Friday, June 10, 2011

Talkin' Tactics #3-Stormraven vs. Land Raider

One opponent stares at the dice as it rolls across the board. He is going to deploy first. But, what does his opponent have? What should he prepare for? Is it going to be a goliath on the battlefield, barreling at his line with a slow and steady purpose, or is it gonna be a quick and swift skimmer with the stinging power of the mightiest of weapons? If it is one of these, which should he fear more?

After discussing both the pros and cons to fielding a Stormraven and a Land Raider, I figured it was time to compare them directly to one another. Both vehicles have definite strengths and weaknesses that I have already discussed in greater detail in earlier posts. Here I will examine how those strengths and weaknesses compare to one another and try and give a better situational understanding of when and where these two beasts shine, and how they might stack up against one another. By now, many of us have played with or against a Land Raider and a Stormraven. I myself used to use a basic Land Raider in my 3rd edition Grey Knights army, but soon dropped it for the tactical flexibility of three dreadnoughts. After the new codex came out, I absolutely loved the tactical capabilities of a Stormraven, and how they can add so much variety of play and create unusual situations for both the enemy and myself. The Stormraven at its basic form is cheaper than the Land Raider of any variant, but lacks the awesome firepower that the latter can wield. The basic Stormraven comes equipped with a twin linked assault cannon and heavy bolter, with the upgrade capabilities of replacing the assault cannon with a lascannon and the heavy bolter with a multi-melta for free. Replacing either one of these will give the Stormraven more tank hunting ability, making the vehicle more deadly towards mech heavy lists. The Stormraven can add side sponson hurricane bolters for 30pts and can even replace the heavy bolter with a typhoon missile launcher. The different weapons payload can make the Stormraven more versatile, as you can field them in almost any situation and find it useful. The Land Raider variants tend to be more expensive than the Stormraven, but have a heavier payload without having to add weapons onto the vehicle. The Land Raider variants are not as customizable as the Stormraven, leaving you with specific fixed weapon variants. Now, the customizability of the Stormraven does not mean it is a better vehicle, it just means that you can tailor the skimmer to fit almost any situation where you want it to be effective.

Monday, June 6, 2011

"Get Skinny!!!!"- The Importance of Terrain

So, after an extended weekend that included 7 games (6 wins and 1 loss if anyone cares.. damn space lizards...), I decided that its time to mention something that is so pivotal to the battlefield of Warhammer 40k, yet most of us completely forget to appreciate it for making the game fun and interesting. If the title didnt give it away, then I guess I will inform the uninformed. Its Terrain!

So how can something be so asthetically pleasing yet be such a pain in the backside at the very same moment? Well, it has to come with the fact that terrain, like in real life, changes and intensifies the battlefield in so many different ways, providing much needed cover, while still denying line of sight and free movement all at once. So why have terrain on the battlefield? If its such a bother, then why have it in the game? These answers, like many others that involve this game, come from real life battlefield conditions and scenarios. Every battlefield is going to have terrain on it. Wars are hardly fought on flat surfaces with nothing in the way of the opposing forces. Especially in modern (and post-modern/futuristic) style battlefields, wars are fought in cities, forrests, jungles, mountains, etc. All of the aforementioned places have objects that troops can hide behind, as well as things that can deflect or deter optimal line of sight and ammunition effectiveness. Terrain can be both a positive and a negative, and should never be overlooked. It can clearly change how the game is played, and WILL add both fun and frustration to any part of the game.

Feast Of Blades 2011

For all the Denver gamers out there, it is time again for the Feast of Blades Qualifiers. I did not get to play last year but I am going to give it my all this year. I believe most of The Forgotten Chapter will be playing this year, although seeing how our "home store" has since closed (RIP Freddy's) we are currently looking for a new store to call home and hopefully contend in the FoB going forward.

Anyway, onto the main reason for this post. Here is my initial Feast of Blades Salamanders list. All C&C are welcome. I played the Dusk Raiders primer mission with this list against RollTheDice's Stormraven Grey Knights and managed to pull of a minor victory against him (2-1).