Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gamers Lounge episode 10: tournament play, when is enough, enough?


I was listening to the 10th episode of the Gamers Lounge Podcast and they were discussing the topic; tournament play, when is enough, enough?

This has spurred me to share a story that I haven’t shared fully on the internet, because it sucks to show yourself in a bad light, but I figure if someone can benefit from my experience than it’s worthwhile.

This is the point where I changed from a super optimized tourney player back into a themed could care less if I win go to a tourney for laughs kind of guy. Around the time that my buddy got his discharge from the Marines, he came home and wanted to play a game of 40k; which I obliged to give him. I had been playing in tournaments every other weekend for two years, spanning three game systems, so had gotten used to building mean lists meant to do nothing but 'beat face'.

I had completely forgotten how to build a themed fun list, because my mind had been rewired to highly optimize everything to death. Needless to say his themed fluffy old school Orks got trampled by my highly optimized Space Wolves; in the end neither of us had any fun. Who the heck wants to crush their best friend? The look on his face was too much to bare, the last thing I wanted to do was run off my best friend from high school.

I reevaluated why I play miniature wargames, the root of that is purely for having a good time hanging out with good friends. My Pop had drilled this into me from a young age but something went wrong.

So where did I go astray? Well first off most of my family and gaming friends had stopped playing wargames for various reasons; enlisted in the Military, gotten married, had children or other real life situations that put gaming in the back seat. So I had to find a new group of guys to play with; one of the local game shops became my new second home finding a group of guys that seemed pretty fun to game with. It was a win in my book.

Little did I know that this would be the beginning of a slow spiral into rules lawyering and a I must win mentality. I must say the guys were quite convincing in discussing how to optimize a list and using the math to determine what is a good or subpar unit. I was hook and a convert to the Mathhammer cult. I did quite well in our bi-weekly tournaments, and was genuinely having a good time; scoring well in both sports and comp I really had this tourney thing down.

Then I went to the first tournament held at one of the local game cons, the guys in the group warned me not to bother going because it was a poorly run tournament. I found the tournament to be very well run, I had a great time playing my games, but I was shocked to get a poor score in both sports and comp. I thought I was a friendly opponent, and couldn’t figure out what was going on. It turned out that there was some video from the event that showed why I did poorly; I argued miniscule little rules disputes, not being a jerk or anything, but I would argue them to death instead of making my case and moving on, or calling a judge over for a ruling. Now this type of thing was totally normal at the LGS, so no one even notices these arguments.

Not wanting to come off poorly in public, I immediately changed my ways, if there was a dispute I would pull out the MRB and make my case then move on, there was no need to beat a dead horse. After that I had begun not having quite as much fun with the guys, because I really started to notice all of the bickering going on.

Eventually I moved on to a not so local game store, and began having fun again. I taught them all the little optimization tricks that I had learned from the first group, and within a few months everyone was crushing each other with great highly optimized forces. I got the shop to run tournaments every other week on the opposite schedule to the local shop.

So by the time my buddy Sean got home I was playing in tournaments every weekend. I was all about ‘bringing it’ and winning, so much so that nothing else mattered. Heck I had even stopped painting or changing my list.

If I could go back and do it all again, I wouldn’t change all the memorable times I had at the two shops playing 40k and WFB, I would change my attitude. I just wasn’t being myself, I had adapted into being one of the group so that I’d fit in better. There is nothing wrong with that in a lot of cases, but you must be careful to stay true to yourself.

Now when I walk up to the gaming table I am all about creating a situation where both my opponent and I have a good, fun time. I honestly could care less about who wins or loses as long as we both walk away from the table; feeling satisfied that we both had fun.

The moral of the story is don’t be weak of character and always stay true to yourself.

Back to the question at hand; tournament play, when is enough, enough? It’s enough when you realize that you are only participating in small part of the miniatures wargaming hobby, there is so much more involved than participating in tournaments. Neglecting things like campaigns and scenario driven play is a shame. Hanging out with good friends throwing back a couple of brews can be just as, if not more satisfying than crushing some random guy at a tournament.

BTW if you are not listening to the Gamers Lounge Podcast click the link and do so. They have a great show with hosts that bring tournament discussion to a new level. IMHO

Monday, June 28, 2010

Soul Reapers mini-dex feedback part I


Sorry guys the air-conditioning when out last night and it was too hot to paint without it, so the defiler will have to wait til tomorrow.

Here are some excerpts from the first three mini-dex feedback emails that I have received.

Kev wrote

Howdy Jim,

The latest version of the Soul Reapers mini-dex is looking very slick. I do have a few questions though.

What happened to the pintle heavy bolters upgrade for the tanks? I really liked this option, and am saddened by its loss.

I’m glad to see the Cohort Tactics rule make it in from the last round of playtesting, but when we tested the rule it was an optional upgrade now it seems to be a must be done upgrade. Is this actually the case?


Thanks for the email Kev. The pintle mounted Heavy Bolters were left out by accident, they will still be a 10 point upgrade option in the final mini-dex.

The Cohort Tactics rule was changed due to a decision by my gaming group. The thinking is that if the effected unit is part of that cohort they would always have these abilities, makes total sense to me.

Jarred wrote:

I just recently found your blog and was inspired to look at your codex due to the content of your blog. I must admit I am not a big fan of house rules or fan created projects, but I do appreciate all the effort that you have put into your Soul Reapers codex. Most fan stuff I see is way overpowered and poorly thought out; yours seem rather balanced and very well thought out.

With that said, I am perplexed by some entries in the armylist. Why did you feel the need to rewrite the bog standard chaos marines? Same question about the change of the sorcerer and his abilities? The only thing that smacks of rewriting for power is your renamed havocs, why would you mess with the basic point values here?

The one thing that I cannot stand is the Hell Riders entry, now let me qualify this. I hate all cavalry in 40k; I don’t think it belongs in the game at all. I do think they look pretty balanced, but I would never field them or any other cavalry ever.

I hope I have not come off too harshly, I do think you have presented and well formatted fan created project.



Jarred, thanks for the feedback and you came through just fine. Let me see if I can explain my thinking to clear things up for you.

We decided to model the Soul Reapers and Eradicator Marines squads in the 5th edition style. Looking at the Space Marine codex, Space Wolves codex and finally the Blood Angels codex; you will see a new trend in the way that squads are structured and the points values of the options. We emulated this style in the mini-dex. I must admit here the Eradicators only came about after looking at the BA codex and their Devastators. It was justification enough for us to tackle rewriting the CSM Havocs. There was no I’m getting better heavy support just because I can involved in the decision, most of the guys in the group wanted to rewrite havocs after seeing the super cheap Long Fangs for the SW’s.

The sorcerers morphing into Apostles of Malevolence made sense from a background perspective. The Psychic powers were written to make these sorcerers uniquely Soul Reapers. The powers along with the Cohort tactics rules have been in secret playtests since February, only going out to the reliable playtesters.

Originally the Hell Steeds were only going to be an upgrade for exalted champions, but after seeing some really kool Chaos Cavalry conversions and some prodding by the readers here they were added as a new unit type.

I can understand that you don’t like Cavalry in sci-fi, but I look at 40k more as Science Fantasy more than Science fiction.

Nathaniel wrote:

Who the hell are you to think that you can rewrite the Chaos Space Marine Codex? What credentials do you have to write rules or add new fluff to the Warhammer 40,000 universe? I would really urge you to stop fostering changing the game, because people like you are ruining casual gaming for the rest of us. By wanting to use your poorly thought out and written house rules or invented units in the game.

Face the facts that Games Workshop has written 40k to be a competitive game and get over the fact that you are no longer playing a quasi roleplaying game anymore.

I know you’ll never respond to this so have a good life and stop ruining my favorite game.


Nathaniel, never say never! First off I feel bad for you; you are missing some really great gaming experiences that come from having an open mind.

Seriously, do you really believe that 40k was written as a competitive game that has balanced game play? Some things in 40k are so very broken it’s not funny. The points system is a joke, especially with books in use spanning three editions of the game.

My credentials (not that they really matter) span over 3 decades of wargaming, and assisting my Father in writing two published rules sets plus three or four unpublished works. Both were published in the eighties, but published they were. 15mm Ancients my dads first set won a few awards, and then there was the moderately successful Nam 1967, both now sadly out of print although I do have a few copies lying about.

As for writing background and adding the Soul Reapers to the 40k universe, I have 22 years of playing the game and feel that I can make it into whatever the heck I want too.

My poorly written and executed rules, what the heck, did you even look at the mini-dex? I know it’s not perfect but it is a really well done as far as most fandexs go.

I will continue to do what ever the hell I want to in my sandbox, which this blog it part of, and you good sir can avoid looking inside. Now it’s time to go and look at what I can bring back to the table from the long forgotten days of Rogue Trader, I feel like being a quasi roleplayer today!

Thanks for the email.


That’s it for today, on Wednesday I will go over the three emails that offer the most feedback with suggestions.

Feel free to add feedback, comments or questions you may have.

Cheers,
Jim

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Big Jim's to do list.



I have finally gotten back around to finishing up my Defiler. I should have finished pics up within the next 48 hours.

I need to finish converting and photograph the other 4 Chosen Chaos Marines.

I must go have a gallon of paint mixed up for the base color of the Realm of Battle board.

Gotta go pick up some greenstuff to finish some Space Wolf conversions for a hobby update on the Space Wolves blog, this week.

I also must go through the Soul Reapers mini-dex 5.1 email feedback that has come in. Some really varied views of my little project. So expect a post with excerpts from those emails later in the week. If anyone else has any feedback feel free to send it to me.

galaxynflamesblog@gmail.com

I also have 4 more Chaos Predators that need building for the Soul Reapers Armory. Two if these will be Mauler pattern Predator conversions.

Finally I need to work on enhancing the bases of the early Soul Reapers with cork rocks. This looks to be quite intensive, but at least it's only about a third of the miniatures that need the treatment.

Cheers,
Jim

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rules from the Man-cave: Discarding the Force Org



Looking at all the retro rules added back into Warhammer FB 8th has got me all nostalgic, for the 2nd ed army building restrictions. To be honest I have never been a fan of the Force Organization chart for army construction, hell even GW tried to impose the 2nd ed standard to the force org chart with the implementation of the comp system. They have since abandoned it, but most tourneys have not.

Looking at what they have done with army construction in 8th ed WFB, For the sake of fun I propose that you discard the force org for the following army building restrictions.

Your army must contain at least one HQ model.

Up to 25% of your armies points may be spent on "Unique/Special Character" HQ models.


Up to 25% of your armies points may be spent on Generic HQ models.


A minimum of 25% of your armies points must be spent on Troops units.


Up to 50% of your armies points may be spent on "Support" units (no more than 3 of any entry under 3k)

Support units comprise all the Elite, Fast Attack and Heavy Support units


or if the 50% "Support" units is too much for you you could alternatively do the following:

Up to 25% of your armies points may be spent on Elite units (no more than 3 of any entry under 3k)

Up to 25% of your armies points may be spent on Fast Attack units (no more than 3 of any entry under 3k)

Up to 25% of your armies points may be spent on Heavy Support units (no more than 3 of any entry under 3k)


We have been using the above for our Apocalypse games to keep them fun, playable and semi-balanced for quite some time now. It really has made Apoc much more fun, and the fact that we limit the big stuff probably helps too.

Comments and feedback welcome as always. If you try these rules out for yourself please let me know how it went.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Realm of Battle board project part 1




My long time followers will know I won a Real of Battle board from my local GW back in December. I am now trying to decided on a theme for the board. I am unsure whether to make it a verdant flocked greenish brown to match the balance of my terrain or if I want to do it an arid desert like wasteland. I have flocked felt mats for both already purchased ages ago from Monday Knight Productions.

So I really have a tough choice to make as either would service my gaming and terrain just fine. Although I would have to make or purchase a larger variety of desert terrain, as more than half of my existing stuff it small scale for Flames of War.

I did find the TerranScapes line of terrain yesterday from a post on TKE's blog Mind War FTW. There desert Buttes are fantastic looking!



A desert wasteland would be a great excuse to get a bunch!

Plus B.smove did a fantastic series of posts on A Gentleman's Ones, when he did his arid wasteland RoBB. I think it turned out very nice with a depth of color I have not seen before on a RoBB.

The only issue I have with a flocked verdant board is determining how hard it will be to keep the flock on the plastic beast during transport.

Ah, hell I just convinced myself to do the desert wasteland while typing this post! If you have a valid nifty idea or reason you think I should do the Verdant board by all means tell me!

Cheers,
Jim

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Havoc mock-up and two 1850 lists


Mock up of my first Eradicator/Havoc, I like my autocannon better than GW's,
cause theirs don't fit together right.


Well in the spirit of being different here is a new Chaos Space Marine list from the CSM codex.

HQ (130pts)

Daemon Prince 130
Wings

Elite (384pts)

3 Chaos Terminators 115
3 combi-plasma and icon of chaos glory

8 Chosen Marines 269
2 melta guns, 1 flamer, 1 pair of lightning claws, Champ with power fist and icon of chaos glory
Rhino

Troops (655pts)

10 Chaos Space Marines 255
2 melta guns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power fist
Rhino

5 Chaos Space Marines 135
plasma gun, icon of chaos glory
Rhino

5 Chaos Space Marines 135
plasma gun, icon of chaos glory
Rhino

5 Lesser Daemons 65pts

5 Lesser Daemons 65pts

Fast attack (268pts)

6 Chaos Bikers with 2 melta guns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power fist
268

Heavy Support (410pts)

2 Obliterators 150

Dakka Pred 100

6 Havocs 160
2 Autocannons, Missile Launcher and icon of chaos glory

Total points 1847

Yes, you read that right it does have Havocs in the list, so I guess that means I auto lose! LOL Here's my thinking, havocs may be less mobile than Oblits, but they can put out more shots and have more wounds in the long run. Most things that will auto-kill a havoc will do the same to a 2 wound oblit. Besides autocannons are kool!


Titus needed a new pic, so enjoy!

Here is a Soul Reapers Mini-dex army list at 1850.

Soul Reapers Spearhead

HQ (385pts)

Titus the Butcher 165

Xusia 220

Elite (274pts)

8 Chosen Marines 274
2 melta guns, 1 flamer, 1 pair of lightning claws, Champ with power fist and personal icon, cohort tactics bonus +10pts
Rhino

Troops (770pts)

8 Chaos Space Marines 233
2 melta guns and icon of perpetual war
Aspiring Champion with power fist
Rhino

8 Chaos Space Marines 233
2 melta guns and icon of perpetual war
Aspiring Champion with power fist
Rhino

8 Lesser Daemons 104pts

8 Gore Daemons 200

Heavy support (420pts)

6 Eradicators (havocs) 150
2 Autocannons, 2 Missile Launchers

2 Obliterators 150

Dakka Pred 120
HB sponsons, havoc launcher, dozer blade

Total 1849

I'm dieing to get this list on the table as I have not used Titus in a while, and him combined with Xusia should be brutal!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Independent Characters Podcast


I mentioned this podcast briefly in my 200th post, but I think they deserve much more than a footnote of a mention.

If you are a follower of mine, I hope you took my advice and are listening to and enjoying the Independent Characters podcast already, if you are not listening go do it now!

The hosts Carl and Geoff do a great job at making the show different. I totally feel like one of the group when listening to the show, they tend to put forth the same general attitude that my gaming friends have had for decades.

The banter between the guys is great too, it is a really enjoyable aspect of the show.

I find myself constantly commenting out loud while listening, something I rarely do with podcasts. The guys really convey the attitude of what I would call the masses of average miniature wargamers out there, like no other show ever has!

They are quickly becoming one of my favorite Podcasts!

I am really glad I found the Independent Characters, and must give a shout out to Jay and Bill from the Gamers Lounge for introducing me to the show!

I think one of the greatest things for me about the show is that they are local in the San Fransisco Bay Area! They have also given little old me and Galaxy in Flames a couple o' shout outs!

Plus both Carl and Geoff have expressed interest playing against the Soul Reapers in their Mini-dex form! Get ready boys "What you gonna do when Warlord Krüg and the Soul Reapers run wild on you!" lol (Mags, I promise pics and maybe even video from these games!)

So head on over and check out the Independent Characters podcast.

Monday, June 21, 2010

How I use Lesser Daemons


I normally avoid talking tactics, but the use of lesser daemons was brought up in the comments of this post.

First off I would suggest checking out the great write up on lesser Daemons by Old School Terminator from Dark Future Games.

For me the first thing I like lesser daemons for is a cheap way to get more scoring bodies into a Chaos Space Marine army. I can get a solid unit of eight scoring bodies for 104 points, or a cheap unit of five for 65 points.

The second thing I use them for is supporting my Chaos Space Marines in assault; even if the marines are engaged the turn the daemons show up. Summoned daemons from the Chaos Space Marine codex may assault the turn they arrive, this makes them awesome!

The third thing I use them for is speed bumping deathstar units. Having a problem with thunderhammer stormshield Terminators? Systematically feed them lesser daemon squads; as they have an invulnerable save and are fearless, it may not be great a great save but you will make some. Nothing is more frustrating for your opponent than having 200+ points of killiness from his army tied up by a hundred points of lesser daemons.

They are also good at going to ground on objectives late in the game; this greatly improves their survivability.

None of this is new or innovative, but it is how and why I use lesser daemons.

Cheers,
Jim

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What can I say, I like Predators; another Chaos Marine list



Ok so I added the personal icon to the Lord and the lightning claw Chosen marine. Here is how the list shaped up, I replaced a squad of Oblits for a Predator with lascannon sponsons. I like to be different, so 2 Oblits and 2 Preds should fit nicely into my playstyle.

The list is far from optimized, but I detest math-hammer so that is fine by me. In the end it all comes down to tactics and the luck of the dice!

I'm gonna run this list for a couple of weeks, I'll let you know how it goes.

HQ (175pts)

Chaos Lord 175
Bike, combi-melta, personal icon and Daemon weapon

Elite (384pts)

3 Chaos Terminators 115
3 combi-plasma and icon of chaos glory

8 Chosen Marines 269
2 melta guns, 1 flamer, 1 pair of lightning claws, Champ with power fist and icon of chaos glory
Rhino

Troops (640pts)

10 Chaos Space Marines 255
2 melta guns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power fist
Rhino

10 Chaos Space Marines 255
2 melta guns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power fist
Rhino

5 Lesser Daemons 65pts

5 Lesser Daemons 65pts

Fast attack (268pts)

6 Chaos Bikers with 2 melta guns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power fist
268

Heavy Support (380pts)

2 Obliterators 150

Dakka Pred 100

Predator 135
LC sponsons

Total points 1847

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Two more Chosen Chaos Space Marines and a new Chaos Codex list




This is shaping up to be my most dynamic squad of Soul Reapers yet!

Here is a list I am going to use to try these Chosen Chaos Space Marines out.

HQ (170pts)

Chaos Lord 170
Bike, combi-melta and Daemon weapon

Elite (369pts)

3 Chaos Terminators 115
3 combi-plasma and icon of chaos glory

8 Chosen Marines 254
2 melta guns, 2 flamers, Champ with power fist and icon of chaos glory
Rhino

Troops (640pts)

10 Chaos Space Marines 255
2 melta guns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power fist
Rhino

10 Chaos Space Marines 255
2 melta guns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power fist
Rhino

5 Lesser Daemons 65pts

5 Lesser Daemons 65pts

Fast attack (268pts)

6 Chaos Bikers with 2 melta guns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power fist
268

Heavy Support (400pts)

2 Obliterators 150

2 Obliterators 150

Dakka Pred 100

Total points 1847

I loves me some Chaos Bikes, so it's time to give them a spin again!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Soul Reapers Chosen Chaos Marines conversions

Here are my first two converted Chosen Chaos Marines, the icon bearer and melta dude. I got a set of the FW Zerker heads and WE shoulder armor from Derina, thanks again; I obviously took of the 'bunny ears' and I think the helmets look very slick with out them! I will be covering up the planet part of the WE logo on all the shoulders.





I feel a new list coming on so I can use these Viscous looking Bastards!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Soul Reapers mini-dex version 5.1 is available for download



For the past 15 months my gaming group and I have been busily working on and playtesting the homebrew fandex for my DIY Chaos Space Marines the Soul Reapers. It has been one heck of a journey, with plenty of ups and downs. We started this project as a way to have a unique enemy force to use in our campaigns (which I usually run) but it has snowballed outta control into a living breathing element within our group.

Here on Galaxy in Flames we have been in open playtesting for the last seven months, and have had a great time doing it. The feedback I have gotten from the GiF community hs been invaluable. Without your input I feel that many little things may have slid through the cracks.

For those of you new to Galaxy in Flames or the project in general, here is a quote from the introduction to give you a little background.

The Soul Reapers are my custom Chaos Space Marines Warhost. I have always wanted a truly unique Chaos Marines force that worships no particular deity over another, representing the best the Dark Gods have to offer. The Soul Reapers are just that, they are true believers; serving the pantheon of Chaos, gaining greater glory for them all.

The Soul Reapers are the last sane remnants of the World Eaters Seventeenth Great Company. They abandoned their Legion shortly after their arrival into the Eye of Terror. It was upon the daemon world of Tekerak that they learned of the artifacts of Salmora. There are twelve artifacts that when gathered together the Dark Gods are compelled to do the bidding of the bearer.

They have been on a quest to find the Artifacts of Salmora for almost ten millennia. They are in possession of five and are closing in on obtaining a sixth Artifact. The Soul Reapers believe that once their Warlord has possession of all twelve artifacts that they can reunite the Legions then finally crush the weakling Imperium of mankind once and for all.

The Soul Reapers Mini-Dex is a supplement for 5th edition Warhammer 40,000 and the Codex Chaos Space Marines produced by Games Workshop. Both are available from the Games Workshop website.


The Soul Reapers Mini-dex Version 5.1

Download Here


It's still a work in progress and is lacking a lot of the background/fluff entries listed in the table of contents. This is the final playtest version of the project, the next update will be the finalized Codex Soul Reapers.

This version does contain more background material than any other version; it also contains updated units, stats, special rules and points values collected from feedback during the last 5 months of playtesting.

This is the final playtest version: nothing new will enter the mini-dex, and nothing will leave it, from this point forward. Changes may be made to units but they are in the book to stay; any further updates will be Blog based.

My focus will be playtesting, finishing up the final miniatures, background and getting pics to Menzies for the final cover art.

I'd like to give public thanks to my playtesters from around the globe representing 4 different countries; Rob (bobanator), Kevin, Greg, Joaquin, Dan (shortstack), Corry and the two Joe's for getting us this far. I hope that you guys will stick around for the final round of playtesting.

I'd like to give a big shout outs to my buddies Magilla Gurilla of Table Top War fame for all the editing help, and Menzies and all the hard work he's put into the Soul Reapers Artwork!

If you look at the mini-dex please let me know what you think; all feedback and comments are welcome.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mr. Angry Tentacles


Well I fixed the awkward problem with the tentacles on this possessed model, I really like the tentacles coming from his pack now!

They were horrid before, I don't know what I was thinking!

The other 6 have been primed and are ready to start painting tonight!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Soul Reapers Possessed part 1


Let me say I love these models! A little forethought when building them they can be totally aggressive looking!

There are very few conversions in this squad, but I need to greenstuff a few items. like the tentacles on the back of the second dude from the left.

These guys are the first squad to get themed bases from the start. I need to go back and theme the bases of the painted minis to match this style.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Preview copies of the Soul Reapers mini-dex 5.1 out for proofreading



As promised I have sent preview copies of the 5.1 mini-dex to those who offered to proofread it. I am hoping the feedback will be good, so I can post it up this week for general release.

I'd like to give a big shout out to my buddy Magilla Gurilla of Table Top War fame, for helping me smooth out the background. Plus I cannot forget Menzies and all the hard work he's put into the Soul Reapers Artwork! Thanks guys you help has been invaluable!

Oh yeah, Hell Riders are in; thanks for the votes and input!

Units included in this final playtest edition are as follows:

Soul Reaper Marines
Reaver Marines
Soul Reaper Bikers
Eradicator Marines
Apostles of Malevolence
Harbingers of Malice
Exalted Champions
Soul Reapers Possessed
Onslaught Dreadnought
Chaos Drop Pod
Testudo Rhino
Predator Mauler
Hell Riders
Warlord Krüg
Usurper Bodyguard
Chariot of the Gods
Xusia the Master of Malevolence
Titus the Butcher
Eris the Seeker
Forge Lord
Vorenous the Raptor
Summoned Gore Daemons
Rage Zombies

Nothing new will enter the mini-dex, and nothing will leave it. Changes may be made to units but they are in the book to stay; any further updates will be Blog based.

As my focus will be finishing up the final miniatures, background and getting pics to Menzies for the final cover art.

Again I would like to thank all of you for the support over the last year while I have worked on this project.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tales from the Soapbox: Gamer Quirks



Almost all of us have them, in some form or another. Mine have been ingrained into me from a young age by my father.

First up was the number one rule when I was a kid. No figures ever make an appearance on the table top in public unless they are painted. At home in the garage while testing out an army was acceptable, but still frowned upon.

I have lightened up on this as I get older, I am less of a painting snob now than I was 10 years ago. Now I will cut my opponents some slack and play a with them even if their army is unpainted for the first couple of games, but I expect progress to be made every month. Painting is a part of the hobby as a whole, I see nothing wrong with this attitude.

I still won't go down to the LGS with unpainted mini's, I just don't have it in me. Now don't get me wrong I don't look down upon those who won't paint their mini's, I am just not going to game with them for years facing hordes of unpainted minis. Wargaming is a visual hobby and unpainted miniatures spoil the spectacle for me.

Second is the much talked about dice superstition. Don't ever touch my dice unless I give you explicit permission. This comes from years gaming with my younger brother, because every time he would touch my dice they would start rolling poorly. I almost never roll the same dice for two sets of rolls in a row. I don't remember when this quirk started but it is just an oddity that I do.

Thirdly I hate when other players start telling me the odds of success or failure of thinks I do on the table. I don't care what you think; let me quote Han Solo from Empire Strikes Back.

"Never tell me the odds"

This game may be about math to you, but it ain't to me. If I choose to take a chance or do something radical just let me be, and don't be shocked when it works out for me. You know how the old saying goes, fortune favors the bold!

So those are the quirks that are my most prevalent.

What about you, what quirks do you have?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2010 tourney scene; third time is the charm?


After some more thought I decided to tweak the list again, as Oblits are so much better than Preds in general; so here is the third and final list. I am liking this one the best. It's got 50 bodies in it which is nice for a Chaos Marine army and uses every single one of its 1850 points.

HQ (275pts)

Krüg the Beheader (counts as Abaddon) 275

Elite (287pts)

3 Terminators (D/S Termicide) 105
3-combi-melta

7 Possessed Marines 182
(in Raider with Abby)

Troops (748pts)

10 Chaos Space Marines 270
2 melta guns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power fist
Rhino, extra armor

10 Chaos Space Marines 270
2 melta guns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power fist
Rhino, extra armor

8 Lesser Daemons 104pts

8 Lesser Daemons 104pts

Heavy Support (540pts)

2 Obliterators 150

2 Obliterators 150

Land Raider 240
Possession or extra armor and a dozer blade (I'm undecided which to use thus far)

Total points 1850 on the nose

Thoughts, opinions or feedback welcome.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Beheader transforms into a counts as Abaddon

As I move forward with my conversion of the new and improved Krüg the Beheader, based on the Lord Zufor model from Forge World. I am giving my original Krüg a makeover to transform him into a suitable counts as Abaddon for my tournament excursions.

Here is the mock up of Krüg before I work my green stuff magic on him; the right lower arm and daemon weapon are from the limited ed Archaon on foot from WFB.

I think the pose suits a Warlord quite nicely. The body language feels like he's saying "your next!"

2010 tourney scene second list


As a follow up to last nights post here is the more radical Chaos Space Marine list I was thinking about using. It has two suicide deepstriking, melta armed units to cause havoc in the enemy backfield. It also give Abaddon a fearless Possessed bodyguard to ride in the Land Raider with him.


HQ (275pts)

Krüg the Beheader (counts as Abaddon) 275

Elite (287pts)

3 Terminators (D/S Termicide) 105
3-combi-melta

7 Possessed Marines 182
(in Raider with Abby)

Troops (644pts)

10 Chaos Space Marines 270
2 melta guns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power fist
Rhino, extra armor

10 Chaos Space Marines 270
2 melta guns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power fist
Rhino, extra armor

8 Lesser Daemons 104pts

Fast Attack (120pts)

5 Raptors (D/S Raptorcide) 120
2-melta guns

Heavy Support (520pts)

2 Obliterators 150

Predator 130
LC sponsons

Land Raider 240
extra armor, dozer blade

Total points 1846

I do understand that not using the Icons of the Gods decreases the power level of the Chaos Space Marine list, but I am trying to stick to the Soul Reapers background as much as possible.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Gearing up for a late start in the 2010 tourney season



So real life has kept my 2010 tourney plans off track, things seem to be evening out now. I am now looking forward to the Iron Bolter tournament over Labor Day weekend in Sept at Pacificon and hopefully Da Grand Waaagh GT in October. Both are 1850 point events, and I have decided to go with and actual Chaos Space Marines list; so no counts as Wolves or Blood Angels.

To give myself even more of a challenge and staying true to the Soul Reapers background, this list will contain zero cult troops. Here is the first draft of the army, I have a second more radical idea but I'll save that for another day.

HQ (275pts)

Krüg the Beheader (counts as Abaddon) 275

Elite (395pts)

4 Chaos Terminators
3 combi-plasma, powerfist, heavy flamer, Icon of chaos glory
Land Raider, extra armor
395

Troops (885pts)

10 Chaos Space Marines with 2 melta guns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power fist
Rhino, extra armor
270

10 Chaos Space Marines with 2 melta guns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power fist
Rhino, extra armor
270

10 Chaos Space Marines with 2 Plasma guns and icon of chaos glory
Aspiring Champion with power weapon and combi-plasma
Rhino, extra armor
280

6 Lesser Daemons 78pts

Heavy Support (280pts)

2 Obliterators 150

Predator 130
LC sponsons

Total points 1848

This is a themed list and I know going into this that it's not the most competitive build. Thoughts and feedback appreciated, if you make suggestions to the list please keep it appropriate. (ie: no cult troops or icons of the gods welcome)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Homebrew Special Character design



Here are some of my tips for designing Homebrew special characters. Points values can be a real pain in the rear to come up with as it seems GW do not a have a clear formula anymore. So I always try to find something comparable to what I am creating and work from there, often adding a point or two initially for balance sake. Sometimes the extra points stay in the final product, but often they do get dropped. Again this is on the cautious side of design, but it is what I have found to work well.

When creating special characters I almost always add 20 points to the Character type before considering any Wargear or Special Rules. These are the base points I use for stat increases to WS/BS are worth 1 point, S/I/A/LD worth 5 points, T/W are worth 10 points each.

This is the points breakdown for the universal special rules that I use. If the character is a Monstrous Creature add +5 points to the points shown below.


Counter Attack 10pts

Eternal Warrior 35pts

Fearless 10pts

Feel no Pain 20pts

Fleet 15pts

Furious Charge 20pts

Hit and Run 20pts

Infiltrate 10pts

Move through cover 5pts

Night Vision/Acute Senses 5pts

Preferred Enemy 10pts

Rage -5pts

Relentless 5pts

Scouts 10pts

Stealth 10pts

Stubborn 15pts

Tank Hunter 5pts


When creating custom special rules you have to really consider the impact of the rule on each and every phase of the game. I usually start at 10pts, and then add +5 for each phase of the game that it can have an effect.


It’s not perfect, but it works for me and tends to feel balanced. The best advice I can give if you are going to create custom special rules is playtest them vigorously; once you feel like you have playtested them thoroughly, playtest some more. You need to make sure to get input from your opponents, about how the character feels, in balance, power and points value.


Feedback is an extremely important part of any rules design and special characters are really the hardest thing to balance. Especially in the eyes of your opponent.

I hope this was useful, for you budding homebrewers out there. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Cheers,

Jim

Friday, June 4, 2010

Galaxy in Flames House Rules Archive



I have decided to make a one stop archive to link all of the House Rules and Homebrews that I have put up here on the blog. This should make it easy to find all the interesting ideas I have put forth on the topic. I will put link to this post on the left side column of the blog.

Useful Post Ideas for creating House rules

Fan-dex design

Homebrew and Fandex playtesting

Special Character Design

Rules from the Man-cave Archive

The Galaxy in flames promise, I will never post a house rule in this section that has not been extensively playtested and used on a regular basis by my gaming group the Irregulars. So rest assured that if you try these rules they have been tested and not thrown up as a random happenstance.

Unit suppression and defensive fire alternative rules.

Rules that make you go Hrmm: alternative rules for heavy weapons and vehicle shooting

Strategy and Mission Cards updating the 2nd edition cards for 5th.

Bogged down in the mud: alternative Vehicle and terrain rules

Discarding the Force Org: alternative army building

GiF Homebrew units and upgrades.

Chaos Marines in the Movies: Movie Marines of the Chaos variety

Wolf Lord Kyrl Grimblood ‘Savior of Fenris’: Homebrew rules

Wolf Guard Durfast of Mordak: Homebrew rules

Wolf Guard Ranulf the Strong: Homebrew rules

Whirlwind Retribution Missiles: homebrew upgrade

Thursday, June 3, 2010

200th post, a Galaxy in Flames update of things to come


Wow, I cannot believe it's been 200 posts already. I'd like to thank all the bloggers that have supported me over the last year and a half; sticking with me through all the ups and downs. I really do appreciate it!

Looking back I am pleasantly surprised by the support I've gotten for all the Homebrew and house rules that I have posted. Plus all the great feedback and help with the Soul Reapers Chaos Space Marines Mini-dex, you guys are the best!

I'd like to thank the following blogs for being my top ten entry sites.

From the Warp
Bell of Lost Souls
Space Wolves Grey
Table Top War
Dark Future Gaming
Strictly Average
Warhammer Blood Angels
Heresy Workshop
A Gentleman's Ones
The Glorious Works

Going forward, you can expect to see more painting and modeling as I gear up for the final push on the Soul Reapers Chaos Space Marines mini-dex project. I've also got lots more house rule and homebrew in the pipeline.

Speaking of the Soul Reapers Chaos Space Marines mini-dex, the 5.1 playtest edition will be up next week. It will be the final version of the playtest rules, that has new units added to it; the units are now set and balancing must begin. This time it's got much better formatting and plenty of background to help you better understand the Warband. I have probably put in over a hundred hours into this version to make it much more presentable and Codex like.

I have the first ever Galaxy in Flames contest in the works, so keep your eyes peeled.

I will keep alerting you guys of any great new 40k podcasts I find; speaking of that.

I'd like to introduce you guys to The Independent Characters Podcast. They are a new show that I have found extremely entertaining. They are out of San Jose California, so they are pretty close to the GiF Man-cave. Check them out; if you like them and decide to join their forum let 'em know I sent you!

So I'd like to thank everyone again for all the great support over the last year and a half. Here's hoping y'all will still be engaged by my ramblings over the next two hundred posts!

Cheers,
Big Jim

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Soul Reapers army points total

The desk after the Soul Reapers were removed, imagine twice as many minis.


So I am in the middle of cleaning up the Man-cave, and darn is it messy. I have found a few boxes of 40k stuff I forgot I had bought. First up was an unopened Chaos Battleforce, then I found a second Chaos Land Raider (to be made into the Warlords personal ride!); all that I can think of saying is Score!

So I decided to take a break and add up how many points in Soul Reapers models I have; according to the mini-dex. This list is minus the HQ's and HQ linked units.

Elites 690 points

5 Terminators 200
4 combi-melta, heavy flamer, Chainfist, Personal Icon

5 Terminators 220
4 combi-plasma, Reaper AC, Power Fist, Personal Icon

6 Possessed 270
Wings

Troops 1843 points

10 Soul Reapers Marines 285
2 melta guns, champ with fist, Icon of Perpetual War
Rhino, extra armor

10 Soul Reapers Marines 285
2 melta guns, champ with fist, Icon of Perpetual War
Rhino, extra armor

8 Soul Reapers Marines 263
2 plasma guns, champ with power weapon and combi-plasma, Icon of Perpetual War
Rhino, extra armor

8 Soul Reapers Marines 263
2 plasma guns, champ with power weapon and combi-plasma, Icon of Perpetual War
Rhino, extra armor

10 Reaver Marines 339
Heavy Flamer, Demo Charge, Champ with fist, Personal icon

8 Lesser Daemons 104

8 Lesser Daemons 104

8 Gore Daemons 200

Fast Attack 1850 points

8 Bikers squad 281
2 melta guns, champ with fist, Infernal Bike, Icon of Perpetual War

8 Bikers squad 254
2 melta guns, champ with fist, Icon of Perpetual War

10 Raptors 295
2 Melta guns, Champ with fist, Icon of Perpetual War

10 Raptors 295
2 Melta guns, Champ with fist, Icon of Perpetual War

10 Chaos Spawn 400

Onslaught Dread 145
Heavy plasma gun
Drop Pod

Onslaught Dread 180
Chainfist and plasma gun upgrades
Drop Pod

Heavy Support 1200 points

2 Obliterators 150

2 Obliterators 150

Defiler 150

Defiler 150

Predator 100
AC turret, HB sponsons

Predator 130
AC turret, LC sponsons

Predator Mauler 130

Land Raider 240
Possession

5583 total points

Holy cow, fifty five hundred points of Soul Reapers without a single HQ; I imagine that if the HQ's were added it would easily be tipping the seven K mark. I had no idea I had this many Chaos Marine models for the army!

The sad part is that only about a quarter are painted. I've got a lot of work ahead of me! It is crazy how you don't realize how many models you have when you collect and army over time.

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