Friday, May 29, 2020

40K - New Rules Update Signalled

Last weekend GW signalled that the Warhammer 40,000 ruleset is going to be updated in the near future (I suspect that Covid response has delayed the original timeline).

They also unveiled their snazzy new logo

The current edition was a full rules re-write and, thankfully, they have indicated that this update will be just that - an update. While the core rules might increase from the current 8 pages, the expansion won't be considerable.
So what would I like to see in this update?
  • Core rules largely stay the same - use the update to remove some of the unintended consequences that exhaustive play teased out
  • Removal of some of the "feelz badsyz" in the rules - stacking of modifiers, line of sight abuses, situations where you can't interact etc.
  • Introduction of better (some) terrain rules
  • Punitive disincentives to "Soup" for competitive play
  • Continuation of the semi annual FAQs and annual Chapter Approved (Points Update) balancing
  • Love to see a mechanism that charge guaranteed if charged unit overwatches; If they choose not to overwatch then you must roll to see if contacted
All of this amounts to largely housekeeping. The current version of the 40k rules is the one I find the most enjoyable since I started in 3rd Ed. Overall, I dislike combo-40k and believe the game should be settled in the tactics you employ/decisions you make rather the building of (probably) unintended combos. My understanding is that this edition is better than 7th in this regard. However anything that further limits that - modifier stacking, character abuse - is all good in my eyes.

I can't wait to see what they come up with.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

40k - FOB NZ Open - Photos #3

Here are the final photos from March's NZ Open. Hopefully we'll soon be back to tournaments as restrictions to stop you running into the 20 people in the country currently symptomatic with Covid-19, are lifted.

Some people just want to see the world burn!!!!!

Imperial Desecration Imminent 

There Goes the Neighbourhood!

It's an AdMech Life

The Thin Grey Line......of Paladins

Monday, May 25, 2020

40k - Post Psychic Awakening Harlequin List

Post PA, I have made to changes to the 2000 point Harlequin list I was running.

Firstly, I dropped a Skyweaver bike to provide the points for a Death Jester. This fellow has been given the "Humbling Cruelty" - No Overwatch - Pivotal Role. He has also been made my Warlord (safer than a Shadowseer) and he takes the Player of the Twilight Warlord Trait. This allows regeneration of CP - critical in the post PA Harlequin World.

So the list I'm using reads:

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Aeldari - Harlequins) [80 PL, 1,430pts, 4CP] ++

Masque Form: The Soaring Spite: Serpent's Blood

Enigmas of the Black Library (2 Relics) [-3CP]

+ HQ [11 PL, 183pts, -1CP] +

Shadowseer [7 PL, 110pts, -1CP]: Hallucinogen Grenade Launcher, Miststave, Shield From Harm, Shuriken Pistol, Smite, Stratagem: Pivotal Role [-1CP], Shadowstone; Twilight Pathways, Fog of Dreams

Troupe Master [4 PL, 73pts]: Choreographer of War, Relic, Fusion Pistol [7pts], Harlequin's Embrace [6pts], Plasma Grenades

+ Troops [20 PL, 388pts] +

Troupe [5 PL, 118pts]
. 4x Player [1 PL, 25pts]: Fusion Pistol [7pts], Harlequin's Caress [7pts], Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 18pts]: Fusion Pistol [7pts], Harlequin's Blade, Plasma Grenades

Troupe [5 PL, 104pts]
. 3x Player [1 PL, 25pts]: Fusion Pistol [7pts], Harlequin's Caress [7pts], Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 18pts]: Fusion Pistol [7pts], Harlequin's Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 11pts]: Harlequin's Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [5 PL, 83pts]
. 4x Player [1 PL, 18pts]: Fusion Pistol [7pts], Harlequin's Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 11pts]: Harlequin's Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [5 PL, 83pts]
. 4x Player [1 PL, 18pts]: Fusion Pistol [7pts], Harlequin's Blade, Plasma Grenade
. Player [1 PL, 11pts]: Harlequin's Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol

+ Elites [3 PL, 45pts] +

Death Jester [3 PL, 45pts]: Humbling Cruelty, Player of the Twilight, Shrieker Cannon, Warlord

+ Fast Attack [26 PL, 494pts] +

Skyweavers [13 PL, 270pts]
. 5x Skyweaver [46pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [6pts]
. Skyweaver [40pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Star Bolas

Skyweavers [13 PL, 224pts]
.4x  Skyweaver [46pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [6pts]
. Skyweaver [40pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Star Bolas

+ Dedicated Transport [20 PL, 320pts] +

4x Starweaver [5 PL, 80pts]: 2x Shuriken Cannon [20pts]

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Aeldari - Harlequins) [37 PL, 568pts, 5CP] ++

Masque Form: The Frozen Stars: Hysterical Fury

+ HQ [11 PL, 183pts] +

Shadowseer [7 PL, 110pts]: Hallucinogen Grenade Launcher, Miststave,  Shield From Harm, Shuriken Pistol, Smite, Twilight Pathways, Shards of Light

Troupe Master [4 PL, 73pts]: Choreographer of War, Fusion Pistol [7pts], Harlequin's Embrace [6pts], Plasma Grenades

+ Troops [21 PL, 287pts] +

Troupe [11 PL, 177pts]
. 3x Player [1 PL, 11pts]: Harlequin's Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. 4x  Player [1 PL, 18pts]: Harlequin's Kiss [7pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. 4x Player [1 PL, 18pts]: Harlequin's Caress [7pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [5 PL, 55pts]
. 5x Player [1 PL, 11pts]: Harlequin's Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [5 PL, 55pts]
. 5x Player [1 PL, 11pts]: Harlequin's Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol

+ Elites [5 PL, 98pts] +

Solitaire [5 PL, 98pts]: Blitz, Relic, Harlequin's Caress [7pts], Harlequin's Kiss [7pts]

++ Total: [117 PL, 1,998pts, 9CP] ++

My "free" Relic is Shadowstone on the Soaring Spite Shadowseer with variable relics on SS Troupe Master and Frozen Stars' Solitaire. I also take an additional Pivotal Role on my SS Shadowseer.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

40K - First Post PA Clown Run

Yesterday Sam came down and I had my first game on my new table. We were using the WTC rulespack ahead of the FoB Teams Championship. Sam was using a mixed Thousand Sons/Emperor’s Children force while I had mono Harlequins. I was using the new White Dwarf PA Rules for the Murder Clowns. 

Looking across at the Chaos lines the Daemon Princes, Lord, Noise Marines and Havocs used the buildings for cover. I did much the same and gave Sam the first turn, putting the onus of him to break cover first. 

What followed was a cagey game. I had a massive advantage in mobility and both of us had ranged weapons that were limited to 24” or closer (bar two blastmasters). As a result I knew that I needed to match any early Scoring from Sam and I’d be set up for late game scoring. Sam sent out his Tzangor screens to pick up points and I was able to largely keep pace on the scoreboard by killing them as they emerged. 

The key to the battle proved to be our reserves. Sam committed his Terminators and took out my two small Frozen Stars units. I was able to bring down my large Frozen Stars Troupe and they were able to stick a 9” charge from Deep Strike. They killed a cultist unit and then camped on an objective in cover. To counter Sam sent across his depleted Noise Marines and reduced them from 11 to 5. However the 20 Caress and 5 Kiss Attacks were able to reduce them to where they failed morale. That really proved the key fight in the game.

I was helped substantially through the game by my new Warlord Trait Player of Twilight. I had taken this to give me sufficient Command Points to power the clowns. Over the course of the game I believe I generated 7-8 additional CPs and this really tilted the balance my way. I had sufficient CPs to allow my Solitaire to fight twice which led to the depletion of the big block of Noise Marines, reducing the attacks on my Frozen Stars

The last couple of turns my force was able to come forward and pick up enemy units including killing Sam’s Smash Lord in a fusion drive by.

Overall I was impressed by the versatility of the post PA Harley but I believe that the result was heavily influenced by the extra CP. I suspect 4-5 additional CP would be a more realistic expectation.

Friday, May 22, 2020

40K - FOB NZ Open - Photos #2

Here are the second tranche of photos from The NZ Open in March 

Alistair Helm's Tau occupy the city in a civil war

Jordan Green's Death Guard supported by Chaos Knights

Space Marines occupy a strong defensive position

Opposite the Orks fortify their own lines

Aaron Wilson's Ad Mech 

...... lined up against The Greater Good

Thursday, May 21, 2020

40k _ FOB NZ Open - Photos

The inaugural Fields of Blood NZ Open was scheduled for 21/22 March. Two days before the event our venue canceled my booking due to Covid-19 fears. Luckily I was able to secure a new venue and the event went ahead.

The numbers attending fell from 76 to 43 participants as out of towners, in particular, chose to drop out. This was totally understandable given the fast moving situation at the time. It was great to have the event, especially as it preceded seven weeks of lockdown here in New Zealand.

I took a lot of photos at the tournament and over the next three days will post them up.

Sam Nightingale navigating his Ultramarines on one of the City Tables

Aaron Twose's Imperial Fists suffering bombing runs from the forces of Chaos

A Leviathan walks out onto a lonely airfield

Sean Sullivan's Imperial Soup seeks to turn back the Green Tide

Scott Paterson looks on while his Tau wreak havoc....or at least fail to die

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

40K - Building Sector Imperialis

I've got a lot of terrain stored in tubs (with mats) for the tournaments I run. What I was keen to do was put together a set of terrain for my home table that would be set up and ready to go for games.

Over the past year I have been picking up Sector Imperialis buildings when they have been on sale and stockpiling them. I managed to acquire 11 buildings including the new Battle Sanctum and also the Shrine of the Aquila.

About 5 years ago I backed the Tablescapes Kickstarter run by Secret Weapons Miniatures and secured 32 12" x 12" tiles. Theses are molded plastic and come in both damaged and undamaged urban states. I've got a mix of both. My intention was to use these to base my buildings giving me a modular urban table with buildings and scatter terrain mounted on the tiles. I could then set them up in whatever configuration I wanted.

With the great 2020 Lockdown there was now an ample opportunity to pull it all together.

The first week was building the various buildings. The GW kits are really easy to put together and I would say very customisable. I didn't deviate from the instructions but you could if you wanted to build your own unique structure.

You can see the 12" tiles in the picture above. These were painted then airbrushed previously. Here I'm checking that the buildings fit on each tile. Some of the tiles are textured so there was the occasional need to remove material to get the building to sit flat on the tile.

The next bit was the probably the easiest. I primed them with rattlecan black primer and then fired up the airbrush. Decided to do them in blue-grey, green and limestone colour palettes. The floor panels were sprayed blue.

The first nine buildings are here. You can see the three different colours. Now the switch to the brush to paint windows, doors and decoration. This didn't take as long as I thought - probably about an hour per building. The gold was given a wash of sepia, the steel got Nuln Oil.

Once the base painting was done, I glued the buildings to their respective tiles. You can see they fit nicely onto them with pavement space around the outside.

Here's a top down view of one of the Sanctum buildings on a textured tile.

The next stage was to texture each tile up with scatter terrain. Here I've used various crates, drums and containers to provide the necessary Urban Rubble look. I added various grades of stone around everything to reflect a damaged city.

I also made some non-building tiles. The Shattered Aquila, the Astartes Statue and the tank traps are visible above .

The last thing to do was to weather/battle damage everything. Here I used acrylic inks through the airbrush. Browns, blacks, sepia etc .

And here's the finished product. The individual tiles can be moved into whatever configuration you want. They clip together to stop them moving about.

Really happy with how it came out and nice to have used the Lockdown to complete a large project.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

40K - Daemonettes on Mounts of Slaanesh

Here’s a real blast from the past - Metal Mounted Daemonettes

While looking for some 25mm round slotta bases on the weekend, I came across six pewter mounted Daemonettes. These were released back in 2004, following the foot sculpts of a year earlier. Both sets were done by Juan Diaz and at the time were regarded as exceptional. He managed to achieve very slender graceful models in 2 (foot) or 3 (mounted) pieces. 

The models were replaced 4-5 years later by plastics. These were far more Amazonian in nature and for me a big step back. 

I have 12 painted for my original Emperors Children army. Over the years I have collected these extra at B&B sales and the like. So all up 18 mounts to go with my 94 foot. 

Always looking for more if people have them in their collection. 

The Tyranny of Distance - Wargamer's Lament

One of the things that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought home was the benefit wargamers had from globalisation.

The emergence of the internet, growth of international trade etc meant wargaming manufacturers could market to the world. As a gamer at the end of the world this meant I could access products and have them on my hobby desk in 7-14 days (regardless of where they came from).

Three & A Half Hours To Anywhere

Well that has all stopped. I have wargaming orders en route from Australia, USA, Russia and the UK and it might as well be from the Moon.

Our local GW/Warhammer shops are yet to open (and I suspect resupply will be a major issue when they do). I've been very lucky in that I have a FLGS but looking at his online store shows he now has empty shelves. My main local online supplier has only been up and running since last Wednesday.

So while I've made a lot of progress getting through the grey plastic (and in some cases pewter) mountain), it will reach a point when supplies won't be available to finish projects.

I've noticed this with plastic bases and have spent the past few weeks cadging bases to finish projects. 

Hopefully as the pandemic first wave dissipates, we'll see shipping get back to normal.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Fields of Blood 40k Teams Championship

The first event that I'll be running post Lockdown are the Fields Of Blood Teams Championships next month on June 27 & 28.

Originally this was set up to be a practice event for the NZ WTC team ahead of this year's event in Austria. However, that's now been canceled.

I was keen to still run the event so have kept the hall booking. To ensure the correct social distancing I have reduced participants from 40 to 30. This has the added benefit of allowing a full round robin for the six teams.

Last week I filled the six team spots. I canvased the captains to see whether they wished to swap to ITC but the preference was to remain with WTC. I'm happy with that as it provides practice for people who want to be part of the NZ WTC team and the two ANZTC teams going forward.

Six weeks out....hopefully restrictions will have eased sufficiently to allow the event to go ahead. Funerals now allow 50 people here in NZ so I expect we will be okay by then.

40K - Pure Slaaneshi Daemon List

I like to build a list then paint the requisite models. This means I have a goal and let's me concentrate on on-table tactics to make the list work - rather than constantly cutting and changing.

With my Slaaneshi Daemons I am building the following 2000 point list:

Slaanesh Daemon Brigade

  • Keeper of Secrets
  • Contorted Epitome
  • Infernal Enchantress
  • 4x 10 Daemonettes
  • 2x 27 Daemonettes - Icon & Instrument
  • 3x Fiends
  • 2x 10 Seekers - Icon & Instrument
  • Hellflayer
  • 2x Chariot
  • Exalted Chariot of Slaanesh
Slaanesh Daemon Supreme Command
  • 2x Herald of Slaanesh
  • The Masque
This gives me a total of 16 Command Points.

I was very surprised how much I could fit into 2000 points.

It should be fun to play and also will be a bit unique (I've certainly seen nothing like it on the table)

Slaaneshi Daemonettes

Since 2003 I have been collecting the metal Juan Diaz Daemonettes with a view to one day putting together a Slaaneshi Daemon army.

This was going to be a WHFB army but ....well GW stuffed that, didn't they 😢

To complement my Emperor's Children, there is now an opportunity to make this a 40k army.

One Hundred Diaz Daemonettes = 400+ Breasts

With the passage of time, I have managed to collect exactly 100 of these fantastic sculpts and with Lockdown have now got about 50 of them painted.

Over the weekend I based all of them on the correct 25mm round bases - running out of my legacy haul - and then applied Vallejo Earth texture.

I have also converted some to make up the crew of my Slaaneshi Chariots.

So the next few weeks will see me working through the remaining 44 Daemonettes before moving onto Seekers.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

40K - Lockdown Haul

So Lockdown in New Zealand ended yesterday.

Given I was going to be stuck at home for 7+ weeks I wanted to achieve something hobby wise. I'm pretty happy with what I achieved:

1. Sector Imperialis Citifight Table

Built and based 11 Sector Imperialis buildings - Sanctum, Battle Sanctum, Imperial Sectors, Basilicum and Shrine of the Aquila. All are based on Secret Weapon Miniatures' Tablescape tiles so the table is made up of modular 1' x 1' squares. These are all textured, painted, have scatter terrain and can be easily moved to create a new setup. 

2. Emperor's Children

This is the army that won 5 Games Workshop Grand Tournaments between 2003-05. It won 2 New Zealand GTs, the Melbourne GT, Sydney GT and the only ever Australian GT. I wanted to get it out on the table again so I've rebased it on Gamers's Grass bases and rehighlighted all the models. Now makes 2000 points of 8th Ed nastiness.

3. Slaaneshi Daemons

I have seen very few Slaaneshi Daemon armies on the table, certainly no fully mono Slaanesh. Over the years I have collected the Juan Diaz Daemonette and Daemonette Steeds of Slaanesh models but never got around to painting them. I had also painted 4 chariots for WHFB but...well, Gw you know what you did!

Now started to paint them. I have 30 Daemonettes on foot and I'm just starting the next 30. Also converted Juan Diaz Daemonettes to crew my chariots.

What this space cos things are going to get nasty!

4. Harlequins

The first thing I did was finish my Harlequins by adding a Frozen Star Battalion. And don't the industrious get their just reward. GW has just dropped some wonderful new rules for my Murder Clowns. As Sam Whitt says "Now you might win a game".

5. Tyranids

Two new Exocrenes and a Lictor finished. A Malenthrope and two more lictors primed.

So when Tom and Jack ask me "Daddy, what did you do during the Great Lockdown?" I can say "A lot"