23 Dec 2010

Rave Review: Bring out the Gimp - DE Wracks

Colour by MajesticChicken
Well Guessing this here will likely be my final post before Crimble, so wishing you all a good one ;o)

So, Wracks, seems they are everyones favorite atm. Considering it has more or less been playing a Kabal list for 13 years and the first wave of stuff is essentially more of the same I think people, myself included are looking at Coven lists as something a bit different. A Coven list is definitely going to feel and function differently from just about anything, which is going to appeal to lots of us and they really do look like a bucket of fun sick.

Wracks are the workhorse of a coven list and will be useful in most lists you care to build, they are in the Elites section but they are a troop for any list containing at least one haemo, given the popularity of haemo's  I expect to see a fair few wracks cropping up around.

So for ten points what do we get?

 Well the stat line is nice essentially being a DE with T4 yup, a DE troop with T4, the payoff being lower pathetic armour.

basic equipment iiis, 2 poisoned weps (4+) which is actually pretty good, given once they get FC they will be re-rolling to -wound against T4 with 3 attacks on the charge.

On the subject of FC, wracks come with FnP out of the gate thanks to having an "altered physique" which means when you give them a haemo babysitter  they have FC too, having T4 and a 4+ save makes them pretty damn tough for a space elf, stick to cover and they can be a bugger to shift, the higher base T means they get more 'value' from fnp too, `its all good.

Options:

The squad can take a liquifier gun for every full 5 models, so any characters will stop you having two in the squad, luckily a Haemo can bring his own, as I think you will always want at least two of these.

 Templates for DE is freaking amazing, having a tough assault troop that can pack them is also amazing, what's even more amazing(er) is that Liqui guns are a horrible threat to anything that relies on armor to stay alive, with a 50% chance to be AP3 or better MEQ players will be feeling the pain quite literally.

 Two flamers with a 33% chance of ignoring Termy armour and/or FNP in a squad of troops ?!

OMFGYES !

One thing they do NOT have, is assault grenades, so bear that in mind, I suppose the theory being that the liquis can soften up your target enough for any attacks they get first to be less of a problem.

Acothyst - This is the sgt upgrade comes with extra attacks and LD 9 , the biggie here is the Ld 9 as its even higher than a haemo's, lets just say he is proving a popular upgrade for the LD alone.

He also has access to an expanded equipment list , Im mostly going to only cover the ones I feel are worth taking.

Venom blade, cheap, good, reliable, increases threat to MC's and helps the unit kill more of anything through weight of saves required.

Scissorhand- a little on the expensive side when you consider he has 2 cc weps and 4+ poison anyway , however he will go to 5 attacks on the charge with poison 3+ with these, so a definite improvement, with FC they will statistically wound more often than a vblade too.

Flesh gauntlet - one failed save and anything without EW is D E A D, gotta love it, still its pricey Unless it behaves spectacularly well in playtesting its likely going to be left behind for the cheap and efficient Vblade, though its going to prove scary vs any multi wound model without EW and a save no better than 3+, don't forget with FC you will re-roll to-wound with this on T4 targets.

Colour by MajesticChicken
Agoniser- I dont actually think this is a no brainer choice in a wrack unit, they have no problem with tough targets and 20 points is just too much for three power weapon attacks, though on second thoughts, FNP is out there...... I genuinely dislike Agonisers in this book, they are overpriced, horribly so, especially with the loss of glancing ability, 'maybe' its worth 20 points on a model with 6-7 attacks on the charge that hit on threes but not on a model that gets 4 attacks and hits on 4's on the charge, but most of the time its a str 4 power wep .... unless you are rolling in points or consistently running into trouble with FNP... I would tend to take the Vblade or scissorhands every time. I hope to expand on this in the eventual retro of the unit in a year or two's time.

They can also take a transport, I have seen a few suggested/popular configs floating about: I have yet to do more than basic playtesting so Ill be trying out various builds and will eventually edit this to show my findings.

 5 wracks with Acothyst (ld9) in a venom- for sitting on and snatching objectives, you can even just drop the wracks off on the home objective and leave them there and GTG when / if they get shot at, frees up the venom and creates more targets for your opponent.

Max squads on foot as screens/bubble wrap.

Full raider squad with a haemo + Acothyst for assaults and objective capturing, or just flying around like an obscene parody of a banewolf slapping the 2 liqui templates down and making goo of things. ( you can even get higher concentrations of liqui guns by putting more haemo's in the unit.


So in summary much like with the rest of the book another solid choice with several uses, that will fit in multiple lists, not to mention the great fluff and artwork. I expect to see quite a few in coming years . Given the effort so far minis wise, I for one am looking forward to playing with my my eventual Coven themed list.

Hope you all get loads of plastic crack for crimble.

Humbug ;o)

20 Dec 2010

Retro Review: Dire Avengers Aspect Warriors

Dire Avengers .... last but by no means least in the troops section, the Dires.

 Having erroneously given Storm guardians short shrift early on in the armies development, I went for Dires as the core of my 1500 to 1750 mech list. Subsequently they had alot of play @ 1500 and I was happy with their performance, they worked very well in that build at that points level, however when we shifted up to 1750  there became a problem with the army balance which lead to me having a rough time of it for a while. This was later fixed by swapping out the avengers for stormies, though the 1750 list still contains 'some' avengers .......

The main problem with them is the complete inability to do anything at all to armour. At 1500 I had not really noticed this as armour saturation was lower and the dires were performing their specialist anti infantry role admirably and all was well with the world, in all likelihood I will still use them In the 1500 ToS list I'm planning on using this year but feel they do not really work in my 1750 build.

Ok so lets break them down, Standard aspect stats, unlike guardians or even mareehns they come with ld 9 , which is nice, means that the exarch is far from a no brainer choice and often not included.

They are T3 and AS 4+ which is another improvement over guardians, all the usual tricks for keeping them alive apply, which includes a tendency for not having them on foot, personally I think Avengers work best in a serpent.

basic Avenger guns have 18" range which is an improvement and allows them to shoot largely without fear of being assaulted once you get the maneuvering and ranges down to an art.

Squad options are fairly limited and revolve around how the Exarch is kitted up, the exarch himself costs an additional 12 points (or another avenger) for ws 5 bs 5 I6 and 2 attacks , so an excellent stat line but due to str and t3 is far from earth shattering.

He can buy for himself either an extra catapult with which to go forth and John woo peoples asses into tea strainers, which is nice and cheap for 5 pts, its actually my favored upgrade as I buy Avengers for anti infantry fire hosing , any upgrade that makes a unit better at its given task and is not stupidly over priced makes my grade. a potential 5 shots at bs 5 is nothing to complain about.

The 8th phoenix lord ?
 So awesome he took all the invuns...
Diresword + pistol , cant say I have even ever used this, and the ID on a failed enemy LD check is depressing, I have yet to see it work when used by others. its ten points for a str 3 power wep, not to mention diluting the firepower.... this is for people who have the misguided concept that avengers are sorta failed eldar mareehns and can cut it as a poor mans assault unit....shame as the model looks cool, not as cool as my Chow Yun Fat wannabees, but cool.

The last and most expensive option is a power wep and shimmer shield combo again, Im really not for avengers in assault. I suppose with fortune and the yet to be discussed defend you could run them as a hatchet council tarpit, thing. Broadly speaking though if in cc with someone you are probably dead anyway, fully tricked out with an expensive cc character they can do ok, but a proper assault unit will push their faces in.

Defend: Improved version of defensive grenades, every round all units directing attacks at the vengers looses an attack, sadly its too expensive to just throw in 'just in case' and I would prefer to simply avoid combat as much as possible.

Blade storm: At least for me this is the most important power for a non davu squad, you gain a shot by sacrificing the following turns shooting phase, now given guard get first rank second rank over and over for no penalty just shows our books age, but it has to be said three shot str 4 weapons en masse can be suprisingly deadly

And finally of course, they have access to a wave serpent always nice to have ;o)

The DAvu tactic - Dire Avengers vehicle Upgrade, essentially 5 of them ran bare bones is the cheapest way to make something score. Very very often seen in a falcon for objective sitting and late game snatch shenanigans. It also works well in a serpent, only downside being either way its still points sat in vehicles essentially doing nothing. Though it is a very important tactic for Eldar players to master until a new book comes round, it allows us to still win games.

 Another common build is five in a serpent with either EML or Bright Aids lance, (long term readers know my feelings about lances in 5th and especially the idiotic pricing in the current book) it hangs back to threaten armour and transports and sit or late game snatch objectives. Ill leave off it here as analysis of the serpent is for a later article.

Colour by MejesticChicken
Other than that much flogged Davu horse I like to run 10 man squads with a twin cat bladestorm exarch's, they are an infantry hose, the trick is to position them so reprisals are difficult, you can even use their serpent to give them cover/block assaults, a standard bladestorm is only going to kill 3-4 meq's where a normal volly kills maybe 2-3,so almost not worth considering , however if you throw in guide and doom the numbers start to get quite silly, if you really want something dead use both squads for 64 shots @ bs 4-5 re rolling to hit and wound (guide has taken a bit of a nerf in that it cannot be cast out of a tank onto friendly units in tanks nearby, though it is possible if your farseer Eldrad is with a unit and the other unit is already set up in position, to get guide on both and doom on the target), this is risky so you have to be sure that meaningful reprisal is going to be hard for your opponent to acheive, the sheer number of 6's/ wounds this can generate can even kill MC's and do serious damage to anything that is not over av 10, it also cares very little about cover saves, so I'll happily use the 18" range to put some cover between the Vengers and the target so in order to assault they will have to go through terrain and any shooting back I'll get a cover save from.

A tactic that has worked in the past is using an assault afterwards to finish any remaining models off, as you will get maximum mileage from the doom that way, even if you dont kill the last few models you tie them up and avoid shooting reprisals.

 Best example I can think of is the time I shot a doomed popup Trygon with a single squad (I think it was guided? must have been.... ) managed to roll a healthy amount of sixes and promptly knocked it down to one wound, as it had only a single wound and was going to charge me next turn anyway I took the gamble, well not so much really, with doom even avengers can roll a few 6's to wound, quickly running the numbers shows they should do 3 ish wounds. So of course he failed a single save and my Avengers had Epicly managed to rub out a Trygon in a single turn.

 Another example that springs to mind is the time I twin bladestormed a Twolf derpstar down to just the wolf lord who was stranded in the open on two wounds and easily shot down, again in a single turn. On the face of things bladestorm is not particularly amazing but being able to stack force multipliers in one place and use your mobility advantage to focus fire on one or a few specific targets allows you to deal very heavy blows to your opponent, as I said at the beginning, this works better for avengers in lower points games as your opponent has less units to recover with, nuking one or two units completely in a turn is much harder to bounce back from especially if the Avengers are going to remain relatively safe to do it again.

Ho Ho HO, merry crimbo
 The main weakness' here being that you cannot do it every turn so you need to set up and time it well, it often NEEDS to work or things can go very sour, plus at higher points with more armoured target saturation Avengers are less useful than melta stormies who can smush tanks AND do a good enough job on infantry, three anti tank shots (including spear) the ability to handle dreads in CC, Also destructor + pistols + charge + doom does plenty of damage anti infantry wise...

Overall Avengers are fairly solid choice that requires some skill/practice to get the most from, you will be glad you bought them vs hoard armies. They do fall down compared to Stormies in the currently predominantly mech environment, which is understandable given they are specialist ranged anti infantry troops.

I will be taking 2 units to ToS this year if I can ever finish painting those damn tanks.(see below)


18 Dec 2010

Ulthwe Wave Serpent Completed !!

All done and dusted. One down, four to go ... This took three days instead of one like I had hoped.... ah well, next one should be a bit quicker as I have tweaked the black technique to speed things up.



The first pictures look far grayer than it is in RL, These last two are on a lower exposure to give a better idea of how they actually look,


Well , an absolute pig to paint with any speed. Not really happy about how long it's taking but can't cut the quality down. 6 More tanks to do in total *shudders

Well I'm off to give my back a rest and to read my new Banks novel. Back later with this weeks Eldar retro.

17 Dec 2010

Space wolves Showcase up !!

My much talked about Space Wolves Showcase is up on Mindofthedeamon, featuring the work of   El'Diablo and myself.  linky


Hoping to also update later tonight with finished Wave Serpent (see below) as I will get very little done this weekend.

WIP Ulthwe Mech Serpent 1 of 5

Well, I found some motivation somewhere and started this yesterday. When I decided to wrap it up last night  I made a list of things to do and estimated times to completion.

In theory I should have been done by 7 maybe 8 o clock this evening but was still going at 11 ish with plenty to go..... was hoping to get these done @ about 6-7 hours per model, I think its more like ten or so.

ARRGH ! going to have nightmares about those damn never ending panel lines forever ...


Once the serpents are done I still have a Falcon and finally the second prism to knock out ..... so maybe 70 hours or so to finish the army to 1750. I'm going to aim to finish by the end of January.

I only decided to get these done as there are so many holes in the DE model range at the moment I'm loathe to start in earnest yet. I may as well finish the Mech and take it to the bulk of tourneys I can get to in 2011.

More likely to have the play experience list and models I require/need to see the DE tourney list for next autumn.

This weeks retro will be up, hopefully tomorrow, depending on how the painting goes. Hoping to update you on the Space wolves showcase at some point soon too.

Laters

15 Dec 2010

Rave Review: Dark Eldar Bloodbrides & Wyches

Colour by MajesticChicken
Hello again folks, bit late with the DE review this week as I have been on a bit of a cooldown as I did a bunch of articles in a short space of time this past seven days, including compiling the photo's for my upcoming Spacewolves Showcase on Mindofthedeamon, and  I also did a feature article for Hop on Monday about paint scheme / palette selection and implementation.

Going to be talking about Wyches today and including the Bloodbrides as they are essentially the same thing. May as well kill to birds with one stone.....

Stats wise Wyches are fairly unremarkable , well in all stats bar one they have I6 which Im sure you will agree is fairly hectic for a troops choice , if you loose a combat to these girls, bad times ahead.

Some people complain about the str3 , I tend to agree with the frustration that a predominantly T4 gaming environment brings , if the balance of armies being played were more even I think str3 would be, well average.... Fortunately there are a couple of things that help the girls strike with a bit more sting than half trained, very depressed human cannonfodder.

Actually it could be worth mentioning the fragility 'issue' here too, as it is largely caused by their stats, T3 and a 6+ save out of combat ? Im not going to lie to you, they die horribly if caught in the open or their transport explodes which is alot as DE seem to think manufacturing their vehicles out of an advanced version of nitro glycerine is a jolly good plan .....

One option which you can use to mitigate this somewhat is to start them off with a haemo in the unit, his pain token will confer FnP (assuming you dont get one from drugs) which makes them three times less likely to be vaporized by their own ride and/or most small arms, in this instance it is a trade off though, as in order to have a haemo along you will have to drop a unit member to fit in a raider, which means less special weps and also if you want him moving with them, you loose fleet. So a downside if coming in on foot from a portal, although I guess you can move him away on the turn they arrive leaving the token with them, this has an advantage in that outside a raider you can run a much larger squad, more models benefiting from a pain point is a good use of resources.  Otherwise in a raider squad the should probably just leave him behind if you are not sure they can reach with a standard move + assault, you DO NOT  want to get stranded as your opponent will end them extremely easily outside of combat, plus the haemo can still fly around in his shiny new raider liquifying things and giggling.

Basic stuff that comes in their package includes:

Close combat weapon, pistol and plasma grenades - run of the mill basic kit for a cc unit .

Combat drugs:

  hypex look, shoes !!- errr not a huge fan of this one but it does make your run moves more reliable ? I recommend throwing models around and kicking tables when you roll this, perhaps accuse your opponent of rigging the dice .....

Serpentin Sexist comment ! - not terrible, it helps slightly with the 'hitting like a girl' problem as you will get more hits on your predominantly ws 4 opponents and therefore more chances to wound it will also offer a little protection from ws5 opponents, so not bad there will be no need to try and knock your opponents models over with dice rolls to make yourself feel better.

Grave lotus YOU forgot my birthday!- Now they are angry @ str 4 they can also glance down vehicles as well as actually wound t4 FC wyches have str5 with this ;o) maybe not time to break out the special dice and elastic tape measure... some chocolate perhaps ?

Painbringer Crimson tide !- This is hands down my favorite, statistically slightly better chance of wounding T4, and much better on anything they will need 6's on, also makes for far more stable amounts of wounds generated. Also the agoniser you may or may not have bought the unit just got real ugly. - you are perfectly justified to get those people you hired to come and heckle your opponent to join in on this one , you will no doubt impress everyone and earn the respect and love of everyone.

Adrenalight The toilet seat was up !! Another good one , helps with getting more hits /wounds/kills than you would without. I think you are ok to just note it down and continue here, though snide remarks about Spaze marehnz are always acceptable if unsure how to proceed.

Splintermind Omnomnom chocolate - free pain token , fnp will do nicely , if you already packed your haemo then they will have FC too , but if not, no worries its a short trip to FC and you will loose less girlies on the way. - the dice have obviously decreed your opponent is unworthy cattle, refuse to make eye contact for the rest of the game and only communicate through your 'mouthpiece'-one of the guys you hired to do cheer routines in the background will do .....

So yeah the drugs can help , sadly they are random , which means I'm tempted to shy away from them in competitive lists , however, wyches do not really perform their function by killing stuff , I mean its nice but not the point to including them in a list , the last and possibly most important thing they get as standard is a 4++ in CC , yup ,a troop with 4++ in cc that costs 10 points per model, nice 

At this point you can probably see they wont be killing much of anything in cc, however with a 4++ and the potential for FNP also they are a brilliant tarpit unit, chuck em at some Termies or Twolves etc to bog them in combat, with the addition of some other upgradess they can tie up almost anything for a while . Some people rely on powerful cc units to win games, wyches can seriously hamper that anything with massed power weapons are wasted points on wyches. If nothing else the main purpose of wyches is to blunt the cc effectiveness of your opponents derp stars and main combat units, this allows the rest of your army to go to work, and hopefully if the wyches hold them up for long enough, assuming they eventually die you should often be in a position to destroy the remains of the enemy squad on your own terms.

Upgrades:

Razorflails - costs ten points - get re rolls to hit and wound - not  really sold as it clashes with some of the drug results not really worth a whole wych Imo.

Hydra gauntlets - these are the gamble weapon , a potential d6 plus 3 attacks on the charge and gains benefits from all the drugs, I tried them in a couple of games but my rolling was terrible so they did nothing of note, More str 3 attacks does not seem to do very much, again not convinced they are worth 10 points 

Shard net + impaler - For me this is the best upgrade as it makes wyches better at what they are good at in the first place, tarpit central by making them even  harder to kill in cc, it also makes them a good home for Characters, careful and clever positioning of the nets can really help you out and reducing attacks at a character with shadow or clone fields is golden.... shenanigans to be had for all ;o) , take as many as you can. Thne learn to use them.

Haywire grenades - these are actually starting to grow on me, a unit with these and nets will beat down a dreadnought quite reliably if my tests are anything to go by, it is an expensive upgrade, but pending more testing I feel they are largely worth it as its more or less the only anti tank CC you gonna get, one trick you can use is multi charges charge the tank and aim to 'clip' an enemy squad, dump as many grenade attacks onto the tank as you can and then avoid retaliation in cc with a unit. with dark lances it seems there will be quite a few immobilized and stunned vehicles going around, massed haywires can really speed up the process of finishing them off, there is one small thing that makes me hesitate, there is some debate online weather the 4++ will protect them from explodes results, pending Faq this could effect your decision to equip them, though in my experience you are far more likely to glance it to death by immob and wep destroyed than actually exploding it... first outing for my wyches they killed a demolisher and a chimera, can't complain. 

Obviously if you are tight on points and just specifically want them to tarpit then the grenades can be dropped, 20 points for a squad IS expensive.

Hekatrix- one more attack and LD nine, I would get her for the LD9 alone, due to your poor damage output, you may find the wyches loosing by small margins over protracted combats quite alot, to be effective as a tarpit they need to stay put, ld 9 is well worth the extra points, you can consider dropping her if their is an IC with the unit of course.

Colour by MajesticChicken
Blast pistol - Not keen on these usually as the range of 6 is crap and you will be running often, the circumstantial opportunity to fire these let alone the fact that inferno pistols piss all over them makes it hard to justify the 15 points down the toilet, However, I feel there are some reasons to consider them in wych squads if you can afford it. For starts they offer them a chance to either pre stun/immobilise a dreadnought, making it a simple job to haywire the jesus out of it, they also gives a last chance to open a transport and assault if your lances fail (they will often) obviously you are better if you have a character along with one too, a succubus is still cheap with one, also a couple of blast shots will help thin out tougher opponents  on the way in making your job easier as wyches are best when they outnumber. In this mech environment its nice to have a cc unit that can still effect tanks as it is conceivable that they wont have a non mech unit to assault.

Phantasm launcher - essentially 10 points for defensive grenades as the squad had offensives anyway, dunno, not sure I see the point, it does indeed make them even better tarpitters when charged, but GW recently faq'd that defensive grenades wont work vs counter charge, wtf ? and they (spaze mareenhz) can stack FC with it ?!?!  so as essentially due to the inherent mobility of DE I think this of situational use at best, shame as it would have been nice in mach ups with spaze wolves.

Venom Blade - Cheap , always a good choice as it threatens mc's and kills with wound saturation.

Power wep - half the price of an agoniser and will benefit from FC and all the drugs results , defo worth consideration.

Agoniser - The 'safe' default, reliable choice, but god DAMN its costly, for what is effectively a str 4 power wep (or worse vs t3) most of the time, its like british car insurance, they know you need it so get away with charging twice what its worth, some of the pricing in this book I find highly questionable. Pending much testing I may consider only running pow weps or Vblades instead as 20 points is ridiculous , its nothing anywhere near as good as a power fist. 

Blood Brides - I look on this as upgrading wych squad to 2 attacks a piece and increased access to special weapons, really quite good bodyguard unit as you can get three shardnets and a character in a transport where with plain wyches you will only get one, also it's actually not as bad shelling out the 20 points for the agoniser here as the Syren has 3 attacks basic so better points to kills ratio, I bet it hardly edges out the venom blade. So consider these hitty Wyches, with a suitably tooled character they can tie up and likely kill any cc unit in the game. Having Lelith with a unit almost certainly means anyone trying to target her is at -3 attacks, lol 

In all honesty a plain 2 net build wyche unit is essentially just as tarpitty as Bloodbrides if not more so with points a factor. I find it hard to include Bloodbrides in my lists as Incubi outright kill shit better which I like, not to mention those pornographic models,  I also cant not take at least 2 Trueborn squads, hell I find it hard not to take 3 every single game. Incubi do often justify their inclusion by largely brutalizing everything they touch. I would honestly just reserve Bloodbrides for a cult theme list, though I suppose they are worth a try as escorts for a clone field Archon as I have yet to make more than one or two saves with a shadow field and am starting to give up on it.

Lelith, There's a new kid in town... "Show's over, Motherfethers" 

An interesting unit, nothing else quite like them in 40k, their killing power is quite low but killing power is not often a strong point of most troop units anyway, the ability to give even dedicated CC units a hard time can be golden if you know how to work the advantage, shardnets used well will have people tearing their hair out.

I get the feeling most people will either love or hate them depending on what they are trying to do, attempts to force a square peg into a round hole may result in some hating.

Coming next !! Next DE unit review is likely wracks, as for Eldar Its dire avengers, 

El Diablo is frenziedly cobbling together our spacewolves army showcase, you may even see part one before christmas.

night 








10 Dec 2010

Retro Review: Eldar Rangers & Pathfinders

Well thats another first for rant, I spent ages trawling the net to find some nice artwork for this article , to no avail, sad panda. I had hoped to never have to post Mini's, preferring to use art but its that or nowt, so I guess I'll Showcase this incredibly beautiful Inquisitor Ranger by Muhani as illustration for this article.

Disclaimer: This unit does not work in a mech army no transport = no good, amongst other things they are too expensive to just 'throw in', so I advise to leave them alone if you are interested in pimping your competitive mech.

Right back when I re-started my Eldar I had to grab what I could get together, borrow,scrounge and run with it so I essentially had to go with foot-dar and had inherited a bunch of rangers.

Not long into my early low point experiments I started getting a fixation for harlequins, but found it was impossible to field nothing but harlies, fortunately I found that rangers and harlies can often be seen around each other and have some kind of interaction that makes it perfectly fluffy for them to b in a force together.

They actually made an ideal troops choice for a harly army, Ill expand on that a bit later , needless to say it was a very long time till those battered old models got filtered out of the army to try other things, they had held the fort for me for a very long time while I tested and learned about other sections and aspects of the army, Actually now we are talking about them I'm gutted I sold off the models to fund the MKII kits for my Skimmer spam...

Anyway lets do the usual and start with an examination of the 'package' a basic ranger is a fairly hefty 19 points, that is fairly high for a troops choice , stats are unremarkable just a point higher BS separates them from a guardian.

So where is the value then ? well I think they are probably over priced anyway, that seemingly being the theme in this book, what you essentially get on top of that is a more dangerous sniper rifle, infiltrate , move through cover and stealth.

I cant honestly say I really ever find cause to infiltrate them, at least if I do its only to maybe put them in an objective with plenty of distance between them and the enemy, rangers hate CC, and  they hate flamers even more best to keep that in mind at all times.

I don't often even ever have to move them from where they are set up, so move through cover is far from fundamental to this unit , doubt I would notice if they did not have it.

Stealth is where its at for these boys, any kind of 3+ save is a novelty for elda , Going to ground gives you a 2+ ,as shooting rarely does anything effectual its not such a big deal.

The rifle works exactly like a sniper rifle, just rolls to hit of 5 or more become ap 1, which is nice....when it works ,nothing you can bank on but it does make them a little shinier than a bog standard rifle, anything that makes marines even a teeny bit jealous is a plus, Desperate ? yeah, I'll take what I can get.

Right things with rangers are fairly simple, ideally you plonk them in cover on an objective or failing that, within a quick runs distance, then you spend the game annoying your opponent with them.

Often as they are largely ineffectual your opponent will leave them alone in favor of higher threat targets, which is fine as you only really bought them to hold objectives , any kills or pins are just a nice bonus.

Its worth remembering that the rifles get two opportunities to become meq killing,on 5's to hit and also as they are 'sniper', rolls to wound of 6 are rending ponies. which means in a pinch you can try and do something to light armour.Its good be aware cover might make it so even if you do a fair few rends etc your rangers will still struggle to kill much, oh well so long as they are still sat on that objective when the fat lady sings.

On the subject of rifles, in my foot dar days my seer would often end up left behind with the rangers , which was fine as they gain excellent benefits from psychic support. Fortune is fairly obvous, 3+ re roll cover essentially means these excellent objective campers will have to be flushed out with fire and the sword, which should mean they have to get through your army. You have to admit that there is value in a unit you use specifically for holding objectives being nigh impossible to shoot off said objectives. If your opponent really goes for it and foolishly tries to torrent them out GTG for a 2+ re roll save, its belly laugh time.
One Spaze Elf, one rifle. one...... Is that a Hellhound !?

The biggie is doom, "why ?" you ask, well doom does not just let you re roll failed to wound rolls, oh no no no, its much better than that, It allows you to re roll to wound, essentially this means, if you want, you can pick up and re-roll even successful rolls to wound, "but why ?" you ask. The reason you would do this is to effectively almost double your chances to get rends, nice huh ?  this works on other stuff in an army that would contain Rangers/rending too.

 I will talk about that in a couple of articles time. Something that frustrates with the rule that gives you AP1 on 5's to hit is that you need a 4+ after that to get the benefit and often 'loose' any ap1 hits you managed to get, doom helps with that, doom makes them much killier their range allows them to engage enemy units you have doomed for other reasons and put some gimp on them, you my even get lucky with the pinning which helps if you are short on an assault once every 100000 games or so, lol

In the same breath they benefit from guide also as the re rolls to hit will not only give more hits overall and more 5+ ap1 bonuses but more hits = more chance at rending , it kinda snowballs , so if you are feeling extravagant, pop two units 6" apart with Eldrad in one unit on the wing nearest the other , cast guide on both units and doom on a target and away you go , that can put alot of ap 1-2 down the pipe ,  MC's and Meq out of cover do not enjoy that experience, even in cover they may be forced to opt to GTG.

The final option available to them is to upgrade to Pathfinders for 5 pts which upgrades them to ignore cover for movement (not really interested tbh) and increases their stealth by a point so that they have a 2+  save stood up in cover, its fairly nice to get a 2+ cover save, but normal rangers can do that with GTG, pathfinders have no extra dakka, so to be honest I have never seen a reason to take them, especially as in practice there is no real difference. They are really expensive @ 24 points for what is just an objective camper troop with weak killing power, its just not points wisely spent, as you only need smallish squads to hold objectives and as that is all they are there for, just keep them cheap so you have more points to flesh out the real work horses in your list.

Just for general information, running two units of six seems just right in my harlequin list, its enough shots to do something, whilst not having too few bodies as  long as you are happy to GTG, they have a nice small footprint and most importantly not too expensive.

So... a unit thats not optimal in a mech build, thats a bit overpriced with limited killing power took a further hit with 5th cover, but on the plus, they make excellent objective campers that can be like roaches to get rid of. They have some great synergy with hybrid and foot lists, especially Harlequin builds. They can be very irritating for some opponents and its always fun when they shoot an MC off the table in one phase or pigs fly blow up a transport.





"Aww , he wont hurt ya, shoot those clowny looking Fethers instead,.... I Fething Hate clowns."

9 Dec 2010

Dark Eldar Venom Conversion Winner BDub Speaks

Colour by MajesticChicken

Hey everyone this is a first for Rant. Im branching out into hobby interviews and Guest articles that I feel will be helpful/of interest to any DE and Eldar players out there.
I actually contacted BDub not long after he put his submission up on BoLS, I was so taken with it I signed up there and then to contacted the man himself in order to discuss the possibility of having him come over and have a talk about himself as a hobbyist and of course to spill the beans on that rather epic conversion.  

Im sure all of you, like myself are chomping at the bit to have some for your kabal.
Needless to say, some Emails flew back and forth we chatted online a bit, then BDub won the competition, the fruits of which you can now read about here

For ease of reading my questions start in a purple word, BDubs responses with red

Ok, So you go by the name BDub online, does that have any significance or is it just something you made up because all the names you wanted were used ?
BDub is short for B.W. my initials. It tends to be easy for people to remember and is usually available. Its basically a nickname based on my grandfathers name, which was T.W. (no one new what that stood for if anything, not even my grandmother). My grandmother always called him TDub for         short.

You are an artist by trade, does that cross over /help with your hobby, do they feed into each other in any way? 

To some degree, yes.  I do 3d character and texture map painting which has a lot of applicable theory when it comes to painting miniatures - Particularly when rendering specific materials and painting in lighting.  Ironically it has only recently dawned on me to apply what I do for a living to my hobby.  This is probably because I started the hobby when I was a teenager and only pursued it on and off - (mostly off) once I started my career. So when I started getting more active in my hobby a few years ago, it took the light a while to come on.  I am only scratching the surface on the synergies between the two, so far.

I suppose the most obvious question Is, how did you find your way into the hobby ?

When I was a teenager a friend of mine gave me some horribly abused D&D miniatures that came in a box - Grenadier Models I believe.  They had been roughly handled and a haphazard attempt had been made to paint them.  I striped them down and painted them with Testors enamels I had left from some model car project or other.  I did this a couple of times because they were almost as horrible looking as when I received them.  Eventually I gave up but not before I discovered a couple of Citadel blisters at a local book/game store.  I bought these and someone said they read somewhere I should be using acrylics as they were more manageable. I purchased some paint and a decent brush and took to it.  By the time I was in high school, two things happened, 1) Rogue Trader came out and I flipped!, and 2) I had gotten good enough at painting that I was asked by a group called Dabblers Inc. to paint models on commission that they could then sell at conventions.  Back then the standards for quality were much lower than now and I didn't make much money at all - the real reason I did it was that it allowed me to purchase my own models at their wholesale rate!

Are you more painter than gamer, game to paint /paint to game ? how long and what systems are you playing /working on ? favorite things, system.army.

Simply put, yes, I am more painter than gamer. I like to play, but am rarely prepared.  I tend to paint what grabs my fancy. The last time I played seriously was 3rd Ed. I had two armies - a Saim Hann Wild Riders army that used the Craftworld Codex and a Ravenwing army.  I guess I like mobility! I also liked the look of 48 jetbikes on the table at once!  I lived in San Fransisco at the time and when I moved back to Texas I sold the armies and all my scenery  rather than transport them.  These days I am interested in Orks (and trucks!) and I will likely take a stab at Grey Knights when they come out.  I am a huge fan of their fluff.

What inspires you, Music, Film, Art ? please elaborate a bit about yourself and how that ties into the hobby if it feeds into your social life at all.

As far as influences, I am an avid reader and music listener. I read sci-fi and listen to metal mostly.  I am also a big history buff, particularly ancient and medieval.  I think I got sucked into that as a child living in Malta - I was constantly surrounded by history there and I guess it seeped in.  I am also a huge fan or art, production art mostly, be it movies video games or whatever.  I like seeing other artist interpretations of things and how they solve visual problems both technically and aesthetically.

What do you listen to if anything when you work ?

Like I said before, mostly metal, but I am all over the place as the mood strikes.  I get on kicks where I will listen to nothing but one band after buying their entire catalog until I am either sick of them of have completely internalized their music.  Right now that band is High on Fire - I don't see myself getting sick of them....ever.

What are you running now and why ? care to share any plans ?

I'm dabbling in Orks but looking forwards to Grey Knights.  Someday I will rebuild my Wild Riders  if we ever see a new Eldar Codex. Seeing what they did for the DE Reavers made me excited to see Eldar Jetbikes back on the field.

As this is an Eldar blog your thoughts on how your hobby relates to Eldar and Dark Eldar if at all is obviously of interest.

I have always loved the Eldar aesthetic as well as the idea of a fast and deadly force. I am also a big fan of a strong theme in an army, which is why I loved the Craftworld Codex so much (and probably why I dislike the latest Chaos Marine Codex (too homogenized). Also being an artist I really am attracted to well designed and executed miniatures.  Which is the reason I never had a DE army.  I loved the fluff, but the miniatures offended my artistic sensibilities profoundly, so I never built an army of them.  Its all I can do to resist the impulse to build one now.  I suppose I am waiting for all of the bandwagoneers to abandon them so I can pick up some models cheap - perhaps next summer.

Im sure Everyone has lots of questions about your venom project: 
Firstly, It would be wonderful if you could give us an insight into how you built it, parts list, process, your thoughts, essentially a how-to guide, alot of people that follow this blog will be very grateful for that sort of feedback. 

Unfortunately there are no process pictures of this project.  It took so much trial and error that I wouldn't have known which ideas I would keep and which I would abandon.  I am entertaining the idea of making another one to document this procedure.  I think if I were to do another one, and having settled on a design, it would be much easier to do.

Basically I use a Raider kit, a Vyper kit, and two splinter rifle pods from the Reavers kit. I had purchased some Reavers on a lark, because I really love there design, and I had plenty of Vypers on hand from back in my Eldar days.  After looking over other peoples designs and reading the description of the Venom a couple of times, I decided I needed a Raider kit.  From the very start I had wanted my design to look at home sitting on the table next to a new Raider or Ravager. So even if I didn't end up using the Raider kit (not likely) It would be important to have one on hand to copy its lines and shapes.

I have been actively trying to push myself into participating in more contests, both to challenge myself, and to get me more involved in the community. This seemed like a great combination challenge - conversion and painting.  And while I feel like my painting is somewhat weak, I love a good kit bash and felt I would have a good chance to come out strong in this category.

Did you honestly just chop a raider in half ? would the other half be suitable for a second vyper ? was it expensive to make ? the underside in particular has me intrigued as the conversion is very seamless, would love to know how that was achieved.

Obviously the back is actually the front of a raider, where/how was that engine done ? I think its my fave part of the model, I actually thought it was just taken from an eldar falcon chassis, but on closer inspection its not, again I would love some detail on that.

Short answer...Yes.  And I was a nervous wreck when I did it.  I didn't relish the idea of messing up and having to shell out money for another kit, but I had come to the conclusion that the best bet for the design was to cannibalize the front of the Raider. I knew that most designs for the venom I had heard of people doing fell into one of two categories, a) they just glued Raider or Reaver bits to a Vyper, or b) they used the obvious portion of the Raider, the back, to make Venom's passenger section.  I wanted to avoid this for a few reasons. With the first I felt it was two easy and very hard to disguise the Vypers lines or make them match that of the Dark Eldar. With the second, after having a Raider kit on hand to dry fit ideas I quickly realized that using the back end would make the Venom overly wide bottomed in appearance.  I wanted mine to match the Raider but not to compete with its dimensions and silhouette.  Also, The Raider's engine arrangement is too complicated and overpowering for a smaller craft like the Venom, so I would be wanting to scale that down, perhaps even scratch building a new engine - Luckily I found a solution for all of that.  I used the front of the Raider spun round.

First, I took a guess  as to were I would need to cut the Raider.  It would be important to make the Venom shorter than the Raider since it would be narrower as well. After I had the front half cut loos and the top glued to the bottom I began looking at options for the engine.  I settled on cutting the intake and engine nozzle loose form the bottom back half of the Raider.  I cleaned this up and glued the other half of the nozzle to the loose engine and began dry-fitting this to the front bottom half of the Raider.  I found that the engine nozzle lined up beautifully with the cut-out for the shock prow.  All that needed to be done was to cut down into the bottom of the Raider a place to seat the engine.  This took some work and I was least happy with this part of the project as it is somewhat crude and not particularly clean because of the difficulty in cutting a smooth line through the ribbing on the underside of the ship. Once done I test fitted this with the Vyper font to get a sense for the lines I was getting and was very pleased with the silhouette that I had, in particular the sloping lines from the handrails angled down nicely giving a very exotic and fast looking appearance.

While fitting the Vyper pilot seat into the Raider portion I noticed that the Bottom of the Vyper had the same ribbing that all the Eldar and Dark Eldar vehicle have and this was an opportunity to use that to tie the two together almost seamlessly.I cut and squared the bottom f the Vyper to sit flush with the ribbing on the Raider half.  This necessitated carving a recessed semi circle out of the decorative floor of the raider and filing down the Vyper around the pilot seat to match that shape.  Had I started with a Vyper that wasn't glued together in this area I would have left/cut off those portions and slotted the seat directly into the Raider floor for a cleaner fit. The other issue to resolve was the weapon locations.  I used the shuriken catapult bit of the Vyper as the base since it already fit there.  Using the blast shield from the Raider's dark lance I fashioned a skid plate that echoed the shape of the nose-cowel of the Venom and used this to integrate the main weapon (splinter cannon) into the center of the nose.  I cut down the shuriken catapults til they were just little ammo bins fitted next to the new skid-plate. Since I didn't have a shuriken cannon, I had to reshape the end of the dark lance from the Raider kit. The Splinter Rifles are from the Reavers and are filled and shaped to fit on the bottom front of the Raider portion. 

The canopy is almost unrecognizable as a vyper cowling , was it hard to do ? you have given me many ideas for my own hatchet venom with this, obviously mine will deviate from this somewhat as I have my own ideas, but I would like to understand how this was achieved before I consider messing with it ;o)

This was perhaps the easiest part of the conversion.  I simply took cues from the Reaver Jetbike cowls, noting hoe they had a squared-off spine running down the top center, and ovoid cutouts with an almost blade like appearance.  To do this with the Vyper canopy the first thing that had to go was the roll bar portion that seated to the back half of the canopy glass over the drivers head.  I cut it loose following the natural curve where the roll bar intersects the rest of the cowling - this gives a sort of bat-wing edge to the cowl almost immediately and streamlines the whole look. From here I cut two ovoid shapes in the location of the small vent like structure at the bottom center edge of the Vyper cowl.  This let me get rid of that obviously Eldar feature and made the cutting easier to do.  Next I glued a strip of square styrene rod down the center of the cowl leaving a portion extended past the front lip of the cowl. Later I would shape this with a file to taper it a pit. Next I used green stuff to fill in and level out the depressions in the cowl caused by the double-bubble design of the Vyper cowl.  This I feel is absolutely necessary to kill the distinctly Eldar look of the canopy.  After letting the green stuff set up over night I filed this smooth with emory sticks flush with the edge of the styrene rod.  The result is a smooth, aggressive shape that looks faster and deadlier than the Vyper's and echoing the Reaver's own lines.

I Love the gritty paint scheme you have achieved, would you mind breaking down the process for that for us ? At a guess I would say its built up from a spray undercoat of some sort of red (mechrite) , then stippled upto blood red ?  then a careful drybrush of the metal to give the worn look with hand highlights on the sharper edges ?

This was a straight forward technique I developed when doing Ork Def Koptas and Truks. The conversion took so long that I was only going to have 2 days to paint this up, so i settled on something I knew I could do in time and it also fell in line nicely with the fluff I had in mind for the hypothetical army this Venom belonged to.  Here is the fluff I sent in with my submission.

Jagged - The 3rd Venom of 10 in the pirate fleet of Duke Sepsis.  Know for hiding in asteroid fields and spacehulk debris for unwary passers by, or raiding the bowels of Hive Cities, all ships in Sepsis' fleet are devoid of decorative paint and other cosmetic affectations.  The ships are simply allowed to rust and patina - the better to blend into their usual hunting grounds.  However, the pride of many of the crews gets the better of them, so a certain amount of tribal and squadron identification is permitted, if only to pacify the more treacherous members of the war-band.
I knew from past experience that most peoples army schemes tended to fall in line with those in the codexes.  I wanted to avoid this, save time and have a distinct appearance. I had joked with my friend that I wanted this ship and the army in general to look like it would give you tetanus just looking at it.  I think there is much more horror in a rusty knife than a clean one so in my mind this paint scheme was very Dark Eldar. 

The technique amounts to starting with Krylon Ruddy Brown Primer as my base. This is a great color to start this kind of scheme with.  Over this is a thin was black or dark brown paint to make the lines and detail pop.  I find this helps me perceive the shaped better as I'm working. After this is dry a begin to stipple and mop the model in a patchy haphazard way to break up the evenness of the primer coat and create patches of differing value to paint over.  Its much harder to get the rest of the paint job away from the smooth appearance if you skip this step.  After this I begin lightly stippling with a well used brush the following Vallejo Model colors; Cavalry Brown, Flat Red, and a touch of Light Orange and/or Scarlet.  I used these straight and unmixed and any areas that I think have gotten out of hand I tone down with Flat Brown.  I alternate this as needed all over the model until I am satisfied with the look. After this come a lot of slow and steady build up with a dry-brushed Black. The idea with the black is to give the appearance of the rusty either being worn off or not allowed to happened due to wear and tear and handling of the vehicle.  It also mutes the saturation of the rust color as it approaches the models edges.  After this is a careful and subtle dry-brush of Oily Steel and then edging this in silver in the most worn or sharpest areas. Note that on broad surfaces with shallow edge angels I will sometimes us Gunmetal Grey and edge in Oily steel - this is a subtler approach and looks lest sharpened.


How long did the project take , and how do you feel about it now that you have had it to look at for a bit, I often find I do not like my work at first (if at all) and often find a cooldown period allows me to look at it more objectively and form a more balanced opinion.

The project took a week. I had some time off just before a holiday that ended right before the contest deadline so I thought that would be the perfect time to work on it.  I spent most of my time designing and constructing the Venom and had 2 days to get it painted and based.  I was still painting at 11pm Sunday evening after having spent the better part of an hour sketching Dark Eldar runes before putting my nice rust-job at risk.   The runes were painted with in a thinned down Medium Sea Grey by Vallejo Model Color and then I used stipples of Flat Brown and Cavalry Brown to weather and blend in the runes.  While waiting fro things to dry I was constructing and painting the base which is composed of a few left over GW scenery bits, cork tile and ballast.

I tend to really like the work I do when I finish it, and then slowly start to not like it as I have time to reconsider my decisions.  Also as time goes by I get better at executing various techniques which make older projects less appealing to me over time.

Obviously this has got you some attention ,especially over on the BoLS competition vote, are you comfortable with it ? Bols is fairly big, wer'e talking hundreds of votes here, have you experienced this kind of reaction to a piece before ? 

The attention is no problem. I got much more attention that this when my portfolio was leaked on a fairly high profile Game News site a year ago, which resulted in me getting fired from my job.  This kind of attention is a nice change. Though I will say that there has been a lot more attention paid to this challenge than there was to the Warbeast/Warjack Challenge that I won earlier this year.  I guess there is just more interest in 40K.

Do you have a single piece of work you are most proud of would you like to tell us a bit about it.

Well the Venom is obviously fresh enough to rate highly with me, especially since it was a kit bash .  The next things that I am most proud of would be the Warjack I won the Warjack/Warbeast Challenge with and the there is this WFB Ogre that i completed while taking a master class workshop by Mathieu Fontaine.  Sadly there are no photos of the Ogre, unfortunately.  I can try and get one if you'd like.  I have been meaning to photograph him.  Hes nothing special but I had so much fun doing him and taking the class that I rate him as one of my favorites.

Weathering Ftw
If you make another venom, whats the chances of a pictorial tutorial ? (shotgun !) 

If I make another Venom I will most certainly document the process. I have already been contacted by BoLS to to a showcase and or tutorial on the piece, so I am likely to get around to it at some point.

Thanks for trawling through all that for us BDub, Again I would like to congratulate you on the well deserved win. and I'm sure will see some more conversions inspired by your design and words popping up in the near future ;o)

Its been a pleasure talking to you and I for one am looking forward to any of your forthcoming Dark Eldar projects as you have kindly agreed to contribute them to the content here as a guest, will be glad to have you back.


Note: Anyone wondering what to do with he other half of the Raider could get some ideas looking here... ;o)

In other news, we have Eldar retro review at some point this week and Im just about to send photo's of my old showcase army to El D...

Edit - Found this great little tutorial By Dave taylor today , thought it might help some folks out with their army painting 

Back soon with MoAr Space elf goodness *click* 

6 Dec 2010

Rave Review: Grotesques

You would be angry too.
 If someone replaced your pee pee with a steriod injector for lulz
Colour By Majestic Chicken
Hmm Grotesques , I can't really put my finger on it , but I love the 'feel' of this unit , they are essentially ogryns only...not. I feel they have their roots in polp culture characters like Pyramid head and the Abomination or the berserkers from Requiem.

Dunno if these steroid guzzling flesh juggernauts are some kinda DE sick parody of spess marheens or what, but they both delight and amuse me.

This unit is essentially a living battering ram and a wonderful if not totally unsubtle blunt instrument.

lets have a poke around ....

Stats: The stats are pretty nice, more or less direct comparable to ogryns with the main differences being higher I but lower LD and save, no one cares about the save as they come with a free pain point to start with and therefore feel no pain which due to their high tougness will save them from quite alot of stuff, including missile launchers.

They are also a short trip from FC which will bump the 'vanilla' Grots to str 6 and I 5 on the charge  ..... Its fairly easy to start them off with this as due to their pitifully awful LD you are likely going to want a Haemo to lead the unit. Hell bring them up to a decent Ld give them furious charge from the get -go  and bring another liquefier to the party, whats not to like? he'll even benefit from majority toughness 5.

Another rule they come with as standard is Berserk Rampage, essentially , If they are not lead by a character of some description you if you fail a test at the start of the turn another good reason to consider a haemo 'babysitter', the grots go PMT and smash everything within 2d6 for 2d6 str 5 hits... even allies, before essentially dying and they'll hit vehicles on the side facing. I really want to to get a unit to 'go off' in a parking lot ...The only other rule they have understandably makes them count as 2 models for transportation.

Abberation Conversion ?
At 35 points a pop, jury is out wether they are a reasonable price or not , yes its three T5 wounds, but they can still be ID'd with str 10 or ID weps, ten will cost you over 300 points with no toys.

Options-

Liquefier - We like these, may as well get one as small ish units of grots will struggle to kill meq through their saves not to mention the possibility of FnP marines .....

Abberation - 10 points gets you an extra attack and a rather pointless additional point of LD, not fabulous in and of itself but he now gets access to some toys. Its worth mentioning that in larger foot squads you may be better off simply buying an extra Grotesque, he becomes more useful in smaller squads in transports.

Venom Blade - cheap and cheerful and as he has high str you will even get to re-roll those 1's

Mindphase gauntlet - pointless rubbish

Scissorhand - expensive but possibly worth it if you are going the Abberation route , with these on he will potentially get 7 attacks on the charge that wound everything on 3's and re-roll to wound anything T6 or less .....
Scissorhand, early prototype

Flesh glove- This could work , as he gets 6 attacks on the charge anyway that wound everything on 4's which gets the str based poison re rolls, I imagine he will be a fairly serious threat to any multi wound non eternal character /MC.

Its essentially a choice of improved infantry killing with the scissors or character/Mc splattering with the Gauntlet, I think overall the scissors are the better choice as they offer flexibility and are also slightly cheaper.


Transport - They can have a raider, worth thinking about, MoAr dark lances are always nice as is a potential 20 odd inch charge. I think Abberations may go well in transported squads.

There is one more upgrade to consider, In lists which contain Urien Rackarth, Grots can be upgraded to base str 6 at the princely sum of 5 pts per model, Dunno str 7 charges ? Its going to mangle anything thats not a landraider / Lith. I have a theory I would like to test which involves 1 or two large upgraded squads of grots belting out of portals and multi charging several vehicles , or maybe a couple of vehicles and an infantry unit in order to dodge return fire. I think they have the potential to smash parking lots and will playtest them asap, possibly tomorrow down ze club. Also if Urien is in the squad he can act as a sort of medipack for the unit by soaking a wound for them every turn, as he will get it back.

I think Grots will be great in Haemo/WWP focused lists, generally as it stands I can see them being overlooked in favour of other elite choices in most lists. I really like the sheer amount of str 6-7 these guys can pump out, a raider squad can assault out to 20-24 inches and dish out 19 str 6-7 attacks, if your target tank is in range and has not moved fast enough, it be dead.
Grot SMASH !! hur hur hur

There are a few set ups I would like to try with them the usual Haemo with liquifier ,v blade + 4 grots with liqui's plus an Aberration with scissors in a raider , I think these smaller squads may benefit from the Urien Str bonus more than larger squads as they dont have the volume of attacks, it will surely help them VS armour. The above squad with the Str upgrade is over 300 points ..... seems a bit much to me, I'll at least give it a run out once or twice.

The other setup is just a giant blob rushing out of a WWP, even if they dont make combat they are a threat that cannot be ignored , and to have any hope of reducing them sufficiently your opponent may end up using stuff he would rather shoot at your Raiders etc ....

As they are also missing grenades another thing to consider is an Archon with a phantasm launcher , he can also bring a bunch of power weapon attacks which Grots also lack , there is even space in the raider squad above for him, as there is a space for an extra single char, Im not sure vs most enemy objective campers that lack of grenades is a big deal, but its always going to be better to go first with that lovely I5 on the charge.

For me at least an interesting unit , I'm not sure how much they are going to be seen in competitive play I'll need to play them a bit to see how comfortable with them I will be outside of casual /pickup games at the club I think its going to be hard to justify their inclusion in a non haemo style list.

For me, potential massed str 7 hits on rear armour is just plain sexy.


Small update- The first part of my space wolf showcase will be on El D's blog at some point this week.

Next up for Eldar retro are the Rangers and Pathfinders and For DE Its Manderps.

see you soon