Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last Battle of 2014

  You can't stop the Waaaaagh!  Everyone knows that!  That's why the galactic map in that codex is GREEN!  And once that waaagh is called...
  My Warboss decided to take his boyz for a spin and found some Slaaneshi Marines to battle.  My Warboss was itchin' for a fight, so he quickly mustered his small force and saturated the ruins that the spikey-beakies were hiding in.  Here's the list:

HQ- Warboss on Warbike with Cybork Body, Power Klaw, and Bosspole 
HQ- Painboy and Grot Orderly
Troop- 20 Slugga Boyz with 2 Big Shootas, led by a Nob with a Bosspole
Troop- 21 Slugga Boyz with 2 Big Shootas, led by a Nob with a Bosspole
Fast Attack- 4 Warbikes led by a Warbiker Nob with a Power Klaw and a Bosspole
Fast Attack- 5 Deffkoptas with twin Rokkit Launcher
Heavy Support- 8 Lootas led by 2 Meks with Custom-mega-blastas

Heavy Support- Deff Dread with Scorcha and Custom-mega-blasta
It all added up to 993 points and a helluva good time!
 The battlefield was a simple 4'x4' tablewith some ruins and an unclaimed (dilapidated) bunker.  The mission was the third Maelstrom of War scenario with the escalating Tactical Objectives each turn.  With no 'night fight' in action and very little true cover, I deployed with no other reason than to rush forward.  I appreciate the 'mindless' army once in a while.

  The image above shows the end of my first turn, with the Greenskins rushing at the rebels at break-neck speed.  I'm not a Evil Sunz guy (all Bad Moonz all day!), but I do appreciate running and running some more.  My opponent and our audience were both significantly worried about this as they saw the flood flowing from one side of the battle to the other.  I rather enjoyed the shakey boots...

  There were some awesome moments right from the beginning.  With some well-placed shooting with my Orks, the entire army managed to knock a single HP off the Vindator.  The entire army included a ton of Rokkits and gobs of Loota shells.  Typical Ork shooting.  That Vindicator then one-shotted my Deffkoptas, leaving one to survive and flee from the table post-haste.  Typical Ork Resilience.  

  There was a point early in the game where a Lucius-led mob of fanatics suffered the first wave of Ork assault.  Not feeling terribly confident myself, I watched as my Nob and two more Boyz were easily dispatched by the ancient duellist.  Then, sure enough, the rest of the Boyz begin swinging their Choppas and the frenzy saw the entire unit wiped out and wounds overflowing onto the surviving Warlord.  His Armor of Shrieking Souls is still trying to figure out which Choppa got him, which arm held it, and which soul to steal- days later!  The very next turn, the victorious Ork mob was gunned down mercilessly by some Noise Marines.  Oh, the 'glass cannon' that is Orks...  But it was nice to see a challenge end positively for me (I'm usually the boyz in blue, and we don't do so hot in the 'ol slapfight).

  The defining moment of the game came with the glorious death of that stupid Vindie tank.  While his Sorcerer Lord gave the tank Shrouded and it was half concealed from the Lootas behind the bunker, it appeared that the tank was invincible, even at side armor.  Sure enough, the Lootas score two hits, enough to finish the war machine off.  With a 2+ cover save, there's no way that tank is going down.  My buddy, having siphoned some of my fantastic luck over the months, decided to roll this:   

  Tank dead!!!  The worst part of that whole situation was that we were so confident that the tank wouldn't die that I exclaimed (apparently invoking my black-shirt power) "You won't roll snake-eyes!" in that reverse psychology kind of way.  After seeing the dice fall and my victory lap around the house, er, workshop, we all just laughed and laughed.  Game over, man, game over.

  The rest of the battle saw him mow down Orks with whizzing bullets ignoring crucial cover, and my Warboss surviving the annihilation of the rest of his army just charging everything.  I had a few Boyz cowering in some ruins and claiming an objective, the Lootas still hidden deep in the back corner (trying to find Joseph and Bob, the only two casualties from turn 1), and just smoke and craters besides.  Although the game should have ended in turn 3 with the tabling of my Ork force, there was some ridiculous whiffing and funny luck all over the place.

  And my reliance on Maelstrom missions to win paid off yet again.  For some strange reason, the cards seem to generally fall my direction.  This makes the ninth win in that format, and really just because I could score a dozen or more points while my opponent scored few in each of the games.  The first match for the Greenskins is a win!!!

Now he wants more...

  Let me know how your last game of the year went and whether you can feel the Waaaaagh!  Happy New Year everyone and may 15.M2 be waaaaaaghsome!

Monday, December 29, 2014


  I dun did it!  After far too much stress and way too many variables that messed with things, I quit my job and dedicated myself to home and hobby again.  I literally had no time to do anything other than sleep for two hours a night and sit in front of a computer anytime I wasn't driving.  Many a model and battle were left unattended over the last year.  But I did it.

  And, like any good cathartic event, some retail reward or therapy was needed.  When I left the service of the Emprah, I purchased an entire Blood Angel army.  Now that I've become a full-time student and dad, I decided to add to my list of xenos and pick up the Orks.
  The starter kit, Stormclaw, had some really beautiful models in it, and the campaign books look really cool.  Plus, I happen to have two sets of Black Reach Orks from a couple of buddies, so I decided to waste some of my holiday budget on that.  Now, I have a fourth 'bad guy' army and a third xenos race to help balance the homo-centric world I live in.  And let's be real, it's just freakin' fun to play the greenskins!

My Ultramarines have become too 'easy' to use, mostly because I own everything there is to own for that army (well, almost).  Any list I write up can be specialized and overly effective, so the army becomes an observation in dice-rolling and basic maneuvres.  My other armies are either too deeply buried or just downright boring to use, so I didn't really have a good force to play with.  And Orks, well, you don't have to think like that.  All you need to do is enjoy rolling dice and pushing little dudes around the table.  

  I've realized that I've been scared of the greenskins for some time for no real reason.  The Lootas are the most utilized unit in that entire codex, which meant that I had to face 30 or more of them often (remember, it used to be my job to sell these things!), which can be terribly effective and demoralizing to some armies.  Nob Warbikers are the next unit that I fear and that's just because bikes are ridiculous to begin with.  Beyond that, nothing else really meant too much and I found myself actually underwhelmed with the codex.  And happily so...

  You see, Orks are opposite of my favored Astartes in almost every way.  They're not fearless or ATSKNF, and their Ld is not high enough to keep them in the fight like other armies.  They wear no armour, and they don't carry special weapons and heavy gear into battle.  A couple might grap a .50 or RPG, but it's all about the shirts, the choppas, and whatever has a trigger nearby.  They aren't few, and they don't come expensive.  Orks can be expensive, but that's only if you choose to play Ghazkull's Meganob formation.  Otherwise, filling the FOC out isn't as hard as you might expect.  

  Better, the clans are perfectly aligned to me.  Much like I love the 'warband' idea of the CSM (let the flaming start... now), the Orks also embody that whole "mix it up" idea to allow me to play anything I want.  I personally enjoy the Bad Moonz (those who know me know why), but I can't bring myself to painting the choppa-boyz with yellow gubbinz when they are asking for dags and checks!  And I do love me Warbikes in red and Meks in yellow and Deffdreads in black, so this is perfect!   Orks allow me to use the whole range of colours and actually make an attractive army.  Of course, that would mean that I'm painting something anything soon, and we know that's not happening yet...

  I've built a 1,000 point force to be used in a small campaign with a couple of buddies.  One of them is a constant Chaos Marine player (he's my typical opponent), and the other has decided to start the Space Puppies from the starter.  I've built a couple of campaign maps and might even try to get another buddy, starting Blood Angels for some strange reason, in on a campaign of conquest!  I own faaaaaar more than that, but I want to paint this army and I don't think that putting 200 plastic dudes in front of me will be very motivating.  But I sure do want to to get to choppin', so the models are built and challenges have been bellowed.  

  This is also the start of a return to my blog.  I miss doing this, but not hobbying and gaming and no time meant that I had to be patient.  Nothing can stop a Waaaagh once it gets started, and I'm bring the Waaagh back!  It always starts small...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Wait, another edition?!

Well, I said that I would reserve judgement about the new edition until the new book was officially in my hand.  All of my buddies asked relentlessly what I thought and all I could do was relay the same rumours we all know and express how cool or uncool they would be.  What were some of the rumours I was looking forward to?

Ballistic skill -2 for Overwatch.  That would make my Eldar and Space Marines especially happy.

Psychic Phase.  Ah, like I was back in middle school...

Consolidating into combat.  Finally, a way to defeat that pesky overwatch!

And from quite a while ago, Percentage-based FOC.  Seriously, how would we NOT want that?!

But alas, they were not meant to be.  These rumours were too good to be true anyway, and I don't expect GW to have everything I want.  I just play the game with the rules they give me and then reserve the right to complain later on, like any self-respecting gamer...  Yeah, I said it!  What?  What were my thoughts when the book was confirmed to be released?

Like everyone else, I was surprised that it was coming out so soon.  I was also under the impression that it was already 3 years, but my buddy pointed out that it was only 2.  So really, only 2 years?  Really?  I mean, really!?

But hey, if they feel like this was a 'transitionary' edition and they were ready to release the real game, so be it.  It must be a complete rewrite.  A hardcore departure from the last edition the same way that 3rd edition was different from 2nd, and 6th was different than 5th, right?  Well, let's see what they do.

I heard about the neat format of the books- 3 booklets in a hard cover-case.  That was cool!  I love the special-style format that they release stuff in.  I bought the special edition with the ammo can, the Apocalypse one in the ruck-sack, and even the fantasy set with the satchel!  If this is the cool way that this edition was going to be released, I couldn't be unhappy.

So what happened?  Well, the book was coming out regardless of whether I thought it was appropriately timed or not.  Besides, the possibility of a complete paradigm shift in the game was too intriguing to ignore.  But that didn't happen.  There was a prevailing opinion that this was little more than a '6.5', and I now confidently refer to it as '6.15'.  It changed so little that I was rather disappointed.  I was hoping for a rewrite, but that didn't happen.  Jay was sad...

I will get back to the positive very quickly here by noting that the 3-book format was rather good.  It is really cool and means that I can carry a single book to the store with me.  That means I took a codex and another codex-sized book and can call myself equipped with everything.  Here's another thought- GW has set it up that they can sell just the rulebook now.  You see, they could produce, let's say... 2000 of each of the 'Galaxy at War' and 'Dark Millenium' books and sell those each for $30 or something.  But they could produce 20,000 of 'The rules' and sell that at $35 and be able to make a great deal of money.  This is not different than buying the complete DnD set, only cheaper (and two of the books are about the hobby instead of more rules).  I think that it can be a brilliant business move.  I don't expect GW to take advantage of it, but I'm hoping all is not truly lost there.

As far as the rules themselves...

The BIGGEST change to the game is the fact that everything is scoring now.  Unless it's an immobilized non-walker, a swarm, or stated specifically, it can control objectives.  This is a very welcome change to me indeed as it means that competitive games aren't simply 'who kills the enemy's troops first' and becomes more of a decision-making game.  I am now worried that this will mean the disappearance of Troops because Elite and other units are more powerful and can fulfill the same purpose.  A buddy pointed out that Troops in battle-forged armies trump non-Troops in controlling versus contesting.  That matters, but damage output is so much more important than it ever was and Troops typically fall behind in that category.

Related to that is the 'Tactical Objectives'.  Basically, you can play missions where you always lay down 6 objective markers, numbered 1 through 6.  Then, at the beginning of each turn, the players draw cards or roll on a chart to randomly determine new objectives.  You can achieve these objectives and earn the victory points at the end of each turn, and you can discard and ignore objectives that you can't achieve to try and draw new ones.  Most of the time, these objective points are earned by controlling a specific objective marker (numbered 1-6), while it's other conditions at other times.  It adds quite a bit of variety to the game scenarios.  I actually rather like this and could see it mutated into a very effective tournament format.  More importantly, it really adds an element of randomness to the battle that can offset some of that imbalance in armies.  Probably not, though.

The next biggest change is the reincarnation of the Psychic Phase.  It's a bit different now.  All powers are cast by psykers in this phase (unless stated otherwise until FAQs are released).  The phase starts after the movement phase and takes place before the shooting phase, and doesn't affect any of it.  That means that a psyker can fire a witchfire power and then shoot with his normal weapon and then charge in the assault phase!  That's right, psykers basically gain an extra action in the game.  At the start of the phase, the players roll a d6 and add their Mastery levels to the score- that's how many dice they get.  Much like the White Wolf system, the ability to cast powers is dependent upon rolling a number of 'successes' on a number of dice.  The psyker attempting to cast the power chooses any number of dice and rolls them, looking for a target number of 4 or higher.  If the number of 'successes' equals or exceeds the Warp Charge cost of the power, it is successful.  So 'Smite', a primaris power with a Warp Charge 1, would typically be cast by a psyker using two of the dice from the pool.  As long as one of the dice shows a 4 or higher, the power is successful.
On top of that, Denying the Witch is significantly changed.  The enemy player can choose to Deny the Witch against any power attempt, regardless of whether he's the target or not (that includes Blessings and such!).  They simply choose a number of dice from their pool and roll, looking for 6s as the 'success' dice.  In order to stop a power, the enemy player must equal or beat the successes of the psyker's roll straight out- 3 successes of 4+ will have to be stopped with 3 successes of 6s.  There are ways to modify the Deny the Witch roll, like having a psyker in the unit and them being a higher Mastery level.  The average Space Marine player will have a single level 2 psyker, averaging 5-6 dice a turn, while the Grey Knights and Eldar can really beef those numbers up.
I worry that this will lead to those Psychic armies to really own that phase and cause some serious damage.  I shouldn't be too upset, considering that I own Grey Knights, Eldar, and Blood Angels.  But a buddy has play-tested his Grey Knights already and assures me that it's not nearly as bad as I think.  If it comes to that, I'm prepared.  Let's hope that I'm wrong in this prediction.

Finally, the last effective REAL change was the order of resolution with weapons fire.  A unit with multiple types of weapons has to separate and fire and completely resolve each group.  So a Space Marine Tactical Squad would have to fire the Sergeant's bolt pistol and completely resolve wounding and saving before moving on to the 7 bolters and starting over.  This slows the game down, but no more than the Psychic Phase already did, so nothing really lost here.  What that means is that different ranged weapons need to be fired in order of that range- short range weapons first, then longer, then long-range weapons.  When range is tied, template and blast weapons should be fired first to get more models before they are killed by other weapons.  Oh, something tiny in here- the effective killing range of a shooting weapon is it's max range, regardless of the mode it's firing in.  So a bolter firing in rapid fire mode can wound and kill a model up to 24" away.  Sweet, right?!  This adds a very specific tactical consideration to the shooting phase for those multi-weapon units.

After that, there's some weird changes.  Characters no longer come with Precision Shot and Precision Strike.  I don't know if that's going to be FAQ'd, but I thought that was interesting.  Those rules, and even 'One shot/One use only' were listed in the Special Rules Appendix.  I mean, wow.

Vector Strike is limited to one strike at base strength and AP 2.  We knew this one already.

Difficult terrain is no longer a dice game.  Any unit charging into difficult terrain rolls charge range as normal and subtracts 2 from it.  We knew this one as well, but it bears noting.

Night fight is no longer range specific, only happens in the first turn and only on a roll of 4+.  The effect is that all units on the table have the Stealth special rule for that turn.  Pretty simple.

Flying Monsters changed quite a bit.  First, they got more powerful by now only having to take a 'Grounding' test once a phase, and only if they're wounded.  It's bad to roll 1 or 2.  But it's now not possible to ground FMCs with laser pointers...  Then, they got less powerful as they are no longer allowed to charge in the same turn as switching flight modes from swooping to gliding or vice-versa.  That's right, flapping around the battlefield takes more time, so know what's up right now.

The vehicle damage chart is different and transports actually became a little better (in a very tiny way).  The damage chart is now this:
1-3:  Shaken (vehicle fires only snap shots)
4:  Stunned (vehicle can't move and fires only snap shots)
5:  Weapon destroyed
6:  Immobilized
7:  Explodes
That's right, you need a 7+ to blow up a vehicle now!  If your weapon isn't AP 2 or 1, you're creating another wreck for the battlefield.  That's a nifty little change that makes Land Raiders that much more awesome.
As far as transports- now, if the vehicle suffers any of the non-'Explodes' effects on the chart, the crew simply takes a LD test.  If they fail, they may only fire snap shots round, but passing means everything is normal.  Nowhere did I see anything preventing them disembarking!  Of course, only Assault Vehicles allow a disembarking charge still, so it's not that huge.  But still, a LD test or no effect.  Perfect!

We all know the Allies chart changed.  But the new edition went even further and stated that any number of any kind of detachments can be used as well.  Taking two Macharius detachments and a GK detachment is very tempting with my IG...

Smash has been reduced to a single attack.  No longer to monsters 'halve' their attacks- they just get one super-strike mega-blast uber-punch now.  

Of important note is the absence of 'Area Terrain'.  I personally preferred area terrain as it made it easy to just roll the dice and keep the game moving.  This whole idea of 'model by model' from the perspective of the shooters' can be tedious.  I like it well enough, but I'm a fan of simplicity.  Now, nothing in the game has the rule, and only a few of pieces of terrain listed in the appendix even have the effect (Imperial Copse, Battlescape, and Moonscape).  Woods and Ruins and such no longer grant the generic cover saves anymore, and claiming cover from barrage just become much more difficult.  I don't mid this change too much, but I can certainly see where it removes the gross reliance on cover that certain units had.  So, good job, I guess?

Oh, now any model that can 'Jink' may choose to do so and get a 4+ cover save, but may fire only snap shots next time it shoots.  This applies to bikes and such too.

And now, the most irritating to me- D weapons got nerfed!  I don't understand why.  I NEVER agreed with people who believed that those weapons were too powerful- they're Titan weapons, for Emprah's sake!!!  Now, Abaddon and Marneus, and anyone else with a respectable invulnerable save can ignore my Knights giant-freakin' chainsword!  That change just made my 375 point Knight worse than a 225 point squad of Thunderhammer Terminators.  I call BS.  I am sooooooper upset.  One of buddies understands as he literally bought the rulebook and Knight the same day and had his bubble burst instantly.  Boooooo, GW, booooooo!

As far as aesthetics, I really like the new edition.  As noted above, I love the three book format.  I'm focusing on 'The Rules' because that's what all gamers want to know about.  That book is laid out very efficiently, but may be a bit cramped.  There are tons of black 'sidebars' with special rules in them.  That can be overlooked.  Luckily, it's just a repeat of the appendix.  And that's the coolest part right there- 

The Universal Special Rules are now just in the Appendix.  The weapons listing and stats are now in the Appendix.  The Psychic Powers are still in the Appendix.  In other words, a competent player need only look in the newly-formatted Appendix to find everything they need.  It's awesome.  Great job on this part, GW!

There are other tiny changes in there, but these are the only ones that actually separate the 7th edition from the barely 2-year old 6th edition.  How do I feel about the edition?  Well, I don't really have a feeling right now besides the one I'll mention below.  But, I liked 6th edition, and since this is only '6.15' to me, I can't dislike it.  I think that most of the changes are welcome changes, if not more tactical.  But it's not different enough to really warrant a change of opinion from last edition.

The only thing that I can say is that I'm not sure it is worth the price point.  I don't need the other two books (I am already a ridiculous repository of 'fluff' information and I already paint at a good level), so the fact that the rules aren't that different don't really convince me that I needed to spend the money.  I will say that the format, layout, and appearance are really cool and that makes it worth the price as I said above.  But rules-wise...  Meh?

Let me know what you guys think and make it good.  After all, new editions only come once every...  nevermind.  In the meantime, Happy Gaming!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Knight's first ride

The dark hours of early morning ended with a bright flash from the heavens and bodies being incinerated as soon as they were noticed.  Arrayed against the outnumbered defense forces of the Ultramarines was Kranon the Relentless and his horde of Crimson Slaughter.  The majority of the numbers were made up of Cultists, chanting and fidgeting around a rousing Apostle named Okrark.  A daemonic Defiler and other vehicles clanked loudly now that they were noticed, and especially when the lance from space obliterated the Possessed brethren directly in front oh him.  The force was furious and immediately rushed the loyalists.  Okrark used his words to put the massive horde to frenzy and rushed forward himself.  As everyone neared, a massive machine of war came into view.  The golden walker stood 5 stories tall and had a reputation that began before even the Imperium.  The renegades immediately accepted doom and surrounded the Imperial Knight, their rage and insanity pushing them to death.  Dawn broke and that journey began as war often does.

My buddy and I recently acquired some toys and had an urge to play.  My buddy is a Chaos marine player and wanted to try out the Crimson Slaughter book.  I came into an Imperial Knight and wanted to really test its effectiveness in battle.  So we built 2000 point forces, set up a standard 'green' batttlefield, and laid out 5 objectives per the 'Crusade' battle scenario.  This was nothing more than a fun game and a chance to see how some things looked.

I am not going to give a blow-by-blow for this batrep.  I really just want to toss up some pictures, explain a bit of what happened, and finish up.  This is because the game was really alot of fun and we got to see some things that our game group hasn't seen before.  Did I mention there was an audience?  

Setup.  Night Fight turn 1.  Man am I outnumbered.  But I have a Knight...

So my army was a couple of TAC squads in Rhinos, Marneus leading a squad of Centurions in the Land Raider, a Terminator squad in Deep Strike reserves, and a Stormtalon waiting for strafing runs.  His army, on the other hand, was Kranon leading a massive squad of Chosen in a Land Raider, a Defiler and Annihilator, Mortis Metalicus (a Helbrute), 10 powerful Possessed (they're better in this book), and two massive mobs of Cultists with Okrark.  It was just a chance to play the new codex for Crimson Slaughter.

Here's the whole point of the battle for me- IS THE KNIGHT BROKEN?  I don't think so, but I can't say for sure until I play with it.  So, I'm playing with it.  Hence, the Knight's First Ride.

It started with his whole army moving foward and heavy weapons shooting at the Knight.  Some great saves with the Ion Shield saw only 1 hull point taken away.  My turn started with Marneus calling in an Orbital Strike and the Knight moving up and pounding the Possessed to death.  One survived.  Metalicus was killed as well.  The Ultramarine force had already destroyed almost two units.

And this guy, the surviving Possessed, rolls the needed invulnerable save too late and rushes right at the Knight and all his buddies.  RAGE!!!!.  

The Land Raider and his squad try to rush around the rear of the army and shoot at the Knight's rear armor and the rest of the force advanced.  The Ultramarines watched the Knight bound across the table in long, armoured strides.  Before anyone could react, the Knight charged into the Predator and was counter-charged by the Defiler and the squad of Terminators.  A couple of quick swings of the massive chainsword saw the Knight easily dispatch every vehicle and start the process of killing Terminators...

"I'm coming at ya, brah!"

The ever resilient Possessed warrior tried to charge against the Rhino tank and stumbled a bit, only to watch the whole enemy detachment walk away from him.  In his abashed state, the half-daemon decided to get a 'selfie' before the Rhino ingloriously shot him down.  This shot above was literally his last surviving photo.  "Gotta take a selfie."

The Ultramarines are cleaning up the battlefield, wondering where the command structure is.  They eventually focus on the Apostle and get ready to execute him.  But he rushes into the safety of a challenge...

Unfortunately, he was counter-challenged by a Terminator.  Dark Apostles aren't really designed to fight that kind of warrior.  They're more of fighting the spiritual kind of enemy rather than the 'immune to tanks' kind.  

The Knight spend turns killing the Termintators down.  But the Terminators were wasting no time in cutting him up as well.  There were only two Termies left and he only had a single hull point remaining.  Would he survive?

The last remaining Chaos Terminator, fortuitously armed with a Chainfist, after seeing his brother be eviscerated by a Str D close combat weapons, took that final chance and destroyed the Knight!.  With no other choice and the last hope, this Terminator earned the glory of the Gods here.  

Finally, Kranon and his Possessed got out of their ride and charged the remaining TAC squad members.  Kranon powered up his sword with 4 kills instantly, and then turned his attention to the next enemy unit.  Just then, the Centurions and Marneus disembarked from their Land Raider.  Marneus went after the Chaos Land Raider and the Centurions shredded the Chosen in one volley with their overpowered Grav-amps.  There was few Crimson Slaughter units left (a tank and the boss).  

Kranon turned on the Centurions that destroyed his bodyguard and was bound to challenge and slay the Sergeant.  Marneus failed to kill the Land Raider and turned to challenge the Chaos Lord.  Marneus tried to reason with Kranon, but the renegade was relentless (get it?).  He swung and tried to kill the Chapter Master of great renown, doing nothing.  

Like a slow motion movie scene, Marneus missed with blow after blow until the last moment, connecting with a haymaker followed by an uppercut.  With the power of the artifacts known as the Guantlets of Ultramar, Marneus simply obliterated Kranon's body.  With a clear victory, Lord Calgar casually turned from the corpse, ordered the cleanup, and walked back to his Land Raider.

No sooner had the sun cleared the horizon than the battle came to an abrupt end.  The green fields saw the forces of the Crimson Slaughter charge into the implacable wall of Ultramarines and simply dying.  The Knight that had struck fear into the Chaos force finally fell, at least giving the powers-that-be the satisfaction that all was not for nothing.  But the Ultramarines were so efficient that the battle was won in the same amount of time as it took for the sun to break darkness and clear the darkness.  Marneus was bored.  Maybe he could join a larger task force and log his battle hours there.  This was too fast.  And Auric Arachnus was brought down.  What a way to witness a sunrise...

So how did we feel about the game?  My buddy didn't get a fair shake with his army in this one, but still managed to pull some pretty neat tricks out.  He suffered horribly from the 'so close!' curse with his die rolls and I eliminated the Chosen, the Dreadnought, and the Possessed from his army before they ever made an impact.  Despite all that, he was able to kill the Knight with his Terminators and showed that the double Cultist-mob-of-doom strategy is a good one.  In addition, his Land Raider, Lord, and Chosen squad didn't enter the battle until too late.  
As far as my force, I can't say anything.  I simply wanted to use my Knight and then took the opportunity to use other stuff that our group hasn't seen before.  Nobody had seen Centurions devastate things like they do (my buddy that witnessed this was stationed elsewhere now) and the Stormtalon and Marneus units are never used (another guy in our group that used to use them has moved an hour away recently).  I kept them out of the battle as long as I could with Marneus and the Centurions riding around in their Land Raider until the end of the game, and the Stormtalon simply shooting down Cultists and then flying around for no reason.  I expected to see a Land Raider in the enemy army (there was one) and a Heldrake (not this time), so it some units had no purpose.  The Knight was really the point, and we determined that it's killable.  A seven-man Terminator squad with 2 Power Fists and a Chainfist finally killed him.  That's a very large and powerful elite unit, but it's also a mini-Titan that they're fighting.  On the subject of the Knight, the weapon loadout is really cool.  A two-shot Battle Cannon is awesome, but the Strength D close combat weapon is ridiculous.  A knight can kill Abaddon or Marneus or Lysander or Ghaskull or anything else he touches.  Strength D is ridiculous in 40k.

The main question- is a Knight balanced?  So far, we can't really say.  But I still feel that it is.  It is properly pointed (370+ points is a big chunk of even a 2000 point army), only armed with a single meaningful gun (and it's still only AP3), and isn't unkillable (armour 13 in front and a 4+ invulnerable save most of the time isn't enough to keep a Missile Launcher Devastator squad from killing one in three turns for sure, possibly two.  But until I get some more games in with it, I can't say for sure.  I certainly like it.

Let me know what you think about the Knight and what your experiences have been so far.  I haven't seen a lot on the interwebs, so I'm still pretty curious of what everyone thinks.

Happy Gaming!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

It's that time again.

I am procrastinating on my homework and I figured this would be a great chance to maybe post something for you guys.  I do have to say 'thank you' to everyone for being patient with me.  I went from a couple of posts a week to one every other quarter.  I'm not going to be able to get back to the old pace anytime soon, but I can at least remind Blogger that I have a page.

This blog is just to say what I'm thinking and doing over these last few months in super-abbreviated form.  I'm also going to introduce some 'cunning plans'.  Let's get this over with...

First, everyone knows that I moved way back in November.  I am still not fully moved in and I've only barely gotten used to the house since I spend so much time at work.  One of the key qualifiers for this house is my workshop.  No longer is it located in the garage because I have a whole room!  This means I have shelves and a game table set up in a climate controlled area where my buddies and I won't be dying of heat stroke and freezing to death while trying to play a game.  I have a pretty sweet setup in there with some more cool features to add (a magazine rack, a couple more chairs, and some visuals on the walls).  The only problem with the new workshop, and I tested this last night, is that there's not enough room for 6 grown adults.  When I lay the game table up against the wall and give more room (this is the format for certain games like RPGs and card games), I should be able to fit five people in there comfortably enough.  In addition, my new garage is now the 'warehouse'.  When I have the time, my buddies and I will spend an afternoon going through everything, building shelves, and organizing it all.  I have a couple of POS rack systems and typical garage shelves, so this is going to make the newly dubbed 'Jay's Warehouse, distribution center of Jay's Workshop' comfortable as well.  I'm really excited.  Jay's Workshop is still 'brick and mortar'.

Then, we've had a few armies get released.  Everyone knows about my Eldar vs. Tau campaign.  My buddy and I have played 5 of the games, with the two previously posted at 1000 points, 2 at 1500 points (still to be posted), and 1 at 2000 points.  Currently, his Tau are beating my Eldar 3 battles to 2.  I am having a bugger of a time trying to defeat that massive wall of pulse fire and avoid all that cover-ignoring firepower coming at me.  I have one last chance to tie  up the series, but I suspect I am going to die.  I will finally use my Wraithknight and we'll have a comparison of that and the Riptide.  The Wraithknight is awesome, but the Riptide takes too much focus for me to feel comfortable.  It matters not for now, as my Eldar have been replaced for a moment.
Wait, what?

Space Marines got released.  I love the codex.  I still don't like Centurions, but they are really effective.  I've seen a unit destroy a couple Land Raiders, a couple of Termie squads, and a Dreadnought in a single game.  I watched them recently disembark and completely destroy an entire Chosen squad.  As much as I hate the models, I cannot deny their effectiveness.  Curse you, GW!!!

Then came the Imperial Knight.  I acquired one and have painted it up (yes, I know guys, pictures will be coming).  I actually used it in a battle last night and it was awesome.  But that's another post (there's the introduction I promised).  I just can't say enough how happy I am with the Knight model.  Anyone that plays Imperials in 40k should have one, and I'm finally thinking about getting another one to paint up different and use for another of my armies.  The models are fantastic, the rules are great, and they really add that extra element to the game that has always waited patiently in the fluff (and Epic) before finally joining us in the actual game.  I mean, seriously, this model is awesome!!!  It might be one of the few things that GW produces that is actually worth the cost.

  Quick squeeze in for Adepticon- my team went and played in the 40k Team Tournie again this year.  They did well enough and are ready to get started on next year.  Half of the team also played in the X-Wing Team Tournie and walked away with Best Sportsmanship.  Our team is known for that.  I'm very proud of them and hope that I finally get to participate next year.  I'm not sure how much longer this drought can last (it's been five years now)...

On top of that, I have my fantasy stuff out because our game group has fallen deep into that.  I haven't had an opportunity to play, but Valkia the Bloody is waiting to kill some Dwarfs.  I want to use my Empire, but I need to add some mobility to the army.  I want to play my High Elves but I'm afraid that they're not fair in the game right now (not unbeatable, just a bit much against certain armies), which leaves my Khorne Warriors begging for their chance again.  And what is a Khorne army without a Gorequeen?

And now IG, er, I mean Astra Militarum, have been released.  I just got the book yesterday and I'm not seeing anything that really stands out so far.  My buddy has gotten the Crimson Slaughter book and I'm thinking that these two books may need to be tested against each other (IG suffer from 'Fear', so that army-wide special rule will actually mean something).  This subject will probably result in more posts.  Here's to hoping!

In Heroclix, I've almost got the entire Legion of Superheroes set (minus my all-important Superman chase).  I actually ran a tournie a couple of weeks ago and had to play three games in a row.  By the third game, I was almost a competent player and was causing some real damage.  Next week may see me play in the AvX final round with a team that I build myself (I had to borrow a team last time since I didn't bring my Marvel stuff), and I might actually win a game.  I doubt it, though.

The expansion for the DC deck-building game was released and I haven't lost a game of it yet.  It's an awesome set and really focuses on the combos.  In addition, and this is my favorite part of the new version, the players get to dive into their decks and discard piles many times throughout the game.  There's something so utterly rewarding to being able to control your hand in that way.  The expansion isn't necessarily better than the first game, but it certainly added some new angles.  Like my previous post about the card game suggested- get the game!  It's perfect for those quick 1-hour gaps with your buddies and it requires little skill or focus to play.  It's typically how our game group finishes our game days.

Let's finish this off with a gem- I have pulled out an old game that some of you may remember.  This game set the bar for fantasy board games and really allowed GW to get a foothold and brand recognition in the US in the early 90s.  The game is so popular that single sets sell for hundreds of dollars to collectors (and I have four full sets plus some!).  I'm not looking to sell this game, I'm looking to play it and introduce my game group to this game.  What game is it?  I've mentioned it briefly before- Heroquest!!!  That's right, that old goodie is coming back out of the 'warehouse' and my buddies are going to bask in the glory that is.  Oh yes.  And that will be many posts, as I have painting articles and a linked campaign of games to show off.  Needless to say, I'm excited.  But, again, that'll be another post...

Okay, I may not post often, but I still do things.  Stay barely tuned to my infrequent updates and even let me know what y'all have been working on out there.  I still troll the blogosphere, but I'm not nearly as in-touch as I was a year ago.  In the meantime- Happy Hobbying!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What else have I been doing?

Can I just get it out of the way right now?  What else have I been doing?
Going boldly where no one has gone before!

Okay, that's out of my system.  While I was busy grinding away at the real job and school for all those months, I still had my Saturday gig going at the comic shop.  Because I had no time to hobby and because Uncle Sam kept taking my gamers away (last month sucked- half the group disappeared!), I decided to get into another game- Star Trek: Attack Wing.

I have always been a Star Trek nerd.  I prefer Star Trek over Star Wars.  I enjoy the technical aspects of
the show more than some of the plots.  I even have a Starfleet uniform as a Halloween costume.  All in all, this guy loves him some Star Trek.    So hearing that a miniatures game was coming out had me piqued a while ago.  

Well, I waited.  And I waited.  And then I waited some more.  The stuff just didn't come in.  Then, it takes a crazy turn.  My buddy (and closest gaming confidente) comes over one day and simply plops the X-Wing game onto the game table.  We played, I loved it, and then Attack Wing was released.  Yeah, I may have been a bit primed.

So I picked up everything I needed- the starter kit (only $40 and enough for three players to enjoy some pewpew), a couple of ships ($15 each), and I had enough to play a tournament-sized fleet.  Not very long after the release, the Organized Play event, Dominion War, was launched.

Now here's the deal, kiddies- if you love you some competitive games that require thought to play and genius to remember all the rules, Wizkids isn't for  you.  But if you love to collect and actually appreciate prize support and constant support- this company has your number.  The reason I bring this up is because the Dominion War event has given us sooooooooo much loot and actually made it worth the small price.  The players have to buy a single ship or give me $10 cash, and then they ALL get a participation prize and two lucky people get the prize models.  Plus terrain and special resources and so on and this game has some fun events.

I should warn you though- these models are terribad.  That is to say that Wizkids is already not known for the fine craftmanship that GW, Wyrd, PP, and Reaper are known for, but these models are even worse.  The Galaxy class (Picard's Enterprise) is so terrible that I'm almost tempted to replace the model itself with a Micromachine from back in the day.  Almost.  Then I have to remember that modelling is absent in THIS hobby.  It's just a fun little game.  

How does the game work?
Not too hard, actually.  First, you build your fleet to a set number of points (40 to start and 100 for tournaments).  Each ship model comes with a card that tells how many points it is worth.  Ships with names (like the 'USS Enterprise') come with special rules and cost a little more, while every ship has a 'generic' counterpart.  You add your captain to each ship, and each captain is worth a number of points depending on how skilled and what special rules he has.  Finally, you add weapon, tech, and crew upgrades to your ship, each allowing a special action, giving a special rule, or boosting a specific stat.  There are limits based on the ship and what/how many upgrades a ship can have, but it's pretty simple.
A very well-painted fleet found on Warseer

The game turn is three phases- Planning, Activation, and Combat.  During the Planning Phase, players secretly choose the manuevre they'd like their ships to move.  During the Activation Phase, the players take turn moving and performing an action with each of their ships.  The ship with the lowest-skilled captain reveals his manuevre and moves first, and then the next lowest, and so on.  Moving is done by placing a special template in front of the ship and then moving the ship to the other side of the template.  It's very simple.  After each ship moves, it may perform an action such as cloaking, target-locking, or scanning.  These are noted by placing tokens next to the ships.  Finally, in the combat phase, the players take turn attacking each other.  Starting with the ship with the highest-skilled captain and then moving to the next highest, and so on, the player rolls a number of red d8s based on his attack value and all modifiers- the symbols are easy to understand as 'hits, crits, battle stations, and blanks'.  A hit is a hit, a crit is a crit, battle stations can be converted with certain actions, and blanks are just misses.  The target ship's player then rolls a number of green d8s based on his agility value and all modifiers.  Again, the symbols are easy to read- 'evade, battle station, crits'.  An evade cancels a crit or hit, a battle stations can be converted with certain actions, and a blank is just a fail.  Any hits that 'get through' remove shield tokens from the ship card or, if there are no shields left, assigns damage cards to that ship.  A crit is a damage card that also has a special effect on it which can lead to extra damage or limited capabilities.  After every ship has completed all of these steps, both players may re-enable shields and then move on the next Planning Phase.

The trick in the game is to come up with the best combination of upgrades on the best ships and then using them wisely.  The 'Admiral' in our group demolished all of us with his Romulan fleet, using Picard as one of his captains (a very powerful upgrade) and making strong use of Muon tokens (they inhibit the target and damage them for acting).  There was little that any of us could do and he easily swept through us.  That doesn't mean that you have to collect everything to be able to do these 'killer combos'.  The game is actually relatively well-balanced (it's fast-paced, so stuff dies so fast that it feels brutal on both sides, usually).  But if you do feel the need to go out and purchase every ship and get every upgrade possible, it's cheap enough to do.  At only $15 each, and with only 12 additional ships out, it's not too hard to purchase.  That's the cost of a single model in some games we play...

Check it out.  I dig this game.  And even if you don't like Star Trek, check out Star Wars: X-Wing.  The two games are almost identical.  If you like the mechanics, go X-Wing.  If you like the fleet design, go Attack Wing.  But seriously, check it out.  You can find the website here:

Now, if I can find some time to maybe repaint these terribad models...

Friday, February 28, 2014

It's been awhile

Sorry that I've been gone for so long.  My wife made me do things and now I'm in school and back to work and in a much more stressful position.  Then you add the fact that we moved right in the middle of the holiday season with family over.  Finally, well, life.  Needless to say, I haven't had time to do any hobbying.

That is until this week.  That's right- between August and now, I've had no time.  But I finally got a bit of a break when I finished my finals up (and was sick from work).  What have I done with aaaaaaaaall this free time?  I've built a unit for my Warriors of Chaos army.  And I've written this blog.

So what unit did I build?  Everyone who knows my Chaos army knows that I'm a follower of the Blood God, and the new army book finally allowed the Knights-riding-Juggernauts in a normal army.  Needless to say- done!  Skullcrushers have been built.

(It must be noted that the only reason that I play the Warriors of Chaos was because of the beautiful Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut model released somewhere in 2008-2009 area (it's been a long time and even this guru's brain is fading).  That model convinced me to 'fall to the dark side' and pick up Chaos.  So, of course, a unit of Jugg-knights is an obvious choice)

Now, I know, you're wondering why I don't have any pictures of my progress like I usually try to do.  And I'm kinda missing the random spattering of poor photography to put my toys on display.  But, sadly, I don't know where my camera is.  (Remember how we moved a few months ago?)  Soon...  Plus, this gives me a break from trying to paint anything.  Once I find that pesky photo-machine, I may have to open a paint pot or two.  This is, of course, assuming I have time.

You know what I will have time for?  Using those Skullcrushers to run down stunty Dwarfs.  I know that my army shan't fare too well against that much armor and gunpowder, but I'm certainly going to keep a tally.  In my normal Saturday game-group thingie, I shall be facing a buddy in a 2,500 point Warhammer battle.  Our group has finally gotten into the game, and I am getting a Mighty Empires campaign off the ground.  Oh yeah, fantasy has finally come to!  Now if I could just stop sucking at that game so much...

Wish me luck and Happy Gaming!