that unit's shooting, a good part of my offensive capability was simply not present...but it should have been, and would have been had I known the rules. Would that have turned my loss into a win? Maybe, maybe not. But the fact remains that I blew it because I didn't know the rules.

Second huge mistake: I parked a Land Raider in a place that allowed my opponent to get into position to block enough of my exits that could have lost me the unit should it have gotten wrecked. As it was, I was thinking I would disembark and move to the rear (which was open) all in one move. Faulty thinking? Not remembering/realizing that disembarking and the following movement are two separate moves. As it turned out, I had to sacrifice a unit of terminators to "speed bump" a unit of Logan and his drinking buddies to try for another turn of getting Fortitude off so I could move the LR. Granted, I shouldn't have allowed myself to put the LR in such a situation in the first place, but I didn't think enough about what my opponent was going to do before I did it. So in reality, it's one mistake setting up and then compounding a second one.

Third mistake: I totally forgot to use The Grand Strategy until the start of game 3. My paladins should have had counter-attack, but didn't, because I didn't think about using the ability. Total FAIL! on my part.

What I'm getting at is that my mistakes impair my army's performance and ultimately cost me games -- and I keep making them.

So...I've been thinking about what to do about this.

First thing, I need to play more games. The more I play, the more rules I will be familiar with and the less mistakes I will make that are rules-knowledge-related.

Second, I've actually been thinking of making myself a "cheat sheet" of things I need to remember while I'm playing until those things are drilled into my head and become second nature. 

Third, I think I'm going to have to let go of the idea of pure Draigowing being a "great" army (at least for me). It just doesn't capitalize well enough on the inherent shooting strength of the GK army. I think I can get by with just one unit of them as a death star and fill out the rest of the army with either PAGKs or purifiers to dish out a lot more tasty firepower that isn't as susceptible to losing a guy or two and having it hurt the overall strength of the army so much. The sad truth is I'm not a good enough player to make Draigowing work yet. I'm not saying I won't re-visit the concept later, but it's time to move on and try some other things.

What do you guys think? How do you train yourself out of making game-costing mistakes? Have you ever made a cheat-sheet? How about any advice on remembering everything you need to know while playing a game?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

'Aaaaard Boyzzz

So, I'm signed up.

I'm playing a dual Land Raider Draigowing.

We'll see how it goes. :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Welcome Caldera!

My good friend Caldera has started a new blog and is already dishing out some good content. Check him out and give him a follow!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Friday, July 8, 2011


WARgamescon in full effect, first team game down, won by 2 points...more to come later.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I call it Post-Tournament Malaise. You know, that feeling you get after playing in a tournament -- win or lose, place or not, the next day is a little...blah...for me.

Maybe it's because I had to stay up late getting models in my list ready. Maybe it's the same as spending a whole day doing something you love, and the next day is just not quite as fun.

I love playing in our local tournaments. I learned a few new things that I will definitely be sharing. But mainly, I had a blast playing 40K all day.

Next up for me is a tournament in Killeen, Texas, and after that, WargamesCON.

Nuts. Looks like I have plenty of painting to do...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Citadel Finecast: You Be The Judge

With all the hubbub about Citadel Finecast, I thought I would present these photos for you to be the judge of "hot or not".

I found myself in need of a new Terminator Librarian (as my metal one has gone missing). So, with the arrival of Finecast, I thought I'd get one and check it out. My FLGS was nice enough to hold a new Terminator Libby for me and I picked it up today.

I took these pics with my phone's camera, which is pretty decent, but not fantastic or anything.

So, without further ado, here's the "unboxing" pics:

If you'd just like to see the Picasa album (and much higher-res pics), here it is.

So...what do you guys think?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Draigowing - Now with Extra Support!

So I've been thinking about Draigowing with Paladins. Yes, Paladins cost a LOT, but I think they're worth it. The biggest issue with them is they need long-range support, and something to pop tanks from a distance (so they can get at the chewy stuff in the transports, mainly).

Granted, in the modern Grey Knights codex that means "Psyflemen" dreads. I just happened to get lucky and score a ForgeWorld dread body from a friend the other night, and I ordered the auto-cannon arms Sunday. Of course, if I make this list permanent, I'm going to be ordering another dread and auto-cannon arms, but that's OK. I figure if this list works out I can get more resin-y goodness to make the appropriate dread model (I could even use a -- gasp! -- standard dread model instead of a ForgeWorld one and just order the right arms). The really good news about this list is the only other model I need to purchase is (another) Librarian in Terminator armor (as I can't seem to find my metal one). I've got one of the new FineCast ones pre-ordered at the FLGS so we'll see how that works out. I have realistic hopes that it'll at least look good, I don't know how I feel about the whole FineCast thing yet, but I figure I need the model anyway, might as well give it a shot. Right? Right.

Anyway, this list:

HQ: Lord Kaldor Draigo (1#, 275 pts)

Troops: Paladin Squad (5#, 340 pts)
1 Paladin Nemesis Force Sword; Psycannon
1 Paladin Nemesis Force Halberd; Psycannon
1 Paladin Nemesis Daemonhammer; Storm Bolter
1 Paladin Brotherhood Banner; Storm Bolter
1 Paladin Nemesis Force Halberd; Storm Bolter

HQ: Librarian (1#, 180 pts)
Nemesis Force Sword; Storm Bolter
Hammerhand; Might of Titan; Quicksilver; Sanctuary; The Shrouding; The Summoning; Warp Rift

Elite: Techmarine (1#, 133 pts)
Blind Grenades; Rad Grenades; Storm Bolter; Nemesis Warding Stave; Servo Harness

Troops: Paladin Squad (10#, 655 pts)
2 Paladin Nemesis Force Sword; Psycannon
2 Paladin Nemesis Force Halberd; Psycannon
2 Paladin Nemesis Daemonhammer; Storm Bolter
1 Paladin Nemesis Brotherhood Banner; Storm Bolter
1 Paladin Nemesis Force Sword; Storm Bolter
2 Paladin Nemesis Force Halberd; Storm Bolter

Elite: Vindicare Assassin (1#, 145 pts)

Heavy Support: Psyfleman Dread (1#, 135 pts)

Heavy Support: Psyfleman Dread (1#, 135 pts)

...total of 1998 points. Yay.

Here's the plan:

Techmarine will bolster terrain, and the Vindicare will hide out there, with Stealth that'll give him a tasty 2+ cover save. I can live with that. The dreads will hang out near him. I have the big 10-dude Pallie squad as it's the only way I could give all my Pallies a BB, if I *need* to I can combat-squad them and have the Techmarine hop in with them, letting his Rad Grenade dispenser hopefully make up for the lack of +1 attacks they won't be getting from the BB (at least a little bit). Either way it gives me options and that's a good thing. I can DS Draigo and his squad (or another unit of Pallies, taking advantage of Draigo's Psychic Communion) if I really need to get across the board without hoofing it. Lastly -- and I'm pretty sure this'll work, but I don't have my codex here with me at work -- I can use The Summoning to yank the Vindicare out of harm's way should something assaulty get too close.

What do you guys think?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Paladins: Totally Worth It

Actually, to get an idea of how I say it, you have to imagine me with a big ol' grin giving two thumbs up and saying, "Paladins: Totally worth it."

(BTW: This pic is of my WIP Draigo-led unit of Paladins in my "Draigo's All-Stars" list that I used in
this past weekend's team tournament.)

So, I played my Draigo's All-Stars list over the weekend in a tournament, partnered with CrazyRedPraetorian's IG. I have learned a few things about Paladins, and I thought I'd share:

The volume of fire a squad of 7 with 2 psycannons puts out is amazing for such a (relatively) small unit. 8 psycannon shots a turn makes things die.

Librarian + Paladins with Brotherhood Banner = Hammerhand + Might of Titan + Quicksilver = everything you charge in CC dies like a squealing pig before it gets to swing back. Well, almost everything. That's why you have a Paladin with a Daemonhammer for mop-up.

The Apothecary upgrade isn't really worth it. As I'm sure has been discussed, what kills Paladins dead isn't small arms fire, it's anti-tank weapons that you don't get FnP rolls on anyway. The few times I had a Paladin actually die it was to either AT weapons or a DH. The few times I got to make a FnP roll, it usually didn't help (I made exactly 1 out of 5). Yes, that was bad luck on my part, but the fact remains that FnP only has a 50% chance of working in the first place, and you don't get to use it that often with Paladins. Therefore those 75 points are more than likely better spent elsewhere (on more Paladins, I think).

Did I mention that anti-tank weapons make Paladins cry? They do.

Wound Allocation Shenanigans (WAS) with Paladins make th
em very, very hard to kill.

Mixing in a few NFSs with NFHs lets you spread those CC power weapon wounds around with a 16.67% better chance of making your invulnerable save. Since you have to do it that way for WAS anyway, make the most of it.

I'm still undecided on the Brotherhood Banner. Yes, it does give all your Paladins an extra attack, but it does remove an NFx from the squad. I can't decide if it's worth it, or not. I'm going to have to play some more games with it and see. The BB's other ability -- auto-passing the NFx activation -- would have been perfect had I not already used Hammerhand that round of CC. That's my fault, and not some flaw in the BB, so I'll need to be more judicious in my use of Hammerhand in those times when it would be more useful to have force weapons insta-gank multi-wound mo
dels (I'm looking at you, Ork Nob units). Sure, S6 > S5, but not having to deal with someone else's WAS with multi-wound models would be >S6 since you can't get S8 without a DH. Did I mention you really need a DH? Yes, you do. Don't leave the battle-barge without at least one.

The only unit that gave my Paladins issues was...another unit of Paladins, all set up for WAS and including a Warding Stave. Sometimes that 2++ really helps ("Just die, damn you, just die!").

Paladins can and will fail leadership tests when your dice have decided they're done for the day and want to go home.

"Deep striking is for suckers," that's my motto. But if you really need to do it with Paladins, well, they're pretty good at surviving the hailstorm of incoming fire they're going to get. Regardless, I got lucky on both my reserve rolls and DS rolls (hit once, scattered 3 the other). I still think DS is too iffy, though, especially when your Psychic Communion generator (Draigo) is Deep Striking, too. IMHO too many things can go wrong and therefore, I stand by my motto, even though sometimes you just gotta be a sucker. "No balls, no babies," as CRP would say.

Don't roll ones. Just don't. Your Paladins don't like ones. However, the first one isn't usually a big deal. Unless, of course, you're making a save against a krak missile
hit. It goes without saying that rolling a second one on the same Paladin is absolutely verboten.

Njal Stormcaller makes your Paladins sad. When you see him across the table, know in your silver-armored heart that He. Must. Die. (And the sooner, the better.)

Paladins assaulting Njal Stormcaller and his boys makes Njal cry hot wolfy tears. Psyk-out grenades are fun when you're the one using them.

Other units of Paladins will make you sad, especially when they get the charge on you. Psyk-out grenades are no fun when used against you.

If you're going to use Grand Strategy to give Paladins an extra ability, counter-charge is good -- especially if you have a BB. Getting 4 attacks when charged (and more than likely going first) helps quite a bit. It will also make your opponent think twice about charging in -- which hopefully results in another round of tasty, tasty shooting from your Paladins before you charge in and wreck shop. I'll have to experiment with the "gains Scouts" ability and see how that works out, but it's not like you're going to get close enough to get into CC on round one anyway...

Frag grenades on terminators, such a pleasant surprise (well, for you, anyway...). "Don't hide from Paladins in difficult terrain, you'll just die covered in debris."

Lastly, expect to see things like this a lot when you play GK (and Paladins as troops in particular):

...in short: Paladins: Always outnumbered, never outgunned.

Oh, how'd we do in the tournament? Made it to Table 2, and lost by 2 KP to a GK/SW team, which cost us placing. Remember what I said about another unit of Paladins? A-yep, that's what did it to me (well, I didn't lose the unit, but they lost CC due to number of wounds caused vs. taken, and then failed the morale check with effin' boxcars...). A dreadnaught drop-podding into our IG-filled backfield didn't help. Every game was fun, though -- we definitely had a good time.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Draigo's All-Stars

I'm putting together a list for a 1500 points (each) team tournament next weekend, and I came up with this. I don't know if I'll run it, but damn, it seems like a fun little exercise nevertheless...

Lord Kaldor Draigo 275 275

Librarian 150 175

Might of Titan


The Shrouding

The Summoning

Paladins x7 385 525

Psycannon x2

Brotherhood Banner
DH, halberds x4, NFS on Apothecary

Paladins x7 385 525

Psycannon x2

Brotherhood Banner

DH, halberds x4, NFS
on Apothecary

Total Cost: 1500 points on the nose.

Basic plan?
  1. Use Draigo to give counter-charge to (hopefully) both pally units
  2. Libby with one pally squad, Draigo with the other
  3. Keep units close so they can both suck up that Shrouding magic
  4. Pick things I want to die
  5. Move towards those things, and shoot shoot shoot on the way
  6. Assault those things and watch them die quick painful deaths
My teammate is going to run either IG or Wolves, either of which can pick up the slack caused by the holes that this list has (and yes, it has many).

What do you guys think?

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's like...

...plastic Christmas.

The new Grey Knights terminator box, that is.

It is stuffed full of all sorts of little prizes, and dripping with exquisite little details!

And since when did GW actually include actual INSTRUCTIONS in their kits? Real live, readable, USEFUL instructions? You know, the kind that actually TELL you what all the parts are, what all the options are....heck, what all those little extra doodads are? It almost brings a tear to this old geek's eye. :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oh wow...just....wow!

This document that was uploaded to Blood of Kitten's "Rumors, Sweet Little Rumors" section REALLY makes me happy.

Happier, even, than the entire GK codex.

Because as cool at GK are, I love SoB even more.

GW is finding new and exciting ways to siphon money out of my wallet this year...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Bag of Happiness...

So, the GK black boxes are popping up, and as reported all over the place the rumor-mill can grind to a halt.

Best source I've seen in HERO's blog post, go there and check it out.

Also, the demand to see these must be very high, the GW website has been down for the last hour. :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Video Battle Report up on BoLS

I played a game with CrazyRedPraetorian and we made a video battle report from it. It's up on BoLS if you'd like to see proof that I actually do play the game. :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Latest GK Rumors Reaction: Definitely Aroused

So, unless you've been under a rock lately you've seen some of the latest GK rumors. Paladins, Purifiers and Strike Squads, oh my! Even the base PAGK is going to seriously rock...and I can't wait. Suck it, vampires and roll over, wolves, it looks like the new kids on the block are going to be fantastic.

And I can't wait.

Why? Because I actually own the old DH codex, and was going to start an army of them until I heard the new book was coming out and decided to wait. Man...I wish I'd gotten a head start back then, because I'm really looking forward to these guys.

One of the things I'm looking forward to is using the Vindicare assassin to find those pesky rune priests with runic weapons and feeding him some long range snipery death so it's hammer...make that HAMMERHANDS time all around. It's going to be good to give some pups a little well-deserved comeuppance.

The question I have is, will having storm bolters/NFW (no matter what the flavor, though I'm thinking NFHalbreds for that special +1I love) make up for not having Counter-Charge (like the wolves do)?

Also: PALADINS. Now these guys are what Terminators should be. WS5 2W with an apothecary for that oh-so-special FNP...plus the ability for each model to take Nemesis Warding Staves for a 2++ Invulnerable Save...good grief I just had a nerdgasm. Granted, you'll be paying out the ass for them, but hey, don't they just sound like fun? Let me answer that for you: YES. :)

We won't even get in to the DreadKnight. I can't decide if I love or hate the model from the blur-a-riffic pics we have of the model, but the stats make me all tingly. 4W MC? Yes, please!

What's your favorite rumored GK tidbit? I have so many I don't think I can count them all. :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Back in the Game!

I heard you missed me, I'm back. :)

After several months of being out of the game (literally) I'm back for the attack, baby.

In fact, I played in my first tournament in over a year over this past weekend and didn't win, but made it to table 3...which is where things came off the rails a little bit.

My friend The Dude put up a post about this game, and I thought I'd link to it as proof that I'm actually playing again (and to let you know how things went downhill for me pretty quick in this game).

Anyway...it's good to be back.

Coming up: The much ado'd, but never seen Star Phantoms pic. Really. I promise.