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.



  1. Well, well, well. Those made for some extremely interesting reading.
    Before I make any more comments, I feel the need to clarify my position. First off, I am a each codex needs to stand on its own type of person.
    Having said that, I am tolerant of others and their viewpoint - and I enjoy a good story - reading or writing.

    It appears that some are less tolerant of others, especially Mr. Nathaniel who needs to get his head out of his...well, I will refrain from finishing that statement.

    Whenever I see someone so intolerant of others and their viewpoints I am reminded of this famous quote:

    The closed mind, if closed long enough, can be opened by nothing short of dynamite.

  2. Mags, thanks for your continued support, I really do appreciate it!

    Nathaniel's is not the most mean spirited email I have received, I have had three worse ones I won't subject you, my faithful readers to.

    I wish more would give their feedback directly, here on the blog, so everyone can see all that is being said and participate in the full conversation.


  3. I understand people wanting to give positive feedback or constructive criticism, but blatant "hate"-mail? My guess that it most often are angry I dividuals who do so and that their anger is borne out of frustration. I sure do get frustrated by a number of things, but I feel a certain amount of respect is still needed. I don't see the need for you to defend yourself per se (other than I am sure it hurts getting those emails, something I wonder if the sender thought of), as none of us have done anything that would make it OK to make demands of you.

    I'm in the process of moving (in the unpack and get normalized again phase) so I haven't looked at the actual dex yet but all your previous work have shown to be very much a labor of love and I think it shows. I also find it to very very much be in the spirit of gaming. The creative side is very important and is very much part of what makes these hobbies what they are and set them apart. Be it live people making outfits, RPGs making their own rules or dungeons, acting out roles or modifying and painting miniatures. The way we mold what we do is the very core of what we do and I fear that this is something that isn't understood by some. I think they belong to a different (but neither better nor worse) mindset. They play sports or computer games and the idea of changing the rules equates to cheating.

    Continue to create, the gaming world is richer because of that (the only credential needed is imagination!). And the chaos cavalry is a brilliant idea and rocks! Maybe someone will model up chaos marines riding actual deamons and include them in a thousand sons army:)

  4. Thanks for the comments Flekkzo, I don't let the twits get me down. If he at least made the effort to critique an actual entry in the min-dex I may have payed a little attention.

    Have no fear, I will continue to use my imagination to create all sorts of kool wacky rules and units!

    Thanks again,

  5. Haters gonna & gotta hate..

    To Nathaniel: Tt! Fan-efforts do not ruin both casual and competitive games. Stop your trolling!

    Here at Galaxy in Flames, and many other blogs, too many to name, fan-efforts celebrate our love for the game that is 40K. Nobody is forcing anybody to do anything.

    Just try it. You might like it!

  6. Thanks for the comment Menzies.

  7. Nathanial is a douche bag (pardon my french). $20 says he agreed to play someone who used your fandex and he got owned. He then felt the need to nerdrage at GiF, rather than enjoy himself and accept a loss while looking for the lessons that could be learned.

    What a tool. Keep it up Big Jim. Much love.

  8. Falcon, thanks for the comments and support!