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.


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.

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 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!

Big Jim


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