Monday, September 20, 2010

How 5th is killing 5th

So we're a few years into 5th edition now and we've had a few new books come out since. As every book comes out, it seems like the whole world changes, though. Codex creep has been overtaken by codex leap-frog. When the new rules, aside from Necrons who got beaten in the face by the new rules, IG who were killed by Kill Points and Tau, who had to re-learn how to play as shooting lost some effectiveness, everyone was pretty much on even footing. Then the books came and things took a tragic turn.

First was Space Marines, who almost look more like a 4th ed codex then a 5th one. They brought cheap transports which helped shift the game toward a more mechanized heavy game. They weren't too overpowered, though the older books did have to adjust to them. All in all though they were largely the same army, but needed to bring more marines to do the same thing for some reason.

After that came IG and there's where things start to break down. They fixed the issues they had with overpriced weapons and way too many Kill Points by making their weapons insanely cheap and allowing them to bring an entire motorpool at 1500 points. Then the damn list that I refuse to name (but it was named after a yard tool used often in the fall) and the world came to an end. IG became the instant-win army and people were pissed. People refused to play against IG because they expect that list. Add to it people exploiting the allies rules and you had something that really screwed people up and older books that had to really reach for an answer.

Space Wolves. Honestly I think Wolves are pretty balanced, too. They have great abilities, but pay for them (except for Jaws of the World Wolf, but they needed something insane, right?) They did some things right, but you get the first taste of Space Marine+ here. They do more then regular Marines at a better price. They did step up things but no where near what IG did.

Then came Tyranids. This was a BALANCED army and the bug players flipped out. "you mean we aren't insanely overpowered like the IG are? NOT FAIR!" Followed by some moron somewhere going "Oh the Doom can attack stuff in transports...nevermind the fact that they made this up and NOTHING IN THE GAME can do that. We can now... because we say so" Then GW ended that for the few that thought that was up for grabs with a FAQ. Sure they were wrong in the Shadows in the Warp, but hey, I play Chaos Marines so be happy you have some sort of anti-psyker. They got some beastly monsters, but have almost no invulnerable saves so that's balanced I think. What do you know? GW still remembered how to make something balanced.
They were followed by Blood Angels and again things were thrown into upheval. Now you can have FnP, Fearless, Furious Charge Marines in a fast skimmer assault vehicle that's melta-immune and oh yeah, it's carrying a DREADNOUGHT too! GW then came out with so many details on it and a beautiful model...wait... no they didn't. Now we have to figure out why that Land Raider is on a flying base. This is what Marines should be and I expect to see many a marine with a red paint job over its old blue one. They do everything better and often cheaper. When they're not cheaper, its for a very good reason. They aren't as bad as IG, but can still be broken pretty easily.
So now supposedly the Dark Eldar are on the way and with them, maybe we'll see another mostly balanced book, or something so disgusting it will make the guardsmen cry in their Chimeras. Or (just because it's GW) They'll get pushed back so an army that REALLY needs a book to become competative again (Necrons...Tau...). But if they do get pushed back it will probably be for Eldar or someone else that's holding their own in the new rules.
I look at the last few years of 5th edition and compare it to the recently released 8th edition Rockethammer. The day before the rules hit, everyone gets a FAq to bring some older books up to date and explain some of what doesn't work anymore. We have yet to see a new Armybook for the new rules yet so who knows if they'll be back to the old creep or launch something insane beyond all human comprehension but the next few months could be very interesting.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Empire begins

After lots of debating, I've decided on building a force to represent the League of Ostermark. My first army was Vampire Counts so it makes sense that my Empire army comes from the territory first attacked by the von Carsteins. Aside from me running Handgunners, which are considered an expensive unit for a poor region, my army plan fits the fluff pretty well, too. I want to bring lots of magic so choosing the home of what used to be Mordheim and its abundance of Wyrdstone makes sense. The army as planned represents Ostermark's last great army, sent to react to whatever threats come next to this battered region. I have just enough models for a 2000 point army as follows, so not only is it a decent start but I think will make a nice base to expand on later.

General of the Empire-Barded Warhorse, Armor of Destiny, Ogre Blade
Wizard Lord of Life-Talisman of Preservation
Captain-BSB, Armor of Meteoric Iron
Battle Wizard of Death-Lvl 2 upgrade

30 Swordsmen-FC, Wailing Banner (because I think terror causing state troops will be funny)
2X20 Handgunners-Marksman with Long Rifle
7 knights-FC

2X5 Pistoliers-Outrider with Repeater handgun

2 Great Cannons
Helblaster Volley gun

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Combat Report-1750 point 40K Tournament

Yesterday was the monthly 40k tournament at my local store. I brought my most capable and competative army, my Chaos Marines. My list was as follows:

2X Demon Prince, Mark of Nurgle, Wings, Warptime

4 Terminators including champ with twin Lightning claws, 2 combi meltas, 2 power fists, Mark of Nurgle

3X 7 Plague Marines including champ with Power Fist, 2 Melta guns, Rhino with Havoc Launcher

3 Obliterators

Defiler with Reaper autocannon and extra CC arm

There were 10 players which is a decent turnout for them. There were 4 CSM players, myself included. One was mostly Khorne, one brought Thousand Sons (my friend..and he left his Rhinos at home...he came in last place) My Nurgle and one with a very nice Alpha Legion army of undivided troops. There was also an IG player, two Tyranids, an Ork and two Space Marines. It was a three game tournament using the main rulebook scenarios.


The first game was a random match up so I got one of the bug players. It was a 5 objective game with Dawn of War deployment. His army had 2 Tervigons (1 HQ, 1 Troop) a few broods of little bugs, a Trigon, a shooty fex, a larger squad of Warriors with bone sword and lash whips and 2 units of one biovore each. I got to place 2 objectives, one left and one right near my board edge and he put his three in a line by his. I put a Rhino and one prince up my left flank poised to capture the objective in that corner and he put the HQ Tervigon and a brood of little bugs on the far right objective and his troop Tervigon near the center of the board. Turn 1 his troop Tervigon spit out a huge mob of bugs, but rolled doubles so it was done. He moved his Trygon in from the edge toward the far left objective. One biovore came in near the far right objective and everything else moved in near the center of the board. I rolled a rhino on my near right objective and parked it there for the game. My third Rhino came up on my near left objective and parked there for the game. The other prince advanced on my left to support the other one and the further Rhino. I needed this objective to win so I threw a lot at it. My Oblits came on in the center to have firing arcs across the board and the Defiler came up on my right to blast off his bugs on it. My advanced Rhino was destroyed by his shootyfex and the troops that came out eventually would fall to a combined assault by his Warriors. I dropped my Termies (who came in too early) near his HQ Tervigon to try and do some damage to it with my combi-meltas who missed. By the end of the game I had 2 untouched Plague Marine squads parked on my objectives, and he had the far right one held tight. The middle objective was the key. He had a small brood of little bugs near it and the Troop Tervigon just outside 3 inches. He's finishing his shooting and he ALMOST forgot to run it. Had that happened, I had a defiler ready to splatter the small squad and leave me with a 2 to 1 victory, but as is we tied. It was a good game.

The second match was against the impressive Alpha Legion player. He had 2 CSm squads in Rhinos, 2 lesser demon squads, an undivided prince, 2X2 Obliterator squads, a 5 man Termie squad, a dakka pred, some chosen with a melta gun and a bike squad. It was 2 objectives and spearhead. I put one Rhino on the objective with the Defiler and a Prince nearby while everything else went in the middle of my long table edge to push for his objective. He had a rhino, the dakka pred and one oblit squad on his objective and the other oblits across from my advance force. The rest was in reserve. Turn one, he popped one Rhino and the squad inside spent the rest of the game doing nothing. I pushed around the edge, hoping to hit his flank. He took some pot shots at the Defiler, blasting the cannon off. Then his reserves started coming in. He got the termies and a demon squad. The demons had to go near the only mark on his objective and the termies dropped near my guarding prince, but failing to hurt him with their shooting. Then I got my termies who scattered far enough from his objective that they'll be dead before doing much to it, but instead reduced the pred to a weaponless, immoblized hulk. By turn 5, his push with the reserve bikes and Rhino had stalled short of contesting and my advance Prince was sitting on his objective for a VICTORY! ...until I rolled to see if there would be a turn 6 and there was. He took the last wound off that Prince and i destroyed his advance. Not only do we both hold our own objectives, but we also had the same ammount of kill points for a full draw. Again a good game, and against a well-painted and converted army so it was extra fun.

Game three was against the other bug player. He had a Tervigon, a big block of Warriors, a few smaller bug broods, 2 Biovores in a single squad, 2 Hive Guard, a winged Hive Tyrant, Genestealers with a broodlord, a Mawloc and a Trigon. I finally got to go first for this, annihiliation with pitched deployment. I did what my army does best and castled up. My shooting turn 1 was decently effective, nuking the warriors to take out his synapse on that flank while shooting up one of the small bug groups that didn't run, but did end up lurking. I felt I was doing really well...until I realized half his army was still in reserve. He started bringing those on, having the Genestealers pop a Rhino and eat a prince eventually before dying to a squad of Plague Marines. Again my Termies came on a bit earlier then I'd have liked, but they did some damage before dying. We went to turn 6 and I was up by 2 points, but I had 2 that were mine the next turn. My prince was bearing down on the biovores and I had a full Plague squad against 4 little bugs, but again the dice said no and the game ended there. This was a great game and I really liked my opponent, too. He got my "favorite opponent" vote and ended up winning that prize.

I ended up in 4th place, which isn't too bad all things considered. I was a bit disapointed that twice the variable game length affected my turnout, but I love close games. It's no fun when I destroy my opponent and certinly no fun when he destroys me. As for sportsman, it was a 4 way tie, with me in the running and one vote to be cast. My first opponent was the deciding vote, but he had also played my third opponent, so I'm not surprised he got the vote at all. At the end of the day, I see it as 3 great games in a day so I had a good time.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Webcast rundown

Right on the heels of the Dice Like Thunder 100th show milestone, I decided the best way to add to the celebration is to do a rundown of the shows I listen to. Hobby webcasts are a great way to expose yourself to new opinions outside your circle of gamers. They also are great for people that don't get to game often as a way to stay in touch with the gaming community.

Dice Like Thunder- Well, there is a reason they've made 100 episodes. They're a fantastic show. They cover 40k mostly, but have been known to mention other games. The show has evolved through the years since "Miggidy" (yes, he's that geeky) Mack Martin, now of Fantasy Flight Games, started the show up in Chicago. Since then his co-host, "Tricky Dick" has taken over the day-to-day run of the show and with C-swizzy, Dan and the rest of their regulars have become the go-to show for "all things awesome"

Imperial Vox Cast- I actually discovered this show by accident and am glad I did. The California-based group does a live broadcast every other Monday, that is later posted for download. Listening to their archive is well worth it as they've run through every army to give you some idea what you may face or maybe inspire you to start a new army. The real fun though is for the "First Company" or the ones that join in on the chat for the live show. They will engage the chat during the show in a discussion and debate some hot gaming topics, including army composition and strategy. It's a great show for beginners and veterans and should not be missed.

The Imperial Truth- Well, I put this in because I think it's got potential. To date there has been one show so it is very new, but it's off to a good start and has an interesting premise. Bestia assembled a panel of personalities from around the online community to discuss some issues in the hobby. I'm looking forward to seeing what he comes up with for the next episode.

World's End Radio- These guys are a bit more generic, covering other games from GW and a few others. There's lots of Specialist Games discussions, mostly regarding their Blood Bowl league. Honestly I do pick and choose with these guys, but it's because I listen to shows where they cover topics I'm interested in. When I do listen, I enjoy them. They know what they're talking about and are entertaining. Add to it the fact that an Australian accent is somewhat mesmerizing and you have a good show.

40K Radio- Well this is an interesting one. This show was once good. Very good. Aside from not having a free forum, they had a good thing going. People had to pay to become a "freeboota" so i was out. Nothing that everyone else gives away for free should be paid for, but the show itself was what was important...let the paybootas buy their way into the forums. (I am not opposed to supporting a show but with the price they charged, 5 paybootas would likely have covered their expenses so where did all the rest of the money go? Who knows?) That is until last summer when things started changing. The show began to evolve into a shadow of what it once was. They stopped posting shows regularly and started having major gaps where they didn't post anything. Then the hosts started having personal issues that led to the best show they'd done in a year, because the lead host, Spencer wasn't on it (though it was for a tragic and legitimate reason). The next week, he returned and announced that the other hosts would not be returning. That was the last show for a while and when it would return, it brought new hosts and a corporate sponsor (but the paybootas were still it obvious yet I'm against this practice? I gave them a try and just don't like the new guard. There were some really good shows once upon a time, but they are no longer available. We miss you, Scott and Chipley.

So there we have it. That's what I use my Zune (yes, Zune. Deal with it Apple fanboys) for mostly. They make a commute easier to deal with, give you something to do on your lunch break and provide a soundtrack to painting and gaming sessions and add some depth to our hobby.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Ramblings of a madman

Well, here we are. I've gone and started a gaming blog, because the 834 million others weren't quite enough.

What should you know about me? Well, I'm a hardcore gamer. I started with the NES way back in the 80's. When we got our first PC in the early 90's I moved to primarily gaming there. Fast forward to 2007 when my in-laws, my wife and I were looking to start a business. I did some research and found a video game franchise. We opened that in 2008...and closed it in 2008. It turns out that the video game business doesn't leave much of a profit margin for the retailers and while the franchise was making money by conning other people as stupid as we were that it was a good business plan to sell an xbox 360 with a negative profit because you'll make it up by selling games for 40 cents of profit...oh but you don't get the new releases the day they release...the publisher sent 90% of their run to Gamestop/Best Buy et. al. After a few months of staring at the walls 7 days a week and occasionally helping one of the 3 customers a day we got on average, I started to look for stuff to expand the business. I had played Dawn of War and knew a little about this "Warhammer" thing, but didn't really know what it was about. On a whim I called Games Workshop and we started carrying their product a few weeks later. Now here was a product line! Good mark-ups (enough for me to actually give a *gasp* discount), support from the company and enough knowledge to build up a good following in the store. Sadly it was too little too late for our fledgling business, but I came out of it a veritable Warhammer and 40K with several armies I was able to assemble at cost so yay me.

For those of you who skipped that paragraph (and I don't blame was too damn long but I needed to get my geek street cred out there) You can keep reading here as I've returned to the point. I started playing 40k in the last few months of 4th edition with an Ultramarines army. I then added a Necron force, a Chaos Space Marine army, a Tau pile of boxes yet to be assembled and an Ork army that is currently in the works. October of 2008 a couple of us decided to try Fantasy so with our first game scheduled for Halloween, I built up a Vampire Counts army and have an Empire army also in boxes waiting for me to get around to them after the Orks are done.

So we get to the real meat of this...why should you read this? Well, as I said I know my gaming pretty well, but so does everyone else. I am proud to be a cynical bastard which makes for some entertaining comments from time to time and I am over-opinionated which I believe is a requirement for a blog. I am a member of the Imperial Vox Cast's "1st Company" where I have been mentioned as being pretty funny, and that's without them seeing me so I'm pretty psyched about that. I've been thinking of starting a webcast, but the huge pain in the ass it would be combined with not having friends interested in doing so, means I will instead sit here and type my maniacal ramblings and hope I spell most of it right. If everything works out, you the reader will leave here with new ideas, insights and maybe something funny to mention at your next game...or filled with a deep loathing for some random dude in New Jersey, but either way I'm happy so let's rock.