Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Proposed Planetstrike FAQ/Errata (rough draft, feedback needed)

Planetstrike is obviously not intended as a balanced, tournament game. It is intended to be a fun, agreeable narrative style game, with winner and loser not as important as having fun. As such, an official FAQ would not be expected from GW (well, when are they ever). That doesn't mean the book doesn't need it, so here are my proposed revisions. This isn't how I play it, but these are just suggestions. I would appreciate feedback on this post so I can tweak the list and maybe make it official for my group.


Comms Relay: Counts as an artillery piece. Can be targeted separately unless it is part of an intact building, in which case a "Weapon Destroyed" result can take it out. Models don't have to be on the roof to use it.

Bastion Turret Weapons: Use a BS of 2 as normal, but if a occupying model is on the roof he may use his own BS instead (and may fire at a separate target).


Crash and Burn: If a Hit is rolled, use the arrow to show what direction it scatters but it will only scatter D6 inches (I feel that since you get 4 templates, they ought to be a bit more unpredictable).

Laserburn: The affected area is treated as Dangerous terrain afterwards (it's a friggin' lava scar).

Meteor Strike: Count it as a D weapon from Apocalypse (at 4 Stratagem points, it ought to be a bit more beefy).

Teleport Barrage: I don't like this stratagem. It is far too powerful. It should either cost more points or have a different effect. It makes it so a defender can't put any valuable units in a bunker. No terminators, independent characters, nothing as they don't just take a wound, they are removed from the game. It punishes small, elite armies like Eldar and Marines, while IG and Orks will laugh it off. It seems to me a cheap way to kill off very expensive models. I am not sure how to fix this one.

Imagine this- I have one bunker with 5 Dark Reapers plus Maugan Ra. If hit with the Teleport Barrage I would likely lose all but one or two reapers which would be several hundred points down. Another bunker has 20 Ork boyz. They would only lose about 3 guys, which is like 21 points or whatever. It's just so imbalanced I think it needs to be removed.

Edit: I thought of a way to fix it, simply state the models on the roof are not affected.

Other: Chaos Daemons may use the Blasphemous Broadcast, Euclidean Mindphase and Hellish Cacophony stratagems (since they don't get their own, I figured these fit in their theme, plus they all sound like titles to H.P. Lovecraft stories).

Chaos Daemons: Of course they can assault the turn they come in. For their deployment, don't use the rules in the codex, instead follow the Planetstrike reserves chart. I'd like a Daemons player to chime in on this one, especially on the normal deployment/reserves issue.

Like I said, I'd like some feedback on this, especially from Daemon players and those with a hefty amount of Planetstrike experience, as this is just a rough draft.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tyranids 2010: Final Wishlisting

Here are the final biomorphs and weapons that need fixing for the Tyranid codex, and a couple of beasties I'd like to see. Though according to the latest rumors, there's 4 new creatures added. I guess it's already set in stone, but a guy can wish, can't he?

Bio-Plasma: I'd like it to use the flamer template with the strength dependent on several factors. If a unit uses it, the strength should be determined by the number of bugs in the unit, with every 4 granting one flamer template at S4. For MCs, the strength should depend on the creature's strength.

Thornback: Should probably grant the 'fex Furious Charge.

Symbiote Rippers: It never was that useful, but what if now it caused the model to be immune to "No Retreat" extra wounds? Fluffwise, the rippers would swarm and absorb blows intended for the leader-beasts.

Spore Cysts: I have taken this downgrade three times, in the hopes that it would reveal some great truth about life, the universe and everything; yet two of those 3 times, it killed my carnifex. The other time it created a vast wall of mines that prevented my opponent from claiming an objective, as he had to slow down his advance to deal with the mines. This is a fun choice, but it needs to get fixed as its use is pure luck.

Venom Cannon: I don't see why it should only inflict glancing hits. You can only take 3 of these at S10 in an army anyway, and the best BS they can get is 3. It would solve a lot of ranged attack problems.

Fleet: Tyranids used to be special because almost everything had fleet, now everyone can run so it's not a big deal. Gaunts don't need to fleet as they generally don't need to assault. Perhaps Tyranids should roll 2d6 for fleet/run and keep the highest.

Warp Field: Needs to be moved to at least a 5+ save. 6+ is just laughable.

New Creatures: I can think of two (besides a big artillery beast, but I already talked about that). One should be a transport type organism. Make it a fast moving MC with good armor and wounds, with the ability to carry a small brood. This will give us scoring MCs (if they are carrying troops), which would shift a lot of playstyles. The second is some kind of Brood Mother. This MC pumps out reinforcements like rippers and gaunts. Now that would be awesome.

So this ends my Tyranid wishlist section. In the next couple of months we'll probably start so see some rumors take shape, let's hope for the best!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tyranid Wishlisting: Heavy Support Edition

It's that time again! Here's what I feel needs some help in the Tyranid Heavy Support section.

Biovore: Ok, this guy needs help. A lot of people don't like the model. I don't mind the model, but the rules need work. Of course, by fixing Spore Mines, Biovores will become fixed automatically. Give them the large blast template (at least for frag mines) or make them cheaper. Perhaps Biovores should fire D3 mines per turn.

Zoanthrope: I like the model but he really needs to be plastic. It is so top heavy it is impossible to place on a hill. As for the rules, he's one of our best tank hunting options...if you can pass a psychic test, roll to hit, then penetrate the armor and hope they aren't obscured. My terrible Mathhammers suggests that you only have a 44% chance of penetrating AV 10. With a S10 weapon. It gets worse when you consider AV 14- a 22% chance to glance/penetrate. Their fix is simple- remove the roll to hit for that psychic power. Furthermore, they need a better invulnerable save. 6+ is laughable.

Carnifex: I don't think the 'fex needs any fixing. All the 'fex needs is for some of the biomorphs to be fixed and he's good to go. I love how you can customize a Carnifex any way you want. I hope that stays.

What Heavy Support needs: I really really really would love to see a plastic Trygon, but based on the rumors I picked up it's probably not happening. Instead, I'd love to see a massive piece of living artillery, such as the old Epic or Armorcast Dactylis or Exocrine. All the 'nids need in the way of shooting is reliable anti-tank, and either of those can provide it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

So It Looks Like I'm Going To Have To Play Blood Angels

As I said earlier, I went ahead and ordered Space Hulk. I really look forward to it now, seeing the new sculpts and the paint jobs look fantastic. I especially love how the Terminators have plenty of battle damage. Showing the sprues allayed my fears that the minis would be the flexible plastic ones like Descent. Also from what I heard, the minis are indeed 40k size, so with some magnetic bases looks like I have a new army started.

I have been thinking for about a year now, which chapter should I start? I was thinking about either Blood Angels, Space Wolves, or Iron Hands. I was also considering doing a pre-heresy Traitor legion (and I may still do it later), but it looks like my mind has been made up for me. I have the feeling we'll be seeing lots of Blood Angels players in the next year...

Monday, August 17, 2009

How to Paint the Blastscape

I will admit, when I opened the bag I was pretty disappointed with what I saw. I was impressed with the size of the pieces, but not the quality of the detail. However, unlike most of the ululating masses of internet complainers, I decided to paint mine and see what I could do with it, refraining from final judgment until I saw how it looked painted. I found it to be probably the most boring, easy thing I've ever painted (except the lava, that was a lot of fun). Once finished, I was rather pleased with the results.

I'll discuss specific pieces later, but here is the basic procedure for the rocks and earth. To begin, I trimmed off the surrounding flash and primed the pieces black. I then coated the earth parts with a dark brown (approximately a burnt umber), and the rocks with a dark gray. Next, I gave everything a nice thick wash of Badab Black. After that dried, I drybrushed a lighter brown and a lighter gray, finally drybrushing highlighted areas with an even lighter brown and a light gray.

My aim with this color scheme was to make something dark so it could go with any tabletop theme, without it being too dark. Thus, I began with the dark and built it up slowly.

For the crashed space ship parts, I painted all the metals Boltgun Metal, and did the Badab Black wash on them. I then picked out areas in Chainmail (for damage and highlights) and Dwarf Bronze (details). These were very easy to do.

For the meteors, the area is decreed dangerous terrain afterward, so I figured I'd give a reason for it. I made the meteors look glowing by painting them red, then highlighting with progressively darker colors, in a backwards approach. I then used slight glowing effects on the surrounding rocks to show their radiating heat.

Finally, the Laserburn. This was a lot of fun. I slowly built up to white on the lava, painting the cracks in the lava with a very light yellow. I may possibly put some 'ardcoat on the bubbles to further their shininess. Finally, I used a red to make the sides of the slope appear to be glowing.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Should I Get Space Hulk?

So if all the rumors are true and the mystery box is Space Hulk, should I get it? Rumors say that it will be priced at £80, which is about $120. I (as any married man) am on a limited spending budget. I have enough in my budget to get it, but right now I want more terrain. If it were any normal advance order, I would simply just wait and get it later, but all the rumors say that this will be a short run only.

I never played it growing up, though a friend had it. Oddly enough, I played Warhammer by that point and he didn't, so it helped introduce him to the game. I had never heard of it, and when I was showing him how to play 40k, he said that it reminded him of another game he had.

So is the game worth it, or is everyone looking at it through the rose-colored goggles of their long-forgotten halcyon days of youth?

*Edit: I have indeed pre-ordered it. I have one main concern, one that hit me after I ordered it. Are the minis going to be full size and usable in 40k? If so, then I have made a very wise purchase. If not, I shall have to judge the game on its merits alone.

**Second Edit: Man, what's with all the people whining about "Waaahhhh they lied, they said it was something they've never done before!" Can anyone verify that a GW higher-up said this? It was one of the rumors floating around, but no one can seem to produce any solid evidence.

Tyranid Malanthrope Completed

I think I did the best on the carapace. I learned a lot about Tyranid carapace highlighting with this one. I also used 'ardcoat to make the feeding sacs glossy, especially in the recesses. This is my first finished Forgeworld model ever, and certainly not the last! My next FW model is a Barbed Heirodule, but that project is probably going to wait until Thanksgiving break.

For next time, I think I'll do the black a bit differently. The main fix would be doing the highlight similar to the carapace. Also, I made it a warm gray highlight, but I'm going to see how a cool gray highlight would go, seeing as the rest of the model is cool. It would be a subtle difference, but worth a try. Any criticism is welcome, I'm pretty proud of this one but I know I have plenty of room for improvement.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Winning With Warp Spiders

I had an experience in a recent game that I thought would help out my fellow Eldar players. I have loved Warp Spiders ever since their heavy flamer template/roll against Initiative instead of Toughness days. I still try to use them as often as I can as their abilities are the signature style of the Eldar.

Anyway, the mission was Capture and Control, a difficult mission to win and an easy mission to tie. In this case, it was turn 5 and we each were holding our objectives. My opponent had been running his Marines to his objective, and as such were strung out. I simply assaulted the far end of his line and watched them all respond to the charge, pulling them 6" off the objective. The game ended and I won.

Warp Spiders are a fantastic harassment unit. They aren't as fast or tough as jetbikes, but they pack a much stronger punch (their guns can punch through most vehicle rear armor, and they're maneuverable enough to get back there). Since they are Aspect Warriors, they also fare slightly better than guardians at close combat, even though they aren't built for it. Furthermore, they can Hit and Run to get out of sticky situations.

Now that they get Deep Strike for free, that saves a lot of points. Don't think you have to deep strike every time- remember that they can just walk on from the table edge if you wish. If they're needed close to your table edge, just walk them! I know this sounds like common sense, but it's easily forgotten when you want to use their abilities (similar to how people will sacrifice movement to get a few shots off).

Charging with your Warp Spiders is another good trick. To keep them safe from shooting for a turn, you can launch them into an assault, their high armor hopefully keeping them alive. If you upgraded your Exarch you may even take a few down. I have found that against all but dedicated assault units, Warp Spiders can hold their own, finally using Hit and Run to get to safety.

As for the Exarch, I always give him the double spinner, powerblades, and Hit and Run. Any extra shots I can give are worth it, and seeing as I often use their melee abilities to harass and lock down units, they might as well take some down with them. For unit size, I try to go with the max. A small unit can be effective, but having full size makes their advantages even stronger. With a large unit, you can take casualties and still be able to make a difference on the battlefield, being effective through the whole game.

I have never experimented with putting an Autarch in a unit. It would be interesting to give him a fusion gun and power weapon, so the unit would have greater vehicle popping abilities, and an intense close combat presence. This is a unit that can pop transports easily and take out the squishies inside.

I'd like to hear how everyone else uses Warp Spiders (or if you don't use them at all, why).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tyrand Wishlisting: Fast Attack Edition

Hmm, Fast Attack has some serious problems nowadays. Here they are:

Raveners: They're awesome looking, but can easily be outperformed by a Warrior for about 2/3 of the cost. The only thing the Warrior can't get is fleet or deep strike. As far as deep strike goes, they're just too vulnerable. Two wounds and a 5+ save means a moderate breeze can destroy them before they can even do anything.

What Raveners need is either to be tougher, or to be a lot cheaper. That's really the only thing they need to be fixed. Also, I'd like to see the build-a-bug system applied to them so I can upgrade them if I wish (same with Lictors).

Gargoyles: I have never used them. I am a man who actually owns a full unit of 10 Wraithguard, and I can't bring myself to invest in a unit of Gargs. They're supposed to be a swarm unit, but at $8.50 a head that's their biggest problem. What they need to do is make them plastic, cheaper (points and $$) and make their bioplasma a shooting attack, not a close combat attack. Give 'em a flamer template (perhaps every 4 Gargoyles give one flamer attack at S4 or something).

My prediction is that taking a winged Hive Tyrant will unlock Gargoyles and winged rippers as a troops choice.

Spore Mines: Man I love spore mines. Even if you miss you still get something. Alas, they suffer from several problems. The first is their blast size. While 5th breathed new life into the small blast template, I think the frag mine needs to have a large blast.

Another problem, the obvious one, is kill points. In my local group, we do not count them for KP at all (nor can they run), but it would be nice to make it official. After all, the entire point of a spore mine is to blow up.

In other news, I finished my Malanthrope and am almost done with the Blastscape. Pictures coming soon.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Jetbike Autarch Conversion, Round 2

After my Autarch fell apart when I was trying to enter a contest a while back, I figured I could do better, and redid the conversion. I've had this one in the works for a while. I think it's close to done, but I need to do some more greenstuffing.

What's different about this one from the old one is pretty evident, I moved the gun to the underside, and magnetized it. I can swap it out with a Reaper launcher if I wish. I put the Dire Avenger camera thing on the hood, and put a shield I found in an old bitz box up there too. I had to round out the edges to make it look better, and it was very tricky getting it to stay on the curved hood.

I also replaced the wings with that weird symbol thing that comes with the Dire Avengers. I cut off the staff and such, and just kept the shape. I filled in the details with greenstuff, but I want to go over it and create new detail on top.

If you look carefully, underneath the wings there's a round bit from a grav-tank. I stuck that underneath because this jetbike is missing its wings (that's why I had to create my own). I stuck that bit under there to make it less plain, as there's only a piece of plasticard covering the gaps.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Completed Broodlord

I took this guy with me up to Washington state last week, and finished him up over that time. It's interesting, the humidity up there has a noticeable effect on the paint application (I live in an extreme desert so it was noticeable).

Now that I look at it, I think it needs something on the base. It's kind of empty. I don't want to just stick a severed head on the base, so I'll have to come up with something else.

I mixed blue in my purple highlights to make the carapace feel more like part of the body. It isn't immediately clear in the pictures, but I used glossy coat on the tongue and toxin sacs. This is actually my first completed model of my Tyranid collection.

I'm almost done with the Malanthrope and painting my new Planetstrike terrain, and once that's done it's time to paint my friend's Ravenwing.

Monday, August 3, 2009

My New Engine of Entropy

For my birthday, I asked my dad to make me an entropy engine, also known as a dice randomizer. This is what I got:

The wood is slightly darker than the picture shows it, I had terrible lighting.

My 1 year old loves it. You can see her feet in this picture as she was sitting next to it while I was taking a picture of it, waiting for me to be done so she could run some dice through.

My dad built this with pegs instead of ramps, as I think the pegs do a better job of bouncing the dice around.

It's about 15.5" long and just as tall, and the dice catcher also doubles as a carrying case, as it folds down. It's big but it can handle a lot of dice at once which is nice when I've got bladestorming Dire Avengers.

I like rolling in it as I feel I get more random results. It may be purely psychological, but perhaps I shall run some tests and see just how random the results are with and without. My FLGS owner liked it so much he said he'd sell them if my dad were to make more. I'm trying to convince him to do so.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New Tyranid Rumors

I stopped by the Auburn, WA Games Workshop store last night (we're visiting family) and talked with the regional trainer who runs the store here. Apparently he trains the guys as far down as the L.A. Battle Bunker. Here's what he told me, and make of it what you will:

Plastic Trygon: Those pictures heavily debated on the intramawebs were not plastic trygons, they were the Forgeworld ones and a couple of conversions. He said it is possible for them to do but one would be years off.

New Plastics: The current Tyranid plastic line will not change, but the current metal models will eventually all be plastic. He said specifically they're working on a new Broodlord.

Release Frame: He said that Tyranids are not slated within the next 6 months, but possibly 8 months out.

He also agreed about my suspicion that Genestealers will be Elites with a Broodlord making them Troops in the next codex, but I don't take that as solid confirmation. He's probably seeing the writing on the wall just as much as I am.

The Auburn store actually has a life size Blood Angel in front, I heard that there's only 6 life size Space Marine statues in the U.S. I've seen the Dark Angel in the L.A. Battle Bunker of course, and he said there's another in WA, but couldn't remember where the others are.

Anyway, I don't consider myself a solid rumor source, simply look at my other rumors to see why. Today's rumor is not community commentary like that one, I'm just passing on what I heard.

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