Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ye Got Me In Me Mizzenmast

I have a job that allows me to listen to a lot of music at work. What I listen to tends to come from a wide range of styles and genres.* A couple of weeks ago, I discovered this band called Alestorm.

Alestorm is sort of like if some 17th century pirates got together and started making metal. Their songs are about things like keelhauling, mutiny, treasure, etc; they occasionally use piratey instruments like organs, accordians, and bitchin' guitars; and all of the lyrics are sung in that pirate accent we all know and love.

Yeah, they're pretty sweet.

Anyways, the DE are often described as being rather piratical and listening to this music so much lately has almost made me want to convert up a pirate-themed DE army. Not quite, but almost. If I wasn't sure that I would switch to ninjas, or vikings, or trolls just as soon as I found a similarly awesome band with a different theme, I might be a bit more inspired.

Perhaps I'll just pirate up a Duke model and leave it at that.


* - Ok, maybe not really. Mostly it all relates to either metal or techno in some way. Also nerdcore, but there is a lot less of that to listen to. Optimus Rhyme is still my favorite band ever, though. Them and Rush. Alright, so maybe it is sort of eclectic.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dirty Hippies

I'm sure no more than 1 of you care, but Gretchen is such a bitch.

The Duke

I've been thinking about my main HQ choice lately. Undoubtedly, the Duke offers the most for what you pay for. But is it really worth it? Buying a million grand pianos for a million dollars is an undeniably good deal, but if I don't have a million dollars (or don't need a million pianos) then it isn't worth it.

The Duke offers the following things for the relatively reasonable price of 150 points:
  • Deepstrike for your skimmer platforms
  • Roll 2 dice, pick what you want from the combat drugs table
  • A unit of warriors or trueborn that he deploys with get 3+ poison weapons
  • His wargear:
    • 2+ poison attacks that ignore armor on 5+ in CC
    • Shadowfield
    • Blast Pistol

Again, undoubtedly a lot of stuff for his cost. But I don't know if it really fits in my list.

I don't see myself taking more than 1 unit with combat drugs. While ensuring I get something I want is nice, if only a single squad is benefiting from it, is it really necessary? If I were running a full wych list, then it would definitely be worth it; his contraband special rule would be effecting 40-60 girls instead of just 8 or 9. As it is though, I'm not sure.

I think deep striking any of the DE platforms is a bad idea. Deep striking vehicles seems neat, but they're large and difficult to get in somewhere meaningful without mishap. On top of that, do they really need to DS? Their weapons have good range, they are fast and can move 12" without losing firepower, and they are incredibly frail so putting them closer to the enemy means they get shot by small arms fire that much sooner. Sure it might be nice to have as an option, but it isn't something I ever see myself doing outside of very specific circumstances.*

3+ poison weapons are great, but I have no idea where I'm going to fit him in. My TB are all wielding blasters, so he would be useless with them.*** To fit him with a warrior squad, I'd have to drop one of them to 9 and lose a cannon (which would be pointless since poisoned shots are why he'd be joining the squad to begin with) or to start them outside of their raider. This has complications of its own. Does he merely have to start the game with a squad? Or does he have to stay with that squad? I haven't read the rules, so I don't know; I've just seen what people have been saying, and nobody has mentioned this. Also, I would have to start the game with the 11 of them outside of their raider, first turn move the Duke into wherever I want him to go (I'll address this in my next point), and then embark the warriors into their raider and zoom off. Can I do all of these things in one turn? No idea. If nothing else, it seems needlessly complicated.

After the game starts, what the heck do I do with him? The best I can come up with is to stick him in with a wych squad. I mean, he doesn't really offer much beyond utility, but he is pretty decent in CC so I may as well get him there. Putting him with harlies isn't a good idea since he'd slow them down. Putting him with incubi wouldn't be a bad idea, but I just can't fit them into a list in a useful way yet so I don't know if I'll be taking any. I'd love to, but they're just so expensive and/or slow.

Basically, I would be taking this character for his massive utility, barely using any of it, and then rushing him into general CC just because I don't have anything better to do with him. Is it worth it? I'm beginning to think it may not be.

I'm not 100% sure on the Archon pricing, so I'll have to look into it when I get my hands on the book, but it might be possible to trade in the Duke and my harlies for a cheap Archon, a reasonably sized incubi squad, and a raider.

In the current list I've been playing with, I can trade my 6 harlies+Shadowseer and the Duke for 7 incubi + Klavex + Onslaught + naked raider + 87 points worth of Archon. Don't know what sort of useful Archon I can make for 87 points (possibly 117, I've got 30 spare points tied up in a min unit of wracks that I threw in for going to ground on an objective all game), but it may be worth it.

I gain a heavy-infantry assault model, a raider with a dark lance, and whatever the Archon can take. (with so few extra points, the Archon's wargear may be a loss compared to the Duke's, I can't say at this point)

I lose a second combat drug die which only a single squad was making use of, platform deepstriking I was never going to use, 3+ poison for a squad that may have been unwieldly to use, and the Duke's own combat prowess. (again, this may not be a loss if the Archon can be comparable or better) I also lose the harlies which are mathematically more durable than the incubi, but not as killy. (ok, incubi are more durable against normal stuff, but the harlies are significantly more durable against power weapons and shooting. I know vacuumhammer is dumb, but a full squad of harlequins basically go 50/50 when being charged by 10 TH/SS terminators because they just can't kill enough of the harlies fast enough. That's pretty crazy, if you ask me.)

So there is my predicament. He brings a lot to the table(see what I did there?), but I don't know that it's worth it. With a little jockeying I can drop the Duke and bring Baron and a min squad of helions. Would this be a better option? (ironically, it gives me another unit with combat drugs that would benefit from the Duke, ah well)

The IC-pull-out-of-CC thing is situationally useful at best, in my opinion. (I keep envisioning doing it and having my opponent go "cool, thanks for the free charge") Also the hellion statlines are not especially impressive to me. I guess if you look at it like you're getting a MEq with double the range, then it's not so bad. Having a quick troop unit to contest/hold late game would be nice, but only if they can last that long. (since warrior squads in raiders don't do this already, right?) An additional CC threat to draw fire away from everything else might be nice to have too. +1 to going first is a decent boon as well.

You know, I was not impressed by the hellions when I first saw them, but maybe a small unit of them with the Baron wouldn't be a bad idea after all. Shame their models are probably my least favorites of the new line. Sure they're an improvement on the old stuff, but why oh why are they barefoot?

Looks like it's back to the drawing board for now.


* - I don't know what these circumstances might be, so it is possible that they don't exist. I'm sort of giving them the benefit of the doubt here and assuming there is at least some time that it might be a useful tactic. Maybe if I'm running incubi? Or maybe to get a webway portal somewhere convenient faster?**

** - I also don't see myself using WWP's. They offer some neat tactical options, but I think they're just a gimmick that won't really have a place in most lists unless you build around them. Sort of like teleport beacons on marines. Sure they're useful, but they aren't really necessary unless you design your army around them.

*** - I've thought about bumping them to 3 blasters and a cannon, but I think this moves away from useful duality and into wasted shots. At least the SC is cheaper than a blaster. Maybe if I really need 10 points for something I'll switch the TB squads, but ultimately I don't like the configuration. Alternatively, I can take one loaded with cannons and carbines in a raider with splinter racks. This comes in at a bit over 200 points, but 42 SX shots hitting and wounding on 3+ with 30 of them rerolling to hit is a lot of dead infantry. Maybe that can be a fun unit that I play around with sometimes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wych Loadout Reevaluation

I ran across some talk recently over on HERO's Gaming Blog* about wych weapons. The advice was that the shardnet is actually the best option for wyches. Generally speaking, neither gauntlets nor razorflails add as much as another vanilla wych, but they cost the same, so having another body is better whenever you can take it. Also, the shardnet, while not nearly as killy as either other option, will reduce the number of incoming attacks significantly more than anything else.

Basically, unless the gauntlets or razorflails allow you to wipe out an opponent immediately, the shardnet will reduce the number of attacks you take back, therefore increasing the number of attacks you get to make next turn, therefore making them more killy in the long run since saving even a single wych model will give you more damage output than having gauntlets or a flail.

As can be seen from the math I posted in my initial bit about wych weapons, I found that in most of the cases that I tested against, the razorflails actually did produce more wounds than another vanilla wych model would. Against GEqs, they did not, nor if I had rr to wound on the combat drugs. In most other scenarios though, a wych with razorflail killed more things than two plain wyches. (and actually, they'll do better than I originally figured, I did all that math at S3 rather than SX, which I think I've heard wyches are poisoned in CC)

Initially I had looked passed the shardnet because it doesn't kill things. My reasoning was that the wyches are sort of a CC clean-up squad so I would want them to hit super hard and wipe out their target as reliably as possible. Now that I think about it, though, and after seeing the arguments for it from HERO's blog, I'm thinking the shardnet might be the better option.

Now here is my concern: single A models.

The sharnet may be the best choice against models with more than one A (literally doubling your survivability against models in B2B with 2A), but they don't reduce attacks below 1, so against most things they will be a waste. This goes against what I see as the wych's primary purpose.

I feel like they fit in very nicely as a troop-killing CC unit. They have some durability in CC with their dodge save and FNP, but ultimately getting these ladies into combat with anything else that is meant to be there is not going to be a great idea. Combat drugs on a S3, T3, 1A+1, 4+ only seems really scary if you aren't supposed to be in CC yourself and you're outnumbered. They murder Tau and Guardsmen, but even ultra grit marines will laugh at them if the numbers are even. Basically, anything with more than 1A, I'm not going to want to be in base contact with (or so I think) and therefore the shardnet may be a waste.

Or, it could be insurance against things that I don't want to be in combat with that I get stuck with anyways. Maybe I swoop in to finish off some marines, and next turn his assault termies charge me. I'm still going to get reamed, but maybe the shardnet will buy me enough time to do something useful. Or maybe just insurance against getting charged in general, for that matter.

I don't know.

Fortunately (or not, as it makes the decision that much harder) all the weapon upgrades are the same points cost. For now, I think my lists will just include "wych weapon" in general and as I playtest perhaps I'll be able to figure out what I want.

As Sorrowshard pointed out in the last post's comments: 4++, defensive grenades, FNP, and -1A is a lot of durability. All I know is that sounds pretty good to me.


* - This blog, btw, contains probably the best DE discussion that I've seen so far. I don't necessarily agree with 100% of what he says, but different strokes and all that. The guy definitely has some good ideas. Perhaps strangest of all, his comments contain a lot of great discussion as well. At the very least, he's leagues better than than the DE list building and analysis I've seen on BoLS.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Optimal Loadouts: Combat Drugs and Wych Weapons

Not quite a loadout option, per se, but with Sliscus as my most likely HQ choice, I thought I'd do some math and figure out which combat drug options were the most desirable and in combination with which wych weapons. The options are:

3D6 and pick the highest on run moves*
Reroll CC wounds
+1 pain token

I'm going to calculate the average number of kills on the charge for a single wych and for one with each type of wych weapon. (the 2 good ones, anyways) I will then use the numbers to determine which setup I can expect to perform the best.

v MEq v GEq v 5's@
CCW +1S 0.25 1.111 0.055
+1WS 0.222 1.041 0.041
+1A 0.222 1.111 0.037
+rrW 0.277 1.25 0.050
Razorflail +1S 0.562   1.975   0.154
+1WS 0.493 1.822 0.114
+1A 0.555 2.222 0.113
+rrW 0.416 1.666 0.084
Hydra Gauntlet +1S 0.458 2.037 0.152
+1WS 0.407 1.909 0.076
+1A 0.361 1.808 0.060
+rrW 0.509 2.291 0.093

@ - 5's is a statline I usually run math against in these sorts of comparisons. Generally speaking, it is a unit with 5's across its statline and a 2+ (5 chances to save) hence 5's. It doesn't necessarily represent a specific unit, but it is something that is supposed to be a very tough enemy that is generally the most trouble I expect to run into with generalist troops. It is supposed to show a worst-case scenario type of encounter. Obviously plenty of things have T6 or higher, but if I'm charging a 'fex it really won't matter. Either the wyches are my last unit, the 'fex is his last unit, or it's a desperate bottom-of-the-9th move that the entire game rests upon; in any case, it's not something I'm going to be planning for when I choose which drugs I want.

So now that we have our killing values, let's see what loadout will be the best.
(I'm assuming 8 CCW wyches with 1 special weapon, the 10th is the Haemonculus, so each value will be 8*wych + RF or HG)

v MEq   v GEq v 5's
8 + 1Razorflail +1S 2.562 10.86 0.594
+1WS 2.269 10.15 0.442
+1A 2.331 11.11 0.409
+rrW 2.632 11.67 0.484
8 + 1Hydra Gaunt +1S 2.458 10.93   0.592
+1WS 2.183 10.24 0.404
+1A 2.137 10.7 0.356
+rrW 2.725 12.29 0.493

Well there we have it. Generally speaking, the razorflail comes out on top. On average, that is. The problem (and strength) with the gauntlets is they are random. Attacks become 1+D6, which can be great if you roll all 4+, but awful if you roll 3-. As Brent says, "consistent is competitive". What this math shows is that, fortunately, we can take the more reliable option and know that it is both more consistent and better on average. We can have that reliability without gimping ourselves. What will end up happening if you take the gauntlets is every 3-strong squad of guardsmen you face will roll 6's, and every group of TWC will roll 1's. That's just how it goes, so the dependability will be very nice to have.

So I think I will take a razorflail in my wych squad and prioritize drugs as follows:

1(0.305) - Reroll wounds
2(0.25) - +1S
3(0.194) - +1A
4(0.138) - +1WS
5(0.111) - D3 run/pain token depending on the situation

Even though the flails come with reroll to wounds and thus the drugs are wasted on them, the effects they have on the rest of the squad are enough to make it the best option.

The paren values represent the chance that I will get that outcome. Yes, in 2 dice each value has the same percent chance of being rolled (assuming perfectly fair dice, lawl) but if I roll a 2 and a 1, the 2 doesn't count because I'll pick the 1 every time. For example, there are only 4 rolls in 36 possible that will make me choose my least favorable option: (1,1)(1,6)(6,1)(6,6). Pretty favorable odds, if you ask me.


* - If I can help it, I don't plan to take either a 1 or a 6 on the roll for this. D3 on a run move doesn't seem especially useful since I don't expect them to do much running**, and the free pain token is nice but they already get 1 free from the haemonculus and with I6 already, furious charge isn't going to be as useful as a flat +1S.

** - You know, because AV10 open-topped skimmers are so durable...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pretend Like Instead of a Title, This Is the Noise From Metal Gear Solid When Someone Sees You

It would appear as if I have been discovered. Dethtron of Dick Move (which happens to be one of my favorite bloggers/blogs) put up a Mathlete of the Week post highlighting my blog. Seeing someone that I hold in such high regard saying things like

"It's a damn shame, but it looks like he's been at it for a little over a month now and doesn't have much of a following yet, in spite of some pretty good content..."


"...make sure to follow it if you like what you see- I know I did. Nice work Zheilt. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your stuff."

is sort of an insane feeling. My ladyfriend and I were both freaking out the other night when we saw it. I wasn't really expecting to get scouted, but a big thanks to Dethtron for the compliments.

But enough about me, let's talk about you. My little followers list has grown quite a bit beyond its previously sole member in the last couple of days, and my hitcounter has been blowing up like crazy. (well, compared to how it normally is anyways) I know you guys are out there. Speak up in the comments section, and let's see if I set this thing up properly to send me emails.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Proof The Internet Is Stupid, Pt II

Oh my gadz! First turn 84% of the time*? OVERPOWERED! NERF! IMBA! LEAFBLOWER! METAGAME!

Newsflash: you're an idiot.

Those 2 characters are well into the 300's total points cost. With raiders and dark lances more expensive than ever, that really hurts. Besides, not playing like a retard is all it takes to beat this sort of list anyways. Even moreso than IG. All the same tactics that destroy the "famed" leafblower style lists hurt DE even more. At least IG are AV12+, not open-topped, and can have cheap bubblewrap units.

Q: What do DE players do when they play this list and their opponents full reserve or use deepstriking units?

A: Start packing up.**


* - With Sathonyx and Vect.

Roll-off Results
36 possible outcomes
21 wins
10 losses
5 draws

5*(21/36) = 2.91666 more wins from first 5 draws
1*(21/36) = .58333 more wins from 1 remaining draw
               = 3.5 more wins from all draws
               = 24.5 total wins out of 36 possible die outcomes

24.5/36 = .680556 chance to win initial roll-off
[1-(24.5/36)] X (3/6) = .159722 additional first turns from siezed initiative
.680556 + .159722 = .840278 => 84% total chance to go first

** - That being said, it will completely decimate everyone anyways. If the internet has shown us anything about 40k gamers, it's that they don't like thinking tactically and so this list will rock them all***. It will be the 4-move checkmate of 40k. Prepare for the FAQ to nerf this combination for no reason other than because general(ly wrong) consensus makes it out to be unfair.

*** - Now that I think of it, maybe if I play a list like this, it will create a new metagame in my area where everyone tries to play more tactically in order to win. Perhaps that is what Darkwynn was trying to do all along...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Optimal Loadouts: DE Warriors

I've been thinking a lot about optimal loadouts for warriors. There's a thing I like to do when weighing multi-variable options where I rank each piece of each option and then, generally speaking, the option with the lowest total is the best; alternatively, the option with the lowest average rank. So with that in mind, thinking about maximum efficiency in general, let's see what we can see:

  Cost 36"Lance 18"Lance SX SX(max) Bodies
5Warr+B 55   1 4 8 5
-Venom+SC 65     12 12 1
TOTALS 120 0 1 16 20 6
RANK 1 3 1 1 2 2
10Warr+DL 105 1   9 18 10
-Raider+5++ 75 1       1
TOTALS 180 2 0 9 18 11
RANK 3 1 2 3 3 1
10Warr+SC 90     13 24 10
-Raider+5++ 75 1       1
TOTALS 165 1 0 13 24 11
RANK 2 2 2 2 1 1
10Warr+B+DL 120 1 1 8 16 10
-Raider+5++ 75 1       1
TOTALS 195 2 1 8 16 11
RANK 4 1 1 4 4 1

With this, the best option becomes pretty obvious. Our ranking tells us that both the 5Warrior+Blaster+Venom and the 10Warrior+SC+Raider options are the best, however, the better choice of the two is obviously the 10 warriors in the raider. Not only does it have twice as many bodies, it has the added benefit of having its lance weapon both longer range and on a vehicle. Additionally, there is always the option of adding a blaster to the group to increase the lance count. This would make the points go up and the SX shots go down, shifting the rankings to put it in second and bumping the 5man-venom squad into third. In a few weeks when I realize how awesome blasters are, it's going to be a great option.

The ranking helps me to sort through things in a little bit easier manner, but it is important to pay attention to unranked factors as well. For example, mobility is important in 40k and is always something to consider. If the 10Warriors+DL+Raider option was able to move a full 12" without losing any of its firepower, but none of the other options could, then it might be something to keep in mind when choosing what you're going to field. Even if it came in third in the ranking, the fact that it was so much more mobile might be enough to make it the most desirable option.

In this case, it just so happened that mobility doesn't really change anything with both our top choices being able to move a full 12" without losing any firepower, but this may not always be the case. Forunately for us, it just makes our choices that much easier this time.

Duality is a word that gets thrown around a lot by competitive and casual folks alike. (competitive usually because it is good list-building, and casual as a term to describe units approvable by WAAC jerks) I just want to point out that this sort of analysis is not about duality at all. You may often find that the most dualitious option is the one that ranks the highest, but in general this is about sheer efficiency. Not necessarily making sure that every warrior squad can deal with multiple threats, but just trying to determine how to get your squads the most toys for the smallest cost.

After doing this, I have decided that my squads will be 10Warriors+SC+Raider. At least until I can play some games with them and realize that mathhammer analyses don't work and it's actually a completely different "inferior" build that works the best. Ah well, I mostly do it for the enjoyment of the activity anyways*.


* - I mostly do mathhammer for the fun that I derrive (tee hee) from it, but I also think that it has some merit on the tabletop. Maybe not as much as some people believe, but certainly more than others. Comparing 2 units against each other in a vacuum is a silly task, but trying to analyze expected outputs for various wargear or loadout options can be a pretty reliable method for determining which you should use.**

CML vs AssCans on Wolf Guard, for example. Do some quick math and you'll see that against armour the AssCan just about always is the "better" option, but not by a huge amount. Same thing against troops. This may make you think the AssCan is better, but what it really shows you is that it isn't that much better for the significantly reduced range and the fact that it can't ID S4. Looking at the overall picture the numbers represent, and not just the numbers themselves, makes the CML the obvious choice. (oh, how I still do love AssCans though)

It is a dream of mine to play a game of 40k in which every decision is made strictly by statistical analysis. Every movement option, every shooting option, everything. Generally speaking, maintaining good target priority will accomplish essentially the same results, but I think it would be cool to be able to reduce everything to statistical calculations. Maybe build a computer program out of it. It may not be any good at real 40k, but I think I could make it work for Vassal. If I were much smarter than I am, and had much more time and/or ambition on my hands, that might make a pretty sweet thesis project.

** - Statistically, 9 harlequins with kisses will kill a full squad of marines without taking any casualties on the charge. (without hit and running they will kill 7 their turn, take no casualties, and then kill the remaining 3 in the SM's assault phase) This doesn't mean that a single squad of harlies can beat a whole army of space marines, but if I need 20 extra points for something else it might help to know that I can take 9 instead of 10 without really sacrificing very much.

Nearly There

It hasn't quite dawned on me yet, but in a couple of weeks I think I'm probably going to be in love with DE blasters.

It's like a tiny dark lance!

I keep writing them off as options because of the short range. My brain keeps telling me they suck because DE are paper compared to space marines, and the main reason meltagun squads do so well is because they have so much more survivability. Except that blasters have a significantly longer range* and they don't lose any effectiveness by being at the full length of that range.

It keeps ebbing and flowing. I just start to think blasters are the best shit since squeeze butter, and then my brain goes 'oh, nevermind, they're only ok again'.


* - 30 inches in a transport!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Proof The Internet Is Stupid

Oh my gadz! Melta and lance on a single weapon? OVERPOWERED! NERF! IMBA! LEAFBLOWER! METAGAME!

Newsflash: melta and lance combined are useful on exactly one vehicle in the game.

Normal transports only go up to AV12, so lance isn't necessary. Everything else tends to only have a front side greater than 12. The heat lance delivery systems are all fast enough that they can probably get side or rear shots reliably anyways, so again lance isn't really necessary.

Yes, it kills land raiders as well as a meltagun*, big whoop. The sky isn't falling. Your precious mahreens aren't being phased out. Get over yourself.


* - Quick! Fire up the math-0-mathic!

HIT is the chance to hit.
GNC is the chance to glance.
PEN is the chance to penetrate.**
XXX is the chance to do something useful on the damage table. (immob, wreck, explode)

S6 AP1 M/L S8 AP1 M S8 L
AV10 AV10 AV10
HIT: 0.666 0.666 0.666
GNC: 0.055 0.018 0.111
PEN: 0.555 0.648 0.444
XXX: 0.388 0.483 0.240
AV11 AV11 AV11
HIT: 0.666 0.666 0.666
GNC: 0.074 0.037 0.111
PEN: 0.481 0.611 0.333
XXX: 0.345 0.419 0.185
AV12 AV12 AV12
HIT: 0.666 0.666 0.666
GNC: 0.092 0.055 0.111
PEN: 0.388 0.555 0.222
XXX: 0.290 0.388 0.129
AV13 AV13 AV13
HIT: 0.666 0.666 0.666
GNC: 0.092 0.00740.111
PEN: 0.388 0.481 0.222
XXX: 0.290 0.345 0.129
AV14 AV14 AV14
HIT: 0.666 0.666 0.666
GNC: 0.092 0.092 0.111
PEN: 0.388 0.388 0.222
XXX: 0.290 0.290 0.129

** - That's what she said!

5++ Is The New Pink

Let's do some quick math to see how much difference a 5++ really makes for a raider's durability. I'm going to look at what I feel are the most important (and common) anti-armour weapons versus the different possible armour values for transports.

As previously, HIT is chance to hit, GNC is chance to glance, PEN is to penetrate, and XXX is chance to do something useful. (immob, wreck, explode are all what I consider "useful")

S7 (Autocannon)
  AV10 OT AV10 OT 5++ AV11 AV12 AV14
HIT: 0.666 0.666 0.666 0.666 0.666
GNC: 0.111 0.074 0.111 0.111 0.000
PEN: 0.333 0.222 0.222 0.111 0.000
XXX: 0.259 0.172 0.129 0.074 0.000
S8 (Krak Missile)
  AV10 OT AV10 OT 5++ AV11 AV12 AV14
HIT: 0.666 0.666 0.666 0.666 0.666
GNC: 0.111 0.074 0.111 0.111 0.111
PEN: 0.444 0.296 0.333 0.222 0.000
XXX: 0.333 0.222 0.185 0.129 0.018
S8 AP1 Melta (Meltagun)
  AV10 OT AV10 OT 5++ AV11 AV12 AV14
HIT: 0.666 0.666 0.666 0.666 0.666
GNC: 0.018 0.012 0.037 0.055 0.092
PEN: 0.648 0.432 0.611 0.555 0.388
XXX: 0.549 0.366 0.419 0.388 0.290
S9 (Lascannon)
  AV10 OT AV10 OT 5++ AV11 AV12 AV14
HIT: 0.666 0.666 0.666 0.666 0.666
GNC: 0.111 0.074 0.111 0.111 0.111
PEN: 0.555 0.370 0.444 0.333 0.111
XXX: 0.407 0.271 0.240 0.185 0.074
S4 (Boltgun)
  AV10 OT AV10 OT 5++ AV11 AV12 AV14
HIT: 0.666 0.666 0.666 0.666 0.666
GNC: 0.222 0.148 0.000 0.000 0.000
PEN: 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
XXX: 0.074 0.049 0.000 0.000 0.000

Well there's like a thousand lines of HTML that I hope translates well into blogger...

Here we have statistics for a number of weapon types against a number of different armour values. Each set only represents a single "bullet" from whichever weapon is being fired. I do this for all my statistics because it is more useful for me to know what chance a S7 shot has against XYZ, than specifically an autocannon. That way if you have mixed units with different numbers of shots but similar strengths, it is easier to calculate. (mostly, regular vs cyclone missile launchers are why I started doing this) So if you want to figure out how likely something specific is to damage a transport, just take the XXX value and multiply it by however many number of shots you have.*

Anyways, as we can see, that little 5++ really adds quite a bit of durability. As we can also see, being open topped really really hurts. In every case, it is harder to penetrate an AV10 5++ than it is an AV11, and it's almost as hard as AV12. So the chance to get to the damage table is a lot lower, but once you get there it is so much easier to do useful damage that it still ends up behind everything else. Also interesting is that the 5++ blows everything else out of the water when it comes to meltaguns. Land Raiders are still better, but otherwise nothing here beats it against the melta rule. Even with OT and AP1 stacking. Crazy.

We can also see that survivability against S4 increases by a factor of about 1.5. Instead of 1 in 13, there is about a 1 in 20 chance of something bad happening to you from a boltgun. Considering that's one full squad's worth of rapid firing, this still isn't very good, but it's much better than without the save.

So there we have it. With these results in mind, and the fact that the 5++ upgrade is reportedly pretty cheap, it's absolutely an auto-include on every raider you bring. If you need to shave some points, you might get away with taking them from your CC delivery raiders since with sails they're practically guaranteed to get there intact anyways. I plan to take them on everything I can though.


* - This is actually only mostly correct. I'd consider it close enough, but technically it isn't statistically accurate. Allow me to demonstrate:

S8 vs AV11
HIT: 0.666
GNC: 0.111
PEN: 0.333
XXX: 0.185

So if you have 2 it would be:

0.185 x 2 = 0.370 => 37% chance for a CML to do something useful.

But, actually, it should be:

1-((1-0.185)^2) = 0.335 => 33.5% chance for a CML to do something useful.

Multiplying the chance for 1 shot by 2 gets us pretty close, but it doesn't really work that way. If we have 2 shots, there are 4 possible outcomes: both do something, one does something, the other does something, neither do anything. By doing 1-0.185 we find the chance that one will do nothing, raising it to the power of 2 (which, btw, represents the number of shots, so if you had something that was S8 Heavy25 you'd raise it to the 25th power**) gives us the chance that 0 missiles out of 2 will do anything useful, and subtracting this value from 1 gives us the chance that something will happen. (if there is a 10% chance for nothing to happen, then there is obviously a 100-10=90% chance for something to happen, you see?) That chance for something to happen could be that both missiles do something, that one does, or that the other does. I don't really care about the specifics though, as long as something happens, I'm happy.

** - Note that this will never yield an answer greater than 1. That is because this statistic doesn't represent the number of expected useful effects but rather the chance to get a useful effect against a single target. If you're looking for the expected number of transports your entire army will pop in a turn, then multiplying 0.185 by the total number of missiles will give you that answer. For multiple shot units though, you still need to do the above or else your results will be skewed. Sure a CML can shoot 2 missiles, but they can only hit a single target!

12 long fang MLs and 5 WG CMLs will yield:
(0.185 x 12) + [5 x (1-(1-0.185)^2)] = 3.898 expected effected AV11 transports per turn

Compare this to:
0.185 x 22 = 4.07 expected effected AV11 transports per turn

See the difference? Either way it's about 4, but we can see that it is actually just under 4 instead of just over it. The reason it is lower is because it takes into account the times you "waste" a missile from your CML when the first one destroys the tank and the second one becomes redundant.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

DE: First Look

So, I haven't gotten any time with it yet, but preview copies of the codex are out and I've read a bunch of stuff and seen some pictures, etc. A lot of people have been talking about the book, and now I thought I'd take a crack at it.

I was a bit worried from what I had been hearing in the rumours. Expensive raiders, a dozen characters, mandrakes, wracks, grotesques. All these things that worried me because I don't like any of them. None of these things really fit into my shooty DE list very well, the long list of characters was making me nervous about having to pick one, and there wasn't all that much emphasis being put on taking dark lances in large numbers. Quite the contrary, in fact.

As it turns out, however, I was wrong to worry. While the HQs are still befuddling, there are really only a few that I am interested in, and there is just as much shooty death in this book than ever before. It is spread out a little bit differently, but it is definitely still in there.

As I said, I haven't gotten a chance to look at it as of this writing, but despite that, I'm going to run through the units that I think are pretty sweet in each FoC slot anyways.


In my opinion, these guys aren't very interesting. They shift the FoC around a bit, and have some decent wargear options. They're 1-3 per HQ slot, which is neat I guess. No, they just don't strike me as especially useful by themselves. The thing that makes them nearly an auto-include for me, however, is the fact they are 25 points naked and get a free pain token. I don't forsee my DE taking multiple HQ's from the real options, so paying 25 points to give a unit FNP at the start of the game is going to be priceless. I'll probably stick him with a Wych squad to give them FNP and to get them to Furious Charge that much quicker.

This guy is still a beast with a lot of great wargear options, and he's rather cheap for what you get too. He has some retinue options, but nobody is talking about them any and the general consensus seems to be that they aren't worth it. Not having seen them myself, I can't comment too much on that, but at the very least they don't appeal to me so I probably wouldn't take them anyways unless they were super imba. Like a retinue of Mephistons for a dozen points a piece or something.

Ok, maybe he's not worth it. Looking at his stats/cost, I don't honestly think he is. However, the recent inclination that he may be Arhra and the fact that his model is still totally badass, means that I may try to squeeze him in somehwere if I can.

Lady Malys
Basically an expensive Archon, but she gives you the ability to redeploy D3 of your units (including deciding to reserve or unreserve them) and she is immune to psychic powers. The immunity is nice since the DE don't seem to have much else in the way of psychic defense, but the redeploy is what makes her attractive to me. Sometimes it won't do much, but sometimes it will win you the game. Also, so few units have the ability to affect things after deployment, and I often find myself drawn to things that nobody else can do because I know that I won't ever face anyone that has anything that can compete.

Asdrubael Vect
Honestly, I hate this guy. Neither he nor his Dais are even remotely worth the points, in my opinion. However, he does let you sieze the initiative on a 4+. This can and will win games. And if it doesn't, it will at least make your opponent think twice about deploying aggresively even if they choose to go first.

Duke Sliscus
Alright now here is my favorite HQ. He doesn't do anything quite as game-changing as Vect or Malys, but he brings the most to the table for his points. Your skimmer platforms can deep strike, he comes with a shadow field, he gets 2+ to wound 5+ ignore armor saves in CC, he gives a single squad 3+ poison instead of 4+, and for combat drugs he lets you roll 2 dice and pick whichever outcome you prefer. He's 150, which isn't bad, but is still a bit more expensive than a relatively decked out Archon. Basically whether I field this guy or an Archon will come down to how many points I have left. With priority going to the Duke.


Everyone knows what these guys are all about since they are exactly the same as in the Eldar codex. That is actually sort of annoying to me. It's widely accepted that the Eldar codex is pretty bad. Not Necron bad, but everything is way too expensive and specialized. Making the Harlequins exactly the same in the DE codex means GW thinks they are perfectly balanced in their current incarnation. Maybe they are, I can't honestly say (they seem to be pretty balanced), but I don't think any units should ever stay exactly the same from one edition to the next. Maybe a slightly adjusted cost, maybe a few more/less/different options or rules or models (Solitaire, anyone?). Something. It seems incredibly unlikely to me that there is absolutely nothing with this unit that could be changed in 4 years of playtesting. Regardless of the annoyance, their points/abilities seem to actually be quite balanced and perfect for the DE codex. (perhaps they did this on purpose, now that I think about it) Basically, Harlequins used to be good, and they're still good. What's more than that, I finally get to field these incredible models. Yes please!

Incubi have gotten some mixed reviews. I am sort of on the fence with them. The models are probably my favorites of the new releases, but I still would rather field Harlequins. I may play around with some incubi+drazhar+haemo+raider+sails to see just how much stuff I can walk through before they all drop, but it really is an expensive unit and we all know how well deathstars do in 5th. It's something I'll keep in mind and will likely play around with for fun, but ultimately I'd rather bring Harlequins every time.

These are a type of unit that GW likes to put in the game that annoys me. They are really awesome, but don't go crazy or you won't have points for anything else. Sure, you could give them 2 heat lances and twice as many blasters, in a raider with super shieldsx2 and sails, running around wrecking shit, and maybe add a Dracon upgraded with whatever cool stuff you want to give him, and maybe grenades for everyone, and, and and, and we just spent like 500 points. So they can be dangerous to field, but if you keep them streamlined they are pretty cost efficient and very good. I think I will try to include 2 MSU'ish squads of these and then fill out the last elite with Harlequins.


Cheap, same stats as always, much better standard weapons, but not quite as many special/heavy choices as before. I can't yet decide how best to kit these out, but it would be silly not to field any. They're just too good for standard troops. Like, Grey Hunters good. I'm thinking the old reliable DL MSU in a raider might still be the best loadout, but the Venom (which I initially thought was stupid) might actually be a pretty decent option here too. Lower transport capacity and no dark lance may end up hurting it, but I think a small unit of warriors in a venom could be pretty cost effective. A bit singleminded, perhaps, but maybe not bad for objective snatching.

These guys (or girls, I suppose) don't seem quite as powerful as they once were, but they are still quite good. Combat drugs are still pretty sweet. Get a 6 (which is about a 30% chance with Sliscus) and stick a haemo with them and you start the game with furious charge, hot damn! Razorflails are very good as well. (and statistically the most likely of their weapons to kill anything the Wyches should be targeting) They aren't especially durable, nor are they a super killy death assault unit, but against any sort of non-CC light or medium infantry, they will clean house. Auto-include at least 1 unit, in my opinion. Most preferrably on something with sails.


Wowee! These guys seriously just became my favorite units in the game. Jump infantry, deep strike, a respectable 4+/6++, AWESOME standard guns, very cheap wargear options, and you get 2 weapon upgrades per 5 guys. For 22 points a piece? Holy cow. These guys are almost TH/SS termie cheap. I am in love with these units. Don't yet know how I'll run them, but I will definitely be fitting in as many as I can. I'm thinking either heat lances, or splinter cannons. Depending on whether I feel I need more anti-armour or more anti-infantry. Although, even with heat lances they'll still do a number on anything with a W stat. Gotta love that duality.


Voidraven Bomber
Ah this thing. So good. Naked, you get 2 S9 AP2 lances and a S9 AP2 lance large blast template droppable on anything you fly over. All for a very respectible price. You also get the options of taking up to 4 total from several different types of missiles. Most of them don't interest me, but they have their uses. ID on a failed W test, S7 AP- reroll to wound, 2+ poison blast, etc. Good stuff, but nothing I can't see myself living without. The only ones I would probably take would be the S7 AP- large blast. AP- kind of sucks, but with S7 and rr to wound, basically the only thing keeping a model alive will be its armor save. Like the scourges, if I find I need more anti-infantry, I might try to squeeze in a few of these missiles, but otherwise I think these will be naked.

Not immediately as alluring as the bomber, but it actually may not be a bad option. First of all, at 105 naked, the ravager is a bit cheaper. Secondly, with Sliscus, your Ravagers can deep strike. Sporting dark lances, this may not make a difference, but it is an option. Thirdly, 3 S8 lances are generally more useful against most things than 2 S9 lances.

2 S9 Lances 3 S8 Lances
AV10 AV10
XXX: 0.504 0.562
DEST: 0.336 0.381
AV11 AV11
XXX: 0.423 0.459
DEST: 0.296 0.297
AV12-13-14 AV12-13-14
XXX: 0.336 0.340
DEST: 0.209 0.206

XXX represents chance to do something useful to a vehicle (immob, wreck, explode) and DEST is the chance to wreck or explode. Usually I just look at chance to do something useful, but I thought that maybe if I looked at just destroying a vehicle the S9 might pull ahead because of the extra 1/6 chance to pen. As it turns out, it doesn't really make a difference. On top of these vehicle statistics, S8 will ID all the same stuff S9 will, and against S5 infantry 3 shots will kill more than 2. Even agaisnt T9, they both end up making .666 wounds in a turn. So basically, if all you use the bomber for is the lances, then you may be better off with a ravager that is statistically stronger at range and can deep strike if needed. The S9 large blast is awesome, potentially, but getting close enough to really make use of it may not be worth it. And they're both AV11. All this being said, I think I'm going to personally choose the bombers (as will, I suspect, most everyone else) because the stastical difference isn't that big and if the large blast comes in handy even once in a game, it will have paid for itself. The missiles might be useful as well. Also, they're just way cooler. No clue what I'll do for a model other than weep silently to myself, but I guess I'll deal with that when I get there.

So let's get a quick look at what a list might look like without points values or anything necessarily as specific as that. The specific numbers of units and configurations will depend on points costs and further codex analysis. This is really just to get an idea of what I may try to field; all squad sizes are dependent on final points tallies so I won't be listing any numbers other than where I already know what I want.


Harlequins + Kisses + Shadowseer
Trueborn + Blasters + DL's + Venom
Trueborn + Blasters + DL's + Venom

Wyches + Flails + Hekatrix + Nades + Agonizer + Raider + Sails
Wyches + Flails + Hekatrix + Nades + Agonizer + Raider + Sails
Warriors + Blaster + DL + Raider + Nightshields + 5++
Warriors + Blaster + DL + Raider + Nightshields + 5++
Warriors + Blaster + DL + Raider + Nightshields + 5++
Warriors + Blaster + DL + Raider + Nightshields + 5++

Scourge + Heat Lances
Scourge + Heat Lances
Scourge + Heat Lances

Bomber + S7 AP- Large Blast
Bomber + S7 AP- Large Blast
Bomber + S7 AP- Large Blast

Extra Notes:
I definitely want to include 1 haemonculus just for the free pain token. I may or may not give it any upgrades. I don't yet know what the points costs are like for these, so I can't comment on if they would be worth it.

I'm thinking I may put the trueborn guys in venoms, but I don't know. Venoms are cheap, but they aren't really cheap enough for what they offer. What I mean is, the cost difference between a venom and a similarly equipped raider is less than the cost of a DL. Splinter cannons and TL-splinter rifles are awesome, but is it worth a DL? The transport capacity doesn't bother me since I don't plan to take any more TB than I really have to and 5 (or 6) is plenty. I will probably have to see how the list functions and then make my decision based on if I need more anti-infantry or more anti-armour. I do like the idea of blasting open a transport with my troops, and then ruining the guys inside with their ride though.

The wyches look expensive. They are potentially a huge points sink for not necessarily being that incredible. They're intended as more of a mop-up/non-CC light/medium infantry killing unit. With the haemo, they'll start the game with FNP and hopefully upgrade to FC quickly, which is good. If it is cheaper/better to do so, I might be able to forgo the Hekatrix with nades and get them on the haemonculus. I'll have to see about that when the book comes out for reals. (and/or when I can get a look at it)

I don't know about special weapons on my warriors because I don't really want them getting that close. These guys are for mid/backfield support. 30" (12 move + 18 range) is an awful lot though. I'm also not sure about the nightshields. I know I want the 5++, but this alone puts them somewhere between AV11 and AV12 for durability, so I don't know if I will also be needing the extra defenses. If I need the points, I can take them out.

Scourges have some excellent anti-infantry potential, but I think their real strength will be in heat lances. HL really are the strongest anti-armour the DE get, and I think using these guys as a pretty respectable delivery system for them is going to be key. I will play around with unit size and see just how many I need. I hate to turn them into a meltacide unit, but HL are just so good. I would love nothing more than to load these guys up with cannons and play the infantry-melting game from range. If I find I have enough AA already, perhaps I will try that out. At the very least, if I bring, say, 5 of them with 2 HL's that is still 9 poisoned shots and 2 S8 shots out to 30". I really wish they were jetpacks instead of jump, but they're still pretty respectable, if you ask me.

Bombers are good. Don't think I'll be taking 3 of them though, probably 2. Maybe 3 though. I don't know. Perhaps I'll do either 3 naked, or 2 with those S7 missiles. Again, it depends on how well I find I do with armour and infantry and where I need the extra help.

The above list would probably cost some crazy amount of points; certainly over 3000. I am obvioulsy not going to field it like that. It was just an excercise to narrow down the FoC slots into the things that I want. I'll probably cut off a wych and a warrior squad, not bring max harlequins, bring scourges in 5s, and possibly only 2 units of them. Hopefully that will let me get in around 2000 and still keep most of the stuff that I want.

That's my first instinctual guess at what I'm going to want. There are a lot more units in the book, but most of them don't seem especially good or they are units I'm not interested in. I don't care if grotesques are the SSF2T Akumas of 40k*, I don't have any desire to play them.

The army has a lot of really strong anti-infantry (like, really strong) but it's all dedicated anti-infantry (SX doesn't hurt tanks) so any list will have to bring a good amount of anti-armour as well. Figuring out just where to take which type of weaponry is going to be the key to making them shine. (do I take lances on my trueborn in a venom? or do I take cannons on them in a raider?) It's going to take some playtesting, but hopefully I can make them work.


* - Suppose it would be more appropriate to say O.Sagats of 40k. Akuma is banned in every SSF2T game ever (even random non-event arcade games, basically if you ever pick Akuma you get punched in the junk irlz) so if grotesques were the Akuma's of 40k, I wouldn't be fielding them anyways.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Flurry of Content

Prepare, internet, for activity. I got my hands on some DE specs (not the actual book, mind you) and I'm all giddy with excitement and list building again.

I'll spread them out so that it looks like I'm doing more work than I really am for this blog, but I've got about a half dozen posts to get up. (hey, that's like 2 months worth of posts for me)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Lawl old DE

So, out of curiosity, I tried making a shooty death Dark Lance list with the old DE codex. Boy does that codex fail. Makes me almost glad I never got into them.

-5Warriors w/ DL
-5Warrios w/ DL

5Warriors w/ DL
5Warriors w/ DL
5Warriors w/ DL
5Warriors w/ DL
5Warriors w/ DL
5Warriors w/ DL

5Scourges w/ 4DL
5Scourges w/ 4DL
5Scourges w/ 4DL

This list is 1460 and contains 28 Dark Lances. Not only does it only contain 28 DL's (that's only 2 more than the IG list had autocannons, and it had 6 lascannons too) but I had to take a bunch of shitty units to get here. What a failure.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Shooty Death Lists

In a recent YTTH thread, Fearspect wanted advice on which of 3 armies he should bring to Throne of Skulls. It is a 1500 point tournament, and the first list he posted was rather interesting, but very poorly received.

CCS w/ Lascannon
CCS w / Lascannon, Master of Ordinance

5 Stormtroopers w / 2x Meltagun
5 Stormtroopers w / 2x Meltagun

PCS w / Autocanon
Platoon w / Lascannon
Platoon w / Lascannon
HWS w / 3x AC
HWS w / 3x AC
HWS w / 3x AC
HWS w / 3x AC

PCS w / Autocanon
Platoon w / Lascannon
Platoon w / Lascannon
HWS w / 3x AC
HWS w / 3x AC
HWS w / 3x AC
HWS w / 3x AC

This is an IG list with 26 autocannons, 6 lascannons, 4 meltaguns, and about 90 lasguns. Not really much of anything else, but what more do you need at 1500 points? The general consensus in the comments was "lawl, this list auto-loses to tri-raider, gg" There were a few people interjecting to say that tri-raider is garbage (especially at 1500) and that saying it sucks because it loses to a single list that also sucks (and therefore isn't likely to be present, or at the same tables anyways) is dumb. If Stelek's NOVA list was auto-lose against Necrons, it would still be a strong list, amiright?*

The other complaint was that it isn't fun to play. Frankly, this looks like so much fun to play. Fun to model/paint? No. Fun to deploy? No. Fun to skip the movement phase and roll 52 S7 dice per turn every turn? Oh yeah. Maybe I have a warped sense of fun, but gunlines and spam entertain me to no end.**

Anyways, it inspired my curiosity to make what I could with the Space Wolves codex. Hence:


5GH + MG
5GH + MG


10LF + 9ML
10LF + 9ML
10LF + 9ML

1500 on the dot. Maybe not quite as good as the IG list, but 39 missiles per turn is hilarious. Imagine, just for the sake of funny, shooting 39 frag missiles at a single target. It would look like one of those bombardment templates from Apocalypse by the end.

"Hahaha, my 1500pt Nob Biker list is invicible! What have you to bring to the table?"
"39 krak missiles.'

I mean, ultimately this list fails miserably where the IG one actually is pretty strong. Where that list has almost 100 lasguns with first rank second rank fire, this list has... 10 boltguns.

Let's see, 20 S4 shots will kill 2 and a quarter(ish) MEq's out of cover. Not bad, not bad. 270 S3 shots kills 15. Moral: don't get too close to 90 flashlights. Bad things happen. And that's what it boils down to. At range, 39 S8 AP3 shots is pretty comparable to 52 S7 Ap4 shots, but inside 24" 90 lasguns >>> 10 boltguns.

This fact allows the IG list to prioritize more easily. Example, against my favorite 1500 shooty nids list, the IG focus the T-fexxen. HG won't be in range yet, and nothing else is a threat. Sure he can make a bunch of gants, but who cares? They'll get mulched immediately once they get into 24 inches. Tervigons aren't a threat, because the only thing dangerous they do is crap out gants. I don't care about gants, therefore I don't care about tervigons.

This SW list, however, needs to spread its fire a lot more because the gants matter. I might even say the tervigons need to be focused first before anything else. I can put wounds on the ranged stuff easily enough later, if I don't stop those gants now I'm going to get overrun.

Anyways, nobody ever suggested this Space Wolf list or anything so it is sort of pointless analyzing it. I just thought it was hilarious, so I wanted to put it up.


* - Also, this wouldn't auto-lose to tri-raider. Sure, it can't touch AV14 reliably (6 lascannons and 4 meltaguns can hurt LR's, but in such small numbers you can only expect so much out of them) but it will totally shred what small amount of troops they will have with fully half of their army spent on the 3 tanks. The LR's can hurricane bolter or flamestorm all they want, they still won't be able to kill enough guys to make a difference before they're the only things left on the board. (such is my opinion anyways)

Objective games could be tough. If it were my tri-raider, I would park them on top of the objectives then just not get the troops out. Who cares if I can count my KPs on one finger, you aren't going to get these objectives from me. Period.

** - People often complain about horde Ork lists necessitating slow play because there are so many models the turns take too long. I feel like totally static shooting lists like this IG one will probably take just as long. You aren't going to be rolling all 52 dice at once, so designating and rolling for each unit individually, I think, would probably take quite a bit of time.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


So, I've been out for a little while but I'm sure I have a good reason for that... er, yeah.

Last I was here, I started to write something about the Dark Eldar and how much I like them. This was when they were on the horizon, but still not yet officially announced. Now, at the risk of jumping on the DE content bandwagon, I'm going to finish that thought and hopefully get it up this time.

I like DE.

There, I said it.

Drazhar Master of Blades was, in fact, the first 40k figure I ever purchased. (I had been gifted a rather large number of other figures before this time, but I had never bought any myself) I bought him because he looked awesome, and with the DE all new and shiny at the time, I had it in my mind to begin collecting them. This, apparently, was never to be.

They really appeal to me as a race. Their play style is something I can really get behind. I see in them an army that is very mobile, has a lot of ranged power, and just enough CC to be just threatening enough to get by. This tends to be the formula for all of the armies I enjoy*, and the DE do it pretty well. While I realize it isn't quite optimally practical, the "cram as many dark lances in as possible" list amuses me to no end. It's basically the same as missile spam, but you get all that S8 with lance special rule and AP2. What's not to love? Throw in an Archon with some Incubi and Wyches and you've got a pretty fun little army that is probably going to do at least reasonably well on the table. (albeit, with a bit of effort) Good times.

The DE fluff is also very interesting to me. I find it interesting to think that the DE are essentially what the Eldar were before the fall. The Eldar used to live an incredibly decadent lifestyle, so decadent that Slaanesh was born from their collective impact on the Warp. Most of the Eldar died, some escaped to Craftworlds to change their ways, some escaped to Commorragh to continue living normally. Isn't it interesting that, in fact, Dark Eldar are Eldar and Eldar should be something else? Reformed Eldar, Craftworld Eldar (they're often called this anyways), or whatever else. Also, that Commorragh is arguably the safest place in the galaxy? Immune to any threats from realspace, and relatively immune to most threats from the Warp. It's just fascinating, I think. Also interesting, is that while they are all the rapingist pirates around, they are almost good guys, in a sense. Not good in philosophical sense, but I see them as a "pure" race. They have no ulterior motives, they don't do anything based on greed, or spite, or whatever else motivates most of the other races. They just kill people because they enjoy it and because if they don't, they'll get their souls sucked out by Slaanesh. So yeah, I dig the little fetishists.

When they came out in the 3rd edition 40k box set, I had plans to split such a box with a friend of mine, but best laid plans, and all that. After that, I ended up with Drazhar as my only DE model, and he continues to be to this day. Perhaps with the new codex release, I will have to change that.**

The only problem is that, as crazy as it sounds, I'm not really looking forward to the new codex. The new models look great (and lord knows DE needed new models) and there are some changes that are going to be good, but, to be perfectly honest, I like the codex how it is now. Sure it doesn't scale well, is generally overpriced, and has almost no good units in any FoC. That much I can't argue with, and are the changes that I am looking forward to. From what I understand, though, they are sort of discouraging the DL spam list. They still come in 3's on Ravagers, but rumours seem to indicate they are going to be limiting the amount you can take in Raider squads. Maybe this is a good thing that will be balanced out by other changes in the codex, but I just hope they can still be built shooty. I hope they don't turn into a fast CC army, like new BA or old Tyranids.

The codex should be out in a few weeks. I will obviously be holding final judgement until such a time as I can view it, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have high hopes.


* - My Space Wolf and Tyranid lists are like this too:
SW have 20 missiles per turn, with Logan and mass Wolf Guard for the just-barely-competent-enough-to-be-threatening CC. (and if I honestly ever played that list, I'm sure I would try to squeeze a TWC or two in there somewhere)
Tyranids are mad-shooty (Hive Guard, T-Fexxen, Harpies) with some MCs and mass Gaunt-spam in there for that hint of CC. (also, if I ever played this list I would probably squeeze in a Deathleaper. Mostly for the psychic defense as it seems like most psychic powers are created for the sole purpose of mulching Tyranids and Shadows in the Warp just isn't what it used to be, but the DL is still just enough of a CC threat to nibble in the back of someone's mind)

** - For anyone keeping track at home, this is going to be about the fourth*** army I've decided to collect since making this blog. Something that has not in any way affected the fact that I haven't bought a single model in years, much less since starting this blog. This has been more for financial reasons than anything else, though.

*** - Actually, it's more like 7 or 8 if you include the Warmachine stuff that I've been thinking of but not talking about.