Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Magnificent Melta-bomb

  So here I am talking to one of my buddies the other night and we got on the subject of army lists.  And he dropped a bomb that made my head explode- a melta bomb!!!

  My buddy, being a very competitive gamer (even representing the US in an international tournament one year), has some pretty strong beliefs about how his armies should work.  I can't lie- I typically disagree with everything he believes.  It's awesome, because we are two sides of that 'gamer coin'- I'm the fluff-bunny and he's the WAAC guy (with manners).  I like my armies to represent the stories while he is literally going for points efficiency and damage output.  But sometimes, and this is a rare thing, he notes something that even I have to think about.

  So we all know that Fire Dragons are BAUSS!  My buddy always celebrates them when I decide to take them in my Eldar army.  But I didn't understand why until he mentioned the melta-bombs the other day.  You see, while I'm trying to outfit sergeants and characters with awesome close combat weaponry that will slowly destroy even the largest things, my buddy prefers to pay very little and 'hope'.  At least that's how I thought of it before...

  My Space Marine sergeant costs 14 points base, plus 10 if I want the extra attack and leadership, plus another 15 if I want my pistol to kill something (maybe even me), plus another 15 if I want a weapon that can penetrate armour, plus another 10 if I want that weapon to also be powerful enough to break open tanks.  So I have a sergeant in a 200 point squad that costs 64 points by himself!  But I can shoot a terminator and punch a tank to death...

  My buddy takes that same SM sergeant, which costs 14 points, and adds 5 points for the meltabomb.  That's right- if he faces a tank, then he's got this!  It's like an auto-hit blast from a melta-gun (of course, 'auto-hit' is always debatable in my hands)!  But I don't see how a melta-bomb is so much better that this 19 point guy even begins to compare to my 64 point guy.

  Now boys and girls, let me remind you that it is NEVER a good idea to get into a math-hammer conversation with a tournament gamer (I used to be that guy, but I wanted friends more).  Luckily, that's what my buddy is for.  He explained it very simply- 

First, your sergeant isn't going to survive when everyone is running around with either the same (but cheaper for some armies) or with anti-character effects (see also snipers and challenge monkies).  Second, your sergeant is taking away points that could be used for real weapons like plasma guns and lascannons (or grav-guns or heavy flamers or...).  And if you add up the number of sergeants that a typical force has (4-5), then you gain back enough points for a whole other unit!  Thirdly, and most importantly, there's a rule that allows that melta-bomb to be used against monsters.
LIES!!!  I don't believe you!  That's can't be!  I don't remember that!

  Warhammer 40,000 7th edition Main Rulebook (III), page 181:
  Unless used in assaults against vehicles, gun emplacements, or monstrous creatures, melta bombs have no effect.  When used in assaults against vehicles, buildings, gun emplacements, or monstrous creatures, melta bombs have the following profile:
Range  -                Strength  8      AP  1         Armourbane, Unwieldy

  I was totally floored.  I didn't realize.  I remember that melta-bombs were the only grenades that weren't usable in close combat.  As it turns out, I was wrong, and this is HUGE!

  Okay, so my Space Marine sergeant can take anything he wants, but do I expect him to actually turn the game?  Probably not, so why not just take what he needs and get more out of the rest of the army.  And then, when that sergeant does get into combat with that monster, he can still have an impact.  But he'll do exactly what he's expected to- little to nothing.

  On that note, there is a weakness to this strategy.  A smart Space Marine player takes advantage of the ATSKNF rule by keeping their squad useless in some instances.  A typical squad can't hurt a Wraithlord in close combat.  That means that it can fail its test using the "Our weapons are useless!" rule on pg 53, fall back, and regroup next turn to shoot that Wraithlord to death.  Unfortunately, that tactic won't work if that sergeant is rocking his melta-bomb.  He CAN hurt the monster, so now the rest of the guys are stuck...

  I hope this was as enlightening for you as it was for me!  I don't know if I'll follow this strategy, but it's nice to know that there's options other than 'completely worthless' and 'way too expensive'.  Let me know what you think!

Happy Gaming!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Beginning of Infinity

  Yep, we played this game some more.  My buddy brought the set over and has been itching to play and master the rules, so we've gone to town on it.  In this mission, we got to use all the models in the starter set and most of the rules.  And boy was it fun.  

  For the other five missions, my PanO guys had beat the poor Nomads out of every one of their holdings.  My dice luck was unimpeachable and we saw crazy stuff.  During those battles, my ARO (reactions) killed more of his guys than his actual actions.  It was all too common that he would fail his roll against me and I would basically 'shock' a guy out of the game with my rolls.  But this final battle was different.

  For the first time, my buddy beat me.  It started with my Commando successfully dropping behind enemy forces, only to be peppered with firepower from every direction.  Then my sniper was killed by the other sniper, seeing my over the rooftops.  Funny enough, his sniper then went on to kill my Fusilier sent there to support him one command later...

  My Knight-Father and Orc both vaulted for the central objective, depending on their armour to keep them alive.  But that reactionary shooting by a well-deployed Nomad force and the lucky dice turnaround that was finally deserved meant that both my hardcore guys were eliminated quickly.

  The game ended with the Nomads clearly in charge of the R&D Facility and my forces unconsious all over the place.  The only non-casualty was 'Triggers', my beautiful female Fusilier intent on her nails.  She has been the MVP of so many of our battles and has never gone down, so she is obviously everything she thinks she is and more...  (how do you put the mac on a miniature again?)

  Now that we feel like we understand most of the rules and can now focus on understanding the game, we're going to paint these models up.  My buddy kept his Nomads and let me keep the PanO guys and we plan on painting them just like their pictures.  Obviously, Triggers is getting painted first.  That girl deserves the Moon, or at least some colour before everyone else...

  There will be posts on that and some good hobby stuff on fades, possibly NMMs, and probably flesh lessons.  When?  Hey, get off my sack over here!  Stay tuned and Happy Gaming!