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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Email in: [comp'd White Scars army, 1850]


"Hey Kirby,

Its stillfrosty here and even though we disagree completely on the way White Scars work, but I am looking for your opinion on a potential list. The tournament that I am going to in november relies heavily on good army composition so I will not be able to run dual deathstar command squads followed up by repetitive melta spam. It is also strongly suggested to have to use units which normally are not considered when making a tournament list so I would have to try and figure out the best way to make them work.

So would you be willing to assist me in my goal?

Well the army comp is in a US style, however there is no exact scoring sheet that the organizers provide, so I am clueless as to what exactly they have in mind. This is the link to the examples of what they think is good, bad, and average for army composition.

Here is the list for comparison. I tried keeping fluff in mind when building this list which is not always a bad thing. I tried the list out against fluffy thirteenth company space wolves tonight and I almost got a massacre. So I am feeling confident but I will definitely have to practice more.


Khan on moondrakkan
Command Squad (5 man)
Mounted on bikes
Apothecary with chainsword and bolt pistol
Company champion with power weapon and bolt pistol
Veteran with lightning claw and bolt pistol
Veteran with power fist and storm shield
Standard with power fist and storm shield

Bike squadron (8 man)
Multi-melta attack bike
2x plasma guns
Sergeant with power sword and melta bombs

Bike squadron (5 man)
Attack bike with multi-melta
2x melta guns
Sergeant with powerfist

Bike squadron (5 man)
Attack bike with multi-melta
2x melta guns
Sergeant with powerfist

Attack Bike Squadron (2 man)
2x multi-meltas

Assault Marines (10 man)
2x flamers
Sergeant with a powerfist

Scout Bikes (6 man)
3x grenade launchers
Cluster mines
Sergeant with powerfist

–1850

I guess I am looking a bike list that represents the fluff of white scars the best. So no dreds, terminators, or foot troops. Bikes, speeders, mech troops, assault marines, scouts are the list I would say.

So hit me up and let me know what you think.

--Frosty"

I combined the couple of e-mails Frosty and I have had back and forth and recommend you check out his site StillFrosty conversions and I believe he also posts at White Scars both of which have some awesome conversion and paint work. I read the comp booklet you linked and it just makes me face-palm so a little meh here. Quote from the link in the e-mail: "Likewise, you can receive a perfect score of 120 points for a list based on pure fluff, with little-to-no mind towards victory." One can make a bloody fluffy list which kicks ass and White Scars certainly fit into that category. Sigh. Anyway, oh wait just noticed they ticked over a DH list as a solid, low comp, tournament list lol. Right, right, the army, sorry (3 commas, seriously?). Okay well I assume with sticking by the White Scars theme you're prob going to get a middle of the road comp. I'd try and make it crystal clear to the judges you are basing your army completely on White Scars fluff. Maybe send the email with huge red letters at the top of White Scars.

So the judges want units which aren't used often in a good list and Frosty doesn't want foot units unless meched (understandable) so let's take a look at some of the under-used units which could fit Frosty's army:
  • Scout Bikers
  • Assault Marines
  • Vanguard Vets
  • Devs/CmdSquad/HonorGuard in Rhino
  • Scouts
We'll notice most of these are in the Fast Attack slot and the tournament "looks down" upon taking lots of similar units. Not sure how you make a Bike list without this though so I suspect changing up the wargear and unit sizes is the best way for that to work for Frosty. Taking a quick peek at his list I think the FA slot looks pretty compy to me. I think I'd prefer VV instead of the ASM for some fun locator beacon + heroic internvetion fun (but not decking out the VV) and maybe running two units of Scout Bikers instead of one since Attack Bikes are good. We want to avoid Speeders as well as unless we can take 6 Typhoons they are going to be shot down early and 6 Typhoons aren't comp friendly.

Troops then look okay for a bike army but I think we can swap the builds around to make them more happy comp. I'd also really recommend PFist on the big squad rather than a Power Weapon. I'd change one of the double melta squads to melta/flamer and add a combi-flamer/melta to each squad if you can squeeze the points. This changes the wargear up a bit which the comp packet said they were looking for and we don't really wanted Scouts or mounted Tacs in a Bike army. Fluff FTW.

Finally the Command squad + Khan. I prefer a normal Captain but Khan is still a good choice for this type of army. Whilst the Command Squad isn't optimised, I'm not sure if you'll get hit for this or not in comp terms (or if the judges will actually notice the lack of optimisation). I'd drop a PFist down to an LClaw though if you can as you only really need one and want to take advantage of Khan's I5/6 on the charge as much as possible.

All in all a good outline for a comp'd list and I think the major changes can be made in the FA section and switching wargears around for your Bike Troops. I may completely disagree with comp and everything it implies (especially that non-comped armies aren't fun...seriously) but if that's what people want, meh. If you could pre-send your list in and have the judges run over it that would be nice but I doubt it. Anyone else with comp experience or is a fan of comp want to weigh in here on how Frosty's army holds up?

25 pinkments:

Behemoth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Behemoth said...

I looked at the comp sheet and I almost vomited.


Im really having a hard time believing that the comp instructions arent a joke. Someone is seriously butt hurt from a bad competitive 40k experience. holy hell.


My first reaction is to say screw it and dont even go. Anyway...


Id make sure every unit is different. Youve got one repeated unit in there.

Scout bikes make me shudder. I think id rather bring a LS: storm and try to get a 1st turn assault gimick off, or last turn objective grab.

Think about a podding tac squad for objective holding, remember, bikes cant climb buildings or ruins.

VT2 said...

Khan on bike.

Command squad with quad plasma and plasmaback.

Sternguard with matched heavy flamers, two combi-melta, and plasmaback.

Sternguard with two combi-flamers and bolterback.

Bikes with matched meltaguns and melta attackbike.
Bikes with matched plasmaguns and melta attackbike.
Bikes with matched flamers and attackbike.
Scouts with cloaks and rifles.


Assault marines with flamer, fist, and rhino.
Assault marines with flamer, fist, and rhino.

Devastators with matched multi-meltas and plasmaback.

-

Khan is only here for the beer.
A single command squad on bikes is as good as zero.
You need two.

Since that's not possible without destroying your blowjob score, terminators don't fit in the theme, and you couldn't afford two rocks even if you wanted to, we'll have to take a different approach.

Enjoy outflanking vehicles with guns and deadly cargo.

You can remove the scouts and some bling if you want a librarian. Just make him cheap, and power armored, so he can go with all the infantry.

Stillfrosty said...

Well thanks for the write up Kirby!

When I saw the rules I was kinda shock. Now I don't mind following comp rules, especially if it is judged by a none opponent, because it should encourage fluff building. However I do not agree on it taking on such a large percentage of the total over all points. But alas there is nothing I can do about it.

I also want to go to the event so I can qualify for the National Finals in Las Vegas. I figure this is closest place for me to travel so I can try to qualify so I want to try to have a good list.

Anyways, I will try to fit in some vanguard vets and mix up wargear in the bike squads. But I am also concerned about anti-tank capability so I am going to try to keep the multi-melta attack bikes.

Chumbalaya said...

Hey, that's our local GT. Yes, the comp rules are silly, but theme is being scored separately from comp.

I'm still on the fence over taking a ludicrously bad/compy list or my usual tourney list.

Just taking Khan is going to ding you for comp, so you may as well make it as good as possible and go for theme points.

Khan+Command
Bikerz
Scout Bikerz
Speeders/Storms

Hope to see you there!

Stillfrosty said...

Well I look forward to seeing you there then!

I am kinda surprised that I would get dinged for taking the Khan. No one online takes the Khan that I have seen. I think he is a cool model, fluffy, and not over powered what so ever.

So I guess I will just submit a list and see what they say. I would not mind changing my list up a bit but I refuse to go against how White Scars are meant to be played.

Chumbalaya said...

Any SC is going to be dinged regardless. I dunno why, but that's just how they're doing it. Like I said, if nothing else you can do well on theme.

Stillfrosty said...

Well I guess that I will try for both then! Its all I can do.

I also sent the list to the organizers for some feedback, so that should get rid of some of my worries about what to expect.

Eltnot said...

Hahahahahahahahahaha, the responses above leave me laughing. ZOMG comp system butt hurt!

In all seriousness, take a list that you're comfortable with, not one designed to get you max comp points. Army comp should be a balancer, meaning that strong armies get less and weaker armies get more. Ideally this means that better generals and not just hard list writers actually do well.

So just take a list that you want to run and play it heaps. Learn how to get the most out of it and you will do well. Taking something to try and get better comp just ends up in you playing something that you're not used to and losing points all round.

AbusePuppy said...

>Army comp should be a balancer, meaning that strong armies get less and weaker armies get more. Ideally this means that better generals and not just hard list writers actually do well.

Why should list-building less important than generalship? Contrary to popular belief, just copying a list from the internet will not make you good with it- in fact, if you don't understand what you're doing, you'll probably walk right into every competent player who is already familiar with what you're doing and know the list better than you.

Don't take Khan; I can basically guarantee you that they will penalize you for using the character that represents your chapter. Yeah, I know. A Captain on a bike is better anyways. Relic Blade/Shield/Meltabombs, maybe other stuff if you end up with spare points.

Bike Squads are good- they fit your theme and can easily be differentiated. Attack Bikes with Multimelta will be standard for every squad (if they ding you, point out you only have one other option and it's terrible), but you can mix up Melta, Plasma, and Flamer between your squads. Don't forget the Sarge can take a Combi-weapon as well, which is especially useful on the Flamers.

One squad of Assault Marines is probably good- give them double-Flamers or something and you've filled some points, covered a weakness a bit, and broken up the similarity.

Two Command Squads is a good idea. Try to mix them up, but focus on CC. You can give every guy different gear with only a little finangling, so do what you can there. Company Champions are underrated, as they get a PW and +1WS for a small number of points.

Land Speeders and Attack Bikes are also helpful. With Speeders, take Tornados (HB/ML) and run two of them behind your main force to provide fire support.

Overall it works out pretty well. You're White Scars, everything in the list can move 12" and still do stuff, and you've got a good mix of melee and shooting. You aren't vehicle-spamming (comp gets really whiny over that) and you're only running ~2 full-sized bike squads, each of them with different weapons (Melta/Plasma, probably). You aren't taking a ton of troops, but bike troops are _expensive_, so you can hardly be blamed there. Lesse:

Captain ~200
Command Squad ~300
Bikes #1 (2Melta, MM) ~280
Bikes #2 (2Plasma, MM) ~280
Bikes #3 (half-strength, Melta, MM AB) ~150
Assault Marines (2Flamer, PFist) ~225
Speeder (MM/HF) 70
Speeder (HB/ML) 90

So that leaves you 250pts more to play with. Pick more fast stuff- another squad of bikes would be decent, or you could play around with things and try and squeeze a second Captain and Command Squad in there (would be iffy, though.) Additional bikes would be your best bet, though; I think Plasma maybe to try and differentiate out a bit? Flamers could be an option as well, being worse but would probably give you better comp. Mix some Meltabombs in as well and maybe Combiweapons for the sarges. A Librarian could also be nice, as Avenger is a great power and a Psychic Hood is a good thing to have.

GMSN said...

I can't believe comp still goes on. Why don't the judges just make a whole bunch a lists for everyone and let the players pick which ones they're allowed to take? That's pretty much what they're doing.

Roland Durendal said...

It's that pretentious attitude exhibited by the tourney organizers I disagree with (and made a point of it in my last article). Who are they to determine what is fluffy and what is not? Oh, so they've played 40K for several years so they're suddenly the masters of the 40K fictional universe?

Arghhh! Every and ANY army is fluffy seeing as the universe in which we play is vast. There are no right/wrong answers, only stupid people.

As for the list, I echo the sentiment above: play with what you like and you're comfortable with. And Abusepuppy's list is a good list to take a peak at and try to tweak from there to your taste.

Stillfrosty said...

Before I begin, I want to thank everyone for their comments on how to modify my list to make it more efficient. It does help and it is making me consider options which I have not considered before. However there are a couple things I would like to point out to everyone.

The first thing is that I actually prefer the Khan over the bike Captain. I know it is a shocker and do not want to get into an discussion about it but for me he is a better choice even though the majority of White Scars players prefer the Captain (hence in the e-mail I wrote to kirby ... even though we disagree completely on the way White Scars work). However I am actually not sure if they will ding me for taking him since he is such an under used character. But once I get a reply back I will know for sure.

The second thing I would like to mention is that this list is not that different from my regular list at 1850. So I am not playing a completely new army or anything like that. The only thing I did was drop some of the repetitive nature of my list mixed up a couple of the weapons and took an assault squad and a scout squad. However both of these units I have used before in previous incarnations of White Scars so they are not foreign to me by any means. As of right now this list could use some tweeking but I am used to how it handles and plays. Sure I am missing out on my typical melta fury as I love packing 9 multi-meltas and 7 melta guns into my list, but it is not going to happen for this event. After some play testing if I find that scout bikes or assault marines are not going to do it for me, well I will just take sternguard in a rhino or land speeder typhoons instead, hell I might even pull out a vindicator. So I have plenty of options to explore since I have the models.

Finally I honestly do not feel as if army comp rules ruin tournaments. Yes they do force players to think about their lists before building them and yes they do get rid of nasty units but they do encourage units which are less used in the tournament scene and who knows you might like them. The only thing I disagree on is the amount of points army composition is worth for this particular event. It should not be game breaking, so maybe change it to where good army comp gives bonus points. But then again, that would not really solve anything if they got their ass handed to them.

Kirby said...

Eh army comp is a discussion for another post but the issue most people have is it's a subjective score aimed at balancing what TO's think is bad.

Anyway, back to list :P. I think what Puppy put together was pretty good though I'd stray away from the lone Speeders for ASM/Scout Bikers just because they'd be salvoed pretty early. The mix and match of the weapons on the Bikes though I think is the biggest thing for the list thought to ensure some 'variety.'

In regards to Khan, he's a fine leader for a White Scars army as Hit & Run + FC really makes the Command Squads (assuming he's running back and forth between them) just orgasmic. The loss of combat tactics is meh and outflanking is meh squared but he's not fail-tastic like Pedro :P.

GreyICE said...

I love the phrase 'fluffy.'

Apparently, according to the fluff, each and every Space Marine chapter, every unit of the Imperial Guard, and the Orks, Tyranids, Tau, Eldar and Necrons all like getting their asses handed to them whenever they're fighting.

Also, the rules are hysterical. "A variety of troops choices?" Really? Because I've like... read codices. Most armies have two. I dunno what the Necrons even do there. "I'm taking lots of troops choices. And... variety. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM"

GreyICE said...

Oh yeah, and their sample armies are hysterical. The 'competitive' Imperial Guard has the following:
4 Command Company with 1 Master of Ordance, 1 Company Commander with a power weapon
Banewulf
Lemun Russ Demolisher
Lemun Russ Demolisher
Lemun Russ Demolisher

Don't think that's quite as 'competitive' as all that.

AbusePuppy said...

@Stillfrosty
*shrug* Take everything you read with a grain of salt. Khan isn't terrible, and we can't say for sure what your organizer's comp views are, but when the "good" characters from codices get listed, I see Khan brought up a surprising number of times, despite being resoundingly mediocre. However, he's not terrible and he does get you what you want, so if that's the route you go, you could do a lot worse.

@GreyICE
Clearly the Necron player, like the Tyranid player, will get dinged on comp for all of his units being an unending tide of alien metal (or flesh), each completely identical as though sprung from a factory. THAT'S TOTALLY UNFLUFFY. ALL ARMIES ARE ABOUT UNIQUE AND WACKY!

Also, to quote: "You don't understand man, it's about fluff. In real armies, you have exactly one of everything, and any individual platoon is a mismatched carnival of different units with uneven or directly conflicting roles. No commander would ever choose, or even be allowed, to take multiples of the same thing into a battle situation. Redundancy is for fags and real militaries never use it because having just one of anything is all you need."

Kirby said...

Ya I bet American and British soldiers loved having one missile launcher against Tigers lol.

mad-doc said...

I would say fuck it go with 0 points comp.
Celebrate yourself as winner in your head when you would be first when not counting the comp score.

Duke of Earl said...

Is it possible to fit in the Khan and another biker Captain?

Khan on bike, 205
Captain on bike, relic blade, 165

Bike Command Squad, champion, two power weapon, power fist, 275
Bike Command Squad, champion, two power weapon, power fist, 275

8 bikes plus attack bike, twin melta, multi-melta, power fist, 310
8 bikes plus attack bike, twin melta, multi-melta, power fist, 310

Assault Squad, twin flamer, power fist, 235

Land Speeder, multi-melta, heavy flamer, 70

That's 1845 points if my calculations are correct. It lacks the hardness of a hammernator squad, or storm shield command squad, but the Khan's furious charging squad will cause some damage. It can take care of armour, and twin-linked bolters and flamers can give them some ability to deal with hordes.

It will suck in comp though.

Kirby said...

I'd drop the ASM + LS in that army for another Bike squad and run all the Bike squads w/o PFists for some SS on the COmmand squad (and change the Pweapons to LClaws).

The single speeder will be singled out very early and you've got fast melta so don't need the DS option and the ASM are slower and simply bring cover busting which the Command squad brings anyway with assault (and H&R with Khan).

Stillfrosty said...

You could fit both, I just don't think it is wise in 1850 in a heavy comp list. If it was 2500 point ard boyz style than sure!

Well I decided on this:

Khan Moondrakken--205

Command Squad (5 man)
Apothecary
Veteran with lightning claw
Veteran with powerfist and storm shield
Standard Bearer with powerfist and storm shield
Company Champion with power weapon and combat shield
–330

Bike Squadron (8 man)
2x melta gun
sergeant with Powerfist
Attack bike with multi-melta
–310

Bike Squadron (8 man)
2x melta gun
sergeant with Powerfist
Attack bike with multi-melta
–310

Bike Squadron (5 man)
2x plasma gun
sergeant with melta bomb and Combi-plasma
Attack bike with multi-melta
–235

Attack Bike Squadron (2 man)
2x multi-meltas
–100

Land Speeder Squadron (2 vehicles)
2x Typhoon missile launchers and Heavy Bolters
–180

Land Speeder Squadron (2 vehicles)
2x Typhoon missile launchers and Heavy Bolters
–180

Stillfrosty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stillfrosty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Duke of Earl said...

Actually I've looking at what to do with my Blood Claw bikers now that they do nothing that wouldn't be done better by Thunder Wolves, and repainting them as conventional marines (I want to do an army that can use any Codex including Chaos if the whim takes me) seems like a sensible idea. I can rebuild my heavy bolter attack bikes with multi-meltas.

Jason

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