Army Familiarity

After a super quiet lull over Ramadhan and Hari Raya here in Malaysia, some Kill Team games have finally started happening in the store and as such I’ve been personally focused on playing with my Plague Marines against a good friend who has been coming to support the store.

Focusing on one particular faction has been good as we’re having much more fun with the game and I’m doing better at gaining Victory Points whilst taking full advantage of the strengths of the Death Guard as such I’m able to make full use of Disgusting Resilience which makes them really tough to kill.

Face-Off!

Key to each faction is the use of Strategic Ploys and Tactical Ploys and as such I’m able to do better in games by spending Command Points to utilise these two devastating ploys:

  • Malicious Volley
  • Hateful Assault

I have yet to use Tactical Ploys properly and I think I would have done better in last weekend’s game if I had used them which could’ve turned the tide of the game. The deciding factor in last weekend’s game was probably my lack of use of Tactical Ploys such as Effluent Demise which would have weakened the Heavy Intercessors even after taking out my guys pluys Revolting Durability & Dig In which would have lessened the damage & toughened my Plague Marines. That being said; kudos to my buddy Tabah who played to the objective of the mission which was to plant bombs on a key structure that I was defending.

A Dark Angel Heavy Intercessor Surrounded!

I guess the point I’m trying to make in today’s post is that it’s actually a good thing to consistently play with one army similar to how one would focus on one hero in a TCG like Flesh and Blood. The experience build up makes for more fun games and increases your odds of winning. Thankfully Warhammer games are a lot less tense compared to a TCG which is a breath of fresh air as I’ve been playing a lot of Flesh and Blood these days.

In my next game of Kill Team, I think it’s time we started taking additional equipment along to add my spice to our games. Am looking very much forward to this weekend! Plus I think it’d be good to start a campaign and experience something that a bit more of a narrative in order to have a more fun Kill Team experience.

As an asides, if any of you are free this weekend; do swing by Nexus International School this Saturday, 28th May from 10am till 2pm for Warhammer Marketplace; a swap meet fund raiser organised by the Warhammer Alliance Club.

Swing by to try out Kill Team and also Flesh And Blood plus there’ll be second-hand Warhammer & assorted hobbying booths set up during the event. Hope to see some of you there!

Till next time, happy hobbying!

Deck Building Lessons From Draft

I had my first Booster Draft experience a couple of weekends ago and I walked away with some valuable lessons that helped me to build a deck list of my own for Young Oldhim which I am particularly proud of.

Here are 3 lessons I learnt from FAB Booster Draft. Enjoy!

Lesson 1

Read the card descriptions. I know it sounds basic but spending time reading card descriptions will help you to figure out the synergies that are possible and come up with your own combos.

Lesson 2

Playing Draft forced me to pay more attention to the cards I had gathered which allowed me to discover little combos that I could pull off. That gave me the confidence to create my own deck build for Young Oldhim based on the combos that I developed during my Booster Draft experience.

Lesson 3

Have a theme for your deck build. When I played Draft one of the key things that I realised some of Guardian cards in Tales of Aria could do was to be imbued with Dominate through fusion or by playing a set-up card in your previous turn. The experience prompted me to build a Commoner deck for Blitz that does exactly that. Dominate!

Have a look at the deck build here and I hope this post encourages everyone to build their own lists rather than just copy one off the Internet. It is a satisfying feeling to defeat someone especially if the build is your own.

Till next time, happy hobbying!

FAB Booster Draft Basics & Tips

We recently organised a Booster Draft Armory and cracked a box of Tales of Aria in the store which was shared out between 8 people. In case you haven’t played Draft before here’s what happens:

  • Each person gets 3 packs each
  • The first pack is opened and Tokens are pooled
  • Then each person picks one card before passing the remainder cards to the person on the left; cards are placed face down
  • This goes on till all the cards have been picked out
  • Pack two is opened and the same thing happens except this time the remainder cards are circled to the person on the right
  • Once all the cards from pack two have been distributed out then all players get some time to look at the cards they have collected so far to determine which character they want to play
  • The final pack is then opened and the cards are then circled to the person on the left
  • Once all packs have been opened everyone is given an opportunity to assemble their decks with a minimum of 30 cards
  • Tokens from the pool are distributed with additional Character Tokens provided by the store if needed

For more detailed instructions as to how Booster Draft is played; check out the Official FAB website here.

As it was my first time playing Booster Draft it was quite an experience so here are 3 tips for beginners.

Generic cards first

Take the Generic / Element type cards first so you’ll have useable cards regardless of what Character you end up picking

When do I specialise?

You can start specialising cards early if you’re fairly certain from the get go what Character you’d be piloting. If not, specialisation can happen when pack two is being circulated.

Deny your opponents

Sometimes; taking that Majestic or Rare card is a good idea even if you don’t need it as taking possession of said cards denies your opponents powerful cards to use against you (plus it doesn’t hurt that you add a powerful card to your own collection). Also, if you understand how other Characters work it makes sense to take even the Common cards that’d give your opponents an advantage. For e.g. Ball Lightning is a pretty powerful card and denying a Briar or Lexi player of that card could be instrumental in your strategy.

All in all it was a fun experience and one that I’d definitely take part in again. Also, the experienced thought me some fundamentals that allowed me to build a deck list of my own for Blitz which I am particularly proud of. Look out for a future post on it.

Till next time, happy hobbying!

Getting Started with TCGs

If you’re an old hand at Trading Card Games, then this post isn’t for you; BUT if you haven’t given the likes of Magic the Gathering or Pokemon a try then you’ve tuned in to the right place.

I got into Flesh and Blood somewhere in January 2022; which is a fairly new entrant in the TCG space. The cards are beautiful and the game is really enjoyable; which when compared to Warhammer is more pick up and play. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve stopped painting my minis (partly due to the fact that I just recently opened my own small business) but I digress… this being my first TCG it was a little daunting at first so here are a few tips if you want to get into a TCG like Flesh and Blood.

Tip 1: Pick up a starter deck

Flesh and Blood – Tales of Aria Blitz Starter Decks

Most TCGs have some form of starter kit that will give you a set of cards which is ready to play right out of the box. Flesh and Blood for example has Blitz starter decks which are perfect to learn the game. Magic The Gathering’s Commander format also has pre-configured starters in the form of Commander Decks.

Tip 2: Find a community that is beginner-friendly

One of the pitfalls of getting into TCGs is that veterans tend to be not so beginner-friendly largely because the community likes to flex with all their powerful & rare cards. It’s a big plus to settle in a store that promotes new player-friendly activities that are more casual which is something that the Storm Gate team is trying really hard to achieve in our community.

Tip 3: Play more games with your starter deck

I made the mistake of jumping in too quickly and started picking up boosters fairly early and added them to my collection which changed the composition of my Flesh and Blood Blitz Starter Decks. Whilst it’s fun to crack open boosters; it’s always good to hold off on reconfiguring your deck build so you can learn how to play the deck you bought first. TCGs have various mechanics and in some cases like Flesh and Blood; every hero has unique mechanics and types of cards that you’ll need to learn. Which is why it is important to play with others who can accommodate more basic decks.

Tip 4: Get into deck-building last

Configuring your deck and building your deck list is probably one of the more interesting aspect to the hobby but also the most difficult. Placing cards into your deck requires more familiarity with your own particular deck & hero’s mechanics. Swapping cards in and out willy nilly can result in a deck that doesn’t work hence why it is good to actually copy deck lists online first before you attempt to create your own deck list. Playing with a deck that doesn’t work isn’t fun unless your opponent is kind cos’ if you play against an unforgiving opponent it’s going to be a not-so-fun time. Heh!

That’s all from me. I hope I can find time to write more about my personal journey into TCGs. If anyone is keen to learn more about Flesh and Blood or experience the game swing by the store in Setia Alam.

Till next time, happy hobbying!

Gaming Tip: Armour Penetration

In order to get enemy units off the table, strategically one of the things you can do is to employ weapons that have high Armour Penetration which would make it harder for your opponent to make saves against wounds.

This of course gets negated if the enemy unit has Invulnerable Saves but it should work against most enemies and it’s something to consider when selecting the weapon load out on a unit.

But in terms of game balance, whenever you select a weapon with high AP, there usually is a trade-off either in terms of range or an attribute that limits your use of the weapon.

My favourite HQ, the Skorpekh Lord has an awesome melee weapon which I love to use when he gets up close and personal. Drum roll…

Hyperphase Harvester

This super weapon deals 3 damage for every successful hit and has -4 Armour Penetration which in most cases results in enemies beign unable to save. The weapon also has a +2 Strength boost which in the case of the Skorpekh Lord makes hitting the enemy easier at Strength 8! So if all 4 Attacks go through that’s a 12 wounds of damage which would kill most enemies. The only downside is that you get a -1 to hit rolls when they are being used. This weapon is neat!

What are your favourite weapons that penetrates armour? Do share in the comments!

Till next time, happy hobbying and happy gaming!

Gaming Tip: Unit Selection

One of the fun things about the hobby is adding units to your army; for those who aren’t really into the the minutiea of the game then go ahead and add whatever looks good to your collection but as I am learning; if you want to be able to win some games then you’ll have to spend a bit more time taking some things into consideration before you pick up a new model.

My Necron army are of the Novokh Dynasty; and they are supposed to be blood-thirsty robots who are theoretically able to do well in melee combat hence why I am doing what I can now to take advantage of that by picking units that are supposed to do well in melee.

So right now my Novokh army lists have been built around the following rules that are unique to them:

  • Utilising the Novokh’s stratagem Blood Rites whichs adds 1 Attack to models in a squad
  • Making my Skorpekh Lord the Warlord so I can leverage on Blood-Fuelled fury which is a Warlord Trait that inflicts a Mortal Wound upon an unmodified wound roll of 6
  • Taking advantage of Protocol of the Hungry Void when it activates which allows Novokh to use both directives which improves an attack’s AP on an unmodified roll of 6 and adds 1 to Strength when a unit charges

To try to take advantage of the above, I’ve tried to field the following units in every game I’ve played but to no avail.

Skorpek Destroyers

These guys look really cool too but I struggle to get them into melee which makes me wonder if I am using them wrong or maybe I need 3 more?

Lychguard

I’m hoping these guys can do some damage whilst escorting a Noble HQ with their Invulnerable Saves so he can unleash hell on the enemy. I need to pick the right HQ now who devastates in melee.

Skorpekh Lord

This guy is too cool not to field and he does do very well in melee. The struggle right now is how do I get him into melee. Even though he has a movement characteristic of 8 inches it’s a challenge getting him close to do the damage that he is supposed to do. Which is why I’ve started equipping him a Veil of Darkness as a relic so he can teleport with the Skorpekh Destroyers.

So far my army hasn’t fared well as I’ve been playing games against Blood Angels who are much more superior in melee. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a game with other factions to determine if my strategy is viable or not.I guess winning isn’t something I can achieve so soon until I’ve played enough games of Warhammer 40K.

In the meantime I still need to figure things about my Necron army composition. I’d love to get some tips from veteran players and readers alike. So do leave a comment or drop me a line on Facebook. I’d love to ideas about army composition and how you go about putting your own army lists together.

Till next time, have a fun time hobbying and an even more fun time gaming!

Gaming Tip: Invulnerable Saves

As I get more Warhammer 40K under my belt, I realise one of the more useful abilities for a melee-based army is to have an ability or equipment that confers Invulnerable saves is crucial.

The weakness of a melee based army is that they are largely unable to shoot and your goal is to get your units to charge distance then to enter the Fight Phase as soon as possible.

What is an Invulnerable Save?

In Warhammer 40K, every unit has a Save characteristic that allows them to roll a D6 in order to avoid taking damage. This Save characteristic can be affected by Weapons that have high Armour Penetration (AP) which increases the value required in order to Save against an attack.

Some weapons can result in impossible rolls which is where Invulnerable Saves come in. An Invulnerable Save is a static value that can be used to counteract the effects of weapons with high AP.

For a -4AP weapon would require a unit with a 3+ Save to roll a 7 on a D6 which is impossible. In this instance, you would then opt to use the Invulnerable Save value to roll against!

my Definition of Invulnerable saves

Invulnerable Saves are also super important if you’re going against a HQ or enemy unit that has weapons with high (AP). Conversely when you’re picking a target it’s best to sometimes save your high AP shots for targets with no Invulnerable Save in order to gain more dominance on the table top. There is always that chance that your shots are wasted should a target success on their Invulnerable Save roll.

I’ve tabled my Skorpekh Destroyers twice so far and they really are not that great when they come under fire. In the two games where I’ve fielded them it would appear that they are better used in reserve and under cover to hold objectives and such.

Lychguard with Hyperphase Sword & a Dispersion Shield

Trying to make your way to an opponent’s units with a melee based unit seems futile even if they have a high Move characteristic which is why I’ve equipped my Lychguard with Dispersion Shields that gives them a 4+ Invulnerable Save!

I’ll try to use my Lychguards in my next 40K game to move an HQ to an objective or to make an attempt at destroying an enemy unit. Or maybe I’ll just see how far I can get them to an enemy under fire as opposed to using them in their bodyguard roll.

Till next time, happy gaming!

Beginner Tip: Masking

This seems basic to any form of painting but I just thought I’d share this simple tip to everyone.

Masking allows you to protect some areas of your model during the painting process. In the example below; I masked the transparent bases of these Necron Tomb Blades to avoid getting paint on them before priming.

Tomb Blades wit Masked Off Bases

Masking can also be used to achieve certain effects by applying the tape on in various configugrations. For example if you need to paint on a stragith line or camo effects.

ScotchBlue Tape Applied Al Over the Transparent Base

I would recommend getting branded tape such as 3M’s ScotchBlue painter’s tape as the adhesive would be friendlier especially when it’s time to peel the tape off.

Till next time, happy hobbying!

Unit Feature: Necron Lychguards

True to the theme of my army, I built up a squad of 5 Lychguards to engage enemies in melee plus these guys function as bodyguards Noble HQ units such as the Necron Lord and Necron Overlord.

Lychguards can be built 2 different ways:

  • Warscythe – this makes them more deadly in melee with a higher Strength characteristic & Armour Penetration characteristic plus it causes 2 damage for every successful wound roll
  • Hyperphase Sword + Dispersion Shield – this configuration makes them a lot more hardy and one hard lesson I’ve learned is that if you can’t get your melee-based troops into hand-to-hand combat; it’s pointless to equip them with high damage weapons.

Lychguards can’t move very fast though as they only have a Move characteristic of 5″ which is pretty poor.

Their “Guardian Protocols” ability would be pretty useful though as the aura around Lychguard units is able to protect Infantry Nobles within 3″ of them. What this means is that a HQ within their bubble of protection can’t be targeted.

This makes a unit of Necron Lychguard hardy body guards and perhaps they’d be of use in holding objectives. I can’t wait to field them in my next game.

Till next time, happy hobbying!

Hobbying Tip: Sub-Assemblies

What is a Sub-Assembly?

A sub-assembly basically is collection of components that have been assembled into larger sections without glueing the entire model fully. The video below whilst a little on the extreme side demonstrates what sub-assemblies are.

Sub-Assemblies
Why Use Sub-Assemblies?

The reason why one would do so is ease further work on the model such as painting. I did this recently with my Deathwatch Terminator Captain where I kept the cape component separate to so that I could paint both sides of the cape better.

Here are some reasons why one would work with sub-assemblies:

  • Help in the painting of hard to reach areas especially if some parts would be obscured in the fully assembled model
  • Painting of heads; more experienced painters usually work on the heads on their minis separately
  • Kit-bashing. I suppose sometimes it helps to modify a miniature especially if you’re going to be moulding on extra detail to customise your miniature.

Hope this tip helps all you budding hobbyists the next time you work a particularly tricky model.

Happy hobbying!