Showing posts from June, 2011

40k 6th Edition Rumors: What do they mean?

The 40k blogosphere is vibrating from the recent rumor mill output. Warhammer 40,000's 6th Edition is rumored to be a massive step away from the streamlined principles we came to know in 3rd, 4th, and 5th. I'm therefore interrupting the scheduled Shawn Abreu Treasury program this week to share some thoughts on the rumors while they are still fresh.

The overall tone of the rumors suggests a far more complicated tabletop game. Being able to control your units beyond the move/shoot/assault basics is a HUGE leap toward realism. Maneuvering will actually mean something now with units switching between flying and non-flying states and passive actions such as overwatch negating enemy advantages. 
From a design perspective this is incredibly challenging. How can you playtest and ensure balance across millions of possible interactions without resorting to global beta testing? Software-borne games have veteran Quality Assurance teams working around the clock and they've only recently …

Round One: Fight!...

...Or not.

Because of a long-standing hatred of Dark Eldar, my aforementioned opponent, who used Grey Knights rather than normal Marines, fought against my Guard instead. And I was thrashed. His list was essentially:

Grand Master
5 Termies
10 Termies
10 Purifiers
Storm Raven
Psybolts on everything...

Mine was my usual Guard fare: Yarrick, CCS, 4 Vet squads, one in a Valk, one in a Chimmy, two Sentinels, 20 Ratlings, Marbo, a Russ and some allied ISTs in a Rhino.

The entire army was essentially tabled after Turn 3 after my failure to realise his Puries were in the 'Raven and his big Termie squad having Scouts lost me my Ratlings on Turn 1. After this he essentially closed in on my castle and mopped everything up gradually, with two of my three Demo Charges being worthless and Marbo's being too little, too late. How can 28 models be so damn good? At least with DE I might have been able to fight back! And the Dreadknight with personal teleporter...feth, I needed poison then, bu…

Generating New Ideas

There's a lot of chatter on the interwebz about Mantic's new sci-fi wargame - 'Warpath.' All we have so far are some concept sketches and a tentative release date poised towards autumn. There's been a lot of conjecture about what this new contender in the tabletop gaming world may have to offer that isn't already on the Games Workshop 'menu.' 

Most threads I've seen so far are degenerating into pointless back and forth bickering about the source of inspiration behind Mantic's release and how this might reflect their long term goals for the new miniatures range. Critics are quick to label Mantic's 'Orx' range as a flagrant derivative of GW's 'Orks' citing this as the reason Mantic will never truly rival GW's monolithic wargaming market presence.

This makes for a difficult discussion. Where and when did the Orc trope of a ramshackle, primitive but functional society of bloodlusting lunatics originate? Was it GW? Or Tolkie…

Casual List Building- Contra Vulkanem

(Am I supposed to use the accusative for this? I haven't seen a word of Latin since the exam...)

Right, after a long hard think I've decided just what I'm going to use as a start point against the Drop Vulkan army that is inbound in my beloved country some point in the next two weeks. As I mentioned before, I'm going to be using my Dark Eldar, simply because I'm best with them out of all 10-ish of my armies (Imperial Guard a close second, but I haven't used them in ages).

Because I'm not 'competitive' in the interamericanet sense, my process of construction is very different. Most of the time I work with no brief. I don't build lists months in advance, and I don't practice before proper use. This time I have an idea of what I'm up against, which is having a lot of influence on my thoughts, but casual tailoring is like a custom-made hoodie. Yes it's more comfortable to wear, but high-end armies look at you, and you're still wearing …

The Shawn Abreu Treasury: Necron Stalkers

More from Mr. Abreu, today we're looking at the Necron Stalker Construct. The first thing that comes to mind, of course, is there is already such a thing as a "Necron Tomb Stalker" but this is very different. Although both units are designed to give the Necrons a little more of a close combat edge the Stalker is a much more dynamic and intimidating unit.

The Stalker is a rare sight that is only becoming more common in the late 41st millenium as the Necron awakening phenomenom spreads to more and more worlds. It's gargantuan in scale making it a formidable foe on the battlefield - even more so than its menacing warrior counterparts.

Of course any fluff that involves Elysians is bound to get my attention and this entry was no different. Mr. Abreu manages to give the background a broad scope whilst still furnishing the blurb with enough detail to impart this mysterious construct's harrowing effect on the battlefield. I will comment that some sentences read a little aw…

The Shawn Abreu Treasury: Constantinus the Liberator

It's been a while since we've had a good ol'character entry here on RM. Shawn Abreu has delivered with a series of unit entries I found in my inbox. Now I have the pleasure of sharing and reviewing these entries for our readers. 

Today we're looking Constantinus the Liberator, a renegade Sergeant formerly of the Sons of Guilleman. Disgusted with the state of the Imperium he turns the world of Nova Terra against the Imperium declaring himself the rightful ruler and liberator of the sector.

Mr. Abreu tells an interesting story in this entry - an iconic clash between basic human morals and the tired dogmas of  the corpulent Imperium. The narrative is a little confusing as the catalyst behind Constantinus' treachery is not altogether evident. The story shifts very quickly from the purging of the xenos threat to a restless populace to the ascension of a powerful warlord - essentially three novels worth of "fluff" in three paragraphs.

Rules-wise Constantinus can b…

Building Deathleaper For Free (Sort of)

I am a student, and so believe disposable income to belong in a book of myths and legends (which also contributes a great deal to my hatred of mass transports). I'm always looking to get that extra bit of value from my miniatures (which will probably lead me to magnets in good time), and when my loyal friend and most regular opponent Cyberscape7 told me he'd built a Lictor counts-as from spare Nid parts I knew I had to try it.

Because I have more bitz than him, I could evolve the design further to create a viable Deathleaper, a counts-as dubbed the Burrowing Death, but it was stuck in limbo until I had green stuff. Now I can present to you a tutorial on the subject. But first, a word from the creator:

"The inspiration came from the simple fact that all Tyranids adapt into different circumstances. This is just one example of what the Tyranid range offers in terms of diversity, so this same idea could be transferred to other units in the Codex if you wanted, and had enough im…

More General Housekeeping/ A Rival Appears!

Today's post is fully typed with two hands once more, as the vile hell-spawned abomination you see now (and the equally damed smell) is no more. You also get to see me....sort of, I'm still a faceless entity but now you know I do indeed have a left hand.

You may have also noticed I've found a better camera, which means decent pictures. And as a further bonus, the banner has been updated with a new texture (chipboard). The main implications of this are that I shall be getting my paint out once more, so you get to see my amazingly average painting skills. Well, at least you will once I have restocked my washes.

In other, equally good news an old friend is returning here for summer with his amazingly purple Vulkan-based army. Details of what I shall face are hazy, but the definites are:

2x 5 Sternguard with combi flamers
Some TH/SS Termies
4 Drop Pods
Obviously there shall be troops also, and depending on how much he can get from Singapore to here maybe some other vehicles. …

WIP Progress- Vect, Malys, Coteaz and Vect

Some progress made on many fronts. Vect has had his robes and staff done:

I know many people hate the old Archon, but I'm quite fond of it. The previous configuration was a bit past its time so he shall now serve as my ancient RetroVect. It's like he's still stuck in third edition, along with most of the army. To Malys:

I decided in the end to stick the sword in the other hand and use the fan as an accessory, mainly to be done freehand. Some suitable hair has been GS'ed and a crown found in Ye Olde Corsair Sprue found in any good DE army. Although still static, it looks like it could be used as a chess queen, which was the desired effect.

Sick and tired of me proxying him in every game, 'Scape bought me this as half my birthday present. He was in fact my first experiment with Green Stuff, which is limited to a simple hood done with a Bolter and Chainsword tutorial and replacing the eage with a snake, later given wings, from Khalidah's pole. Redubbed Varan Oclis, h…

Hints for Homebrew: Campaign Characters

Campaign play represents an easy way to insert custom rules into an environment they're not normally used in, and is also a good opportunity to design a new character gradually and from the ground up, rather than doing everything in one go, which can add depth to the character and gives you more time to think. However, it's a very different design process. When designing a normal character they generally fall into being combat monsters or FOC-movers/supporters. Campaign characters have the potential to be both. Here are my hints:

1. Consider campaign type and length: The main campaign types are usually categorised as battle (loosely linked games), narrative (well-linked games with a substantial plot) and map (long-drawn out affairs utilising area control mechanics in some way). Campaign characters work best in the latter two, becoming more complex in longer campaigns, but that's not to say a very simple wargear system couldn't be implemented in the first one.

Battle Camp…

More Brainstorming: Vect, Vect, Britishness and Vect

I just realised I included 'Britishness' as a key word on my HoP application without fully describing it. I also realised my 3rd edition Archon has a silly lightsabre thing that my young mind believed was cool but I now believe to be a bit impractical. So I shall address both.

Britishness first. A quick search of the most hyperbolic thing I could find gave me some quotes from the site of that cursed Champion Of Tzeentch (counts as Nurgle) T'Leeks. So in very general terms we apparently play slow, love hoarding one large army, like Apocalypse and are very odd indeed. I shall now address this relating to my position.

Slow? What are you, German? I thought I was an efficiency freak. I power-walk whenever possible. To me, being British is getting the job done, and I could very easily finish a 2000-pointer in a smaller amount of time than you expect, even if my army isn't entirely mounted in plastic bricks (paper darts if I'm DE).

My Space Marines top out at about 4000 poin…

Brainstorming- Lady Malys from Khalidah

I quite like Lady Malys as a concept. She's essentially the Anti-Eldrad, immune to psychic while gaining that nifty redeploy. I've wanted to do a Malys for a while, thought long and hard about the source and decided I wasn't going to go the Vampire route. Then I saw Khalidah's awesome repaint:

If this doesn't work as a Malys, nothing will. It also fits well with my mental view of her, which is excellent because I'm a novice converter and want to keep as much of the original model as possible.

Here's the plan. I originally started this in January, with the aim of replacing the snake (which found its way onto a certain Imperial model) with a pole-arm. The steel fan would fit snugly on the arm with the elongated finger. But it looked wrong somehow, and the fan was a bit on the small side.

So, new plan. Below is a mock-up of the new steel fan on manly pink cardboard:

Blurry (blame Apple) but you get the idea. I want to get rid of the stick and have the fan pointing…