Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tales from the Soapbox episode II NETS edition


Ok guys, it’s time for another NETS (Not Enough Terrain Syndrome) post. The Wild West Shootout happened almost 2 weeks ago in Arizona sponsored by Battlefoam. I’d like to give props to Blackmoor for winning the event with footsloggin’ shooty Eldar (OMG!!!), and to the rest of the participants for enduring through a severe outbreak of NETS, plus surviving the worst mission in the history of 40k during which all terrain was removed from the table. Yes, you read that right round 4 of the event was played out on terrain-less tables; what the Hell?

Blackmoors battle reports and pics that speak volumes about the tables.
Wild West Shootout game #1
Wild West Shootout game #2
Wild West Shootout game #3
Wild West Shootout game #4
Wild West Shootout game #5

People paid money to participate in and travel to this event and they get this crap dropped on them. It’s just shameful, that the organizers thought that this was acceptable. The community at large really need to put tournament organizers to task, and stop laying down to be walked upon just to have someone run an event.

I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate all the effort that goes into running an event, because I have first hand knowledge from running my own. I’m saying that is someone is running an event, either do it right or don’t do it at all; especially if you are running an event that is geared for people to travel to it.

I know that sounds harsh and it’s meant to, but 40k has enough problems rules wise in a tournament environment that they should not be compounded by other factors. Never male a paying participant feel cheated by an issue the can be solved through proper planning.

As I said before, I know it’s not cheap to buy and time consuming to build terrain, but being silent about the issue is not going to make the problem better.

Organizers need to man up and ask for help if they need it. If you are light on terrain ask for people to bring some and offer prizes for best table or terrain piece.

It is time for the gamers to make a stand and speak up. Demand better terrain on your tables and make sure that it’s placed well, so every piece of terrain is not on the edges.

You can blame TastyTaste at Blood of Kittens for the proceeding post. He brings up this event in his post about when TO's should release the missions for an event.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Gaming Podcasts


I’m sure everyone out there has at least listened to one of them. I find listening to them in the background during my painting sessions to be quite entertaining.

Here is a list of the shows I listen to.

D6 Generation
Worlds End Radio
Dice Like Thunder
40k Radio
Imperial Voxcast

So far my favorite has to be Dice Like Thunder, the show has been split into two different shows, since Mack’s recent repatriation to California. They release a show every Saturday alternating between the Chicago Crew and the Cali40kation Crew each with a distinctive style of its own.

Out of all of the Podcasts that cover 40k I think the DLT guys have the firmest grasp on how the game works. The great coverage of all aspects of the 40k hobby from RAW to house rules, to painting they cover it with a passion that is unmatched so far in my opinion.

The show does have some raunchy adult humor and language, so keep that in mind.

I quite enjoy the raunchy humor while listening to the show, it’s almost like hanging out with your buddies on game night, and this really sells the show for me.

I’d also like to bring attention to the guys over at the Imperial Voxcast. It’s a rather new show, but it seems that they are finding their groove. This show like DLT does contain adult humor and language.

So head on over and check them out, if you haven’t already and tell them that I sent you.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tales from the Soapbox episode I


Why can’t some people just play 40k? I am sick and tired of the my list is better than your list because I got it off the internet, and the by they way that unit you are using is crap conversations at the local shops. Hell, I’m so sick of it I have almost completely stopped visiting forums.

So I was at the LGS today and overheard another conversation about this list is better than that list, don’t use that unit because it is crap because they read it somewhere on an Internet forum. This was happening as a couple of guys were setting up to play, the twenty something guy was slamming the thirty something guys list. The young guy was using a tough as nails Internet IG list with all the bells and whistles, painted in that drybrush everything style, while the older guy was using a Chaos marine list that was painted nicely and contained Bikes, Lesser Daemons and Possessed marines.

On turn one the younger guy’s friend shows up and he announces loudly that they would still be able to get a game in because he would have the CSM list tabled by turn three. The older guy just grinned, knowing full well that he knew how to use his army.

The really funny thing is that the younger guy got hit tail handed to him in a bad way. He then ranted about how if only his dice had rolled well he would have won. Sure he had some bad luck, but the simple fact is that the other guy just out played him. I really wish that he had congratulated the guy for the victory. Oh and incase you were wondering the game lasted 6 full turns.

Now don’t get me wrong I have trolled the forum scene looking at lists and tacticas, but I would never tell someone there list was crap, let alone do it before any dice had been rolled. Heck I even post lists here on my blog, looking for feedback, but at least I normally state right off the bat that I’m not looking for a power list.

I play for recreation and don’t feel the need to consult the stars or mathhammer the crap outta my lists to see if they are efficient; that’s just too much work and I get paid to do that all week. I want to be casual and relax during a game; after all we are not really deciding the fate of the galaxy, right?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Galaxy in Flames update and Necron Progress report


So here is the first Necron update. I’ve built 10 Destroyers, 8 Flayed Ones, a Tomb Spyder and the first completed Warrior conversion. Above is a comparison shot for scale purposes between a Flayed One, a standard cron painted by my stepson, and the Conversion. I must say, I really like the conversion.

In total I will be converting, 40 Warriors and 16 Immortals out of the standard minis. I have 32 Necron destroyer lord torsos and Immortal Blaster arms from my time at GW, I miss being able to order bits on the cheap. I’ll be adding those parts to converted beefed up legs for the Immortals.

For the paint scheme I’ve decided to try a rust crusted metal vibe, with the rust worn off in many places showing the bare metal beneath. This pic is kinds what I am going for with a little less orange rust and more metal showing.



I decided to change the layout of the Blog as you may have noticed. I like it, but am curious to hear what you guys think.

Tomorrow I'm going to do a review of the DLT Forge Star Necron List.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Necron Players, check out DLT's Forge Star Campaign's Necron list


So my buddy and I have been wracking our brains for an effective list for the Necron army. As you may know the Necrons took a really big hit with the release of 5th edition 40k. It’s not that he wants to go win tournaments with Necrons, but he does want to have a competitive chance of winning most games.

In passing this afternoon he mentioned making an update like I am doing for the Soul Reapers. Then a like a bolt of lightning I remembered that the Guys at Dice Like Thunder my favorite podcast had made an updated Necron list in their latest campaign setting, The Forge Star.

It’s a really groovy list, it removes the Ctan but you gain three new Necron Lord choices! It also has a lot of nifty tweaks to a little more than half of the armies entries. So if you have a Necron army and want to have a lot of fun with your friends check it out!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Ancient have awakened



It looks like GIF is going to be seized by the Star Gods, while I build and paint a commission Necron army for one of my long time friends. Last year I had pointed out a thread on Warseer by Pazshadow and told him that if I ever did a Necron army that I would do similar conversions.


Damn those Necrons standing upright look fantastic!

Almost a year later, he has decided to get back into 40K and wants to have this awesome looking army for himself; some people are so selfish! :-)

I am picking up the miniatures from him tonight so expect updates soon.

Now this commission does not mean that work on the Soul Reapers codex stops completely, but I will focus on playtesting rather than finishing the minis from their three-color status for now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Soul Reapers Special rules Mk III



After another dozen games or so, I have settled on the rules that will be moving forward into greater playtesting. Stubborn has been dropped and Fear is for the Weak has been re-written, and added Ancient Enemies.

I have also clarified the Butchers Blade rules in the entry for Titus.

Soul Reapers Special Rules

The models in a Soul Reaper army use a number of special rules that are common to more than one unit, as specified in the entries that follow. Given here are either the details of those rules or where to find them.

Fear is for the weak: Soul Reapers have been in service the Chaos for ten millennia and know that the Dark Gods watch over them.

Soul Reapers never have their leadership reduced by more than –2 Ld as the result of losing an assault. If the Unit loses the assault by more than -2, then immediately take any remaining modifiers as armor saves. They may also attempt to regroup even if the squad has been reduced less than half strength through casualties.


Ancient Enemies: The Soul Reapers have been fighting their loyalist brothers for ten thousand years; they have become accustomed to their combat doctrines.

Soul Reapers are subject to the ‘Ancient Enemies’ rule; models with this rule may re-roll any ones on the hit dice in the assault phase, when fighting any Space Marines loyal to the Emperor. (This rule applies when facing armies built from Codex Space Marines, Codex Dark Angels, Codex Black Templars, Codex Blood Angles and Codex Space Wolves)


Undivided We Stand: The Soul reapers detest the though of becoming single-minded minions of any particular Chaos God. Because of this the Soul Reapers make very limited use of the Cults of Chaos. A Soul Reapers army my only contain one unit of Berzerkers, Rubric Marines, Noise Marines, or Plague Marines for every HQ model in the army. Cult marines never count as the compulsory troops selections.


Icons of Chaos: The Soul Reapers make no use of icons dedicated to the Chaos Gods. They may only take the Icon of Chaos Glory as listed in the Codex Chaos Space Marine.


Listed below are the Units from Codex Chaos Space Marines with the changes to their entry. Any unit not listed below is used as they are listed in the Codex Chaos Space Marines.



HQ


All the Special Characters and the Daemon Prince entry in the Chaos Space Marine Codex are not available to a Soul Reapers army.

Chaos Lord: Gains Ancient Enemies

Chaos Sorcerer: Gains Fear is for the Weak and Ancient Enemies

Elite

Chaos Chosen Space Marines: Gain Fear is for the Weak and Ancient Enemies, they are otherwise unchanged.

Chaos Terminators: Gain Fear is for the Weak and Ancient Enemies, they are otherwise unchanged.

Possessed Chaos Space Marines: Roll for their Daemonkin abilities at the beginning of the game before deployment.

Troops

Chaos Space Marines: Gain Fear is for the Weak and Ancient Enemies, they are otherwise unchanged.

Fast Attack

Chaos Raptors: Gain Fear is for the Weak and Ancient Enemies, they are otherwise unchanged.

Chaos Bikes: Gain Fear is for the Weak and Ancient Enemies, and the point value drops from 35 to 28 points per model.

Chaos Spawn: Gain the Feel no Pain special rule for no additional cost.

Heavy Support

Chaos Havocs: Gain Fear is for the Weak and Ancient Enemies, they are otherwise unchanged.


Soul Reaper Special Characters

Titus the Butcher

The Daemon Prince Titus the Butcher started out as the second in command of the World Eaters seventeenth Grand Company. He was and is still the armored fist of Lord Krüg, when there is something impossible to do Titus is unleashed to resolve the problem.

Titus earned the title the Butcher and ascended to Princedom on the planet Lambosia on the far Eastern Fringe. It was during a campaign to reclaim one of the Salmora artifacts, that Titus was tasked with holding the Star Phantom Space Marines back while the Sorcerer Xusia preformed the rituals to locate the artifact. Titus lead an elite unit of Reavers from Lord Krügs handpicked Terminator bodyguard into a mountain pass to bock the path of the Star Phantoms. During the fight the Reavers were whipped out and Titus was left surrounded by the lackeys of the Emperor. He had already been mortally wounded, but refused to succumb to his wounds and fail Lord Krüg. Titus grabbed a second power sword from one of his fallen comrades and proceeded to charge headlong into the remaining Star Phantoms. When the dust settled the Star Phantoms were either dead or routing from the field, Titus collapsed knowing that his task was complete.

As he lay there dying he heard the whispers of the Dark Gods. They were pleased with his dedication and the carnage he had done to his foes. They offered him untold power and a chance to fight again exacting his revenge on the Imperium for the greater glory of Chaos. He accepted the offer and rose up as a mighty Daemon Prince of Chaos.


Titus the Butcher
Daemon Prince: 200 points



War Gear:
Personal Icon
The Butchers Blade

Special Rules:
Fearless
Eternal Warrior
5+ invulnerable save
Feel no Pain
Fleet

The Butchers Blade: is a massive Chaos runesword carried by the Daemon Prince Titus. His brutality is know and feared throughout the Eastern Fringe. Titus can usually be found standing atop a pile of corpses in the middle of the enemy lines. He is very good at cutting large groups of his foes down with one mighty swing of the Butchers Blade.

To represent this in the game Titus may give up his normal attacks to make single strength 5 attack against all enemy non-vehicle models in base contact. This is an all or nothing attack with a single die roll to hit; if there are multiple WS’s involved the roll to hit is against the highest WS. If successful roll to wound; with the wounds allocated among those models in base contact with Titus.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rules from the Man-cave


Here are two house rules from the Galaxy in Flames Man-cave, that we use all the time. They add a lot of tactical depth to our Warhammer 40k games.

Think about it, who in their right mind would sit there not shooting their guns at an opponent charging into them? Or how hard it would be to launch an all out assault on the enemy if there is a withering hail of lead bearing down on you?

To us these rules make sense. They may not be for you, but hey I thought I’d put ‘em out here.


The Unit Suppression rule does not affect units that are Fearless. As they don’t care about being shot at, and can never be suppressed.

Unit Suppression in Warhammer 40k; we have added a suppression mechanic to our 40k games. It was shamelessly pilfered and tweaked from our experience with Flames of War. Suppression is used to affect a units ability to function properly in the Assault phase.

In the shooting phase keep track of how many hits each non-vehicle unit takes. At the end of the phase any unit that has taken five or more hits from shooting than it has models in the unit, must pass a leadership test or they become suppressed. Suppression lasts until the end of the suppressed units next player turn.

A suppressed unit must pass a leadership test to be capable of launching an assault. If the test is passed the assault is launched as normal; if the test is failed the unit falls back and automatically regroups at the end of the move, even if they normally would ‘not’ be able to do so. (For example, even a unit that has been reduced to less than half strength would be able to regroup in this type of fallback move)

If a suppressed unit is assaulted, they do not get their Defenders React move, but may pile in after the initial Assault is done.


Defensive Fire in Warhammer 40k; this was also shamelessly pilfered and tweaked from Flames of War. Defensive Fire makes assaulting more dangerous and tactical.

This is not a normal shooting phase and supercedes the normal infantry shooting rules; facing does matter. Any unit that receives an assault may fire all it’s weapons at the assaulting unit as they move into contact, as long as the assaulting unit starts off in the 180-degree models eye view of the defensive firing unit; 90-degrees to either side of the models head.

Vehicles may also defensive fire, but only at targets that start off in direction the weapons are facing; in defensive fire sponsons, pintle mounts and turrets do not move.

During Defensive Fire shooting each model in the unit fires their weapon at full effect as listed in the weapons summary in their codex, as long as the unit is not suppressed. If the unit is suppressed all weapons in the unit get one shot regardless of their normal game statistics.

If the assaulting unit becomes suppressed during the assault move it loses its +1 attack for launching the assault.

Edit: I may make this a regular bi-weekly set of articles if there is enough interest.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

It's ok, Little Timmy, the House Rules won't bite.



Ok guys, it’s story time with Big Jim!

Why the heck are gamers so unimaginative nowadays?

So I am over at my friends house last night to get another playtest for my Soul Reapers dex in; my buddy had recently found out that a co-worker plays 40k and invited him to swing by. He had been warned that we are completely casual and have an extreme habit of using house rules and homebrew lists.

This poor guy shows up about halfway through our second game, and the first thing he does is to throw a fit about my buds converted 1/35 scale WWII Stuart tanks that he uses as Leman Russ tanks. His, those models are illegal rant, because they aren’t official GW models was honestly rather amusing to me. My buddy just calmly explained why he had used them and paid the rant little mind.

Then he noticed that my bud was using a Baneblade; he proceeded to ask how many points our armies were? The look on his face when I said “2000 points” was Priceless! The Apocalypse units breaking the game at low points levels rant actually made me laugh out loud. I feel a little bad about it, but in my defense his rant was really ridiculous.

At this point knowing that were both using homebrew-tweaked lists, we decided to take a break from the game to sit down and talk about our goals for gaming. We came to find out that he has no desire to participate in tournaments, but has only played at his local GW hobbycenter. This was a large part of his problem, as it tends to force you to play within the realm of ‘Officialdom’. After about an hour of good conversation, we got back to playing.

He seemed to enjoy the rest of the evening, reading through our notebook of House Rules and my Soul Reapers notes. He has a Chaos army himself and really seemed to like what I am trying to accomplish. He said that he’d bring his army next week, and I look forward to it.

In the end I think it was a good night, and it is always fun to release a mind from the GW Matrix.

We as gamers need to remember this is our hobby and that the rules and armylists are guidelines especially when you have no desire to play in tournaments. Now this isn’t a bash on tournament players, it’s just a reminder that when not participating in one, use your imagination.

So next time you are gaming with your closest friends try thinking outside of the box, or throw the box away completely and let the fun of anarchy rule the tabletop.

Cheers till next time,
Big Jim

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mercenaries in 40k


Have you ever just picked up a random box of miniatures for an army you don’t have, on a whim because you thought they were groovy only to have the box years later collecting dust on your gaming shelf?

I have a box of Kroot and three blisters of Kroot hounds that I picked up upon the initial Tau release. I absolutely love the alien look of them, I had even debated building a Kroot Mercenary army when the article first appeared in WD.

I have been working on more background material for the Soul Reapers. I have made mention that the Reapers use Stygian Mercenaries to scout planets prior to an attack or raid. I think I have finally found a use for my Kroot.

Does anyone else think that Mercenaries are sorely missing from 40k? I think it could be a fantastic stand alone army or allies list that would add a lot of flavor to some of the existing armies. Hell they would be great for scenario and campaign games. The only armies I see that would not use for mercenaries are Imperial Marines, Tyranids, and Necrons.

Think of all the groovy conversions that could be done! Mercenaries would be a modelers dream army, the combination's of WFB and 40k bits would be almost limitless.

So, what if I add a 0-1 choice of Stygian Mercenaries to the Soul Reapers Min-dex as a fast attack selection? Using the Kroot stats and entry right out of the Tau Empire book minus the Krootox riders; then add the option for them to take a teleport homer for 40 points.

I'm really thinking that a Mercenary army list will be my next major side project for 40k once my Soul Reapers mini-dex is completed.

Thoughts or comments welcome.

Jim

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Soul Reapers SC 1: Titus the Butcher




Updated 12/03/09

The Daemon Prince Titus the Butcher started out as the second in command of the World Eaters seventeenth Grand Company. He was and is still the armored fist of Lord Krüg, when there is something impossible to do Titus is unleashed to resolve the problem.

Titus earned the title the Butcher and ascended to Princedom on the planet Lambosia on the far Eastern Fringe. It was during a campaign to reclaim one of the Salmora artifacts, that Titus was tasked with holding the Star Phantom Space Marines back while the Sorcerer Xusia preformed the rituals to locate the artifact. Titus lead an elite unit of Reavers from Lord Krügs handpicked Terminator bodyguard into a mountain pass to bock the path of the Star Phantoms. During the fight the Reavers were whipped out and Titus was left surrounded by the lackeys of the Emperor. He had already been mortally wounded, but refused to succumb to his wounds and fail Lord Krüg. Titus grabbed a second power sword from one of his fallen comrades and proceeded to charge headlong into the remaining Star Phantoms. When the dust settled the Star Phantoms were either dead or routing from the field, Titus collapsed knowing that his task was complete.

As he lay there dying he heard the whispers of the Dark Gods. They were pleased with his dedication and the carnage he had done to his foes. They offered him untold power and a chance to fight again exacting his revenge on the Imperium for the greater glory of Chaos. He accepted the offer and rose up as a mighty Daemon Prince of Chaos.


Titus the Butcher
Daemon Prince of Chaos 165 points

He has the same stat line as a Daemon prince in the Codex Chaos Space Marines

War Gear:
Personal Icon
The Butchers Blade

Special Rules:
Fearless
Eternal Warrior
5+ invulnerable save
Feel no Pain
Fleet

The Butchers Blade is the massive sword carried by the Daemon Prince Titus. His brutality is know and feared throughout the Eastern Fringe. Titus can usually be found standing on a pile of corpses in the middle of the enemy lines. He is very good at cutting large groups of his foes down with one mighty swing of the Butchers Blade.

To represent this in the game Titus may give up his normal attacks to make single strength 5 attack against all enemy non-vehicle models in base contact. This is an all or nothing attack with a single die roll to hit; if there are multiple WS’s involved the roll to hit is against the highest WS. If successful roll to wound; with the wounds allocated among those models in base contact with Titus.



Feedback is appreciated.

Thanks,
Jim

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Looking for an Artist: Soul Reapers Update III



I’m looking for an artist who’d be willing to donate their time to make me a gritty cover for my Soul Reapers Mini-dex. I don’t have the funds to pay for the artwork, but I’d be willing to paint an HQ model to my top standards as compensation.

What I’d really like is Lord Krüg on the cover (WIP pic above) with a couple of Chaos Terminators on either side of him.

If you are interested feel free to contact me through my Blogger profile.

Mini-dex update:

I have run a few Playtest games with the proposed rules changes for the Soul Reapers and things are going pretty smoothly. I’m going to drop the stubborn rule for something else it’s just too powerful when combined with the Icon of Chaos Glory; plus I don’t want to rewrite the rules for the Icon of Chaos Glory.

The thing that is giving me the most trouble is the points costs for the Soul Reapers Special Characters. What I think I am going to do is find an existing 40k SC and modify him to fit the Character in the background then use the points from the SC as a baseline and tweak them as necessary. Do you guys think this is the best way to build a custom SC?

Thanks,
Jim

Friday, October 2, 2009

Soul Reapers Special rules Mk II


This is a revised list of Soul Reapers special rules. The original version of Fear is for the Weak just wasn't sitting right with me. So I revised it and added the poor mans Fearless with the addition of the Stubborn USR. These three rules really feel like the right fit for the Soul Reapers.

The following special rules apply to all Soul Reaper units chosen from the following entries in the Codex Chaos Space Marines.

Chaos Sorcerers
Chaos Chosen Space Marines
Chaos Terminators
Chaos Space Marine
Chaos Raptors
Chaos Bikes
Chaos Havocs

Fear is for the weak: Soul Reapers automatically pass all tests to regroup, they can make such tests even if the squad has been reduced less than half strength through casualties. Usually squads that regroup cannot move and count as moving, but these restrictions do not apply to units with this rule.

Stubborn: Soul Reapers have been serving the Dark Gods of Chaos for ten millennia and know that they frown upon weakness. Because of this the Soul Reapers have the stubborn special rule found on page 76 of the MRB.


Predictable: The Soul Reapers have been fighting their loyalist brothers for ten thousand years and have become accustomed to their combat doctrines. Because of this all Soul Reapers are subject to the Predictable rule, when fighting any Space Marines loyal to the Emperor. In the assault phase the Soul Reapers may re-roll any to hit dice that have a one as a result.

Edit
I have changed out the preferred enemy USR for the Predictable special rule to tone down the effects on in game balance.

Not Enough Terrain Syndrome or NETS


Disclaimer: the table pictured above as an example has about 30% terrain on it, if you remove two of the forest sections then it would be close to 25%.

I’ve been planing to do this article for a while now, I’d like to thank Magilla over at The Art of 40K War for re-igniting the fire with his excellent post on terrain.

Do you feel that if you lose the first turn you are at a disadvantage?

Are you constantly fielding transports that you never deploy from, because the troops inside will just disappear if they don’t have the armored shell?

Do those Assault troops ever make it into combat or are they shot to pieces before they get to turn two?

Are those long ranged support units shooting you with clear shots to most of your deployment zone, while sitting at the back edge of theirs?


If you answered yes to more than one of these questions then your gaming group may be suffering from a severe case of Not Enough Terrain Syndrome or NETS?

Are you sure that you are using the amount of terrain suggested on page 88 of the MRB? The MRB suggest that roughly twenty five percent of the table should be covered in terrain.

Next time you go for a game try filling a quarter of the playing surface with varied terrain pieces. Then spread them out one at a time with your opponent. Then if the table looks like it does any other game you play congratulations you have been adhering to the rules suggested in the MRB.

If it feels like too much terrain then you my friend have a severe case of NETS. Don’t feel bad though because you are not alone. I’d venture to say that 85 percent of tournaments and gaming stores get it wrong all the time. I don’t completely begrudge them for creating this problem, as terrain is expensive to by and time consuming to build.

It still doesn’t change the fact that they are skewing how the game is played. My suggestion is to do what I am doing locally, ask for more terrain on the tables. There are a few ways to accomplish this, first offer to help organize a terrain building day to get more available. Second get the local guys to help out by bringing in a single tables worth of terrain to be used in the events of the day.

Trust me it is worth the effort to get the proper amount of terrain on the table. It helps bring better tactics into the game and it might just convince you to change up your list a little.

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