Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Necromunda 40K?

If you haven't already gotten to take a look at the new Battle Missions book, go to your local store and flip right to the back, there you will find the "special missions". Disregard Linebreaker, and quietly laugh as you realize Vect would dominate Clash of Heroes, then when you read Kill Team, marvel in the simplicity and read it again.

The long and short is you have 200 points to build an army list with 0-1 elite, 0-2 troops, 0-1 fast attack. Then you jam a 4x4 table full of terrain and play a game, the catch is each model functions individually, not as a unit. So the heavy weapon guy can stand still and fire while the special weapon guy moves forward. The almost required optional rule allows you to 'upgrade' 3 models to specialists, and each can take one USR from the main book, with the exception that no model may have the same USR, and no model may be upgraded more than once.

I'd say that the Kill Team mission has gotten the most praise from anyone I've shown the book to, and many have come to the same conclusion I have. We could play this like Necromunda!

For those of you unfamiliar with Necromunda, or my favorite GorkaMorka. These games are based upon the Warhammer 40K universe and instead of a whole army, you take control of a gang of models. A gang can normally be between 5-10 models depending on the system. Both have rules for campaigns that allow you to upgrade your gangs and have them grow as you fight battles, it's actually the encouraged way to play.

Both are great systems, but they just don't quite get the following from people that they deserve. I think this stems from two problems. First the rules are based on the old second edition rules, so they are a bit more complex and foreign, in that somehow familiar sort of way. The compounds rules confusion when you switch back and forth between systems. The other reason is that for the most parts, both games happen outside of the normal 40K metagame involving the basic races. So you can't use your masterfully painted Firedragons, or your magnetized Rhino. People don't want to have to buy new models, that are metal, and special order for one little game. Because of this alot of people that are introduced to the game have a hard time commiting to it. I was definitely that way at first, but was slowly won over by GorkaMorka, and then Necromunda somewhat as well.

So that leads us back to the Kill Team rules. They aren't much in terms of objectives or anything, but they definitely give us a way to play games at small squad based levels. So now all we need to do is add a way to track a campaign. I think from an army perspective this will give you a great reason to stop and convert/paint up that rank and file troopers to look like specialists, while having a blast as well.

I haven't gone searching to see if anyone has done it yet, but I suspect there will be many out there in a short amount of time. I plan on adding my own interpretation to that list with some playtesting and tweaking at the local club over the course of the spring and summer. So keep an eye out, I'll post test rules as I finish them.

My first thought is, someone will come out with a Necromunda type ruleset in the next couple months and I can just change it from there. Then I realized, school is almost done, and there isn't much lined up for the summer at the club, so why don't I run some test games with a couple guys at the club and cook up the rules my

Monday, March 22, 2010

Project Log: Silver Tower of Tzeentch

As promised, here are some pictures of my version of the Silver Tower of Tzeentch. It's still in progress, but I'm liking the look so far. The stompa on the left and the Fire Prism on the right give some idea of size. Without any type of base yet, from bottom to top of the crystal is slightly more than 12".

When I scrapped my original idea, I sat down and was talking to my girlfriend about what I wanted to do with it. The comment was made that I'd like to use some sort of twisting tentacles to maybe hold up the center gem. She then had the idea to use masking tape to make twisting tentacles up the sides of the building. This was then incorporated to look like they are thrusting out of the ground.

After a visit to the local game store, I managed a good score with the tyranid bit that is currently holding the crystal, and it got incorporated in. A few left over spikes from some Chaos Terminator Lord kits, and a Possessed kit helped to adorn the top, and some of the many tentacles and spikes left over from the Chaos Spawn kit work around the bottom.

I still want to get some Tzeentch symbols on there, and will likely be doing some more scratch work for those. But for right now it's going to look pretty as is on the shelf until school is done in a month.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

image courtesy of Riders of the Cosmic Serpent

So I'm organizing another Apocalypse battle this Sunday at the local club. Everyone had a blast last time, which was about 8 months ago, we saw lots of formations but we only had a couple big guns. Just one Baneblade and one Phantom Titan, pictured above. The titan ended up deciding the game fairly early by destroying to objective bunkers that had become over run with genestealers with no chance or getting them out.

This time it's been requested that I play as well, so the original plan was to scratch build a Raven and join in . . . that is until a dirty ork mek procured my bits to build her Big Mek Stompa. So I went to my fallback, my Thousand Sons/Emperor's Children chaos marines. I switch my scratch build planning over to two ideas, Silver Tower of Tzeentch, and Slaanesh Subjugator, each of which would be accompanied by the associated Warband formation.

The Subjugator idea kinda fell flat, I just haven't decided how I want it to look, I just haven't been struck with the right inspiration yet. So the Subjugator is out, and will be replaced by a Doomsday Device, mostly because I just love the idea of it.

The Silver Tower was looking equally bad for a while(mostly from intimidation from the pair on Warseer). I finally decided I was going to build a 9 sided mages tower with 3 levels, allowing a parapet that I could put sorcerors on and a large all seeing eye at the top to represent to main weapon. However, once I started cutting foamcore to build the basic structure for the first level it became apparent that I have over calculated my size, it was going to be gigantic and unwieldy. So I tried to salvage it, after shedding a third of the sides, I had it to a decent enough size and slope to make a good tower.

With a little more work it should be playable for tommorow, and I'll finish the project after that. Expect pics after Sunday I'll get the Tower for sure, as well as much other fun stuff as I can.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dark Eldar this year?

So I'm not normally a rumor guy, but this one hits close to home. By way of the Dark Eldar Kabal, via Dice Like Thunder there is a small rumor that has started that Dark Eldar will be the next codex after Blood Angels, with a slated release of October.

Now I haven't listened to the Dice Like Thunder webcast yet, but just off the top, it doesn't sound outrageous to slate in the next 40K release for October. General consensus is that the new Fantasy mainbook should be coming in the summer. If you think about it, a June/July release of the Fantasy book, with a release of one or more Fantasy armybooks (Tomb Kings and Ogres are supposed to be upcoming) means we'll probably see only a minor 40 release in the summer (the already announced WD supplement Spearhead and some tanks kits?) that means that fall will likely be the next codex release.

So an October release sounds about right, but Dark Eldar? really we all know that it's not going to be believed until we see some official pictures from GW. Even then, it's gonna take quite a bit of information from GW other than a short incoming article, we all know the whole 'working on Dark Eldar' podcast incident from a few years ago.

Followup: So I got a chance to listen to the Dice Like Thunder podcast, a good podcast to check out if you haven't. As far as the Dark Eldar rumors go, it's very light, as to be expected, it's very early. A few tidbits sound exciting, but as always assume it's mis-interpretted and the rules aren't as good as they sound, assume the worst case of it.

We will get use of deep strike with modified rules. Reavers will hit and run and cause a wound when disengaging. If a model is removed from the disengage wound, then while moving flat out they can perform a bombing run dropping the removed model anywhere along that 24" line, similar to swooping hawks it sounds but only a small blast. If these get moved to troops somehow, this will make the Saim-Hann lists cry.

There will be an upgrade special character with a Haemonculi retinue, who will enslave models he sweeps in combat. Haemonculi retinues? Are you kidding, I'll be happy with this and this alone especially if they keep the destructors similar to the way they are.

Apparently some units will have the ability to turn kills into USRs, could be very interesting.

Talos will become an actual walker with an AV value, with glances being -3, and pens being -2. Depending on the AV, which would be great as 12, but I'd love to see them be 13. If they get some sort of upgrade to ignore or reduce stuns to shaken, they will be very tough to deal with.

Battle Missions

So I finally got my hands on the battle missions book. Overall I was pleased, the mission setup maps were great. They did a great job of showing the basic setup with a very easy and consistent theme.

The missions were pretty decent, they did a good job at giving some interesting twists to the objectives, nothing terribly groundbreaking, mostly this was accomplished by giving special rules to one army or another. In most cases it the army got Stubborn, or a Without Number in some form or another.

I liked the newly re-invented Slave Raid mission for the Dark Eldar, basically everytime you win an assault, or sweep an enemy you gain one slave. However both players gain this advantage, so it's basically a modified kill point mission. HQs you capture are worth a D6 slave points at the end of the game.

The one Dark Eldar mission I wasn't fond of was the Feigning Retreat. You basically divide the table in three width wise, one section on the short table end is the enemies deployment, then the Dark Eldar gets to setup 2 units in the center section (and yes a transport counts as 1) and the rest of the army deploys in the third section on the opposite short table edge. The idea is that the enemy is going to pursue you into your trap. The reality is they get extra turns to shoot at raiders.

I think my favorite mission was the new combat patrol. I don't see this being used as a normal mission, but I do see it spawning a new type of gaming style. Basically with 200 or 500 points, players can have 0-1 elite, or fast choice, 0-3 troops. From there each model functions independantly. This ingtrigues me quite a bit, it almost reminds me of a starting for a system like Necromunda, or GorkaMorka with your existing 40K armies. I might toy with some further test rules.

Overall, I think the missions will be more for casual play because of the variety of special rules and advantages, but we'll see how it works in a tournament setting. My girlfriend is going to try and run some of the Battle Missions at the club tournament in April.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Discouraged but still playing

Fair warning, this will get fairly rantish.

So I haven't posted for a while, not that I'm the most active poster in the world, but I was trying to make sure I got atleast a post every ten days. The biggest reaston for the lack of updates? Blood Angels

I'm sure everyone has heard all the rumors, and if they are all to be trusted Blood Angels will be gods . . . but we know it's a load and they won't be that bad.

But the one thing that has gotten me quite discouraged is the rumored lander. Forget the dread capacity or the weapon loadout, I'm betting those are misunderstandings or expensive upgrades, the part that bothers me is the fact that this marine chapter will get all the advantages of having a Dark Eldar Raider, without the disadvantage of being open topped, or AV 10.

This one of the things that really get my goat about 40K, GW continually tries to make the marines everything that every other race is, and then people wonder why all the best lists are anti-marine lists. Everything your race can do a marine somewhere can do better. I suppose we should all be used to it by now.

It's left a sour taste in my mouth for my Dark Eldar, and that combined with some repainting means they haven't even been pulled out the last couple weeks. But next week brings the clubs Apocalypse tournament, and I'm thinking that's what I'll bring but my Chaos force has been doing well too.

Gimme some opinions, is it just me as a vet or is the marine thing getting to be too much?