Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fantasy 8th edition and why I don't care

It's not 40k.

That's pretty much it in a nutshell really. I appreciate the beautiful miniatures, I love to see them all in rank and file and I even have a Tomb Kings army primed on the sprue all ready to go but I just can't bring myself to like Fantasy.

Well, Mordheim is pretty cool. I'd totally play that but it's still no Necromunda hahhah!

Rules wise I can get behind a more stratigic game, which is how Fantasy appears to me. Having to be more deliberate in your troop placements, adjusting for things like flanking and having to pay attention to the shape of your formations should totally appeal to me. I love overly-complicated board games, I always have. In fact, Battlemasters from Milton Bradley is one of my favorite boardgames of all time and its basically Fantasy for Dummies!

Seriously, for those who don't know, it's from that magical far away time when Games Workshop and Milton Bradley had teamed up to become an unstoppable force in the boardgaming market, where only deliciousness prevailed such as Hero Quest and Battle Masters and......

Well that was about it really, at least state-side.

Anyways, I played the Warhammer Online MMO and loved it. Until some update caused it to no longer load properly on my pc, then my love for it dwindled rapidly. I put in a game or three of Warhammer Quest, I always loved the look of Man O' War and the whole setting of Fantasy is magnificent.

Especially Blood Bowl!

Possibly it's because I was introduced to 40k first and it was love at first sight, while Fantasy really didn't pop up on my radar until much later. It could be something related to budgetary constraints, where the cost of maintaining my existing 40k armies which all get regular play could not be compromised by adding a fantasy army that only gets pulled out of mothballs occasionally. Maybe it's just cause I had a lot of fun with Hordes and never really looked back at any other fantasy setting. I don't have any serious reason, but it's just not 40k.

However, as I mentioned above there are several offshoots that I like, especially Blood Bowl so I'm thrilled that Fantasy exists if only to provide me with other things I'd rather play. Congrats to all the players out there who do love Fantasy. I hope you enjoy your new version and maybe you can explain to me what the big deal is!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

THQ gives us Space Marine early 2011! And Freakin' Dark Millenium!!!!

But I'm torn! 4 player Co-Op as space marines is very cool and I fully support it. I've got brothers already lined up to play it and we're going to bring the Light of the Emperor to every level by means of His most holy instrument, the Bolter. But on the other hand, I would love to play as the orks too! Maybe they can have a spin off, based in Gorka Morka but with the gameplay of Borderlands! Oh THQ, make that happen and I'll be your bestest friend forever I promise.


Not 30 seconds after I get all hot and bothered about Space Marine but what do they put up next?

ZOMGZOMGZOMG! It's like they found the perfect way to put me in front of a pc until I starve to death! Why THQ? I like eating! I like living! Please don't make a game where I literally cannot leave my pc! Or at the very least, offer a Limited Edition with some sort of Grim IV that can be full of Dark liquid nutrients.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Giddy like a school girl!

So Spearhead dropped and I'm Loving It!

It's way easy to sound like a fanboy of course but come on, lots of new toys for my tanks (and 'Nids) and ways to turn my Orky vehicles into Frenzied Death Rockets is very cool!

First of all, for those who haven't seen the rules, Spearhead units can fire an additional weapon each turn as long as they are within 4" of each other and Monsterous creatures may fire after they run. This of course means my Leman Russ Battletanks, Demolishers etc can double fire their battlecannons and this makes me all gasmigety in my gashomgitey.

So my favorites of the new spearhead units so far:

Super Heavy Spearhead Love It! Allows you to deploy a Super Heavy Unit in a standard 40k game. Downside is that it takes one penetrating hit prior to the first turn but still. Baneblades whoo!

Crusher Spearhead Flaming Orky Missiles of Death! Tanks in this spearhead get a front armor of 15 for Ramming and knock down the opposing leadership as well. I just like getting a crap-ton of ork looted vehicles and charging them straight up the field into every piece of enemy armor they can possibly ram. That image strikes in a very amusing way.

Monsterous Spearhead Because what my Carnifexes need is Counterattack, Fleet, Furious Charge and Rage! It has always been a dream of mine that my Carnies were very fast and very, VERY pissed off.

So now I've got to get my 40k on tomorrow and put some treads on the ground!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Design a Banner Competition for Ultramarines movie

From their official site

Design a Space Marines standard and win one of five original and unique storyboards from the ULTRAMARINES movie, inked and signed by the storyboard artist.

To enter, create your own standard using the official design template entry form and submit it to the Ultramarines movie website by Midnight GMT on 27 June 2010.

Judged by a panel including Black Library author and movie screenwriter Dan Abnett and representatives from Codex Pictures and Games Workshop, there will be one lucky winner from each of four geographical zones and one winner in a category especially for professional artists, designers or miniature painters.

Each of five winners will receive an original and unique window-mounted storyboard from the ULTRAMARINES movie, inked and signed by the storyboard artist.

A selection of the entries will be posted for everyone to see in a special competition gallery on the website.

Good luck!

So I have ZERO artistic ability but I'll have to do something for this. And I'll have to force the brother who actually has a DEGREE IN ART to do something for it too.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tankity Tankity Tank!

As an Imperial Guard player I have an overwhelming urge to drop as many massively armored titans of destruction onto the table as possible at any given time. Leman Russes of all shapes and sizes rolling where they choose, Basilisks and other artillery not letting anything stay behind cover and of course the utter and complete Goddess of Sex, the Baneblade!

I think if my wife knew how much I really like that tank she might force it out of my house.....

Anyways, I'm excited about Spearhead. From what it looks like, and the June White Dwarf is going to expand on this, it looks like an expansion that puts all your vehicles on the table. According to the blurb you play it lengthwise on the table so you have longer ranges and larger weapons to deal with.

On top of that, new tanks! I'm really liking the differant missile tanks like the new Manticore and Deathstrike launchers but I can't see a place for them in my army other than as a cool looking vehicle. I'm really more of a direct assault tanker since I've never had much luck with artillery. I think it's because I expect them to actually kill stuff when really they should be used as an area/cover denial weapon. I'll have to slip some pieces into my next army and try it again.

Mmmmmmmm... Tanks!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Da Stabby Onez VS Albion Wanderers!

Have I mentioned how much I love Blood Bowl on the 360? It really makes me wonder why Necromunda can't be done in the same way. Come on THQ, I am ready and willing to give YOU money and in exchange you will give ME a game. Seriously, who's with me?

So todays match was against the human Albion Wanderers. I've been on a bit of a dry streak lately, Da Stabby Onez have definately been living up to their name however we've gotten so caught up in making sure the opposite team never, ever gets back up again that the whole ball thing has escaped us.

I was a bit worried at the start, they took an Ogre star player along with some powered up blitzer however after Da Stabby Onez received the kickoff the front line, my good old Troll and Black Orcs, put the hurt on both their star players on turn 1! The rest of the game went pretty much the same way, none of their original team was left for the second half but the game subs in generic players at that point so we ended 2-0 Stabbyz! Go Boyz!

This stadium really has nothing to do with my game against the Wanderers, I just loved it.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Squad Command

Picked this up at the Gamestop sale and while the graphics on the DS version look like mud, the gameplay is well put together and enjoyable.

Squad command is a turn-based, tactical game where you deploy and manuver a squad of Space Marines and, later in the game, their accompanying vehicles and support. Each Marine is allocated a certain amount of action points that are used for movement, firing weapons and other actions. Character position is taken into account during combat as kneeling characters gain cover bonuses and tend to be more accurate while firing.

Now I'm usually all for playing the DS over the PSP, mainly because I believe that better games make a better system, but to be honest the graphics actually do make a differance for me in this case. The touch pad controls never felt as easy to use as the d-pad, there is a very noticable differance in the graphics and the crisper PSP display is much easier on the eyes. However, the constant top screen map display is handy whereas in the PSP version you have to pause in order to access it. Also, while the DS has static displays for it's story elements, the PSP makes use of video, some of which are pretty nice looking.

Both versions are on clearance and are worth picking up. While not as deep as I'd have like, the character advancement is basic and new weapons are doled out every other mission or so, the gameplay is close enough to X-Com to be enjoyable.

Based on this, and the semi-recent release of Blood Bowl, I wonder why the older spin off series aren't leveraged into video game titles? Blood Bowl is a pretty solid game even without the customization of the PC version, Squad Command as well and of course Dawn of War 1 and 2 are excellent RTS games. So why do we not have an amazing Necromunda or Mordheim turn based tactical? Their very nature lends themselves to this type of gameplay and I don't know about you guys but I'd be first in line for a Necromunda game equivalent to Blood Bowl on the Xbox 360 with online multiplayer support!

And the same goes for Battlefleet Gothic and Man O' War! Just put them on DS, pretty please THQ, I'll be your best friend!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Brother!

Today is my brothers 26th birthday and I thought I'd help celebrate it by showing off how much of a better painter he is than I am.

Of course the dork doesn't have any of his beautiful Tau, Sisters or Black Templars, especially some of the specially built or modified minis, posted online. So instead you'll have to make due with his Legion of Everblight from Hordes.

Thagrosh 4

Thagrosh is a nasty fellow in his own right. I haven't had the chance to take a look at the new evolved version but from what I hear he only gets meaner the older he gets.

Carnivian 3

The Carnivian I've taken down a time or two, those Skorne monster hunter units really can do their job occasionally, but it's a mean monster and combined with Thagrosh' ability to bring it back from the dead it's basically a twofer.

Incubi 1

Incubi. As if his normal troops were not annoying enough, whenever you kill one they turn into one of these. Yeearrrggh!

Anyways, Happy Birthday Curtis! You paint beautifully and I hate you for it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Imperial Draw

So our noble guardsmen faced off against the insidious Tau tonight and it was bloody!

We took 1000pts each and my army list didn't change much from last week:

Company Command Squad Destroyed by games end
No Upgrades

Ratling sniper squad w/ 5 members 4 members dead 1st turn

Platoon Command Squad 3 members dead by last turn
No Upgrades
Heavy Weapons Team w/ 3 lascannons Wiped out first turn
Heavy Weapons Team w/ 3 lascannons Wiped out first turn
Special Weapons Squad w/ 3 sniper rifles Wiped out fifth turn
Infantry Squad w/ Autocannon Wiped out 2nd turn
Infantry Squad w/ Autocannon Took fire until 4th turn, then wiped out
Veteran Squad w/ 3 meltas and chimera Wiped trying to take Tau side objective
Veteran Squad w/ 3 meltas and chimera Wiped out 6th turn trying to hold Imperial side objective

Leman Russ Demolisher w/ lascannon Survive unscathed!

I did add in the ratlings and honestly, was not terribly impressed. They took a beating first turn and broke, the sole survivor held on the rest of the game but managed to miss every shot he took though I will give him credit for actually accepting a Fire on my Target! order.

The Tau had the following:

Etheral w/ 10 man Fire Warrior squad 70% killed by Demolisher shot

3 Stealth Suits Wiped out turn 6
3 Stealth Suits Survived untouched

Fire Warrior squad 2 members left at games end, lost objective
Fire Warrior squad 5 members left at games end, lost objective
Kroot squad Wiped out 5th turn

Hammerhead Weapons destroyed 4th turn
Hammerhead Survived untouched

We rolled Sieze Ground with 3 objectives as the mission and the Tau got first turn. They wiped out the Hvy Weapons squads with submunitions and did a number on one of the infantry squad with their missiles. Like I mentioned the ratlings got whacked by the Fire Warriors.

Neither one of us were able to grab a foothold on those objectives and at games end neither of us had any scoring units left. Now this sounds like a down ending but a lot of my games against Tau typically end with almost a complete route of my forces. In the last turn, one of my Chimeras put enough heavy bolter shots into a Fire Warrior squad to take them below scoring level, thus forcing a draw as they had a hold on an objective.

So, very very bloody and not just on my side which is a win in my book!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


On Bell of Lost Souls we were discussing some of the merits of my Imperial Guard list recently, especially in regard to the Special Weapons / W snipers I took. Really it was more about the Ratlings vs Traditional Snipers and it had some valid points so here's a quick pro/con of both of them:



Better BS means more accuracy
All models in the squad have Sniper weapons
Infiltrate allows better positioning at the start of the game
Stealth gives defensive bonuses


Takes up an elite slot
Low Leadership makes giving orders more difficult
Low Leadership can send them running very quickly
Can't hold objectives

Guardsmen Snipers

Scoring Unit
Higher Leadership so orders are more likely to be followed
Spotters with Lasguns provide some weapons diversity and allow additional orders options

Higher cost for initial unit (Special Weapons Squad w/ sniper rifles is 20pts more expensive than ratlings for the base unit)
Lower BS, less accurate
No special abilities

In my last game my basic guardsmen snipers actually paid for themselves, held their objective and kept their targets at bay. I've never had much success with them as a unit but this particular game they were worth every penny. Based on the ideas above next game I'll probably split the differance and take one squad of Guardsmen with Sniper rifles to sit on an objective and provide cover fire and then a 5 man squad of ratlings to focus their more accurate fire on key enemy units. The same amount of points is spent and it does give me some extra options during the game.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New Sabbat Worlds!

I love the Sabbat worlds novels. Gaunt's Ghosts, Titanicus, Double Eagle, they've all been very well written and realized. This new one is right off of Dan Abnett's blog.

Appearantly it will be a set of short stories all within the Sabbat Worlds campaign and not necessarily Gaunt-centric, though Dan's own contribution is. The Apostles short story is exciting since Double Eagle was an awesome book and anything that further expands those stories is very welcomed. I've heard rumours of a direct sequel for a while but nothing solid from what I understand.

A sequel to Titanicus would be very cool too. Nudge Nudge.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lousy Traitors, Always peeing in your cereal!

Started reading A Thousand Sons by Graham Mcneil and so far it's pretty good. The Heresy novels have been interesting overall but I've got to say my favorite is definately Mechanicus, also by Graham Mcneil. It makes a great companion book to Titanicus by Dan Abnett, which I guess is how Graham and Dan tend to work together as Dan is working on Prospero Burns as a follow up to Thousand Sons.

These items aside I'm pretty excited about the Horus Heresy game coming up from Fantasy Flight Games

I have a huge love of overly complicated boardgames with lots of cool pieces. It started way back with Heroquest, Battlemasters, Torpedo Run (not overly complicated but LOTS of cool pieces hahhah) and I can't wait to try this one out.

On the other hand, it used to be all about how I was going to come up with $100 to fund this game purchase. Since I've had kids and had to get responsible about my money now it's become more along the lines of How can I justify this purchase.

If I sell blood to buy a Heresy game, could it be considered blood for the blood god?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Imperial Victory!

I can't actually say how long it's been since I achieved victory with my Imperial Guard. Their losing streak is roughly years long at this point but tonight they pulled it together and made the win happen!

So here's the army list built for 1000 points:


Company Command Squad
No Upgrades


Platoon Command Squad
No Upgrades

Heavy Weapons Team w/ 3 lascannons
Heavy Weapons Team w/ 3 lascannons

Special Weapons Squad w/ 3 sniper rifles
Special Weapons Squad w/ 3 sniper rifles (I actually forgot I had taken 2 squads of these guys and didn't field the second squad by mistake. D'oh!)

Infantry Squad w/ Autocannon
Infantry Squad w/ Autocannon

Veteran Squad w/ 3 meltas and chimera
Veteran Squad w/ 3 meltas and chimera


Leman Russ Demolisher w/ lascannon

Doubling up on everything and keeping the special toys to a minmimum actually made me focus on what each squad was capable of and making the most of deployment and orders.

My boys went up against Space Marines who field 2 tactical squads, 1 AC carrying dreadnought, 1 devestator squad w/ missile launchers and a deep striking Terminator HQ unit w/ chaplain.

Highlights from the game were definately the Company Command continously issuing Fire on My Target to my remaining Heavy Weapons and pouring those lascannon shots into that lousy devestator squad. Once the Snipers got into position they were able to benefit from these orders as well.

My infantry squad saw the most damage. On first turn, Alpha squad got a solid Move! Move! Move! and moved up to screen Beta squad. The following turns Alpha absorbed a lot of fire but kept it together while Beta got a steady stream of First Rank FIRE! Second Rank FIRE! I got to say, even the lowly lasgun is a fearsome thing when it gets to double fire. The autocannons in both squad took their toll on those armored bastards. Really MVP squad has to go to Beta who almost singlehandedly took the marines apart while they were sitting on the objective marker.

Beyond that the Demolisher had a heavy hand in taking out his second tactical squad. Once the second chimera made it up to the objective and dropped off the veterans with their meltas, the remaining marines were destroyed.

Simplifying things, finding a more directed approach and making the orders work as best as possible really came together and put a solid Win in my column. Woot-burger!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Keeping it Simple

Finally got to use the new Tyranid codex today! I know I'm way behind on it but free time has been limited and of course I had a visit from Nurgle all over my house recently. When you've got two youngbloods down from zombie rot your priorities change from gaming to "oh dear god stop havin stuff come out of you!"

The Battle Report will be coming soon.

So my trouble came while putting together my list. I love new codex's, the new units, the new playstyles, the new ugly surprises you can drop on your opponent. It's all a lot of fun but it's easy to lose sight of the basics with all these new toys to play with.

So here's the list I came up with:

Tyranid Warrior Alpha
2 Boneswords


3 Tyranid Warriors
2 Boneswords each
2 Deathspitters
1 Barbed Strangler

10 Termagaunts w/ Poison
10 Termagaunts w/ Poison
20 Genestealer w/ Broodlord w/ Implant Attack

Carnifex w/ Heavy Venom Cannon and Mycetic Spore

A reasonably balanced list for 1000 points I felt and while I lost out in the end it was very bloody and costly for my opponent. At the 1000 pt level I felt a Hive Tyrant was to expensive as an HQ while the Tyranid Alpha had a good balance. The huge genestealer brood, while very unpleasent to see at the outset of the game got tangled up in close combat with a dreadnought. I should've split them into two groups of ten which would've given me more tactical options and not locked up the entire brood for most of the game.

The carnifex dropping with the spore would've been very cool unfortunately it landed after the last of my synapse creatures were killed and spent what rounds it had mindlessly chasing Space Marines.

All this aside I found myself trying to jam to many new toys into my list while I was building it. Oooh, new Hive Tyrant! Oooh, Old One Eye is back! Oooh, got to take all those new goodies that my opponent hasn't seen thrown at him yet! Originally my army list looked quite a bit differant. After I had built it I made a 1000pt Imperial Guard list as well since I wasn't 100% sure what I would use today and while building that list I started rethinking my 'nids list and the options I had taken for it.

This made me realize that while I always put the basics in my army, I tend to get caught up in the one trick ponies or the surprise units that either completely take my opponent by surprise or die in a blaze of humiliation. With my Imperial Guard army that thought took up after I put in my usual drop squad of Stormtroopers. I love to use them as tank busters, the deep strike ability and the power of two meltas plus melta bombs has a pretty good chance of killing a tank or difficult unit. For example, trying to cram 3 Leman Russ tanks into 1000pts, while doable presents a very poor trade off. Based on this I took a look at what those Stormtrooprs were accomplishing versus what other units of similar points cost could do in their place.

It broke down like this

1 Stormtrooper squad w/ 2 meltas = 105 points
1 Guardsman Marbo = 65 points

In a lot of ways they have equivalent kill power and survivability. Both are designed to pop off sometime over the course of the game, kill one key opponent and then probably die very quickly afterwards. They're both nasty surprises and no one wants them to show up on their side of the board.

However, what I went with was 1 Veteran squad with 3 meltas for 100 points. Equal points to the Stormtrooper squad, roughly equal ability as well but more survivability based on the sheer number of troops. The extra melta gives them that much more killpower and once I loaded them up in a Chimera they had free reign to chase down troublesome enemy units or shore up a hole in my own defenses for a total of 155 points. Yes slightly more expensive and the wow factor doesn't seem as likely but at least on paper they look like a better bargain.

The same thought process went back into my Tyranid list. I had taken a squad of 3 Lictors, looking to them to take out a key squad somewhere in the game. For the 195 points they cost me I took a second look and dropped down to a single Deathleaper instead. The enhanced Rending attack, the better camoflage and the equivalent killpower made it a more attractive unit and once it was on the field it did it's job by annhilating my opponents Devestator squad.

The genestealers were another tough call and while the Deathleaper paid for itself by locking down a devestator squad for two turns and then killing them all, the genestealers wound up not being worth the points for that large a squad. Originally they were slated to use the Mycetic spore and drop down on a key location during the game and either I should have stuck with that instead of shifting the spore to my Carni or broke the 'stealers up into two smaller squads, infiltrated them both seperately and left the mycetic spore off the list completely. Those extra points could've beefed up an existing unit or gving me more 'stealers so their surviviability would have grown.

Anyone's thoughts on it all would be greatly appreciated of course, the comment section is there for a reason hahhah! Has anyone else found themselves overdoing one aspect or another of their army? Given the list above, what would you have changed to make the army more killy?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mission Plans

The release of the new Battle Missions book has gotten me thinking about the differant games of 40k I typically play. Most of the time we just use the standard missions in the rule book, occasionally we play a little Cityfight or Apocalypse. Haven't had the chance to play a Planetstrike yet but we're building up our forces for it.

Also I've been re-reading Gaunt's Ghosts, all of which are excellent of course though the Saint series was my favorite so far, and some of the battles they describe are worth putting together as one off missions so here's my first one.

I apologize for the Paint table layout, I don't have any fancy-schmancy graphics editor.

Mission 1: Invasion of Cirenholm

During the Crusade of the Sabbat worlds, Imperial forces were forced to retake the planet of Phantine in order to take advantage of their natural resources. The major cities of Phantine, including Cirenholm, are located on top of mountains as millennia of pollution has forced the population to build at higher and higher elevations. These mountaintop cities are only accessible by air and so the Imperial armies are forced into a dangerous invasion. The attacking forces make drop landings on very narrow areas under heavy fire.

Defender: Deploys anywhere on their table half. Defender may not take any Heavy units. Defender also places 1 objective at the center of their longest deployment zone edge. This represents the entrance to their defended hive city.

Attacker: The attacking force begins the game in reserves. They may not take any Heavy units as their landers cannot carry vehicles for the intial attack.
The Attacker goes First.

Special Rules:
Prepared Defences: The defender has had ample time to bolster and equip their defending forces. Each Troop unit that can take heavy weapons may do so for free under the existing unit rules. (For Example: A squad of Imperial Guardsmen may upgrade two troopers to a Heavy Weapons team for free). Other squad upgrades still maintain their normal points cost.

Elite Assault: The attacker is throwing their best troops at the enemy so the normal allotment of Elite units is increased to match their Troops allotment. (For Example: An Imperial Guard army may normally take 6 Troop choices, they may also include 6 Elite choices).

Airborne Drop: All attacker units begin in reserve and begin rolling for Reserves on Turn 1 instead of Turn 2 as normal. All Attacking units gain Deep Strike. Attacking units must arrive within the Attackers Deployment Zone and may begin play normally following the Deep Strike rules. Any units that scatter outside the deployment zone into the gray areas have suffered a drop mishap and roll on the following table instead of the Deep Strike Mishap table:

Roll 1d6
1) Drop Failure: The unit suffers a terrible catastrophe. The entire squad is lost to the void.
2) Drop Missed: The drop is held up over the zone and suffers AA fire. The unit suffers 1d6 Str 4 AP - hits and may take armor saves as normal.The drop is held up over the zone and suffers AA fire. The unit suffers 1d6 Str 4 AP - hits and may take armor saves as normal.
3) Drop Missed: The initial drop is turned back. Squad may attempt to re-deploy next turn.
4) Rough Drop: The scattered drop marker is moved directly into the deploment area at the space nearest it's exit. The unit lands in disarray, suffers 1d3 S4 AP - hits.
5) Co-ordinates Incorrect: Unit drops completely off target. Defender may reposition the drop marker any where within the Attackers drop zone.
6) Overshot!: Drop marker may be repositioned anywhere within the Defenders deployment zone by the Attacker.

Game Length: The game lasts a random number of turns. At the end of Turn 5 roll 1d6. On a roll of 1 the game ends immediately, 2+ it continues. At the end of Turn 6 roll 1d6, on a 1, 2 or 3 the game ends, 4+ it continues. The game ends at the end of Turn 7 in this case.

Victory Conditions: The attacker is making a desperate push to take this beachhead so all Troop and Elite units count as scoring. Any attacker scoring unit within 3" of the objective marker at the end of the game counts as a scoring unit and wins the game for the attacker.

If the defender can keep the entry way objective clear of enemy units by games end, the defender wins.

So there it is, my first attempt at a mission. It's a bit rough around the edges but we all need some refining at some point. If anyone out there has a particular mission in mind, leave a comment and I'll try to incorperate it into it's own mission later on. Also, any comments or critiques are welcome as well. If you play this one out, by all means leave me some feedback on it!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Minis

While I'm not going to buy the new Blood Angels codex I do love it when new codices come out.

Really it's all about the new minis!

I haven't played Space Marines in years and when I first started I was totally going to go with the Blood Angels. The red armor really did it for me back then and the vampire thing was just icing on the cake. When my youngest son is old enough to play we'll probably be setting him up with Space Marines since he just strikes me as a Marine player.

So the new Blood Angel minis are very cool looking. The wings on the jump suits make for amazing models and are really what is selling me on the new minis.

Is anyone else weirded out by the fact that the suits have nipples?

Astaroth the Grim is a very solid model as well. The wings do it for me again, the huge sword is amazing looking but.. I'm troubled...

I know I've seen him somewhere before.....


I haven't read the codex but I assume at some point he'll change into a wolf person and totally convince your redheaded girlfriend to go "walking" in the rain with him.

Speaking of swords though, the new Chapter Master has an awesome two handed chainsword. Is it equivalent to the chainswords that the Sisters carry? I mean yeah they go last in combat but they hit like a semi truck.

He's no Hive Tyrant but he's still a good looking mini.

And I could NOT find a picture of the wolfman with the redhead from Bram Stokers Dracula that wasn't.... undressed? Awkward!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ultramarines Movie voice casting

I'm excited that there is a Warhammer movie coming but if it's anything like Mutant Chronicles I think I'm going to cry.

Friday, February 26, 2010

In the Grim Darkness of the Far Future, there is only Cake!

Today my eldest son turned 6, so first of all Happy Birthday! The Emperor Protects!

I've known since before he was born that I'd be geeking him to some extent. The kid loves Star Wars (I'm So Proud!) and his army men get daily play and for the longest time I've known that I was going to teach him how to play Warhammer with me.

The wife has made fun of me because I've already picked out which armies are going to which boy. My eldest is non-stop energy, rambunctious, loves the thrill of speed and has on occasion painted himself green so naturally he's going to be an Ork!

I've been slowly gathering an ork army together (and of course I've had to play with it a couple times to make sure nothing was broken hehheh) and I think we're getting to the point where he'll be able to understand the very basic rules. I don't want to dive headfirst into the big fancy rule book but I'm thinking we stick to the simpified game rules such as Kill Team or Combat Patrol. This way it limits the number of figures on the table, provides the opportunity to learn how the pieces and dice interact and with the simplified rules it keeps him from being overwhelmed in some of the more complex aspects of the game.

Has anyone out there had luck with similar situations? I've got all the issues of teaching a virgin player mixed in with the general spazziness of a kindergarten kid. I know he's more than capable of grasping the basics and I'm looking forward to sharing my hobby with him.

So here are my 40k birthday wishes for my son:

The Emperor Protects!


Don't Let the Tyranids Eat All Your Cake!

No opening gifts from Slaanesh until you're over 18. (15 if you don't tell your mom, and so Help me if you tell her that I told you not to tell her!)

Never trust an Eldar gift.

The Tau firmly believe that you should send a present back to them with a thank you card.

Frak the Necrons and the Dark Eldar. Much like those birthday candles that relight themselves, you're better off tossing them off a bridge.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Space Hulk!

No, not the recently re-released board game version. Though I do love every bit of the new version, especially the new Genestealer minis. It makes me sad that we can't play on a setup like this:

Nope, this is about the pc version that fell out of the wayback machine and landed in my lap. If you have ever felt an overwhelming desire to have your ass handed to you by an ancient pc game then friends, you have found your new lord and master!

I'm not saying that this game was impossible to win. I mean, people have climbed Mt. Everest several times right? But there was no let up at any point. Even the first level, which was supposed to be a tutorial, made absolutely NO apology for taking you to the cleaners, staining all your dress shirts pink, handing you back the wrong pants and then overcharging you.

Using a First Person view point you guided your Space Marines thought the corridors of a space hulk, completing missions that were taken directly out of the Space Hulk board game that was available at that time. You could point to each individual view point to switch which marine you had direct control over at any given time. Whatever marines you weren't controlling would defend themselves automatically and there was a tactical map available where you could plot out movement paths for your marines to follow.

As you advanced through the maps towards your mission goal, genestealers would constantly be stalking your squad. Combat was point and click however in the background it was rolling the dice so your normal amount of Jams would keep happening. The game was very effective at keeping the tension high. Unless your marines had line of sight on any genestealers then all you got were red blips on the tactical map. If they managed to sneak up on your marines or flank them from the sides then their viewpoint immediately snow crashed and you felt very, very alone.

Personally I only remember beating maybe the first few missions. And yet, not only did I still go back for more, over the years my brother and I have purchased two full versions of the actual boardgame! The newest one was built to an amazing level of quality and if you have the opportunity to pick it up I highly recommend it.

As for the PC game, if you have an evening to kill, really feel the need to be slaughtered mercilessly by genestealers and can actually find a copy than totally hunt this down and give it a try. Otherwise, try these guys as they've built a very unofficial version of the boardgame to download and play. It will also kick your ass pretty competely.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Final Liberation

I love this game!
Final Liberation was the only Epic scale pc game published and featured the planet Volistad as Imperial Forces under the command of Commissar Holt repel an Ork invasion. For the single player campaign mode, you commanded the Imperials over two differant maps, one was a world map that is similar to Risk where you could move and build your forces. The second was the battlemap where your forces deployed and faced off against the orks in turn-based combat. The diversity of units was huge, featuring the standard Imperial Forces such as PDF, Tallarans, Mordians etc., tank companies full of Leman Russes and artillery and expanding to the use of warmachines like Baneblades and Titans!
The Planetary Governer has completely failed to put down the initial ork invasion and Commissar Holt is called in to take command of the situation. While the player is the overall commander in the game, Holt has a force in game and is represented in game when you take command of that particular force. The scene below is one of my favorites simply because Holt is not in the mood for the Governers nonsense.

As you fight your way across Volistad you link up with various forces that went to ground following the invasion. Regaining the Space Port is one of your earlier missions and the Space Port serves as a general arrival area for the Space Marines though unfortunately you only gain access to Scouts through the game.

As you progress various units join up with you and add to your existing armies or form armies on their own so you can have several fronts operational at one time. My personal favorite though is when you liberate an Adeptus Mechanicus Titan Base. Now as the background fiction for 40k has advanced since this game came out one can assume that the producers of the game just didn't get what a Tech Priest should look like as the human in the robes has no visible modifications or mechanical bits. However, in the novel Titanicus, we are introduced to characters who are part of the Mechanicus but must serve as go betweens for the Mechanicum and the Imperials. Due to this, they do have mechanical upgrades internally however they are kept as human looking as possible on the outside so as not to unsettle the Imperials they work with. I know I'm digging but linking these two items up at least excuses how human this guy looks.

Finally your armies push through the Ork lines and make an assualt on the space hulk that they Warboss had crashed into the planet during the invasion. I don't recall the final battle being very challenging however by then I had perfected my first turn Death Strike missile barrage (9 void missiles spread across the map in turn 1 is a great way to destroy around half the enemy forces) and had legions of artillery ready to hit the enemy from across the board.

Now I personally don't remember letting any Orks go free but I'm sure they were trying to set the whole ending up for a sequel. Not that one ever happened unfortunately.
So, aside from Dawn of War, Final Liberation is my all time favorite Warhammer 40k video game! Next I'll be taking a look at my least favorite, Fire Warrior. Stinkin' Tau!

Friday, February 5, 2010

New car, caviar, four star daydream

So I saw this while reading the Bell of Lost Souls today:

So we have been getting steady reports of some subtle shifts in the retail policy of Games Workshop stores. It looks like broadly speaking there is a new emphasis on formal retailing (selling of products), and the introduction of the hobby to new customers. This is coming at the expense of a downplaying of the hobby and secondary games side of things. Some customers report being told to curtail their hobby/painting activities in store, and others report an inability to play Specialist Games on the premises.

So my friendly local game store, Gaming Experience, closed recently which leaves me with ZERO Reliable local outlets for my Games Workshop need.

I loved GXP, let me say that first, but it seems to me that part of why they closed was because it became a hangout instead of a retail establishment. Chad, Rich, Guys, you all know that I mean absolutely nothing against you in that statement. I loved hanging out there and I'll be the first to say I wasn't the most spendy customer you guys had but anything game related I did buy was always from you.

Stores are in Business, Business means making money, people hanging out all day generally doesn't contribute to your business in any meaningful way. I personally run a video game retail store where I have regulars who do nothing but come in, talk about whatever game they want but won't buy or reserve, play the demo units for 2 hours and leave while spending Nothing.

These people, and don't get me wrong I'm always glad to see people in the hobby, are a drain on store resources, the most important of which is an employees time. If that employee has to chose between talking to you for an hour while you paint some mini or actually selling to the customers who are making purchases (purchases that eventually become his paycheck) then the ONLY right choice for him is to make those sales.

I love this hobby, truly I do. I've got 3 armies for 40k, own Blood Bowl, BFG, Space Hulk and Necromunda. I've put my fair share of cash into the business and I would literally kill for a local battlebunker, or a solid store that could cater to my needs. I could care less for the tables in the store if I had friendly staff ready to sell me whatever I happened to be looking for. I'm not there to play 40k with the manager, I'm there to get my whatever product I'm looking for and then leaving.

For those who are griping about how the "retailing" of these stores is going to ruin everything then please, use your fatty trust funds and lottery winnings to open your own game store where people can play free of charge 24/7. Since making a profit or at a minimum keeping the lights on would not be any sort of worry for you, you would be in heaven I'm sure. Or, if you don't have a Scrooge Mcduck size piggy bank to invest in a store, then just take out a business loan and see how many of your non-paying regulars come to save you when that payment comes due.

GW Stores are a business and business need to make money or else they cease being in business.

I try not to read comments sections for things like this because all it's going to do is make me want to choke people. Everyone basically says "Let me paint, give me free stuff blah blah blah" and none of them want to face the fact that them hanging out all day is not contributing to the business. At best they say they like the store to someone who will actually make a purchase, at worst they bring their broke-ass friends to hang out as well and that helps nobody.

Maybe I've been in retail to long, but it's getting harder and harder to see things from the "free" point of view when it really comes down to me paying my own bills and feeding my kids. These people need to grow up and understand that when that store they love to hang out at but buy nothing from closes, they don't just lose a place to play at but they cost the entire staff their livelihoods.

I'm in the mood to paint some Commissars now.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Blood Bowl!

So Blood Bowl finally arrived stateside for the Xbox 360 and while I don't think I'm completely in love, I can definately be talking on the phone with Blood Bowl behind my wifes back.

So it's a basic line for line translation of the board game and that works for me. I've been away from the actual game so long that I've forgotten half the rules but a couple rounds in and it's all coming back. I love playing the orks, but it took a while to figure out how to save your team when you're playing in single player mode. I don't want to complain to much but every other game has figured out an autosave feature......

It's not all the games fault, it did come with an instruction book that I've completely ignored so far.

Graphically it's weak but it gets the job done. There is no way to modify the apperance of your team, or name them, or recolor them so it's always red vs blue. The animations repeat a lot and the camera is lousy.

And yet it's Blood Bowl. It's overpriced, it's graphics lack and I hate not being able to mod my team out but I can't put it down.

If they make a Space Hulk game, I can't pass that up either. Fail for me?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Come Hungry, Leave Happy!

I love the Tyranids. As far as armies go they are one of my favorites. No overwhelming empire, no ancient black doom brought upon themselves, no stupid resurrecting robots, just pure simple hunger and a willingness to eat everything put in front of them.

Just like me at IHOP during all you can eat pancakes.

The upside to the Tyranids is the sheer number of minis you end up with on the table during a proper swarm attack. Ideally you should be outnumbering your opponent by at least 3 or 4 to one and seeing a swarm not so much being set up pregame as just trying to find space to fit it all in can be a huge morale killer right from the start. Your opponent ends up spoiled for choice on what to shoot at and as the 'nids cross the table no decision is the right one when it comes to what needs to die next. Everything you get into him is going to hurt him most of the time.

The big problem is that having a swarm army means having lots and lots and lots of guys to paint. With my 'nids though I go pretty simple.

Basically, when you see my swarm together all I want you to see is Chitin and Claws.

I did this scheme for a couple of reasons. First, when they're all mobbed up and charging and all you really see is the mass of claws coming your way it's very scary. Second, it's the easiest way I found to paint them.

Basically all my 'nids have two base colors on a black primer. One is a darker green for the fleshy bits, as I kind of had the notion that this swarm was involved in the major hive fleet that attacked the ork worlds, with a lighter green drybrushed over to provide some highlights. The second is actually a single coat of a light yellow over the black primer that almost comes out looking like a thin ivory or bone, which is perfect for the bony/claws bits. Over that I put a lighter dry brush of bright red, especially along the ridges which contrasts on the yellow to make the claws and armor stand out more. After that it's down to the detail work like painting in the eyes and pinning the frakkin' Hive Tyrants arms back on because pewter is a lousy thing to work with!

So as I work my way through the new codex I'm seeing what looks like a move away from the swarms coming in across the table and towards an army that is much more mobile around the table. Mycetic spores providing deep strikes for basically any unit, including monstrous creatures, more units with the options to deep strike from a wider variety of places (Death Leaper, Parasite, etc) and the changing of the synapse rules to more easily allow units outside range to still be effective are all very cool!

My only complaint so far, and it's relatively minor, is the reduction of unique characteristics for everything. Granted, it makes book-keeping on all the units much more simplified and it's not like you can't still rework most units to an extent but I loved being able to hand craft each brood so that they were each like an evil little jack in the box just waiting to pop surprises all over the target army. This is still very do-able with the variety of units provided but I guess it's like complaining about getting a glazed donut when you wanted one with sprinkles. It's really all the same, just a differant flavor.

I'm going to get a game together with Curtis later this week. The Hive Mind is calling, and it's Hungry!

Tau do look amazingly like blueberry pancakes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Great Devourewaarrrrrgh!!!!

Got the new Tyranid Codex today, which is very much a huge WOOT-Burger!

Getting it was a pain though, and that's where the ARRRRGH! comes in.

Before I get into my rant, I did want to say that so far the book is great. New Hive Fleets are detailed, the new units are very cool (Death Leaper! Old One Eye! Utini!) and the army list as a whole is definately a better fit with the new 5th edition rule set. It will do my old heart good to see The Great Devourer charging across the field again and making life extremely uncomfortable for Curtis and his lousy Tau or Sisters of Battle!

Anyways, onto my gripes.

Our only local game store is not generally a 40k store from my understanding so I'm not faulting them on being able to provide the new book. It's more of a service issue.

Around 1 today I called them to see if they had it on hand. Their website said it was present but of course the web is not exactly known for it's accuracy so I called them to make sure.

The kid on the phone was less than helpful. The whole conversation seemed very much like he was doing his best to get off the phone as quickly as possible. The question was very simple, "Do you have the new Tyranid Codex?"

"What's a codex, is that like a card game or something?"

To be fair, calling a book a codex is extremely confusing I'm sure. Websters Dictionary defines Codex as "a manuscript or book especially of Scripture, classics or ancient annals" but I can't expect that to be common knowledge. He might've looked at his pile of manuscripts, Scriptures or ancient annals and not seen it so that's probably not his fault.

So I told him it was a new Games Workshop book and spelled Tyranids for him. He very quickly said they didn't have it and he'd never heard of it and then hung up.

I swear I'm going to invent a device one day that allows me to stab people through the phone.

Part of my frustration is that I called again after 5, spoke to a differant person who assured me they did have it on hand and when I arrived they had 3 to 5 copies on display directly in front of the register which is located conveniently next to the phone. I didn't see any Scriptures so they must have sold out before I got there. I missed this guys name but he at least was more helpful, though when I spoke to him about the kid on the phone from earlier all he said was "Maybe we didn't have it in then."

The second part of my frustrations is that I've been treated poorly by this store before. I can't say it was the same kid but the last time I went in there I had taken my son with me. At the time he was roughly 4 so of course young children tend to touch things. He had his hands on their glass case and the person on hand snapped at him and then gave me the stink eye.

I work retail so I get that occasionally an employee is not willing or able to provide a reasonable level of customer service for a variety of reasons and I'd have been willing to leave and never shop there again if this had been directed solely at me. However it was directed at my son and that's where I take issue. In my experience, taking a customer aside and politely asking them to reign in their child is perfectly acceptable. In fact, one time at Gaming Experience that same son of mine spilled a paint pot and the staff on hand were very forgiving, even trying to refuse my payment for the wasted paint. I paid it anyways but they were kind about it whereas this kid was unpleasent.

I will gladly control my children if they are out of hand, it is not your job as an employee to do it for me. That being said, the kids are very young and Windex exists for a reason.

It makes me feel bad since this location is basically the only tabletop game store left in town. Also I've met two of the owners, one at Gaming Experience during it's proposed takeover and the other at a local comic book convention and both of these individuals were very pleasent and I would love to shop with them specifically. As for shopping them in the future, I don't know. If I do, and don't just skip straight to online ordering, I'm not going to do it anytime I call and get the same employee or physically visit the store and receive equivilant treatment directed at myself or my kids.

I'm not asking to have my ass kissed when I walk through the door, I'm not even asking to be greeted (which is a requirement in my business) but I am asking that employees remember where their paycheck ultimately comes from. Businesses like these ride that razor thin margin and creating an environment that is unpleasent and unprofessional is a great way to reduce that margin very quickly.

Again, the two owners I've met where great and if they are on hand running the shop I'd be glad to shop with them. The person on hand this evening, after 5 or so, was acceptable and I'd shop with him as well. Whoever was on hand earlier in the day would've cost them the sale and will Not get my business should I visit at a time he is present.

And since this whole thing is supposed to be about me painting stuff, I got three ork wartrakks finished and two ork old-skool trukks done so those pics will go up soon. After this I'm thinking I may need to build my Hive Tyrant into a Swarmlord since he's basically death on toast.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Da Boyz!

Finally got a little bit of time to work this week. Having small children around while trying to paint is not the ideal working environment.

So here is my first kit bashed ork vehicle!

It's a looted Imperial Chimera. The chassis has been reversed to allow for the modified barrel which was taken off of a Baneblade, because why not have the gun with the biggest boom?

Ork Big Meks remounted the engine into the crew compartment and reversed the commanders station to allow the ork the ability to drive and see whatever it is he's blowing up. Also Da Teef of Mork provide additional cover for da loaderz who take care of da big gun.

The rest of the night was spent trying to clean up some inherited Wartrukks. They had a heavy hand with the primer and the trukks were based in red so I'm going back over them now. My goal is to use the same paint scheme that Da Teef of Mork uses which was red (cause red onez go fasta!) with a drybrush of metallics across the body to emphasize the wear and tear da boyz tend to put on their rides.
I'm going to try and get better details as work progresses, unfortunately lighting conditions are not ideal at 9 at night.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Getting Started.

So I got into 40k back in it's 2nd edition phase. I was at Dark-Con in Oklahoma City with my brother Curtis when we saw this table set up with all these really cool miniatures. One side was Space Marines painted in black, I'm not sure they had any particular chapter in mind, and the other side was old school Tyranids.

The guy who was running the table invited me to play along with some other guy whose name I don't remember at all. Now back during 2nd edition your average game was 2000 pts and lasted 6+ hours at a minimum. We literally got into the 2nd or 3rd turn before everyone had to do something else. But I was hooked.

I begged family for cash on my following birthday so that I could get my own starter set. This box included 2 squads of space marines with sergants and heavy weapons, as well as an ork force with gretchin support. One thing about those gretchin, they had very pointy helmets and the absolute last thing you wanted to do was step on one in the middle of the night in bare feet. I swear I still have pointy gretchin helmets still embedded in my feet.

Pointy helmeted bastards!

I never painted the orks, I just wasn't into them at the time and I made Curtis play them every time. It's a perk of being the oldest brother, the youngest always has to be Cobra, or the Orks, or the Cleveland Browns.

That's a bit of a low blow, I don't follow football at all.

So the two squads of space marines I put together and painted one up as close to Space Wolves as i could get, then the other became Blood Angels. I couldn't paint worth anything, still really can't but at least I've learned tricks to compensate for that.

Then I started building on top of those. Got some eldar, got some tyranid warriors and on and on, nothing really put together or with any sort of theme, just whatever I could get. I never really got it together until several years later after getting married.

We were living back at mom's house while we were saving up for our first house when my brothers and I started talking about 40k again and how much fun we had playing it before. I think Curtis mis-remembered his exact amount of fun since he always complained about being the bad guy. I tried tracking down what I had left of my space marines but between 2 moves and having them stored at various friends' houses they were all gone.

I started back up with the Imperial Guard while Curtis went with the Tau who were a brand new army at the time. We were painting and building and having an awesome time. We built our first gaming table together. It wasn't a solid table, we had 12"x12" tiles that we build terrain onto, then divided them up with 12"x6" road sections and once we were set we got to playing.

Curtis definately got his revenge for every time he had to be the Orks or Cobra or the Browns.

I can't remember a single game that entire first year we played that I won. I think the best I managed was a draw and that was only once or twice. He still wipes the floor with me regularly. I have had one or two victories with my Imperial Guard against him, a handful of wins with my Tyranids and have utterly decimated him with my Orks. I'm always surprised at how much trouble he has with the orks since I have no specialty units but the best he's managed against them is a draw and even then it was down to the wire.

Actually they're not really my Orks. I'm starting them for my oldest son so that when he's able to understand the game I can start teaching him and their will be an army ready for him. I picked Orks for him because they share a lot of similarities. Wild, bursting with energy, completely fearless and ready to leap into anything without thinking twice.

Also now that he has access to watercolor paints they both tend to be very green....