Friday, 7 September 2012

First impressions of the Errata/FAQ's

So finally the Errata/FAQ's are out for everything and most of the codex ones are unsurprising.
Few are quite big however and worth glancing over.

Look Out Sir! seems to have lost the loophole I'd heard going about previously, thankfully.
Previously it was claimed you could take advantage of a characters armour and then transfer a failed wound to another model, but with the removal of the words "(or unsaved wounds)" from the section it means you definitely allocate the moment it is designated. Hurray for improvements!
I'm less sure on the wound being allocated to the nearest model, but it does make sense.

Some weapon improvements (husk blade) in the codex ones are interesting but stealth-nerfs (as they will be claimed) such as Paladins, Wolf Guard & others no longer being characters will likely cause some upset.

I won't go over everything in detail, thats best for you to do yourself (they are here:

Unfortunately some things I feel should have been addressed haven't been. They tweaked the wording that Flyers can go between 18"-36" (which everyone had assumed anyway) but still no reason why the 18" combat speed exists anyway and why it shouldn't just be removed (see my post: However the fact you have to keep track of exactly how many inches each flyer moved in case they suffer Locked Velocity just seems annoying, frustrating and a cheap get out of their mistake.

Have to love there are still a few errors in the FAQ, visible even to those who haven't read through properly.
Ork Nobs needing to add a designers note which they left out of the Errata for example.

Anyway, have a look yourself and let me know what things caught your eye on the first look through!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Unit Review ~ Dark Eldar Reaper

Admittedly this came out while ago, but I have good reason to go back and review this. They are scarily unique in 6th Edition!

I'll start with looks.
I'm personally unsure about the oversized gun platform look which a lot of Eldar vehicles seem to get sometimes (Warp Hunter in particular, along with super-heavies like Lynx & Cobra) but the Reaper is the first Dark Eldar vehicle to follow this line and you could say it does so to an extreme.

Still, it doesn't sacrifice the gorgeous looks all Dark Eldar skimmers have and its personalised sails and side fins are very pretty (I would love for Forgeworld to release those as a separate sprue to add to Raider/Ravager hulls).
Lastly, the barrel of its main weapon which replaces the ram is intimidating.

Gameplaywise it is a Heavy Support option for the Dark Eldar codex, opening it up for allies option for Craftworld Eldar in particular.
This means it is a rival for other units such as Ravagers, Razorwings and the Haemonculi Engines.
Most particularly it should be compared with the Ravager, since the two are very similar. Not only have they identical armour values and hull points, but they are both Fast, Open-topped Skimmers with the Night Vision  rule.
It costs 135 points, which does make it somewhat costly in comparison and it comes with options for all the usual vehicle upgrades, except for Enhanced Aethersails which is has built-in for its points.

Unlike Ravager's, Reapers cannot fit the anti-elite role (No taking Disintegrator cannons and hunting terminators) but simultaneously fill anti-tank and anti-horde roles, as well as being pretty handy against Monstrous Creatures.

So we'll all agree that anti-tank & anti-horde are rarely done by the same unit (missile launcher devastators aside), but how does that work here? The answer - Storm Vortex Projector.
Not only does it have a fairly impressive name, but this weapon works quite interestingly in the new rules.
It has two fire options, following the typical blast or single powerful hit system that is so common.
Its blast use (conveniently named blast) is shorter ranged, only 24", uses the large 5" blast and is Str5 Ap4 with the Haywire* and Pinning rules. This means that not only can you lay down reasonably sized blasts and hurt hordes, you can also really upset their transports and really scare opponents with parking lots.
Its more powerful direct shot attack (called beam in this case) has a longer range of 36" and is Str7 Ap3. What makes it dangerous and completely unique is that along with the Haywire* rule this mode of fire also has another rule named 'Kill-Shock'.

* Before I go on to describing the fun that is Kill-Shock, it should be noted that when I list Haywire here I am not referring merely to the (1: No effect, 2-5: Glancing Hit, 6: Penetrating Hit) version of the rule listed in the rulebook or Eldar codex. - No, the Storm Vortex Projector has better batteries than that.
Haywire rolls in this instance cause penetrating hits on a 5 or 6!

What is Kill-Shock then?... It means that if the attack hits you make not one, but D3 Haywire rolls.
Yes, that means on top of causing a Str7 hit on a vehicle, that vehicle will on average lose another D3 hull points and quite likely have to roll on the Vehicle Damage Chart! - Even if the Str7 hit can't actually damage the vehicle.
On top of that, if fired at a non-vehicle Kill-Shock means the attack inflicts Instant Death on a 5+, meaning you are certainly hampered by taking a Reaper against Tyranids or Chaos Demons where the Haywire rule isn't much use. You can still hurt hordes and make the bigger beasties nervous!

There we have it, the Reaper!
Probably the only vehicle in the game which can take off four hull points with a single shot...

Saturday, 4 August 2012

6th Edition Flyer Rules are Weird!

So, while I await a reply from Forgeworld to my second email, I thought I'd fill the time by giving some of my thoughts on the new rules for Flyers.
Obviously huge changes with them slowing down (not that big a deal unless you're playing on vastly big tables) and no longer being able to do 180 degree pirouettes in mid-air (thankfully).

Now Flyers actually require some tactical advanced thinking ahead and as an old fan of both Battlefleet Gothic & Dreadfleet, I'm quite looking forward to their use in several games ahead, especially as I've three Vendetta's in my collection and they look to be very nice at the moment.

Still, my love of this aside... I really just don't get some of the Flyer rules!

First Point of confusion: Can Zooming Flyers fire more than four weapons?
In the standard shooting rules it notes that vehicles can fire so many weapons at full ballistic skill, varying by speed and all other weapons are left to be Snap Shots. That is fine and easy.
The rules on vehicles with the Fast type also note that leftover weapons can fire as Snap Shots, this would suggest vehicles types overrule the standard rules.
Strangely however, there is no mention of this in the section on Zooming Flyers. It just says that four can be fired at full Ballistic skill. So does this mean that Snap Shots are impossible at such high speeds? *shrugs* I think not, but others seem to think that can.

Second Point of Confusion: Flat Out Minimum Speed Why?
It makes perfect sense for Flyers to have a minimum speed when moving, that is how flyer works (when not hovering), but when you can't go Flat Out when zooming if you haven't already gone this minimum distance (it would be wrecked before it got to the shooting phase otherwise) does it need another minimum distance to go a bit faster?
Where is the logic that if you plan to move a total of 36"-38" you need to purposely move less in the movement phase? You need to go slower in order to go faster... Right?
Then of course the Supersonic rule makes this even stranger. For them to go a total distance between 36"-54" they have to considerable slow down. To go just over 36" you need to go minimum Cruising Speed (fraction over 18" remember) in the movement phase. Total nonsense.

Third Point of Confusion: What is up with Locked Velocity?
So if I go exactly 18" I'm going Combat Speed and if I move anything between a fraction of an inch over 18" up to the top speed of 36" I'm going Cruising Speed. Neither of these affect turning, shooting or anything else I've managed to come across.
So if Locked Velocity has you stuck in Combat or Cruising Speed, my question is why would anyone not always move a fraction of an inch over 18" when going slow to effectively shrug off that part of Locked Velocity? - I mean, if you were going exactly 18" you'd be stuck going exactly 18" from then on, hugely restrictive compared to the alternative.
If the above is how the rules work, what is the point? Why didn't they just make Locked Velocity stop the Flyer from using Evade or going Flat Out and avoid the needless mention of Combat Speed?
NOTE: Few seem to notice that Locked Velocity also stops the vehicle entering Hover Mode, but even that doesn't explain the above but is certainly something people with Transport Flyers should keep in mind.

I am really hoping someone who reads this can explain at least some of the above things.
What are your thoughts readers?

Monday, 23 July 2012

6th Edition & Apocalypse

So 6th Edition Warhammer 40,000 has been out awhile and loads of things have been discussed all over.
Between the fact that others are all discussing the important things and I put off reading the rules due to being busy & disliking the hardback books I've not written anything yet on it.

Now I'm set I thought I'd discuss something others have not so much, the rules impact on Apocalypse games.
Forgeworld have been great with getting update notes for everything sorted and I've been quite happy with much of it, such as my Hydra support platform getting Intercept & Skyfire or the fact that since they note that the Valkyrie Sky Talon has Vector Dancer most opponents will allow my Vendetta's to make use of the rule as well.

There are still some things I'd like them to clarify such as how the Power Cutter on my Hades Breaching Drill's can affect vehicles when they aren't allow to ram in the new rules, but one email at a time.

So, Apocalypse.
The core rules and formations haven't changed it would seem.
With apocalypse not generally using organisation charts the allies matrix can probably be ignored, but some groups I expect will choose to include it to determine what armies abilities work with others.
As organisation charts aren't allowed, I'd also assume most groups will allow people to freely purchase fortifications as long as they aren't taking the mick.
Warlord's raise an interesting idea, with my theory each player will get one rather than each army.

Formations seem to be no different, although some will be better now and some will be pretty terrible just as the same goes for different units, vehicles and characters in standard games.

Super-heavy vehicles have changed quite a bit however and I don't just mean with how hull points & penetration works.
I mentioned one email at a time before, that is because I did send in a request for some clarifications about super-heavies and got the following reply.

The update does not seem to be perfectly clear certain points so I would like to clarify these with the questions below.

Question One - Crew Shaken/Stunned
Do Crew Shaken & Crew Stunned results now affect the vehicle as a whole (as opposed to a single weapon as it did in previous editions)?
Yes, it does, although as noted the Primary Weapon rule allows some protection against this. It is deliberately harsher than in previous editions. 

Question Two - Primary Weapons
If the above is so, do you roll separately for each weapon with the Primary Weapon special rule the vehicle has to see if it ignores the effect.
Yes, you do. So in the example of a Reaver Titan that has lost all its Void Shields, a separate save is made for each arm weapon and its carapace weapon.
Question Three - Flat Out
Can normal super-heavy vehicles go Flat Out? They aren't noted as having the Heavy type and there is no mention of them not being able to do so in the movement section of the update, but the super-heavy fast vehicles section notes that fast ones can which would suggest that normal ones can't.
As stated in the Super-heavy vehicles section (page 2 of the Apocalypse update PDF), unless their profile allows otherwise they may only move at  Combat speed.

Question Four - Ramming
Can normal super-heavy vehicles use the Ram rule? It would seem that only fast ones can since the Ram rule requires the vehicle to go Cruising speed.
Exactly. As above, unless their profile states otherwise (or you want to add a house rule) the Ramming rules apply as normal.

Question Five - Immobilised Super-Heavy Flyers
It would seem that the first immobilised result which halves the move distance will force the vehicle to move exactly 18" each turn (normal max move being 36", halved to 18" which is the minimum) and therefore count as only being able to count as going combat speed and then the second result only prevents it using Evade or going Flat Out. Is this right?
Also, does the first immobilised result halve the vehicles Flat Out movement as well?
This is correct; the point being that the minimum move distance is never affected. The Super-heavy flyer's Flat Out move is unaffected (narratively speaking, the pilot opening their throttle to evade whatever is threatening them). 

The fact that a single penetrating shot can shut down all 7+ weapons on a Baneblade is quite a hit for such vehicles. This is of course balanced somewhat by the fact Weapon Destroyed results now affect a random weapon making it pretty difficult to take out the main cannon.
Some races such as Eldar who only have a very limited number of weapons on their super-heavies will be better off due to that.

Another change not involved with the email is that Baneblade's can finally come on from reserve without being destroyed *laughs* As many will know in 5th Edition if you couldn't fully get onto the board with something it was lost and Baneblade's (especially those with sponsons) were simply too big to get on with their 6" movement.
Now in 6th they aren't destroyed but are instead moved the minimal extra distance to get them on with their rear end touching the board edge and can't shoot that turn... Not great, but better than being destroyed!

One last thought in this post since it is getting long, 6th Edition has had a huge impact on Strategic Assets.
With fortifications being purchasable for fairly cheap, the stategic assets which provide barricades, walls etc aren't as appealing as they were previously.
Personally I'm relieved that the Vortex Grenade asset will be going from the go-to overkill asset in the eyes of a number of my regular opponents to something we'll rarely see. After all a 6" range is very unappealing when you can't move in the same turn, shoot other weapons or assault afterwards.
Of course, bikes, jet-packers and terminators can get around that...

Have you played apocalypse yet in the new edition?
What are your thoughts on the changes?

Monday, 28 May 2012

GW 2012 Price Increase

It seems that June 4th marks the annual price increase at Games Workshop and Wayland Games have been nice enough to post the upcoming increases.

For those interested I'll add their pdf link here:

Some interesting increases, most surprising is that Space Marine Razorback's will actually have a higher price than Rhino's which makes me wonder if GW are purposely increasing items which sell more to make a higher profit.
The most shocking increase I noticed was the Storm Raven, going up by £9. If you've still one to get, it might really be worth sorting it this week.

As for the Razorback, it just means I'll certainly be getting Forgeworld's in future (as long as their prices don't skyrocket). The models are far better in my opinion (I own three) and for only £1 difference in price, its an easy decision to make!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Modelling to a Disadvantage?

Converted Storm Raven
So, last time I spoke about 'Modelling for an Advantage', the logical (and always planned) continuation of this is the flip side of the coin. Now modelling for a disadvantage might sound totally nonsensical to you and I believe that to be a good and honest viewpoint.

It does however occur but not in the way it sounds at first.

The key to this discussion again revolves around two factors:-
A) Conversions, more commonly scratch-built or highly personal models representing unreleased models that are then later released.
B) The disadvantage is unintended by the modeller, but enforced by opponents and other players.

How does this work?
Well the most common example I have seen with this is hull-built weaponry on vehicles which on the 'official model' end up being positioned on a turret, which is the case for one of my friends Storm Raven's in his Blood Angel army (See Picture above).
With the codex having no note on weapon positions or firing arcs like older edition codexes and no picture being included my friend & I were forced to guess with our conversion (pre-official release) and position weapons where he felt they would work best, which in this case was wing-mounted and forward facing.
Since the official release, we all know that one of the weapon selections is hull-mounted and fixed while the other has a 360 degree arc on its turret, yet more than once my friend has been punished for using his conversion by opponents declaring both weapons to have a fixed 45 degree forward firing arc due to their placement.

Is this fair? I think not.

Should people with such models be expected to re-convert their models to bring them more into line with the official examples, risking ruining their designs, paintwork and model? I also think not.

Conversions add a lot of fun to the game, but should not be punished as long as they are done out of love of the modelling aspect of the game or artistic design and not out of desire for an advantage over others.

As a House Rule, I allow him to use the arcs and equivalent weapon positions from the official model on his conversion, rather than the actual position on the model itself (which represent WYSIWYG armaments) on the agreement, of course, that he always uses such arcs and positions and doesn't swap between during a game.

What thoughts to others have and what solution/decision would you devise?

Last note, laugh all you will that my 'I'm back' post was (after a period of regular weeks) followed by another period of silence. However good 40k is, there is always stuff getting in the way and I'm currently not actually playing. I took a break from all the fuss of organising games and getting pressured into bigger and bigger Apocalypse battles to relax, going over armies and hopefully paint some things properly! Still, I am disappointed in myself that Igota4 isn't as regular as I'd prefer but what is a girl to do?

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Modeling Advantage

Blood Angel Razorback conversion
Depending on your playing group you may have heard accusations of 'modelling for an advantage' before.
For those that haven't or those that don't know the meaning of the phrase I'll briefly explain.
The term is generally used to describe conversions and usually for larger models like vehicles or monsterous creatures.

Its meaning is rather clear, it is the suggestion or accusation that you converted the model in such a way that improves its abilities in play when compared to the standard/official model (if there is one).

I've seen several examples of this over the years, this can even be simply things such as:
* Modelling Chapter Master Gabriel Seth on a 40mm (terminator) base rather than his usual 25mm (standard) base so that he causes more hits when he uses his Whirldwind of Gore ability that strikes all models in base contact (maximum of eight rather than six).
* Extending the barrels of weapons to extend the range, since vehicle weapon range is measured from the end of the barrel.

More complicated ideas are more common as the base change above isn't likely to even be considered a conversion. It would still be considered 'modelling for an advantage' however.
Take the pictured example above, this conversion was done by a friend of mine to give his Blood Angel Razorbacks an unique feel when he changed his list from Rhino's to Razorbacks (not to mention wishing to avoid losing the work he put into painting the rear hatch).
Yet going by the model some may claim he is modelling for an advantage. The reasoning?
Unlike the official razorback model, his one can easily have more than 50% hidden behind a building and thus gain a cover save while firing the weapon and only having its front armour visible. For a standard Razorback you'd either need cover of the right height to hide the vehicle or have your front behind the building and your rear sticking out because of the guns position. In addition he would gain a few extra inches of range over the standard model when shooting in front.

There can be many solutions to this problem, depending on the model and the players. Since my friend wasn't actually after an advantage and it is still a standard rhino is size, we simply measure line of sight and range as if the weapon was in the normal official models position. Similarly you can house rule that the above Gabriel Seth idea has a cap of six hits no matter his base size.

Sometimes things are not as easy, especially with heavily done conversions. Here GW has thrown a bit of a curveball with the new releases coming up, primarily the fierce looking Tervigon.
Quite a few Tyranid players have converted themselves a Tervigon since they are so impressive in play and most of the conversions I've seen have been remodelled Carnifex's, yet now an official model is coming out we see the real thing is much larger, both in that it uses the larger base (one used by Valkyries, Storm Raven's, Razorwing Jetfighters etc) and is taller. So while they obviously can't be accused of modelling to an advantage since there was no official model to compare their conversions to at the time, these Tyranid players still have an advantage due to the smaller model (hiding from line of sight, gaining cover etc).
Similarly it seems that Fenrisian Wolves use 40mm bases and may be larger than expected, which may bother a friend of mine who has been using fantasy wolf models on fantasy cavalry bases (I'll agree these are likely less used than Tervigons but the point is there).
There are some solutions, such as rebasing old Tervigon/Wolf conversions on the larger base with some base scenery that ups their height near that of the official model etc, but will that do the job enough to appease everyone?
Do you think the average player would complain about the use of such old models now the official ones are out? What about tournament play where things like the Tervigon size may be highly important?
Personally I'd be hard pressed, as my main passion is for modelling and mild conversions I'd be reluctant to disallow something someone has worked hard for, yet unless they have redone and base etc I'd still feel somewhat cheated to have it in play since I'm also a bit of a stickler for rules...

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Rogue Trader

Chances are many of you have heard of, if not played, one of Fantasy Flight Games Warhammer 40,000 RPGs, whether Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, Deathwatch or Black Crusade.

I'll avoid general introductions in that case and start by saying over the last week or so I've been delving through an array of Rogue Trader books preparing for a campaign.

In the past I have only ever ran a single Dark Heresy game and never actually played in any of the games. In truth my opinion at the time wasn't high.
Partly I simply wanted to get away from Dungeons and Dragons and found to rules too similar for my liking (I'm fairly sure this is intentional and a benefit to most players), partly I simply missed the excitement and wonderful atmosphere of combat in the old Inquisitor system and partly because, while Fantasy Flight Games are fantastic at background, settings and 40k accuracy they seem to lack something in rule writing..

Don't get me wrong, the games are good, fun to play and well worth writing!
Thing is, I'm most certainly above average when it comes to analysing system rules. I've organised and ran countless RPG campaigns as Games Masters, Arbitrators and whatever other titles systems give and have thus been heavily involved in figuring the workings of the rules. Moreso since unlike some DM's I tend to heavily plan scenarios and prepare for all possible outcomes, so that my notes end up being overly extreme and detailed. On top of that I write and design rules for a Live Action Roleplay system and have been doing so for years.
My point is, I know what to look for and have a good eye for detail, not to mention too much spare time to spend going through books figuring things out.

Now I'm returning to try Rogue Trader and while I've picked up a few peculiar factors in the books which I plan to house-rule my way around things look to be good.
Most of the group haven't done a forum based game before, so progress'll be slow but hopefully fun. Luckily as a forum based game, I can sort most of the rule parts myself sorting out ways around small rule bits, although I do plan to hold true to the main rules heavily as much as possible.

The main hiccup was sorting a way to run a group without a Rogue Trader, Navigator or Astropath without such NPC's taking power away from the players. It took a bit of time but we're there and ready to start!

Wish us luck and feel free to give us any advice on the game, or comment on my words here as always.

P.s. I know its been a week since I claimed to have returned, let us add 'major computer issues' near of my list as to why I way away and follow that with my buying an entirely new PC very recently.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

I'm Back

My apologies for being away for a number of months, things bounced from bad to bad for awhile and although things are still a fair distance from good I've decided I should still do things.

Why was I away?
Take your pick, they all applied at some point: Illness, depression, other things vying for my time, stress over xmas shopping, reduced interest in the game, foolishly putting off returning due to being behind etc.

What was I up to?
Aside from moping and hiding away from the world which seemed to be an on/off background activity at times I was caught up with sorting xmas (it was the first one I'd taken someone seriously in many years) and of course working on an evolution/update for a local LARP system I help organise and run. Believe me, such rule updates aren't as easy as some people think.

While my interest had dropped a bit as mentioned above, this is mostly due to friends cancelling games at the last minute, my inability/unwillingness to play local strangers much and other things acting as distractions.
I didn't totally pull from the hobby, just the gaming side (and blog too unfortunately). Hobby-wise I've been doing alright, I've started some ground-work on painting my Imperial Guard, picked up a few new models to work on (Coteaz, Stormlord, Crassus etc) as well as a number of bits for an array of projects.
I've also made a little work completing my Warhammer fantasy army and lastly, I've started preparation for GMing a forum-based game of Rogue Trader with a number of friends which should be fun.

What have I missed?
Quite a bit it seems, from a somewhat-anti-GW article in a foreign magazine to a great deal of rumours that have been bouncing around all over the place, but that last is no surprise although the 'leaked 6th edition rulebook' could be (depending on how legit you think it is). Plus more importantly a fair number of Forgeworld releases including books.
I'll try posting more soon, but for now.. I'm back.