Friday, March 15, 2013

Cocktails for a Cause; Beer for a Better World - March 15 Newsletter and Cocktail/Beer Seminars

The March 15 Newsletter just released

It's my privilege to bring the next little expansion to the breadth of the NOVA Open to ya'll, in the form of our American Craft Cocktail and Beer Seminars. They occur 9:30-11:30PM on the evenings of Friday, August 30, and Saturday, August 31 respectively. Proceeds from the Seminars and cocktail/beer sales in the Presidential Suite where they are hosted go in support of the charities (click the link to see which ones and details) sponsored by the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation.

Details are in the newsletter, but here are your direct links and quotes:

Craft Cocktail Seminar (soon to be titled; Cocktails for a Cause)

Craft Beer Seminar (soon to be titled: Beer for a Better World)

There are only 20 spots for each of these; you must be 21 (duh), must stay at the hotel at least that night to participate (no drinking and driving!), and must have a weekend badge. These are already selling, as of the newsletter going out a little while ago. We do not expect them to last very long.

The NOVA Open Charitable Foundation is fully licensed to serve beverages for that weekend within the Presidential Suite, in support of a charitable cause. Fancy cocktails and craft beer will be available to VIP holders during select times Friday through Sunday at very affordable rates. All proceeds will go to the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation in support of its sponsored charities.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Battle Points in the 40k GT? Simultaneous Tournament Theory

The NOVA Open is a win-loss, win-path, bracketed GT.

There are a number of reasons for this, ranging from fairness to sportsmanship. I'll cover those briefly, and assure the reader first and foremost that none of this is changing.

Reminders on Why Win/Loss, Win-Path, Brackets
40k GT's are by their very nature relatively non-competitive events. They are often full of highly capable players, but they are NOT competitive.

Competitiveness in a tournament setting is determined largely by the average delta between the average player. If you have a basketball competition of 6 players, with - at their prime - MJ, Kobe, me (trust me, that's a lol), some random HS basketball player, a 6 year old, and a 5 year old in a wheelchair all involved ... the tournament is not going to be competitive at all. The winner will probably be MJ or Kobe, but if pairings are random those two may play each other at any point in time ... and even if they luck out and face each other in the final, that's going to be one of the only competitive games ... well, again, unless all the pairings work out by dumb luck just right.

Furthermore, the amount anyone wins any of those games by is irrelevant and completely meaningless. We'll get back to why there.

What's important is: in a 40k GT, we don't have a national ranking system that is fairly and equally applied to all attendees, *and we never will.* There are some stellar locals who attend each of the major GT's, and ONLY those major GT's, for any number of reasons. There are relatively average travelers who occasionally win a GT or place highly, but routinely lose when paired against numerous unknown but superior players. Ranking systems would only meaningfully impact players who were always gaming ... and even then, they so rarely play each other that the standings would be quite random in their import.

AS a result of this, first round pairings in any GT setting are *generally* random, or based on some arbitrary criteria. In this unavoidable fact lies the root of evil in designing a fair tournament when leveraging margin of victory.

Let's go back to our 6-player Basketball tournament, and random pair the first round. Note - the person who ultimately wins the event will probably do so if you go sufficient rounds for it regardless of how you score it. Nevertheless, this will help illustrate the point.

Round 1 of this basketball tournament, I go up against the handicapped wheelchair-bound kid in basketball. You can trust I'm pretty bad, but you can also trust a relatively athletic 31 year old in good health is going to probably crush the handicapped kid (don't hold this against me, please!).

Let's also have the random pairing in Round 1 put Kobe up against MJ.

A couple of things have now happened, both of them unavoidable. One, I probably have a MUCH bigger victory on paper than MJ or Kobe (whichever wins). In a Win/Loss WinPath tournament, the amount by which we crushed a totally randomly determined opponent is more or less irrelevant. Subsequently, we won't be paired based upon that level (For, if we did, I would certainly dodge Kobe/MJ, and face some other person who beat up on a relative scrub ... sounds good to me ... or at least better to me). If the event goes 3 rounds, this will become *somewhat* meaningless as long as my points allocations aren't totally whacky ... chances are I'll go up against MJ or Kobe in the last round at latest, and get appropriately beaten by the best player. BUT, what if the event ends after 2 rounds, and the winner becomes the person who won by the net most points over 2 games? Heck, any # of things might happen, and there's no way to tell who really is the best by this criteria.

That's ok though ... often times you end up with a pretty good eval of a great player in a margin of victory setting ANYWAY; random first round pairings can still knock out certain opponents in a win/loss event also who otherwise *should* be considered high up there. Of course, they can battle their way back up the charts regardless, but that's another story.

The other thing we do with win-pathing that's important is management of putting people together who are having similar days. Win-Path pairing does the following:
If you win round 1, you play someone else who won round 1. If you lose round 1, you play someone else who lost round 1. Since the first round is not seeded and we have NO WAY of telling whether your margin of victory was indicative of skill or just a dramatic skill difference, this plays no role in subsequent pairings - only whether you won or lost.

Now, so far you're all thinking "duh that's like any other pairing." Here's where win-path changes things up.

If you subsequently lose round 2 after winning round 1, you play someone else who lost round 2 after winning round 1. You do NOT play someone who lost round 1 and won round 2, even though your records are the same.

Why is this meaningful? Emotions play a HUGE role in how we interact with others. The substantial majority of the NOVA's attendees have responded feeling there was a much better sportsmanlike feel to the event than many other events they've attended, in survey response. Nothing's perfect, but there's a correlation here. With simple record-based pairings or with margin-total based pairings, you can often run into a situation where you have people paired off who are experiencing very different days. A person who loses their first round after months of planning is probably in a similar mood as someone facing the same. Contrary to what might seem common sense, this more often leads to empathy than to a combination of sadness. They both feel the same way, and in that have an instant bond that is visible when you walk around and witness games. This increases in complexity as the rounds go on.

Someone who LOSES game 1, and WINS game 2 is in a MUCH BETTER MOOD than someone who won game 1, and lost game 2. Even though their records are the same, their moods are dramatically different ... one just recovered from a loss, the other just dropped out of undefeated. You do NOT want these types of players to play each other unless you have some kind of fair ranking/seeding system that determines pairings. Again, we do not ... we cannot ... have a meaningful and accurate ranking system in play at national GT's (you can rank in leagues and such, and this solves other problems entirely).

Winpath pairing over a tournament with sufficient rounds achieves net results one way or another, but also ensures you face players up against each other who are experiencing the same emotional swings as their opponents. Extrapolate this further - someone who loses 2 straight games and finally wins 1 is not going to be in the same emotional state at all as someone who loses, wins, and then loses again.

The final component of the NOVA format is bracketing. After 4 rounds, players' records are reset, and they are bracketed down into sets of 16 based upon their record. Their margin of victory is at this point used to establish their seed w/in their bracket. So, the final 4 rounds of the GT along the Win-Loss front are effectively a series of 16 x Sweet 16's (or subpart thereof). You don't have to do this in a smaller event ... you just always break after a certain # of rounds into the appropriate # of smaller sub-brackets.

Why do we do this? Well, there are a couple of reasons. First of all, it adds a little fun and intrigue to the brackets. Second of all, and perhaps most importantly, it further reinforces sportsmanship and competitiveness. Extrapolating from the above on win-pathing ... in a standard GT over many rounds, someone may start 4-0, and then lose 2 straight against stiffening competition. Rest assured, going into Round 7 this guy is NOT in a good mood. He thought he was in it, and now he's way out of it ... dropped to a record that in HIS eyes is now 'bad' at 4-2. Without bracketing and win-path pairing, this player might very well pull randomly or by BP-matching a player who started the event 2-2 (and thus felt relatively out of it and ready to have a good time), and is VERY happy after winning rounds 5 and 6 to yield 4-2. You do NOT want these players to face each other! Not only is it not overly relevant to the results at this point, but you're unintentionally brewing powderkegs. Often TO's never think about this sort of thing.

Finally, bracketing allows us to reward people for being solid Generals RELATIVE to their combined list/skill levels. If you want to bring a more fluffy list to the NOVA, you CAN without penalty; YES you'll take your lumps early on, but you'll wind up more or less in a bracket of players who are your net peers. You'll then have full freedom to compete for a Generalship award in a 16-player bracketed tournament against lists and player types that very closely mesh with who you are, and with the list you brought. Rest assured, there's just as nice a prize and just as fun a time in the 0-4 bracket as the 4-0 bracket.

So what are the downsides? There are a variety of opinions on this, but I'll try to summarize the ones I most commonly have heard:
1) Win-Loss requires too many rounds in a Major GT, which can be exhausting. 8 Rounds is too much for some folks.
2) 40k is a match-up / rock-paper-scissors game in the eyes of many players; as a result, bad matchups and unlucky losses can happen, and you shouldn't be eliminated from Generalship competition by getting unlucky with dice or matchups.
3) 40k should have ties of some sort, because you shouldn't force a winner or loser to be declared off a close game.
4) Some people just really like margin of victory and think despite the randomness of match-ups, big wins mean more.

Well, what if we could solve all of these, without changing the format on the W/L front at all? What if we could also make scoring your rounds easier and faster in the process? What if we could add Battle Points as well, margin of victory if you will, and award a Generalship prize based upon THAT in parallel to the Tournament Champion prize for the winner of the top bracket?

Enter this year's scoring thesis in draft.

Adding Battle Points to the NOVA 40k GT
The NOVA Open typically has tiered victory conditions (win by Primary, or tie and win on Secondary, or tie and win on Tertiary). This year, some rounds also have more cumulative victory conditions (Add value you earn from Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary ... compare to value your opponent win ... highest wins). Both types of mission have their ties broken by Tiebreaker.

So, (these numbers arbitrary for purposes of explanatino) what if winning on Primary (in tiered missions) or "x" margin (in cumulative missions) earned you 10 points, winning on secondary or "y' margin earned you 7 points, winning on tertiary or "z" margin earned you 5 points, and going to Tiebreaker earned BOTH players (win or lose) 3 points.

Well, now even though winpathing and win/loss are in full effect, you're ALSO earning Margin of Victory based battle points in every round. Additionally, for the Battle Points track, Ties are now in play.

Additionally, similar but different from last year, Battle Points will stop being scored at the end of Round 6. Renaissance Man will be scored similarly to present (50% appearance, 40% win-percentage, and 10% battle points). The highest Battle Points scorer will earn a prize equal to the Bracket 1 winner for BP, effectively an alternate Best General. Additionally, any player who prefers Battle Points will not only be able to consider Tiebreaker wins/losses as ties, they actually will be for purposes of that track of the event. None of this affects the W/L lovers or the sportsmanship-enhancing win-path pairing.

So what we'll do is ... at the end of Round 6, there'll be the option to remove yourselves from the GT. Anyone who doesn't enjoy playing 8 rounds, who wants to sleep in on Sunday, who wants to tour DC, who wants to check out the seminars and paint competition, who wants to check out the Basic Black Range Day (yeah, on Sunday, they're taking those who fill out the Seminar to the NRA firing range and museum) ... well, they can do any of those things, and have it not impact them in the GT.

That said, unlike last year, anyone who wants to play a full 8 rounds, win or lose, will continue to do just that. And, Bracket 1's winner - Tournament Champion - will still be fully and normally determined. Plus, so will all the Bracket Winners from 2-16.

Basically, what this change will do is add a third track to the NOVA Open within one simultaneous tournament. Before there was the Renaissance Track, like the oldest school GT's, where appearance score was critical to determining who the best overall hobbyists really was; and there was the Championship Track, the modern style GT, where winning and losing alone determine the best tactician / general for the weekend. Now, those tracks are unaffected, but there's ALSO a Margin of Victory / Battle Points track, like the more traditional BP based tournament.

Additionally, instead of trying to bastardize all of these things into a single track of awards and scoring, they're left independent of each other ... for pundits and attendees alike to value each style the way they personally see fit. If you want to call a Tiebreaker-determination a tie, and view the highest BP as the true best general ... well, you can. If you want to see w/l as the way to go, you can! If you want to see painting and modeling as critical components of what makes 40k the game that it is ... you can! Heck, as per normal, you can even compete for real generalship prizes without having to take a hardcore, WAAC army or playstyle ... find your way to your appropriate zone, and compete on even footing against your peers for just the prize you find most interesting.

/deep breath

Input and questions welcome!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Quick Registration / VIP Fancy Cheap Drinks Lounge Update; Daemons Army List

No promises on this yet, we're still working out details and appropriate licensing, BUT looks like there'll be some special perks awaiting in the Presidential Lounge from Thursday through Saturday nights for VIPs this year. This may expand in future years. Expect available beverages to tie into those offered during the in-work American Craft Cocktail and American Craft Beer seminars.

There are only 8 VIP bags left, of 80.
Registration is way faster this year than last. Example: last year we opened 40k GT registration December 1, and sold our 110th ticket on April 2. This year we opened 40k GT registration February 1, and sold our 110th ticket on March 11. Registration for the 40k Narrative has already eclipsed last year's total. Fantasy registration rate is up about 1000% (though it was quite slow to this point last year), and a substantial % of spots are sold away by now for most other events. Seminars are selling like crazy, in particular two brand new ones - Justin McCoy's Introduction to Masterclass Painting seminar, and Tectonic Craft Studio's build and take-home terrain seminar.

Daemons are continuing to evolve in my head; still not sure if I'm going to fully go with / get behind running them.

Tonight I'll be playing a game against a local while simultaneously ACTUALLY guest-hosting this week's 11th co Podcast. So, if all goes as planned, there'll be updates to how it's going laced into the cast.

List-wise, I think I'll be going with a combination of Guard and Slaanesh. Daemons primary, Guard contingents sprinkled in largely to tackle some of the gaping holes (i.e., anti-land raider, backfield scoring beyond just the portal). Most likely guard contingent is a meltavet team, manticore, vendetta, marbo, and officer CCS. Depending on points, might swap Marbo for a double meltagun stormtrooper suicide team.

Also considering putting in a CSM contingent toward the same basic function (i.e., termicide, oblits, heldrake).

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Daemons vs. SM Thunderstorm - Quick Batrep and Implications - 11th Co Podcast Co Hostage

The biggest and most important thing to know about the new Daemons is they are not a horde army.

They are a much cheaper version in a lot of ways of their previous selves, with more control and more reliability (warp storms be damned).

Here are the two lists that faced off; the SM list is what I've locally nicknamed rather tritely as Thunderstorm, and it's what I've been playing most lately ... my opponent used it, I used Daemons.

Thunderstorm SM/IG 1850
Librarian w/ Power Axe [Null Zone, Vortex] - 100
Librarian w/ Power Axe [Enfeeble, Warp Speed] - 100

5 Scouts w/ Sniper Rifles - 75
5 Scouts w/ Sniper Rifles - 75

Stormtalon w/ Skyhammer - 125
Stormtalon w/ Skyhammer - 125
Stormtalon w/ Skyhammer - 125

Thunderfire - 100
Thunderfire - 100
Thunderfire - 100

Primaris Psyker w/ Force Staff [Enfeeble, Warp Speed] - 70

Guardsman Marbo - 65

Platoon Command Squad - 30
Infantry Squad w/ Power Axe, Meltabomb - 65
Infantry Squad w/ Power Axe, Meltabomb - 65
Infantry Squad w/ Power Axe - 60
Infantry Squad w/ Power Axe - 60

Platoon Command Squad - 30
Infantry Squad w/ Power Axe, Meltabomb - 65
Infantry Squad w/ Power Axe, Meltabomb - 65
Infantry Squad w/ Power Axe - 60
Infantry Squad w/ Power Axe - 60

Vendetta Gunship - 130

Daemons 1850
Karanak - 120
Herald of Slaanesh w/ Mastery Level 2 [Hallucinate, Invisibility], Steed - 110
Herald of Slaanesh w/ Mastery Level 2 [Puppetmaster, Fearlesspower], Exalted Reward Portalglyph - 125
Herald of Slaanesh w/ Mastery Level 2 [Hallucinate, Dominate] - 95

20 Daemonettes - 180
20 Daemonettes - 180
10 Daemonettes - 90
10 Daemonettes - 90

20 Seekers - 240
20 Flesh Hounds - 320

Soulgrinder of Nurgle - 150
Soulgrinder of Nurgle - 150

SM went first, Karanak and Hounds scouted into central cover and prepared to take it up the poop chute for the greater glory of Khorne. SM Scouts outflanked, in case I left opportunities to steal into my backfield.

Daemons didn't steal. Collar of Khorne stopped one enfeeble but not the other. Guard blobs proceeded to frfsrf and through cover/night fight killed 10 / 20 hounds.

Seekers were deployed highly protected, planning to make up distance with Invisibility and their retarded speed. Daemonettes were highly spread out. Thunderfires killed about 10 total daemonettes as a result, choosing not to fire on the equally spread out dogs o' Khorne (despite S6 shots that would have instagibbed them ... probably a good call though ... the scout move gave them all kinds of room and they were max spread).

Khorne dogs ate an overwatch and charged one guard blob, making it in with about 7 models and Karanak left. Seekers used their speed, which is ridiculous, and were basically way up in midfield, covered and invisible. Daemonettes also all made excellent progress. Soulgrinders waddled and shot at Thunderfires. I immediately began to hate Soulgrinders, which I thought I would, but someone had suggested I try them out.

Hounds hit exceptionally hard against guardsmen, though really not as hard as their counterparts would show soon (read: seekers). Killed about 20 guardsmen on the charge, despite enfeeble, and lost 2 hounds to the afterswings. Portal is tiny due to the rules about what you use to mark it, and it was safely hidden, and started popping out Plaguebearers to sit on backfield objectives. Popped 5 on turn 1, and 2 on turn 2, and none on turn 3. That's all it would pop before the game was called.

Turn 2 SM had all reserves except 1 Stormtalon arrive. Overloaded the flank with the still unengaged guard blob with the flyer reserves, and the scouts had to pop into their own backfields due to mine being too hazardous still (he needed them to hold off another turn).

Talons/Tfires/etc. mauled one and a half daemonette squads. Some thunderfire ignores cover rounds were fired at the seekers, who were well spread out, but nothing much came of it. A couple died.

Combat top Turn 1 saw a couple more dogs die, and a bunch more guardsmen died. You could kinda tell the dogs weren't going to get out of that in very good shape, but they were going to get out of it. Sarges were eating away Karanak's slightly harder hits by suicide challenging. Which was fine.

I started to not like Dogs at this point, b/c against Marines they're actually quite bad. Karanak himself was pretty useful, and his psychic debuff actually hurt a little and came into play, but I found myself wishing I'd bought him something like 15-20 bloodletters for a lot fewer points, and just outflanked them (or even scouted them against opponents who weren't going to be as shooty). More universally hitty, and also the truth is that big daemon units are a lot more fragile than you'd maybe at first think in this "take BIG UNITS MANG" meta. More on that later. Oh, and the Vendetta exploded one of the Soulgrinders. I hates them, the soulgrinders of one-shottable. Marbo tried to kill the other one with a rear demo charge that almost worked (mostly b/c there wasn't really anywhere else where Marbo had much of a target, and he'd have secured linebreaker and more if he'd have succeeded).

Turn 2 things started to get really messy for the Marine player. Daemonettes and seekers that survived Top 2 got in a ton of charges, including Seekers and nettes on the 2nd guard blob. Nettes ate the overwatch, Seekers were NOT invisible, simply b/c I had to use hallucinates. I used the two hallucinate powers on Thunderfires. One was a failed psychic test (rolled a 9, a noteworthy point about Herald psykers who aren't of Tzeentch). One made the Techmarine punch himself in the face w/ a servo arm, solving that issue. Nettes charged scout squad on one flank, right in front of another Tfire.

Soulgrinder #2 waddled around and stepped on Marbo.

Dogs whittled the guard blob down to sarges and psyker. Seekers literally exploded the guard blob ... really, really ugly what they do when they hit. Reduced it to a couple of models and the 2 psykers in it, who failed LD but were "caught."

In an effort to kill off unengaged units, 2 of the stormtalons knowingly suicide hovered, and made it count by strafing down the last full daemonette squad not engaged (4 from one of the original 20 weere stuck in with the guard/seeker combat, and 4 from one of the 10-squads were now finishing up scouts on a flank. After stormtalon fire, those 8 were the only daemonettes left alive by the bottom of 3 from the original 60). They had no way to get max firepower down by zooming, b/c of how deep into their dep zone the battle now was.

A scout squad opposite flank from the first advanced toward my board edge now that marbo was down, hoping to get into linebreaker / contest against portal'ed in plaguebearers. Dogs finished off their combat, only 3 dogs and Karanak were left. Consolidated toward platoon commands. Seekers and 4 nettes and 2 heralds finished off 2nd guard blob and consolidated in various ways.

At this point going into Bottom 3 the SM player was down to a pair of naked platoon commands, 2 thunderfires split on opposite corners, 2 stormtalons near my seekers in hover mode, one stormtalon zooming nowhere near anything, one vendetta zooming nowhere near anything, and 5 scouts semi-near my consolidated daemonettes / seekers.

Daemons were down to a 4-man squad of daemonettes w/ a herald ... a herald by itself ... 3 daemonettes near a corner T-fire ... 3 khornedogs and karanak ... 18 seekers and a seeker herald ... and 4 / 2 plaguebearers respectively.

Karanak split off and joined the lone slaanesh herald (not literally joined) in going after one PCS, while the 3 khornedogs went after the other PCS. The 3 daemonettes went for the Tfire, hoping the flamer/plasma pistol overwatch and subsequent Techmarine punches wouldn't kill them. The 4 daemonettes and herald went after the surviving scout squad. The seekers and herald closed their eyes and went after the hovering stormtalons.

Blowing up the two stormtalons was something of a foregone conclusion given the # of attacks. Several seekers died to the subsequent explodey-booms. Hooray. The 3 daemonettes lost 1 to the overwatch thanks to solid invul saves, and rended the techmarine. The 4 daemonettes and herald got into combat with the scouts, lost one to overwatch, killed all but the sarge, and the sarge killed a daemonette. So, I had 4 TOTAL daemonettes left (2 + herald vs. scout sarge, and 2 sitting consolidated in a faraway corner off tfire). I had 14 seekers left. The khornedogs, karanak, and foot solo herald all succeeded in mauling the 2 platoon squads w/out casualties.

We called the game at this point. One scout sarge remained in combat with 2 Daemonettes and an unwounded Herald. One tfire was stuck in a corner of the board. A zooming Vendetta and Stormtalon were active.

The daemons had 4/60 original daemonettes, all 4 heralds unwounded. 13/20 original Seekers remaining. 6 random plaguebearers wandering about who had been spawned by the portalglyph. 3/20 khornedogs.

Long story short? Daemons = glass combat cannons. They hit things incredibly hard, whether they are vehicles or infantry (so long as rear AV is penetrable by them). They also die in droves due to relatively weak saves and toughness.

Conclusions from the game include the following:

Khornedogs are much better, but I still don't like them very much. Their charge hits hard, but their output then drops dramatically. Their charge also only hits quite so hard when they are joined by Karanak for rage, which increases the points investment even more. They are only scoring in 1/6 missions, so that kinda hurts them in my book also for the points invested. They're fast, but you can't keep them from getting shot up, and people bring a lot of anti-T4 bullets these days.

Grimoire of True Names will be in most of my lists from now on out ... the 1/3 chance to -1 Invul is kind of a wash with cover being "ok" compared to the standard invul, and the chance to take a daemon block to a more resilient 3++ is almost a requirement if you're going to run a mini-star or two (daemons really don't have true deathstars as far as I can tell, with the more durable units of nurgle being fairly slow).

Portalglyph was cool, but underwhelming b/c plaguebearers are so slow. I still think having an exalted herald is a requirement, however, because you need to add the weight of your troops to the offensive, and your troops are also fragile. Spawning new units will happen, and you can use the massive move and run ranges of things like Seekers to create areas where the portal can't scatter to in order to keep it safe. Remember it practically has no vertical dimensions, b/c you're supposed to use a 3" blast marker "or similar sized marker" to represent it, explicitly per the rules.

Soulgrinders provide an answer in combat to dreads kinda, they provide some skyfire, they're theoretically durable vs. any one shot, but I freakin' hate them. Maybe it's just me ... but even semi-expensive models that have relatively low damage output, aren't all that fast, and can be one-shot just aren't my cup of tea. YMMV.

Seekers are infinitely more fragile than fleshhounds, but they hit harder. They also maintain their damage output better in extended combats if they get stuck into them. They're also cheaper, not by a lot, but by enough. If you want to take khornedogs, take them in smaller units. If I were to rebuild the list, I would probably still take several telepathy heralds. I would probably take Karanak with something, and often outflank it, probably Bloodletters since they score. I would probably only take one "large" unit ... and probably Seekers still. Coupled w/ a very good chance to pick up Invisibility, I might consider running 3 seeker level 2 heralds and 20 seekers as my "mini-star" ... and use it carefully and w/ appropriate psychic buffs. Slaanesh heralds hit things pretty hard on their own when they need to, thanks to S4 and rending w/ several attacks.

Lots more thoughts brewing. MSU is something you'll need to do more with Daemons I think. Most of their basic units are only as durable as guardsmen, while costing at least nearly twice as much. SO, those of you thinking they are a horde army are mistaken. They're not. You might as well think Imperial Stormtroopers are horde units. In a lot of ways just like Stormtroopers, Daemons represent glass cannons. Great Unclean Ones are the glaring exception to this, but they are hamstrung in ridiculous fashion by Slow and Purposeful, which is of course worse in this edition. No running, no sweeping, no overwatching.

/fin for now

What are your thoughts so far?

I will be co-hosting the 11th Company Podcast tonight ... I suppose this will be next week's episode? Don't know. We'll be talking about Tournaments and Daemons, among other things.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Thoughts on New Daemons


So first off ... I'm a fan of organic armies that aren't encased in super armor, that can be taken in fairly high #'s but also have some elite components to them.

SOOO, the new Daemons dex is intriguing to me. I enjoyed proxy-playing Daemons in the last dex, but never personally enjoyed the random drop potential ... and the models were all a little too expensive to get the army "feel" I personally wanted.

The new dex solves a lot of this issue. I rather like it. Some things in it are dumb (aren't some always), and some things in it are rather broken (i.e., Seekers). Overall, awesome party time I think.

Base start points, you ask? Well, I like Slaanesh at a glance ... I suspect this will change a lot.

3 x Exalted Heralds of Slaanesh on Steeds (Exalted meaning, that gift level)
3 x 20 Seekers of Slaanesh
6 x 10 Daemonettes

Heralds for sure will be taking Grimoire (turning one seeker unit into 3++ or turning it into .. just stay in cover, who needs a 5++ vs 6++ for a turn?), and a Portalglyph

That's a 1530 point baseline with 120 incredibly fast, effective models that are quite durable for their points. Thoughts will continue from here. Things are very nascent. Strongly considering doing a Daemons list.

For those not in the know, 20 Seekers throw 80 attacks on the charge at Ihigh, with Cavalry movement, the ability to outflank, and ... you know, they basically are the fastest cheap models in the game. Their turn 1 movement is 18+d6 inches.