Sunday, 12 September 2010

Malifaux - The Guild

I was originally put off Malifaux by the aesthetic of the game - it looked too cartoony. BUT everyone seems to be playing it at the moment so I thought that I would try and paint up a box of minis to see if I could try and overcome what I didn't like about the look of the game.
I decided to go for The Guild and bought the Lady Justice boxset. I've spent this week, among other things, painting it up, and I'm pretty happy with the outcome:

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Ultramarines: The Movie - EPIC FAIL

I've returned to the blogosphere (more on that tomorrow). What has brought me back is partly the need to comment on the trailer for the Ultramarines film that was released a few days ago. In many ways I'm reiterating and expanding on what others have already said: that it's not very good, looks low quality, that codex should go back to square one etc etc.

* The Pictures: We've known since the first teaser trailer that the quality of animation on the film was going to be poor. Everyone seems to be comparing what we have seen to the intro movie to Dawn of War very unfavourably with some reason. What Codex has produced so far is indeed below par and a complete letdown, even for those of us who weren't expecting Avatar-like graphics. Really, though, did we really expect anything else? The budget for this film is no doubt way below Avatar [sic] as well as most computer games. If you want decent graphics then GW would have to either stump up more cash or try and get a major studio to make the film - neither of which is likely to happen (remember when GW were sniffing around Dreamworks almost a decade ago?). Without a decent budget to do it properly, GW should really just leave it to the fans (for example, this and this).

* The Story: One common refrain seen across the blogosphere and on the comments for the clip, is an acknowledgement that the imagery is poor, but that the story will in some way save it. The fact that Dan Abnett is involved is, in some way, seen as a saving grace. Leaving aside the debatable quality of some of Abnett's work (notably Legion), do we REALLY expect a decent story? Just look at 99.9% of the Black Library's releases, including the audiobooks. It's all bolterporn with, in the case of the audiobooks, the only thing to signify different characters being that they have differing levels of gravel-ness in their voices. Equally, who is the film pitched at? Unless GW are insane, it will be pitched at their core audience: 8-14-year-old fanbois, who just want to see bolterporn and 'cool stuff'. Anything approaching an interesting story (at least for adults) is never going to happen as the core audience wouldn't want it. The story is going to match the imagery - it's going to be basic fodder to milk the fanbois

* First this and then...: Another response is that this is just a way of generating interest in the fluff, and once it becomes a success, a mainstream company will become interested in 40K and make their own high-budget release. Again, this doesn't appear to make sense: which Hollywood company (that wasn't already interested) is going to watch a poor 70 min piece of bolterporn that is just released in specialist outlets and think 'wow, we should develop this'? It's never going to happen. This is GW's only chance to make a go of it

Again, as I said waaaaaay back in the day when the project was unveiled, I'm willing to stand corrected on this, but....

Thursday, 10 June 2010

One Month without GW and Counting (and some Flames of War)

Using considerably less willpower than I thought it would take, I've managed to avoid buying any GW products (even my secret weapons: babab black and devlan mud washes) over the last month since my post/moan about the price rise. This has to be the longest that I have gone without since I got back into the hobby about three years ago, and considering how much I often spent every month it feels like a major milestone. Of course, I havent saved any money as I have sublimated my desire to buy GW plastic crack into buying FoW metal/resin crack.

Last week, I also had my first go at FoW - three massed tank battles against Russians at 2,000pts (i.e. lots of Panthers & Panzer IV Hs versus T-34s). It was fun, and the rules (or at least the basic set we used) began to make more sense on the table than just reading them in the rulebook. My next goal is to build up an infantry list, maybe with some planes as part of divisional support.

Monday, 31 May 2010

1500pts of Imperial Fists Completed

In record time (at least for me), I've completed the 1.5k gold Imperial Fist army that I began just over a month ago. I would have completed it faster if I hadn't got distracted by painting up my FoW Panzer list and generally got disillusioned by all things GW-related with the news of the price rise.

The final list is:

Captain Darnath Lysander (200)

5 Scouts (Missile Launcher & Teleport Homer) (100)
5 Scouts (Missile Launcher & Teleport Homer) (100)

5 Tactical Squad (Powerfist & Razorback) (190)
10 Tactical Squad (Powerfist, Flamer, Missile Launcher & Rhino w Storm Bolter) (240)

5 Terminators (storm bolters) (200)
5 Terminators (storm bolters) (200)
5 Terminators (storm bolters) (200)

Fast Attack
Land Speeder (Heavy Bolter & Multi Melta) (70)

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Ultramarines: The Movie Trailer: WAS THAT IT???!!!

After much hype and speculation, a trailer for the forthcoming Ultramarines film was released today on the official site. The production company had been previewing loads of shots of what the weapons are going to look like (cos, hey, that's all we are interested in, right? forget plot, characterisation etc. Just give us a nice bolter and we are happy. er....)
Well, my initial reaction is that even the diehard fanbois are going to find it hard to say anything overly fanboi-ish about it. Clocking in at just over a minute, the majority of the trailer is John Hurt narrating (with his AMAZING voice) and then a shot of a hagged-looking Ultramarine....and that's it. really.
Aside from the fact that the trailer doesn't really give you much at all, the CGI marine looks really poor - about on par with the one on the start of Dawn of War intro movie from back in the day (in fact the guy on the trailer looks like his grandfather).
I'm always willing to stand corrected, but my guess is that this is shaping up to be bad, really bad.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Getting Started with Flames of War

Further to my plan in the last post to diversify the wargames that I play, I've decided to take the leap into playing Flames of War with a German [sic.] Panzerkompanie. I've spent the last week or so painting up StuGs and Panzers and getting my head around the basic rules for moving and tank/tank and tank/infantry shooting, although the assault rules and rules for artillery still have me fumoxed . The 2 gamers that I play 40K regularly with have gone for US and Russia, which is helpful for battles :-)

It helps me think about the basic rules for FoW in terms of 40K:

Phases --> Steps: The phases in FoW are called Steps and operate in an identical way to 40K. The only real difference is that FoW adds a Step prior to movement - the Starting Step - in which you can do things like rally troops or try and get crews back into tanks if they have bailed out during all the shooting.

Experience and Skill: An interesting new (at least to me) twist that FoW adds to the mix is the emphasis on how the experience of the troops impacts on the game. Various features of the game, such as the ability to avoid getting shot, motivation to get up while bullets are flying around etc., are determined by the relative experience of the troops in question. So, for example, veterans can work further away from commanders than conscripts; fearless troops are more likely to pass motivation tests than reluctant ones etc. (even with my dice rolls)

Movement: is again recognisable from playing 40k: you move a certain distance determined by your mode of transport, you can run at the double rather than fire (although this, luckily, isn't determined by a dice roll), and get bogged down. The two main differences - at least for me in my simplified version of the rules - is that you can dig in rather than move (and thereby get a better cover save) and that troops have to remain within a certain distance of their commanders (which, again, is similar to the synapse rule with Nids). There are also some cool rules about vehicles getting bogged down and how you can try and get them out and back into the action.

Shooting: One of the things that I always struggle with in 40K is remembering the WS, BS etc tables (although I know that BS is always worked out from a total of 7). FoW has a much more streamlined system based on the ability of the guy at the dangerous end of the bullet to avoid getting hit by it. Another major difference is that a platoon can split its fire between multiple targets rather than everyone just blasting away at the same opponents. The best thing, though, for me from a narrative view of the game is that if a platoon gets pinned down they have to pass a motivation test to get back into the game or stay with their heads down.

Tanks! Tanks! Tanks!: I've left the best to last: with FoW its possible to field a list of just tanks (which is fortunate as I'm not getting my head around the assault rules very quickly). Tanks attacking tanks works in FoW in roughly the same way as in 40K, but rather than just having glancing or penetrating shots, you also have the potential for crews to bail out, wait until it's safe and then get back in.

Anyway, speaking of tanks, here are my platoon of Panzer IV Hs:

And my two potential 2,000 pt lists are:

Option A (1985 pts)
2 Panzer IV H

5 Panzer IV H
5 Panther G
4 StuG IV

Option B (1980 pts)
2 Panther G

4 Panther G
5 Panzer IV H
4 StuG IV

Monday, 10 May 2010

ANOTHER &%*$£^ GW Price Rise???!!!

Well, it looks like it's that time of the year again: the time when GW hike up their prices. Since I got back in the Hobby in 2007, there have already been two rises and this latest one will mean that, for example, Terminators will be 2 quid more, codexes £2.50 more and a Monolith will be £37.50!!! (All this in spite of a pretty large rise in profits). Couple this with GW's awful attitude to fans - i.e. no official forums, no incentive to buy online rather than in stores, hyperactive lawyers, generally ignoring veteran gamers etc. and it feels to me like a line has been crossed. I'm going to keep playing 40K, but will try as long as possible to resist GW by:

Not Buying New: I havent bought new at a GW store for probably a year anyway; buying instead either online via Maelstrom Games or if I need it NOW buying at the Wargamestore. I'm going to try (famous last words!) and not buy anything new from GW, buying either alternatives (see below), painting other types of minis (see below), or secondhand from ebay. This means, at the very least, that my plan of painting up some Tomb Kings has probably gone out of the window lol

Find Alternatives: Rather than just painting GW minis or using GW products, I'm going to also try and find alternatives. For example, I'm really liking the look of the Greatcoat Troopers by Wargames Factory, and I'm sure that there are enough different mini companies out there to keep me occupied. This will also mean that rather than feeling that I have to paint up 1k or 1.5k of minis, I can just paint individual minis that I like the look of. I'm also going to start replacing my GW paints and washes with Vallejo ones (which are cheaper and contain more paint) as they run out.

Diversify: I've found myself drawn more and more recently to playing Flames of War. So, as well as painting other types of minis, I'm going to diversify into that as well - collecting a small German Eastern Front army in tribute to Cross of Iron.

Let's see how long I can go cold turkey for...

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

More Imperial Fists

Using the montana gold spray for undercoat is REALLY helping me whizz through my Imperial Fist army (so much so, in fact, that I'm dreading going back to my old school approach on my Guard army). In just a couple of days since my last post, I've managed to get the basic coats on a razorback and a 5-man tactical squad:

The painting highlight for me, though, has been painting the interior of the razorback. I've always sealed them up, but I saw an article in an old White Dwarf where someone had painted the inside and not sealed the roof, so fancied giving it a go:

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Gold Imperial Fist Terminators

Back when I painted my Salamanders army, my initial idea was to paint an Imperial Fist list. The test mini that i painted looked dire, though, and so I opted for the green of the Salamanders. This week I decided to have another go with them - just on an initial 500pt and then 1k list - after listening to the Dark King audiobook, thinking that it would be good practice in painting lighter-toned minis. I then had the brainwave: why not paint them in gold like they are described in the fluff? Using a combination of Montana Gold spray and GW shining gold drybrushed, I have painted up 5 termis as test models and am pretty happy with the result. They are bright but with the washes etc. they still look like I have painted them (for better or worse)

My initial list is:

Captain Lysander

5 Terminators (powerfists & powersword)

5x Scouts (missile launcher & teleport homer)

5x Tactical Squad (4 bolters; inc. Sergeant with powerfist)
Razorback (T/L lascannon)

10x Tactical Squad (flamer)
Rhino (stormbolter)

Fast Attack
Land Speeder (multi-melta & stormbolter)

Sunday, 18 April 2010

I HATE metal minis :-/

On his soapbox again...

The last two days, and the last two that I have painted (namely Kharn and this Commissar), have really brought home to me how much I really hate painting metal minis. I appreciate that metal minis have more depth to them, but I really find them a pain to paint and I've yet to paint one that I dont think I could have done a better job of if it had been in plastic.

In interviews, Jack White from the White Stripes always says that one reason why he uses cheap guitars that barely stay in tune is that he likes the idea of struggling against the medium to produce his art. I feel like this about metal minis, but I don't like the struggle. at all. Leaving aside the issue of having to pin large models or that even superglue is not sufficient in some cases, the main issue for me is undercoating. With plastic minis, I can just put on a thinned black layer and then its ready to go. With metal, it's another story. If i put on thinned paint (after washing the mini in hot water and letting it dry) it just doesn't work, staying on in places but not in others. Even when i spray it, i find that the paint still doesnt stick everywhere (there are places on the Commissar where it was beginning to chip off by the second highlight). In fact if you look closely you can see bits of silver shining through on the finished one (or is it just my imagination?!)

The result of all this is that I'm constantly struggling against the mini to get paint to stick and in places paint over cracks rather than do nice detail-y things that I would do with a plastic one.

If anyone has any solutions, I'd love to hear them. I know people who say that they just put an undercoat on, that they have never had a mini chip ever etc etc. A GW employee once told me was the secret was to wash the mini in washing up liquid; that didn't work at all. Another told me to put three layers of spray paint on. I did it and ended up with a mini that looked like the michelin man, albeit black, and I had to spend a day stripping it back. Either that, or could GW pleaaaaaaase release all its minis in plastic??

Saturday, 17 April 2010

1,500pts of Khorne CSM Completed

Another Saturday, another army finished off - this time my Khorne CSM army that I began back in September. It started off as just 1k, but then grew via 1.2k to bang on 1.5k, with the recent addition of Kharn the Betrayer:
Daemon Prince (wings & warptime)
Kharn the Betrayer

10x CSM (2x meltaguns; Aspiring Champion with powerfist)
Rhino (T/L Bolter)

10x CSM (2x meltaguns; Aspiring Champion with powerfist)
Rhino (T/L Bolter)

9x Khorne Berzerkers (inc. Champion with powerfist)
Rhino (T/L Bolter)

Heavy Support
Predator (T/L Lascannons & T/L Bolter)
2x Obliterators
2x Obliterators (back after internship with Nurgle)

I'm really happy with how the army has turned out, although the Daemon Prince was a REAL pain to assemble. My only real concern was how the Kharn turned out. I don't know if its my old issue of not liking minis painted too red, or because i experimented by putting a layer of varnish between the undercoat and the rest of the paint, but it just doesn't seem to look right to my eyes:

The plan next is to finish of my Guard army, taking it to 1.5k as well.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Vendetta Gunship Complete

One of the things that got me into the Guard was that I loved the look of the Valkyrie model. I didn't have much room for one in my 1k Guard list, but in my move to 1.5k I now have space for two of them as Vendetta gunships carrying Veterans:

Saturday, 10 April 2010

2,000pts of Nurgle CSM Completed

I've been working on my Nurgle CSM army on and off since November, and have managed to reach the 2k level (twice the number of points that I initially envisaged). I also have the Nurgle defiler ready, but will probably flog it on the bay of e as I've never found defilers to be that useful - aside from being able to draw fire.
So, working upwards, my 1.5k list (well, 1497) is:

Daemon Prince of Nurgle (wings, Mark of Nurgle, warptime)

Squad Cytoma:
7 Plague Marines (inc. Plague Champion w personal icon, 2x meltaguns)
Rhino (T/L bolter)

Squad Babesiosis:
7 Plague Marines (inc. Plague Champion w personal icon, 2x meltaguns)
Rhino (T/L bolter)

5 Terminators (with chainfists)
Land Raider

Heavy Support (on internship from Khorne)
2x Obliterators
2x Obliterators

The 1.75k list adds an extra squad of Plague Marines (Squad Pestula), and adding Typhus (and meltabombs to each squad of Plague Marines) takes it up to just under 2k:

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

A Thousand Sons - wow.

In a previous post, I bemoaned how I was getting completely bored by the whole BL Horus Heresy series. Well, after reading A Thousand Sons by Graham McNeil, I may have to re-evaluate.

A Thousand Sons is easily the best book for me in the entire series, if not the best BL book that I've read. To recap, it covers the downfall of the Thousand Sons; how they come to earn the ire of the Imperium for their use of magic, how they are censured by the Emperor and ultimately come to lose his favour and, ultimately, how both their legion and their planet of Prospero is decimated by the Space Wolves. What I particularly liked about the book was, in many ways, what I have found lacking in the previous books in the series, namely:

*I felt for the characters. One of the bad things about the series so far as was I couldn't really feel for the characters and found them a bit (well, a lot) one-dimensional: Horus is good (albeit a bit bland) -> Horus gets injured -> Horus sells the Imperium down the river (after falling for some pretty weak persuasion) -> Horus goes bad. Even in the Fulgrim book (also by McNeil), you never really got a sense of struggle with him and his whole descent into Slaanesh-iness, while tragic and more powerful than Horus' descent, felt a bit lacking. With ATS, I really got a sense of the tragedy of the Legion's fall from grace. More than this, I really felt sorry for the noble Magnus and the way in which, while trying to do good, he ultimately sowed the seeds for his (and his Legion's destruction)

*I loved the references. McNeil's writing was full of nice little nods and references to philosophical and occult ideas that - while possibly lost on much of the BL readership - made me smile. References to Plato's Cave, Alhazred from the Cthulhu Mythos, egyptology, ranks in magical orders abound, and certainly add spice to the plot.

*I loved the measured use of bolter-porn. There had to be battles, but it was really kept to just 2 places in the book - a short skirmish at the start and then the big battle at the end. Even here (in the latter example) the whole battle was tempered with pathos, though, rather than just being 'big guy shoots stuff up and then some more and then some more)

Let's hope that the rest of the series lives up to where ATS has taken it...

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Orks: Third Time Lucky

Over the last couple of years (since Black Reach to be precise), I've begun painting and then flogged two 1.5k Space Ork armies. I always start with the best of intentions, but somewhere during the process of painting up 180 boyz, I give up and then flog the lot on ebay.
On recent trip to the wargame store, I saw that they were flogging the Ork Megaforce at a 20% discount, and was thereby lured back into all thinks green.

Learning from past mistakes, though, this army will differ from past attempts in several ways, I am:

*only going to paint up 1k.

*going for a fast attack-based army, with only 40 or so boyz.

*going to go for a brighter colour-scheme than in the past, when I would literally douse them in badab black wash. This time I'm going for a lighter skin tone with a thraka green wash, lots of browns, and, pushing the boat out, lots of reds and yellows (for speed freaks).

(I'm also going to try and sell the stuff I don't want from the Megaforce - 9 of the bikes and the lootas - and reinvest the cash in the minis that I do want)

I've painted up one troop choice and a trukk and am happy with how they have turned out:

The first troop choice (11 Slugga Boyz with a power klaw-wielding Nob in a Trukk) and the now-infamous patio

My plan for the initial list is going to be:

Warboss (cybork body, bosspole, 'eavy armour, power klaw)
Big Mek (Kustom Force Field)

11 Slugga Boyz (& Nob w power klaw & bosspole)
Trukk (red paintjob)

11 Slugga Boyz (& Nob w power klaw & bosspole)
Trukk (red paintjob)

18 Slugga Boyz

Fast Attack
3 warbikers (plus Nob w power klaw & red paintjob)
3 warbuggies (w T/L rokkit launcher)

Heavy Support
Battlewagon (big shoota, armour plating, deff rolla, grot riggers, red paintjob)

Meanwhile my Guard army is still in progress - only 1 more troop choice, a PCS, Vendetta, & a Chimera to go and then I reach the 1.2k milestone.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Gearing up for more Combat Patrol: 500pts Chaos Space Marines

I'm gearing up for (hopefully) another round of Combat Patrol this week, this time fielding 500pts of my Khorne CSM army:

Squad 1 (150pts)
7x CSMs with Meltagun & Rhino

Squad 2 (200pts)
8x CSM with Flamer, Aspiring Champion & Rhino)

Squad 3 (150pts)
7x CSMs with Meltagun & Rhino

Friday, 26 February 2010

Combat Patrol: Imperial Guard Vs CSM (and Chaos)

"Prepare to die for the Emperor!!"

Had my first real go at Combat Patrol today, fielding 500pts of Guard Vs CSMs and Chaos using a couple of the missions from the tournament over in Philly. I forget the exact results, but I know I definitely one won (wiped out Chaos in 3 turns), got hammered in one, and drew in another. Hopefully, next time I can try out a CSM list and maybe work though all the Philly missions.

My main thoughts on the games generally were:

*500pts: This was a nice level to play at with each game taking about 50-60 mins (albeit at a relaxed pace with lots of chatting). What I especially liked about 500pts was that it focused your attention down on each point that was on the table and made you think more strategically rather than trying to spam with more units or multiple units for the same job. When i lost a 10 man squad in one combat round, that was over 10% of my army gone.

*Autocannons and multi-lasers, yay: Leaving aside my meltaguns on the CCS and PCS, the stars of the show were really the 3 autocannon squads and the multi-lasers on the chimeras. When the CSs managed to hit anything, they were lethal, it was just a case of rolling those 5s and 4s. The Chimeras were also useful with their multi-lasers, although I didn't really exploit their transport potential, typically using them as either mobile gun platforms or circling them like wagons.

*Scout Sentinels, boo: The sentinel didn't fare so well, aside from being a nice speedbump, tying a squad of CSMs up for a round or two of combat. It will be going on the Bay of E in the very near future...

*Orders: 'First Rank, FIRE! Second rank, FIRE' is a GREAT rule.

*A New List: The sentinel is going to have to go and be replaced with a special weapons squad with 4 flamers (making up the points by reducing the number of meltaguns to 3 in each CCS):

CCS (3x Meltaguns, Boltgun) 82
Chimera (Multi-laser & heavy flamer) 55

PCS (3x Meltaguns, bolt pistol) 62
Chimera (Multi-laser & heavy flamer) 55
10 Troops (Grenade Launcher, autocannon) 65
10 Troops (Grenade Launcher, autocannon) 65
10 Troops (Grenade Launcher, autocannon) 65
Special Weapons Squad (3 flamers) 50

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Imperial Guard out on (Snow) Patrol

"Look, someone is taking our picture! Look sharpish, lads!"

I woke up this morning (as an old bluesman might say) to find a lovely blanket of snow outside, so I quickly gathered up my 500pt IG Combat Patrol army and got some pictures of them before it all went. The pictures came out a bit darker than I would have liked, but I love the look of the snow. The snow was deep but not compacted so the Chimeras started to sink down.

All things being equal, I'm hoping for two gaming outings this week - one with my Daemons and one playing Combat Patrol with my Guard.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Sisters in Battle: Looking to Interview Female 40K fans

Feeling inspired by some really interesting (and at times somewhat fraught discussions over female 40K players), I've decided that the next stage of my project looking at 40K fandom would be to interview some female gamers regarding their motivations and experiences.

As with the fanfiction part of the project, I'm looking to interview roughly 20 people either by email or PM. Everyone who takes part will also receive a £5 voucher for the UK online GW store (or £5 via paypal, whatever is easier) as a way of thanking you for taking part.

For more details or info, just drop me a line

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Combat Patrol: Thoughts on Missions

I've really buzzed off the discussion that has emerged from thinking about Combat Patrol. I think I will have a go at the rules that Joe posted over at his blog once i get my initial 500pts of Guard finished (only one more Chimera and a PCS to go):

CCS (4x Meltaguns) 90
Chimera (Multi-laser & heavy flamer) 55

PCS (4x Meltaguns) 70
Chimera (Multi-laser & heavy flamer) 55
10 Troops (Grenade Launcher, autocannon) 65
10 Troops (Grenade Launcher, autocannon) 65
10 Troops (Grenade Launcher, autocannon) 65

Fast Attack
Scout Sentinel (autocannon & smoke launcher) 45

The next question is what missions to play. Obviously with just one, maybe 2, troop choices it will be difficult to play multiple (3+) objective games. So what options are there?. My first port of call is going to be the scenarios currently being played over in Philly. Looking through the old 4th edition rulebook, 3 scenarios look also useful: Rescue (p. 190); Sabotage (p.206); and Ambush (p.206)

Sunday, 14 February 2010

A Quick Post: A Muddy Chimera

Will post some more thoughts on Combat Patrol later. In the meantime, here are some pictures of a Chimera that I've just finished. I painted it and thought 'hmmm, this needs more' so i ended up experimenting with weathering and battle damage:

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

More Thinking About Combat Patrol

Thanks to everyone who replied to my last thread on combat patrol, it has certainly helped to further develop my thoughts on how it could be brought into 5th edition.

Thinking aloud, and attempting to bridge the various ideas that have been floated, howabout:

*Points. The first question is whether we stick at 400pts, move up to 500pts or maybe even go up to 750. I like the idea of 400pts because it keeps it fast, something that you can get an army together for in pretty quick time, and because it forces limits on what can be fielded. Then again, while it works well for my Guard army, my CSM, Nurgle and Salmanders would struggle to field much of any use at that level. Maybe the solution here would be to keep 400 as an ideal, but keep it open so that it could go up in increments to 750? (just like a standard game is 1.5k, but can go up to X). By keeping a cap at 750pts, CS retains a distinct flavour that is different from the 'standard' game and missions.

*HQ. The 400pt (or 500 or 750) limit combined with the wound rule would mean that uber-powerful HQs could not be fielded. Practically and fluff-wise, it would make perfect sense to field, for example, a 10-man CSM with the Aspiring Champion as the HQ. I also like the idea that PAGE suggested that your HQ should be the mini with the highest leadership score.

*3 Wounds to 2. Is there a way of including a 3 wound character, but amending their stats (and points) so that they have 2 points?

* HS & FA. The more the points creep up to 750pts (or even lower for my Guard) the possibility of bringing in some HS comes up. Is it possible that the 'less than 33 AV' rule would automatically rule out most HS anyway? I can't think of a single HS vehicle that would be allowed through on that, but of course there are also such units as Obliterators or Devastator Squads. Maybe the solution here would be to say no HS? In terms of FA, I can see that if we are ditching the organisation charts, upping the points and emphasising the fluff then FA would be even more central a part of each army. Could a case be made for fielding a completely FA army?

*200pts limit: I still think that this is overly restrictive, especially. if we are including troops and designated transport together.

So pulling all this together, I'm wondering whether the following is doable:
*Stick to 400pts where possible, but have the option of going up to 500 or 750pts
*Leave the HQ choice open, albeit with the various restrictions in place. You can either use a separate HQ choice or have part of your troop choice (i.e. the Aspiring Champion) as the HQ. I think the 'no unique characters' rule should stay, but is maybe also covered by the wound rule.
*Remove the suggested 200pts limit, esp. if we are potentially moving up to 750pts.
*No HS, tanks are already covered in the '33' rule, but a general 'no HS' rule would cover the rest.
*All FA? Is it possible to work out an 'all FA' list?
*Wounds. Is it also possible to work out a rule of thumb to work out how to make a 3-wound character into a 2-wound one?

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Thinking about Combat Patrol

I've been thinking a fair bit about 40K Combat Patrol (AKA 40K in 40 Mins) recently, especially since I started my Guard army as CS would be a great way into starting to game with them before I reach 1k, 1.2. or 1.5k. Combat Patrol was part of the 4th edition rules, but was ditched from 5th edition arguably because GWs current emphasis is on bigger games (i.e. 1750pts is the new 1500pts, Apocalypse, War(hammer) of the Ring) rather than smaller, skirmish or narrative-based ones (i.e. LoTR SBG, Mordheim, Inquisitor, Necromunda).

The rules for combat patrol are pretty straightforward:

*Armies are no more than 400 points
*You must have at least one Troops choice.
*You may include a single HQ choice, but no more than one.
*You may spend remaining points on anything else in the codex
*No model can have more than 2 Wounds.
*No special or Unique characters.
*No model can have a save better than a 3+ or 4+ Invulnerable.
*Vehicles cannot have a total Armour Value greater than 33.
*No Ordnance weapons.

There are a few other optional rules such as you have to operate on WYSIWYG and that once your force is down to 50% you have to start taking leadership tests.

Several sites and blogs contain extra rules or refined rules or even attempts to update the original rules to make them fit better with 5th edition realities. An interesting example of this, and the blog that inspired me to write this posting, are the updated rules posted over at The Realms of Equinox. These take the initial rules and update them in several interesting ways, most notably:
* upping the points from 400-500
* restricting the number of Elite & Fast Attack choices to one each respectively
* an express ban on HQ, Heavy Support choices and Monstrous Creatures
* No single choice should cost more than 200pts

I've posted some initial thoughts on this, but my more detailed reflections would be:

*One Louder: I'm not convinced of the merits of upping the points to 500pts. I agree, as I said above, that the general move in GW is to reduce points for units and up the points for games (to sell more plastic crack), but I think the strength of CS is the way that it forces you to think within limits.

* You Can Stay At Home: While I can see the logic of restricting some elite choices and Monstrous Creatures (would Terminators be on a patrol?), I'm not sure about a complete ban on FA, HQ & HS. For example, it would fit within the fluff for a Marine patrol to comprise of at least one speeder, a Guard patrol to have sentinels etc. (in fact, one site has rules for a sentinel HQ). Equally, for HS & HQ: sure, you can try and include a turbo-charged HQ choice (Ahriman leading some Thousand Sons), but that is going to chew up points quickly and most likely break the Unique character or invulnerable save rules. By leaving it open, you are implicitly forced to take a low-level HQ choice (i.e. a bog-standard SM captain for 100pts minus the frills), which is, of course, more fluffy anyway. The 'No HS' rule is also, again, already covered with the AV rule

*I Need My Wheels: I don't think I will be fretting too much over the 'no choice over 200pts' with my Guard, but I would seriously struggle with this with my Marines and CSMs. Again, it would be fluffy for them to be travelling around in a rhino, but this (10 marines in a bog-standard rhino) would easily go over 200pts. 10 CSMs just walking around with meltas, a powerfist, and flamer would also push it over (esp. if they were Berzerkers). I think it makes more sense to, again, keep this open: so you want your troops to be 10 marines in a rhino? OK, but that is going to eat into your 400 pts and mean that you can't take, for example, Vulkan or Marneus Calgar (or much else for that matter)

My own sample Guard List (under the existing rules) would be:

Company Command Squad (4x Meltaguns) 90
Chimera (Multi-laser & heavy flamer) 55

Platoon Command Squad (4x Meltaguns) 70
Chimera (Multi-laser & heavy flamer) 55
10 Troops (Grenade Launcher, autocannon) 65

Fast Attack
Scout Sentinel (autocannon & Smoke Launcher) 65

The next question would be what missions would we play? The original rules just have annihilation, but there must be more (hopefully) fluffy ones that could be devised, covering, for example, ambushes, scouting etc.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Imperial Guard Project: Over half-way there

Managed to do quite a bit of painting this week, finishing of my 3rd 10-man squad and a platoon command squad. I'm now hovering around 610pts, although Im going to repaint 300 pts of that (my 2 Leman Russes) once my spray-gun arrives.
Progress has been slowed a bit, though, by the general lack of Chimeras around. GW are releasing a new version in March and so at the moment you can't get one for love nor money in stores or online, and all the ones on ebay that (don't look they have been painted by a blind chimp armed with emulsion) are going for over 20 quid inc postage.
My main project this week was putting together the first PCS:
On the list they have 4 meltas, but I just modelled them with what I liked the look of.

Really impressed myself with this one - esp. the gold braid and the medals.

Inspired by my recent reading of Mechanicum, I also painted up a Forgeworld Techpriest and Servitor. Also really impressed myself with these, although I'm still getting used to the red as it is a much brighter shade than I'm used to using: