Friday, 9 January 2015

Welcome Back

Hello, blog. It's been a while. Let's see if we can get some stuff actually rolling here... Just to get myself warmed up, here's a short piece of writing I knocked up today. A bit of backstory for my Malifaux RPG character, one Harker Twain:

Monday, 23 June 2014

7th Ed Impressions

Well, I’ve actually played some 40k for once.  Got through a few games actually, and I have another one scheduled for tomorrow, so my burnout might be receding.  All these games have been with (pretty much) the same army though: Slaaneshi Chaos Daemons with CSM allies.  They’ve actually been serving me well for the most part, but the outcomes are not the point.  How have I been finding 7th?  For the most part, much like 6th, if I’m being honest.  I’m really enjoying the Psychic Phase, as a I suspected I would.  The ability to (attempt) to squash a Blessing or two has really been a great comfort and boon for me, as having a chance (however unlikely) does give me a sense of agency during the game that was missing before.  Aside from anything else, the new phase reduces the number of powers that go off (on aggregate) and makes everything that little bit more unpredictable.  I’ve yet to have anyone pulled into the Warp mid-game, but there’s still time.

I do have to say that I’ve only played the funky Maelstrom of War stuff once though.  It made the game run a touch long (in 3 hours, my friend and I only go round to turn 4, but he’d conceded by then anyway).  However, most games with me run a little long anyway, so I’m not sure if that’s really going to have an appreciable effect in most games once people are used to the changes in that type of situation.  One thing I did like in that game is the fact that you quite often find yourself trusting to luck more and lunging your guys forward to grab an opportune objective when it presents itself.  This could create chinks in your lines and weaknesses for your opponents to exploit, costing you valuable VPs in the long run, which is a dynamic I quite enjoy. I’m getting another one of these games in soon, so hopefully I’ll have a similar experience second time around.

Armies designed for Maelstrom are noticeably different from Eternal War forces in 6th ed.  And that’s before we even touch on the Unbound stuff.  There’s a greater emphasis on manoeuvrability and you’re going to encounter far fewer horrific hammer units, with a larger focus on multiple small units to increase board coverage for objective claiming.  This also provides greater tactical focus of smaller amounts of firepower, but also reduces survivability of each unit and give more ebb and flow to the combat in my view.

The change to Jink saves also had a significant impact in my games.  Not for me, as I don’t run that type of unit, but giving an opportunity to suppress bike guns for a turn was much appreciated.  Also, having the decision point be before any rolls are made was also an excellent idea and added a great deal of tension to the game.

Still not entirely sure what I feel about the change to vehicle durability.  Make no mistake, I’m happy that Hull Points are still here and mostly unchanged and I really like that my Soul Grinders don’t care about Krak Missiles much anymore.  But, aren’t they meant to care?  Krak missiles hardly feel like their designed to, well, crack tanks.  They annoy or suppress them, but don’t seem to pose a significant threat.  Autocannons still work though.  Glorious, glorious autocannons.

So they’re my brief impressions of 40k 7th edition at the moment.  Orks are incoming though, so you can probably expect some more in depth gibberish coming down the pipe shortly!

Monday, 2 June 2014


Hey guys!

A bit of a weird one this week, as I honestly have very little idea what to talk about.  I pretty much summed up my feelings about 7th in the last post and I’m apprehensive about going in for more until I’ve played a few games first.  There’s a limit as to how far theory can get you after all.  The problem is that I’m in an ‘off’ state for 40k at the moment.  I was sensing a build towards burnout a couple of months ago (before I headed off to Adepticon, if I’m honest) and had to keep playing on.  I still like the game, but I know how burnout hits and I’ve decided to cut some slack for a few months instead of flaming out for a year.  I’ll be getting some 7th Ed games in soon though, as I’m slated for the invasion of Haven at the Overlords this month, so I’ll get my baptism of fire there at least.

I’m with the bad guys this time (which shouldn’t shock many of you) and this time round I’m bringing some Chaos rather than the bugs.  I decided to stick with the traditional enemies of the Imperium because later in the year there’ll be the big games, and that is non-Xenos only, so I didn’t feel right bringing the Nids to the warmup event.

I’ve also decided to go for a slightly different style of list.  My decent Daemon/CSM list was pure Khorne and most of my other lists have run a Khorne/Slaanesh mix, but now I think I’ll go for pure Slaanesh and see where that gets me.  The Slaanesh list will be an odd mix of stationery and hyper mobile given the fact that Noise Marines had to stay planted to be any good, but Slaaneshi Daemons can dash around the board like billy-o.  Choosing Slaanesh rather than Khorne will also give me a chance to give the Psychic Phase a test-drive and see what it brings to the game.  Should be fun!

So what have I been doing with my gaming time now that 40k is on the backburner?  It should be Malifaux, I guess, but I haven’t been in the mood.  I guess I’m just waiting for plastic Freikorps to fire me back up again.  I still haven’t played a game of 2nd Edition yet.  It’s a shame. 

I should also be pushing Netrunner.  I really don’t know why I haven’t.  Maybe I’m getting a bit bored of the standard starter decks, but making my own is a lot of work when I have to dismantle them every time I play anyone else down the club.  The problem is that it hasn’t properly taken off yet, and I need people to literally buy into it before I can start injecting a bit more variety into it.  It doesn’t help that out of all the people I know who play the game, I’m the only one who likes playing Corp.

So what does that leave me with?  Magic: The Gathering.  I know, I know, I’m disappointed too… Only joking of course, but I thought I was out of that game for good a few years back.  It is just easy to bring along, doesn’t require much space or anything other than a deck.  It’s just a really convenient enjoyable game, but I don’t want to go far enough down the road where it starts becoming expensive.  A lot of the club play with whatever they have in their collections, but nearly everyone has at least one standard deck as well.  I’m enjoying the game a lot, given the inherent frustrations of land flushes (or droughts).  I think partially it’s the fact that it is a very low-dedication game, certainly compared to the amount of work that is required for a game of 40k.  It also is far less of a downer when I lose!

Anyway, my apologies for the content-less guff this week.  When I have more of a handle on 7th (or maybe when I get my hands on the Orks) I’ll have more content-full guff for you…

We can dream right?

Monday, 19 May 2014

Rising from the Depths

Well, that’s at least one resolution broken.  Things got hectic, I had some games to play on another continent and everything broke loose at work.  Nevertheless, I’m back now for a nebulous amount of time before the next calamitous disastrocity hits.  Or a new game comes out.  Or I forget. Or my time machine works. Who can tell?  I can’t.  That’s why I need a time machine.  Oh, wait a sec…

That was my future self.  Apparently my time machine was a failure, so that puts the kibosh on that plan.  Anyway what has happened in the world of my favourite hobby?  Well, one of them anyway.  Yep, trailing ponderously late behind the news, this post is about 7th edition, or at least my thoughts about it.  There’s been a bit of a drip feed of information about this and I feel that GW has actually been handling this release about right.  The White Dwarf Weekly format has been a great help with this and it seems like they’ve really hit their stride with that publication.  Which is more than I can say for Visions.  I reckon they should call time on that one, personally.  I don’t hate it though.  Not really.  Some of my friends do, and I can understand why.  I really don’t think it’s worth the asking price.  I only get it because I’m on a standing order subscription-y thing and it’s less than half price and even then, I’m deeply dubious about its value.  It’s not worthless.  The photos are great and some of the displays, set pieces and Golden Daemon stuff is fantastic.  One of the recent editions had a Sanguinary guard trying to escape a veritable tide of Tyranids and it was truly exceptional.  It’s called The Last Light, and you all really owe it to yourselves to see it.

Anyway, with that tangent dispatched, on to 40k 7th edition.  My initial response to the rumours was to believe that this was a tweak edition, 6.5 ed, I suppose.  Just a tidying up of the existing rules, incorporating Stronghold Assault and Escalation.  Maybe a few alterations to some of the more contentious rules.  However, I was wrong and the dripfeed of new rules and teasers began.  My reactions to change are usually equitable to a few of the stages of mourning, if I’m feeling pretentious and dramatic about it.  I usually don’t go for the denial or anger stages.  Depression (or more accurately, pessimism) is a fairly hefty stopover for me though and this is where the added clarification of the rules really helped me through into the acceptance category.  I’m not sure if ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ is one of the stages of grief, but that’s roughly where I am at the moment.

I’m nowhere near as amped about this as I was with the advent of 6th.  That’s probably because 6th hasn’t been around long enough to wear out its welcome.  I was getting seriously sick of 5th when it finally received the bullet.  I’d had enough of endless mechanised armies and the infuriating survivability of vehicles.  That hasn’t happened in 6th.  Not yet.  Yeah sure there are a great many things I don’t like about 6th.  Especially with Escalation and the like, it was becoming too much of a scissor-paper-stone game.  If some brought a D-weapon and you couldn’t kill before it fired twice, then you would most likely lose.  If you took it down before it could fire, then the opponent would most likely lose.  That didn’t look like fun to me.  Still doesn’t.  Will 7th change that dynamic?  I don’t know.  There are tweaks to how D-weapons operate.  You’ll get invulnerable saves against them for example, which is nice.  Unfortunately, that does heavily imply that there will be more of this crap in even low-level games.  And there I go into pessimism again.  Is mood swing one of the stage of grief?

Regardless of my exponentially fracturing mental state, a lot of the new rules discussed are looking interesting.  The varying objectives mid-game will provided a very interesting dynamic.  Bound and Unbound, initially one of the horror stories about the new ruleset has been counterbalance by scoring advantages for Bound armies.  The Psychic phase is a new addition and it looks like it will be a nicely interactive event, even for the non-pysker armies.  As a Dark Eldar-turned-Necron/Khorne player, I was never a fan of the lack of decent psychic defence (I felt it a step down from 5th) and the new phase looks like it will add more of a push-pull feel and add more narrative depth for those so inclined.  It should also give us a way of denying blessings, which is where a lot of the filth settled in 6th.  I’m hearing heavy rumours of Ignores Cover meaning only a modifier to cover save rather than a full denial, which is a move a highly support.  No, it has nothing to do with me playing Nids and Venomthropes.  I haven’t heard a great deal about the allies system, and I know that my ideal situation of nixing Battle Brothers entirely my well be out of bounds, but (like most other things in 7th) I remain Cautiously Optimistic.

Guess we’ll find out on 2th, eh?

So long meatsacs!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Skone of Thrulls: Part Two

I’m also bringing a solitary Venomthrope to act as a little bit of insurance against early game shooting.  Most of the Nid stuff is very mid-range or assault focussed and any trick you can pull to avoid early mass casualties is going to be helpful.  The Venomthrope is unbeatable in that regard.  If I keep it faily hidden, even behind my models (and a Carnifex may be able to completely obsure it for a while), it’s packing a fair bit of resilience to incoming shots, and conveying the same to the rest of my units.  Kind of a no-brainer, really.  And thanks to Kevin Bacon, use of that phrase now leaves me feeling dirty.  Dammit, Bacon!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Skone of Thrulls: Part One

In move of possibly ill-advised optimism, I’m hoping to field Tyranids at the upcoming Throne of Skulls tournament.  There are many reason why this is a potentially bad idea:

1) I’ve only played as ‘Nids once
2) My army is currently not yet painted
3) Throne of Skulls starts in less than a fortnight
Yes, those may appear to be significant drawbacks because, well… they are.  Nevertheless, it’s a challenge, and the only time I get painting done is when I have a deadline, so let’s see if I can rise to the challenge or remain flac… You know, I probably shouldn’t finish that sentence.  Oh well, I have a list mapped out with a (relatively low) model count, the weird basing paints should make that aspect of the work quicker and easier and I have a colour scheme sorted that, after a test paint, looks fairly decent by my own admittedly low standards.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Hive Mined: Part One

Well, I had my first game with the Tyranids yesterday and it was a very interesting one to get to grips with.  Unfortunately it was quite a one-sided event, mainly due to an army construction issue, I think.  My mate was trying a heavy bolter centred list and it was not doing the business.  However, aside from the ego boost, it was still a useful learning experience for me, as I will explain.