Saturday, December 31, 2011

6th Edition Codex Space Marines: What I'd Like To See

So rumours of 6th edition are floating around. Due to the nature of my location and work I haven't been able to follow them with the diligence they are due. BUT this has not stopped me from thinking about what the Staple codex of every edition release should look like.
For the first time in release history I think the codex is "Complete". By this I mean there are almost no additions that can be made in terms of new units. At most something like the Storm Raven, but I'd rather NOT see that, because as I have said in the past there really needs to remain a distinct difference between the Vanilla SM codex and the divergent chapters. And GK are already in their own way super Blood Angels, we don't really need more Blood Angel-eque elements brought into another codex.

But continuing on down this train of though, there are not many units to be added. I see people asking for Contemptors in the main codex, but I disagree with this. They should remain a Forge World item to be added by people who want a to add a touch of pre-heresy. Sure some beefing up of the standard dread would be nice, but there is no need to add yet another variant of Dreadnought.

There will likely be something "new", and personally what I would like to see is Deathwatch Space Marines if anything is to be added to the codex. They though are unfortunately are alot like Sternguard, and therefore not a likely candidate. Plus there is already Legion of the Damned filling out the "Outside" orginization type squad.

But instead of focusing on the potential (or lack there of) for new units, lets focus on what changes can be implemented and what aspects I want to see come forth.

1- The rebirth of the Space Marine Captain: This is critical. Fluff wise, this guy should be the man. He in all respects is a BA. And he is suppossed to be most commonly seen leading large forces of Space Marines (multiple squads and tanks) into battle. As is stands right now, why take him when there are perfectly good characters (Vulkan) or Librarians and such. Well then, lets give the player reason to take them. This ties in with the next bullet
2- Chapter Tactics/Traits System: Okay, the old chapter traits system was a little odd, people picking strengths and weaknesses, and often mitigating the weakness so they didn't matter at all. But switching from that to a completely character driven chapter themes. So what we do is put a list of chapters in the back, each with a chapter tactic. No advatages or disadvantages, just clever rules for a large list of chapters (more than just legions and popular ones). At least 20 IMO. When you take a captain, he HAS to choose one of these. You obviously would still have a generic one like what he currently has in the Codex (Ultramarine Tactic), and you don't HAVE to play the chapter that it is listed for (how many Ultramarine Vulkan's are there). The special characters would then just take their respective chapter's tactic to an extreme, or add some other little bonus to it.
3- Make normal terminators worth taking again- I am not sure how to do this, but right now they are not worth taking versus Assault Terminators. Possibly a cost decrease or cost increase on storm shields, or the ability to take special ammo on storm bolters.
4- Make Landspeeders cooler/more reliable- As well make the storm a dedicated transport for scouts, but otherwise the normal speeders, IMO aren't anything to be particularly envious of, especially when a Razorback can do their job just fine and don't die nearly as easily. Maybe if their weapons weren't as expensive, or the options were expanded (wouldn't Plamsa Cannons be nice). Give them teleport homers possibly.

5- Cheaper bikes- I just think they are too expensive for what they do and are so seldom seen as a result. Actually I think the Fast Attack section is as a whole.

6- Assualt/Special Weapons Devastators- Why are devastators ONLY heavy weapons. They seem like they should be masters of destruction at range in any form. Many other armies have special weapon squads of sorts, why not make devastators capable of the same- Flame Throwers, Meltas, Plasma Guns, some form of Grenade Launcher and Storm Bolters as a set of choices rather than just heavy weapons or as an alternative to them.

7- Plastic Veterans- I think that is pretty self explanitory. Really an entirely plastic range would be most excellent, even things like Techmarines, Librarians and Chaplains. I think it was successful as the Captain, and can be done with other character types too. Then make the current range ones finecast in case you still want those specific models.

That's all I can think of for now. If I have more ideas I will append them here. Happy New Year all!

Hopefully mine New Year brings my orders (and a couple posts on terrain I am working on, the Ogryns I ordered and will convert up as well as my Genswick and their Savlar Chem Dog Penal legionaires!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Imperial Guard "Genswick" Army Project- 9 Lists to work from

First off, may the Great Leader RIP.
Thank goodness the Golden Throne doesn't actually exist

So this weekend as I was going over my Genswick stuff I broke out the Army lists and made some adjustments.

First of all, let me clarify, these lists are in no way shape or form to be competitive. My Genswick plans are for a fun, fluffy army with lots of character rather than power. Even if they rarely win, to bring such a hobby intensive army to play will be fun. As well, the idea is to overlap as many units as possible at the fundamental core of the lists, while including aspects both fluffy and presenting unique hobby opportunities (Savlar Chem Dogs, Ogryns, etc. etc.)

List 1- 2000 pt Krieg Siege Regiment
HQ- Co Command Squad: 115- Master of Ordinance; Regimental Standard; Vox; Power Weapon
Elite- Grenadiers(10): 200- Melta-gun x 2
Elite- Heavy Mortars(3): 150
Troops- Infantry Platoon
-Platoon Command Squad: 75- Melta-gun x 2; Power Weapon, Vox
-Infantry Squad: 80- Plasma Gun; Vox
-Infantry Squad: 85- Melta Gun; Power Weapon; Vox
-Infantry Squad: 80- Flamer; Power Weapon; Vox
-Heavy Weapon Squad: 65- Mortar x 3
-Heavy Weapon Squad: 95- Lascannon x 3
-Heavy Weapon Squad: 80- Autocannon x 3
Troops- Engineers(10): 130- Gas grenades
Troops- Engineers(10): 130- Gas grenades
Troops- Hades Breaching Drill: 50
Troops- Hades Breaching Drill: 50
Fast Attack- Death Riders(10): 180- Power Weapon
Heavy Support- Leman Russ Battle Tank: 200- Lascannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Extra Armour
Heavy Support- Leman Russ Battle Tank: 200- Lascannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Extra Armour

Pts: 1965 (30 pts to play with still) Scoring Units: 9 KPs: 19
Model Count: 98 Infantry, 10 Cavalry, 3 Artillery Pieces, 4 Tanks (115 models)

List 2- 2500 pt Krieg Siege Regiment
Troops- Infantry Platoon
-Platoon Command Squad: 75- Melta-gun x 2; Power Weapon; Vox
-Infantry Squad: 85- Melta-gun; Power Weapon; Vox
-Infantry Squad: 80- Grenade Launcher; Power Weapon; Vox
Fast Attack- Banewolf: 130
Fast Attack- Banewolf: 130

Pts: 2465 (30 pts to play with still) Scoring Units: 12 KPs: 24
Model Count: 123 Infantry, 10 Cavalry, 3 Artillery Pieces, 6 Tanks (142 models)

List 3- 1500 Point Imperial Guard Variant 1
HQ- Co Command Squad: 110- Master of Ordinance; Regimental Standard; Vox; Power Weapon
Elite- Stormtroopers(10): 185- Melta-gun x 2
Elite- Ratlings(5): 50
Troops- Infantry Platoon
-Platoon Command Squad: 65- Melta-gun x 2; Power Weapon; Vox
-Infantry Squad: 70- Plasma Gun; Vox
-Infantry Squad: 65- Melta Gun; Vox
-Infantry Squad: 60- Flamer; Vox
-Heavy Weapon Squad: 60- Mortar x 3
-Heavy Weapon Squad: 105- Lascannon x 3
-Heavy Weapon Squad: 75- Autocannon x 3
Troops- Veteran Squad- 100: Demolitions, Shotguns
Troops- Veteran Squad- 100: Demolitions, Shotguns
Fast Attack- Rough Riders(10): 115- Power Weapon
Heavy Support- Leman Russ Battle Tank: 200- Lascannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Extra Armour
Heavy Support- Leman Russ Battle Tank: 200- Lascannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Extra Armour

Pts: 1500 Scoring Units: 9 KPs: 15
Model Count: 94 Infantry, 10 Cavalry, 2 Tanks (106 models)

List 4- 2000 Point Imperial Guard Variant 1
Elite- Ratlings(5): 50
Troops- Infantry Platoon
-Platoon Command Squad: 65- Melta-gun x 2; Power Weapon; Vox
-Infantry Squad: 65- Melta-gun; Vox
-Infantry Squad: 60- Grenade Launcher; Vox
Fast Attack- Banewolf: 130
Fast Attack- Banewolf: 130

Pts: 2000 Scoring Units: 12 KPs: 21
Model Count: 124 Infantry, 10 Cavalry, 4 Tanks (138 models)

List 5- 2500 Point Imperial Guard Variant 1
COMBINE RATLINGS- Ratlings(9): 90
Elite- Ogryns(5)- 130
Troops- Penal Legion (Savlar Chem Dogs): 80
Troops- Penal Legion (Savlar Chem Dogs): 80
Heavy Support- Basilisk: 140- Enclosed Crew Compartment

Pts: 2500 Scoring Units: 14 KPs: 24
Model Count: 148 Infantry, 10 Cavalry, 5 Tanks (163 models)

List 6- 3000 Point Imperial Guard Variant 1
INCREASE RATLINGS- Ratlings(10): 100
Troop- Heavy Weapon Squad: 90- Missile Launcher x 3
Troop- Veteran Squad: 135- Las Pistol and CCW; Melta-gun x 3; Grenadiers; Vox
Heavy Support- Leman Russ Vanquisher: 205- Lascannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Extra Armour

Pts: 3000 Scoring Units: 16 KPs: 27
Model Count: 165 Infantry, 10 Cavalry, 6 Tanks (181 models)

List 7- 2000 Point Imperial Guard Variant 2
HQ- Company Command Squad- 115: Power Weapon, Regimental Standard, Melta-gun, Master of Ordnance
HQ- Lord Commissar- 80: Power Weapon
Elites- Storm Trooper Squad- 195: Power Weapon, 2 x Meltagun
Elites- Ratlings (5)- 50
Elites- Ratlings (5)- 50
Troops- Infantry Platoon
-Platoon Command Squad- 55: Power Fist, Melta-gun
-Infantry Squad- 110: Commissar, Power Weapon; Power Weapon, Melta-gun
-Infantry Squad- 65: Power Weapon, Flamer
-Infantry Squad- 65: Plasma Gun
-Heavy Weapon Squad- 105: Lascannons
-Heavy Weapon Squad- 75: Autocannons
-Heavy Weapon Squad- 60: Mortars
Troops- Veteran Squad- 130: Demolitions, Shotguns, 3x Melta-guns
Troops- Veteran Squad- 130: Demolitions, Shotguns, 3x Melta-guns
Fast Attack- Rough Rider Squad- 115: Power Weapon
Heavy Support- Leman Russ Demolisher Squadron (3)- 600: Heavy Bolter Sponsons; Lascannons

Points- 2000 Scoring Units: 9 KPs: 18
Model Count: 101 Infantry, 10 Cavalry, 3 Tanks (114 Total Models)

List 8- 2500 pt Imperial Guard Variant 2
ADD Commander Chenkov- 50
ADD Commissar- 35
Troops- Conscripts (20)- 155: Send in the Next Wave (Savlar Chem Dogs)
Fast Attack- Banewolf- 130: Extra Armour
Fast Attack- Banewolf- 130: Extra Armour

Points- 2500 Scoring Units: 10 KPs: 21
Model Count: 122 Infantry, 10 Cavalry, 5 Tanks (137 Total Models)

List 9- 3000 pt Imperial Guard Variant 2
Elites- Ogryns(5)- 210
Troops- Infantry Platoon
-Platoon Command Squad: 60- Melta-gun x 2; Power Weapon
-Infantry Squad: 60- Melta-gun
-Infantry Squad: 55- Grenade Launcher
- Heavy Weapon Squad: 90- Missile Launcher x 3

Points- 3000 Scoring Units: 14 KPs: 26
Model Count: 158 Infantry, 10 Cavalry, 5 Tanks (173 Total Models)

It is late here now and I have an early day tomorrow (Off the ship, on leave, on vacation, exploring Kyoto, no less than 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites to visit tomorrow). BUT I will be back to post more tomorrow night. Ideally the follow up lists.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cool conversion ideas

Just some cool conversion brainstorms that I thought I would share. No reason to hog awesome ideas, especially if I can't afford to do them or have the time to do them as of now.

So had this cool idea which I think would be great to make any of the following
-Blood Angel Terminators
-Word Bearer Terminators
-Custodes Terminators

What you do is take this body and death masks of Sanguinary Guard
And put them on Terminators/Chaos Terminators/GK Terminators (I think they would be the best frame). Some FW shoulder pads or MKI terminator armour conversions for shoulder pads would even further enrich the models. Scrolls and tabards as well. Suggest you make the CC termies. Some fancy Storm Shields from Chapterhouse studios would probably be good too.

Next idea: Brass Beasts of Khorne Army
Take a mix of Khornate chaos daemons and Necron arms, chests, and legs. Instead of wings on Blood Thirsters and DPs, use Sonic Blasters and engine exhausts and some green stuff to make large jump packs. Dreadnights, Killa Kans, Dreadnoughts and Sentinels also provide good bases to work from for these larger models. Like I would like the do a Blood thirster with said jump pack, the body of a soul grinder, two sets of defiler claws for arms and GK dreadknight legs. Basically mash as much metal with daemon flesh as possible. Don't think it is fluffy, go read Daemonworld. That book set the standards on chaos. Blood Crushers and Soul Grinders are very appropriate additions.

Fantasy Ogre Orc Maneater- Surprised I have never seen this. Ork glyphs on the belly plate and big choppa for his weapon. A grot minion. Big iron jaw like Gazskull Thraka. Horned helmet. Paint it like it obviously is from a major clan (Bad Moonz, Speed Freaks etc. etc.)

Howling Griffons- Those new FW Mk II, III and IV kits are just begging to be combined with Brettonian bitz, scrolls, medieval iconography and a red/yellow quartered colour scheme to create this classic chapter.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Planned Holiday Project

Well the holidays are coming up and I plan on using them wisely here in Japan by building and painting terrain and my army. I made more progress on the terrain from my previous post before going underway, but have been on hiatus since leaving my home.

So the plan is to place a large FW order here shortly. Mostly heresy variant marines, but I am also going to get some heavy mortars for my Genswick, as well as some more green stuff so I can continue assembling them. So look forward for more to come on that.

To splash up some of my influx I am going to use some items from Chapter House Studios, such as the spartan helmets and combi-weapons (Mk III Iron Armour Sternguard Vets with Combi-Meltas anyone?)

I should have ample time to get a large chunk done as I will be working very light days and have less things to occupy myself with in Japan (other than X-Box).

I will probably post again tomorrow, but I have to head out for now.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Terrain WIP- Scratch Bastion

Hey Internets! Today I share some of the terrain I managed to start. I am further than this post presents, but just wanted to share some with you. I decided to start with a scratch built bastion of sorts.
To get in the mood for AWESOMENESS, I popped in a movie. Good for hobby work like this which cna be tedious at times. My movie of choice- Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Get them Nazis!

So I was able to procure Plasticard while in the states at the Newport Hobby House in Newport RI. I also managed to procure some more once I returned to Japan at a local model hobby store (tons of Gundams).
I then went and raided the Japanese equivalent of Lowes and got some MDF and Insulation foam, as well as assorted glues to try out.
First I cut my basic shape seen here. Seven inches at the base, 4 at top, and I honestly forget how tall. Then I glued them together along the edges, 2 pieces inset and 2 resting on them.
To make the floor/ceiling I figured out how deep I wanted it and then just marked how wide that was and cut a square. Glued the edges and dropped it in the dried pyramid.
Now for the base I had to cut the insulation foam to match the MDF board.
Then I drew out where the hill will round out at. Inside the line is shallow, outside the line is steep.
I then outlined the bastion itself to make sure that I wouldn't cut away the base of my structure when it came time to shape my terrain.

Next would be to shape it using a foam cutter and then glue it to the MDF with my super awesome glues!

I will share more when possible. As well here is a cool thing I went and saw in Japan. Kumamoto Castle. Really has me inspired for more terrain and I think come December I will attempt some Asian inspired works as well. And to boot I had the idea of using some of the Gundam models (much cheaper here is you are familiar with them in the states) as wrecks on the terrain, as if humanity fought an advanced race on the battlefield, or possibly ancient wrecks to represent some strain of humanity defeated in the Great Crusade.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How to fix SM, CSM and revitalize WD and the Website in ONE SWOOP

First of all, sorry for the LONG hiatus. The 3 guys I got to contribute pretty much stopped apparently and the Navy keeps me busy, plus the hobby scene in SW Japan is DEAD. Or rather non existent. I have built some terrain which I will share soon BUT in the mean time let me throw up a post.

Now I know what you are saying "Sure CSM needs work, but Codex Space Marine isn't broken really."
Well, you are right. BUT it does need to be fixed. "But you don't fix what isn't broken." True. I guess the word I am looking for is correct. "Huh?" Well you correct what is wrong, don't you. "Well...yeah... but how is SM wrong." Ah, well let me tell you.

CHARACTER DRIVEN ARMIES. This has been my biggest issue with SM and IG since they came out- removal of the traits/doctrine system for the implementation of the Character based codex variants. I never liked how to play Salamanders I HAD to take Vulkan Hestan or Pedro Kantor for Crimson Fists. These characters are some of the greatest heroes to walk the stars of the 41st millennium. Why are they fighting in 1500 point battles ALL THE TIME. From the fluff I remember, the Chapter master typically only deploys when at least one whole company is on the field and typically MUCH MORE. Plus from a rules standpoint, they can be over kill. You are talking about combat beasts that necessarily don't fit the army. Kantor for instance. If I have a lot of Sternguard vets, say supplemented with some devastators, I am playing a ranged SM army, where all of Kantor's extra umph counts for nill, nada, zilch. Just his storm bolter. Or say Vulkan, who twin links flamers, meltas, and master crafts thunder hammers. But if I am not taking Assault Terminators in my army, that is 1/3 of his benefits I am not utilizing, and I am paying a lot for it.

Good thing the fluff covers this. There is one unit that can fix this. That is right. Just one. The Space Marine Captain. This is the guy that is supposed to be leading large forces of Space Marines most often. Now what to do with him. WELL, say you take a SM captain and in doing so you unlock a variety SM Tactics, just like the characters do. These are just simpler versions of what their liege lord does, or you are sacrificing the combat prowess for their relative simplicity or flexibility. Take the Salamanders for instance. Their captain could twin link flamers and melta's, but not Thunder Hammers. Or say a Crimson Fist. Maybe instead of ALL Sternguard being scoring, just one unit. This way you get a flavour of your army of choice without having to take grand characters. Further more it will bring one of the most fundamental characters back to the game. Just make sure that the Captain has the widest selection of wargear (ie opposite of the Blood Angels captain) in the army as well and you will be set.

Now where does CSM fit into this? Well you could do the same thing with Chaos Lords to allow for legions to be played. Say you and to do World Eaters. When you take a Lord and give him the favouritism of Khorne, it makes the MoK more robust than it currently is and bans the taking of the MoN, MoS, MoT (you can still have unmarked CSM). You could also do things separate of the Marks for things like Iron Warriors. Say you make a lord a Warsmith and gives your army Tank Hunters USR or you can get +1BS. Stuff like that. Can also be an option (limited) for daemon princes or at least a character DP or two.

Now where does making White Dwarf and the Website viable hobby resources once more come into this. WELL it is quite simple actually. I remember a day when there were chapter approved articles with supplemental units and characters and cooooool game stuff. Well this can happen once more. Say that 6 months after a new Codex SM drops with my above proposal someone comes up with cool ideas on how to play Howling Griffons, Storm Giants and Celestial Lions chapters. So they write up 3 new Space Marine Tactics and they put these into the next WD as a supplement of the Codex and make them available on the website shortly there after. Same for CSM. And furthermore they could take it to the next step buy creating an awesome character from each of these chapters with expanded versions of these new powers. IE Howling Griffons Chapter Tactic- Masters of All Trades- You may make one Assault or Devastator Squad Scoring. Character Chapter Tactic- You may take up to 3 Assault Squads or Devastator squads as Troop choices. See how it works. This is just a quick and dirty example but I think it gets my point across.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Re-designing your list by getting a NEW ONE

Recently I started writing up several lists for Ardboys. First I started by looking at my normal 2000 point list and seeing without changing them what I could add. It then occurred to me this might not be the best approach. Why? Because army list should be something that flows together and is built for its role. If you build it with sections that look like additions or subtractions, you might be passing up units that help your army for units that simply just fit. I know simple right, but you'd be surprised at how many players I see playing the same thing over and over again especially myself. At a certain point its ends up feeling like a elaborate game of connect four.

So delete everything you have and look at what models you actually own, sadly in my case that appears to be a lot (I really wish I didn't have so many models that barely see the light of day or paint). And if you take the time to create a list and play it, I think it really adds to your enjoyment and your opponents. Especially if you play in a small group that are stuck in their ways.

Friday, June 3, 2011

So Finecast

So Games Workshop has moved into using a resin like substance. I know the news about this has been out for awhile, but since my local store finally got some in stock I figured I'd say something about it.

The only models I got to see where a box of Dark Eldar Incubi and a Archon. The Archon was very well done minus a huge about of cleaning up of the flash that needed to be done. Unfortunately the Incubi didn't fair to well, both their weapons and heads where sadly warped. The heads almost to a point that they might not be salvageable.

The material itself is very light and very soft. Which for me means it can be easily converted using basic hobby tools, but will not stand up to well any of the slightest man handling or occasional stray dice. Also make sure your very sure where you wanna glue things.

On the plus side the material unlike forge-world stuff, doesn't need you towash all the crap off of it before you prime it. Its better compared to Privateer Press's material but a little more on the lighter side. It is really good for the smaller detail stuff but I dont expect them to start making the larger vehicles anytime soon with them because they really don't require that much detail and probably wouldn't be very sturdy.

As for the models choices I am kind of irritated at the fact that they decided to start off producing models that already exist. I guess it was easy for them to just reuse their old molds, but I would have liked them to have started off making some stuff that doesn't exist yet. I know there weren't wracks and grotesgues yet, but im sure their would have been plenty of people looking forward to some tyranid kits and some Space Wolfs riding other Space Wolfs.

P.S. Thankfully only few tau stuff has been done and by the time a actual new codex comes out for my beloved little guys, any problems they might have had with this new material are taken care of so their wont be any crappy model kits hiding on the shelves.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Are Games Workshop's price increases as bad as we think?

So, this week has generally been considered a "Bad Week" for hobby enthusiasts. Price Increases, Fine Cast Price Increases, Discount retailer cut-outs. I will say, I am not too happy myself. BUT I see a lot of "This is the last straw" and "After 10 years, I'm done" kinda comments. Which got me thinking, how bad is it over the 10 year run? Well lets do some basic math. Nothing complicated. I am no economics expert by far, but just a long time enthusiast taking a step back and thinking before making any decisions like "Time to jump ship to Privateer Press only! GW is going down!"

So, lets take some units that 10 years ago (2001) had a pretty standard cost.
Land Raider- $50
Terminators - $45
BFG Imperial/Chaos Plastic Cruisers- $15
SM Combat Squad- $15
SM Tactical Squad- $25
IG Chimera- $35
SM Rhino- $30
Brettonian Grail Knights- $50

This is pretty accurate as far as I remember. Some of them I know are dead on.

Okay, so now for my point. The Consumer Price Index is the method generally used to track inflation. If you don't know ANYTHING about it, essentially the price of several essential items, such as toilet paper, water and sewage utilities, etc. etc is tracked over time to compare prices one day to another to measure inflation. Food and Energy are not included because they are considered too volatile and prone to shortages or oversupply.
How this works it that essentially these items hold the same basic value to society as they always have. Toilet paper is just toilet paper after all. It is not a passing fad or volatile market. So basically, if 10 years ago toilet paper cost $.50 per roll, and today it cost $1.00 per roll then inflation has doubled in those ten years, or rather something worth a dollar today was only 50 cents back then.
Typing in $1 for 2001, that would be $1.27 today. So lets modify our GW shopping cart if the cost perfectly matched inflation
Land Raider- $63.5
Terminators- $57.5
BFG Imperial/Chaos Plastic Cruisers- $19.05
SM Combat Squad- $19.05
SM Tactical Squad - $31.75
IG Chimera- $44.5
SM Rhino- $38.1
Brettonian Grail Knights- $63.5

And now lets do a price comparison to what they ACTUALLY are today: + means we benefit as the consumer, - meaning GW benefits as the producer
Land Raider- $63.5 - 62 = +1.5
Terminators- $57.5 - 50 = +7.5
BFG Imperial/Chaos Plastic Cruisers- $19.05 - 20 = -.95
SM Combat Squad- $19.05 - 22.5 = -3.45
SM Tactical Squad- $31.75 - 37.25 = -5.5
IG Chimera- $44.5 - 35 = +9.5
SM Rhino- $38.1 - 33 = +5.1
Brettonian Grail Knights- $63.5 - 57.75 = +5.75

Okay, So as we can see, there are actually several units that you are doing better on today than 10 years ago (assuming my prices were right to being with, pretty sure they are). What we do see is a rise in the basic cost of Troops. GW knows you need the most of them, so they make more money there. Whereas with more unique units, it is more about moving inventory to make money. They know the troops will move, but Land Raiders, Grail Knights and Terminators ship a lot less than tactical marines.
BUT TACK on to that the fact that 10 years ago, there was no Free Shipping unless you bought $100. Now, the bottom is $15, which if you are buying any model you a virtually guaranteed to get. It basically only discourages you from buy 1-2 paints at a time. So when you look at it, the cost of shipping in many cases erases the price increase unless you are making a lot of bulk orders.
As well, 10 years ago, 1500 points was a more regular game size than the standard 2k today. That is partially our fault as the players for moving to larger games which in turn require more units and therefore more money from us.
So, does it suck. Yes. 10 years ago I didn't have bills to pay or worry about money. So to see prices go up on something I have loved for all that time stings a little, because I now DO have money to worry about. But, is it reasonable? I think I have shown it is at least understandable. So for all you veterans out there going "Ugh this sucks. 10 years ago was so much better." In actuality, was it? I think we have been spoiled by these online discount sales, which we all do love. But GW has already shown they are behind inflation in many places. Can't blame a business for wanting to stay in the "Chaos" Black.

BUT on the other hand, GW today needs to learn a few basic facts
1- It has never before seen levels of competition. It used to be the only kid on the block. Now, it is just the biggest, but there is strength in numbers with a lot of rivals out there.
2- There is a lot more exposure today via the internet and blogs, meaning opinion will be harsher and more easily swayed by a few very vocal people online.
3- There level of hobby support is at an all time low. White Dwarf is a glorified catalog. Online is just a Store rather than a hobby site and forum. Your printed products have not developed like other companies. And there are no more bitz except through 3rd party providers.

So while I did defend GW at the start of this blog, I will criticize them now. You need to learn perception is reality. You are not immune to the consumers wishes. If we think you are going to far, whether the math says so or not, you need to believe that you have gone too far.

Is this time too far? Only time will tell.

The good news is that Forge World stuff is seemingly now more affordable than ever before!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What an Adeptus Mechanicus Codex should look like

So there has been buzz recently over Ad Mech. Subtle buzz, and community only buzz, but buzz none the less. I think at this point, especially after the books Mechanicum and Titanicus, it is only a matter of time before GW does an Ad Mech Army. The fluff for them isn't nearly as vague anymore and they are becoming much more well defined and are surprisingly more militant than one would think.

Overall Concept-
I think this would be a very diverse army with alot of choices and the ability to go small and elite or large and guard like depending on how you play it. I think it will need to be very synergetic though and have a lot of force restrictions based on HQ choices (certain units can only be taken under others, some are made scoring, some are made troops, some 0-1 restrictions are lifted, etc. etc.)

So HQ Units first-
Well one choice would be "Techpriest" and you would then have to choose which rank to purchase him at, like a librarian or a Guard Officer. The ranks would be Arch Magos, Magos and Logis. These choices are really just stat line changes and such, not much influence on force org. What would influence the force org would then be what order you choose them from. Now the codex would not include every order, as some are not going to be common on a battlefield. The ones to choose from I think should be as follows
-Explorator- Would come with orbital strikes and some deep striking capability for the army
-Biologis- Would give something like Red Thrist, but rather everyone would gain the USR Preferred Enemy against whoever you are facing on a successful roll
-Technicus- Would some how buff vehicles
-Cybernetica- Would unlock certain units
-Executor- These guys represent Titan Legion and Knight Orders, but in this context they will help with Knights and certain Skiratti

Next Choice would be a Skiratti Commander. This guy would really be a combat beast, and would allow Preatorians (an elite choice) to be troops.

There would be 2 Possible Retinues. One would just be a generic "Science Team" of some sort and would be like a command squad. Would consist of the following options: Skiratti Bodyguard, Servitors, Lexmechanics, Transmechanics,  Iron Priests, Genetors, Artisans, and a Famulous

The second retinue would be for a Cybernetica tech priest only and would be an elite Cybernetica Maniple.

So first choice would be the Preatorians. This would be the elite unit that no Ad Mech army would want to go without at least one of. Essentially their terminators. As said above, a Skiratti Commander should make them troops, or maybe just scoring. Squad size would be like 3-9 or something.

Next would be a 0-1 Selection of a Legio Cybernetica Maniple. These guys would be AWESOME. A Cybernetica Magos would lift the 0-1 ban obviously. Squad would consist of a Techpriest and 1-4 Robots. Robots would be of the following variants
Not sure what each variant would do yet, but it would be cool.

Next Choice would be the electro priests that show up through out black library books. Probably a unit of 3-5 CC monsters with their electrical powers. Some sort of exploding electrical discharge when they die would be in order. Hi I, A, and WS in order. Power weapons. Expensive.

Then would be a Cydonian Sister, or more commonly known as an Admech Assassin. She would have fleet, to represent her hover feet, and would be another CC monster. Character killing would be her mission. Maybe only allowed if you take an Archmagos.

Last Elite unit would be an Auxilia Myrmidon. This would be lead by a Magos Militant, and consist of Secutors and Myrmidons, depending on the points you want to spend. These guys would just be elite combat techpriests essentially.

Though I actually don't think they should look like the above from more recent descriptions, the first obvious troop choice would be Skiratti Hyspasist Squads. I think what they will need to be is a much more barbaric (almost SW like) but techno force still. Genebulked, armoured up, cyborgs. Squads would be 9 Troopers and 1 Tribune/Magnus. What I think there should be is 3 basic variants when you buy them, and one special one
Start with this statline- WS3 BS3 S3 T3 W1 A1 I4 LD9 Sv4+
1- CQB Variant- +1WS +1S, 2 CCW
2- Ranged Variant- +1 BS, Unlocks More special weapons. Only one to take heavy weaps
3- All Pupose Variant- +1WS, +1BS
4- Legio Elite- If you take an Magos Executor, you would gain access to Titan Legion Skiratti. They would be one of the above variants and gain the Tank Hunters USR.
Lasguns and shotguns as standard choices. Laspistols and CCW as stand on CQB. Upgrades for bolt weapons. Auto Grenade Launchers, Meltas, Plasmas and Needle guns as ranged spec weapons. Autocannons, HB, plasma cannon, lascannon, multi-melta heavy weapons. Have a 3+ armour save upgrade.

Next would be an Enginseer and Servitor Cohort. 1-3 Enginseers, up to 5 servitors per seer. Gun servitors, technical servitors and combat servitor choices. This standard affair for Enginseers.

Last troop choice would be Heavy Servitors. Basically think of Ogryn Servitors. Just big guys with power fists, thunder hammers, and big guns. The catch would be they are non scoring and have some sort of detrimental USR. Slow and purposeful is ideal. Not fast in combat, just hard sluggers.

Didn't give this much thought. Chimera and LR? IDK. I think this would be more of an afterthought to fit what is developed as the rest of the army.

This section of the army would probably be the weakest and the least used, but is there for players to utilize as they like.
Light Cataphract Squadron- Some sort of light, fast armoured vehicle. Maybe a skimmer? Landspeeder-ish.
Centurions- Think of them as jetbike preatorians. Similar to Necron Destroyers really. Require a Skiratti Commander as HQ, as they would be rare and only employed with a significant Skiratti force.
Mameluks- Essentially a Hyspasist bike squad. Or maybe mechanical steeds to give more of a nod to their name sake and add a cavalry unit to the game.

First up would be Sagitarri Squads. Essentially Heavy Weapon Hyspasists. They would have the ranged variant stat line and unlimited heavy/special weapon choices.

Next would be Cataphracts. These are the armoured components of Skiratti legions. Squadrons of three tanks like IG tanks. Would have access to LR executioner, punisher and vanquisher. Then have Admech tanks, like above. I think that is called a nexus. Not sure though.

Then their would be a Cataphract Walker Squadron. Ad Mech Killa Kans essentially would be good. Something heavier than a Sentinel, but less than a Dreadnought to justify and Squadron of 3.

Then there would be a Balisteria  Battery. This is the Ad Mech artillery. Some sort of exotic big guns is in order IMO.

Lastly, and only unlockable by a Magos Executor would be the Knights.
 These guys are BA. If you have not yet read Mechanicum, do so. The above seems a little big though, maybe something more along the lines of the following.

APOC Units
A new army require new Apoc units, and this is the perfect one to introduce Ordinatus pieces to the game. Don't you agree?

Well there you go. That is all my brainstorming. I think it would be a sweet army to play and I hope I made it diverse/unique enough for you to think so too.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Random Thought Feel No Pain - Discordian

So after checking out all of the units in the new grey knights codex something popped out, the assassin has a modified 6+ Feel No Pain save. Could this really mean GW has decided to change their policy about giving everyone a 50% chance to avoid bad stuff?

Frankly with the current trend I found this shocking. Its been awhile since I played a game where their wasn't at least one unit in my opponents army ruining all my attempts of small arms fire. The problem I see is that even if they change up what FNP saves are per unit, like with the assassins, its not going to change the older books that wont be updated forever. So......I was wondering how the USR itself could be changed in the next edition to force people to play smarter and not assume their best units have this get out of jail free cards.

Thats when I might have had a break though.....

Before thinking about this and inflaming my hate of FNP and its mass proliferation in 40k I had finished playing a game of fantasy. And one of my favorite mechanics of that game is the modifying of armor saves due to strengths of weapons. Thats when I wondered what if thats how FNP worked. For every point above the toughness of the unit the save goes from a 4+ to worse. I thought about how it would effect common FNP spamming units I felt it was actually a novel idea to change the USR.

It wouldn't hit units like Plague Marines and Plague bearers hard because most of the stuff tougher then them is already bypassing their FNP because of the other basic rules of it, but it would curb all the cheaper stuff the can spam the rule. Dark Eldar and Guard for example will take FNP on a 5+ generally because the game is more centric around str 4, a 6+ on str 5, and on str 6 where is gets bypassed anyways they wouldn't get one.

What do you guys think? Any chance this is me coming up with a totally dumb idea?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gothmog's thoughts on Proxy and Counts As

So I know it has been going around the webzones and interblogs for sometime now, but I thought I would chip in my 2 cents on the whole “Counts As” debate. I am a middle grounder and in my own humble opinion, I believe I have the ideal answer to counts as armies and proxies.
First off let me say proxies have only FIVE instances for their use, and then only for fun games.
1- You left the model at home. I once left a single terminator at home. The squad is 5 terminators. If you aren’t going to let me use a suitable replacement for the game, you are a poor sportsmen.
2- The actual model broke and you haven’t managed to fix it yet. This should only be temporary. Same reasons and number one apply though. They can’t legitimately use the unit, but they have it, so be cool.
You know that kid that annoys you that seems to break everything
3- The model is unfinished. EXACT same as above, just a slightly different circumstance
4- You are play testing a new character/unit/army before buying it. Everyone should be able to experiment with a codex without having to invest $$$. It costs enough as it is, some people can’t afford to toss away $50 just because they are curious on whether something fits their play style or not.
5- You are learning the game. Same as playtesting really.

So there are the five, but some are so close it is really like 2 and a half, but what evs.

Now that you know WHEN you can proxy, I will tell you what proxying is. It is using an equivalent sized model to fill in for another model, whether wysiwyg or not. Base and height are the most important factors. Bulk to some extent as well. It does not have to fit your paint scheme, your army, anything.

Remember, a suitable model
See, Suitable
NOTE I said model. DO NOT use a Dr. Pepper bottle as a Mr. Carnifex.  That isn’t proxying. Okay, so it is, but it is very poor and unsporting. So no!
My sentiments exactly
Proxying is NOT so you can show up today and play SW, tomorrow and use CSM, the next day use BA. Just because they are all in power armour, it does not give you the right to use every codex under the sun. You do that, you are unsporting and I will not play you. It tells me you are just tailoring your list to beat me, are a power player, and probably aren’t a fair sportsman in other aspects of the game.

Now for Counts As. This is not the same as proxying. To me counts as is very much a part of the hobby and it is truly the definition that matters.

What counts as is building an army where the fluff and appearance do not match the established fluff and appearance of the codex they are to use. As a rule of thumb as well, a counts as army should be unable to be used as anything other than 2 codices, and in most cases only 1.

Now what I mean by this is you choose a theme to establish. In this case I am going to go with Night Lords CSM. As we know, you can’t really represent a Night Lord Army utilizing the CSM codex. So I am going to counts as Blood Angels. What I then do is proceed to meticulously model my unit to conform to the rule of the Blood Angel codex whilst maintaining the appearance of the Night Lords legion. When I am done, this army should ONLY be playable as Blood Angels. Now, since it is Night Lords, I most likely will be able to use the CSM codex as well, but I should have units to represent the units from the CSM book. I should not run my Assault Squad “Raptors” as Chosen on foot. I should have models to fit that. My Terminators are not Obliterators. Etc. Etc. That is proxying. I should not also be able to switch to another Power Armour based codex. I picked Blood Angels for the list, and CSM for the theme. Those are my limitations.
Now if I make something like Adeptus Mechanicus and decide to use the SW codex, I should only ever use the SW codex for this army, as it was built with that in mind and has no actual game equivalent.

The thing you must do as the Counts As player though is making sure you are making the choices that fit your fluff. DON’T ABUSE YOUR NEW CODEX. If you decide to play Ultramarines 8th company and you want to use the BA codex, that is fine. What is not fine is then proceeding to take furioso/librarian dreads, sanguinary guard, storm ravens, and Baal Preds. The Ultramarines do not have these, so you should not be choosing them, no matter how much you like them. If you like them, make your own BA army, or invent a new Blue SM chapter that if second founding of the BA. No Ultramarines markings. This does not mean to not be creative though. Note, I didn’t take out Death Company. They could be a great representation of Tyrannic War Veterans IMO. Convert and paint them properly and it is really convincing. You can even use the fancy Ultramarine chaplain model and the “Character” name in your army, though based on BA chaplain rules.

You basically need to think of Count As as an army of conversions rather than someone abusing the system.

If you are still on the fence, let me put this forward to you. My Genswick Guard that I am doing. They are not guard models. They are really converted Brettonian models, and I will be using some ork stuff as well. Would you complain about them? This is technically a counts as army. However they will clearly be Guard, despite that I am using non-IG models, and I will make it absolutely clear what everything is and answer every question you have.

There is also something called the “Rule of Cool.” If some one took the time to make a themed army and modeled everything and really thought it out, don’t be the person to discourage such fine hobby work by not playing with them. What they did is cool, so be cool about it and let them play.

SO to recap, showing up with a force you can use the same models for X different armies depending on how you feel isn’t count as. That is just large scale proxying and is wrong. Actually taking the time to think about a list and how to make a themed army to fit the constraints of a codex but match your desires in appearance and fluff is Counts As. The first is wrong. The second is good. Be creative. DC Tyrannic War vets, Sanguinary Guard Raptor Chosen, Deamon Prince Dreadnought etc. etc. Convert, be cool, and be a fair sportsmen. Remember, your army is just one army, not many.

For everyone not Counts As, remember the rules for proxying. Enforce them, and you may see a culture change in the game that will make everyone happy.
Multiple Proxy Disorder.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mordrak and Friends - Discordian

I have played a few games using Mordrak and have had mixed results. For the most part he does work to scare people away from spreading out their forces, nothing scares flanking units like a bunch of ghosts popping out of some random boulder. But you need to really think ahead on what you want his unit to accomplish during a game if you want to play him otherwise he will spend all day chasing units like a dog chases passing cars.

So far they are all I have finished painting

But the real advantage I see in him is reactionary deployment. As someone who has played Eldrad many of times setting up first and then being able to move even one unit after your opponent has deployed is incredibly useful. And since Mordrak and friends can't buy any special weapons, thats for the most part the real advantage of his special rule "first to the fray". Although never underestimate mass bolter fire on a 5+ armor units caught in the open.

There is always the option of attaching independent characters to him, but I'm not to motivated to do it. The reason why is because I feel Mordrak and his buddies are largely expendable. You should put him on the table where your opponent will have to deal with him like on a objective in the no mans land or behind a building your opponent was planning on moving up and castling around. He's for the most part a unit I will leave unsupported and rather use the rest of my resources to support everything else moving up. This doesn't mean put him in first turn rapid fire zones or banshee class assault unit running distances. Just put him in a place your opponent will have to keep looking over muttering "what am i going to do about those jerks"

Throwing the occasional non instant killing wound on Mordrak is also fun, getting more ghosts after the game has started is always great. The last game I played I took a perils casting Hammerhand and was like "wait that triggers a ghost roll sweet". Just remember he is a assault unit and everybody leaves the party if he dies, so don't risk it too much. One thing I didn't catch from the leak to the final addition is they changed it to added at the end of the phase. Sorry Mesdoram :(.

"Wait what happens when he takes a wound?"

I think for now he's going to be my primary HQ choice. His surprise factor despite how well he preforms the rest of the game has always payed off.

My next two projects are going to be finishing up my buffer Librarian and a storm raven. All I have to do for the librarian is paint his staff and some detail work, but the raven will take a little more time....

He's a Force Multiplier with FORCE

I hate all the stuff they decided to put on top.

I wouldn't mind hearing what you guys think of where I put the top turret weapons instead. They are magnetized and so are the wings and tail, it allows me to keep them with the rest of my army without getting a bigger case.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The game's a changin'

Hey all! Mesdoram here with some thoughts on updating lists in the wake of the new Dark Eldar and Grey Knight codices. After getting some games under my belt against both, I have some good ideas about what to do and what do avoid.

Freshest in my mind is a game against Discordian using the new GK codex. Way back when, my Plague Marine squads with meltas and flamers could withstand the heat of close combat and act as a tarpit unit. If they touch virtually any unit in the GK codex in CC, they will be wiped from the board either that assault phase or the next. It's also a losing battle against Dark Eldar and their Wytches. My durability is matched by dodge and FNP, my hidden power fists are ineffective against dodge, and my toughness is negated by poisoned Agonizers.

Daemon Princes and CSM Terminators will have a hard time against Grey Knights since they lack frag grenades or the initiative to beat halberds. A Librarian attached to a squad can cast a reactionary sanctuary making the assault into difficult and dangerous terrain. Without psychic defense or frag grenades, those two potential CC beasts get slaughtered. It's almost safe to say that GK Librarians will be ubiquitous in non-Inquisition lists since they're so amazing. A Grand Master and Librarian provide so much flexibility to the whole army, it's difficult to counter.

What's the answer to this bizarre CC prowess in the newer codices? Shooting. Had I taken more than one Obliterator squad and turned tail with my Plague Marines and Princes, I might have stood a chance against Discordian's Grey Knights. The Psycannon shooting isn't incredibly threatening, and dual AC Dreadnoughts die easily enough with AV12. I am even getting driven more towards the idea of only plasma Plague Marines, and perhaps in minimal numbers. They're just tending to be ineffective in a lot of situations where I need them to have staying power. On a side note, if you can disembark enough of a Dark Eldar army before they are in striking distance, you win.

I find myself getting backed into a corner and having to play very defensively against newer armies. What situation do you find yourselves in when playing these difficult enemies?