Friday, September 14, 2012

GW killed the Njal star - 2000 points Space Wolves

While still a strong and competitive army, Space Wolves have arguably suffered with the transition to 6th, and after all the FAQs and changes are still trying to find solid ground. Now that GW has produced new FAQs for the codexes and 40k BRB, are our favourite space barbarians up for a fight?

After Tony Kopach's epic wins at Nova you could say "hell yes". All the eyes were on good old Njal and his storm, however GW swiflty ruled it out as an effective AA, leaving SW with, well, no decent AA options at all. Thanks GW. That aside I still think foot wolves is a valid concept in 6th, and that it can be built well outside of Logan wing or Njal. The issue with Loganwing is that it has the same issues as normal foot wolves - namely reduced mobility and some bad matchups - plus a reduced head count. Njal I've never used him so can't really say. Without further ado this is the list:

2000 SW points

Rune Priest (Jaws, Lightining), CotS
WGBL with Saga of the Hunter, 1 Fenrisian Wolf

Lone Wolf, TDA, SS/CF
Lone Wolf, TDA, SS/CF
5 Wolf Guard (5 TDA, 1 CML)

10 Grey Hunters, 2 Plasma Guns, Wolf Standard
10 Grey Hunters, 2 Plasma Guns, Wolf Standard
10 Grey Hunters, 2 Plasma Guns, Wolf Standard
10 Grey Hunters, 2 Melta Guns, Wolf Standard
5 Grey Hunters, Flamer

4 TWC, 1 TH, 1SS, 1 meltabombs.

6 Long Fangs, 5 ML
6 Long Fangs, 5 ML
6 Long Fangs, 5 ML

So the list is built around a solid core of Grey Hunters advancing to midfield, protected by 2+ save toting Wolf Guards in front and a couple of Lone Wolves. Long Fangs provide support as needed and the WGBL grants outflanking to one unit... fancy some TWC wreaking havoc in your enemy's backyard? that's a serious distraction that should bring some firepower away from your GHs. Grey Hunters are what will make you win or lose most games, so don't worry too much for the TWC... with T5 and 2W they are tough and will be a pain to deal with until they are eventually wittled down. You might also want to outflank a GH pack , perhaps to claim a far away objective, and send the TWC to soak up fire in front of the rest of your troops. What's interesting is that a character in TWC can only join TWC or fenrisian wolves units, but nowhere says that a character can't join a TWC unit. Fun times ahead.

The Lone Wolves are there to provide anti mech, and are excellent to tarpit Death Stars. This is an important  change in mindset from 5th to 6th, in 5th suicide melta in Rhinos was the norm, now CC is where you can take down enemy vehicles more reliably.

Combinations and details

The Rune Priest goes with a GH pack, providing a 24" aura of psychic protection (so you should be able to cover most of the troops), and blasting Living Lightining or Jaws as needed. You could also swap his powers for Divination and twin link 7 missiles per turn (attach the CML Guard to a LF pack). Not great but might come in handy. His Storm power could potentially give a 5+ cover save to most of your army so consider swapping Jaws or LL for it.

Wolf Guard are pretty straightforward - stick them in front of the GH packs to soak up as much firepower as they can until they eventually die. If they make it to CC they can help with their 2+ and EW, and can also challenge nasty ICs to let the Grey Hunters deal with the rest of the unit. The Wolf Standard shines here! As for the CML Wolf Guard, he can either go with a LF pack, or to midfield and look to hit vehicles in the side.

The small 5 Grey Hunters units are there to claim the home objective. Cheap and reliable for this job. And should have a Long Fangs pack close anyway in case they need help... Long Fangs might be old and venerable but are still Wolves, with power armour, counterattack, and a sergeant that dishes 4 attacks. How many times have they taken down Orks, Scouts and the like assaulting them? more than I can remember.

Possible changes? well getting some allies (perhaps some IG blob with a couple of Vendettas) would do well to SW, giving some decent AA and AT ability, and a solid scoring base with some firepower. I believe this will be the norm for 6th edition and certainly, I wouldn't take SW solo to a tournament if you hold any expectations to win anything. Comments / thoughts?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

About Dark Vengeance LE, Wayland, customer commitments and greedy people

A long title for a rather simple issue. The inability of many fans to get their copies of the Dark Vengeance LE.

This begins with GW not producing enough Limited Editions to cover for the demand, which says a lot about how bad they are at product launches. They should know their player base well enough to know that they would buy the new box as soon as it was out, and should have a pretty accurate idea of the player base size. After all, they know how many hobby stores they have, how many units they have sold in the past, how many different customers buying online... you need to be really bad to get this forecast wrong.

Advice #1 for GW: hire someone who can do a decent forecast.

Failing at correctly estimating the demand is bad for GW mainly because those (like me, you guessed it) who couldn't get their copy will buy the normal box, therefore spending less. It doesn't mean they won't get the LE chaplain with time, but that's a different story.

Advice #2 for GW: you usually want to lift the average order value and average customer value. Limited Editions help here, as long as you produce enough.

Advice #3 for GW: for 7th edition, be rather aggressive than conservative with the prevision because you will sell all the copies anyway.

Then let's talk about Wayland. I'm a regular buyer and a satisfied one, even with the issues that regularly pop (like terrible long times to get my orders, confusion about stock availability...). Their wonderful, efficient customer support more than makes up for it.

Problem is, you can't sell something you won't be able to fulfill. If they knew they had say 100 units for the first week and probably 100 more for the next one, the right thing to do is to tell customer #101 that they cannot guarantee their orders. This is something they did in the end but not when I purchased.

Worst than that, they told me 2 days ago that they had stock for me, so have the boxes suddently vanished?

That said, I really like how they have handled this, giving customers different options to choose from.

Last but not least, I'm going to talk about some of the people in the community. I lost count on how many times I read "I'm going to buy 2 boxes of the LE", or even more. That's your freedom of course but considering it is a limited edition and the fan base is rather big, well I would have certainly never bought more than 1, even if I wanted the minis to build a new DA or Chaos army. That any extra box that I was getting means that someone would not get it. It does not hurt to think about other people from time to time. Now I know some of you will not agree with this view but please give it a thought. Feel free to comment away, but let's keep it civil!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Games Day 2012 Space Marine Captain Showcase

Howdy! this is the Games Day 2012 Space Marine Captain limited edition. A fine sculpt by Juan Díaz, who unsurprisingly was there (GD Spain) ready to talk to all the fans who attended - a rather large mob I have to say!

As most of you know this is a homage to the 2nd edition of 40k that featured this audacious fella in the box cover. 2nd was the very first edition that I have (and still unpainted lol) so it felt good that now 6th edition is a go, we remember the good ol' days.

So with this in mind I painted the mini as a bog standard BA captain, although decided to pass on most of the yellow areas (bar one knee cap) as it would not really fit well with the rest of the army. This is also a fine figure should you want to use Tycho in games - that mini is pretty old and you only need to add a combimelta. Of course I magnetized the backpack and bolter arm.

Enjoy the pics and feel free to post your comments / questions!

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