How to Win Warhammer 40k: What to sacrifice and when...

Ash asked me to elaborate on my thoughts on what units to sacrifice. So, here we go! I already posted about how I mostly use Dante to grant Preferred Enemy in the first couple of turns, then I release him to go aggressively draw fire. The idea is that I want Lascannon shots going at him instead of at my Baal Preds, which can tank shock after moving 18" at the end of the game and contest objectives. I sacrifice Dante because he has served his purpose and any thing he does in turns 4 and 5 are just gravy. If he slaughtered some troops or popped a tank before then... great!

A good example of knowing when to sacrifice your units is this... At the Battle for Salvation tournament, I was facing another Blood Angels player in the final round for the win. He had a Land Raider with terminators inside, 10 vet assalt squad with meltas attached to Mephiston, 8 man Death Company, and corbulo in a razor with a combat squad, all coming at my objective. The mission was bases. My base was defended by my 3 DC, Corbulo, 2 furioso Dreads and my 10 man tactical. Dante was bouncing around. Needless to say, he had a huge advantage. Sure, I had 2 furioso dreads, but he had 18 guys with jump packs, 8 of them Death Company, a Land Raider coming down my throat filled with assault terminators, plus Corbulo coming up behind granting Furious Charge. What I did have was my three Baal Predators. Juicy targets for him! But not all that effective in this case because he would be able to jump behind cover right up until he was ready to assault.

I knew that my only chance would be to seperate his charge out, and try to get his units to come in one at a time. He sent the LR down the middle, the VAS to my left with Mephiston, and the DC to the right, in range of Corbulos razor.

So, I sent one BP to the left to intrcept Mephiston, kept one next to my base, and sent one out to the right. My hope was that he would assault my tanks for a turn or two, then I could attack his forces with my dreads one squad at a time. The first victim up was his Death Company, which could not pass up that juicy Baal Pred. He assaulted, and destroyed it. But on my turn, my Furioso Dreads assaulted and destroyed them! Then consolidated back to my base. Meanwhile, I moved my left Baal Pred into his assault range for Mephiston and the VAS.

On his turn, he could not pass up yet another juicy target! His VAS and Mephiston went for the Baal Pred while his Land Raider and Terminators went for my Tactical Squad. He destroyed my Pred but failed to take out my Tacticals, who then escaped his Terminators since they cannot sweeping advance. (I knew they could not by the way... I was hoping at least one would survive.) On my turn, my surviving tactical ran for cover, while my Dreads moved up and slaughtered his terminators and took out the Land Raider. The key here was that had he jumped his VAS into my tactical squad, he would have won the fight... and in the end, stopped me from winning the game and tournament. But instead, I managed to whittle his large attack force down to individual units, which my two dreadnoughts were able to slaughter one at a time, bu sacrificing juicy targets and splitting up his forces. The Dreads ended up slaughtering his VAS, while my corbulo held off Mephiston for a round. In the aftermath, I had a single tactical marine holding my objective, all of his forces were routed, and Mephiston was running for the hills to keep me from getting the kill point.

You can read that entire batrep somewhere around here.

So, know when to sacrifice units! There is no formula for success. The best use of this is to slow down your opponents charging forces to split them up. But also, at the end of the game when the two of you are working to contest each others objectives, slowing him down by giving him something to kill in turn 4 can mean the difference of inches in his contesting or holding objectives in turn 5.

Just dont be afraid to sacrifice that high point squad! Fritz is a master of this with his Seer Council. All that matters at the end of the game is who is controlling more objectives. He can have 90 percent of his forces left, and you can have 10... but you can still win.


How to Win Warhammer 40k: The Psychology of 40k. More head games.

I've written a few posts about little things I tend to employ when I play 40k. Bear in mind that most of the time, I am talking about games in tournaments. I spoke about how to get the full sportsmanship points, while beating the snot out of your opponent, and I spoke about using Dante to manipulate your opponents deployment...

Here are some other things I may do to sort of get in side my opponents head... in no particular order. (Some of these suggestions may contradict each other... you decide what works for you.)

During Deployment, the catchier looking the model, the more likely it is to be targeted. It never fails, that one of the first things destroyed in my army list is my Death Company Rhino. Why? Besides the fact that it holds the Death Company, it is Black! Every thing else is red. It stands out and grabs attention. But also, it has beautiful skulls on top, and a big fat red X on the front. Nothing screams kill me like a target painted on the front and skulls announcing its presence. Most of my tanks are on the flashy side. But want to hear something interesting? It may be coincidence, and it may be my imagination, but of my three Baal Preds, one seems to survive longer and more often then the other two. Two of them are painted up beautifully, one was my Golden Daemon entry, the other has a hand painted dragon and wings on it. But the third? Is as plain as it comes. It is a muted red, with simple highlights. I converted its weapons, and they are closer to the hull, and almost blend in with the outline of the tank... So what you might add? Well, it's disguised as something that is NOT a mobile platform of death I guess... Whatever the reason, my opponents tend to overlook it when choosing targets. For probably the same reason that cops pull over red cars the most...

How do I use this information? My death company are more or less expendable. I use them as a little gunfire sponge that soaks up a lot of fire power. I make a show out of placing that black rhino on the table, estimating its lane of travel (ficticious of course) checking for possible targets...(again, with no intention of reaching them) even going as far as to look down its line of sight, and ask specific questions about targets in its path like four feet away! (As if it has a rail gun or something.) All of this gets my opponent wondering what the hell is going to happen when I move that transport... and what will happen if he does NOT destroy it. So, he pumps lots of shots at it that he should instead be shooting at my Predators. (My current list has 3 death company models and Corbulo in that rhino... hardly worth a single heavy bolter... let alone multi melta and lascannon shots...) Every shot fired at something I use almost exclusively to provide cover saves for my other units instead of at one of my Preds or Rhinos is a minor victory for me.

Put on the show. Theatrics are taking a larger role in my games. I spoke about talking up the game as you play, turning it into more of a story. This entertains your opponent... hopefully, but also, can take him in a direction he may or may not be prepared for. By talking up the perceived value of one of your units to him, you may get him to direct resources into destroying it, thus sending things exactly where you want them! But there are other parts of the show too...

Try to get to the table first... and put your models out on the table for him to see. (Of course after you have had a chance to fully check the bonus objectives.) When he comes, if your stuff is halfway decent, he will look at them and be either a little distracted and forget to really look at the rules for the scenario, be a little intimidated by all the stuff you have on the table, a little nervous about the fact that you seem to have your shit together and are ready for him... etc etc. Any thing you can make him think about while he should be focusing on deployment works. You want him distracted up until it is time to start rolling dice. That way he may not have taken the time to come up with a strategy for the scenario. Asking him questions about his stuff is great for this since every one loves to talk about their models. Point something out that looks interesting, and ask him how he did it... next thing you know, the game is started, and he has not even thought about what to do...

At our club, Fritz is the master of head games. Before tournaments, he will post youtube movies showing off his "new list" and some guys...cough cough... Black Matt... Cough... will play lists to counter it... only to see Fritz pull out his damn Eldar again! One time he had a scheduled game vs Charly, who is always fun to play... and a psychologist... or is it psychiatrist? Any way, Fritz is so far inside Charlies head that he sometimes beats him before even putting a model on the table. They had a game scheduled, and Fritz was 10 minutes late from traffic, and all the time, Charly was sweating it out... When Fritz showed up Charly swore that he did it on purpose just to 'freeze' him. I forget who won... probably Fritz... And take nothing away from Charly, he is a great player and always brings a hard list. It just makes me laugh! Fritz was not even trying!

Talk up the need to go first! Subtly let slip the need to get your Baal Preds into range so that you can win the roll to go first, then go shoot up his tanks... (I always choose to go second as a rule). Most guys will take the opportunity to deny you something he thinks is part of your strategy, without knowing why. He will probably take first turn. While you are doing that, make a show out of eyeballing a piece of terrain you may be able to hide tanks behind... look from behind the corners of it, make a show out of eyeballing range to other terrain pieces on his side of the board, ask him if he thinks a piece might block enough of a tank to grant a cover save but still allow you to shoot... Lol, make him fear that terrain! He will win the die roll, take first turn, and deploy in a way that avoids that terrain piece! Then you just reserve every thing! By the time you are coming onto the table in turn 2, he has NO idea what to do. His drop pods have come down, no where near that terrain piece, even though you have nothing near it at all, his troops are out of position, his tanks are hiding from nothing. Or if you are lucky, he has put a lot of his resources into taking that terrain piece which he thinks you are planning on using... and you just ignore that side of the table completely and own the other side! It goes on and on.

Nothing works every time, especially vs opponents you have faced before. Except for Fritz's tactics against Brother Captain James. But any and all of these tips can work against random tournament opponents that have never seen you before. See what works for you, develop a routine, and use your head. If you are lucky, it works like a charm and you baffle him. If you are unlucky, he sees right through whatever crap you are pulling and tries not to let it get to him. But even then, you are in his head...


Email response: Child Psychology and 40k? How to teach your little brother the ropes.

It turns out my psychology posts have done some good and people are asking me how to deal with younger kids and 40k! I received this email question:

You're a Middle School teacher and all, so i figured you'd know how to help me with this. My little brother is getting into warhammer and has chosen an orc army. Atm its close to 70 models strong and is his pride and joy(halfway painted decently too). The only thing is that he has something like ADD where he just can't sit still for awhile. We usually will play 2 turns then take an hour break, but even with that its hard for him to sit still during my turns and leads to him just getting bored and throwing his dice everywhere until i get fed up. Do you have any ideas on how to help keep him interested while i'm messing with my army?

My answer:

I learned a lot about playing 40k with middle school age kids 10-14 while running my gaming club at school. First of all, kids and their ADD are fickle. I have seen countless kids with ADD sit and play video games for hours on end... Something has gathered their attention! The thing about most video games is this:

They are simple, and offer instant reward. Most xbox games you can pop in the disc, grab the controller, and have the hang of them within 10 minutes.

So, apply that to 40k. Simplify the game. Rules confuse them, and they get embarrassed because you make it look so easy, so they react poorly, throw dice, and walk away. Especially if they have a hard time reading, and/or processing math. Get rid of the calculation component. Using the ruler to check range is hard enough on them. Reduce it to just shooting and hitting. Dont worry about armor saves and wounds. That will make it much faster.

Kids hate to lose and will give up quick if they do, especially when trying something new.

"OK billy, Orks are not very good with their guns, but you have 40 of them, so it evens out. You need a 4 to hit my marines.... Oh no! You hit 9 of them... they die... Great Job!" As he gets the hang of it, and you have let him win a lot of games, start adding more. Don't pressure him, you will push him away, and no matter what, tell him he is awesome. :) Compliment him every chance you get. Make the rounds quick and fierce, like a round of Halo.

Remember, he looks up to you. Make it tough, but make sure he wins most of the time. Encourage him. Congratulate him. Create a gaming environment where it is super hard for you to become frustrated, and you wont! Hope that helps!


How to paint Space Marines: Blood Angels Chest and shoulder pads.

I received a question about painting Blood Angels today I thought I would share with every one. Here it is.

I can't decide whether to paint the shoulder pads Red or Black, and on the Aquila, yellow or white! This is very frustrating and I'm desperate for input. What do you do and why? What do you like about the other options aswell?

Blood Angels? If you are playing codex Blood Angels, shoulder pads are red with black trim. Sgts have black with red trim. Highlight the black with a little Codex Grey, and HL the red as you do the rest of the power armor. Sgts have a yellow BA logo.

Their chest eagle? I paint each one differently to give variety. I usually do variations of brown, with yellow on top, with bleach bone to white. Wash them with Griphon sepia. Some are darker, some lighter. Sometimes I will do Shadow grey-codex grey-fortress grey-white. The shadow grey gives a nice cool accent to the red of the blood angels. I usually reserve the grey to white for sgts.

How to play Warhammer 40k: To shoot, or not to shoot.

So, you have your big guns loaded. What do you shoot at? First of all, not all soldiers are created equal which is the first thing you have to come to terms with as you learn how to play 40k and figure out what parts of the game you like and decide on your permanent army. For example, Space Marines have a Balistic Skill of 4. What you do is subtract their BS from 7 and that is what you need to hit. A marine with a BS of 4 will hit on a roll of 3. A commander with a BS of 5 will hit on 2. And, some one with a BSof 3 will hit on 4... and so forth. You may have a lot of Lascannons in your Imperial Guard army, but they are only going to hit half the time.

Your target has no effect on wether or not you hit, unless it has a special rule. But you do need to know other rules. For example, shooting any thing at an Ork Nob Biker squad with a Painboy that is moving fast is an effort in futility. First of all, you have to hit. Guard will only hit half of their shots. Then you have to wound. Nob bikers are really tough. You will wound on 5's or so. Then they will get a cover save. THEN if they fail that, they get Feel No Pain from the pain boy that allows them to reroll their save. Dont waste your time, they can shrug off LasCannons as easily as guard las guns.

Knowing just what to shoot at is based on experience. The more games you play, the more you will know. But I will try to share my decision making when I assign target priority.

1. Any thing with Melta weapons that I can kill has to die first:
Speeders, tanks, dreadnoughts, infantry.

I play a heavy mech army with 4 Rhinos, 3 predators and 2 dreadnoughts. Melta Weapons HAVE to die! I target them until they are dead. Speeders go first since they can move fast and still shoot. I can hit them from 36" away with Heavy Bolters from my tanks and I will always open up the game by shooting at them. They will probably get cover saves, but all I need to do is get one or two through to stun them! Heavy Bolters with STR 5 will glance a speeder on a roll of 5 or 6, and that is all I need. Then I will go to tanks and try to knock off their meltas, then Dreads and troops. Most armies I play nowadays are packing meltas in every unit. Plenty of targets!

2. Any thing with high STR weapons:

Now that I have taken down Melta guns, I focus on Lascannons, Rail Guns, Vindicators etc. Any thing that can take out my Predators.

3. Any thing with medium STR weapons:

Units with Auto Cannons, Star Cannons, Assault Cannons, Scatter Lasers, Missle Launchers etc. Now that I have taken down all of their big guns, and my predators are relatively safe, I focus on clearing the way for my transports to safely move and I knock out things that can take them down.

4. Transports:

Yup. After taking down their big guns, I pop transports. No need in allowing him the chance to contest objectives or tank shock me!

5. Dreadnoughts/Monstrous Creatures:

Once I have taken the long range teeth out of my opponents jaws, I start thinking about assault and defense. I will switch my guns to assaulty dreads and monstrous creatures and shoot them until they are dead.

6. Infantry:

Now that I have taken down their killy stuff, I focus on infantry. I focus on guys who are in he way of where I want to go, and soften them up for my assaulters. My guys are badass, but few in number. It is always better for me to assault a squad that is already low in number from heavy bolter fire. I focus on squads that are coming for me first, then ones that are defending his objectives.

But these steps are not a bible. Situations may take over! For example, in a recent game against orks, he left huge ork mobs in places where I was able to get angles with my Baal Preds and not give them Cover saves. I will always take these opportunities. Orks were dieing by the dozens because of my ability to move 6" and fire all 12 of my predators guns... x3. I allowed them to take shots from the Ork big guns relying on their armor to protect them because I just could not pass up the chance to kill so many ork boys. And I slaughtered him.

Another situation that might arise is an opponent who only has two troop choices... KILL THEM! Knocking them out early will leave him in a situation where he will struggle to tie you.

Things you can ignore... at least for a while.

Land Raiders. Most of the time, when my opponent packs one land raider full of assault terminators, I simply ignore it and spend the first couple of rounds staying away from it and shooting his other stuff. This infuriates Land Raider players. :)

Terminators on foot. Laugh them off and stay away from them. Don't waste your shots. Just stay more then a foot away and you are good.

Things that scatter. Take out the direct shooty things first... Rely on the scatter die to protect you!

Things to think about...

Enemy commanders in the open and alone... it may be advantgeous to pop em with a melta shot... but beware... some players will leave them in the open as bait...(raises hand).

Drop Pods are sweet kill points and worth swatting them in KP games. Ignore them otherwise and use them as cover.

Assault troops are fast and assaulty. If you can catch em in the open, fire away... dont let them get the drop on you. Otherwise, focus on squads with big shooters.

Attack Bikes. They belong in the same category as speeders above. Exterminate them.

Any thing caught in the open. Cover saves are huge, and easy to get. If your opponent messes up and leaves a juicy squad in the open, punish him. Target them with low AP heavy weapons and high Torrent of Fire guns and wipe them out. If you are a marine, most lesser armies will not get saves from most of your shots.

Finally, think about armor saves. Eldar have a 4+ armor save. Guard have a 5+ and Orks have a 6+. (in general) Heavy Bolters are Str 5 AP 4... which means that Eldar will not get saves against them... If the AP of a gun equals or is lower then the targets armor value, then he will not get a save. Guard will not get saves against Bolter Fire... that makes them crumble against tactical squads unloading from rhinos. Orks will not get saves against almost any gun. Kill the green skins.

Move your Rhino up and unload your tacticals to deal with the Cadian Shock Troops, use the heavy bolters to take down the Stormtroopers, and save your Meltaguns for the Leman Russ tanks. Using the right guns on the right units is key!


How to Win Warhammer 40k: The Psychology of 40k

40k is as much about using your head as it is about playing with plastic models. I had the master, Fritz to teach me... and I learned. I hesitate to use the term 'head games' but what it boils down to is just that. If you can get inside your opponents head, you have already won half the battle. The easiest way to do that is through knowing your opponent. That is what I bring you today.

Let me begin with some psychology. I am no psychologist. I am a middle school teacher though... that makes me part psychologist, psychiatrist, parent, and lunatic for hundreds of kids a day. One of the most important things I learned in college is this:

The pre-teen child lives in a world where there is one glowing beacon of right... themselves. Every moment of their lives is spent satisfying that one and only truth. The teenage years are where we start becoming adults, and begin learning that for the greater good, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. (Thanks Spock!) So we start to practice consideration, and as we morph into adults, hopefully we master it and employ it.

In general, you and I, are just large versions of that pre-teen narsisistic, self-centered entity. We play a game, and control our army. We put in hours and hours of time on our armies, and our egos and attitudes about them grow proportionately to how much time we put in. As does that inner child! The more serious we get about our armies, the more likely we are to revert back to the age of 8 and forget about all those rules we learned on the way towards being a functional adult. And the more likely we are to treat the person across from us in a less then desirable way... and become pliable to certain tactics...

Once we have come to understand that when we step up to a table we are dealing with an individual who is very capable of reverting back to the mentality of a 1st grader, we can begin to figure out how to use that to our advantage. I have learned how to use my classroom management techniques and child psychology tactics to give me an advantage.

Back to Sportsmanship:

I wrote a post not long ago about sportsmanship and how it impacts tournament performance. Black Matt wrote a post about sportsmanship a few days ago and it is quite a lively discussion on his blog and strikes right at the heart of this post. For the most part, my opponents enjoy playing me in tournaments. Most of them at the end of the game thank me for being a good opponent and playing a great game, and usually right after I just finished smacking them all over the table for two hours. But some of my good friends might not see it. Black Matt, Charly and Brother Captain James might be shaking their heads right now because I am such a dick... Hah! Sorry brothers but when you and I play, the gloves come off. The point is that how we play our friends at the club and how we play a stranger at a tournament MUST be different. You MUST extend that stranger every courtesy and remember that you are not playing a friend. When I play at a tournament I employ a sort of patient persona that I suspend when I get my buddies on the table in a casual game to the death. (Maybe I should do it all the time!?!) That is another discussion.

What do I do?

In my recent sportsmanship post, I wrote some tips. Allow me to expand on that.

I create a story! I make batreps and take video and pictures throughout the game. That means that after every turn, both mine and my opponents, I am keeping a running dialogue that summarizes the game. For example: "Ok, my opponent just finished his turn and he is beating the pants off me, and now on my shooting, I MUST destroy his Land Raider if I am to have a chance, he is walking all over me and my back is to the wall." That quote does a couple of things. It creates drama. Now I have set the stage... my opponent knows that he has stake in the game, and where it is... now, if I destroy the tank, he can see the drama unfold... if I fail to do it, he can celebrate! The loss of the tank is lessened because he knows that I had to do it to survive, and my failure to destroy it gives him a sense of accomplishment... both options feed that 8 year old ego inside of him. I do this throughout the game, creating peaks and valleys of drama and emotion. Every engagement is pivitol and every loss is heart wrenching. But at the end of the game, win or loss, my opponent has a sense of satisfaction. All a product of well coordinated stroking of the ego. It is not fake, I am just creating a situation where we both enjoy playing the game by .

"You will catch more flies with honey then you will with vinegar." So true. A little compliment goes a long, long way. Feed that 8 year old subconsious! Engage your opponent in discussion about his stuff. Ask him questions about his models. Compliment things that he obviously spent time on. Do not offer criticism, even if he asks for it. Pick up his best model and tell him what you like about it instead. Saying good things about your opponent humanizes you. It brings to his deep memory all of those nice things his mommy used to tell him. Or his favorite teacher told him. It makes that beacon of glowing self truth feel good. How does this benefit you? In every way! He will be a nicer person. In game terms, it may even influence his decision making... "I don't really want to destroy mommies speeder... do I?" "That might make her stop saying nice things about me..." Remember, this is all in the SUBconcious.

Caviat: The things I write are meant to be both entertaining and informative. Feel free to call me a big fat bullshiter on this stuff if you want. But it is true! :)


Warhammer 40k Blood Angels: List advice, a question from a reader...

A reader sent me an email presenting his list and asked me for advice on improving it and tactics. He has read my blog, based it on my own list, and given me something to work with. Soo, here we go Scott!

Here is his email:

Hey I have been reading your blog for a while, Its freaking awesome btw. I have been playing SM for a while and have been wanting to switch to BA after the new codex came out because damn I love Assault Marines. I finally have the cash to switch my army over. This is my current list if you don't mind taking a look at it. I am kinda confused about how to play Dante+Honor Guard, i mean it seems like with the Perdition Pistol and the Melta+Powerfist gear that the Honor Guard can take that they would be a brutal tank hunting group. However I have seen you use him in the vids more as a distraction/house-wrecker unit.

Any help is greatly appretiated.

+5 Honor Guard
2 Power Weps
1 Melta or 2 Flamers??


5 Death Company
Extra Armor

Death Company
Extra Armor
Heavy Flamer

5 Assault Squad
Extra Armor
Serg - Power Wep

5 Assault Squad
Serg - Power Wep

5 Assault Squad
Serg - Power Wep

10 Tactical Squad
Extra Armor
Melta Gun

Baal Pred
Extra Armor
Heavy Bolter
Storm Bolter

Baal Pred
Extra Armor
Heavy Bolter
Storm Bolter

Scott Thomas

I already spoke about Dante formerly, and I will expand on that here. I will preface this with this: Dante's true strength is his Preferred Enemy, and then his distraction value.

Let me explain. First of all, forget the flamer and go with the Melta. Your army is weak on true tank killing power. Horde Orks should not present too much trouble with your Baal Preds softening up your targets. The melta gives you one more tank killer, though wasting your honor guard by shooting a tank is a sign of being desperate. You have juicier targets for them to kill.

But you ask about Honor Guard and Dante. The reason I fly solo with Dante is that he simply does not need the help. The last thing you want to do is attach Dante to an HG, assault a squad, and wipe it out on your turn. You want the squad locked into combat until your opponents turn, and you want to finish it then. Dante can kill a space marine 10 man tactical squad in two turns... charge on yours, and finish it on his. If you give him 5 veterans bristling with power fists and swords, they will definitely wipe it out on your turn. Then Dante and the HG will be absolutely nuked next turn without a doubt. If I forsee Dante needing help, I line up my Death Company or a Dread to go with him. He is almost never far from them. Remember preferred enemy...

Now, about that HG. Do you need it? No. It is not worth the points. 150 points for 5 vets with jump packs. Now upgrade the Standard Bearer with the Chapter Banner to get the bonus attack... 25 more points. Add a PS and a PF and you are spending 40 more. Throw in a melta and that is 10 more. Now you are up to 225 points for 5 guys... They are jacked for sure, but do you need them? If you really want to give Dante friends, go on the cheap side, buy a troop assault squad and give them a power sword. 155 vs 225. Save 70 points. But now you have a unit that can claim objectives. If Dante is with them, will they be any less effective at slaughtering that 10 man tactical squad then him and the HG? Nope. But now you have 70 points to buy a Speeder with Multimelta to go zap tanks that you were going to use that HG melta for. Make sense? They surely do not need the Chapter Banner. They all get Dante's 10 leadership and an extra attack is just overkill. You can go out and slaughter defenders holding an objective. Now, Dante can leave the survivors from the troop squad to hold it, and he is free to go wreak havoc.

Dante as a distraction:

He excels at this. Your opponent knows you have him and he fears the Dante. He will deploy with Dante in mind. I will often deploy Dante on the right third of the board with the rest of my forces deployed on the left half or in the middle. My opponent will put every thing on the left half to escape Dante! Then all I do is jump dante over to my troops and give them all preferred enemy, and enjoy the fact that my opponent did me the service of bunching all of his stuff up on half the table. Is is such a powerful force on the table that your opponent HAS to deal with him. He will throw away his strategy, and put considerable fire power into killing Dante. This is especially so if Dante has managed to slaughter a squad or pop a tank. Most guys simply cannot resist the urge to come kill Dante. So, I will flaunt him, then hide him behind terrain or something, forcing my opponent to expose his tanks to my firepower. He will almost always move those speeders with multi meltas to an angle to pop Dante, inadvertantly exposing them to fire, rather then letting them do their tank killing job. It is even more great when Dante shrugs off the melta with his Iron Halo and I destroy the speeder with my Baal Preds heavy bolters. Sure, I make a show about how he got me... I was not expecting him to move his speeder to try to kill Dante... etc etc. In the end, every shot fired at Dante is one less fired at my Baal Predators and furioso dreads, which are methodically wiping out his units turn by turn.

You only need Dante until turn 3. By then, most of your guys have gotten into assault and with preferred enemy and Corbs giving them Furious Charge, are in complete control of the situation. Turn 4 you are free to send him out as bait or to kill tanks. Be aggressive... it is ok if you lose him. Take chances. Your Baal Preds are more valuable now... they can move 18" and tank shock to contest opponents objectives, or knock him off them completely. You can afford to sacrifice your queen to win the game if you still got all of your Bishops and Rooks.

Plus, here is a little secret. You can slaughter a guy, but so long as he got to kill Dante, he will love you for it. You cannot discount the power of good will. I can crush a guy in a tournament, then at the end I 'accidently' leave Dante exposed and he pops him... I react appropriately angry, he ends the game feeling good, "You killed me but at least I got Dante!" "Yah, good move man..." He gives me full sportsmanship points... I move on to the next round! Dante rarely survives my games, simply because it feels so good for my opponent to kill him! :)

I say forget the help for Dante completely. Drop that squad, go with 4 DC, and buy a 3rd Baal Pred. Give them all the Storm bolter. Hell in a 5 turn game that is 30 more shots! Not giving your squads rhinos is fine, just be careful not to leave them exposed. It will kind of limit what I have found to be the strength of the Blood Angels, rhino mobility. You will have 2 troops in rhinos instead of 4, and a severely limited chance of turn 5 contesting of objectives... which I have found to be the single biggest improvement to my tactics.

How to play Warhammer 40k. 40k for Noobies!: Pack the Big Guns!

Today I am going to discuss something that every one takes for granted in the 40k world, but most noobies find Baffling. What the heck is a Multi-Melta? Assault Cannon whatzitz? How can that Laz-Cannon thingy shoot me from across the table like that?

Yup, you guessed it. I thought I would discuss something as simple as knowing your guns.

5th edition has made 40k a game of cover saves. Against a good player, you will almost NEVER land a clean shot from distance without him getting a cover save. This can infuriate you! It has made long range guns like the Tau Railgun, and close range weapons like the Space Marine Demolisher cannon that once made a Vindicator a thing to fear sort of tame. Cover saves have been the great equalizer!

How do you deal with them? Pack the right guns.

First of all, most armies have some sort of variant of the same guns. I will be talking about mostly Space Marine and Eldar guns since those are what I know.

The going trend in 40k 5th edition is Torrent of Fire. It used to be power of shot and template weapons. Plasma and Demolisher cannons, dropping templates on squads were a thing to behold! You could wipe out entire squads of space marines with a single shot. I learned that was a thing of the past at the last GT in Baltimore. I dropped a vindicator template on a squad of orks, got about 20 under the pie plate... 4 died. And these were ORKS!!!! They all got cover saves, and he made a LOT of saves.

After some research, I realized that the best way to deal with cover saves it to just plan on them getting them. So take guns that have a high rate of fire instead. Torrent of Fire! Replace those plasma cannons with Heavy Bolters! Good AP doesnt matter any more. No matter what your targets are probably going to get a 4+ save. So why not just hit them with as many shots as possible?

So new trend one is Torrent of Fire. Getting as many shots as you can for your points and relying on number of dice to overwhelm your opponent. An example of this is taking a Space Marine Predator with the Auto-Cannon. It is a Str 7 shot that you can fire twice. In the old days, you would never see this thing on tanks. Every one went with the twin linked Lascannon. Now you are seeing more and more auto cannons, just to get an extra shot. You are also seeing Heavy Bolters on the side, and even the extra pintol mounted storm bolter on top! Now a Predator Tank is pumping out 10 shots a turn. Weaker shots for sure, but the game used to be about shots that deny your opponent saves, not it is about forcing your opponent to make saves since he is going to get them any way... why not make lots of them.

Another new trend is the "In Your Face" approach, and the best bang for the buck in this style of play is the Multi-Melta. You used to NEVER see MM on the table. Their short range made them no where near as good as a Lascannon, which can shoot twice as far and is stronger at range blew through transports in 4th edition. Now though, cover saves have taken the balls out of the Lascannon. More and more guys are putting melta and multi melta guns in their squads, and getting in your face. They are deploying closer to you, coming out of drop pods, or moving in transports up into cover and shooting those Melta guns.


Melta guns double the penetration dice at 6 or 12". They are only Str 8, but if you get a Multi Melta within 12" of a tank, you get to roll 2d6 for armor penetration. Guys are going close range. They are moving up to get angled shots to avoid cover saves, and taking Melta guns to do it with.

The biggest bane for tanks? Land Speeders! Thats right, you can pack a Multi Melta and an Assault Cannon onto a Land Speeder, and move that bad boy right up on top of a tank, or behind it, and zap it good.

There goes that assault cannon again... what is that you ask? Well, I will tell you, since I play three tanks that have a twin linked assault cannon as their main gun. Assault cannons are STR 6 Rending Heavy 4 guns. Some come Twin Linked which means they can reroll misses. Heavy four means you get 4 shots. The beauty of them is the Rending! Once you have hit, when you roll to wound, any result of 6 is a Rend. 6 plus the strength of the gun is 12, but the beauty is that you get to roll and additional d3. Roll a 6 sided die, 1 and 2 is +1, 3 and 4 is +2 and 5 and 6 is +3. So, this innocent and simple looking gun can actually destroy Land Raiders! If you are one of those who likes to argue about stuff like that, I had the Math done comparing a Twin Linked Lascannon to a Twin Linked Assault cannon, and the TLAC is better then the TLLC at every armor value except armor 12 for some reason. Cant argue the math! I have a post in my archives.

Oh, and Assault Cannons help out with that torrent of fire pretty good, and they are AP 4.

So, most 'winning' armies are ones that have a good combination of Torrent of Fire, and In Your Face fire power. A good Space Marine list will have lots of Melta Guns and Auto/Assault cannons. Let that be a starting point for you!

Jawaballs and Fritz invade Canada! Sort of...

So, after taking solid control of the Northeast, Jawaballs and Fritz have set their sights on the south and scheduled a landing in August at the BoLScon. However, looking north, we noted that there is a huge expanse of land up there ripe for the pickings! Yup... Canada! The land of Labatts, Molson, poutine and Loonies. So, the other day we were like "Eh Fritz..." "Yah Jawaballs!" "How do you think we are supposed to take over Canada eh? Maybe we should take a road trip?" "Eh, take off you hoser..." Ok, enough of that lol.. Canada. I love you guys! I actually am proud to say that I am mostly Canadien my self. I grew up about 45 minutes from Montreal, Quebec on the NY border of Canada. So, where am I going with this?

Fritz and I are too busy spreading our bullsh.... wisdom here in the states to bother with Canada... Who then??? Well, Padawan Kenny of course! Remember him? He still lives with my parents up on the border! The little bugger went with a buddy to visit another buddy at a store, who just happened to be running a 40k tournament that day. And Kenny just happened to have his new Black Templar list in his car! He is running 3 Crusaders with squads inside, 3 vindicators with Machine Spirit, and 2 speeders. So Kenny after being invited to join the tournament, enters... and WINS! Yup, Padawan Kenny who so very recently was being tutored by Jawaballs and Fritz is now winning tournaments in Canada... His first tournament, first win.

His prize? A Land Raider Crusader!! Sweet brother. Now you are for real. Now you have to get your butt down here to NY and come with us to the next tournament.

Haha! So much greatness. I ordered him to write batreps and his stuff is not painted so he refuses to take pictures. But I hope he will be sending me something soon so I can document the take over of our northern friends while we go south and slap Jwolf and Goatboy around Austin.

Here is the youtube vid about Kenny.

How to play warhammer 40k. 40k for Noobies: Dealing with Independent Characters in Close Combat

Ash asked a question about my last post and brought up Independent Characters. How do you deal with them? There are a few tricks that I pull. I will go over them now.

Ignore them! If you are charging a squad that has an IC attached to it... ignore the IC! Put all of your attacks against the squad. If you have a higher initiative, even better since you can wipe them out and they cannot hit you back. I do this all the time with my assaulters since I use Corbulo who grants them Furious Charge (+1 initiative and Str). My guys go first most of the time. So, if I am running 10 assault marines up against a squad of marines with an IC attached, I put all of the attacks against the squad and ignore the IC. Now, hopefully I will kill the squad out right, or at least do a lot of wounds. Yes, the IC will nail me back... but hopefully I do so many wounds to the squad, that I still end up winning combat. This will force the squad I attacked, and the IC to make a morale test modified by the number of kills I won by. Hopefully you won by a lot and the IC will fail his morale test... If he is a non space marine, you can kill him with a sweeping advance having never even laid a finger on him. If he IS a SM, he will fall back. You have the choice, do NOT choose to sweeping advance since that will just force him to remain in combat. You want him to run. Let him go.

What you do now is simply follow him off the table. Do not assault him again... Space Marines automaticlly regroup, but NOT if there is an enemy squad within 6" of them. He will not be able to regroup, and you can just follow him until he is off the table edge. Of course if he is fearless that is another matter.

Another option: REALLY ignore him.

Sometimes you will find yourself in the position to completely ignore the IC. What I mean is that the squad he is attached to is so big, or other circumstances like terrain prohibit him from getting into Base to base contact no matter which way he goes. For example, a huge squad of Ork Boys has a Warboss attached. He is leading the charge. Jump your assault marines to the back of the squad and assault... he will probably not be able to get into base to base since he can only move 6". Just make sure your guys are 6" away from him but still B2B with the orks. He will still be in the combat, but unable to attack, and will still be forced to make a morale test if you win combat. And orks ARE vulnerable to Sweeping Advance. Win that combat by 6 or 7 kills, and he is done. (Orks are fearless until their squad is reduced below 11... do a lot of kills.)

Use force against force.

Do whatever it takes to get YOUR IC into B2B with his. Hopefully you are packing a bigger punch and will kill his IC with your own. OR if you have a weak chump almost dead IC with one wound left, sacrifice him. Send in your IC against his. He will be too tempted to not kill him. He has to choose between your IC and your squad. He lays his 8 attacks down on your IC and kills him. That is still only 1 wound towards combat resolution. Your squad attacks his squad, wipes them out, you win combat, the IC has to make a modified leadership test. If he is not a marine, you can sweeping advance and kill him. If he is, again, chase him off the table.

So, when dealing with enemy IC. Look at the bigger picture... or 5th dimension. If he is attached, slaughter his squad and force him to make a test. If he is not attached, send one model to assault him and drag him in, but focus the rest of your shots on the squad. If you have a more powerful IC, let them fight it out, maybe even help him with the squads power fist or sword. If your IC is a chump, sacrifice him. Kill the squad, force a test, kill him in Sweeping Advance or chase him off the table.


40k for Noobys continued! On with the assault.

Due to great response, I have decided to make the 40k for noobies a regular thing. This is NOT just for noobies. Maybe you just returned to the game and missed the last two years of innovation... maybe you are a vet just looking for an alternative view point. Whatever the cause, there is no shame in reading this! :)

So let me recap. I talked about things to think about before you assault. Don't shoot if your enemy taking a model off will leave you out of assault range. Be careful what you assault... (Make sure you can kill it and not be slaughtered) Watch for initiative, weapon skill and strength. It is OK to ask your opponent the stats of each of his models. If he has a problem with that, he is a douche. Pick your assaults wisely!

In my last post, I brought a Space Marine Assault squad into assault with 3... yes THREE Eldar Guardian squads. That is 10 marines vs 30 Eldar. I even sent the marine with the power fist after a nearby Viper just to prove a point. Remember, so long as YOUR squad remains in coherency, you can assault any thing you want, after your first model has made into base to base with his. So, send in your first model, get it base to base. Then you can move all of the rest of your models to assault whatever is in range. In my example, I managed to get the Sgt. with power fist into base to base with a Viper, 5 marines into combat with 1 Eldar squad, and 2 marines into combat with each of the other two squads.

What happens next? Well your opponent gets to bring his guys into the fray. All of the Eldar that are base to base with Marines are now in combat, including any behind those models that are B2B but still within 2". Now he gets to move any UNengaged models up to get into assault. It will look like these Eldar are now swarming all over the marines, and it will look scary! Dont fret Marines. Here comes the fun.

Who goes first?

In old versions of 40k Assault was wonky. You would go in, and your good models would go first, wipe out a bunch of guys, and your opponent would take off guys that were base to base with the rest of your models, leaving them stranded and unable to attack. Now, once assault has begun, no matter what, all models will get their attacks, regardless of who went first. Providing, of course, that the models are still alive when their initiative comes up.

In this case, Guardians are initiative 4, and so are marines. So every one will get to attack. Lets break it down:

5 Marines are fighting 10 Eldar
2 Marines are fighting 10 Eldar
2 Marines are fighting 10 Eldar
1 Marine is Charging a viper that did not move.

The lone marine is not engaged with any eldar, and has a power fist. The fist reduces his initiative to 1 or Last. We will save him for later.

Lets do the big fight.

5 assault maries attack 10 Eldar. An assault marine has 1 base attack. He has two close combat weapons, a pistol and a sword, so he gets a bonus attack for that. He also charged, so he gets a 3rd attack. There are 5 marines attacking for a total of 15 attacks. We will do averages here. When determining if you hit, you compare weapon skill. A Guardian has a WS 3 and a SM has WS of 4. A glance at the To Hit (Assault) chart will show you that SM need a 3 to hit the guardians. They are better with swords. We will say 60% of them hit for an estimate of 9 hits. (Screw math)

Now time to wound. Once you hit something, you have to wound it. You may have just glanced the shot... etc. So of your 9 hits, you need to roll a die to see how many wound. The Str of a SM is 4. The Toughness of an Eldar Guardian is 3. Comparing the two scores, you will wound on a roll of 3. There is a chart on the last page of the rule book. So again, roughly 60 percent of the hits will wound. Of the 9 hits, we will say 6 wounded.

Now for armor saves. Guardians have a 5+ save, so we can say that for every 6 wounded, 4 will die based on the dice. Close enough. So 4 dead guardians. The number of dead is important because this forces a leadership test. If a squad suffers 25% losses of it's current value, it has to make a leadership test. This squad suffered 40% loss and will have to test at the end of combat. But all 10 of those guardians get to attack since they have the same initiative as the SM.

A WS of 3 attacking WS of 4 will need a 4 to hit after a quick glance at the book. Guardians only get 1 attack. They suck in assault. So 10 attacks, needing a 4 will leave 5 hits. Now time to wound.

Eldar Guardians are Str 3. Marines are Toughness 4. S3 will need a 5 to wound T4 models after glancing at the last page of the rule book. Not good odds. It is like 33 percent... we will say 2 wound. Now the marines have to make 2 saves. They get a 3+ save, and we will say they both pass.

We have to keep track of scores here. This is all one huge combat, with several small mini battles going on. At the end, it is all resolved as one fight. After game one, Marines are up 4 to 0.

Now Eldar squad 2 is fighting 2 marines. The marines have 6 attacks, and need 4s to hit. We will say that true to the odds, 3 hit. Then again, true to the odds, 2 wound. Due to Eldars crap save, 2 more die. The Eldar hit back, with their 4+ to hit, and land 5 hits. With their crap Strength, they will have a tough time, we will give them the benefit of the doubt this time, and give them 3 wounds. Now, two marines have to make 3 saves. We will say one goes down.

Score after game 2, Marines 6, Eldar 1.

We will give the third game the same score, but give the Eldar one more kill due to lucky rolls. So, final tally of kills for the 10 Marines vs 30 Eldar is 8 kills for the Marines, and 2 for the Eldar.

But what about our Squad Leader? He charged an immobile viper. If a vehicle has NOT moved in the previous turn, all assaults against it are auto hits. A power fist doubles the models Str in assault. A marine has a 4 Str, which becomes 8 with the fist. Fists are so clunky and big, that a model using one does NOT get a bonus attack for having two close combat weapons. But he does get his charge bonus. A veteran has 2 base attacks, and one bonus for the charge for a total of 3. All 3 hit automaticly. Now to hurt the viper.

A Viper has armor value 10, and is open topped. This is going to go VERY badly for the viper. To damage vehicles, you compare Strength vs Armor Value. The Str of the Marine is 8 vs the armor of the vehicle which is 10. The marine has to score equal to or above the armor value to hurt the vehicle. You roll a d6 and add the total to the score of 8. We will say the results for the 3 attacks are a 1, a 4 and a 6. In this case, a result of 1 is not necessarily an auto failure to wound, (such is the case in most other results) But 8 + 1 is only 9 and does not equal the value of the armor, so the 1 is a failure to wound. But the 4 and 6 both PENETRATE the vehicle. 8+4 is 12, which beats armor 10. The marine gets to roll two dice on the damage table. He is punching holes right through the hull of the ship and grabbing the pilot! He rolls a 2 and a 4. Looking at the Vehicle Damage Table will show you that the results will be a Crew Stunned and Immobilized result. BUT, the vehicle is open topped. So the marine gets to add 1 to his scores. That makes them a Weapon Destroyed and Vehicle Destroyed result. The viper is now dead, and remains on the table as terrain.

Now time to make morale tests. The total score was 8 for the marines and 2 for the Eldar. The difference of the two scores is 6. Sadly for the Eldar, they have to minus 6 from their leadership rolls. Since the Eldar lost combat, that is, the Marines scored more kills, ALL THREE of the eldar squads need to make a leadership test. (Leadership/Morale... same difference for this discussion) Guardians have a leadership of 8. They have to roll snake eyes to pass their test, and all three fail. Things are going VERY ugly for the guardians, and here is where Marines shine.

Time for Sweeping Advance.

Since the Eldar lost combat, and failed their leadership tests. They need to fall back. The eldar roll 2d6 and fall back that many inches. However, the marines may choose to Sweeping Advance... or Massacre them. If the marines choose to keep them in assault, they need to make a compared initiative roll vs the Eldar. Each squad rolls a D6 and adds their initiative. The marines roll a D6 and get a 5 so the eldar have to BEAT a 9. Their initiave is 4 so they have to roll 6s. A tie in this case will still mean that the Marines may Sweeping Advance. All three of the eldar squads roll under 6. Which means the marines have successfully Sweeping Advanced all three of the squads. Sadly for the Eldar, this means that all 3 squads are instantly destroyed. Thats right, 10 marines just cut down 30 Eldar and a Viper, and only lost 2 marines.

Now, this was based on average rolls. So it is a pretty good indicator of what will happen most of the time. Odds are that most opponents will not give you a juicy target like 3 guardian squads bunched up next to a viper that has not moved... but you never know.


When assaulting, look for juicy targets. If you have a badass assault squad, look for multiple squads that you can assault... And if you have the resources, send your power fist after a tank or something.

Phew my fingers hurt! :)

Here is a video of my Honor Guard Golden Daemon Finalist from start to finish

Enjoy! I put a lot of love into these models. I am pretty proud of myself for making the cut and being a finalist. There was a lot of stiff competition.

40k for Noobys! Tactics: Assault

Ok, bear with me here. I am sitting at a tire dealership getting my flat fixed. I have gotten an overwhelming number of requests to do tactics for noobys. Probably the most questions I get in general are on how to play the game! So I have decided to write a series of tactical posts for the 40k nooby. If you are here, you were either forced here by my massive Youtube marketing blitz, googled Blood Angels and found the first 40 hits as mine, or probably were directed here from some one elses blog list. At any rate, a good number of you finding yourself here for the first time are new players searching for ANY info on how to start. There is a lot of info for advanced players who know what they are doing... but very little for beginners.

Having said that, allow me to begin.


Not all armies are created equal when it comes to assault. If you have just started playing the game, you may have picked an army you thought was cool like the Tau, and wonder why you buddy keeps owning you with space marines with Jump Packs. There are a few things to consider when looking at assault. The most important stat is Initiative. Initiative determines who gets to swing their sword first. The better the fighters will get to attack first, thus getting a chance to kill your guys before they get to even swing their weapons. When planning what you are going to assault, you need to consider initiative first. After initiative, comes Toughness. You may have a higher initiative, but your target is too tough to wound! An Eldar Guardian has Strength 3, and Chaplain Cassius, a Space Marine Character, has Toughness 6. Those poor Guardians who manage to actually hit him, will only wound him on a roll of 6. Needless to say, Cassius will slaughter entire squads of guardians all by himself.

After initiative and toughness, the rest of the stats come into play. Weaponskill is a measure of how good your model is with his sword compared to his opponent. Leadership matters in assault too.

Armor saves matter too. Space Marine Terminators have a 2+ save. Eldar guardians have what... a 5+ Not fair at all.

Finally comes the matter of what weapons you are carrying. Oh man... lol... soo many variables! I guess this is why there is so little written for noobs! This is hard! Well I will just plug away here and organzie it after.

You need to be aware of the weapons that your squad has and the squad that you are attacking has. You can have a jacked out badass squad of Assault Space Marines, but if they do not have a power fist, they will have a tough time beating a Chaos Dreadnought in assault.

Let me try to simplify things. In the movement phase you need to think about what squads you will want to assault in the assault phase. I know, thinking ahead is not easy, especially when you need to think ahead 5 rounds... but you have to do it. So you need to move your units so that after shooting is done, they will still be in range to assault. (that means if you plop your assault marines just 6" away from the closest enemy model, fire at that squad, kill one, and he pulls that model off, you are no longer in range...)

So if you want to assault, make sure your unit is VERY close to the target unit. Or do not shoot at that unit. I rarely shoot at the units I plan on assaulting. That is because I play on the extreme edges of measurement. I have a fairly good eye for estimating distances, and will take chances for my assaulters. If I think I can get just one of my guys into assault, with just one of his, I will go for it, but shooting that squad may allow him to pull that model off, leaving my squad stranded. Never let that happen! Plus, if you are not sure that you will slaughter the squad you are about to assault without shooting at it... you may want to rethink your target any way.

So during movement, position your assaulters so that they are as close to your enemy as possible. If you are so close that no matter how many guys he pulls off from that squad you will still get into assault, feel free to shoot em up. Otherwise, hold your fire.

Now, you moved your guys, and maybe shot at your target and it is time for you to assault. At any rate, you are committed now so there is no turning back. Charge. The next step is to pick the closest model you have to his squad, and move him directly into base to base contact with that model. If you are short... assault is over. Your guys are stuck in the open. If you reach, assault has started. Once your first guy is BtoB with his, the rest of your guys can go where ever they hell they want. So long as they remain in unit coherency... that is, every guy in your squad has to be within 2" of another member of the squad. What is key about this is that now you can assault the squad you are after, but you can send other guys in your squad out to attack other nearby squads and vehicles. In our little example, we will say that 10 Assault Space Marines have targeted a squad of Eldar Guardians for assault, and there are two other squads of Eldar nearby. The first marine goes in base to base with the first Eldar, but then you can shoot out marines from that squad into the other two squads of Eldar. Lets just say there is also an Eldar Viper too. You can send your marine with the power fist after that!

So lets recap this. You moved your 10 assault marines into range to assault a squad of eldar. There also happens to be two other eldar squads right next to your target and a viper. You get your closest marine into base to base contact with the target squad. You can then send out marines to assault the other two squads and the viper. Your guys are close enough to reach them all, and stay in unit coherency. Now the eldar player has to bring all of his guardians into combat against your squad! Your 10 marines are about to wipe out 30+ Eldar and a tank.

Now to decide just who is attacking who.

This is a little confusing. Lets start with your first marine. He, and any one who is base to base with the first eldar squad can attack it. Also, any one behind him, up to 2", can attack it even if they are not in base to base. Lets say 5 of your guys qualify to attack the first squad and you will direct all of their attacks into it. Now, two of your marines are base to base with Eldar squad 2. They will attack that squad. Two other marines are base to base with squad 3 and they will attack that one. Finally, your Sgt charged the Viper and is going to punch the crap out of it.

Now lets look at Initiative. Space Marines are initiative 4. We will say guardians are initiative 3. The space marines get to attack 1st. Assault marines have one base attack. They get a second attack because they have an off hand weapon. In this case, their bolt pistol counts as a club. They get a third attack because they charged. So they get 3 attacks each. 5 marines are attacking the Eldar, and they get a total of 15 attacks.

Holy crap i think I just lost myself... Let me post this, if you think it is ok, i will continue writing it! :)

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse: Have a plan!

Image from

I have not had much time to endulge in this guilty pleasure do to the fact that I have been working on product for my jawa-stores, and painting my first commission. Which by the way, you can follow the progress of on my commission blog, I will be updating it tonight. I needed a little break, so now here come the zombies!

So I have established the ground rules... more or less. I believe that the hardest part of surviving the zombie apocalypse is the first hour of escape. I call it the Shock and Aweful phase. This is the time where you are going to be confronted with your worst nightmare come true. You may come face to face with your mother trying to eat your brains... OR you may be forced with making decisions like trying to save your girlfriend as she is enveloped by a shambling horde because she was too slow to keep up and you know you will probably be pulled down too... (Remember, most heroes are only recognized after they died being a hero.) Morale issues aside, we will assume you were at least prepared enough to get away and find a safe place. You had your ready bag ready to go, and remembered to grab it as you ducked your zombie mom and ran out the door. You found a nice place to hide for the the afternoon, got dressed, finished taking your poo and wiped your butt, and were sure to protect your body against any infections and chafing. You have analyzed your course of action for the next few hundred yards, and are ready to go commando style... using cover and speed as your friends.

What do you do now??

You need a bigger plan. Your own individual survival plan is only part of the job. What you need to do is get together with your buds and come up with a plan for prolonged survival, and count on them to stick with it. But you have to do your part. My own personal plan is to try to make it home to Upstate New York. I know, my moving to Connecticut put a big crimp in my zombie survival plans, but I am a trooper and will stick to the over all plan! They know I am probably a gonner living in such a populated zone, but I am smart and resourceful. I will survive.

So what do I do? I go to Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart has it all. That MUST be your first stop. There are two Wal-Marts nearby. (From here on known as WM) I have chosen to make the further one my destination. I can get to the closer one, but I have to cross two bridges, and go through a heavier populated area. By the way, avoid bridges... they are bottle necks... crossing a bridge in a populated area is like plopping your but next to the General's Chicken at a 4.99 Chinese Buffet.

My chosen WM is a 6 mile hike north through mostly sparse residential areas and woods. I have not actually walked it, but I have driven the route, and know the way there, and know of any fence issues I might encounter... Mind you I am not a spry and skinny teenager... There will be little fence jumping in my survival plans.

So there you go. I have kids coming in now and gotta get going. Next time, I will tell you what to do once you make it to WM! JB

Winners for the first ever Jawaballs/Rogue Market give away!

Here are the three lucky winners for the first every Jawaballs and Rogue Market give away!

First Selected: DrewVolker
2nd Selected: JayLazer
3rd Selected: roullier10

DrewVolker won a Jawaballs painted Deathwing Terminator, and a how to paint video set from me, and brand new Box Set from Rogue market! Congratulations man.

Jaylazer and Roullier10 each won a how to paint video, paid for by Rogue Market.

So if you are one of the lucky winners, contact me and we can get your prizes to you! I will be running a painting contest soon. For my first one, it will be Blood Angels related... so sorry xenos scum! Once I have decided on the details, you will need to paint a new model for the contest... no pulling some old model out of a case that has already won every contest on the web. :) Be looking for more details to come.


Battle Report: Blood Angels vs Blood Angels! Battle for Salvation tournament game 3

You heard it... Dante intercepted a transmission from Mephiston to Fritz. Mephiston was trying to broker a deal with Saim-Hann to eliminate him on their next doubles engagement. Dante decided it was time to lay down the law.

Battle for Salvation Game 3
Kill points

Blood Angels vs Blood Angels
My opponent had: Mephiston, Corbulo, 8 Jump pack Death Company, 10 jump pack assault vets with melta attached to mephiston, land raider, 5 gun terminators, 2 razorbacks, 20 tactical marines or so.

Coming into this game, I had to get a total victory. But I knew it would be nigh impossible. I had 50% more KP for him to score... I have never faced Mephiston, and it was scary to think about...

Turn 1: The deployment was Dawn of War. He deployed some tacticals with Corbulo, I deployed my tactical and Dante behind cover.

On his turn, he marched every thing on, and took some shots. Night Fight stopped most of his shots, but he did manage to reach my tactical with a razorback, so every squad after that was able to shoot. I lost a marine. The rest of his squads marched on to prep for ground assault.

On my turn, I did the same. Popped some shots but failed to reach. The rest of my forces moved up to attempt to brace for impact.

Looking at the makeup of his list, he had a distinct advantage. Most of his forces were equipped with assault packs, and were either advancing behind a Land Raider, or were able to jump behind cover to block LoS. I knew I was not going to push the attack. The bonus points were to select a piece of terrain, and take and hold them. My plan was to hold mine by fending off his assault... some how, and fast move my rhinos onto his to contest it on turn 5. My terrain piece was a large nurgly hill of poop looking stuff right in the middle of the board. It did a nice job blocking line of sight! I deployed my tacticals on his side of the piece. I wanted to get him to charge right down the middle of the table in the open, so I put them in a place where he might think that he could get at them. Then on my turn, I pulled them back! If he was going to get at them, he had to assault them through a good 8 inches of terrain, or go around it, through my predator fire. My dreads assumed support positions behind the terrain, while Dante moved off to the right a bit, to deter his death company from advancing too quickly. I knew my only chance was to slow him down, and try to isolate his assaulting forces to one at a time. If he hit me with every thing at once... I was done.

Turn 2:
He advanced some more. He decided to attempt to score some easy kill points this turn by shooting Lascannons at my rhinos. He managed to imobilize one. The others cowered behind terrain out of LoS. He made his first mistake of the game here. Knowing I would have to sacrifice some of my units to slow him down, I extended my Baal Preds over to the right, to tempt him out from behind his cover. I knew I would lose one to his DC assault, but I was banking on him exploding the tank, and leaving himself exposed to my counter assault... He jumped his Death Company up over the terrain they were hiding behind, and took the bait. They were isolated from the rest of his squads which would enable me to deal with them, then recover my defensive position.

On my turn, I unloaded on them. They had to die. I got both of my Dreads into position to flame and melta them. I managed to kill a few in the shooting. Dante popped a melta shot at them as well. My preds attempted to stun his lascannon razors, but were out of range this turn.

In the assault, he felt the first sting of my army. Even a Blood Angels player was not prepared for the ferocity that is my duo Furioso Death Company Dreadnoughts. They assaulted his Death Company, gaining Preferred Enemy from Dante and Furious charge from Corbulo. The 5 remaining DC would not be able to withstand 12 or so Dreadnought hits. They went down like a 3 dollar whore, and my dreads massacred back to their original positions.

Turn 3:
Now I had to deal with Mephiston and 10 assault vets. He finally managed to get Mephistons wings to work, and they jumped up to the left of my terrain piece but held back a little being just out of range to do their job... he would wait one more turn to close the deal, not wanting to isolate them as well. His land raider came right down the middle. He took this turn to fire more shots at rhinos but failed to do any real damage.

I took advantage of this respite to reset my forces. I huddled my tacticals behind the terrain, they had to live for me to hold my base. I wanted to keep them away from Mephiston and the vets and the Land Raider assaulting terminators... Yikes! I decided to sacrifice another Baal, this time on the left of my terrain to Mephiston. I moved it over and up, trying to keep it away from my squads. I shot at his Razor just to get his attention, stunning it. Now on Turn 4 I was hoping he would assault that instead of jumping his vets into my base and slaughtering my tactical squad. Dante stayed back to support with Preferred Enemy, and Corbulo sent my DC over to the left to Counter Assault mephiston.

Turn 4:
On his turn, things took a turn for the worse for me! He jumped Mephiston and vets up and took the bait again, killing that juicy Baal by assaulting it. He rammed his Land Raider right into my terrain and unloaded his terminators. They got out and shot at my tacticals, then assaulted them... :( He killed all but the Sgt. who lost combat, and failed morale, then fell back! He did not run off the table, so it seemed he would survive, since Terminators cannot sweeping advance. On my right, he advanced a combat squad, who abandonded their imobilized razorback. He was pushing to take my objective... They destroyed my last Baal with melta fire. His Corbulo was also attached to the squad. He was attempting to get in range for Furious Charge.

On my turn, it was do or die time. I was facing a huge assault force who had overrun my base. He had lots of Lascannons that were going to shoot down my rhinos once they left their cover. The worst, was that he had a Land Raider on my base that had just moved 12". I would need 6s to hit it with my dreadnought and I could not get rerolls. But I stuck to my guns! My assault squad on the far left, that was sitting in an immobilized rhino finally abandoned it. I had been trying to get it fixed since turn 1. They ran through terrain to head for his base. My other assault rhino and the empty tactical rhino burst out from behind their cover. The empty one took lead, blocking for the one carrying the troops. If I was going to have any chance of winning the tournament, those troops had to do their job! My lead blocking rhino popped smoke. I broke off Corbulo from the DC, and sent them to intercept Mephiston's squad. My last Tactical sgt. regrouped and ran for cover, staying within 6" of Corbs to get his heal, and out of assault range from Mephiston. Dante jumped to intercept his Corbulo and combat squad. My two Furiosos moved to intercept the Terminators and Land Raider... If I was going to have any chance, all had to go perfect! I had to make the decision, do I go for the Land Raider, or focus on the terminators with both Dreads... I decided to split them, let one dread deal with the Terms, and let the other shoot and assault the LR. In a fantastic bout of luck, my melta shot from the dread EXPLODED his Land Raider! The rest would come down to assault. My DC charged Mephiston, foolishly. He went first, and cut them all down. The only chance I had was to try to get them away from Meph, and kill some veterans, trying to win combat and force them to fail leadership. But instead I wasted them... :( Dante shot then assaulted the combat squad, killing off the marines. Corbulo survived and would be locked in combat with Dante for a turn. My other dread assaulted his terminators. I dealt 5 wounds to 4 remaining terminators, and he failed 4 saves... they would all die. But their hits back immobilized my dread. What a change of fate! In one turn I wiped out a Land Raider, terminator squad and Combat Squad. But I still had to deal with his Corbulo, Mephiston and a jacked out assault squad. My resources were dwindling.

Turn 5. He would take his turn and fire his lascannons at my rhinos making their move. He immobilized the lead rhino, but was unable to target the important one. I would need it to roll a 4+ to move fast on my turn to contest! He broke off Mephiston from the assault squad. They jumped into the terrain to assault my dreads. They had meltabombs, krak grenades, and a power fist. Mephiston jumped over to take on my Corbulo. He fired his immobilized Razorback with a TL heavy bolter at my lone tactical sgt... like Neo he managed to doge the shots by making his armor saves! In his assault, Dante would kill his Corbulo and massacre away towards the HB razor that just fired on my Tactical. Mephiston assaulted my Corbulo, wounded him 4 times, but The Grail of Sanguinius saved him all four times! His assault vets assaulted my immobilized dread trying to get the KP. But only knocked off an arm and got stuck in combat. Their fate would be sealed on my turn...

So on my turn, I moved into position to try to win. My foot slogging assault squad would move towards his objective, while my rhino with troops inside moved onto it to contest. My imobilized rhino managed to fix itself. Dante jumped over to the Immob Razor, missed his meltashot, and failed to destroy it on the assault. I had nothing else to shoot... My other dread joined the assault on the Jump Vets, and the two of them combined would destroy them all. My last tactical marine moved up and ran into the terrain again, to claim it for myself. After massacring the vets, my last mobile dread moved to block Mephiston from getting in to kill my last marine. He was safely nestled between the two dreds. Mephiston cut down the valiant Corbulo using his force weapon and instant killing him. However, he had suffered two wounds in the process, and was not interested in any more death, namely his own. Instead of massacring towards my tactical marine, he ran for the hills.

At the bottom of 5, he and I were tied in Kill points. I held my objective, contested his, and had a better KP ratio. But the game, if it ended, would be a draw and I would only get 2 bonus points. I had to wipe out the marines on his objective, and try to score more kill points for the win. I could not have the game end on turn 5. So, after a brief prayer to Sanguinius, the die was rolled, and the game would go on!

Turn 6:
Desperate now, he would try to score some kill points to try to draw. Mephiston, looking around and finding himself all alone, ran away. He did not want to face my furioso dread. He tried to dislodge my rhino that had moved onto his objective with heavy weapon fire, but failed due to smoke. With nothing left to assault at my base, that battle was over and I won. All he could do now was try to deny me kill points and maintain the draw.

On my turn, Dante would have nothing to do with that. He destroyed the razorback with his Perdition pistol. My foot slogging assault squad managed to get into assault range, and pulled his guys away from his base. I unloaded my rhino, and those marines assaulted the combat squad that was holding it, and killed them all. Leaving his base uncontested and in my hands. I rammed his razorback with the rhino that fixed itself, hoping to stun it. But had no effect. But it did not matter.

At the end of 6, I had the lead in Kill Points, and held all 3 of the bonus points. The die roll would end the game. Victory Jawaballs!

This game was fantastic. I would say it was the third best game of 40k ever. Charly was a great player, fair and smart. What appeared to be a rout in his favor, turned into a runaway for me. Emotion, suspense and drama... cant ask for better then that! It came down to the wire, and the game was decided by how 40k should be. The dice. No cheap BS, no rules twisting. Just tactics and dice.

So as you already know, I went on to win the whole thing. It was an utter shock... I knew I had scored enough points to contend for a place, but at the end, took the trophy! Thanks to Charly for the great game, and for buying some of my Jawa-Bases! After playing against me, he placed an order for some of my ruined wall bases to base his own army. :)

Here is the video! Blood Angels vs Blood Angels

Are you a complete tournament player?

What is the secret? If you want to win tournaments, you generally need to consider 4 factors. It is the combination of them all that helps you win:

Army List

Army List:
You need to come rock hard. If you want to compete at a tournament, you need to forget those fluffy lists. Leave the thunder cannons home. You need to put together a list that optimizes efficiency, strength and flexibility. Every army has a certain combination of models that is MOST efficient, that is... gets you the most bang for the buck. I believe I have found it with my Blood Angels. This is not an instant occurance though, my Blood Angels have arrived at their current point through a LOT of modifications. I have been playing them exclusively for 20 months! But this post is not about which army is better. Certainly some armies can make a more efficient list... but do the best you can do within your chosen army. Go on the forums. Bolter and Chainsword is a great wealth of knowledge for Space Marines. Seek out blogs that focus on particular armies like Black Matt's Chaos Blog or Way of Saim-Hann. Find out what lists are winning, and play them. If you have to pick a new army, then do it. Some armies just cannot compete in the tournament scene. Accept it, adjust, move on.

So you have your rock hard list. Taking that list to a tournament with no idea how to play it is like giving a loaded gun to a 5 year old. Bad things will happen, mostly to you. In the short time I have been playing 40k, the only list I have encountered that a Pigeon could win with was the 4th edition 60 Genestealer list. At the first Gamesday 40k tournament I went to, 8 of the top 10 armies were virtual clones of that list.

Having said that... learn how to play your army. Develop tactics, and stick with them. Trust your tactics. I have won games when all was apparently lost, only because I stuck with my tactics. Just this weekend, it appeared I was getting rolled, but I stuck to my guns, and turned the game around into a total victory.

But tactics extend beyond the game table. One of the biggest secrets the major tournament winners have been employing is selective winning of bonus points. In the first round, the temptation is to destroy your opponent and get all the bonus points. In my last two tournament wins, I did not do this! In one example, I eeked out a draw and ended up winning the whole thing. In another though, I chose not to scoop up the 3 bonus points in round one when I easily could have. This placed me back in the pack of winners... but most importantly, kept me off the top tables where I would have been up against the blood thirsty nooby crushers. In round two, those guys either crushed each other, or self destructed, placing them selves out of contention... or in place to play yet another top army in round three. Meanwhile I enjoyed a round two game against a weaker army and opponent, where I was able to dictate how many points I scored. I went into round three with the opponent that was best for me. The point is I avoided a round two game against a tougher opponent simply by not killing my first round opponent's HQ and highest points total squad when I had the chance.

In the last two tournaments that I won, painting points were awarded per game. So, I got max painting points each game, for a total of 15 extra points. This made the difference both times! In more and more tournaments, they are including painting points as part of your overall score. You must get your army painted. The minimum standard is a base coat, a wash, and a highlight. GW has made this easy for you. You must do it! Get your army painted to this standard, then pick out some details like purity seals and guns etc. and you are good to go. My friend Charly was upset at a recent tournament because he was playing an unpainted ork army. He was amongst the top players there, but had no real chance of winning because he scored zero painting points. Get your armies painted.

This is the final kicker. Be a good sport. In most tournaments, there is some sort of sportsmanship points awarded by your opponent. These points are simple to earn. Be friendly, dont argue, and dont be a jerk. If you object to something your opponent does, politely raise your concern and suggest it be looked up in a book. If you cannot resolve it with a book, and he insists on doing it, suggest a die roll. If he still refuses, simply say ok, and let him have it. He is a douche and nail HIM on sportsmanship. There is however a distinction between being a good sport, and playing a cheezy list. A lot of guys find the line to be quite blurry, and will try to nail you on sportsmanship for playing a list they feel is cheeze. This happened just last weekend, and is probably what gave me the over all win! My friend Dan pulled a tyranid player as his round 3 opponent. They were 1 and 2 coming into the final round. Dan's Salamander army is a little cheezy... but it wins and is legal! Dan himself is a friendly, polite, considerate and all around great guy. The nid player docked him sportsmanship points... probably just because Dan crushed him. Dont be that guy!

Here is a list of things you can do to ensure good sportsmanship points:

Smile, be on time, do not stall, do not take phone calls, compliment your opponents army, compliment your opponents tactics. It is real easy to say "That was a nice decision." And that works wonders on how your opponent feels about you. Ask specific questions about models that your opponent obviously spent a lot of time on. Ask your opponent for input on your stuff. Dont argue every little thing. Dont nit pick measurements. I can go on and on, but you get the point. I go out of my way to be as good a sport as possible in tournament games. I will always give my opponent the benefit of the doubt, even if it is obvious that he is trying to squeek out some advantage. In the end, if you have covered parts one and two of this article, you will probably beat him any way. :)

Enjoy playing the game! If you have fun, your opponent will. If he is a douche, accept it, do the best you can, and get it done.

Hope that help!


Battle Report: Blood Angels vs Orks BFS Charity Tournament game 2

In game two of the Battle for Salvation tournament, I needed a win bad, and had the wonderful pleasure of going up against fellow club member and Ork player Paully! Last time he and I met he came up against my Blood Angels first incarnation... an all assault pack army. That army was good at assault for sure... but I got cut down more often then not. In that game, I managed to surround a convoy of 3 ork trucks completely, popped them all, and killed all the orks inside. (4th edition rules)

I admit that Paully is not the most "hard boy" type of player. He plays for fun. But I was not complaining! I needed a win... :)

1750 Mech Orks vs my Mech Blood Angels

Mission 2 base objectives
Deployment table corners

Paully won the roll to go first, and chose side and deployed. He had 3 huge mobs of boys, 3 trucks with hard boys and nobs inside, 2 looted wagons and a squad of Lootas in a building.

After letting him deploy, I announced that I was once again reserving every thing. I then, to be fair, explained how reserves worked in 5th edition. He took it in stride and planned accordingly!

Turn 1: He moved out. Keeping his boys in cover, he marched the mobs towards my objectives, and zoomed out his trucks.

Turn 2: He moved some more, bringing the truck with his mech war boss and nobs to the front. He arranged his boys to best take advantage of cover saves, but chose not to actually put them in terrain... on this board there were plenty of small 'barbed wire' type of terrain pieces, but not a lot of area terrain pieces that he could reach.

On my turn, my stuff started arriving and this game started going badly for poor Paully. One pred came on and Paully got a taste of what they can do, and a couple of rhinos came on and hid behind terrain waiting for turn 4. The Death company and Dante moved into position for a turn 3 assault and I waited. Only a few orks died this turn.

Turn 3 and 4: Paul would need a final round of movement to get to my guys. He did shoot his looted wagons but either scattered to no effect or I made cover saves. His loota boys rolled a 1. I had him funneling himself through terrain to try to get at my guys, and was laying on the gunfire the whole time. Unfortunately for Paul, he moved his mobs in such a way that they would not get cover saves against my preds...

On my turn my other two preds came on and all hell broke loose. At this point, every thing but a Rhino was on. I lined up my two furioso dreads and torched almost an entire boy mob. Dante jumped ahead and melted the nob truck, sending it kareening away. My preds opened fire on the boys, killing massive amounts... at one point he jokingly started swearing at me as I killed about 30 boys with my preds alone. He was NOT prepared. My furiosos and Death Company charged his nobs and mech boss... they went squish... initiative 5 furious charging rerolling misses 7 attack dreadnoughts are fearsome! My rhinos moved through terrain to line up for a turn 5 capture of his base.

Turn 5:
By this time, the game was over. Almost all of his boys were dead, dieing, or running away. I captured his objective and held my own, as well as 3 table quarters. The game mercifully ended with a 1 on turn 5. :) Sorry Paul!

He was illprepared for my army. He came to the table expecting to face something like my last army... not the shooty death he ran into. The Baal Preds were the MVP here, they killed no less then 80 orks and two trucks. Overwhelming fire power, strong precision assault, fast mobility and tactics left poor Paulies Orky head spinning. To be fair, again, my army was designed to be a counter to just what Paul played. Plus he does not get in many games and was more then a little surprised.

It was a great game Paul as always and fun to play. I needed max points, and got them. Fun stuff!

Now is your chance to score Jawa-Loot!

I have opened a new store through where I will be offering unique and fun merchandise and tee-shirts. You can find my new store here. I will be adding a LOT of new content over the next week so check back often and get your self a piece of Jawa-Loot!


Battle Report: BA vs Salamanders. BFS Game 1

Here was game one of the 2009 Battle for Salvation tournament.

Mission: 5 loot counters
Vulkan Salamanders vs my Blood Angels Mech list with 2 Furioso.

I won the roll to go first and passed first turn to Kris. He deployed, and I reserved every thing.

Turn 1: He moved up hesitantly, keeping his fragile units behind tanks.

Turn 2: He moved up more, preparing for my arrival, and securing objectives. If I was going to have a chance, I would need to blast him off objectives.

On my turn, only a small number of my units came on, including Dante, Corbulo with DC, a Baal and Furioso. I came on and sprayed some shots at his speeders but failed to wound.

Turn 3: He moved up some more, pressing the attack with his Land Raider. I ignored it completely though. He took shots at what he could, but failed to wound any thing thanks to cover and smoke.

Most of my remaing stuff came on and I was getting set up to claim objectives. He was fearful of getting too close to my objectives, because he knew he had to deal with two Furioso dreads assaulting him if he did. So far this game was just a chess match jockeying for objectives.

Turn 4: He started to turn the tide. Melta shots killed two of my tanks and some Rhinos. He got a Melta shot on Dante and killed him. His dreads came in to my objectives, but I intercepted them with my own. I moved my DC up on a far objective in an attempt to take it from him.

Turn 5: He pulled back his land raider to assault my DC. He destroyed the DC Rhino, which worked against him because he now had to climb up and over a large piece of terrain. He would overpower my Deathcompany, but on my turn, I was able to fast move a Baal up to contest the objective. At the bottom of turn 5, I held two, he held two and one was contested... I rolled to see if the game would end... the result was a two! Game ended with a draw. Had the game gone on, he would have defeated me for sure. But that is luck!