In 40k news, following on from the release of the Dark Eldar we are looking forward to what 2011 will bring. The Sherriff’s most recent newsletter gave us a taste of what to expect. Since the foul Xenos have been given some extra strength anyone who knows anything will be aware that there is a Space Marine release on the horizon… after all a new army has some new special rules, better come up with something that can ignore the majority of them!
In part i jest, in part I do not. However, on the horizon for the start of next year are reinforcements for the current strawberry stylings of mankind’s finest flavour of the month Space Marine Chapter, the Blood Angels. After the wonderful aesthetic of the elegant Dark Eldar it’s time to reveal to the public what happens when someone takes an expensive Forgeworld kit beats most of it into pulp with a baseball bat and then stick some parts from a discarded Airfix kit to whats left. Of course I refer to the current pictures of the Storm Raven doing the rounds on the Internet. For those too lazy to look for themselves I’ve included the pic below;
While rumours are pointing to the Necrons being redone early next year I wouldn’t put money on the Sherriff not trundling out another flavour of zealous, 80’s shoulder-pad styled, inter-planetary, pimp hand, super men before we see another alien release… after all, in the far future of the 41st Millennium, elite Human Troops outnumber everyone else 10 to 1!
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, no posts for ages and then you get two posts within moments of each other!
For various reasons that are frankly none of your business, I took Monday off from work. Being one of the minority in our gaming group that actually works a proper week I normally don’t have the luxury of slobbing around, so Gribblin, Servitob and I decided the best way to spend that time was to crack out the 40k armies and have a bit of a rumble.
I spent Sunday night writing up some new lists as we were going to be playing with 1000pts lists. I knew that Servitob was going to be using his Blood Angels for the first time, so I put a pen to paper and came up with a Space Wolves list as well as a bit of a try-out Ork list. I’ll post up the Ork list I used first as these are the guys I went with against Servitob.
Big Mek – Shokk Attack Gun and Cybork Body
3 Mega Nobz – 2 Combi-rokkits
30 Shoota Boyz – Nob with Power Klaw and Bosspole
30 Shoota Boyz – Nob with Power Klaw and Bosspole
5 Flash Gitz – Shootier, More Dakka
Never used the Gitz before but thought about giving them a try, after all, 24″ Str 6 Assault 2 guns seem like a good investment before looking at the potential of the D6 AP. This is also the first outing of my 30 Boyz mobs, going with all Shootas as well, sure I lose the 1 attack from the slugga Boyz but hopefully this will be balanced by the much better shooting capacity on the way over.
I let Servitob pick his table edge and go first, we rolled a Seize Ground with 4 objectives and Pitched Battle for deployment. Servitob then placed a Vindicator, Baal Predator, Death Company Razorback and a normal Razorback and that was it. Understandably it took me a little longer, everything I had went on the board meaning at the start of the game I outnumbered him over 15 to 1. I failed to seize the initiative (not that I really wanted it though). Servitob rolled his tank army forward, the Baal Predator opened up on the Big Mek who lost a wound (he was deployed in cover) and the Vindicator scattered to kill 3 Boyz. in return the Boyz all moved forwards supported on the right flank by the footslogging Mega Nobz and the Flash Gitz. The Lootas sat at the table edge in my deployment zone minding their own business. The Big Mek didn’t blow himself up (for a change) and rolled 8 for the strength of his shot and even though he hit the Baal Predator he fluffed the penetration roll, in hindsight I should have picked on the other vehicles rather than the AV13 Predator.
Due to an appalling memory I can’t provide a blow by blow for the rest of the battle, however, here are the highlights of the game, there are effectively 2 objectives on each half of the table, I held my two from turn two through to the end. Hail of fire from the Lootas takes out the gun on the Vindicator, it stays put the whole rest of the game. Five tactical Mariness plus a Librarian disembark from their Razorback, the vehicle then tank shocks the Mega Nobz. I pass the morale test and then proceed to Tiger Uppercut the Razorback wrecking it. The Mega Nobz went into the Librarians squad and focussed on the Psyker, he took a couple of hits and was Instant Deathed. The Nobz were then seen off by the power fist wielding sergeant but their job had been completed. The Flash Gitz generally shot stuff up before dying to the Marines, the Power Fist did for them but it didn’t help when fighting the Marines that I forgot they are Nobs and have 2W each….
The Death Company Razorback pulled a hand brake turn in front of my right most objective and disembarked. I then charged a squad of Boyz in there and after a flurry of attacks they were all dead before the Nob even got a chance to swing, good work Boyz.
Servitob forgot to roll for his Terminator for 3 turns, when he finally did they arrived right in front of the lootas. A nice juicy target of 6 Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Marines watched as the whole of my surviving Orks (by then the Mek was dead as were the Mega Nobz and the Flash Gitz) turned around and shot, first the Lootas then the two Boyz mobs, in the end only a single Terminator was left and then got raped by the two Boyz mobs charging into close combat.
All that was left was the untouched Baal Predator and a Razorback. Servitob had moved everything back away from my army leaving me sat on the two objectives I’d held since the beginning of the battle. Once again my Boyz didn’t let me down, they kept plugging away and even with a lack of ranged armour busting weaponry pulled out a decent win. Sure, Servitob’s list wasn’t great, even so Orks have a problem popping high armour unless they make it into combat and fast vehicles zooming all over the place aren’t easy to hit. It was a fun game though and has given me things to think about for army composition in the future.
The second game saw me take my Space Wolves against Gribblin’s almost never seen Tau. This could not have gone more differently than my previous game. Again, here’s my list;
5 Terminator Wolf Guard with various weapons, incl Heavy Flamer
10 Grey Hunters with 2 Meltaguns and a Power Fist
10 Grey Hunters with 2 Plasma Guns and a Power Fist
5 Long Fangs with 2 Missile Launchers and 2 Lascannons
We rolled Annihilation and Pitched Battle, I took a table edge and deployed first, Gribblin managed to seize initiative in a game where it really cost me not going first. First turn I lose half of the Plasma Grey Hunters, can’t pass a 3+ save at all, my dice have deserted me. Njal gets headshotted by the Hammerhead at the top of turn 2, will put him in a squad next time, if I take him again at all. My Long Fangs hit often but cannot roll more than a 1 or a 2 on their penetration rolls, and whatever I roll is saved by disruption pods anyway. Meltagun Grey Hunters kill off Pathfinders in close combat then get shot up in the following turn leaving a single Meltagun armed Grey Hunter alive on the table, in an action that sums up how the game went he moves behind a Devilfish, hits the rear armour with his gun, penetrates and rolls a 1. I call the game there at the end of turn 5 without rolling for another turn, I have 1 kill point to Gribblin’s 4. The Terminators got shot by Battlesuits and then died in combat to Kroot…. very embarrassing, lots of 1’s for armour saves there.
It was all over rather quickly. Every time I sit down to 40k I always sit there in awe of the advantages other armies have over me and worry about my weaknesses, however, even at the very worst of times my Orks have never let me down. Sure the SAG Mek likes to blow himself up and I haven’t won all my games, My PK Nobs may miss most of the time with their attacks but overall the army seems to perform well for me. I think it’s time to evict the Space Wolves and focus more on my Greenskins, at least until the new Dark Eldar codex arrives. If those models are good then everyone already knows they will have a new army to face, if not however, I think I have a very green future ahead of me.
Not so long ago I wrote about my initial experiences with a painting system called ‘The Army Painter’ (here)
Well, I’ve been experimenting further with this system for the benefit of all of our regular reading and painting googlespiders and I think I’m beginning to get the hang of it. So without much further ado or fanfare may I present to you my latest speedpainting creations:
The actual technique hasn’t changed much:
1 ) Spray sprues with ‘The Army Painter’ dragon red (ooh I love these sprays)
2 ) Paint bolters with mithril silver
3 ) Assemble models
4 ) Paint details in base colours (eg skulls, seals, badges, black bits of armour etc)
5 ) Dip the whole model into the pot of ‘The Army Painter Quickshade’ (dark tone)
Shake off excess Don’t bother with shaking it off as per official instructions. I have learned that this often leaves a fat coat of dark tone in inappropriate places. I have taken to (much to the amusement of Mrs Serbitob) attaching the model to a long shoelace and spinning quickly it around my head in the garden to remove the excess. A five second spin seems about right. Any more and too much quickshade ends up on the house and not enough on the model.
7 ) Leave to dry for at least 24 hours
There’s a real close up for your inspection. Again, they’re never going to win Golden Demon, but this technique is super fast. I reckon a total time of 5-10 minutes painting per model. Regular marines are even faster because you can paint the bolters seperately and you don’t have so many fiddly emo black bits / emo skulls / emo seals / emo gold bits that the death company are so fond of to paint in.
When I figure out how to speed base I’ll let you all know!
A lot has been said around the internet and gaming community recently about Games Workshop’s latest release, Codex: Blood Angels. The aforementioned sayings tend to run along the lines that it’s overpowered, imbalanced and made of win. My favourite comment so far has been from a chap at Bolter and Chainsword who said:
“The new BA codex is so overpowered that holding it will give you and your friends within six feet Feel No Pain and Furious Charge in real life.”
But is it really all that bad? I got my grubby power fist on a copy last week…
In a word… no. Sorry to disappoint everyone who likes a good stab at GW, but I don’t consider it all that bad. However, it does do the codex creep to a small extent, and is slightly better than Codex: Space Marines.
For example, Assault Marines now become a troops choice, and thus scoring units. In addition, those assault marines have a one in six chance of gaining furious charge and when they deep strike they will only scatter 1D6 rather than the usual 2D6 of regular assault marines. So they are mildly better, at the same points cost. The downside? They lose Combat Tactics. Aww heck they can live without that!
Tactical marines remain the same as their regular brothers, but again have a one in six chance of gaining furious charge, and lose Combat Tactics. This I think does hinder Blood Angels slightly, as for these guys Combat Tactics is actually a pretty useful skill. In addition, the plethora of special characters with their funky little rules is gone, which may be to the detriment of bigger armies.
Another mild difference is in command squads. The regular squad has an apocathary who grants his unit feel no pain special rule. The Blood Angel equivalent costs the same AND gives squads within 6″ feel no pain AND furious charge. A mild improvement which is typical of this Codex.
The big difference however, is with vehicles. All vehicles, except the Land Raider (which can deepstrike), count as fast. In addition, Blood Angels seem to have more choice in dreadnoughts, with the twin lightning claw and librarian options making people go weak at the knees. The snazzy fast attack Baal predator adds an extra option that regular marines don’t get. There are points differences, and Blood Angel vehicles do cost a little more. But heck, their Rhinos now move 18″! The biggest potential ‘Whoops we didn’t think of that’ moment for Games Workshop in this codex has to be making the vindicator fast. A bargain at only 30 points extra! This now makes this pokey little tank a serious threat to everyone. Even if it doesn’t actually destroy anything it’s psychological impact is going to be immense.
So to sum up… Codex: Blood Angels is not overpowered. It’s a jaunty fun, novel, power armoured roll in the hay roughly in line with other space marine forces. It is mildly better and has a few minor improvements over Codex: Space Marines with very little in the way of extra points cost. In a competitive sense I personally think that it has made vanilla space marines a little obsolete. The only reason I can see for taking a Codex: Space Marine force to a tournament now is that either you love Combat Tactics (which is a good skill), you want to use Thunderfire Cannons (which lets face it, are a little bit delicate) or you rely on one of the special characters for force wide special rules.
It might be time then to get your glitter out and sprinkle it on your brothers then!
I’ve always a fan of speed painting, as you regular reading spambots will be aware. This week I decided to try a system called ‘The Army Painter’ by some guys form Denmark. I visited their website by chance and noticed they had a tutorial on painting Blood Angels and cooking bacon. Seemed simple enough, so I bought the stuff and gave it a try.
Overall impressions: Great! Bearing in mind I put zero effort whatsoever into these, they’ve turned out to a decent gaming standard. Yes they’re never going to win Golden Demon, and yes all the pro painters will sarcastically say ‘Hur hur yeah it looks like you put no effort in…’ and no, the bases aren’t finished, but heck, I got five miniatures for about fifteen minutes work, and these are above some of the standards I’ve seen in my gaming adventures.
1 ) Assemble marines without bolters.
2 ) Spray marines with ‘The Army Painter’ dragon red (really impressed with the spray)
3 ) Paint bolters with mithril silver
4 ) Assemble models
5 ) Paint details in base colours (eg skulls, seals, badges etc)
6 ) Dip the whole model into the pot of ‘The Army Painter Quickshade’ (dark tone)
7 ) Shake off excess
8 ) Leave to dry for at least 24 hours
9 ) Apply decals with decal solvent, paint base
10 ) Apply two coats of ‘The Army Painter Matt Varnish’
Things I have learned –
– You’ve got to be good with spray techniques for best effects. I think I overdid it a bit and applied a big fat coat. The instructions specifically say spray at point blank range but in future I will probably take more time and apply two or three light coats.
– Games Workshop shoulder pad decals are not fit for purpose. I’ve always had problems with these. Nice flat decal, nice rounded shoulder pad. I thought I had conquered this problem by using decal solvent, but it’s still a pain in the butt. Are moulded shoulder pads the future?
– Spray varnishing is very technique sensitive. I went for the point blank heavy coat approach and ended up with some wrinkles on the models. I will be spraying long range and lightly in future!
Overall, I think ‘The Army Painter’ system has massive potential. The products are of very high quality and work as described. However, getting the best results seems to be very technique sensitive so lots of practice is advised. I will continue to use this system as it allows me to get my forces looking decent with minimal effort. More time for gaming!
We at 6 Inch Move would like to wish all of our reader (yes the singular was intentional) a very happy Easter, whether you are Christian, agnostic, Pastafarian or even a devotee of the Imperial Cult. While this will mean a break from work for many of us I’d like you all to spare a thought for the Easter Bunny, torn away from his family and forced to distribute eggs to various kids while braving the Chav filled streets of our respective countries.
Your favourite blogging team (yes us) will be out and about over this period with the entire content generating machine appearing at the northern nerd-mecca that is Warhammer World Easter Monday.
If you see a bunch of late-twenties/early-thirties slim and attractive males, that won’t be us. But if you hear all kinds of geek-tastic comments and generally derisive chatter from people that clearly don’t fit in with the Skaven like teeming hordes of pre-teens you have likely found us. We will also have a table full of Fat Bloke burgers so watch out for that clue.We will no doubt be counting the number of Blood Angels defectees also.
Whether we will be availing ourselves of the opportunity to grab a gaming table and indulge is yet to be decided. If you’re not scared of going up to strangers then you can try to find us out.
Servitob tried to steal my thunder, but I shall carry on regardless of his efforts to deprive me of quality posting material. I don’t think anyone can really argue that Games Workshop is the largest and most well-known miniatures gaming company globally. Most of us grew up playing their games before we branched out into the busy niche hobby we call our own. Yet despite this bid for global domination there is a facet of their hobby that continues to provide me with more than a modicum of amusement. Servitob touched on this this morning when posting about the Blood Angels, I am not going to be pigeon-holing my acerbic comments to just a single release though.
The easiest way to sum up this phenomena is the “My Dad can beat up your Dad” axiom.
I don’t know whether this is down to the main demographic that GWs games are aimed for, there are many others whirlpools out there in Internet land where you can read about the trend for marketing Space Marinehammer 40,000 at an ever youthful target market, thereby increasing the possibility of immaturity within the hobby. Be that as it may, you cannot normally strike up a conversation with someone regarding Warhammer ( the one with Elves or the one with Space Elves) without eventually someone piping up with ” Well my unit X (Dad) can beat up your unit X (Dad)”… and this will go back and forth in a never-ending death spiral of paternal combat as comparisons go back and forth like a game of Top Trumps.
I am in no way suggesting that this is present only in the product of the beast of Nottingham, I am sure these conversations do occur with their competitors, however, I tend to find communities for other games to be more mature, perhaps that is due to the fact that we grow up with GW and then move on to other games as we find ourselves distanced from the core group the erstwhile Sherrif is trying to appeal to. I know that we can get very attached to our forces and we want them to be good and come out on top in the hypothetical scraps we enact upon our dining tables. Yet I believe there is another reason for the heated fratricidal debates and this is where Servitobs observations come in… the humble Codex or Army Book.
In every other game I play the forces for the games are all released together, in the rulebook, perhaps being personified as the Robin Hood to our dastardly money-grabbing Sherrif. GW release a rulebook every few years for which we fork over some hard-earned green and then wait eagerly (in no way do we wait patiently) for an updated army book, thus in an infinite feedback loop of rules/army book recycling that continually parts us from our lovely money that our wives would rather see spent on gifts for themselves. No other games system that I see in mainstream production goes with this approach. I imagine the only reason that the northern behemoth gets away with it is due to their size as a company.
Then we also have the fact that each book ends up written by a single chap, often with help from others but there is one name that stands out as the main author of the book, they will also almost inevitably be connected in some way to that army. Rather than having a development team look at the whole thing and work together, they lock a chap who loves his army into the development “closet” and months later out he comes with a fanboy style uberforce ready to decimate all that stand before it. While this may be a very whimsical look at how they do things it may not be far from the truth. Each army book does tend to be written by someone who harks on about how good they are, possibly not the best person to trust with delivering a balanced final product. There is also GWs much maligned playtesting procedure or apparent lack of one, here at 6 Inch Move we readily believe that each army is tested against Space Marines, one of the Horde armies and maybe the Tau, job done, go home, release book to market.
Judging by the quality of armies picked in White Dwarf battle reports Games Workshop’s own staff might not be best placed to deliver what little testing is done. Thus each new book is released to the cries of Internet doom-mongers decrying the dairy based nature of this heinous abomination, how it will break the game and deliver up the spawn of beelzebub himself upon the gaming tables of the nation. As of yet I have not heard of anyone spontaneously combusting due to the brokeness of an army, no, not even Daemons players!
However, once this all calms down the next release is on the horizon and the nerdrage starts again. I know that if GW were to release their armies in the same format as other companies we’d be paying £100 for the core rulebook I believe that at the least they really need to have more than one guy put his name to the Codex rules writing. Although the maxim “too many cooks spoil the broth” I think a few more people lending their talents would be better than the current “lone pillock cocks up an army book” that we have right now. I too will be looking forward to seeing what happens when Servitob fires up his Edward Cullen marines, I might even get him some paint effects that sparkle when they catch the sun. My only hope is that GW try to reign in the creep. Other people manage to crank out balanced and enjoyable products and while I do still enjoy my forays into either Hammer universe, there is still vast room for improvement compared to the competition.
I’m sure every player has heard of it, a phenomenon called ‘Codex Creep’. Whether it is actually true or not is a mystery, but it goes something like this: Every new codex is slightly better than the last. The cynics say it’s so Games Workshop can sell a load of new models. The moaners moan that it is soooo unfair that now their army is obsolete. The people who welcome the new codex are generally the ones who play the army in question, and insist that it’s perfectly balanced and fluffy. Codex: Blood Angels however has caused some controversy in that it is supposedly very overpowered and unbalanced.
I have heard some of the rumours, and even got a chance to look at the hallowed tome. And yes, it does seem a trifle ludicrous in places. I get the impression that the troops are the same cost as the standard marines but are slightly better. Same with vehicles, slightly better. So expect to see a lot of marine players suddenly turn red. Now I know that these statements may invoke some Blood Angel fanboyism. But fanboys, ask youselves – do you truly want a codex which is so overpowered that suddenly your lovely fluffy red marine obsession becomes a group activity? Do you want hordes of Blood Angels power players ruining your immersion? If it is truly as good as rumours would have us believe then potentially most Space Marine players (which seem to be most 40k players anyway) could suddenly be buying red spray paint.
Personally though, I put very little stock in rumours. Sure, some codexes are more powered than others. I’m not sure powered is the word though, maybe easier to play is more appropriate. Most tournament players pack plenty of AP3 so Dante and chums won’t be a great threat to the pro-players. Most weekend warriors such as myself simply lack the will to field a broken army. I don’t think our gaming circle would be as quite as friendly if things started getting cut-throat relying on imbalanced mechanics. A lot of people simply lack the skills and experience to properly use an overpowered army anyway, and the dice tend to level the playing field to an extent.
That said, my red spraypaint and book is on order, just out of curiousity obviously!