Good evening Death or Glory blog readers! My name’s Chris, and I’ve found myself as the latest addition to this band of merry gents. In this post I’ll be talking about my first few steps in returning to 40k.
Almost four years ago I ended my eight year addiction to the hobby and took a break to move away to university. I’d known the Death or Glory guys for a short time before leaving the hobby, so having found their blog it was my first port of call when I decided it was time to come crawling back. I signed up for the tournament, and thus began my grand plans to return triumphantly to the game. As those of you who attended the tournament will know, I fell somewhat short of the mark, but had a fantastic weekend nonetheless.
I came away from the tournament with a number of things – a hangover, a wooden spoon, some new dice, two trophies*, and a reminder of why I returned to this tremendous hobby. Having not managed to get my own army sorted, I was borrowing Ru’s Guard/Space Wolves list. Whilst this list was originally built for 5th ed, I am confident it would still work well in 6th had I known what I was doing (this is my disclaimer in case I ever need to borrow Ru’s stuff again...)
However, in preparation for my next tournament (Woking Weird Boyz at the end of Sept), it is time to put into practise everything I learned from last weekend and start my own army once again, onwards and upwards! I am approaching this list with the major changes to the rules in 6th edition in mind, and with what I found to be my major weaknesses last weekend (besides a sore head on Sunday). Having only just returned, I missed the transition period from 5th to 6th, so some of the things I’ve noticed will seem obvious; but when you’re trying to play with a 5th ed mindset they resonate rather significantly!
The three biggest changes I identified were:
2) Wound allocation
3) Hull points
These aspects of the game have completely changed the dynamics of play and the priorities in successful list selection. Obviously there are many others (allies, psychic powers etc.) but these are the ones I felt the effects of most. Beginning with number 2 (obviously), this is something I got burned on very early in my first game, and I gradually learned to pay more and more attention to model placement over the weekend. This isn’t really something that’ll affect my list selection - so long as I remember to be mindful of who’s standing where - but it certainly has enough of an impact on my general approach to 6th to make it worthy of note!
Flyers... well, I probably don’t need to say much more. I will definitely be looking to include them – and be mindful of them in other’s lists when selecting wargear.
Hull points are, in my opinion, a valuable addition to the rules. The ability to glance tanks to death has lead to so much more variation in lists from what I’ve seen (as opposed to ALL the tanks and melta) and this is definitely a good thing. However, because this has reduced the necessity for high strength weapons (str7 appears to be the sweet spot right now), AV14 is still a force to be reckoned with, and is something I will be looking to take advantage of.
So, other than not knowing these pretty essential rules, where did it all go wrong? For the most part, I was simply outplayed by 5 guys who knew the rules, knew their armies, and probably knew my army better than I did. I can live with that. I also made quite a few tactical errors which I will attribute to being rusty after four years out. However, the army I used also included a few elements which I wouldn’t normally include in a list, simply because they’ve never (and probably never will) suit my chosen style of play:
1) Expendable troops. I’ve always tried to avoid cheap troops which can die easily – particularly to template weapons and close combat. Whilst I recognise their value, I just hate taking swarms of miniatures off the table (unless of course they’re my opponents’...)
2) Lack of hard-hitting combat unit. Whilst the Grey Hunters could hold their own in combat, they’re not the kind of points-dump deathstar unit I came to know and love in 5th.
3) Lack of AV14. I just like tanks that are hard to shift. They make me smile.
Of course, none of these things make a ‘bad’ army – indeed, I’m sure the right player would still win tournaments with it, but based on my preferred style of play, combined with my interpretation of 6th, these are things I’ll look to change when it comes to my own list.
So, with all this in mind, it’s time to start coming up with a list. I have settled on Blood Angels, for a few reasons: firstly, the Land Raiders to fill that empty AV14 hole I felt last weekend; secondly because I’ve never used them before; and thirdly because I haven’t painted anything red since my cheesy Khorne list of ’08!
I’m working this towards 1650 currently (for the Woking tournament), but with a mind for how I’d extend it to 1750 and 1850.
Here’s how it is so far...
Terminator Assault Squad
Thunder hammer/storm shields
[Transport] Land Raider Crusader
[Transport] Land Raider
[Transport] Land Raider
This puts me at 1645, and I feel accomplishes what I want it to – it’s got a flyer, plenty of AV14 , and with the Librarian, Corbulo and the Terminators teaming up in the Crusader there’s a nice combat element to it. At more points I’ll look to increase damage output (Vindicator perhaps), unless I find I need more troops (which I almost certainly do).
Let me know your thoughts!
*My trophies were for ‘moment of the weekend’ (for my Saturday night antics) and ‘most sporting opponent’ (for general nice guy-ery and not crying when I got tabled 5 times).