Friday, 13 November 2015

Annual Drop-in

Today we're going to look at how to clog objectives, using marines.
Marines are well known for they're ability the swarm the battlefield, sending in wave after wave of heavily armoured warriors in a seemingly unstoppable tide of stoicism and insufferable smugness in their belief in the false emperor.

There's one big caveat: this list is built with a team-style event in mind, where each army/codex can be be used once in the team lineup.
This means the Space Marine slot is likely to be taken up with bikes or a strike force, so Dark Angels is the next best thing to do this.
The army plays as an aggressive attrition list. Expect to take heavy casualties. Lots of casualties. You are not going to win any kill point games. The point is that all the objectives are taken at the end of the game, no matter how many fallen marines litter the battlefield. Besides, they're marines, there's no shortage of marines.

Lion's Blade Strike Force

Battle Demi-Company C
Company Master: Power Fist, Storm Shield, Artificer Armour, Auspex
5 Tactical Marines: Meltagun, Combi-melta, Drop Pod
5 Tactical Marines: Meltagun, Combi-melta, Drop Pod
5 Tactical Marines: Meltagun, Combi-melta, Drop Pod
5 Assault Marines: 2 Flamers, Combi-flamer, Drop Pod
5 Devastator Marines: Drop Pod
Dreadnought: Drop Pod
5 Command Squad: 5 Plasma Guns, Drop Pod

Battle Demi-Company III
Chaplain: Auspex (Warlord)
5 Tactical Marines: Meltagun, Combi-melta, Drop Pod
5 Tactical Marines: Meltagun, Combi-melta, Drop Pod
5 Tactical Marines: Meltagun, Combi-melta, Drop Pod
5 Assault Marines: 2 Flamers, Combi-flamer, Drop Pod
5 Devastator Marines: Drop Pod
Dreadnought: Drop Pod
5 Command Squad: 5 Plasma Guns, Drop Pod
5 Veterans: 5 Combi-meltas, Drop Pod

5 Scouts


The two Battle Companies allow units to purchase free transports, hence the MSU spam.
Those with a keen eye will have spotted that there are 15 Drop pods, and a total of 32 Objective Secured units. Having to clear all that off the table will eventually drive your opponent to boredom through exasperation, thus assuring you victory.

There's a healthy dose of melta, plasma, and flamer. The usefulness of traditional special weapons in the age of grav and destroyer superweapons is questionable, and there's no fancy twin-link or ignore cover tricks.
Main weaknesses are horde armies, as there isn't quite enough bolter shots toe hold them back, and flyer armies. But everyone known flyers are bullshit so we're just going to ignore them.

A few alterations for local tastes are possible.
The devastators have been repurposed as bolter marines. They could be given a few heavy weapons and deployed normally instead of dropping in.
All the drop pods can be replaced by razorbacks, offering a large number of twin heavy bolters. The advantage of the drop pods is the alpha strike potential, and board denial if some jerk turns up with Tau or Eldar Scatterbikes and has the first turn.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Walk The Dog


Hot on the heels of the new Space Wolf codex, comes the first in a a long line of silly lists.

First, lets take a quick look at what has changed. The poor space pups got taken to the vet when 7th was released, and came away with only their tail between their legs. They lost all their unique and quite powerful psychic powers, in addition to what was one of the strongest psychic defence items in the game. They also suffered from not having great anti-air, and having a lot of points invested in close combat units/abilities which no longer worked so well.

In the new book, the unique psychic powers are back, but at severely reduced usefulness. Units in general got cheaper, but lost some value. So overall it's a fair trade, but with everything more up-to-date.
The nice changes are the addition of some flyers, some new and rather fancy dreadnought variants, the most game-breakingly overpowered unit ever in the form of the Space Wold Drop Pod, and finally the removal of the infuriatingly finicky "exclusive wargear" rule. Now all the space wolf characters can take whatever weapons they want without worrying about turning up to battle wielding the same storm shield as someone else.

Also in the book is a special detachment that allows 6 HQ choices. You know what that means...

Wold Lord: Runic Armour, Storm Shield, Power Fist, Thunderwolf
Wold Lord: Runic Armour, Storm Shield, Power Fist, Thunderwolf
Wold Lord: Runic Armour, Storm Shield, Wolf Claw, Thunderwolf
Wold Lord: Runic Armour, Storm Shield, Wolf Claw, Thunderwolf
Wold Lord: Runic Armour, Storm Shield, Black Death, Thunderwolf
Rune Priest: Level 2, Bike, Melta Bomb

5 Grey Hunters: Rhino
5 Blood Claws: Rhino

3 Thunderwolves

3 Ravenwing: 2 Meltaguns; Attack Bike: Multi-melta


Rather unsurprisingly, everyone holds hands and jogs up the table in one big fur-blob.

Wolf Lords got a bit better, gaining a wound, an attack, much cheaper storm shields, and can double up on power fists. Wolf claws on thunderwolves also got a bit better, now offering an additional point of strength on top of rending and re-rolling wounds.
The Black Death is a fun little weapon, just about strong enough to still beat up heavy units and tanks, but can also carve huge chunks out of any type of infantry. On the charge, that Thunderlord has 9 Str7 Ap2 attacks.
On top of all that, the Thunderlords have been to see Cesar Millan and are now able to behave themselves in the company of others.

The Rune Priest took a big drop in points to make up for the nerfbat. His psychic defence is still pretty good for the unit, and will most likely just be rolling on divination.

Grey hunters and Blood Claws are exist because they have to. They don't even have Object Secured, so will be spending most of the game in reserve, hoping no one notices them turning up to the battle late.

The 3 other Thunderwolves are there to be meat shields for the Wold Lords. Which is a bit unfair, as they also got a points drop and access to cheaper wargear.

The Ravenwing are the actual scoring troops in the army, who will also be hiding in reserve, or being thrown in front of a land raider on turn 1.

Sammael is the sneaky dog walker entrusted with making all these fleabags work.
He gives the fur-blob Fearless, Hit & Run, and Scout. That's the nasty bit: Everyone is going to be on the halfway line before the game even begins. If you can't get away fast or do some serious damage in a single shooting phase, you are going to get all kinds of rabies.

So what's the downside? There must be a weakness somewhere...
Well, there are lots problems with this list:
Only Sammael has Eternal Warrior, so any Str10 hits need to land on him. And there is a lot of Str10 about the place these days.
The fur-blob can't run/turboboost due the mixed unit type, but that's ok as Sammael has a Plasma Cannon which will usually have a target.
Flyers: Dogs can't look up, so they just pretend the flyers don't exist.
Scoring units are a bit slim. This list wins by killing everything, objectives are a last resort...
Tactics: Sammael has brought with him a large supply of tennis balls, which he will fling into the enemy battle lines. Your opponent will be shocked and dismayed when you pull the cunning stunt of only charging forward into combat over and over and over again.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Drop it like it's hot

Today boys and girls, we're going to pretend it's 5th ed again.
That means Vulkan with flamers and meltaguns, and lots of copypasta.

Chapter Master: Power Fist, Shield Eternal, Artificer Armour, Auspex

5 Tactical Marines: Meltagun, Combi-Melta, in Transport 1
5 Tactical Marines: Meltagun, Combi-Melta, in Transport 2
5 Tactical Marines: Meltagun, Combi-Melta, in Transport 3
5 Tactical Marines: Meltagun, Combi-Melta, in Transport 4
5 Tactical Marines: Meltagun, Combi-Melta, in Transport 5
5 Tactical Marines: Meltagun, Combi-Melta, in Transport 6

5 Assault Marines: 2 Flamers, in Transport 7
5 Assault Marines: 2 Flamers, in Transport 8
5 Assault Marines: 2 Flamers, in Transport 9


Transport 1: Drop Pod: Deathwind Launcher
Transport 2: Drop Pod: Deathwind Launcher
Transport 3: Drop Pod: Deathwind Launcher
Transport 4: Drop Pod: Deathwind Launcher
Transport 5: Drop Pod: Deathwind Launcher
Transport 6: Drop Pod: Deathwind Launcher
Transport 7: Drop Pod: Deathwind Launcher
Transport 8: Drop Pod: Deathwind Launcher
Transport 9: Drop Pod: Deathwind Launcher

Total: 1815

Drop Pods have become my new favourite thing for at least the next weeks.
They got a couple of nifty changes in 7th ed. For one, they now score and the tactical marine ones have objective secured.
Drop Pods are usually one of those things that just appear on the table on turn 1, and are then ignored for the rest of the game. But now they can actually pose a threat by having the audacity to claim objectives, and the enemy has to waste firepower getting rid of them.
On top of this, there are still the old tactics of boxing the opposition in to a corner, and just generally getting in the way.
Finally, some of the hobbyists among you may have noticed that odd missile-launcher shaped thingy that comes on the sprue. That is the fabled deathwind launcher, thought to have gone extinct shortly after the kit was released. These just became much more useful, as they can now be fired the turn the pod arrives. That means you get 5 large blasts on turn one, with more to follow. Quite the nasty surprise.

As for units that might actually fit into a carry case, there are a bunch of objective secured marines with double melta, an old stable and usually quite good at busting open armour.
The assault squads get 2 cheap flamers and a discount on their DP (teeheehee), making them a very handy anti-horde unit.

Vulkan is there for obvious reasons, he makes sure all the meltas and flamers aren't mistakenly set to 'tepid'
The chapter master is a bit of punch, particularly in case things like wraithknights show up. His job could also be done by a few dreadnoughts, but he is just a bit more likely to survive a few str10 hits to the face.

The three Stalkers are a bit of an afterthought. They are average-ish anti-air, and if needs be can just hide in reserve and pretend to be a cheap scoring unit later on.
Alternatively, the points could be spent on some elite Sternguard or Dreadnoughts, who will of course be in .... Drop Pods!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Chariots of Fire

So, a new edition. That happened.

And with it, a few little gimmicky units got a nice buff. Today I'm going to to look at the popular/hated Chaos Deamon factory list, with the addition of of this weeks' Unit Of Interest: the Burning Chariot.

Herald of Tzeentch: Mastery lvl 3
Herald of Tzeentch: Mastery lvl 3
Herald of Tzeentch: Mastery lvl 3, Exalted Reward
Herald of Tzeentch: Mastery lvl 3, Exalted Reward

11 Pink Horrors: Champ, Icon of Chaos
11 Pink Horrors: Champ, Icon of Chaos
11 Pink Horrors: Champ, Icon of Chaos
11 Pink Horrors: 
11 Pink Horrors:

5 Flesh Hounds:
5 Flesh Hounds:
5 Flesh Hounds:

Burning Chariot: Lesser Reward
Burning Chariot: Lesser Reward
Burning Chariot: Lesser Reward


How does this all work?
Fateweaver acts as a tough to kill warlord, helps keep the warpstorm table under control, and provides a little bit of anti-air.

The heralds are the loyal and hard working factory floor labourers, toiling day and night to churn out more daemons using the Malefic Daemonology psychic powers. The flexibility these guys have in picking what new unit to create is what makes these type of lists so powerful. Having an endless supply of units designed to counter what your opponent has on the table without actually committing your core forces is very difficult to deal with.
Given good rolls on psychic powers, 4 new units can be spawned each turn; that can be forty new Daemonettes, or Twenty new Flesh Hounds, or twelve Bloodcrushers, or even greater daemons. That's over 400 points of new units each turn.
The exalted rewards are a portal glyph and grimoire of true names, more even more daemons and a bit of protection.

The squads of horrors provide extra magic dice warp charges for the heralds, and somewhere for them to hide. The only downside is that they are a bit on the small side, a larger squad of sixteen or twenty models would be safer just to prevent and entire squad and the attached heralds getting shot in a single turn on concentrated fire.

So that's the core of the factory, the next bit is all flavour.

The hounds are the distraction puppies. They can scout forward and force the opponent to waste a turn or two dealing with them while the horde of daemons is built up. Hounds are pretty dangerous when left alone, good at picking off vehicles and stray troops, so they have to be put down eventually before they do too much damage.

Now we get to the really interesting bit, the Burning Chariots.
Chariots got a few buffs in 7th ed: Better charge distance, resilience to immobilised results, and a few gimmicks with would allocation between the rider and chariot from shooting.
Burning Chariots are the multi-purpose glass cannons. 
They come with 
  • a multi-shot short ranged lascannon, 
  • a version of the helldrake torrent flamer, 
  • a master crafted AP2 melee weapon with 3 str4 attacks,
  • D6 str 6 hammer of wrath hits when charging. 
Between all of this they can do serious damage to heavy vehicles, marines, and make a large dent in hordes.
They are also fast skimmers, so can jink against incoming fire, and fly away to safety.
All of that for just over 100 points.

Over all, the list can now spew out new units every turn, has some dangerous distraction or alpha strike units, and cheap high-damage backup fire power for every occasion.

The downside:
I know it's hard to believe that I would ever create a list with a downside, but we have to give the opposition a fighting chance.

The heralds and horrors are not tough, some well placed concentrated fire can kill off a unit or two if they are not hiding behind a building. This can be partly fixed by increasing one of the horror squad sizes up to max.
As they are casting so many powers with a large number of dice, the heralds are quite likely to blow themselves up by the end of the game. That's an occupational hazard of the factory, and Tzeentch does not offer health insurance.

Fateweaver is actually kinda useless. I don't like him at all. He's not all that tough, and has no killing power. All his attacks/abilities are in psychic powers, which take away magic dice warp charges from the hard working heralds. So all he really does is keep the grimoire of true names from backfiring, and stopping the warp storm table from randomly killing a herald. Not worth 300 points.

The burning chariots are a little bit flimsy, AV10 open-topped. But they can jink, have the tzeentch save reroll, and can split incoming fire between the chariot itself and the rider to dilute medium strength weapons a bit. This is the payoff for being a dirt-cheap killing machine.

Monday, 17 February 2014


So apparently this is going to become a thing, so I might as well throw my hat into the death pit and make up some completely arbitrary and biased "balancing" rules for 40k, so that I can lay claim to any success later on.

The main complaints are that things like 2+ rerollable saves are OP, ignore cover is OP, allies are just silly in a variety of different ways. and that spam is OP and/or dull.

I don't agree with all of these. Not because they are incorrect or whiny noob gripes, but that these problems have been identified for the wrong reasons.
2+ rerollable saves are indeed op, but they rely on getting a couple of different combos and rolls to go your way. Straight up banning these combos and units isn't really the answer, a better idea is to limit how much can be stacked.
Ignore cover is kinda OP, especially for weapons which already have a good AP. A further problem is that the most of armies with ready access to ignore cover also have some way of increasing their own cover saves. If ignore cover gets nerfed, then the other buffs to cover also need nerfing just to keep all the armies on an even footing.
Allies are indeed silly. They are great fun to play with, allowing all sorts of combo's and gameplay options. But they are still silly. We've all had our fun, and it might be tome to put them away for a while.

Spam. Spam spam spam. Spam is not a problem. There I said it.
If we regularly turned up to events with a dozen copies or a terrible unit, then nobody would complain. Facing up against several good units is what people actually want to say when they complain about spam. The solution is to adjust the unit(s), not ban spam. A very popular list style is Highlander (only 1 of any type of unit, no duplicates allowed at all), which I do actually enjoy, but it does mean that the weaker armies now can't bring enough copies of the wargear/units/powers they need to fend off just a single good unit from the top tier armies.

There are two ways to approach comp:
Modify the lists, either through banning units or adjusting the game score based of the list.
Modify the rules, both in general and on a codex by codex or even unit by unit basis.

Nobody likes either of these approaches. You either get penalized or even blocked for bringing a list you want to, even if it's fluffy but spammy, or you feel hard done by because your army got hit with teh nerf bat of doom while your arch nemesis seemingly got away relatively unscathed.

I've compiled some rules based on feedback, speculation, and general unfounded hearsay.
So, with some of that in mind, have some comp.



  • Stealth and Shrouded no longer stack.
  • Ignore Cover sets the cover save to 5+, unless it would be worse already.
  • Maximum cover save is 3+, unless it comes better than that as standard
  • Maximum invulnerable save is 3+, unless it comes better than that as standard (Dark Eldar Shadow Field and the Space Marines Special Armour of Indomitus are examples of this)
  • Rerolls: All rerolled dice for to-hits rolls, to-wound rolls, saves of any sort suffer a -1 modifier.
    • Note, this is not an exhaustive list, there are all sorts of wierd weapons out there that cause damage on a certain roll that will need to be covered.
  • Snap Shots: Snap shots against Flyers and Flying Monstrous Creatures are made at -2 BS, instead of BS1. Maximum BS after further modifiers is 3
  • FMCs gain the Jink special Rule, without needing to Dive.
    • This is a bit of an awkward balancing act, as flyers are generally cheaper than FMCs. FMCs need some defense against the Skyfire adjustment.
  • Grounding damage for FMC is now Str5
  • Units which consist of a single model may not be joined at the point in the game by an IC. 
    • Yes there are ways around this. The aim is just to make it less easy to pull off. And yes Mr Riptide, I'm looking at you.


  • Battle Brothers are now treated as Allies of Convenience
  • Allies: In addition to fitting inside the allied force org chart, all allies must also fit inside the main force organization chart.
  • Lords of War count as 2 Heavy Support choices. Choices over 500 Points count as 3 Heavy Support Choices.
This means there will at any time be a total of 2 HQ chocies, 3 Elites, etc. 
No more 4FA, 4 HS options.
Choices which don't take up a force org slot are not really bound by this, may be they need a more specific rule of their own


This assumes a 20-0 style scoring system.
All modifiers are applied AFTER calculating the 20-0 score as per the tournament pack

  • +1/-1 in your favour if you did not bring allies, of any sort. (Lords of war, inquisition, dataslates, and Fortifications not the main rulebook count as allies)
  • +1/-1 in your favour if you are Highlander. (No duplicates, including allies). A Single troops choice may be duplicated. Units which do not take up full force org slots (SW characters, heralds, priests, Royal Courts) still count as a full selection.
  • +1/-1 in your favour if you have no special, named, or unique characters
  • +1/-1 in your favour if you do not have any D-weapons

  • -1/+1 against you if you brought 3 units of the same type, regardless if they come from different force org slots

Example: I smash the crap out of Nooby McNooberson using his favourite childhood army, a beautifully painted force of I-don't-give-a-shit. 18-2 to me at the end of the game.

He is highlander, has no allies, no special characters, no D-weapons, and has 2 tactical squads as his troops. What a terrible list.
I have a special character, some allies, 2 Units of Centurions, but no D-weapons.

Nooby gets +1 for highlander, +1 for no allies, +1 for no special characters, +! for no D-Weapons, and suffers no penalty for bringing 2 Tactical Squads. This is +4 in total, while I suffer -4.
I have a 2 squads of centurions, so no bonus and no penalties.
The final score is 14-6 to me. A very close hard-fought game, well played Nooby... jerk.

The aim of this is to outright block (notice I didn't say ban) the very nasty unpopular combos, and to discourage the other hard-hitting combos going around by taking lowering the power level slightly, and chipping away at the tournament score.

I haven't gone into codex-by-codex, as that should be a last resort. It gets very complicated and subjective trying to balance individual units from one book against others from another army, particularly if one book gets sweeping nerfs while another is in desperate need of buffs. There are also edge cases that don't see the mainstream  because they are very odd lists to play with or against, and are untested, but are still powerful on paper. Keeping the initial changes to the main rules should do for now.

So, does this solve anything? No, not really. But it helps a little bit.
The big problem with 40k is that the power creep has now escalated at such a fast rate to such a high level that everything is too tough, and too killy, with too many rules and too much firepower.
Everything just needs to be toned down, quite a bit. Reducing the number of shots available and the effectiveness of blasts, whilst also reducing the toughness will keep the playing field as it is, but make everything just slightly less extreme.
Lots of people want Screamer Council nerfed, but that leaves Tau free to roam around unopposed. Tau and Eldar need their shooting nerfed, but then Flyers come back to kill everything again. Nerf flyers, and were back to playing 3rd or 4th ed...

Things I immediately don't like about this are:

  • Some deathstars still slip through the net, and end up being even more powerful as the opposition doesn't have the tools they need to deal with it (either spamming or bringing their own deathstar)
  • Penalizing spammed units still doesn't feel right, but it's a quick fix. Not all spammed unit's are OP, but going into detail and naming specific ones is too granular a step for right now.
  • It's very hard to keep all the implications of the rules in perspective when the same 2-3 armies keep coming up as examples of things that need nerfs, a much broader set of test cases is needed to make sure the changes are actually the right choice. I'm pretty sure by changing skyfire actually does more damage than good.
  • Most special characters aren't actually that bad, in fact many are just terrible. It's only a select few per codex that are maybe a bit too good, and to be honest I don't think they are game-breaking at all. They add way more in terms of making an interesting list. Also, some armies just can't compete at all without their flagship special character, comp or no comp.
  • Finally, there are obviously some items/units/combos that people just want outright banned, on a codex-by-codex basis. This can happen, but it has to happen to every army, not just for the sake of that one guy that you can never beat...

If anyone wants to try out these suggested Comp Rules, do let us know how terrible they are.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Hey kid, over here. You wanna do some math?

Ok folks, time for some math-hammer

I'm going to go over some of the dreaded power-lists that rely on getting combinations of psychic powers or abilities, and work out just how likely it is to get them all to work
First off, and old favourite: Psychic Shriek & Weaken Resolve.

The idea behind this is to use a Imperial Guard Psyker Battle Squad to reduce the leadership of a unit to as low as possible. Then make them take a leadership test on 3D6, suffering wounds equal to how much they fail by, with no armour or cover saves. It's a pretty nasty spell, able to wipe out entire squads of heavy infantry and tough creatures, only good psychic or invulnerable saves can protect you.
To demonstrate how totally OP this is, lets try and kill a small squad of mediocre troops; 5 Chosen Chaos Marines, at Ld10. 
After that, we'll try and cripple the heart of a tyranid army, killing off a Tervigon.

The steps involved are:
  1. Cast Weaken Resolve
  2. Cast Psychic Shriek
  3. Roll to Hit with psychic shriek
  4. Kill 5 or more rebel scum

Step 1:
The power is cast on Ld9, so that's a (30/36) chance of passing. Pretty good so far.
But then there's a Deny the Witch roll, but that's only a on a 6 right? Who 6's anyway...
So are running totol is now (30/36)*(5/6)

Step 2:
Psychic Shriek will generally be on Ld10, (33/36). Then there is a another Deny the Witch, so (33/36)*(5/6)

The total so far is (30/36)*(5/6)*(33/36)*(5/6), which is only about 53%. Ugh oh...

Step 3:
Rolling to hit. Most imperial Psykers are Bs4, some of the more exotic are Bs5 or higher. Let's assume it's an imperial psyker, as the are Imperial Guard around after all...
Bs4 has a (2/3) chance to hit.

Step 5:
Finally the chaos insurgents have to actually take some casualties. When reduced to Ld2, taking 5 or more casualties means rolling a 7 or higher on 3d6. Which is (196/216), close to 90%

The total success rate is (30/36)*(5/6)*(33/36)*(5/6)*(2/3)*(196/216); 
32.1% success rate. That seems pretty crap. Over a 6 turn game, this should only work twice.

Maybe a nice gimmick to wipe out a key unit at an opportune time, but not all that reliable.
To make matters worse, if the enemy has a better deny the witch roll (5+ instead of 6+), chances go down to 20.5%
Against Grey Knights, with -1 Ld to cast psychic powers against them and a 5+ deny the witch, chances drop to 16.2%

Going back to the example of killing off a Tyranid Tervigon with 6 wounds:
The additional defenses are Shadows in the Warp (-3 to Ld), and a 5+ deny the witch. Chances to deal 6 wounds in a single shot are a mighty 6%

Totally OP. GW need to fix this right now. Or like, whenever.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Greydar - Spring Collection

A common trait of space elves is the ability to determine how absolutely fabulous they look.
However, this article will not be about their impeccable taste in clothing.

This is a mixed Dark Eldar and Craftword Eldar list intended with as a break from the normal shite I come up with.
It's a bit more balanced well-rounded, not so much spam and very utility driven.

First up is of course the baron.
I've always been a big fan of this guy, despite his tendency to flee the battlefield at the first sign of someone wearing socks with sandals. To make the most of him, he really needs to be in some big unit. Normally this would be hellions, but they are not quite as good as they were in 5th, especially now with all the ignore cover floating around. Much of the Hellions utility was in assault, with backup shooting. A dedicated shooting unit would be preferable.

The big unit for the baron to hide in will in fact be 20 Warriors with 2 splinter cannons.
It's cheaper than hellions, has comparable firepower, but can operate at a longer range.
The alternative is a unit of 20 Guardians for almost the same cost. However, they are very short ranged, and cannot make use of their crucial battle focus ability when the baron is attached. The warriors can hit things on turn 1, and still get the full benefit of pain tokens.

To round out the troops, two sets of 5 warriors in Venoms.
Not exactly the traditional venom spam, but they are just so flimsy in 6th that spamming them really doesn't help. Keeping the number of things which explode violently near your troops to a minimum is generally good for moral.

The last of the DE is 3 Ravagers with dark lances.
Strength 8 weapons seem to have been forgotten in favour of lots of s6 and s7. This has lead to multi-wound T4 creatures and 2+ saves slowly creeping back onto the table, particularly with the latest Tyranid release. A bit of fast, long range S8 Ap2 can make a nasty dent in crucial parts of the enemy army, and is fairly cheap too.
Disintegrators are a very good option for ravagers, but there is already plenty of anti-infantry shooting, and I don't want to get caught without enough anti-tank fire when someone brings along 3 land raiders...

Now that the Hollister collection is finished with, we'll move onto American Apparel...

First is a Farseer on a jetbike, with a singing spear and Shard of Anaris.
This guy joins the warrior blob along with the baron, making them fearless and handing out tasty psychic goodness all around. There are very few powers in Divination that the army cannot make use of, there are effectively no bad rolls for this guy.

For troops, 2 Dire Avenger squads in Wave Serpents.
Serpents are a great way to support venoms, and vice versa. They can both handle light and medium infantry, and the wave serpents help out with medium armour. The venoms are fantastic for knocking FMC out of the sky, so they can be riddled by scatter lasers and such.
More importantly, they get rid of the spammy element of their single-army counterparts. A very slight diversification in roles and target priority really helps reduce the immediate weaknesses each version has.
I'm starting to prefer Dire Avengers over guardians purely for the longer range. They can stay out of harms way and still shoot, whereas the guardians need to get slightly too close for comfort, even with battle focus.

Next on the catwalk are 7 Warp Spiders.
There guys are always good, adding some mobile medium strength firepower. Again, they are great at dealing with stuff that Venoms cannot.

Finally, a Wraithknight.
This adds another 2 high strength low ap shots, making the anti-tank / heavy infantry component quite good.
He is also very handy for getting the rest of the army out of trouble, as things which like munching on Wave Serpents and large warrior squads generally don't want to get stomped on by a Wwraithknight. Likewise, things which kill wraithknights often vanish rather quickly when pelted with various flavours of poison and dark-light weaponry. He also provides some aggressive assault, being able to rush at enemy lines if they are trying to hold up against the skimmer fire.

And finally, no list of mine is complete without something to put in the corner for everyone to hide behind.
A Skyshield Landing Pad can just about fit all 7 skimmers, or some infantry if the skimmers are willing to move out a bit.
The Wave Serpents can obviously hide behind the legs to get a 2+ cover with holofields, but the biggest benefit is to the DE side.
Giving Venoms and Ravegers a 3+ cover or 4+ invulnerable vastly increases their chances of surviving, and protects against the defining feature of DE skimmers: being rather laughably easy to blow up. This is a huge bonus, keeping these alive long enough to do some serious damage can swing the game greatly in your favour.

So the army ends up looking like this:


5 Warriors:
5 Warriors:
Venom: 2 splinter cannons
Venom: 2 splinter cannons
20 Warriors: 2 Splinter Cannons

Ravager: 3 Dark Lances
Ravager: 3 Dark Lances
Ravager: 3 Dark Lances

Farseer: Jetbike, Shard of Anaris, Singing Spear

5 Dire Avengers
5 Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent: Scatter Laser, Holofields
Wave Serpent: Scatter Laser, Holofields
7 Warp Spiders

Skyshield Landing Pad

Total: 1848

Perhaps not the most competitive, but it has plenty of shooting, and is very mobile. Most of all, it gives a DE primary army a bit of resiliency, which is very rare for the delicate fashionistas