Showing posts from October, 2011

Rules Rant: Legion of the Damnedest Waste of Points

Hey guys,

One of the main issues Games Workshop designers have is the lack of scalability in their points system. With "Spam" being an often used and often loathed tactic in the game each codex author is forced to treat each entry as if it will be maxed out. Thus many Elite choices are still-born ideas - scuttled before they can even be considered for inclusion. Because there is a real chance that their above-average abilities will become game breaking when used en masse every model is costed to reflect this danger. Hence 16 points per model for a Storm Trooper, 40 points for an Ogryn and, God help us, 30 points for a Damned Legionnaire.

The Legion of the Damned entry is a ghastly miscalculation. A poor, poor joke on anyone that was excited by skeletal marine models and hot-rod flame designs (admittedly a niche within a niche). A unit of five starts at 155 points and will shoot up to 215 with the obligatory multi-melta, melta, combi-melta combo (to make the most of their oblig…

Necrons Up For Pre-Order (A History Lesson)

Blah, blah, late to the party blah. Point is, I'm officially excited now. Everything is coming together nicely. My mind is turning to the inevitable Top Bryss review, which will be gushing to the extreme, unlike the other two. Probably.

I mean, I was really up for Dark Eldar, but in the timeline of when I started small armies of nearly every race in the game (no Sisters, no spin-offs, them's the only rules), Dark Eldar are, err... technically fifth most recent. The reverse order goes something like:

Chaos Marines
Dark Eldar
Witch Hunters (later upgraded to Grey Knights as my Inquisition force)
Imperial Guard
Space Marines

I started Necrons all the way back in 2004, when a friend recommended I started with something with a 3+ save. I have no idea how he talked me into it, mind, but ah well. A couple of weeks later I had a Codex, a Necron Lord and a box of Warriors. A few weeks after that, I did beginner sessions in my local GW. Back then e…

Bryss' Improvised Points Theory #3: Clear and Instinctive Perception

I realise now that I can't cover everything, although I think with some time I should be able to get quite close. The one last easy thing to cover with my theory is Special Characters, which I'll do in a Hints article.

My general approach here has been to try and convert everything to a construction method whereby I can cost the constituent parts of everything, add it up, divide it if I need to, and come up with the actual points value. Problem is, this puts the costs I've come up with in an all-encompassing bubble, and it's not quite like that in real life.

Really, there are three main seperate bubbles; Ward, Cruddace and Kelly. Of these, Kelly's Bubble is unreliable because of how much it has changed with each Codex he writes. Look at the 8-point Guardian compared to the 9-point Kabalite. Although these are technically within the same bubble, they're completely different in costing. The Guardian, like a lot of early 4th stuff, is less than the sum of its parts.…

Rules Rant: Lictor Lulz

Hello again!

It's Monday which means it's time to snatch a GW rules-failure from the deep (DEEP) barrel of poor game design decisions and go to town. Tonight I'm playing the game on "Easy" and picking something from the Tyranid codex.

If I had to describe the Tyranid codex to someone who knew nothing about the game I might say it's like two trains, one full of kittens, puppies and adorable piglets and one full of tiny orphans collided head-on at full speed, as viewed in agonizingly slow motion. Okay maybe that's the current Sisters of Battle "codex" but the bugs from outer space aren't much prettier.

So let's look at the Lictor entry shall we?

If one's not careful it's easy to be accidentally impressed by the Lictor's stats. WS 6 you say! As well as S and I 6? Fantastic let's just see how many points tha- Oh. Oh, not so great then. The Lictor is gutted almost straight out of the gate due to an inexplicably high cost in compar…

Bryss' Improvised Points Theory #2: Are Guns Formulaic?

Infantry are hard to do. Guns are easier. Let's do that. For now.

First off, I'm a great improviser. What follows is as real-time and spontaneous as I can get. This should hopefully cover my whole thought process. But it might be wrong, and you'll have to tell me that. I'll lay down some principles and get to work.

Observation #1: Guns are wargear: I know this seems obvious, but we need to know where we stand on this. The fact that they are wargear is important because of opportunity cost. An Imperial Guardsman and a Space Marine theoretically (Troop Marines get the Tactical 5 Point Discount) pay the same points for the same gun, despite one upgrading a superior weapon. In a way though, this is helpful. If the Guardsman had to pay 15 for a meltagun rather than 10, it leaves a massive imbalance between him (20) and the 26 point Marine. And that's probably the last thing we want.

Observation #2: The Ballistic Skill Ignorance Rule: I don't care if you're BS3 or …

High Gothic For Dummies #3

No Haiku Thursday this week in favour of more Latin-based mockery. Today, we'll talk about the 'Nids. It's good practise these days to give animals Latin names. Now, when it came to Tyranids GW had an amazingly original idea and gave them High Gothic names. Well, they were in the 4th Edition Codex anyway. Let's see what they're like....

Tyranicus: This is the main Tyranid genus, which splits into smaller categories. As ever it isn't a real word, however tyrannicus with two ns is 'tyrannical.' This doesn't surprise me.

Gauntii: The Gaunt genus, and not a real word. It's typical Ork Latin, but at least they got the third declension plural right. Assuming that's what they aimed for. Which it isn't.

Corporaptor: The Genestealer genus, from corpus, 'body,' and raptor 'robber.' So a body robber then. A rare example of genuine intelligence from the GW Latin Department. If it exists.

Boletus: Given as the genus of Spore Mines, this i…

Alt40k Package 1: Sniper

Hello all, my name’s Max and welcome to my new series over here on Rules Manufactorum, Alt40k Packages! 
For those of you who don’t know me, I normally ply my trade over on Defending Humanity, but the idea of working on some alt 40k projects here at RM proved too good a chance to pass up.

I’ll be looking at different rules from 40k each week and see what we can do to try and either improve, make closer to the fluff or just change for the heck of it. The key to this is to make small, modular changes to our game that are easy to incorporate but have wide reaching effects. The idea is that if you like a given rules package you can easily swap it in without worrying too much about affecting multiple rules at once.

Of course, simply arm chair generaling isn’t enough- we need some actual results to see if the changes are beneficial or not! So, every so often I’ll include a battle report showing one or more of my proposed changes in action and we’ll see whether I went too far or not far enough.

Bryss and 'Scape Present: Mythbusters, Marneus Calgar Edition

Recently, 'Scape got Marneus Calgar. I had the honour of fighting him with my 'Nids yesterday (close game, won by a lucky Warp Lance), and afterwards something like this happened:

So, the idea is simple. Marneus Calgar will undergo five fluff-based challenges, to see if they are fact or myth. Let the games... begin!

Trial 1: Gate Defence
The Premise: Marneus Calgar once held off a mob of Orks for a day and a night to stop them breaching some fortress.
The Trial: Calgar must hold off the following Ork mob for two turns: 20 Boyz inc. Nob with klaw, 2 Burnas, 5 Lootas, a Trukk and 2 Warbikers (they were the closest Orks I had to hand). The first turn is Night Fighting.

The Result: On Turn 1 the Orks surged forward, and managed to wound Our Hero once with their terrible shooting.  In return, Calgar Orbital Struck the Boyz, and killed 4.

On Turn 2 the Burnas and Boyz charged, while the Lootas wounded the Ultramarine once. In combat, only the Nob could wound Calgar, who slew 10 Orks in …

Bryss' Improvised Points Theory #1: What On Earth Is A Point Worth?

In order to get a better view of whether or not he could know anything, the philosopher Descartes went on a mental journey. In a similar fashion, one month after the release of the Dark Eldar Codex I planned to write a blog article in which I too went on a mental journey to find myself a Points Theory for Infantry. About 15 minutes in, I gave up. Now, I’m back to try again. You see, although Bryss’ Improvised Points Theory works fairly well on vehicles, infantry are a completely different kettle of fish. I first tried classifying the one point model as a statline with 1 of everything bar BS (which is zero) and Save (nothing). The problem with that is that it didn’t offer much value for points compared to the Gretchin. And that’s saying something. Then came the incredibly likely possiblity of Codex Deflation, where things get cheaper by the 'Dex (with certain glaring exceptions). And finally, how do I know these are the correct points values? Perhaps an evil demon is deceiving me int…

Haiku Thursday: Back To Normality

After two solid modelling posts in free-form style, I thought I would return to a more classical style for this Haiku Thursday, simply because there isn't really much going on in the Haus of Bryss right now. I painted my spare-parts Haemonculus, but I'm not putting that up because my painting skills aren't so great when I can't cheat with ink. It's not that I'm not happy with the outcome, I just swing between optimism and pessimism a lot. M-hmm. Anyway, I'm waffling. Today's subject is the Primarchs. It's a sort of monologuey artistic thing. Hopefully it should be obvious which Primarch is which.

"Curse of perfection, Drive me to grotesque lustre, As harsh gun-horns play."
"We are the Hydra, Two necks come from bloody spills For unknown masters."
"Cherub of glory, Held aloft by sacrifice, Forget not my rage."
"I am not Primarch of the Ultramarines, that job is Lord Mat Ward's."
Well, at least the last one is obvious. …

Rules Rant: Howl Like a Wolf If You Saw This Coming

Do you own a Space Wolves codex? Ever noticed the massive blank spot on the bottom half of page 89? Right below the Grey Hunters' entry? Yes, that peculiar shaded area. You might have wondered what was meant to go there and so I'll answer that for you.

Oftentimes when our brains see something very traumatic or strange the mind does it's best to suppress the memory of it. What hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars worth of therapy might reveal to the recovering gaming mind is the Blood Claws entry in all its loathsome overcosted-ness.

Blood Claws are a peculiar unit in game design terms. Fluff-wise they are meant to be inferior to their more seasoned Grey Hunter brethren but in game terms they have been costed the same indicating that what they lack in experience they make up for in sheer savagery. Let's take a look.

15 points per model for stats that are identical to Space Marine scouts but with power armor trying and failing to make for a riot of useful special rule…

Scratchbuilt Haemonculus

I must admit, I'm not a big fan of the new GW Haemonculus. I like Rakarth, but the standard guy is a to say it.... he looks like he'd much rather give you a hug than cut you to ribbons and put you back together again albeit with your tongue and right thumb switched around for a laugh. I'm also a big fan of walking on feet rather than all this tentacles nonsense. And considering the enormous size of my bitz lair, I decided to try my hand at making one myself.

One week of parts-searching and one long day of green-stuffing and gluing to the tune of 'Eye of the Tiger' later...

Behold the Haemonculus! I can't actually tell which gender it's meant to be, so we'll say it's indeterminate. That's what I get for using a Daemonette head...

Not much going on at the back, like most 40k models, mainly due to me not wanting a spine-thingy on the back. 

In battle I'll use it with a standard splinter pistol and close combat weapon (as I origin…

Hints For Homebrew: Veterans

Before I begin, I'd like to issue a quick reminder about the recently announced contest. The prize money has been doubled by Atrotos, bringing it to £38.58 ($60) for the winner and £25.72 ($40) for the runner-up (if Google is to be believed).

Veterans are a staple of 40k. Apart from Daemons and Tyranids, all armies in the game have them, however the unit is not always used to its full potential. This to me is a travesty considering that they should be among your best troops, and hopefully this series of pointers will help you avoid the common GW pitfalls.

1) Veterans do not always have to be Elites: To me, a Veteran is an upgraded version of your basic troop unit. So things like 'Ard Boyz, IG Veterans and Vanguard are still Veterans. The important thing when deciding where to put your Veterans in the Force Chart is that all-important theme of competition. If your Veterans unit clearly struggles to compete with the other things in your Elites slot, you should consider putting it …

Haiku Thursday: Modelling Edition #2: The Sequel

Ah, welcome back to the relaxing corner of Bryssling that holds Haiku Thursday, solid proof that xenos players are "da awesome" as Sinsynn put it. Anyway, remember when I built Fridgey? He was originally planned to be magnetised between both Pain Engines. Then I had a better idea...

I like tentacles, I like to save my money, Here is both at once,
I built a Cronos Entirely from my bitz box Here it is, enjoy.
The Daemon Prince kit Had two torsos, I took one And gave it a base

This out of the way, I found a Carnifex kit And used a good bit.

With this thing glued on, There was a massive gap, so I plugged it with those
Side bitz I cut off, At the same time took the arms And Green Stuffed them on.
Now, my putty skills Had left some bad blobs I had a good fix.
I attached thin bitz Like acupuncture needles Fits the theme quite well.

Added the back spines And a clear Spirit Vortex A clear flying base.
Trimmed the front a bit To make the probe mask fit on. There, instant Cronos.

Now the finished pics, With actual i…

The Dark Eldar Webway Efficiency Dilemna

Or DEWED for short. Anyway, to the actual point, eh?

The above is the aftermath of 6 turns of the following:

This List- 1999
Haemonculus with liquifier gun, venom blade and Webway Portal Haemonculus with liquifier gun and Webway Portal 20 Kabalites with two splinter cannons, blaster and Sybarite 20 Kabalites with two splinter cannons, blaster and Sybarite 10 Wyches with two shardnets and Hekatrix with agoniser Raider with flickerfield (for Wyches) 9 Trueborn with 2 splinter cannons Raider with flickerfield (for Trueborn and non-venomous Haemo) 7 Incubi with Klaivex with demiklaives and Onslaught Raider with flickerfield (for Incubi) 8 Harlequins with 2 fusion pistols, 2 kisses, Shadowseer, Death Jester and Master with power sword 5 Reaver Jetbikes Ravager with night shield and flickerfield Talos Talos with chain-flails Tactics are simple enough. Drop the Webways with help of Harleys and Trueborn Turn 1, then have stuff turn up and shoot. In the event of DoW, use a Kabablob or to drop …

Rules Rant: Where Rules Go To Die

Hello Readers,

Welcome to the new Monday spot - 'Rules Rant: Where Rules Go To Die.' All settled in? Good. Let's get started!

One of the most satisfying things about this hobby, after the painting, conversions and gaming are spoken for, is the ranting. Gamers are one of the worst societies humanity has to offer. Constantly bickering, rules lawyering, whining,  pining, lying, bragging and, most importantly, RAGING.

Nerds do love to rage.

And that's what this article series is about. Excavating those niggling nerd-hysteria inducing rules and entries and laying them out. Steamrolling them, stabbing them 5D6 times and tossing them off the edge of the table. Women get Mr. Ben and Mr. Jerry - nerds get Rules Rant. I can make the frustration go away fellas.

Today's mark is the inspirationally titled Nork Deddog (pronounced by swallowing hard and saying 'Dead Dog' right afterwards). Our bulky friend weighs in at a titanic 110 points plus whatever unspecified amount of o…