Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Greenskins versus Meta-game

Below is one of my favourite Orks aren't competitive posts...
The question of whether or not Orks are a “top tier” army has been the subject of some debate amongst 40k players on the internet lately, particularly on Dakka (view the current thread here). The thread mostly consists of poster Frank Fugger offering an insightful analysis of the army while fighting off a horde of nerd-raging knuckle-draggers. There are a few exceptions however (Primarch and Mahu, most notably).
At the risk of coming late to the dead horse beatdown unlike me since the whole Orks thing was way back in July last year... except for Abuse Puppy and his recent wall-of-text, I’ll throw in my two cents since both sides aren’t really debating the viability of Orks, but the competitive nature of 40k armies and the tournament scene. It should also be be noted that Stelek has chimed in on the issue, and in fact has been asserting that Orks are one of the least competitive armies in 5th edition 40k for quite some time (view article here). More recently, he has commented on the same Dakka thread, posting highlights of the conversation (link).
The release of the Ork codex represented a significant shift in game design from previous army releases in late 4th edition, most notably Chaos Space Marines. Prior to the Ork codex release, it was mostly trash with the exception of a few very specific builds that relied on favorable rock-paper-scissor matchmaking to perform well in a competitive setting like what the ETC Teams try to do with their pairing. Afterwards, they managed to catch up with codex creep and perform on a level above pretty much everyone else.
It’s easy to point to Grand Tournament results like Nathan Fluger and claim that Orks represent the best all-around army in Warhammer 40k, but is this a valid set of data on which to base such a conclusion? Orks dominated early on because they were suddenly made viable and operated completely outside of the 4th edition meta-game. They continue to be a dominant force mostly because people have been slow to adjust to 5th edition.
Ask yourself, what are the armies that tend to dominate Orks? The answer in every case will be those armies which take full advantage of the changes between editions (Vulkan marines, Immolator spam, mech IG, and so on).
Orks do indeed dominate 4th edition armies in the 5th edition ruleset, but does that make them competitive? Well, that obviously depends on your definition of competitive, and it raises a number of more important questions about the Warhammer 40k meta-game. Theoretically, if 99 people bring crappy lists to a tournament and 1 person brings a slightly less crappy list and wins with it, does that make that list competitive? Relatively speaking, yes. But compared to good lists, it’s still garbage.
That’s more or less the status of Orks in 40k.
Now, I don’t feel as strongly as Stelek that Orks are a crap army. I simply believe they are a straightforward, mediocre army with an very mild learning curve. Without a favorable ruling on deffrollas affecting vehicles, they struggle badly against Land Raiders due to their lack of meltaguns. Even with the ruling they suffer against Land Raiders... please drive your expensive pseudo-melta weapon towards my real melta weapons. Sure, Nob bikers and a Warboss can take it down eventually key word with 6’s to hit, but they get slaughtered by the combination of massed firepower and Assault Terminators that get thrown at them on the following turn. You scratched my ride. Your going down. And that’s if they DO kill it. If they don’t, then the opposing player gets to cut out the heart of the Ork force unscathed. Game over.
But AV14 isn’t the only weakness in the Ork codex. Mechanized armies are difficult for Orks to cope with in general because of their heavy reliance on CC to crack armor. This has been mitigated somewhat in a recent shift in Ork list building towards Battlewagon spam with boarding planks, now that people have figured out how to beat Nobs on bikes (I still have trouble with Charlie’s army, but I chalk that up to him being a good player). Furthermore, while Orks can go mech, their big weakness is that they need to disembark to do anything, which breaks the #1 rule of mounting up: STAY IN THE TANK. Orks units need to expose themselves to be of much use, a weakness that is easily exploited by players who know how to sacrifice units, tank shock, and use flamers... the last bit was some quotes by Frank Fugger.
- Danny Internet in Greenskins versus Meta-game: Are Orks Competitive?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Master Darksol's Orks Review...

... although I don't agree with everything said it does give another perspective on some Ork units. Below are the links with some snippets taken from each...

Ork Boyz
...Ork Boyz cost 6pts/model. A mob can have 10-30 Boyz (60-180 pts.) That's a very low point cost. You're looking at outnumbering a Marine army ~3:1 on average with a Troops choice like this. Your comparing a 6+ save with a 3+ save... need I go on? That's amazing. Toughness of 4 will help to keep the casualties down, despite the lack of real armor. WS 4 and A 2 are what should really be standing out to you. These guys are one of the best Close Combat units in the game, point-for-point... This is one of those Interwebz myths. Master Darksol is under the impression that Fearless Orks are good. They are in no way good with their 6+ armour save. Even with their Furious Charge which is hard to benefit from when on foot. And don't forget that foot sloggers hate being multi-Tank Shocked and then burnt alive with flamers. And their transport is open-topped while costing the same as a Rhino.
Ork Deffcoptas
Ork Deffcoptas are your most expensive Fast Attack option at 35 pts per model. Let's just get that out there right now... click the link to read the rest of his post which looks at their stats and wargear and then compares it to the other Fast Attack options.
 Looted Wagons
A Looted Wagon is a Heavy Support option for your Ork army. I think they're awesome, but not many people agree with me. Let's take a closer look at this unit... read the unit review to understand all of the reasons not to take Looted Wagons. But to sum it up for you: Heavy Support slot.
Tankbustas are an under-used and often overlooked unit in the Ork player's arsenal... they take up an Elite Slot. Enough said. On a different note take a look at this tutorial by Master Darksol on painting Tankbustas. His blog is filled with these awesome step-by-step guides.
I strongly encourage you to visit All Things 40K. It may not be the best place for tactics or competitive thoughts. But it has alot of great articles on a range of things... like the name says really.

Empire Mega Manor

Last monday I posted about a WiP Wizard tower by the chaps over at Warhammer World. This monday I've got the second half of the post with the Empire Mega Manor. As customary original comments below with any of my own thoughts in purple italics...

It has been a while since I caught up with Ray and his team, so this morning I popped by their workshop to see what they've been up to. I found two Warhammer buildings that Gareth Williams has been working on. Here's a look at his work-in-progress wizard's tower and his completed mega-manor.

The central part of the mega-manor was made from four Watchtowers, and believe it or not, the brickwork around the tower has all been taken from the little out-house you get in the Fortified Manor set.

This is a view of the building from the other side. Click on the image link to see the whole building from the other side.

To give the building a realistic look, Gareth painted the stones (I thought they were bricks but Ray was quick to point out that 'bricks are cast' and so these were 'clearly stones' - silly me.) in a variety of different colours.

All of the wooden decking was made from thin strips of balsa wood, though the wooden stirrers you'll find in most coffee shops will do instead. Click on the image link for a closer look at an area of decking.

Gareth made the tiling on the roof from thin cardboard. The clock is from the Chapel set. If you click on the image look below you'll see the paving that Gareth made by smoothing on some filler and then scoring it with a knife.

Disclaimer - Images taken from the Games Workshop website without permission and will be removed if requested.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Spotlight: Hand Made History

While looking around the Man Cave I came across a post linking to Hand Made History. I instantly knew that these amazing pieces of scenery and miniatures would have to be exposed. They are just stunning...
The temple at Dendera, dedicated to Hathor, belongs to the Ptolemaic era of Egypt. This was a time of foreign rulers, but who adopted Egyptian culture and religion.

Adepticon 2010 and Blog...

While wasting time exploring the blog-o-sphere I stumbled across some pictures from this years Adepticon over on Cursed Treasures. Below are some of the pictures (with original commentary) that jumped out at me...

Each year Sabol Designs brings a cool looking team event display board, this year was no exception. In fact it was the 2010 winner for Best Display. This thing was huge and looked awesome! One thing I have always wanted to do was to incorporate working lights into some of my terrain, but someone (DrunkenSamurai!) thinks that's too geeky! Well after seeing this he may change his tune.

Man does it look AWESOME...

Here was another cool display board that could be used for a regular table. Each year the displays keep getting bigger and better and I look forward to seeing what will turn up next.
Also Adepticon has a painting competition called the Rogue Demon each year. I have read that some folks would like to see this event broken down into two different events, one for anyone to enter and one for previous winners to enter. Regardless I love looking at the entries.
Here is my friend and fellow blogger Dave Taylors entry which he featured on his blog a few months ago. More pictures of these Creepy Little Guys can be found here, here and here. There is also a picture somewhere on BoLS from WAR Games Con...
And this Land Raider was way cool, I love the whole effect on this model. Some really nice painting on this.

Also from Cursed Treasures is this stunning banner.

While exploring the blog-o-sphere I also came across this post by the guys over on Dark Future Games which leads to the new Adepticon Development Blog. Looks like the hard work of Mike, from Whiskey & 40k, has had another positive effect on the tournament scene with a movement towards transparency.

Disclaimer - All images taken from Cursed Treasures and will be removed if requested.

Tankbustin' Orks

It is always strange when people argue that Orks have decent anti-tank capabilities... even weirder when they say they have great anti-tank...
The orkses have some of the very best weapons in the game to kill tanks, the only problem is you have to get into base-to base with the enemy. But ... it is very very hard to stop two force-fielded battlewagons.
Death Rolla gives d6 auto-hit S10 attacks. Warbosses and Kanz have loads of S10 attacks and klaws (including meganobs) have S9 on the charge.
Typical ork assault is to ram the battlewagon into a LR (d6 S10 auto-hit), at the same time as the boss swigs 6 S10 attacks from the boarding plank against a dread, then the meganobs charge out. That is some serious anti-tank! At the same time, those nob bikers have their way with you, and after some turns the killa kan mayhem arrives. Not som many tanks will survive in my experience.
- Henrik in this discussion on YTTH
And Stelek's reply...
That's certainly an interesting viewpoint. More like a looney viewpoint.
I'm curious how you get across the table to deliver this crushing blow upon the enemy? By driving his expensive pseudo-melta weapons towards all of your real melta weapons.
I don't think it's that difficult to stop two battlewagons, but I usually run lots of meltaweapons and/or lots of mobile units. So for me, dropping enough melta shots or side shots at range isn't that difficult. Given your description, it's not that difficult to blow up open-topped transports (which is what those seem to be).
I'm curious though, have you ever had someone do this to you? (This is how I stopped the force-field BW army myself, and I haven't seen it since.) Zip some fast units up so they are about 16" away from your BW. If they are fast, dropping them right in your face is best. Blocking movement is the idea.
See, the tank shock rule seems fairly clear to me--the tank ram itself must clear the enemy out of the way, or you can't keep moving. Which is all I want myself, so I can spend a turn zapping the BW support elements to death.
Once I've done sufficient damage and you are done blowing up my sacrificial vehicles, sure we can play. I'm pretty confident that if I strip out your support elements, two BW aren't going to stop me. Have you noted how effective enemy CC troops are at taking down BW? Even a tactical squad has a good shot at it, especially if the vehicle is immobilized (happens quite often with open-topped vehicles, even if they have a 4+ cover save). That rear armor 10 isn't protected by cover saves, so if you aren't moving fast...it's still a bad time.
A most common enemy (that Orks really don't have a good answer for) are Thunder Shield Terminators led by Vulkan. 15 S8 attacks with re-rolls is enough to smack down even a BW moving over 6".
Anyway, I don't doubt that gangplanks with a 2" range are effective around your area; I think around here I'd call them "fun". Just not good enough in my view.
- Stelek in Orks are Tank Bustas?? 
At this point I would normally say read the discussion for further ideas. But this was a pre-FAQ discussion. So it ended up being a discussion of whether Deff Rollas are able to Tank Shock. So just read the first three posts and feel free to ignore the rest.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Forge World: Pre-Heresy Space Marines and MAWR!

The Pre-Heresy pictures are old news but the Badab War pictures are fresh from the Baltimore Games Day 2010. Below are the pictures with commentary by Ead Brown from the Forge World Newsletter and members of the online community...
Hi There,
We have even more fantastic Space Marine kits for you in this Newsletter, including variant armour sets and some fantastically detailed Chapter-specific Transfer sheets and Etched Brass sets. We also have an update about what we’ll be showing you at Games Day Baltimore on August 21st.
Ead Brown
Phobos Pattern Bolter Pack
The Phobos Pattern Bolter Pack is closely associated with Mk II ‘Crusade’ Armour and is perhaps the most venerable design of the sacred Bolter used by the Astartes. Both were hand-crafted by the Fabricators of Mars at the very birth of the Imperium, to ensure that every Marine had the finest wargear with which to reunite the scattered elements of Humanity.

New Guard versus Old Guard

More dragging up old interwebz content because I'm bored read: procrastinating from doing University readings...
We get a lot of so-called 4th Edition army lists sent to us here at YTTH - which sometimes get chewed through by Stelek et al. Lots of fun!
People on Dakka, Warseer, BoLS Lounge, and other places keep advocating them. Why? Because they keep winning.
W. T. F.
How can Orks, Tyranids, Daemons, and armies-designed-with-no-answer-to-mech beat the Vulkans, mech-Eldar, Tau, and other armies. The same way that I only placed 5th in battle points at 2008 Vegas GT, instead of 1st or 2nd... experience (or the lack thereof). I had only completed my Immolator Spam list 1 week before the GT and only had a few games with it under my belt.
We're not spending enough time playing our armies. We're playing people who have had the same army for years - or a close approximation thereto.
An optimized army list will only get you so far. The actual application of tactics and knowing your army is more important by far. Amen brother. Hallelujah!!
So get out there and play, dangit!
- StJohn70 in 4th Ed Army > 5th Ed Army?
A very straight forward idea. Something that Stelek has been advocating recently. And something that Blackmoor failed to do in preparation for WAR Games Con even with his 20 dollar challenge. This isn't only Andrew and John's view...
Good post and good points.  I have 4 fully painted armies, which enough variation in those 4 that I can play another 4 out of that.  Plus I usually build a new army every few months to eliminate list burn out etc.  
But yes, someone who knows their list inside and out will always do better then the "it" thing for the month. 
- Thomas a.k.a Goatboy in the discussion
 and ...
This is exactly why Clint performs so well with battleforce type lists. He plays the list to death, for years straight, so he knows exactly what he will do in any situation, because he has already been there several times ... Some people have tons of experience so they know what to do, some people are more talented tacticians so they know what to do. When the two are presented with a scenario different from any they've seen before, who comes out on top?
- Jimmy a.k.a Froggage in the discussion
 Even Ron, the founder of From the Warp, understands this.

Know da Land Raider

The interwebz loves to say how Orks can not deal with AV 14. Especially with the Land Raider and the Assault Terminators it is carrying around with it. Below is a post by Warboss Kazdakka Facebeater, from The Orky Fort, on how Orks can deal with Land Raiders...
There are many Ork players having trouble picking off those dreaded Land Raiders. It's a fact that it's the toughest vehicle in the game (AV14 all around). They have potentially good gunz to gun down yer boyz before you stick in your Power Klaw in them too. Plus players will usually fit in Terminators inside of them, making them all round killy. So here's my suggestion to clobber that cheesy humie vehicle and scrap them for the meks to loot!
First of all you need to know the different Land Raiders those beakies can field. There are three: Normal LRs, LR Crusaders, and LR Redeemers. Since I can't tell point to point what their cost and what they'll do (its illegal!), but I can roughly tell you what they CAN do. So at least yer know what the beakies are up to.
 Know da Beakie's LR :-
  • All Land Raiders in general can shoot an additional weapon if dey wanted, and can shoot at 2 different target, thanks to their silly spirit thingy on their machines. So don't think charging 2 squads of boyz towards it is safe! Ya need to time yer run properly.
  • Like da Rhinos, their access points are both left and right sides and the front. If you have hoardes of boyz, you can try closing 2 access points (or all!) , give him a good nice Klaw, and those beakie boyz will die  if they can't disembark their LR which is dead! Har! Har!
  • Even though they are not open topped, their blasted rules say they can Assault the same turn they disembark. Meh!
  • They can give themselves 4+ cover save by shooting smokes in front of themselves.
  • Da Land Raider Crusader has the probability of being having more killy passengers, as it can carry 16 models compared to the other 2 LRs (12 each). Rememba to block their access points if you can! :D
  • A Land Raider Crusader is has more of anti-infantry gunz, Land Raider Redeemer has two skorchas to take out mass hoard infantries, and the regular Land Raider is more kitted to take out vehicles.
  • There are two potential weaponz that can penetrate your 14AV Battlewagon from the front, Two TL Lascannons from regular Land Raiders, or a one multi-melta upgrade to any of da Land Raiders. FYI, the Multi-Melta is only dangerous when he's within 12" of you...so becareful of that. The mobility provided by the Land Raider Crusader means it can get side shots against Battlewagons with minimal difficulty. The Big Mek + KFF is your best friend by making them miss your vehicles 50% of the time they hit you! And just in case ya didn't know, Lascannons are on the LR's left and right side sponsoon.
Okay, so ya know what dey'z had, how do ya deal with it? The top choices that can squish those hard nuts are :
  • Battlewagon + Deffrollas - Good against all LRs, just make sure your front armor is always facing them as much as you can. Thankyou for driving your expensive pseudo-melta weapons closer to my real melta weapons.
  • Warbiker Warboss's Power Klaw - Very good against regular LRs and LR Redeemers as they may not have enough time to bring you down if you turbo boosted your bike.
  • Warbiker Nob's Power Klaw - Slightly lower STR than the Boss, but more harder to bring down due to more number of wounds in a group and FNP by your Painboy Biker. Please do throw your expensive rock unit against my expensive rock unit. While your busy doing that I will focus on killing the rest of your army...did we mention you probably don't have much long range anti-mech because your Lootas share the same slot as Nobz. Except for the single squad that got moved to troops thanks to the Warboss... please bring a second Warboss for the second Nobz biker squad. That way we can both have Dual Rock units.
  • Small group of Tankbustas w/ Tankhammers on Battlewagon - A cheaper alternative to pop a Land Raider, but a risky one as once your wagon is down, the tankbustas are probably dead, pinned or running away. And not viable in an all-comers army since those guys are pretty useless against a wall of AV 11 steel.
  • As discussed earlier, most Land Raiders can shoot/burn our boyz on foot before we reach 'em. The best way to deal with all 3 of those tough nuts is to start with your AV14 Battlewagon with a KFF Big Mek for increased survivability. From there, you can add Deffrollas, mount yer Power Klaw units or Tankbusta w/Tankhammers. Wow... yes please do put all of those eggs into the same basket with AV 12 sides. Da other alternative is for that your Biker Warboss/Nobz can stick it's Power Klaws to that tough nut as well. Or you can attach your Biker Boss to your bunch or Biker Nobz for extreme killyness! Rememba to Turbo-Boost your biker to get that 3+ cover save!
But looking at flexibility, I'll stick with the Battlewagon w/ Deffrolla or the Power Klaw units on Bike instead of Tankbustas. Ya agree gitz? :D
- Warboss Kazdakka Facebeater in Orks Tactica: Know da Land Raider and CLOBBER 'em good!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mercer's Top Orks

An article by Mercer that looks at what he thinks are the Orks top units. His top units may not reflect the views of the competitive scene but that isn't stopping me from posting it...
Like for Chaos Marines I thought I do the top units for Orks, after all like Chaos Space Marines they're branded as a low tier uncompetitive army by some. Lets see how many units are actually decent...
In no particular order we have:
1. Warboss
This cheap HQ at base level is only 60 points and is quite a bad ass in close combat. The Warboss is S5, T5 has 3 wounds and shockingly for Orks is I4! Throw in 4 attacks with leadership 9 and makes the Warboss pretty decent. Only suck part about the Warbosses profile is the ballistic skill, but no need to worry about that and also the armour save - which I'll move onto in a moment. Oh, and the Warboss makes a single unit of Nobz counts as troops too :D So taking two Warbosses gives you two Nobz units as troops... 
As standard the Warboss isn't too bad but can be made a lot lot better. First sort out the crap armour save by giving a cybork body for a 5+ invulnerable save. I don't see the point in 'eavy armour because there's a great deal of AP4 out there, so use the invulnerable and if you're smart stick the Boss with a Nobz unit which has feel no pain so that will be 5+ invulnerable followed by 4+ feel no pain, nice ;) . Next throw on a power klaw, don't bother with the big choppa just go for the power klaw because this makes your Warboss S10! We can also deal with the crapola ballistic skill by throwing in a kombi skorcha for softening up units before assaulting, but the Warboss isn't about shooting so don't worry about it. With the Boss now with better armour and a better weapon we can tool him up some more, give him a bike if you want to go the biker route but something you should take is a attack squig. Yeah it's 15 points but gives the Warboss a extra attack so that will be 6 S10 attacks on the charge!
Tactics are simple with uno bosso - throw in close combat and mash stuff up with that power klaw. Just make sure the Warboss is with a unit to be protected but just remember majority toughness will make the Warboss back down to T4, though you cannot have everything. What you can do is as mentioned pop the Warboss with a unit of Nobz with a Painboy this will make a uber killy deathstar unit which should be hard to put down with feel no pain, especially if the Nobz all have different wargear ;)
2. Big Mek
The Big Mek has the profile of a Nob and allows a single Deff Dread to be taken as troops, groovy, and can repair vehicles too. A standard Nob is 20 points so I feel a extra 15 points to make a vehicle work and allow a single unit as troops (which cannot score anyway) is a bit of a rip off. But the Big Mek isn't all bad, certainly not. The Big Mek is a army utility.
Your Big Mek should be only used in one way I believe and that's with a kustom force field this is the view of the Interwebz as well. The field gives infantry a 5+ cover and vehicles a 4+ cover so in any form of Ork army it will be useful. This makes the Big Mek a army utility rather than a hard hitting clobbering close combat unit like the Warboss. A lot of people do consider a shokk attack gun this can be fun but the shokk attack gun is too unpredictable and not the best weapon for a competitve player; it's random strength cannot be relied on. The first thing I'd do is give my Big Mek cybork body for the same reason as the Warboss so the gezzer is now more survivable, remember the Big Mek is a I.C so can be picked out in close combat and if the Mek dies then no force field! Any upgrades after that is your choice.
Tactics are simple with this fella. When using a KFF make sure the Big Mek is either in a vehicle, only get the Big Mek out the vehicle if the worst comes to the worst. If the Big Mek is on foot make sure he's in a large unit to protect him and keep him out of base combat so he cannot be engaged. If taking a shokk attack gun pop him with Lootas with a bosspole, this will stop the Lootas running off but also add to there fire power. This is a bad idea... your opponent will already view your Lootas as a high priority target. By adding in the Big Mek it just got a whole lot worse. Plus your Big Mek can't move with the rest of the horde if he sticks in the backfield with the Lootas.
The downside to the Big Mek is it can be killed easily so close combat make sure you get into base to base and smack the Big Mek with a S8 weapon, bye-bye. The Big Mek also isn't the best fighter for a HQ so if the Mek does get bogged down in combat make sure it has support, a power klaw would be handy btw.
3. Nobz
What's there not to like about Nobz? These guys act as the Orks Space Marine Terminators, yes that sounds weird because they have no armour like Terminators etc but just here me out.
Nobz are ace in close combat but firstly upgrade one of them to a Painboy and give all cybork bodies; you now have feel no pain and a invulnerable save. Then give them all unique wargear so you can play with the wound allocation. Big choppas can be fun for some strong attacks wading it at I4 and power klaws are ace for S9. Take a bosspole on them so they don't run away and a waaagh! banner is mandatory as this gives the Nobz +1 weapon skill, so that Warboss with the mob becomes WS6 as it's the mob which benefits from it, which the Warboss is part of ;)
As mentioned give your Nobz unique wargear so each Nob has to be wounded once before removing it as a wounded model. Transport always put them in a Battlewagon, yes it costs more points but Nobz can soon tot  up the points and you do not want your expensive elite unit getting blown to pieces while in a weak Trukk. If you do not want a Battlewagon consider bikes for them. Bikes make Nobz expensive but they can get into the fight quicker and also this gives them a 4+ cover save too from the Warbikers special rule ;)
Nobz have only one weakness, really, S8 weapons will smash them dishing out instant death and then wound allocation will not work - bye bye Nobz! :( . The best tactic against Nobz is gun them down and then follow up with a assault from a elite tough unit, if Nobz get the charge they can smash Terminators too due to the amount of attacks they can land. Do not throw a rock unit against a rock unit. Throw a sacrificial unit at them. And more importantly. Nobz should never be able to get the charge against Assault Terminators. The terminators are in a Land Raider. Orks do not have reliable methods of opening up AV 14 except in close combat. On the other hand Space Marines can bring loads of mobile melta weapons to take out the Battlewagon... foot slogging Nobz can die easily.
4. Lootas
Not a lot to say about Lootas except they have a massive range S7 gun which fires D3 shots per unit, yes D3 shots. This makes the Lootas excellent for anti infantry and light armour as weight of fire power is there thing. They can provide Target Saturation... take out the AV 11-12 vehicles with their weight of fire. Especially when the Ork player brings 30 Lootas (3 units of 10). The Nobz go into the troop slot thanks to the Warboss.
I always say take Lootas in large units; some say units of 5 or 15. Reason I do not agree with units of 5 is because Lootas work on volume of fire power. The most shots you'll have in a unit of 5 is 15, not a lot and you're BS2 a real issue for Lootas. That D3 is countered by the crap shooting of Orks. If you have 15 Lootas or even 10 you've got 30-45 shots which is a lot lot better. People say the reason for taking 5 Lootas is because or morale, well kill 2 Lootas and they're facing morale and ok if they run you haven't lost a lot but also do not expect 5 Lootas do do a lot expect them to kill nothing actually. If you take 10 Lootas you need to kill 4 before they face morale. Really the best number is 12 because they're fearless and need to lose 5 before they take morale tests which is a large portion of the unit - in case you're wondering how I got that Orks are fearless if over 11 so kill 2 and they're no longer fearless but 25% of 10 is 2.75 or something so round it up, and then if you do fail morale you can regroup because you're not under half strength.
Lootas weakness is they're at the back of the board so outflanking units can get them. Don't worry about deep strikers because you can turn on them and gun them down and any smart player would put the Lootas in cover so you'll get a cover save if they do get shot at unless it is a deepstriking Land Speeder with a Heavy Flamer. Thankyou very much Ork player for using your guns on my cheap Land Speeder instead of my transports with troops inside. Also if because they're LD7 they can be prone to running off and without a bosspole they do not get re-rolls.
5. Deffkopter
The Deffkopter is a funky little unit which can be really annoying. These guys are probably best used as alpha strike units, suicide units and tank busting. The Deffkopters profile makes all those roles pefectly dobable. Firstly it has scout rule so if you get first turn zoom ahead and then take your turn, or consider outflanking them and tackling some rear tank armour. Bonus is as well because they're jetbikes that means they turbo boost 24" and get a 3+ cover save which is highly annoying and they do not take terrain tests, only dangerous ones if you land in terrain so make sure you don't! Something I do think is weird is that the Deffkopters get the mob rule, which makes Orks in a unit of 11+ fearless just except Deffkopters are in units 1-5 so how does that work?
Simple tactics for these like all Orks. Kit them out with twin-linked rokkits and buzzsaw and turbo boost them or outflank them to the toughest target and alpha strike it. Treat them as a throw away unit, although they're expensive for Orks and you'll be fine. Also use them to tie up units too like that long range Space Marine Devastator squad. Also take them in singles so you do not have to take morale tests and you have three flying targets to annoy people with and three chances to take out three seperate enemy units. Space Marines can do this better with their Land Speeders armed with MM/HF... sure they cost double the points but benefit from a duality.
Bad news about these guys is they're expensive with the load out I mentioned. They like all Orks suffer on leadership and without a bosspole they can fall back swiftly. Warbuggies are vehicles so no Leadership issues... Mech is king baby.
6. Battlewagon
The Battlewagon is a awesome bit of kit which is highly flexable. It packs armour 14 at the front with armour 12 at the side which isn't shabby. The GW model is like a kick in the nuts for Ork players. The front is narrow while the AV 12 sides are long. It can be used in various roles from basic transport to a gun tank to ramming other vehicles.
Wagons come "naked" so it's a must you throw on a big shoota to asborb the weapon destroyed results or other wise without it a weapon destroyed will make it immobilised. If you're using it as a transport do not put any more guns on it or else you can only move 6" which goes against transporting that squad into the fight a.s.a.p. Consider red paint job for that extra 1" though to me it's just 1". A reinforced ram can be useful for those terrain tests and a boarding plank is essential as this allows you to assault vehicles with a single Ork model without getting out putting yourself a risk. The whole power klaw as the only reliable AV 14 busting.
Orks lack serious anti tank though now Games Workshop have finally decided to say deffrollas work on vehicles (like it's obivous they did anyway) you can smash vehicles pretty easily as the deffrolla is S10 and gives D6 hits - don't bother for infantry as it allows armour saves. Thankyou for moving closer to my melta-guns with your only pseudo-melta weapons.
The Battlewagon like all Ork vehicles is open topped (unless you put an ard case on it) which makes it vulnerable to anti tank weapons as this gives a +1 on the vehicle damage table, it's even worse against melta! While armour 14 holds out well against the front the Wagon can be easily flanked and be vulnerable at the weaker armour 12 side, or even armour 10 rear. Like other Ork vehicles you shouldn't invest a whole amount of points in them because with a whole bunch of melta on the board they go pop rapidly. Just take the essentials and you'll be fine.
7. Killa Kanz
The small cousin of the Deff Dread and now gets a wicked new model design! The Kanz are cheap and highly flexible and they're not too bad at shooting either. They can do anti infantry or anti tank fairly well and act brilliantly as a defense unit.
If you want anti infantry take grotzookas, big shoota or skorcha. You want anti tank consider rokkits or kustom mega blaster, though the mega blaster is good for killing 2+ armour save as it's AP2 ;). They're also not bad at assault having 2 attacks standard and a single DCCW.  Always take them in a unit of 3 because a single one won't last long and don't bother with any of the grot riggers or armour plates because these are useless for vehicles in squadrons ;) . What the best use of these is using them to shield Boyz marching up the field joined with a Big Mek. The Meks KFF gives the Kanz a 4+ save which in turn give the Boyz a 4+ save.
The Kanz weakness is there armour and in squads. You take a single and it won't last 5 minutes and you take them in squads and a immobilised result because wrecked. Keep them alive with a Big Meks KFF.
Notable Mentions
Ork Boyz
One of the two troops choices in the Ork codex. They're pretty cheap but crap are shooting and considering they're meant to be good in combat (Orks that is) they're only S3 and I2 standard which doesn't make them hard hitting or particularly quick. A elite close combat unit will wipe them out and with only one unit being able to take the expensive eavy armour you'll find the normal 6+ armour save Boyz don't last long. If you do take Boyz you need at least 20 of them in a mob for numbers, forget 12 in a Trukk because they just do not last. Plus those guys are fearless in close combat... very, very bad with their crap armour save.
Funky little mights which come in handy for claiming objectives and forming protective walls around vulnerable units i.e Lootas. However that last tactic isn't brilliant as Gretchin have no armour save and are T2 so you just look at them the wrong way and they'll die, a smart player will kill them before firing at the unit behind which will stop the unit behind getting a cover save. For some reason that sounds like really bad advice... the Ork player wants those Lootas to survive as long as possible. By shooting at the Gretchin' for a turn or two you are doing what the Ork player wants. The only chance these guys have of surviving is cover. 
A Ork Boy with a flamer thrower which costs 15 points, hmmm, slightly expensive. Ok it's a power weapon too but you can only use the flamer or the power weapon in one turn, not both. Best thing for these is throw them in a Battlewagon in large numbers and lay down multiple templates - if you hit a unit of say 5 Terminators with 15 Burna templates that's 75 to wound rolls you need to dish out, groovy. But the thing is these take a elite slot which the Nobz and Lootas can hold a lot lot better.
Unfortunately I cannot build a Ork list containing all the best units because none of the Orks troops are in the top units :(  - which is a shame. If I did it would be something like this: Click here for army list.
- Mercer in Orks Top Units

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wound Allocation: BoLS, Kirby & MAWR!

All the pieces have come together. Be prepared to have your minds fucked by some of the worst drivel ever defecated onto your screens. It is as if the collective minds of stupidity have opened all their orifices and crapped into your innocent soul. You will experience new levels of hatred, disgust and even the urge to kill. These feelings are perfectly normal and the result of iamaddjiKirby, Dethtron, TKE and Mkerr...

The following is primarily intended for comedic effect, and should be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet of lies, misinformation, truth and dietary fibre. Please do not exceed your RDA of humorous content, as injury may cause pain or even death. Strap in, and join me in a drink (metaphorically, I don't have a drink large enough to encompass all of our bodies...)

I tried, I really tried to give BoLS the benefit of the doubt. Didn't work. Once again iamaddj is quickly becoming one of my favorite BoLS writers, for all the wrong reasons. To begin with we've got the name. What's up with that seriously? I know. What is with people having weird screen names? Especially the idiots who can't even spell basic words... Is he a ddj? Is he a mad dj that can't use verbs? I won't speculate any further beyond that. puts out an opinionated article which does...nothing. So here's another snowmobile of his article (with the ensuing lols) whilst also highlighting the why of wound allocation. My comments in blue changed to pink because it looks cooler. Mine are in this vomit-inducing shade of green. YAY! 

Just over two years ago, in an unpredicted and horrifying move cheating was legalized in 40K. Following GW rules = cheating. Oh, I knew I was doing it wrong. Abusing said rules "with the intention to gain an unforeseen and clearly unintended benefit = cheating" is more accurate, but not nearly as catchy. Who would get their panties all bunched up over that title? Maybe the primary concern of articles should be content rather than hits and therefore Ad revenue? maybe some integrity would see less provocative nonsense, and instead we could discuss real issues... like sex, drugs and rock-n-roll How did this happen? Two words, Wound Allocation. So what's the INAT FAQ then? Also two words?? And so is dumb ass and dip shyt. Or are those one word... I'll be honest.  I have no idea what Kirby meant there. What a tool... Hold up! What side is TKE on anyway? 

That's right my friends, two years ago Warhammer 40,000 5th edition was released, I thought it was recent from your last article. Burn! Oh yeah, iamaddj, you just got burned! Did you feel the heat?! If that's third degree, then you better go to hospital, even if it covers less than 1% of your total skin area. and something subtle and nefarious found its way into the ruleset. It seemed like such an innocent little rule at first glance. This rule was, again I assume, never intended to be used to allow people to cheat, It's a rule. How is it cheating? Yeah! It's a rule, lame-o! Wait, didn't you already use the "it's a rule" dig? Yeah! No way can you repeat yourself in commentary, or in articles in general! and yet it like Anakin Skywalker, was used and turned to evil. What's your excuse for abusing the English language and our retinas? Ha! Take that, iamaddj! What's your excuse? Tell me! That's what I thought. No excuse! Funnily enough a comment on the original - The article was indeed as poor as the Star Wars prequels, so good analogy, in that sense. The whole Anakin turning to Vader plot was planned way back when Lucas was writing the original scripts... but man was the Obi-Wan versus Anakin fight in the third movie utterly crap. This alternative ending is much better...  The rule I speak off is the often debated and controversial wound allocation system. It's not debated it's clear cut. One wound per model before wounds stack. Wounded multi-wound models must die first unless there are varied wargears then you allocate first. Was that hard? Yeah! Was it hard? Umm. Hold up, Kirby. Easy to understand doesn't mean it's not "often debated". I don't think anyone is unclear on how the rule works; the debate is about how it's used to gain unintended benefit.  Then why do you later on say that noobs find the rule over complicated. To be honest, later comments in the article seem to decry this belief, Monty. I just pointed it out. And I've had this post sitting in draft longer than you... was actually waiting for TKE to do his snowmobile. But don't worry, I will highlight them when we come across them.  The other issue here is this belief it is 'unintended' benefit.  Truly, I find this to be horseshit, if you'll pardon my French.  If you won't, then I find YOU to also be horseshit.  No offence.  I will return to this point.

Now last week I called out true Line of Sight the worst article about TLOS ever written all over the interwebs. I said it was killing our games, You were wrong. 10-1 odds you are again here. Oooh! Another stinger! (By the way, if you plan to attack someone's use of language - which is lazy - then you should avoid starting a sentence with a numeral. It's one of those pesky grammar rules.) Very true. He should have said "I'll lay 10-1 odds you are again here." Kirby, everything else you say is invalid now. :( I said it was a plague upon wargaming, and I stand by that. But for me TLoS is a major plague on all wargaming, not just 40k. Worst argument ever. Opinion pieces especially should be based on fact. The absence of fact in opinion is what has created things like the tea party here in the states. Wound Allocation is only a major problem for 40K. But in that limited scope, and by limited I mean the most popular and played wargame of all time, it is most likely the most serious flaw. Or lack of intellect. Lack of intellect is the game's most serious flaw? It's certainly an issue in the 40k blogging community. Actually, player stupidity is probably the worst part of most games. Without player stupidity (made all the more egregious when by otherwise perfectly intelligent people) forums would have shut down a long time ago without a regular influx of new thoughts (or rather, posts that THOUGHT they were new, but a simple search proves they are a pathetically common mistake.) That, or they become staid, stifling online morgues, where groupthink has reached such a devastating crescendo of silence that it intentionally seeks out and smothers dissenting opinion. I though moobs would of been. Although an imaginary research project I did suggests that sand in manginas may be the leading cause of flawed games... fortunately Dethtron has devised a procedure that repairs the damage. You will still have a mangina though...

That's right, I said it, Wound Allocation is the single biggest flaw in 40K at this moment. I find that dubious. If you truly thought the single biggest issue with the game was Wound Allocation, then why on earth would you start with an article on TLoS, knowing it would turn off scores of potential future readers? Why waste any time fighting this insidious threat?!?!111?! Why, and how has it made cheating legal you might ask? Cheating - violating accepted standards or rules (thanks to Web Dictionary). Hey, wound allocation is a rule. Shut up. I think it's funny you had to look up the definition of "cheating". Since you were looking at the definition, you probably noticed it also means "to elude or thwart" -- to using a rule to get around another rule could be considered "cheating" as well. I'm confuzzled. What's your point? I haven't read Kirby advocating being a rules lawyer anywhere. Well lets look at the facts. That's all the facts I need thanks. Yeah! Who needs all of the facts?! Not us! Books are for sucks! Let's pre-face this. Wound Allocation slows the game down when you get a bunch of different attacks and models particularly squads of multiple wounds such as Nobz and Thunderwolves being hit by some weapons which ignore armor, some which cause instant death and some which are just regular old wounds. Actually, wound allocation slows down the game whenever lots of wounds are applied against a complex unit, which is pretty common. It usually doesn't bring the game to a stand-still, but the player taking the hits needs to communicate where the wounds are going and deal with them in distinct groups -- which is always slower than just allocating wounds and some rolling dice. Not so much, since what he's doing is allocating wounds and rolling some dice. Ensuring your opponent is clear exactly WHY you are rolling a dice, at ANY time, is simply common courtesy. But Kirby is a competitive gamer. He is the plague upon the four corners of the globe with his WAAC attitude. Without soft scores he would surely beat up baby seals every chance he gets. Sure, it makes the game a little bit slower than in previous Editions. Of course, people also complain at least as much when the game is sped up. Anyone else remember 2e close combat? Who'd have thought people would ever miss THAT nightmare? Anyway, your sentence starting 'Anyway' was an AGREEMENT, phrased as a rebuttal. Hardly the way to foster positive community spirit. Has anyone else noticed that the original article has become buried in this retinal destroying, multi-coloured wall-of-text?

When you have two players who know this system and have a somewhat decent IQ, it's not too bad. I thought you just said "lack of intellect" is the game's most serious flaw? Be consistent! I agree. Lets all agree that sand in manginas is the most serious flaw. MKerr...really? It clearly IS consistent. He says dumb people are a problem, then says that this other 'problem' isn't an issue when players are smart. I don't actually believe you didn't understand that. It's slower than what it was before (Wait , so you agree now?) but it also stops special guys only dying at the end. (Which is the opposite of the rule's intention... So your disagreeing with what iamaddj is saying in the next paragraph?) I disagree.  I won't claim any privileged knowledge of the topic, save that I dimly recall Alessio stating on the Podcast that the rule was expressly designed to CAUSE the 'premature' deaths of these models, Heavy and Special weapons, Sergeants and the like - because it was silly that their friends took EVERY shot for them, EVERY game. I imagine there are serious ways to streamline this but nothing comes to my mind atm. Probably that "lack of intellect" thing... Nice one. Did you feel that burn Kirby? Stick yourself under cold water for ten minutes, it doesn't look that serious. Given some of MKerr's other nonsense though, it may be an acid burn... When looking in my bathroom cupboard I couldn't find any labels with the Acid Information Centre. However, the Poison Information Centre may be helpful. Their number is 131 126. Let's hear your thoughts on this. How can wound allocation be streamlined so it's quick yet special/sarges/heavies can die mid-game? Yeah, it's pretty easy to write an article poking holes in another article without suggesting any solutions. Isn't it? I could do this all day! Other than sand in manginas there doesn't seem to be any problems that need fixing.

Wound Allocation Was Supposed to Help the Shooter  

When 5th Edition was released all the interviews and production notes agreed, wound allocation was in the game to help the shooting player. The designer notes I read didn't say that... was added to the rules to make it more realistic. Wound allocation had been added to the game to allow for the chance that the shooting player might kill one of the target squad's important members. I told you Mkerr was disagreeing with iamaddji. I haven't seen any of these interview notes (In your face, iamaddj!) but yes, this was the concept behind this design (So you agree  players are abusing it?) Did you have to interrupt the sentence half way? The answer is in the same sentence. but I imagine GW designers having some understanding of math (since the systems they use are based on math) knew wound allocation actually improved a squad's survivability once you hit a magic number or if there were armor ignoring wounds, etc. Maybe they wanted the game more realistic lol. (Or maybe they assumed their players weren't douche bags and wouldn't twist the rule to gain a benefit none of them anticipated when they wrote the rule? No, you're right it's probably more likely they *intended* this from the start!) Well, seeing as how the Ork Codex was finished before 5e was, and the fact their playtesting was somewhat concurrent, it seem wholly inconceivable that they missed the prospect of Nob Bikers being fully complex. It is literally impossible this was something they were unaware of when creating other, more recent units that can take advantage of this rule, like...what's that unit Kirby JUST MENTIONED? Oh, TWC.  Yeah, them. Burned!! Do you feel the heat Mkerr? Yeah that's right. Scream in agony as your skin melts... that Information Centre won't be able to help you since their all the way in Australia. Or BA Honour Guard. Or a dozen other things, though most of them don't gain much/enough benefit to make it worthwhile. Simply put though - if they didn't want to allow us to play in this way, it would have been easy to restrict or eliminate entirely.  Given that they haven't, we can ONLY assume they don't care one way of the other, or don't mind.  Then again, I suppose the Nid Codex is a slight move towards limiting this issue, though that is a matter of interpretation.  Perhaps the next Codex will give us a better indication of their current feeling on the matter, unless it is Necrons of course.  We should really bear in mind that, to the best of my knowledge, the Nid Codex was the first that Alessio wouldn't really have been involved in...but then, the BA Codex offers decent shenanigan-related options here.

This was seen as a huge positive, a move away from the old style of play where the last model in a squad was also the most important, normally the sergeant or special weapon guy. Second page of the designer notes talks about wound allocation. Wound allocation was put into the game to replace the older "torrent of fire" rule which allowed the shooting player to force saves to be taken on a model of his choice if he did enough hits. But in the face of canny players this new rule backfired. How? This concept uh, well it works. Special models can die before their squad is wiped. Yes, it's possible -- just less unlikely. What is more likely is the rules are used to stack un-savable wounds on models that are already dead. So while Brothers Bill and Charlie get peppered with Lasgun shots, poor Brother Steve takes multiple Plasma Gun wounds to the pooper. As he said, the rule backfired -- meaning it had the opposite effect. While watching Terminator Salvation today I got to see Marcus get the crap between out of him while John was completing an objective. I guess Hollywood has made the same mistaken Games Workshop did when it came to wound allocation... Here we come again to player intelligence. If a player has even a rudimentary tactical knowledge, he won't be stupid enough to fire enough of the 'wrong' weapons and give the enemy an unwarranted advantage. Sure, it's possible to argue the rule backfired, given the extent to which people have gone to try and mould the rule to their advantage - but, again, Ork codex was in progress/done at this stage. I think I have one of it's playtesters on my contact list, I'll check later - frankly, this article doesn't mean enough to me to interrupt it checking now. Another imaginary research project I did revealed unanimously that 9 in 10 people thought TKE should of checked it.

Many People Don't Actually Use Wound Allocation

The first major strike against wound allocation is that many, many people don't actually use it, or like the gym, use it infrequently. More sweeping generalizations made up from a representative sample of n=0. Edit off. If you're not using this rule, you're playing not 40k, plain and simple. It's a fundamental rule, you can't skip it. Sure people edit up and get antsy and just start removing casualties sometimes, but this really isn't even worth discussing. Because they are incapable, right? Because it's complicated? 100% of my games use (and abuse) Firstly, that is unfair.  Secondly, it is impossible.  Knowing, as you do, that Kirby plays with multiple armies, it simply could not be the case that ALL of his games feature units capable of 'abuse' of the rule.  Also, 'abusing' it isn't really defined.  When is it abuse?  Are a 3-man Ravenwing Attack Squadron with unique equipment abusing it? What if they have unique equipment because they only have one Special Weapon instead of the two they should have? You got burned again Mkerr. it. When someone doesn't or forgets, we randomly roll to allocate the failed wounds because...it's part of the rules. (Randomly allocating the failed wounds because someone forgot is part of the rules? Sweet!) ...The only rule is the most important rule... It would make more sense to ignore the rolls and go back to the Allocation Step, before rolling again.  Still, that tends to aggravate anyone stupid/careless enough to have forgotten. Not doing so is cheating. Once again you've generalised from your personal experience which seems strange to say the least. (Aren't you also generalizing from your personal experience? Maybe he's just had a broader experience than you?) After iamaddji's last BoLS article it is hard to imagine he encounters alot of different 40K players... and if it is true he likes tournaments then he must play in some pretty dodgy ones if they don't enforce the rules. Possible, of course. However, the way he talks about the game doesn't lend much credibility to this theory.

The truth is the wound allocation rules are a bit complicated WOW! Wait! It's more complicated...so it's NOT easy to understand?? and slow the game down. Spot on but you haven't explained how or why. Isn't that obvious? It's more complicated. It slows things down. Does he *really* have to prove it's more complicated than the old rules? Does he *really* have to prove  complicated things take more time than simple things? ...Not everybody reading BoLS has been playing since last edition. They don't have the ability to compare rules from this edition to previous editions... Of course not! However, he should be clearer.  If people aren't using it, as he claims, then it has no effect - like the old Torrent of Fire rule.  If they use it infrequently, then OF COURSE a rule they don't use often will make things slower, as it is when a unit has the Rage rule, or you first play against a new Codex. On a normal squad of 10 marines w/Flamer/Sarge/MM it's not complicated. On a squad of 3x TW w/TH, SS, m-bombs being hit by 3x S4, 1 AP2, 1 S10 hits, well it becomes a bit more difficult. (Heck, the acronyms alone make the latter much more complicated...) ...Here I'll translate it for you: 3 x Thunder Wolves with Thunder Hammers, Storm Shields, melta-bombs... Because of this many people just skip the allocation step. And that is cheating. Didn't you just look up "cheating" on the web?! Misunderstanding a rule (or mutually agreeing to change a rule) isn't actually cheating. ...Your right. Except iamaddj didn't tell us that is what happened. He said they skipped the rule. Not forgot or changed the rule... Ugh.  See opening paragraphs.  'Mutually' agreeing to change a rule mid-game IS cheating.  Doing it before the start, not so - though then you aren't playing the same 40k as everyone else (on the web) and so have no right to comment on what goes on in our games in the fashion this (original) article does.

Its something I see a lot. "Oh you did 10 wounds?" rolls ten saves together "Well I failed four, so I guess these four guys die". That's common occurrence, and unless the squad was all exactly the same, its wrong. And cheating. (Or Not) WTF? How is it not cheating? In BRB 5e 40k, it IS cheating, every time.  Just not necessarily Cheating in non-games of 40k with house rules. It in fact leads to the very thing wound allocation was made to stop, the most important members of a squad being the last to die. It's cheating, too. Umm, did you just switch sides? Iamaddj is saying the abuse wound allocation to keep your important squad members alive is cheating and you agreed with him. Aren't you supposed to be on the other side of this argument? (I recommend going back to the whole "GW rules = cheating" bit. It. Was. Golden.) No, quite clearly he is saying that ignoring the rule, and therefore using some sort of pseudo-4e casualty removal is Cheating. Y'know, seeing as how it is and stuff. Oh, and Shatner. Impression. For. The. Win. Because the rules are complex and unpopular [Wow AGAIN! Not easy to understand, brought in again.  How unexpected...] they didn't get used much, especially by newer players which is a major strike against them. So they are cheating. Again, not following a rule because you don't understand it you said the rule isn't unclear to anyone in the beginning (new players) GW or find it too complicated or unpopular (meaning your FLGS has a different house rule) isn't cheating. Are you using UrbanDictionary or something? Unpopular doesn't mean that they have changed it. Still, I think GW should do some sort of survey. Participation should be made mandatory in some way, just to make sure we get a proper picture of the division in the Community over this HUGE issue.  

Furthermore unlike TLoS, which many people say simplified the game, wound allocation just made it more complicated. [Again with the 'it makes the game harder on my brain' thing...] Correct but not using it is cheating...rather than using it being cheating like you said. The cheating part is the whole "using it to gain the opposite of the intended effect" thing. ...We don't know what the intended effect was other than the special guy not being the last guy to always die... Oh. Well, since iamaddj made no real argument regarding whether or not it WAS intended, then Kirby's was a perfectly germane comment. For game balance though, those specials being able to die and who are much more likely to die the smaller the squad, is important. That's not really true, his example below showed all of the "specials" in 6-man unit surviving SIX plasma wounds. That's a lot better than it used to be, right? Mechanics and balance & ease of use. Sorry, can you say that again? "Mechanics and balance > ease of use"? So you are saying the rule is 1) being used as intended Yes! and 2) provides some sort of balance to the game? What balance? Can you help me understand how 5E wound allocation makes anything better? Do I believe it needs a change to streamline it? Sure. Let's see if you offer up an alternative then and this article will just make me look like a douche then. Don't sell yourself short! You don't anything extra in that article to look like a douche! (Don't tell me you didn't see that one coming! Am I right? Or am I right?) It's like that annoying guy in Groundhog Day...Ned. ...I have a confession to make. I've never watched all of Groundhog day... All the same, I don't think Kirby's quite right, as surely 'ease of use' falls under 'mechanics' ?

Wound Allocation Slows The Game Down

Another major problem with wound allocation is that is slows the game down. You just said this. (Maybe it's something he's trying to emphasize? Like your whole "it's cheating" thing?) Unlike the old system where you rolled saves and then pulled guys as you wanted, wound allocation makes you take the time to allocate the wounds. While this slows the game down a bit, the fact that you then have to roll saves separately slows the game down even more. By seconds...the allocation is actually the pain and only when you get complex units hit by different types of weapons as you need to think of the best way to allocate the ignore save wounds. Actually, if a complex unit takes more wounding hits than it has members then things get complex -- mixing in wounding hits that ingore armor makes it even more complicated. Not often. Perhaps if it is a Fully Complex unit, but even then it's more common that one of the models will very much stand out and be the one to get the 'free' hits. Just like before, when characters with multiple wounds joined regular units. The rolling...is marginal, (I don't think he's suggesting that the "rolling" part is more complicated [PROTIP - NEITHER of them are, they're saying, respectively, that it slows the game down even more, and that it only does so marginally.  Twas crystal.] -- it's the figuring out what to roll part and then resolving them all individually that's more complicated) especially since the majority of people have different colored dice. (which has become a requirement -- not to handle different types of wounds, but to handle different parts of complex units) Which means it isn't any hardship to use differently coloured dice then.  Oh yeah, and we used to use different dice for different types of wounds back in the day anyway.  El oh el. So the solution to the imaginary problem is using different coloured dice? Not to be confused with different sized dice. That is considered cheating.

While every instance of wound allocation doesn't really take all that much time, doing it over and over again in the course of a game does tend to slow things down a bit. Yes it does, thanks for sharing captain obvious of the obvious task force to point out the obvious. Good thing that many other changes to the fundamentals of 40k, like TLOS and vehicle damage charts, speed things up. Worse so since many people just ignore wound allocation, this means you often have to stop and explain how it works. Here, wait, hang on...so, what you're saying is, people who don't know how to play the game properly are the problem, not the rule. Huh. Funny that... Many times in tournaments I have seen this bring games to a halt. Yes, that IDIOTS play the game. Great point Sherlock! Notice, also, how this is the SAME point as before. More proof that tournaments should not be used to measure the competitiveness of players, armies or codices. This is the second major strike against wound allocation. Now these are both bad things about the rule, but not quite cheating. No. It's not cheating. At all. It's the rule. (Awesome. Shatner. Impersonation. "Khhhaaaaan!") Suggs is the William Shatner of Ska. What is with nerds everywhere knowing so much crap about Star Trek. I only recently figured out who Khan was because of an ad on Foxtel.

Wound Allocation Actually Helps The Target, Not The Shooter

Ah yes, the cheating. So remember how wound allocation was supposed to help the shooter? It does. Specials can die. (Being intentionally obtuse is fun.) You would know, Monty. Burned again. Having fun Mderr? Well it really doesn't - instead knowing the wound allocation rules well almost always helps the defender. It does this, too. (Do you see how you just said two different things? Two completely opposite things?) ...Two people can benefit from the same thing. Not like everything in this world is mutually exclusive. Except Mkerr and logic... if they ever come together for too long the universe will asplode... If by 'opposite', you mean 'not opposite', 'not mutually exclusive' and 'entirely relevant to the discussion at hand and actually good counter-points' then, yeah, I think he DID see that. I've said it before and I'm sure the designers knew the math and the 'shenangians' that could happen. (It was probably in one of those interviews you didn't read, right?) One major case of this is with multi-wound model units. Remember a few years ago when Nob Bikers where the terror of the tournament world (they are still pretty annoying)? That doesn't mean much because they were never that scary. Over-costed and inefficient. (And yet somehow they still dominated tournaments. Weird.) Not really. Not like tournaments are made up of professionals who take their games of war dollies seriously. Most players are shit. Also, a lot are idiots, who need explained to how Wound Allocation works...iaamaddjjjj said so. Well they were so good in large part because of the wound allocation rules. Or so people though but they actually weren't. (Again, maybe iamaddj has broader, or at least different, experience here -- I certainly remember them being a problem; and solely due to wound allocation rules) ...So what changed? Why is it that pre-5th Edition codices like Eldar and Black Templars are able to handle Nob Bikers?... I kicked ass with mine - but a fair amount of that was due to the fact the new IG Dex hadn't come out yet, that a lot of my local opponents aren't as good as I...oh, yeah, and because this was circa 18 months ago, and people in general hadn't figured them out for the gimmick they are. Beat them once, and you can beat them anytime. Same with Fateweaver and every other gimmick list... generally referred to as Netlists by the unwashed masses on forums. Ideally with a multi-wound unit like Nob Bikers you would have to kill whole models, and that is clearly the intention of the rules. However players where able to find a loophole in the wound allocation rules to get around this. Namely the fact that is every model in the unit is equipped differently, which is possible in Nob Bikers you don't actually have to kill whole models. Instead by exploiting the rules you could put one wound on every one of your Nobs before actually killing any of them. Unless your opponent actually whacked them with S8+ weaponry. (Which were in ample supply before the release of the IG codex in 2009, right?) ...Shyt! My Black Templars were written before 2009... what the fuck am I supposed to do to deal with Nob Bikers? If only I had S8+ weapons like multi-meltas and demolisher cannons... Sure, but no-one took them, because Assault Cannons were still all the Raeg with idiots...Eldar already had the tools, and the 5e SM Codex gave us fantastic tools for smearing Nob Bikes into paste. Anyway, even the old Guard had plenty of Lascannon and Meltagun access. TMCs were still tough for Nobs to deal with, and Oblits LOL in their face.

An even worse exploitation of the wound allocation rules, and this is really what I would call cheating, Following the rules is cheating? is the ability to just make wound vanish, just go away. Here an example of what I mean:
6 Space Marines (a Sergeant, a meltagunner, a guy with a lascanon, and 3 normal Marines) get shot by an Imperial Guard veteran squad. The Marines take 6 lasgun wounds and 6 wounds from plasma guns. Now your first instinct is to say "man they took 6 wound from weapons that ignore their saves, they should all die." And that makes sense. But then in comes wound allocation. The defending player knows the wound allocation rules, so he allocates two lasgun wounds each to the sergeant, the meltagunner and the guy with the lascannon. Meanwhile the 3 normal marines take the 6 plasma gun wounds. So the normal guys all die, but there is a good chance the special guys all walk away unhurt after making their saves. And those three extra plasma gun wounds that should have killed the squad? They vanish into thin air, victims of black magic voodoo. Let's try a more realistic example. 10 marines w/Sarge, special & heavy take 6 normal wounds and 6 ignore save wounds. (I'm been looking at the NOVA lists all weekend, I don't think I saw a 10-man unit in any of the 3+ save armies -- so how is this more realistic?) ...That was the same squad structure that Alessio used in the Designer Notes. Also, Chumby had a 10 man Terminator squad... Easy Mkerr. It is more realistic, as a 6-man strong squad of Space Marines cannot exist with that weaponry, unless it has already lost 4 members through attrition in the game. making up fictional squads that mysteriously lose men in previous turns...or using the standard size of unit. Hrmmm... My Black Templars can have 6 man squads... be jealous biatches! Now here's where wound allocation really kicks in, by taking multiple ignore save wounds on specials you reduce the actual number of average deaths. You then have an opportunity cost, lose a special but less models or lose more models but no specials? (...giving the defender an advantage they didn't have before by misapplying a rule intended to benefit the attacker...) ...It isn't an advantage. It is an option... do I kill the Powerfist and melta-gun but save the squad. Or do I kill the squad and save the Powerfist and melta-gun... Not misapplying. Misapplying would mean they used the rule in a way it was not able to be used for - this is not the case. Anyway, this is a fucking stupid example. If the IG player who finds himself in this tactical faux pas (a 1-on-1 situation with a Tactical Squad, where the Tac squad will end their turn in Assault Range if they survive?!?!) hasn't the wit not to use the Lasguns then they deserve to lose the game, irrespective of other factors. Oh yeah, and they would get 6 SHOTS with the Plasma, so they aren't LIKELY to hit with them all. More likely one dies (maybe two) and they get 4 wounds...still not enough to wipe the squad! *GASP!*  Be Smart - don't help the opponent by creating these dumb situations in which they have every advantage. Regardless - if you killed the three Bolter guys, as above, then the Marines have a fair chance of fleeing...and If they don't, they can only shoot once each when they return fire. You have them next turn. What? It's Turn 6, and there might not BE a next? Well, you should have thought of that, when put in that desperate situation that meant you HAD to kill the whole unit this turn, with just one squad, and yet didn't have the brains not to risk the Lasguns.
So lets look at everything that is wrong with that example. Firstly wound allocation failed in all it's stated goals, it helped the defender and not the shooter, and it failed to get rid of the special guys while killing all the normal troops. So suddenly the shooter also has an option, shoot only with the plasma guns :O. (Again, that intentionally obtuse thing is awesome. It totally works for you.) Remember 4th ed was gun-line armies and GW moved away from that. This means assault armies have to be able to cross the battlefield somehow. Secondly it allowed the defending player to ignore wounds to his squad that should have killed people. Thirdly it was far more complicated than a simple, they took 6 wounds that ignore their armor, they die, rule would have been. And this took 5 seconds to figure out? (...and even less time to abuse!) Actually, NO, the old rule would have been - Count how many wounds inflicted, see it is equal to or greater than the number in the squad, Attacking player now allocates ONE, then the saves are rolled, with the allocated one rolled separately despite the fact that it is redundant to do so.  IIRC.   Oh, and 'should have killed people'...subjective much? Rhetorical much?  Fuck off, Brent! Who invited Brent?!?

And finally here's the big kicker, it means the shooting player made a big mistake by firing all his weapons. See the IG player would have been better off just firing his plasma guns, with only the 6 plasma gun wounds the whole enemy squad would have died, by shooting his lasguns as well he actually saved his enemy. You mean, the shooter should of thought before hand and by being stupid and not, this is a knock against a RULE? How can you even defend that it's better to cause fewer wounding hits?Are you for real? ...There is a difference between saturation fire and peeing in the wind... Really? Are you criticsing MATHS? Cos...uh...it WOULD be better. That is CLEAR. I get that you don't like the fact that idiotic players, not the rule, are the problem here...but they ARE. And that's just wrong. Subjective, but hard to argue with in principle.  Oh, apart from that it's entirely sensible for a bunch of soldiers shooting at a target enemy unit accidentally (or not) shoot the same target multiple times, and miss a guy as a result/coincidence. In no system should shooting your enemy more times actually make it more likely he survives. So when that AV 14 tank comes around the corner my S4 bolters should all be allowed to hurt it? It doesn't make any sense from either a logical perspective Shit! I thought I just did that one...oh, I did or a game play perspective. It's just bad. But specials staying alive until the end did. Got ya. Oh snap! I see what you just did there! Classic sarcasm! Sarcasm is poor writing technique...

So those are just a quick few reasons why wound allocation is a huge, huge problem in 40k right now. I thought it was cheating? And you wouldn't consider cheating a problem? Now I know it may seem like I just don't like change, like I just really want to go back to an older system. Who gave you that idea? Yeah!? Who gave it to you and could you ask whoever it was to give one to Kirby too? (See what I did there? You tried to be funny? I totally turned that one around on you! Umm, okay if you say so) Well that's not true. While I admit I really liked the old system of Torrent of Fire, that doesn't mean I want to go back to it, I think almost any other system would be better then the current one. And that's really the point I guess, the current wound allocation system is bad, really bad. It doesn't achieve what it was meant to, it slows the game down, and it very easily and legally, Whoa. Stop. ("collaborate and listen -- Ice is back with my brand new invention...") I thought you said it was cheating. Make up your mind. ("...to the extreme I rock the mic like a vandal...") exploited. And it's something we should talk about. Hiding our heads in the sand, saying things like "well that's the rules, we can't do anything about it" won't actually help. Waiting for your suggestions then... ("...Will it ever stop? Yo! I don't know.") Help? Help, what? Help who?? Burying your head in the Sand-gina, more like. Booyah! Seriously - no-one will come and kick the shit out of you for choosing to play wrong - but you don't get to ignore rules you don't like on subjective 'reasoning' and then preach to us about how your way is better without deserving the aforementioned ass-whupping.

Talking about it, admitting that its a bad rule will help, telling people its a bad rule will help. Like an addiction? Seriously, I have no clue what you're on about here. It's just bullshit. Finding ways to house rule around it will help, short term and long term. So that's what I aim to do from now on, when I find a bad rule, wound allocation, TLoS, whatever, I'm never going to ignore it, I'm going to talk about. I have only seen complaining so far. Well, at least until you added that "petty, emo blogger attack" cherry to the top of the Bag of Douche Sundae. So now we've got complaining AND "petty, emo blogger attack". That's something, right? I hope you all will join me in talking about it, because remember at the end of the day it's our hobby. Quitting or keeping quiet won't help a thing, talking, arguing, about it just might. Or at least it'll make me feel a little better. From here your retinas get completely and utterly screwed over with just a multi-coloured rainbow of whining, bitching and other stuff. In the end Iamaddj's article makes up about 20% of this wall-of-text...

Altruistic motivation my arse. If you want to promote discussion don't write an essay with a clearly negative overtone on why you think using a rule written by GW in their 40k rulebook is cheating. Yeah! Why would you believe your article -- which has attracted more than 400 user comments on a major blog, forum threads and at least two other blog articles -- might lead to actual discussion, iamaddj? Or it might lead to people saying how painful it is to read crappy BoLS article. Clearly you don't know anything about "promoting discussion". You should try Kirby's technique of viciously mocking an article to a small, insular audience of like minded readers without contributing anything other than mocking vitriol -- THAT'S the real way to promote real discussion. ...I thought the technique was to say something radical and then watch as people start commenting. Seems to work for BoLS and Tastytaste... Kirby's has awoken you from your slumber to actually write an article. Burned yet again. Seem pretty good at stirring up comments to me. Comments =/= Discussion, as mentioned many times by other luminaries of the Blogosphere, and GW doesn't give a flying edit what most players think of their rules, as has been made clear on many occasions. I don't understand where iammadinnerjacket gets off thinking this BoLS article would have any influence at GW HQ, when the topic has been moaned about PLENTY of other times across the Forumosphere. Rather provide some basis for discussion like: 

"I feel Wound Allocation is a bad system. I feel it was designed to help shooting armies by allowing special weapons to not remain alive until the last guy but make it possible for them to die before plebs of the squad dies. (You nailed it, Kirby. That's what we need, more open discussions about our "feelings".) Wooo.  Passive-aggressive ignoring the fact that iaminthevideoforrockdj based his article almost entirely in the realm of Subjectivity - aka, his "feelings". By the end reading everyone's snowmobile of this crap article I had learnt to write iamaddj. However, this system can be very complex and slows the game down especially when there are different types of wounds (i.e. instant death, no armor save, etc.) and multi-wound models which goes against what 5th ed 40k was really about, streamlining. Sure, but, as I mentioned, they can't have been (and remain) unawware of this, so they don't think it is a big deal. Furthermore, shooting with ignore save guns and non-ignore save guns can actually make you do less wounds! Whilst (Awesome use of "whilst", dude!) you can obviously make the choice not to shoot everything it seems counter-intuitive and perhaps bad for the game that shooting with more guns would lead to less deaths. What do you guys think? (Because all of the best articles need some sort of vote before coming to an actual conclusion.) I thought that was the technique used by BoLS. At the end of the discussion they have a comment in a different colour asking the viewer their opinion. Resulting in a bunch of nerds saying a sentence at most... way to encourage discussion. Is this a bad mechanic for 40k or does it's purpose to potentially remove specials that important? What are some changes to perhaps stop the 'abusing' of this rule with multiple-wound models or speed up wound allocation? ("Can one of you readers take a stab at writing this article for me? Maybe if we all combine our efforts, we'll reach the requisite number of brain cells to come to an actual conclusion.")Brain Vomit. Kirby ends a paragraph in typical BoLS-article-end-fashion, and gets to do the Lambada for it. Or gets lambasted, whichever.

See how much different that is. (You mean how you said exactly the same thing without actually taking a stand or expressing your own opinion? Yeah, it's WAY better.) Yet you shyt all over Stelek when he makes his opinions known. It covers most of your points whilst (Awesome use of "whilst", dude -- you are totally going to get that deprecated word back into popular use!) I use whilst all the time, whilst doing other things providing your opinion but is actually promoting a discussion rather than bitching and whining (and falsely accusing people of cheating). (But it's still cool to write an attack post mocking the article, right? That's not bitching or whining, right? Sweet!) I actually agree in regards to it slowing the game down ("...except for that part where I didn't agree -- you know, when I said things like "by seconds" and "rolling is.... marginal". But besides those times, I *totally* agreed with you.") Light years measure DISTANCE, not TIME but I believe the mechanic is very important for 40k and I think the biggest problem is multi-wound models like Nobs and Thunderwolves. Whilst (Holy crap! Another awesome use of "whilst", dude! You totally nailed that one too!) you could simply say any wounded models must have wounds allocated to them first (even with different wargear and excepting ICs) as a change, (...but don't do that because it would be cheating...) it's still going to be rather slow to someone who doesn't understand the game. So, let's hear your thoughts, what are some other options to help the wound allocation system out and do you think the mechanic is necessary in 40k. You may also flame, face-palm, rage, cry, rage war upon, etc. (You forgot Snowmobile, but I suppose it's implied) iamaddj to make yourself feel better."  Feel better, iamaddj? I know I do. He types that just before showing an enema bag... what sort of sick fetishes do the guys over on BoLS have? I actually read that sentence 'You may flame iamallama to make yourself feel better.'  I hope iwouldbemadetogiveadjabj DOES feel better. I hope we ALL do.  

Disclaimer - So no one feels that I've somehow violated them and then not paid for the date: Kirby, Dethtron, TKE and Mkerr. If your retinas have been damaged as a direct result of reading all that then feel free to complain here or here.