Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ravenwing update - some WIP models

Heya all and welcome back!

Well, life has been quite busy, but at least I got some time on Martin Luther King to finally sit down and go about making two very interesting models. These are work in progress as I do not have the parts and/or decisiveness to choose a wargear and also that I am going to do more work on them.

Without further ado, here is the first bad boy of the bunch; the Techmarine. 

I find him to be one of my most enjoyable kit-bashes and also conversion, as I essentially used exclusively Ravenwing parts to make this guy without spending a penny. Some putty here and there, and some blade work gave birth to this guy. So far, I am uncertain about what kind of weapon I should give him other than the melta and also whether I want to model him sitting on the bike or standing next to his bike in a calm, collected manner.

The second model would be my Biker Librarian.

This guy take a lot of work, as I essentially went on to sculpt the cloak and his scarf to fit the mood of the model. That and there are some putty work and serious bladework on fitting the book and other nonsense on his back. I am very satisfied with this guy as he looks like he is pausing to cast a power or something. Weapon-wise I am highly unsure about what kind of force weapon I would like to give him.

The librarian would be an auto-include in my army as I like Prescience, but the Techmarine is more like me wanting to go a little crazy on my conversions. Either that or I can always include him with the Librarian and Sammael in a Ravenwing Command Squad with the Banner of Awesomeness (Whatever Banner I want to field for the day) and be happy that they could potentially survive enough shots or something. Not even sure about the Ravenwing Command Squad, but I guess I can always put them in for fun and for the Dakka.

See ya on the bounce!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Dark Angels in Progress

Heya all, and welcome back! Well my semester is starting out with a bang, and there is so much to do, but it is a much more enjoyable semester (so far). Whenever I have some free time or something, I have been assembling some Ravenwing. And now, with the exception of the special weapons (which I do not have) and  some wargear decisions, I am done assembling the bulk of my Ravenwing force.

It looks pretty impressive once I put them on the table. Now the question is to see how this army will work, and also to try and get a few more models to make this army functional (more or less).

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ravenwing Black Knights - Deathstar extraordinaire?

Heya all, and welcome back to the webway.

Today I would like to talk about a certain unit from the Dark Angels codex; The Black Knights.

Fluffwise, they are a souped-up Ravenwing bike squad. Gamewise, they are potentially a nasty deathstar.

In order to understand why this unit is a deathstar you will have to see what a certain wargear does; The Ravenwing Grenade Launcher. The Ravenwing Grenade Launcher is essentially 4 weapons rolled into one; with the option to fire either a frag grenade shot, a krak grenade shot, a Rad grenade shot, or a Stasis grenade shot. The first two are essentially Guardsmen grenade launchers with rapid fire slapped onto them, but the last two will be the one we will be talking about.

Both of these are assault 1 blast weapons, with the Rad grenade shot being Str 3 while the Stasis being Str -. Despite their apparent mediocre wounding (in the case of the statis, very bad wounding), the main effect of these shots kicks off if you hit with them. The Rad grenade is similar to the Grey Knights book that it reduces the toughness of the models that were hit by the grenade, and it could affect instant death. The Statis grenade on the other hand is similar to that Tyranid power, that it reduces the Weapon Skill and Initiative of the models that were hit by the grenade. Even though they only reduce the characteristic by one, but the fact still remains that they can stack and thus make a lot of units feeling really dumb about themselves.

Now that we know about the grenades, we now need to look at what the Black Knights have in addition to these things. They are mostly armed with the Corvus hammmer, which is a +1 str Shred weapon with no AP. The weapon may be mediocre, but combined with the rad grenades you find yourself with a rather mighty weapon, and since it is a one handed weapon, you can use this in conjunction with the bolt pistol to give yourself a +1 attack. This combined with the Plasma Talons would usually make short work of anything that have to suffer their wrath. Last but not least, this unit is really fast and mobile, with the USR Hit and Run, Scouts, and Skilled Rider to boot.

Now that we have the pros, now we will have to go to the cons.

For one, they do not have any invulnerable saves. This could mean trouble especially when they are facing an unit that could withstand their attack and strike back with everything they have. Powerfists and Thunderhammers are big threats to this unit. In addition, they are not scoring which makes the investment on them really a question of how much points are you willing to spend on this unit while not weakening your scoring options. Thirdly they might be a victim of their own success and kill off whatever unit that they are assaulting and thus expose themselves to retaliatory firepower. Last but not least, Flyer armies will be a challenge for this unit.

The ways that I would actually improve this unit is actually a simple Darkshroud. Why is that you ask? With the Darkshroud, I could confer Stealth upon these crazy bastards and if they move they will get a 3+ cover saves when they move, and a 2+ when they turboboost. This would actually help them defend themselves from stupid nonsense such as an IG static defense line, and actually mash through an enemy unit. In order to make this combo into a spicy dish, I can always take two squads of 9 Black Knights with 3 Ravenwing Grenade Launchers with some scoring Deathwing and a Librarian on a bike with stuff from the Divination discipline to rock the house hard. Will anyone be crazy enough to try this? I sure believe so. Do they have the money to make such an army? I sure believe so too. Will this win games? Not necessarily.

Just a review for what is perhaps one of the best unit in the game right now.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dark Angels Opinion

Well, I have finally gotten my hands on the Dark Angels book and I have to say that it is perhaps one of the most, if not the most interesting Space Marine faction book in terms of power level. I actually find this book to be very balanced as there are multiple ways to approach the issue at hand to the many builds out there. It also gives a route for those who want fluffy armies without being penalized for choosing a theme.

Of course, as a competitively casual player, I find that some wargears/units are worth mentioning as they have interesting/powerful application on the field;

1) Sacred Standards: Despite their 'one-per-army' limit, they are very helpful for infantry-based armies as they provide a anchoring point for the whole army, with the Standard of Fortitude being the most amazing standard of them all in my opinion with their conference of Feel No Pain to every friendly Dark Angels within 12" of the banner. This can be used in a Dark Angels Terminator or Marine-based army. The Ravenwing I assume would be able take the banner but it appears that there is a errata over there which I have to wait to see what GW's stance on it is due to Relic Banner being nonexistent in the wargear section, but the Sacred Standard being present in the wargear section.

2) Tactical squads: Oddly enough, it harks a return to 3rd-4th edition as a 5 man squad could now have a special or heavy weapon in the squad. A particularly interesting application of this would be that you can get tons of flakk missiles for cheap with a five man squad with a flakk missile launcher is 95 points. You can also take a full squad and take a special weapon along with a Razorbacks with twin-linked assault cannons or flamers for anti-infantry. However, unlike the Vanilla Marines, they have to pay for their special weapons.

In essence, the Dark Angels army has the option to not bother taking dedicated anti-air units/flyers to gun down aircraft. Necrons will hate the proliferation of these guys along with a command squad with the Sacred Standard command squad behind an Aegis Defense Line. Add some cheap devastators with flakk missile launcher for taste.

3)Deathwing: Deathwing players can now take a full squad of 10 of them and they have the Splitfire USR. Another noteworthy rule that is specific to the termies is Vengeful Strike which allow them to have twin-linked weapons when they deepstrike during their turn. And by all weapons, they mean every weapon. 

In addition, their Deathwing Assault is much more potent now. Instead of half your unit coming down on turn one, you have the option to have every Deathwing to come in during the first turn or the second turn (but this must be done secretly) and you do not have to make any reserves. In other words, they are really reliable. Combine this with teleporter homers from the Ravenwing, and you can have a dominating presence during your second turn with your shooting phase. 

As noted before, this also gives the army options to not take flyers if they want to as twin-linked weaponry could help mitigate the lack of anti-air for Terminators. Also they have hatred (CSM) in addition to their Fearless special rule.

4) Ravenwing Attack Squadrons: Their Land Speeders are now able to have typhoon missile launchers which would help in providing greater long-ranged firepower. In addition they also have Hit-and-run which is amazing for them if they are forced to be stuck in close combat. However, they are no longer fearless, but instead got a new rule called Grim Resolve which is Stubborn plus the inability to automatically fail a Morale Check. This unit is interesting as everything in it is scoring. 

5) Darkshrouds: They are interesting for Ravenwing armies, as they allow any friendly unit within 6" of them to gain Stealth, which would help in their defense during turboboosting and such. Sadly enough, from the wording it appears that two Darkshrouds being next to each other will not confer their 'stealth' field on each other. However they all come with Shrouded which makes this particular wording understandable, as it would potentially be broken if done right.

They are not an offensive unit, but they help in the overall defense of the army as I can just park a Darkshroud near an Aegis defense line and allow the unit/s within to have Stealth. Combine with that firebase that I talked about in 2), this could be potentially nasty.

6) Land Speeder Vengeance: I would say that their charged mode will be used more often than their burst mode, as the prospect of a large blast plasma shot is hard to ignore especially with the proliferation of infantry heavy armies these days. 

7) Nephilim Jetfighter/Dark Talon: Flyers are flyers, but I feel that the aircrafts somewhat suffers from being very specialized. Surprisingly for a book with flyers, the flyers could be ignored. 

The Nephilim is designed with anti-air in mind, with a secondary role in anti-vehicle and its special rule of changing 'Weapon Destroyed' results to 'Immobilized' could be amazing if it were not for the weapons choices that plagued this particular flyer. Of the two options that the Nephilim are allowed to take, I would say that the Avenger Mega bolter could be good against light vehicles/light aircraft but it is utterly useless against AV12 and above vehicles of any sort. The lascannon suffers from it being a single shot weapon (despite its twin-linked status), but honestly I would take it if all you are going to face are Stormravens and Heldrakes. The Blacksword missile also suffers from this as they are single shot weapons and they are not blast weapons, and their strength is the same as that of the Avenger Mega bolter. It could be quite ineffective when faced with certain armies, and thus caution must be taken with this.

The Dark Talon is a dedicated anti-infantry unit, but even then it is not really effective at its role and it is utterly overpriced for what it does. Its statis bomb does have some unique effects, but with the stats of a lasgun it will not be doing its job very often. The rift cannon is also not as effective. 

Between the two, I would take the Nephilim.

7) HQs: Alright, I believe that I am at the last leg of my review here, and I will say that a few HQs stand out. I will now start with the Generic HQs. In addition each HQ has access to the wargear section which allows for a greater customization of your HQ depending on the needs of your army. All of the HQ gains access to Command Squads, and depending on their upgrades they can gain access to specific command squads (example would be a Terminator Librarian would gain access to a Deathwing Command Squad). However, these command squads are locked at their size capacity, so you can't add additional units to the squad (this particularly sucks for the Ravenwing command squad as they only have three members ).

As for which HQ is the most effective I would have one choice in my mind; The Librarian. He is cheap and he has access to what is perhaps the best psychic discipline in the book; Divination. With the particular emphasis of the Dark Angels in shooting, this upgrade is perhaps the most precious psychic discipline to take. 

The Chaplains are interesting for assault-based armies, but in my opinion the book's main strengths are in shooting and thus people would tend to ignore them in favor of other HQs. The Company Master is essentially a Dark-angels flavoured Captain and thus suffer from the same problems as the Chaplain.

However the dark horse of the HQs in the book would be a Techmarine. The reason why this is such is due to their unique way of being incorporated into the HQ slot. As the wording goes;

For each HQ choice in your army (not including other Techmarines or Command Squads of any type) you may include a Techmarine. These selections do not use up a Force Organization slot).

This means that you can have an 'extra' HQ for each of your HQ slots, and with their rather cheap point cost they could help in many ways, especially with the right wargear. They also have the abilities of the Vanilla HQ techmarines but with Grim Resolve included.

As for the special characters, Ezekiel and Asmodai are perhaps the most subpar of the HQs, and you can get cheaper and more versatile equivalents in the librarian and chaplain respectively. 

As with the old codex, Belial and Sammael are used to unlock Deathwing Terminators and Ravenwing Attack Squadrons as troops, respectively. However, there is now a third option for unlocking both types of units to become troop choices; Azrael. In this sense he could be the go to HQ for unlocking both types of units as troop choices and you do not have to spend the points on two different HQs to unlock them as troops.

Let's start with Azrael. He is perhaps one of the most potent warlords in the game as he is the only warlord in the Dark Angels book that could choose his own Dark Angels Warlord Traits instead of rolling it. However, if he chooses a Warlord trait from the Rulebook, he has to roll them randomly just like anyone else. The whole army also uses his leadership for morale, pinning or leadership tests.His armor is an artificier armor with the FNP (6+) rule which is cute in my opinion. His cost has also gone down a little which is fun, as he still keeps all his old toys from the previous edition. Unfortunately, Azrael does not have Orbital Bombardment 

Belial is now more expensive, but in return he gets some buffs in his stat and also gets a precision shot on a 5+ and also any unit that is composed of models with the Inner Circle rules that he joined do not scatter when he arrives via deepstrike (could be subject to nonsense when used with non-Deathwing Inner Circle units, but even then I wonder why). His warlord trait kinda sucks and does not help the army as a whole. He still gets to switch his weapons around which would be a good thing for everyone who armed him with lightning claws or Thunderhammer/Stormshield.

Sammael is more or less the same (his stats have buffed up but besides that he is still the same) but instead, he is now an IC. Goodbye the days where he could not be attached to any squad! As for his Warlord trait, it is somewhat helpful for himself and the unit that he is attached to, but otherwise not too amazing. For these two, I would personally pick another HQ as the warlord for taking warlord traits, and let Belial and Sammael unlock Deathwing or Ravenwing attack squadrons as troop choices, respectively. 

PS: Azrael, Belial and Sammael can only unlock these formations as troop choices when they are in the Primary detachment slots. So having allied units with deathwing terminators as troops are now a concept of the past.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A New Army Of Torturers!

Heya all, and welcome back to the webway!

 With my Dark Eldar essentially complete (barring the things that I need to paint/assemble as dictated by need) and also the desire to not lunge around a whole lot of Dark Eldar whenever I want to play, I have decided to start a new army; Ravenwing. I mean why not? The Space Marines that tortures others to let them repent and also are the first Space Marine Legion ever created....sounds good to me.

Of course right now, I am still deciding whether or not I really want the iconography of the Ravenwing on my stuff (With the exception of that Tall feather thing and also the winged biker plates) and other weaponry on my Ravenwing and also to figure out a colour scheme that does not involve black unless I have to. Nonetheless I believe that I have enough Ravenwing bikers and speeders to start the army in full swing.

This army is more akin to a fun army rather than my more cutthroat Dark Eldar army, but still I would like for it to hold its own against a majority of forces. The army is also meant to be really portable, so most likely I will not include any flyers at all despite the temptations to do so. I also would like to 'bling' this army out bad just because I want to use a lot of bitz and not to mention that is how I tend to envision a Space Marine army anyway.

Once I get my hands on the book and stuff, I will be able to finalized this particular army's battle plan.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!~

Heya all, Happy New Year!!!

Just want to say this to everyone. :-D