friday 40k humor

friday 40k humor

Friday, January 30, 2015

Cincycon 2015 is on the move!


May 1-2-3
Butler County Fairgrounds

Butler County Fairgrounds

ANNOUNCEMENT: Attendee Pre-Registration is now open!

Register now and you can sign up for your favorite events before they fill up!
In order to accommodate our ongoing growth we are moving to the brand new 3 million dollar multi-use facility at the Butler County Fairgrounds.  The facility features 21,000 sq/ft of useable space with 23 acres of FREE onsite parking.   They have plenty of lighting and all new air conditioning and heating units.  We are still able to bring in our own food vendor which allows us to continue to offer great food at extremely affordable prices.
The best part of all- We get this great new facility and badge prices will remain the same for 2015.  Single day badges are $15.00 and weekend badges are still just $20.00.  We are still the best bargain in gaming for our region.
For our out of town guest we have secured a great room rate just down the street at the Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton Ohio.  They normally charge $129.00 per night but our Cincycon rate is $99.00 per night.  The hotel is also brand new so it is really nice and very clean.  Please see the Location and Lodging page on this website for reservation details.
We are excited about the new changes for 2015.  We also want to thank all of you for your past support and we are of course really looking forward to seeing you all for Cincycon VI.
Cincycon Staff

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Monday, January 19, 2015

The Meta Meets 2015

It’s been a few months since we’ve had a stats article on Torrent of Fire, so today we’re going to do a bit of “re-baselining” and look at some big pictures from the data. So, first off, just overall win percentage for all Torrent of Fire reported games:


Something to note about the data is that with some of the architectural changes to how Ringers and unlisted armies are registered, there was a pretty serious shakeup to the data. In particular, most armies had quite a few wins over Ringer armies taken away.
This is great for looking at the data as a whole, but presents some challenges when trying to look at data based on edition. In the past, I had simply used a snapshot from the end of 6th edition and removed those values from the newest data to get an accurate picture of 7th, but this no longer provides accurate data. Instead, we can only look at the last three months of numbers truly comparatively.
This will give us a quick snapshot of the current state, but it will be a few months before we can start showing trends again with any significance. As for the current snapshot, it looks a bit like this:


The bar chart is sorted by Win Percentage, from highest to lowest. The red line indicates Wins since the October data refresh.  This is a somewhat smaller sample size than we’ve had in the past, with 766 games being recorded. In this time, one thing that certainly stands out is the popularity of Tyranids in this time frame:


As we can see, Tyranids nearly doubled each of the next three most popular armies, Eldar, Tau, and Space Marines in total number of games, with 170 Games played.
One thing to keep in mind as we look at a breakdown of armies is that this is Primary only. Some armies, like Imperial Knights, have a huge impact as an ally, but their predominance isn’t shown here. Of all 592 games with Imperial Knights recorded in Torrent of Fire, only 131 were as the Primary detachment.
2014 was solidly the year of the Imperial Knight, and the end of year statistics show that. In the same period of time as in the pie chart above, Knights were used as an ally in 66 games. If you considered them the primary army if they were included at all, they would be the third most popular army used in this time frame behind Tyranids and Tau.
Looking at Knights by themselves, we can take a look at their breakdown in all uses:


The sample size is fairly small for most uses, with only a single RTT showing for most. What is notable is that Eldar and Necrons, already strong armies, look to be boosted significantly by the inclusion of Knights, whereas Space Marines are hurt by their inclusion in the army. It’s also interesting to note that without support from another army, Knights’ win percentage drops to 55.6%, which would drop them to 5th, just ahead of Eldar.
However, if we look at Knights as a Primary against Knights as an ally, we see that they excel as a primary detachment:


Finally, looking at Knight Primaries with or without allies, the distinction becomes clearer:


As a primary detachment with an allied force, Knights are winning an astounding 78.6% of their games. This is an admittedly small sample size, but indicates a very strong combination.  Looking at the armies Knights were paired with compared to their overall win percentage shows a similar trend for most armies:


I only look at the armies with 5+ games, but the trend is pretty clear; Space Marines and Grey Knights actually suffer slightly from adding Knights, while Xenos armies benefit greatly.
Whether Knights as they stand make for a better game is unlikely, as it indicates a potentially overpowered combination that is unmatched by anything else in the game. Something to watch for is whether this domination continues as events allow more Lords of War, like at LVO and Adepticon


Thursday, October 23, 2014

by Bigpig

Hey everyone.  Bigpig here to wax philosophicatactically about what I feel is the most effective Tyranid playstyle available to the current codex;  Something I like to call, “The Trapdoor Spider.”
I coined that term (trademark pending, Paypal me when you use it) on the Tyranid boards while discussing my experiences at last year’s Las Vegas Open, hashing out what worked and what didn’t.  I use the term “playstyle” instead of build because what I feel makes the Trapdoor Spider work is the way you  approach the game and use those handful of Tyranid units that are spectacular.  Certainly, this playstyle takes advantage of some of the usual suspects in the Tyranid codex,  but I have had success using this approach with a variety of codex bench warmers supporting those key units.  After all, when polishing a turd, it pays to start out with the best turds available.
Turd?   Is this going to be just another whine fest by a disgruntled Genestealer lover???  Ok, so I’m not STILL hanging my head low and kicking rocks about how the Tyranid codex was a disappointment and “isn’t competitive.”  To be sure, it doesn’t have the competitive breadth of something like Space Marines or Eldar, but it does have two or three units forming the core–courtesy of Forge World updates and some formations–which, in the hands of a patient general, can solidly win you games when used correctly.   I’ve been sticking with my bugs since the book dropped, trying to find just the right combination and I may have it in the Trapdoor Spider.
Why Trapdoor Spider?  Well, trapdoor spiders are ambush predators.  That means they wait for the prey to come to them, jump out of their hiding place, sucker punch them, and continue to beat the crap out of the prey before they realize what hit them.  Not very gentlemanly, but effective.  This is in contrast to hunting spiders which go out and look for their prey and are exposed in the process to other predators.  It’s all about lying in wait.  The typical 40k army, is the hunting spider.  Mobile, fast, and oftentimes able to redeploy anywhere on the board in a single turn, they go ferret out the prey and kill them.  The advent of Maelstrom objectives has made mobility even more telling.   Successful armies like Eldar, Marines, Necron Air, or pretty much any mech’d up force meet this description.   Lacking the ability to move anything more than 12″ a turn and still claim an objective, Tyranids cannot be the hunter.  They must  instead become the ambush predator and wait safely in their lair, making their prey come to them, until it is time to pounce and deliver the overwhelming counter-stroke.
To make this work, the Trapdoor Spider Tyranid relies on what is really the only synergistic rule in the entire codex, “Spore Cloud.”  This is, of course the ability on Venomthropes and Malanthropes to give shrouding to all Tyranid units within 6″.  In your typical ruin or rubble terrain, this means a 2+ cover save for any unit in range.  Even twisted copse (the fancy GW trademark name for whatever trees or crystal forest you choose to throw on the board) will grant a 3+, 2+ during night fight.  Yes, yes, we all know about ‘thropes.  Nothing new here.  The difference with the Trapdoor Spider, however, is patience.  The Spider plays differently than most armies because it doesn’t leave its lair until it has to.  I see typical Tyranids use ‘thropes to charge their models across the board as early as turn 1 or 2.   The Trapdoor Spider instead says, “Be patient and stay in cover till turn 3 or later.”
Much of the current meta is characterized by the unavoidable alpha strike.  Drop marines, Eldar or Tempestus deepstrikers, any flyer heavy army, 3×3 deepstriking Obliterators, Grey Knight formations, White Scar bikes, Rhino rush, and the soon to be new hotness of Web Way Portal Dark Eldar all want to hop on the board or close with you and deliver a knock-out blow.  With its 2+ cover coupled with high toughness models, multiwound models, or ablative fodder models, the Trapdoor Spider can weather that storm and punch back hard on the alpha strikers, killing the hunters, before venturing out in force to take objectives later in the game from backfield campers.  This can be extremely effective.  At the Brawl in the Fall, I only lost five units in the ENTIRE five game tournament (not counting sacrificial ripper swarms).   Remember, the key is not leaving your 2+ lair until you have dealt with the enemy’s hunter units.  ‘Nids that charge forward prematurely die.
But will they enemy come to you?  Yes, they will.  It is in their DNA and army design.   Many of these alpha strike lists must move forward, drop in, or deepstrike on a timetable dictated by the game’s reserve rules.  The Trapdoor Spider takes advantage of this by waiting the enemy out.   At Brawl in the Fall I faced Rawdogger’s Grey Knight list.  He had teleporting Dreadknights, reserved flyers,  and a Centurion Star with Draigogate and librarians.  Being a skilled player, Rawdogger KNEW what I was doing.  He tried to hide out turn 1 hoping I would come to him, but I stayed in cover and sniped with hard hitting long range fire.  On turn 2 as his reserves started coming in he had to make his move or lose any advantage so he teleported forward and fired into the 2+ cover killing nothing.  In return I unboxed his biggest threats, retaining cover against a turn 3 counterstrike from what was left and mopped up the rest of the game.
When to leave your lair?  I usually wait till turn 3 or 4 to rush forth and grab objectives for the primary mission.  By then, most of the enemy reserves will be on the board and you will have dealt with their heavy lifters, often having gained first blood and not having lost a unit at all by this point.  This is where another key component comes in , objective placement.  Any good player can tell you that the game can be won or lost before a single model is placed on the board depending on mission and where objectives go.  Place your objectives knowing you won’t make your move till late game.  Place them where you can get to them.  If something must go in your opponents DZ, put it in a far corner where your deepstrikers can get it (more on this later).  While I could spend an entire article talking about objective placement, the simple rule is;  Ask yourself WHY you are placing an objective in a specific location.  How does it fit into your plan and interact with what your opponent brings to the table?  If you don’t have an answer, then you need to think about it more.   Devise your plan before your models hit the table.
Maelstrom missions can be harder and you may well likely start behind.  Don’t panic and break cover too soon.  The modified charts under BAO format help with a healthy smattering of “kill an enemy unit” and “have 3 units in your deployment zone.”  Often times one of the objectives will be right in the middle of your camp anyways.  Focus on denying the enemy points in the first few turns.   You will score in the last few.  Be patient.  Plan.  Be the ambush predator.
The key units and how to use them
Malanthropes:  The lynchpin unit.  Much has been said about these across the community already.  Cheaper than two Venomthropes and far more survivable, all the while providing synapse;  What is not to love?    At only 85 points they will save you several hundred to a thousand points in casualties.  Take two if you like, though one typically will suffice.  If they survive until near the end of the enemy’s turn three shooting phase, they have done their job.  Deploy them centered in your cover and preferably out of LoS of the enemy’s backfield units.   I tend to place them directly on top of the objective I placed in my own DZ.  Don’t have access to Malanthropes or FW is not allowed?  Venoms can work as well.  They are easier to hide from LoS, but suffer from being ID’d to Str8 on an unlucky 1.  Consider taking 2 or deploy them in an Imperial Bunker or Bastion for increased safety and radius of effect.   Malanthropes are a game changer with their survivability but Venoms can be a less efficient back up.
Flyrants:  Arguably the best flyer in the game, Dakkaflyrants (double twin link brain leech worms) bring devastating firepower, mobility, downrange synapse, psyker powers, and survivability to the table.   They blast infantry, light vehicles, and knights.  They kill 2+ saves with volume of fire.  Many people complain that they die.  They aren’t using them right.  Keep them in the spore cloud until it is time to strike.  If they start in the rear of your cover blob they can Swoop 12″ forward and snipe into the enemy lines and still be in the spore cloud giving them a 2+ jink option in open ground.  This is especially important vs enemy flyers coming in from reserves.   Remember that they can also claim the “area terrain” cover save for ruins/rubble/forest for having a toe in, also giving them a 2+ without having to jink.   Facing BS4, a flyrant with 2+ cover will take 216 bolter shots, or 45 melta shots to kill outright.  That is pretty tough.  (I’m a cop, not a mathematician so prove me off by a few percent if you must, but the point is they don’t fall out of the sky unless you stick them out there to get beat down).  Take at least two.
Barbed Hierodule:  Oh what a difference Forge World makes.  The Hierodule is not key, but she brings so much to the Trapdoor Spider.  The Hierodule gives you what you are lacking otherwise;  Long range punch and late game speed.  The ability to put out 12 Str 10 shots between 2 targets a turn puts pressure on opponents who might otherwise be reluctant to step into your parlor.  Toughness 8 with a 2+ cover and 5+ FNP means they cannot sit back and snipe your Hierodule who sits in the spore cloud with a toe in cover saying, “Come at me bro, see what happens.”  Str 10 gives you an answer to AV 13/14, instagibs Thunderwolves and T5 units, and long range/high volume AP3 lets you wipe power armored campers off objectives across the board.  Turn 3, 4, or later when you make your move, the 12″ move and ability to double run if needed can put you anywhere on the board fast to Thunderblitz or take downrange objectives.  Hierodules can stomp invisible units and flip land raiders with ease.   They were worth the price tag.
Rippers:   The lowly Ripper is the quiet workhorse of the Trapdoor Spider .  By deepstriking they allow you to stay competitive on the secondary/maelstrom objectives.  Many of those objectives will center around holding a far objective marker (placed in a safe corner if you were crafty) or being in the enemy deployment zone.   Expect them to be dead by the end of the game, but in the meantime they will keep you competing for secondary.  If they survive to grab a primary objective, all the better.
Beyond these units, the Trapdoor Spider can employ a variety of units and options in the secondary role;
Biovores:  Long range sniping, devastaing vs xenos races with low toughness and 4+ saves.  These guys put more pressure on while safe out of LoS in the 2+ cover.   They force the enemy to come to your lair.
Ranged MC firepower:  Exocrines, Tyrannofex, and DakkaCarnifex are all valid options.  The provide mid range firepower to stand in the cloud and threaten the enemy or charge and smash deepstriking units in power armor, all on a survivable platform.   All work well depending on your preference.
Swarm:  Hordes of Termagaunts, Gargoyles, and Hormagaunts can give you a bubble wrap in the backfield and the ability to flood midfield late game.  This is especially valuable if you know you will face lots of Imperial Knight armies, but it is very susceptible to flamers and T-Fire cannons.  It also gives you less firepower.
Shrikes/Warriors/Raveners:  Not my first choice, but these can give you an effective counterstroke melee unit with the ability to move quickly late game to midfield.  They tend to be more susceptible to ranged artillery and, of course Str8 fire, than MCs though.  Shrikes with poison Boneswords scare the crap out of Wraithknights, but then again so do Carnifexen.
Living Artillery:  My favorite.  This gem gives you the benefits of many of the above options in a more accurate package.
Here is a typical Trapdoor Spider list at 1750pts;
Combined Arms
Tyrant; Wings, Double Brainleech worms, Electroshock Grubs, Warlord
Tyrant; Wings, Double Brainleech worms
2×3 Deepstriking Ripper Swarms
Carnifex; Double Brainleech Worms
Barbed Hierodule
Living Artillery Formation
3 Biovore
3 Warriors (1 Barbed Strangler)
The current meta with Superheavies, formations, wonky psyker powers, and allies really lends itself to Rock/Paper/Scissor matchups.  The Trapdoor Spider manages to avoid most auto-lose match-ups, but there are still some tough nuts out there.  So what gives the Trapdoor Spider problems?  Obviously anything that won’t come to play with you.  Fortunately, those lists aren’t as common in the current meta.  There are a couple other stumbling blocks to be aware of as well.  Here are some of the challenges and ways to deal with it;
Imperial Knights:  A single IK is easy.  Flyrants in the flanks and Hierodule in the face will kill one a turn with ease.  A formation of three can be much tougher and a Knight will waste your Hierodule in combat.  To counter triple knight, hope to go second and use a refused flank if possible.  Fall back and waste the closest knight as soon as possible.  Falling back will buy you an extra turn before the assault, hopefully buying enough time to cripple the second knight.  Try to get them to charge you in cover or put up bubble wrap to buy extra time.
The Scouring/Hammer and Anvil:  These two mission and deployment options really do not do the Trapdoor Spider any favors.  A high number of objectives scattered around and lots of real estate can make it tough to score.  This is the only time you may need to break cover sooner.  It really depends on your opponent.   The combination of these two, along with a boots heavy drop list pushed me to third at the recent Brawl.  I just didn’t have enough to take all the objectives at the end of game.  It can be a challenge.
Ignores Cover:  Fortunately, most ignore cover weapons tend to be low strength (with the exception of Serpent Shield).  These don’t challenge a MC list in cover as you still have a 3+ save.   If you play vs Serpents, deploy more defensively and try to snipe them out with Flyrants and Hierodule.  Against a Perfect Timing list, you will have more problems, but you can try to assassinate the unit with the psyker early on.
So that is the Trapdoor Spider in a nutshell.  Remember, the key is in patience and waiting for the moment to strike.  Most Tyranids, even the best ones out there, make their move too soon to truly be playing as the Spider even when using all the components.    The Trapdoor Spider is a defensive concept rather than offensive.   The army really plays to the current alpha strike meta.  What are your thoughts?  Have you faced it?  How would your army deal with it?
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Monday, October 6, 2014

The meta post-NOVA

The end of August and most of September featured a bunch of games played, more or less doubling the number of 7th edition games we’ve had to this point. This will, generally, give us a much more solid set of numbers to work with when it comes to performance and matchups.
But first, let’s take a look at popularity. Going into NOVA, Space Marines were far and away the most popular army, with over 100 more games than the next most popular army, Eldar. This is even more significant when you consider the majority of armies didn’t even have 100 recorded games.


In the last month, Eldar, Necrons, Tau, Daemons, Grey Knights and Space Wolves all had more games recorded and played than in the previous three. The Space Marines, while still the most popular, came down slightly in terms of percentage of the field, while the Eldar gained ground in terms of popularity. ­­
Other armies that saw significant rises in popularity were Daemons and Space Wolves. Space Wolves could be expected, since they recently got a new codex that has some exciting builds. We can also guess a rise in games for Daemons stems partly from the time needed to get a 7th edition Daemon summoning army together.
Meanwhile, the less popular armies largely saw a decline in popularity. This could be in part due to the competition level of NOVA, which made up the majority of the games in the last month or so.
Looking back to NOVA 2013, it’s interesting to see the way the landscape has changed, given a new rules set and six new codices (eight if you count Inquisition and Legion of the Damned, nine if you add Grey Knights―but that codex wasn’t used in NOVA 2014).


From this quick chart, we can see that, while still popular, two of the more popular armies at NOVA 2013, Tau and Daemons, have taken a sharp downturn. Meanwhile, Space Marines, who were largely absent at NOVA 2013 (third least popular, above only Sisters of Battle and Orks) are now dominating the field thanks to their new book. In fact, the only armies that saw increased popularity and didn’t get a new book were Eldar and Grey Knights.
Moving back to the current meta, with NOVA and four months of 7th edition in the books, we have enough data to start looking at some matchup results (omitting any matchups with fewer than 10 games). First, let’s look at general Win% by matchup:


Looking down each column shows an army’s win percentage by opponent. The top dog, Eldar, continue to have mostly good matchups, though they seem to have trouble with Knights, and Necrons have taken a slight lead.
Meanwhile, compared to  the end of 6th Edition, armies generally aren’t as overall dominant or ineffective. That is, while Tau’s only poor matchup in 6th was Eldar, with just barely under a 50% win rate, so far in 7th they seem to struggle mightily against Eldar and Daemons. Similarly, while Space Marines’ lowest win rate in 6th was against Daemons with 41.3%, they are now running into problems against Necrons, Eldar, and Grey Knights.
Finally, looking at Necrons, who were largely dominant in 6th, while still mostly winning their matchups, there are a few where they seem to struggle in 7th, like against Daemons, Grey Knights and Tau.
What this indicates is that the game has become more balanced in 7th, with some of the more dominant armies beginning to face potential counters. Eldar are still fairly safe bets, but struggles with Knights and Necrons, two armies that are popular and becoming more so, at least as an ally, could start to show some chinks in the current Kings of 40k.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Transcendent Ctan, Oh My!

The Transcendent Ctan: This ain't your ordinary shard...
So, if the Tesseract Vault is good and the obelisk is extremely average...what about this guy? Now a lot of people may not have realized it but the Transcendant Ctan is its entirely own seperate unit. And boy this thing is fucking awesome!

The Transcendent Ctan is actually a collection of shards so it is not a full Ctan. Nevertheless this thing is one hell of a beast. Lets look at it in closer detail:

First off you will notice that this thing costs a little over 400 points standard and it is a GARGANTUAN CREATURE. So you get a slew of extra rules like Feel No Pain and more. Now lets look at this statline that made my jaw drop.

WS:6 BS:6 S:9 T:9 W:6 I:5 A:8 LD:10 Sv 3+/4++

That right there isincredible. This thing can easily slug it out with greater Daemons or Tyranid monsters. But thats not the best part.

The Cyan MUST choose 2 from the 6 powers you can get from the Tesseract Vault but the point costs are still the same. However the Ctan also MUST pick 1 of 3 unique powers. The one you SHOULD ALWAYS take is the one I'm only going to be saying now.

Basically in the movement phase, the Cyan can move 18 inches in a straight line. Anything that the Ctan moves over ( friend or foe)takes an immediate DESTROYER hit! But it cannot assault in the turn it does this sadly. Wow that is brutal. Imagine the potential of this unit!
Move 18 inches inflicting D hits than firing your2 other powers. So fly over and get those D hits, then fire a 6d6 Strength 8 ap 3 shots or cast down meteors or use the other Destroyer weapon...there is just so much devastation you can cause with this its ridiculous.

Now a word of caution!. When this thing finally dies everything within 4d6 is going to die most likely so keep ypur precious units away from this!

But the Transcendent Ctan is easily the best unit for the Necrons in this book. However it willcost you over 700 points to do the tactics i mentioned. For any Necron players tht have extra Ctan like the Nightbringer or Deceiver, I see no reason why you can use them as these beasts. Really go nuts. These things are awesome.