Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hobby Gamers need to stand up and be counted: part one

More and more lately around the Interwebz I keep reading about how the tourney scene needs to start catering to the really competitive gamers. (which is not a slam or a bad thing) They lament about how the current way most tournaments are run is not truly competitive. They call most of the tournaments out there “hobby” tournaments, because they don’t view them as being truly competitive. I get what they are saying; I really do, because I used to be heavily into the tourney scene.

With that said, where the heck are the events meant to cater to the majority of 40k gamers? You know the ones the tourney guys label as ‘Casual’ gamers. (I hate that label by the way) I prefer the term Hobby gamer, you know the type of guys who focus on every aspect of the hobby, including the creative guys who think outside of the box.

A lot if these guys care more about the background of the game and representing that in game, over building a finely tuned list focused on winning.

These types of events would focus on creating a fun flavorful atmosphere to spend a day or two playing games in.

A shining example of a hobby event is the Astronomi-con conventions. This group of Canadian tournament organizers that create special scenarios for each table, allow a lot of out of date armies like the Kroot Mercenaries list and allow pre-submitted approved VDR for custom vehicles. Which is a great start, but I think that we need to organize more events with a similar mindset and format as these.

I have some ideas, for an event I’d like to put together next year, but I will cover that in part two

Friday, November 26, 2010

Deepstrike Radio inbound!

I have found another great new Podcast for y'all to check out!

Deepstrike Radio approaches most topics from a fluff first aspect, which I find incredibly interesting and refreshing!

The interaction on the show is fantastic with the hosts hailing from Australia and the US. It makes for some wonderful banter between the guys!

So check them out at Deepstrike Radio and let them know what you think of the show!

They also have their own forums called the Custodes, it's free for now so check that out too!

Oh and before I forget, Long live the Squats! :-P

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Soul Reapers Fandex Design notes part 1

I figure since I just posted the final playtest PDF I should give a little insight into the ideas behind the choices I made along the way.

This project was entered from a how to make Chaos Marines feel unique from a background perspective; while keeping them realistically playable on the tabletop.

I am not a fan of the Cult troops are the only way to make a viable army aspect of the current Chaos Space Marine Codex. In fact it bores me to tears.

With every new Marine codex that is released the Chaos Marine codex feels more and more out of date. From the current design standpoint the units are overpriced and stagnant. The worst hit units in the codex are the non-Cult ones.

This was always meant to be a supplement to the C:CSM, but it has gone from a simple mini-dex just used to enhance and supplement a few things in the Codex Chaos Marines; it is now a complex full blown fandex drawing very little from the Codex Chaos Marines. It will always have to draw some things from the C:CSM as I do not want GW IP violations to kill the project.

Through the project I have rewritten all of the non-Cult squad entries, in an attempt to:

A) Bring them more inline with the 5th ed design style

B) Create unique units befitting their status as veterans of thousands of years of endless conflict.

I fully understand that most of the community will not agree with some or all of the choices I have made, and I am fine with that. After all I don’t see the need to have a hard core tournament scene for playing with toy soldiers, since I play for recreation, and I am sure the competitive crowd don’t mind that I don’t care for tourneys. To each his own I say.

The first change I would like to look at is the Fear is for the Weak special rule for the Soul Reapers.

I knew that the basic Chaos marine types needed a special rule to really have value at their points costs. The last thing I wanted to do was falling into the oft touted give 'em Fearless you hear all over the interwebz. I have said it before and I will say it again, I am not a huge fan of fearless. Funny thing is as much as I tried to avoid it, I kinda ended up creating a poor version of it with out the perks, then in the end abandoned it completely.

This is the 4th and final version of the rule; it has been shoved through the meat grinder during playtesting. The initial version was really close the SM ATSKNF, but I quickly got outta that trap. The second version oddly enough is essentially the same as the final version, but it was removed at the time because I was still using the icon of Chaos Glory out of the C:CSM, and re-rolls on Stubborn is just overpowered.

Then I came up with the complicated version which was a slight combination of Fearless and Stubborn. This version of Fear is for the Weak lasted for 9 months, but was extremely brutal on the army due to the no retreat wounds. It also failed once I replaced the Icon of Chaos Glory. So not only were the Reapers taking extra wounds they were routing on top of it.

So after a lot of thought I brought back the Stubborn version of the rule and it has been smooth sailing ever since. I also kept the ability to always be able to regroup right down to the last Marine, since a single Marine is a viable threat from a background perspective.

Next time I will go into some of the unit changes that I made and explain some of why I did what I did.

Upward and onward.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Soul Reapers Chaos Marine supplement Fandex is released: final Playtest version

I got my Secret Weapon Miniatures bases in, they are looking Slick!

The long awaited final update to the Playtest PDF is here. Over the past 19 months this project has grown into a living beast. Going from a simple mini-dex just used to enhance and supplement a few things in the Codex Chaos Marines; it is now a complex full blown fandex drawing very little from the Codex Chaos Marines.

I really do value and appreciate all the feedback and support that the readership of Galaxy in Flames have provided along the way.

As I've stated many times this is a playtest version of the Fandex. This means that it is not the finished product. (Please keep this in mind!)

In order to finalize the project, I need the help of the 40k community.

I would ask for any of you willing to take the Soul Reapers Fandex for a spin on the tabletop and playtest it yourself taking notes on improvements, comments and constructive criticism. So I can use the feedback to create the final release and put the project to rest. This is by far the most important version of the Fandex yet as I am entering the final shakedown of the Soul Reapers.

The creative side of things are done for the rules; any changes that come along now will be tweaks made from your playtesting feedback. So I am for the most part moving into the fleshing out the background phase for the Soul Reapers.

You may send your feedback to me directly at galaxynflamesblog(at)gmail(.com) or put them in the comments section of this post.

updated the PDF 11PM PST 11/17/10

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Warp Wraith: final Soul Reapers unit entry

This is a tank that the Soul Reapers used in my gaming groups Sarmation Sector campaign a few years back. I've been corresponding with my buddy Sean who has been recovering from a close call with an RPG in Afghanistan; he suggested to add this into the min-dex as it was a fun option during the campaign.

The Warp Wraith tank is built on the refitted chassis of the seventeenths old Whirlwinds. While they are still viable saturation weapons their actual use is to create confusion and panic in the ranks of the enemy.

The Warheads contain a powerful Hallucinogen that causes the most horrific visions imaginable; pulled straight from the nightmares of its target.

Warp Wraith 105 Points

BS-4 FA-11 SA-11 RA-10

Unit Composition:
• 1 Warp Wraith

Unit Type:
• Vehicle (Tank)

• Wraith Launchers
• Smoke launchers
• Searchlight
• May take any of the following:
• Dozer blade…………………….5pts
• Extra armor…………………15pts
• Daemonic possession…..…20pts
• Dirge caster……………….……5pts

• May take one of the following:
• Pintle heavy bolter……...........10pts
• Pintle twin linked bolter………..5pts

Wraith Launcher: The dual mounted Launchers mounted on the Warp Wraith fire a fusillade of explosive cluster missiles that contain toxins that will drive their targets temporarily insane with fear.

Range: 12-48 Strength: 5 AP: 5 Type: Barrage 4, Small Blast, No Pinning, Ignores cover, Hallucinogen

Due to the latent effects if the Hallucinogens any unit hit by the Wraith Launchers will become subject to the night fighting rules on its next turn, so will only be able to spot and fire at targets 2D6x3 inches away. In addition they must pass a leadership test at -2 or roll on the following chart:

Wraith Launcher Hallucinogen Chart

1 Over There: the unit must immediately fall back.
2-3 Dazed and Confused: the unit may make no actions in their next turn.
4-5 It’s Inside of Me: D3 models must make armor saves or be removed as casualties.
6 Get ‘Em: the unit must shoot at the nearest friendly unit in their next shooting phase.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Editorial: 40k rewrite part I: what would you like to see

To celebrate my 300th post here on GiF, I thought I would tackle something controversial and unique.

Since I am constantly presenting my gaming out side the box rules I figured what better topic than addressing a complete rewrite of Warhammer 40k. This will be the first post in a series on what I would do to change the landscape of the game.

A really good friend of mine keeps telling me that he thinks "the future of 40k should be in the hands of the fans." I do think he is right in many ways.

Before anyone sweeps in and bashes me for the idea of questioning the designers who are paid to write the rules, let me just tell you to step off. Just because someone is paid to do something does not mean that they should or are any good at it.

I'll be the first to admit that I am an amateur games designer doing this stuff in my free time. I have become quite good at this sort of thing with more than 25 years of experience creating rules.

With all that out of the way.

What would you do if you were the lead designer on sixth edition 40k and were allowed a blank page to create the game system?

Would you keep the "I go, you go" game turn mechanics?

What changes would you make to the movement phase?

What changes would you make to the shooting phase?

What changes would you make to the Assault phase?

What changes would you make to Vehicles?

What changes would you make to the Missions?

What changes would you make to the points system? Would you bring back a quantifiable system for costing models and units; or would you keep the arbitrary this feels right system of the current codices?

I look forward to your thoughts on this topic.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rules from the Man-cave: Rending Bolters

I have not done a Rules from the Man-cave post in a good while because I have been so busy with Killzone. I tried this gem of a rule out last night and it was great fun! First a little background into why I tried it.

Neil from the 11th Company podcast on one of the episodes had joked that Bolter Marines would be worth taking if their weapons were Rending.

This kinda made sense to me as according to fluff Bolters are firing mini missiles that explode upon impact/penetration. I know fluff and the actual game rarely survive contact, but in this case I say "why the heck not?"

We gave all Bolters, Bolt Pistols and Heavy Bolters Rending. We wanted to make sure this change was not overpowered or game breaking, so we decided to only allow the bolters to rend against non-vehicle soft targets.

My buddy Greg and I both fielded Marine armies, it was Imperial Fists verses Chaos Soul Reapers. We used these armies to see the maximum effect of the rending Bolters.

The game was glorious fun, with Marines hugging cover to avoid rending death. It added a new tactical element to the game, which in my opinion is a good thing! It also made combat squads very dangerous to utilize, as it did not take much to make them combat ineffective.

Over the course of six turns there were a combined total of 34 rending wounds from bolters. 20 of them were mine, it was glorious!

It really made standard marines shine more than usual, and made for a really dynamic marine on marine game!

You should definitely try it out if you get the opportunity.

Disclaimer: I don't usually post house rules that I have not extensively used/playtested, but these were so darned fun I wanted to share them now rather than later. This way I can make an update and give more thoughts after a few more games.

It had also been suggested that Eldar Shuriken weapons should probably have these special rending rules. I am not opposed to this, but it needs some table time.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Soul Reapers Revival: the plan

I decided that since I am starting from scratch I need to plan out how I am going to build and paint the new army.

First off thank you to everyone that has sent their donated models I have received about a third of the miniatures so far. Just in as I am typing this, thanks to Dave Taylor for the donation of two Rhinos, I appreciate the included note too!

So back to the Plan. I figure it is best to have a general idea for a list when doing this. So here is the first 2000 points of the new army.

HQ (220pts)
Xusia 220

Elites (265pts)
5 Cataphract Terminators Squad 265
2 combi-melta’s, Reaper AC, Warp Ammo, chainfist
Centurion with Icon of Perpetual War

Troops (927pts)
8 Soul Reaper Legionary Squad 248pts
2 melta guns, 1 power weapon, Icon of Perpetual War
Centurion with power fist
Rhino dozer blade

8 Soul Reaper Legionary Squad 248pts
2 plasma guns, 1 power weapon, Icon of Perpetual War
Centurion with power weapon
Rhino dozer blade

8 Reaver Marines 281pts
1 melta gun, 1 heavy flamer, 1 power weapon, Icon of Perpetual War
Centurion with power fist
Testudo Rhino

6 Gore Daemons 150pts

Fast Attack (286pts)
6 Soul Reaper Bikers 286pts
2 melta guns, power weapon, Icon of Perpetual War, Infernal Assault Bike
Centurion with power fist

Heavy Support (300pts)
2 Obliterators 150pts

2 Obliterators 150pts

I am currently working on the Cataphract Terminator and the Melta Legionary squads.

I also have started converting the FW Lord Zhufor into Warlord Krüg the Beheader. I have done the greenstuff work on the lower body and will be working on the torso and arms tonight. The only gaming bugbear with Krüg is that he is really only field-able at 2500+ points due to the his cost combined with the obligatory Usurper Bodyguard. That is until I amass enough Terminators to do a Reaper-Wing!

Upward and onward!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Spreading the word: Lords of Night blog

Quietviper's nifty looking Bike squad

I don't do this very often, but every once in a while a new blog comes along that I feel compelled to spread the word about. If you have not seen Quietviper's Lords of Night blog, I ask you to check it out this new blog!

He's got a fantastic looking Night Lords army! The psiting is very well executed and is really slick. He's a self proclaimed "Beer and Pretzels" gamer, so you are not going to get that ultra maximized list talk there. I can totally understand where he is coming from!

So again please go check out Lords of Night.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Soul Reapers Cataphract Terminators entry: Mini-dex replacement unit entry

Here is my take on Chaos Terminators. This entry is done in the same spirit as what I did with the Praetorian and Vulture unit entries.

I have put a lot effort in to make these viscous warriors stand out as a unique unit worthy of their Elite status. Cataphract Terminators are the hammer of the Soul Reapers.

Cataphract Terminator Squad………………109 points

Same stats as the Chaos Terminator entry in the Chaos Space Marine codex.

• 2 Cataphract Terminators
• 1 Centurion

Unit Type:
• Infantry

• Terminator Armor
• Twin-linked Bolter
• Power Weapon

Special Rules:
• Fear is for the Weak
• No Matter the Odds
• Counter Attack

Dedicated Transport:
• If the squad numbers 5 or less models they may select a Land Raider as a dedicated transport.

• May include up to 7 additional Cataphract Terminators: +33 points per model.
• One model may take an Icon:
• Personal Icon………………….5pts
• Icon of Perpetual War……….15pts
• Any model may replace their twin-linked bolter with the following:
• Combi-weapon…………..5pts
• Any model may replace their power weapon with one of the following:
• Single lightning claw……..5pts
• Power Fist……………….10pts
• Chainfist………………….15pts
• Any model may replace their twin-linked bolter and power weapon for a pair of Lightning Claws for 10pts per model.
• The squad may upgrade their bolt weapons to use Warp Infused Ammunition for 10 points per model. (If this option is chosen then all models with twin-linked bolters and combi-weapons must purchase the upgrade.)
• One may replace their twin-linked bolter with one of the following: (If there are 8 or more models in the squad they may take a second weapon from the list.)
• Heavy Flamer………….....5pts
• Reaper Autocannon…….20pts
• The Centurion may replace his power weapon with the following:
• Chaos Rune Weapon…………...5pts

No Matter the Odds: Cataphracts automatically pass all tests to regroup. Usually squads that regroup cannot move and count as moving, but these restrictions do not apply to units with this rule. If a sweeping advance catches any Cataphract unit they are not destroyed and will continue to fight as normal. If this happens the unit is subject to the No Retreat rule.

Warp infused Ammunition: These bolter rounds have been charged with pure warp energies, which make them dangerous to use, but their ability to penetrate armor outweighs any risk. These rounds are only effective within Rapid Fire range, any shots over 12 inches use their normal AP value. The AP value of the bolt weapons is 2 instead of the normal 5; in addition any 6’s scored on the “to wound” roll will negate any Invulnerable saves that the target may have. All shooting from a weapon with this ammo is subject to the "Gets Hot" except these rounds are extremely volatile and suffer damage on a roll of a 1 or a 2.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

First painted mini for the Soul Reapers Revival: Cataphract Terminator

Here is the inaugural miniature for the new army. He is 90 percent finished, I noticed during the photo editing that I forgot to paint the bolts on the Bolter casing and the bolts on the back of the torso. I also need to freehand the crossed scythes on his right pauldron.

Overall I am pleased with the miniature. I have decided to go with green lightning on all the power weapons in the new army, it just fits the color scheme better. As you can see I tested it out on the power blade attachment on the TL-bolter.

I cannot wait until I get him on a Secret Weapons Minis resin base. That is gonna look Schweet!

In the morning I will be posting the unit entry for the Cataphract Terminators.