Thursday, July 7, 2011

This Week's Inbox

From Matthew:

"Hey Hyv3mynd,

I’ve been following your blog since I’ve started playing Warhammer (3 months ago) and it has been a good source of information

After a post that I read on 3++ about Mathhammer I decided I would whip up an excel sheet for Tyranids based on the same options, i.e. Dead marines by shooting (although you can input your own WS, T and Sv).  It took me a few hours, but I think I’ve come up with every possible weapon and biomorph combination (where they will change the results) and how many dead/destroyed per model.

I know you’re more of the feeling that you should play it yourself rather than rely on statistics, so do you have any interest in helping me test this out?  It’s non-macro excel based.

Anyway, let me know,


Matthew ~

I used to obsess over math-hammer.  I used to spend several minutes running the numbers in my head before committing to certain moves or assaults.  People go through phases of development in 40k.  Some could be driven by personal preference, some by changes in the meta, or personal learning experience.

My current lists are moving away from fully-deployed footslogging lists, just like I am moving away from math-hammer.  I'm sure part of this is due to becoming very comfortable with the army and its capabilities.  It could also be due to the fact that when you're looking your opponent in the eye from across the table and roll the dice, anything could happen and your knowledge of statistics won't stop you from rolling three 1's or making 13 cover saves in a row.

What I'm getting at is math-hammer is good for learning the game and the capabilities of your army, but I'm beginning to feel like it's also a sort of training wheels.  Once you get enough games in with the army, you'll achieve a level of comfort and experience that will be more valuable than some statistics.  It's more important to know that sending 3 lictors after 10 marines is a better idea than 5 terminators.  Shooting hive guard at a nob squad will yield better results than shooting the front side of a battlewagon.  These decisions have to do with statistics, but also personal experience.

My advice is this:  If you have the time to kill crunching numbers and making spreadsheets, put it into painting, converting, and playing practice games instead.  Of course, some people learn by seeing and some by doing and this comes from me finding my own optimal methods.

From Steve:

"A group of us are headed to wargamescon in austin in a few weeks.  The list has morphed over the last few months.  I've played in three tournaments over that time and gone 8-1-0  and received a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finish.  Most armies are not set up to deal with 40 genestealers in cover with feel no pain or 18 str8 shots which deny cover saves to their vehicles. 

240    Hive Tyrant w/2 twin devourers, armored shell, paroxysm, and leech essence 

130    2 Tyrant Guard w/lash whips and rending claws
150    3 Hive Guard
150    3 Hive Guard
150    3 Hive Guard
50      10 Termagants
50      10 Termagants
220    Tervigon w/catalyst, crushing claws, adrenal glands, and toxin sacs
220    Tervigon w/catalyst, crushing claws, adrenal glands, and toxin sacs
326    19 Genestealers plus a Broodlord
314    18 Genestealers plus a Broodlord w/scything talons

What do you think?"


This is similar to my ATC list so I know it's potent.  As far as the list itself, I like to see Old Adversary on the tyrant for the times he's close to all those genestealers or crushing claw tervigons.  Without it, I would probably drop the crushing claws, but that's mostly personal preference.  Tervigons are a lynchpin to this type of army especially in objective games.  The more aggressively you play them, the sooner they will die.  This is due to increased enemy firepower at closer proximity and more opportunities for counter assaults and multiple combats.  For this reason I've taken to playing my tervigons much more defensively.  I'm not saying my tactics are any better, they're just my playstyle.  Jay W. plays his tervigons a lot more aggressively than me and has been much more successful in the tournament circuit than I. 
As for the execution of this list, I hope you've practiced a lot.  By the sounds of your tournament record, you have.  The main drawback to two big units of genestealers is they are most effective as infiltrators.  If you end up with a bad pairing, terrain, or second turn, you're forced with making reserve decisions that greatly effect the playstyle of this army.  At ATC, I can attribute 2 of my 3 losses to poor choices in reserving versus outflanking.

Either way, I approve of this list and think it has the potential to make it to the top tables in today's meta.  Let me know how you end up doing at Wargamescom!  Pictures or batreps would be amazing if you can multitask.

From William:

"I recently started a blog and wanted to ask for some advice. What do you think is the best way to write a battle report and how do you write them. I have been following and I love all of you battle reports and tactics and just about everything you do on your blog so any tips you can give to a novice blogger and gamer"

And Daniel:


I'm thinking about starting my own blog soonish and was wondering if you could give me some pointers as how to structure it, when to take photos etc.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


(Iranna on"

I used to take extensive shorthand notes for my batreps.  This added 2-3 minutes to each turn and I don't ever want my opponents, especially in tournaments, to feel like my batreps or blog would interfere with a tournament time limit.  Now I just take a lot of pictures and rely on my memory for writing the reports.  I get some details wrong here or there, but if your deployment and final results are accurate, it's easy to connect the dots.

I try to take a picture after both sides deploy and infiltrate.  After that, I try to take a picture after each player's movement phase.  This helps to show the flow of units.  Use your words to communicate shooting casualties.  I only take pictures of assaults when the setup or movement is tricky, or if the battle itself will be epic.

Most of my batreps use between 12-14 pictures and this reflects deployment, 5-6 turns of movement, and a few pics for flavor.  Some tournament reports have less due to time or myself focusing on the game and forgetting the camera.  This is my favorite format as you get across the important details without going overboard.  There are other bloggers who spend a lot of time on long batreps that are very detailed, but lack rhythm when some turns get 4-6 pictures.  Dashofpepper's batreps inspired me to write when I was getting into the game last year, but his reports are longer then what I would be comfortable writing.  I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but when I'm reading other reports on my blackberry, too many pictures becomes tedious.  Pictures of dice rolls are OK in friendly games, but unnecessary in tournament reports.  We all know crazy stuff happens and we've all seen it.

For most pictures, I just back up as far as I safely can and get as much of the table in the shot.  If you just shoot movement phases, this helps show the flow of the whole battle.  I usually save close-ups to illustrate LoS for shooting or model placement during assaults.

If you're going to blog your batreps, play around with it and find your comfort zone.  Hopefully your readers will provide feedback and help you improve.  You should also be able to track blog traffic on the stats page and use your most popular batreps traffic wise a template for future reports.


  1. Well this is William Thanks for answering the question hvy

  2. Won the Mirror Match at WarGamesCon. Looking forward to the 40K GT with my bug army. Wish me luck.

  3. Wow, that's awesome Steve! What was the list like? Marines right? Did Ben Mohlie make it to the top tables?

    Keep up the good work. Let's see Nids take a GT!