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.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Cult Status: Part 2

Well, not quite later in the week, but I think we’re all used to my abysmal timekeeping on this score, aren’t we?  Anyway, I’ve already said that I’m flinging in some Guard with my Chaos cult.  On one level, this would be a perfect mix, as the Guard are the other army that can match Cultists in numbers and low quality indivduals.  Apart from ‘Nids.  Not going there, although if I were to proxy up, the Shadow in the Warp would be a very good substitute for Khorne’s hatred of Psykers.  It’s annoyed me immensely that Khornate armies and characters (with the exception of Kharn and Karnak) do not have any anti-psyker toys, and that would be a good justification for roping the nids in I guess.  However, it’s not legal, so say goodbye to that idea!  Would probably have been a lot of work anyway.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Cult Status: Part 1

Well, the escalation league has been going on for a couple of months now and, although I haven’t yet played my second month games with my 750 force, I have messed around with various units I want to add.  The final version of my list (due to be reached in November) is definitely beginning to take shape and should prove to be quite fun.  As I said in an earlier post, I’m building this list on a vague storyline and with a definite focus on theme rather than sheer efficiency or competitiveness, although I don’t think it’ll be bad in that department.  I’ve maintained for a while that you can make lists that are strong on theme whilst still being decent in and of their own right.  It’s what I do with my lists; hit on a story, theme or character and then figure out how to make it functional, possibly even good.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Into the Dead Zone!

 A couple of my friends and I have been looking into Deadzone recently, a skirmish game from Mantic set in their Warpath universe.  I know nothing about the universe itself and have never played Warpath, although I had a look through some of the rules waaaay back when it was coming out and it seemed interesting.  However I didn’t (and still don’t) have the time or inclination for a large(ish) scale miniatures wargame, what with the amount of time 40k takes out of the rest of my life.  However, the smaller scale skirmish games I have a lot of time for.  They’re easier to get into, still pertain to a nice degree of depth and the lower model count means they’re relatively cheap and you can get all your guys painted up fairly quickly.

We’d had a couple of games of Dreadball at the club, so we were already feeling fairly well disposed towards Mantic’s rulesets and theme, and we have the advantages of one or two members being itinerant Kickstarters, so we had all we needed to get cracking.  Now, there’s quite a lot of stuff to like about this game, so I’ll touch on a few things that struck me about it.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Fiction Friday 1

Well, here we go!  The first of what will hopefully be a monthly ficton post lies below.  there won't be any greatv rhyme or reason to the fiction.  There's likely to be a decent amount of 40k-based stuff, mainly due to my love and familiarity with the universe.  However, there will also be a fair amount of my own garbage.  We'll start with one of my own pieces.  I apologise in advance for the incoming crapness...

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Chitin Chatter

Well, it looks like I have done something stupid and, after a vague interest initially, have talked myself into playing Tyranids.  Thanks a lot, Brain.  Didn’t need that right now.  Hopefully it will only be small project.  Wait a minute…

Just setting up the cognitive dissonance…

…And we’re good.

Right.  Yeah should only be a small project as I don’t really have a character or story hook to grab hold of with the Tyranids.  It’s the stories and characters that really get me invested in an army.  The aesthetics can be a good part of it, but I rarely become as invested in an army as one where I can create a distinct character HQ and get some storylines going.  Every list from my first Eldar collection 8 years ago (or thereabouts) had a key character and story behind them.  Even if it was just window dressing for the fact that “Wraithlords have swords now!  That’s soo cool!” (Actual quote).

The ‘Nids don’t have that.  I like a number of the models and the monster designs are very cool, but without a core personality to hook it on, this is more of an exercise in tactical curiosity.  The codex hit and, as is my way, I bought a copy and had a read.  It seemed good.  An improvement on the last one.  However, many existing ‘Nid players on the Internet seemed to think differently.  A number of existing units had been removed, which is something of an unusual move and something to be annoyed about, certainly.  I felt though that a number of the reactions to the codex were knee-jerk, unjustified and, frankly, embarrassing in a number of cases.  I’m just fortunate that the smart part of my brai9n asserted its dominance just enough to stop me looking at Dakka or Warseer.  I just restricted myself to the Overlords Facebook Group (Join today for a free gift of bupkis and bonus pocket lint!).  There was a fair bit of negativity there, some anti-hate backlash and so on.  But there was also discussion and rationality from pretty much everyone I approached, which was good because I don’t like pointless shouting matches, nor do I hold with bellowing aimlessly into the void.  I tried to counter some of the complaints with observations I’d gleaned from the new rules and units.  In my opinion, it’s a really solid ‘dex.  But it’s not OMG OP!, to take on the gaming parlance.

A number of the generic complaints that I’ve heard about seem similar to the problem people had when 6th ed came round in the first place.  The loss of outflank assault really got underneath some people’s skin.  Personally, I was glad of it.  The all-too-common argument of ‘Why are they outflanking and just standing around before attacking?’ was easy to counter with ‘What were the guys with guns doing before you outflanked? Why were you invisible until that moment?’  Anyway, I don’t want to make this a sour post so let’s move on.

Unfortunately, given my natural mildly tactless nature and various communicative difficulties, I am aware I can often come across as being arrogant and dismissive, which is rarely my intent.  I feel that happened a number of times in my defence of the new codex and although I can bring up a number of things from my reading, that kind of paper knowledge and mathhammer can only get you so far.  It’s best when combined with practical experience.  I also found myself genuinely intrigued by some of the options I was seeing and became more and more curious as to whether I could get a few of the tactics to work on the tabletop.  I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind, really.  I just want more of an insight into a different type of army that a lot of people keep saying isn’t good.  I happen not to agree, and I felt that this time, I needed to put my money where my mouth was.

And besides, a forum thread encouraging people to send their crushed Gaunts to GWHQ in protest?  That’s just fethin’ pathetic.

Friday, 17 January 2014


Well, it’s that time of the year.  Tournament prep time!  Nothing too serious.  I left all pretentions to ‘serious’ competitive stuff behind me a while ago.  It was just stressing me out and making me too much of a downer.  Nevertheless, I still love the odd tourney.  The ones coming up are of the ‘not-entirely-competitive’ stock, or at least I’m not entering them with that mindset.  Coming up, I have a Throne of Skulls event in March, the Warzone-apolooza in Adepticon and the Team Tournamentathon the day after.  To make matters worse, I’m probably taking significantly different lists to all three!  And none of them are painted yet! Yay!

The Throne of Skulls is a tournament I haven’t been to for a while.  I can’t remember if I went to it at all last year, which is unusual.  I normally have a great time there and I try to go at least once a year.  This year has me a little trepidatious though, as Forge World and Superheavy, etc. stuff is now allowed.  I’ve tried my best to stay positive about this and ultimately, the proof is always going to be in the pudding.  I just personally feel that too much of the Forge World stuff and too many of the Superheavies are too unbalancing at this low a points value.  Most of the superheavies I don’t have a great deal of problem with though.  It’s mainly the presence of D weapons that irks me.  D, in this case, stands for ‘Delete’.  The complete lack of anything you as a player can do to mitigate or ride through the damage really doesn’t sit well.  In big games, that’s fine.  You have a bucketload of troops, vehicles, buildings, targets of all varieties.  Small games, much less so.  In small games you also have far less opportunity to deal with the superheavies in the return punch.  In a way, this makes sense and when written into a specific scenario can be cool and thematic.  But that requires preparation.  From a ‘fun game’ perspective, if someone puts a Transcendent Ctan with the Hellstorm D-weapon and plonks it behind a Bastion, I’m going to find it hard not to concede Turn 1 and have a good time elsewhere.  Much of the arguments in favour of these units is that ‘You don’t have enough points to have much in the rest of the army’ and that’s true, but you don’t need it.  Necrons and Eldar (the two main offenders in this little rant) both have ways of buying fairly cheap troop units and keeping them safe for the entire game (wave Serpents for the Eldar and Night Scythes for the Necrons), that the lack of backup is not that big of a problem.

I realise these games are far from unwinnable, provided you have the right set up.  If you’re playing marines you can drop pod sternguard and tactical squads with meltas for a heavy turn 1 or 2 meltafest that will end the overwhelming majority of tanks and titans and deal significant damage to a lot of the Gargantuans. Tau have a lot of high strength long range stuff to deal the punch.  Dark Eldar have a lot of options with lances, poison and haywire.  Monstrous Creatures have a far better chance of survival versus D-weapons, so lists with a lot of them would have a good shot at surviving enough to deal their damage.  However, most of these shift very much into a ‘who goes first wins’ format.  If the D-weapon goes first, they will eliminate the significant threats to limit the received damage.  If the takedown units go first (particularly in the case of the drop-podding melta marines), then the Superheavy goes down Turn 1.  Either way, that game either goes to a straight rolloff or a scissor/paper/stone style of play that goes counter to what I enjoy about the game.

Also, while I’m in a whingeing mood, another thing that really annoys me about D-Weapons is the auto-‘splode for vehicles.  A shot that automatically destroys a Land Raider if it so much as gets clipped, may well only deal two hull points of damage to a superheavy given the majority result of D3+1 Hull points removed.  This wind me up, as on a raw damage perspective, the Land Raider (or Defiler, or Monolith, etc) could shrug off two out of the three results.  I would be far more optimistic about all this if it just dealt a number of auto-penetrating hits instead of “Nope, Dead”.  Oh, and the Revenant can suck my balls.  4 D-weapon blasts a turn is bullshit, whichever way you slice it. Ugh.

Anyway, my sincere apologies for the negativity of this post.  I will be happier in the next one now that I’ve got this out of my system!  Like I said earlier, I have had a great time far, far, more often than not at Throne of Skulls and I’m fairly optimistic that my opponents will be decent guys or girls who will be playing for fun rather than an uninteresting victory and, without the D-weapons, most of the Superheavies and Gargantuan Creatures strike me as a different and interesting challenges to come up against.  Just ditch the D-weapons okay?

End of line.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Hands Over Fists: Techmarines II

Follwing on from December's post:
But that’s enough of me complaining.  What about the good things with Techmarines?  Yes, there are good things, so I can’t pout too much.  Here we go.  You may have noticed that in my previous griping post, I was going on and on about how they are nowhere near as good as they used to be in combat.  But that’s a little too narrowly focused to be a fully valid complaint.  Techmarines are a lot easier to accept when you realise that their role has become more of a support than it was before.  They used to be a nice close-combat surprise with an added ability to repair vehicles and do the whole Dreadnought unlock thing.  Now, with Hull points being very much de rigeur in 6th edition, their repair ability becomes much more of a primary focus.  In 5th ed (and you may be spotting a theme here), vehicle destruction was very much in the lap of raw chance with that bloody damage table.  Vehicles could keep going forever if your opponent kept rolling those ones on the table.  Now, with Hull Points, vehicles die quicker, but are functional and useful for longer (snap firing’s still better than no firing).  It’s very difficult to stop a vehicle firing without killing it completely.

The ability to restore hull points can be crucial when dealing with attrition, especially in the higher AV units that are more likely to receive glancing than penetrating hits.  As to whether that ability alone is worth the points, I would hazard not, unless you have entire vehicle firebase at the back of you army.  The servo-arm alone only gives you a 5+ chance, but that can be readily upgraded with cheaper servitors who also act as ablative wounds. 

Speaking of servitors, they are the cheapest way of getting plasma cannons into your army if you want that kind of thing.  A handy bolster for a firebase, as you can get two cannons for only 60 points total.  They still mindlock like the lobotomised little cretins they are, but if you have a Techie in there they’ll be fine and can still fire while he focusses on repair.  Either that or you go for more of a firebase feel with a conversion beamer Master of the Forge.  Remember, you don’t need a servo-arm to repair, just the Blessings of the Omnissiah rule!  Also to bear in mind is the handy rule that the heavy weapons guys can still fire as normal if they personally stood still, allowing greater freedom for the repair guy to get into the gut of the nearby damaged vehicles, particularly if you’ve decked the unit out with additional servo-armed guys.

The other deployment option for them is to stick them in your front-line units and view them as squad upgrade guys more than anything else.  They come into their own in transport vehicles to keep them going where they need to go.  But once they are out of the vehicle, what do they do.  Is there any point to getting them out with the rest of the unit?  I think so, as they are still useful at a pinch.  2+ armour and a S8 AP1 attack are not to be discounted, especially as the combat rules can have you deflect damage to the Techmarine onto the other squad members, meaning he is far more likely to land the blows you want him to and helping make up for the lack of an invulnerable save.  There is also the possibility of using him as a bit of a damage soak if you want to entrust his fate to a tonne of 2+ armour rolls.  Probably not your best call in a bog standard tac squad, but could be useful for more specialised units, or when you want to keep that troops choice alive as long as you can.  Personally, I feel that is you are going to go for a front line Techmarine, you are far better served by taking a deep breath and going for the full servo-harness.  This gives far more than the 25 points bump should do, certainly when you compare it to some of the other tactical squad options.  What’s the better deal: giving your Sergeant a power fist, or giving the Techmarine an extra attack with a better power fist, a flamer, a twin linked plasma pistol and a better chance to keep the transport running?  I know which I’m rooting for.

A final point to bring up is the slight tweak they’ve received in the Force Org chart.  Instead of consuming an entire Elites slot to themselves, they now take a phantom HQ slot, one per regular HQ choice.  This gives you far better flexibility in your choices, as now he doesn’t have to content with the host of other, more combat-effective Elites options.  I’ll also add that the Iron Hands expansion allows you to take two per regular HQ slot or three per Master of the Forge, really opening up your choices, and looking damn cool while they do it!

Friday, 3 January 2014

New Year's Dissolutions

Well, Bah Weep Graaaagnah Wheep Ni Ni Bong everybody and Happy 2014!  As I am sure many people and news sources have reported, it is now a whole new year in the Western calendar.  The Earth has completed one full orbit from its initial arbitrary starting point. Yay.

As is traditional, now is the time for resolutions to be made before be swiftly rationalised into ever more watered-down and unimpressive versions of themselves prior to being disregarded and forgotten about entirely for the rest of the year.  Yeah, bleak, innit?

Nevertheless, I plan to thwart this sequence of events by aiming deliberately low to start off with.  Ha-hah!  I’ve got the standard personal resolutions (become less spherical, learn Gaelic, win a fight with bear, etc.) but the hobby ones are, I think, most applicable for this venue.

1) Update the blog once a week.  I know, I’ve been playing this tune badly for quite a while (again, with decreasing standards of what’s acceptable), but I couldn’t resist give on more encore that no-one asked for.  Hopefully I can make Mondays regular post days.

2) Have at least one painting session a week.  Regardless of how much I get done during that session, if I can get into the habit of sitting down with a paintbrush and some models, eventually something will get finished.  I don’t actually enjoy painting.  I’m slightly jealous of those who do, as it is a major part of the hobby and playing with and against painted models just feels better than the bare plastic or undercoat versions.  My entire painting philosophy and method throughout most of my hobby life has been conveyor-belt style painting to get armies ready for events.  I think I still need that as a motivating factor, so I should have a bunch of club and third-party events over the coming year to keep some level of deadline pressure going.

3) Attend the Overlords at least once a month.  Apart from the occasional special event, I was barely in the HQ at all over the past year.  I live annoyingly far away from it for public transport not to be a massive ballache.  However, another driving test beckons in February, so maybe (if I don’t cock it all up again) this process will be made significantly easier.  I feel like I should make more of an effort to support the club over just turning up at the Podcast Bunker every few weeks to talk bollocks for three hours.  Plus, I now also have:

4) The Escalation League! Really up for giving this a go as it gives me a good consistently moving deadline for fairly small points-value painting every month.  For those not part of the Overlords Facebook Group, the escalation league is a club event whereby everyone starts with 500pts at the beginning of the year, and end with 2.5k at the end.  The points value goes up each month and you’re expected to play at least two games at that month’s points.  The nice bit about it is, that you can’t get rid of units you’ve previously added to the list, and your downgrading opportunities are limited to 10% of the current points value.  This means that you have to think about what units you include in each army expansion, because once they’re there, you’re stuck with them.  This works nicely for me because, I can choose some slightly unusual choice and try to find a niche for them over the year because, well, I’ve got to.  I’m throwing down with Chaos Marines over here and, for once, I won’t be allying in anything from the Daemons Codex.  Admittedly those armies complement each other very well, but I have other plans; ones that allow me to use models I barely ever have a role for, but would be perfect for the League.

5) Write more fiction.  I’m fairly certain I will never be an author, but I still come up with stories for various things that crop up in my head.  I mainly just lack the focus to put many (or any) of them down on paper.  I’m going to try to change that this year, and I’m aiming for a monthly short fiction post on this blog, just to keep in practice and mess around with a few ideas.  As ever, thoughts and feedback on whatever I write will be appreciated.

And that’s that as far as these resolutions go.  There are many more posts on the horizon, more fiction to read (and write), more podcasts to befoul, more games to play and a club to mismanage.  I’m swamped…

So long!