Thursday, 4 April 2013

DailyMTG: Sealed Deck Builder!

Well, it has been a while, but anyway... I've become increasingly interested in Sealed and Draft, so for the fun of it, and to test out my deck-building skills, I tried out the Sealed Deck Builder on Daily MTG.

Here's what I came up with:
Land (18)
9 Mountain
9 Plains

Creatures (16)
1 Angelic Skirmisher
2 Court Street Denizen
3 Daring Skyjek
2 Ember Beast
1 Firefist Striker
1 Foundry Street Denizen
1 Nav Squad Commandos
1 Skinbrand Goblin
1 Skyknight Legionnaire
1 Spark Trooper
1 Towering Thunderfist
1 Wojek Halberdiers

Other Spells (6)
1 Act of Treason
1 Angelic Edict
1 Holy Mantle
1 Madcap Skills
1 Mugging
1 Skullcrack

I like this card more than I probably should...

As far as I could see, Black was absolute junk, and Blue didn't fare a whole lot better in general. I was sold on White and Red as soon as I saw Angelic Skirmisher, Wojek Halbediers and Spark Trooper all in there, not to mention all the other Battalion guys and generally good cards.

I'm a bit disappointed in the lack of one-drops, but then there wasn't really any in the entire pool except Experiment One and Spire Tracer (and Foundry Street Denizen, both of which are decent enough (in fact, I run Experiment One as a 4-of in my Constructed deck...), but not worth messing around with the mana base for, especially with only one dual land available in the right colours (and one that enters tapped at that). Besides, it's 2 cards and if I don't get them first turn, along with a Forest, they're a complete waste, and that also shuts down any chances of a turn 2 Wojek Halberdiers, so I decided splashing for green just wasn't worth it, not even for the other RG cards available. Not when there were so many good cards in just White and Red, anyway.

So I'm interested in hearing your thoughts. I'm pretty new to building Sealed decks honestly. The last time (and first) I did it was at the Gatecrash Pre-release, but I'm getting there. Feel free to post up your results in the comments as well!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Golgari Aggro

It has been a little while since I last posted anything about Magic, but since my last post I've made a few steps forward in terms of knowing what's good and what's not, and I've moved away from trying to run a BUG deck and right now I've just been focussing on a BG Aggro deck. I prefer to call it "Golgari Aggro" personally. Others like "Kibler's BG Aggro", but naming after one (albeit quite famous) guy that did well with the deck, even though it was around before him, doesn't seem very fitting to me. Then over on MTG Salvation they've been calling it "The Plague", and that's fair enough, but I reckon "Golgari" is a pretty sweet name, and if we can have "Bant Control", "Jund Midrange" or "Naya Humans" then why can't we have "Golgari Aggro"?

Anyway, names aren't too importat I guess. What matters is that it's all the same thing really, and it all works the same.

The Loltroll

The decklist below is made of cards that I currently own. There are still a few cards that I need, and I'll run through those later too, but even without them I'm very happy with the deck.

Golgari Aggro
Land (22)
8x Forest
4x Golgari Guildgate
4x Overgrown Tomb
2x Swamp
4x Woodland Cemetery

Creatures (26)
4x Arbor Elf
3x Deadbridge Goliath
1x Deathrite Shaman
4x Dreg Mangler
4x Experiment One
4x Lotleth Troll
4x Strangleroot Geist
2x Wolfir Avenger

Instants and Sorceries (8)
2x Abrupt Decay
2x Increasing Savagery
2x Tragic Slip
2x Ultimate Price

Other Spells (4)
4x Rancor

Sideboard (15)
2x Dryad Militant
3x Duress
2x Golgari Charm
1x Ground Seal
1x Murder
1x Pithing Needle
2x Silklash Spider
3x Vampire Nighthawk

The main point of the deck is to set up an aggro, but very resilient creature base. Against other aggro decks this gives you the opportunity to either race or play a little more like a control deck, using your creatures to block but not losing any of them mostly thanks to Regenerate/being bigger than most aggro decks can handle, as well as having a bunch more removal than your standard RDW deck. After you take control of the board, creatures like the Lotleth Troll can cause some serious problems and you can usually beat them down in a couple of turns. Against control decks, the deck can come swinging quite easily early game but has a dangerous late-game too, and cards like Supreme Verdict really are quite sub-par against this kind of a deck. Control decks usually just can't handle such a resilient board.

The mana base is still being tweeked a little. I'm mostly trying to work out whether I need the swamps or not and how many Guildgates I should be running. Right now I'm quite happy with the Guildgates, they haven't caused me any issues thus far and it's another dual-land, which is really helpful. The only reason I'm running any swamps at all is because of the Nighthawks and Murder in the sideboard, which both have double-black casting costs.

The creatures, as mentioned, are mostly chosen because of their resilience. The only exceptions to this are those that bring major utility to the deck, like Arbor Elf and Deathrite Shaman. Those that aren't resilient and that have no utility in this deck have the added benefit of being useful in the graveyard because of Scavenge, which is an incredibly powerful and relevant late-game mechanic.

Of the creatures, I've been extremely impressed with all of them except Wolfir Avenger. Sure, he has Regenerate which is what this deck wants, but that's about it. Flash is hardly very useful on him and generally the best that happens is that I Flash him in at the end of my opponent's turn, swing next turn for 3 and then feel obliged to leave 2 mana open so I can Regen him. He's only still in the deck because I have nothing better to do with those slots.

I still need to get myself 4x Predator Ooze, who really is the main creature card in this deck. It's almost impossible to remove, and it doesn't even require mana left open for it. The Avengers will be cut when I get the Oozes, and I'll have to find a couple of other cards to drop too. I also wouldn't mind another Deathrite Shaman or two, and I'm still thinking on Ulvenwald Tracker as a 2-of.

The spells are mostly about the removal. Black has access to some of the best removal around and Abrupt Decay is, in my opinion, the best removal in standard. Rancor is an obvious inclusion. It provides evasion and better swinging potential. Increasing Savagery is just something I'm trying out in the deck. Its Flashback makes it incredible if the game drags on or you get mana flooded and it's basically a Deadbridge Goliath with haste. I'm not 100% on it though, because I haven't tested it a whole lot, but I think it'll work out nicely.

My sideboard is still a little awkward. Murder is there because it's the only removal without any restrictions that I have access to, but it's still a toss-up between that and another type of removal. The only cards I'm completely sold on thus far are the Vampire Nighthawks, Duresses and Golgari Charms. The Nighthawks are incredible against aggro and the other two are beyond useful in control match-ups. A bit of the sideboard is dedicated to Unburial Rites match-ups and the Silklash Spiders were suggested for when I run into some trouble flying creatures, as well as being fat bodies and making for some nice blockers. I'm not sold on them yet though because I haven't found a match in which I'd want to side them in.

"Hey there sexy..."
I also want to try out some Grisly Salvages. I might try a pair over the Wolfir Avengers and see how they go.

So there are still some bumps to iron out and whatnot, but even now the deck is really solid. Golgari Aggro is a serious thing, I reckon.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?

Monday, 4 March 2013

Why does this keep happening to me?

As some of you may know from a previous post I made, some people have a tendency to mistake my blog for something it most definitely is not. The latest one luckily hasn't quite caught on yet, but whoever searched it was looking for a pretty specific blog, and one that doesn't even exist at that (curiousity made me look it up, don't you judge me...).

Doesn't exist, sorry guys :'(


Friday, 1 March 2013

Tactica: Skaven Magic

Magic is incredibly important in Warhammer, and Skaven have some of the most dangerous magic in the game. Maybe not the best casters, but if the Dreaded 13th isn't terrifying to the likes of Warriors of Chaos, all the elf variants and just about every elite unit and character ever, nothing is. The only thing that really lets Skaven magic down is the lack of a lore attribute which all of the newer books get, as well as lack of access to the lores in the rulebook.


Spells of Ruin

You really can't go wrong with the Spells of Ruin. All of the spells are powerful in there own right and you'll rarely run into a situation in which you end up with a useless spell, but they're not all always useful. For example Howling Warpgale isn't any good against armies without shooting but wrecks Wood Elves and Dwarfs and Cracks Call isn't so great against any of the elves but annihilates Orcs and Goblins, Dwarfs, Undead and anything else with low initiative. In situations where you get a spell you don't need, just swap them out for the Dreaded 13th or Warp Lightning for your Grey Seers and Warlock Engineers respectively!


1. Skitterleap

Skitterleap is a pretty powerful spell really. It has some solid synergy with some of our more powerful items like the Doomrocket by Skitterleaping an Engineer on the flank of an army, it lets your characters disappear from combat if it's too dangerous or you can use it to cause serious issues with their movement phase with Warlock Engineers that you no longer need. You can use Engineers in this manner in basically the same way an elf player uses Great Eagles: place him on an angle an inch away from the unit so they have to charge him. Sacrifice the useless! Such is the Skaven way.

I'd almost never swap out Skitterleap unless I absolutely needed other spells, but that's not often. For only a 5+ to cast, it's just too good.

2. Warp Lightning

People take level 1 Warlock Engineers just for this spell. Warp-energy Condensor makes it even more powerful. It's incredible for removing chaff, light cavalry, hitting lone characters or models, and just in general causing some damage. An all-round good spell with a low casting value.

3. Howling Warpgale

One of the more situational spells, as mentioned. If you find yourself against any kind of missile-based gunline, it can be well worth it. Otherwise it's probably better swapped out for the 13th or Warp Lightning.

4. Death Frenzy

Turns Slaves into killing machines when you need to. Clanrats and Stormvermin too. Really, a nice spell to have, but not always as fantastic as other spells. If you don't see yourself using it during the game, just swap it out.

5. Scorch

Another damage spell, and a pretty interesting one at that. It's nearly double the casting cost of Warp Lightning and has one less strength, but it will hit more guys, doesn't hurt you on the roll of a one, has Flaming and causes a Panic Test if they take a single wound. I definitely think it's worth it. The main thing to remember with this one is that it [i]does not scatter[/i] because it says [i]place[/i] the template anywhere within 24". That's what really makes it good.

6. Cracks Call

A very powerful spell against low Initiative armies and units, and especially dangerous to War Machines. I'd even keep it over Howling Warpgale against High Elves (but not Wood Elves or Dark Elves; their shooting is far more powerful than High Elf shooting) for the chance you might snipe a character with it. It's also ridiculously powerful against Ogres. And when combined with Skitterleap. And especially when combined with Skitterleap against Ogres...

Spells of Plague

I'm going to be honest with you: the only reason Spells of Plague is even worth considering is because of Wither and Plague. Most of the spells are trash, but those two are so incredibly powerful it still makes it worth trying. It's a gamble, but it pays off when you get one or both of those spells.


1. Pestilent Breath

Meh. No armour allowed makes is nice, and it is cheap and has the potential to hit a bunch of guys, but it's nowhere near as flexible or powerful as Skitterleap and other similarly costed spells. Nice with Wither, though, especially being only S2.

2. Bless With Filth

The third best spell in the lore in my opinion, and the second cheapest to cast. Poisoned Attacks can really help your weak Skaven get some more wounds on. Very nasty against monsters. Especially if you manage to get Skavenslaves into them.

3. Wither

Probably the most subtly over-powered spell in the game. Dropping a big unit of High Elf Spearmen to T2 is just plain nasty. Ogre's only real survivability comes from their Toughness, but hit them with Wither and suddenly they're as easy to wound as Clanrats. It's a mean spell and not one to be underestimated.

4. Vermintide

This is my least favourite spell in the game, to be quite honest. 3D6 hits is nice, for sure, and you can hit a good number of units, but they don't ignore armour and the damage really ends up being very negligible when all is said and done. At least Pestilent Breath goes straight through 2+ armour saves. Not worth casting over other spells really.

5. Cloud of Corruption

A reasonable spell for a Plague Priest to have, seeing as he's the only Wizard you want that close that has access to the Spells of Plague. Skaven are meant to die. Get used to it. Just remember that every model of theirs is worth at least 2-3 of yours, if not more, so losing a few of your own guys for some of theirs is always a worthy trade.

6. Plague

A very, very powerful damage spell. Like, incredible. I'd put it second only to the Dreaded 13th in terms of the damage it can cause. The spell can backfire, but as long as you're thinking the way a Skaven general should, you won't care!

Story time!

I cast Wither on a unit of Dwarf Great Beards, then hit them with Plague in the same phase. Over half of the 30 models in the unit went down, the spell then bounced to a nearby Organ Gun and scored a wound, then it bounced to another Organ Gun and caused a wound, then a Cannon and also caused a wound, before finally hitting my own unit of 20-odd Clanrats with Warlord and Plague Priest, bringing the entire unit down to 3 Clanrats, the Warlord and a wounded Plague Priest. Needless to say, I've never had a more successful magic phase!

The Dreaded Thirteenth Spell

Time for more honesty I think, which is quite hard for me, being the mighty Skaven general that I am, but here goes: the Dreaded 13th is OP. Get used to it. In fact, love it. I do. Don't like having incredibly powerful spells? Maybe you're better suited to Ogres, because you're clearly not thinking like a rat.

Anyway, there's really no subtle tactics with this. We go from sneaky one-dicing Skitterleap for some cool movement tricks of setting up bombs, to just pointing at something, throwing 6 dice at the table, removing the previously pointed at unit and placing some more Clanrats that can kill stuff and offer up no Victory Points to the enemy.

A few tips:
  • Small, expensive units (Chaos Chosen, Swordmasters, Wardancers, Grave Guard) are the best target for the Dreaded 13th
  •  The Clanrats from the Dreaded 13th offer no Victory Points to the opponent and are essentially worthless, treat them as such (i.e. throw them at things to keep them away from your Grey Seer, use them to redirect, anything is viable)
  •  The Clanrats from the Dreaded 13th can be given any kit, so always place a unit with Shields and Full Command
  • Take the Dreaded 13th on your Grey Seer every single game unless facing Ogres. Nothing is as valuable.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

A Guide to the Skaven Mindset

In my experience with Skaven, they require a pretty unique frame of mind when handling them on the tabletop, being a fairly unique army to command.

Honestly, this is mostly aimed at newer Skaven players to help them get the most out of their army and so they can make the right decisions with a Skaven army on the spot and, most importantly, enjoy standing behind the rats. But if you're not so new, well, I dunno. May as well keep reading anyway, right? Right.

Once you get the hang of it, playing Skaven is kinda like this...

*Disclaimer: I do not condone giving cocaine to babies..*

With that out of the way, let's get down to business, shall we? Yeah, I think we shall.

Rule No. 1: Skaven die. All the time.

The most fundamental part of playing Skaven is getting used to the deaths of your own units. It happens. A lot. And it mostly happens because of your stuff, not the enemy's. It happens because Skaven are a pretty random army, with Doomwheels Zzzaping your own guys and Doomrockets firing backwards onto the Engineer's own unit and Plague bouncing straight back onto the unit acting as a meat shield for the wizard that cast it. However, with all these mishaps and more, Skaven make up for it by means of having all of these powerful yet random items and units that do more damage to the enemy than something less random of the same cost normally would, so it's very possible (and likely) for you to wipe out half of your own army before completely tabling your opponents. I know, because I've done it before.

Rule No. 2: Running away is good!

Even the special rules help us do it, so make use of them. If you ever get charged by something you don't think you'll be able to handle and you actually want that unit alive (usually only happens when expensive characters are in the unit) then Flee! without hesitation. Well, maybe hesitate for a moment and check how far away you are from the table edge, but mostly without hesitation... And deny challenges too. All day long. Unless you're confident your character can beat theirs in a scrap, just throw him at the back of the unit.

Opponent's get mad, you laugh, you run away more, and they get mad some more. Such is the cycle of Trying to Charge Skaven Units With Expensive Characters in Them.

Happens to me all the time.

Rule No. 3: Rats like cheese

People will complain about your things being overpowered. Often they're pretty close to the truth, too. They'll winge and they'll moan and they'll cry. And you know what you do? You laugh. Because while things like the Hell Pit, Doomwheel, Warp Lightning Cannon, Doomrocket, the Dreaded 13th and so on are all insanely powerful when they hit properly, they're all incredibly random as well. So don't be disheartened by their foolish crying, because for every S10 Zzzap! you get off on 3 War Machines in a row, there's always those times when you need a 6 on 3 dice to slam into the side of a unit and you manage a 4. And if you ever think to yourself "This is pretty powerful, maybe a little too powerful even..." just remember: rats like cheese.

Rule No. 4: It's everyone's fault but mine

If you ever lose, you didn't lose, the dice lost. Or your opponent cheated. Or your Grey Seer got distracted. Start searching for the culprit and have them used to feed the Rat Ogres immediately!

Seriously though, if you are new and you're losing, don't get down on yourself. Skaven are the most enjoyable armies I've ever played and losing just comes with being new, whether it's new to the game or just the army. There's plenty of time to learn the art of sabotage! And one day your opponent will concede on turn two and you'll be like...

"I was just losing so I could crush your spirit later!"

Story time!

Writing about laughing at my own guys dying reminded me of part of a game that illustrates my point pretty well, so here goes:

I was facing Dwarfs in a 1250 point game, and was testing out a Warlord on Rat Ogre Bonebreaker build (which is godlike, mind you) so I had no Grey Seer and a Level 2 Plague Priest as my only mage. Fortunately enough, my spells were Wither and Plague. I had a legendary magic phase, and managed to cast Wither on a unit of Dwarf Longbeard, then hit the same unit with Plague. The unit was brought down from 40 models + character to about 20 models. But it didn't end there...

Plague then bounced from the unit to an Organ Gun, managed to cause a wound, bounced to another Organ Gun, caused another wound, bounced to a Cannon, caused another wound and then, finally, bounced straight back onto the Clanrat unit in which the Plague Priest who cast the spell was in. Now I have never rolled more 4+'s in my life, because the unit went from being 20 Clanrats with Full Command, a Plague Priest and Warlord to the Clanrat's unit champion and standard bearer, a wounded Plague Priest and the Warlord.

It is by far the most enjoyable (and successful) magic phase I've ever had. I went on to win that game after my Warlord beat his Dwarf Lord in a challenge after many, many rounds of combat. Many 6's were rolled that game.

Anywayz, thanks for reading! Thoughts and comments always welcome.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Apologies and Again in Advance

This is about the inactivity. Not that a whole lot of you care, really, but I just haven't had much spare time lately.

Not to worry, I've not given up on any of my hobbies, I just haven't done much worth posting about. Hopefully I can get some progress or some Fantasy batreps up some time soon. Looking to write something interesting for my Wood Elves too. And my Skaven for that matter. Looking to find time soon!

That's all for now, I'm afraid.

Monday, 4 February 2013

BUG Aggro: Post-GTC Update!

I said I'd post a version of the list up after I was a bit happier with it. It must be said that it's still not completely done, but after a whole lot of struggling I finally managed to get it to a point I was happy with it. There are some things I'm still iffy about, but more on that after the deck...

4x Breeding Pool
2x Drowned Catacomb
4x Golgari Guildgate
2x Hinterland Harbor
4x Overgrown Tomb
2x Simic Guildgate
4x Woodland Cemetery
(22 total)

4x Experiment One
3x Strangleroot Geist
4x Lotleth Troll
4x Dreg Mangler
2x Corpsejack Menace
4x Deadbridge Goliath
3x Master Biomancer
1x Prime Speaker Zegana
(25 total)

1x Garruk, Primal Hunter
(1 total)

4x Rancor
3x Ultimate Price
1x Essence Harvest
2x Increasing Savagery
(12 total)

60 total

2x Appetite for Brains
4x Duress
3x Simic Charm
3x Golgari Charm
2x Abrupt Decay

15 total

First all, the things I'm a little so-and-so about are the exact numbers of certain cards. I'm not sure if I want 4 Master Biomancers or 3 or 2. If I ran 2 I could take a 4th Strangleroot Geist and then add either another land, Zegana, Garruk, Corpsejack, Essence Harvest or Savagery. Really I think it'd be between Zegana, Garruk and the Corpsejack, but you get the idea: there are a lot of good (in my eyes, anyway) options. I could also just not add any of them and take some ramp instead.

So sexy, yet so many moneys...

The Essence Harvest is also pulling me back and forth. I love the card every time I play it, especially in a deck so capable of creating some huge monsters as this one, and I really don't think I'm willing to part with it yet. As of right now, I'm going to have to say it's staying. It's not something often used, which I like, and whenever I use it it just seems so powerful. Honestly, I actually want a second one, but I'm not sure what good that would do for the deck.

All your souls are belong to us

 Anyway, onto the deck itself, and how it's supposed to work:

It's loosely based on Bryan Kibler's BG Aggro. And by that I mean it's meant to follow the same general concept as opposed to being a copy/paste with my own changes made to it, although a number of cards are similar between the decks.

So for those of you not familiar with how this style of aggro is meant to work, it's meant to (if I can remember correctly) establish an early presence like most aggro decks, but also benefits from being far more resilient than other (generally red) aggro decks as well thanks to a lot of Regeneration, Undying and generally bigger creatures. I do believe it's slightly slower because of a larger number of 4+ drops, but its resilience more than makes up for it. And for those that want it, green has ample access to mana acceleration.

I've splashed blue as well because I think Simic are fucking cool, and also because Master Biomancer is just too good to ignore. Zegana just sweetens the deal.

That aside, I think the deck should be fairly resilient, and I really like the way Experiment One works with a Master Biomancer already on the board. But I don't like how the Biomancer and a Strangleroot work together, so I guess by that point of the game Strangleroot Geists are just going to become Lotleth food. I'm considering even dropping the Geist count to 2 because of this, but we'll see.

Oozes are people too!

Last of all, the Sideboard is mostly aimed at control, because control gives me the most issues.

Anyway, the deck is pretty much done. I think (and hope, really, really hope) that it's just up to the stage where it's down to ironing out the BUGs...

As usual, feel free to comment. Criticism more than welcome.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Gatecrash Pre-release Results and Rundown

Walking into the store for my first pre-release was certainly quite the exciting experience, and the day did not disappoint.

Cracking open all the boosters and searching for some solid Simic cards, I must say I did come up a touch short. I probably could've made a pretty solid Boros deck out of what I pulled, but this wasn't for competition and I came to play Simic, so that's what I did.

My main issue was that my deck was too slow for Evolve to really trigger effectively, and Extort and Battalion just dominated me. I ended up going 1-3, with my one win being against a Gruul deck.

Aside from the one game against the Orzhov player, who has to be one of the most boring guys I've ever had to sit across from, the rest was good fun, losses and all.

All that out of the way, let's get into some of the nicer cards I got on the day!

That flavour text is a little dirty...

 A fair few people don't seem to like this card, but it really is a ticking bomb on the right creature, in the right deck (which just happens to be mine). Throw it on an Experiment One for the easy access to regen or, better yet, on a Master Biomancer so that all your creatures enter exponentially larger each turn. It has some nice spots, I think. Enough to run two in the least.

Corpsejack + Increasing Savagery = insane ramp

 My only issue with this card is its speed. It doesn't give you early mana like Farseek or help you out as much as Arbor Elf in the early game, but from what I managed with it it's extremely capable of turning your mid-game into the late-game in terms of your mana. It puts you ahead very, very fast. The best thing is that casting Increasing Savagery on this means that you can tap it for even more mana than you actually spent on it, getting instant ramp turn 4 that lasts well throughout the game. Not to mention a very beefy body.

"Hover Barrier? Thanks, I wouldn't mind the extra defender."

Only rated something like 2.9 on Gatherer, and I can kind of see why some don't like it, but in my experience this is an amazing card against certain decks. It's definitely not maindeck worthy because it can't handle everything and can be a straight-up waste against creatureless decks, but it certainly has a place in the sideboard in my opinion.

Nothing more enjoyable than drawing half your deck!

Unfortunately I didn't crack Zegana in my own packs, but my friend was kind enough to trade it to me for some cards, so she now sits in my proper deck. Last game I used her I had a Corpsejack on the field as well as a 14/14. She dropped with 28 counters on her and I proceeded to draw half my deck. I won the game, in case you were wondering.

A BGU aggro deck is currently in the works, still being tweeked, but I'll post it up as well as some results when I feel it's closer to finished.

Thoughts? Comments?

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Warhammer: The Definition of Overpowered

Every time an arguement begins on the Internet about whether or not a unit or army is overpowered, there's always those few people who say that there's no such thing as OP, that victory in Warhammer comes 100% down to skill and the luck of the dice, and as such nothing is OP because there's always a chance you'll just roll a bunch of 1's.

Unfortunately, those few people are wrong. There's no logic to that argument and denying that some units and armies are far more powerful than others is plain dumb.

In an attempt to put an end to these retarded arguments, I'm going to do my best at describing what makes something overpowered, or more powerful than something else.

Remember 5th edition when Necrons were balanced? Oh well...

Simply put, something that's overpowered is something that is too effective, efficient, can perfom too many roles too well or has too few weaknesses for its point cost.

But let's look at the specific arguments often put forth against the notion that anything could ever be OP.

"It all comes down to the skill of the player"
To be fair, this has some credibility to it, as more often than not the more skilled/experienced player will win, but that's not what I want to get at.

My issue with this point is that some units do not require skill of any kind to use, because they're good at everything. But it's not just that they're good at everything, it's that they're too good at everything. For example, standard Space Marines are pretty good at doing whatever you need them to do, but they're not the best at anything and, to be quite jeff, they're pretty bad in combat.

Instead, think of standard Grey Knights, especially back in 5th edition. They're like Space Marines, but for a small points increase they become monsters in combat (and can annihilate monsters in combat at that) and they even benefit from superior firepower. They're too good at everything, and in comparison to Space Marines they require less skill to win with, and nothing should require less skill than Space Marines.

"It's all about the luck of the dice on the day - Warhammer is all about luck"
I hate this. It's the stupidest argument of all time. This is what people say when they go into "goddidit" mode. When they want to hold onto their belief that their army isn't at all overpowered and that they're really a good player, they deny everything and just tell you that "thedicedidit".

Unfortunately for you, my terrible gaming friend, it wasn't entirely the fault of the dice that made your unit beat face. See, while everyone has to roll dice and hope they don't roll any 1's, some units have a better chance than others at doing what they want to do, and in some cases this chance is just too good for the cost of the unit.

You want an example? Just look to the Hell Pit Abomination. That thing is 100% random, so unlike just about everything else in Warhammer, it is literally decided by how your dice roll. However, with 3D6" movement and his stats, as well as his special attack types and Impact Hits, the Hell Pit is insane. It's literally a "no skill involved, just throw dice at it and win" unit.

You want another example? Alright, let's get a little more abstract, 40k style this time. Unit X and unit Y. Both cost 10 points a model. Neither of them have any guns, because they're both purely designed for combat. The difference is unit X is WS5 while Y is WS4. There are no other differences. Are you willing to sit there and tell me that unit X is not overpowered? I mean, there's always the chance that X rolls all 1's and 2's while Y just 6's everything. Yep, definitely a possibility. But the fact is that X is far more likely to Hit than Y, and that's what actually matters.

It's about the chances of the units to do something, and some units have odds that are just far too good for something of that cost, whether it's because of a huge number of shots/attacks or because of a stat that's just a little too high, some units are too powerful because their chances are just far too good.

"It's about both - skill and luck"
Let's look to Skaven for an example, more specifically, Skavenslaves. Alright, so they're WS2, BS2, S3, T3 and have no armour. How on earth could they be OP? Well, we've got to factor in a couple of other things first. First of all, a general is mandatory in just about every army, and considering how important magic is and how incredible the Dreaded 13th is, just about every Skaven player will be running a Grey Seer. Second of all, BSB's are generally considered a must-have, especially in an army as cowardly as Skaven. So, Slaves not taken into account, these two things would be taken almost all the time anyway.

Now what that's got to do with Slaves is this: Take 50 Slaves in a unit, 5 wide and 10 deep, and keep them in range of your BSB and General and they're a leadership 10 with rerolls tar pit at 2 points per model unit, as well as being Steadfast in just about every situation for a very long time. Then, add onto that the fact that I can sit back and fire my Warp Lightning Cannons into that combat for as long as I want while my opponent can't do anything outside the combat to help his guys win, and then add onto that the fact that other units don't panic when Slaves explode, and you've got a very, very good unit for only 2 points per guy.

Too good.

This unit requires no skill to use. You simply get it to tar pit whoever you want and keep your general and BSB in range of them. It's so simple that I can do it. It also has a very, very small chance of running away, so it's a 2 point-per-model tar pit with no weaknesses in its role. In fact, it's better than a whole lot of other units designed for the task that cost way more points than it does. That's OP.

So I don't know if I demonstrated my point very well or not, because I had a good amount of trouble trying to set this out nicely for you all, but hopefully you catch my drift.

The main thing is, some things are more powerful than others. Some things are too powerful. It's just a fact. Deal with it.

Thoughts? Comments?

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Holy Blastmasters Lucius! New CSM FAQ

For those of you that haven't seen it, here's the recently updated Chaos Space Marines FAQ.

Now what's the main thing I got from this?

Page 99 – Noise Marines, Options.
Change the third bullet point to “One Noise Marine may
replace his boltgun with a blastmaster at 30 pts/model. If the
squad numbers ten or more models, an additional Noise
Marine may replace his boltgun with a blastmaster at 30

I most certainly do

Oh dear lord yes! So now for every Noise Marine squad I can fire two S8 AP3 Ignores Cover blasts? I'm so very pleased.

Looks like I'll have to rewrite my CSM list though.

And there's also this:

Page 99 – Noise Marines, Wargear.
Add “Close combat weapon (Champion Only)”

Which is pretty cool, but I don't care too much about that one.

They also fixed the Zombies unit size, which is nice.

The rest is pretty obvious really. Nothing you shouldn't be able to figure out without a little common sense.

Thoughts? Comments?