Friday, November 17, 2017

Winter League

With the release of the Tyranid Codex, now everyone here has at least one "real" codex. So it is time for a league! We are going to do a escalation type:

2 matches at 50PL, 2 at 75PL, and the final two at 100PL. Then some kind of grand finale at 125. The matches will be every two weeks, starting the weekend after Thanksgiving.

We have some interesting rules to go with our league:
No Flyers for the first two matches.
No Lords of War for the first four.
No Fortifications.
You will know the mission and opponent ahead of time.
You may change your list every battle, but must keep your faction.

Knowing the mission and at least what enemy you are fighting gives you the ability to somewhat tailor your force for the upcoming battle. It should make for some good matches.

The battle reports will of course be posted here. The  schedule will be as well, over there, on the sidebar -->.


May Your Dice Roll Well
At Least Better Than Normal



Friday, November 3, 2017

Guard HQ Issues

I really like the new Guard Codex. I have a Steel Legion army, so it works great for me. Lots of tanks with mech or leg infantry. I "only" have six infantry squads so I don't really run into any problems with the battleforged detachments as my HQ slots are full of HQ Tanks and maybe a Company Commander.

The Codex does have a few quibbles. Most stem from the fallout from the dissolution of the Platoon structure. Platoon Commander, Command Squads, Infantry Squads, Special and Heavy Weapon Teams are all separate selections now. For the most part I enjoy the new found flexibility. It doesn't work for everyone though.

 I have been talking with Peter who has a good sized Catachan force. His army is very infantry heavy, so to put lots of squads on the table he needs to take multiple detachments.

One issue shows up when it comes to HQ choices, the Guard doesn't have many. Peter doesn't have Tank HQ, Commissars, or Psykers in his Jungle Fighters, so that leaves him with Company Commanders. Four of them if he is to take two Battalion Detachments. Perfectly functional, but not very fluffy.

For reasons unknown, the Platoon Commander is an Elite and not a HQ. 

The Platoon CO and the Company CO are the same PL points (2) which is odd. The Company CO is a little bit better, with one more wound and leadership and can use Voice of Command twice.

The simple fix that GW should do is make the Company CO 3 PL again, and move the Platoon CO to HQ. I'm going to suggest this to them, and if you agree, you should too.


The Emperor Protects
The Most Dangerous Thing on the Battlefield is a Junior Officer with a Compass and a Map.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween

A good board game for the season? I'm glad you asked! Pandemic-Reign of Cthulhu was released late last year to good reviews, but quickly disappeared from the mainstream amid all the other great releases. Often overlooked, it is a solid go-to game for us.
A Cthulhu re-do of Pandemic is not something I thought would have worked. But it succeeds in both theme and gameplay. Instead of the world-spanning crisis of Pandemic, the scope has been limited to four cities in the lore (Arkham, Kingsport, Dunwich, and Innsmouth.) 1-4 players draw a investigator and try to seal the gates before Cthulhu is awakened and all is lost. 
I like Reign of Cthulhu a little better than Standard Pandemic. Obviously it's the theme, but I feel that being a zoomed-in level it offers a bit more detail. Gameplay flows better for me as well. There are plenty of good in-depth reviews out on Boardgame Geek and Youtube if you would like a deeper dive into the rules.

It a good choice to put upon the table and try and save the world in between waves of Trick or Treaters.

Go Roll Some Dice
And Hand Out Good Candy

First, apologies to anyone who was offended by the troll on the last post's comments.

Second, let's have a quick recap of my rules here:

Keep profanity to a minimum. Yes, I profane. Like, a lot, but this blog is for all ages, so tone it down.

This is a blog about toy soldiers and board games. As such, it is an oasis from the current political & social issues, so please don't start such a discussion here.

Respect others. You don't have to agree with everyone, but just because you don't, doesn't mean you need to start name calling and worse.

Lets all try and and fun with our hobby, that is why we are here.

As Dr. Banzai once said: 
"Don't Be Mean. We Don't Have to Be Mean," 



Friday, October 20, 2017

Fall Fashions

With the new (and awesome) Imperial Guard Codex I decided it was time to take a hard look at my tanks. I have always been a big fan of the Guard, and of a armor heavy army in particular. So yeah, I have a lot of tanks.

Long ago I picked my camouflage pattern for my army, loosely based on a NATO pattern: dark green and dark grey. This looked good under really bright lights. On the tabletop in normal lighting it became a shadowy vehicle. So great for real-world, rather disappointing on the gaming table.
I never put in the finishing touches (shading & decals) because I was not quite happy with the paint scheme, So I just left them as they were. 

When working on a project that I am becoming unhappy with, there is always that point of choosing to abandon it for good and starting over from scratch, or figuring out a way to revitalize it. Tough call either way.

Now with the renewed interest in the Guard that 8th edition was given me, I decided it was time for a bold new look. 
I have tested out and refined the pattern over a few vehicles and I really like it. Next will be the shading with ink and/or drybushing the soften and blend the colors a bit. Then full rate re-painting for a whole lot of armor. I'll post pics of the finished product when it happens. 


Go Sling Some Paint
And May The Emperor Guide Your Brush

Friday, September 29, 2017

Happy Birthday God-Emperor

On this very day around 38,000-ish years ago He came into existence. The legends say He is a collection of powerful shamans reincarnated into a single super-soul to combat Chaos and guide mankind.

Everything went really well for a time, but you know how family squabbles can get out of hand. 

I'm a bit worried about him. He used to do so much, now he just sits around with his weird friends and watches re-runs of "My Twenty Eighteen Sons". He should get out more often.

In honor of His day, tomorrow we shall have a day of killing heretics and xenos!
And cake. Can't have a birthday slaughter-fest without cake.


The Emperor Protects
Today is Tough on the Candle Lighting Servitors

Friday, September 22, 2017

Just Call Me Mr. Butterfingers

I have a problem. Well, lots of them, but we don't have time for that right meow.
Recently I have become a huge fan of ink washes and texture paints. Citadel knows of my needs and started making them in larger paint pots. Which is great, except for they can be a bit unstable.
 I'm just not used to the taller bottles, I have been knocking them over with alarming frequency.  They are very easily tipped over with the lids flipped up.
This doesn't really matter with the texture paints as they are far too thick to spill any material in a reasonable time frame. Like, hours if not days. This is not true of the ink washes. I have knocked over the tall bottles and spilled a whole bunch of ink. Several times. I only had to re-paint two figs, but used a lot of paper towels.

I needed a way to minimize the damage. If only I had some kind of wide base to put the bottles in...

My lovely and talented wife, Mrs. Blackheart, has recently purchased a 3D printer-bot. She is rapidly progressing on its use. I explained my problem and proposed my solution to her and within a few hours she gave me this:
It works great! The new base provides enough stability to prevent a glancing blow from knocking over the top heavy bottles. The day (and ink) is saved!


3D Printer Servitors Are Your Friends
Surely They Will Never Rise Up and Kill Us All. 



Friday, September 15, 2017

Genestealers New and Old

So do you know what a Genestealer Cult army really needs? Yes! Genestealers. The big question for me was, what kind of 'stealer? There are a few variants to pick from. The olde tyme Rogue Trader metal body with plastic arms, the 1st edition Space Hulk/2nd edition 40K era plastic ones, the newer more Hive Fleet looking 'stealers (5th edition?), or the brand new Overkill version.

I have three of the kinda terrible and small metal Genestealers, so that is not really an option. The Overkill 'stealers are by far the best looking of the bunch, but I had only four of those. I do have just shy of a zillion of the other plastic versions. So I did a lineup to compare and contrast.

The Overkill version is on a 32mm base, which works well for the whole big arms thing 'stealers do. I put the 5th edition one on a spare Blood Bowl slotta base which is 32mm. Then I tossed in a 'stealer from my old Space Hulk set.
I liked how the Overkill and Space Hulk 'stealers looked like they were related to the Patriarch. So the 5ed Genestealer was out and the Overkill ones were in.

The Overkill Genestealers are a bit hard to come by. I traded for a few, and won a couple of auctions on eBay to bring my total up to ten. I decided to use ten of the older Space Hulk minis to fill out my force of twenty. Oh yes, this little project was getting a bit crazy.

I carefully cut the old 25mm bases off and put the old timers on new 32mm bases. Then they got a repaint. I was worried the new coats of paint would pile up and make a blob-like 'stealer, but I managed to thin the paints enough for this not to happen.
The end result was a bit of crazy went a long way. The force of twenty looks great as a cohesive unit, and like they belong with the Patriarch.    
It's that what a good Cult is all about. Belonging. That, and bathing in the blood of the unbelievers.


Blessed Are the Void Kindred
Don't Question the Starry Wisdom

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Open War Cards


One new 40k 8th release which received little fanfare was the deck of Open War Cards. Which is a shame because they are really quite good.

It's a small deck of 48 cards but full of cool ways to set up 40k battles. It is really five smaller sub-decks: 12 Deployment, 12 Objectives, 12 Twist, 6 Ruse, and 6 Sudden Death cards.

Fast and easy to use,  You draw a Deployment card, which has a graphic depiction of the deployment zones, a Objective card, and a Twist card. The Objective card is self-explanatory, and the Twist card has some delightful thing that messes with both sides like Acid Rain, Warp Storm, or Orbital Debris.

If one side has a higher Power Level than the other, then it receives a Ruse card, which is a helpful boost. If the one side also outnumber 2:1 that player also gets a Sudden Death Card. It is just as the name suggests: a Sudden Death Victory Condition for the outnumbered player. Some of these cards are quite fun. Both the Ruse and Sudden Death cards are kept hidden until used.

An interesting variant is if both players are within five PL of each other give each of them a Ruse and Sudden Death card. Makes for a unpredictable battle.

Open War is great for quickly setting up a match, and with enough card combinations to give it a lot of replayability. Give a try if you haven't yet.

Go Roll Some Dice
But use the Cards Too! 


Friday, July 28, 2017

First 8th Battle: Part II


Sorry for the delay, but I had some...issues with Blogger. Now where was I?
Oh yes, Shooting Phase! The shooty-ist phase in the game.

Shooting is flat out better. Whole squads don't have to all shoot at the same target anymore (again). This is a huge win for the flexible squad, like Imperial Guard or Space Marines. My Dreadnought had a great time; Assault Cannon at the Genestealers, Heavy Flamer the Lictor, and charge the Carnifex, all in the same turn.  All tank-like vehicles benefit hugely as well. Oddly less gamey and more fluffy.

Hit modifiers now apply, but not very many. You want to move and fire a heavy weapon? That will be -1. Shooting at somebody in cover? -1. All quick, easy, and makes sense.

The new "To Wound" table is also a very nice change. Everything can (potentially) wound anything else is fun and good for balance. Vehicles having Toughness instead of Armor value works far better than I thought it would.

One small change I didn't notice until their first time shooting, is Storm Bolters are now Rapid Fire (2) instead of assault, which makes for 4 shots at 12" or closer. Very nice.
Charge Phase is short and sweet, and not much different from before. Overwatch got a minor tweak, as a unit can fire multiple times as long as no enemy is within 1", and all units get overwatch now.

The within 1" of an enemy rule is a nice constant throughout the ruleset. A good example of the little things that make this a much cleaner version of 40K.

The Fight Phase I actually had a small bit of trouble adjusting to. We were so used to a rather complex hand to hand sequence (Initiative sub-phasing, how many melee weapons, etc.) that it took a few tries to see the new flow correctly. It is much faster, with less fiddly modifiers. Being able to leave close combat at the cost of shooting is a nice touch.  



Morale Phase. Face it, most of us either forgot, ignored, or had lots of troops that were immune to Morale Tests. Not anymore! Taking one test for any unit that took losses is fun, easy, and can make a huge impact on the battle. You do have to track casualties, but that is easily achieved by leaving the dead guys knocked over on the table.


Conclusion: Obviously I really like this New 40K. It plays faster and easier. Overall it feels more like what 40k units are supposed to do. I'll yap about Command Points, Army Building, and other usch stuff soon.

The Emperor Protects
But Sometimes Warp Storms Affect Blogs Too



Saturday, July 1, 2017

This Just In...

I received two new Imperial Armour books this morning, Astra Militarum and Xenos. Slim softcovers that have Datasheets for all of the Forge World fun for 8th. Aside from the Guard, there is Death Korps, Elysian Drop troopers, Knight and Renegades. Oh, and Titans.
70. Wounds. The Warlord Titan has 70. Toughness 16 with a 2+ save. Void Shields now work as a straight up invulnerable save (that also block Mortal Wounds), that gets worse as the God machine takes damage. The big Guns do a bit of damage as well. 200 Power Level or just 4,000 points.

The Warhound is still a beast, but can just about be reasonably used in a game. A mere 35 wounds at Toughness 9 with a a 3+ save. For only 75 PL or 1,500 points. I'm going to repaint mine real soon.

The Valkyrie Vendetta Gunship is now even more dangerous with its six Lascannons plus the door gunners can shoot at separate targets. The transport ability has gone back to 12 troops again. Death from above indeed.

Now I will go and have a look at the Eldar and Tyranid toys...

Death Comes in Many Forms
But Resin is Very Deadly


Friday, June 30, 2017

First 8th Battle: Pt. I

It is kind of hard to believe, but there was a time (long ago) when I only had two 40K armies. A compact Dark Angels force, and a brand new Tyranid Swarm. It seems only fitting to bring an updated approximation of those armies for our first 8th Edition Battle report. Including a few hold-outs from that era, including my first space marine, the veteran with the powerfist and cape.
Rather than a blow-by-blow battle report, these posts will be just about our observations of the changes to 8th, and how the game plays overall.

We played at 100 Power Level, battle forged. The new 'Power Level' (PL) way is appealing, it significantly speeds up choosing your force. While it is a bit limiting on unit sizes (5 or 10 Tactical marines for example) you do get any options that unit can take as part of the PL cost, which if fun and for me more flavorful in the fluff context. You got a full Tac squad, why wouldn't they bring their full kit?
Of course detailed points list building is still available, if that is your kinda thing.

One of the big welcome changes was to the Battle Forged Force Organization Chart (FOC), to be specific, the addition of a wide range of detachment types. This makes for massive flexibility in army creation.

Battle Forged armies are important for two reasons: It makes armies that feel right in composition, and you get to use Command Points, more on that in a bit.

The missions have changed very little, a few new set-ups and some minor tweaks, which is fine with me. I'm glad they kept the Tactical Objective missions. What did change was the return of alternating deployment of units. A little slower, but removed the big advantage of deploying second.
Movement Phase has a few changes: Advancing (used to be called Running) is now done in movement not shooting. This speeds things up a little since now you roll to Advance before you move your mini. Just add the D6 score to you Movment stat and off you go.

The big change in the Movement Phase is the addition of Fall Back. If you are within 1" of a enemy model you can disengage and move the hell away, you just don't get to Advance, shoot or charge this turn. The trick is all the models in the unit have to end their movement further than 1" away from a enemy. This means surrounded models cannot fall back, something to keep in mind during the pile-in and consolidation parts of the Fight Phase.

Reserves happen at the end of movement. How this occurs varies by mission and sometime unit type. Some missions still use the 3+ to show up, others you pick who shows up and when. Deep Striking units get to choose when and where as long as it is more than 9" from any enemy models. They may shoot and charge as normal.

Ah, Psychic Phase. The continuously shifting Psychic Phase. There has been at least three major different versions of this phase through the years, I've lost count. As someone who disliked the 6th/7th edition versions, I am glad to say I like this cleaner system (one of the many things lifted from Age of Sigmar). It is straightforward but still is able to have the full range of powers, and a simple way to try and nullify those powers.

I'll cover the last three phases next time. Shooting, Fight, and Morale.  


Heresy Grows From Idleness
So Get Out There and Roll Some Dice!


Thursday, June 22, 2017

8th Out of the Box

Xenos Inquisitor Jonesy approves.
So, one week into the release of New 40K and what do I think? It is glorious. I'll be yapping about it for the next few posts. Today, let's have a quick look into the Dark Imperium Boxed Set. Peter was kind enough to bring his over while I await mine in the mail.

Nice big box with a big price point. You really do get get a great value for your gaming bucks:
Of course, if Nurgle or the fancy new Primaris Marines don't tweak your twinkie, then the box is not for you, just get the Rulebook...

The first surprise is the box is not a box! More of a box in a tray with a slipcover. And in that box are the minis. Lots (54) of brand new really detailed figures.


The purity seal was a nice touch. I'll assemble my figs this weekend.

In the lower tray are the Hardcover Rulebook (more about that next post) the Mini-Codices, decals, bases, assembly guide, some nice red dice, and a fold out of the core rules.
A cool thing about the two forces included in this box set is that they are two small armies ready to go. Thanks to Peter for running the numbers, They both come in at around 50 PL (Power Level) or 900-ish points, with the Marines having a bit more. I'm confident that the Primaris Marines and the Death Guard will be some of the first new releases; it will be easy to expand this basic force.

I'm pleased with the Dark Imperium set, and hope to get a game in this weekend.


The Emperor Protects
In New and Exciting Ways

Friday, June 9, 2017

A Farewell to Templates

40K without templates? Madness and heresy! Well, maybe not...Templates have been a visual and fun part of miniature gaming for a very long time. The earliest reference I could find was a Napoleonic game from 1974 that used them for various sizes of cannon barrages.

Visually exciting and lots of fun to see how many hapless victims fell under the circle of death, but slow to use and the source of untold disagreements. 40k templates, like with all things over time, experienced constant expansion. Newer sizes and shapes, and oh so many colors! I had built up quite a collection over the years (the neron green ones were my favorite) yet it was somehow always tricky to find the right one, or a scatter die to see it landed.

My best guess is that the removal of bast templates from the game is a very good thing. It will speed up shooting by taking out all that guesswork and eyeballing of where the template landed and who is under it. We will have to wait another week before I can start trying out 8th Edition to see if my guess is correct. And I will have to find some way to repurpose my vast collection. A collage perhaps?

  
Go Roll Some Dice
Interesting Pie Plates for Sale

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Carnage Asada '17

Our annual Carnage Asada fest was upon us last Monday. This time we went for Shadow War: Armageddon (SWA), A.K.A. Necromunda V.2. The good 'ole Necromunda rules have been cleaned up just a touch (to good effect) and the focus is on standard 40K combatants, not gangers. I do hope some new stats for gangers are released, just to bring them up to the new standards.

SWA is a great game. Very fast moving once you have a handle on the rules. It is easy to have a few battles in a reasonable time frame. Low model count so it is simple to keep track of all of them, and just enough extra detail to make it really interesting.

We had four active players. Each got in three battles in a day of fast moving carnage!

The smallest kill team with only three figures, the Tyranid Warriors were rightly feared on the battlefield. They finished the day at 2-1, losing only to the Space Marine Scouts.

A good multi-purpose Space Marine Scout team also went 2-1 with their loss coming at the hands of the Chaos Space Marines.

Chaos Space Marines and friends (flunkies?) had a solid force and a interesting dynamic of elite and fodder troops. They finished the day at 1-2.

The Genestealer Cult, the largest force with nine figures, only managed to defeat the rival Chaos Cult. They end up at 1-2 as well.

Now that we have a good feel for the rules, we will give the campaign system a go. The Genestealer Cult shall begin its rise.

Thanks to everybody who made it a great day in the underhive!

Welcome To The Under
If I could Only Stop Failing My Ammo Checks!


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

New 40K Release Date

Pre-orders start June 3 for a June 17th release. No price info at the moment. The box set comes with a bunch of new models, the full 280 page, hardback rulebook, two mini-army books for Primaris Space Marines and Death Guard, plus some other items.
Five(!) separate softback books, Indexes for ALL of the current armies. We will be able to play everything on day one. Damn nice. Of course the rulebook will be available as a stand alone item.
And that's not all! Command dice, Tactical Objective Cards, Wound tracker dice, and a set of objectives. Bank account prepare for impact!

Oh, and the basic version of the rules will be ready as a free download on the 17th. This all looks great. This should prove to be a good summer of 40K.

The Emperor Protects
As Long as They Print Enough Copies