Friday, 9 November 2018

Infinity scenery packs

A couple of weeks ago I posted about a new terrain set that I had purchased and last week I posted a few pictures and ideas on alternative layouts. The set in question was the Infinity Scenery Packs, Navajo Outpost. This set comes with four building and six containers plus the mat and all for the princely sum of 8 English pounds.

Navajo Outpost

Well, after having it a few weeks and playing a few games, including my first two full games of kill team, on the set, I have come to really like it. It is simple and cheap but provides everything you need for gaming. Yes you can get better looking set but they are also a lot more expensive, like a LOT more expensive. There are a couple of downsides, which I shall get to in a moment but overall I highly recommend the set, which is why I decided to bite the bullet and bought another.

Kurage Station

The Kurage Station is a slightly different set, with a different aesthetic to the outpost but one that I think will work for my kill teams. I did ponder going completely different and very "alien" but in the end I settled for a more human\imperial vibe. There are several reason I bought a second set, for variety and playing options, so that I'm not always using the same board but also cos there's bridges and who doesn't like bridges. Yep, that's pretty much the main reason I bought a second set, cos it's got bridges, two of them in fact. It comes with 4 buildings, 6 small containers (about half the size of the other set) and the two bridges plus the mat as well. Again this lot cost me 8 pounds, so for around 20 pound (ncluding all the postage) I have two boards with scenery, not bad really.

Now I did say there was some negatives, two really, both of which I could solve easily, probably with just one solution. The trouble is that the building and crates are very light and are easily knocked during the game, as happened several times in my kill team games. Secondly, the big building get a bit wobbly and deform when loaded with models, especially big ones like the new plague marines or a couple of deathwatch. There seems to be a simple solution to all this and it's to fit MDF frames inside. Now, I got the idea from eBay, where someone was selling sets of MDF frames, which were basically two lengths of wood in an X shape that fit across the insides of the building from corner to corner, bracing the set and also adding some rigidity of the center, stopping deformation I noticed when the models were on top. Unfortunately I can't seem to find them anymore, which isn't a problem as I wasn't going to buy them but I wanted to show another club member, who has a laser cutter, to see if he could knock a bunch up for me. I probably could do it myself with the MDF sheets I already have but getting them laser cut would be better. I'll just have to rely on my descriptive powers instead, what could possibly go wrong! I can't imagine it will cost much for a few bits of MDF, so even after I get them the scenery sets will still be excellent value for money.

Edit: found the after writing the post and and a bit of an internet trawl.

X braces

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Kill team: first impressions

Well, I've finally done it! I've played kill team, not once but twice! After all these weeks of pondering and planning and musing, I have finally been able to see what all the fuss is about.

After two games I can say that I really like kill team and can see it being my main game from now on. As I don't get down much theses days due to work and family, being able to play several games in a day is great, plus only needing to take a smallish box with everything I need, rather than a large case, box of terrain and a mat, really makes a difference. But enough about that, how did I get on? Well, won one and lost one.

Game 1: Deathwatch Vs Orks

The Orks were running a horde list, with a nob, a boy with rocket launcher and 11 or 12 boys with choppa and slugga's. The pox walker in the picture was a stand in boy as one had gone walkies somewhere. I had 5 deathwatch, a leader with xenophase sword and bolter, a shotgun, infirnus heavy bolter heavy specialist, combi-melta and power sword armed veteran specialist (modelled with two swords and combi on pack) and blackshield with sword and shield zealot. The mission was the one where you need to capture your opponent's models.

Now, I probably didn't play this very well as I spread out my guys and charged the blackshield in first turn. I was really just trying to test out the system and try and get into as many situations as possible. While this worked, it did leave me very exposed and I ended up loosing three to nothing when we finished the game at the end of turn 3.

Headless veteran tries and fails to take out some orks.

Rather annoyingly I forgot my mat, at least I remember the terrain. The Orks are swarming my lines.

The infirnus heavy bolter really proved to be a very potent weapon in this game, although it does have some drawbacks.

End game, at the end of turn 3 this was the situation. I had killed quite a few orks but was unable to capture any due to the proximity of other orks. Also we rolled to see if we broke, the Orks broke automatically I think but I rolled a double 6! So two broken teams and me down 3 to nothing, we called it quits to get another game in.

So what did I learn from this game? Marines still suck in combat. One on one the blackshield could probably hold its own, with a good number of attacks and with zealot, there at t5 if you charge. Shooting is good, especially the heavy bolter, although you really have to be within 8 inches of your target and have a second target within 2 of that, to make maximum use out of it. Also I must remember that deathwatch have special issue ammunition, as I only remember for the last round! I don't know if it would have made a difference or not but it might have.

This mission definitely favoured the Orks , as they were able to swamp forward in numbers and stop me from gaining prisoners. Also I really need to remember tokens, I've enough from the two sets I have, so I just need to take them with me.

Game 2: astra Militarum Vs deathguard

For this, the tables were reversed, with my opponent switching to deathguard and brining 6 models. A leader with fist and bolter, a  (heavy?) Plague marine with blight launcher, a marine with melta (veteran?) Combat marine with bolter and two marines with bolters. I on the other hand brought the hordes, with a leader with bolt pistol and chain sword, comms specialist vox caster, sniper gunner with sniper rifle, heavy gunner with grenade launcher, plasma gunner and flamer, plus eleven guardsmen. We were playing the mission where you had to hold the opjectives to gain points at the end of each turn I can't remember which one it is off the top of my head.

Deployment and yet again, the guard hordes are squeezed in. You can see the objectives in this picture, one is on the central building and one is hidden up on top of the top right hand building.

I didn't take many pictures sitting this game as a was busy moving all the guardsmen around and getting in to the game. We played the scouting phase again in this game and while I went for moving a few guys forward, my opponent booby trapped the centre terrain price, which really put the dampeners on things. With this objective being worth 3 points I couldn't get to it with out risking getting one of my guys blown up by booby traps, while my opponent could just wonder around at will.

By this point were on turn three and the last turn of the game. By this point I had taken down all but two of the plague marines and claimed the two right hand objectives and while the lower left was being challenged, there was little chance of loosing it. I had abandoned the centre objective, but had made sure to keep a close eye on it, with my sniped, sitting on top of the crates at the bottom doing a grand job killing off the marine champion that tried to claim it turn 2.

The final fight, which ended up with just one guardsman dying and the objective held. 

This was another fun game to play and while we again finished it in turn 3, with the guard claiming a lead of something like 10 to 4, with only 2 marines left to 12 or 13 guardsmen. In the next couple of rounds I could have gone on to claim up to 5 point a turn uncontested, so there was little point in continuing. The guard were good in this game, with the highlight being taking a plague marine down with a buffed plasma gunner overcharging his weapon, with a +1 from Comms and re-roll 1's from orders, shooting at a marine in the open. My opponent was quick to shut it down by charging the guardsman with his combat specialist.

I this there were fewer mistakes in this match, a few things were done out of sequence but nothing that would have changed the game. I really like guard, there orders are still just as powerful and despite there inability to hit and wound very often, they do have the numbers to make up for it. I can see why people spam plasma, they are really good, especially when buffed but I don't really see it as fluffy and so I'll not be spamming them. Sniper rifles are good, but just as in reliable as in 40k. I was lucky this game and got a mortal wound off but apart from that it didn't impress me much. Next game I will be giving a melta gunner a go and see how that does.

Again, this mission favoured one army over the other, namely the guard, as with the number of bodies they could claim many of the objectives easily and obsorb any losses the deathguard could inflict. I wonder what the results would have been like if the Orks had faced the guard or the deathwatch, the deathguard.

I am really liking kill team and hopefully I will get a few more games in soon but life is pretty busy at the moment and will be getting busier shortly.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Kill Team: battle zone

In a previous post, I mentioned that I had an idea for a battle zone and terrain but I needed to do a bit more research before I took the plunge and brought stuff. Well after a few hours surfing the internet I did indeed take the plunge and brought one of Corvus Belli'' Infinity Scenery Packs, more specifically the Navajo Outpost Scenery Pack.

The pack contains a poster type paper mat, 4 card buildings and 6 card containers.

The mat is a single sided poster type paper mat with a full colour poster on the other side, presumably so you can stick it on your wall when you've finished using it as a gaming mat. The mat is also slightly to big, measuring 34x24, as opposed to the Kill Teams 30x22. The extra inches can easily be dealt with by adjusting deployment zones if needs be. I am unsure how long lasting the mat will be, as I'm sure repeated folding will wear the fold quite quickly and it doesn't seem as robust as the GW types.

The builds are reasonably thin but decent card, think cereal packet card board. They are pretty nicely detailed and the roof section is slightly sunken, giving cover when on the roof, which is nice for kill team. While they may not match 100 percent with the GW aesthetics they are a close match, close enough that they won't look out of place.

The containers that come in the set are made of the same material as the buildings and are again nicely detailed. They are just plain square boxes and some of the graphics are out of place but again, nothing that would stop you using the set for Kill Team. The containers are slightly smaller than the GW munitorum armoured containers but they are still big enough to block line of sight and such. There is no doubt that the GW containers are better, both in detail and robustness, but then they are significantly more expensive as well.

As we're mentioning price, let's just put it out there, if you haven't looked at this stuff, I would suggest you check it out, as this set cost me the princely sum of £8, including postage. Yes, that's it, £8. It might not be perfect and may not last forever, but for 8 quid I can get around 6 for every Kill Team Battle Zone. Not bad really.

The mat can also be used for other layouts, such as with the pipe lines from GW and Mantic. Plus I could probably put some of my MDF building on here for something different but I've yet to try that. 

With the price of these things, I've been looking at the other options, there seems to be 4 other scenery packs available. The Hephaestus pack look like it could work for Tau, the Moto.tronica pack could possibly do Tau as well. The Neon Lotus I'm less sure about, maybe Eldar or Harlequins? Lastly the Kurage station pack, which would do Imperium or maybe Eldar at a stretch. None are going to be a straight fit, the best seems to be the Hephaestus for Tau but even then it's quite angular for Tau construction. Having said that, I'm looking at the Kurage Station pack as a possibility, mostly as it's different to the Navajo Outpost and it has walkways, which look cool. I think I could get away with the aesthetics by calling it a high tech Imperial world or even rough planet, hence the Imperial military presence and beside who doesn't like walk ways?

Friday, 26 October 2018

Kill Team Designers commentary

Now I was going to have all the kill team stuff in one post but after reviewing the length of the post, I decided to split it down in to two posts, otherwise it would have been a very long post.

The designers comments are basically an FAQ and the designers statement of intent all rolled in to one and as usual there are some really important questions answered and some really stupid ones too. Ok, I know that just because I think there obvious doesn't necessarily mean that others do but asking if you can use your tactical re-roll to re-roll an opponents dice really should be obvious.

Anyway, let's take a look at what has been said in the notes. Again, I'm not going to go over everything in detail, just the highlights and things that I think are important.

There were several points in the movement phase that stood out, chief amongst them was the point that confirms that if you start the movement phase in combat but your opponent falls back, your still limited to staying still or falling "back". There doesn't seem to be any restriction on shooting though, other than the usual, so staying still seems to be the better choice. This has been a bit of a debate at my club and this ruling lands where I though it should, as at the beginning of the phase your still in combat. Also, if you react with a readied model, it's no longer readied, which makes sense, along with the fact that you can't react and overwatch to the same charge. For charges we also got clarification that if you fail a charge and still want to move, you have to move the full distance on the dice, getting as close as possible to your opponent or you stay still. No half moves in to cover anymore. Also in the movement phase it now says that you can't climb up something if there is no climbable surface, ie you can't climb up to an overhang.  The last thing to mention which is quite funny, if you get knocked off a ledge and land near another ledge, you can fall again. It brings to mind some of the classic cartoon, of the bad guy falling over a cliff and hitting every ledge on the way to the bottom. I'm not sure it will come in to play very often but when it does, it will be amusing.

In the shooting phase there are some further silly questions and some that I would never have thought of, like a readied model being able to pass in the ready, fire section and fire in the fire at will section. That's quite a useful thing. Also, combi weapons are one weapon not two, so you have to follow the rules for shooting a single weapon if you want to shoot multiple targets. I've always thought of them as one weapon but I can see why there would be confusion. Also, no shooting pistols at all if you get charged or charge. This is one I though was obvious but apparently not. We also got definitive proof that in multiplayer games, you can shoot other models in combat, as long as one of them isn't yours. It also good to see the issues around random damage weapons and also mortal wounds has been dealt with. It's not something I've seen but there has been a bit of discussion online about it and finally, if you've a model on 3 flesh wounds, there doesn't seem to be anything (ie tactics) you can do to stop it dieing when it takes another. There is quite a bit more in there but again, most of it should behave been fairly obvious anyway but not it's down in black and white, people can't try and game the system.

The fight phase is fairly simple with just 3 questions. The only one that seems worth noting is that if if a charging model has all it's targets eliminated before it gets to fight, it can only pile in and not consolidate.

The moral phase is even shorter, with just two questions. Does the order of nerve tests matter and what can a shaken model do. Of course nerve test order matters, afterall when you go through each step in the process, it has the possibility of changing every time, depending upon the previous test and shaken models can basically do nothing voluntary.

I haven't actually read the missions, bad I know, so I don't really know if these are sensible question. The one about objective markers makes sense and the one about terror tactics sounds like someone is trying to game the system for there advantage by counting models that are off the table as dead.

The tactics section again sounds like some people are trying their luck but any chance of that has been shut down.

In the choosing a kill team secretion, I think some people havent been reading the rule book properly, as all the points lists I've used all say (does not include wargear).  Also why ask why they give you options that aren't optimal? Choice people, choice and because they sell models equipped in that manor and don't want to make it illegal for kill team. As for making things specialists technically you don't have to make any models specialists apart from a leader.

Talking of specialists, the next section is all about the specialists and there various tactics and abilities.

Up next are all the faction specific FAQs. Some have a lot, some have only 1. Well run through them all quickly, some quicker than others. The Astartes are first, and there's nothing of note really, just a clarification for the auspex. Also, it clears up the wording for Deathwatch when choosing primaris marines, which was a little confusing. The guard only had one point, which stops you issuing an order to yourself. For AdMech, you can chip and chance between choosing and rolling for canticles. Oh, and read the options for wargear.

For death guard, DR doesn't affect the number of injury dice rolled for multi damage weapons and you cannot re-roll it, it's not on the list afterall. On the plus side the flail of corruption explodes on a 6+ to hit! The 1k sons get a minor boost (I think) for the all is dust rule and there's is nothing listed for chaos proper.

For the space elves, the craft world boys and girls seem to have a few problems with their weapons platforms, the key ones seem to be that of you ready the platform, the firing guardian doesn't need to be readied but it must be able to legally fire itself to fire the platform. For the dark kin, drugs are chosen after you've picked your team and the quin's don't have fly, despite what people think, so no shooting after falling back and even players are are clumsy sometimes, so can set of traps.

The necrons question is a bit random and I'm guessing comes from a non-necron player, after all if you play necrons why would you not want to trigger Reanimation protocols? Oh, and even mind shackle scarabs can't break the shooting rules. For the Orks, the question is fairly simple. You shoot at the original target but the wound goes on the grot. For the tau, you now need to just declare everything is firing overwatch using the greater good before shooting anything, not as each one fails. Pulse blasters are pretty risky weapons, always have been and saviour protocol's are still over powered.

Nids and GSC are last on the list. The nids questions a=e mostly about flesh hooks, which have got quite a boost as they are now the only weapon that can fire if the model armed with them is charged. Not a bad bonus. The other issue seems to have been the tactic metabolic overdrive, which has a mini essay on how to use it! Plus there is no point arming your warriors with more than one pair of bone swords. For the GSC there were just a couple of points, including the fact that genestealers don't gain the cult ambush rule for GSC.

One of the largest section in the commentary is about campaigns and the largest section is about managing your command roster. Most of it is pretty straight forward and ready only clarifies the way the system works, although on the whole it's a pretty easy system to understand, apart from 2 bits, both of which are cleared up here. Firstly, new models in your fire teams still cost the same as the rest of the team, so adding in a new recruit To a level 2 fire team means that you pay the level 2 cost for it, not the base level 1 cost until after the first battle, even though it doesn't gain any of the bonuses from the fire team. The other point of not is that you cannot change the wargear of a model once it's on your roster. Not a massive problem for most armies as you can just take several different variations in one roster.

All in all there are not many big changes to the game and nothing that jumped out at me as being unexpected. The errata and commentary both lean towards clarifying and tweaking the rules slightly to make play more streamlined and give us players a greater understanding of the game.