Saturday, 30 June 2012

Here we go again...

As you maybe know, I don't plan on getting the rules myself until the boxed game comes out and showers me with minis. However, this doesn't stop me gathering information from friends and the internet. In particular, IDICBeer 40k has a small series on the changes. Therefore, I've sent Sooty into the ether to gather up these tidbits so I can tell you things.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Weekend Let's Play: Early?

Yeah, I'm putting this out a day earlier than normal, as let's face it, 6th is far more significant. So I'll just leave this here and get back to painting my Xenos Inquisitor and Psykers. Enjoy your time in Vietnam.

I'll probably paint Szeras too, although I'm still not 100% on what I want to do with him...

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Bryss' Allies Musings

Right, here's some more thoughts. I'm going on the 'can/can't' approach rather than adding the silly technicalities.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Brysstory: Classic Bat-Rep #1

I'm not really able to do much until 6th is out with the blog, so in this slow time I'm bringing my first ever battle report onto the blog proper from the BoLS Lounge. You really can tell it's the first one, being as there are no pictures or anything and the Tyranid book is described as 'new.' Enjoy.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Weekend Let's Play: Very Advanced

Sixth is coming, so I've had to put Kill Team Four lists on hold. Especially since Canoptech Necrons were going to have Chariots, and so may benefit from a retyping. Have some Robot Wars in the meantime.

Primed a few Plague Dudes and a mystery project today. All I'll say is that it's another car dangler. Enjoy the LP.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Ruthless Casual #3: Clear and Distinct Perception

Now then, here I am sitting at my metaphorical fireplace, wondering about myriad possibilities. I've already decided I'm not a Hyper-Efficient, but I now need to justify the whole 'Ruthless' thing. There is an easy test to determine that I'm not pure casual.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Bryss' Musings #3

Semi-regular opinion column go!

#1: 6th Edition Goodies: My my, it's like Skull City in here. Objective skulls, tape measure skulls, dice sku....alright, they didn't go that far, thank goodness. Tape measure skull looks awesome, sign me up.

The psychic affinity chart is nice in the sense that it doesn't replace your normal powers, and doesn't use a silly element system. What's not nice is that it only helps armies with psykers (so Tau, Necrons et al receive no bonuses) and that Eldar got the short end of the stick again, with Marines able to learn more disciplines than them. Psychic mastery my a....

#2: Back In Black: 'Scape and I had our farewell 5th game, with his Necron force against 1500 points of my Black Legion. Being as this is a game against 'Scape's New Necrons, he brought:

1 Triarch Stalker
1 Doomsday Ark
2 Doom Scythes

I don't like fighting vehicle numbers at all, and had low hopes for Abaddon's Lads (no Abaddon mind). Game highlights go as follows:

  • I lose my entire 10-man CSM squad on Turn 2 to three Abyssal Staves hopping around on a Veil without them getting to fire a single shot. Nasty.
  • My Daemon Prince rips apart the Stalker and subsequently dies to a hail of flayer fire (we played Dawn of War and made the most of reserves).
  • I charge the Doomsday Ark with nine Khorne Berzerkers and manage to explode it! Yay for Khorne Loonies having krak grenades! I'm going to miss having them as Troops...
  • The Doom Scythes arrived together on Turn 3 or 4, and I obviously panicked, as 'Scape moved them at Supersonic speed to line up the death rays....but I really shouldn't have, as thanks to twin-linked Oblit guns, missile Havocs, a cheeky meltagun and a Defiler, not a single Death Ray was fired.
  • I won 7-4, having lost only my 10 CSMs, my Loonies, their Rhino, and the Prince.
Why on earth haven't I used Chaos in so long? They're flippin' awesome! Before now, I had never used the twin-linked Oblit guns and never realised Berzerkers had grenades, and both of them really made their mark, despite me only having one Oblit by the time the Scythes got on. Expect to see them more as a battle army.

#3: The Scythe Design Explained!: Before now, I didn't really get the weird crescent shape. Now, I realise how damn efficient it is. To explain, have a bad diagram:

If I'd shot an Imperial BrickRaven Gunship. that would have hit for sure.

Yep, the Necrons were designed for 6th all right. In every damn sense of the word...

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Weekend Let's Play: Double Bill

So, the 6th Edition cover has apparently been 'revealed.' It looks like a throwback to the old Marine-centric covers of editions 1-3. I would probably have preferred a different look, but since I plan on getting the smaller version anyway, I'm not fussed.

Today, you get 2 videos. You get the continuation of Vietnam Pokemon, and you get the first part of Robot Wars: Advanced Destruction. Enjoy.

I swore the Marine was Black Templar, but apparently it's a DA Interrogator Chaplain. Makes sense, I guess...

Friday, 15 June 2012

Ruthless Casual #2: The Cogito

Now then, in the first meditation, I established that the current use of the word 'competitive' is wrong on all accounts, although I am too small-time to prevent this grievous misuse. But that really wasn't the point. The point was to reclaim the word 'competitive,' and to establish the concept of hyper-efficient gameplay.

Think about it. Your typical HE list is transports, Anni-Barges, meltaguns, etc. Why? Not because they are good, but because they are efficient. The HE player selects the best units they can get and still have room for more stuff. This also explains the idea of MSU, as it allows greater fire spread and flexibilty, again more efficient than buying a blob unit.

If we're going for weapon metaphors, the HE player is the meltagun, and the Ruthless Casual player the plasma gun. The meltagun costs ten points and therefore is the cheapest one-shot AT gun in the game. The plasma gun costs more, fires more, has more range, but could blow up, which is about as efficient as boiling water on a tiny campfire. It is also a tad weaker.

Here's an experiment. The following is a 1500 point Chaos list:

Daemon Prince- Wings, MoN, Warptime- 175
Daemon Prince- Wings, MoN, Warptime- 175
5 CSMs- meltagun, in Rhino- 120
5 CSMs- meltagun, in Rhino- 120
5 CSMs- meltagun, in Rhino- 120
5 Plague Marines- 2 meltagun, in Rhino- 170
5 Plague Marines- 2  meltagun, in Rhino- 170
3 Obliterators- 225
3 Obliterators- 225

Or, in HE language:
14 KPs
2 Monsters
25 bolters, 5 of which are twin-linked
7 melta
6 Oblit weapons

Average PPM: 39.5-ish

Here's a 1250 list I wrote for Twin K for the second four-way, boosted to 1499 (that I could feasibly make with my own minis):

Ahriman- 250
9 Thousand Sons inc. Sorceror with melta-bombs and Doombolt, in a Rhino with extra armour-309
15 Chaos Marines with 2 melta guns- 245
15 Chaos Marines with plasma gun, missile launcher- 260
2 Obliterators- 150
5 Havocs with 3 missile launchers and 1 autocannon- 155
Predator with lascannon sponsons and dozer blade- 135

Or, in HE language:
8 KPs
1 waste of points
36 bolters, 7 of which are AP3, 1 is twin-linked
2 melta
2 auto
2 las
4 missile
2 Oblit weapons

Average PPM: 30.6-ish

I look at these totals and I notice four obvious points of comparison:

  • The first army is more mobile than the second army
  • The second army has more units over 200 points than the first army
  • The second army has more types of weapons than the first army
  • The first army is much more short-range than the second army
I also notice that the second army is somehow both more and less points-efficient than the first army. Theoretically it is more efficient, since on average each model is cheaper. However, if I lose one of the 200+ units, that's a big blow to the overall performance of the army.

This leads me to one very obvious conclusion as to what Ruthless Casual has to be:

Ruthless Casual is riskier but more rewarding.

If I buy a meltagun, I am confident that I have made a reliable purchase that improves my army's AT. If I purchase a plasma gun, I know that it could bust open something AV11 or less, or permadown a few infantry, or it could blow up. Furthermore, I have paid 5 more points for this privilege. HE players do not want risk at all, they want performance, which explains a lot about their attitude to things like Possessed, Chaos Dreads, and Orks.

I'll be coming back to Possessed, as I want to expand on something about them. For now though, I can happily conclude my second meditation having found one clear point about my own gaming style, which I call Ruthless Casual. It's sort of in the blog title, no?

Coming up: Meditation 3: The Secret of the Possessed Squad and why I don't consider myself pure casual.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

And Now For Something Completely Dif...PYTHON QUOTES ARE FOR THE WEAK!

Right, I know this seems completely out of the blue, but I own a large-ish Chaos army. Some of it is mine mine, but most was inherited from Twins K and P (remember them?) when they left for London. The miniatures are in varying states of 'what was I thinking?', and so, to distract me from my lack of funds, I'm resurrecting the whole lot as two separate armies. The above is my progress so far. Until I know the whole story behind the Renegades/Legions rumourmill, this is the Coalition of R'Lette.

They say that the Chaos Gods play games with mortals. They are correct. Sometimes, the Gods' attitude is reflected in their minions, and this is clear with the Daemon Prince R'Lette. Once a Chaos Lord of the Black Legion, R'Lette abandoned Abaddon following the Twelfth Black Crusade along with a cadre of his most loyal warriors, with the aim of gathering his own personal army that owed no dues to others.

R'Lette travelled the galaxy, recruiting small bands of men as he went, until eventually he crossed the path of the Blood Corsairs. Their story mimicked his own: they served Lufgt Huron until their leader took on the blood rage of Khorne and left in search of more victims. When the two commanders met, they immediately took a liking to the other's warband, but not to their counterpart. Therefore, R'Lette proposed a duel. The final allegiance of the warband would be decided in one battle; to be Red, or Black.

The duel lasted hours, however in the latter stages R'Lette realised that the untiring fury of his Khorne-loving opponent would eventually overwhelm him. Nevertheless, he fought back bravely, and for the briefest of milliseconds attracted the attention of a Great Power. This millisecond turned out to be the one of his death, but that was no barrier to the blessing intended for him. As that battle ended, the closest advisors of both sides swore they heard a darkly sonorous echo:

"The result is Green."

And from that day on, clad in twisted verdant ceramite, the Daemon Prince R'Lette had his warband.

 Blood Corsairs

Chaos Space Marine and Chaos Lord of the Blood Corsairs. They are the 'renegade' half of the army, and the smaller part. The Rhinos I use for my Space Marines and Inquisition are also theirs, which is justified by their slightly red and green scheme, and also by the fact that I care not to buy yet more plastic bricks. The Chaos Predator they had in their possession will also become a dual-army unit.

Black Legion

Havoc and Chaos Marine of the Black Legion. I've gone for a fairly standard Black Legion scheme, with metallitrim aplenty. They are the 'legion' half of the army. If the rumours do pan out, they stand to inherit all the cult troops and most of the 6th box set content, thus making them the bigger army.

WIP Plague Marines

I decided to use the excess miniatures I gained to create a third type of Cult Troop to go with my Berzerkers and Ksons. The 12 here include two melta guns and a Plague Champion with a power fist. I abhor Nurgle miniatures as a rule, but these are OK as they are not overwhelmingly plaguey.

The current 'finished miniature' total stands at:

  • Daemon Prince R'Lette the Green (from my Daemons force, winged and proud)
  • Chaos Lord with Termie armour and lightning claws
  • 6 Blood Corsairs with plasma gun
  • 7 Black Legionnares with melta gun and icon
  • 6 Black Legion Havocs (4 missile launchers and 1 autocannon)

This at least gives me a start point to work from. I'll update the army with new old minis sporadically. Oh, and I've got 24 usable Lesser Daemons if I want to use them, too. See you next time.

Monday, 11 June 2012

The Last Crusade- 1000 Exercitus Vs Necrons Batrep

I promised you another slide-show, and another slide-show you get. This one is fought between my Exercitus Hereticus and 'Scape's Necrons, and was recorded a few weeks before the DCA project, and therefore before the army's humiliating defeat to a vehicle-heavy Necron force.

As ever, the video features Bryssling's trademark alt-text, and so it's best to watch it in Bigger-O-Vision rather than here. I haven't got any more lined up for now, but I'm thinking of remaking a few of the really old pre-Bryssling bat-reps into slideshows with voiceover from Future Bryss (no 'Scape, probably).

On Wednesday I'll show off my new venture. For now, all I'll say is that it's a restoration project, and it involves an army tipped to be included in the 6th Edition boxed game...

Enjoy the video.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Weekend Let's Play: Back To 'Nam

Here's the return of Pokemon Vietnamese Crystal, as me and 'Scape struggle to understand our surroundings again. I think it's fair to say that as these videos continue, I will gradually become more insane.

Hobby-wise, coming up this week:

  • A new slide-show battle report of the Exercitus (pre-Death Cult version) versus Necrons.
  • A surprising new project.
  • The second Meditation.
  • Possibly the Necron KTF list.

So yeah, all that. Enjoy your time in Vietnam!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Hunters From Hyperspace, Experiments and Immortals

Alright, confession time. My camera takes pics of a stupidly large size and this is taking up my space at a meteoric rate. To stem the tide and save space, these images are compressed a bit, but I think they're still good enough. The first one is half the size of the other ones, so if it looks the same quality-wise, that's even better news. Anyway, this week I completed my:


I love the term 'Hunters From Hyperspace,' it sounds like a Tom Baker Dr. Who episode. Someone get on the blower to the BBC and submit a plan for an episode where the Doctor is hunted by cyclopean snipers who inhabit their own pocket dimension. Admittedly, the rules aren't as good, but I like the look of them so I've made a unit.


You may remember these chaps wot I built from Immortal and Warrior components, and the test model from early May. Anyway, I finished the squad while I was doing the Deathmarks, giving me ten Immortals in total now.

Oh, and I decided to re-do the Barge to make it fit more with the Ark, but have no pics right now. Suffice to say it's a lot less metal. I may even slightly modify my Monolith scheme to tie all my Necron vehicles together...

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Ruthless Casual #1: What IS Casual/Competitive?

Right, it's time I at least try to understand my own gaming philosophy. Therefore, it's time for more meditations. Like when I tried to figure out the points formula, I will conduct Cartesian meditations to find out exactly where I stand, and establish the definition of the Bryssling Ruthless Casual philosophy. Now, my points meditations failed, like Descartes' ones did. Here's hoping these ones work better.

Meditation #1: On the Nature of Casual and 'Competitive'

I would first propose to you that casual gameplay is very easy to define. It is gameplay that is not taken seriously and is not played to an overall objective of victory, but to the overall objective of having fun. Note that these meditations will only discuss gameplay, not also modelling and painting, which influence the spectrum in different ways.

I would then propose to you that the word 'competitive' is the wrong word to use to describe a harder gameplay style. If I am competitive, I want to win. This does NOT immediately pigeonhole me into a certain style of list-building or tactical style. It just says I like winning. The two aforementioned factors do help with that, but are not required at all to be able to play competitively in the true sense of the word. Therefore, we need a new word.

One of the more obvious alternatives that jumps out is the word 'tournament.' This could be argued to be even worse a choice than 'competitive,' as many tournaments are simply an excuse for organised casual gameplay. There are also those who would carp on about how tournaments are run, and how they're not good enough for what they feel they should be designed for.

It's clear we need to be specific. I've heard many netvoxes extol the virtues of the so-called NOVA system. However, we cannot use the term 'NOVA gameplay' as that's just elitist and condescending. There is a reason why John Stuart Mill said that competent judges could be pretty much anyone, and even then his system of Higher and Lower Pleasures is still elitist and biased.

We also cannot base our new word on any of the aforementioned netvoxes, such as 'T'Leeks' gameplay. This is because it is A) even more elitist, and B) it feeds into the personality cults of the more acidic and vile of these netvoxes, who inevitably blog to build such a thing and make themselves feel superior, often under the facade of an educator.

Now that all that's out of the way, let's try this. Let's keep casual gameplay as Casual Gameplay, and call the other thing Hyper-Efficient Gameplay. Hyper-Efficient Gameplay is simple. It is a system with little true variation, samey effective tactics and scalpel-sharp lists. It is designed for fun in the same way that maths is. It is fun for maths nerds, whom the rest of us should leave to their little spreadsheets and matrices. If I had my way, the HEsphere would be blocked from accessing the main gameplay nexus and left to their own little world, but then I'm harsh.

Right, now I've got the word 'competitive' back in the real world. When I get round to the second Meditation, I'll explain what I want from an RC gameplay style. And then I will wax hyperbole about how scary a Destroyer Lord with 15 Flayed Ones can be in that world...

Hint: at 1250 points, very. I'll explain later.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Bryss' Musings #2

Here we go again... Round 2, fight!

#1: The Return of The Other Rival: My other great gaming rival, the one that isn't 'Scape, is coming back to the Land of Haggis, Neeps and Tartan in a few weeks. For a long period of time. Looks like I need to sharpen up my Kabal, as if his lists are at the same level I expect them to be I'm in for a heck of a fight. This also means an excuse to wear my new coat in public, which is awesome, so good news all round.

#2: Scape and Scythes: Cyberscape7 is buying two Scythes, with the intent of making them interchangable. This annoys me no end, as I don't have the funds to do such, and also means his Necrons will ascend casuality and become a full-on lethal army. Lethal by my standards, not the stupidly high ones of T'Leeks and his vile ilk. I love the word 'ilk,' it sounds like a beast from a fantasy novel that deserves to be hunted and slaughtered. This means that, like the Other Rival's GK, I can't challenge his Necrons with every army I own. 'Tis a shame, as it means the only three armies I can challenge them with are the Angels of Secrecy, my DE Kabal, and my Necrons. And just at a point where I really wanted to return to Orks...

#3: ATB and KTF: The first audio Top Bryss was a resounding success in my book, so more is coming. Kill Team Four Necrons is going really well, and I've got some nice little ideas in the pipeline. Astartes Golems will be harder, I reckon. There's no way I can accomodate Scouts for one thing...

#4: Royalty: I'm writing this on Monday as I will be recording LPs and gaming with 'Scape tomorrow, so I'm wishing all my British viewers a happy Diamond Jubilee. Well, I would, but then I DID lambast the American tradition of Memorial Day and so it wouldn't seem fair if I let the monarchy go unchecked. Expect that if anyone DID make this argument against me it would fit squarely under ad hominem tu quoque and therefore is a logical fallacy. So I can after all. And I'm going to, because praising the British royal family, who are at least entertaining to watch, is better in my book than praising the military, which is a last resort when diplomacy fails. Well, it should be, anyway.

Gooooooooood saaaaaaave ooooooour graaaaaacious queeeen....

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Top Bryss Reviews The New Flyers #1

Yes, Top Bryss is back! And it's improved, too! See, when I did the first one, back at Rules Manufactorum, Atrotos wondered what it would be like as an audio article. And now, aaaages later, I've done it. The first audiovisual episode of Top here. And I think it's the best Top the world.

You will need to watch it in Proper Size-O-Vision for the full effect. And in case your Internet is horrible right now, or you miss the old days, here is the transcript.

Tonight, Sooty fails a Pinning Check, Panda fails a Pinning Check, and I fail to appear on camera...

Hello, and welcome to Top Bryss! Now, recently Games Workshop has released small modification kit for their popular Space Marine model, and not-so popular Ork model. These claim to make the books faster and give them new, useful abilities. But are they any good?

We’ll start with some general pointers. These new modifications come in the full-colour White Dwarf magazine, and therefore are in amazing technicolour. This is probably a glimpse into the future, as it is inevitable that GMW will use 6th Edition as an excuse to manufacture new Codices in full colour, at a cost higher than the stupidly tall mountain you’d get if you welded Everest onto the top of Kilimanjaro. This is obviously going to be seen by many as a Bad Thing, especially since GW’s new eBook Codices aren’t any cheaper than normal ones and therefore are not a refreshing alternative.

However, each entry also comes with a mini weapon summary detailing the various guns they could be armed with. If this get rolled out across the board, it will be infinitely more useful than a massive weapon summary as you could simply flick to the entry of the unit you are firing with and check a much smaller list. It’s already done with unit statlines, so this would be a logical extension. Unfortunately, this is probably here because these units are non-Codex entries, so there are no real promises of this being introduced to the main books.

Now we shall move on to looking at the Stormtalon Gunship. Looks-wise, the universe is of a split opinion, with many regarding it as a bit stupid, a bit silly, uglier than a prune left to rot for a few weeks, and above all poor engineering. I have heard it compared to a craft from a bullet-hell shooter game, even. Much to the disappointment of you all then, I have to say I like this aesthetic, as you can probably tell from my ridiculously poor quality illustration of this idea. I can’t be bothered arguing about it though, as it will produce as much good as a teapot made of ice. That is to say, none at all. I shall therefore move on to the important bit.

The rules. It costs 130,000 points, just over the cost of two Land Speeders with multi-meltas, which is what it will inevitably be compared with. For double the cost of a mini-skimmer, you don’t really get much durability. You get one extra armour point at every side, and ceramite plating, which is nigh-on useless at AV11 anyway. You do get the handy Aerial Assault special rule, and a flat-out move of 36 inches per turn, which is a fairly useful thing to have.

Its unique special rules are funny little things. Take Escort Craft, for example. Yes, it means you can get two units onto the board at once, but that could be either better or worse depending on how your dice rolls turn out, and limits the flexibility of your arrival move. There is also a technical loophole allowing you to simultaneously deploy a unit in a non-dedicated transport such as a Land Raider or Land Speeder Storm plus two Stormtalons, one for each unit, which technically are not escorting each other even though they are deployed in the same group. That said, you’d really be hedging your bets on one dice roll in that case. Taking all that in, I’m not sure whether I like this rule or not.

Hover Strike is much more black and white. Don’t move, +1BS and you get Pinning. Since most of your guns are twin-linked with a semi-decent shot count, this isn’t too useful considering the likelihood of Pinning a unit isn’t very big. If you’re in the right place and shoot an exposed unit with Guardsman leadership, maybe it will work.  However, if you and your opponent are more competitive than your average TV lawyer, this isn’t going to happen in many cases. As such, this is a casual rule that adds some flavour to a beer and pizza game, but nothing more.

The Stormtalon has a unique weapon in the Skyhammer missile launcher, which is essentially a better autocannon for more than double the price of a normal one. Considering that for the same cost you can get a flexible Typhoon missile launcher with better Strength and AP at the high end, at the expense of 12” of range, I’ll pass it up unless I want a dedicated transport hunter or Dark Eldar Cardboard Boat hunter. Either way, both are better value than the lascannon, even if it is the cheapest optional extra.

So, the Stormtalon. Probably not the most efficient competitive unit, since as a transport buster a Rifleman Dreadnought is cheaper and has better accuracy. Definitely not everyone’s cup of tea looks-wise. It’s a solid casual unit though, with quirky little bonuses and a decent dose of firepower. However, bring the cost down to Ravager levels  and maybe the competitive types will want a word...