The 11th Company 40K Podcast

Welcome to the 11th Company BLOG. The 11th Company is a Warhammer 40K podcast dedicated to players, strategies, and tactics.

You can download our episodes at the website, from ITunes, several podcast sites, or connect directly to the RSS Feed. We try to release a new Episode every Monday Night. Check it out!




Podcast Archive:

Search This Blog

Monday, March 28, 2011

How much are you required to tell your opponent?

I was recently inspired to write a brief little something after some RTT games and a blog post by BlackMoore. How much are you required to tell your opponent? Do you wait till they ask? Do you tell them the minimum? Do you do it before or during the game? A prime example is a game one of our forum members (Gritts) played as described in this post: 2K Nids vrs Chaos demons (wall O text warning) . Even though he won, at the end of the game he was still completely unclear on why his opponent was keeping track of killed models, what unit or model was providing what benefit. To quote Gritts, ” But I never felt out of control of this game so I wasn't in a mood to argue.” I find it troubling that even after winning this game, he still felt somehow something was wrong with the game.

I personally have been on the receiving end of various misplayed special rules. Dante’s death mask applied to Fateweaver, he is not an independent character. An opponent forgetting to state that a special character makes a certain unit scoring, even though asked what units are scoring. The list could be very long. I am sure others have had similar experiences. While I do not want to call anyone out for ‘cheating’ or un-sportsman-like-behavior, each one of those games tends to leave me with a certain feeling, regardless of win/loss, about that game that tends to linger. In our gaming club it is just chalked up to a learning experience, although frequently weeks or months long ribbing maybe involved, fenrisian wolves in rhino luggage racks jumps to mind.

One camp usually states, it is up to my opponent to know the rules. I have several problems with this. For one, codices are expensive and only getting more so. While I am usually referred to as the ‘codex bitch’ on our show, I own all codices currently legal, and a lot no longer in print (not as many as Larry J ), I can not expect anyone else to do so. Nor should anyone else expect anyone else to buy all of them to just be able to play a tournament. The financial bar to enter the hobby and play tournaments is high enough, let’s not make it harder.

Counter argument to this could be that any codex is available on a torrent or viewable with a little searching on sites such as . While I admit using scribd to see leaked copies, I prefer to remain fully legal and copyright safe. You just can’t expect people to compromise their personal morals to have access to all codices. You could visit your local store for hours and read all the codices, but if you are anything like me, I have a hard enough time remembering all the rule book rules (hence why I spiral bound all my books) and frequently resort to referencing and rereading.

But why should you put so much effort on your opponent, you selected the units from your codex, you chose to play your army, you should be the expert on your own army, just like you expect your opponent to be. Why do I need to memorize all your special rules, while you may only play a small percent of them in any one army? What if you, the expert made a ‘misinterpretation’? What if the way you play is a local flavor of how most people play it?

I personally ask my opponent if I need to clarify anything, if he needs to know what certain units do etc. before the game. With Daemons being a ‘rare’ army, I expect my opponents not to know what the deal is. I don’t want to win my games because of a ‘gotcha’ moment. I would like to think that my opponents played to the best of their tactical abilities based on them being aware of what my army could do. I also try to remember to discuss problems that frequently pop up such as, “what is part of the hull of a Soul Grinder”, “Skarbrand also allows you to reroll your hits”. You should have this discussion just as much as talking about what terrain represents what before you start your game. I do not claim to be infallible; I sometimes forget to have this discussion.

Another pet peeve of mine is minimalist army lists. Army builder is capable of only showing unit costs and names. Why are you hiding unit stats and options? I personally give my opponent a ‘full’ army list, which happens to have a synopsis of special rules on the last page so my opponent can glance at it. All in all, I feel that if you and your opponent have a brief discussion about your rules at the beginning of the game it will minimize problems and T.O. intervention latter.

Friday, March 25, 2011

40K is not a Proving Ground

Believe it or not, there really does exist a line between wanting to play a great, tactical game and being competitive about your game play. I know, that's a real hard line for some people to draw. Some people can't separate the desire to play hard and to play to win.

In sports, they call this "remembering to have fun".

Honestly, there's no two way's around this. Desiring to "prove yourself" at anything in life at the expense of yourself or other people is a serious personality disorder, in more ways than one. Using 40K as an outlet for that level of thinking error is even worse. In fact, there's several DSM IV diagnoses that you fall into once you start using your toy soldiers game as an outlet for either proving self-worth, inflating your ego, or otherwise carrying out weird fantasies of hurting other people (namely your opponents).

Being competitive isn't a problem unless you make it a problem. If people around you don't like to be around you when you are playing a game, you have a problem. If people have told you that you are "over-competitive" or that you have a problem when it comes to gaming, you have a problem. If you find yourself constantly getting into hostile situations while gaming, you have a problem. If you find yourself getting angry over losing, you have a problem.

Yes, I know. You don't have a problem! It's other people who just can't take the heat, right? Yep. And I've never met an alcoholic who still drinks, either.

That aside, picking 40K as your outlet is really a bad idea in the first place. There's a lot better ways to go! If you need to feed your personality disorder, this is probably one of the worst things you could have picked. Let's just take a sample of the horrible reasons.

1) The company that makes the game has already said that isn't designed for competition.
2) The playing field isn't level, ever. Notice that real competitive sports have a level playing field except for the players? They don't randomly roll to see what the rules of the game are today or randomly select opponents to play against. They don't use a rule book that is so riddled full of arguable rules that you can't tell how the guy next door would even play the game. They use similar pieces with identical rules. Not a variety of armies not balanced to play the game in the first place (See #1)
3) True competitive events try to eliminate luck. 40K invites luck. Think about it. Do football players randomly roll to see how long the field is going to be today? Do chess players randomize how far a queen can move?
4) There's nothing to gain from winning. There's no fame. No fortune. No, well, anything?
5) There's not even an established system for competing in.

People like myself seek out others who enjoy the tactical experience of playing 40K. I like to play with people who know the rules as well as I do and who enjoy " the game " not the supposed competition.

Truth be told, I like to game, not compete.

Think about it!

Monday, March 14, 2011

13 Armor Walkers

On Episode 60, we have a little banter going on about 13 armor walkers, but there isn't much substantial in the conversation other than some points and quips.

I thought it would make a good BLOG post to explain the finer points about 13 Armor Walkers and why I'm mildly obsessed with them at the moment.

So, what's the deal with 13 Armor Walkers? 13 Armor Walkers provide some substantial advantages in a game of 40K that should be seriously considered by anyone building a list, especially if you are having trouble with some of the rougher assault armies in the game. If you aren't having troubles with assault armies, you might not care about 13 Armor Walkers. (That also tells me that your local meta really needs somebody to start playing some good assault armies!)

What do 13 Armor Walkers bring to the table that is so special? 13 Front Armor of course! No, really. Let's examine the benefits that 13 Front Armor provides in an assault.

1) Anything Strength 3 can't hurt it. So what, you say? I mean anything! Doesn't matter if it's carrying a power fist or has rending. That means your 13 Front Armor walker is invincible versus some really nasty beasties out there in the 40K Universe like embedded guard fists/eviscerators or more importantly, Slaanesh demons. Having trouble with big pack of Seekers? Not anymore because once your walker assaults them, they are screwed.

2) Anything with Strength 4/5/6 can't hurt it. So what, you say? What does this mean? First, it means Marines assaulted by a 13 FA Walker can't use their grenades to glance it. Sure, 12 FA Walkers are the bomb here too, but the 13 FA guarantees no damage. Death Company pissing your off? How about those Demon Bloodcrushers? Relic blade wielding maniac? Some crazy Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard unit backed up by some priest, Dante, and the kitchen sink got you down?

3) Dude. That's why people take thunderhammers and powerfists in their squads! Because Dreadnaughts suck to tangle with.

True. Those things are great answers to 12 FA Dreadies, but against 13 FA, they aren't so great. Can they get lucky and penetrate your 13 FA? Of course! Let's get real about those odds though!

First, let's assume that some Powerfist wielding Death Company maniac is going to try to take your Iron Clad dreadies' lunch money. Okay, he needs 3's to hit. So, that's 2/3 of his attacks that hit. If he gets 3 attacks, that means he'll get 2 hits.

Next, he needs a whopping 6 to penetrate you. Hmmm... not looking good for our black clad maniac. Only 1/6 of his hits will penetrate. That means of his two hits, 1 in every 3 rounds of combat will result in a penetrate on average.

Then, once he finally does penetrate, he needs to roll a 5 or a 6 to kill your Dread to escape the combat. Crud, that means only 1 in 3 penetrates will destroy you, and thus, only 1 in every 9 rounds of combat will that Death Company psycho actually kill your Dread.

In the meantime, your Dread is chopping up death company with his DCCW like he's practicing for The Iron Chef.

4) So, a 12 FA is good enough right? Using our example from above, note instead of 1/6 to penetrate, it's a 1/3. For those of you even slightly math inclined, you'll note that a 13 FA is 100% more (or twice as) survivable as a 12.

That's pretty darn significant if you are fighting SEVERAL black clad, powerfist wield, maniacs at the same time. A normal Dread might go down in a round or 2. A 13 FA will stand up longer which invariably means more dead DC by the time they exit the combat. Your Dread might have already chewed up enough of them that they no longer pose a threat.

5) Normal Strength 4 rending attacks can only ever glance. Sucks to be a genestealer fighting a 13 FA dread because they basically can't kill you. They need to hit. They need 6's to rend. They need a 5/6 just to glance. And from there, they need to immobilize, knock both your arms off, and finally kill you. Good luck while the Dread is merrily tearing them asunder.

6) Strength 5 and 6 monstrous creatures don't like 13 FA so much either. Even at Strength 6, they need a roll of 8 or higher to penetrate. Might not seem like much, but it's only like a 40% chance. This isn't the case for FA 12, where a roll of 7 means they have about a 58% chance to penetrate per swing. This is significant.

Basically, you take a 13 FA Dread when you find yourself constantly having to deal with some assault unit that is fast and you can't stop it. Of course, it doesn't work versus a squad of thunder hammers. (But it is does work 100% better than a normal dread.)

However, against so many other really irritating assault units in the game, he will work like a champion. How many Blood Angel players carry enough fists to kill a 13 armor dread reliably? Think about it. Your Dread waits patiently while the enemy closes, then he jumps on 'em like a spider monkey. You could effectively wipe out huge, very expensive squads while they helplessly sit there.

I know. You'll just shoot my Dread right?

Here's the thing. I've spent usually around 130ish point for my little toy. He's cheap. I also know how ridiculously effective he is against a lot of assault elements. Let's say you have some of those elements, and I just KNOW how awesome it's going to be when my dread ties up your 400 point monstrosity in a protracted combat, your 200 point IC who would otherwise wreck face, your most expensive hammer squads, or what have you.

You know it too so you REALLY want to shoot my dread before you get close to my army.

Tactically, the advantage is mine. I can hide my Dread, out of LoS. Who cares if he doesn't get to shoot? You can't shoot him, and he's effectively stalling what would otherwise be something really nasty from getting into my lines. More turns for me to shoot. I'll hide him. Bubblewrap him. Whatever. Because, basically, he's the answer to all my problems.

Think about it next time you are wondering what you could add to your list that would be pretty effective at stalling an assault army.

And remember, in a pinch, even though 13 FA is ideal, 12 FA works too.

Hold up entire 30 man boyz squads for round after round....

Be impervious to most demon units....

Cause many Blood Angel assault units to wonder if descent of angels works in reverse...

13 FA Walkers are definitely worth some thought.