Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thoughts on the New Tyranid Rumors

*This info is old! Here is the latest information!*

First off, check out the latest rumors from Warpshadow. Summary is in the first post.

All I have to say is:


On a less sibilant note, I'm really excited. I'm a bit concerned that everything is getting cheaper just to keep up with everyone else, but maybe I'll actually take Hormagaunts again.

Too bad they're coming at the end of my Christmas break, but I should have a bit of time to work on them. The one rumor that kind of bugs me is the Malanthrope one, but only because I bought the Forgeworld one and they'll come out with a cheaper plastic one. I guess that's how FW Valkyrie and Baneblade owners felt. But, perhaps the sculpt will be different...and I'll actually be able to use a FW model without opponent permission!

I really hope they fix the Malanthrope's stats if that's the case. Right now it's a souped up hive tyrant. Look at the current model- with those atrophied T-Rex arms attached to a bulbous body. He should be a slow, implacable, drifting psychic abomination consuming all in his path. It should be weak in CC but be an immensely powerful psyker.

It's a bit early to react too much to the rumors, but I'm liking the sound of them so far. As we get closer to January, things will start fleshing out and we can all start redoing our lists.

Edit: According to the official GW blog, there's going to be 3 new metal and 3 new plastic kits. The three new metal are obviously new creatures, but the plastic?

Edit again: Here's what I think. One plastic is a plastic Tyrant. One is the mysterious monster that's supposedly bigger than a Carnifex. The other plastic is Gargoyles. The three metal ones are brand new creatures. Since they are metal, it's doubtful that they're swarm or monstrous creatures. They're probably all middleweight Tyranids.

*If you still read this whole thing, for some reason this page has been viewed THOUSANDS of times, probably because (at the time of writing this) I come up as the first choice for Tyranid rumors on Google. I have no idea why this is the case, this post isn't that helpful but I'm flattered by all the attention.*

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tyranid Creature Names and Their Meanings

Tyranids have an interesting collection of names for their creatures. Here are some of their meanings. I have classified them in a couple of groupings. Italicized choices come from Epic, Forgeworld, or Armourcast.

The Female Ones

Termagant: Means a harsh-tempered or overbearing woman.

Harridan: One of my favorite words, it means a strict, bossy, or belligerent old woman.

Dominatrix: A dominating woman, it has other meanings but I'm sure you already know those.

The Greekish Ones

Biovore: Literally, life-eater. Methinks the technical Greek is Biophage, but the -vore is Latin, so it's one of those fused words.

Malanthrope: Another fused word, Mal- being the Latin for bad, and -anthrope being human being.

Hierophant: A priest who interprets sacred mysteries.

Hierodule: A slave in an ancient Greek temple.

Dactylis: Comes from the Greek meaning "fingers" if I recall.

Exocrine: Meaning an external secretion.

Zoanthrope: A portmanteau of zoo- meaning animal, and -anthrope meaning man. This term was coined by Gene Wolfe in his Torturer series (he also uses the terms Lictor and Carnifex heavily in that series, the books were an influence on GW).

Hormagaunt: I'm just guessing on this one, but horman is the Greek for "to set in motion" (it's where the word hormone comes from), so this would mean a gaunt that is set in motion. A good name for a fast moving creature.

The Latin Ones

Carnifex: Means butcher. For the plural, just use Carnifexes. If you really want to get all Latin, you can say Carnifices. However, there are several versions of Latin plurals and I don't want to recall my 4th grade Latin lessons so just use the -es ending. Similarly, the plural of codex is codices.

Edit: I stand corrected- The original sources I looked up said it meant butcher, and I assumed it to be correct because the roots would mean flesh-maker, but Elazar pointed out otherwise. I did some further research and he indeed is correct, a Carnifex is an executioner.

Malefactor: Means evil-doer.

Lictor: A lictor was a civil servant in ancient Rome, who acted as bodyguards of sorts. It means "one who binds." Interestingly enough, the bundle of rods carried by a Lictor was called fasces which is where the term "Fascism" originates.

Haruspex: A religious official who divined the future by looking at the entrails of animals.

This list isn't comprehensive. I figured I'd point out where the words for our more oddly named creatures come from.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Eldar Defense in Planetstrike, Part Two

In Part 1, I didn't really go in depth on the various choices to be made for defense. I simply talked about what I did and how I set up the board. Here I'm going to go over the various choices for Heavy Support and Troops, as those are what you'll be taking.

Support Platform: If you put a D-Cannon in a bastion, I guarantee you will get a 24" clearance around them. Every time I've taken them in regular games, my foes always give them a wide berth. Of course, they try to kill them as fast as possible, and they always do, but inside a Bastion they should be safer. If you take a Vibro-Cannon, you'll have to place them carefully. Don't take the other option. I don't even remember what it's called.

War Walker: In my opinion, not the best for defense. These guys are great for flank harassment and supporting fire, but if you take them for Planetstrike, they're probably best held in reserve to harry the flanks later.

Wraithlord: A great choice. Plop one of these guys in a Bastion and he's not going anywhere. It won't need to test for Wraithsight as long as the Bastion is intact, but once it plops make sure you've got a seer nearby. I give these guys Bright Lances and Wraithswords in case they get assaulted.

Dark Reapers: If you're playing against Marines, there is really no better choice. An Exarch with a Tempest Launcher and Crack Shot will do most of the killing for you all game. Place them in a protected, center bastion with a good line of sight.

Falcon: Great for bringing reinforcements onto the field, but it's not a very killy unit. A couple of them might be good for a hammer/anvil type defense.

Fire Prism: Same as the Falcon, but a little more killy and no transport option.

Wraithguard: A full unit of 10 makes for a great defense troops choice. They're tough and their guns can put fear into elite armies. Their short range and low rate of fire will cause horde armies to laugh at them, however.

Dire Avengers: A solid choice as usual. Hunkered down in a bastion they can provide great close-range defense with a well-timed Bladestorm. Keep a Farseer nearby so they can benefit from Doom.

Rangers/Pathfinders: These guys are better left out of a Bastion, finding cover on the board somewhere. Behind a defense line they should get a 2+ cover save. They aren't the most killy, but can take out a few things here and there. They'll mostly act as a speedbump.

Guardians: Ummm....put them in a Bastion? A full unit with psychic support could be a good close-range defense, and the support weapon can help bring some firepower to the table.

Jetbikes: I don't really see a point to these guys in Planetstrike. In the case of contesting, Attacker always wins so there's no turn 5 Turboboosting to claim objectives. They're not killy enough to be a good defender unit. I can see them being used as flank/rear armor distractions, but that's about it.

I'm going to play the Attacker on Tuesday, so I'll have a report on that later.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Space Hulk- Second Printing

I heard from my FLGS owner last night that there is going to be a second run of Space Hulk because the first went so well. He said that he had already ordered 4 copies. So if you missed out, now's your chance.

I ordered at 6:00 AM Monday morning, the day it was announced. I know some people will be upset because they ordered one now only because they thought it would be limited. But on the other hand, people who were short on cash or whatever will be able to get it. I really don't care, I have my copy and enjoy it.

I have submitted this to BOLS.

My Turn To Complain About The New Space Wolves

I have heavily debated even posting this, as I have often complained about the complainers, but I'm quite concerned about the new codex. I want to get my thoughts and concerns out. I've actually been totally fine with all the Wolf rumors I've heard, powerful characters, cheap Grey Hunters, insane Bloodclaws, etc, until I heard about their psychic powers. This is where things get ridiculous.

Eldar are supposed to be the most powerful psykers in the galaxy. Yet ever since Second Edition (with our extremely overpowered codex) we've only had mostly weak destructive psychic powers. Fortune is nice, and a guide/doom combo can be powerful, but those are powers that rely on the relative power of the unit they are cast on. I'm not saying that they're weak powers, they're the best we have, but the destructiveness depends on the unit. Mind War can pull the teeth out of a unit, but there's a lot of hoops to jump through before anything can happen, and it only inflicts one wound. Eldritch Storm is a joke. I have tried it, even with a Doom combo and it is ineffective. Destructor is our best "killy" psychic power, but it's just a heavy flamer. Our power is in synergy.

Now the Space Wolves have two of the most destructive psychic powers in the game, and furthermore can nullify any psychic power on a simple 4+! Njal can do it on a 3+. Everyone says that you can simply kill the guy with the power, but if he's in a unit it's going to take a lot of work. Especially if you can't get any valuable units within 24". Plus, the powers are carried by a 100 pt character, and 4 of them can be in the army.

What's worse about Jaws of the World Wolf is that there's not enough rolls! A simple psychic test on LD 10 and then bam, death to everything that can't roll under its initiative. No cover, armor, or inv saves. No wounds caused, simply removal. There goes your 200+ point character or MC, sniped right out a unit far more effectively than a Vindicaire assassin. At least he has to roll to hit and to wound, and you sometimes get a save against him. The only other ability I can think of that can simply remove models is the Teleport Barrage stratagem from Planetstrike, which is once again an extremely overpowered piece of schlock.

Eldar will likely not really be harmed by Jaws of the World Wolf. Almost every model will dodge it on anything but a 6, and they'll have to roll 3d6 to get their psychic powers off anyway. What I'm worried about is my Tyranids. Goodbye Carnifexes!

The other problem with the initiative test is that there's no point in having an initiative higher than 5 (except for CC of course). An initiative test should be like shooting if your BS is over 5. If you miss and your initiative is higher than 5, you can roll again (an Init. 6 would have to roll a 1 on the second test, a 7 would roll a 2, an 8 a 3, and so on).

If I played Space Wolves, I could not in good conscience take this power against my opponent in a friendly game.

I really hope the 'nid codex has that power in mind when they write it. I hope that Zoanthropes project a psychic null-zone where no enemy psychic powers can take effect within 12" or something like that. That would make them useful again.

Ok, I got that out of my system. I won't complain about it again until I play against it, we'll see how it is then.

(Sidenote: In some crazy Apoc battle or something, one player with Lash and one player with JotWW...shudder.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Planetstrike FAQ, Version 2 (Feedback Requested)

Here is my updated version of a FAQ for Planetstrike. I could use as much feedback as I can get.


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 half the number rolled on 3d6 (round up). This same rule applies to any stratagem that rolls 3d6 for scatter (I'm beginning to be not so sure about this one).

Laserburn: The affected area is treated as Dangerous terrain afterward. If one of the markers goes off the table edge, the strike will still hit, but measured from the point where it exited the table.

Teleport Barrage: Models on the roof are not affected.

Krak Attack: If used on a drop pod, it strikes the pod and not the unit inside.

Other: Chaos Daemons may use the Blasphemous Broadcast, Euclidean Mindphase and Hellish Cacophony stratagems.

Chaos Daemons: Follow the Planetstrike reserves chart instead of normal deployment (I'd like a Daemons player to chime in on this one).

Here's another question, should Automated Weapons still be allowed to shoot even if the building is shaken? They are machine spirits after all. Last game that's how we played it, I'll have to try some games both ways.

Monday, September 14, 2009

How To Make Razorwire

Ok, now it's time to put some razorwire on those sprue barricades we made in a previous post.

First off, cut yourself a length of very fine wire. For these I used 22 gauge wire that I got for cheap at Lowe's. There are plenty of ways to get free wire, but I wanted to be spared the hassle. Keep in mind that every foot of wire is going to equal slightly more than 1" of razorwire, so 6' of wire would be a bit more than 6" of wire. Since our sections are 6" long, 6' is a perfect length.

Bend the wire in half, and tie the loose ends around something stable like a chair.

Take the other end and put it into your drill. Make sure it is in there tight.

Now, run the drill until the wire is very tightly wound. Don't let the wire go slack, it will cause wrinkles and folds in the wire line. A few of those will add some character, but too many will ruin the line. Cut off the wire at both ends.

With the long section of wire, wrap it around something round like a larger paintbrush or your hobby knife. Obviously, you can control the diameter of the wire by using different objects. Find whatever looks best to you.

After it is wound up, I like to counter-wind it a bit with my hands. To do this I simply bend the wire gently in the opposite direction of how I just wound it. This loosens it up and makes it a bit more realistic.

Finally, wrap the wire around the 6" section that you had from the previous post. Now, lay it on top of the two barricades and glue it into position. Use superglue to fix the wire to the plastic, and make sure you superglue both ends of the wire. Finally, matte seal it to get rid of the plastic glue sheen.

The reason you want to fix the wire on the support before putting it on the barricade is because the tension in the wire will cause the barricade to buckle. Look at the first picture in this post; you can see that half the feet aren't even on the ground. After trying countless times to fix it, I finally ripped the 6" section off and wound the wire on that, then set it on the barricades and it worked beautifully.

You can of course mount the wire on whatever you want, this is simply the way I do it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Eldar Defense in Planetstrike

I finally got around to playing my first Planetstrike game. It was a lot of fun. I really like the Attacker/Defender dynamic. Here's the defense I employed. Please ignore the bright, colorful blocks. My daughter loaned them to me for this game because I was one bastion short. I was very eager for it to be destroyed.

As you can see, I went with a Helm's Deep style defense. The idea is that if they attack the front, they're exposed to fire from all bastions. If they try and take the sides, they can only get the first two, and then they'll be slowed down. I filled the spaces between bastions with obstacles to mess up any deep strikers.

I deployed my Dark Reapers in the center bastion so they could get the best line of fire. I put a Wraithlord in each of the forward bastions, and a squad of Wraithguard in the right bastion, and some Dire Avengers in the left one. I had some Pathfinders out behind the Aegis Defense Line for extra firepower.

When playing Planetstrike, make sure you follow the order of events properly. I figured I knew them so I didn't and deployed too early. The order is there for a reason!

An imposing view for an attacker.

My opponent took to the flank. Fortunately, I was able to slow him down enough that he only had two objectives. At one point he had 3 but I was able to clear the attackers from it. If the game had ended on turn 5, it would have been a draw. However, the game ended on turn 7 and I won with three objectives to two.

I'm not sure who my star unit was. All my units did really well. The Wraithguard absorbed a huge amount of firepower and my opponent stayed away from them out of fear. While they have a short range, Wraithcannons are very nasty. I only had 3 of 10 survive the game, but that was all I needed. The reapers did well, and after spending 3 turns repositioning my Pathfinders, they actually managed to do some damage.

In all it was an enjoyable game. Next time I play defender, I am going to try a spread out defense and use my speed to take care of objectives as needed.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Making Terrain Out of Sprues

Here's a way to make barricades and other obstacles for cheap as free! I can't bear to throw anything away, and as my pile of empty sprues grew higher and higher I figured I had to do something to take care of them all. Finally, I discovered an easy way to make caltrops style tank barricades. I later topped them off with razorwire, but that's a post for another day.

The first step is to cut several straight segments of sprue. For each barricade, cut out three 1 1/2"-2" segments. If you plan on making razorwire-type barricades cut 6 of these smaller segments and a 6" segment as well. After they are cut, sharpen one end to a point on the small sections, and both ends on a 6" section. Whittle down the plastic to make it worn looking.

Sprues are in a somewhat trapezoidal shape. When you whittle them, try to take more off the thicker corners to make them more square.

After whittling them, glue two into an X shape. Give the glue a bit of extra time to dry as you aren't gluing preformed pieces into shape. After they dry stand it up and glue the third piece to form a tripod shape. At this point I use paint bottles on each corner to support the whole thing until it dries completely.

If you are simply going for tank traps, go ahead and stop here. I simply prime them black and give a very light drybrush of Boltgun Metal. You can mount them on a 6"x2" base if you wish, or just set them up on the table as they are. If you want to make the razorwire, check for my next installment on how to make your own wire and how to set it on the barricade without bending the whole thing out of shape (not as easy as it sounds).

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Planetstrike Terrain Complete!

The above picture is missing two defense guns that I'm almost done with. This project was very simple. I got it done quite quickly, and seeing the sheer square inches of surface to paint, it's surprising.

For the darker one, I primed it black and then drybrushed the green in three layers, each one lighter. This took a lot longer. For the other one, I used a Hunter Green spraypaint from Walmart, then used two layers of hastily applied drybrushed highlights. The gun emplacements were simply primed black, then drybrushed Boltgun Metal, with Chainmail highlights. For the lights, I used a Scab Red with Blood Red highlight. I plan on using 'ardcoat on some of them to make them shiny.

The aquila was pretty easy. It started off green because of the spraypaint, but I went over the whole area in black. I then used Codex Gray to pick it out, with a Skull White overcoat. Finally, I used Chainmail to highlight the rivets.

The defense line was kind of a pain. It's 72" long so I used the same technique as the lighter bastion. The highlight was very sloppy, but it's terrain so I don't hold myself to the higher expectations. The backside got a bit of detail picked out in Boltgun Metal. Finally, I painted all 36 Imperial Aquilas Dwarf Bronze.

Lastly, for the bullet holes, I painted them Boltgun Metal, and then ran a Badab Black wash into them.

On the table right now: I have some scratch built razorwire barricades that I will be posting soon. After that I'm going to start the Ravenwing.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Got My Space Hulk!

And thus marks the day that I begin playing Blood Angels. Sort of. I don't plan on buying any models for them until I see where the new codex takes them, but these guys should keep me busy for a while.

The box weighs 9 lbs according to my scale. It's jam packed full of stuff and the plastic feels like it's much higher quality than other sprues. Every square inch is packed with detail. I'm excited to put it all together.

I'll try to get a few games in this weekend and see how they go!

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