Monday, 19 February 2018

ADEPTUS CUSTODES: IS HE STILL INTRODUCING HIIMSELF?


I don't care what anyone says, they don't look any scarier than any other Space Marine Chapter, but here we are, taking a look at the Adeptus Custodes and all their shiny golden glory.  I wonder how late I'm gonna be with this one...

So, being a sort of new force to the 40K universe, at least as a playable army, here is a quick rundown as to what these dudes are.  They are the personal bodyguards to the Emperor himself.  At no time in history has the Emperor ever been seen without one of these golden armoured warriors by his side, which means that they are more immortal than Space Marines.  While Space Marines are made using the genetic make up of their Primarch, the Custodes are made using a similar process using the genetic make up of the Emperor himself.  So if we were going to make a list of most powerful superhumans it would go the Emperor, the Primarchs, the Custodes, then Space Marines.

So my thoughts on the matter, which are going to go off on a tangent a little, is that the Emperor made each of the Primarchs using an emotion or characteristic of himself.  Angron is rage, Guilliman is duty and honour, Lorgar is his piety, and so the Space Marines from each Primarch is just as corruptible as his gene father.  The same situation goes for the Custodes except they are a full representation of the Emperor in miniature form, which makes them incorruptible.  There, we dealt with that, which might shed a little light as to why each of these guys makes a Space Marine look like a chump.


It's a pretty simple one, every one gets a 5++ and 6+ FNP (against mortal wounds during the psychic phase).  Fairly straightforward and easy to remember, and good to boot.

If you have a detachment that has only Custodes in it, infantry and bikers get "objective secured" and +1 to their invulnerable save to a max of 3++.  So most units will get a 4++.

I also want to talk about their standard weaponry, particularly the main 3 weapons that just about every unit has access to and that would be the Guardian spear, Sentinel blade, and the Castellan axe.  The spear is +1S, -3AP, and d3D that comes with a 24", rapid fire 1, S4, -1AP, and 2D shooting attack.  The Sentinel blade allows a model to take a storm shield and is S user -3AP and d3D with a pistol 2 bolt pistol.  The axe is +3S but only -2AP, it still has the d3D and incorporates the same ranged weapon as the spear.  I didn't want to have to go over what they do every time I discuss a unit.

Before we got to the units I've got a quick observation to make.  These guys are designed to be a supplemental force to a main imperial army.  With the cheapest unit at 52 points per model, this is the most elite army in the game.  Even with 3 wounds each and a 2+/4++ they will fall to overwhelming numbers and with only 3A they don't return as much damage against mob type enemies.  An equal points worth of Daemonettes will eventually win against Custodian Guard (the troops) over a couple turns.  Alternately 3 Custodian Guard will kill a Chaos Lord in a single round.  Enough chit chat, lets look at the units.

The Shield Captain is your basic HQ with a typical 6" re-roll 1's to hit aura, but he has 2's and 5's in all the right places and 6W.  He comes with a 120 point price tag, which in all honesty, isn't that bad.  If you don't like that you can give him terminator armour, which costs an extra 20 points but gives him an additional wound and allows him to deep strike.  Yet there is another option, one of those fancy pancy golden Harley's everyone has been going gaga over.  That one costs 20 points more than the terminator armour but also gives him an additional wound and a move of 14".
There are a couple very cool stratagems that are specific to characters, Even in Death... allows a slain character to fight or shoot before it is removed from the table.  The other is a re-roll hit, wound, or save roll once per turn.  So as long as you remember it, that will be around 10 extra re-rolls.  The interesting thing about this one is that it doesn't say failed rolls, so unlike with most re-rolls, you can use this one per turn re-roll to get around that "re-rolls before modifiers".  For example, if you are shooting at an Alpha Legion unit more than 12" away and roll a 2, you would normally not be allowed to re-roll that shot, but with this stratagem in place you can.  It's also used during deployment and it stays in effect the whole game.  For 2CP, that's pretty good.

The basic infantry is the Custodian Guard, and they are anything but basic.  S and T 5 with 3 W and A, 2+ WS, BS, and Sv they are, like everything, tough as nails.  No special rules, just pure unadulterated beat stick.  You can give them swords and storm shields for a 3++, but if you're taking a detachment of only Custodes you're getting a 4++ with the spears and axes anyway and the spears and axes are far better weapons.

Then there is the elite version of the Guard, the Wardens.  They have 4A and a 6+FNP.  They don't even get the option to take a sword and shield so that makes it a little easier to decide.  Otherwise they are the same.


The banner dude!  This is the principal reason I see the Custodes as a supplemental force as opposed to a stand alone army.  When you take this guy, who also comes in terminator armour, you get to choose 1 of 3 types of banners.  The first gives Custodes units within 6" an extra attack.  The third puts a -1 to hit penalty on units shooting at Custodes units within 6" of the banner.  Finally, the second banner gives a 5++ to ALL IMPERIUM INFANTRY within 9" of the banner.  The banners cost a bit, but with the 5++ aura your looking at 110 points for this guy.  So how do you get them in your army of Guard or Marines?  Well you'll be looking at around 500 points for a Vanguard Detachment with 2 of these Banner dudes, some Wardens, and a Shield Captain.  The Wardens and Shield Captain can smack around anything that gets too close and the rest of your army can huddle around a re-roll generator and the banner dudes for all the buffs.

Or you could jack that price up a little with some Allarus Custodians.  They are a slightly more upgraded version of the last 2 infantry units, they have 4W and 4A and they can deep strike because of their terminator armour, not that anyone really noticed this on paper cause everyone has a 2+Sv.  They are also character hunters as they can pile in and consolidate towards the nearest enemy character as opposed to the nearest enemy model, they still have to end within 1" of an enemy model however.  Their last upgrade is a fancy grenade launcher that is 12", Assault D3, S4, -3AP, 1D and of course they can shoot these in addition to their ranged weapon on their spear or axe.  They do get a very cool stratagem all to themselves that lets them split up into separate one model units at the start of your movement for 2CP

Here we have possibly the worst equipped Dreadnought in the game.  Despite it being a Venerable Contemptor Dreadnoughts of the Adeptus Custodes, it has exactly 2 variations, multi-melta and fist or Kheres assault cannon and fist.  For special rules it has a 5++ and a 6+FNP.  I guess for it's relatively low cost of 200 points its not that bad, but it sure as hell isn't good.


So I've heard a lot of gushing about these jet bikes and I am honestly on the fence about them.  Yes they can move 14" and auto advance 6", they have hurricane bolters that can be upgrades to melta-missile launchers(which are heavy weapons), they are T6 and have 4W and 4A with their +1S, -3AP, d3D lance that lets them re-roll failed wound rolls the turn they charged.  All that sounds super awesome, but they are 100 points each.  You are looking at around 300 points for the smallest size squad you can get.  You'll be king of the hill until someone gets a charge off on them with 30 Plaguebearers that deep struck in and made their 8" charge with all the buffs.  Even if only 20 of them can actually attack they are still putting 7 wounds on the bikers.  In another view, it will take 19 shots from plasma incinerators from Dark Angel Primaris Hellblasters with their fancy extra wound stratagem to wipe the whole squad.  That's with no re-rolls, only the single stratagem.  They are deadly, they are fast, and they can withstand a beating, but a handful of very specific attacks available to several different armies, ones that are actually in use, will fuck this unit up.

The last unit is the Venerable Land Raider which is the basic "god hammer" style and has a 6+FNP.  nothing else fancy about this one.  Oh, and it only transport Custodes models, 5 infantry ones to be precise.


Stratagems, well there are a whole host of things you can do, 3 pages full of them.  You can shoot a unit that deep strikes near you, you can reduce the move or charge of an enemy unit by D6 at the start of their phase, allies can use their Ld for morale checks, enemies can't shoot overwatch against you, and much much more.  There is even one that lets you deep strike to just outside of 3" of an enemy unit if you can also be within 6" of a Vexilus Praetor that was on the table at the start of the movement phase.  3" away from the enemy!  However, with all that super cool shit that you can do there is one VERY glaring shortcoming...this army can not deal mortal wounds.  Armies that can negate their strong attacks with modifiers to hit and with invulnerable saves will be able to handle these guys.

Even their relics are fairly meh.  Yes there are a handful of weapon that kill things better than their regular counterpart, but when the "regular" weapon is so bad ass already, it's hard to go up from there.  There are a couple that allow for some movement shenanigans, and there are a couple that replace the banner and change it's abilities, but none of them are ground breaking or mind blowing so I don't really feel the need to talk about them.

This was a pretty short post but there are a very few number of entries in this codex.  As I said before, I am wholly convinced that this army is not supposed to be a stand alone army and is supposed to be used as a stop gap for armies that are missing something truly dangerous in a "DPS" sort of manner.  For those few of you that don't know what I mean by that "DPS" is a video game term that mean "damage per second".  In Warhammer terms I'd liken it to "wounds per turn".  Some armies are designed to wear you down over the course of several turns, pulling off a wound or 2 here or there while enduring the damage you can inflict.  If you don't have a high enough "DPS" or "WPT", as I am coining the phrase right now, then you won't get through their durability.  "WPT" is actually able to be measured in 2 ways, killing mass models VS killing big monsters.  Custodes are far better at killing big monsters than killing mass models as long as they don't have invulnerable saves.

Lets run some numbers before I finish up because I haven't really done that so far, and every one likes numbers right?  So, lets take a look at a couple things, what these guys can kill, what they can't kill, and what can/can't kill them.  I'll try and stick to things that are currently super popular, but if I find something that can kill them very efficiently then it just might become popular.


5 Wardens with axes will kill a Leman Russ in a single round of combat, but it will take 11 of them to kill Mortarion, yet Mortarion will only kill 1 back.  It will take 6 Wardens with spears to take down a Carnifex, but that same Carnifex will be lucky to kill 1 Warden.  154 points worth of Daemonettes will kill a Guard and a half, yet an equal number of points worth of Guard will only kill 3 Daemonettes back, less if you use any psychic powers or stratagems.  It takes 81 S4 attacks to kill 1 of these fuckers and each Guard will kill a marine per turn.

Now, that might seem like a bunch of gibberish just thrown into a blender, but look it over a couple times and things will start to make sense.  These guys can kill models really good, but if those models are only worth 7 points, who the fuck cares, yet 4 Guard with spears will kill Abaddon in one go.  So there you have it.  The Adeptus Custodes, they kill models good.  Tag line of the century.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin



Right now Maxx Collectibles has got a ton going on right now.  There is the 40k escalation league going into it's 3rd month, it does monthly painting seminars providing paint and test models, and is starting up a Malign Portents campaign.  It also has Guildball, Malifaux, Shadespire, Magic the Gathering, Age of Sigmar, Infinity, Necromunda, and more that I am sure I am missing.
There are more than just table top games there too, racks and boxes of comics, toys, collectibles, shirts and oddities of all sorts line the walls.  Here's a bunch of pictures...

Comics

GW stuff

Collectibles and comics

Monday, 12 February 2018

TACTICS TALK: THE BUBBLE WRAP


So if you have been playing for any length of time I’m sure you’ve heard the term “bubble wrap”, but you might not know exactly what that refers to.  Well, this article is for you cause I’m going to talk about how to use it, and how to get around it.

Bubble wrap, in game terms, is exactly what it sounds like, using something cheap and expendable to protect something far more important, and usually more expensive.  Every army has a unit that can be used as bubble wrap to some degree or another, whether it’s Scouts, Termagants, Kroot, Guardians, or Nurglings.  I play Chaos Space Marines so most of the units I will be using in the tactics will be of that variety.  I will try to make it as confusing as possible.

There are 3 main ways that bubble wrap is used, protecting characters with under 10 wounds from being targeted by shooting, protecting units from being assaulted, and preventing deep strikers from getting too close or in your back field.

The first one seems obvious, just put your bubble wrap in between your character and the enemy army.  Well that works, but if you have something like Scouts or Nurglings you can put them off to the side out of your deployment zone but still close enough to the enemy to disrupt their fire patterns.  Now this still works if the bubble wrap unit cannot even be targeted by the shooting unit, due to special rules, LOS, or if the bubble wrap unit is currently in combat.

This Contemptor would love to shoot the Warpsmith before it can repair the Vindicator, but the cultists are closer.
Even the cultists in the ruins will interrupt the Contemptors ability to shoot the Warpsmith, even if they are not visible.

It's easy enough to kill the Cultists out in the open, but the one in the ruins are a little tougher to shift. You will need something that can get around to the other side of the building like some fast moving bikes, or something that can deep strike in behind and take them out so the Contemptor will have an open lane.  Alternatively you can use weapons that don't require LOS like "barrage" type weapons.

Protection from assault is a big deal nowadays, with units like Genestealers and Berserkers that can do some serious damage, having some expendable units out front will act like a speed bump, giving you a second chance to wipe out that charging bull.  Again, it’s not just as simple as putting a cheap unit in between your unit and theirs.

Bubble wrap unit is too tight
You can see here that the Possessed will not be able to charge the Vindicator with the Cultists in the way but once the cultist are dead the Possessed will be within 3"(shown in red) to consolidate into the Vindicator, preventing it from being able to shoot.  Not even all the cultists will have to die in order for the Possessed to be able to consolidate into the Vindicator.  Before you say anything, I know the Possessed will not be able to kill enough of the cultists on one turn to threaten the Vindicator, the models are just there to show the idea of the tactic.

More distance prevents consolidation tie ups
Another thing to remember is to make sure that the gaps in-between your bubble wrap are not big enough for the threat to squeeze through and get to the target.  You can also move your bubble wrap unit closer to the threat during your turn to limit the enemies movement, keeping it back another turn and forcing him to charge your bubble wrap further away from your target unit.  If your bubble wrap happens to survive combat you can have them fall back so you can shoot the threat.  Or even better, use your Morale phase to remove the couple bubble wrap models that are within 1" of the enemy so they don't have to fall back and can add what little damage they can do.

It's hard to avoid hitting the bubble wrap if your opponent does it right.  The main thing you can do is to use your consolidation to surround one of the bubble wrap models so they will not be able to fall back.  Since models cannot move through other models, if there isn't room for a model to move they will be stuck in combat protecting the threat unit from getting shot.  Then, hopefully the threat unit will be able to finish killing the bubble wrap and charge the main target next turn.  Do not make base contact with the enemy models on the initial charge, you can continue to move your models around with your pile in and consolidation moves as long as you end up closer to the closest model.  Meaning you can 3" around the closest model as long as you are closer to it after moving, even if it's a fraction of an inch closer.


The wall doesn't work vs Fly
You can't form a wall against a unit that can fly as it can move or charge directly over top of your bubble wrap.  You also need to be aware that threat unit with fly can land amidst the bubble wrap so you need to make sure that there are no gaps in-between the bubble wrap for the threat unit to land.  This is easy with big monsters like Daemon Princes but gets more difficult with Assault Marines.

Don't forget about that 3" consolidation move
The thing about this is that the cultists really need to spread out, but stay fairly close to the Vindicator so the Prince can't just fly overtop.  This ensures that the Prince will likely have a good shot at making the charge to the target if you can take out the cultists with a different unit in the shooting phase.  Again, all of the cultists won't have to die for the Prince to make it to the Vindicator, if you can remove some from the sides the Prince could charge both units and land in behind the cultists next to the Vindicator.

Last, but certainly not least, is the deep strike protection.  This one is far more obscure, and usually looks far more ridiculous as the bubble wrap will be stretched out all over the damn place striving to make a no land zone.  My examples are far more simple and easy to understand.


Using those old red whippy sticks you used to get with the starter sets, I cut them to 9" lengths to show the "no land zone".  No deep striking unit will be able to get within 12" of the Vindicator, which is the sweet spot for double tapping, deep striking plasma guns.  Cultists are cheap enough that taking a couple units of them just to put them on the flanks of your army to prevent any deep striking units from landing anywhere behind you is worth it.  I strive to make sure that my enemy stays in front of me at all times if I can help it.


This shows the distance that you can put between your units and still have a no land zone.  18" away form each other will prevent a deep striking unit from landing there.  In the above pic the cultists in the ruins are 17" away from the cultists in the open on the left, yet the closest area anything could land from reserves would be a small area in the middle bottom of the pic right along the edge of the table.  Perhaps big enough for a single unit, which you could use as bait tempting your opponent to drop in a single, unsupported unit with very few juicy targets to take out.

This no land zone gets increasingly more difficult to keep intact as the game progresses.  Those cultists will need to move to grab objectives, or hide, or add some firepower no matter how little it might be.  Patience is key here, let your opponent move his defensive grid and allow you drop on in, be wary of the bait hole that looks like a glory hole.

So there you have it, my first tactics post.  Let me know what you think.  Do you want more?  Did you already know everything here?  Is there something you would like me to go over or into in more detail?  That's what the comment section is for.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.

Hey, I have another sponsor!  Well, really it's a good buddy of mine who has a model painting and furniture re-upholstery business.  So if you have a unit of Marines you want painted and your hobby chair is starting to look a little worse for wear, he can fix both of those issue for you.  Of course if you don't live in the Ottawa, Canada area, then shipping your hobby chair might be a little expensive.  Here are a couple pics of some models he has painted, all of which I took right off his Facebook page.  Also, they might be a little hard to see well, but most of the models I use in my examples are all painted by him.







These are but a few of the models he has painted.  Contact him for a quote and a timeline.  You can find a link to his webpage and Facebook page on the front page of this blog