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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Are you one of the lucky ones?

By this I mean did you get your copy of the rules? I didn’t. After all these months of reading rumors, getting excited about a new edition, taking the time to preorder with my local gaming store and making sure I would be there when they opened on the day they could sell the books and be the first in line to buy my purchases. I looked forward to getting together with friends, reading the book, talking over stuff and perhaps playing a game….
Instead, I am met with a sad face of an employee that explains that GW shorted the product to the store. Those that prepaid got their copy and everyone else is just out of luck. Well, it has been busy for me at work so getting by the store was the last thing on my mind; I also want to support my local store by making my purchases there instead of online. Sure, sometimes I may get some stuff online but it is also my intent to keep the local stores open otherwise we don’t have a place to play. They have to pay their bills after all!
The only small merit of the day is I was able to buy the two decks of psychic cards I ordered for myself and as a birthday gift for my friend. Still, I got no rules copy and just watched some friends play a game and sat on the sidelines watching without a copy of my own to read and enjoy. So, I am now sitting around waiting for the rest of the order to come in. I have lost time now that I could have played a test game and read the book to start learning the rules.
I sent GW a complaint email, will they care? Hell no. They really did bad business this time around, shafting their retailers for one, then their customers secondly. This has been one of the worst releases GW has ever done with any edition that I can recall.
As a former GW employee and have read the red book, this is a huge disgrace to the GW company as a whole and someone should answer for this. I mean, really, where was the failure?
I am now just waiting for my copy to come in, man this weekend has been an utter disappointment.

Friday, June 29, 2012

T Minus and counting! Launch all drop pods!

Pods away! Rule books inbound! We are a go for invasion!

It is the day before the release and we are all no doubt like children waiting for Christmas! Checking our mailboxes, asking the stores when they will sell the books and polishing up their armies as well as blowing dust off old armies for future alliances.

Perhaps he should go with a shorter robe?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Allies in 40k, Cherry Picking Allies....

We all know allies are going to be very popular, at least for the early quarter of 6th, about halfway through 6th people may get bored and move back to singular armies.

What we have in the new rules with allies is this:

1 HQ and 1 Troop must be taken, then you can add 1 more Troop, 1 each Elite, Fast, Heavy

You of course have to take in your primary army the base 1 HQ and 2 Troop choices.

Then you have to pick your allies. These come in three flavors:

Battle Brothers: Same army, able to use benefits from both codex rules on one another if possible.

Allies of Convenience: Neutral, you are playing two separate armies. One cannot really help the other one out rules wise. Still you can get perks with some good choices to fill in your weak points.

Desperate Allies: You have to roll the dice for each unit; on a 1 the unit will do nothing as it is watching their allies!

So, we know most people are going to take Battle Brothers or Allies of Convenience to get away with the best benefits. Most of the Imperials play well with one another except the Grey Knights; even the Sister’s are giving it up to more armies than them!

Note: I would like to point out we are going backwards now again from the opposite way of thinking GW had back starting around 4th, by 5th all secondary books was phased out and the thought of “one codex per army” was the mandatory rule (this went for Fantasy also). Do you recall all the stuff that disappeared? Eye of Terror, Armageddon and Storm of Chaos (among others) that was phased out to this policy. Back in the day of 3rd Ork players bitched they had to access both the IG and Space Marine book to “loot” vehicles from each, thus having to buy 3 books instead of one. In the Eye of Terror to play a Traitor Guard list required a Chaos Codex and IG codex along with the Eye of Terror book. Now we are going right back to it, if not more so….

People bitched when the Executioner as dropped from the Space Wolf Codex, IG players cried when they lost armor, Traitor List players with these fantastic armies was suddenly holding useless models. Even the Legion Astrates when they left removed elements players loved like Word Bearers taking 9 troop choices (and later loosing demons kicking their fluff into the dust) and Iron Warriors able to take that 4th Heavy choice that could include a Basilisk or Demolisher (before they got it officially).

So, let’s look at each army and see what the choicest items to take are! Now bear in mind these are just my likely predictions and you will see exceptions on the table either by experimentation, bad choices (or rather what they have at the time) or someone has found a good combo with something else.

Black Templars: Pretty much uses the Marine Codex, I don’t own it but I know the basic deal behind the codex, there is little here you could not benefit from or more from the Marine Codex.

HQ: Command Squads (cheap support weapons or heavy weapons, +1 to reserves or -1 to the enemy) or Psyker (extra psyker, cheap),
Troops: Platoon Squads (heavy weapons, special weapons, bulk #s and transports cheap and objective grabbers), Vets (better BS and loaded with weapons)
Other: Battle Psyker Squads (leadership crushing), Ratlings (cheap snipers to pick off targets), Vendettas/Valkyries (flyer if you lack one), Tanks (Hydras, Executioner, Exterminator, Leman Russ, Demolisher, Bombards, Medusas and Manticores) (if it has treads people can find a use for it).

Space Wolves:
HQ: Rune Priests (4+ blades to nullify psychic powers)
Troops: Grey Hunters (best core Space Marine)
Other: Scouts (sneak behind the enemy lines), Thunder Wolf Calvary (possible shock unit), Long Fangs (cheap missile squads)

Dark Angels: Belial+Deathwing or Samuel+Ravenwing (either you want bikes or terminators)

HQ: Librarian, Shrike, Vulcan, Pedro Cantor, Lysander
Troops: Scouts (scoring and flanks/infiltrates, can have sniper options),
Other: Thunderfire Cannons, Devastator Teams (both give that 4th heavy choice), Stern Guard (unique ammo/weapon options)

Blood Angels:
HQ: Mephiston or Librarian (psyker again)
Troops: Jump Troops or Scouts (your choice, deep strike or flank/infiltrate with sniper rifles)
Other: Sanguinary Priests (feel no pain and furious charge), Baals (scouting tanks with a flame cannon or a shooting beast), Devastators, Predators and Storm Raven

Sister’s of Battle:
HQ; Saint Celestine (bitch won’t die easy)
Troops: Battle Sisters (got to have one)
Other: Dominion Squads (4 meltas, yes please), Exorcist (D6, AP1 missiles? YEA!)

Grey Knights:
HQ: Inquisitors, Drago, Librarian
Troops: Henchmen, Terminators
Other: Vindicare, Paladins (possible), Purifiers, Storm Raven (for the anti-psyker missiles, rare though), Dreadknights, Dreadnought with TL ACs with Psycannon ammo.

HQ: Crisis Suit Commander
Troops: Token Fire Warrior Squad
Other: Crisis Suits, Broadsides

HQ: Autarch (reserve buff and weapon options) or Farseer (for anti-psyker and psyker), Eldrard (crack baby of psykers)
Troops: Dire Avengers or Pathfinders (my bet is on the snipers)
Other: Dark Reapers, Banshees, Fire Dragons

Dark Eldar:
HQ: The Baron,
Troops: Small Unit of Warriors in Venoms (one or two) or in Raiders with Dark Lances
Other: Scourges (one word, Haywire, nuff said), Incubi, Razorwing and Void Raven flyers and Ravanger.

HQ: Big Mek (with KFF)
Troops: Boyz or Gretchin (if you want cheap)
Others: Lootas, new flyers (for air support),

HQ: Imotek (Nightfight), Generic Necron Lord
Troops: Immortals or Warriors (with Ghost Arks)
Other: Wraiths, Destroyers, Night Scythe, Doom Scythe, Scarabs, Tomb Spyders, Command Barge (if you go with a generic lord with a scythe)

Chaos: (this one is hard to call as the new codex is about to hit)
HQ: Sorcerer, Ahiriman (psyker from hell), Lucius (challenges), Demon Prince (in most cases looking for the psychic option)
Troops: Plague Marines, Noise Marines (runner up)
Other: Chosen (lots of guns, flanking), Terminators (?), Obliterators (mix weapons)

HQ: Fateweaver, Greater Demons of Nurgle and Slaanesh (possible), Cheap Heralds (Tzeench in chariots), Epidemus (Nurgle only lists with Chaos)
Troops: Bloodletters, Plaguebearers (secondary, objective holders)
Other: Blood Crushers, Flamers, Fiends, Demon Prince, Soul Grinders

What do you think? Anything to add to any of the lists above?

And now a musical interlude by....

Don't Panic! 6th Edition is almost here and change is good!

This is all just early predictions but I see 40k shifting slightly in several ways of game balance:

1)      Psychic powers are going to appear in every army, or rather some element of anti-psyker to counter it.
2)       Long range shooting is going to take a back seat to mid-range shooting and close combat. Why? A 4+ for night fighting starting turn one says, that 50% of your games are going to use these rules at some point and thus will restrict your shooting unless you plan accordingly. People being lazy creatures will revert more towards mid quarters lists to balance this out.
3)      Allies are going to be in most lists, at least for the first year or two until people go back to pure lists. I suspect you will see lists on average with at least 25% to 50% of the points packed into allies. Anything more and they should be the primary army.
4)      Balance will be restored to vehicles thus making mechanized a bit more balanced and easier to deal with than before where it was hard to defeat unless you expected it (thus had a list kitted to do so) or you had amazing dice luck.
5)      With the changes to the deep striking chart, expect to see more of this appear in lists again.
6)      Tau, Eldar and IG will be the most popular Allies. Simple Tau has Rail Guns (helps armies short on firepower), Eldar (Runes to mess up psykers for most Xenos lists, add psychic powers if missing) and IG (cheap scoring, guns and tanks).
7)      With overwatch people will think twice about charging large units…
8)      Move and Fire heavy weapons and longer ranged rapid fire is going to make plasma popular again and many weapon types may reappear that have been missing like Plasma Cannons and Multi-meltas.

I can voice this one though also…don’t panic! It may be a new edition but there is no need to hate it or rail on it until you have had a moment to read the rules and play a few games.

Enjoy this quiet time of newness and such as this is the best point of any edition is when it is new and fresh. Once people start trying to figure out how to break and abuse the rules in “legal loops” on the rules then it is game on, feel free to hate then. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

6th Rules are leaking out!

Books are appearing shock is some stuff I have grabbed from the boards from someone that has a copy (or so claims).

Core System

- Change to Pre-Measure like WHFB 8th Edition.
- Force Organization Chart is still in use, no use of Percentage
- Adding new FoC Slot called "Fortification" [0-1] / see below
- Phases remains the same, Movement, Shooting, and then Assault
- No Psychic Phase
- No Initiative Phase

Movement Phase
- Movement is pretty much the same. Infantry can move 6", Jump Infantry 12" and so on.

Shooting Phase
- Rapid Fire weapons can now fire at target 24" away irregardless of moving or not. (or choose to fire twice at target 12" away)
- Pistol is pretty much the same.
- New Weapon type "Salvo" - firing at max. range & max. shots if not move, or 1/2 range and 1/2 shots if moving.
- Heavy Weapon can now be fired on the move, but will be subjected to 'snap fire' rule.
- "Snap Fire" allows certain weapon types to shoot even if moving, but with a BS of 1 (ie. 6 to hit)
- Blast Weapons cannot "snap fire"
- You can only killed as much models in target unit as you can actually see (and within max range).
- Casualties are now removed from closest to furthest.
- Wound Allocation is completely changed.
- When shooting at unit partially in cover, player can choose to "Focus Fire" to kill only models in the open (or in a less covered position).
- You can now throw (most) grenades in the Shooting Phase at the range of 8", limited to 1 grenade per unit per Phase.

Assault Phase
- Charge Distance is now 2D6" adding together.
- Unit can elect to "Overwatch" if being assaulted. Simply a "Stand and Shoot 40K version" - resolved at BS1, Template does D3 hit instead.
- Overwatch can be done only once per turn.
- Unit declaring multiple assaults will suffer from "Disoriented Charge" (not get +1A)
- Unit assaulting multiple enemy unit is subjected to multiple Overwatch.
- Unlike Stand & Shoot, Overwatch does NOT cause Morale Check or Pinning.
- Pile-in reduced to 3" and is done at the model's Initiative Step (ie. before the model could strike)
- Casualties are removed from the front rank, like the case of Shooting Phase
- Units can elect to auto-fail Morale Check at the end of Combat if all models in the unit cannot hurt the attacker at all (ie. S3 vs T10).
- Challenges are in for IC.
- Close-Combat Weapon now have AP value, ranging from AP- to AP1. Pistols don't grant more bonus than in 5th Edition.
- Power SWORD and Lightning Claws are "S: as user" AP3, though Power AXE is S+1, AP2, but is subjected to penalties (Initiative Reduced)
- Fists and Chainfists are Sx2 AP2 and Unwieldy (Intiative reduced to 1), Thunder Hammers has "Concussive" (the exact (or almost) same rules as in 5th Edition)

- Vehicles are now limited to move at the maximum of 12" in the Movement Phase (though it can move further in the Shooting Phase if desired)
- Vehicles can opt to move "Flat Out" in the Shooting Phase, adding an extra 6".
- Vehicles movement and weapons. Defensive and Primary Weapons are gone. You can fire all of your weapons at most of the time. But moving faster will result in less weapon fired at basic BS, the rest will be fired at BS1 (Snap Fire)
- Fast Skimmer moving Flat Out can be more lethal (fire more weapons than in 5th and moving faster [12" Normal + 18" Flat Out])
- Skimmer got a cover save called Jink, basically 5+ cover save and improved to 4+ if going Flat Out.
- Vehicles count as WS0 (auto-hit) if stationary and WS1 (3+ hit) if moved. No idea on how Fast or Skimmer will have bonus, as cover aren't used in Assault.
- Flyers are now in, with its own rules.
- Flyers can move very fast and is hard to target (6 only to hit) unless the shooter has Skystrike rules that allow them to shoot flyer at normal BS.
- When moving fast (called "Zooming") Flyers cannot move less than 12" and cannot disembark any models.

Vehicle and Damage
- New Vehicle Damage Chart, one to rule them all. 1-2 being Shaken, 3 Stunned, 4 and 5 Weapon Destroyed and Immobilised, and 6 Explodes! You only roll the table if the shot penetrate the Armour. Wrecks occur only from taking certain amount of Glancing Hits.
- AP 2 weapons add +1 to the chart, while AP1 adds +2.
- AP"-" is no longer -1 on the table.
- Open-Topped is +1 as well.
- No more "Half Strength if the center hole is off", you always use full strength for any blast that hits the vehicle.
- Hull Points - a new style "wound" for vehicles. Any Glancing Hits removes 1 Hull Point, Penetrate Hit removes 1 Hull Point as well as rolling on the Damage Chart above. If reduced to 0 HP, the vehicle becomes Wreck.
- Vehicles has 3 or 4 HP, notable 4 HP vehicles are Ghost Ark, Land Raider, and Monolith. Details can be found in the rulebook appendix. (Bloodwing stated that some player propose that the formula for Hull Points is Front + Side(once) + Rear divide by 3. Fractions rounding down - this seems to be true.

Vehicle and Passenger
- Passenger can only disembark if vehicle move 0-6".
- Disembarking rules changes, you now place models in base contact with the access point and move up to 6" - this is the furthest distance the unit may move.
- Embarking is pretty much the same.
- Unit count as moving if the vehicle moved 0.1-6", and can only "Snap Fire" if the vehicle move 6.01 - 12"
- Open-topped transport rules are the same (access points and fire points)
- Exploding Flyer that has "zoomed" will result in a S10 no armour save on its passenger. And some sort of S6 Large Blast at any unit under the point the vehicle goes on flame.

Psychic Power
- NO PSYCHIC PHASE (or whatever people are assuming they are)
- Perils of the Warp causes one wound, no saves of any kind allowed.
- Types of psychic power, witchfire (psychic shooting attack), focused witchfire (has a chance to allow player to choose the target model when removing casualty by rolling low scores on Psychic Test), nova (affects all enemy units within range), maelstrom (affecting both friendly and enemy within range), blessing (augmented friend), and malediction (de-buff enemy).
- "Deny the Witch" - every models/units have a slight chance to nullify the effect of psychic power (6+). Chances increase if your unit has Psyker.
- Psychic Hood is reduced to 4+ Deny the Witch if the target of the power is within 6" of the wearer.
- There are 5 new Disciplines of Psychic Powers in the BRB, each has 7 Powers. Each army can access different Disciplines, some cannot use them at all.
- Casting Psychic Power remains the same as in 5th.
- Psychic Powers now have 2 level, calling Warp Charge 1 and 2. Mastery Level 1 can only use Warp Charge 1 power, while Mastery Level 2 allows you to cast 2 "Warp Charge 1" power or 1 "Warp Charge 2". Higher Mastery allows for more.
- Each Psyker generate Warp Charge equal to his Mastery Level.

- Look Out, Sir! is in. Grants character 50% chance to evade the attack if he's within 6" of friendly unit (works in combat too), resolved each successful Look Out Sir on the models within 6" instead.
- Look Out Sir! is improved to 2+ for Independent Character.
- Character can issue / accept challenges.
- One model in your army will be the Warlord (one with highest LD), Warlord can roll on a table (there's 3 table, you can choose 1) to see what benefit he receive. Examples are units within 12" can use his LD, the Character count as Scoring Units, Warlord has FNP if within 3" of Objective.

- Fortification - a new addition to the FoC, limited to 0-1 this allows player to purchase some kind of terrain for their army. Expensive one are Fortress of Redemption (220 points) and cheap ones are Aegis Defence Lines (50 points)
- Allies - a new system that allows player to have a detachment made of another army in the list. Allies works like WFB8th Edition with best buddies, normal allies, and untrusted. The detachment is limited to 1HQ and 1 Troop(compulsory) and additional 1 Troop, 1 Elite, 1 Fast Attack, and 1 Heavy Support.

- There are 3 Deployment Types, one being the classic Pitched Battle, second one is reversed Pitched Battle (deploying along the short table edges), and third one is a triangular deployment.
- Selecting deployment zone remains the same, roll-off to see who deploys first and go first.
- Seize Initiative is still the same.
- 6 Missions with 2 Level Objectives. Primary Objectives grants more Victory Points, but harder to achieve. Secondary Objective is always 1 VP and has 3 of them. First Blood (for getting the first "kill point", Slay the Warlord (for killing the enemy Warlord - aka. general), and Linebreaker (having your units in enemy deployment zone at the end of the game)
- Deep Strike Mishap is softened now: 1 - You're Dead, 2-3 Misplaced, and 4-6 Delayed.
- Feel No Pain dropped to 5+
- There's still only 1 Level of Instant Death, no Instant Death(x)
- Fleet allows for re-rolls on Run and possibly Assault distances.
- "Hammer of Wrath" allows model to make single attack at their base strength before combat on the turn it assault. Jump Infantry and Bike have it.
- Monstrous Creature can make "Smash" attack, forfeit half of its attack to resolve attack at Sx2 against vehicle.
- Flying Monstrous Creature can make two mode of movement. One being 24" move, performing D3+1 "Vector Strike" on a single unit within the path and then shoot up to two weapons or run 2D6" in the shooting phase. However, it cannot assault or being assaulted unless it get shot and fall down from the sky first (can't remember how you fire at it, 6 only?) Should it fall from the sky, it will take S9 hit and can now be assaulted as normal.
- Sniper has rule to allow them to allocate wounds to the model of your choice if you roll a 6 when rolling to hit.
- Rage is now +2 Attack on assault.
- Many new generalization of rules...such as Armourbane (roll 2d6 for armour penetration) and Fleshbane (2+ to wound)....this also expands to weapons as well (unwieldy, concussive, etc.)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Where is 6th Edition going?

As I wait for my book and mull over the bits of information that I have managed to glean so far.

Stelek over at Truth Hurts made a nice chart from the crappy GW allies list. What is interesting is some of the really weird choices for allies for some armies, some of them are just totally wrong!

Here is the chart if you have not seen it:

So, here is some of my predictions based on the rumors flying about:

1) Larger games, this happened with Fantasy. It will happen again, with Fortifications and new allies options is going to open up the larger game concepts. White Dwarf already pimped 2500 point games. So, expect to see those 1850 and 2k point games disappear in favor of 2250 or 2500 games now.

2) Every army will more than likely have IG as allies, who would not want them to bolster up their weak codex? Otherwise, people are going to find that army to boost their weakness and game on!

3) Broken lists are going to take a new meaning soon, with allies there is going to be so many "grey lines" in the game that GW is going to either have to FAQ the hell out of each codex or things are just going to be plain stupid. Imagine now each FAQ is going to have to address "allies" now.

4) Flyers will appear for a short period of time, then slowly fade from the scene once established lists become dominate like it has been with 5th.

5) Fortifications are going to be the new pain in the ass for 40k. Yea, now I have to drag scenery with me to games. Wonder if this will make it into tournaments?

6) Psychic powers are going to be all over the place. Yea, things are going to be crazy with psychic wars going on left and right due to allies options and the new powers introduced. Time to step back to 2nd edition!

That said, time to sign off and leave you with these two music videos to top off my thoughts! Enjoy!

Jagged Alliance: Back in Action Review

Well, when I was out on my birthday weekend I stumbled upon this little gem! Wow! I loved Jagged Alliance 2 and Unfinished Business when they came out over 10 years ago! I still play the hell out of the games and there has been several fan mods done for JA2 that has been simply amazing including rolling mercs in from Unfinished Business and adding new ones toss in some weapons and better distribution of gear loads and you had a kick ass game to replay again and again.....

While this is not a new story, it is the same old story as before where you have to go to Alrucio to kill a dictator that killed her father-in-law and blamed her husband (and heir) for the murder. He manages to escape to hire a group of mercs to go back into the county and help the rebels free the country of the tyranny and shoot the bitch that betrayed him.

What is nice is how they did some "soft" changes to the story keeping it familiar yet, fresh in playing it. NPCs have changed slightly, but again familiar. The mercenary interaction with the comments and one liners they make are a scream (and they do use profanity) as well as several mercs will refuse to work for you without another merc working already to give you credibility or flat out refuse because they hate someone else already on your team. I always loved that dynamics of personality in a game...

The single most unique thing about the game was JA2 was the mix of "real time" and "turn based combat" that really made the game great. Move around, do what you need to do and when trouble starts then the combat goes to turn based. The new format with Back in Action is a bit more real time but also has the option to pause and give the squad orders that once you go back to real time they will execute them thus keeping a nice tactical flow to the game. This balances out the quest and the combat action all in one nice little package.

I have noticed that tactics are key to this game as before, except this time the AI is smarter and keeps getting tougher as you progress into the island. You will get swarmed, they will use cover and  heal if possible unlike the old JA2 where they was a bit more "dumb" in how they made decisions. Cover, directions of approach and alleys of fire are very key to this game. If you are not careful you may find a heavy machine gun unloading on you or a sniper cracking off shots as several guys run towards you with SMGs, pistols and fire axes ready to tear you apart.

Management was made simple with the same format as Unfinished Business where you just simply pay the single fee to the merc and you have them for the entire game. In the past you had to manage your books which to me was a fun but also frustrating element to the game because you had to renew contracts, pay insurance fees and such as well as worry about your income sources. That is also another nice change, not only will a mine get you cash but several other sites will help generate some cash once you capture them.

If I had to complain there would be two comments I could make:
1) There is no MERC in the game, they was a second rate outfit you could hire dirt cheap mercs from. They offered a great deal of comedy to the game.
2) You can no longer generate your own squad leader to the game. In JA2 you could make your own merc, now it is strictly hire from the list.

Overall, I am pleased with this game and have been in need of something excellent to distract me from life in general and was a nice 40th birthday gift to find. I recommend if you like military based strategy games with the mix of RP/Quest style in a great story this is well worth an investment.

What is cool is this is tied into STEAM so for a few bucks more you can add some extra gear or modules for mini games to enjoy. They say the stories expand the background on the mercs as you play the game and I am looking forward to trying them out. I also just found out there a book series written on this that I may have to find now.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

White Dwarft 389 Review

 Well, let me start by saying I have not purchased a copy of White Dwarf since the issue that updated the Vampire Counts Army with the new unit updates in it. So, it has been a LONG time since I have purchased a copy. I flip through them to see if there is anything worthwhile but so far until now, nothing has inspired me to purchase a copy.

 Long ago I wrote a letter to the White Dwarf editor telling them the load of crap they was publishing for $9 a copy now in the US. The book was little more than a nice catalog with some craptastic articles.

In the past GW put new rules, scenarios, painting, conversions and other great hobby materials along with excellent battle reports. That has long since been a thing of the past at lest until now. Perhaps this is a sign of the times that GW has learned some lessons and is slowly trying to fix some of their major issues including a crappy hobby magazine?

The first few pages are teaser pictures of the new flyers with Orcs and Goblins for Fantasy in the wings for an upcoming issue. We slide into an article about the Stormtalon with lots (perhapsa bit too much) of eye candy. Pages 9 and 10 are ok but there is nothing useful then ends with a two page spread trying to sell it (wait you just promoted it at the first part of the magazine) but could have been done better with showing details of the sprues instead of making it look like a nice catalog item.

Next is the Ork fighter/bombers well, more of the same, the technical pages again was a huge waste of space and the sprues could have been displayed on two pages instead of trying to make this cool catalog shot.

Of course the Necrons get a few pages, but wait! There are no technical pages here! What an insult!

The how to paint the Stormtalon was ok and was stepping back into the fare of GW’s old magazine offers. For the most part, it was well done. Did you guys have to really plug a whole page to the colors and supplies needed?

Next up is a feature called “The Battle for Cardrim” that goes back to old school White Dwarf also, granted they could have done a better job on the feature but hell, I am happy they are getting back to this concept again.

Then we get a few pages of how to paint White Scars and Orks, ok I can buy this. Granted White Scars are not the most popular kid among the Space Marines but with the feature prior using White Scars made sense. So, I will go along for the ride. It at least explained how to paint white armor!

P63 has the usual add for Assault on Black Reach. Hrm, wait I can’t find it on your website! You pulled it already for 6th! Great planning there guys!

Next up is the Standard Bearer written by Jervis Johnson, I read this when I need to fall asleep or having a really long moment in the bathroom and I want to speed up the process. This is by far one of the worst parts of the magazine, it’s boring!

Finally on p66 we get to the RULES for the new stuff! Overall the articles are well done with the Orks getting three new fliers! More on this review later! They also had some nice pictures of various paint jobs that could have been condensed into fewer pages with smaller pictures.

After several adverts we hit the article for Fantasy about the Stone Toof  Tribe! Some nice painting tips but the plugs in between are a bit much.

It was nice to hit on Armies on Parade and Games Day (which would be nice to focus more on these, hey those wasted pages perhaps?).

The rest of the book is nothing more than advertisements and promotional stuff for various things and wasting several pages. I died laughing at the EVENTS area as almost the entire thing covered TWO STATES! Hey guys, we have FIFTY in the United States! Most covered CA and WV, all I can say is WTF! Great if you live in those states!

Void Stalker: Comments as I am reading...

I just picked up the third book in the Night Lords series Void Stalker by Aaron Dembski-Bowden this weekend and already about 1/3 through the book and all I can say is WOW!

Without any spoilers, I have already been taken by surprise as one of my favorite characters has died in the book, ugh! I won’t say who, but oddly they was one of the top ones through the series. This book series has by far been one of the best Chaos series books written by Black Library short of the Storm of Iron book. This book brings forth character to the chapter that the fluff cannot convey and the attitude of those among the 8th Legion. I keep finding myself tempted to paint up some of my excess CSM figures into a Night Lords legion next….what is funny is that if you had asked me long ago, I would have told you that the Night Lords was one of my least favorite of the Legions. Strange how things change and grow on you….

If you are not reading this yet, go buy it or your soul is dammed to the Eye of Terror! Serious, go get a copy and read the whole series!

Monday, June 4, 2012

June BatRep: Anthem Games 6/2/12

Well, I loaded up the Space Wolves and headed to Anthem Games with Chris for our first tournament in June. We had a great lunch at Burger 21 that is by far the best burger I have ever had! I want to take my wife there as they have two types of vegetarian burger options and sweet potato fries among other cool things. The best way I can say is take 5 Guys and mix it with a Steak and Shake with beer and wine as options in a very nice clean modern malt shop style.

We got there and the start was a bit delayed as the tables had to get setup and we had a bonus play show up unannounced that did not register. One guy later left thinking it was "elimination" so the other player that dropped earlier got to play two games still to enjoy his day at the store.

The missions was based on the Nova open format so each mission has a primary and there is a winner and looser, if there is a draw it goes to secondary, then to the third and worst case VPs at the end to break the tie.

This was by far a weird tournament, I have been to several with NO Tyranids and this time 3 players show with bugs! We had 3 Wolves, 2 Blood Angels, I think two Gay Knights (Er Gray Knights), one or two Chaos players also...the ringer was an Ork player....

My first draw was against Ty and his Blood Angels his list was 4 Las/Plas Razorbacks with 5 man squads inside, a Land Raider Crusader loaded with assault based terminators with a Chaplain, Sanguinary Priest and Librarian wearing Terminator armor also, he also had a pair of Baals (NO I DID NOT SAY BALLS!). We had spearhead for the first game and I won the roll to go first....the deployment was simple for me, I setup the Long Fangs in buildings and the Razorbacks behind buildings for cover. The scout squads and the pack leader ready to flank.

Meet Ty, Blood Angel Commander

Ty lines up his approach towards the Wolves.

The Wolves spring into action.

Scouts surround the survivors of a blown up Razorback.

Space Wolf Scouts take cover in the ruins after wiping out another Blood Angels squad.

The game was brutal as I was just tearing up Ty's list......sadly I assumed we would not roll that famous 1 or 2 and have an extra turn to reclaim one of my objectives and either contest or control one of his two by the end of 6th. Well, I ate my choice with humble pie and took a loss my first game. The sad thing is if I had played a bit more defensive I would have taken the game for a win on the secondary as I had the Victory Points to ensure the win. *sigh*

On with game 2, this time against another Blood Angel! My opponent's name was Adam and a great guy also to go up against, his list had some similar options of a Crusader, Mephsiton, Terminators, two Storm Ravens each with a Death Company Dread, one with Death Company and the other with normal troops. Again I won the roll and deployed first. My goal was to try to keep him at bay and with Pitched Deployment I should have good odds. The game was about table quarters....I just had to play this smart and I should be able to win.

Adam seized the game on me again and advanced towards my lines and opted to hold the Stormravens in reserve. This gave me a turn or two to breathe before things could get ugly. I opened up the first shot with a single melta shot from a Rhino, hits, 6 to the armor roll, fails the smoke and rolled a 6 to glance it knocking it to a 5 (-2 pen, +1 melta). Lucky stroke there for the game. At that point I kept putting pressure on but I made a few tactical mistakes in the game that really screwed me over. Namely not shooting or assaulting his Dreadnought and there was one other point I forgot to shoot with a unit. Towards the end of the game the scout unit with the Battle Leader and Wolf Guard came in late and opted to hide behind a large chunk of scenery and hide.

As we played it out with viscous fighting all around we tallied up the results.
Table Quarters= Draw (I had two and he had two)
Kill Points=Tie
Objectives= 1 each (Tie!)
VPs= WIN for me!

Adam, the other Blood Angel Cmdr

The lucky shot!

Melee battles all over the board!

So, on to the third round against Adam's friend, Adam (yes, so I played two Blood Angels and two people named Adam at this even, weird right?) with Space Wolves. He just had a rough game prior against my friend Chris with his Space Wolves so this was his double down against the same army.

We had kill points this game with Dawn of War. He had a heavy drop pod list with 7 pods I think with 2 dreads with multi meltas, several squads, two Rune Priests, a Wolf Priest and Arjak with Terminators.

Well, I won the dice, gave him first turn. I held everything into reserve and he slammed his pods down on my side. Game on! We just sat there beating the hell out of one another, the sad part was that my dice failed me towards the 2nd round and I was slowly being taken apart. In the end Adam had won it with luck and I think if I perhaps castled more to one side or the other and used the Rhinos to slow him down I may could have won the game. Instead I took a direct head on approach typical of the Space Wolf sagas and went for the gusto! Well, it failed.

Adam, the other Wolf

The Pods slam down....

My forces deploy....

Terminator Crunch time!

The Dread that would not die!

The points was tallied up and Chris won 1st place and I won best painted (since Chris already had the top prize!) so I got the bride's maid award. I was happy with that, I rarely get the best painted as my painting is table worthy but never up to snuff of better painters out there. I had the prize award put on my card and saved up for July for the 6th Edition roll out, hey bonus there! Free rules next month or very low cost impact to the wallet. I did buy the Ork flyer to add to the horde of Orks!

Overall it was a great outing, good food, 3 great games against 3 good opponents. My only gripe is the lack of sleep the past week due to one of my dogs going insane due to old age....we just got him on meds and I hope it works so we can keep him in the family a bit longer. I just hate the zombie feeling when I game and I feel that I would have done a bit better with some rest on my side. Oh well...such as life is....

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