Live Stream Ad Mech vs Eldar

Gooood morning ladies and gentlemen! I’ve recently come into possession of a beautifully converted Dark Mechanicus themed Ad Mech army, so of course I have to play it. But, because playing Ad mech wasn’t enough of a challenge, I decided to try them out against my own post-FAQ Eldar list.

Tomorrow, Wednesday 5/2 at 6:30pm EST I will be playing Amir Golpoor, the noob slayer. this will be on The Brown Magic facebook page and will be free to watch, so be sure to check it out!

Here are the lists we will be using!

Nick Nanavati Amir Golpoor
Stygies Battalion Aliatoc Battalion
Enginseer 47 Farseer 110
Enginseer 47 Farseer 110
5 Rangers 35 5 Rangers 60
5 Rangers 35 5 Rangers 60
5 Rangers 35 5 Rangers 60
5 Rangers 35 Wave Serpent 129
5 Rangers 35 Wave Serpent 129
5 Rangers 35
6 Shooty chickens- 5 twin las, 1 twin autp 550 Mixed Supreme Command
6 Combat Chickens- taser goads 408 Spiritseer <biel tan> 65
Spiritseer <aliatoc> 65
Assassin Vanguard Warlock <aliatoc> 55
Cullexus 85
Cullexus 85 Ynari Outrider
Cullexus 85 Cat Lady (WL) 132
Maugan Ra 140
Custodes Supreme Command 20 Guardians- 2 shuriken cannons <Ultwe> 190
Shield Captain on Bike 160 9 Shining Spears- star lance <biel tan> 281
Shield Captain on Bike 160 5 Swooping Hawks- Talon <biel tan> 68
Shield Captain on Bike 160 5 Swooping Hawks- Talon <biel tan> 68
8 Reapers- Tempest 277

Nick Nanavati vs Mike Brant /Finale

Today’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! After ~96 hours of waiting your patience is finally being rewarded! You can see how the epic clash of titans comes to a close in my third and final part of this epic tale. If you missed parts 1 or 2, or just want to reread them because they’re amazing, I even linked them here for your convenience.

Nick Nanavati Vs Mike Brandt: Part 1

Nick Nanavati vs Mike Brandt: Part 2

But wait there’s more! At  the end of this lovely article, I go onto highlight the key takeaways of the game and how you should analyze your own games after the fact!

A quick recap for those of you keeping up, my berzerkers just got out and cleaned up most of Mike’s character’s. Mike then responded by unloading the last of his guardsmen in my face, killing the berzerkers and trying to reclaim the left flank.

On the other side of the board, I killed Mike’s tertiary unit early and then quickly abandoned that side of the board so I could concentrate my efforts on the left side. Here’s a picture of how the game looked at the end of turn 3.

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And now onto the good stuff.

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Here’s a look at the game after bottom of 4.

-I charged my exalted champion into the little combat with guardsmen vs Dark Apostle, and turned them into mince meat.

-The bloat drones evaporated the last 10 man floating about and charged into a bunch of characters and a taurox to keep them under control.

-The psychic phase was a bit less forgiving. In my last turn I spent my last CP to keep ahriman alive from the world’s fastest bike captain, only to have him perils and kill himself on his first power this turn. Another prince also perilsed for the second time this game.

-Collectively, both princes charging, smiting and a bloat drone shooting brought down the shield captain and the BA jump captain that were in my deployment zone.

I did what I needed to this turn, but took a lot of silly wounds to perils doing it. And in the end game stages of a grindy game like this, little wounds add up.

-Mike’s portion of the turn saw him scoring another recon point, and 2 points towards his primary, slowly bringing himself back into the game score wise.

-He started positioning his remaining 2 shield caps near the action

-Mephiston, Lord of the Butt Kicking, decided to go Super Saiyan and chop a bloat drone in half. That was really sad.

-Ahriman killing himself and Mephiston killing a bloat drone was also enough to give mike another moment of bloodshed to close the point gap even further.

This was mostly a turn of positioning for Mike and setting himself up to really score on turns 5 and 6. Mike’s 2 remaining shield captains are about to pounce and I’m running out of physical models to keep up on the objective front, as I’m down to essentially 2 princes, 2 bloat drones and 2 rhinos.

Here’s the score after 4:

Nick Mike
End Game Objectives Progressive objectives 3
Moment of Bloodshed 3 Recon 4
Cull the Hordes 4 Old School 1
Head Hunter 4 Moment of Bloodshed 3
Tertiary Nurglings 2 Tertiary 10 infantry 1
Tertiary Nurglings 2 Tertiary 5 Scouts 2
Total 15 Total 14

 

Here’s a picture after my turn 5.

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-Mikes sentinel and shield captain (not pictured in turn 4) were camping my top right objective, so I was working on removing them, but it wasn’t happening quickly enough, and on top of that the shield captain was ob sec-ing my objective.

-My two princes and bloat drone went to work on the last bit of Mike’s characters, finishing Mephiston, the priest, and his last commander.

The left half of the board is well under control as it’s basically 2 princes, dark apostle, exalted champ, a rhino and a bloat drone vs a shield captain and 3 Tauroxes. The issue is that I’m really low on killing power and model count, and Mike only has hard targets left over there and bottom of turn. The game is coming to a close to finishing  it out from there with a lot of objectives may prove to be difficult.

Mike’s bottom of 5:

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-Given the abandonment of the right side of the table, Mike was finally able to rack up a lot of points on his primary, which unfortunately pulled him ahead. Though, I still have yet to account for my end game objectives.

-Mike drove his tauroxes and sentinel to the top left and bottom left objectives. Putting 2 models on each, basically ensures that one of them is held through the turn.

-His ob sec shield captain boltered away my wounded exalted champion and then charged in and killed a weakened prince (the prince who perilsed twice throughout the game already). He then finished on the middle objective, with ob sec, making my life even more difficult.

Mike was in a great spot, he wrestled back board control and is now scoring progressively on the bottom of 5. Unfortunately, I have one turn left to finish Mike off and secure some objectives, but he seems to have too many obnoxious things like Tauroxes left, and I’m running out of offensive potential.

Nick Mike
End Game Objectives Progressive objectives 9
Moment of Bloodshed 4 Recon 4
Cull the Hordes 4 Old School 1
Head Hunter 4 Moment of Bloodshed 4
Tertiary Nurglings 2 Tertiary 10 infantry 1
Tertiary Nurglings 2 Tertiary 5 Scouts 2
Total 16 Total 21

Nick’s turn 6:

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I saw the opening. It was a hail mary but it was all I had. I abandoned the objective with the ob sec bike captain. The prince went over to the top left objective. He needed to finish the sentinel with 3 wounds left with smite, then charge and kill the taurox. On the bottom left I needed my bloat drone and dark apostle to kill a taurox with 6 wounds left.

None of that was “average” but that’s why they call in a hail mary!

-The prince went in and landed the smite on the sentinel. He then charged the Taurox and rolled 3 6’s on his hit rolls, giving me a total of 10 attacks! There was a chance! And then I followed up the 10 3+ to wound rolls with 7 1’s/2’s. And then the Taurox lived. On the bottom left of the board the bloat drone and apostle managed a whole 1 wound onto the Taurox.

And thus the hail mary failed, and we called it there. Victory to Mike and his little green plastic army men.

I wanted to give such a highly detailed and tactical report of this battle because it really highlighted some of the excellent macro-40k skills necessary to win. There were multiple times where Mike had an abundance of options, and I set out a lot of traps and bait for him to fall for, but he stuck to his plan and ignored them all. Furthermore, Mike was in a very down and losing position for most of the game, and most players would have gotten overly aggressive in order to compensate, where Mike didn’t.

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Now, let’s cover what the takeaways were.

The first thing you should look at when you review your game is what you could have done better or differently. In my opinion the biggest thing I screwed up was my berzerkers. I got them out on turns 2 and 3, with the intent of gaining tempo, denying points, establishing board control, and removing Mike’s ability to score tertiaries. All of these things fell in line with my overall plan, which was to establish a points lead and force Mike into becoming overly aggressive, which I could then capitalize on. This plan had a fundamental flaw: it was contingent on Mike making a mistake. Any plan that relies on your opponent screwing up is not a good plan.

The game devolved into a grindy character and vehicle mosh towards the end, which I very well could have won, but that left the game to mercy of the dice ie. the few perils and prince whiffs costing me dearly. Now, I personally preach to never blame dice, so instead of looking at the game from the perspective of I lost to some dice because my prince whiffed some saves or Ahriman perilsed, I looked at what I did wrong, and reached the conclusion of the berzerkers.

Finally, I’m sure you’re curious how I could used the berzerkers differently to reach a different end game scenario. The only other option I had for them was to just sit in the rhinos and hang out in mid field thank’s to Mike’s lack of shooting, but that could have created a situation where Mike was able to nickel and dime me for points in the early turns and reverse the situation, since I wouldn’t be killing anything due to my lack of shooting as well. So, the real remedy to this situation would have been to alter my list a bit to have more options. If I could do it again, I’d try to work in a unit of Noise marines (probably by dropping a prince). That way I could interact with my opponent without committing a significant portion of my force to combat.

The point of all this was to convey how to critically think about your games and list choices to really make improvements moving forward. Next time you lose, or even win, try to be really critical, self reflective, and objective about how everything played out and what could have gone differently.

Stay tuned for Thursday’s article. It’ll be part one of a new 3 part series written by the newest list doctor, Matt Root, on playing to lose!

 

 

Nick Nanavati vs Sean Nayden live stream

Tonight at 6pm EST Nick Nanavati vs Sean Nayden on The Brown Magic Premium! Sean is the Captain of the Team America ETC team, multi GT winner, previous LVO winner, and all around excellent player. I will be playing Eldar, and I don’t know what Sean will be using, though I expect it to be Dark Eldar?

To subscribe to The Brown Magic Premium just follow the directions on the website

https://thebrownmagic.com/services/

Be sure to subscribe and check it out!

Nick Nanavati vs Mike Brandt: Part 2

Back for more I see? In today’s retold story of the epic struggle between red plastic army men vs green plastic army men I cover turns 2 and 3 of my game with Mike. If you missed all the pregame nonsense and turn 1, please go back catch that here so this game makes sense contextually. Turns 2 and 3 are when the game really started to heat up and things got interesting, so without further ado…

Turn 2 saw me try to create a points disparity between me and Mike.

I felt pressure to act because Mike’s mortars were going to slowly chip my nurglings away to deny my tertiaries and I couldn’t keep pace in the fire fight. Additionally, Mike’s sentinels were going to continue getting him recon points, while my secondaries were all centered around killing things, so I had to make a move.

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-My nurglings secured 2 more tertiary points for me

-The berzerkers on the right got out and moved towards the guard on the hill. I then cast prescience and warp time on them from Ahriman (who stayed out of deny range of Mephy) to make the charge automatic, and more importantly, get them within 12″ of the red objective secured unit on the board edge so I could declare them as a charge target.

-I brought their rhino back to help screen my back field from the Smash Captain. Again,the pic doesn’t accurately represent my screening, but the back field was properly screened from Mr. Hammerpants.

-I started making more of a push onto the left side of the field, because I figured once the berzerkers do their thing on the right, that half of the board can be ignored for the remainder of the game, as I’d be better off completely dominating the left half after removing Mike’s potential for a tertiary point and leveraging the fact he already missed a potential secondary in the form of first strike.

-My general strategy after seeing how Mike played first turn quickly turned into nickel and diming him for a small but significant point lead. This would in turn pressure him into making overly aggressive moves to close the gap, which I could then further capitalize upon.

-In the assault phase I charged the 10 guardsmen right in front of me, 3 mortars, and the 10 red guardsmen in the back. I was also very deliberate to keep them out of 12″ of the shield captains during my initial charge move, because getting counter charged by them is a one way trip to sadsville. I split my attacks so that 3 guys swung onto the mortars and 5 swung on the 10 guard for the initial fight. The plan was, that would be enough to kill them, then on the second fight activation I’d be able to pile into the 10 objective secured guardsmen in the back and kill them, locking Mike out of scoring that tertiary anymore. Well, as all plans in 40k go, it didn’t work. Mike showed the true skill in 40k and passed 6/11 6+ saves for his mortar team to survive with one wound left. Consequentially, I had to use my entire second fight activation to put 300 wounds on the one remaining mortar, then spend 3CP to fight again to kill 10 whole guardsmen because they were objective secured and my entire turn hinged on them dying.

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-Mike’s turn 2, he didn’t actually score any progressive points because my berzerkers cleared him off the objective which he was previously holding. He was also only able to capture 1 objective with his scouts.

-Similarly, since I tossed my zerkers into one of his ob sec units he was only able to capture 1 tertiary point.

-He swung 2 shield captains over to dismantle my berzerkers on the right hand side, and he brought his 3rd to the middle to be reactive as needed.

-On the left he started to finally make the push with his tauroxes (the picture is a little generous to how far they could move, but you get the idea).

-Mike almost disembarked the 30 guardsmen from the tauroxes to better defend that portion of the board, but ultimately decided against it, because they would’ve just been vaporized. Mike’s plan was to wait me out and try get me to overextend with my offensive potential so he could capitalize on that, which is why he was considering disembarking. He also felt a lot of pressure to act because he knew he was falling behind the points race. But with sine excellent generalship, he decided to stick to his guns and just hang tight for another turn.

Remember how my plan was to get him to be overly aggressive by creating a points disparity, so I could further dig him into a hole? This was him not falling for it.

-Mike also finished up my cutlists, since I decided not to tide them last turn, and thanks to some very hot mortars he was able to blow away both nurgling units- locking me out of my tertiary for the rest of the game.

Here’s the score after turn 2

Nick Mike
End Game Objectives Progressive objectives 0
Moment of Bloodshed 1 Recon 2
Cull the Hordes 1 Old School 0
Head Hunter 0 Moment of Bloodshed 1
Tertiary Nurglings 2 Tertiary 10 infantry 1
Tertiary Nurglings 2 Tertiary 5 Scouts 2
Total 6 Total 6

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-Turn 3 is when I went for Mike’s throat, and tried to seal the deal.

-In the back field I ran out of screening units so I gave one prince (the ont on the hill) a 3++ and through him out to the smash captain. On average he shouldn’t die so I felt like it was more bait than anything else.

-The berzerkers disembarked from the rhino and into the building. Ahriman then cast warp time on them again and prescience to make the charge automatic, and to get within 12″ of all of Mike’s characters. The plan here was to demolish the ob sec scout unit and the 1 infantry unit out in front, then use my second and third fight activation to gut all the squishy guard characters. More on that later.

-The rhino that the zerkers disembarked from did the classic shuffle and bumped into 3 different Tauroxes to keep them from shooting in the following turn.

-The bloat drones just went to work on crowd control.

-In the fight phase, I was able to quickly dispatch the guard unit and scout unit. Then in my second fight activation I engaged stracken and 1 commander. I put 6 dudes on straken and 3 dudes on the commander. To be clear this was 4 attacks each, hitting on 2s, triggering exploding 5s, and I vets them so they’d wound on 2s. Stracken had to take like 21 5+ saves or something. And of course, he lived. So that was lovely. I then had to use my 3rd fight to finish stracken and kill 2more commanders. So in total it wasn’t terrible, I killed stracken, and 3 commanders, leaving Mike with a priest and 2 more commanders. But, if I managed to kill all of them, the whole flank would’ve been far less of a pain to manage in the future.

 

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So, despite some god-tier saves from Mike, I was still commanding the game. We had both traded our tertiary units, but I was able to get 1 more point out of mine than Mike was from his. I also denied Mike first strike, so that’s a secondary he could just never achieve. On the progressive objective front, I’ve been dominating the board, so Mike was only able to score 1 point this turn.

-Mike disembarked the Guardsmen, and tried to take shots on my berzerkers, and princes as he could. Every wound counts I guess. Then he charged them into my Dark Apostle to try and trap me in combat to survive the oncoming bloat drones. One unit failed its charge, while the other made it, but lost 3 guys to the apostle in combat.

-The Tauroxes all fell back into different directions to ensure I couldn’t rhino slide them again, and for good measure, a sentinel charged my rhino too.

-Mephiston went to town on the berzerkers with smite and blood boil (who even takes that) then charged in with him and the commanders, but finally he had a turn of whiff city and somehow 3 berzerkers survived and chopped up the 2 remaining commanders. Unfortunately, the brave zerkers who could ran away after all that and died.

-The world’s fastest shield captain raced across the table and made a 9″ charge into Ahriman. I used my last CP to reroll a save for Ahriman to keep him alive with 1 wound left. Ahriman, being the smite factory he is, seemed really important to me at this juncture of the game as Mike just had tough targets left for the most part.

-The shield captain who could went for the charge on the 3++ prince. He made me take 4 invuls, of which I failed 3 and promptly died. Yeah, that was average…. Also he was my Warlord so Mike got a free point there.

-On the other half of the board, Mike just moved his captains about and stood on objectives.

Here’s the score after Mike’s turn 3.

Nick Mike
End Game Objectives Progressive objectives 1
Moment of Bloodshed 2 Recon 3
Cull the Hordes 3 Old School 1
Head Hunter 4 Moment of Bloodshed 2
Tertiary Nurglings 2 Tertiary 10 infantry 1
Tertiary Nurglings 2 Tertiary 5 Scouts 2
Total 13 Total 10

As you can see, my plan is still working, as I’ve successfully nickeled and dimed Mike for a lead in points. Not only that, but all my objectives are to be scored at the end of the game, whereas Mike has already missed some of his opportunities to rack up points on his primary.

The game is entering the grindy phase, Were’ both almost down to vehicles and characters. Check back in on Tuesday to see if Mike can make a comeback from this one!

Nick Nanavati Vs Mike Brandt: Part 1

About a week and a half ago I played Mike Brandt in a featured challenge match to the death! The game was streamed live with commentary and technical support from Werner Born and Brad Nichols (who I definitely still owe beer to for that). But sadly, it was lost to the internet as I didn’t properly understand how twitch worked.  BUT, the game was simply too good to forget. Honestly, in 14 years of playing 40k, I can’t recall many games I’ve played that were so tactically engaging, deep, and evenly matched. So, with the help of Mike Brandt, who recreated pictures for me to use from vassal, I’ve been able to reconstruct the game for anyone who may have missed it live.

To be completely honest, when I envisioned writing this article I expected it to be able to fit it into one article. Whilst writing the first turn, I realized that it would need to be broken up into 2 parts. Then, as I got into writing turn 2 and was at 1500 words, I realized this would need to become a 3-part series to truly capture the tactical depth of this game.

The link above has our lists, and it was a classic struggle of Chaos vs Imperium for those too lazy to click it. The mission was NOVA mission 1 with the classic Dawn of War Deployment Style.

*insert shameless plug here* NOVA is a fantastic convention held every Labor Day in the DC area. It features 4-5 different 40k tournaments ranging from an invitational with a $1000 cash prize, a 256 person open GT, and a narrative tournament where players battle in a Washington DC-esque world. Thousands of gamers travel from all over each year to attend, and personally, it’s one of my favorite conventions every year!

Now, returning to our regularly scheduled battle report after that short commercial break.

Nova format requires players to choose 1 of 2 primary goals. These typically involve capturing objectives, either progressively throughout the game, or at the end of the game. They also require players to choose 3 secondary’s which you achieve throughout the game as well (much like ITC), and finally, for the tertiary, they require that you nominate 2 units at the start of the battle to be objective secured. These units score points during your turn by capturing an objective, but if they do this they cannot shoot or charge. Note that if these units die, you just can’t score any more points towards this tertiary objective.

For the actual packet click here

With all that in mind, here are the missions we each chose:

Nick Mike
End Game Objectives Progressive objectives
Moment of Bloodshed Recon
Cull the Hordes Old School
Head Hunter  Moment of Bloodshed
Tertiary Nurglings Tertiary 10 infantry
Tertiary Nurglings Tertiary 5 Scouts

Let’s take a look at our deployments:

-The 6 objectives are the 6 little circles scattered in a hexagon shape around the table.

-Mike had waaaaay more drops than me, so I had to deploy my army centrally to mitigate the impact of Mike’s reactive deployment. If I were to choose one side to concentrate on, Mike could deploy on the completely opposite side of the board, because he had enough drops to completely wait me out.

-Mike recognized that deploying in the middle would enable me to leverage the strength of my assault oriented/short ranged army so he wisely deployed in the corners to try and tempt me into spreading my forces out to fight his vastly larger army on two fronts.

-Mike placed his sentinels at the edges of his deployment zone on the sides, they scouted up before the game began and worked their way up the very edges of the table. This ensured that my tide of traitors would be far less valuable until they were dealt with.

*Note the only thing in reserve was Mike’s jump captain.

I won the roll for first and Mike failed to seize.

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This was my first turn. As you can see here, Mike’s sentinels wisely scouted up the sides as I explained before to prevent me from tiding the cultists turn one, warp timing (this game was pre-FAQ) and charging his army off the board.

-I walked my nurglings up to secure the two secondary objectives with them.

-I basically just advanced everything forward. I smited most of one guard unit away and shot 4 out of 5 scouts in one unit. This was mostly a move to establish board control. -Mike’s picture doesn’t accurately capture this, but I did have my backfield completely screened so his sneaky JP captain couldn’t come in behind me and surprise kill a character.

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-This was Mike’s first turn. His sentinels started sprinting up the field to snag his recon point, and continue the tide blocking.

-He moved his scouts on the left up to secure their objective, and he moved his red guard unit to secure the other on the right. He then used Move Move Move! on them to run them back to safety (That’s what the green arrows represent).

-Mike didn’t get aggressive at all because running towards an army of berzerkers and bloat drones seems suicidal. I recognized that as a weakness to Mike’s plan though, because he chose progressive scoring and not moving doesn’t really help you score progressively.

-Mike did have one advantage here: time. My secondaries all centered around killing him, so despite him choosing progressive scoring forcing him into moving to score points, I also chose active secondaries, forcing me to kill him to score points. This created a very interesting dynamic as both of our armies were perfectly content trying to wait out the other person, but neither could wait long.

-Mike shot a billion mortars and auto cannons at one of my objective secured nurgling units and left it alive with 2 wounds left. This meant I could get another turn of scoring out of that little guy.

-Mike wisely shot just enough cultists that I would have to spend CP to keep them alive from morale, and then more CP if I wanted to tide them back to full strength, but the tide would only really be able to come back into my own deployment zone, because of the Sentinels.

-I chose to spend the CP to keep the cutlists alive, to deny Mike First strike on his Old School secondary.

Score at end of 2:

Nick Mike
End Game Objectives Progressive objectives 0
Moment of Bloodshed 0 Recon 1
Cull the Hordes 0 Old School 0
Head Hunter 0 Moment of Bloodshed 0
Tertiary Nurglings 1 Tertiary 10 infantry 1
Tertiary Nurglings 1 Tertiary 5 Scouts 1

As of now the game is pretty even, but things really heat up in turns 2 and 3 which will be the focus of Thursday’s article, so be sure to check that out too!

 

Live Stream Eldar/Ynari vs DG/Daemons

Hello ladies and gentlemen! I have exciting news for you all! Tomorrow (Monday 4/23) at 6:30pm EST I will be playing against John Parsons in a live stream battle! This game will be streamed on The Brown Magic Premium, which is a members only facebook group. To learn more about the exclusive group, or to join click here! The battle will also be saved and recorded on the Premium member site for anyone who can’t watch it live but wants to watch it later!

We will playing with the new FAQ rules in a Nova style mission. Become a member and see if the newly nerfed Eldar can stand up to the newly buffed DG/Daemons! It should be a great game!

Just to add another teaser to it, here are our lists:

Nick Nanavati John Parsons
Aliatoc Battalion Deathguard Battalion
Farseer 110 Daemon Prince- wings, talons (WL) 180
Farseer 110 Necrosius 120
5 Rangers 60 Foul Blightspawn 77
5 Rangers 60 Biology Professor 74
5 Rangers 60 7 Plague Marines- 2 blight launchers, lots of knives 139
Wave Serpent 129 11 Cultists 44
Wave Serpent 129 11 Cultists 44
Bloat Drone- flamey flames 158
Mixed Supreme Command Bloat Drone- flamey flames 158
Spiritseer <biel tan> 65 Plagueburst Crawler- flamey flames 140
Spiritseer <aliatoc> 65 Plagueburst Crawler- flamey flames 140
Warlock <aliatoc> 55 Rhino- 2 CB

 

74
Chaos Daemon Supreme Command
Ynari Outrider Spoilpoc Scrivener 75
Cat Lady (WL) 132 Daemon Prince- Wings, Talons 180
Maugan Ra 140 Poxbringer 70
20 Guardians- 2 shuriken cannons <Ultwe> 190
9 Shining Spears- star lance <biel tan> 281 Daemon Auxillary
5 Swooping Hawks- Talon <biel tan> 68 9 Plaguedrones- icon, instrument 321
5 Swooping Hawks- Talon <biel tan> 68
8 Reapers- Tempest 277

 

Introducing the New List Doctor

Hello ladies and gentlemen today is very special as it marks a day of expansion for the Brown Magic! Today I’ve brought Adepticon Champion, former ITC circuit champion, and literal doctor, Matt Root to help with list doctor services!

Due to an outstanding influx of list doctor requests lately Matt has graciously offered to help me with them. Matt’s 40k resume is nearly as impressive as mine, and who better to add to The Brown Magic team then the previous ITC champion and the only person to ever defeat me at Adepticon?

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To give you some breakdowns on army and style specializations I’ve compiled a list of specialties where Matt and I differ to help you guys make decide who you want to seek help from.

Nick Matt
-Favors a passive/reactive style -Favors aggression and threat overload
-Enjoys janky assault moves and maneuverabilty -Favors brute force and hyper efficiency
-Very patient player -Hyper aggressive player
-Very finesse oriented -Human version of an Ork
Armies of Specialty Armies of Specialty
-All things Chaos -Orks
-Eldar -Chaos
-Tyranids -Tyranids
-Blood Angels -Dark Eldar

Now, of course both Matt and I are top tier 40k players, who are familiar with various styles, strategies, and armies. Simply because an army isn’t listed there, doesn’t mean we can’t help you! That’s simply to give you an idea of what we feel most comfortable with given the armies we’ve personally used the most.

Moving forward with any list doctor requests please consider which you prefer between Matt or myself, and welcome Matt to the team!

FAQ Breakdown Part 2

Hello my fellow nerd friends! On Monday GW released their long awaited Spring FAQ, so naturally on Tuesday I came out with my FAQ review. However, the FAQ was so earth-shattering I decided it’d be better to break the FAQ down into two parts to properly give respect to the ramifications of its rules erratas. In my previous article, I just briefly covered the main changes the FAQ brought and generally touched on their impact on the overall game,  Today I’m going to get into specific detail about how it will impact different armies and how I can foresee the meta shifting.

First and foremost, the game is going to slow down. I’m not talking about the game physically taking longer to play, but the game will start to utilize all 6 turns as opposed to its current state where 90% of games are decided by turn 3. The double whammy that reserves took will mean that deep striking, moving again, fighting twice and gutting someone turn 1 (or even potentially turn 2) is now a thing of the past. This will naturally reduce the damage that a player can deal on any given turn, which will, in-turn, make the game spread out over more turns. From a time perspective, where most turn ones typically take 30+ minutes, now you will start to see that length of time disperse over many different turns.

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A common belief among a lot of competitive players right now is that shooting will once again reign supreme in 40k, as they no longer should fear getting charged turn 1, nor do they have to worry about screening so thoroughly. This is a legitimate concern, and I understand where these guys are coming from. That said, the Rule of Three coupled with the increased cost of Fire Raptors and Reapers means that the only armies that are capable of being a true gun line style are Tau and Guard. Guard and Tau (Guard more so) suffer from being a shooty army that mostly hits on 4’s across the board and typically have very high drop count. While that may not be horrible, it’s certainly a weakness.

Eldar can stack multiple negatives to hit to work around the garbage BS that Tau and Guard have, then close in and leverage their ludicrous offense against the pitifully squishy Tau and Guard armies.

Other armies, such as Custodes, Nids and Orks, who will likely have turn 1 against such high drop count armies, can really leverage that with their speed to just deploy,  go first, and get to grips with the Tau/Guard armies. This will be especially easy if you’re playing on a board with the infamous NOVA L’s or LVO magic bunkers, because you will be able to launch charges from out of LOS to mitigate a potentially devastating overwatch.

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Now, you may look at it from the lens of “Well I’m not playing Custodes, Orks, Nids, or Eldar so what can I do?” Understand that these are real concerns for serious players taking pure shooty Tau and Guard armies; more than real, it is in fact likely (due to +1 to go first) that they lose these games. So, the question that actually gets posed back to the Tau and Guard players is – What are they going to do to cover up their weaknesses to these kinds of armies? Well, the answer to that is to diversify. Gunline players must start taking units that counter charge, or at least have ample mobility to give them a fighting chance in these kinds of games. But, a cool thing that happens when you spend points on things to make your army more balanced: it becomes less extreme! And then Tau and Guard are just reasonably shooty armies, which hopefully, you can handle with your also reasonable Chaos, Blood Angel, or whatever army.

That’s a long term look at what I expect will happen to the meta once it reaches an equilibrium. In the short term, you probably will see an up-tick in lopsided gun line style lists, as many players will see that as their free one-way ticket to Winsville. And unfortunately, that will probably work unless you are going out of your way to play something that will handle their extreme fire power. So, as a player in the SHORT TERM meta of 40k, if you want to give yourself the best shot at winning you should probably acknowledge the directional shift the meta is going to progress in.

Phew… That was a lot of words, but I’m not done just yet! I want to just cover how certain armies are going to have to adapt to the new world we live in.

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Tau- Tau just got directly better because of the new reserve rules, and the fact that they typically didn’t need to spam much to do well. Good time to be a fish lover.

Blood Angels- As far as I know the verdict isn’t out yet for how the Wings of Fire strat and the new reinforcement rules interact, but assuming they don’t work, BA armies are going to have to look for more fire support (potentially from guard) in order to make up for the pressure they lost turn 1.

Tyranids- Tyranids obviously can’t spam Flyrants anymore, but that was a crutch for the weak anyway. More assault oriented armies with solid fire support based around Stealers, Swarmlord, Hiveguard, Warriors, etc will finally see their day in the sun.

Orks– 90 Storm boyz that no longer kill themselves, Weridboyz chucking big smites everywhere, and bikes all got buffed here! Not too shabby for the lowly index.

SM/DA- Well, the only success these guys seemed to be having on the highest levels of competition seemed to be spamming fliers, and now that’s gone. I’m not sure if these have a place as more than just an ally unfortunately.

40k meme

Eldar- The most controversially affected codex it seems. Many players seem to think Eldar wasn’t nerfed at all, but let me assure you they most certainly were. Reapers going up in cost makes them unspammable. I’ve tried making lists with the new point costs, and 7 points a model coupled with the psycher point increases adds up fast. Furthermore, the reason Eldar were so strong was their dynamic mobility with deep strike and quicken and soul burst. With all that going away you’re going to see a full shift in style. That said, Eldar are still going to be a top army- especially when combined with DE. Spears are still phenomenal, just not borderline unbeatable, as are Guardians. Serpents remained unchanged. And remember how I was talking about Eldar being a counter to guns because of their hit modifiers? I suggest you take another look at Eldar fliers and Warp Spiders.

Chaos– Well, Pox walker spam is dead, Cultist spam got punched in the balls, Tzangor bombs got nerfed, and now you can’t spam PBC, what’s a pour soul to do? I suggest trying to play a balanced army. Noise marines may actually see the light of day again, given how obnoxious they are to remove in cover (especially with their shoot when they die rule) they can actually cause you to at least participate in a fire fight. Hell Drakes have an insanely far move, and the ability to charge after doing it too, they’re a very unique tool for Chaos and I could see their inclusion being very helpful in the upcoming meta. Bloat Drones are still very strong and functionally independent which is incredibly important these days. And finally, Magnus and Morty may actually get to see the light of day again. Most of their problematic counters (save for Guard) have been nerfed in one way or another. Reapers shot up in points, to a point where they are now manageable in numbers, Fire Raptors and Gulliman is probably just not a thing anymore, and Tau can’t spam Ion heads to just pick them up. Not only that, but Magnus, in particular, is still incredibly valuable as he can very reliably get off his huge 2d6 smite every turn now (no negative mod to smite, and more CP from battalions will allow you to give him +2 to cast fairly often, followed by a gift of fate reroll) and Death Hex is still amazing.

So, in short, the sky isn’t falling. The meta will change. The good players will adapt. The bad players won’t. And water is still wet.

FAQ Breakdown part 1

After thousands of years of waiting our Games Workshop overlords have finally rewarded out patience with the new FAQ’s! https://www.warhammer-community.com/faqs/

Many people went in with some expectations, such as Flyrant nerfs, Reaper nerfs, Poxwalker nerfs etc… and they certainly weren’t wrong. But this FAQ did so much more than that. It fundamentally changed the core rules of 8th edition. The changes were actually so impactful I’m going to break down the FAQ in two parts. First I will go over the major changes in the FAQ, and then explain what I think that means for the game on the macro scale. And then in part two which will release Thursday I will put up a summary of how different armies were specifically affected and what I think the meta will look like.

Major FAQ Changes:

-No more soup detachments- What this means is practically a battalion of Celestine, Guard Commander, 3×10 infantry (a classic staple in a lot of competitive 40k lists) can no longer be taken. Every detachment must be “pure” as in no allies within a detachment.

-More CP for Battalions and Brigades– This change will help reward players for taking the more balanced  detachments50 as opposed to taking multiple vanguards and outriders. I think 5CP for a battalion may have been a bit ambitious and 4 would’ve been better, but it’s ultimately fine.

-0-3 on all non troops or DT- What an amazing balancing rule. I’m so happy with GW. They brought the game back from unbound without completely taking away people’s creative freedom in list building. Gone are the cancerous days of 7-10 Flyrants, enter the new era of diversity!

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-50% of your unit count and power level must be deployed– This honesyly doesn’t change much for most armies, as most people deployed over 50% of their forces in points total already. What this does really change is Tyranids though. It was possible and viable to have a completely reserve based Tyranid army, and I’m not even just talking about Flyrant spam. Genestealers in Nodes, Swarmlord in a pod, Mawlocs, Warriors and devourer gaunts tunneling with tons of mucloids deployed was very much a list concept, but for better or worse that is now gone.

-You can’t move after deep striking- This is so unbelievably huge. Gone are the days of deep striking 30 tzangors and casting warp time on them to charge an army turn 1. Deep strike quicken spears are a soon to be distant memory. Competitive 40k as we know it is going to change fundamentally.

-Anything that comes in from reserve turn 1 must go into your own deployment zone- This is one that really changes the fundamental dynamic style of 40k. Things like Guardian blobs and other similar units used to gain momentum really suffer here. Other shooty alpha strike units like obliterators and destroyers also lose a lot of their luster. Many armies that did not rely so heavily on deep strike will only see benefit from this rule though.

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There are a lot of other small changes such as points adjustments for Eldar and Nids, and a small change to the way Smite works but nothing overly significant there. The highlighted cliff notes above are really the brunt of the FAQ.

Now that I’ve covered what the major points of the FAQ are let me give some initial ideas on how this will ultimately impact the meta.

Due to the 0-3 limitations on “spammable” units like Flyrants, plagueburst crawlers, hammerheads etc… armies will naturally go extinct. With the removal of such extremes more balanced armies will be able to come back into the meta since they don’t have to worry about dealing with such harsh extremes on opposite ends of the meta spectrum. I mean, how could you expect a battle force, picturesque, Space Marine army to be taken seriously in a world of 7 flyrants on one hand and 300 pox walkers on the other? By design, the pseudo-force org that the Rule of Three creates will be really beneficial to the game.

The loss of being able to use deep strike to establish board control and gain momentum on turn 1 will really shift armies and what they value. Durable units that can take shooting for a bit while they wait for reinforcements will see more play, and faster units that can effectively redeploy will be more valuable to make up for the momentum loss.

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Prior to this FAQ most 40k games tend to be played within the first few turns (1-3), which led many games to being total blow outs and left one player feeling a bit left out. Thus far in the two games I’ve played under the new FAQ rules both have gone all the way to 6 without a clear winner being determined until at least 5. The mentality that everything is going to die within the first couple turns and it’s all about doing as much damage to the other guy as quickly as possible in order to succeed will soon subside. You’ll start to see list choices reflecting that, and the game will naturally slow down (from an action perspective not a time perspective).

Lastly, just because I love you all so much I will be holding a live Q&A session on facebook live tomorrow on The Brown Magic Facebook Page where I’ll be answering any questions you may have about the FAQ. The Q&A session will take place on Wednesday 4/18 at 1:30pm EST, so be sure to check in!

Also, stay tuned for Thursday’s article where I break down my opinions on how each army made out and what the meta will look like!

The Gauntlet is Thrown

The moment you’ve all been waiting two whole days for is almost upon us!

Sunday April 15th at 12pm EST

Nick Nanavati vs Mike Brandt

ITC Champ, LVO winner, 4-time Adepticon Champ, and 2-time Nova Invitational winner

VS

Play tester, NOVA Open CEO and Founder, LVO Top 8er, BFS Winner, and Vest-Wearer

Watch live on The Brown Magic Facebook Page

Nick Nanavati Mike Brandt
World Eaters Battalion Catachan Brigade
Dark Apostle 76 Stracken 75
Exalted Champion- power sword 74 Company Commander- power fist, plasma pistol 43
9 Berzerkers- chain axe, chain sword 153 Company Commander- power fist, plasma pistol 43
8 Berzerkers- chain axe, chain sword 136 Company Commander (WL) 30
40 Cultists- CCW, Pistol 160 Platoon Commander- power sword, boltgun 25
Rhino- 2 combi bolters 74 Platoon Commander- power sword, boltgun 25
Rhino- 2 combi bolters 74 Priest 35
Platoon Commander- power fist 28
Nurgle Outrider (Death Guard/Daemons) 10 Infantry 40
Chaos Daemon Daemon Prince- Wings, Talons 180 10 Infantry 40
Bloat Drone- 2 flamey flames 158 10 Infantry 40
Bloat Drone- 2 flamey flames 158 10 Infantry 40
Bloat Drone- 2 flamey flames 158 10 Infantry 40
3 Nurglings 54 10 Infantry 40
3 Nurglings 54 10 Infantry- mortar 45
10 Infantry- mortar 45
Thousand Sons Supreme Command Taurox- Auto cannon, storm bolter 76
Ahriman 131 Taurox- Auto cannon, storm bolter 76
Daemon Prince- Wings, Talons (WL) 180 Taurox- Auto cannon, storm bolter 76
Daemon Prince- Wings, Talons 180 Sentiner- Multi laser 45
Sentiner- Multi laser 45
Sentiner- Multi laser 45
3 Mortars 33
3 Mortars 33
3 Mortars 33
BA Battalion
Mephiston 145
Captain- Thunder hammer, jump pack 114
5 Scouts 55
5 Scouts 55
5 Scouts 55
Custodes Supreme Command
Shield Captain on Bike 160
Shield Captain on Bike 160
Shield Captain on Bike 160

 

 

 

Time to Get Tactical About Objectives

Good morning ladies and gentlemen (or evening depending on your locale)! Today I want to cover a topic rarely talked about- Objectives. Objectives are essentially the win condition for most games of competitive 40k, and yet they’re one of the least discussed aspects of the game strategically.  If you’re going to center your entire game plan around holding poker chips on a table, shouldn’t you try to optimize where they are?

First, I think it’s important to identify the different factors that you should consider from an objective placement standpoint.

-Your army’s overall strategy and play style

-Your opponent’s overall strategy and play style

-Terrain

-Deployment Style

-Match up

img_7635I’m going to preface all the things you should do or consider when placing objectives by showing what NOT to do. Here we see a standard table with objectives scattered about fairly evenly. This fundamentally demonstrates two players who didn’t really think strategically about where they were placing objectives when placing them. Rather, they just placed them “where they felt like” or “where they looked fine”. You will very rarely find a situation where both armies and players want an evenly dispersed and moderately spread objective placement like that. While it is possible you and your opponent’s goals align on where to place objectives (typically mirror matches or similar style lists), they still don’t want them in this conservative, middle of the road objective placement.

Many army styles naturally gravitate towards board control, combat capability, and keeping their forces centralized. Examples of this could be my Adepticon Chaos list, Ork hordes, Necrons etc… When playing with an army that has this style, be sure to place objectives in such a way that you don’t have to go out of your way to score them. You want to easily score objectives while working your army naturally.

 

 

Here’s a great example of how to set objectives as someone who plans on moving his army into the middle of the table. All the objectives are centrally placed, and 12″ from at least any other 2 objectives (as close as they can be). Imagine a horde of pox walkers sitting in the middle of the table there. They would own 4 objectives, meaning they can just sit there in the middle of the board doing nothing (their natural state of being) whilst simultaneously winning the game.

Now, you may be wondering why your opponent would let you do such a thing, but it’s actually super easy to set up. Imagine your opponent placed the first objective in the center (a conservative and natural move) then you can respond by placing the objective on the right hand side under the orange tape measure. Your opponent, who is “smart”, doesn’t want to load one side full of objectives against a pox walker horde, so he sets another objective on the far left, opposite the objective you just placed. You are now able to place the objective pictured at the bottom, creating the diamond-esque pattern featured above where your pox walkers can sit in happiness.

On the flip side, some armies who like to sit far away and maximize their mobility (I’m looking at you Eldar, DE, GK) want to spread the objectives as far as possible to leverage their speed advantage.

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I apologize for the picture quality, but if you look closely you can see 2 objectives in the bottom corners, 2 in a line down the middle, and one off in the top right corner. This is what would likely happen if the opponent of the pox walkers in the same above scenario placed objectives strategically. To demonstrate how it would work, Player A (let’s call him Eldar) places the objective in the top right hand corner. Player B places his first objective on the middle line of the board but nearest that objective to create an objective zone for him to camp his poxes. Player A responds and places an objective in the bottom left, opposite to his initial placement. Player B places his last objective in the center of the board- still within that little objective zone he’s created, but also acknowledging that he may have to actually work to capture the last objectives. Finally player A places his last objective in the bottom right corner, far away from that little objective castle.

But what do you do if you have an army that doesn’t particularly care where the objectives are due to its flexible play style? Simple: you try and determine what your opponent wants to do, and then actively place objectives to make his life as hard as possible. Remember, in this case, value taken away from the enemy = value gained for yourself.

Now that I’ve covered how strategic objective placement and army styles interact, lets talk about terrain. One really effective and fairly common tactic players employ when placing objective is putting them near line of sight blocking terrain, so a unit can hold an objective whilst being hidden from enemy shooting. This is an awesome tactic and one you should certainly make use of, but be cognizant of when NOT to do it. There’s no point in going out of your way to place an objective behind terrain against pox walkers that don’t have guns for example. This can actually even work against you, if your opponent can get to your hidden objective he can start controlling it whilst being immune to your shooting! The point here is to just take your specific opponent into consideration when making choices, don’t just go into auto pilot.

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Another aspect in objective placement which is seldom talked about is height. Unless the tournament you’re attending rules objectives to be infinite height, then placing them on different altitudes around the table can have a huge impact on the game.

 

 

On the left picture above we see a very happy Maulerfriend holding an objective. Everyone loves a happy Marulerfriend. He’s adorable. And on the right we see a very sad Maulerfriend who hasn’t learned how to climb stairs. On the other hand, the Autarch with his fancy shmancy jetbike is quite content sitting at the top of the ruin holding an objective and shooting his shuriken catapults at the poor Maulerfriend.

The next thing I want to cover is deployment style and objectives. This is a much more abstract concept, but understand that as the deployment style changes, the middle of the table and the edges of the table also change with it. So, be aware of how different deployments will fundamentally change “where the game is played” and act accordingly.

Finally, I think a huuuuge topic to cover is stacking objectives. How many times have you lost a game (or won a game) because you got the side of the board with all the objectives. While that may seem like luck, it could also be a byproduct of skill. If you are in a losing position match up wise and need a little luck to go your way in order to win the game, maybe you should stack the objectives to one side and just hope you win the roll. On the flip side, if you are on the favored side of a match up, you should actively try and spread the objectives to reduce the impact of winning the roll for sides.

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Imagine in the above map, a Tau player is playing hammer and anvil against an Ork horde. The Tau player obviously has most of the advantages being that the deployment maximizes the distance between them, so he does the classic Tau move and puts an objective deep into a deployment zone on the right.

*Note, he didn’t place his first objective in the center of the board because he read the first half of this article and learned placing an objective in the center against a board control army is bad.*

The Ork player recognizes he’s down in position match up wise, and decides to act strategically. (Very un-Orky I know). He responds by placing an objective on the same side as the Tau player’s objective (the right side). The Tau player wises up and puts his second objective on the left side to diversify the objective spread. The Ork player then doubles down and puts his second objective on the right side, realizing his down position in the match, and puts a lot of emphasis on the roll for sides. Finally, the Tau player just places his final objective on the left. From here if the Tau player wins the roll for sides and chooses the objective stack, he’s just going to win a game he should have won anyway. However, if the Ork player wins the roll for sides he may have flipped the odds so far in his favor that he actually wins the game.

As you can see, the difference between players placing objectives with care and thought is very different from players placing objectives with no rhyme or reason. There are strategic check points in literally every aspect and every choice of 40k, and that’s part of what makes it so cool. So, next time you get out there and place your objectives, really try and think about where and why you’re placing them where you are. That’s all for now folks, see you next Tuesday for another artistic masterpiece by yours truly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live Stream Challenge Match 4/15

What happens when an unstoppable force crashes into an old man? Find out Sunday when I play Mike Brandt in a 40k challenge match on live stream!

For those of you who don’t know who Mike is, he’s the founder and CEO of NOVA Open, one of the largest gaming conventions in America. He’s also not too shabby on the table either. Recently he just top 8’d LVO and he’s won many smaller GT’s in the past as well.

We’re going to be playing with the New NOVA missions, which I’ve actually never used, and Mike is developing. We’re also going to be playing in Casa de Brandt (Mike’s house) so he has all the home field advantages.

To toss another wrench into it, hopefully the new FAQ will be out by then, and if it is we will certainly be using it. So with that in mind, I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to be playing!

The match will be held on Sunday 4/15 and the time for the match is to be determined, but please check into The Brown Magic Facebook page for updates, and that’s where the stream will be held!

https://www.facebook.com/The-Brown-Magic-143252259677237/