Thursday, January 31, 2013

Air Superiority Discriminatory – Discordian

So playing in 6th edition brings with it certain aspects some of us wish where more flushed out. Old books still being old and unsupported, random wound allocation coupled with things like full squads of Reavers, a full description of what special power weapons really where at launch, allies’ matrix being imperial guard for everyone, and my greatest sore point and todays point of discussion FLYERS being FLYERS.
I could easily go on a rant about how unbalanced they are, but that’s not going to really help anyone or make me feel better because both you and I are stuck with Flyers as they are.

Kind of like that

It’s worth noting that flyers have dramatically changed the pace of the game. There has always been a reserve element in the past such as deep striking and outflanking to put pressure on your opponents deployment zone. But these thing have always had they’re weaknesses. Deepstriking left you in a very vulnerable blast formation and carried with it a risk of mishap. Outflanking could be avoided or simply you showing up on the wrong side of the map. Both of were on 4+ starting on turn two in 5th edition, not anymore.
Flyers combined with the new reserve 3+ rolls (some armies in fact can easily make this a 2+) have introduced a level of certainty previously only reserved to a very select few things. With flyers you can put pressure anywhere on the table turn 2 with little to no repercussions. This is part of the reason I truly believe they implemented the whole “no assault out of reserve rule” the one the neutered outflanking units. They needed to allow people to make full use of their deployment zone without fear of being beta striked as it were.
If you've seen it like that guy who slept on the chair
The easy solution to fighting flyers is to use other flyers, some of the depressingly few units that actually have skyfire (Please ignore forge world, there rules not officially accepted by GW even though officially owed by GW). In flyer on flyer action you want to actually go second so your birds are shooting down the bad birds and not the other way around. I would never indorse this in regular practice because there are very few instances where deepstriking puts you in better situation than simply flying on, but if you deepstrike your AA flyers you get a chance at rear armor or you can misdirect your opponent into to make some movement mistakes. Make your opponents think this isn’t connect four guys.
Besides flyer on flyer GW has given every army the option for fortifications. Fortifications that come with guns that actually scare flyers …. Assuming your opponent just doesn’t kill them first turn. Intercept is a powerful thing which is severally underestimated. For example I played a game last week that was against a drop-poding space marine army. First turn he came down with combat squaded sternguard with the meltas hoping to pop the vehicle and the combi plasmas to roast the dudes inside. I intercepted the melta half and managed to kill one of the melta guns and come his shooting phase he missed with the other, he ended up wasting his plasma to kill my venom (he really doesn’t like them apparently).
One important thing to consider when buying fortification guns is who is going to shot it. Special rules like precision shots, Signum, Fast shot, Tank Hunter, and my favorite “I’ve been expecting you” get applied to the gun. So it’s important when list building to consider your options to make the most out of your guns.
The last method I recommend to dealing with flyer is to ignore them. A list that is spamming flyers runs into big problem if you think about it. First turn can be your playground. There are two neat 6th edition rules you should look out for. The first one is only 50% of an army can be chosen to be put in reserve, things that have to start in reserve don’t count (for some reason choosing to embark something doesn’t count for this either). The second is if at the end of the game turn you have nothing on the table you lose. What this means is if you have a fast enough and hard hitting enough army you can knock the socks off your opponents unfortunate stuff stuck on the table. You can put the entirety of your army against your opponents unreserved half and it can be very deadly, especially if you go first giving you two turns of cage fight. I’m not suggesting it’s easy to table someone this way but if someone sees you going for this result they will deploy very conservatively giving you plenty of room to push deep into his deployment half somewhat nullifying the impact of flyers by screwing with his movement options.


SON OF.....


Can you drop me off at a Popeyes?
Other options are stocking up on tons of shooting and tons of twin-linking, which in 6th you probably already doing. Forge world can be an option if allowed in your play area but because GW screwed the pooch on the interaction between skyfire and intercept (Hydra being a prime example, almost all the forge world AA options have Intercept which while super good against flyers hinders things that are not flyer even more.

Here’s to hoping this random flyer supplement coming out next month doesn’t actually make me hate this game even more.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dark Angels WIP - Schlemazal

With the new codex and models out, it’s time for me to get back to work on my army, starting with some new additions. I picked up a Nephilim and the Deathwing Command Squad/Knights kit along with my copy of the book (sadly, I was not expecting the Nephilim to be terrible), and I’ve been putting some time into building and painting over the last week.

First off, the Nephilim. When it comes to the rules for the Nephilim, I think it’s way overcosted for what it can do (which is basically just kill light vehicles and rear armour). Sadly, I’d already bought one and its alter-ego, the Dark Talon, is even worse, so I built it anyway. I was actually really impressed with this kit, if not with the rules behind it. I think the design of the fighter itself is rather nice. I was worried from the front-on pictures that the hull would be really blocky, but this turned out not to be the case.

One of the issues I often have with GW vehicle kits is that there is inevitably some warping on large pieces, which can be a real pain to deal with when constructing the hull. The Nephilim has an interesting way around this though – the engine pieces are designed to fit tightly around the assembled hull, holding them into place even with minor warping. Everything else fit together well and the whole thing was a breeze to assemble. I know it’s been a while since the last time I built a vehicle, but this was by far the easiest to build kit I’ve ever seen.

As for the weapons, I have to disagree with Discordian – the avenger megabolter is the way to go on the Nephilim. With the remainder of its weapons at S6 or less, the Nephilim is relegated to hunting light vehicles and rear armours (AV10-11). The volume of fire is much more valuable here, and the megabolter set-up will glance an AV10 or 11 vehicle to death on an average shot, if it doesn’t kill outright. It really isn’t worth firing at AV12 or better  even with the lascannon (~40% chance of a single penetrating hit, all other shots wasted), so I say go with what will do the best against AV10-11. If the Nephilim had S8 missiles, it would be different, but it doesn’t.

When it came to the terminators, I decided to build a new command squad. I really like the new Deathwing Knights, but having AP4 apart from a single round of combat means that they’ll be one-hit wonders most of the time. I think any Deathwing army would benefit from having a squad as heavy-hitters (plus they’re great against light vehicles and chaos), but I field a company list with only one or two terminator squads and I need those to have more versatility.

I really like the robed look for the terminators, which is why I got the kit in the first place. The only issue I had with this set was that the robe torsos were each designed to fit on only one of the leg poses comfortably, so if you want your terminators to have different poses you’ll have to do some modifying. There’s also only one thunder hammer in the kit, so I had to scavenge a second one for the above squad. Be warned when building a terminator command squad though – unlike every other apothecary in the game I’ve ever seen (even others in the same book), the Deathwing apothecary MUST give up his melee weapon, meaning no power weapon of any sort on your apothecary.

I’ve started painting this squad, so I’ll leave off with a few pictures of the one model I have finished. This is actually my first time painting Deathwing in a bone color, in the past I’ve used white drybrushed over black to simulate rubbed-on ashes based on one of the older stories for the origin of the color, but I felt that this would look better in the end. As for the robes, I think in the future I’m going to go a bit more extreme with the highlight colors, as I’m not satisfied with how much it stands out on the top part. Next up, the champion with halberd (or Sgt. McFartface as Gothmog would call him).

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Genswick IG (Forge World) Heavy Mortars

So I got a little tired of painting this week, so I assembled these guys I had sitting around. A critical part of my Genswick army project. A really nice distraction and productive as well. I feel like these are more a set of dioramas than models. I tried to link them all with the extended comm network set-up. If you look, the cables run from one to the other when set up in the correct order and angle. Oh, and there is alot of glue and frosting on the base because of these cables. If it isn't bent perfectly, they can be a pain to force flat.

These are just Forge World Heavy Mortars with a whole bunch of Leman Russ stuff added to it. tarps, packs, shovels, pick axes etc. etc. The comms are normal LR comms and one from the Apocalypse command upgrade sprue. The cables are guitar string. As well, I Genswicked them up by hanging a chain with sheild from the Brettonian Men-at-arms command sprue on the front of each one.

Each just has the minimum crew of 3. If I ever want to add crew (max of 5 per gun), I am going to do two horse mounted crew with a towing yoke between them to make it appear as if they were horse drawn into position. I think that this would be very strong thematically and would be good for display, even if I never use the extra crew. I WILL be using these though. I think Artillery pieces are greatly under-rated, especially in 6th ed, and for 50 pts a pop, a S6 AP4 ordnance blast isn't bad, especially since it doesn't require LOS. With boots on the ground being the single most important thing in 6th ed. these mortars will effectively wipe average infantry off the table.

Anyway, enjoy the pretty pictures.

Friday, January 18, 2013

My single most hated thing in Dark Angels and all of 40k

I hate the Halberd of Caliban. This is the most unjust thing to be released in the DA codex IMO.

This guy (known as Sgt. McFartface henceforth) is a real dick:

NO! Not Eldrad. Okay, well Eldrad is a dick! But I reall mean this guy:
Brother Sgt. McFartface (McFart-fuh-say)
Yeah, him. Really, it is his halberd that ANGERS ME BEYOND ALL BELIEF! S+2, AP2, AND IT IS NOT UNWIELDLY! Meanwhile these guys can't shake a stick faster than a galapogos tortoise.
Lord Commander Dante. Only the single longest living Imperial Space Marine in existence and probably one of the greatest close combat fighters ever to walk the galaxy.
Astorath the Grim. High Chaplain of the Blood Angels and ALL SUCCESSORS. So basically the Spritual Leader of the largest and most proficient corps of loyalist close combat troops in the Galaxy.
So, I have said it before, and I say it again. GW has messed up here. I will not go on too much (read the linked article), but really? You are going to realize and undo the mistake you have done, but rather than undo it on the two most deserving characters, guys who are champions of a force DEDICATED to being the greatest CQB fighters in the galazy, you give it to Sgt. McFartface and call it a day. You even did your FAQs this month (JAN 13), and that was something you decided to leave for the worse.

Dante costs 225 points, and yet will be hit by an Imperial Guard Sgt. with an axe at the same time. Now along comes Danny McFartface (yes, DA are now Irish to me. Rants don't have to make sense. If you require logic, simply accept that DA are green and Irish stuff is too) and since he is a Space Marine, he can wield his super special close combat weapon FAST. But Dante and Astorath, each with Master Crafted weapons and probably somewhere closer to 2500 years combined experience (Dante was chapter Master long before Lysander was even lost in the Warp for 1000 years) still swing like they are playing t-ball. Niether of the non-BA selections are cost prohibative, but these awesome characters ARE, and suffer all the more for it.

Honestly, maybe it all is some ploy by Eldrad... or maybe...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

10 Things I Like and Hate about You Dark Angels – Discordian

So Dark Angels just hit and it’s making a few people use space marines in new ways. Even if you don’t want to play dark angels you’ll probably have to play against them in the coming months a few more times than you’re used too.
Here is a quick rundown of a few things I like and hate about the latest edition of feather hoody marines.

I Like the Shit out of this Guy

1. Sammael is now allowed to play with the other members of the bicycle gang with his newly added independent character status.
2. Ezekiel is no longer the Grand Master Librarian of Mastery level 1s. And Dark Angel Librarians have access to all but one of the schools of magi… psychic disciplines
3. There is in fact a dedicated biker command squad that is built to boost your army with great banner options. Plus attached independent characters can scout now.
4. Basic infantry got great points re-costing along with all getting flakk missile options.
5. Ravenwing Grenade Launchers causing plasma instant death to paladins near you.
6. Both versions of Black Knights having unique and different weapons. Plus I’m digging the implications of skilled rider.
7. Weird and goofy war gear that makes your custom characters boost your army, literally bounce off of things, give invulnerable saves out like candy to friend and foe alike, assault plasma cannon, and blinding mechanics.
8. Dark shroud floating around yelling you can’t see me or my friends.
9. Fully integrated codex and universal special rules making all units have fluffy and effective combat roles.
10. Beautiful full color artwork spread around the book

 Cool fact: Put this codex flush with the right side of the new Chaos one

Hate (RANT ON)
1. Fallen fluff reduced to Dark Angels quietly punching their skeletons back into their closet. Very very few instances where they hint at Luther not being a total characterless douche and having a reason to revolt besides CHAOS MAKES YOU FEEL GOooooD.
2. Ravenwing command squad is limited to 3 members, has to buy the apothecary for those three members, and all other upgrades making them astronomically expensive. Even if I wanted to just buy the basic Ravenwing Banner which is pretty cheap, the unit instantly becomes a priority target because everyone is just going to think it’s the one that gives salvo and start thinking “KILL IT WITH FIRE”. I don’t know how I plan to use them yet, but they are basically a 6 point cheaper black knight unit if you go un-upgraded. Side note Blade of Caliban is the worst power weapon I’ve ever seen especially compared to the stupid Halberd of Something which is in fact not unwieldy for some reason.
3. Min squads of tactical marines having access to heavy or special weapons kind of makes me annoyed because spam lists are fun for people who don’t enjoy playing the game. I know they and all the old dexs have had this option in the past, I’m just a big fan of the standard Tact squads and the balanced choices it makes you make.
4. No option to attach the attack bike to the Ravenwing Attack Squadrons means easy first blood. You can outflank the attack bike separately now which is a bonus but I would have liked the option to at least tuck it into a squad if I wanted too. The speeder isn’t scoring but that has been the case for a while now because of the FAQ.
5. Nephilim Jet Fighter…….. What’s it fighting?.... BALLOONS! It’s alright to make a fighter a kind of jackknife unit that’s not the best at any one thing, but GW propped this thing up on an anti-flyer pedestal and failed to deliver (read the fluff and model description). I could compare it to a Vendetta or Nightscyths but that would just be just unfair so let’s try a Blood Angels Stormraven which is only 20 points more. In one shooting phase Derp fight pumps out a twin linked heavy bolter, twin-linked lascannon (megabolter is a trap unless you’re fighting xenos and or only heavy weapon teams), and 2 str 6 ap 4 missiles. Storm bird is twin-linked Multi-Melta, twin-linked lascannon, and 2 str 8 ap 1 missiles. Storm bird has +1 armour facing on all sides, immune to melta rule, and transport capacity. I know it’s a vacuum comparison, but come on 20 point difference are you kidding me.
6. Land Speeder Vengeance. So 140 points for a land speeder with a cool gun you say… neat…. Wait wait wait is it anything else……. NO. Literally you’re paying 90 points for the privilege of equipping a gun with a built in balancing flaw to a basic land speeder. If you shoot in the blast mode only it might not kill itself before the end of the game assuming your opponent doesn’t shoot at it. If you want a large blast ap 2 weapon take a vindicator which is CHEAPER and better in all ways save speed (which only has 6” more of threat distance). The Jink save, even if boosted by a nearby shroud, in 6th edition does not make up for the crap the Vengeance is.
7. The dark shroud only having one upgrade. I get it’s supposed to be a support vehicle but it would have been hilarious if it had been allowed to take search lights.
“Hey Jim is that shadow shining a light at us”
“Yes it is Bob, yes it is”
 “Should we kill it?”
“Is it hurting you?”
“Then ignore it!”
8. All but one of the special characters have forced warlord traits and they really aren’t that great. Of course the one that doesn’t gets to pick his which is pretty fabulous, but the rest will probably need another HQ to be the warlord if you want to get access to actually useful army buffs. Also why didn’t dark angels get their own psychic table, chaos got 4! Instead Ezekiel gets one nifty power and standard librarians don’t have any neat unique powers. ALSO Heroes Shroud why are you dumb?
9. No flak missiles on anything but the basic missile launcher. It’s is almost like they were thinking there would be some kind of good anti-flyer FLYER unit in the codex. Whirlwind missile upgrades would have been nice but people making rumors often come up with better ideas then what we get.
10. So I just paid $50 for a finished product that is full of typos in both fluff and rules. This is a rules game, I can let slide a misspelled description in one of the timeline bubbles (hell there’s probably a few in this article but that’s because I’m lazy and not being paid), if you can’t write the rules right your delivering a shit product. Things like Rapid fire weapons only being rapid fire in half of their weapon profiles, people having iron halos in one place but not another, Command squad getting access to super-secret banners that don’t exist in this book, and non-blast weapons not having to deviate with their blasts should not exist in a book that looks as pretty as this one.

Calming down now...

…….. Alright that should it for now. So what are things you like and hate about the new book?

Monday, January 14, 2013

HUMOUR: 40k Deadpool

Just a quick post of a little funny I found again. Apparently Deadpool finds himself fitting in much better in the grim darkness of the far future.

I think the only thing better would be if he was on a base of flap jacks.

I'll try to do a more substantive post later today, but I hope you enjoyed this little laugh.

Now I am thinking about chimichangas...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Reinvention of my Imperial Guard: Genswick to Macharian Crusade

Hello all and happy New Year! This week I have been painting some Blood Angel Assault Marines and hope to share them with you soon. Theya re coming along pretty nicely. I think next I will be moving onto some Death Company for painting, but that is yet to be seen. I don't have to much time before I am at sea again and then you'll all have to unfortuately wait untill I get back. Only 6 months untill I am stateside though, so that should all pick up!

Anyways onto what the post is truly about! So I read Angel of Fire by William King a few months ago, and it was a really really good read. I enjoyed it thoroughly and I look forward to the rest of the series (I think it is going to be a trilogy). The fact it was not from Lord Solar's perspective, but rather a group of unlikely heroes that survived the destruction of their Baneblade is pretty cool and well done. It allows Macharius to remain larger than life.
Lord Solar Alexander the Great... I mean Macharius
Well that book got me thinking about the Macharian Crusade campaign book done by Bell of Lost Souls (that is a download) a while back, you know, this thing:

Well in there, they feature Dave Taylor's awesome Genswick, off which I am modeling my own Genswick.

Well since I am also doing Savlar Chem Dogs for my Penal Legionaires (though not mentioned in the campaign book) and I loved Angel of Fire AND Genswick served under Macharius, I firgured "Why not make my Genswick part of the greatest crusade since The Great Crusade?"

So what does this mean? Well for one, I have bough Macharius' model, and I am going to make him a custom little retinue, maybe even the guys from Angel of Fire. As well I will do Inquisitor Drake from Angel of Fire. As well, I can make my tanks part of the crusade force by making them from the same world as the Armoured regiments that fought at Karsk (I forget the name off the top of my head, but just need to check the book when it comes time to paint).

But I what will also be cool, and allow me to thematically fit in a Valkyrie or Vendetta is to do Merican Fusilier Stormtroopers. I also still have DKK Grenadiers, which were Crusade forces, but I am not sure I will keep or sell those. I'd like to do the Mericans more as it will be more fun and mroe impressive IMO.

And if I ever get to do it, an Elysian army would be great to fit in alongside these guys as they were in the same army group as the Genswick (along with boring Cadians).

So that is the direction that is going. Just wanted to do a quick update on that. You know, instead of painting Death Company, I should do a quick squad of Genswick (so much faster to paint than Marines) or Savlar and share them.