Tuesday 30 June 2020

This week's rules

We have seen a number of previews this week, mostly buried in faction focus posts. I've probably missed one or two and I'll cover some of the other posts like the Combat Patrol and Astra Militarum faction focus separately.

Dense cover is one of the new terrain traits. Again, I'm still split on these new traits, I still think that they will get very confusing keeping up with everything during the game.

This trait subtracts 1 for the hit rolls of ranged attacks. Added to the light and heavy cover we've already seen and you've got your a lot of rules to think about. 

The rules for dense cover mirror that of the other terrain rules we've seen. No surprises either. 

Strategic reserves is up next and while there are a few changes. Nothing dramatic, just a few tweaks by the looks of it. 

As per this edition, no deployment first turn but now the deployment changes depending upon what turn it is. However, there isn't much difference, just seems to be the enemy deployment zone that's different. I would have thought there would be more alteration, maybe start with your deployment zone, then no man's land and then enemy deployment zone. There are also some cleaning up of the rules around reserves, such as movement. The opportunity to deploy is extended right up until the end of the get, rather than up till turn 3, which is definitely an improvement.

Another improvement is that the cost of putting stuff into reserve is now combined to a core rules rather than a stratagem by individual units. Another good move I think.

Moral has also changed and not really for the better. The first part is the same but the second half seems overly complicated. First up, the morale test. 

On the whole, the test has remained the same with a day rolled and added to the number of models that are killed and a roll of one always passes. The change comes when you fail. In the past you'd loose the number of models equal to how much you failed by, now you loose just one model but must make a Combat Attrition test. So what is a Combat Attrition test?

Well, it's a bit of a mess, that's what it is. So, whole for the morale test, a 1 always passes, now a 1 fails? Anyway, you roll a d6 for each model remaining and then remove models that fail. This whole thing is yet more complication, more dice to roll and more rules to remember. At this rate it'll take hours to play a game, as you'll have to keep referring to the rule book every 5 seconds.

Lastly we have aircraft. There are a few changes here as well, mostly good. 

So, we know that AIRCRAFT is a new keyword that has enabled a whole bunch of models to take on a new lease of life. It gets rid of some of the rules issues, such aircraft not being stuck in combat by crashing as you can't move your minimum move distance by falling back. The new rules for aircraft are good and I like it. 

So, the rules are a mix bag really, there are some really good ones but also some rather long winded and overly wordy ones. I am looking forward to 9th as I think it will help me get back in to playing games, probably at the 500 to 1000 points, or combat patrol and Incursion. 

Friday 26 June 2020

More new primaris units

So, with the release of the contents of the 9th edition box set, we got confirmation on some of the units we already knew about and some additional units as well. Now, I know that this is a week or so old now but with all the information we're getting at the moment, I'm struggling to keep up with it all. It's not so much that there to much information to keep to my regular 2 posts a week but more that I'm just not having the time to write everything. I normally like to keep a post or two ahead but at the moment I'm writing each one right up to the wire. Anyway, moan over, on to the new units.

First up are two  "new" units, the firestrite servo turret and the Invader ATV. 

The new thunder fire cannon, maybe? Or maybe not. It's obviously supposed to fill the heavy support role that the thunder fire cannon does but seems to be a more direct fire model, with (I believe) lascannons or autocannons. As a model, I'm not sure about this one. It sounds like a good idea but I've got a few questions the main one being, can it move? It doesn't look like it can move but then it could be pretty useless in the game if it doesn't. I won't be getting any of these anytime soon, as besides not being to keen on the model itself, it doesn't actually fit any of my army designs.  

Next up up is the Invader ATV. There are various thoughts going around about this and what it's supposed to be replacing. Many are going with the landspeeder but I'm more with the attack bikes, which makes far more sense to me. The load out for the vehicle is basically the same as the attack bikes and will tie in nicely with the new bike units both visually and rules wise. I'm torn on the actual model, I want to like it but just can't. The design just doesn't do it for me as a marine unit. For guard or GSC, maybe even AdMech but not for marine, especially not with all the anti-grav going around for the primaris. That being said, I will probably get one or two of these in the future to go with the bikes I plan on getting for my Dark Angels successors. That plan is for the far future, when we know the rules and points for 9th and I've finished off my guard armies!

This unit, the Eradicators, have featured before but I was hoping that they were the new devastator units. As it turns out, they are melta Gunner but with super meltas (because primaris). I'm guessing that this means assault multimeltas or similar. The extra armour makes sense, if your going to get up close and personal then you need extra protection. These start filling up the special weapons roles, with melta and plasma now sorted. Whether we get normal guys with flamers or if we see any grav armed primaris is a question many of us want answered (maybe, or it could be just me).


Lastly we have this bad boy, the captain. This is a glorious model, just look at all the detail! I am really liking the new captain and lieutenant models, they are just full of character and detail. I haven't seen this guy as a dark angel angel yet but I think he'd be perfect! I don't think that I will get this model, purely because I don't plan on getting the box set but I would certainly love to own one if I did. 

So there's the rest of the new models that we know of so far. I suspect that there will be more just after release but for now this will have to do and overall, I'm very impressed with the models, despite some obvious flaws (like bikes that can't go over a speed bump!). I'm still hoping for a guard update soon after 9th drops and if the detail on the marine models is anything to go by, new guard ones should rock!

Tuesday 23 June 2020

Last week's rules previews

So we have some new rules this week to look at this week. This week is overwatch and characters.

There have been some big changes to overwatch for 9th edition, some of which I am less than impressed with. For starters overwatch itself has now become a stratagem, rather than an inbuilt ability from the core rules. This means that it will follow all the rules of stratagems, the key one being that it is a one use per phase thing. That means that only one unit can fire overwatch in any given charge phase, reducing the very act down to a bit of a nonsense. Here is the stratagem itself;

However much i dont like this move, it is compounded by the way the stratagem is worded. When a unit is target as part of a charge move, it can fire overwatch before the charge roll is made but what if the charge fails? does that mean if a second unit tries to charge it cant overwatch them? If a unit has this played on them, it could at least last till the end of the phase.

There have also been a few minor tweaks to the overwatch rules, mostly just to clean up the various interactions, mostly around characters and the like.

Over all, I'm not impressed with these changes to the game. The is a minor upside to all of this but it come with the usual GW caveats, if ypu go down the Crusade force route, what ever that may entail, you can get overwatch for free and on a 5+. So take the new shiny stuff or suffer. Thanks GW.

Next up was a small bit about the new terrain rules, which grant certain benefits to models in some situations. The example we were given was infantry dug in to a defensive position, which grants the Defensible special rules. No i do like the idea of this but it seems to be adding more things to the terrain rules! by the end of this, were going to need a whole big rule book just for the terrain rules, let alone anything else!

These are a good little bonus, although with the fact that overwatch is now a stratagem, pretty much everyone is going to go for "set to defend" for the +1 to hit. This is going to be good for everyone but especially the likes of guard and Tau, who need every help they can in combat. 

Lastly, we have the new edition character rules. They have changed a bit and in some respects are better and clearer but in other respects they are just as flawed. 

Characters now have to be within 3 inches of other units to receive the benefits of being a character. While this is basically the same it eliminates the issue of having a character just standing out in the open miles from any other units, yet being unable to be targeted. 

Overall this seems to be a good move, as if I am reading this right, if a character is out in the open it can now be targeted, even if it's not the the closest model. 

One last thing to mention and that is the change to charges. In the past you could declare a whole range of charges, usually one short charge and a couple.of longer ones and then hope to get the longer charge but if not just move towards the closest one and not waste the charge. Now you need to be able to reach all the targets or the charge fails. That means that if you declare a 4 inch charge and a 9 inch charge at the same time and roll a 6, you can't just take the 4 inch and leave the rest, no, now you would fail the charge and be left with nothing. This is a good move I think and will force people to actually plan charges, rather than just going for everything they can and hoping for the best.

Well that's it for now, we'll see what this week brings! Hopefully the guard preview!

Friday 19 June 2020

New action figures

A little while ago, GW, along side Bandai, released a primaris marine action figure at a slightly ridiculous price of £65 (I think) or $100 US. Surprisingly they sold out in a matter of hours and so it's not really a shock to see that they have released some new action figures. This time however, they have been done by McFarlane toys, not that that means anything to me. Looking at the models, they look and are presented more like a desk ornament than a play toy, so I suspect that they won't be selling for a tenner at the local toy store. That being said, I might just get one of the assault guys, as it does look cool. 

Assault marine, posing to look cool.

Necron, posing to try and not look like an idiot 

Marine, posing in hope no one notices how grey he is.

The grey Intercessor is quite a cool model and I would love to have one and paint it up as an Eagle Knight, as finely detailed as I could and display is proudly on my paint desk. Unfortunately I don't have time to paint the models I have let alone one for pure display! 

My final thoughts will be kept to myself until I see the price tag for these, as I would love to get some for the kids but if they are as much as the first one, then I will pass on the opportunity. If they are more reasonably priced, I might grab one or two of them. 

Tuesday 16 June 2020

Terrain and Flyers 9th

Last week we got some more previews, both of rules and units. All these previews are great for the new edition but they are giving me a bit of an issue for writing about other things, namely what I hope for the Guard going forward in to 9th. I will get around to writing about what I hope to see and which rules I want to see changed and which I hope are kept the same at some point but for now, let's have a look at the new rules.

There are two rules to look at terrain and Flyers.

First up, terrain. There are new terrain rules that are supposed to simplify and streamline the old rules. At first glance, I can't see how they simplify things but then we don't know the full rules for all the different keywords.

There are now a set number and type of terrain all with set rules. While I think that this is a good idea overall, hopefully making it easier to decide what rules apply to what piece of terrain I do have one concern. With all the different rules now in play, keeping track of what trait you've assigned to what piece of terrain could be problematic.

The new obscuring rule does fix several issues that we're present in 8th however it does feel a bit clunky at first glance. It does clear up issues, such as shooting through windows and such but I'm still not 100 percent on this. 

So more details on some of the terrain traits which seem pretty simple and easy to deal with. It is worded in the usual GW manner but basically it's +1 to save (not invulnerable) to either shooting or melee (unless you were charged). Hopefully the rest will be as simple as these are. This mostly seems to be aimed at the tournament crowd again, closing down any avenue of argument or rules exploitation. For most of us there was never any issue with the terrain Rules and I personally never had any issues during games with rules around terrain. 

Hopefully when the full rules come out, it will all be pretty self explanatory and work as smoothly as they suggest it will.

The next talking point last week was aircraft. AIRCRAFT is a new keyword to help differentiate between normal infantry units that can fly and actual aircraft units. I think this is a good move and don't really understand why it was not done in previous editions. 

Aircraft seem to have been put in to a place, rules wise, where they should have always been, they are basically not affected by ground troops and ground troops are not affected in return. This is a good thing, as they are supposed to be flying around high above the battle not skimming around four foot off the ground. 

Lastly, flyers are now no longer stuck on the tabletop. Why they we're we restricted by the rules of 8th I have no idea, it didn't make sense but now they are able to fly around and zip on and off the battle field at will. This is back to the old days of 6th and 7th and how it should be. Having to hold off until turn 2 is no big deal but being able to setup on the battle field anywhere is a great bonus for aircraft and is how it should be. The only issue is, how will it interact with some of the existing rules, such as Grav-chute insertion for they valkyries and vendetta's. 

So far, kinda good. I still think things are heading in the right direction and that this edition will be better than the last. I wonder what this week will hold for 9th previews!

Friday 12 June 2020

New Primaris units

So we have seen a few of the new Primaris units that are coming with 9th and to be honest, I'm actually quite excited by these units, well some of them any way. This will just be a quick run down on what we've seen so far.

New devastator units. Someone might have a better idea of the guns but they look somewhat like melta guns to me. I guess they will be some sort of heavy bolter variation. I could be wrong and have missed some leak somewhere detailing exactly what these guys are but at the moment I'm going with a devastator type unit.

Above and below are the new veteran units. Basically as far as I can see, these are the new vanguard veterans but again with limited options. They could be new honour guard as well but I get the feeling from what's been said, they are supposed to be replacing the vanguard.

The unit I'm most looking forward to seeing are these guys though, the Assault intercessors. I'm hoping that we get to see some extra options to these guys at some point, mostly some sort of jump pack. I would also like to see some extra options for Blood Angels, giving options for hand flamers and inferno pistols. 

Either way I do like the move towards assault units and at least one units will find it's way into my new Eagle Knights force and with the proposed price increases, I think there may only be room for one unit!

Primaris bikes are finally here and they actually look pretty good! They still have that very familiar marine bikes look and are instantly recognisable. I was worried we would get some stupid looking grav bikes but luckly we have good looking regular bikes. 

It appears that bikes will continue to fill the same sort of role as before and add another mobile fire power, because primaris Marines need some mobile fire support! These units will see there way in to my Dark Angels successors the Dark Guardians.

The new lieutenant also looks really good. The previous ones just looked like normal troopers but this one actually looks like it's a proper lieutenant with lots of extra gubbings. I could quite easily grab one of these for one of my armies, probably the Eagle Knights. 

This is probably one one unit that I'm not sure on. I don't know whether it's the head, which just looks weird or if it's the way it's painted. Also, what is this guy? Is he a type of Chaplain? I will have to see him painted up differently before I can really make a decision on him.

Overall I think the new units are great new additions to the primaris line and it's looking good for future releases.

Tuesday 9 June 2020

4 sizes to play

So, were getting more and more information released and the latest is about battle sizes. With the new edition we have 4 different sizes, from small to extra large. Going forward I can see a lot of my games being on the smaller side of things, with just the occasional big game. But let's look at the new game sizes shall we?

This incorporates two of the biggest changes to the game, the unveiled so far, the changes to CP's and the new game sizes. By the looks of it my guard armies will now fall in to Onslaught size games while my Militarum Tempestus force will slot into the standard Strike Force size game. However, I can see me playing most of my games at Combat and Incursion sizes. This move, to give specific game sizes could be a good move, provided it is followed up properly, which it seems to be so far. 

Anyone notice something funky? 

44x30 = 3 foot 8 inches by 2 foot 6 inches
44x60 = 3'8" by 5 foot
44x90 = 3'8" by 7 foot 6 inches 

The standard 6x4 seems to have gone or at least it has been superseded. Most of the major tournaments have already said that they will be using the new minimum board sizes and for strike force it really does make quite a difference being a whole foot shorter. Width wise, it probably won't make as much difference, as it's only 4 inches. Do you know what the best thing about all this is though? The new board sizes are all multiples of Kill Team boards! Which mean that either GW like the new boards they made or that Kill Team will be continuing, something backed up by the numerous references to Kill Team in the previews. 

I dislike this bit, suggested game size times always seem widely off to me. I like the idea of the shorter times for the smaller games though, as the local club runs for 4 hours and I don't think I've ever finished a 2000 point game of 40k since I started going there! Playing just a combat patrol or incursion game could well be the way to go and will fit in nicely with my new plans for my marine armies. It will also help with storage of my guard armies, as some of it will probably be boxed up but more on that in another post.

The last bit of info here is the changes to the detachment limits. Gone are the suggestions and in place are maximum numbers. This isn't going to change things for many people as the limits are pretty similar to before, however they are now firm limits. 

So far everything seems to be moving in the right direction and rules seem to be a lot more tight. I'm sure someone will find a way to break them. On the whole, I like what I see so far, hopefully we'll get some faction specific stuff soon, so I can see what's going to happen to my glorious Guard regiments.

Friday 5 June 2020

New addition to kill team

There hasn't been much in the way of actual hobby stuff on the blog of late, so I thought that I would rectify this by posting up what I've been working on recently.

Meet Grog or is it Drog? or Srog? or Trog? Who really knows, certainly not Brog(??). He is a Bullgryn Bonehead and bodyguard, armed with slabshield and mail to protect his charge and smack anything that comes close. 

You can just see the yellow markings on the inside of the shield, countered by matching red ones on the other side. These are on the shield as Grog can get a bit confused by left and right, so the colours are there as an alternative.

Grog is a veteran of many battle, far more than he can count (which is 13) and has the scars and implants to prove it. He was promoted to Bone'ead after one particular battle in which he stood against more than a dozen Eldar swordsmen, taking out the majority before the rest fled. He was badly wounded but recovered, which is more than can be said for the company Commander who he was supposed to be protecting, due mostly to the fact that Grog was standing on him. In his defense, it did mean that the Eldar were unable to strike him with their swords.

Grog is pretty much always seen with a cigar, a habit he picked up from his last charge, he thinks it's a sign of authority.

It was not long after this event that he was adopted as the personal bodyguard of another company Commander, one who he served until his demise, which wasn't at Grog's hand or feet. At this time he was not near any ogryn units to which he could be assigned, so was sent to join the other misfits of the TRS, where he has been found to be a valuable asset.

His old unit marking is still visible on his back, plus shield front, not that Grog is actually aware that's what it is, he just thinks it look cool.

Grog has only one issue, much like any ogryn, his stomach. The only issue is that with Grog is if you don't feed him when he's hungry, he'll just sit down until you do, no matter where you are, including much to the dismay of his fellows in the TRS, the middle of a fire fight, hence why member always carry an extra bag of goodies with them when they are assigned Grog to one of the patrols.  

In game terms Grog is a Bullgryn Bone'ead combat specialist. This gives him 5 attacks, 4 base plus 1 for the specialist. At S5 with the Bullgryn mail (+2S) he will be wounding most models on 2's (up to T3) and 3's (up to T6) and with -1ap and 2 damage, he has the capability of killing of most things in combat. He is expensive, sitting at 40 points and in some games he is going to be less useful than 8 guardsmen but he is a lot better in combat than 8 guardsmen! He will be added to either my Inquisition (Scion) or Guardsmen list as required but mostly he'll probably sit on the shelf and look pretty!

Tuesday 2 June 2020

9th edition

So, as has been expected for some months now, 9th edition is here and it even gets a new logo!

It's this point I should be jumping up and down with excitement and to tell the truth, I'm not actually that excited. When 8th was released I was really really excited, at last all of the rubbish and bloat was going to be gone, all the stupid additional books and bonuses removed, the game simplified, back to basics. Then it just started all over again, we got additional books with new rules and benefits, sub-faction codices, "campaign" books with all their benefits and we were pretty much right back in 7th. 

So, what's to guarantee that we won't have exactly the same with 9th? Nothing and that's what's turning me off the game. That being said, I will be picking up the new rules at some point, probably Christmas, and I'll pick up the new guard codex when it comes out or the nearest birthday or Christmas ( I suspect it will be the following Xmas), mostly as I have an army and I do enjoy the social side of the game. 

The new starter set, if that's what the pictures are, looks pretty good. There's actually a lot of units that I would use in there, the bikes, the assault intercessors, the "devastators" and the first company vets. The other characters would no doubt be used as well, without much effort. All in all, this is a box I could see myself buy at some point, I won't however be rushing to grab it at launch. I'll take a closer look at these units later but for now I'll just stick to my thoughts on the 9th edition rules and mostly talk through the "big 9" that GW put out. So let's start with there point 1 shall we?

1 Rules fine tuning

While I can't say much about this but right now, there is plenty of speculation around how this is going to happen. cleaning up rule interactions and things like mission scoring. One good thing that was mentioned was the limit to +\- to BS and I presume WS being limited to just 1.

2 Crusade system

This seems like a good thing but very limited. It sounds a lot like it's geared to a campaign style system, one that would be great in small gaming group but I don't see (yet) how it would work in the wider world. I do like the sound of it though, building up your units one battle at a time. Something to look at but maybe not much use.

3 More CP!

Or maybe not. As a rule I run a fairly standard list at 2000 points, however this still nets me at least 22 command points and can net up to 27, if I'm being really cheesy. Right now it seems like I'm gonna be down a few, as it seems like you'll get a set number of CP per army size, so maybe 5 per 500 point of something similar. This is both good and bad. Yes it means that you are free to use whatever detachment you like to get the units you want and puts everyone's stratagems on a level playing field. However, it does hurt some armies, like guard and nids who tend to rely on stratagems more than other armies. It also looks a lot like your going to have to pay CP's for allies from a second codex, possibly even from the same codex but different detachment. There's a lot up in the air right now but I think this will be a pretty good move over all.

4 Vehicles in combat

This is a big one. Up until now it's be easy to shut down vehicles, tag a Leman Russ with a Hormagaunt or a Land Raider with a Grot and your not firing for a turn. It was always annoying when you lost such a key piece over nothing. For me it was always my Wyverns, as they are a key part of my army. Being able to keep shooting is going to be a big bonus, the question is, will doing so have draw backs, such as -1 to hit or having to shoot the closest units?  Either way, it looks good do far.

5 Terrain rules

The current terrain rules were not that bad, I just feel that there was not enough types of terrain listed, which lead to a bit of confusion. That plus a 12 foot tall monstrous creature only bring able to fight at ground level was dumb. "Hey, may arms are at you height but I can't kick you with my feet, so I can fight you!" Yep, it was nonsense, surely if you can reach it, you can punch it. Terrain seems like a big thing this time around, hopefully they won't make it too complicated.

6 Game sizes

This sounds pretty good and something I'm app for. I have a couple of big guard armies and I'm planning on building some smaller primaris marine armies at some point in the (far) future to replace my current old school marine armies.  However, these will be small, probably about 500 points and while I could combine them in to bigger armies, it would be nice to be able to play them on there own in smaller games and still have a nice balanced game. I just hope that it doesn't infringe on my Kill Team stuff. 

7 Reserves reworked

From what I can gather, this could involve a few elements. One element Being the option to put units in to reserver for everyone, a standard stratagem as it were, giving the option to outflank or deep strike if the unit has that option. This could be very useful for many people, an added tactical option. I'm sure there will be lots on it, as I can't imagine outflanking baneblades will be very welcome.

8 Large blast weapons

They say this had been improved to reflect how effective they are against hordes and I guess it will work similarly to things like the demolisher cannon, d3 shots up to 5 models, d6 6+ models. Makes sense and is easy to work. 

9 Flyers

This sounds like a return to some of the rules from 7th, with flyers being able to leave the board and then return. I imagine that you'll loose a turn off shooting, leaving one movement phase and returning the next, ready for another strafing run across the battlefield. Flyers in 8th always seemed a little constrained to me, only being able to fly around the board and basically being forced to hover or crash, either that or fly around in squares. Hopefully this will open up flyers again and make them what they really should be.

All in all there seems to be some good elements here and hopefully this really is just a case of tidying up and balancing the rules to make an even more fun and cinematic game that can also be competitive. I'm sure that we will get a lot more information over the coming weeks until release and I'll no doubt comment on anything g that I find Interesting. One last thing for now though;

We get a new lieutenant! This one is actually quite good as well. 

Edit: this popped up yesterday evening and has some key point. Firstly the new command phase and there is a little nugget of information on command points.

The Command phase is a quick new addition to the turn sequence. In this phase, Battle-forged armies will acquire new Command points and spend the ones they have on certain Stratagems.