Showing posts from 2010

Dark Eldar Soul Prison

Well, it's been a while. Festive period and all that. So, as my last entry for the year, I'm updating a unit I made almost a year ago (and Atrotos' favourite unit from the Dark Eldar Codex I did), the Soul Prison. I should also note that I don't know how to do tables in this yet. Bear with me until I get somewhere. The myriad of unfortunate fates awaiting Dark Eldar prisoners are many. Some are thrown into the arena and made to fight. Some must attend to the pleasures of their new masters. But an unfortunate few face the dreaded Extraction, a rare technique whereby their soul is removed and placed in a casket along with other souls. This casket can then be used as a power source for the Soul Prisons, strange constructs made as a mocking facsimile of the Wraithlords of the Craftworlds. In battle, they actively seek new souls to join them in the vain hope that once enough are gathered they will be set free. A Soul Prison is a Heavy Support choice in a Dark Eldar army. Cost:…

Codex: Stellan Hoplites

Today is a big day! As my early Christmas present to the blogosphere I am finally making an early version of Codex: Stellan Hoplites available to the public. I've worked very, very hard on this and I hope all of our followers will take the time to peruse it and leave their thoughts. 

I'm looking for feedback on anything you care to comment on. From rules issues to whether I've used my apostrophes correctly. The Codex is as yet incomplete but the rules have passed the first stage of playtesting and are ready to enter the beta stage. There's more artwork and background to be included as well as pictures of the models themselves.

Have at it folks.

Game Design Chores: Playtesting

Hey blogosphere, I'm back. After a long haul of playtesting and an excellent birthday week I have returned to regale you with tales of my trials and adventures. Today I want to talk about playtesting - the often arduous task that allows rules such as those designed on this site to transcend from wish-listing to pragmatic material.

Lately much of my hobby time (see: all of my hobby time) has been spent fine tuning the upcoming Codex: Stellan Hoplites. As a deranged, ego-maniacal game designer I have scarce allowed anyone to view my work thus far fearing how my fragile sanity might respond to any callous criticism. One thing I have not shirked from, however, is playtesting. This is not by choice, of course but rather because I know I cannot ever consider the project completed until this near-to-final step has been taken. Thus I've laid bare the rules I've toiled so long over to the heavy criticism of no less than three different gaming groups here in Athens.

Receptions have be…

Rules Review: Eldar Hornet

Alright, the Dark Eldar are here now, my period of absence is over. Later I'll put something up regarding mechanics and possible hints at the future, but right now, the Hornet. The rules can be found here.

In my opinion, it's much harder to design new vehicles (except Walkers) than units, mainly because you have less options available to you. There are less possible configurations, stats and options. For example, the Raider and the Trukk are really rather similar except one floats and one misses with most of its shots.

The Hornet falls into the 'mobile heavy weapon vehicle' category in the Eldar Codex, a space it shares with the Vyper and the War Walker, and it almost immediately eclipses the Vyper. For 65 points I can get a Vyper with star engines and a shuriken cannon. For the same cost I can have a Hornet, which has two shuriken cannons, star engines for free and two better armour. On top of this, the Hornet isn't open-topped, and can Scout.

The War Walker also Sco…

Character Defined Armies- The Remake

Alright, I'm back to re-jig Shrike and Vulkan a bit. First off, some things to note.
I'm keeping their current statlines, points costs and wargear. On to the first patient:

Kayvaan Shrike:
The Problem: Everything? Fleet? Even stuff that really shouldn't be able to?
The Solution: All special rules are the same with the exception of Chapter Tactics, which is amended to the following:
"If you include Shrike in your army then all units in your army lose the Combat Tactics special rule and all units with Jump Packs and Scouts in the army gain the Fleet universal special rule."
This is much more fitting with the Raven Guard fluff, and gives more of a theme to the army. The vision here is a Raven Guard recon force bolstered by jump pack reinforcements.
Shrikes Wing: If Shrike takes a Command Squad they may purchae Jump Packs for +50 points for the entire squad.
I'm including this because I don't see why it wasn't included in the first place.

Vulkan He'Stan:
The Pr…

Character Defined Armies: An Epiphany

Earlier this year this blog covered this subject and came to the conclusion that "All Imperial Fists are Stubborn Ultramarines led by a dude with a hammer." Yep, sounds about right. Since then however, GW has made a fair bit of progress with this concept that characters aren't just normal commanders with master crafted weapons.
The main problem with Special Characters isn't the characters themselves, or the 'counts-as is OK' approach GW takes. It's a question of their role in an army and what I think it should be. But first, this:
You may notice the terrible screenshot posted above my words. If you're really clever, you may notice it is a screenshot of Advance Wars: Dark Conflict. Although there are better looking images of character select screens on the 'Net, I wanted this one for a reason. In this game, you may attach your Commanding Officer (CO) to a unit in your army (hmm...) and he/she will give their unit, or units around their unit, a specif…

Shas’O Ka’La in Marlin Warmech

This beautiful creature was entered into the Open category at Golden Demon UK 2010. Whoever made it is a G’Od
Rules by Master Bryss
When Shas’O Ka’La’s Crisis Battlesuit was destroyed during the Battle of Este V, his ejection system left him stranded in what was left of the battlefield. His army was massacred and the only survivors he found were a few Earth Caste members who had hid in the safety of their bunker until the battle was over. They surveyed what was left of the battle and realised that a lot of the debris could be easily restored to working order. After many days of work, they created a truly unique war machine, dubbed it the Marlin and allowed Ka’La to operate it. The machine subsequently destroyed the nearby Imperial forces and was extracted by the Air Caste. Ka’La was later given command of an army again and has henceforth led his forces from the seat of this mighty behemoth.
The Marlin can be used in a Tau force as a HQ choice. It counts as the 1+ Commander the army must …

Rules Review: Can Dark Eldar change the game?

In short:
At length:
Warseer’s the Dude has got a fairly comprehensive post enumerating everything that is thus far confirmed to be in the codex of the Dark Kin. Much was gleaned from the presentation at Gamesday UK just a few days ago leaving the more competitive players among us with a lot to consider. First off, the question on everyone’s mind: Will the Dark Eldar be the end of Mech? The answer from my point of view is “to an extent.” With Ravagers firing all of their weapons at cruising speed and possible options for melta weapons on jetbike squads vehicles will not escape the hail of anti-tank firepower that the Dark Eldar can deliver to any part of the table top. Not to be underestimated also is the possibility of melta toting units (like Harlequins) firing their microwave weaponry from inside their transports. This is nothing new, of course since many transports have firing points but the speed (and presumably cheap cost) of the Dark Eldar rides can force even the most reckle…

Rules Review: Necron Tomb Stalker

By Master Bryss
I’ve always had a soft spot for the little metal men of 40k, they were my first army after all. And now Forge World in their infinite generosity have given them a centipede. I love the look of this thing, I want one for my army, but do I want the rules? Let’s have a look...
On first impressions the TS appears to be moulded in a similar manner to the Trygon. It has the ability to deep strike, it’s monstrous, it’s got loads of wounds, it Fleets and it’s pretty damn hardy too, with the second best toughness in the game. It also borrows a Carnifex rule to have 6 attacks on the charge, and it’s here the Tyranid similarities end.
That’s not saying much though, the only things that mark it out as Necron in any way is the Gauss Flayers it holds and the War Construct rule (there’s also Night Vision/Acute Senses, but considering how situational it is and how short range its guns are I’ll disregard this). War Construct is an incredibly good rule to have as it eliminates the most com…

Codex Design: Building Army Character

Hey guys,

been awhile since my last post. I've been immersed in Halo: Reach this past week - more on that here.

What I wanted to talk about today is a topic that has been troubling me since I began writing Codex: Stellan Hoplites. What I've found is that creating lore about a civilization or even just their armed forces is a taxing job and often seems pointless. Why add character to a book that is all about rules?

Well the obvious answer to that is that Warhammer 40,000 is not all about rules. If it were it would simply be a lackluster variation of chess. 40k is about cinematic realization as much as it is about inches and dice. There's a story being told in every decision the player makes that allows the cooperative creation of a battle scene centered around our favorite characters. 

So what makes these little guys so special? Well Games Workshop has invested a lot of money and manhours building a universe from scratch so that our toy soldiers can have context. The context gi…

Codex Design: FOC amputation

So the designs for the Stellans have progressed quite a bit and inevitably I’ve reached a stage where much more time is given to removing superfluous entries than adding new ones.  From the very beginning the main objective of the codex was to create completely flexible entries thus minimizing any entries that did not contribute directly to what has become a very focused theme for the army.
Over time this design strategy has emptied the codex of any ‘padding’ where ‘padding’ refers to units that are added because they are deemed necessary to complete the codex’s profile even though they make for unlikely choices in any list. As an example let’s examine the Skyclaws from the Space Wolves’ Codex; an entry that has difficulty excusing its existence in a document that discourages their inclusion by providing more lucrative units around which the codex is based. That is to say Space Wolves players seeking to make the most of their codex would naturally drift toward choices such as the Wolf…

Wraithlord Soareth

Rules by Ahrimaneus

Cost: 270