Sunday, 23 April 2017

8th edition FAQ

We have an 8th edition questions FAQ from Games Workshop. You can read it in it's entirety here.

There are a couple points that I want to make here though.

What happens to my codexes?
The rules in our current range of Warhammer 40,000 codexes aren’t compatible with the new edition of Warhammer 40,000. These books will be going off sale very soon. If you do want to pick any up, now’s the time – as all of the great hobby content and background information will be as valid as ever.

Ok... that's fine, but what does that mean for recent releases such as Traitor Legions and The Gather Storm books? If as I expect they are now going the way of the dodo that's a dick move by GW to do that considering that is a shed load of money that has been spent by players. Although I suppose it depends when the new edition comes out but I'm guessing that Death Guard will be the first codex of the new edition (and that makes me happy).

What do you mean “3 ways to play”?
We realise that people like to play Warhammer 40,000 in different ways. 3 broad systems are covered in the new edition: 1) Open play is the most flexible, and easiest to get started with, allowing you to use any miniatures you like. 2) Narrative play is where you can refight the iconic battles of the 41st Millennium, or create your own campaigns and sagas. 3) Matched play is designed for more balanced and competitive games, ideal for gaming clubs, leagues and tournaments. However you want to enjoy playing Warhammer 40,000, there will be rules for that.

My guess is that Open Play will be the new Unbound much like the default rules for Age of Sigmar. Considering how players didn't like a no points AoS then I don't think that will be played as is.

Narrative Play seems odd. It reads as though you decide what both sides have and throw in some special rules. Doesn't appeal to me.

Matched Play seems the way forward and I can imagine that everyone I know will want this as the default.

Why should I not just stick with current Warhammer 40,000?
This is the version of Warhammer 40,000 you’ve been asking for. We’ve listened to your feedback, and we really believe that this is the best Warhammer 40,000 has ever been.

Actually it's not what we've been asking for. We've been asking for a tidy up of the current rules system not a brand new overhaul. It will be interesting to see how 8th will be accepted. I already know at least one person who is getting ready to drop playing because of the proposed changes. I hope it won't happen but I can see people not being keen on it.

It is an interesting time for the game and we should look to the future with hopeful expectation.

Friday, 21 April 2017

40K League 2017 - round 1

The first round is over and done. The table shows how we stand after that round and who everyone will play next.

Dan (Corsairs) and Ian (Necrons) was a hard played draw right down to the end. The tactical objectives decks working well to keep them neck and neck.

Richard M (Ynnari) and Joel (Dark Eldar) was a really tough game but the dice gods were on Richard's side and he was able to contain Joel's pirates in his deployment zone, limiting his ability to grab the objectives.

Mike (Grey Knights) and Mark (Thousand Sons)... I didn't see a lot of this but everything seemed very much in Mark's favour. He got a couple things wrong as you will with that many psychic powers in effect but the dice were with him over the poor Grey Knights.

Gary (Imperial Fists) and Chris (Skitarii), well, I didn't expect Gary to seize victory. Chris' Skitarii army is tough as nails and should have been more than capable of tearing the Imperial Fists down. I'm guessing it fell again to luck with the cards. As I have Chris next round we'll see how it plays out then.

Colin (Death Guard) and Richard C (Crimson Fists)... this should have been an easy win for me following Richard and I's usual games, but the objectives deck was entirely in his favour not mine. He walked away with 11 VP at the end of turn four and I had just 1. Frustrating game.

Ashleigh (Astra Militarum) and Jon (Khorne Daemonkin) was a big ass game as far as I could see. Ashleigh's table side was just solid with troopers and orange jumpsuit clad penal troops. The firepower he was pouring into those poor chaos forces must have been severe but still Jon pulled an unexpected victory back.

Friday, 31 March 2017

40K League 2017

In the past we've not had the best of luck with our 40K leagues. Too many people dropping out and just too many people wanting in and making it unwieldy. This time around I've narrowed it down to those players who will stay the league and limited it to certain number of players who can commit to it.

2000 points and each round is a month with each of the maelstrom of war missions played in order. Simples. The major difference is you don't play a codex necessarily as you play the faction (yes, this does favour Imperial, Chaos and Eldar but its for fun). Your primary army/codex each round can change providing it stays part of your faction. Players can take allies though as normal. Just a little something to make it different.

The first round starts in a couple weeks. Wish us luck.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Kings of War update

A couple weeks ago I finally managed to get two games of Kings of War down the club. Both small 1000 points. I played my old Tomb Kings as the Empire of Dust and Multch had gone out to buy some models to play as Basilia (think religious kingdom of holy warriors and summoned angels). The game is fast to play, with each game taking no more than an hour including set up and rules referencing. The rules are quite simple and even with my usual dislike of the old movement trays and wheeling, I enjoyed the game a lot. Mantic have made the perfect fantasy war game here I feel. I won't be giving up on Age of Sigmar as it is still fun and we have quite a few players for it but if I have a choice KoW will be the game I'd rather play.

Death Guard

Colour me overjoyed that Death Guard are getting some more love, and hopefully, by that scythe, we'll get Mortarion as a character. Can't wait!!!

On other news, to keep my mind off of Mother's Day, I managed to sit down this afternoon and finally finish the Daemon Prince and Heldrake I started two months ago. That's how long it has been since I last had chance to paint anything.

One Daemon Prince.

 I hated painting the Heldrake. The lightning effect over the wings and body are a real sod to do. Frequently I had to go back and try to recover from uneven strokes of the brush. The second one is going to need a different colour scheme.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Kings of War

AS I have mentioned in a previous post despite wanting to play a fantasy war game I could never get into the old Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Just far too complex a set of rules that I found was just not fun to play and I really did not like the setting for the game. The Old World was just a strange hodge podge that never really made much sense. Then along came Age of Sigmar. I rejoiced because the game was nice and simple, and I loved the setting - which reminded me of those old 70's progressive rock album covers. But as time has gone by I've found myself losing interest in Age of Sigmar. Partly because I am finding that I want a little more to the rules set and also because at the heart of it, I want to play a generic fantasy war game. Up on my radar suddenly pops Kings of War from Mantic.

Just watching a dozen or so battle reports on Youtube and reading through their forums, I have developed quite an interest. The system is simple - you can even download a basic set of the rules from their website as well as intro army lists for the main rule book armies. The setting is nice and generic as I like and because of the way it is set up there are some great opportunities for modelling the units. Thirdly, the game is miniature neutral. Although Mantic sell their own miniatures, the point is that so long as the miniatures are the correct scale you can use any model. Sneakily, the armies are also loosely based on what Warhammer Fantasy Battle used to have so you can just import your old established armies over.

Kings of War has 11 factions in the version 2.0 core rule book:

Abyssal Dwarfs: Chaos Dwarfs in Mantica. Simpler put, they're Nazi Dwarfs. Slavers who focus on shotguns, war machines, and fiery golems.
Basileans: Fluff-wise, the Basileans are a lot like the Byzantine/Eastern Roman empire but can summon angels. They have armoured knights, men at arms and nuns riding giant cats.
Dwarfs: Exactly like all other Dwarfs in all other settings, hard and tough and beardy, but unlike Warhammer or Lord of the Rings Dwarfs, they are an expanding empire. They have cavalry... BADGER CAVALRY!!!
Elves: The elite, noble Elves, who are better than you. The Elves are 'good guys' but are responsible for a lot of bad things in Mantica, including splitting the gods into good and evil half-gods, and educating a gifted human child who would grow up to be Mhorgoth the Faceless, the most feared necromancer in all of Mantica. Exactly like the Elves from every other fantasy universe then.
Forces of Nature: Exactly what it says on the tin.
Forces of the Abyss: Servants of 37 evil half gods who live with their masters in Mantica's Hell. They look like the horns and pitchfork devils, with some big ogre demons throw in for good measure.
Goblins: Separate from Orcs in the setting, although they can ally with each other.
Kingdoms of Men: Generic human army intended to be used with your other fantasy and historic miniatures. Different from Mantic's own human models described above.
Ogres: Mercenaries who sometimes get ballsy and make their own little kingdoms. They enjoy fighting, adventure and telling wildly exaggerated stories about their exploits. Ogres don't hold grudges or have any inherent racial prejudices, so they are happy to ally with anyone from Elves to Demons and everything in between. The ogre models produced by Mantic are excellent.
Orcs: Brutal and horde-based; called "greenskins" and "a sea of green," with the Ogre's tendency towards cannibalism thrown in.
Undead: Generic undead including everything from vampires and werewolves to zombies and mummies.

There are also 9 army lists contained within the Uncharted Empires supplement. These lists are intended to rip off a number of different fantasy miniature lines, particularly missing Citadel armies from the core rule book:

The Brotherhood: Another holy order style army, this one more inspired by Bretonnia and Azeroth. Has both big and small water elementals in addition to lots of cavalry options.
Empire of Dust: Essentially Tomb Kings with a larger emphasis on healing than the more standard undead.
League of Rhordia: An alliance of humans and halflings.
Nightstalkers: An odd list in that there aren't really any major miniature lines to represent it. Spooky and strange creatures that resemble Eldrazi and pumpkin monsters in the art. Mantic have announced they plan to release a full product line for this army in the future.
Ratkin: Pretty much Skaven.
Salamanders: Lizard people of a couple different stripes. Formerly known as Reptilians.
The Herd: Beastmen, either taken from the Warhammer Fantasy line or from another line, such as Wrath of Kings.
Trident Realms of Neritica: An aquatic faction, mostly consisting of fishmen and sea beasts.
Varangur: Vikings and raiders reminiscent of Warriors of Chaos. Formerly known as the Shattered Clans.

In addition there are future armies planned that don't yet have full lists yet, although some have beta lists available:

Northern Alliance: A good Elf/human faction from the far north. Said to field various ice-themed creatures as well, such as yetis.
Ophidians: A mix of Arabian and Persian motifs with undead servants and Conan the Barbarian style snake men.
Twilight Kin: Dark Elves with a bit of smexy Dark Eldar thrown in for flavor; live in caves beneath the desert after getting thrown out of the main Elf homeland. The Twilight Kin do have a temporary basic list you can download from the Mantic website.

I've already got a nice sized Tomb Kings army from the days of Warhammer Fantasy so I can field as either generic undead or more likely, the Empire of Dust. I'm also tempted by a couple others, mainly Neritica (cthulhu people!), Nightstalkers and Elves. The costs of Mantic's own barmy bundles is reasonable so I may pick up more as well.

I'm hoping to tempt a few of my fellow players away from Age of Sigmar to this in the coming months as I think they will enjoy this more than AoS for the most part. But the best thing is there is no reason to not play either game because of only one set of miniatures.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Where do we go from here?

Buffy fans will recognise that song. What does it have to do with a 40K blog? I'm glad you asked. The recent announcement that the game was getting it's first loyalist Primarch back has set the old internet forums going hell for leather again. Some of it positive as it should be but there is a lot of negativity that I feel isn't justified. The lyrics to this song are perfect for the current online atmosphere.

Where do we go from here
The battle's done,
And we kinda won.
So we sound our victory cheer.
Where do we go from here.
Why is the path unclear,
When we know home is near.
Understand we'll go hand in hand,
But we'll walk alone in fear. (Tell me)
Tell me where do we go from here.

For more years than I can count there has been a huge push from the fan base to advance the storyline. Now at last we are getting somewhere. The Doomsday Clock is counting down the seconds to midnight. Cool things are happening and... everyone loses their minds.

I was as shocked as anyone when Magnus the Red popped up and Fenris was all but wasted. I mean wow! We have a traitor Primarch and surely that meant that GW couldn't stop there. Which loyalist Primarch would make a return? Well, my money was on Leman Russ considering the whole Wulfen and Fenris business but no. Instead we get the fall of Cadia, the birth of an Eldar god and the Primarch of the Ultramarines returns! This is a great time to be a Warhammer 40K gamer. We are at last getting everything that we wanted.

So why is everyone so frightened that when 8th edition comes along that we'll be reduced to an Age of Sigmar type game or that the current universe will come crashing down and something new appear in it's place? GW have already said, and I have no reason to disbelieve them, that the game and the universe are not entering the "End Times". 

The problem is, in my opinion, that we have what we wanted but now fear of change and of the unknown is gripping people. I'm not a fan of change and I don't like new editions when they aren't necessary (and I don't consider GW making fresh cash every few years necessary for an edition change), but right now I am super excited for the game. These new characters, balanced super heavies and the direction that the game is going, is just going to make the game better. I recently said on a Facebook discussion that the universe has always been grim dark but now the game is becoming epic. Sorry, EPIC! 

In the years to come god-like heroes and villains from all factions will stride the battlefields of the 41st millennium and it is going to make the game better, whether you are a competitive tournament player or a casual play at home with your mates type player. This isn't a time to be frightened for the future. It's time to embrace the game, reload that bolter under your bed, and claim the galaxy for yourself!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Are Tournaments Even Playing 40K Anymore?

I run two invitational Warhammer 40K tournaments a year for my local players. I'm always looking at ways to make the events better and more appealing. After all, at some point I want to open up the events to more players at some point and make these events something good for the local region.

I run the rules as written. If it is legal in a regular 40K game then it is legal for the tournament. Forge World units and rules equally suitable. But then these events are designed to be competitive. I want players to bring their best lists and their A game.

And that is where I find my current level of confusion and surprise. I keep looking online at other event's tournament rules and scenarios for inspiration. What I find surprises me. It looks like so many tweak the rules, changing rules, disallowing perfectly fine units and options, and using bland looking home-brew scenarios. It looks to me as though tournaments are not playing 40K but some strange hybrid of their own making.

A tournament should be fun but competitive. I don't think players should not be penalized in army selection and the rule book missions are perfectly suitable for tournament play. Now I do prefer those missions which use the tactical objective cards and I can understand the point of view which says they are too random for tournament use but in the couple of occasions that they have been used for our tournaments they worked fine.

It's hard to balance these things and I guess I'll just keep looking and pondering ways to make our invitational events fun.