Thursday, August 31, 2017

40K - Death Guard Out 9 September

Old news now but Death Guard officially released on 9 September.

Only three releases:

  • Mortarion
  • Plague Brethren
  • Codex
I suspect the rest - two types of Terminator, new vehicle and more Plague Marines are later in month.

When I saw the prices I must admit to a strong case of Sticker Shock.

Mortarion is NZD 280 - for those of you overseas that is - USD 202 or GBP 157. The USD list price is $140 while UK RRP is GBP85.

The Plague Brethren is a webstore exclusive and is NZD 83 for three models though they are accompanied by an 8 page booklet and 3 art cards.

Guessing the delay in releases is to let your wallet recover.

Monday, August 28, 2017

40K - My "Come At Me, Bro" Emperor's Children Terminator Squad

Listening to various podcasts, I hear that Terminators are not very good. I thought I'd put that to the test with my Emperor's Children warband.

By the 41st Millenium there is little, if any, Legion structure left in the Emperor's Children. Reading the Black Library background novels - Fabius Bile, Lucius etc - it seems that the past 10,000 years haven't been good for the Phoenician's Finest and they have descended into a bunch of personality-led warbands. That has always been the basis for my EC armies which eschew heavy vehicles for Infantry-based solutions.

On that basis I made up a unit of Termies to support my power armoured marines.

They are made out of a mix of Tartaros and Catafracti armour from 30k. I've then added in various Emperor's Children, Chaos Terminator, imperial Terminator and Chaos Mutation bits. The Noise Casters are from the Chaos Vehicle sprue.

I managed too grab 3-4 Combi-plasmas from my bitz box but the rest have been made from plasma guns, boltguns and plasma pistols.

They are also carrying their "kit" with them so I have flayed skin, bags and tools on their belts. I salvaged some pieces of meat from the Ogre box and they use these to feed the daemonettes that follow them.

Next job is to clean up all the mold lines and plastic tags before filling gaps and priming

Thursday, August 24, 2017

40K - The Playtesting Fallacy

One of the things that the "community" has a lot to be thankful for is the playtesting that went into the creation of the new edition of Warhammer 40k.

That is the myth that is being perpetrated by a section of commentators out there, be it on podcasts or blogs. Strangely - if you are a moron, that is - is that this is most commonly advanced by those that were "invited" into the process.

Roger and Bruce - Warhammer 40K's Top Analytical Minds At Work

I'm sorry to disappoint you guys but this is becoming a bit of a circle jerk. If you are going to say you were a playtester then you need to own responsibility for the errors that are emerging within days of release - who would have thought that Flyers with a high rate of fire were good; the ability to smite enemies off the board with 2 point Brimstone Horrors, what about RG sitting in the middle of a bubble of lascannon conveyors?

Either the playtesters involved weren't very good or they were only involved in the most cursory manner (in their role as Internet Celebrities). So which was it guys? Did they miss what were pretty apparent glitches - spam + stats = Good - or were they only really shown the finished product. I'm going to go with the latter, because if they were there for any significant part of the ride they didn't do the job.

Perhaps I'm being uncharitable? Perhaps they did find these holes and GW ignored them. Perhaps they've now been found right. I guess I'm an old fashioned cynic.

My guess is that they were flattered when GW came and asked them to "playtest". What they were actually offered was early access and the opportunity to "cheerlead" at the same time growing their own individual brand. Is that a bad thing? Does that make them bad people? Of course not. But let's not dress it up as playtesting.

Playtesting is an intense process designed to break the system to identify faults that can be corrected. I don't think that that is what happened here. Playtesting in the new Warhammer 40k context was just another form of marketing.

Well played GW, well played.

40K - Getting Down With Robby G

Over the last week I have been reading the “Dark Imperium” novel by Guy Haley. Warhammer 40k novels are generally pretty mixed – and this one is no exception. The storyline follows Roboute’s return to Ultramar to confront the Mortarian-led Nurgle incursion.

By far the most interesting character in the book is Robby G himself. I went in very negative on the guy but found the depiction of him led me warming to him as a character. This is pretty much because he pretty much confirms the whole basis of the Heresy, that the Imperium is a lie and claims to the Rotting Corpse’s divinity are false.

I particularly liked the passages where Guilimane said the whole construct of Father and Sons was a myth. The Emperor saw the Primarch as no more than tools (in the most literal sense) and allowed them to call him “Father” only so he could employ them more easily.

The biggest downer for me was Mortarian. We are used to Nurgle Daemons being portrayed as cartoon characters with little depth. However I felt that Haley’s characterisation of the Death Guard Primarch was very uneven. Just when it felt we were going to get a deeper insight, the story waded back into the shallows.

Overall, I enjoyed it but really only for Roboute. And I never thought I would say that!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

40k - Because the Meek Won't Inherit the Rift

Given the victory for the Veterans of the Long War this week in their besting of the Automons of the Imperium (GW backtracking on Noise Marine Force Org status), I decided to celebrate by expanding my warband from 1500 to 2000 points.

In doing this I've decided to expand out my existing Battalion formation rather than try to game the Command Point system by shoehorning in a second formation.

The extra 500 points will be achieved by fitting in further "signature" units:
  • Sonic Dreadnaught - Helbrute, 2x Blastmaster, Helbrute Fist, Mark of Slaanesh, Hereticus Astartes [Emperor's Children] - this is drawn from FW Chaos Index - (Elite) - 152 points
  • Summoned Daemons - 157 points - equates to 21 Daemonettes including Daemonic Instrument
  • Havoc Squad - 6 Havocs, 4 Lascannons (Heavy Support) - 178 points
This gives me a Warband  using Battalion Formation (6 Command Points) of:
  • HQ x2
  • Troops x3
  • Elite x2
  • Heavy Support x2
  • Dedicated Transport x1
  • Summoned Daemons (157 Points)
Pretty much all is ready to go except my Terminators and finishing off the Sonic Dread. Further expansion will be more Noise Marines, a third Havoc unit, a second Rhino and a second Dreadnaught. That should get me out to around 2700 points. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

40K - Noise Marines' Lives Matter

You can't stop the power of the people.

After two weeks of bleating and hijacking every Warhammer 40000 Facebook page thread, disciples of the World Eaters and Emperor's Children have got what they wanted....nay, demanded.

Noise Marines are now Troops in an Emperor's Children army meaning, we don't have to pay a Command Point tax and our favoured sons receive Obsec.

You can check out the FAQ here

Now GW will say they heard our calls....I'm not so sure. Given the number of mistakes/editing errors in Codex:CSM, I'm going to put the original omissions down to a competency failure (making this clearly a correction rather than reconsideration). Still, a win is a win.

So see people, if you are on the side of right your voice can be heard.....especially if you are a Noise Marine!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

40K - Kitbashing Emperor's Children Terminators

I have a unit of Emperor's Children Terminators that are all armed with Sonic Weaponry - but GW took that away 😢

Getting back into Legion 40k I need to build a new unit....that "fits" the game. So the last couple of nights I've been kitbashing a new EC Termie as proof of concept.

As a base I have used the Tartaros Terminator. I have added a metal combi-plasma and an Imperial Lightning Claw. The head is from the Emperor's Children box while the kitbag is from the Ogres box. On the top of his armour I have added in a Dirge Caster from the Chaos Vehicle Sprue so he can play his Taylor Swifts "hits" of choice.

The aim was to get a Terminator that is a bit cobbled together after his fight in The Long War. I'm keen to use the odd bit of "Imperial" and "CSM" kit on the models to reflect the reliance the warband has on scavenging weapons and armour.

I've also bought a box of Cataphracti Terminators to give the squad some variation. 

Happy with the result so I'll turn some more out over the next few weeks.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

40K - The Duplicity of Daemons

Over the last few days I've been delving more and more into Codex:Chaos Space Marines. Now I'm pretty sure I have developed a case of Stockholm Syndrome - in that for Traitor Legions, while it's not Gav Thorpe's bastard offspring, it's still pretty shite - there is hope with Death Guard getting their own book soon.

I've been focusing on Emperor's Children with a view to re-introducing my fun-packed warband back to the table. Now there are no Noise Terminators, Noise Bikers or Noise Havocs in the book....teah, my lack of surprise was palatable. And there is the little matter of the misprint - GW mistakenly omitted the clause from the Index where Cult Marines were Troop, but hey, I'm sure they'll fix it this weekend.

The thing that struck me was that if I took Daemonettes in my list then it suddenly wasn't Emperor's Children and I lost their Legion Trait. Bizarre but then things get strange.

Apparently any Chaos Character if we stands still can summon a daemonic incursion. So as long as I set aside points and Summon the Daemonettes - roll a 4+ on three dice - then I can have them in my army while keeping the Legion Trait. Against that, they don't count as a Force Org choice but that's not the end of the world is it.

So Emperor's Children + Summoned Daemonettes = Okay, Emperor's Children + selected Daemonettes = Not Okay.

Cracks joke about "Just like a woman to be late"

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Congratulations in Order

I understand that congratulations are in order to Team New Zealand at the recent 2017 ETC in Salamanca, Spain.

Playing in The Ninth Age event they were voted by their peers as the Most Sporting Opponents.

This is the first time any of the Australasian Fantasy teams have made the podium. Great testament to the guys that they behaved so admirably in such a stressful environment. Believe me, things can get quite prickly there at times.

The NZ wargaming community should be justifiably proud of our team's efforts.

Monday, August 14, 2017

40K - Chaos Index FAQ

GW has altered the cost of the various Lesser Daemons in the Index to bring them into line with Codex:CSM.

My Plaguebearers have dropped a point which means I can get 1.5 more bases of Nurglings.

I'm liking how GW are adjusting things as books come out. Now all thy have to do is issue the Codex: CSM FAQ admitting Noise Marines are Troops in an Emperor's Children army.

40K - Cum On Feel The Noize

One of my biggest attractions to 40k is the fluff and in particular the Heretic Astartes (I never considered them Traitors). I certainly consider myself a Veteran of the Long War having played Codex:CSM as far back as 2002 when the Index Astartes series started in White Dwarf.

The two Legions I played were Death Guard and Emperor's Children - at the time Power Gamers played 4 Heavy Support Iron Warriors - building large themed armies for both.

So I was excited with the release of the new Codex:CSM even though Death Guard will be getting their own book. It meant the Emperor's Children would get some battletime.

I constructed a 1500 point list last week which I have tuned once the points values in the new codex could be seen:

  • Winged Daemon Prince of Slaanesh - EC, Pair of Talons, Warp Bolter, Intoxicating Elixir, Prescience and Warlord Trait to be determined (189)
  • Sorcerer in Terminator Armour - EC, Slaanesh, Force Axe, Combi- Plasma, Prescience, Warptime (171)
  • 9x Terminators - EC, Slaanesh, 9x Lightning Claw, 9x Combi-Plasma, Icon of Excess (496)
  • 10x Noise Marines - EC, Power Sword, 9x Chainsword, Icon of Excess (164)
  • Chaos Rhino - Combi-Bolter (72)
  • 6x Noise Marines - EC, Power Axe, 5x Sonic Blaster (115)
  • 6x Noise Marines - EC, Power Axe, 5x Sonic Blaster (115)
  • 6x Havocs - EC, Slaanesh, 4x Lascannon (178)
1500 points on the dot.

The Codex has not given me Cult Terminators or Noise Havocs so I have made my own. I may change the Lascannons to Missile Launchers after some play (modelled as Blastmasters).

Last week the army fitted nicely into a Battalion Formation but the new codex removed Noise Marines as Troops in an EC army (I'm 50/50 as to whether this was the intent but in the interim I'll play the less advantageous route). What it means is I have to play as a Vanguard which reduces Command Points by 2. It also means I go without Obsec on my units 😢

As I move to 2000 points I will look to add Daemonettes and/or Cultists in as cheap Troops as well as a second Havoc squad.

I'm building new Terminators and am using 30k Palatine Guard as my CC Noise Marines. The rest just needs some weapon swaps. Looking forward to "Bringing the Noise".

Friday, August 11, 2017

40K: Takeaways from CTA

Last weekend I played Warhammer 40k at Call to Arms. I had originally been signed up for Kings of War but bailed with the release of the "new" 40k. My thinking was that it was a good opportunity to play more games quickly.....I'd played 5 previous to the event, by the end I had doubled my experience 😎

I took my Daemons along not expecting to do particularly well given the nature of the army. In the end I had four games finish 8-7 and one 11-4. That was enough to push me into 6th overall and the top 25%.

So what did I learn?

  • I need to speed up my play. I only finished my first game in the allotted time all the rest getting to either Turn 4-5. Given that was 4/5 games I need to recognise that I am part of the problem. In my defence I haven't played for so long a lot of the units in the opposing armies were totally new to me. I learned a lot about the various opposition. Given i have little shooting in the Nurgle, I need to make a conscious effort.
  • My army doesn't like playing from the short edge. My last three games saw me have to come up the table with a trudging infantry the best. In future I think I'd use a CP to re-roll the Deployment choice.
  • I entertained the "Peanut Gallery". Apparently I'm really good at rolling 5s and 6s. A lot of people fail to appreciate that 5+ save followed by 5+ save means I have 55% chance of ignoring the wound. When I follow it with a further save of 6+ my chances of ignoring a wound rise to 63%. They are pretty much equivalent to a 4+ and 3+ save respectively. Yo, maths bitch!
  • Following on from the second point, in the medium term I want to introduce more mobility and/or "reach" into my army. I remember back in 3rd Ed having similar problems with my Death Guard that had little long range shooting. It wasn't until I reworked my list with the late 2002 Codex that I was able to get that reach.
Overall quite a few takeaways from the first local outing in four editions. I am eagerly awaiting tomorrow's release of the new Codex:CSM. I've worked up a new list for my Emperor's Children now just a case to see where the points land.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

40K - Chapter Approved

Looks like GW continues to make adjustments to "new" Warhammer 40k by preshadowing the release of "Chapter Approved" by Xmas.

This brings some major adjustments to the game:

  • Boots on Ground - units picked as part of Flyer Battlefield Role can never control objectives
  • Objective Secured - if Battleforged army then all Troops in faction get Obsec
  • First Turn - +1 for finishing Deployment first, not "Go First"
Three pretty major changes and I think you'll see TOs adopt the changes ahead of the book's release.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

40K - My Nurgle Daemons

My Nurgle Daemons picked up Best Presented Army at Call to Arms on the weekend. The army is basically part of my old Fantasy Daemons of Chaos army moved to round basis and given some painting and basing love.

Winning the award was a real surprise. I'll get some pics of the individual units up later in the week.

KOW - Call to Arms Results

Kings of War was also run at Call to Arms. Unfortunately it only attracted six participants. However this did allow a round robin to be played.

The results were as follows:

Best Painted went to Neil Williamson and Best Sport to Peter Williamson.

Congratulations to Rob (the Invader from the North) on his win. He destroyed all opposition in the first four rounds before running into Higgins' Orcs in the final round where he suffered a 1-15 loss.

Hopefully the final round of the Warlords Super Series on 16 September will attract a bigger field.

40K - CTA 40k Photos

I managed to snap some photos over the weekend. I also picked up a few of my terrain and army from Luke Forrest's blog (hope you don't mind Luke) and from Facebook.

Looking down the hall at Call to Arms

My Crashed Tau Terrain
Luke Forrest's Primaris lurking in my ruins

Michael Prince's Tau - I played him Round Two

Simon Smith's Ad Mech in my ruins

Bryn Jones' Crimson Fists - We met in Round 3

One of two nice Tyranid armies I saw

And the other one

Dave Hodgett's artillery park

Ryan Pike's Tau - Nice clean paint job

Glen Burfield's Craftworld

Luke's Primaris

My Ruined City Table

Monday, August 7, 2017

40k - Call to Arms Results

On the weekend I attended Call to Arms and played in my first 40k tournament in NZ since 2005. I was attracted back by the new edition and was keen to quickly double the number of new Warhammer of games I played.

Here are the results:

Best Sport: Cody Drake

Best Presented Army: Pete Dunn

Many thanks to Craig Stewart for giving up his weekend to run it and to Deon Adamson and Simon Smith for helping him out.

Congrats to all the prize winners especially Sean for blitzing pretty much everyone.

Also thanks to Games Workshop Lower Hutt for providing 40k art prints as prizes.

Friday, August 4, 2017

KOW - Opportunity Knocked

New Zealand has always had a relatively small Fantast tournament scene. At its height I’d guess that there were probably no more than 200 active (2 or more tournaments per year) participants. This was probably around the time of late 7th/early 8th Ed Warhammer Fantasy….so 2008-11. In the later years of 8th, participation was dropping and I suspect the numbers had halved from their peak.

At that time I was running 4-5 events a year and getting 16-30 people at each. I also ran the NZ Team Champs where we had 64 people competing.

With the schism of the Warhammer World post-End Times, the community fragmented. Effectively it fell into five separate camps – in Fantasy there were those that played Age of Sigmar, those playing 9th Age and the Kings of War players. There were also people who went to other games and finally those that seemed to stop playing.

In Wellington I switched my focus to KOW and started to organise events. The first of these attracted 24 players. It never got better. For the last year the local tournaments have failed to attract more than 8-10 players, two being players “new” to the scene. The nadir has been reached this weekend where Call to Arms – previously a flagship Fantasy event – has only 6 KOW entrants.

At the same time T9A has also struggled to gain traction. Events, largely based in Auckland – a city of 1.5 million – are struggling to get more than 12-16 people. At the same time there appears to be a thriving AoS tournament scene, this week’s CTA attracting 38 people. In the battle for the Fantasy genre here in New Zealand, round bases and a skirmish ruleset has quite clearly won.

From my point of view it has been a very frustrating two years. My background is in historical gaming so I like ranks and flanks. I also really enjoy the KOW rules which are very clean and which get regular support from the Rules Committee.

Unfortunately it is time to admit defeat in terms of KOW being the basis of a viable local Fantasy tournament scene. The number of participants can’t really support standalone events – rental cost, trophies etc. However more than that, having the same 6-8 people at every event gets old very quickly and leads to stagnation.

While we can try and grow the number of players I feel as though it has been an uphill battle. In this I think Mantic has been at fault. Little has been done since Uncharted Empires to grow the source material that would attract more players. Now 21 months after that book we get the next piece of material with the campaign book. However for a lot of smaller communities – basically anywhere outside the UK/US – it is too little, too late.

There was a wonderful opportunity presented by the launch of AoS. In the first twelve months if Mantic had pushed the source material – which a lot of people needed to engage with the game – and backed this up with more releases then I think KOW might have flourished here. The fact that it survives in the UK and thrives in the US is probably enough for Mantic. However I’d be surprised whether there is any area outside those two (perhaps Brisbane) where the game is thriving.

I understand it. Attention has been directed to the Kickstarter programme and especially “The Walking Dead” and it has probably kept the lights on. However the global opportunity that was KOW has probably now gone. Now with the 40k steamroller now rebooted I suspect that any forays into sci-fi are wasted effort.

Their main competitor has now completely changed their interaction model and as a result companies like Mantic will be starved of air.

As a result locally I can never see KOW getting a foothold. And that’s a shame as the game and the RC support deserved it.

KOW - CTA Army Lists

As per yesterday's post, the Warlords' annual Call to Arms convention is on this weekend in Wellington.

Unfortunately the KOW tournament has attracted only six participants as it struggles to compete with the GW juggernauts (Age of Sigmar has 38 while 40k has 24). The lack of support is worrying for the long term survivability of KOW as a tournament game locally. After two years of trying to grow the community, the local take-up is at its lowest ebb 😢 It appears that the playing community really did want a skirmish-based Fantasy game after all.....round bases FTW!

You can download the KOW army lists here

We have:

  • 2x Orcs
  • Varangur
  • Forces of Nature
  • Dwarfs
  • Trident Realms
I'm going to pick Peter Williamson to take it out with his Varangur. That said, pretty much any of the participants could emerge triumphant.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

40K - Call to Arms: Playing the Tournament Game

This weekend sees me attending Call to Arms the Warlords' annual convention. As part of that I'll be playing in the 40k tournament that provides the opportunity for me to double the number of games of "new" 40k that I've played.

With this ruleset I am keen to stick to the more narrative end of gaming rather than hit the competitive trail. I'm hoping to find a little utopia at our club where - rather than training for tournaments - the games are an end to themselves. In that I'll be focus on playing with and playing against armies that make sense in a narrative way.

However when you go to an event you buy a ticket to the dance and play what your opponent brings. Perusing the lists that are coming along to CTA, it appears the main driver is efficiency/competitiveness which is not unexpected. There are an awful lot of flyers and a preponderance to minmaxed squads.

My first round opponent is bring Guard where over 50% of his 1500 points are in named characters and Lords of War!

I'm hoping that I will get to play 5 different army types over the weekend. To date I have played Tau, Sisters, Chaos Space Marines, Dark Eldar and Space Marines. The Guard will make it a sixth different opponent. Looking through the lists there are Tyranids (a few), Eldar (a few), Necrons and more Marine variants than you can poke a stick at. There is also the Host of the Eternity King Ynnari for those who want the best of all the PEGs.

I'll get some pics for Monday.