Tuesday, August 23, 2016

StormTalon to StormHawk Magnetization

Since Michael recently reviewed both the StormTalon and the StormHawk, this seemed like a good time to put up some pics of my latest Flyer, which I've built so that it can used as either a StormTalon or a StormHawk, with the aid of surprisingly few magnets.
That's all the bits laid out individually. The only magnets are in the chin-mounted TL Assault Cannon, and the Sensor/Weapons Pods that go on the stubby little mounts just above that. Everything else pressure-fit once I primed it, tho I reinforce the StormHawk Wings with a little Blu-Tac, because they're a little shaky.

I didn't bother popping them off for this, but the SkyHammer fronts on the Weapons Pods are also swappable, also pressure-fit. They can swap to the Typhoon Launcher perfectly, or the Heavy Bolters/Lascannon, but they'll look a little odd if anyone compares too closely with the official build for the Pods.

 A couple of pics in StormHawk mode. Ideally, I would have taken pics at basically any point other than when it was just primed, but the basics still show up alright, I think.

And StormTalon mode. I used Nephilim wings on my other two Talons, so had to follow suit here. I put these ones on a little differently, tho, since I was doing it as part of the initial build instead of a retrofit, and they ended up at rather more of an angle. Not sure if I'm going to leave it like that and come up with some fluff about them being variable-angle, or just go back and fix it so it's like the other too.

There are a few bits that just stay as StormHawk mode, because they would have been a pain to do, and don't really make a huge difference in the overall appearance. The Halo Launcher itself wouldn't have been so bad, but getting the StormTalon's Sensors magged on there would have been a nightmare, and getting the Cockpit swappable would mean magnetizing the entire hull, which I really didn't care enough to do. Neither of those things represent options that are even a possibility for the StormTalon to take, and I figure it's pretty obvious which it's supposed to be based on the number of guns and the location of the Assault Cannon.

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

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Bro! Hold My Beer and Watch This!

I've been looking forward to the DeathWatch getting some significant Rules since their first mention back in 3rd. I still haven't had a chance to play with them, but I'm gonna do a quick rundown of the things that really jumped out at me. This will not be complete, if you want a full Review, there are plenty of them out there. Much of it is just very minor variations on basic SM stuff anyhow.

Wargear: The basic "SternGuard" Squads can take a Special Weapon for everyone, and up to 4 of them can take "Heavy" Weapons. "Heavy" is in scare quotes there because you're never actually going to take the Heavy options. It's all about the Frag Cannon and the Infernus Heavy Bolter here.
- The Frag Cannon is one of the best guns in the Game as far as I can tell. It was already good on Furioso Dreads, and now it's spammable, and has a longer-ranged mode that's a Marine Killer out to 24", and turns into a two-shot Lascannon within 12". Just ridiculously good.
- The Infernus Heavy Bolter takes a Heavy Bolter and fixes one of the big problems with it by making it Assault. Then it bolts a Heavy Flamer on as well, for the same amount you'd normally shell out for one of each, with the Bolter still being Heavy. Not as ridiculous as the Frag Cannon, but still solid.
- They're also relatively easy to convert. You just need a Heavy Bolter and a Flamer (regular Flamer actually matches the size of the official bit better), and anyone who's been playing Marines for any length of time should have those around.
- Be careful not to load up too heavily on them, tho. Your basic dudes are already expensive, and if you don't watch out, it's easy to end up with an Army almost entirely consisting of 40+ Point Models that are just as fragile as 14 Point Tac Marines.
- Cool thing that Greysplinter pointed out to me: You have to swap your Bolter for one of the Special or Heavy Weapons. But you can also take options from the Ranged Weapons list, which lets you swap that useless CCW for another Bolter for free.

Terminators, Bikes, and Vanguard Vets: At first glance, I thought these were all pretty badly overpriced, but the more I dig into the Dex, the more I like them. The big thing they all have going for them is that their Unit Size goes down to a single Model. This lets you go MSU with them to a ludicrous degree, but it also makes them very easy to slot into the various Kill Team Formations, where they each add something cool to the whole Unit.
- Terminators: Since every single one of them can take a Heavy Weapon, these guys can add in some serious firepower, either as a bunch of scattered singletons or in Kill Teams. In addition, they're Fearless, and that's one of the USRs that affects the whole Unit, so adding just one to a Kill Team will make the whole group Fearless as well as giving the Terminator(s) some cheaper ablative Wounds around.
- Bikers: The Bikers have Skilled Rider, which lets them Tank for the Unit a bit in a Kill Team, and also lets them function as very mobile and durable Objective Grabbers. A bigger deal, tho, are the cheap Power Weapons they can pick up, and the Teleport Homers they get, which work not just for Terminators, but also for any Unit using the DW Detachment Benefits to Deep Strike. A few of them scattered around can give you a lot of options for any Deep Strikers you've got in Reserves. Once again, tho, they really come in to their own as part of a Kill Team. This gives them some protection for that Teleport Homer, and in return, they really help the Unit get into Assaults. They still have to maintain Coherency, but their Move+Base Size can easily take 4-5" off what you would need for a Charge, just by shifting them from one side of the Unit to another. On top of that, they provide Split Fire, letting you unload all those Frag Cannon or whatever into one Unit while you just pop off a Bolt Pistol into the guys you actually want to Charge.
- Vanguard aren't as big of a deal as the other two, but they're also significantly cheaper. I don't really see much point in running them on their own, as one of the other two options here will probably do whatever you want better, but as part of a Kill Team, they add their Heroic Intervention Special Rule, letting you Multi-Assault without penalty and giving you Pseudo-Fleet that doesn't work while Running, but helps your Charges just as much. One of these guys and a Biker in the same Kill Team should provide some serious flexibility for Assaulting, which may well catch a few people off guard.

Kill Teams: These are all built around the same basic formula: A Squad of Veterans, plus one or more of Librarian*, Terminators, Bikers, Vanguard, up to a max of 10 Models total. They all get combined into a single Unit, and even the IC(s) can't leave.
- Aquila Kill Team: The basic version is my favorite. It has the weakest, but broadest, benefit, and no restrictions other than listed above. Re-rolls 1s to Wound or Penetrate Armour against everything. Very hard to go wrong with that, and you can unlock it with a single Vanguard or Biker for just a few Points more than adding another Vet to the Squad.
- The other five each target a particular FOC slot. If your target Unit has any Models with the appropriate Battlefield Role, you get to re-roll all failed Wound and Penetration Rolls. They each also have extra restrictions. For instance, the Fast Attack one requires you to take at least 2 Bikers, and the Heavy Support one not only requires you to take Terminators, but also that at least two Models in the Unit have Thunder Hammers (Heavy or regular). Outside of Narrative Games, the only one I can see using regularly is the Furor Kill Team, which gets re-rolls against Troops (which show up in most Games), and only requires one Terminator and that at least one Model have a Frag Cannon or Infernus Bolter, either of which are pretty solid against most Troops.

Relics: There are two real standouts here for me.
- The Dominus Aegis provides a 4++ for the Bearer's entire Unit if the Bearer himself didn't move in that Movement Phase. This is great for protecting Kill Teams that are planning on mostly camping one area of the battlefield, and becomes fantastic while you're Locked in Combat, and thus automatically not Moving in the Movement Phase. It's also great to bring in as an Allied choice for something like Imperial Guard, where it can be a much cheaper way of getting a 4++ than Azrael, if somewhat more limited as well.
- The Beacon Angelis is a Locator Beacon (which is already cool to be able to get on an IC who's potentially starting on the Board), and in addition, once per Game, you can pull another one of your DW Units off the table (even if they're in CC) and Deep Strike them within 6" of the bearer with no Scatter. All kinds of shenanigans possible with that.

Tactical Objectives: Not particularly powerful or anything, but they've got a cool mechanic. Unlike the other Factions with their own sets of Tactical Objectives, the DeathWatch get three possible sets to replace the 11-16 in the deck, and get to select which at the start of each Game. The Secundus would probably be my default choice, but against someone with lots of Elites and Characters, the Primaris are cool, and the Tertius provide a couple of extra targeting FA and HS.

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

*It's unclear whether or not you can take a single option from the list multiple times. If you can, you can get an absolute shitload of Librarians in Kill Teams.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

If I Ran the Circus

I've been getting a lot done, but haven't had much luck getting myself to take pics or write about it. With the rumours of 8th Ed abounding, I figure I'll do something easy here to try and get some momentum going: Wishlisting! Note that I'm just going at the Core Rules here, and I would also do some big re-balancing of Codexes if I were actually in a position to implement any of this.

Overall Turn Structure: Add in "Start/End of Turn" Phases, and defined "Start/End of Phase" sub-steps.

Movement Phase: Pretty much the same, except that Running/Turbo-Boosting/Flat Out would get folded into the Movement Phase. No Models get moved in the Shooting Phase except to take them off the Board. Speeds things up, keeps the Phases more in line with their names.
- Add some Size Categories for Terrain. Mostly for LoS/Cover purposes, but might affect some Movement.

Psychic Phase: I think the basic mechanics are pretty sound.
- Change DtW so that each 6 rolled cancels one Harnessed Warp Charge, making it easier to Deny multi-Charge Powers.
- Make it possible to get bonuses to Deny Powers that don't target Enemy Units.
- Clean up the definition of "Psyker", since it's kind of a mess right now, with some counter-intuitive consequences.
- The rest of the fixes would come from changes to the Disciplines and Codexes.

Shooting: Snap Shots go away. Perhaps not 100%, I can't off the top of my head think of a better mechanic for dealing with Flyers, but other than that, any situation where you'd be firing Snap Shots in 6th/7th, you simply can't fire. Speeds things up.
- Wound Allocation completely changed. Defender simply removes the Models they want to, without regard to range or LoS. Simplifies and speeds things up.
-  Exception: When a single Attacking Unit generates Wounds equal to or greater than the number of Models in the Target Unit, in which case the Attacker may select one Model that must take one of the Saves on its own. They can do this multiple times if the Wounds from a single Unit are multiple times the number of Models in the Target Unit. For example, if an IG Platoon opens up and inflicts 12 Wounds on a SM Combat Squad, the IG Player may choose which Models take two of the Saves. You may choose the same Model more than once, but if it fails more Saves than it has Wounds, the excess are wasted. Balancing mechanism to cut down on MSU, still gives the Attacker some control.
- If a Unit contains multiple Armour Saves, Wounds must be divided among them as evenly as possible (after any the Attacker may get to assign) before rolling Saves. Simplification, also helps deal with "mixed" DeathStars like TWC/FenWolves.
- Cover Saves go back to a Unit-by-Unit basis. If half or more of the Target Unit is in Cover from the Firing Unit's PoV, the whole Unit gets Cover. If in mixed Cover, they get the Cover Save that the greatest number of Models would benefit from. Simplification. Also makes it easier for squishy Units like Stealers to get closer without losing Cover.
- Cover Saves for intervening Units are determined in part by the Swarm and various Bulky Rules. Basically, a Unit can only gain Cover from an intervening Unit if they're no more than 2 Size Categories larger than the intervening Unit. Add some categories for Vehicles and Terrain.
- Going to Ground and Jinking are declared after determining how many Hits are scored, but before Rolling to Wound/Penetrate. This leaves it as late as possible in the sequence without having to make exceptions for Vehicle Squadrons.

Assault Phase: Keep the Charge Sub-Phase the same, except Overwatch goes away, just like everything else involving Snap Shots.
- Units with Move Through Cover can choose to either ignore the 2" Charge Distance penalty for Charging into Cover OR ignore the Initiative Penalty for Charging into Cover. 
- Only one Pile-in Move per Model per Phase. Possibly go back to the 5th Ed Defender Reacts system where the Charging Unit doesn't get a Pile-In, and other than the Charge and that one Defender Reacts Move, Models only move after Combat Resolution. OR like AoS, where Units get to Pile-In as they Attack, but don't at the end of the Combat. Possibly mess with the distance of the Move as well, but the key point is that no Model in an ongoing Combat should Move more than once per Turn.
- Wound Allocation changed as per Shooting.
- Outnumbering factors into Combat Resolution. If one side has more Models than the other, they count as inflicting an extra Wound when determining Combat Res. If they have more than twice as many, they get +2, and so forth. Models with some version of the Bulky Rule count as the same number of Models they would for fitting in a Transport/Building. Walkers count as 5 Models if their Front AV is 11 or less, 10 Models if it's 12 or more.
- If an outnumbered Unit is Fearless or gets caught in a Sweeping Advance but not wiped out because of ATSKNF, it must make one Save for each extra point of Combat Res the Outnumbering side gained from their numerical advantage. Gives Hormies and Ork Boyz something to shore them up against DeathStars.
- EDIT: Add back in the ability to Charge on the Turn a Unit Disembarks from any Transport, as long as the Transport didn't Move first.

Morale: Morale Tests work pretty well. Haven't changed much in 5 Editions for a reason.
- Regrouping is really harsh on non-ATSKNF Units right now, tho. Change it so that a Unit that Regroups has their basic Move reduced to 3" for that Turn, counts as Moving for all purposes, regardless of whether they do or not, and suffers a 3" penalty to their Charges.
- ATSKNF just means that they auto-pass Regrouping tests and don't get wiped out by Sweeping Advances.

Unit Types: The biggest change I'd make here really is about ICs. ICs can only Join Units of the same Unit Type as them. Bikes/Jetbikes are counted as a single Unit Type for this purpose, as are Cavalry/Beasts. This takes out some of the DeathStar shenanigans.
- Bikes cannot gain a bonus Attack for 2 CCWs, nor can they use 2-handed Weapons or any CC Attack other than their basic profile if equipped with a Storm Shield or something else that keeps them from gaining that extra Attack. Basically, they need to keep one hand on the Bike at all times. Pushing Bikes more toward a firepower Unit.
- Jump Infantry can use their Packs in both Phases. And pushing Jump Packs up as Assault Units.
- Beasts/Cavalry only move 9", but can Run and Charge in the same Phase. Not as fast as Bikes/Vehicles, except when they kick it into high gear for the Charge.
- Add another tier between Monstrous and Gargantuan Creatures. The mid-level monsters wouldn't get the 12" Move or Stomp, and would only reduce Poison to 5+, but would otherwise gain all the benefits of GCs. There are enough MCs needing a boost that it's worth making a category for them.
- Gargantuan Creatures get AoS-style Statlines that degrade as they take Wounds.
- Some kind of buff for MCs against Vehicles in CC. A single Smash Attack is not enough.
- New Unit Type: Monstrous Beasts. MCs with 12" Movement, not slowed by Difficult Terrain. Things like Trygons, Haruspexes, and Giant Chaos Spawn need some help.

Vehicle Types: Heavy Vehicles ignore the penalties for firing Ordnance Weapons.
- Possibly bring back something like the Agile Vehicle Type, with less max speed than Fast Vehicles, but more ability to fire while moving slowly.
- Super-Heavy Vehicles modify the Damage Table instead of ignoring it. Each Shaken result stops a random weapon from firing this Turn. Each Stunned result does that and takes d6" off its Movement for the Turn. Weapon Destroyed: Certain Weapons are designated as "Main Weapons". It takes 2 Weapon Destroyed results to remove one of these. Immobilized becomes Drive Damaged, taking off d6" Movement permanently. Explodes still does an extra d3 HP.

Weapon Types: Change Salvo so that it gets the larger number of shots out to half Range, and the smaller number from their to max Range, regardless of the firing Model's Movement. Right now we basically only ever see Salvo Weapons on Relentless Units, and many of them (e.g. Grav) are badly overpowered on those.
- Grenades used in Combat by basic Models against MCs or Vehicles with a WS only hit on 6s. Grenades used by Characters hit based on their WS. Trying to find a balance that doesn't feel like an arbitrary limit, but still keeps Walkers from just getting Kraked to death. Also makes Characters a bit more Heroic.

Terrain: Just add a bit more detail back in. Include some guidelines on size values for Movement/LoS purposes.

Missions: Bring non-random Progressive Scoring into some of the basic Missions. Stuff like Border War from the AoS General's Handbook.

I think that would about do it for Main Rulebook changes. Again assuming that I had complete freedom here, it would also be a "hard" reboot, with completely new Army Lists for everyone (This is another point I'd take from AoS. Every Unit's Dataslate would be available as a free download.) I'd roughly double everything's cost to allow more granularity, benchmarking things against a 10 Point Guardsman and a 30 Point Tac Marine.

Hopefully I'll get around to taking some pics of my recent Modeling projects (Tauroxen with Blood and Skulls Industry wheels, DeathWatch, a bunch of Daemons), and talking about some of the Gaming I've been getting in (OFCC, the LoW Bash we did one Saturday, dipping my toes into AoS). Until then, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Machines that Kill 2: Kill You Harder

Tomorrow morning (OK, technically later this morning), I'm heading down to Portland as Captain of Team Dice Hard 2: Dice Harder for the 2016 Ordo Fanaticus Club Challenge. Despite the name hanging on, the competitive level of the event has been progressively emphasized less and less over the years, and at this point, they're not even making a Best General award, and it's very heavily, if informally, comped, with a List Rating Committee looking over everyone's lists to try to keep it all under a certain power level.

Given the name of our team (We were just Dice Hard last year), I felt compelled to pull out my KDK, which I had originally put together as a CSM/CD Allied Force for the 2014 OFCC, before the Faction even existed, with a theme of bio-mechanical hybrids, and called Machines that Kill, after an old SF/Horror anthology I had as a kid. The sequel name combo was just too much of a draw, and they are fun as hell to play.

The rest of this is basically just a PicSpam. Most of them behind a cut, because it really is a ton of pics. Not everything is where I want it to be, but everything is better than it was previously, and in particular, I finally got around to doing all the Daemonic Flesh in BftBG, with the theory being that the Summoned Khornate Daemons are literally made out of blood. There are some pics of the Kytan at the very end, too, but they're not that great, as I didn't have time to mess around with the supplemental lighting that something that tall needs in my lightbox. Anyhow, I'm gonna let the pics take it from here:

My JuggerLord, now more painted, and with a newly-added Power Maul

Saturday, July 2, 2016

What Is "Competitive"? (part 1)

Not just "which Units/Tactics are best?", but what do we actually mean when we talk about a Game System or a given instance of it being more or less Competitive?
I've seen a number of arguments about Tournament 40K that pretty much boiled down to the fact that none of the parties involved had an explicit definition of "Competitive Play", and their implicit definitions were not only poorly defined, but clearly different from each other's, so everyone was arguing across each other without ever actually engaging on common ground.

I have also seen a number of attempts at explicitly defining this, not just for 40K, but for competitions in general. The one I like best is that a given contest is Competitive to the extent that Player Skill matters above any other factors. Even with that established, tho, we've still got a lot of uncovered ground. Which Skills do we want Players to be pitting against each other? What are potential "other factors"? How can we measure the ratio between the Skills we want to compete at and those other factors? And finally, the bit that generates all the controversy, how can we tell whether given modifications of a system (i.e. Tournament Comp/Rules Changes) make it more or less Competitive?

In 40K, the skills we're ideally trying to compete with are actually fairly simple to describe. They can be divided roughly into two categories, List Building (finding the most efficient Models, Synergies between Units, etc.), and Game Play (positioning and timing on the table, when and where to make the most effective use of the elements chosen during List Building).
One of the biggest other factors, and one that applies almost without regard to what skills we want to compare, is randomness. We can arrange Games on a scale from those that are so random that they don't even really qualify as Games, because the Player has no actual choices (Punto Blanco Baccarat, Craps when betting Pass/No Pass, Candyland, Snakes and Ladders, etc.), to those with essentially no randomness, beyond perhaps who goes first (Tic-Tac-Toe, Checkers, Chess, Go, etc.).

40K is complex enough that we don't have nearly enough data to quantify exactly where it falls, but it's clearly somewhere between the two extremes. We see the same Players consistently showing up near the top of the various Major Tournaments time and again, so it can't be purely random, but there certainly are random factors, and they can be game-deciding, either because someone hits the far end of the bell curve, one way or the other, or because the Players are so closely matched that it ends up coming down to one dice roll.

The role of randomness in games is actually pretty fascinating, and a very complex topic. I've got another post planned just digging in to that.

Even in those Games devoid of randomness, tho, there is variation in the level of skill involved. Tic-Tac-Toe is simple enough that even children can completely solve it, working out that in any given situation there is an optimal play, and whoever goes second can always force a draw. The others I mentioned become progressively more complex, with Checkers having been completely solved by computers, Chess not completely solved yet, but sufficiently understood that the best computers can always beat the best human players, and Go still at the point where top human players reliably beat the best computers.

I want to single out Go here, for a second. Not only is it so complex that computers aren't yet able to play it at top levels, but in a different way, it's so well understood, and so clearly skill-dependent, that  new players can be ranked fairly accurately after just a handful of games with players of known ranking, and modifications can be applied to allow players of quite widely varying skill to play a roughly even game.

There are other factors as well. Some are within the system itself. Most notably, a clear and unambiguous rules set like War Machine is more competitive than one like 40K where many points are poorly defined. I've seen people lose games at major Tournaments because of unclear rules that were interpreted one way in their usual environment, and another in the environment that the rules judge came from. Winning a game because of poor writing on the part of those who created the game says nothing about a Player's ability to compete. It is, at best, a random factor, and at worst, an opportunity for cheaters.

Then there are balance issues. No game so complex as the wargames we play can be 100% balanced, but there are degrees, and when the balance is so bad that some Factions/Units are obviously vastly better than others, the skill required for List-Writing goes way down, because the viable choices are so reduced, similar to how Tic-Tac-Toe requires less skill than Checkers, because there are so many fewer options.

Unlike traditional Games, wargames often feature a variety of Missions or Scenarios which can lead to further balance problems. 6th Ed 40K was dominated by gunline Armies because the Rules for the Scenarios had Players placing Objectives after knowing which side of the Board they'd be on, and allowed them to place the Objectives further back in their own territory than 5th had.

Balance is also an issue because a poorly balanced Game allows for fewer Playstyles, and thus there is less that a Player has to prepare to face. If you know that only gunlines are going to give you serious opposition, you optimize your own gunline to take on other gunlines, and just stomp all over everything else. If you're also getting viable opposition from Assault Armies, glass hammer Alpha Strikes, Null Deployment, and Armies that focus on high durability and Objective-claiming power, optimizing your list becomes a much more difficult affair.
It's also an issue because there's more to these Games than just the Rules. The term Metagame often gets simplified these days to "what lists am I likely to face?", but its original meaning is broader, and covers all factors outside the Rules of the Game that still have an impact on the Game itself.

For instance: we're all drawn to the Game by different things, and it sucks to see someone who has impeccable skills all but entirely shut out of competition because they can't stand playing Eldar, or can't afford a whole new Army every couple of years any more. New releases shaking things up is good, and it should be important to vary lists as the Game evolves, but Player vs. Wallet isn't a Skill we're ideally looking to test here.

The fact that we need to get through competitive events in a reasonable amount of time is another. There is some evidence that super-horde Armies with Model Counts in the 150-200 range can actually be really good in 7th Ed, but you don't see them gaining much success in Tournaments, because few Players are capable of finishing Games in a reasonable time limit with that many Models to deal with.
One more point to touch on in this overview: How do we measure how Competitive a given Game is? This is one of those things that illustrates that simple and easy are not the same. It's theoretically quite simple: run a boatload of repetitions, and see how regularly particular contestants show up in the top rankings, vs. how many people have a very wide spread of rankings. Repeat with variation in the assorted potential other factors. 40K, however, has far too many potential variables, and takes far too long per Game, to get a truly representative rating this way. By the time we got a large enough dataset, the Game would have changed so much that our data would be useless. There are, however, some analytical tricks we can look at to get some sort of estimate, particularly with regard to quantifiable things like Randomness.  This has already become ludicrously long, tho, so that will come another day.

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

Monday, June 20, 2016

ClassicHammer 1250

There was a 1250 Point Tournament at Game Wizard on Saturday, and since I'd just (mostly) finished up this new ThunderLord, I decided to bring my Space Wolves. It was listed as being a "ClassicHammer" event, but I couldn't find the specific Rules for that anywhere (because my Google-Fu was weak. They popped right up when I looked just now :P ), so I decided to just go with a single Faction CAD with no FW, figuring that should suffice:

251  -  Wolf Lord, TW, Wolf Claw, PowerFist, 2 FenWolves, Armour of Russ
236  -  Wolf Lord, TW, Runic Armour, Storm Shield, Thunder Hammer, 2 FenWolves
140  -  5 Blood Claws, Flamer, Razorback, Assault Cannon
140  -  5 Blood Claws, Flamer, Razorback, Assault Cannon
160  -  3 TWC, Storm Shield, PowerFist
160  -  3 TWC, Storm Shield, PowerFist
160  -  3 TWC, Storm Shield, PowerFist

 The key point that I missed through not having the Rules on hand was that only Troops (and not even their Dedicated Transports) are Scoring. That hurt. Especially since we were running ITC Missions, which have a pseudo-Maelstrom component that frequently needs your Scoring Units doing things every Turn.
Wanted to show off the basing a little more here
Game 1 is basically not even worth discussing in any kind of detail. He had 22 ScatBikes, 6 D-Cannon, and a Farseer on a Jetbike. No one else had anything that could stand up to that kind of firepower, and he ended up handily winning the whole Tournament. His list is one of the big reasons they're changing some things up for the next time they do ClassicHammer. Partly changing the Maelstrom requirements and some other things (like Linebreaker) from "Scoring Unit" to "Unit". Possibly some other things. Frankly, I don't think they're going to fix the problem unless they're willing to outright change or ban a few things.
I tried out the black background for my light box. It's nice for these, but way too glossy.
Game 2 was a completely different story. It was against a Dark Eldar Player who I've played before, and had a really good Game with (he's the dude giving a thumbs up here, while I'm on the ice table behind getting my face kicked in by the Eldar), and this one was similar. The Mission this time was The Scouring, which meant in ClassicHammer that our Fast Attack Units were Scoring, making it a very different Game. A very brutal one, too, we both ended up absolutely mauling each other (I think I had 2 Blood Claws, 1 wounded ThunderWolf, and a damaged Razorback at the end, while he had something like 7 Warriors in 4 separate Units and a SkyWeaver). If I'd managed to kill one more Warrior in my last Charge, I would have had a crushing victory, but as it was, that last dude contested one of the 3 Point Objectives, giving Sheldon the victory on Scouring thanks to the points for killing off my ThunderWolves, while I squeaked out a win on the Maelstrom, and then eked out an overall win by having that one ThunderWolf in his DZ for Linebreaker.
Game 3 was kind of weird. I think the guy was the Ringer, but he might have just been someone that somebody loaned an Army to and brought along. Regardless, his Army was a mess of Proxied Night Lords Bikers being played as White Scars. He was really out of practice and way behind the times on his Rules. My buddy Nathaniel had played him earlier and said he was kind of on edge the whole time because he couldn't keep track of the Proxies. Ended up not really being an issue in this Game, partly because of his dice, and partly because, once I lose one TWC, the Units with Lords in become almost immune to Grav, thanks to the FenWolves taking the Majority Armour Save to 6+ and then having to get through a Storm Shield. But mostly because he had to get close to do anything, being mostly 12-18" Firepower, and that doesn't end well when you're up against ThunderWolves. I had all his Troops cleared out by the bottom of Turn 2, and then just threw all my remaining TWC into his Command Squad DeathStar to keep them tied up while my Blood Claws ran around and grabbed Objectives.
Hello, lunch!
I ended up tying for 6th out of 20, which feels pretty good given how poorly suited my Army was for the format. I also got a lot of nice comments on my Army's appearance, which was really great. Speaking of which, shout-out to Thor for tips on the snow effect. I used Blue Horror to tint the glue mix instead of white (perhaps a little too much, it came through rather more strongly than I expected), but it's otherwise pretty much as he described. I also used GF9 Snow Effect instead of Woodland Scenics. It's basically the same, but comes in a much smaller container, and after going over about half my SW with that, I'm pretty much out, so I've got a big tub of the WS stuff on the way.

Y'all have a good one now, y'hear!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Frequently Howled Questions

GW has the Draft SW FAQ up, and tho it's got some issues still, I'm really pretty pleased with it.
Arjac Rockfist and The Void Claws, Touring the Galaxy Now!

We've got confirmation that the stat bonuses from ThunderWolf Mounts are applied before any multipliers or anything, the Pelt of Balewolf will make Fearless MCs and Beasts actually take the Fear Test, confirmation that you can Charge with Counter-Charge even after Disembarking from a non-Assault Transport and/or arriving from Reserves, IronWolves can actually take Lone Wolves and Wolf Scouts, and, perhaps most importantly, both versions of the Iron Priest are still valid, allowing for fun all-mounted Lists with the Company of the Great Wolf Detachment.

There are a few that are kind of downers. Confirmation that the Armour of Asvald Stormwrack doesn't replace Weapons like normal Terminator Armour, and is thus overpriced garbage. Wulfen Units that started the Turn in a Transport don't count for purposes of the Curse of the Wulfen, so Podding them in is no longer nearly as cool. Then there are a couple of weird ones regarding the Run+Charge Rules from the DeathPack/Wulfen and Joined ICs. They say that the Unit can still benefit from them as long as the IC doesn't, and you don't break Coherency, but if the Unit Runs, every Model is considered to have Run, even if they don't actually move, so I'm not sure how that's supposed to work out.
Now with 20-40% More Murderin'

My favorite part, tho, isn't official, but a Recommended House Rule updating SW, GK, and BA Dreads to bring them in line with the SM and DA versions. It applies to all Dreads, including the Characters, bringing Murderface up to a potential 12 Attacks on the Charge! The really big deal is for SW Axe/Shield Dreads and BA Furiosos, tho, who desperately need the help from the extra Attacks.

Y'all have a good one now, y'hear!