Wednesday, 27 October 2010

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 Problem: Twin linked melta guns for all or a sometimes useful rule? Hmm...

The Solution: Again, all rules are identical bar Chapter Tactics, which is now:

"If you include Vulkan in your army then all units lose the Combat Tactics special rule. Instead, the army gains the Master Artificers rule as detailed below."

Master Artificers: The Salamanders pride themselves on their personally maintained and modified weapons. The player gains a stock of five Artificer Points (AP) at the start of the game. Once per turn you may remove one point and select a unit. For that turn, either all of their ranged weapons count as twin-linked or their close combat weapons count as master-crafted.

This one I justify as follows: in a particularly decisive combat or a crucial shot, the Salamanders' better weaponry gives them the edge they need. Instead of a blanket weapons buff, this encourages you to use your CO Power (continuing my metaphor from last week) when you need it rather than taking it for granted.

I then had a bit of a think, and also made a change to:

Darnath Lysander:

The Problem: Lysander is nice as he is, but he's more than a really good Sergeant.

The Solution: Cost increased to 220. Bolter Drill is lost and the following rules are added:

Teleport Assault: As Captain of the First Company Lysander leads his Terminators to battle in a surigical strike. When rolling for Reserves in an army containing Lysander roll one D6 for Lysander and all units in Terminator armour. When they enter play, place Lysander and any unit accompanying him first and roll for scatter as normal. Subsequent units can arrive within 6" of Lysander without scattering in the same turn, or may Deep Strike in the normal way.

First Company: In an army containing Lysander one unit of either Terminators or Assault Terminators may be taken as a Troops choice.

And this concludes my ramblings on Special Characters. If you disagree, do not hesitate to tell me why.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

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 specific bonus. For example, your tanks may get slightly better, or all units around the CO get a slight defence boost. Therefore it might be a good idea to add more tanks to your army, or plan your attack to maximise the defence bonus to get the most benefit out of your army. Like so:

In this example, only ground units benefit. There are blankets, yes, but they're weaker.

In the new Dark Eldar, we get a similar feel. Lady Malys makes her unit immune to psychic powers. Duke Sliscus improves one unit's poison and gives you two choices of Combat Drugs. Baron Sathonyx makes Hellions Troops. Point is, not every unit in your army has the potential to benefit, so you'll want to tailor your list more.

Looking back at Space Marines, instead of this specific boost to certain units, some characters improve everything instead. Shrike makes you Fleet. Vulkan makes your anti infantry better (flamers) and your anti-tank (melta weapons, thunder hammers). Instead of being specific, these guys give you a blanket bonus.

Yes, you can tailor your list around Vulkan, but you don't have to in order to gain a decent advantage. Most Space Marine armies will have a couple of flamers or melta guns. There are few units that wouldn't be better with Fleet. On the other hand, taking Sathonyx with no Hellions, or Sliscus but no Warriors, is pointless, as you're not getting everything he offers you, therefore some of his cost is a waste of points. Malys is slightly different in that she's more tactics based than list-based. You'll want to put her somewhere she'll be really appreciated, rather than just with that random squad over there.

Thankfully, the Space Marines do have this sort of character too. Sicarius is like a Sliscus for Tactical Squads, offering one unit a benefit. Pedro Kantor benefits Sternguard. Even our old mate Lysander gives a specific bonus to his unit with Bolter Drill. I like these characters, because you have to put more thought into their use. I also like the old-style combat monsters, as they too gave a specific bonus, as whatever unit they are with is immediately more threatening, or the character is just a fire magnet on their own. But Shrike? More like "My army all Fleets, ha!" Instead of making you think about their use, anyone can slot them in and immediately everything's all better.

Hopefully you now see what I want Special Characters to become. Not an instant buff for an army, not something easily abuseable, but a completely new fighting style for an army to adopt. So with that in mind, look at the Codex in front of you, and choose your CO.

Hopefully I'll soon put up Part 2, where I shall attempt to rewrite Vulkan and Shrike to make them fit in better with my concept of the Special Character.

You'll also notice this bit's in a shade of green rather than red. This is because I, Master Bryss, can now post my own stuff rather than going through Atrotos first. He's currently working away at the Stellans so has less time to post. See you all next time.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

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 take.

Cost: 220 points

Vehicle Type: Walker

Wargear: Hammerhead Railgun, Blacksun Filter, Multi-Tracker, Long Barrelled Burst Cannon, Energy Absorption Field

Long Barrelled Burst Cannon: Has the following profile:

Range: 36”      Strength: 5      AP: 5    Type: Heavy 6

Energy Absorption Field: The Marlin Warsuit has a 5+ Invulnerable Save. 

Special Rules: Jet Propulsion, Behemoth

Jet Propulsion: The Marlin’s jetpack allows it more mobility but not as much as a conventional Battlesuit jetpack. The Marlin may move D6” in the Assault Phase.

Behemoth: The Marlin’s bulk allows it to attack as a Monstrous Creature in close combat.