friday 40k humor

friday 40k humor

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How To Play The Flying Circus: Part the Third

original post: 40K Daemons

This series seems particularly apropos since it just won Adepticon. By most accounts I’ve read, the tournament was an unspoken dud with everyone who went outwardly claiming to have enjoyed it, but when you peel back the onion, there were a lot of complaints about the comp ruling, the kill point heavy missions and the very open terrain that was befuddling to many. The comp rules encouraged bringing death star lists and the missions rewarded doing so. Well hell.

Ah well, I wasn’t there. Fortunately, the Circus is a good answer to many death stars.

In the first two installments for playing the flying circus, we talked about keeping your flying baddies alive uber alles, and trying to make sure the objectives are spread out so that the other guy can’t squat in one high-value location.

The next piece of the puzzle is using your powers correctly. You will probably roll Biomancy most of the time. Everyone knows Iron Arm on a lash Prince is good, but with Be’lakor, there isn’t much need to take telepathy. Be’lakor gets you invisibility on your Grimoire Prince. This is great because the Grimoire Prince can take a shooting power and actually be in the fight. If your other Princes get Endurance, it helps you keep Be’lakor alive.

Here are the typical flying circus candidates besides Fatey and Be’lakor and the powers they should roll most of the time:

Slaanesh Prince – Biomancy x3
Nurgle Prince – Biomancy x3 (Telekinesis x3 against Imperial Knights)
Lord of Change – Divination x3 (Occasionally 1x or 2x Change if you need to shoot.)
Tzeentch Prince – Biomancy x3 (Change if you get Endurance early or need to shoot.)

The Tzeentch dudes are the tricky ones because some armies you’d prefer to keep your distance against like Nids. You don’t want to be within 12” of shadows most of the time, nor do you want to get grounded and charged by Gants. Flickering fire is great against Gants and Crones. Gateway and Bolt are useful against vehicles. It’s nice to have a shooting power on the Tzeentch Prince so he can vector strike and also shoot in the same turn

Okay, so let’s say you have the Grimoire, Be’lakor, Fateweaver and a Lash Prince with Endurance and Iron Arm. You need to plan every move so that your MC’s finish with LOS and within 24” of each other so they can buff up at the beginning of the next turn. Say you flew your Grimoire Prince off on Turn 2. On Turn 3, he needs to arrive in area terrain and within range and LOS of Be’lakor.

Your order of operations is based around Fateweaver’s reroll. There is a lot of debate about the order of things that happen at the start of the turn, but the FAQ says that events that occur simultaneously allow you to choose the order. The Grimoire can be used at any point during the movement phase, and the beginning of the movement phase is a point in the movement phase, so it can be used before psychic powers.

So, in this scenario, the Grimoire Prince flies on first taking care to finish his move within 24” of both Be’lakor and Fateweaver. Next, you need to prioritize powers in the order of importance for what you need to get done this turn. In most cases, the first thing you do is use the Grimoire on Fateweaver. Assuming you didn’t need the reroll for that, next you cast Iron Arm on the Lash Prince since he needs a 9 to get it off. If you got through that without needing the reroll, things are looking good. Invisibility on the Grimoire Prince is next, then Endurance on Be’lakor.

At this point, Be’lakor has one warp charge left. Is it more useful to cast Terrify, Dominate or Psychic Shriek this turn? You figure it out.

Once your powers are cast, make your moves such that you take no unnecessary risks, kill as much as possible, but also finish in positions to do exactly the same thing next turn. That’s the finesse piece of playing the circus that makes it work.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How To Play the Flying Circus: Part The Second

originally posted on 40k Daemons

We have established that the basic strategy for every game with a circus is to get first blood, contest objectives, and win 2-1. This is good enough to win almost any game. In the early game you focus on staying alive over taking things out.

One thing I kind of skipped over is objective placement. It's pretty important, you see. You want them as far apart as possible because you are probably faster than the other guy, and spreading out the objectives prevents them from concentrating their forces.

Let’s use the example of Crusade with 5 objectives and DOW deployment. Say you lost the table edge, so your opponent has three objectives in their zone. Here’s a simple diagram of how that often looks. Assume everything is behind a wall or in area terrain like how we all usually place objectives. In this scenario, the objectives are fairly spread out, which is what I want. This is my plan.

It may or may not be necessary to contest all three objectives depending on how many scoring units I kill over the course of the game, but this is the plan. I’ll park my troops by my objectives once they come in from reserve. I cannot possibly support them, so they're on their own. Instead, I have to use my mobility and high threat to keep my opponent occupied. This forces my opponent into making choices. Because the objectives are so spread out they can do one of three things unless they’re playing Drop Pods, in which case they can only do one thing.

The first option is to sit back and camp their three objectives, conceding me the two I hold. Tau would likely do this since they suck at crossing the board. If they do this, I get to hold two objectives, and now if I get first blood, I only have to contest one of theirs, which is easy enough.

The second option is to send some aggressive units after my objectives, but leave most of their force on their side of the board. If they do this, they have broken their force apart, so it becomes much easier to pick things off without taking risks. If I can safely take out portions of their army with my MC’s without losing any, it makes a late game push onto their board edge less-risky because they won't have the firepower to deal with them anymore. Most armies would at least make an attempt at this. Drop pods armies can only do this option, except they'll try to land in your face and get the alpha strike. But we've covered that.

Then there is the third option, which is the right answer. The third option is to push everything to the board center so that they can keep their army in mutual support, and be able strike most places, but move onto objectives in the late game as is prudent. Bike armies, assault armies like Nids or Reece’s Rhino rush Raven Guard might do this. Death stars do it too, though they are limited in how many units they can engage in a game. Imagine that board up above with JY2’s 18 Wraiths and two Destroyer Lords supported by Annihilation Barges holding down the center. Now imagine four Night Scythes coming on, and you don’t know which objectives to contest until late in the game. Or imagine an O’vesa star sitting in the middle supported by some Skyrays and Broadsides with single Crisis suits dropping in where they please.

If your opponent does this, congratulations, you’re playing someone clever. This makes for the most difficult game because your opponent has put you in the exact same bind he is in because now you don’t know exactly what to do. He doesn’t exactly have the advantage, but he’s taken it away from you. This game will come down to player skill, or luck if you’re both equally matched.
If your opponent is this smart, it’s likely they will place their objectives close together in the center as well so they don’t have to break anything off from the main force. If they didn’t, then they can’t keep up the formation forever, and will eventually have to split their forces, leaving them vulnerable.

I can’t theoryhammer every possible scenario for how you would go about beating a smart opponent who knows how to counter what you’re doing. Some things require experience. A couple examples for you would be the battle I did against Chewie’s bikeseers for an example of how you fight an army castled up in the board center playing defense. In that battle, he did put his objectives right near each other. To beat him, I darted around the edges and focused exclusively on killing troops while making him play defense with his death star instead of coming after my scoring. I did the same thing to Ian's Beaststar.
The takeaway from those two battles is that it's really tough to play defense and offense at the same time. If you can keep the other guy on the defensive, you might just be able to keep your troops alive. Fortunately, only a few armies can effectively hold the center and still be able to break off and score effectively.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How to Play the Flying Circus Part The First


We have demonstrated the flying circus in action on this blog many times, but we haven’t discussed the finer points of the army. To this end, I received this email:

Hey Andrew! (WTF?) I am looking for some advice and since you are really the only blog I read (and trust to not give questionable advice) I was hoping for some help. Before I go into it I'll give a little back story on where I am in the Warhammer gaming world and where I would like to be.

I went to a tournament this weekend and got swamped using a pretty standard 1850 Be'lakor Flying Circus. I certainly don't think the list deserves the score it got. I feel that to really do well with Flying Circus, you really have to min max the effectiveness of all 4 FMCs. I am just simply not at a point where I can do that. I would rather ram my Korn Dogs into something and its usually pretty hard to fuck that up, at least with the people I play with. So I go to you asking for help not only with Flying Circus (although it certainly requires the most work) but also with the Warhammer in general, how Daemons function the game (against all armies and not just Eldar / Space Marines), what to look for when playing a game, forming a general game plan, correct use of psykic powers, noticing and maximizing bits of terrain etc.

The first couple things that I would like some extra advice on are listed below. I feel like this stuff is pretty easy for an experienced player but I have only been playing for about a year so I still feel I need help.

1. Forming a game plan from Turn One.
One thing that I noticed when I play games is that I usually don't have a real solid plan to win the game to about turn 3. At this point I really hope that one of my Daemon Princes doesn't die to an unfortunate case of being out of position. I also realized that it felt like in a lot of my games I was the guy that sat back and didn't really try to advance until much later in the game. Looking at battle reports and such it struck me how defensive Flying Circus feels and it was a significant change of pace then the beast rush down lists. Again, this is coming from inexperience but any advice from a better player would help.

2. Knowing how to approach all types of armies.
This one comes down primarily to experience but it happens a bit, especially in tournaments where a lot of players have mashed together lists. Its odd because I feel like I know how to play against Eldar armies most because that is where most of the advice is aimed toward. But what do I do against 150 ork boys and 40 lootas? I know the lists can beat most armies but with Flying Circues you really can't waste any time or points.

3. Psykic powers.

Not going to lie, psykic powers can get really confusing sometimes. We have access to all the good tables playing Daemons but knowing what table to roll on and units to use each power on can be so mind boggling hard to remember sometimes. Running a Flying Circus you usually have access to 3 tables and will want to maximize what each power does. Not too mention powers not going off and Deny the Witchs happening. It can and often gets hectic and hard to manage.

Again any advice is welcome. Looking over the email I realize I mostly just need experience playing the game but I am still sending it haha. No other Daemon players in town to talk to so your blog is often times the only discussion I get to see regarding my favorite book. Anyway cheers and have a good day.

Sincerely, Mom's Spaghetti

Andrew does Chaos Space Marines and modeling/painting stuff around here! I handle flying circus stuff, and I’m beginning to suspect Bill Kim was eaten by a yak.

Anyway, this will be part one in a series of I-don’t-know-how-many posts on playing a flying circus the right way. Often when I watch a battle report that involves a circus player, I’ll see them say “Wuh, I don’t feel like I did anything wrong!” even though they got their butts kicked by a bunch of Necrons on foot. In this installment, we’ll address your first point: how to form a game plan. It’s easier than you think.

From the sound of things, you’ve noticed that the circus is a pretty passive animal. Defensive isn’t the right word. Defensive means sitting there and daring the other guy to come at you, which is how Tau usually play. The circus is a finesse army that picks its spots, unless you’re playing Kenny Boucher’s Nurgle version, in which case it’s sometimes played a bit more aggressively. Most people who screw it up do so by exposing themselves to too much enemy firepower too early, and they lose the battle of attrition. The dirty little secret of the circus is that it can say “I’m not playing” pretty much until turn 5 if it needs to.

The general principle I live by with the circus is that you can’t use what you don’t have, so don’t lose anything. My general goal going into every fight is to have at least three FMC’s alive by turn 5 to contest objectives. If this means playing like a gutless wonder for four whole turns, so be it. My theory of play is that if I can keep most of my stuff alive, get first blood and linebreaker, I can contest all the objectives/keep the other guy off the relic/win on kill points, and at the very worst, win 2-1, no matter what game I’m playing. So, if it’s a W-L tournament, I’m going for the 2-1 win most of the time because it’s low-risk, high-probability. If I get more points, that’s cool, but all I care about is the W.

That is your game plan, every single game. Of course, the particulars of how you go about it change depending on who you’re facing. What I did to Ian’s Beaststar and Chewie’s Seer Council is not what I do to Drop Wolves, for example. But we’re not going over strategies against different armies in this piece.

Beyond your overall strategy to win 2-1, it is really tough to plan more than two turns in advance in anything but the most general sense because the other guy gets a vote.

On the first turn, what I generally do is look for a weakness in my opponent’s deployment and exploit it if I can. I’ll also make a target priority list in my head. Really this goes for any army I’m playing, but the target priority for the circus is a bit different. Generally, threats to the FMC’s need to go first, then scoring, then everything else. However, in the early going, when the other guy has all his toys, you pick what spots you can, but mostly, you favor staying alive above all else.

That’s the foundation of any game plan. You do not go exposing any of your precious units to a ton of firepower because unless they have a 2+ re-rollable, they will probably die. This happened to my opponent J. in the mirror match I played last month. Getting first blood was the key to the game. He had a Nurgle Prince who didn’t get Iron Arm or Endurance, so I picked on it. On his first turn, he moved his FMC’s as a group toward the board center rather than flying the Nurgle Prince off. So I hit it with psychic shriek and a hades Drake, and boom, he loses first blood and is playing down one FMC for the rest of the game.

The same thing happened to me back before I learned to use the circus properly, I had puppet master on my Grimoire Prince, and flew him to within 24” of a Manticore to shoot rockets at my IG opponent. The Grimoire Prince was then grounded and blasted with plasma because I exposed him to a ton of firepower. That little mistake cost me a tournament, but I learned that flying up to the other guy’s entire army with your 4 or 5 baddies and going BANG! BANG! BANG! don’t work so hot. Save that crap for the bomb list.

The most important thing to remember is that your default move is always to bug out. If you have no smart play, you don’t play. You fly off the board. That is always your fallback. If you can’t take something out with low risk of losing that MC, you do not take the risk. It’s like throwing the ball away in football. Live to play another down unless it’s the fourth quarter and you have to make a play.

I think we’ve covered the basics enough. Play like a huge pussy, and you should be in the fight until the end.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Here is a sneak peek at the new IG codex.  Enjoy!

Via PianoSam! 

This looks pretty cool - some kind of Hydra alternative. 

*EDIT* Reported to be BS3 12/10/10 with 3 Hull Points. Shoots a 48" Str 4 AP6 Blast, with Barrage, Blast, Ignores Cover and Shred - so no, it is NOT a Hydra Alternative but meant for Anti-Infantry.  

Aaaand here we see the original Hydras. 

And I think something we've all been waiting for - Orders!