Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Breaking News: Warhammer 40k Space Marine Chapter Tactics!

As a former journalist, I finally get to put on my old "press pass" and share a bit of breaking news and perhaps a spoiler: 

Games Workshop has been slowly releasing some teasers about the chapter tactics in posts on the Warhammer Community page on Facebook (and possible elsewhere.) I had only seen Raven Guard and White Scars up to this point but an article aimed at new players may have spoiled the future teasers and it included a graphic of the new Space Marine codex chapter tactics.

 
Chapter Tactics Matrix
Here are my thoughts:

Ultramarines: They received a very good tactic in the ability to add +1 leadership. Since players will be making a lot more leadership rolls, especially since you still need to test even if you win close combat and you’ve taken a casualty, this is a very useful but not over-powered ability.

White Scars: The darlings of the tournament scene got a smashing chapter tactic reminiscent of their old tactics with the ability to charge after they fall back. This could be game changing… However, they will be subject to another round of overwatch, but that seems to be a small price to pay for attacking first.

Imperial Fists: The boys in yellow got a very useful tactic with their ability to ignore cover bonuses to models obscured by terrain. Also, representing the Imperial Fists ability to sling massive amounts of lead at immobile fortifications and kill buildings, the Sons of Dorn can re-roll wounds against buildings – ensuring the death of said building.

Black Templars: The Black Templars are one of my least favorite chapters, but they received one of my favorite chapter tactics, the ability to re-roll charges! I think my Astral Claws force with lots of jumping assault squads may adopt this tactic…

Salamanders: The master artisans of the Salamanders received a very fluffy rule called, “master artisans,” that allows them to re-roll a single to hit and wound roll each time it shoots or fights. My Salamanders are pleased with this ability and is much better than the command benefit Vulcan He’stan confers to his subordinates.

Raven Guard: The most grim-dark of the loyalist armies got the shaft in their chapter tactic. An army themed around close combat got a bonus for staying away from their enemies… If the early rumors are true, they receive some bonuses similar to the old scouting or infiltrate rules, but their chapter tactics only benefits their backline units and does nothing to help them against units teleport striking in. I really want to build a Raven Guard army but this rule only seems to help scouts camping in the back of the table. I would have written the rule to allow an overwatch shot in the enemy movement phase if a unit teleport strike or advances within 9-inches of a Raven Guard unit.


Iron Hands: Almost matching their previous chapter tactic, the Iron Hands received a “feel no pain” save against wounds. I’m reading this rule to include mortal wounds as well, which is a tasty rule, however, not game breaking. Codex envy: Wolfen do it better.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Terrain WIP

Here's a quick shot of two of the terrain pieces I primed today.

A small building with a shielded top for sci-fi games and a Greek style monument for use in historical through modern and sci-fi games.



My two sets of terrain that I've been working on fit into one or both of those categories. The Greek pieces are really a part of my Old Hammer Ultramarines/any Greco-Roman 40k army like Blood Angels and the small building can fit in with any of my urban sci-fi/city fight terrain. Those table tops are my two favorites but someday I'll expand into a winter/snow setting and perhaps a chaotic realm, but for now, city fight and ancient Greece are my favorite flavors.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

First Game of 8th Edition Warhammer 40k

I finally got in my first game of Warhammer 40k 8th edition. Like I mentioned before, I've been on the road a lot and I haven't had much time for anything else in life, let alone gaming.

Luckily I got Monday off from my day job and played my buddy Ryan in a small 1,500 game with my Astral Claws vs. his mixed Imperium. It was his first game as well and we were both excited to get our dolls on the table top.

I brought: 1 Battalion
Captain
Chaplain in Termie armor
Tech priest
1 Tac Squad in a Rhino
1 Scout Squad in a Land Speeder
4 Rifle dreads
1 Shootie Termie Squad

Ryan brought a mix of Blood Angels, Primaris Marines and Guard - mostly just to try out the various armies he wanted to play.

We played Big Guns never tire on a Dawn of War map. It was a blast!

warhammer
Astral Claws - a good leader stands behind his men!

A good opponent always helps but I liked the game and had a great time. We both spent a lot of time with our noses in the rule book and indexes double checking stats and rules; but that's to be expected with any new game.

Normally, I'm not a fan of such simple games that 40k has become but there's still a lot of complexity within the units that makes it more robust than it first appears.

Going back to the unit specific movement stat is going to take a while to get used to. My termies only moving 5 is a bit of a surprise but I don't hate the idea. At least now the various terminator armor units have a more distinct feel.

The psychic phase is far more simple - and deadly. Ryan had only one psyker so I didn't get to test things out firsthand but I did not like taking mortal wounds on a roll of 5+. I'm considering taking a psyker myself now and except for my Grey Knights, I was going to skip psykers in my other armies.

The shooting phase is far deadlier as well, especially coupled with HQ units camping near the shooty units and granting those free re-rolls. My captain stayed nearly motionless the entire game and directed the fire of my rifle dreads from a safe spot behind his multi-wound brothers.

The new way HQ choices interact with units reminds me of the old Warzone rules. "A good leader stands behind his men," was the best quote to remind players to keep those valuable leaders "in cover" and behind their squads. Of course, if you think you can tank shots, by all means keep your bosses in front, but even with just one game under my belt, you won't be successfully tanking any fire in this edition.

The close-combat phase is the part I like the least. I know it'll take a while to get used to, but it seems the clunkiest of all of the phases. The you-go-I-go selection seems to actually slow things down and I imagine that keeping track of which units have been activated will be challenging in larger games. I don't care for the idea of players being able to fight half of a battle between units and then come back to it later in the phase. I think a lot of skirmishes will be forgotten in the frenzy of game play, especially in a tournament.

The morale phase is OK, but I think if you won a close combat fight, you shouldn't have to take a morale test. I guess it's slightly more realistic if you took heavy casualties that you might run away from the fight ... even if you wiped out your opponent.

Despite my nitpicks, I enjoyed my first game of 8th and  I can't wait for the next battle!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Warhammer 40k Astral Claws WIP

I've been on the road for work the past couple of weeks but I have managed to eek out a few Astral Claws scouts. I think I just need to do a few minor touch-ups.

Warding the Maelstrom!
Also, I'm getting old... at least it's getting harder to paint eyes as my eyes age. Yar.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Why is Hero Quest so great?

This is why: BardicBroadcasts!

I know this has been viewed more than a million times already, and I may be a little late to the party, but I love everything on the BardicBroadcast YouTube channel.

The Bard himself and I have a number of things in common, including a love of Dwarfs, keeping a book of grudges, wrestling, and a love/hate (really just love) relationship of Games Workshop products.

While I'm not as big a fan of video games as the Bard, but I appreciate his artistic eye that he demonstrates during his cracking boxing/unboxing and review videos. I would hazard a guess that he has some artistic training on his character sheet as he shows us the keen eye of an art director with his spot-on commentary. He admits when he likes something that hearkens to a fond memory or a predilection for a certain genre of game, but he's also self-aware and warns the viewer of those prejudices. However, he also freely admits when his expectations have been challenged and his mind has been changed upon examination of model, game piece, or figure. His videos are well thought out, demonstrative, explanatory, and logical but most of all, entertaining.

Not only are his criticisms astute, but his delivery is captivating. From his "cracking" voice, knife flips, transitional stare into the camera, and the way he says, "muscularity;" I'm hooked on every frame. Along with artistic criticism, his performance is charming and captivating. So many of us who enjoy these trappings of the hobby fail at articulating why we enjoy these elements. Not so for that Bard! Through his unique voice, the Bard is truly a fan of the things he reviews and his reviews are genuine.

I wish he had a paid channel, I'd subscribe faster than the Bard can remove plastic cling film.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Bugeater Grand Tournament 2017

This past weekend, I packed up the new Guilliman model and my Grey Knights and made the trek to Omaha, Nebraska for the Bugeater Warhammer 40k Grand Tournament.















I went last year and had a blast and this year was no different.












Like last year, the Bugeater gives away some of the best swag, including these objective markers, custom dice, a measuring stick, a custom mission deck of cards, a patch, and lots of door prizes.

After seeing Guilliman in action in Kansas City at the Midwest ConQuest, I knew I had to upgrade my army. He's a beast. It doesn't take a lot of skill to play with him and even a guy like me can increase my win count with him on the table.

My first game I drew Trent Northington, one of the better players in the country (ranked 11 in the ITC ranking in 2016...)

He had a nasty army with all of the 7th edition formation nastiness you'd expect. The Castellion formation with a Tau Riptide Wing.

He seized the initiative on me and then kicked me in the teeth with his own Guilliman. I wish I could say I gave him a good game but it didn't really go my way except I managed to take out his Guilliman by the time the game was over.

The next game I played was one of the guys who left my FLGS for a new store in town. I played a bit better, but my dice were a little cold and I was playing timidly and dropped this game too. He had three Forgeworld Knights, Space Wolves, and Saint Celestine and managed to dodge me most of the game and I spent a lot of time running after him and not swinging my giant flaming sword of the Emperor.

Then things turned around for me. In fact, I ran the table on the rest of the games and either tabled or received the white flag from my opponents. In the end, I finished 4-2 and placed 10 in the ITC ranking and 11th in the tournament ranking which included painting and sportsmanship.

When it was all said and done, I played four of my games against folks from my hometown... It was a long way to travel to play people I've played before, but I still had a good time. Omaha is an amazing town, the Bugeater is a fantastic event and I'll be back next year with my 8th edition army in tow!

(The image of the tournament was stolen from the Bugeater Facebook page)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Warhammer 40k Guilliman WIP

Since seeing him in action at the Midwest Conquest GT, I decided to add Roboute Guilliman to my forces for the Bug Eater.

He's an incredibly intricate model to buy, sand, glue, prime and paint for a tournament. I'd like to spend a lot more time on him, but I'm not ashamed of what I've got here.

I'm not quite done but he's well on his way.






































Also, here's a Flesh Tearer that's nearly done.