Saturday, May 12, 2012

Wolf Theory Mk II: Revelations

So I had a post on this topic back in May 2009 I have decided to revisit it now. As I gear up to start working on the reboot of my Wolves, now that I am in the final stages of the Soul Reapers rebuild getting ready to unveil the first 2k on the blog.

I talked about how I plan to build an entire Great Company of Space Wolves this time around, but there are a couple of common issues.

How many Space Wolves are there in the Chapter? What makes up a Great Company?

Here is an important estimate from that post:
I estimated that a full strength Great Company was around 200 Space Wolves; with the Chapter probably maxing out around 2500 Space Wolves if it included all the priests and their initiates.

Now that we have a number of Astartes to work from in print via the Black Library novel Battle of the Fang, I fully believe those numbers to be extremely close to accurate. At the end of the novel there is one Great Company Depleted to 23 Astartes (the 12th GC who had been decimated defending the Fang), the other 11 Great Companies are present just returned from campaigning but still numbering a staggering 2000 Astartes of the Vlka Fenryka.

The new information really jells with the information from my previous post and I will be running with it. 

So here is what I plan to shoot for:
1 Wolf Lord
2 Rune Priests
2 Wolf Priests
2 Iron Priests
20 Wolf Guard
12 Grey Hunter packs (total of up to 110 Astartes
2 Blood Claw packs (total of up to 30 Astartes)
4 Long Fang packs (total of up to 20 Astartes)
2 Wolf Scout pack (total of up to 20 Astartes)

I will vary the number of models in the Grey Hunter packs to show combat losses.  The Claws will be broken into the 3 types with 12 of them being foot born Blood Claws. The scouts will be built as 10 strong packs as well as with the options to be split into 4 packs of 5.

So that is my theory and plan.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Randomeness in 6th ed is not a bad thing

With all the current rumors of an increase in randomness coming to 40k, I just wanted to share my opinions on the matter. As you know I am unashamedly a Beer and Pretzels (B&P) gamer, so that predictability that tourney players are looking for is not my bag. I play for the sheer fun of rolling dice and hanging with my bros. I will give some of my thoughts from both the competitive and B&P side of my mind.

Recently there have been whispers that random terrain effects and randomly generated psychic powers similar to way things are done WFB may be coming to 6th. The gnashing of teeth has been epic from many in the 40k community and I do understand a bit of the issue that the tourney guys are having. I used to be a hard core tourney player, but have gotten back to my B&P gaming roots.

I still don’t think it is as bad as many are worrying that it will be. I think it has added a ton of depth to WFB, in fact it is the only GW game that I will still play in a tournament format. I think WFB is more balanced than ever, unlike 40k IMHO.

From my Competitive side:
All GW games are at their core “dice” games; meaning there is always going to be tons of randomness. While playing to win you have to plan for random outcomes to happen and mitigate them as best you can.

If this current batch of rumors are true it provides the opportunity to up your game competitively. Dealing with randomness like this really gives you many more opportunities in the risk verses reward type of game play on the tabletop and in my opinion 40k has lacked this kind of depth for too long. Do I want to charge that unit or shoot them?

Positioning of units on the tabletop will become much more important.  40k has always had a very lackluster movement phase since 3rd ed and anything that shakes that up is a good thing.

From the Beer and Pretzels viewpoint:
Randomness is not something that ruins my experience in wargames as long as it is not arbitrary and pointless. It takes away an amount of control from the gamer and I would actually propose that it is a good thing for the game in many instances.

An example of pointless randomness is the way that difficult terrain is implemented in 40k. It is silly that if you’d like to enter lets say a wood and you are 4 inches away from your unit and you roll less than 4 inches you do not even move to the edge of the wood by default, nope you only move the 1-3 inches that you roll. Now mind you I only say that this is pointless randomness in its implementation. If the implementation were to have the models always move to the edge of the terrain if they fail to go far enough to enter the terrain; that would be good randomness.

Well implemented randomness changes the focus of the game from worrying about winning; it brings the focus back the process of playing and having fun. You become more interested in seeing how things will play out on the tabletop, and less interested in who actually won.

Your average B&P gamer is looking for; a fun day/night of socializing with their opponents, rolling dice and having a great gaming experience. Basically they want to get a nice looking table set up, with painted figs, great terrain and armies that both of the players love. It is all about the spectacle of watching a story unfold before their eyes and randomness can really help generate some unpredictability that lends its self to great story telling.