Monday, May 27, 2013

Deathwing Terminator Command Squad - Schlemazal

The last time I was here, I shared the WIP command squad I made with the new Deathwing Terminators kit, and the first painted model in the squad. Due to a combination of intervening projects and a general lack of time, it's taken me a lot longer to finish than I expected, but I'm happy to say that I'm finally done painting these terminators.

Even the Watcher that will likely never see use
As I mentioned before, this squad is the first time I've done Deathwing in their traditional bone color as opposed to a drybrushed white over black. I still wanted them to be a bit lighter than the standard though, so the armor base color is actually a couple of shades lighter than bone. It's hard to see the difference without a comparison model, but I think it turned out well. Overall, these guys were a lot of fun to paint. The new kit has a ton of interesting details to pick out, and I really like the designs on the storm shields. Looking back at them, I think I probably should have gone a bit darker on the armor shading, so that's something I'll have to address the next time I paint some terminators. Now then, have some pictures and let me know what you think!

I still don't understand why the apothecary loses his CC weapon

Next time I'll find a way to do a group shot that doesn't look tiny on this site

Friday, May 24, 2013

10 Things I Like/Hate about You Tau – Discordian

So now that Tau have been out for a while I figured it was about time I made a post about the things I like and the things that I hate.


1. The last books HQ slot was mostly just a forced 1+ commander who unlocked an expensive crisis suit unit, which was about it. With the new dex they did something pretty great, they gave us 2-3ish usable characters (Can you guess who?) and an absurdly customizable generic commander. I don’t know if I’ll be using any of the special characters yet in my standard lists but, but my trusted 1+ commander will be less of a more wounds crisis suit and more of a super duper support general. There are the two infantry generic HQs but I’m not sold on them yet.

2. I've always liked stealth suits but until recently (stealth/shroud FAQ) they always came across as a really too expensive harrying unit. They haven’t changed points wise with the new book, but the changes to the burst cannon and fusion blaster has really stepped up their game.

3. Firewarriors like the stealth suits are a unit made better with the initial changeover to 6th edition, more so than any dramatic change with the new codex. Always shooting out to 30” and being able to move really gave you a reason to not hide them in a devilfish. The point reduction and pulse carbine changes are neat, but for me it’s all about having 12 str 5 shoots from turn one slowly shuffling around to be where they need to be at end game.

4. The Book itself is amazing, new art and great book structure. I got the special edition codex and it looks really classy, haven’t seen a standard one yet but I’m guessing the interior is the same.

5. Crisis Suits having Black sun and Multi-Tracker standard is really nice, they basically bundled in the two things I always bought for my suits at -3 points. There are also a bunch of new support systems that offer actually hard choices. Sky fire is nice but how about interceptor; you could make them bs 2 for overwatch, or make any suit a special weapon/character sniper.

6. I actually want to field sniper teams. This is great because I have three teams already painted, probably have to dust them off though. The idea of finally having a sniper unit that is actually good at being snipers is great.

7. Pathfinders have tons of options to make up for their guards men armor downgrade. Awesome weapons and really neat rules granted by the drones, most of which are pretty unique. The added bonus of not having to buy a transport for a heavy weapons team is not lost on me either.

8. Hammerheads are the reason why I started Tau, when my friends where getting me into playing a far future scifi war-game I couldn't understand why things had treads. I saw the Hammer and didn't look back. They went down in points and largely what they do hasn't changed with the new book. There is also this ace pilot that gives you about a 50% chance to kill any tank armor 12 or below that will probably be popping up in most of my lists.

9. This is the first book I’ve seen that really addresses flyers. Skyfire/Interceptor are options for all the suits (you can even have them on stealth suits if you really wanted). Thankfully it’s not cheap to have both rules on the same thing so It’s not too overpowered and most things are still bs3 as is the way with new Tau.

10. I will be making a Heavy Arms out of the Riptide. That is all.

Hate (Rant On)

1. There is no FOC swaps of any kind. They really went out of their way to make this book build almost exactly the same way as the old 4th edition book, and its bugging the crap out of me. I get not having cheap solo scoring crisis suits, but they could have done something. They could have said max units of something could be taken as a troop or even max units when you buy a special character or something. There’s no reason why special characters like Darkstrider, Farsight, or maybe even Shadowsun don’t do anything to change how you army builds, especially when compared to ever other 6th edition book to date.

2. Firewarrior Cadre is disappointing to me, when I first heard about him I thought he would be my second HQ choice. But his buff only works on static gun lines and honestly I’d rather take Darkstrider instead. The Cadre has split fire….. why he doesn't just have a target lock? If he could take more wargear, any of those special pathfinder drones, different weapons, be 1-3 slot choice, or even be an elite option I’d see him as an option. Right now he’s overshadowed by Darkstrider and the basic Ethereal.

3. The Tau troops have a lot of cool options, but they still suck at holding ground. Kroot can infiltrate and take sniper rifles, Firewarrirors can shoot all day. Both are T3 and both fold in assault to most standard shock troops. Sure you can shoot people a lot, but I get the massively irritating feeling GW is expecting you to take allies if you want objective holders which really creates a massive hole in any pure tau list. Devilfish might be the answer to this but they still seem too cost prohibitive.

4. Why is it that the Fighter makes a better Bomber and the Bomber makes a better fighter? Putting aside the fact that the Razor-shark’s main gun can’t shoot straight ahead, I really think it should have been twin-linked. On paper the Sunshark has the same amount of str 7 and str 8 shoots as the Razor, also they are all twin-linked to make up for bs 3 and 2. The bs 2 shots do drop to 1 if Sunny moves more than 18”but the markerlight can bring this back up to bs2 twin-linked which is still better than a flat bs 3. Sunny has a ton of potential on the table with all of its rules interactions, and I think the Razor just feels lazy in comparison.

5. I wish Pathfinders and Sniper teams had some way to infiltrate. They are sneaky unit’s that deploy ahead of the main battle force, now I’m stuck deploying them with my main force. The sniper drones and heavy gun pathfinders losing target-locks really hurts their shooting.  They used to be able to split fire and have two different groups of guns being able to shoot at units they could hurt, now you end wasting one or the other depending on what you need to apply. With Pathfinders if you take the guns you end up taking away one of your few good marker-light units.

6. Markerlights. I like everything about the new incarnation of markerlight rules, except the over simplifying of the token options list. -1 per point for pinning is not that scary of a concept and having more options for marker lights would really have helped the not having psykers problem Tau face. Also everyone one I play seems to hate not having cover saves and they keep making me show them why it’s not like the BS version.

7. Broadsides are a mixed bag for me. On one hand their new models are freaking gorgeous; on the other hand they are now huge, take up too much space, no stat increase to make up for this, nerfed guns in range and str, and lost any relentless option. They also picked up these super awesome missile pods that scream for you to take them, because people couldn't be allowed to keep their old models. I get that having str 10 ap 1 anti-air guns is pretty rough, but it’s like they tried to balance the model after the new model was designed and then tacked on something to make you buy the new model.

8. Vehicles lost multi-tracker. For those who don’t know it made tau vehicles shoot like fast vehicles but not actually making them any fast vehicles. With this and the loss of vehicle target locks they just feel like hovering Lemon Russes. I’m not going to bitch about the disruption pod, I’m happy with the change as long as people don’t intentionally cut their flight stand down so they can hide things behind defense lines.

9. I’m not going to whine about the ion and nova reactor, it’s pretty easy to build a list without them if it really bothers you that Tau now has unsafe weapons after championing the safe plasma. What I am going to bring up is the fact that because of this new Ion weapon class Rail technology took a hit. Now we get two different kinds of unique weapons, but I feel they heavily pushed for Ion to be better because it was newer and different. Ion is pretty neat, but I’m going to forever wonder if those early rumors of all rail guns having blast modes were what was happening before somebody brought Ion weapons to the mix. I wished they had made ion technology more like how the cyclic ion gun used to be, low str rending shots, which would have still left Tau with two very unique different kinds of weapons but not having them compete against each other.

10. There is no freaking elaboration of the Tau origins, particularly the Ethereal and the crazy Tsunami warp storm in space cutting them off from the rest of the space jerks. Just few annoying inserts about how Ethereals are also now space jerks.

Overall I like the new codex. It has a ton of new options for my beloved first army, and I’m looking forward to throwing tons of curve balls at my opponents.

So what are some things you like and hate about the new Tau Empire?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Site updates, Specialist Games Forums and BFG News

First of all let me say downloads are back up and working. Using Dropbox, so no worries. I will work on getting more stuff up there. Try to get my old apoc datasheets and some new missions. One of them is even for a BFG Grand Cruiser I made, the Annihilator Class.
Not the Annihilator Class, but awesome non the less.
As well, I started creating a little Specialist Games portal on my blog here for the preserevation of the hobby. But that got me thinking, why stop there?

So I got involved in the Specialist Games forums again. If you are a wayward SG gamer, or you are interested in becoming one (even without the lines of minis, we are already finding solutions to such problems) then you should pop on over there and check it out. And even if the game you are interested in doesn't get much love on the forum, you maybe able to find out where the true community for the game lingers (such as the Conclave for Inquisitor). However, BFG and Warmaster seem to thrive there, so check it out.

It isn't too hard to make these models look freaking awesome.
Finally, let me put in a few Battlefleet Gothic specific plugs. For some time, BFG has been undergoing a community lead revision to the ships and fleets, and it is actually nearing completion YAY! You can find these awesome and well balanced rules at So far Imperial Navy, Chaos, Eldar, Space Marines, Tau Empire. Necrons, Adeptus Mechanicus and Dark Eldar are complete and I am proof reading Tyranids as you read!
Like I said, awesome.
He is also hosting a Global Specialist Games campaign that is easy to participate in, so check that out and fight for your faction! It is really easy to report and make a difference, and there doesn't have to be any official log ins or registrations. Any 40k based Specialist Game can be used and makes a difference!

And finally GothiComp 2013 is open. GothiComp is an annual BFG painting/conversion contest and it is officially done now through the BFG forums on the SG forums site. If you have BFG you want to show off, this is the perfect place to do it. We are also looking for some more prize support, so if you'd like to help out and promote the game and community, it would be most appreciated.
And maybe, if enough people get involved, we can see the sun rise on Specialist Games once more.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Codex Eldar, Iyanden- Codex Eldar Supplement, Wraithknight and flier (PICS)

So I have long been a proponent of switching back to the old supplemental system (scan these posts, I am sure there are several on the subject) that existed in 3rd and 4th edition. It allows for more diversity/flexibility and fluffy armies. As well, you get to include alot more cool characters, and it cuts down on redudancy for codicies. The icing on the cake is that GW profits more, as you now have to buy 2 books? Why is this good? Well it means that GW has positive motivation to actually do something that improves the game in my opinion. If they can't make money off of it, why do it.

Anyways, that leads me to these little nuggets floating on the internet.

It looks like Iyanden will get its own supplement when the new codex drops (rumoured June 8th-ish).
My guess is this is where the new Wraithknight model will appear:

This guy looks awesome. Only complaints are I wish the arms weren't as scrawny and the head was a little bigger, but otherwise that is sweet. I especially like the cloved feet. Not too sure about the fluff though. Apparently it has a spirit stone AND its living twin as a pilot inside. If you are going to have a pilot, why not just have a Revenant Titan?

As well, here is the cover of Codex Eldar

And the new flier
Sorry that last one is so small and low-res. All I got.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fluff vs Reality: Warp Travel and the Speed of Light (and humour)

If you just want the humour, scroll to the bottom.

So I have been just chillin' lately, painting and watching a lot of discovery channel/science channel type shows. One of these shows was the Science of Star Trek or something like that. In it, they talk extensively about interstellar travel and the possibilities of it in the future. And wouldn't you know, it is virtually impossible or at least believed to be almost entirely impractical given our current understanding of physics and the energy required. And every time science thinks it may have the key to the speed of light, it turns out is just an experimental error or difficulty with detection equipment and that the Theory of Relativity holds true and the speed of light is a boundary that can't be broken. This is depressing in a way, because it suggest that we will never reach the next star. It would take us about 80,000 years to reach the closest star with our current technology. That is incredibly long. Basically, if Neanderthals had launched a space ship, it would be getting there now. Even travelling at light speed is pretty slow, when you consider that we measure everything in light years, and thousands of light years at that.
.5 past light speed is actually pretty slow there Han.
So what is suggested is maybe creating a bubble of space time around a vessel, essentially as far as I can tell, bending space so you can get there faster without accelerating past the speed of light. This apparently is much more possible, even though I don't really get the physics of it.
Maybe something like this? Is changing space time how Han traveled in less that 12 parsecs (a unit of distance rather than speed)
So basically in most sci-fi universes keep the vessels in our universe and try and alter physics/distort reality to travel. And as we all know this is where 40k diverges, but it could be more real than we think. What is a Gellar feild? A bubble of reality. Well, really another way to describe that to me would be a bubble of space time. Is it not? Where 40k gets really divergent though is how ships enter a separate parallel universe, the Immaterium. And while the warp here is a chaotic realm of madness, the idea of travelling outside the universe seems pretty cool to me, and if it were possible, it could be a better answer than trying to distort and break the laws of physics in our reality. If you could travel faster outside of reality, and get across vast distances in a reasonable amount of time, why not do it.
It looks much more impressive too.
So since it is likely impossible to break the speed of light, and that is actually a really slow speed for interstellar travel, we are either going to have to accept as a species that we will never leave our solar system or figure out another way to do it. The idea of bubbles of reality is pretty cool and I hope physicists in the future can look more into that, but in a way, that brings us one step closer to the fiction of 40k. And since science has trouble coming up with solutions in reality, maybe it will be outside reality that answers are ultimately found. Lets just hope, if that is the case, we don't find powers lurking in the depths.

And now for the humor (this is from something found on 4chan edited for some vulgarity, grammar and inaccurate fluff).

Let me take you through the average Warp travel procedure.
The Captain calls down to prep the ship for translation into the Warp. At that time, 12000 slaves who have never seen the outside of the work galley begin shovelling the dead bodies of previous workers into massive furnaces along with whatever hard source of fuel they have in storage, like a brutal Mr. Fusion. A pure field of psychic SCREW YOU is generated around the ship. Meanwhile, a blinded mentally traumatized man inside a metal egg begins screaming unendingly as he charts a course through the warp, which is basically a giant ocean of pure emotion in which Unnamed Ones lounge around a toy with humanity, just because they simply exist and have the luxury of doing so. The ship then ploughs through the miasma of what you could call Hell if you lacked imagination. Pray to the Holy Throne that the Navigator doesn't accidentally get you lost, get possessed by a Daemon, or just explode like a squishy human pinata from the mental stress of being surrounded by so much CANNOT BE. If the Gellar field even flickers on the 8000 year old vessel (which no one understands completely how it works) Daemons made of RAPE and LEMON JUICE and do things you literally cannot imagine to every soul onboard. I mean that. The very notion of understanding the completeness of the horror the human victims would be witness to would shatter your perception of reality and cause your head to explode.
When the ship finally exits this realm of mind rape that makes Salvador Dali's nightmares seem like a children's book, the mission clock says they were only in the Warp for 5 days. It was 17 months for everyone onboard. They also missed their destination by a couple light years and 8/10ths of the crew is dead or criminally insane.
The Captain turns to his bridge crew and pops the cork on his finest bottle of 100 year old Amasec and salutes them on another successful Warp jump.
Welcome to 40k.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Blood Angels battle photos

Now I just discovered I had these photos. My lovely wife took them when I was playing warhammer one day. They are actually pretty cool. Just wish there weren't so many WIP models. I have since finished all the Sanguinary Guard and based the Tactical Marines, but wanted to share these none the less. Enjoy.
The Thin Red Line
That guy I am pointing at, shoot him... alot

This photo would've been the best one if the Terminator was painted too.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Why pulling Specialst Games is the wrong decision and how to "save" the "Hobby"


Let me vent first then I will begin my logical discussion on how I believe, despite any immediate financial sense it may make, closing the doors and pulling all support (except Blood Bowl I believe) for Specialist Games is a TERRIBLE IDEA. My complaint is I did not hear or see any formal anouncement, nor receive a newsletter stating this. No, I find out through the blogosphere (BoLS). Now, I am looking at making some last minute purchases before things go away and they are already not available. Now part of my collection is incomplete and possibly ruined. And if they were keep that little of inventory on many of these products to begin with, I don't see how maintianing SG was a waste of money. But I am just more pissed that I can't get what I need now that I know it will be gone and GW didn't have the guts to tell me themselves.


Okay, first you should all know I have a long LONG history of advocating Specialist Games. See the following links to previous blog posts if you'd like. If you don't care to read them in their entirety (though I hope someone from GW does) then rest assured, I am going to make several of the points again here.
Nov, 2012 "The problem with the Hobbit"
Sep, 2012 "Dark Vengeance, Chaos and Necromunda... OH MY!"
Aug, 2010 "Why I think Specialist Games need more support"
Aug, 2010 "Why I think Specialist Games need more support PART TWO"
Sep, 2009 "Wishlist: What I'd like to see GW make/do"- see bullet 5
Apr, 2009 "BFG Fanatic: My Lego Lunar Class Cruiser"

Let me now re-begin by saying I don't know the full story behind GW financials right now. I don't know why their CEO stepped down or the full consequences of their ongoing legal battles. What I do know though is they are doing a bang up job of giving their already roughshod reputation a black eye.

Now why do I say they have a roughshod reputation. Well, their hobbyists have for a long time now had a very love-hate relationship with GW, and every year it seems to become more and more polarizing. A large part of this is price driven. But alot of it comes down to other decisions made over the years (in no particular order)
1- Killing SG and GW forums
2- Revamping the website to just be a store
3- Removing bits
4- Shutting down fan projects
5- Prohibbiting online sales by 3rd party stores
6- Shutting down your bitz/sprue sales, which have thankfully come back somewhat but in such a limited way, it really doesn't support a "Hobby" of miniatures
7- Making WD a catalog and killing Black Gobbo

I probably could go on but I don't think there is much need to. Really the point is that GW has made clear moves over the years to make itself the supplier of a product rather than a hobby, and that is really what it should be about, and if that is what is is about, then the money will flow as players will stay engaged for years and years.

So how does this tie into Specialist Games. Well as I have said in the past, Specialist Games are of the GW brand, whereas LotR is not. I would love to see the Hobbit sales figures, but I imagine they are not nearly what the initial LotR figures were and are not what GW hoped for. And I also imagine that it is a very expensive license to maintain AND competes with their own fantasy line. My point is that Specialist Games can be a tool to make a complete hobby, and are the inspiration for much of what is currently in the game, such as Titans and Gargants. Or they are the inspiration for many of your beloved BL novels, drawing on elements like Arbites, Battlefleets, Hive Cities, and the Inquisition. They can be tools to enhance your own brand, the Warhammer and 40k universes. These diverse and wonderful worlds that are yours to do with as you like, and fortunately this to me is the one place you have a fairly good track record and probably thanks in large to Black Library and the enthusiastic and passionate authors over there.

What you need to realise is those Authors and your game developers and much like the hobbyists out here. They are passionate about Warhammer. I don't see many LotR blogs out there, nor coverage by the major blogs like BoLS. Warhammer Ancients had more events at Adepticon this year (although smaller, I am sure) than LotR, and there were several other SG events there as well. My point once again being that Warhammer is YOUR BRAND. Support it and you will see it grow and blossom. You are not a Video Game company. You should not be looking for the quick sell. It should all be about the long term commitment. It takes people YEARS to collect, build and paint their armies and terrain. Keep that in mind and keep their interest in your hobby.

What getting rid of Specialist Games says to me and everyone else out on the internet is that the hobby doesn't matter. There is the 3 pillars and the money they generate, and that is all. And I get it, you are a business. You need to make money. BUT you sell a lifestyle, a commitment, not just a box of plastic. Specialist Games were the embodiment of that. They were the flare in the relationship of a veteran. And not only that, I would say that every SG game I have played has better fundamental rules as a game than your flagship games. They are more advanced yes, but as a whole, just well written, thought out games with some of the most characterful and/or iconic minis of the universe.

Take this image for instance:
Most people probably couldn't tell you that was the lid to the BFG box set. BUT they instantly know that that is 40k, even though a Lunar Class cruiser never appears on their table. It just is one of the single greatest and iconic images of the 40k universe.

So to me, killing SG is just another step in killing the hobby of warhammer. It is diminishing your own brand, when it should be enhancing it. Now other companies have the opportunity to grow.

How do you do that. Well my thoughts are as follows
1- Encourage certain fan projects. Thank you for doing this with Lord Inquisitor. Ultramarines was obviously made for a quick buck and I think you had Dan Abnett just slap together a rough draft and hired some graduates of ITT Tech to make the film. But that just makes you look BAD. You want quality to attract and hold attention. If you are going to make a movie, don't half ass it. Same with a video game (Nokia N-Gage).
2- Allow companies like chapter house studios to exist. Don't worry, we won't swich off buying you products, but enhancing your products with outside bitz only diversifies my force and makes it more fun to collect. The average player can only do so much with the Space Marine parts provided and a limited budget and skill. But having an easy way to make their force more appealing to them encourages them to stick with the game. Think of it like after market add ons for a car. I still bought your car, I am just now enhancing it.
3- Support and tie in your specialist games. The reason you see no sales is because no one is told or knows about these games. And many of them are highly unique and there are several new popular games with the same premise that probably couldn't have even have survived had you not left the gap for them. Would people play Dystopian Wars if BFG had been huge? Would Dreadball have taken off if BB was popular? Would Flames of War been as great a success if Epic was still big? Maybe so (and most likely with Flames, WWII has its own appeal I will admit) BUT there is obviously a market for these types of games.  And you could excusibly slow down main releases to a more affordable rate by filling the void with small limited SG releases (even shifting old metal models to finecast).  As for possibly "saving" specialist games, why not endorse player run comittees or leagues to keep the rules and game fresh. As for the models, switch over to finecast. Keep an article about each different game in WD.
4- More industry presence. I know Privateer Press and Malifaux show up at third party cons and such and support their brand. Why does GW not do this. It would be like Nintendo not showing up at E3 or Marvel skipping Comic-con because they feel they are too good for it. You are still the big kid on the block, but that doesn't mean you are above everyone else. Yes, it isn't the GW fest that gamesday was, but that was minimized because it cost too much and wasn't profitable. But these cons are obviously able to make money, and the risk is minimized because some one else is running them. I am sure they would KILL to have a GW/FW booth and a 'eavy Metal painter and BL author show up. Maybe use events like this to announce new products or releases, or premiere a trailer for the next IA volume or codex.
5- Tournament support. I am not even really a tournament player but saying "OUR GAME IS FOR THE NARRATIVE PLAY- BLEH!" is ignoring a large part of the player base. Actively acknowledging and supporting tournament circuits, possibly as a tie in for number 4 above, would be seen as a sign that you care about your players rather than just their money.
6- Dump LotR already. It may be a gateway drug, but I think that if you really pump up your own brand, that it is uneeded. Black Library and video games are your real gateway into the hobby these days anyway. And while there are people that get into the hobby via LotR, possibly pictching Necromunda as a $50 commitement and you are playing a mini-version of 40k would be just as succcessful. Once they get a taste of the mechanics, and a deep fascination with the fluff of YOUR BRAND they will likely bite on 40k. Do the same with Mordhiem for fantasy. Heck, even make they use the same minis for the most part, maybe except for a character here and there or a small faction or two.
7- Make your website a site for the hobby, not just a store. You see how popular the blogs out here are. You may have a little blog on your site, but it is really meh. Even older WD how to paint and convert guides would be great.

And finally SELL A HOBBY. The whole kit and caboodle. Make people want to convert and expand and collect, even if that means having to allow them get a little help from elsewhere. They still need to buy your product to add those parts. I am doing a sanguinary terminator conversion because of Chapterhouse preheresy shoulder pads and eagle shields. I spent like $20 on Chapterhouse. I then bought an assault terminator squad and sanguinary guard squad and some grey knight terminator heads. That is two boxed sets from you and then parts from another boxed set that someone else had to buy from you. That is $133 in your pocket because I bought $20 of stuff from another company. Had I not been able to get those pads or shields, I would have been happy with the 5 plain assault terminators I had and never spent the money.

Support our creativity, don't push it away. Participate alongside us. Maybe a 'eavy Metal Vlog and tutorial videos online on cool projects or ideas. Interviews with the winners of Golden Daemons. COOL STUFF. Make me excited. And make me excited about your universe and all the games in it. Once upon a time all those games did well. They can sell. But you have to SELL them to me to make them sell. Letting them sit upon the warehouse shelf doesn't do that. And they may not be the best profit margins or your games, but they keep me loyal and playing more, and likely will do that long enough for a new army, revised codex, cool expansion or new edition to come out and then I, the veteran, jump right back into the main core game.

If you read all that, bravo. I am sorry it is so long. I just had to get this off my chest (again). Very stream of consciousness, so if I wandered or lost you at times, I apologize. I just hope someone from GW reads this. If all I do is make at least one person there fo "hmm" and care just that much more about the hobby in general, even without change, I will be happy.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Opinion: The state of Codicies (PART TWO) Allied Supplements

So in part one I discussed what I feel should be the core codicies of the game and the direction they can and should go and the new lease on life that 6th ed gives the game in this aspect.

Part two is where things really should start to get interesting. As I have said before (part one and other posts, particularly on chaos) I believe the core codicies should be really well defined and have a clear image/theme. This is largely due to the advent of Allies. Codex writers should not have to include everything and the kitched sink, as you can now draw from elsewhere the required elements to make a unique theme or divergent force.

The key, to me at least and somewhat consistent with persistent rumours since the advent of 6th ed is mini-dexes/supplements. To me this is a great opportunity for rules and limited model ranges (ie 1-3 kits). This is also the perfect chance to create rules for forces that are contained within a larger core codex, but are still distinct in the fluff- an example being something like a Rough Rider Company or a full Harlequin Troupe.

The goal behind mindexes should be one of 3 things
1. Incorporate a cool faction from the fluff as allies
2. Make a cool minor faction from the fluff as your main force and supplement them with a related main codex
3. Create an entire force from the minidex, using armywide special rules to influence related allies from a main codex to thematically form one force (IE Minidex SM chapters with SM allies, all affected by the rules of the minidex force, or at least thematically connected to them).

This allows players wider access to thematic and fluffy armies, and really "drives the narrative" as GW wants us to do. A more diverse game is never bad IMO and just lets players really explore list composition and create unique forces both in terms of theme and composition.

Deathwatch- While I suggested in part one that they be included in an iquisitorial codex, as of right now they aren't. As well, they are too divergent IMOHO to be included in the SM codex, but not different enough in terms of play style to warrant their own separate codex. As well, they are more often than even grey knights deployed in small teams (ie Kill Teams). A minidex covering librarians and captains for HQ, a dreadnought Elite, Kill Team troops, and something cool to represent black shields maybe.

Black Templars- While a current codex, if part one was followed, OR if they don't get an update, then I think they are a perfect candidate for an allied supplement. Take alot of the current codex and just give it a face lift for 6th. EC, some special Characters with Chapter Tactics, and BT crusading squads with Brothers and Neophytes mixed. The rest is pretty much standard SM, affected by Chapter Tactics.

White Scars- A first founding chapter that I think is fluffy enough, unique enough for a few kits or upgrade sprues, and different enough to deserve more than just a character in the SM codex. Obviously some bike troop squads, chapter tactics characters, and land speeders applenty. I also think some sort of Jetbike would be nice.

Exorcists- Really, more likely to be done by Forgeworld, but I think this is a super awesome, fluffy chapter that is extremely divergent and would be great to see some characters, unique daemonhunting squads and daemonhosts associated with them brought into a minidex.

Catachans (Deathworlds)- A deathworld version of IG would be better seperated from the main IG codex in my opinion, leaving the IG codex to focus on mass infantry or armoured formations. Much like the 3rd edition catachans.

Arbites- These are a huge presence in the fluff, and definately an important Imperial faction, but not large or diverse enough for a full codex. Judeges, an arbites psyker, Arbite enforcer squads, riot suppresion squads and some unique transports could make a decent force to supplement other imperial armies or be supplemented by IG to represent PDF or fill out an entire Arbite precinct.

Rouge Traders- This is wide open and has alot of potential for alot of weird units and wargear. Rouge Traders, family rentinues, household guard, armsmen, explorator tech priests.

Squats- Who doesn't want these guys to come back? I am not even sure what their mindex would be like, but there is so much potential in terms of fluff, modeling and rules.

Rough Riders Co- A minidex with a complete overhaul of the IG FOC, horses for every slot (horse drawn artillery?), and possibilities for a revamped Rough Rider range. Not too much required for kits.

Storm Trooper Co- Similar to the RR Co, but this time Storm troopers and associated vehicles (Valkyries, Vultures) in everyslot. Plastic stormtroopers would be nice as well.

Hrud- Allies with Chaos likely. This minor race has been in the fluff for along time and have even been attempted using WHFB skaven by enthusiatic hobbyists. Really has potential for a finecast HQ or two and 1-2 kits and some unique rules.

Kroot Mercenaries- Make it more like the 3rd ed list that was chapter approved. Just a wider diversity of choices than in the tau codex, as well as genetic upgrades and more wargear. Also a great way to improve the botched Kroot in the current Tau codex.

Harlequins- A great chance to really expand upon some of the coolest fluff in the game, and represent a full troupe rather than just have them be a footnote in the Eldar codex. Venoms, Jetbikes, Death Jesters, and most importantly of all: The Solitaire...

Exodites- Another cool possibility for Eldar. A way to really incorporate some more cavalry and flying MC into the game, and some great fluff and modeling opportunities.

Genestealer Cults- A chance for Allies for the Tyranids and an ability to xenos up IG convicingly. Patriarch, Purestrains, Hybrid cultists and I am sure there are other budding opportunities to do so here.

I am sure there is much more potential for minidexes/allied supplements.