Saturday, January 23, 2016

Blood Angels Characters: Photo Dump 2

I recently took a bunch of pictures to use in Spikey Bits articles. I have shown these models off before, but I have better equipment (a foldio) for picture taking now, so I used it to get some nice shots. Figured I'd put them up here too.

Photo Dump 1 is here.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Blood Angels Characters: Photo Dump 1

I recently took a bunch of pictures to use in Spikey Bits articles. I have shown these models off before, but I have better equipment (a foldio) for picture taking now, so I used it to get some nice shots. Figured I'd put them up here too.

I'll post some more later. Have to crop some photos.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

WIPs from Wednesday: Conversions! Termie Capt, Chaplain and Contemptor, oh my!

Just some quick WIP updates

Fist off my contemptor repose. This is from the B@C kit obvisouly. I reposed only one leg as to appear he is climbing up him base. I then magnetized his gun arm and his magna-grapple. The magna-grapple needed a little bit of conversion work to work, but I think it turned out pretty great in the end. The brass is just FW brass etch added for some BA flair.

Next up is my Terminator Captain. This guy is inspired by a Dark Angel captain I saw in a WD years ago. I don't really like the Captain Karlean model, so this is going to be my Karlean (with a TH & SS). This conversion has GK legs and Marneus Calgar's body. I had to sculpt some parts of his cape.

Finally my converted Kurtha Sedd. Turning him into an ACTUAL BA Chaplain. I like using Chaos MK V heads as skull helms, and so I just did a simple head swap and then added a rosarius to his chest.

I hope to have the Terminator Captain done by Saturday and then I think I will work on some Necromunda actually. Expect to see a painted Contemptor some time in FEB, and definitely before the end of march. I need him for Adepticon.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Custom Blood Angels Assault Terrminators! Completed for the 500TH SEPULCHRE POST!!!!

So this post is my 500th post on Sepulchre of Heroes. I thought long and hard about what to deliver (to the point I have delayed posts over a week), but in the end I settled on just sharing beautiful models with you all!!! These guys will be going to Adepticon 2016, so you can see them in person there!

These Terminators are converted using normal Assault Terminators, Sanguinary Guard Torsos, Grey Knight Terminator Heads, and shoulder pads and shields from Chapter House Studios.

If you enjoy them, and my other content, please support the next 500 posts on Sepulchre by giving us a like on Facebook, Google+ or joining the site all over there in the inner right hand column -->

Now for Terminators!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The physics (or lack there of) of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Starkiller Base and the Solo Maneuver)

So I wanted to take a moment to talk about some of the physics of Star Wars Force Awakens and their greater ramifications on the greater Star Wars Universe.
A few Disclaimers
1- Spoilers for the movie ahead, so if you haven't seen it, stop reading and come back after you do (go ahead and join us/follow us on facebook or twitter!)
2- The movie is AMAZING. Anytime here that I say that "Star Wars is ruined" I don't mean it literally.
3- I am not guaranteeing full accuracy of this. I do this just because I am really nerdy and think about these things...
4- And before you go "This guy doesn't know anything," or "I know physics better", I'll just say I have  BS in Engineering and I am currently enrolled in a Physics masters program, so I have a pretty good grasp of this.
5- And before you criticize anyway, just because you follow Neil Degrasse Tyson on Twitter and IFLScience on Facebook, you are not the expert you think you are.

Okay with that out of the way...

Starkiller base is lame compared to the Death Star and Han's Hyperspace Shield Maneuver RUINED STAR WARS!!!

So before I get to the ruination of all that we love and hold dear in the Star Wars universe (space ships going PEW PEW PEW. I assume that is your favourite part and that you are an X-Wing or Armada player because this is a Wargaming Blog), I want to cover how the Death Star and Death Star II are FAR more powerful Battlestations than Starkiller Base EVER COULD HAVE BEEN.

First of all, let me tell you how powerful the Death Star is. Now this is just the first Death Star. The second one was far more powerful and able to charge in a matter of minutes rather than hours, but since we never see it destroy a planet (except Endor with its falling debris and radioactive fallout. Ewok Apocalypse/Genocide), we aren't going to compare it.

To destroy a planet like Alderaan (at the rate of about 5% the speed of light), which will will assume to be approximately the same as Earth, it would require in the ball park of 2.25x10^32 Joules (2.25x10^20 TJ, or 2.25x10^8 Yottajoules. 1 Yottajoule is 1 SEPTILLION Joules). Source 1, Source 2, Source 3. It would take A BILLION TRILLION AMERICAS to match. Or rather 592105 times MORE ENERGY than the sun puts out EVERY SECOND (3.8x10^26 Joules, or 380 Yottajoules). And remember the Death Star delivered that amount of Energy in approximately 1 second (watch for yourself). So we can assume the Death Star is ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE more powerful than the sun, which is a rather common star as far as stars go.
SO this brings me to Starkiller base. So first let us just discard the following
1- Since it was SO CLOSE to that Star in TFA, and its snow wasn't even melting, that would have to be a near dead red dwarf or something incredibly weak or small. BUT for arguments sake we are going to say it is about the same as the sun and Starkiller base just has a shield with SPF 14 million. And just forget about the gravitational effects...
2- The "laser" it fires is a "hyperspace" weapon? What does that mean? Are you making light travel faster than the speed of light (with nothing propel it?) IDK what that means. Seems like something JJ Abrams just wanted to say to make it sound more dangerous. BUT we will roll with it.

SO since we know the Death Star is BY FAR more powerful than the Sun, how is a Battlestation that uses only the power of a single star suppossed to be stronger? And how is that single star suppossed to provide enough energy to destroy not one, but like 6 or 7 planets at once like we see in the movie. Even if that was only one planet with multiple moons, the total mass would be at least double, if not more, than that of Alderaan's mass.

So the only argument I have is that Starkiller base is essentially able to burn through about 5 billion years worth of Star fuel in a matter of minutes. EVEN IF this was what happened, that would take us up to just shy of 6x10^43 Joules. That would be 2.67x10^11 times the amount of energy that the Death Star released.
HOWEVER we know from the film that this is not what happened.
1- That wasn't a laser, but rather a projection of matter. It was not pure energy, as well see it and it moved rather slowly (weird for a hyperspace weapon)
2- The amount of energy lost to traveling at hyperspace (BECAUSE IT IS A HYPERSPACE WEAPON) and heat loss would be tremendous
3- When Starkiller base exploded, a new star blooms, meaning most of the matter is still able to sustain nuclear fusion and fission. As well it did not collapse into a super dense Neutron Star or Black Hole, suggesting that the reactor of Starkiller base was really just propagating and continuing the reaction of the star, rather than causing it to go supernova or the like.
SO All told, there is no way that it is up to 10^43. It is probably around 10^26, based mostly on the fact that the star is still there afterwards. This is still enough to destroy a planet, but not like Alderaan. More like the laser from Independence day, but on a global scale. Plus, we didn't see the Hosnian system blow up into really really small rocks did we? Just a huge rolling ball of fire across the surface right? So I think they are now just lifeless husks... barren rocks orbiting their star.

BUT you don't even need a Death Star anymore! HYPERDRIVES ARE ALL YOU NEED!!!

Now that Han showed us you can get through a shield at light speed because of their fractional refresh rate, all fighting is Star Wars is rendered NULL AND VOID.

Now maybe Han was the only person to know this, but that is very UNLIKELY. Well for one, Chewie and Finn now know. And second of all, he talks about shields and modifications to the Falcon alot. Chances are he had to learn all this stuff, in theory and practicality. And even if he was the first to put this idea together, someone else will. I mean you have super smart engineers building death stars and exceeding the speed of light and the like, they can figure this out too. Maybe Han learned this in his time at the Academy. Maybe this is Lando's manuever from "The Battle of Tanab". It doesn't matter. The point is OTHERS WILL KNOW THIS ALREADY OR FIGURE IT OUT SHORTLY. Especially in the mishap report review of the loss of Starkiller base under the section called "How the Hell did the Millenium Falcon get through our shield?"

Here is the deal though. We always see the space ships RAPIDLY slow down upon exiting the I mean hyperspace. BUT what if you didn't WANT to slow down? What if you wanted to stay at about 98% the speed of light? I imagine that this is possible just by the very fact that they can break the speed of light in Star Wars (Han Solo is the Chuck Yeager of a galaxy far, far away).

SO what do you do with this? Well, you calculate the kinetic energy that lets say, something like an Imperial Star Destroyer, would have. Now if we estimate the ISD at about 40,000,000 metric tons, propel it at .98c and calculate the Lorentz factor, we would get a T (Kinetic Energy) of about 1.45x10^28 Joules, which is more powerful than what I am arguing Starkiller base is and nearly as powerful as the Death Star. Start throwing bigger objects, and you get Death Star level forces.
Basically this except A LOT FASTER
Now my math may be off, it is midnight as I write this and I am just piddling around, not really being serious. But the concept is still sound. If you slam into objects at relatavistic velocities BAD THINGS HAPPEN. Alot of Kinetic Energy is imparted into the target.

Added benefits
-You can strike from ANYWHERE IN THE GALAXY
-You enemy cannot detect you
-You are moving too fast for anything to stop you even if it could
-There are no (known) defenses for this. If there are defenses for this, that is a pretty big risk Han took to get onto Starkiller. If they had blown up, what would the resistance have known about it? And what could they have done afterwards?

And this is completely scalable. Why not just have small droid star fighters do this trick against Star Destroyers of Mon Cal Cruisers? Hyperspace missiles essentially.

Or don't even slow down. Han basically says in Episode 4, while booting his nav-computer, that you can run into asteroids or supernovas while in hyperspace, so why not slam into objects at the speed of light or faster? Their shields can't stop you and you will annihilate them.

And that is how Star Wars is ruined. Everyone is essentially just flying around in Death Star level weapons like it ain't no thing. And future combat in star wars is pointless. Hyperspace missiles exist.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Embracing Change

"We fear change"
-Garth Algar
Today I am going to talk about something quintessential to the hobby. Change. And not just the Lord of Change (while awesome) but adapting to an ever changing environment.

I have been prompted by three things to write this article
1- The release of AoS and the death of WHFB. Additionally, listening to the last Episode of the Independent Characters podcast and some of the Long War webcasts/podcasts.

2- The recent release of Blood Bowl 2 and the concept of the NAF vs Cyanide, Additionally, listening to the AMAZING Podcast Pitch Invasion.

3- An escalation league that ran in my area and discussions with some players there, as well as my prep for Adepticon and own personal thoughts on the game of Warhammer 40k.

So first of all, the most important thing to any and all changes to keep in mind is that

That is some deep, thought provoking, Confucius level stuff right there, am I right?

So let me address each of my "provocations" in turn. And please bear with me, as this may be kinda James Joyce/Stream of Consciousness at times. As well, this may start off a little AoS centric, but trust me, it will be about 40k.
So the largest change in Warhammer EVER happened last summer. The Old World disappeared, seemingly forever, and it was replaced with Age of Sigmar. Now I am not going to pass judgement on the game here, as that is not the intention of this post. Needless to say it has stirred a lot of controversy and mixed emotions amongst the community, both love and hate. One person has even gone so far as to set their army on fire and share this to you tube for all the world to see. The thing is you must remember

Yes, I am sure for many people, there has been, and truly should be, a period of mourning.  If you don't know about it, there are 5 stages of loss
1- Denial
2- Anger
3- Bargaining
4- Depression
5- Acceptance
So the first stage I feel was mostly felt between the end of End Times and the release of AoS. Then the second stage came. And if the BoLS/Facebook comments are anything to go by, seems to be where A LOT of people are stuck. It is all right to be angry, but staying angry leads to no where. No one will want to play with you, you will stop having fun, and eventually be ignored and alone. It is how you handle moving past this anger into the next three stages that really matters. Now a ton of people however seem next to be stuck in the bargaining and depression stages.
"If only we had bought more Fantasy"
"I wish we had kept playing it in our stores"
"If only the rules had been better, we would have played more"
"I don't know what I am going to play now"
"I guess I'll just give up on wargaming"
If you haven't heard at least one of these, then you obviously don't go on the internet much...
As for bargaining and depression, I don't think you could really do the former in this case, but there sure are a lot of people STILL lamenting the loss of the Old World IRT the latter.
But the important thing is the last stage. Acceptance. This is where you have complete control and can dictate your reaction. For one, everyone must accept that GW has stopped supporting WHFB, however that does not mean it is dead. NO ONE has killed your game, you still have the models and still have the rules. Now it is for you to decide what to do next. You could
1- Continue to try and support your game of choice, WHFB. You can pick any edition you want and try and push the community towards continually running it. The models are still available after all.
2- You can play Age of Sigmar! The game may not be for you so you can either default back to 1 or
3- Try and use your models in a new game like Kings of War, or even 9th Age, the amazing community developed updated version of 8th Edition!
4- Realize that it was fun, but sometimes good things must come to an end. Sell your models and books and do something else. If you really need a massed combat game, may I suggest historical wargames? Your models will ALWAYS be valid, never change power to nerfs and buffs, and are adaptable for ANY RULE SET YOU CHOOSE!
And I am sure there are many more options, but those are some generalities. The point is that to complete the cycle of loss you need to move on.
Sometimes though, it isn't that you have lost what you love, but that what you love is just changing. And that leads me to some discussion on Blood Bowl. Blood Bowl has been abandoned by Games Workshop for some time now. It was last left with the "Living Rule Book 6" (which it is anything but Living) also know now as the "Competitive Rules Pack", a much more apt name IMO. Now this was the standard for a while, there were 24 teams and that was that. Then along came things like FUMBBL, the NTBB, and Blood Bowl the video game by Cyanide (which has the official license) and all of these made some changes. Most notably they each added a team to the game, Apes, Brettonians and Khorne Daemons respectively.
However there are a lot of players who think the game is in perfect stasis and that anything and everything anyone from the outside does will ruin it. For others it is that these teams don't feel right, should be done a different way, or just aren't needed in the meta. THERE ARE ALOT OF PEOPLE LIKE THIS. Particularly in the Facebook communities it seems. Essentially a group of people who don't want their cheese moved.
Now it is OKAY to hold these belief. It is NOT okay to tell other people they are wrong and cannot play with these rules or with new things if they choose too. Remember
See how this can start applying to any game?
These changes are going to happen and there are going to be people that embrace them with arms wide open. Either join them or continue doing your own thing. But don't oppose them!
EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN RIGHT TO HAVE FUN. Your right to play the game is not more important than theirs. Did your team change? Did the fundamental game change? Do they have a rule that specifically says "YOUR OPPONENT LOSES!" No? Then they are not ruining your fun. This is important to keep in mind by both sides of the equation though and someone shouldn't FORCE you to play against it if you don't want to, but a reasonable discussion should occur to ensure everyone has fun. However as the game changes and adapts, so to will the community as a whole. So you have the choice to grow with it or remain isolated. You may be able to remain isolated and play which ever version you want, which is your right, and no one is stopping you. But you must accept the fact that it is possible the main stream may move on and if you wish to rejoin it, you much embrace what has changed. This is especially true if it brings new players into the fold IMO.
To me this is where the NAF, the current player ran BB community, gets it wrong. They historically have not endorsed or allowed the 3 optional teams at tournaments or on their online team/league trackers. To me this is a mistake, as they are a community, not the keepers of the rules. They should be enabling the community out there that wants to use these rules to use them. They need to accept the fact that change has happened and they are not the ones that dictate the change or how the community should react to it. This is something that may be changing though, and if it is, that is good.
Furthermore, when BB2 dropped and there were rules changed from the original game, with no explanation to the community as to why, people FREAKED. However...
1- This a video game, not your BB on table top.
2- You don't have to buy it to play BB. BB1 still works.. and the tabletop version
3- We are not the license holders, and as such do not have control over what cyanide does, nor do they owe us an explanation. In kind, you can reply with how you spend your money or choose not to.
That last one is particularly important, as is perfectly demonstrates how you can control your reaction towards it.

Now this all leads me to 40k. 40k has come A VERY LONG WAY since 3rd edition when I started playing. I can't even imagine what it is like for all the RT era guys out there.
But I am going to mostly focus on 7th edition, and the changes in the design philosophies of late.
Namely formations, LoW and "Decurion" style detachments, as well as the fact that half way through 7th Edition they turned the speakers up to 11 on all of those things and left early 7th ed codicies in more of a 6.5 limbo.
Now I could rant and rave how these things are breaking the game. That is what my discussions with players at my local store essentially were IRT their escalation league. They had a ban list against ALL of them and LoW. Now I would understand doing this in a tournament. There are various rules, from ensuring everyone has a fair shot to simplifying the rules/tournament design to just playing what you like. You are the TO it is your right. But an escalation league and open store gaming is different. LoW for instance. I have a Typhon. Why? Because I LOVE THE MODEL. I forgot to mention a few of the guys also hate Flyers (which have been around for a while now...) and I also have a Fire Raptor, once more because I LOVE THE MODEL.

So essentially these guys are dictating what toys I can play with and what fun I can have in what is supposed to be an environment to grow the hobby. As well, they are refusing to change, essentially stuck in the denial stage over the loss of not 6th edition, but 5th edition. What they are failing to realize is...
So instead of dictating how fun is to be had, and who can have fun, they should realize the game has changed and grow with it. If they want to still play "Old School" they can by having a reasonable discussion with the other party "Hey, we can use the LoW and Flyers this week, but next time do you think we can play a Classic Game. Old school FoC, no flyers". "Why of course man, sounds fun." This comes off alot better than "Nana nana boo-boo. No Souper Heavies for you!"
This leads me to my initial struggle with Formations myself and my current plight as a Blood Angel player. I at first rejected them. Yes, I went against what this article is talking about. But then I realized that I have no control over it. SO I began accepting them. Do I use them? No, but I will never ever EVER begrudge someone else doing so. I also suffer from a lack of decent ones, as BA was released before GW decided to ELECTRIFY 7th ed. with Decurions and Free Tank Gladius SF and super awesome formations like the Skyhammer Annihilation Force

Now do I think they are the best for the game? I will maintain a no on that still. I hope they eventually go the way of the dodo. I think personally they stiffle creativity in list building and make people more obsessed with gimmicks than gameplay. Even I have written a couple of lists with this gimmick mentality in mind (the Gladius SF using Vale was my discovery).

BUT I accept that these are part of the game right now and that to participate in the hobby, I need to be willing to at least face them. After all, my opponent using them finds them fun. It is not my place to tell them they are wrong.