Friday, January 31, 2014

Codex:Tyranids Rant Part 2, The Good

So I have had three games with the new Codex and all is not doom (except for the lack of the Doom) and gloom. I understand Win At All Cost players and those who play them really hate the new book, but here at the Warlords Fortress, that is not our way. Some new options, units, and a new kits make this version of our beloved 'Nids just fine. 

The book itself is well done, good fluff pieces, and some nice new artwork. Most of the Warlord traits are useful and I really like the addition of the bio-artifacts to the wargear. The big winner is the point decrease on the heavies and 'gaunts. The Exocrine is the artillery unit we have been waiting for, and the Harspex is a fun monstrous creature addition to the Elites slot. 

I think all the new kits are great. The Harpy is a solid flying nightmare and it easy to swap out the two main guns. The Exocrine/Harspex kit looks good and seems like it was designed for the magnetically inclined... 
Wether it is positive fallout from the Chapterhouse lawsuits or not, it is wonderful to see all the unit's options included in the kits now. I have loved Tyranid Warriors armed with bone swords since the Advanced Space Crusade days, and it is so good to have them back along with enough rending claws for the whole unit. The option parts build up a nice looking Tyranid Prime as well.
I waited too long and missed the Hive Guard in metal, and just could not bring myself to get them in Finecast, but now they are slightly cheaper and bigger in much easier to build plastic.

The Tyranids are still fun to play, and fun to play against. It's that iconic science-fiction imagery of the vast horde of bug-like creatures versus a smaller but well armed force that resonates with us. They fit their role in the 40K universe as invading monsters that cannot be reasoned with quite well, and I look forward to playing many games with them this year.

And speaking of the magnetically inclined, Monday will be a new guest article by Matt, on how to go crazy with a Carnifex or three.

The Great Devourer Hungers
And it's Not Picky

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Codex:Tyranids Rant Part 1, The Bad & Ugly

The 'Nids have dropped in for a bite and here is my first take on the new codex. Well this is actually my second try. The first draft was really a hate filled nerd rant. Now I'll just sit back and let the rum work it's magic. So I'm now longer angry, just disappointed.

I wanted the new Tyranid Codex to be great in they way the new Tau and Eldar books are great. I wanted to frantically flip through the codex and giggle at all the cool little changes that make the 'Nids better. I really wanted to find Genestealers had something to help them in this new era of shooting supremacy. I needed the Warriors to be the backbone of the army again, and the Lictors return to mythical boogyman status. Nobody got better. Nothing got fixed.

 People don't like to lose things. trade, sure. Lose, never. The Tyranids have been on the loosing side since 6th edition was released. No charge after fleet. No charge after outflank. Overwatch. And now no Doom of Malan'tai, Ymgrail Genestealers, Mycetic Spores, or Parasite of Mortrx. Of which I have models for all of them. Grrr.

Then there is the just confusing. Why mess with scything talons? Drop the Hive Guards BS a point? Make Lictors hang out in a squad? Increase the cost of bone swords? Give the flyers template or blast weapons they can't use on other flyers? For a race that constantly adapts why no anti-aircraft biomorphs? Sigh.

It just feels lazy and/or changing for the sake of changes. A number of small easy fixes could have transformed this to a big win for the Hive Mind. I didn't want any super-overpowered units, I just wanted some help in getting across the the kill zone.

Even though it sounds like it, I don't hate the new codex. I'm not going to melt down my 6,000 points of 'Nids. I am disappointed with it, with what it could, nay, should have been.

Next up, the Good bits of Codex:Tyranids.

The Great Devourer Hungers
Not all mutations are useful

Friday, January 10, 2014

Shields Up!

While we wait for the new Tyranid Codex to arrive, let's talk about a different game, Star Trek Attack Wing. It has been a while since the two big sci-fi franchises have had a good space combat game. Star Wars got theirs in the form of the excellent "X-Wing" by Fantasy Flight, and Star Trek got "Star Trek Tactics" by Wizkids, based on the Heroclix system.  

I am big fan of Fantasy Flight's X-Wing game and was really disappointed in Wizkids' terrible Star Trek Tactics. Fortunately Wizkids had a smart attack and licensed X-Wing's "Flight Path" game system for another try at a Star Trek game. It was a great fit and what we got is a fun and fast playing Star Trek starship combat game.

The smart attack didn't cover everything. Instead of making a few new sculpts for ships that really needed it, they just re-used the Heroclix models. In some cases, like the Romulans and the Dominion fleets, they are fine and the paint jobs are serviceable. The Federation ships are nice models with okay paint jobs. It's just too bad they went went with light blue instead of grey. The hack job they did on the Klingons we cover next time.
The most visible problem is that of scale. The (in)famous Bird of Prey is a fine model, just far too big next to the other ships. The Enterprise from the original series is in scale with the Enterprise-D, just not anything else. I don't want perfect scaling here (like X-wing did) but just some relative scale would have been great.

Enough with negative side. Star Trek Attack Wing is a lot of fun to play. It is obviously similar to X-Wing, but there are lots of minor tweaks that give it it's own flavor. The average game will take between 45-90 minutes to play out. One of the things that Attack Wing does better that its sibling is each ship expansion comes with a mission card, so is there is good variety if you don't feel like the 100 point line up and kill.

We will be giving this game a lot of coverage this year, starting next week with my Klingon fleet repaint.

Go Roll Some Dice
In Spaaaace

Friday, January 3, 2014

Tyranids Inbound

The January White Dwarf has arrived and so has our first (official) glimpse at the new and hopefully improved Tyranids. Some very pretty pictures in the sales pitch zone at the front of the magazine.

The flyer kit looks pretty sweet with parts to build either the troop killing Harpy or the anti-air Hive Crone. Two different heads, carapace, tails, and a couple of weapon options should give this lots of building options.
The Tyrant/Hive Guard box has options for two different guns, and lots of close combat options for the Tyrant Guard including crushing claws, boneswords and lashwips. They stand just a bit taller than Warriors, so they finally look big enough to do their job.
At long last the Warriors have gotten all of their options into the box, plus parts to make a Tyranid Prime.  I just hope the new rules make them the backbone of the army they should be.
The "medium" size new monsters should be fun. I am so happy GW reached back into Epic lore and gave us The Exocrine and Haruspex. I'm fine that they have be given legs now and are no longer "Killer Slugs" that they were back in the Epic times. I do like they way they both look, but the Haruspex does have a certain manga-tentacle horror to it. 

The battle report is substandard with no FOC and not much real info so it is hard to get a good feel for any changes. It was nice to see that a Carnifex brood that has different options within it. At one point in the battle Old One Eye was "Regaining wounds faster than the Riptide can cause them", I don't know what that means in game terms, but I am intrigued.  

I am so looking forward to then new Codex and models next week. Time for a new campaign.

A nice picture for size comparison.

The Hive Mind Draws Near
Guess Who is Dinner?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

2014 will be a great year here at Atomic Warlord's HQ. The 40K avalanche shows no sign of slowing down, and I will start covering a few more games here, such as X-Wing, Star Trek Attack Wing, Deadzone, plus a few board games.

We have three campaigns in the works and a host of modeling projects including a terrain building project in conjunction with Peter over at Grim Cheapness of the Future

Take a deep breath, slam a fresh mag in, and come along for the ride, it's going to be a good one.

The Emperor Protects
So say we all