Saturday, 22 December 2012

Dark Angels spoilers

So Dark Angels is getting a January 2013 release. I'm very interested in this because it may be a good indication of how the other loyalist marine codexes are going to be. Especially where things like Warlord traits are going.

Anyway, we have some photos of the new models and units. Let's take a look...

Belial's new model. I can't say I like this one because the model is too static. Character models need to be more dynamic and with an action pose.

The new terminators are quite nice. Interesting to see that Dark Angels retain command squad terminators. I hope that they will come back for all space marine codexes. However, these models look nice though robed terminators doesn't quite look right to me.

Bikes with twin-linked plasma guns? Nice. I hope that they are an upgrade rather than as standard otherwise they are going to be a pain to deal with. But still nice.

The new Dark Angel plane. I love this design though the big ass guns at the front seem a tad too big. It shall be interesting to see these on the battlefield as some rumours suggest that they are designed as an anti-flyer option.

Two new land speeders. The top version comes with twin-linked plasma cannons. That will be an ouch for lots of us. The bottom however, looks odd. There are no rear weapons just what appears to be a shrine, but one with an operator. Odd.
What are your thoughts?

Saturday, 15 December 2012

BR: Space Marines vs Eldar

Thursday night I was challenged to a 1000pt game. I knew that my opponent had access to blood angels, ultramarines and eldar, so I decided to do a simple list to hopefully deal with any of them. In the end it was eldar that faced and things did not go to plan all that well.

My list was:

Librarian: epistolery with plasma pistol.
5 man terminator squad with assault cannon.
10 man tactical squad with flamer and heavy bolter, in a rhino. Sarge had power weapon and plasma pistol.
10 man tactical squad with plasmagun and missile launcher. Sarge had power weapon and plasma pistol.
Stormtalon gunship with assault cannon and heavy bolters.


From memory, my opponent had:

6 man pathfinder squad.
10 man dire avengers squad with exarch in wave serpent.
10 man fire dragon squad in wave serpent.
3 warwalkers with scatter lasers.

We agreed to roll a mission from the Battle Missions book and rolled Prepared Assault. I deployed first placing my librarian with the terminators in cover near the central objective, flamer squad in rhino next to the second objective, and the second tac squad on a hill so I could get a good field of fire for the missile launcher. My opponent deployed everything in one corner nearest the third objective.

The game did not start well for me. Some very accurate scatter laser shots devestated half of my terminators. Not what I wanted. Things would not go well for them though the dice gods guided those armour saves and look out sir rolls fantastically for most of the game but evetually they could taken down. The terminators didn't do a thing all game which irked me somewhat. Had the mission allowed me to deep strike them from reserve things would have been very different.

When the Stormtalon arrived on turn 2 it failed to do anything and had to fly off the table on the following turn. When it did return it dropped a couple pathfinders and then went into hover mode to shoot them with a better BS. I had forgotten that about the cover saves provided by their cloaks and they went to ground with a 4+ cover save. It did manage to survive two turns in hover mode, before it crashed to the ground. Had I been my opponent I would have shot it with the scatter lasers a turn earlier but hey ho.

I did have one bit of luck which was the total annihilation of the dire avengers when they jumped out of their wave serpent. It didn't last though and I lost my flamer tactical squad and the survivours of the ML squad fled off the table turn 7.

Had the game ended turn 5 as I wanted, things would have been better but turn 6 saw to it that I would lose this game.

I had high hopes that my list would have done better, but I think a mixture of mission and deployment was what really screwed me. More terrain would have helped too I think.

Good fun game but better luck next time.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Midas Crusade - intro

After reading through Crusade of Fire I have decided that the campaign example given within isn't so bad. It has plenty of potential and so I have started tweaking it slightly. The work in progress is called the Midas Crusade and follows a similar storyline I guess to the Crusade of Fire campaign. I have opened it up to the different factions of 40K rather than Imperial and Chaos. Initially, Crusade of Fire plays out over three turns and then you tally the results of captured worlds to determine the winner. I have taken that but I think it wouldn't be too difficult to expand it indefinately so that a open ended narrative campaign could be played with any number of players.

As I get it tweaked and finalised I'll post back some details. Firstly though I am going to need to handpick 3-4 players to test it out come the new year.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Crusade of Fire reivew

Crusade of Fire is not as bad as I feared. Knowing what it is like now I think I still would have bought it. It just depends whether or not you feel you'll get something out of it. In the introduction it does say that the book is designed as a knd of spring board for people to create their own campaigns and here are some ideas. Can't grumble with that.

The main body of the book is the campaign itself. It does suggest the use of the Planetary Empires set but if you have access to hexmap software you can make your own no problem. I would have done it as a series of planets in the sector rather than a tile system but that is just me. It uses a similar victory mechanic as Planetary Empires plus bonus points (see below). The Corvus sector isn't even a sector it is just a planetary system with 9 worlds and a space station. The idea being that it was engulfed by a warp storm and that storm is slowly receding back and uncovering worlds as it goes. Nice idea actually. The book gives some new traits but they are overall campaign ones rather than warlord traits. You roll on the Crusade of Fire (Imperial) or the Servants of Ruin (Chaos). Anyone else chooses which they want. These determine how your forces will win campaign points. Again, nice idea. You also get a review of each of the planets from the POV of either main side (Imp or Chaos) and why they want those worlds. All fluff but if written up properly would make for some nice hand outs for the players.

You then get a detailed backstory to the crusade and more in depth info on the planets for any GM you have running the campaign who may wish to include some secret objectives or add extra stuff to make things unpredictable. It makes suggestion ideas like having a lost necron tomb which awakens during the fight, and having a necron force (controlled by the GM or a neutral third player) enter the battlefield.

The main body of the book is handed over to the armies played by the GW staff members as they played the game, the special scenarios they came up with, and some rather vague battle/turn reports. For me, it was an interesting read but I can see how some may see it as a waste of money. Not everyone gives a damn about their games. The special scenarios struck me as being a bit too much hard work to employ and I don't think I would use them. They are not my cup o tea.

Next up is the dog-fighting rules as an addition to the flyers in the rulebook. I wouldn't bother. These were a bit of a dissapointment for me. It essentially adds more actions into the flyer's actions, and thus bogs the game down I think. YMMV of course. The special maneuvers and fighter aces rules are tied into the dog-fighting rules so you can't use them outside of that addition. I wanted something different here.

Then we have rules for Daemon Worlds. I suspect everyone has seen the page shot of this that was floating around for a couple weeks before release. Everything for fighting on Daemon Worlds is in that screen shot. Feels a bit like the extra rules for Death Worlds that WD put out a while back. These could see some use in my games though they won't be for everyone's liking.

Lastly, the book gives us the Arena of Death rules for gladiatorial combat. This is designed for very small tables (2x2 is recommended) and one or two characters aside. Again, I think this is for a certain sort of player really and I have no use for it. There are rules for manoeuvres and facings, plus manoeuvre cards with some actions promoting the adulation of the crowd.

Overall, I think the actual campaign idea is rather good and even if you don't try it as written, you can easily adapt or tweak it. As someone who has been searching everywhere for a decent set of campaign rules this was worth the purchase of the book. The rest of it less so which is dissapointing. I would have rather that they ditched the extra rules and expanded the campaign to include random events, multi-system campaigns and the like.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

What went wrong?

At the club last Thursday I challenged my nephew to a 1000pt game against his Sisters of Battle. I chose him because he isn't an optimising player and when playing his Sisters, we usually have a much better game. I'm also fed up a little of the higher point games and so 1000pts has become my current points limit as I try to refit myself into the game.

He agreed providing we used his new GW martyr's defence lines. Not a problem. He set them up two his side and a larger on mine. We then rolled the length of the table as our deployment zones and agreed to just play the old style pitched battle across table.

My list:

Librarian epistolery.
10 man tac squad with plasma gun and plasma cannon.
10 man tac squad with plasma gun and missile launcher.
10 man scout squad with sniper rifles and missile launcher.
5 man terminator squad with assault cannon.

A simple very basic list, which is what I wanted to play. I forget his list at the moment but it was something like:

Uriah Jacobus.
15 or 20 woman squad with meltagun and heavy bolter.
15 or 20 woman squad with meltagun and heavy bolter.
6 man death cult assassin squad.
6 woman heavy weapon squad with heavy bolters and heavy flamers.
2 Rhinos.

I really felt that I shouldn't have a problem with this list and the game should be nicely balanced. But for some reason he utterly crushed me. I ended up on turn 5 with just half the scout squad left. He had made some mistakes such as putting his squad leaders and special weapons at the front of his squads, so they died really quickly. What went so wrong for me was the fact that I couldn't pass a 3+ armour save hardly at all, and my terminators deviated upon teleporting in and ended up right in front of the death cult assassins who lost two to my shooting and then carved up the squad in two rounds of combat (there goes those 2+ armour saves!).

So, when we called it he had two objectives and contested a third.

My dice hate me.