Friday, 6 May 2011
Last weekend I attended a friendly tournament at Warhammer World in Nottingham. There were 12 people taking part in the event with a mix of accomplished and fairly new players.
The weekend was a while ago, and games were played either while hungover (before lunch) or slightly inebriated (after lunch). As such I won't be going into huge battle reports, but I will post up some photos and give some general thoughts on how each of the units performed.
The 150 points tax. Crowe isn't an independent character, so he cannot hide in squads, nor can he start the game in a transport. He only has 2 wounds, and a max of about 5 attacks in close combat (usually no more than 3). He does no have a force weapon either so does not have much hope against big targets. I call him the village idiot, and I've fallen in love with him.
I think the trick is the same as with big block busters. I find it's best to expect the worst, to truly believe the film will probably suck and have low expectations. Then, more often than not when I go to the cinema I enjoy the film a lot more because it exceeds my expectations. Thus, even from deployment I already view Crowe as a casualty.
Above is a picture of my deployment from the first game (against a "Grey Knight" Inquisitorial force), it was spearhead head deployment, and my army is carefully positioned with at least 70% of the vehicles claiming cover saves, and there's Crowe, down on the very extremity of my deployment area, out in the open ready to run head first to the enemy (remember Crowe has a 2+/4++ save so doesn't really care about cover saves).
And you know what, 90% of the time he sprints clean across the board, usually overtaking the rhinos with good run rolls, and makes it to combat with the enemy every damn time (expect against Tau *sad face*).
The main thing I've learnt about Crowe is just to have fun and laugh at him, and always use him to target weaker, more hoardy squads, where he assumes his defensive stance (re-roll failed saves but make no attacks), and every turn first off Cleansing flame to burn out the enemy then use your I6 to cut them down, move onto the next squad, rinse & repeat.
This was greatly demonstrated in one game against Imperial Guard, where Crowe sprinted through rapid firing guardsmen and single-handedly walked through most of the infantry units in the army.
This was in large part made possible in the IG game thanks to the dreadknight.
Well this fella certainly served his purpose. He is a new, very tall and scary looking unit. Due to this he draws a lot of attention. I threw one into my list mainly to try out the new unit. He sticks out like a sore thumb in the army and I knew he was going to take a beating... which he did.
For a while at least I think it's a good idea not to place an important job like capturing an objective in the Dreadknight's hands; he just won't last that long. Due to this I think you have to either take him with a personal teleporter (otherwise he won't make it out of your deployment zone in most games) or run 3 vanilla set-ups of them to provide fire saturation for each other.
My usage for him as distraction. Against the Imperial Guard he managed to hold up against the ENTIRE army shooting at him for a turn (minus a few stunned vehicles - thank you Psyflemen!) after shunting to within charge distance of their command squad, he was reduced to one wound, but was still standing. Hilarously next turn he flamed and charged the Command squad, wiping out everyone expect the Captain, who managed to take off the Dreadknight's last wound with a standard close combat weapon! Personally this was my moment of the weekend.
Above you can see the Dreadknight after having shunted to the Guard's extreme flank and burnt a Missile Launcher heavy weapons team from the board. Also you can spot Crowe to the left, next to the white dice, in the middle of his mad run for the opposite flank. Hats off to my opponent Luke in this game; it was a brutal affair with both armies pounding each other's vehicles, the sheer amount of immobilised and weapon destroyed results on each side bordering on the ludicrous.
Ok, Here I'll briefly mention the standard Twin-Linked Autocannon dreadnoughts with psybolt ammo, or "Psyflemen" dreads. Yes, they are as good as everyone says, especially for 135 points. The strength 8 guns won the IG game for me, enabling me to keep AV14 Lemon Russ's stunned for the majority of the game (or at least until my Purifiers could get to them with their hammers)
Yes they are as good as everyone says, yes you should take them.
Mixed opinion here. I ran them as MM/Doomfist & Hv. Flamer men, who were there to follow the Purifiers into mid-field and provide AT and reinforced Aegis. The Reinf-Aegis was only useful in one game which had an offensive psyker (space wolves oddly enough), so it didn't see much use, but in that game it was VERY useful and saved me from at least 6 Psychic attacks (and we all know how nasty Jaws can be!). The venerable rule is ok, but more annoying than useful. Rather than penetrating hits destroying a walker, a few times they lost a gun or were immobilised instead, although this often made them just as useless (with a one shot 24" gun). The venerable rule would be a great boon to Psyflemen, but for a 60points its only really worth it if you want to fill up your heavy support with something else.
OK, they're shooters, I know how that sounds but they are. All weekend they killed a lot more men by shooting at them than they ever did by charging them. As long as you work your min-sized squads together, you'll drop alot more men at 24" range. Several times I charged them at Meq's only to be hugely underwhelmed. They're only WS4 so often only hitting on 4+ and with so much anti-pskyer stuff on the tables these days they can have a really hard him getting S5 attacks or Cleansing flame (Ld 9 tests failed me too many times to be funny!). If their WS was upped to 5 they'd be combat masters, but alas it is not so.
Having said that, I still don't like replacing their force weapons with psycannons. They need to move, and an extra halberd can make all the difference. I'd like to try out Purgation squads soon, to get 4 psycannons hidden in the mid-field and use their Heavy4 stateline would be a much better use I think. Alternatively get 4 psycannons in a 10 man purifier squad and combat squad them, but then that leaves us with the question of, who gets the transport.
Also, if you're going to to Min sized squads, you need to take Purifiers. Fearless really helps keep them together and keep moving through fire, which is absolutely what they need to do.
The last comment I'll make at this point is that Fortitude is the best power in the game. Full stop. For a small army which MUST keep moving and MUST keep firing, it's a life saver.
That's it for now. I'll try to get back soon with some future plans, painting tips and close-ups of my men. I had to paint fast for the tournament and all the painting above was done in under 48 hours so did not have time to stop and take photos, so after some touch-ups I'll get the pics up. In 48 hours the army went from the first to the second picture, just to prove that painting Grey Knights can be fast and effective.