Tuesday, 28 March 2017

8th edition rumours



So, I've just started a small series of pat about my thoughts and hopes for 8th edition, the main rule bookend also the various codices that I is or base my forces off of. Only, GW have gone and thrown a spanner in the works some what by releasing information about 8th. Now this is great, tjeres now other way to look at the fact that GW are really engaging with the community, even if I'm not to sure on the parts of the community there conversing with. Don't get me wrong, there great organizations but they seem to be fairly limited in scope, LVO, Nova and Adepticon all being from the otherside of the pond and two are major tournaments.

Anyway, lets look at what has been said.

3 Ways to Play
The General’s Handbook has been one of the most popular rules supplements we’ve ever released. Who’d have thought letting people choose how they wanted to play their games and giving them a clear way to do that would be so popular…? It’s pretty clear from talking to a number of event organisers, that Warhammer 40,000 would benefit from the same approach. So we’ll soon be introducing the same 3 ways to play – open, narrative and matched play – to the 41st Millennium.

So really, not much will change. We currently have unbound (open) and bound (matched) but narrative is still not 'new', as the maelstrom missions have elements of this and there have been numerous book in the past that have had similar things in, alter of war missions and planet strike are two that spring to mind. All in all, I don't think this will effect me much, although I can see me playing narrative games more than most.


Army Selection
One of the things that comes up a lot is the idea that people should be rewarded for taking thematic armies. It’s a sentiment we agree with and so we’re looking at introducing Command points. A mechanism to reward players who structure their army like their in-world counterparts, with rerolls and cool army specific rules throughout the game.

Great! Really like this, it finally does away with the silly allies shenanigans. A 'pure' army usually finds itself at a disadvantage, but hopefully this will change all that and reward proper armies. I don't want this to do away with allies all together, as running a guard and marine army is still sensible and true to fluff, the same can be said for things like tyranid and gene cult or chaos and daemons, but elder, Tau and marines or Tau and necrons? No, not fluffy and as such should be penalized. How this works in detail is going to be the real issue, to powerful and it will be silly, not powerful enough and its pointless.

Movement
We think the Move value should come back. No more default unit types. Every model should have cool bespoke rules. Not only would that be more fun, but it’ll mean you will only need to learn the rules for your models.

I remember this for when I first played WH40k way back in the old days. It makes sense, eldar and DE are faster than a man but probably not as fast as many nids. It will mean that the movement phase becomes another very tactical phase, as both your movement and enemy movement need to be accounted for but it will also make things more difficult, as everything will have a different movement stat. Now for guard and probably most of the imperial stuff, it went make much difference, but for the likes of nids and possibly ork's and the various eldar lots, it could make things quite complicated. After all I genestealer is going to move a lot quicker than a warrior or a tervigon.

Shooting
Armour save modifiers. This topic comes up almost as often as Sisters of Battle… so we’re going to bring them back. Every weapon will have its place in your army and better represent how you imagine them working in your head.

No this is also interesting, as I have often thought that the ap system, why good, lacks something. I like the more stepped nature of modifiers, but it all depends upon how its implemented. An ork and a guardsman have the same save in many respects, but getting hit by a bolster round should have different consequences. An ork will or should be able to shrug it off a lot better than guardsman, who will probably be spread all over the floor. At the moment it is the toughness value used to wound that keeps these things in check, but with a modified armour save system, will this still work as well or will it dissapear and we'll loose a step to the shooting? It will be interesting to see how this works, but it has been done in past editions, so its not a step in to the unknown as such.

Combat Phase
Charging units should fight first. It’s just more thematic. So we’re hoping to work this out as well. It will reward tactically outmaneuvering your opponent. You can dictate the combats rather than being entirely Initiative based. You control who swings first.

Now this is also interesting, but for a very different reason. I'm less sure about, as there are so many unanswered questions. Yes, the charging units should get a boost in combat, you charge a unit in to an unsuspecting enemy you get an advantage, but some armies are quicker than others. Eldar and DE are quick lithe warriors, but orks and to some extent guardsmen are not, so just because you charge an ork in to a unit of howling banshees doesn't mean you should automatically get to strike first, in to a group of guard, yes, but banshees or wyches, no. So finding a happy medium will be difficult I think. Nick over on the burning eye has suggested a +3I, which could work well and would in many respects solve many of the issues above.

Morale
Its no longer all or nothing, and it affects everyone. We’re thinking of replacing break tests with a simple mechanic. Roll a D6, add that to the number of models your unit has lost this turn, subtract your Leadership and take that many additional casualties.

The final point and the only one that is slightly worrying for me. Now, I know this is a carry over from AoS and that it works quite well there, but I can't help but feel slightly worried by the change. Its irrational I know and is based purely in the fact that's its a unknown element to me. I suppose that with a low leadership value, usually 7 or 8, I've only to take 1 or 2 wounds in combat and I'm loosing more models. That's go g to whittle down my blob squads quickly, a lot quicker than normal. Then there is fearless (priests) and stubborn (commissars) to think about. How will they work? Stubborn will have to change, as it would currently have no effect under the new system, but what will it change to? If it changes thinks to a fixed higher ld value, how would this work with blob squads? If it changes the roll some how, how would that work? The questions are similar with fearless, or will that stay the same and you just pass and don't take any additional wounds? Also how would ATSKNF work? Reroll maybe? As I said, I think it is all the unknowns that are causing me to worry, so it will be good to get answers for this when the time comes (along with a new starter box!).

I'm going to continue with the series, mostly as I've written them all already! (I got on a role one night and just kept going!) Hopefully they will still make sense and won't be invalidated by the time they get published. Which reminds me, there is a copy of Codex: Imperial Agents sitting in a cupboard, waiting for my birthday to come around, I just hope its still valid by then!

Friday, 24 March 2017

8Th edition thoughts.

Edit: I'll start by saying that this post was queued up a week or so ago and now GW have just released, as in yesterday, some info in 8th. How much does this impact on my post? Not masses, but there will be a few bit that now don't make as much sense as they did before!



Ok, so there are many many rumours flying around about 8th edition. There have also been various posts that have been written over the last few months, such as the Burning Eye and Cadia's Creed. So why write another post? Well, I thought that I would join the club and put some of my own thoughts down on paper.


6th and 7th edition rule books




Now, while there are a lot of rumours flying around, I think its safe to say one thing, there will be a dumbing down or simplification of the rules set. How much simpler things are going to get is another question, but probably the most eagerly anticipated answer. Now don't get me wrong, thus won't we an end times job, I think we can all acknowledge that. AoS/WHFB is not WH40K, and hasn't been for years. Points rant going anywhere and neither are formations and detachments. If anything we'll see more. But, and it is a big but, things really have got a bit out of hand.

 Personally I don't see the main rules being slimmed down all that much, by main rules I mean things like movement, shooting and assault. The main phases of the game. I don't see the psychic phase being slimmed down all that much either. What I do see is a major slimming down of the special rules, both the universal ones (USR)  in the BRB and also the ones in the codex (CSR).

Why do i say this? Well in my opinion this is the area that is most bloated and also the aspect of the rules that has the most impact and time spent in game. Every unit seems to have a special rule and now with detachments and formations having yet more special rules, there are hundreds of the things, yet many of them are very similar. One I can think of from the top of my head is the Eldar blade storm (think that's what it is) which is really just rending by another name. There are several other variations as well, I'm sure that Nids have a similar CSR as well. So, if you just changed them all to rending, you would loose several rules in one strike. Ok, you'd loose a little of the flavour as you'd loose the names but that's a minor thing really and easy to fix (bladestorm = rending).

Going through and changing all the CSR's to there closest USR would take time, but would cut a lot of bloat. In line with this I also expect to see a lot of the USR's removed from the BRB and placed in to the codices, meaning that all the rules for an army, outside of the core rules which apply to every army, will be found in the relevant codex, much in the way that all the weapons profiles were dropped from the back of the main rule book.

I mentioned the psychic phase above, and will single this phase out. The other phases work and I don't think they need much tweaking, only a little here and there. The psychic phase does work but again is becoming bloated with so many codex specific powers as well as the BRB ones. I think that some of these will be replaced so that some of the powers will be exactly the same across different faction. It'll take a little of the flavour out but would reduce down the number of powers. Other than that, maybe we'll see access reduced, limiting you to only your factions powers? I'm not sure what's best here but can see something happening.

One thing I hope will also happen is the dropping of Death from the Skies. now I know some people like it, but its a massive rules bloat if you ask me, completely unnecessary and pointless in the main game. Yes it tries to add some flavour to flyers but I think it fails in so many areas its a waste of time. As a sort of flyer mini game it works but not as part of the main game.



As I mentioned above, I can see codices changing, but they will remain an important part of the game. So I'll follow this post up with a couple of others detailing my thoughts on the main codices I play, guard/tempestus and BA/DA and a general overview of the others.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A blog milestone

Ok, so its time for another random post. This time its going to be a short one, as its really about just one post. A week and a bit ago (11 days) I posted about painting and the discussion of pre or post construction painting. Much to my surprise, this post seems to have been very popular, more popular in fact then any post I've every written.

The weeks overview

I have been watching a few posts clocking up views over months and months, namely the Cadian Formation post from December 15 and Sternhammer from May 16. Both of these posts have reached viewing figures in to tube 90's (91 to be precise). The Christmas posts, from both 15 and 16, have proved popular for some reason, with views of 77 and 76 respectively.  However, the post on painting had shot up, with 116 views in just a few days and is currently sat on 176 views. I know that for a few people, 116 (or 176) views is small change, but for me its a minor milestone. None of My posts have ever passed 100 views before, and the speed at which this post achieved it has taken me by surprise. I thought I was doing well with the two Valkyries posts, both of which pulled in over 40 views apiece over the first week they were published.

Overall post views

Granted, the Ukraine seems to have a very particular interest in the page, with 76 views on the blog in the space of 2 days last week, but even taking out their contribution and that of Russia, only 7 over the same period, it still takes the post to over 'proper' 100 views.

The weekly viewing figures

So what make people read the page? Not a clue, I wish I did know, as I'd try and replicate it on other posts! Hopefully it might herald in a new chapter for the blog as it continues to grow.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Marine WiP list

So with the release of the fluff and lists for the Dragons and the Hawks, I've been putting together a few test pieces.

While the main colors for each faction are decided, I wanted to try out the schemes on actual models, plus I wanted to try some techniques.

Hawks

After a bad start, I based the hawks Grey and dragons brown, completely the wrong way around, things are working out well. I originally intended for the hawks to be bronze but they are now copper, as I have copper and not bronze. However, so far I really like the copper, but Im a little worried how the silver from the weapons will look against the bronze, I may end up having to do something different.

Hawks, looking shiny


Dragons

The Dragons scheme is going well and the base Grey is looking good. The librarians blue cloak looks nice against the Grey body, although both models require a lot more work. I think that the color scheme is going to workout well for these, and maybe the one that troubles me least.

Plain sailing here!


Knights

Im still struggling with this one. Originally I brought some Revell fluorescent orange to use but its very transparent and doesn't  cover very well, even over white primer. So I got some ratskin flesh to base the models before using the orange, but while better its still not great. I also have some Jakearo orange, which looks exactly the same as ratskin flesh but is supposed to be darker and more orange, so I might give that a go as well. I've also brought some troll slayer orange to see if that will work better than the Revell orange.

3 oranges

As you can see, left is just the Revell  orange, several coats worth applied over a white base, the right model is the same but over an over painted model, black base with a coat of white primer, very rough but just to get the idea. The middle model is Ratskin flesh over a white primer with the chest painted with the Revell orange. The only one that comes close is the left model, but its taken about half a dozen layers so far to get it to that color, and its still not perfect.

Side shots.

This shows off the two other models better. You can see the difference the basing makes on the right model, the jump pack orange is a lot brighter than the body, but still not great after 2 coats. The left shows the Revell orange over the Ratskin better, its better and brighter, but still not how I want it. So I'm going with GW Troll Slayer orange instead, see how that works.

Disciples

Well, its a lot darker than I was planning. Kantor blue is the darkest blue base color that GW do and i only have a gloss blue from Revell. I still need to add the yellow and red details, so I'm still not sure on these. I wanted to avoid them looking like ultramarines, which I seem to be achieving, so that one advantage.

Defiantly not ultramarines.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Adsense, is it worth it?



So, this is going to be a bit off topic as it were. I keep looking at the AdSense, and every so often it gets mentioned on other posts. Now, I understand why its good, money for nothing is always a good thing! However, I realise that it can take a long time to actually get any money, with the fact that you need to get to the magic 60 pound mark to claim anything but also that each click generates only pennies, meaning that that 60 pound can take a whole lot ofclicks to achieve.

My main reason for not going with it has always been that I don't really care about the money and that I don't want to end up more of an advertisement site than a blog. My other reason forgot doing it is because I don't generate to sort ofviews that other blogs do, I mean, after 2 and a half years I'm sitting on seven and a half thousand views, and even though the viewing figures continue to grow each month, I'm not in the same league as some blogs who can generate that many views a week.

This leaves me wondering if it will be worth it and if it will actually benefit the blog at all. How many views does it take to get to that magic 60? How much does each click on the blog generate? It appears the answer is not much, while most of what I found was in dollars, most seem to suggest between 10 and 40 pence or that to earn 100000 dollars (80000 pound) a year (I wish!) you would need a minimum of 100000 views per day! (That's with 1000 ad clicks a day or 1% of site visitors clicking on ads)

So lets say for arguememts sake, I'd get around 20 pence per ad clicked, that means if I had started at the very beginning, I would have earned around 15 pound. So the blog as picked up a little in recent months, with a pretty constant count of just over 1000 views a month, but this will net me about 2 pound a month, which while better than nothing, is going to take 3 years to get me to 60 quid.

Another point I have noted is that the ads don't seem to appear in the mobile view and as I tend to do all my reading on my phone (as well as a lot of my writing) I don't see any ads, and therefore can't click on them. I don't know whether this is something that can be easily solved or if is a flaw in the system, so to speak.

So I suppose the big question is, is it really worth the effort and will those of you who read the blog mind the adverts?

Friday, 10 March 2017

Painting- pre or post?

Right, so a few weeks ago I posted up my Valkyrie, finished to reasonable tabletop standard, although it still needs some kind of varnish/clear coat and possibly cam on the top. The main thing, in regards to this post anyway, is that I left the crew out until I had painted the cockpit. This is the first time I have done such a thing, as in painted before fully assembling something, but its got me thinking. Lots of blogs I read do paint before assembly, which makes a lot of sense to me, which is why I tried it but there seems to be a lot more to it than just paint and assemble. While it made painting the cockpit a lot easier, getting the pilots to fit was a right pain and required so remodeling.

The empty cockpit

Pilot and Co-pilot

Both of these models didn't fit when I first tried to put them in the cockpit, before I painted I might add. The pilot wasn't to bad, its mote the throttle that's off, half floating above the consol. The co-pilot on the other hand was a pain. This could be down to the fact that I've lost the original body and so had to sub in a replacement, but the shoulders were to wide to fit in to the cockpit. They would have fitted under the edges if I'd have put them in during the build, but now they needed trimming. Lucky, its underneath and when painted it was next to impossible to see the trimming but it highlighted one of the problems, sometimes there's a reason for the build order!

Fitted, finally

Front view.

Now its all done, I think that there are a lot of advantages to pre painting but there are also drawbacks. If you want to do it properly takes a lot of time, dry fitting and double checking everything and sometimes, you may need to paint and assemble bits in stages, (assemble, paint, assemble a bit more, paint, assemble some more) which can be very time consuming, but ultimately does produce a superior finish.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Stone Dragons list

Here is the list for the other new force, the Stone Dragons. Again this is just a 500 point force and some how it also contains 16 models, not done on purpose I assure you. This list was a little harder to put together though as I have used the Space Wolves codex as the base and as most people know, the Space Wolves have no successors, the Wolf Brothers having been discontinued. So I tried to keep the force as generic as possible, not using any special characters where possible. I did however have to use the Rune Priest to get a psyker in and I used the Lone Wolves, mostly to add some fluff and for the fun of it.

So here is the 500 point CAD list;

Rune Priest - ML1, Melta Bombs, Rune Axe

Lone Wolf - Wolf Claws

Lone Wolf - Combi-plasma, Power fist

Grey Hunters - Wolf Guard pack leader w/combi-plasma, bolt pistol and CCW, 4x CCW, Plasma gun, Plasma pistol

Grey Hunters - 5x CCW, Plasma pistol, Plasma gun

Long Fangs - 2x Lascannons

So, not a bad little list i think, granted it'll not win any tournaments but that's not the idea. The Rune Priest is there as I wanted a psyker leading, simple as that really. The Grey Hunter squads are the only real choice for troops, I did consider the Blood Claws but at BS3 their not great. I loaded up with as much plasma as I could, although I noticed the other day when I had the models out to do some test pieces that one of the models I wanted to use for the lone wolf with combi actually has a maul not a fist, so there are 10 points going begging. That may mean a Combi on the Priest or maybe something extra for one of the long fangs, I don't know at the moment.

When this list is combined with one of the other lists, be it the Hawks or Inquisition or ever a guard list, I think it will bring something extra to the table, or at least that's the idea.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Old stuff day - a post revisited


So, today is old stuff day, and I though that I would join in the fun. I've had a run through all my old posts and decided that I'd throw this post back out there. It was a piece of fiction I created just on a whim one day when I was bored (something I have no time fir these days!). It probably not going to win me any awards, but I enjoyed writing it and as it was a very early post, from march 2015, I doubt many people would have seen it at the time, so here it is;



"Sergeant"
.......
"Sergeant Maxen"
.......
"SERGEANT MAXEN"

"Yes, Demi-Sargent Ilar"

"Large rebel group approaching from the south west, intercept in 45 minutes"

"Is the target present"

"Target is presented"

"Continue over watch, secure evac route" not that Demi-sergeant Ilar would need such instructions.

Dam, why were they coming from the south west, they were supposed to be coming from the north west! 5 days laying in wait and they may end up getting trampled by hundreds of rebels, dam AM intelligence! Hopefully they will avoid the thick woods and marsh and keep to the road. At least with the ford ahead they will have little choice but to move in to the kill zone.

"Squad Epsilon, Target approaching, intercept in 40 minutes, ready all weapons, prepare for fighting withdrawal"

Even with his enhanced hearing the sounds of the squad around him preparing their weapons and bodies to react were barely audible, a good sign, even after all this time laying silently and still in the damp ground, his marines remained unaffected. He looked to his own weapon and started to run though the standard checks, testing the magazine, the bolt and a dozen other items. At the same time, he tensed and relaxed each muscle in his body, ensuring that each was ready for an rapid and instant  response should one be needed.

"Target moving north of location, 20 minutes to intercept"

Good, so luck at last. He thumbed a response and a green light lit up in his helmet to show it had been received. It was time to prepare mentally for the task I hand. A prayer to the Emperor and the Dorm and a blessing to his bolter, Some Concentration. The name still brought a smile to his face, even after all these years.

"Recruit Maxen, what are you doing!"

"Sergeant?"

"Your supposed to be shooting the target NOT the wall! Some days I wonder if you could hit a Thunderhawk with that bolt pistol, even if you were standing INSIDE the blessed thing! You'll never hit anything with out some concentration."

The next day they had been handed their personal weapons and from the first moment that he had laid eyes on the battered old bolter, only one thought had come to mind. While the other recruits had taken the existing names engraved by the previous recruit or had thought of new names, such as vengeance, destroyer, justice and slayer, he had only one name in mind, Some Concentration. While others had received their new bolters upon becoming full battle brothers, he had kept his and carried it all these years. With it he had become the best shot in the company and one of the best in the Chapter, and that way why he was here.....

His concentration was broken by the twinkling of comms lights in his helmet, two of the marines were talking. He opened up the channel to listen in.

"Confirmed, I have visual, targets entering Beta teams arcs"

So the target was entering the kill zone, sticking to the road and the dry ground, a good sign, maybe this wasn't going to be a disaster after all.

"Sergeant, Target entering kill zone"

"Confirmed"

He could see the target now, the old man was not as impressive as he thought he would be, but it was always the same. It was hard to believe at times, but the story was always the same, this old man had raised the population of Hjaltland in to rebellion with tales of freedom and democracy. Yet here he was, looking fat and well fed, his rich clothes flowing in the wind as he was fanned and carried aloft on a luxurious sedan by half starved, sweating men and women, while hundreds more followed along hoping for some hand out or another. His key followers could be seen similarly dressed and looking well fed and watered, trailing directly in his wake, acting like gods amongst men. There would be no glory today, just cold hard retribution and justice.

Maxen raised his bolter in to position and squinted slightly down the scope, reading off all the targeting information.

"5 minutes till intercept, stand ready"

A little longer and a little closer, then it would be his job to eliminate the target and the rest of the squad would take out any of the retinue that they could, hopefully killing off the power behind the rebellion. Although this would normally be a scout units job, the lack of available scouts and the importance of the mission meant that it had fallen to Squad Epsilon and himself.

"2 minutes"

This was it, the target was in the kill zone and in range. He drew his breath and thumbed the mic switch.....

VISUAL OVERLOAD...........
VISUAL SENSORS COMPENSATING.......

As his vision cleared he could see the crowd of rebels recoiling and the targets sedan was no longer in sight, but what caught the attention of the sergeant most, was the figures that had appeared across the ford, Scions. Not many of them, and now that the crown was reacting and weapons were appearing, not nearly enough of them.

"Target lost!!"

Maxen looked back to the crowd, the target was gone, the sedan lying discarded and broken on the floor, but he knew where to look as he scanned the back of the rebels. There he was, hurrying away like the coward he was, and they had the nerve to slander the Emperors name. When did He every run from the enemy. Maxen took aim with his bolter, zeroing in on the target as it moved through the crowd.

"Stand by to withdraw on my order"

He squinted down the scope, waiting for the shot. Waiting for that moment when the target would be in full view, even if only for a second.

He felt the bolter recoiled in to his shoulder, he felt the motion through his armour as if it was his own skin. He watched as the targets head exploded in a cloud of red and white, while the now lifeless corpse collapsed to the ground. He could see the reaction of the crowd around the dead body, recoiling in horror and shock. His job done, he took one last look at the scene, weapons had appeared on the rebel side, in quite some numbers, more than he would have expected and the Scions were starting to feel the effects of the rebels numbers.

"Beta squad withdraw, alpha squad prepare to over watch"

As the squad started to withdraw, marine Tegid spoke up

"Are we to support the Scions?"

"Negative, we withdraw as planned" This was not the time for action, they were outnumber and did not have any support elements in place.

"I don't think they'll need our support" can a reply from demi-sergeant Ilar.

Maxen was about to ask that mean when the roar of jet engines became clear and three Valkyries came roaring over head, multiple launch rocket pods spitting death, door gunners leaning out firing their heavy bolters randomly and indiscriminately in to the crowd.

"Withdraw at speed, we move to the extraction point at half run, weapons free, eliminate targets as necessary, move, move, move"

The tone of his voice left little doubt as to the urgency of the message, the last thing that the sergeant wanted was to get caught in the crossfire. The Valkyries rockets and Scions HS lasguns could make short work of the squad if they weren't careful.

One last look back at the kill zone before the marines disappear over the hill showed a scene of carnage, with bodies all over the place, the scions advancing over the ford, with the now hovering Valkyries, continuing to pore rockets, multilaser shots and heavy bolter shells in the fleeing rebels. It was uncertain whether the full retinue of the heretic's had been eliminated, but whatever the case, the rebels had been dealt a blow this day and the Emperors Disciples had opened their campaign on Hjaltland with a successful mission.