Sunday, April 23, 2017

What We Do in the Shadow War

I had been getting really excited about Shadow War, and was a bit nervous that the actual experience would disappoint. It did not. Got in a couple of Games on Saturday, and even tho they both ended up being fairly straightforward, we could see how much possibility there is here. I remembered to take pics for one, so here's a mini-BatRep:
Kharvash the Reaver leads the Culties on the offensive. He learns to drive them before him in the future
Gunner Urthgu attempts to take out a couple of Immortals as they move into his field of fire, but misses badly, leaving Kharvash to get gunned down by Gauss fire
Before he can extract vengeance, Urthgu has problems of his own, as a Deathmark teleports in right by him and snipes down a Cultist
Despite being encumbered by his Autocannon, Urthgu Charges down to confront the interloper...

...Only to be downed by the Xenos assassin, who doesn't even need to turn to look to drop his prey!
Tivzitch, the last standing CSM, decides that it's time to take the remaining Culties and GTFO
Sorry about the pic quality. I just had my phone, not my real camera.

I think we need to mix up the Terrain a bit better in the future. There were too many solid buildings, combined with high stuff that didn't really break up LoS too much, so the one really good approach across the Board was also too good of a fire lane. On top of that, I forgot about the requirement to shoot the nearest guy, and put my Leader out in front of the Culties, cinematically leading them on. Gonna make them go first to soak up some fire in the future.

The other Game probably would have made a better BatRep, but I forgot to take any pics at all. Ended up being a total charlie foxtrot of a Raid, with my Opponent putting the Objective over near a board edge, which of course ended up being the edge I rolled for my Deployment Zone. But I realised too late that I didn't have any Krak Grenades or anything, because I had only considered other Fighters as targets, so it devolved into a mess of close firefights and HtH, with both of us starting to take Bottle Tests very quickly. My opponent failed his first (reasonable, as I had inflicted heavy casualties, and only lost one of my four Raiders), giving me the win this time.

We also discussed a number of House Rules. The main one we're implementing is letting people save Points from their initial build and Resupply actions, rather than having to spend them all in one go. For a number of the additional Factions, spending Points only in 100 Point blocks gets really awkward, and it's near crippling for Tyranid Warriors in particular. We'll see if it ends up letting Teams grow too fast, and if so, will look into some way of reducing how many Points are awarded each Mission.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Shadow War: Armageddon - Sector Mechanicus Terrain

I got my copy of Shadow War: Armageddon yesterday, and because our usual Game day got cancelled this weekend, and I can already put together Kill Teams for half a dozen Factions from my collection, I've been getting stuck in to the Terrain from the box*. This is a really cool Terrain line. I actually got kind of overwhelmed by all the possibilities and just put together the half-dozen structures that they give directions in the box to get a feel for it. Once I get some more cash saved up, and the rest of the line gets released, I'm going to be getting several more of these kits (mostly the ones with lots of gantries and walkways), and getting way more creative with them.
As you can see, while this isn't really enough Terrain in the one box for a proper table, it's quite a lot. I actually kind of wish I'd thought to pull out a couple of larger Models to give a better sense of scale for that shot. The walkway could actually just barely fit a Rhino, and a Land Raider easily has both horizontal and vertical clearance underneath.

I do have a couple of minor issues with it, not in and of itself, but just as it relates to other things. More specifically, the walkways are all raised in ~5" intervals, which means it doesn't really match up with either the Sector Imperialis kits or old Necromunda Terrain. It also means that most Models in SW:A, having a Move value of 4, can't make it up a level in a single regular Move. Similarly, when using them for regular 40K, it's going to be really hard to move a Unit up or down in a reasonable amount of time without getting dangerously clumped up, especially if there's also Difficult Terrain involved. In both cases, you can call Wobbly Model Syndrome, and I think I might actually have to make some markers to hook on the ladders for where Models are, but it's still sort of frustrating.

I also plan on using a bunch of Necromunda bulkheads I have around and some plasticard to make some mid-layer stuff to interlace with it, and make it easier to get from one level to another in a single Turn. Combined with the frankly ludicrous number of Munitorum Container sets that my group has, and we should be able to mitigate those issues quite a bit. I'll probably also pick up a set or two of Promethium Pipelines at some point, since we've got some Haemotrope Reactors, and it's a bit sparse on ground-level cover, but once it's all together, it should make for some awesome tables.

Actually, that reminds me of something else: That big platform and walkway structure up there is actually three separate chunks that are held to each other using some of the clips that come on the sprues. You can't really see it, but the tank/pipeline/smokestack arrangement sort of in the middle is also two parts that just pressure-fit together, which pretty much any of the pipeline sections/attachments can do, so it's pretty easy to keep it modular and get some really different setups every time. Can't wait 'til next weekend to actually play on it!

Until next time, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

*Side note: The box for this thing is hardcore. I've used less sturdy boxes to ship stuff halfway around the world. Definitely keeping it around, just for general storage. It's nicer than a lot of the plastic tubs and such that I have for a bunch of my stuff.

Monday, April 10, 2017

8th Ed Rumours and Reactions

Sticking with the reliable ones, from the Warhammer Community Post:
  • Three Ways to Play
    I am a huge fan of this. The 40K Community as it stands today isn't a good fit for the kind of open-ended play that 6th and 7th seem to have been designed for. People travel too much, and play in too many different places, to be able to just work things out each time. Some sort of consistency is needed, and it will go over far better coming from GW than from outside groups like the ITC.
  • Army Selection/Command PointsTo me, this sounds a lot like one of the two main arguments for Formations: Providing extra bonuses for fluffy lists. And as with Formations, I like the concept, but it's really going to depend on the execution, and how balanced the "Command Point" system ends up being.
  • Movement ValuesI'm fine either way with this one, honestly. I like the extra variety that varied movement rates bring in, and it's definitely fluffy for a Howling Banshee or Tyranid Warrior to be able to move faster than a Guardsman or Ork.
  • Save ModifiersMixed feelings here. I recall this being one of the things that slowed down 2nd to some extent, and I do like the simple binary nature of the AP system. Also, back in the day, I heard a fluff-based argument for it that has always made sense to me:
    Let's take Power Armour as an example. It has stronger and weaker areas. A solid hit (i.e. successful to-Wound Roll) to a joint or eyepiece with basically any Weapon will go through. A hit on the plating will bounce most things just fine, no matter where on the plating. So if the AP value is worse than 3, it all comes down to whether or not the Attacker manages to hit one of those weak spots, which the Game abstracts to a 1/3 chance. If the AP is 3 or better, it will go right through any part of the Power Armour, plating or gap, so it just denies it altogether.
    The Save Modifier system, on the other hand, starts from the basis that all Armour is composed of a variety of variably durable materials, so that a cheap slug-thrower has still that same 1/3 chance of hitting something it'll punch through, while a Bolter will find something half the time, and a Heavy Bolter two times in three. And it assumes that the distributions of those various strengths are the same across all makes of 3+ Armour, whether that's Loyalist or Traitor Power Armour, Dark Reaper Aspect Armour, or a Carnifex's Carapace.
  • Chargers Strike FirstGetting the Charge is already pretty crucial for most Assault Units, and the ones that are good at absorbing Charges, it's generally because of their durability, not because they get to hit first. It does help some things, notably Orks, but it leads to just as many weird situations as the current system. Instead of Stealers going last because of some tall grass on the way in, now Guardsmen can strike before them if they Charge, even with the Stealers in an amazing defensive position.
  • MoraleAnother take it or leave it change. Well, something should change, there are too many things that largely or completely ignore Morale as it is, but I don't really care if that takes the form of switching to a Battleshock-type system, or nerfing ATSKNF and reducing the availability of Fearless.
So, overall, a pretty positive impression, from what we've heard so far. Most things either positive or neutral to me, with a couple really dependent on the specifics of how they work across various Armies. When all's said and done, tho, this is gonna be my seventh 40K edition change, and I'm sure I'll adapt, as I have to the previous six.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

And the Last Shall Be First

I finally got a chance to get my Alpha Legion on the table with the Traitor Legions supplement, and dude, they are so much fun. I narrowly beat an Ultramarines Victrix Strike Force with Roboute Guilliman, because, while I wasn't able to come close to matching his combat power (he utterly destroyed everything he made contact with, including my Terminators+Chaos Lord and Sorcerer, which he downed in 1 Assault Phase), massed Infiltration let me control the board well enough that I was able to stay on top of the Objectives and keep the lead.

The Mindveil did totally betray me, tho. The one Turn I really needed it, I only ended up getting 5" of movement, when I only needed like 9" to be able to get away from Bobby G.

On the other hand, Many Heads of the Hydra (or as I like to call it, "I am...NOT Alpharius) saved the Game for me by preserving that Warlord point, which ended up being a big deal, since the Game came down to a 1 Point difference at the end. Very fun Game, one of the best I've had in a while. Definitely looking forward to getting them more table time.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Killed by Death

I went up against the new Ynnari playing for first at a local store Tournament last weekend. They are very strong. My opponent hadn't optimized his list, just ported over his usual Craftworld list since it fit in their Detachment just fine. Between that and me doing a good job of picking on isolated Units or multi-Charging into everything that could Soulburst off of a given Unit's death, he only managed to Soulburst once, but that once completely changed the Game, taking down a dozen Flesh Hounds and my JuggerLord with a Soulburst on 10 Fire Dragons and then a cleanup assist from a handful of ScatBikes.

I would have had that Game solidly in hand if he'd just had Battle Focus instead. Once people really get some experimentation in, these guys are just going to be disgustingly good. Which is a shame, really, because I love the way they play. It was the most interesting and tactical Game of 40K I've had in a while. But Craftworld Eldar are just about the last Faction in the Game that needed a buff at all, and they definitely got one here.

Until next time, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Squaduary: Weather Delay

I have discovered an issue with the Squaduary concept, as opposed to Dreadtober, at least here in the PNW: In October, we can usually rely on at least a couple of days of dry weather each week. February, on the other hand, is pretty reliably rainy, or at least extremely damp and humid, which makes terrible conditions for spray priming. Today is at least sunny and clear, and the humidity is supposed to dip to the lowest it's been for a while in a couple of hours here, so I'm going to hope I can get a decent coat on.

That said, the modeling part went well. I got three Squads of 5 "Scouts" done, one each with Bolters, BP/CCW, and Sniper Rifles. The rest of this is basically just a picdump:

The intensive training the Alpha Legion uses for these operatives takes long enough that they often begin to be warped by the association with Chaos

The Combat Drugs they're pumped up on contribute further to the incidence of mutation in the ranks

The Squad Leaders get the fanciest cloaks

Another consequence of the Combat Drugs is that few of the operatives will survive more than a mission or two, even if they don't die in combat

Only one way to deal with a stealth trooper who won't shut up ;)

The Sniper Sarge calls out targets

The Snipers are the most heavily augmented
The overall effect comes out a bit more kitbashed than I was hoping, rather than mutated, but I'm still pretty happy with them. Hopefully the paint jobs will tie them all together better. Until next time, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

Thursday, February 2, 2017


Following on from the idea of Dreadtober, ThousandEyes over at Stepping Between Games has introduced the Squaduary event. Same basic idea as Dreadtober: Build and paint something in a month. The difference is that this one is about Squads of Infantry and such instead of Dreads and other big 'uns.

Before the Legions supplement came out, I had been planning on running my Alpha Legion as Raven Guard Counts-As with the Talon Strike Force. To that end, I'd pulled together a bunch of bits for some heavily armed and trained and boosted Culties to represent Scouts. Despite the awesomeness of the Alpha Legion Rules in the supplement, I kind of feel like I still want to do this, just for the lulz. So here I've got a mix of SM Scout, Tempestus Scion, Catachan, Flagellant, and Chaos Marauder parts, ready to mix and match for some sneaky evilness.

Hopefully I'll have build pics up sometime early next week, and until then, y'all have a good one, y'hear!