Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Aetherium - Check it out!

Hey everyone, wanted to point out a great kickstarter just about to wrap up.  I wish I would have promoted it earlier, real life got in the way and distracted me!

One of the awesome blogs I follow, A Gentleman's Ones's Brian Niro has started up a real unique game called Aetherium.  It has some beautiful miniatures and a very different play style that should mix things up.

Looks like a great selection of miniatures and contents in the starter box.  I'm always up for a fun skirmish game among friends.

It has an always on action sequence which should be a more engaging playing style.  I like the back and forth action rather then long I go a full turn then you go a full turn of a big game like 40k (although I do love me some 40k).  The miniatures are absolutely gorgeous.  I'm tempted long term to pick some of the picketers up as civilians for Infinity scenarios as well.

Try to get over and check it out today, it wraps up tonight!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The 40k 7th Edition Money Grab

Looks like I'm due for another rant!  So the big rumor on the web these days is the imminent launch (in May) of 40k 7th edition.

I would agree that there have been a few things new in this edition that were "game changing" being flyers and allies.  Flyers slowly worked themselves into a more manageable level with the addition of anti-air and more air for armies, as well as "super flyers" like vendettas getting points increases.  Allies on the other hand got more and more broken with super bro units abusing the battle brothers rules.  Other armies like Nids got the shaft with no ability to ally.

Let me regress a bit.

Games Workshop is a business.  I'm in sales.  I get the fact they need to make money.  The problem is I see them getting desperate.  Books and especially digital editions are easy money grabs and relatively reliable sources of income.   They know what to expect out of a new edition in terms of $.  So apparently their fiscal year closes at the end of May.  No big surprise that 7th edition 40k is scheduled to release before the end.  It just seems like a blatant attempt at a money grab.

I'm used to their typical behavior of making whatever new kit in a codex "required" to be competitive, and making whatever the previous good build obsolete.  Heck, I'm still pretty angry over all of the guard stuff I just purchased in the last 6 months that I can't even use outside of forge world (medusa, griffon) plus my cool characters they're going to make me buy an EXTRA supplement just to play (Marbo, Al'Raheim, etc.). I've gotten used to this behavior by GW... the will to resist has been beaten out of me.

Yes 40k 6th edition needs some tweaks (which I'll get into) but this could easily be an FAQ printed for free (perish the thought).  Previous editions did just that.  Let me break down the releases for you all:

Rogue Trader: 1987
2nd Edition: 1993 (when I joined the hobby, seems so long ago!)
3rd Edition: 1998
4th Edition: 2004
5th Edition: 2008
6th Edition: 2012
7th Edition: Supposedly May 2014

So we basically get about 4-6 years between editions.  We haven't even gotten to the two year mark for this edition before it's supposed replacement.  Let me break down what I've bought for rules between 6th edition and now with most of this being necessary to play.

- Big Rulebook
- Mini Rulebook (no way I'm carrying around the big one to games)
- Death from the Skies (or you had to buy the white dwarf)
- Stronghold Assault
- Escalation

Some of these relatively recent.  So basically 7th edition will probably obsolete the rules of all of these.  We start all over again.  And in typical fashion, the only rules that will be available to start will be the big rule book... mini rulebooks months after.

This is all in the last 2 years.  Yep, just 2.  As a customer I feel a bit swindled.  Now I'm being told there will be a new edition that is being rushed to get out before their fiscal year ends?  Really? One of two things is happening:

1. Very minor tweaks/adjustments, meaning major money for something that could have been FAQ'd. It's not like we don't already have to carry around a metric ton of rules anyway with all the digital codexes.

2.  A major overhaul, meaning they basically have been working on this since 6th edition was released, which makes me feel like 6th was rushed.

Either way, this is ridiculous.

Now, I do agree there need to be some things that need to be fixed.

Allies: battle brothers is broken.  The design team does not factor in all the broken combos between codexes, at best they look at inner-codex balance.  This could easily be fixed by making all battle brothers allies of convenience.  On the flip side helping the xenos armies by making all armies able to ally with each other using desperate allies at the least.

Assault: It just doesn't work.  Perhaps going back to some sort of consolidation into fresh combat will help assault units become viable.  As well as getting back to some element of assaulting out of transports.  For the most part units can't make it into combat, and if they do and slaughter the unit they attack they sit around to be shot to pieces.

Ignore Cover: It's the new black. Everything seems to ignore cover these days.  It seems to be getting a bit extreme.

Things that I think are ok as is and hope they don't get changed:

Flyers: I honestly feel they've been balanced over the last almost two years.  Adds an interesting element to the game

Look out sir: Maybe we limit it to 4+ on everybody but it's still a great part of the game.

Overwatch: not extreme but still a good way to have a last shot at incoming charges

Pre-Measuring: awesome.  makes for a lot less hard feelings in a game and levels the playing field between new and old players (who got really good on knowing distances).  A ton less blow ups in games due to someone making dodgy movement.

Fortifications: they're cool and add a neat element to the game.  I highly doubt these are going away as they help sell models.

Random charge length: maybe I'm the only person in the world that likes it, but if you want your charge to be sure to succeed, get closer to the target.

Ah well.  I'm a sucker for Games Workshop.  They still make some beautiful models and I love the background of the game.  There is also a pretty big player base (for now) so I can actually get games in.  They just are making it harder and harder to want to keep up with all this blatant money grab BS.

Rant off...  I'll get back to my usual painting updates next.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Astra Militarum List Idea

Here's the guard list I came up with.  Not sure how great it will be, but I think it could be fun.  I'll list out it, then tell how it will work.  It's 1831 points right now, got 19 points to mess around with and add/subtract.

So debated on using one of these, but here is my paint scheme
HQ (545): Pask in Punisher with multi-melta sponsons and lascannon, accompanied by 2 Vanquishers with lascannons.  All have dozer blades
This unit can issue an order to split fire Pask from the vanquishers.  Vanquishers tank hunt early game while you move up, and are relatively cheap.  Pask is an absolute beast.  His gun gets rending, he hits on bs4, and all his weapons re-roll armor pens.  In addition his warlord trait is preferred enemy so him and his squad re-rolls one's (hit and wound).  Plus this squad is a great target for prescience.  

HQ (96): Company commander with 4 sniper rifles, camo cloaks, and master of ordinance 
He gives his own unit "ignore cover" as an order.  They're on the top of the bastion, so they have a 2+ cover save.  In addition they man the icarus lascannon so it is ignoring cover in addition to the 4 sniper rifles.  The master of the ordinance ends up ignoring cover as well, basically giving you a 20 point earth shaker cannon (basilisk) that ignores cover... but it does scatter a little extra

HQ (75) Primaris Psycher, mastery level 2
Attaches to the blob.  Rolling on divination to try and get 4+ inv save.  If not that, just settle with prescience.  Cast that on the tank squad to start, then on unit itself for combat

HQ (25) Priest
ridiculous.  Gives blob fearless, and the battle hymns are technically tested on the high leadership of the squad.  One of the hymns allow for rerolling failed armor saves, another is rerolling to wound.  Tasty. 

HQ (104) Allied Xenos Inquisitor with mastery level 1, hammer hand, 3 servo skulls, rad grenades, psychotrope grenades, liber heretics book
This is what makes the blob sick.  The book allows for a pre-game scout move. servo skulls help keep scouts and infiltrators away as well as help your blasts scatter less.  He casts hammer-hand so the blob is effective str 4, and the enemy is one less toughness.  the liber book in future turns also allows for counter attack.  Good times.  I know it's one of the typical death star add ons, but It's too nasty not to try.

HQ (100) Coteaz
Yeah he makes the blob even better, plus I'll be expecting you keeps things from deepstriking too close.  I also like 2 more chances on divination for the 4+ inv.

Troop (313) aka the "blob".  Platoon command with 4 sniper rifles sits back and issues run run run to start the blob
Blob consists of 50 guardsmen, 5 sgts with meltabombs..  
If it gets the 4+ inv save, it is absolutely ridiculous, especially in combat where the battle hymns can grat rerolls.  Power axes are effective str 5 with hammer hand.  Enemy is one less toughness due to rad grenades.  Nobody should ever assault this unit.  It gets a pre-game scout move due to the xenos inquisitor book

Troop (158) aka "I need some scoring bodies" Platoon.  Platoon command with 4 sniper rifles.  2 squads of 10 with either autocannons or melta-guns.  All depends on if I ultimately want to stay back or have some flexibility moving forward.

Heavy (65) Wyvern
To take out stuff that hides.  Plus I'm going to use my griffons and proxy them as these

Heavy (70) Hydra
Yeah it's only one... but it's such a low priority target and I can keep it way back.  Or reserve it if I'm really worried about stuff alpha striking it.  

Heavy (175) Deathstrike with camo netting
I really want to try one of these, I figure it will add a huge intimidation element and force my opponent to react.  I'll keep it behind the bastion so it gets a 2+ save from any incoming shots.  Unfortunately there is a ton of stuff that ignores cover, but I'll make my opponent work for it!

Fortification (105) Bastion with Icarus Lascannon
Command squad goes up top to man the gun, benefitting with camo cloaks giving a 2+ cover save as well as the orders allowing the lascannon to ignore cover.  Inside I'll probably throw one of the additional platoon sniper squads so it can eject out the back and score an objective.  This also is needed to provide line of sight blocking to the death strike.  


Not sure if I have enough scoring units, but there are multiple elements that need to be dealt with.  Knights would have a field day with me though, ripping through my leman ruses as well as my blob.  All depends on the range game - I'll need practice on them.  

I'm also not sure if I have enough anti-air.  The thing I do have going for me is I can really pound ground forces.  And ultimately I'm not sure I'm really worried about air.  I guess I could bring in an officer of the fleet if I need to to mess a little with reserve rolls.  Or I could tweak the points a bit and swap one of the wyverns out for an extra hydra.  

There are some scary elements that should worry my opponent.  Obvioiusly the pask squad is one.  It will work in conjunction with my blob squad which is an absolute beast in combat.  Good thing is they are about the same speed.  Plus the blob can space out to help with any drop pods that want to melta my tanks.  The death strike should mess with everyone at least and ultimately provide another choice for them to make.  Ultimately I'm not sold on the death strike.  I prefer something to start doing damage early so I might switch it out for the manticore.  

Should be a fun list regardless, onto painting!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hobby plan for 2014 (for now)

Now that Adepticon is over, and I honestly don't have any major tournaments planned this year, I can settle down and work on things I've been meaning to get at.

1.  Cleaning.  First off... I really need to get my basement area in order.  A major spring cleaning is needed to assess what I have and prepare to do some gaming down there now that our usual gaming location is closed.  Good news is I should be able to host at least 4 4' x 6' tables going at once, so it should be a good bbq/beer/dice rolling afternoons.

2.  Painting Imperials.  Next is tackling my imperial army, "Knights Angelus".  This is my catch all marine & guard contingent that follows the red / silver / gold color scheme.  I should have my new guard codex coming this week so I can get a better idea on how the codex plays.

This is the scheme I've been using.  Black has been toned down (highlights) since
Especially with how the allies rules play, I like to have a visually connected army.  The more I think about it, I think I will adapt the Knight titans and even titan legion to the same color scheme. I had planned on doing one of the traditional ones, but I think I'll just do my own scheme.

My goal is just to start painting what I have.  I've been wanting to get off the Tau train and do a boatload of marines on the board.  Even if it doesn't perform well, I just need a change of pace.  That way whatever fun things I want to try I'll have miniatures painted ready to go.  It's not like I don't have tons of plastic sitting in boxes.

3.  TERRAIN! Yep, as soon as the weather gets nice outside, I'm getting over my airbrush intimidation and am going to paint up tons of terrain.  Mainly I want to get a few tables ready for Infinity but as soon as the secret weapons miniatures kickstarter boards get delivered I'll want to get paint on them as well.  Plus I have a ton of zuzzy mats that can get painted.

This will be a fun project since it isn't just painting miniatures for tournaments.  I had so much fun working on our team tournament "avatar" themed board, I really want to do more of that that actually has a gaming purpose.

4. Infinity.  I want to get back to painting these guys so bad!  Get a good Merovingian (french) force painted and together, and I have an idea on making a real cool bold color schemed Haqislam force.  It was so fun painting models and not armies, I can't wait.  Problem is, I hope I didn't break my painting mojo and remember how I did the mixes.  I had some miniatures half finished when I put it on hold.

We need friends!
5.  Team Tournament Adepticon 2015.  Finally, I can't forget to get an earlier start on planning for 2015 team tournament.  Adeptus Film Co. really wants to take it to the next level and get our army painted to match the theme.  Last year we worked a theme around the army and we'd like to try the other way first.  The big challenge will be finding a scheme that people will want to use post-con.  I think most of us really don't want an army that only is used at adepticon then really has no playability after.  We need some beers and food to think it through.

Well there you have it.  My thoughts on the projects I want to work on.  Let's see in a year how much came to fruition or if I got sucked into something out of the blue.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Infinity Terrain Ideas from Adepticon

I'm always on the hunt for terrain ideas and concepts and had the chance to sneak into the Infinity area to take some pictures.  It's good to see what is an appropriate amount of terrain so I can get an idea when I do my massive build-out this spring/summer.  Onto the photo dump!

very cool use of a bucket to make a tower terrain.  I need to find the designer of this.
Using the clear storage containers, next trip will be to the container store!
Using model railroad terrain I think - need to get more details on this.

Apparently this is chinese lantern kits.  Crazy! 

Now I need to get off my butt and get over the intimidation of airbrushing.  I've been hard at work assembling buildings...

Friday, April 11, 2014

Adepticon Team Tournament Recap

We had a blast!  This was my 11th team tournament (had to miss it one year due to a vacation) and is definitely one of the more fun events.  This year the Adeptus Film Co. went all out for theme type stuff outside of our armies and displays base.  Here's some of the pieces of flair.

- Avatar 2 movie posters
- (for the Greater) Good-bar candy bars to give away
- new shirts and our usual directors hats and scarves
- jungle sounds and music playing under curtain.
- an actual movie trailer created for the base.

We unfortunately didn't get any practice in the games so we went right down the middle for battle points.  Some tough match ups with wave serpents all over the place.  I ended up going 2-2-1 so it's about as average as you can get!  I think as a team we've just decided to go for theme and painting and scrap the potential of battle points.

With that said, we won best Xenos!  It seems to be my award, it's the 4th time I've won that one.  Alien scum for the win!

Here's how our board ended up turning out.

I didn't take any shots of the games, but there were so many beautiful armies.  Here are some inspirational pictures.  I wish I would have remembered to take my camera out more, my wife always gives me a hard time for constantly forgetting.  I wish I could have seen the shadow box display.  There was always a line.  That is a concept I've been dying to do for a Death Korps of Kreig army display.

sucking the life out of the imperial world.  Even had "fluid" rising
I loved the backdrop effort that went into this

Very thought out theme.  Great building, tone of detail

Our friends from the north, team Quebec!

Next year we're putting Danny in a costume

Team Handsome's beautifully painted Eldar.  Gorgeous

swooping hawk themed wraith knight

dark reaper themed wraith knight

Chicago Kamikaze's brought flowing water... loved it!

Next year we're really going to try and design the miniatures to fit into a movie.  Any ideas on a cool theme?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Adepticon 2014 Champs Coverage

Another great year of Adepticon.  Had a blast and am still trying to recover my voice (from yelling over the crowds).  We had a blast running the 40k friendly and were happy with all the great games we had on the team tournament.

I figured since I never take great notes on the games, I'd just post some cool pictures and an overall recap with how things went.  This post will focus on the 40k Championships.

The great thing about this event was there was absolutely no pressure for me.  I was 100% committed to running the 40k Friendly on friday so no matter what if I advanced I planned on rejecting... like I really had a shot.  I ended up winning my first games, 2nd being against my team tournament and regular gaming partner Jeff (small world).  The third game I lost against Bill Kim who ended up winning the overall for Thursday, and the last game I lost against a great opponent with a beaststar.  Was my first experience against it and surprisingly I was able to take it out - at the cost of a good portion of my army.

I had a great time with 4 great opponents.  I think I ended up around 57th our of 220 players.  Not too shabby with as little practice I get in.

Here's the army in all it's glory that I took.

One thing I realized is I just hate static shooting.  Whereas the broadsides were a huge deterrent and a focal point for my opponents, I don't like not being able to move with them.  I think I'd much rather go a third skyray and third riptide to keep mobility.  Either way, Tau are getting shelved for awhile while I work on my imperial forces.

Now for the massive photo dump... captions in the photos!  I realized that either my camera is getting worse or I just was way too unsteady while I was taking photos.  Sorry if the quality wasn't 100%.  Time to get a tripod.

first round against Tyranids.  I stole the initiative which is really harsh when playing Tau.  Kind of went downhill from there.
Second round against Jeff's armor 14/13 brigade. Way more difficult then I thought it would be but ultimately pulled out the win.  Serious amount of lascannons!
Bill Kim's demons in round 3
The beasts of slannesh ended up being my undoing.  Just didn't have a solution to get rid of them.  Ended up having a sole kroot on the table at the end!
Round 4 opponent's beaststar elder
Killed the beaststar in the end, but didn't have enough to pull a win.  Going 1st is rough when there are jet bikes on the board to grab objectives.  
Next post will cover the 40k team tournament.
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