Last weekend I traveled to the glitzy lights of the Las Vegas strip with my Ad Mech army, the Pilgrims of Erudition, to compete in the Warhammer 40k Championships at the Las Vegas Open.
It has been said that it was the largest miniature war gaming tournament, ever.
I didn't do well.
My first night in Vegas, I got sick. Like, really sick. I've had chronic stomach problems most of my life but this was bad - and not like my usual issues. It wasn't pretty.
I bought some Pepto from gift shop and soldiered on. I even found a few minutes to slip a few bucks into the one armed bandits and didn't walk away any richer and my luck never got better.
The first night I found the main gaming hall. It was huge. I've never seen so many gaming tables since the Texas Wargames Con.
Folks were still setting up until the wee hours of the morning but I got see a few Youtube gaming celebrities, like Dave from Miniwargaming.com, Lawrence from Table Top Tactics, and Ace Face from ... Ace Face.
They were all very nice.
There were a lot of awards to go around. I had dreams of taking a little of of bling back home and I knew my army was strong, but like I said before, I was sick, didn't play well and my dice didn't do me any favors. Dusty Dice strike again.
In the Championship bracket, I only went 2-3-1. In the third day RTT, I went 1-2. Not good at all.
I hardly slept and I had to keep running to the bathroom all tournament long. It was pretty embarrassing.
I did have some fun games despite the losses. In fact, my last loss on the second day was to a guy from Wichita whom I had seen at the Bugeater last year. His pirate Ork army is something to behold.
I thought I had this game won in turn 1, but his dice got hot, red hot, as his stompa's D-ray punked out both my knights and my warlord! He rolled so many 6s in a row... If it was any consolation, he said it was the best he's ever rolled in his life.
In my game that was a draw, I thought I was winning from early on. In the last turn, I blew up a force field generator, which killed my night in the resulting blast, knocking me off the objective giving up the primary mission to my opponent. I didn't lose many things throughout the battle but the game ended up a draw. Yar.
Damn slow Ad Mech.
Honestly, I think my biggest disadvantage was the second knight in the Warhost Convocation. One of the Top 8 players was playing a War Host but brought in a grav-Centurian Devastator squad and a White Scars librarian - one of my armies that I drew up and considered bringing.
MSU and mobility are not under-rated in this format. You've got to move, move, move. Gun lines don't always work. Ask the Tau.
I picked up a few goodies from the Forgeworld table. I snagged a Great Brass Scorpion, a Deredo dreadnought, a leviathan dreadnought, and an event only heresy era Space Marine character with a thunderhammer.
Back to the painting desk to finish off the KDK Heldrake army... or maybe my Rogue Trader Ultramarines, or maybe my Astral Claws... or the dreadnought drop pod army. I've got to focus. The Astral Claws would probably do ok in this format, especially if I run them as White Scars. I've got to have a think and reload for my next tourney.
My Adeptus Mechanicus Tech Preist Dominus conversion is almost ready.
I wanted to build M.O.D.O.K. (Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing) from Marvel Comics because he's one of my favorite villains. Tinkering around with some bits I had, I eventually transformed the idea into more of a dark mechanicum tech priest with tentacles in a dreadnought hull.
I've got him almost ready for the LVO; just some cleanup and deepening of shadows. Let me know what you think!
I've done pretty well in my last couple of tune-up games for the Las Vegas Open. A very busy season at work has kept me out of the game room and I'm not getting as much time to fine-tune my force as I would like. I'm also not able to keep painting on my army, but I have managed to get a game against both Jim and Carey recently (Not Jim Carey. That really would have been worth a batrep. I bet he'd play Orks or maybe Chaos...)
First I played Jim's very competitive Tau list with a riptide wing in ITC scenario 4. I had some poor dice all game long but I managed to win by a wide margin by taking the primary, tying on the secondary, and taking all three tertiary objectives. You couldn't tell by my model count though. Jim whittled me down to just a couple of units left on the board; but my Pilgrims of Logic took no prisoners and he didn't have many models left either.
My most recent game was against Carey and his mostly Nurgle Chaos Daemon army in ITC scenario 1. Carey suffered from rolling high all game. Unfortunately, that meant he lost his plague drone and herald deathstar on a double-six against my one of my Knights.
Plus, he only got invisibility off once all game and lost his general to an explodes result when my dune crawler blew up, wounded Be'lakor on a six, and failed his save on a one.
At the end of the game, he had just one model left, a Nurgle daemon prince hiding in a building, and I had only lost my dune crawler, rust stalkers, and infiltrators. Despite my light casualties, it was a very close game and the only difference was the tertiary objectives.
In both games, I've lost my Infiltrators and Rust Stalkers. I use them fairly aggressively so that the rest of my army doesn't get shot at and I think that's mostly worked as a solid strategy for me. I don't really see them as pawns, because they are so gross in hand-to-had, but they are so fragile that having 2 wounds and FNP doesn't do them any good.
Call Mulder and Scully because I want to believe...
Did I just see Warhammer 40k 8th Edition spoilers for flyers? Alert! Alert! Where's the salt?
A poster from Japan posted this image in the Bell of Lost Souls Lounge (their fun name for forums.)
He claimed to be looking for the rules for the Stormhawk but instead found this little gem - which looks like a new rule set for what could be Age of Sigmar-style flyer rules for Warhammer 40k..
There are a few things that are very similar to the current flyer rules and few things very similar to Age of Sigmar. Breaking is something we know about but it looks like Acceleration has been added. Perhaps that an extra move, or switching from Hoover to Zoom mode? There is also a chart for Maneuvers with power settings and Danger rolls. (Danger zone!)
If you make a few leaps in deduction, some of these rules could be used in all vehicles, like Toughness, Structure, Damage control. Basically, I read that as Toughness, Hull points, and Armor Save.
Also of note, some new weapon profiles... and this where things start to look really fishy.
There are a couple of numbers under "Hit Rolls" that seem to be inline with AoS style to hit rolling. Perhaps the number of hit icons is the number of shots the weapons fires?
The weapon profiles seem to have a few stats that seem a bit off. Primarily, the weapon ranges. Some of those seem to be way too short. Perhaps there will be a universal "shortening" of shooty weapons in the game to help the assault armies but those ranges seem way too small and it makes me think this could be a fake.
After getting really excited, I'm starting to think this is a hoax. It's also not in GW's design style. I've been wrong before, but I'm not buying it.
I'm a bit stumped on which warlord trait table I should roll on for my tech priest Dominus in my AdMech Mechanicus War Convocation.
Normally, for most of my armies, I take a roll (or two) on the Strategic table out of the Basic Rule Book. After a couple of games recently where the warlord trait played no part in the battle, I'm a little undecided on which table I should roll on.
Usually, I keep a couple of units in reserve so I try to land Strategic Genus or Master of Ambush to help get the jump on my opponents but with my Cult Mechanicus and Skitarri, I don't keep much in reserve and I don't want to get most my units that close to the enemy...
That leaves Night Attacker which doesn't do much against most armies, because I can already take ShroudPsalm. Conqueror of Cities is moot because of Dunestrider, and Princeps of Deceit is usually worthless because most things are either immune to pinning, mounted on bikes, or ride in vehicles in the first turn.
That leaves Divide to Conquer, which is often very good but unfortunately is the only "good" choice for me on that chart.
Personal Warlord Traits are all worthless to me because I don't want to be in hand to hand and I have most of the other skills already. Command traits are ok, but half of them are combat oriented and basically grant a few rules from 8th Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battles rules for Generals.
So that leaves the Cult Mechanicus traits (which are very similar to the Skitarri warlord traits.) Archeotech Specialist is worthless because I never play with hidden objectives and most tourneys in ITC don't use them in games. Layerd Psalm-code is also already granted to me because of the formation rules for the War Convocation. However, that leaves two-thirds of the chart as being moderately useful for my general. If I stay in character for the army, I should chose the Cult Mech warlord trait list because mathematically it is the best choice for landing a trait that could be effective.
I just wish there was a better, more obvious choice for my Dominus (often called Space Pope 3,000.) I'm never aggressive with him and he prefers to lurk in the backfield protecting his own deployment zone; a bit of a coward really. You can see in the picture how he likes to peer around corners as his Knights advance downfield to take care of business.
What do you guys think? Any other Ad Mech commanders have any suggestions?
As I've mentioned before, I'm not just a mini wargamer, but I'm an avid comic book fan as well. While I don't write a comic book blog, it feels like I should write a post on miniature-based comic books when I find them.
However, I want to stress that I am not just a comic book fan. I'm a comic book fanatic.
I've made comic books. I've written comic books. I co-own a comic book store. My 5,000+ book collection takes up a second bedroom in my home. I proposed to wife in a comic book. I'm friends with other comic creators. What I'm trying to say here is that I know comics inside and out and I can be quite a comic book snob.
This is my grain-of-salt warning.
London based Titan Comics has been publishing comic books based on licensed properties like television shows (Doctor Who,) video games (Assassin's Creed,) and other comic properties (2000AD) for almost 40 years. In October, they released the first issue of "Warhammer 40,000: Will of Iron," based on Games Workshop's miniature game,Warhammer 40k.
The story kicks off as high level Dark Angels are mustering to set off to a planetary system that has been cut off from the galaxy due to Chaotic storms but has recently become accessible. A cabal of upper level Dark Angels are afraid that this new access will expose some of the chapters dark secrets. Meanwhile, an Inquisitor also gathers her troops to head off to the same system to uncover those very secrets for herself and presumably use that information to purge the Dark Angles from the Imperium. Also, a group of Iron Warriors heads off to the same system, for what purpose, we do not know.
The story is pretty typical fluff that folds nicely within the confines of the "current" timeline in 40k. Dark Angels, vs Inquisition, vs Chaos. The First Chapter of Space Marines is not one of my favorites and so I'm a little biased when it comes to the choice of protagonists; I'm just not a fan. Despite loving most the of armies of the Terra, I'm also not a fan of the Inquisition. Grey Knights are ok, but the meddling Inquisitors aren't in any of my armies. The Iron Warriors are my second favorite traitor Legion behind Alpha Legion, so I am pleased that there is a faction that I'm interested in reading about.
Like I mentioned, the plot is pretty standard but I like the element of mystery behind the Dark Angels motivations, presumably trying covering up evidence to the fact that half their legion betrayed the Emperor during the Horus Heresy is a great "broomstick catalyst."
Despite my dislike of the organization, I think the Inquisition are great antagonists. There's nothing more infuriating and frustrating than administration and bureaucracy. In Harry Potter, I thought Deloris Umbridge was a more despicable villain than "he who shall not be named." The smugness and futility that a villain from the "hollier than thou" administration is more relatable than trying to overcome a threat from an antagonist that is only bent on mindless killing.
Unfortunately, the Iron Warriors were just briefly mentioned in the first issue and have little contribution to the story at this point. I'm sure they will become the biggest threat to the Dark Angels and likely will unite the two armies of the Imerium so they can fight a common foe.
Comics based on mini games are a lot like movies based on video games. Typically, they aren't good and while there are a few memorable bits, but it's obviously just a property licensed to explore options for monetization to a fan base that is hungry for more.
Games Workshop has mastered this process by hooking game fans on the Black Library novels based on the the fluff of the various games and it makes sense that GW continues to publish comics based on their games. While GW comics in the past haven't enjoyed the success that the Horus Heresy novels have brought to 40k, I think the comics are a great addition to fans who want to explore more stories set in their favorite game.
Overall, I'd give Warhammer 40,000: Will of Iron a solid B. The art isn't great but the mystery is intriguing. If your friendly local game store isn't carrying the comics, check out your friendly local comic book store and see if you can find a copy. Each issue has a variety of covers (really just a publishing ploy to sell more books to completists.)