Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Warhammer 40k AdMech Mechanicus War Convocation

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?

Monday, December 12, 2016

Warhammer 40k Comic Books

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.)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Ad Mech Magos WIP

I'm working on a new Magus for my Cult Mechanicus/Ad Mech/Mechanicum.

After reading more of the Black Library fluff, it's obvious the Mechanicum/Machanicus are some twisted folks. While I didn't want to make my Magos "dark" mechanium, I think there is a lot of opportunity for conversions to make each Ad Mech army unique and I want my general to stand out.

One of my favorite comic book villains is MODOK. A giant head floating on a cyborg body with mental powers and traditional weapons built into his "golden throne." I couldn't figure out how to make a knock-off model out of GW bits, but it did give me a jumping off point by inspiring me to use the dreadnought hull as a body.