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Showing posts from July, 2011

4-Way 40k: The Rematch! Part 1

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Remember the last time I did this I said it was the last time I would do such a thing? I lied. We managed to squeeze in another one. Here is the introduction.

The Last Ultimate Final Battle 4-Way Challenge...Game...Thing.

Scenario: Same one as last time. 4 objectives in a rectangle in board centre. Any unit can score. The objective furthest away from the player's deployment zone is their Vital Objective and is worth 2 points to them and them alone.

Armies: This time the armies were 1250 a side, with me using the Exercitus with some borrowed Grey Knights from 'Scape, who used his Eldar. Twin K used Chaos again. Meanwhile, in honour of his victory last time, Twin P became King P, who used Tau again. The lists were:

Master Bryss' Exercitus Ordo Hereticus (with Grey Knight support): 1249
Varan "Countsy-as" Oclis
2 Storm Bolter Warriors, 2 Plascannon Servitors, Jokaero (rolled better armour) in a Chimera
10 Crusaders in a Rhino
6 Crusaders in a Las-Plas Razorback
5 Termin…

The Shawn Abreu Treasury: Necron Recombinants

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Sometimes a unit has such an awesome name you absolutely have to know what it is. Recombinants is not a misnomer - Shawn Abreu's latest addition to the rules bank has a captivating origin story, simple yet interesting. Unnumbered multitudes of Necron warriors and other constructs have collected beneath the churned soil of countless battlefields. Where do all of these extra parts go? Well the re-animated guardians let nothing go to waste.


A misshapen, lopsided killing machine is perfect nightmare fuel and comes attached to some pretty interesting rules (and some very inspiring concept art). The Recombinants are an alternate Troops choice in an army that desperately needs one. Common sense rules additions include Fearless and Disruption Fields. Honestly why Necrons aren't all Fearless is perplexing and signature special rules should rarely be an  upgrade you actually have to pay for. Most of the time they should be a freebie to counterbalance the codex's opportunity cost. 


The…

Hints for Homebrew: Monstrous Creatures

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Monstrous Creatures, or "Minor Threat That Dies from 10 Lascannon shots on Turn 1 Creatures" as some Tyranid players may be inclined to say, are a mixed lot in 40k. In theory, they are supposed to rip through tanks and take much more punishment than infantry. Some of them are also expected to do this while firing heavy guns. Unfortunately, even a double 6 to pen could still be 'Crew Shaken' and too many of these creatures are not tough enough. Hopefully these creatures will see a buff in the forthcoming 6th edition (although I'm sceptical), but for now here are some hints to help you avoid the common GW pitfalls.

1) Base pricing is very, very important: Monstrous Creatures suffer more than anyone from bad pricing, as most are one-man units, which not only means the enemy will have more stuff to aim at the rest of the army, but also means if that one model dies, you lose between 1/5 and 1/10 of your army in one blow. The GW range go between about 90 and 200, but I …

The Shawn Abreu Treasury: Dark Apostle

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Warhammer 40,000 has been around for quite some time and, over the years, has collected a great deal of lore or "fluff." For the most part much of this lore makes its way into the rules, if only superficially, but there's a ton of material out there for anyone who is willing to search.


Dark Apostles are the olden-day trademark of the Word Bearer Legion and were actually in the official Chaos Space Marine codex years ago. Now that all the flavor of chaos has been reduced to musty gruel units such as this one can only exist in the player's imagination as "counts-as" or something similar. We were never really good at using our imaginations here at RM.


Shawn's fluff in this entry is on par with previous contributions. It's not long-winded or overly focused on blood & gore as a GW entry might have been. It gives enough information to make the unit catch your eye amongst other codex entries because it has a rather unique personality - it's not simpl…

Grey Knight Magnet Force- The Pilot

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In 2011 Games Workshop released the plastic Grey Knights, a twenty quid kit with twenty billion configuration options. Now, a typical GW customer would need about 6-8 of these to create all the different available squads, but I've decided to have a play about with 2x1 magnets for the first time. It's not perfect since I am an amateur, but the results are as follows:



OK, the basics go like this. The heads are magnetised on all 5 so I can later acquire more helmets for white Purifier helmets. The arms go off on all but 1, front left. Centre back has had a two handed blade converted into a one-handed one for convenience. Weapons wise there are two psycannons in case I go Purgation. Currently I don't have enough shoulder pads for an all-sword basic loadout, so there will always be a special weapon.

I've magnetised the backpacks on all of them (it's a no-brainer). You'll notice Hammer Guy has no longer got a hammer, out of all my GKs he is the only one to have magneti…

Kill Team Review: Great Expectations

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Ever had something start small and just escalate completely beyond your control? Something similar happened to me last night when I arrived home from work and decided to download the 'Kill Team' Arcade Game from Xbox Live.


'Kill Team' is  the prologue to THQ and Relic's upcoming AAA title 'Space Marine.' Weighing in at 800 MS points (about $10) the cost is about average for XBL arcade library but delivers above average bang-for-your-buck. You control a warrior of the Adeptus Astartes as he boards an Ork Kill Kruzer and attempts to disassemble it via the blood and guts of every man, woman and Ork on board. It's a grisly hack-and-slash affair whose simple gameplay is augmented beautifully by an expansive three-dimensional environment. A selection of classes (Librarian, Techmarine, Sternguard and Vanguard Veteran) offer variety as well replayability.


The narrative is a robust coagulation of mindless violence and Warhammer 40,000-style grimdark. Controls are …

Warpath- Bryss' Thoughts

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Hello! Yes, I'm still here, I've just been quiet! Hello and welcome to Top Bryss, where tonight I shall be reviewing the cheapest new wargame marque out there, the Italian-built Warpath. It's a small company, with only two models, the Marauder and and the Forgefather, to its name right now, but that isn't going to stop me being brutal about what to expect with Warpath.

So, the basics. It costs zero thousand pounds, it comes with minimalistic bells and whistles, goes from nought to Turn 6 slightly faster than the heavier 40k stuff and comes with few optional upgrades. Because of the way the armies are laid out, the manufacturer of Warpath has ensured you can even buy other parts from other companies and still use them with no problem in this game, a key example being the Forgefathers' ability to easily utilise the iconic Space Marine parts (and I'm guessing from the Corporation art I've seen the Imperial Guard will get a look-in, too).

But this is all well and…

Bryss and 'Scape Versus Warpath

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I'm so easily distracted. Today was meant to be a pleasing day of driving practice and casual browsing. However, it all went a bit wrong when I got this message at my favourite daily hyperbole site:


It appears IE has finally seen the real truth. I laughed so hard at that.

Anyway, as I massaged away my frustration, I came upon some notes I wrote the other day. Apparently I used 40k minis, with my usual 40k partner, but played a DIFFERENT GAME!

Yes, I tried Warpath, for the simple reasons that a) it was free, b) I can fit the entire rulebook on my Kindle for easy reference and c) it's sorta my duty as an RM author. Now, we all know that Mantic made this game for huge massive battles, but I wanted to see if it would work as a casual game at a much lower level. 700 points in fact, one of my favourite 40k points levels.

We played at 'Scape's house, hence the lack of texture and actual terrain. So this is what American FLGS tables feel like...

We rolled the Not-Victory points m…

Warpath - Some Initial Thoughts

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Spent some time today reviewing Mantic's sci-fi wargame, 'Warpath.' The Beta rules and a couple of test-army lists are available here


Well there's mistaking that most of these rules are lifted directly from 40k. Alessio Cavatore's name is quite literally all over this document. You'll recognize the player turn phases, the true LoS rules, and such details as difficult terrain and the run-or-shoot mechanic. 


What this means is that many of us fence-sitters waiting to see how this franchise will pan out don't have to leave our "comfort zone" when testing these rules. The calm, cautious side of your brain will scream "It's a trap!" over and over like a Star Wars .gif. Some buttered, syrupy pancakes are sitting in the middle of a forest with some dead leaves barely concealing the rope and Mantic is behind a bush wringing their hands in anticipation…


Well just one taste can't hurt… can it?


Let's start with the fact that there is an o…

Who said Grey Knights suck in small games?

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So here's the deal. Both Cyberscape7 and I started Grey Knights in two different ways. I went the 'core of henchmen' route, him the pure GK. Yesterday I played 700 points of his GK with both my ridiculously small Eldar force and my Exercitus. His list was:

Libby with Nemesis Daemon Hammer, psybolt ammunition, a shedload of powers
5 Termies including 2 pairs of falchions, a psycannon and Justicar Thawn
5-man Strike Squad with two halberds, warding stave and psilencer

On to summaries.

Game 1- Exercitus/GK

I brought Oclis and his shooty squad in a Chimera, 9 Crusaders in a Rhino, 8 Crusaders in a Rhino and my Vindicare. We played the First Contact scenario from Battle Missions with me as the Nids, with objective placement modified to three objectives near the centre. The team mascot gave Coteaz' unit better armour.

His squads ended up in zones 1 and 6, opposite each other. I brought on everything bar one Crusader squad in Turn 1, with the Vindi moving into cover and the two vehi…

The Exercitus hits 1000!

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Yep. The Exercitus Hereticus, an army plan that's been with me since starting this blog, has reached the grand total of 1,019 points (more if I borrow my Space Marine Land Raider and claim it's Admech driven). Well, it would be a nice, round 1,049 if I had two more GW-legal Crusaders, but since my other two Crusaders are in fact Aragorn and Boromir with some new armour they are for home games only. On to the pictographs!



One of the 9-man Crusader Squads. Each has a Rhino for transport. Now, I know what you're thinking. Bretonnian Men-At Arms are indeed 16 in a box (which made this conversion a bargain, the only work needing done was GS wiring on the pole-arms.). The two extra are in fact Valkyrie crewmen with Space Marine power swords and storm shields. You can just make out one in squad centre. They serve as leaders in the army background.



Here you see my shooty squad, which is in desperate need of more men and a cover save. Varan Oclis, my Countseaz, lives in this squad, w…

Round Two: Fight!

Today I played two games. The second game was against Blood Angels at 1250, which was fairly hard-fought but I managed to do a last minute objective grab and killed everything bar one Libby. But that's not the main story.

No, the main story is whether or not I did any better against Grey Knights with my beloved Dark Eldar. Well, the answer is yes...and also no.

Y'see, today's game really highlighted why Kill Points as a mechanic sucks. His list was essentially the same as the last one, except he lost Psybolt Rounds on everything and got a Rhino for his Purifiers. Mine has been posted previously.

I killed his entire army bar his Grand Master, who spent the game cowering in a large castle, and his Storm Raven, which flitted about and shot me sometimes. He killed two Haemos, some Trueborn,a Raider, some Harlies, Malys, some Incubi and a Ravager. I still had 90% of my Kabalites, 2/3 of my Raiders, 3/4 of my Wyches and a Talos, and yet the mechanics dictate he won. I killed about …

The Shawn Abreu Treasury: Dark Eldar Avatar

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Hello all,


Today's epic artwork spearheads another of Shawn Abreu contributions to the fluid world of game design - the Dark Eldar Avatar. An interesting and succint piece of 'fluff' preludes some Mr. Abreu's rules entry. The image of Dark Eldar cultists sacrificing their more docile kin to mocking mirror image of the true avatar is a chilling which naturally fits right in with 40k's grim aesthetic. As I read through the few sentences I was reminded of Bryss' work on the Dark Eldar what seems like forever ago. 


I am excited about the sharing of rules across non-MEQ codices. It gives me confidence in the rules design potential of the non-imperial codices. This entry is a reminder that, even though Mr. Kelly's Dark Eldar codex is probably the best ever released, there is yet more that could be done with it. 


That said I was not wholly satisfied with this entry. It is more or less exactly the same as the regular Avatar but deviates in that units within 12" g…